Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Embroidery and Quilts and the Auckland Museum

Leila Bridgman's embroidery is on display in the War Memorial section of the Auckland Museum. There are many textiles created by women in the war, some who were prisoners. From the war to more peace-filled times on the lower levels, the quilt (bottom) of their Majesties was quite a contrast and surprise.  My absolute favourite quilt was  the tivaevae taorei (patchwork quilt) that was made and designed by Mrs Kaitamaki in 1969. It was interesting to see the influence of the missionaries (quilting) incorporated into the tapa cloths. On display way above our heads, the tivaevae was the most beautiful textile in the room. Definitely untouchable, and not a white glove in sight.



Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Silk and Kimoyes

I "discovered" a place at the Brisbane Quilt show last weekend (simultaneously discovered by about 5000 others) with beautiful bolts of silk. I could not be tempted by some of the most exquisite, hand painted, 1940s and 1950s pieces - until this. Hand stitched - it should have been a criminal offence to cut it - luckily I got over myself and brought a metre home to look at, fondle, admire, enjoy and share. Really enjoyed Kimoyes silks ... felt like I had travelled somewhere special in that tiny, challenging space within the Convention Centre.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Textiles and the Auckland Museum

This quilt was created from British army uniforms by an Anglo-Boer soldier returned from the war. It is beautifully stitched - and the colours remain vibrant even in the dimly lit museum space.
This scarf was part of a group of items donated by Nobuya Kinase - who had expected to die as a kamikaze pilot but survived because he stayed behind to train another group and his original group left on 26 April 1945. The embroidery is exquisite. The military exhibition (level 3 of the museum) is tastefully sombre - it was hard not to feel overwhelmed by the imagery.
A sewing basket from the time of European settlement of (now) Auckland

Flax - the ultimate resource


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Strolling Ponsonby Road continued ...

While in Auckland earlier this week, we walked in search of the unusual and found a gift shop - The Garden Party -  with so many different and charming items for sale. I managed to score an art diary - in the scrabble genre - while WMBM and I decided these re-purposed fine bone china teacups were definitely different.  I'd almost forgotten what old-fashioned strip shopping and family owned businesses looked like.

2QAQ at the Craft and Quilt Fair

Saturday was working (if you can call it that) at the 2QAQ area of the Queensland Quilters Quilt Show. More than 500 quilts are on display -  some breathtaking talent on show. The State of the Art Quilt 2012 is on display, as are the 2QAQ challenges in 2012 - portraits, bark and nine. It was a wonderful day - talking to so many people about 2QAQ and art quilts - and also great to see so many of the next generation of art quilters. Got to spend some time with Lajla, Suzanne, Merody and Sue. Also had a play on the new Bernina 710, lent to 2QAQ for the duration of the Show. Last chance today to go to the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre for the Quilt and Craft Fair 2012.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Building Walls @ Masterworks Gallery

These works by artist John Roy are part of his Building Walls exhibition at Masterworks Gallery on Ponsonby Road (Auckland).
Other artists works in glass and ceramic were equally captivating - I couldn't resist the leaves (for Sue) nor solid glass brushstroke. The most intriguing pieces were the dog sculptures - made of bird feathers. This gallery space was unusually warm and inviting - a place to linger in the midst of beautiful objects.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Ponsonby Road

We took the Inner Link Bus a few stops and started to walk - along Ponsonby Road where the shops and architexture are old - some buildings looked tired and forlorn, some parts funky and fresh. It is a great amalgam of people and life at the top of the hill. Tree lined avenues fall away from the main road, the smell of freshly cut flowers managed to find us through the gusts of chill wind.

The parks are full of surprises - public art spaces abound - creating wonderful places and spaces to pause in our long days of walking.

Textile Printing in Auckland

Loads of fun in the hotel where the pattern on the elevator (lift) doors was irresistible. The trick was to make sure the fabric was pulled away before the doors parted - and that only happened once, much to the surprise of our neighbours in Room 1404.  This piece of fabric was dyed at home then rubbed with Shiva stick on the elevator door. Once set, it was overprinted with leaves collected on our walks in Auckland. An oak leaf here and there, or some other foliage unfamiliar to us ... it all made for interesting walks and plenty to do when we returned to the room. 
More leaves from the park

Room numbers

Bathroom drain and airconditioner vent

Texans in Auckland

The Texan Art School was founded more than 15 years ago as a place for Tech and Design students to showcase and sell their works. We visited the Texan Art Schools outlet in Ponsonby - the TAS represents hundreds of young and recent New Zealand artists. The store is overflowing with art pieces and items for sale that are out of the ordinary.  The ceramics and print works were  innovative and beautifully crafted. The re-interpretation of traditional art styles was fascinating. Priced to come home in a suitcase and well worth the visit.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Room with a View

IMGP0954 (600x800)Seriously – I leaned the camera out the window from our 14th floor  room in Victoria Street and aside from the icy blast of Spring air – had magic views of this part of Auckland. We’re back after four days of exploring and catching up with friends, old and new.  A real highlight was catching up with fellow SAQA members – and enjoying some scintillating conversation down at the harbour.  Thank you Alison and Thelma – we had quite a hoot. Thanks to a portable printing kit, fabric paints, shiva sticks and the WMBM, also managed to make some wonderful textile memories. Unpacking starts tomorrow ...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Lest we ever forget

For those who asked what the place was like before the WMBM planted 1500+ trees, shrubs, gardens and everything else, here are a few memories from us ... and a kangaroo for DW. (Please note the goat is on the left).


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Adding dimension and texture

Using more of the rusted fabric, images of the pliers and some of the other tools have been applied to the quilt top, slightly offset from the rubbed image. One of the upsides of travelling during the week, is coming back to the studio and getting a fresh look at whatever is on the design sheet.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

My Father's Shed progresses

I found some more tools and a packet of nails that have added another layer of my father to this piece. There's still more issues to work through on the overall composition - and I think there needs some more contrasting or dark areas, creation of a focal point and a way to reduce the impact of the large piece of blue and gold across the middle. The nails, scattered randomly underneath, were dabbed and dotted with a dark oil stick. They've produced some interesting, textural effects. I've really appreciated the feedback I've received during this process - another benefit of being part of the SAQA and 2QAQ groups - and experiencing the wonderful osmosis of talent.  

Monday, 8 October 2012

Pizzas and Paints

First things first. WMBM got the fire going. Then the guests arrived. We started to play with bark, post, paints, printing, rubbings, drawing ... all accompanied by delicious woodfired pizzas (thank you WMBM, a.k.a St Christopher)  and an assortment of salads (thanks to Sue, Suzanne, Mel, and Jane and the apostles). After lunch the barn was converted from servery to studio while the printing, pressing and rubbing continued. The apostles made amazing prints from the shapes of industrial fans, garden rakes and other shed-like implements.  A very creative day. thank you everyone - it was a real hoot!

Sue and her post

Mel, Suzanne and Jane contemplate ...

A conversion of sorts ...