Tapestry completed and other stuff
The small tapestry 'Sentinel' is now complete and ready to put in its frame. It will sit in a box frame which is how I usually mount the small tapestries.
Last week I travelled up to Blenheim with Penny Orme, a local arts writer, critic and curator. We visited Peg Moorhouse to choose her work for her exhibition at CoCA next month. Peg is 92 years old and is still weaving every day. Her exhibition will be held in the upstairs gallery at CoCA. I will post images of her work when the exhibition is hanging.
On our way home from Peg's place last Thursday Penny and I stopped off at the Marlborough District Council offices as I wanted to see the tapestry that I was commissioned to weave back in 1994 for the Women's Suffrage Committee. It had been hanging in the entrance to the Council office for over ten years and was spelled for about two years and put away in a cupboard for that period. It is now back in place but hanging away from the light coming in from the front door and is placed in a special alcove behind glass to protect it. Here is a photograph of the work in its new spot.
It is good to see that the tapestry is really appreciated and cared for by the people of Marlborough.
I have now started working on a series of small tapestries featuring birds. I am about halfway through the first one. This tapestry is of seagulls swimming in the pond in the North Quad of the Arts Centre. I was out on the balcony one day when I noticed the seagulls swimming in the pond and then flying up on to the ledge near where I was standing. Heaps of them!! So out came my camera and I took many photographs which I then cropped and played with on the computer to come up with the final images. I decided to weave this one.
The sett on this tapestry is 14epi and the size is approximately 32 x 24cm. I can't quite remember the actual size - will have to measure it when I get back in to the studio. The work is progressing well. I have done just over a week's work in this tapestry and I am now about half way through it.
The last photograph shows where I was up to yesterday at the end of the day.
Drawings I have been doing this year
I love to draw and have been doing so a lot more lately, working in my wee studio at home in the early mornings and evenings when I am not on my computer. My recent work is a series of conte and charcoal drawings on New Zealand native plants. The drawing below started me off on this series of work. Ghastly photo of me!!! But not to mind that, it's the drawing that matters. I just give the scale of it. This drawing was accepted in the Margaret Stoddart Award exhbition at CoCA in March of this year and I enjoyed drawing it so much that I decided to continue with the series.
The next works are the same size 100x70cm as one section of the first drawing 'Marlborough Rock Daisy 1' which consisted of four sections to make one work. Here is Marlborough Rock Daisy 2' which I sold last weekend to people from Sydney who were visiting my studio. That was a big buzz for me as it was the first in the series to sell.
I will finish posting new images tonight as time has caught up with me and I need to get to the studio right now. Well, it's now Monday morning and I am again sitting in front of my computer after my shower so here goes with more images of the drawings.
This image shows the generic native manuka which has a small white flower that is about half the size of my little fingernail. This is what manuka honey is made from.
This is the Koromiko which is the native New Zealand hebe I think. It has great medicinal properties and I remember my dad picking the leaves of this plant and chewing them whenever he had a stomach ache. Seemed to work for him.
This drawing was the first one I did after the large Rock Daisy work and it has now been framed and is at the Two Rivers Gallery in Cheviot.
This last image is a close-up of a section of the drawing 'Iris Berries' The drawings are all the same size and the variation in the images here comes from the size of the photographs. Somehow I can't seem to get them to be the same size. But never mind, they are all pretty easy to see. These works are all for sale. If anyone would like to purchase one, just send me an e-mail from the Contact section at the top fo the blog.
More of Threads of Light - Last day of Exhibition
Yesterday afternoon Wil, I and Koji took the exhibition 'Threads of Light' down after three weeks of its showing at Form Gallery. It is always a bit sad to see an exhibiton come down but we had lots of good feedback about the work and lots of people made special trips to see it. Wilson sold one work and I sold two so that was great even though it wasn't exactly a sellout exhibition. Here are some images of three more of the works, 'Illuminate 2' Illuminate 3 and 4' and 'Regency' Wilson's lovely delicate hanging. Note the detail of this piece which was woven in rayon and cotton I think.
And now for us! We decided to have our photos taken in front of the title of the exhibition and here it is.
And lastly! Showing off!!
The exhibition 'Threads of Light' was opened on Wednesday night last week at Form Gallery which is situated in the Christchurch Art Gallery, opening out on to Worcester Boulevard. The exhibition features work by myself and Wilson Henderson. We have been working towards this exhibition for some time, focusing on weaving threads that reflect light. My work is a spins off from 'Mysterium' the large mono-filament work I wove last year. These works though, are small, layered, and mounted in transparent perspex boxes. The image below shows one of these works 'Illuminate 5', looking at it from the side and showing the layering effect. I was very pleased with the the way the light bounces off these works.
This image shows the main wall of the exhibition space, with Wilson's large woven hanging 'Reflections' the small woven 'Perspectives' and the lovely delicate hanging 'Regency' on the right.
This view shows the cabinet in the back of the gallery, where I hung the four tapestries 'Lumination 1 - 4'. They were woven to fit into this space and work well there. Lurex threads were woven in to these tapestries so that they would catch the light.
Koji, the owner of the Gallery and a visitor to the opening study 'Illuminate 6' the largest of the monofilament weavings. A large number of people came to the opening, but I completely forgot to take photographs until most of them had left. Wil and I are really pleased with how the exhibition looks overall.
Here is an image of 'Illuminate 1' the first of these small weavings. It was the prototype for the others which were designed especially for this exhibition.
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I am back working on 'Lace 2' again
This last couple of weeks have been very busy as usual. I have been working on 'Lace 2' again and I can finally see the finish line. I lowered the tapestry and when I readjusted the cartoon, there it was -the finish line in sight. But there is still probably six months work left to do.
In the two weeks that I have been back working on this tapestry I have completed the section on the left corner, from halfway up the green bit and across to the pink blob in the middle. Not bad going really. It is surprising how quick the work grows if I put some substantial time into it. I will be really pleased to finish this work. It has been on the loom for far too long, but as I cannot afford to work on it full time I just have to be happy with what I can do. I would like to have it finished by this time next year.
I have also been working on the 'marketing' aspect of being an artist and that is what I find difficult. I spent two hours with a marketing expert and he has given me the confidence to go ahead and send out brochures etc. He also helped me identify my target market as I very much need to bring in some commissions to enable me to keep my studio going. I have sent a proposal for a tapestry to the chief executive of the Christchurch Airport and to the architect who is working on the new developments for the interenational terminal. Next week I have to ring them and make an appointment to go and have a chat with them about the possiblity of them commissioning a tapestry to hang at the airport. So wish me luck. I need a lot of courage to do this sort of promotional work as it is not easy for me to do this. However, I am giving it a go!!
Another thing I have been working on is the work for a small exhibition at Form Gallery. Wilson and I are exhibiting our work there in early October, so watch this space for images of new and different small works.
The exhibition at Selwyn Gallery, Darfield
Yesterday morning, the exhibiton 'Fibre and Form' was opened at the Selwyn Gallery in Darfield. It was a nice friendly opening on a lovely sunny Saturday morning.
There was not a huge number of people attending but Wil and I were both very pleased when we each sold a work. I was thrilled when Dee came up to me to say that she had bought the wee tapestry 'Two Sparrows'. She also bought one of Wilson's lovely scarves.
It has certainly been a busy day today. Wilson and I have been setting up our exhibition 'Fibre and Form' at Selwyn Gallery in Darfield. Darfield is a little country town in the middle of the Canterbury Plains and is about a 40 minute car ride from Christchurch. We arrived out there about 1.00pm this afternoon and spent most of that time hanging our work. We are really pleased with how it is looking. Here are some photos.
It is all a bit of a jumble at this early stage. Wil has just stopped for a coffee after arranging his scarves on the plinths. You can just see his model in the background. She is a lovely black girl who had her head chopped off the other day and she definitely looks much better without her head. You will get a better view of the handwoven dress and cape in another photograph later.
Some of my work is now up on the wall. I am only showing two new works in this exhibition and they are the two black and white drawings you can see in the corner. None of my other work has ever been shown in the Selwyn district so it is good to be able to show it all again.
Here is one corner completed and looking good. The two very different styles of work look good together and the colours also worked amazingly well. We are very pleased with the overall look of the whole exhibition and I will post more photographs of the finished display. We still have to bring in a table tomorrow morning to show Wil's gothic table setting and as the opening starts at 10.00am in the morning it will be an early start to the day.
Nina's tapestry ready to be delivered to her.
Ninas's tapestry is now completed, framed and mounted and ready to be delivered to her soon. I decided to frame this tapestry as I felt it needed the frame to set it off. It was just a little too small to hang on its own on the wall. I am really pleased with how it looks in its frame. Here is an image of it as it looks now.
The slight curve that you can see is a fault of the camera and I don't know how to fix that. If anyone can help me with this I would appreciate it. I can be e-mailed from this blog quite easily.
Also, if anyone out there would like to commission a tapestry from me please e-mail me with images that you would like me to work with. Nina sent me about six small snapshots of her and her partner, and from those I was able to isolate their faces and create two design concepts that I sent to her. She chose the more abstract one and the tapestry above is the result.
One of the beauties of tapestry is that they can be transported anywhere in the world quite easily as if they are not framed they can be rolled and are easy to handle. I only frame the smaller tapestries and I mount them in box frames so that they appear to be floating in their frame. I do not put them behind glass.
Tapestries are also easy to look after. They must not be hung in direct sunlight, but of course any art work should not be hung in direct sunlight. They can be lightly vacuumed every now and then to keep the dust off them. Tapestries are the most durable of all textiles and can last many many years if they are looked after. Some of the old tapestries in churches and old mansions were woven over 500 years ago. So they do make wonderful family heirlooms which can be passed down through the generations.
Here is a photograph of my grandaughter Esther cutting Nina's tapestry off the loom with me looking on and supporting the work as she cuts the warp threads.