Despite a week of very cold and wet weather, lots of stalwart friends visited my mid-year exhibition, celebrating the progress of my residency to date, and showcasing some of my previous work.
I really enjoyed talking to all my visitors ... telling everyone about what I've done so far, and what I still hope to achieve.The venue was the heritage-listed Richard Randall Art Studio, located close to the entrance to the Gardens at Mt Coot-tha (near the Cafe). It's a lovely building, but it's like an icebox in wet weather in winter!
My dear friends Wendy Sonnenberg and Jill Brose did an amazing job setting everything up so tastefully for me. I couldn't have done it without their design expertise and physical support.
The "Flowers of Friendship" hangings (described in my previous post) were the main feature of the exhibition. It was wonderful that so many people who had participated in this project braved the awful weather to come along to see them.
All the flower squares were sewn together, but unfortunately I didn't have time to finish the hangings completely ... but this proved to have an unforeseen bonus, because I received some more squares during the exhibition, which can now be added in ... and some people said they would still like to make one. So, even though I originally asked for them to be sent to me by the end of April, you can still participate .... but I really do need them ASAP!
I faithfully promise to have the finished hangings on display at my final exhibition (6-14 November).
My nephew, percussionist Matthew Horsley, composed and recorded a soundtrack for me entitled "Other Voices" and the croaking of pobblebonk frogs and other natural sounds created wonderful atmosphere for my exhibition.
This was accompanied by a slide-show of images featuring some of the activities I have organised for the public during the year, and also showing the progress of my collaborative projects (some completed, some 'on-the-go' and some still in the planning stages).
Along one wall some of my previous work (mostly with a nature theme) was displayed.
Anyone who knows me well won't be surprised to know that ALL these pieces incorporated words in some way or another!
I was gratified that many of my visitors took time to read the explanatory notes which described each piece.
This table also included some collaborative works completed during my residency ...
- Japanese Garden Reveries (with my sister Alison Horsley) - a hand-bound book of haiku poetry accompanied by photographs
- Naturally Collaborative (with QSWFA Book & Paper Group) - each person decorated pages for everyone else, with a nature theme and using their own choice of techniques
- Tangled Nature (with QSWFA Book & Paper Group) - black pen and graphite pencil doodles inspired by leaves and flowers.
- Bookswap (various book artists) - people made books with a "Plants" theme.
In another area I set up some of my merchandise to sell.
These small books, fridge magnets and bookmarks proved to be ideal gifts for tourists to take home!
See the leafy tree in the photo above?
This represents some of the people who have visited me during my residency year so far, and chosen to write their name on a paper leaf.
Hopefully by November the tree will have grown into a huge forest giant!
On one wall and a table I displayed some of the collaborative works in progress that will be finished for November.
These included (left to right) ...
- Integrate/Disintegrate (with the 'Broadstrokes' artists) - bundles of assorted fibres are hanging in a tree at the gardens, and also in trees and buried in our home gardens.
- Arachnid Artistry (with Jude Skeers, Peter Wojciechowski, Annette Waraker and other fibre artists) - webs will be constructed in trees in the gardens on 4 and 5 August (accompanied by activities for the public to join).
- Forest Collage (with Lyn Baxter and Sue Ford) - a mixed media collage hanging incorporating felting, painting, handmade paper, materials and techniques. These include wet felting, embroidery, painting, machine embellishing, crochet, knitting and many other techniques and materials.
- Pods (with Jill Brose) - basketry techniques and handmade papers will be used to create seedpods, insect cases and other natural receptacles.
- The Water Dragon story (with my sister Alison Horsley) - a short children’s story about a water dragon living in the Gardens ... 2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon, and also the Year of Water.
- Naturally inSPIREd (with QSWFA Pulp Action Group) - cones constructed from plant-fibre paper, embellished with a variety of plant materials and found objects.
At the front door I displayed a sample of my Swishy Swathes - garlands of flowers and leaves which are hanging in the shelter sheds at the Bus Stop, the Tropical Dome and the Fragrant Garden … and there are more to come!
These incorporate many different techniques and a wide variety of materials.
Gay McEwan, Joanne Jayne, Tess Murray and Felicity Clarke made some of the leaves and flowers in these swathes.
Some of my hangings festoooned the other side of the doorway.
We camouflaged the kitchen area with a screen ... which gave me yet another chance to display more of my previous work!
Throughout the exhibition there was a chance for children (and adults) to stencil images of leaves and flowers on paper ... and there is always the possibility for this to become a future feature artwork!
So, there you have it ... a virtual tour of my exhibition ... thanks for reading this far!
I hope you'll come and see the final results of my residency in November.... and read my next blog post for details of how to join my other collaborative projects.