This is the final week of the residency. You may have noticed that I haven’t put “at the end of week 16”. I finished up on Tuesday. That tree still has leaves hanging on. I did take a walk down and take a closer look. Yes, there are new shoots appearing, so obviously at no stage will it be completely bare.
There was the last bit of dyeing to do. What could be more appropriate to finish with the last of the bookmark blanks? I dunked them in the last of the indigo. Some were undyed previously, while others had come from the cineraria dye bath. It was a most appropriate way to finish off the residency as these bookmarks were the very first project woven at Sturt. And yes they will pass through the rite of passge with fire…. sometime.
It was a very busy few days with the final labelling of the art work which I’m leaving for the “50 years of weaving at Sturt” exhibition starting in October. There was also lots of packing and tidying up. I did somehow manage to fit everything in the car!
Monday night we had a celebration dinner in the cottage. Of course it was going to be a great night and it was! The celebrations continued onto the next day with the Tuesday group providing champagne and cake and they even lit the fire for one last time. Mind you the doors were also open as it was not a cold day by any stretch of the imagination! They launched me on my way in grand style.
It has been an amazing experience! Four months has certainly flown!
This week has also been a time for reflection. At the farewell dinner, I carefully selected some symbols of my time here and arranged them above the fireplace.
I used these items (the log of wood, the sprig of Eucalyptus Cineraria and the glass with the wood shaving steeped vodka) to describe what the Sturt experience has meant for me.
It has provided a creative thinking place and space.
It has provided fireplaces and fire to think about, do stuff with and be warmed by.
It has provided woodpiles to experiment with.
It has provided trees with leaves and bark to experiment with and to be inspired by.
It has provided looms to be challenged by.
I have played, experimented and created. And as the result of all this, I have achieved some work that I am excited by and that will lead onto other new works.
And lastly it has been the means of discovering wonderful friends and working with great people in a truly unique and special place.