I seem to be following a trail. First there were the petroglyphs in Colorado, then some aboriginal paintings in Kakadu and at the start of this month, I visited Carnarvon Gorge National Park in Central Queensland and saw some rock art. The paintings were not as refined as that in Kakadu and comprised of a mainly stencilled patterns where ochres were sprayed over an object. There were a lot of hands but also nets, boomerangs and other objects. In addition there were some carved symbols. There are three sites there. One of which required a 20 km hike. I am fitter than I thought.
The viewing platform at Cathedral cave allows access to the aboriginal art along the base of this rock wall.
All of these images have been created by ochres being sprayed over an object: hands, boomerangs and between two fingers for the fish nets.
There were a group of 6 textile artists on this adventure, with two husbands: Sandy Webster (USA), Mary Crehan (Ireland), Fay and Mike Roselt, Glenys and Robert Mann, Truda Newman and myself. We all did our own thing during the day, meeting for a communal meal at night, sharing our stories and what we had seen or done during the day. Accommodation at Takarakka, www.takaru.com.au was in safari style tents, very comfortable but a bit scary in a wind storm that followed a day of rain. One does become very aware of the force of nature when bits of trees are bombarding the tent.
As well as looking for the aboriginal sites, time was spent contemplating nature: the wallabies and kangaroos, platypus and birds. It had been raining so the wild flowers were in abundance. The creek came up and went down again, creating opportunity to stay in camp working on different projects or reading. We spent time fossicking for ochres and building formations with beautifully rounded river rocks. Carnarvon Gorge is certainly a very beautiful spot.
I have a cat that has come to visit for a bit. It’s my daughter’s cat and has lots of very beautiful fluff which unfortunately gets deposited everywhere. I also didn’t want cat on my beautiful Indian bedspread so decided to make an alternative. It was a great opportunity to play with some basic woven shibori. I decided to weave some lengths that would then be cut into squares and later joined. Plain weave was deemed essential. Three warps were woven, each with a basic resist threading. The aim was to achieve 3 variations of 4 squares within each warp, a total of 12 squares from each. Some variations were achieved by the resist weave pattern, others by removing sections of resist after it was woven. In addition, one warp was woven without resist and some basic clamping on folded cloth was carried out. All fabrics were prepared before dyeing in the one bath, thus ensuring that the colour was uniform. From a very restricted and simple design brief, I have ended up with quite a varied collection of squares which were then assembled in a relatively random manner.
This detail is of six panels showing variations in resist pattern. All fabric is hand woven.