February 2014

March 3, 2014

Where has the year gone? This is my first post of the New Year. The post for the end of January somehow got submerged in the move back to Sturt. I am here for another year. Students have begun new exciting projects. Watch this space as they are completed. Both classes are full with a broad range of weavers from the very experienced to the very new.

About this time last year my good friends Kati and John Meek were visiting from Alpena, Michigan, USA. On her return Kati researched and wove a collection of napkins based on the Australian tartan. She has very kindly given them to me.

Australian tartan

The Australian Tartan woven by Kati Meek. More about Kati can be found on her blog: katimeek.blogspot.com

I decided that I’d like to hang some of them in the studio to educate both weavers and any general public passing through. It is amazing how many people do not know that Australia does have an official tartan. The Australian Tartan was designed by John Reid, a Melbourne architect, as the result of a national competition held by the Scottish Australian Heritage Council to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary in 1988. He based his design on the warm colours of the “outback” and the pattern of the tartan of Lachlan Macquarie, who became the second Scottish born Governor of the Australian colony of New South Wales in 1809.

A collection of tartans

The original tartan is lower right. The other napkins are variations of technique and structure.

I took time out and went to Canberra to see two wonderful exhibitions: Mapping our World and Gold and the Incas.

The promotional leaflet for Gold and the Incas describes the exhibition as featuring “more than 220 works of art including spectacular gold pieces and scintillating jewellery created thousands of years ago to decorate the nobility in life and death.” What is there that appealed to me was not the gold and jewellery but the wonderful textiles. They are superb. Most are very large. Techniques include: tapestry, brocading using supplementary wefts, double cloth and embroidery. A very voluminous loincloth combined plain weave with leno. This very fine textile was extraordinarily beautiful with the leno area being decorated with woven bird motifs. I had come across bird feathers woven into textiles from the Inca culture in other galleries around the world. There are several examples included here. The diversity and richness of the textiles shown here was an unexpected pleasure. The exhibition is on at the National gallery of Australia till 21st April. www.nga.gov.au.

The web site of the National Library provides this overview of the exhibition: (www.nla.gov.au) “Mapping our World is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see rare and unique cartographic treasures from around the world. Discover how European explorers unravelled the secrets of the great south land. Highlights of the exhibition include the magnificent Fra Mauro Map of the World; the remarkable Boke of Idrography presented to Henry VIII; an intricate world map by the Benedictine monk Andreas Walsperger (1448); a fifteenth-century Ptolemy manuscript; magnificent and controversial ‘Dieppe’ charts; one of only four surviving copies of Mercator’s groundbreaking 1569 projection, and original manuscript charts by Pacific navigators including Louis de Freycinet, James Cook and Matthew Flinders.”

This is also a not to be missed exhibition and is on till 10th March.

I was sent this link to the Li weavers of China and would like to share it. It is interesting both from a technical point of view and also provides food for thought on the future of traditional weaving. http://www.frequency.com/video/textil-tradicional-li-ilha-hainan-china/92193029/-/5-36

I was home a couple of days ago and was passing by the Redland Art Gallery space at Capalaba where Her Inspiration: Female artists from the Redland Art gallery Collection is currently on till 15th March. Imagine my delight when I discovered that two of my works have been included: Common Ground which was acquired recently and Which Way. www.more2redlands.com.au/artgallery

The rugThe past few posts have been about The Sturt Community Rugs. Here is the latest update. The rugs have not officially been installed. That will occur when the carpet has been lifted and the floor rennovated. However we at Sturt could not wait to have them in place. The celebration will follow with due ceremony.