Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Travelling Journal, a story about six Australian artists

The Travelling Journal was a project I collaboratively worked on with a number of interesting artist types. In no order, my partners were:

Kathryn Shewring
Cherie Strong
Little Detour

And it spent six to eight weeks being passed aound the Eastern coast of Australia. I got it first, my contribution is the four anatomically-themed textile panels in the centre. I gave them the working title of Eyes, Brain, Heart & Hands, and I've never thought of anything more fitting. Eyes, Brain, Heart & Hands, 2012 it is then. A work within a work, was this Travelling Journal.

I really enjoyed stretching myself artistically - using threads to complete a line drawing was out of my comfort zone enough to be pleased what I'd accomplished in the timeframe, and close enough to it that I was confident I would not overreach. I refer to this artistic mind space as THE SAFETY ZONE.

Eyes, Brain

Heart, Hands

And I'm doing something new today! Here's my first video post (worked out how to do it, yaaay).

This was put together at the end by Barek, who is pretty clever at making short films about art. There's the travelling journal, as well as others, here.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Arts based workshops reviewed

The other day I had one of my arts based workshops reviewed. According to this small sample, I am pretty much a total boss at arts based workshops. Writing a survey, and choosing targets wisely....less so. But why the review to start with?

I live in a perpetual state of maybe-write-a-grant. Retrospectively, I've had no overwhelmingly expensive artists' dream to enhance the lives of Australians through public arts and I've never really gone looking for one. My materials needs are inexpensive and I legitimately enjoy my non-industry job, which provides ample income for any artist-based cash-splashy ventures....for now.
Life is full of surprises, though, so I also don't discount that one day all of these things will happen. One day, maybe soon, I will be sitting down to dissect exactly why I should be chosen above all others to be funded to have my ideas realised.

It was suggested that I do some surveys of the workshops as examples of my current practice. That fits in so well with the educational background which demands reflection and the artistic background that demands critique. It just makes total sense!

 As lovely followers of these posts would know, I have been hosting arts based workshops. One set in particular was a series of three textile-based (!) workshops for the Wirraglen Support Group, an organisation of home-schooled students in the Granite Belt District. For the last one I put together (very quickly) a survey of the workshop for the students to fill out and gave them a bunch of connecter pens and pencils to help the picture get interesting, if they were more comfortable with pictures.

The results were great! Total confidence boost, but not much to work with....On reflection, I should have given the parents an adults' one. I honestly just thought of that as I was writing this, so....I guess that's what they call it a learning journey. Not "a learning centre where you have all the knowledge of the world directly downloaded into your brain", which is what it might be called in the science-tastic future. Currently though, it's the sucky right now and I still have to reflect and evaluate :(

Clearly I will need to spend further time on tracking down/writing a more targeted series of questions.

Now, please prepare yourselves for the heartwarming sincerity parade that is my workshop evaluation forms! I think a lot of germs were passed on to me today and if I get sick in the next fortnight, I will look at this, and still think 'it was worth it'.

The Words.

To conclude, everyone knows how to copy the word 'embroidery' from the blackboard and they all jabbed themselves in the finger. I am reading this as: 'Everyone in the workshops had the situational awareness to follow a visual prompt and the resilience to continue after receiving negative stimulus (pain) from a task'.
A few scribbled out the "I did not like" section of the comments. The sincerity and vehemence they did this with was uplifting.

The Diagrams. 


Happy faces! There are less of these, because not everyone was comfortable with drawing a picture. I promise! Nothing like this:

...which I found in 2010 when I was recycling some old visual art journals. Who drew this and where they are now will always be a mystery.

The reflection.

Next time;
  • Parental surveys
  • Photos of finished works
  • More targeted questions/drawing prompts for specifics i.e. I found _______ difficult, my favourite part was _________.
  • Regular surveys so answering them is not new, I noticed some found it scary/confronting
  • Encourage parent participation/assistance in student surveys for a more varied response
  • Help with sounding out words, not spoon-feeding the information from a blackboard

Friday, 5 October 2012

Woollenings about The Town

Preparations in the drawer at theGRID

Here's a brief retrospect on my activities about The Town in the last six months or so. I would have put them out before, and should have, but making works is a lot more fun then putting thoughts and feelings into words and visual aids.

And remembering to take the photos, or have someone take them during the making process? Groan. In a completed related note, does someone want to do this in exchange for high fives and good vibes?

Working on the beanbag cover
Teaching a peep how to crochet
Made a headband for a coooool lady

Received these via post...I believe the expression may be...coals to Newcastle?

Feet, knitting and Grace

Bunting preparations

Some blurry shot

Let this be a lesson to all of you: don't be in a relationship with someone who knows how to make any kind of apparel.
Back into a crochet. A blur of hooks and wools.
Didn't think I was a huge fan of bombing growing things, but whatever. Happened once so now I know for sure.

Twisting horizontal stripes creates a candy cane effect...nice!

I really liked this one, until someone cut all the mushrooms off. Then, not so much.

This one disappeared the weekend it was put up.

Interstate woollenings in UK1

Had a bunch made up, and this grey old day helped me decide which ones would go where


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Events in September-October

Urg...hands hardening up, sore, turning into claws...

Events in September-October don't look to be slowing down. Here's what we have so far:

Time for holidays! What are you up to?

The school holiday program that is being run by theGRID hybrid arts collective. School holidays begin in QLD for state schools today! theGRID has classes on in the first week. Click on the image for a larger version to peruse what we do (it's pretty extensive) and work out which ages can do what.

I have another workshop coming up at Wirraglen. These are held on the third Wednesday of the month and I am currently busy online sourcing tools for the next one. Have it narrowed down to making a pincushion, intro to embroidery and beading.

The beading is not really my idea, but it's a popular one, and learning hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills is probably more important than a bit of ego and a mild dislike for fiddly beadwork on my part. I have also been given a lot of beads recently, and am happy to see them go. Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out, stupid beads!

Beads donated recently. So many beads.
 ....but I haven't decided. I really like embroidery. I like to drawing pictures on cloth with thread. I am currently trying to source inexpensive 10cm hoops online, approximately two dozen. If anyone has some experience bulk purchasing craft supplies and could point me to a few websites, that would be just fantastic.

Last but definitely not least in this round up is this amazing opportunity, extended by Artslink Queensland. You can go here to see their events line up throughout this year and into the next. Teasing the Domestic is the name of the travelling exhibition that will embark early next year for a twelve month (at least) stint in a number of destinations. According to the beautifully laid out page on their site, Teasing the Domestic "proposes a toast to both the hand-made and the home-made, with a strong cup of tea, a hot twist of irony and a cheeky grin."

I love cheeky grins!
And another feature of this tour is that "the exhibition is accompanied by, amongst other cosy kitchen and crafty resources, a children’s tea party area", which just sounds so welcoming. Available for booking 2013-2014. Bookings are filling up at a respectable rate so, be quick if you're interested!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Creative Tanks

In last week's post I briefly mentioned the Creative Tanks event that was occurring for the Carnival of Flowers this month. I was also involved in the Creative Tanks event last year. It's strangely nostaglic to be completing the same event, thinking about where I was twelve months ago. For 2011, I certainly wasn't in a place to post about the event as it was happening.
Didn't get around to it until January, tsk.

I certainly know a bit more about links now, too. Here is one that will take you to my artist page on the made. creative space website.

The event;

Setting up in the morning, inside the store
From the outside

Some of the supplies

Set up
Forest friends's all little too twee.

Dressed up for the Carnival. Flowers in spring, let it be said I was a paradigm shifter.

Peering into the murky depths of a wool basket

Playing in the DANGERZONE with a cappucino
Thanks are also in order for Leanne of Mary Ryan's Books, Music and Coffee. She's allowing me to commandeer a chair, table and a sandwich board, as well as space in her store over the next week. Artists don't get to do what they do without the support of people like her, who have the space to display them and the urge to share it. Thank you!
This is not in relation to Creative Tanks, and probably doesn't warrant spamming up your feeds with another blog post. The Artwork Exchange exhibition, in conjunction with MARS (fingers crossed I've got the connections right) kicked off this Friday in their gallery at theGRID hybrid arts collective.
Follow this link to be taken to a short video of the opening, which has a lot more about the work of the other artists.
Because I couldn't see my contribution in it, here is a still;

A little top hat bowler fellow. If you go in and visit, he has a superfluous third something located somewhere on his armless torso. Paying attention to ridiculous little details is what keeps me interested.
I have also heard an excellent argument for why his first and second ones are superfluous also, but you can make your own mind up about that.
UPDATE: The work is in the video. I just needed to have a little faith and watch a little harder.
Now, eagle-eyed readers might be wondering about the artwork that can only be glimpsed in the above image. Here it is, in marvellous fuzzy colour.
by HosHiko Street Art
Follow a link to their tumblr here. This picture really doesn't do them justice. If you like robots, candy and cute things, that's the place you should go.