Thursday, 6 September 2007

The lull after the storm

I've just finished a period of frenetic activity and gee, it's so nice to do nothing for a bit! Well, nothing with a deadline, anyway. My design wall is empty - well, as close to empty as it ever gets!

You can see Mistrise is still being considered (I had some new ideas about where to take that, just this week), and it's partly obscuring a woven piece with added applique that is being contemplated upon before more action happens. The flock of butterflies is still flying south, though sometimes they move to other places on the wall. Some have been made into brooches for myself (they live on a gorgeous evening bag made for me by Rhonda a few years ago) and friends. And the quilt block designed for me by my clever daughter Kas is still on display.

You can also see a piece I made in August 2005, as part of my personal Journal Quilts project. It was for a challenge with friends called "I Get the News I Need on the Weather Report". Each of us chose a month of the year to represent in journal quilt format. Mine was August in Sydney, which is often wet. It's based on a photo of mine of leaves in a puddle, overlaid by a map of the coastline of Sydney. It's rather dark so it's not a really successful piece but fun to do. Here's a better view of it:

It needs overpainting to give a value difference between land and sea, to emphasise the coastline aspect a little more. One day when I have the paints out..

Almost hidden is an anti-Iraq war piece I started in 2004 on the theme of Purple Prose, which required a combination of text and a purple fabric, for my quilt group. The rhetoric about the war was very purple at the time, so it seemed appropriate! So far it looks like this...

It's based on many news images on Arab woman with their children and the woman's pose is based on a photo I saw of Palestinian refugees just after World War II. Some things don't seem to change. It still needs to have its painted background, which I envisage as a wall, in some disrepair, perhaps with bullet marks or other damage, against which the mother is leaning so wearily. And of course, the detail will be added with stitch, my favourite activity! It will be quite small, 23cm x 30cm (9in x 12in), including a border, which will incorporate purple and probably black, and probably the text. The words I want to use are a quote from Sir Horace Walpole in 1772, "It was easier to conquer the East than to know what to do with it." This pithy remark seems to sum up most attempts by western powers to influence Middle Eastern and Far Eastern politics, and yet it's a lesson they have signally failed to learn in the subsequent 235 years. Don't get excited though, it may still be some time before this piece rises to the top of the pile!

I'm also thinking idly about May Gibbs because ATASDA has been asked by the May Gibbs Foundation to mount one of a rolling series of exhibitions called "Inspired by May", in honour of the sesquicentenary of May Gibbs' birth. It's a little tricky because her artwork is still under copyright. I'm reading her biography and learning about her passion for the Australian bush, at a time when children's books in Australia were generally derived from English sources and images. I have an idea of what I want to do, and it will be small, as the display space is not large. But I'm not sure I will go ahead with it, as it's so nice not to have a deadline!

I wonder how long my wall will stay empty like this?


mereth said...

Enjoy the quiet time and mull over where you're going next.It sounds like you've got a lot accomplished lately so enjoy the feeling.
That piece with the mother and child is so evocative, even at this stage. There's something about those protective arms we can all relate to. It will be interesting to see this develop.
Deadlines suck, I seem to deliberately dither when they're hanging over me. I don't respond to them well at all.

Tonniece said...

Wow, I really love that mother and child piece too.

Looks as though you deserve a rest woman. Your always on the go, but downtime is always a good thing from time to time.
Have a great weekend, and relax.