Improvisation

As i may have mentioned earlier, I didn’t bring much with me in the way of studio equipment or materials.

Pliers, scissors, watercolour paintbox, craft knife, glue stick, needles, threads

Sometimes this has been Extremely Frustrating. Mostly, I’ve enjoyed the simplicity. And the challenge of improvising.

Today I discovered a plinth for my first 3D piece by uniting a vacuum cleaner box (of which more later) + black plastic bag + chunk of polystyrene.

…also a way to display my bilingual loving-kindness mantra, thanks to a somewhat dodgy light switch.

I’m feeling ridiculously pleased with these two small steps towards creating a gallery in my middle room. It’s nearly there: plain white walls, decent light and no furniture. If I can just scrounge a hammer and about 8m of light wire i can improvise a hanging system!

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The carnival is over 

The exhibition seems like a lifetime ago. Taking it down took a fraction of the time to set up. There was the great pleasure in delivering or packing and posting some works to their new owners (thanks! you know who you are) and a bit of figuring out where to store the pieces which came home. 

Still no work in the studio though, because it became Travel Admin Central – sorting out the schedule, the documents, the wardrobe and of course, the all-important “art on the move” kit. Of which, more later. 

orange shoes on blue suitcase

Feeling the squeeze 

  Nearly ready for exhibition!
The gallery has a suspended-hook hanging system. Sometimes I envy painters and all those who frame their work, with that handy string across the back!

My quilts need “something for a hook to hook onto” plus  some structure to keep them spread flat on the wall.  I want to keep them as soft, light and flexible as possible. 
A bit of experimentation is required. The answer this time is to add a bar of very light stiff wood across the back with one or more cord loops for the hanging hook to catch. 

I quite enjoy this final bit of engineering, especially the opportunity to borrow tools -and a handy assistant- from the other studio in my home. 

With any luck this will all be invisible to you when you visit- Kumeu Arts Centre March 29 to April 9. 

Four on the board

 fabric scraps pinned  to board Today I’ve started the physical work of making four new quilts for my upcoming exhibition. 

I begin with the colour idea and select from my scrap pieces baskets. I love those baskets- sometimes it seems I work more from them than from my big pieces of fabric. No matter how much I take out, they always seem to fill up again. A kind of quilter’s cornucopia. I think they began life as CD storage.

6 small rectangular   baskets  stacked  drawer-fashion in a frame You can see the brown/black scraps basket on the ground in the foreground of the pinboard photo.

I’ve pinned the pieces to a big sheet of Styrofoam. One column for each quilt, graduating from light to dark so I can keep track of how much I have of each. I’ll compose each one separately, but at this stage it’s helpful to see the ingredients in relation to each other. 

Can you guess the inspiration behind my four selections of fabrics?

Something completely different

I’ve been at the opposite end of my art practice today – working towards an exhibition in late March. It’s a 2-person show, the other artist is a photographer/printmaker and makes wonderful photocollages. We met when our work was hung together in a group show- we liked the effect so much we decided to make it happen again.
Today we met up to look at more of each other’s work and play with ideas for our show, including some possible collaborative works and some crossover. Very exciting! You’ll be hearing a lot more about this, please save the opening date, Tuesday 29th March. 

Here’s a sneak preview of something that might be on show