Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Creating "Midsummer"

Art Dolls only hosted a Midsummer Challenge  for doll makers around the world.... here are some of the beautiful dolls made in response to the challenge. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Borders #3 - Did you really burn your bra?

"Constrain" - cotton corset of the late 1960s /early 1970s ,
collage lining, vintage tin badge. hand and machine stitching , photo transfer
The late 1960s and 1970s were heady days for young women.... never before had the voice of women been heard so loudly and so strongly. I wanted to capture a bit of the spirit of that 'burn your bra"  period with Corset no. 2 in my series  for the "Crossing Borders" exhibition. 

Corset lining in progress - photo transfer and applique 
Corset work in progress - reverse applique ready to stitch and stamping 
I used some original vintage fabric from a curtain of the period and revers appliqued the floral fabric in some of the panels of the corset. Inside the corset, the lining depicts some of the recorded visual history of the protest marches of the time. The black and white photo transfer attempts to project a nostalgic feel to this art corset. 
Corset work in progress - reverse appliqued stitching completed/ cutting edges still to be done. 

Artist statement:  Considerable achievements towards gender equality have been made throughout history. However, the 'societal' borders and limitations set by sex stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices remain firm. The appalling statistics of domestic violence , the unequal treatment of female leaders, the growing demand for extreme cosmetic surgery, the increase in the incidence of eating disorders, and the lack of salary parity are real. The three corsets are symbols of the cultural and attitudinal  barriers to true gender equity. 
Corset series displayed for critique :"  Borders- Restrict, Constrain, Silence " 
Crossing Borders exhibition is currently showing at Timeless Textiles Gallery, Newcastle NSW Australia. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Leafy Tag

It's Autumn/Halloween at Tag Tuesday, the theme chosen by the talented leader of our group, Valerie. Yes it's very late in the fortnight to be posting, but here it is.  This is a stitched cloth tag. The background is batik cotton, with a photo transferred by blender marker. The leaves are appliqued to this background and then free stitched by machine in various shades of red, yellow and brown.
Happy Autumn to all in the northern hemisphere!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Crossing Borders

Art work : Jette Clover 

Artists cross borders in new exhibition

Borders are confronted, interpreted and defined by nine textile artists in a new exhibition opening at Newcastle’s Timeless Textiles Gallery in October.

The Crossing Borders exhibition displays the results of a masterclass taught by Danish fibre artist and teacher Jette Clover. Conducted over nine months, the masterclass encouraged the students to explore the literal, political, cultural, symbolic and psychological meaning of a border. 

They experimented with techniques and materials to visually express borders through lines, seams, folds, shadows, colours, and textures.

A border makes distinction between adjoining elements and spaces, and can either separate or link those elements and spaces. In everyday usage, border most often refers to a physical obstruction. It is associated with cultural and political diversity. Borders often mark language barriers and can create feelings of inside/outside and us/them. 

A journalist before she became an artist, Clover helped her students to also consider those invisible borders that affect us, personally and collectively. Personally, we can be limited by fear, lack of time and means, change, gender role and family. Personal borders can stop us from developing our full potential. Communities can also create social, psychological, emotional and ethical borders. Crossing them can bring about positive changes, on an individual or societal level. For instance, the #MeToo movement empowered women to break down barriers of silence about sexual harassment.

The exhibiting fibre artists include Peta Llyod, Wilma Simmons, Cathy Jack Coupland, Margaret Adams, Anne Kempton, Jenny Broughton, Lois Parish Evans, Nanette Blachin and Jen Florey. They have responded in diverse and creative ways to the challenge of breaking their personal borders.

Crossing Borders exhibition runs from 3 to 28 October. Jette Clover will open the show from 6 to 8pm on Thursday 4 October 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Borders #2 - Blog Art Journal

I have just completed  more work on another corset. - no 3 in the series for the exhibtion "Crossing Borders". For background information, please read a previous post.... 
Borders #1 
This corset has been painted with black and pewter acrylic and the lacing and buttons  have been replaced with wire. The corset with an edging of  authoritative, overpowering words  - silence-segregate- subvert - suppress- subdue- stifle-spurn represent the border and the boundary which still needs to be overcome to achieve gender equality. 

Inside in graffiti style paint  is the slogan #MeToo
The Me Too movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. #MeToo spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. (Wikipedia) 

I added exaggerated wire breast covers to the front of the corset to further my statement that even with all the recent publicity, contemporary culture still idealises and stereotypes feminine beauty and our obsession with the ideal prevents us from crossing the border to recognise and respect equally  the achievements of women.

Coincidentally, the completion of this particular work happens on a day when the first big celebrity has been convicted and sentenced for crimes of sexual assault since the beginning of the #MeToo movement. 

While this  series of corsets is quite different from most of my previous art work, it is a topic I have been exploring for quite a long time. In 1995, my Master's thesis was entitled " Shattering the Glass Ceiling in Educational Administration". 
Has very much changed?