Monday, September 29, 2014

Giveaway x 3

As promised, to celebrate and thank you for over 500 likes on the Empress Wu Designs Facebook Page , here is a giveaway of some of my art - three giveaways, in fact. I have chosen three sets of art gift tags as prizes because they are easily posted worldwide... These tags make great small gifts themselves or as an accompaniment to a gift, or you can even use them as bookmarks.
All you need to do  to win a set is leave a comment here or on the Facebook page (or both) and next week on Monday, 6 October, 5pm Australian Eastern Summer Time, I will randomly choose three winners. The first person will have first choice (one of three sets of tags) ; the second person will have a choice of the remaining two sets, and I am afraid the third person will have whatever set has not been chosen before. Here they are:
 Art Tags Set A - Marie Antoinette series  (mixed media tags)
Marie Antoinette series -
1 Beehive tag( line drawing on tea bag paper, digital image with embellishment),
2  Regency shoes (farbic, ribbon and paper) 
3. Let them Eat Cake ( which MA did not actually say - digital images/paper) 
4. Through the keyhole - French Revolution  ( digital image and embellishment ) 
Art Tags Set B - Fun and Games ( fabric tags)
Fun and Games Series
1. Lucky Bingo ( machine embroidery/fabric/transferred image)
2. Fairy Floss /Candy Floss ( machine embroidery/applique, fabric and fibre)
3. Halloween ( machine embroidery, fabric , embellishment)
4. Circus Clown ( machine embroidery/ applique, fabric)
Art Tags Set C - A Sense of Place ( mixed media)
A Sense of Place series
1. Winter Sun  ( hand embroidery/fabric)
2. Desert Tracks ( eco dyed fabric, machine embroidery)
3. Beach (hand painted/stamped fabric with embellishment )
4. Ancient Place ( paper, hand cut  motifs)

Giveaway Summary -Please  leave a comment here or  on Empress Wu Designs FB page to win one of these sets - before 6 October, 5pm AEST. Please make sure I can contact you via FB message or email. 
Thank You.... Wilma 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Exhibition - Opening Night

"Leaves of Distinction" - a textile and media art exhibition  opened  at Timeless Textiles Gallery, 90 Hunter Street, Newcastle on 18 September. The exhibition was officially opened by Yvette Griggs to a happy crowd who enjoyed a nice cuppa while looking at the art works inspired by and created with teas and tea bags. The exhibition remains open until 12 October or take a virtual tour, by clicking on the "Exhibitions"at tag  on the header panel of this blog or click on this  link 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Exhibition Countdown 1 - First Sale

Tomorrow is the opening of "Leaves of Distinction" an exhibition of textile and mixed media art at Timeless Textile Gallery. Yesterday (Tuesday) was setting up/hanging day. As this is a new and unfamiliar gallery space, it took a little longer then usual, but by about 3pm, it was all looking good. Five hours later , I was  at the GP Access after hours service. What had appeared to be an innocuous insect bite on my foot  a few days ago was turning into something a little more sinister. The doctor took one look, declared a staph infection and armed me with anti biotics. This morning, my foot is at least half the size it was last night so I think that's a good omen that the diagnosis was correct.  

Today, Henk Tobbe and his wife and assistant, Anjes took photos. I am so grateful to Henk who is a great photographer whom I met through Rotary. Henk took so much care and was so enthusiastic about the work and about taking photos - and he has very expensive equipment! I am so keen to see the photos when they are processed. 
While we were taking photos, Timeless Textiles opened for its first day of trading and within an hour, the first sale was made from my exhibition! ... looking forward to opneing night tomorrow!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Exhibition Countdown 3 : Pack and Thanks

Three days before opening and only one day before hanging... so now we are packing. 
At this very moment, the grumpy old men are awaiting the rolls of bubble wrap. 
The last couple of days have been checking lists, proofreading the catalogue descriptions and gallery labels, checking and readjusting prices and other associated administrative tasks, so this is really now the "pointy" end. I could have used  some extra time to do some finishing touches, but I took Sunday off to attend a celebration of  a sesquicentenary of public education in Wingham. ( a two hour drive from our place).  It was great to catch up with former colleagues and students and their families, some of whom I hadn't seen for 20 years -  the perfect de-stressing activity.
It is really great to have my family so supportive and helpful. Jim has been cooking and cleaning solo for at least the last month, and helping with backing the canvases and of course, packing everything up.  During the week, my sister who is currently in Ireland on a Mercy Pilgrimage organised a delivery of beautiful flowers and bubbly from her, her husband and my mother - just to wish me luck.  I don't think I need luck - I have such wonderful family support and love, even from afar. And from even further away, I have so enjoyed receiving the comments on this blog from  a newly found Simmons  family member from Nova Scotia. The positive encouragement is truly valued and appreciated. 
Thank you all! Hope to see you at the exhibition if you are able to come! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Exhibition Invitation


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exhibition inspired by tea


A simple cup of tea was the inspiration for an exhibition by fibre artist Wilma Simmons that will open at the new Newcastle East premises of Timeless Textiles Gallery in September.
After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world and crosses all cultures. Well-loved local artist Wilma, who is presenting her second exhibition at Timeless Textiles Gallery, loves everything about tea and drinks it every day.
She was inspired to create the pieces for her exhibition, entitled Leaves of Distinction, by the experience of drinking tea, as well as by literature about the comforting beverage.
“I love the smell, taste and experience of tea – all types of tea,” she explains. “In most of the world, drinking and offering tea signifies trust and friendship. Drinking a cup of tea means warmth, peace and comfort to me and obviously to many others who write lyrically about their tea experiences.”
In 2012, Wilma’s sister gave her a book of poetry by Elizabeth Darcy-Jones describing various tea-leaf types as people. While sipping tea and imagining the teas’ personalities, Wilma also saw them as art dolls. The other literature that has inspired the exhibition ranges from the sublime – the tea poetry of Lu Yu (c750): “tea…. does more than brace the body. It opens the eye of the spirit, it suffuses one with peace…” to the ridiculous by Edward Lear:
There was an old man of Dumbree,
Who taught little owls to drink tea;
For he said, 'To eat mice,
Is not proper or nice'
That amiable man of Dumbree.
The exhibition commences on Thursday 18 September, with an official opening at the new location for Timeless Textiles Gallery (90 Hunter Street, Newcastle East) from 6-8pm, and runs until 12 October 2014.
About Wilma 
I call my art works “handmade treasures” which are inspired by people, places, heritage and literature, and are influenced by an eclectic range of media and approaches. I can’t boast of a childhood interest in creating art, unless designing paper clothes for paper cut out dolls counts! After University when I married and lived in small isolated country towns, I joined spinning, weaving, macramé and pottery craft groups and sewed, knitted and crocheted clothes for myself and our children. My interest in textiles remained a hobby while I followed a career in English and Drama teaching. Cloth doll making, embroidery and beading alleviated the everyday work stress of being a high school principal, a job which also gave me great joy and satisfaction. Not being a “retiring” type, when I finished work in 2005, I began to teach beading and art doll making, gave birth to Empress Wu Designs, volunteered with a village project in Papua New Guinea and became an accredited Contemporary Clay Instructor (polymer clay and precious metal clay – silver). My current work is a coalescence of both past and newly acquired skills, techniques and ideas.
Details are available on the Gallery website or email for more information or to be put on the Gallery mailing list.
Venue:   Timeless Textiles Gallery
90 Hunter St, Newcastle East, NSW
Opening Hours 
Wed - Sat 10 am - 4 pm
Sun 10 am - 2 pm
Tel:  0408-483-913
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Exhibition Countdown 10 : Morning Sun

The weather is beautiful today - warm and  sunny, so it is a perfect day for finishing off some canvases and putting the backs on others near a window, with the morning sun streaming in. Most of these are photos printed on organza and transferred to stretched canvases, with  tea bags, stitching or writing  in layers. Only three more to do in one of the series... And of course, I am having a cup of tea to keep up my strength!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Exhibition Countdown 16 - New exhibition space

 Yesterday, I went to the new location of Timeless Textiles Gallery to have a look at the exhibition space.The New Timeless Textiles will be located in the eastern side of the The Lock-Up Cultural Centre  I think I can fill the two exhibition rooms. I loved the fireplace mantles - perfect for a couple of my pieces. The area is still being renovated, but I can see that it will be beautiful. Gallery Owner, Anne Kempton has been working extremely hard to get the new venue ready as well as continuing to keep Timeless Textiles current exhibition still open in Islington.

Here is a bit more about the exhibition venue... 
Located in the heart of Newcastle's heritage precinct, The Lock-Up combines an art gallery, Artist in Residence program and museum to create a unique destination with a range of cultural activity not offered anywhere else in the Hunter Valley.
The Lock-Up was Newcastle's Police Station from 1861 until its closure in 1982. In that time the cells, now heritage listed, held offenders involved in iconic highlights of Newcastle's history including the Coal Strike of 1909, the Clara Street Eviction riots during the Great Depression and the 1979 Star Hotel riot.The Lock-Up is constructed in Sydney sandstone and is one in a row of four significant buildings on Hunter Street that reflect the prosperity of early Newcastle. It is believed to be the only example in NSW that includes the work of three of the State's important early architects; Alexander Dawson, Mortimer Lewis Jnr. and Walter Vernon.
Sympathetically restored, The Lock-Up now supports contemporary creative practices with a varied exhibition schedule that showcases the work of visiting Artist in Residence (who live in a self-contained apartment on the first floor for up to three weeks at a time), as well as curated exhibitions by Lock-Up staff and local artists that are as idiosyncratic as the city they reside in.

Directions: The Lock-Up is one block from the Newcastle train station, in the Newcastle CBD. Head south along Watt Street and turn right at the first intersection, Hunter Street. The Lock-Up is the second building on the right.
OPENING HOURS Wednesday to Sunday 10am-4pm