Friday, August 31, 2018

Beginnings of "Borders" #1 : Blog Art Journal

How to begin? 
It's always difficult to start a new series of art works .... researching and experimenting and making samples  Hopefully, these samples I made this week will form the basis of a series of  mixed media artworks I have been planning for  a couple of months. This is my main  "Borders"  assignment for a twelve month Masterclass I have been studying online this year.  All will be revealed in posts over the next month or so. As you can see from the photos, the underlying comment is feminist. I was very lucky to find   and purchase beautifully stitched corsets, complete with boning to work with.  

The rationale for this work? 
Considerable achievements towards gender equality have been made throughout history. Many ‘societal’ borders have been crossed. Nevertheless, barriers guarding gender stereotypes and the culture which surrounds them 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 mental health issues amongst the young, and lack of salary parity are real. These are difficult and complex barriers impeding gender equality. These are ‘borders’ which are still being defined and constructed today despite the success of feminist movements past and present.
I have used the “corset” as a symbol of the barriers and borders which continue to idealise the concept of the feminine and bind us to gender stereotypical culture.

For # 1,  I am using and transferring  family photos of the Suffragette period in history as well as  replicas of Suffragette materials I purchased when I was in Manchester (UK) to create collages on cotton fabric. .  Over the collages,  I plan to stitch  in a way similar to the samples - free form machine stitched writing. 
Watch this space and follow the 'creative" process  in future posts. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Landmarks Revisited

" Landmarks " is the current theme for  the  Tag Tuesday  challenge. While I made a tag celebrating the Sydney Opera House  last week, I remembered an art tag I  made for the "Italy' challenge a few years ago and it used a landmark! I am not sure now  exactly the process used making this tag back in 2013, but obviously some background stamping and painting with a cut out of the Mona Lisa face and the leaning Tower of Pisa. And to complete the connection between landmarks and Italy. I am very excited to hear that a textile "map" of Newcastle ( Australia) created collaboratively  by NCEATA ( Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists) will be exhibited in Italy next month.  

Already this textile art work has been travelling around various countries, but will be on display at Perugia University 10 - 17 September with other maps interpreting "where I live". 

Our Newcastle map shows many of the local landmarks interpreted in stitch, applique and textile collage. 

I was  able to attend the Australian exhibitions in 2017 and we were very happy to have one exhibition right in our own city of Newcastle at Timeless Textiles Gallery. Sadly however, I won't be travelling to Perugia, but if you happen to be in the area, pop in and have a look at the "textile" landmarks. 

Background Note: 
The map project was conceived by Istra Toner, glass artist and painter, together with groups of artists from several different countries. The project is a response to our desire to describe visually our experience of the place we call our home. The challenge was to create collaborative maps using textiles as the material of choice. The first exhibition of the project was in Spring 2014; the maps have since travelled to participating partner countries. Link to The Map Project  

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Landmarks - Tag Tuesday

The team at Tag Tuesday choose the most interesting themes for our fortnightly tag challenge- Landmarks was chosen by Wendy from the design team, and when you see her two fantastic tags, you will see how I was inspired by them. 
My tag is made using a technique I  learnt just last weekend, so I wanted to practise. The background is created by dry brushing three colours of acrylic paint on art paper, in this case, I used watercolour paper. Then, when the background is dry, with a fine rigger brush and white pigmented ink, I painted the outline of what I hope are recognisable representations of  landmarks - the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I added an Australian postage stamp, just in case there was any doubt. Although I don't live in Sydney, Newcastle is the nearest biggest regional city in NSW and only 168 km away, so these landmarks are almost local! 
Please pop over to Tag Tuesday to see the other  tags submitted for this challenge - they are great! 

Monday, August 13, 2018


 Who's feeling lucky this week? Perhaps it's time for a game of bingo. Bingo is the current theme for Tag Tuesday, nominated by design team member, Michele. I made a couple of tags. One explores the theme of  taking chances and luck - with a background of an instant lottery ticket, an image of a vintage bingo card and a miniature playing card  with a few scattered stickers and a "sticky" tape transferred quote. The others is simple a pen and watercolour drawing of a bingo player all ready to win! 

I also found out some interesting information about Bingo, as I was curious about  the word itself 

  • Bingo is the American version of a game that originated as an Italian Lottery called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia” that was all the rage dating back as far as the mid-1500s. When the game reached North America in 1929 it was known as “beano” but later renamed bingo after a caller yelled out "BINGO" instead of beano
  • 90-ball bingo (also known as “housie”) is most common in the United Kingdom, and Australia, as well as many other countries. In this game, players have tickets that feature three rows of nine spaces each, though not every space will have a number. Players will have to completely fill one or more rows in order to win
  • In the United States, 75-ball bingo is the most popular format used. This game features cards which contain five columns of numbers with five rows each, with a straight line being the most common winning pattern.
  • It is estimated that  online bingo games attract millions of players. 
Remember to visit the Tag Tuesday blog to see the wonderful interpretations of this interesting theme.