The kids are back at school, I’ve had a massive clean-out in the studio, and I’m gearing up for some long studio sessions to make work for some exhibitions that are coming up later in the year. I’m just putting the finishing touches on workshop plans for children and adults so will let you know about those soon.
Over the Christmas break I have been doing the usual reflections on the previous year, taking stock and planning for the next. So … I thought it timely to share a few of the highlights and interesting things I’ve encountered before launching into 2018 proper.
Some standout exhibitions from 2017. So different but so good!
Piksa Niugini, Stephen Dupont: Darwin Museum and Art Gallery; The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture: National Gallery of Victoria; Interior Landscapes, Elisabeth Cummings: Orange Regional Gallery.
OTHER ARTISTS, AND OTHERWISE GENERALLY INTERESTING PEOPLE
Darn and Dusted
Check out the video of Luke Deverell’s fantastic mending enterprise.
Tom of Holland
Another mending guru. Self-taught but with a penchant for the very precise.
Norwegian textile artist extraordinaire. Oh my God. So beautiful I think I’m going to die.
From nature – of all places.
Kosciuszko National Park, long (v.e.r.y. long) walks amongst the wildflowers and lakes. The price you pay for silence and serenity…
Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory.
Working Class Man (and its prequel, Working Class Boy), Jimmy Barnes
Oh my God! These books are a compelling, gutsy, and raw insight into poverty, violence and neglect, and the possible consequences for those caught up in that web. A brave revelation of the reality so many human beings face. Much food for thought.
The Last Girl, Nadia Murad
Another Oh. My. God. account of life from another world. Nadia’s story is a seriously courageous one, describing the murder of much her village’s population, and her kidnap and sexual slavery along with all the young girls from her village. Her account of her escape is chilling, and all the more haunting as few of her peers have been as lucky.
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
I loved this and couldn’t put it down, but was ever so slightly underwhelmed at the ending.
Alone in Berlin, Hans Fallada
An insidious and chilling account of life in Berlin during World War 2: trying to live your life while trust and humanity evaporate around you at a rate of knots.
The Art Rules, Paul Klein
Some pretty decent, practical advice for artists here.
The Good People, Hannah Kent
An absorbing story about rural Irish farmers and their beliefs, although I didn’t find it quite as thrilling, or as heartbreaking, as her first novel, Burial Rites.
First We Make the Beast Beautiful, Sarah Wilson
An inside view of living with anxiety. Pretty compelling, especially if you know someone who is dealing with it. Quirks, weirdness and acceptance all thrown together.
Practical home Mending Made Easy, Mary Brooks Picken
Said to be a mending bible. It’s certainly thorough! One for my textile reference library.
Fashion and Orientalism, Adam Geczy
Meticulously researched history of oriental influences on Western clothing. Authored by my old lecturer!
The Textile Reader, Jessica Hemmings (ed.)
This is a gem. I’ve only just started it but am thoroughly fascinated by it. Recommended to anyone interested in textile theory.
Now I’ve got all that off my chest, and the decks are almost cleared, I’m looking forward to getting down to work in the studio.