Exhibitions, Inspiration, Japan, Residencies, workshops

Images, memory and boro love

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How do you feel about the power of images? Do you ever stop and think about the impact images have had on your life? They’ve always been hugely influential to me, and I can think of many I’ve carried around in my head since early childhood.

A more recent episode that illustrates this is my fascination with Japanese antique boro textiles and clothing. A few years ago I came across my first boro images (yep, on the internet) and was captivated by their layering, frayed and tangled edges, faded surfaces, and their quirky and sometimes desperate stitching. But what I think screamed out to me the most was the obvious extent to which these items were valued by their makers and their families – out of desperate poverty I might add, but the Japanese have a way with aesthetics that can make your head spin.

While my art practice began with (mostly oil) painting, my recent work involves photography, textiles and installation. I found the sentiment of these boro textiles very sympathetic to the intentions in my own work. Memory, a sense of place, traces of human touch and history now all interconnect with varying input from photographs, cloth and stitch.

All this led me to undertake an artist residency in Japan last month, where I saw authentic boro that didn’t disappoint. More on my residency next week. But in the meantime here are some photographs I took at Amuse Museum in Asakusa, Tokyo that show some exquisite textiles and clothing. Here is the museum’s website. And if you’d like to see more I can recommend Sri Threads beautiful website as well. I wonder if they touch your sensibilities too?

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This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body

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I’d also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Copyright Agency Creative Individuals Career Fund for this project

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Inspiration

A walk along The Goods Line

A walk along the recently completed Goods Line in Sydney on a hot and sunny afternoon….. Fantastic, rusted industrial relics dotted along the walk from Ultimo Road to Darling Harbour. There’s nothing like some rusted industrial history to get some inspiration fizzing.

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Some of the old signalling levers have been kept, and the tracks have been made into pathways and native gardens.

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Wander right past Frank Gehry’s UTS Business School building and enjoy the ambience (although I can do without those yellow metal seats that must heat up like soldering irons in the sun). The pockets of gardens are lovely though, as are the clusters of shady trees.

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A fantastic addition to the city – opening up a section of Sydney that reveals new views of built and working environments.

Have you walked the Line yet?

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