Wednesday, November 16, 2011

signs & symbols

I've been puddling around with various things this year but as always am drawn back to using my low-tech methods of using what I have, what I know and what I love. Handstitching my work takes time. Figuring out which of the bits of wool I've collected will work. Using felt for instance and then regretting it because it doesn't have the same feel. Still, its accessible for most folk. Next year I am running a series of small 'makes' classes for people in Porirua so I have to consider things like this. How to make them affordable, accessible and fun. I also found out that my little workshop proposal for Handmade 2012 was accepted which was a real honour. The calibre of tutors and workshops this year was awesome. I did a class with my favourite kiwi blogger Melissa from Tiny Happy. It was great to sit in a class with her and spend four hours (I did two of her classes). I learn more from people than books or schools. It was ideal for me and being small projects, one gets instant gratification.

This year, I wanted to play with creating my own sign language. I have this idea that before we were all so culturally different, before the continents were separated and during the Gondwana age, we were all one. So from this I draw my own conclusions. And from this, this little series of pendants and wearables was created. I wanted to take from Pacific tapa especially hiapo, a series of designs, remove them from a 2D format and start placing onto 3D objects. Especially because I love collections. A good bout of RSI after the Craft 2.0 market made me rest. I've been drawing in my ideas journal (which also has my notes from church, my shopping lists, my 'must do' lists, etc).

I also got to Wellington City Gallery for its Oceania exhibition which totally blew my mind. All my favourites. John Pule, Mike Tuffery, Fatu, Ani, Ralph Hotere, COLIN MCAHON, etc etc. I noticed this time that my eye is drawn to collections and patterns, and collections of patterns. I stood before Richard Killeen's amazing work and something just clicked. His work is so clever. Its a series of colourful cut outs. No matter how you lay them out, they work! How clever is that. And the cut outs are just shapes. They might reference something but its for you to make of it what you will. I love that. There's a freedom there, giving the viewer respect and dignity, knowing that they can draw conclusions that will end up exactly right anyway. Well, I might not have explained that well, but it was powerful. The whole collection was. And of course there was lots of Pacific tribal inspired designs everywhere and I love that stuff too. So much I wear it on my skin. Love tribal. Unfortunately that exhibition is now finished. I am so grateful I saw it, so thankful to our city for providing us with amazing exhibitions and museums.
Speaking of Killeen and his cut outs reminded of my friend Dagmar and her reference to Matisse's cut outs. I'm on Pinterest. I love it. I have collected lots of images. It started out random but as time goes by, I realise that my eye is drawn to the same things over and over. Tribal, vintage, old things, people, pattern ... and I'm retraining myself as well to look at colour and discover how its used. Pinterest, the best thing since sliced bread. Its saved me a fortune of those fancy magazines as well.

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india flint said...

wish i'd seen Oceania...

those pieces of yours are wonderful...they sing like paintings

Joanna said...

Congrats on the class acceptance! What a wonderful honor - you will be awesome!

anissa ljanta said...

stunning work...i love how you write with such openess and care.i feel blessed to get to peek into your world through your blog. thank you