2009: Where did the year go?

As National Vice President of ATASDA (The Australian Textile Arts & Surface Design Association) I was given the opportunity to coordinate (beginning in October 2008) the EXOTICA exhibition, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of the Association. The exhibition was displayed as part of the Expertise Events Craft & Quilt Fairs and during the year, traveled to Perth, Hobart, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide. Members nationwide contributed artworks as part of the three exhibition categories. I traveled to each State capital ;organizing the display (from set-up to take down) with the help of local and exhibition sub-committee members. It was a wonderful opportunity to promote the Association as well as giving members the opportunity to exhibit their artwork nationally. The response from the general public was fantastic. I was exhausted by the time the artworks were finally packed (in Adelaide), but pleasantly so, it was a most rewarding experience.

Great Train journeys have always seemed attractive, and Russia was on my bucket list … so, after the headline in my local newspaper caught my eye, I continued to read further ….. finding out that the Great Trains Tour leader lives 100 (give or take a few) kilometres from Brisbane, and to my surprise I knew his wife, who is a quilter! After several (well quite a few really) phone calls and emails, it was decided that we (husband and moi) would take a train trip (with a plane flight to get us there, of course!) … to the Eastern Capitals of Europe, visiting Russia (St Petersburg and Moscow), Poland (Crackow and Warsaw), Austria (Vienna and Salzburg), Checkoslovakia (Prague) and Germany (Dresden, Leipsig, Wittenburg and Berlin). What fun we had ….. as part of a small group (15 in total) we enjoyed the amazing art and architecture, spectacular scenery and fascinating history, and needless to say, ;all documented byway too many digital camera images.

Studio Time was on the agenda and after a personally difficult end of 2008, I linked up with my friend Wendy Bailye, Felt Artisan and we committed to a collaboration of studio time … one day a week, alternating studios … time to play, experiment, bounce ideas, whatever … the shared space, time and artistic endeavours soothed our ‘shattered souls’ (each of us was recovering from personal loss) and nurtured our creative selves ….. We became the WILD THINGS and our excitement grew as we planned an end of year event … A selling exhibition of affordable Textiles. Between our travels around Australia (Wendy was Guest Artist for the Craft and Quilt Fairs) we played and produced a range of textiles: Whimsical Wonders and Wicked Wearables. The exhibition was suitably opened by Janet de Boer (TAFTA) and family and friends joined us in celebrating what we considered a wonderful achievement. The three day exhibition was a great success and we are looking forward to next years Wild Things event …. so put the dates in your diary now 26-28 November 2010.

This current series of work continues to define the Australian landscape, which stretches from the desolate interior desert to the lush forests on the continents edge, to the ocean and its fascinating depths. The colours and textures of the elements of this environment are again the stimuli for these works. Dyed and printed fabrics have been layered, manipulated, stitched, cut away and embellished to create and reveal a visual display of texture and colour. My fascination for the textures of the landscape continues to inspire me.

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