Monday, 24 November 2014

back country

i returned from the sea refreshed in body and spirit
so today i tackled the task of processing the 'back country' story
via Blurb
though it crashed several times
have managed to get it all together and LIVE.

for those of you who expressed interest when i showed the Milk+Moleskine version
here's one at a much more affordable price
with the images and text condensed into 40 pages from the original 60

Sunday, 23 November 2014


on Thursday last week i filled a cauldron with bundles
set a fire underneath
and promptly absconded. 

i was in need of friend, dog and ocean therapy. 

happily i was blessed with all of the above. 

(that dress has special pockets for my Sabahs

and now back at home i have a cauldron full of bundles to unroll...
but i think i might give them another night's sleep.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Crockett Cottage Studio, Mansfield

Philadelphus filling the air with fragrance
i loved my time at Crockett Cottage Studio this year
(students came from France and New Zealand; West + South Australia and Queensland as well as Victoria and, for the first time in my visits there...Mansfield itself)
so much so that i've booked it again for 2015
in November the local gardens are awash 
with roses, peonies, philadelphus and magnolias
- even a huge liriodendron in full bloom
and the diversity of eucalyptus species available in the region is quite remarkable

i will offer a couple of workshops
one of which, by popular demand, is going to be about bloomers
and scanties and soft things to wear to bed

and also a retreat to which you can bring your own work
(provided it doesn't require noisy machinery or potentially toxic materials)
and share it with like-minded souls in the joy of the sewing circle 
more details soon but essentially
we'll share stories, i will brew daily dyebaths for you to work with
and be available to offer guidance if you need

i shall also be preparing lunch, as the studio has a fine
centrally positioned kitchen area from which i can answer questions
while i happily chop, stir and season
thus combining two of my (several) passions

Julie Pearson looking fabulous in her gorgeous top

the tray of our ute came in handy
not just for opening bundles but also as a very fine cutting table

local colour

it is very important to be nourishing the inner bear.

in other news, applications to attend the Retreat to Tin Can Bay
in Queensland next year are being received until December 9
Roz Hawker and i will be taking turns at sailing the boat
there'll be dyepots (i nearly wrote dyepoets!)
the opportunity to make small things in metal
or make bigger things in situ from found objects 
some quiet wandering and gentle writing
(i'm thinking that a class book may ensue as a memento for participants)

 if you'd like me to send you the bits to fill in
please drop me a line via the contact page on my website
dates : April 19th - 24th, 2015 (arrive on Sunday evening, depart Friday afternoon)
cost: (including vegetarian gluten-free food, 
twin-share accommodation and some materials) $1300

and ONE place is available in the Bower Bird Blues retreat
in the lovely Lud Valley in New Zealand

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

fieldnotes, revisited

'fieldnotes' has opened at the Quarter Gallery in Minneapolis
sadly I couldn't be there (apologies to my friends in the region but this month I was geographically, temporally and somewhat financially challenged!)
but they've done a fine job of hanging it in my absence 
even included an extra dress (one that had stayed with them from the 'windfall maps' show of 2011)

Howard Oransky, Director, kindly sent me some images

and you can find the catalogue here

Sunday, 2 November 2014

the week that was (and the year that will be)

I returned home yesterday feeling as though I had been away for a month
when really and truly
I had been just two hours or so down the road for six days

working with my friend Roz
to make food for a class led by my friend  Sandra
in conditions that may not have been ideal
but were the source of much hilarity though they sometimes needed a good deal of ingenuity
and thank goodness (and the Dogs Above) for my lovely friends Sam and Janet White who positively encouraged us to raid their beautiful garden for greens, beans, herbs and flowers (and who put up with us staying with them for the duration and singing loudly in the evenings)

we constructed a workstation from a wheelie bin and an old door
luckily Roz had insisted on buying a waxed table cloth which provided a cleanable prep surface (I fought the purchase at the time thinking "no! Not more Chinese rubbish!" but I was very grateful for it I can tell you.)

we drew pictures on the plates. Roz conjured wonderful table decorations. 
and nobody reported any tummy aches despite having dairy, nut and gluten intolerances among our punters. we cooked vegetarian food that met those conditions and had a splendid time doing it

on Wednesday I'm off to the cook and teach for my classes at Mansfield. sadly Roz has retreated to her paradisical Queensland garden and won't be coming with me
fortunately the kitchen at Crockett Cottage studio is well equipped and because I'm staying there as well I'll be able to prep in the evenings (without having to fend off magpies and wattle birds!)

and now to 2015
it looks like it's going to be a pretty full year, which is a jolly fine thing. so just to fill in the dots between what's already been announced :

in March I'm exhibiting in Tasmania for what used to be called Ten Days on the Island but is now to be the Tasmanian International Arts Festival and
teaching an associated masterclass

in April (because we had so much fun together in our camp kitchen) Roz Hawker and I will be offering something we have been musing on for a while now...a retreat to a quiet and beautiful place somewhere in Australia. 

we may well make it an annual event (and we are contemplating one in South Australia) as well but the very first one will be the retreat at Tin Can Bay in Queensland.
(but this time we shall be leaving all the cooking and the table decorating to our hosts)

attendance will be by application only - this doesn't mean we'll be weeding out anyone who doesn't have a PhD, it simply means that we will be doing our level best to gather a peaceful and compatible group with the best chances of having a lovely time together, because it is helpful to have a bit of background on you so that we can fine-tune the program and because we want this event to be nourishing and enriching as well as playful and also FUN.

drop me a line through my contact page if you'd like me to send you the fine print.

in June I shall be at the Observatory in Andamooka, working on the Solace project

and July sees me traveling to lovely Newburgh again
and staying to participate in a class led by Larry Thomas 
after which I shall hop across to France to join Les Soeurs Anglaises for a week
before heading to my beloved New Orleans for a bit and thence to the beautiful Pacific North West
but more of that later.
if you've made it this far it's time for a cup of tea.

I'm getting one myself and reading this wonderful story again

Monday, 20 October 2014

(still) in place

am delighted to say that

my work
will be staying there indefinitely

'elegy' is a poem written in bones
so far wind and weather and passing animals
have not effected any great change

i'll stop in from time to time
to give it a reassuring pat
read it a story
document how it is responding
to being there
in place

Sunday, 19 October 2014

the solace of north

i've been wandering

taking some visitors to country
that is quite unlike the place where they live

it's a long way there

but worth the trek

my role was driver and camp cook
and keeper of the flame
feeding the wood stove in the kitchen 
and the donk that heats the water for the showers
[the visitors very kindly took on the washing up]

but in between i still found time for writing

and for drawing on and with country

on the seventh day
i left the visitors in Port Augusta
to make their way to other things
and went north again
this time a little west
past a lake of crystal salt

for a few days quiet work at the Observatory
where i found
six contributions for the Solace project
already awaiting me
all the way from the UK and the USA
as well as closer to home

Sunday, 5 October 2014

back country, back story

if you click on the image above it should take you to the Moleskine site
where you can read the back story to back country online

when i receive my print copies
of which there will only be three
i will be annotating them in pencil and ink
one for the gallery
one for me
and one to go across the seas

Friday, 3 October 2014

coming soon

i've been working on the booklet
promised to participants in the Second Skin classes
that will take place in lovely Mansfield, Victoria
in November this year

which contains explicit step by step instructions
on how to print on cloth and paper with leaves

string me a story on shapeshifting
will be 32 pages of ideas
jumping off-points
sketches and photographs

i'm hoping Second Skin participants will add to their copies
by writing extra notes in the pages
perhaps even tipping in a few extra ones
adding their own drawings
the odd swatch
other inspirational images
so that it becomes a highly personal working tool

this will be a strictly limited edition
100 copies only
numbered and signed

testing the water for that other publishing idea
that i floated a while ago

and Sidnee?    i owe you a dress [as well as the first copy of the above]
...those pix i shot of you in Portland last year 
have been getting a hammering
i think we need to do another photo-shoot
in New Orleans
now that would make a fabulous publication
just sayin, is all