Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mirka at Heide

Fifteen years ago my friend and then boss Suzy, took me to Heide for my 40th birthday to see the Mirka Mora retrospective and to look through the famous kitchen garden with its rare old fashioned roses. At that time it was unusual for us to both be away for a weekend, as we had always been tied down to cooking at the restaurant. A weekend with both of us away was unheard of. Now fifteen years later and a few weeks before my 55th birthday, Suzy and I went back to Heide to see the From the Home of Mirka Mora exhibition. I don't know where those 15 years went but they certainly seemed to have passed at a fast rate! This is a silk tapestry, woven in China. It is more like a tufted pile, certainly not a flat weave. But it brings out the colours in the image.
The exhibition was displayed in Heide 2, the Reed's second home. A much more modern building than the original old farm house that was on the property when they bought it. High ceilings and lots of glass makes it a perfect place to display large colourful works.
 This photo is a bit brown because of the tungsten lighting.
 Another more recent painting by Mirka Mora.
Beautiful charcoal and pastel works.
 The first time Suzy and I went to Heide together the artist and poet, Barrett Reid was still living in the old farmhouse. Since his passing the grounds and house are now open to the public. This is the kitchen garden, planted by Shannon Bennett for the Cafe Vue at Heide.
The famous heart garden created by Sunday Reed after her long term affair with the artist Sidney Nolan had ended.
The outside of the sun room windows at Heide 1, painted by Mirka Mora.
What survives of the old milking shed. Many books of art history have been published over the years about John and Sunday Reed and the artists who gathered there and were known as the Heide Set.....if the walls could only talk!   

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


clouds from big hill 2
The weather here has been gearing up for spring for a few weeks now. Warmer days and hundreds of soft pillowy clouds against a background of blue sky. I can remember flying from Chiang Mai to Singapore in clouds like these.
clouds from big hill
I have been spending a lot of time at Big Hill. Photographing sky's, snow on Mt William and the Pyrenees Ranges. Winter sunsets have been beautiful. Lunch there with a friend on Saturday. We are all holding our breath at the moment waiting for the Planning Ministers decision on a project that could seal the fate of our hill. I will wait till then to have my soap box moment!


Weeks ago I took a train trip to Melbourne for the day to visit the Australian Tapestry Workshop. The workshop was one of the historical buildings open over the weekend as part of the highly successful Open House Melbourne.  The main reason for my visit was to see the Brook Andrew tapestry 'Catching Breath' If you follow the link it will take you to the A.T.W. album showing the completed tapestry.
Brook Andrew tapestry 'Catching Breath'
The tapestry was woven in two sections using very different weaving techniques. The veil is woven on a black wool warp, beaten softly to create a pixelated effect.
The main tapestry is woven in wool and metallic thread. One full pass of greys and a half pass of black or a paler colour. Creating a pixelated effect in the image. Stunning tapestry, worth getting up so early on a Sunday morning to go and see.
 Sun over You Beaut Country
It was really busy while I was at the workshop, wonderful to see so many people taking an intrest in tapestry! This is the beginnings of John Olson 'Sun over You Beaut Country' Some loveley yellows dyed specially for the project.
John Olson samples
In honour of a new John Olson tapestry on the loom, the gallery room at the front of the workshop featured samples woven for previous tapestries by the artist.
'Point Addis' tapestry designed by artist Angela Brennan
If you are allowed to have a favorite this is mine. 'Point Addis' designed by artist Angela Brennan. 1.08 x 2.04m woven for a private collection.
'Point Addis' tapestry detail
Detail of the 'Point Addis' tapestry.
'Point Addis' tapestry detail
Gorgeous colour blending.
'Point Addis' tapestry detail
You are allowed dream, I could imagine living with this tapestry. The owners are very lucky!
HRH The Prince of Wales tapestry
Design for HRH The Prince of Wales tapestry. ' Rufiji River from Mbujuni Camp, Selous Game Reserve, in Tanzania' There is an article on the A.T.W. website about the project here.

Video of  weaving HRH The Prince of Wales tapestry.
I always enjoy the opportunity to visit the workshop at weekends. In the past visiting was restricted to holidays. Over the past few years there have been some wonderful projects to view. The two David Noonan tapestries, The John Wolseley tapestries and this Brook Andrew.........they just seem to get better all the time!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kaffe Fassett: 50 Years in Colour

There would no be many people with an intrest in textiles, that would not be familiar with the work of Kaffe Fassett. His books are ispiring and a well thumbed resource while I was studying design. I have just ordered this book. Kaffe Fassett: Dreaming in Colour: An Autobiography. Cramed with 500 photos, I am certainly looking out for the postie each day.
 coen in the orchard
I can't claim to have knitted many of his designs, but I did make this jumper for Coen years ago. The wool came from a white jumper that I bought at an op shop. Dyed with my acid milling dyes that I use to dye my tapestry wool. 
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