Sunday, January 25, 2015

tapestries debbie herd and jan leishman

'tapestries debbie herd and jan leishman'
Ararat Regional Art Gallery
Town Hall, Vincent Street Ararat, Victoria
28th January - 15th March 2015

Opening Friday 13th March at 6pm All Welcome.


It has been a busy month, but I am almost finished with my work for my joint exhibition next week. Tapestries are something that just won't grow fast and I hate the feeling of being pressured to get work finished. In the past there has always been some kind of unforeseen disaster happening when I am rushing at the end. For example last year the night before I hung my solo exhibition it was late at night and I wanted to varnish a 80cm x 80cm canvas with an oil based gloss. So as you need to work evenly and quickly I set up two spotlights. One stroke the length of the painting and late at night the power went off for 4 hours and I had to finish it by kerosene lamp light! That is just one of many stories I could tell about finishing at the last minute. This time I got in earlier and everything was done. The last of my tapestries finished and at the framers. In a phone call with the Gallery Director on Wednesday about a completely different subject I was asked what hanging system I have on the back of my frames ? Well I have a wire.....its not a screw with wire wrapped around if?... No it has D rings......that's OK because we hang the work by the D rings not the wire. So straight after that conversation I went to investigate the back of the 6 works I had at home that were newly framed by a different framer. Guess what? the D rings were too small for the gallery hooks to go through. Minutes later the framers called me to say that the last tapestry was finished and ready to pick up. So I had to break the bad news about the D rings. They were wonderful and half an hour later I was at their workshop with 7 tapestries to have the hanging system changed over to larger D rings. It is certainly something that I would not have thought to check, but now we know that it is an priority. I am grateful that we worked this out, rather that realize on Tuesday morning when the work is to be hung. So why do Public Galleries hang the works from the D rings and not the wire? It is because it is safer to hang works with glass by the two rings rather than the wire and by hanging on both sides of the work the won't move and become crooked in the space of time they are up for exhibition. I have photographed my new work and I just need to get photos off my laptop to finish off the paper work for delivery Tuesday. As I have two computers it is difficult to keep some things altogether. So now I have a folder in Dropbox that has all my tapestries, their sizes and more importantly the year they were made. So that's where I am at....almost done!           

Friday, January 23, 2015


This year Grampians Texture will be held in Halls Gap in March with 2 and 4 day workshops beginning on Saturday the 14th March. There are still some places available and this year Cresside Collette will be teaching two different tapestry weaving workshops. So if you would like to come and spend some creative time in my beautiful Grampians, take a look at the list of workshops on offer here.


What did I learn in the past year? Don't make too many plans as life can change when you least expect it. After working on a solo exhibition and my involvement in the Grampians Arts Trail, I had planned to take the rest of the year off to downsize my garden. But that did not happen and I became involved in a project that ate up a very large chunk of mine and many others lives, along with most of the year I should add. What did become clear to me is that although we are aware of the fact that we should be looking after our precious environment, bad projects and the argument that it is 'good for the economy' seems to rule. Climate change being the hottest topic, and the one that governments seem to not want to address. Although I am not a Catholic, Pope Francis is winning my admiration in his stand on climate change and our need to act now. Mid year I purchased a new camera and planned to walk in the forest armed with a field guide to our wildflowers in an attempt to be able to identify and get a better idea of when their short season is in relation to being able to go back at the same time each year. As we had no spring rains here the flowers were very disappointing. I volunteered in an orchid watch program. Each year the spider orchids are tagged, documented and comparisons are made to the previous 10 years that they have been surveying the same area. The results were terribly disappointing this year and highlighted the dry season. I did get the chance to photograph some of our unique flowers and uploaded them onto a new blog. Everyone lives in a part of the world that is unique in its own way so the new blog is just a photo essay of my local region. This year I hope to not miss out on our short wildflower season.
In some quiet time this morning I re watched this talk given by Alice Waters at the Sydney Opera House late last year. Incredibly inspiring and it cements the way that I would like to see the future evolve. 
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