Thursday, October 18, 2007


The brief for this tapestry design is to research a conservation issue that is of interest to you and the tapestry is to be woven using recycled materials.
Most of Australia is suffering from drought and the water shortage crisis. Here in the Grampians Region Victoria water storages are low and we are only able to water outside with a bucket or watering can. It seems just a memory being able to hold a hose and water the garden on a summer evening. All the water from my house is recycled onto the garden. The only water that is not reused is water that the dishes are washed in. The drought is impacting on the cost of living here as all produce has skyrocketed in price. Farmers all over are walking off the land, especially in irrigation areas where water allocations have been cut off and vines and citrus trees are left to die.
Water is like the life blood of the land. This painting is a response to a picture of the Thompson Dam that was published in the Age newspaper. In the painting the small stream of water is searching it's way across the land looking for it's home.

I have under painted the design in cadmium red with the intention of letting the red show through in some areas of the painting. I wanted the image to appear dry and parched with a small stream searching its way through the landscape.

I had some red crepe paper streamers so I decided to weave the tapestry and then paint the design on the tapestry thinking that the rough texture would show through the painting. The red paper also suited my idea of the lifeblood of the land and the red under painting in the design. I sealed the tapestry, or so I thought with acrylic painting medium before I began with the painting. This did nothing to seal the paper and every drop of paint turned pink! I thought that I had the paper sealed enough but every time I returned the tapestry was a pale pink painting. As a last resort and what I should have done in the first place, I painted the entire tapestry with P.V.A. glue. This then gave me a sealed surface to paint onto. The painted tapestry does not show the detail that I had hoped for because of it not being properly sealed. Although it does have a dried clay pan type surface now! It is always fun to do something different and you live and learn but here in Australia we wish that if would RAIN!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie,

    My heart ached for you when I read about your horrible drought. Although I think yours there is worse than we've had here, it is still so hard to see plants & animal trying so desperately to survive in those conditions, even harder if you have to watch them perish.

    I love your hard pan tapestry & your fruit. Seeing rivers flowing through dry lands from the air is always fascinating. Your vibrant fruits remind me of the wonderful bright colors that are popular in the Mexican culture which is interwoven throughout the southwest.

    Thank you for your comments about my latest tapestry-- it is 30 inches wide, the loom is 50 inches wide. It is the largest tapestry I've woven yet, so I am enjoying it, yet it's a little scary at the same time! I also need to get an extra set of treadles to make it easier on me for these wider pieces, but it will be costly so I keep postponing!

    I'm sorry to hear about your injuries. I have dealt with several myself during the last few years & it's irritating to be limited when you want to do so many things (like weave!). But, it is evident you are really struck with weaving-itis... there you are, supposedly recovering, yet feverishly planning your next tapestry project!

    Hope you are back in fine weaving form soon!



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