|Winter at the Warey|
There was one exception to this – the NSW Embroiderers' Guild installation 'Stitched Circles'. This pic is via the guild's Facebook page, and if you click on it, you'll be sent over there to see each of the circles in all their glory. What an amazing effort. Mary Brown gave all the guild members a brief and a colour palette to work with, but the variety of textile art that has resulted is astonishing.
Prints Charming and Caroline from Allitera, who throw open their shared studio in Annandale to a bunch of independent designer/makers selling their wares in a bi-annual market.
5 Stitches who creates fabric stitched cards, and printmaker Fiona Roderick. I have to confess I was attracted to her work on behalf of my bird-obsessed niece, but I love her use of colour and line.
I also had a stickybeak at the work of Michelle from You Are Brave – sadly she wasn't manning the stall when I was there, and the blueprint ceramic series from Lesley Hunt of Huntseek Design. Of course I also had to pick up a few things from Prints Charming... I feel some embroidery coming on!
And have I done any work myself? The short answer is 'no'. But I've been doing a lot of reading along with the talking, which has led to a lot of thinking about the rest of this year and beyond, the direction I want to go and the work I want to do.
I've been reading 'Art Inc' by Lisa Congdon and 'This Changes Everything' by Naomi Klein. Lisa’s book is about all the ways you can make a living from your art. It’s a great resource for anyone starting out, or a bit stuck for new avenues to explore. It covers all aspects of running an arts-based business and includes a ton of case studies which always help me to see how I could do the same. Lisa also has a great Instagram feed if you're interested.
Naomi Klein’s book answers the question why, when we know what climate change is doing to our planet, and the majority of us agree that we’re causing it, we seem incapable, after thirty years of talking about it, to do anything to stop it? At the heart of her thesis is the argument that doing something about climate change threatens the very consumerist, economic-growth-at-all-costs, capitalist system we now take for granted as the only way of doing things.
It’s a powerful, if dense, read and is really bringing together a lot of the things I’ve been thinking and writing about lately – slowing down, minimalism, experientialism, and the shocking damage being done to people and our planet by the textile industry.
You can see why I might be paralysed about where to go from here. The paradox that the very act of creating is adding to the pile of stuff that nobody needs.
Is it possible for me to make a living out of teaching and writing about my craft, or can I feel comfortable creating quality pieces that take time and use the greenest materials available then release patterns that allow others to do the same?
Stay tuned while I figure my way through this one...