wallflowerarts

Adding Gold to Our Rainbow

Archive for the category “Australia”

It’s been awhile

Again. My health crashed pretty badly and we had a fair bit to do with the October Market and a couple of commissions. I got a diagnosis of a herniated disc pushing on my spinal cord in my neck and recently of Carpel Tunnel syndrome. Pain in my neck, shoulder, arm and hands has really limited my time on the computer and my migraines had been back to daily again. I’ve been told not to stop my handcraft/art though so at least I can keep creating.

I have been keeping up a bit more with our Facebook page and since I got my new phone I’ve been able to post photos on our Instagram again and post on our Twitter. These will probably be the best places to keep up to date with what’s new for us.

We have finished many items since I last did a round up so I’ll try and get the photos edited and posted but with our internet as slow as it is and sitting at the computer causing problems I’m not sure how long it will take.

For now I will share the photos I’ve managed to get to load on Instagram. Sorry for the low picture quality, My phone has never been good enough to have a decent camera. I hope to keep up to date with this blog more from now on.


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Embroidery commission for a friend’s niece. The power was off because of a storm so I sat in the doorway embroidering. Our house is pretty dark so doorway it was. I wish we had somewhere to comfortably sit in the front yard.

Dougall
The little fuzz bucket, Dougall, after his summer haircut. Both dogs grow long hair over winter and we cut them short come spring.

Pippin
And the big one, Pippin. Don’t let the slightly worried face fool you, that was for the storm. He was ecstatic to have short hair again, bouncing all over the place. Excuse the feed bag of fleece in the background. There was nowhere else to put it.

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The storm didn’t last long

Font garden Nov 2013
The roses on the fence are out and in the foreground you can see the Borrage and spinach

Sky
Sunset

The Wholefood Kitchen
Asparagus, feta and quinoa salad and an apple juice at The Wholefood Kitchen, Bathurst. We adore The Wholefood Kitchen. It’s such a friendly place. The staff treat you like family and the food and coffee are excellent. Food is local and in season and amazing. It’s right near the Bathurst Wholefood Co-Op too. We have coffee here most Wednesdays before I go to Hydrotherapy. We sit and work on what ever projects we’re in the middle of. It’s really worth a visit if you’re in town. It’s open Wednesday to Saturday from 8:30am to 2:30pm
49 William St Bathurst NSW 2795
(02) 6332 9327

shawl
The shawl Ruth was working on. Hopefully we’ll get a full picture soon

Pizza capers
We finally got around to trying Pizza Capers in Bathurst. So much of their menu is gluten free. It’s fantastic to have this here as we don’t have a Crust Pizza up here.
I’ve never lived anywhere that has as many Gluten Free options as Bathurst.

Pizza
We shared a Bourbon BBQ Chicken pizza. It was a bit sweet for me but that’s the style of pizza. Most importantly, I didn’t get sick. We will definitely be going back.

Embroidery progress
More progress on the embroidery

Storm coming
Another storm

Front fence full of roses
The front fence is covered in roses

Peach and nectarines with sugar ready to become jam
Peach and nectarines with sugar ready to become jam

Orange and elderflower marmalade
Orange and Elderflower jam from a friend

Front garden Nov 2013
The garden. It’s such a pretty time of year. It’s full of ladybirds and butterflies and bees. Shame about the heat.
The darker rose on the far fence smells wonderful.

First Jam of the season
The result of the jam making. This one is such a beautiful colour.

Embroidery commission
The finished embroidery

Hipster Totoro
Hipster Totoro. I was needle felting a big grey Totoro for a friend and then accidentally added a mustache.

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Art, my connection to where I live, the dissonance between that and my cultural heritage.

Widdershins – an exhibition of Moorland Mythic Art I so, so want to go to this gorgeous exhibition in Devon. Artist involved include Alan Lee and Brian Froud. So much gorgeous art that makes me cry. Oh god I wish I could see it in person.

“Dartmoor’s landscape is steeped in magic and mystery and it is home to many artists whose work is inspired by mythic themes. Widdershins showcases the work of those who live on Dartmoor (or have local connections) Widdershins explores local legends, world myth, folklore and faery tales in diverse, surprising ways… and although it all starts ‘Once Upon a Time’, it is definitely not for children only.”
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This is the sort of stuff I’d love to draw and sculpt and bring in to my work but I am so far removed from the landscape that is linked with British Folk Law.
I feel a real connection with the land out here but the myths and legends out here are either still set in European landscapes or they are Aboriginal law and to create with those is appropriation.

How do I work with Myth, Legend and the spirit of the land I live in without being disrespectful to the people that were here long before? How do I work with my cultural heritage when living and connecting with a land that is so vastly removed?

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I can make up new stuff on my own, I know, but there is something about working with legends and myth that goes back thousands of years, that other people connect with and have connected with.

I sit here in this ghost town of a gold village and I spin yarn from wool straight off a sheep. I embroider artworks with needle and cloth. I light my fire and sit by it’s warmth. These things were done by women in this spot since the 1850s. These slow ways of being, of creating, of living are something that connects me to the history of this place but I want to create art based on the spirits of this place, on the mix of landscape and imagination that brings the place to life.

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Water here is precious. Sun is plentiful and in summer it is dangerous. Summer is not the warm, pleasant, plentiful time of joy that it often is in England where I was born. Winter isn’t ice and snow and a baron land.
This village, at 850m above sea level and the other side of the Great Dividing Range from the coast is the closest I come to the weather and plant life I was born in to in Easbourne, Sussex, England.

We have milder summers and much colder winters than the coast. We have lots of European trees planted in the village. We actually get a proper Autumn here where all the leaves change.

Autum in Hill End

Within a short walking distance though it’s back to Gum trees and Wattle, which I love, but it is green all year round, or at least our version of green witch is really fairly grey. Summer is drought and heat and storms. It’s fire and floods and sun that burns everything brown and grey and brittle. It’s full of flies and mosquitoes, snakes and spiders. It’s certainly not a green and plentiful time.

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We get a few days a year of 40c. Much less than we did on the coast but still awful. We get some winter nights at -6c. Much colder than the coast but we’ve only had one decent snow fall where it stuck. And even that was gone by morning.

snow in Hill End

We get less water and more floods. This land is a harsh and dangerous paradise. It’s hard work and red dust and wide open spaces. It’s coal and steel and gold. It’s sheep and cattle and kangaroos that well outnumber the people. It is beautiful and harsh and so very, very old but at the same time it’s brand new.

High Water in the Turon

Road to town

I want to make art to reflect that, to connect to this land that lives and breaths with me. To show others the savage beauty and the things you can’t always see. The things that were and the things that weren’t and the things that are.

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I have been considering paintings that show European myths and legends in an Australian landscape and how out of place they look.
I want to go and sit out in the bush and take photos and draw the things I don’t see. I want to needle felt creatures that fit within our landscape but don’t exist and the ones that do.
In a less literal sense I want to spin wool dyed with the plants and ochres of where I live.

Now to find the time, space and money to make a start on this. Not sure I have enough of any of those to get much done any time soon though. I have only the space of my arm chair and the small amount of time when my health lets me think and do at the same time. Money is even more scarce at the moment.

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