Last week I was in the New England Region of New South Wales and went to look at the Exhibitions being held at the New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale(a University town on the NE Tablelands).
The major Exhibition was “Cloth: from seeds to bloom”. Julie Paterson, Britsh born artist and designer, draws inspiration from the Australian bush and creates fabulous fabrics in a range of colours, floral forms and patterns. The Exhibition features original artworks, sketches and drawings, fabrics and furnishings taken through the late 1990s to 2014. Julie is a leading textile designer in Australia and works from her Studio in Blackheath in the NSW Blue Mountains.
The two main galleries were filled with metres of handprinted fabric with sketchbook work or stylised room settings. This piece is typical of the native bush in the Blue Mountains I could almost smell the ‘bush smells’ and hear the bellbirds when I look at this piece of work. The screen print is a great image with the detail and shading.
This is a closeup of a piece one can see the coarseness of the linen and the bright colour of the orange print, the scale which is larger than lifelike and also the finer line detail of the print. It to me represents the Australian bush well it is bold, colourful and has scratchy type foliage.
I thought this information was valuable as it gives insight into how Julie works. It reinforces to me the need to carry the small sketchbook everywhere and to make sketches. I tend to use my iPhone camera to record items or scenes that interest me but need to get more into the habit of drawing too.
The second Exhibition I want to write up was “Of things Unconventional”: Hayley Ward. Hayley uses found materials like old books, discarded fabrics, patterns and old clothes and uses her way of stitching the pieces together into new objects leaning on the practice of Boro and the concept of Wabi-Sabi. Hayley uses encaustic wax paint to capture each piece in a moment of time and this prevents further decay or development. Her aim is to focus the eye on the overlooked beauty of worn and discarded objects and to encourage people to reassess the throwaway culture. The artist is a graduate of University of New England and Monash University and has been exhibiting since 1990.
I found the work interesting but perhaps a little repetitive. The wax was applied thickly as you can see from the last photo and I would have preferred a thinner coating so that I could see more of the bottom layers.