Monday, July 30, 2012

research and experiments

3000 word essay later...I discovered that I got it in 2 days early, darn! I would have had more time to hone it a bit  if I'd realised it wasn't due in till Wednesday.

So having been back through all my visual diaries and notes I thought I would put some of the inspiration and experiments on the blog.

NB The wallhangings are currently hanging at Whitireia Library in Porirua, without all the dye cups and nothing dripping. They look nice against the windows but there isn't the element of performance so its not quite the same.

Images which inspired my exhibition Watermark which I've been burbling about recently.

 Blood red river
 Water collected from Chinese Rivers and lakes
Multicoloured rivers

Some of the things that I used for inspiration.

 Chinese papercut patterns
Antique willow pattern carving plate which we use at Christmas for the turkey.

Artists whose work I looked at:
Work by Shinique Smith

Work by Julia Morrison

Work by Fiona Hall from the exhibition Kermadec.

Some of my experiments:
 Building 3D models in a plate then trying to fill the plate with dye (looks pretty but need something stronger than cardboard)
 Oops - seems to have rotated itself but you can see what it is.
 Trying to wick dye up fabric from plate
I saw a really bright coat in a shop in the local mall and started imagining dye dripping off it. So I made a resin version of a drip and took it to the shops and took photos. I felt quite subversive but that type of resin makes rectangular shapes because it is for coating flat surface- not quite drip like. Next time :-)
 Felt stones - I thought they looked like they have been sitting in the river and have been dyed on the bottom
Denim drinking water?
 Bird made from a sponge and feathers
 Bird soaked in dye
 Bird dropped onto fabric - 'The impact of dye on the environment?" -

Print of bird made from sponge and feathers
 Dye working its way down calico evenly
Vertically dyed calico
Eureka - the first dyed piece where the dye followed the seams.

Sometimes you have to do a lot of strange stuff to get to somewhere.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Exhibition bits and pieces

Well I have come down to earth with a bump! I did 8 loads of washing over the weekend, I cooked dinner for 12 (for my whole family to thank them for their support with hanging the exhibition, cleaning, peeling off the vinyl lettering at the end, clearing up, plastering screw holes (er, the less said the better, the plastery stuff shrank and sank back into the holes), making and clearing food at the opening etc. I now have to mark some assignments and write a 2000+ word essay.

So life goes on - but in case anyone is interested I do have 2 hours of video and a time lapse photography sequence which I will link to, once I have worked out how to do something with it. I make stuff but have no idea of how to do video.

I have had a great response to the blog photos , wonderful comments,  thanks everyone.

I have to think - what next, do I aim high and risk rejection or just a bit higher and keep it manageable. We'll see. Mainly I just have to get through this year.

Ok - on a technical note - the exhibition pieces are wall hangings, not quilts. They are one whole layer with a second layer behind . However, I usually make quilts and these could easily be turned into a quilt except then they wouldn't be see through.  The stitching is done by free-machine stitching. I didn't use a programmed machine, I did it all myself by using a hoop to stop the fabric wrinkling (I hate using a hoop).

I used cotton thread which took the dye on the front and stayed white on the back . I expected the thread to take the dye better than it has.

They are  see through and look great in a window, unfortunately due to the high UV in New Zealand they would fade very quickly if I did that over here.

They are NZ$500 each (plus postage).

 Detail from day 3.

Oh - I never mentioned, what I called them.

I looked into fashion colour forecasting. I saw some Google Earth images where you can see the rivers running navy blue with dye run-off from jeans manufacture. I thought maybe it might be possible to work out what next year's fashionable colours might be, by looking at Google Earth.


So here is
Spring/Summer Colour Forecast 2013
It is a bit of a mouthful but no-one really looked at the names anyway, they were too busy looking at the dye.

Here is a funny coincidence. I googled 'Clare Smith Watermark'. I was actually trying to find an article in a local newspaper which people keep telling me about, but we don't live in the area that gets that paper. So anyway - I googled my name and came up with a link to Clare Smith. I found I had made a film called Watermark and didn't know it.  It seems that another artist called Clare Smith has made a film called Watermark about a paper factory in Dover, England.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Watermark exhibition - extras

This is me up the ladder pouring dye into the cups at the start of the day.

 Shadow on the wall behind the wallhanging

 When they were white the shadow was hard to see but as they became more and more coloured the shadow became more and more distinct. This the wall behind the green image on day 4
 Behind day 3 - red wallhanging
When I first started developing this technique this was my test piece. I have hung it in the window and it shows the details better. The window has wire squares so it looks like the image has a grid.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Watermark day 5

 Here is todays wallhanging. It is Zealandia - Karori Sanctuary in Wellington. It is a fenced sanctuary for native birds and has a big predator-proof fence.
 I chose the traditional blue like the willow plate but couldn't resist adding a bit of pink which turned purple.

 This is a final shot of the whole gallery with all 5 dripping dyed wallhangings. No. 1 and no.5 look as if they are  similar colours in this photo but they are quite different blues in real life.
Thats it folks - the show is over. I'd like to thank Clare Plug , Ian Smith, James Wratt, Margery Smith, David Wratt, Chris Wratt, Pheobe and Nina Smith, Deb Donnelly, Peter Deckers, Viv Atkinson and all the staff at the Visual Arts department of Whitireia Polytechnic for their help with this exhibition, I couldn't have done it without you!

Tomorrow- images of the shadows formed on the walls behind the hangings, incidental details, hopefully images of the fabric which mopped up the dye at the bottom (rolled up in the guttering).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Watermark Day 4

Hi everyone
Today the wallhanging which got dyed is an image of the Victoria bridge on the Waikato River. I have dyed it green and red.

Here is the original (BTW they are photographed against a grey background to make the white image show up. Otherwise the white on white design would be too hard to photograph).

I took 80 photos of this one. I was trying out time lapse photography hopefully to turn into little movie. Tomorrow I am going to try videoing - it will have to be sped up about 6 times.

The picture of the ducks is by Melissa Anderson who came in just in time to see the ducks turn red.