Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Watermark textiles and Te Papa

scorpionmedia_Clare-11scorpionmedia_Clare-6scorpionmedia_Clare-16bitter harvestscorpionmedia_Clare-1Clare Smith image

These are textile wallhangings which I have dyed vertically in previous exhibitions over the last 6 months. They are all inspired by images on Google Earth of rivers dyed multi-coloured by textile dye. I find the images of dyed rivers beautiful but disturbing at the same time...

Here is the latest Watermark wall hanging which was dyed in Te Papa Museum on Saturday as part of Makertorium.

Photo by Marie-Claire Andrews
It was a hot day and I should have worn something cooler. The sun was coming straight through the window at me . It dried out the dye so that it took much longer for the dye to travel around the picture. By the end of the day most of the exhibitors were coughing because of the dry air and drinking lots and lots of water .

In spite of the heat, it was a GREAT DAY!!
All the other exhibitors were so enthusiastic, it was a great celebration of 'makers'. I had a wonderful time and would love to do it again armed with more knowledge of how the dyes work in the drier air, how not to get dye on the floor of Te Papa, and what to wear to keep cool.

I also know more about what the public might do in a tight area. There were lots of people trying to get past or trying to stand back to see what was going on. The booth opposite me was also very popular so we caused a bit of a bottleneck. And some of the public got a bit grumpy and tried to do things like walk very close to the dripping wallhanging or even around the back. Some tripped over the leg of the stand and one woman even put her finger in the dye pot to see what was in there. If the stand hadn't been very sturdy there would have been an accident which I would have had a hard job explaining to Te papa (we all signed a form saying we would not make a mess).

Thankyou to everyone who came in to see the show, thanks also to friends who made a special effort to come and see my work because they missed it last year.

Here is the wallhanging hanging up in my sewing room while the dyes set. I have put soda ash in the cups at the top and that is running down right now so the picture looks even blurrier than before. It is still impossible to tell what the final image will look like as the soda ash changes the picture and sets only in some places.

In some ways I like the details best


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