Friday, May 24, 2013

Photo of the Day

The photography weekend showed up the inadequacy of my tripod and camera lens (the original kit lenses) , so I splurged on a new tripod and a new18-270mm zoom lens and today I filled in 15 minutes while waiting for friends to arrive on the ferry from Picton, by trying out my new camera gear. Wellington seems to have been invaded by fluorescent (alien) codes, why?

This week I have been screen printing fabric for vests for the chorus of an opera, making white dresses for a photoshoot, designing a new workshop called 'Design Your own Modern Quilt', and sewing prayer flags onto tape for a schools project run by Pataka, Whitireia and artist Tiffany Singh.

I love the variety, costume/textile/quilt...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Photography , Ngawi and Chalkle

A long time ago, when I lived in Australia, pre-children, I used to do a lot of photography. I turned my bathroom into a darkroom and took arty shots of lightning over Sydney and long exposures of the city lights. Then I had kids and swapped my big camera with all the fancy lenses for something I could grab quickly when the kids were doing something cute. For the last 20 years I have been taking 'snapshots' and I have never really come to terms with the digital camera, or with Photoshop.

Recently I have discovered 'Meetup groups' and 'Chalkle'. If you click on the links you can go and see what they are. When a weekend photography course was advertised on Chalkle I decided to sign up. It was a weekend away in a wild spot called Ngawi which is on the East Coast of the North Island to the right of Featherston (Wairarapa) on the map. I had never been there or even heard of it before.

It was a great weekend with fabulous weather and I can highly recommend the  course. Glen Howey ,the tutor, also works at Whitireia Polytech and was in my class  last year where we were both upgrading from the Advanced diploma to the Degree in Applied Arts.

Here are some photos I took over the weekend. I have chosen my favourite shots but I took lots more!
Dawn - can you see the reflection of the lighthouse in the puddle?

Cape Palliser Lighthouse

30 second exposure at dusk

The next group of photos aren't my best shots but they give an idea of the number of baby seals. All the mummy seals lie around the rocks whilst the babies are in the pool playing  with sticks and seaweed, play fighting and leaping out of the water like dolphins. I have never seen so many seals in one place, it was incredible.
There at least 30 baby seals playing in the pool

Having a scratch
You can't see me!

Sometimes a mother seal would call her baby over for a feed

baby seal hangout spot

Seal playing with a stick

Look at me , Mum!

Smileyface bach

View from Kupe's sail 

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