Friday, August 29, 2014

The Giant Kimono

The giant kimono was devised and organized by Emma White and Sol from the New Zealand JET Alumni. Emma and Sol sent fabric panels and paint to  New Zealand school and Japanese schools and the kids decorated them and sent them back. Then they had to have eyelets punched around them so they could be linked together. About 10 days ago the work was hung for the first time and I gave them a hand to string the pieces together and sew an extra panel on the base, hence the crash hat.  This is what it looked like when it hung for the first time from one of the lighting gantries in the TSB arena in Wellington, prior to the Japan  Festival last weekend.

You can gauge the size by the people at the left hand side

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sewing in a safety helmet zone

I've never had to sew wearing a safety helmet before! There were electricians working on the catwalks above us. This is me sewing some last touches on the bottom of an enormous kimono which was hung in the centre of the TSB Arena for  Japan Culture Day last weekend.

Dijanne Cevaal's Pozible project

My friend Dijanne is trying to fund a new book using the online fundraising website Pozible. If you would like to support her please go to Musing in France

Monday, August 25, 2014

Artist Blocks

Magazine to Through Our Hands, editorial team: Annabel Rainbow, Laura Kemshall, Linda Kemshall

Art Blocks
I have been a bit out of circulation since January when I discovered I need treatment for my thyroid. I am just starting to get enthusiastic about textiles again. I think part of my quilt 'block' was lack of the right  medication but also a leftover 'art block' from art school. Every time I spend some time studying art it takes about 2 years to get back to making again. In that time I still make simple quilts and knit and do other creative things but I find it hard to get going again after the angst of art school. I needed 2 years off after art  school in Goulburn , Australia, and 2 years off after both stints at Whitireia in Porirua. Thats just me though.

Do other people have 'blocks'? What causes them? Is it after a major solo show? Or is it just me?

When i have an art block,  I think that all my ideas are rubbish. What I am doing is 'self censoring' to a very high degree. It's as if I have a tutor sitting on my shoulder saying "I think you can push it further", "have you thought of …", "I think you are on the wrong track", The answer is often just to make something simple, which leads to something else, and slowly ideas start to flow. Of course, most of the ideas happen when I am on a plane, on holiday on a Pacific Island where I have no access to a sewing machine or dyes/paints, or while  waiting in the ER with a friend. By the time I'm home again, the idea doesn't sound so good any more or the drawings don't make sense.

Anyway, thats just me, how about you?

Anyway, as I said , I'm coming back to my creative life. I have just had a work accepted for World of Threads Festival in Toronto in November. I really wish I could go to see the show, I have been getting the World of Threads weekly newsletter for over a year now and they profile some amazing textile artists.

I will also have work in the UK in 2015 as a member of 'Through our hands'. See the free magazine above , Annabel Rainbow, Laura Kemshall, Linda Kemshall
The exhibition details are below
Bilston Craft Gallery, Bilston, West Midlands, UK.

The exhibition will run from 9th May to 4th July 2015, 

Then of course, there is the New Zealand Quilt Symposium in January, where hopefully I will be teaching 4 different  classes. I say 'hopefully' because I am waiting to see whether the classes have filled enough to be going ahead. The New Zealand Quilt Symposium .

I leave in 3 weeks for 2 weeks in Seattle, San FRancisco and Boston and then another 4 weeks in Eastern Europe (Berlin, Krakow, Prague) then finish in Copenhagen at the end of October. So I need to make a whole quilt to enter in the symposium in the next 3 weeks, I have an idea, I just have to clear the decks first…

Let me know in the comments section about what causes you to have an artist block (if you get them)?