Saturday, 31 October 2015

Migrations @ COFA

Jacarandas in full bloom in Oxford St, Paddington....
I had a fleeting visit to Sydney this week to give a talk about my work and to attend the opening of the Migrations exhibition at COFA.  This exhibition has literally travelled the world - from Dublin, Bergen, Omaha, Miami, London, Cape Town and now Sydney. Curated by Professor Jessica Hemmings, editor of 'Cultural Threads: transnational textiles today', this exhibition evolves on each leg of the journey as Jessica packs selected pieces into her hand-luggage and wings her way across the globe, aptly illustrating her writings about the transportability of textiles.

Liz Williamson at the COFA seminar

It was great to catch up with Jessica again at the Seminar and to attend the opening of the Migrations exhibition. It was also wonderful to hear from Liz and students Blake Griffiths and Jennifer Goodwin about their experiences as interns in India.  In the foyer gallery Cultural Textiles : rug project was on display, with design work and some woven rugs by a recent trip to India by Liz Williamson and her students. This was part of the Cultural Textiles fieldwork course conducted in Gujarat in Jan/Feb 2015.
The student's designs were block printed in natural dyes by Sufiyan Khatri in his Ajarkh workshop in Ajarakhpur  in Kutch.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Colour+Print in Geelong

Garnet House at Geelong Grammar School - home away from home.

Straight from the GLINT residency to a residential workshop for TAFTA at Geelong, this has been one hectic month. This year at Textile Forum I taught 'Colour+Print' to ten students from all over Australia, at the Geelong Grammar School in Victoria. Most of the students were new to screen-printing and it was great to have two students in my class from last year's 'Printing with mordants and natural dyes' workshop, Rasa and Alison.

Anna hand-painting a beautiful floral piece with her test colours beside her
Pirjo building up delicately coloured and textured backgrounds for further work

During the week I shared my knowledge and demonstrated how to mix fabric paints to specific colours; how to develop an individual colour-palette for textile design; how to produce striking fabrics using low-tech methods and an introduction to printing with silk-screens. The ladies in the workshop had diverse textile backgrounds and experiences, and this course gave many of them the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone and learn new skills which could be incorporated into their work in the future.

Final display of work in a mini-exhibition this morning
Tea towels and textile samples from the workshop
Kate, Pirjo, Anna and Alison in front of class work.

I have to say it was one of the most productive and also enjoyable workshops I have taught, in part due to the fantastic students but also to the immediate nature of screen-printing which opens up all sorts of possibilities for extending the knowledge of design and colour. Thanks to Kate, Pirjo, Libby, Pam, Helen and Vanessa, Marlene, Rasa and Anna...well done!