Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In a square foot of my garden

turret shell shaped fungi have sprouted,  a miniature universe of wonder

there are dahlia's flowering, dying and budding,they have been doing this since November.

Zac and his friend Brandon keep on growing and eating

Gaz and I went to The flagstaff camp for a day. I did an Art Journalling workshop http://artjournalingnz.blogspot.co.nz/
and Gaz slept and played
Cabbages have been chopped and insides admired.

I have started back nursing. It is good..important to remember I am a nurse. On the Ward it is fine but in class I respond more like the Artist I have more recently been trained to be. I think it will all mesh and work out, but at the moment it is a process of wonderment and application. 
Gary is very enthusiastic about my paycheck. I used the first one to pay off the Dick Lyne painting that I had put a deposit on months ago at The Brett McDowell Gallery.

 Very beautiful, I think. I blog these day in a Kauri forest sprinkled with Ponga's.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

All About the World

Last week
my friend’s daughter Cassandra
asked me in a small voice
of wonder, if I wouldn’t mind
could I tell her all about the world?

Today she
telephoned and said I’m going to tell you
about poetry, since they had been hearing
poetry at school

Un huh, I said
because I couldn’t think of anything else
to say, and besides it had been hard work
not telling her all about the world

She said then
lowering her voice, letting me in
on a big one, Poetry is when words sing
I could hear, I think I could hear that already
she knew enough of ‘all about the world’
to keep her singing from time to time

And then she added,
since she was in that kind of a hurry,
About 100 years from now, trees
will be called very important people.

Michael Harlow

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quilt in progress

                                           Zac's sunflower

Fairy cakes Hana made

Laid out on our bed - its going upstairs to a wee double room. All it really needs is a border now, but I am going to applique and stitch birds over it.I have used a mixture of fabric,all natural fibre so I think when I have stitched it all down it will sit fine.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

the 'stay human band'

I am in love with this! it is so very clever on many levels.
When you cant make the music - the music comes to you. What a gift. 

(Apologies to the writer for the change of formatting but my blog wouldn't accept the original copy.)

Live at Mount Sinai: The Healing Power of Music

'Music, after writing, is my greatest passion. But when I entered the hospital in June 2011 for induction chemotherapy, I stopped listening to music altogether.
Music, the saying goes, can soothe even the savage beast. What about the frail beast? The sad one?
Between the hospital walls, hearing my favorite songs filled me with a deep, unbearable ache. Music, and the memories attached to them, reminded me of all that was no longer. It reminded me of myself at 16, lugging my 30-lb. double bass up the steps of the Lincoln Center subway station in five-inch heels en route to my lessons at Juilliard. Where had that feisty, fresh-faced music student with long auburn hair gone?
I didn’t know it back in June, but I was in the process of mourning my ‘old’ self: on some level, I was realizing that everything had changed–that my life, as I knew it, was over.
How many ‘selves’ do we put to rest over the course of a lifetime? It was strange for such recent memories to feel like they belonged in an old filing cabinet.'

Read More of this article here

Friday, March 2, 2012

Quilt in process

The fabric..new and old.embroidered napkins, old furnishing fabric and some sample gingham.I decided that I needed an automated project with defined edges to kick start me. I have the girls quilts lined up to make but because they are full of 'ideas' and take a bit of thinking, I havnt got started properly.So this technical piecing is what I need to get me going I think..lets see if it works.
Its going in the upstairs spare room that was once Mackers. It is a very pretty attic room that will be fun to dress up.
My personal assistant Spacerocket(our cat) hinders more than helps she is passionate about paper and fabric and rips it up and lies on it at every available opportunity.

Sitting on top of my pattern box..looking determined and awkward at the same time.
I was drafting a pattern yesterday for a skirt..(drafting sounds better than copying around and sticking extra bits of paper around the edges where I made mistakes:-D) and she helped me-not.

let the weak say I am strong


I havnt worked out yet how to post the whole youtube clip.Hmm something to ask Gary about. Kushanas title of her exhibition is all things to all men..this is the Hillsong response and version of those words

Thursday, March 1, 2012

After Kushana

I was inspired to start drawing again. So I did a quick drawing in front of the Tv..because Gary and Zac were there and it was warm.
There are some things I need to get out of my head that I want to do and see..all things I have seen before but feel the need to do.
I feel I need to work through a library of images in my head.
The rat is Hana's pet rat who died last year.She reminds me of my pet rat when I was a teenager and the donkey represents a childhood favourite..my nana always sung me little donkey. So more rats and donkeys coming and bats and then maybe I will have travelled through my own black hole.

aha moments

On Friday last I read a blog entry by Clare Beynon http://icelines.blogspot.co.nz/. It was titled Many Moons.
I attended Kushana Bush's http://kushanabush.com/  Opening at the Hocken Library (she is our Frances Hodgkins Fellow 2011) and I went to a party on Saturday night in Oamaru where the Johnny Cashtones were playing.
It was a situation where thought and experience kept intersecting and resecting.
Clare wrote about the moon and new stars and black holes singing..these are things of wonder for ordinary folk,we look up to them and place dreams on them. They are part of our everyday but don't belong in the mundane.
When I was at the party having a boogie up front the two guitarists leaned in and their music melded..it was a zoom in of concentration and so seductive. I mentioned this after wards to one of them, and said it reminded me of what Clare wrote , about a black hole singing and he said 'ah yes harmony'.

Kushana's work was 'WORK' a big punch in the solar plexus for me. I walked out feeling my jaw drop..and thinking what are the words that I could find to give back to her, to describe how I felt? Awestruck and  major-ally star struck.
This exhibition is totally beyond something I would ever do or be capable of doing.
 It is one of those great Everest climbs that you feel so pleased that someone else has done so you can see it.
In the essay accompanying her show there is continual reference to travel and pilgrimages .A pilgrimage is a sacred journey and not an easy one. It is employed as a tool to take you beyond what you already know and perceive. Her work is a pilgrimage in itself. You walk in and go on a journey, interact with her people and cloth and stories and come out altered.
The pictures are fabricated lives and stories, 'what if questions' and cross cultural swaps.
There is a movie 'How to make an American quilt'. The heroine is a feisty young woman who is writing a thesis and has gone home to figure out life. Her mother and mothers friends are making a Memory Quilt for her wedding. Beautiful cloth pieces with all their  stories all interwoven. Hand-stitched. The finishing is done in a circle by all the women present.
Kushans compositions remind me of this movie. Multiple stories and possible histories embedded in cloth.
Kushana's cloth also has a work place health and safety aspect to it..what wraps us,protects us binds us. Posing questions of whether as soft spongey leaking bodies we are safer dressed or wrapped. It address issues of identity and naming.
The overall colour and symmetry of her compositions are enormously appealing and the details challenge  my thinking. I was looking at one painting and realized the towels had eyes and looked at the title and it was called (the thinking towel) and then I noticed a tiny sore on the mans leg..tiny details like this sore change the whole perspective. I love it!
So now when I close my eyes and ask what am I left with ...

Look to the stars not only are they in the sky
pencil paint and possibilities
In my fathers house there are many rooms
climbers explorers questers people who push past expected norms
Tonal shoes and combed hair
The allure and danger of black holes
Alternate galaxies

- Quiet Life, 2011, gouache and pencil on paper, 760 x 560mm
- Shadow Puppets, 2011, gouache and pencil on paper, 760 x 560mm