After weeks of working on one design for my large tapestry then changing completely to another , I finally have a design that I am happy with. It will be called Visiting Tim and it includes experiences and memories of our journey that are important to me. I started using ochre powder which I had been given last Christmas. It took a while for me to find out how best to use the powder. In Kununurra I asked an Aboriginal woman called Agnes at one of the galleries and she told me to mix it with PVA. However I think I should have used more PVA to get the right consistency. Tim's partner Karen had organised for me to go to Warmun to work with the artists there but sadly one of their community died so the visit was cancelled. So after weeks of playing with the ochre design and symbols, I started again. The second lot of designs, done in soft pastel, are very different, more colourful and they too, have taken time to jell. The whole process has taken me 5 weeks as I am not a natural drawer. Lucky for me my drawing teacher from RMIT had started to take classes and his help and advice have been invaluable. He keeps pushing you to refine your design.
I will explain some of the symbols used. While in Darwin, we went to the Military Museum and experienced (I can't think of any other word to use) the Bombing of Darwin in WW2 light and sound show which was very moving; I was surprised at my reaction which was one of genuine patriotism. Hence the aeroplanes. The tree in the red shape comes from the grave of Albert Namajira which we saw by accident and didn't appear on any of the tours we had access to; it s almost as if he is forgotten. Family featured largely in the trip so I included boab trees which grow in families. and finally, I did catch a barra; but sad to say it was about 20 cm long so it went back.
Monday, 7 May 2012
Why did I decide to try and do 1 post a week!!! at the moment it is proving impossible. My new tapestries are small, approximately 15 cm sq, so I was able to do them fairly quickly. The sides on the green one are not very straight although they were fine in the loom. I like the pinkish one best. I decided to try using the flying shuttle technique and tried 2 versions of it; the attempt on the wall is the most successful. On to the next assignment, a large tapestry 3,600 sq. cm. I told someone that it had to be 3,6000 cm. sq. and wondered why I got surprised looks. While in Kununurra I saw a painting of the Bungles in the Lovell Gallery which was 32 sq. ms; it was in 4 panels each 4ms X 2ms. It was amazing. I am going to use the experience of going from Adelaide to Darwin to Kununurra to see Tim as my inspiration. I am also inspired by a painting by Sue Anderson called Oodnadatta, so we will see what happens. I have started my research and come up with some themes - journey, family, spirit, freedom; I have been playing with symbols to illustrate the themes that relate at the same time to the trip. Soon I need to translate these to a work on paper not one of my strong points.
Maybe this would be better if I rotated it.
Photoshop is a wonderful thing.