Sunday, 27 May 2012

Large Tapestry

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.


Michelle said...

Looks great Glennis! I'm looking forward to seeing you start weaving!

I'm just starting the hem of mine - trying to decide whether I should wait for feedback, or get started anyway ;)

Mary said...

Glennis, I remember going to the cemetery in Darwin and being very moved by all the graves, and realising how young most of the people who were killed were.
I love the design, especially with your explanations of the symbols. Did you get any help with the ochre and PVA in your drawing classes?

Glennis said...

Hi Mary
The whole thing of the Military Museum is moving. Seeing how unprepared the people were was amazing. Thank you for your comments. Phillip has no idea about ochre; I am hoping the next time I go to Kununurra I will be able to go to Warmun as well. He was a big help in making me think about the symbols.

Glennis said...

Hi Michelle
I am glad this design is finished, it has taken me so long. Good luck with your tapestry and also good luck with the house move.

Misha said...

Glennis, beautifully smooth texture in this. I find the gradations in the pinks-reds at the top particularly attractive - and probably demanding to do on the loom!

Will love to follow your progress on this - which I hope you will keep posting.

Best wishes for its progress -


Glennis said...

Hi Misha
Thank you for your comment. I am not apprehensive about the weaving, I don't think, but the piece will take about 350 to 400 hours I estimate to weave which is beginning to worry me. I base this on my weaving of Tim's tapestry which is nearly finished and has taken me 85+ hours so far. And it is only A3 size.