Friday, October 30, 2015

Going W I L D at Gould Galleries

My second solo show with Gould Galleries is now up and running.
The show is called W I L D and in this body of work, created over the past two and half years, I really have gone wild - in material, form and content.  The show follows my first exhibition with Gould Galleries, SANCTUARY TOO, which was held in May-June 2013. This body of work continues my passion for collecting and reclaiming discarded needlework and also introduces other materials, such as paper, in the form of reclaimed book illustrations and a 'porcelain garden' of discarded ceramic flowers and birds, collected over the past year.  Some works also include elements commissioned from a glass-blower and an expert cushion maker.  My first large 3-dimensional work, "Let the Jungle In" which won the Yering Sculpture Award in 2013 will also have another outing. 
Unlike SANCTUARY TOO which was a cohesive exhibition in terms of imagery, materials and technique, WILD is more eclectic and in regard to some of the three-dimensional works and installations more experimental - in other words, its wilder!  As with SANCTUARY TOO, this exhibition continues my interest in celebrating and reconstructing discarded domestic materials and drawing a link between the domestic archives of home and the public archives of the museum and library.  Several works reinterpret historical paintings of flora and the human figure immersed in flora. I do hope you will be able to see the show during its run at Gould Galleries 270 Toorak Road, South Yarra 9872 8482 - until 5pm on Saturday 5th December 2015.

For images of some of works in the exhibition, please visit the WILD Gallery on my website.

NEW FILM For now I'd love it if you spent four minutes viewing a short film of my studio practice, made by a talented young Melbourne filmmaker  Lily Youngsmith, titled Louise Saxton Assemblage.  You can view it on Youtube or on my website "About" page. 

Installation Shots of a portion of WILD at Gould Galleries by Gavin Hansford


Image below: Detail of "Desnuda y Flores 2015 after Diego Rivera 1944" Reclaimed needlework, lace and beading pins, silk, nylon tulle on museum board. 142 x 122 cm. Photo by Gavin Hansford. © Louise Saxton

Friday, August 14, 2015

Progress on Flora meretrix...

Petto di Flora - Flora's breast (in Italian) 
Making progress on my reinterpretation of a portion of Giuseppe Arcimboldo's Flora meretrix, painted in c.1590 - it's slow but we are getting there…(I say "we" because I feel like the original embroiderers and the original artist are collaborating, silently, with me!)
Today I took her tulle backing down from the wall and have begun extracting the different sections and pinning them to the museum mount board.  
I'm using vintage velvet for the background in the top left corner - a deep midnight blue which will be overlaid with antique black lace; Mason's regalia brass thread embroidery for the hair (which, in the original painting, Arcimboldo references Octopus' tentacles!) and; everything else is reclaimed embroidery and lace. The collar of her garment will be made of white flowers that are set in relief from the rest of the work.

Flora on the table with colour coded boxes of embroidery and lace
and the inspiration - Flora meretrix by Giuseppe Arcimboldo c.1590

The bottom right hand corner is cut away from the tulle backing
ready to be stabilised on a layer of silk organza, before pinning
to the archival mount board

Flora's breast with midnight blue velvet, brass thread Mason's regalia
for hair and reclaimed embroidery for the garment and embroidery and
lace for the body. The collar of her garment is yet to be pinned with 
white flowers (below), raised up in relief above the rest of the work.

The addition of blue velvet background and some white flowers
which will eventually fill the empty spaces and create the floral
Ermine that Arcimboldo was imitating

And for a remind of the original incredibly exquisite painting by Arcimboldo
which I could never hope to replicate, I simply hope to reference him
and pay homage through the exquisite art of needlework

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Frida is finished...

"Frida" is complete and captured here by my wonderful photographer of 14 years, Gavin Hansford.
I refer to the work affectionately as Frida, but it is actually titled "Desnuda y Flores (nude and flowers) 2015 after Diego Rivera 1944". Reclaimed needlework (Tehuantapec embroidery from Mexico, antique lace doilies from NYC, vintage cross stitch from Boston, pinned to nylon tulle and silk using lace and beading pins and mounted in relief on museum board H1360 x W880 cm)
Here are Gavin's photos of Frida and me pinning her to the mount board, and also a link to the journal article on my website:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Be not of Feint Heart

I have recently embarked on a new work in reclaimed needlework, which reinterprets the crazily beautiful, English Surrealist-inspired painting by Adrian Feint "Happy Landing" 1944 (collection Art Gallery of South Australia)
Please go to my website: for details on why I've chosen this particular painting and photos of my work-in-progress

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spring Inspiration in Winter

I am in love…. with this painting of the Roman Goddess of Spring, flowers and fertility, "Flora-Meretrix", by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526-1593).  This is the more sensual version of his Flora paintings and I love the way he softened the flowers to create a sense of flesh (almost as if she were wearing a lacey body stocking) and in contrast, he gave the other flowers, which create her hair and garment, a sense of hyper-reality.  What a challenge it would be to reinterpret even a detail of this glorious painting, in reclaimed embroidery.

When I was in Paris in 2010 I walked through miles of galleries in the Louvre to see the Arcimboldo paintings, only to learn that they were all on loan to Madrid.  I was quite disappointed.  

This particular painting has always been held in private collections and has only been exhibited to the public once in four hundred years - in Vienna in 2014.  What I wouldn't have given to have seen her in the flesh!


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Winter warmer

Greetings from the studio above the discount shop, on the High street in East Kew, Victoria, Australia!

I've been in this lovely space, with north facing windows which is wonderful in winter, for nine years now. The shop downstairs has changed hands recently and while I miss my previous "land-lady" the new owner is happy for a low-rent paying artist to scratch away in her 'bower' upstairs.  

Posting a few photos of the studio filled with the materials I use for my artwork and other objects I also collect in the local charity shops, which inspire and "embower" my creative space.

View to the fireplace and the "collection" 
of inspirational objects and materials

A window ledge holding a fraction of the 
"mad Haberdasher's" collection and Australiana 

View to one corner of the studio, with
experimental wall pieces and a growing
collection of porcelain flowers

Vintage needlepoint firescreen, with
vintage tea-towels found in Boston USA
and a bundle of my needlework finds,
the raw materials for my assemblages

A close up view of the window ledge
and various 'treasures' from bygone eras

Friday, April 10, 2015

Greetings old friends and fellow bloggers

It's been an age since I wrote here, probably because I spend more time on my website Journal, which is a diary type blog. So please feel free to wander over there for a look-see at all my recent goings on:

I'm back here today to share some great photos taken by my dear friend and photographer of 15 years Gavin Hansford, who as well as being a great documenter of other artists work, is a fabulous landscape photographer in his own right

The most recent pieces shown below have just been completed for my show later in the year at Gould Galleries (now scheduled for November) 

Vanitas #1 - The Bather 2015
Reclaimed needlework, brass beading pins on museum board
92 x 98 cm

Vanitas 1 & 2 are inspired by the paintings of Herman Henstenburgh (1667-1726). 
I named Vanitas #1 The Bather, as it reminds me of the floral caps my mother's generation wore to keep their hair and ears dry when bathing! It is filled with exquisite embroidered motifs including silk Eagles with a sunset from China, cross-stitched Hummingbirds, roses found in a NYC flea market, French knotted roses from France, Australian native flora and fauna and some exquisite Art Nouveau silk poppies.

Vanitas #2 - The Twitcher 2015
Reclaimed needlework, brass beading pins on museum board
92 x 98 cm

I named this work The Twitcher as it is filled with embroidered birds of all sorts, colours and sizes, from different parts of the globe - America, Australia, China, England, Palestine and Vietnam

Vanitas #3 - The Storyteller 2015
Reclaimed needlework, brass beading pins on museum board
98 x 92 cm

I named this Vanitas - The Storyteller as it is based on a fetal skull (yes creepy I know!) and is filled with embroidered motifs which in some way reference childhood and storytelling - the bluebirds of happiness, the Koalas of Blinky Bill, Mexican people and animals, a Beatrix Potter rabbit, a Pirate with his parrot, gun, lantern and treasure, some cute puppies and a Spanish Galleon!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post!