Friday, August 30, 2013

Sneak Peak...

Finding inspiration for new work......

exquisitely painted in the late 1800's by 
Marianne Collinson Campbell (1827-1903)
 is a beautiful bunch of Sturt's desert pea 
(Swainsona formosa) 
held in the NationalLibrary of Australia 
and published in "Women of Flowers"

a detail of work in progress
(reclaimed needlework, lace pins, museum board)

"...we saw that beautiful flower the Clianthus formosa [sic] in splendid blossom on the plains. It was growing amid barrenness and decay, but its long runners were covered with flowers that gave a crimson tint to the ground".        (Sturt's journal, Narrative of an Expedition into Central Australia)

Monday, August 26, 2013

More treasures from France...

More treasures from overseas - a friend's mother
kindly sent me these exquisite vintage laces 
 and embroidery from France some months ago

and then this week I received another parcel
of vintage lace trims - mostly hand made - from
my sister's French friend's mother!

this is the studio work table 'mess' of fabric scraps
and inspirations

and lastly - Spring is coming to Melbourne
and I've been rising earlier than usual to walk
my dog - so I leave you with this gorgeous
Spring blossom... renewal, hope, joy...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Studio Two...

I am currently juggling two studios - I know that sounds
greedy, but... one is the studio I have had since 2007
and the other is a year long artist residency, which I
embarked upon in May this year.  It is a much smaller
studio space in a de-commissioned wing of St Vincent's Hospital's
Caritas Christi Hospice for palliative care, in Kew.  

There are 7 studios which can house up to 9 artists and 
the residency program is run as part of what is referred to as
St Vincent's "mission to the heart".  It might seem like a strange
place to choose to undertake a residency - somewhere people
come to die or to seek relief from the process of being terminally ill,
but it is a really peaceful and nurturing environment, and my
studio room as stunning views across Studley Park to the old
Wilsmere Asylum, which is now Wilsmere Estate...

There are lovely grounds for families, staff and artists to enjoy
 in the back of the hospice and beautiful manicured gardens
in the front which faces Studley Park Road

I love this second space, as unlike Studio 1, which is filled
to the brim with past and current work, art materials and 
my collection of inspirational objects, the Caritas Christi space
is very Zen-like.  I've taken only what I need to make the
piece I am working on there - which has up until last week,
 been my reinterpretation of a male King parrot after John Hunter.

My work tables....

with "John & George - after John Hunter" in the background

and I just have to add to this post a recent acquisition,
which I photographed in Studio 1 - my beautiful space
above a shop in the Harp Village.  These exquisite
antique and vintage laces and embroideries were gifted
to me by some beautiful women in France, who want
to support my 'project' of salvage and reclaimation of 
other people's hand-work.  I received a 2kilo box of
treasures in the mail not so long ago:

A great place to end this post with this exquisite French Knot
'flowers in a vase' embroidery from c1930.  It will be extracted
one day and so will the 3.5 metre long lace table cloth, but
for now, they are points of inspiration, waiting for their time
to shine again in a new form, for a new audience.
Thank you for reading! Louise x

Thursday, August 1, 2013

John & George 2013

John & George 2013 after John Hunter c1789 is 
slowly coming together....the wings are the latest challenge
and, as I'm sure I've said before, each time I finish a work in
this vein I think, never again with the tiny, tiny fragments...
but here I am again making another painstaking 
assemblage from tiny fragments of reclaimed textiles.  

And it is these textiles, made lovingly and painstakingly by 
anonymous others - from different eras, continents and cultures -
 that keep my commitment to the process alive.  The textiles speak 
to me and hopefully to the work's audience.

The Kings hand - in the original painting, Hunter's
King offers the bird two European cherries.  I've added a
Bottlebrush (Callistemon) flower and some kind
of berry, both exquisitely cross-stitched...

my studio table, with exquisite French Chantilly lace and
other fragments, past and present. The lace was sent to me recently 
from a 'fan' in France, along with 2 kilos of other vintage 
embroideries and lace!  The book below my journal is "A Brush with Birds"
by Penny Olsen, National Library of Australia - the original source of
inspiration for the Sanctuary Collection.