Yesterday I took a country trip to the lovely town of Warrandyte with my friend Suzana (that's if a half hour drive from Thornbury is country but the air certainly felt fresher and with trees all around and river running through the centre of the town we felt transported!) I wanted to return to the local op-shop and to "Ratty & Mole's Antiques", where I had found an exquisite Madeira appliqué table setting, when we visited four years ago (there's a link to their Facebook site at the end of the blog).
I remember at the time, what a big investment it was buying this unique set of domestic needlework, which was still in its original box with the gold labels stating it was "made by hand on the Island of Madeira" but, the beautiful blue/grey appliqué seemed destined to become something else, something that would celebrate it's quiet beauty and painstaking creation.
In 2010 it was embedded in the second work in my Sanctuary series, becoming transformed into the central lyre in the tail feathers of Madeira's Lyre (a lyrebird after John William Lewin c1815) - see detail below and link to the full work on my website at end of blog).
And, yesterday's trip to Warrandyte was just as fortuitous as I found another (not inexpensive) treasure at Ratty & Moles - an exquisitely hand embroidered shawl on black silk, said to be Victorian Era most likely made in China or Manila for the Western market? The price reflected this fact but was also cheaper than it could have been as the stunning black fringe was damaged in places - otherwise it's in beautiful condition. Not sure what this will become, but I am sure it will have a new life eventually - hopefully as part of my next solo show with Gould Galleries in 2015...
Ratty & Moles Antiques
Madeira's Lyre 2010 - after John William Lewin c1815