Friday, April 29, 2011
Ballarat Fibre Forum was the best ever this year. I guess I have a tendency to say this each time but I had the most wonderful tutor Alison Withers. It was machine embroidery as I had never done before, intense stitching using a small zigzag. Alison explained that there was less distortion with zigzag than straight stitching. She asked, for our first exercise, to put paint on our fabric and make a' kind of' grid to experiment with the technique here are the examples from the class of our first test piece. I found them really exciting. I will show our final pieces in another post. Glenys Mann who runs these forums has a great 'wholistic' approach to the experience as well as our fabulous classes she has 'artists in residence' This year there were several. I walked out into one of the quadrangles at Ballarat Grammar to see Dr. Pamela Crofts installation and I just laughed when I saw it. As an indigenous artist she wanted to work with 'found objects' her solution in the rather pristine environs of a prestige school was to repair to the local $2.00 shop. Also her gentle soul felt she had deprived the birds of their due when she had left out empty plastic plates, so the next morning she left a tiny nourishment for them on the plates. They were little bothered however by the knives and forks. Another extraordinary member of the administrative team is a truly 'renaissance' woman with an imagination which very modestly and quietly, travels at the speed of light. Her name is Deb McArdle. I suspect she never sleeps because appearing each morning were the most wonderful delights in strange places and configurations. More of the installations later.The most wonderful wire work by David Dickson miraculously arrived in a quad. This are fasioned in barbed wire and despite the harsh connotations and reality of the medium, they managed to be so delicate, especially with the sun shining through the lacework of the wire. There were more instalations and artists in residence..later. Each time I go to these forums...I have a little prayer."don't let me buy anything" That is one prayer which disappears into the ether......... for there is "Trades" A great tradition which Glenys has initiated is the 15x15 Here is an opportunity to make a small piece and it is then for sale for $15.00. You can not imagine the enthusiasm for these pieces, it is often a way to buy a piece of work from a tutor for only $15.00. The money raised goes towards a scholarship fund, which is so very worthwhile. Not only young people are recipients of this opportunity and there are full and part scholarships. A wonderful idea. So much more to tell...next time.