Some recent games with textures, shapes and new compositions have been getting me really excited.
During my time in the northern hemisphere I've spent lots of time in and out of cathedrals, museums and art galleries. These are the places I find most of my inspiration and funnily enough its not all about the work thats displayed in them or the moments in time they encompass - It's usually the floor thats underneath my shoes or textures and finishes that make up the surfaces in the space that leaves me feeling motivated and inspired to create.
As with the digital project I took on after coming home (see previous blog post) from Paris and experiencing the Palace of Versailles these next two pieces are approached in a similar vein, and although they present as visually different pieces, they remain inspired by the endless pieces of geometry and surface pattern I see in the landmark buildings I've been visiting.
Before I went to Paris I didn't know anything about the Palace of Versailles. I know I know, living in a cave….. I'm like this sometimes. So anywayz, when my friends said 'We're going to Versailles' I was like, 'Who?' and then we got on the train and went to a palace!
The Palace of Versailles is where King Louis' the XIV, XV, and XVI lived and Marie Antionette too. It was amazing and grand and at 0 degrees celcius the puddles were iced over. I loved it. We saw the amazingly huge gardens, the smaller living quarters and then the eff off huge palace where the king made all his important decisions and shit. My favourite thing about the site was inside the buildings - the surfaces of everything! The floors, the walls, the fire places, the table tops, the vases, the skirting, the architraves. Everything was so elaborately designed. There was this huge sink thing (more like a birdbath but it was indoors so I'm assuming it wasn't a birdbath) and it was completely made from malachite! It was epic. All the floors were tiled in marble and stone and assembled in beautiful designs. There were marble sculptures in epic proportions, gorgeous compositions in varying stone on the walls, AND stairways that would probably, in good weather, get you to heaven. I'm moving in!!
I obsessed so hard over the textures that that was what I mostly got photos of. When I got back to London I uploaded my snaps to my computer and began playing around with them in photoshop, then I obsessed hard over that. These digital compositions have subsequently become the Versailles Series - A collection of twelve mash ups of textures from the Palace of Versailles combined with some heavy hints of Hollie.
It's been a while between blog posts but I'm alive. Moving to London has meant that my creative practice has been coming a long a bit more slowly than I'm used to and that I would like it to. Being in a completely new environment forces me to find a new everything! New places to buy my art supplies, new places to buy my groceries, new pubs to buy my beer, etcetera etcetera. The whole experience has been an exciting one and such a challenge. I've missed home dearly, have experienced anxiety like never before, and questioned what I really want for myself in this next chapter of my life. I've never been one to plan for the future or imagine how things are really going to turn out - I usually just make a short term plan and go with it. So many people have been asking me lately what I plan to do here in this big amazing city and I really don't know how to answer them. My usual response is that I'm just going to see what happens but I've been brought up to know that good things don't come to those who don't work for it. Over the past few years I've felt that luck has been on my side and my work has just managed to get noticed. Being in such a foreign land that has a population more than 2 times the size of Sydney means I've got to network my butt off and put my work right up in peoples faces to get it noticed. It's going to be an interesting road but I'm ready and I'm excited!
Even though I've had some time off from creating, there was something that I finished off before I left Australia
three months ago and it has now come to the surface.
Textiles is a new endeavour for me. The translation between art and fashion has long been something that I've been interested in and this year I decided to take the plunge and transfer my watercolour and acrylic works to silk for the series Grand Assembly.
The project began after having a conversation with Curium Magazine Director Jessi White who wanted to feature my creative process and work in the next issue of their magazine. We discussed projects that would be suitable to document and the creation of scarves, something I have wanted to do for some time, became a reality. The next step was to contact Think Positive Designer Prints who I knew had a great reputation and would be the best people for the job. Knowing the beautiful work of Think Positive Director Emilie Cacace for her label Andeol, I knew that having her help would be the best way for me to produce the scarves. She guided me through artwork production and preparation for print and ultimately continues to make the ongoing project a seamless one.
The work for Grand Assembly developed quite organically and altered as these images were produced. I approached the pieces the same way I would any artwork - intuitively. I then began to make connections. Visually I started to see similarities between my work and the traditional embroideries of the Otomi people in Mexico. In the 1960's the farming community of Tenango experienced a great drought, which forced them to think of other sources of revenue. Embroidery was it. This was something I found inspiring so I looked further into it and thought about how I could pay homage to this beautiful tradition. To create the final works I incorporated my existing approach to geometric development and colour application whilst referencing the pattern, colour use, and composition from the traditional Otomi designs.
The entire process from day dot is featured in Curium Magazine alongside other great pieces on Kip & Co, Young Earl Grey, palm reading, travelling bartenders Trolley'd and Sydney scarf label Skarfe, to name only a few.
HUGE thanks to Dan Hilburn and Vienna Johnston for their amazing shots of the pieces, the beautiful team at Think Positive for working their print magic and continued support, the superstars at Curium Magazine who sparked this whole project and helped me bring it all to life, and to my dearest mama bear for being an absolute legend and helping me with the behind the scenes stuff back home :) xo
If you haven't been over to The Club of Odd Volumes store recently (or ever for that matter) do yourself a solid and click on this link.
As well as there being some rad new artists thrown into the mix, including Furry Little Peach, Yoko Honda and Julia Trybala, I also have a bunch of new designs up and they're on totes, pillows, shirts, jumpers and babies clothes too. WIN.
Last month I was invited to be involved in a group show that The Tate Gallery was holding. The show, titled "Do You Have the Time?" saw a number of clocks created by a series of rad artists including Georgia Hill, Luschia Porter, Jumbo, Furry Little Peach, Chris Loutfy, Madeleine Pfull and a bunch more.
This is the time piece that I created for the show :)
Recently I've been taking some heavy visual inspiration from Mexican embroidery and more notably traditional embroidery from the Otomi people in the small town of Tenango in Hildago. You've probably seen this form of embroidery being used for bedspreads, table runners/cloths, upholstery and cushions.
The technique became prominent in the 1960s when the small farming community of Tenango went through a drought and the locals were forced to think of other ways to create revenue. Now it continues to be a defining craft of the Otomi people and many embroiderers are still working in this region.
Above the town of Tenango are cliffs with a series of caves. The walls of the caves bear drawings of birds, fish and animals, which are thought to have inspired the imagery that adorns these beautiful embroidered pieces.
The technique was also inspiration for Mara Hoffman's Spring Summer collection of 2012.
I've found some great information on this subject via OLLI - A San Francisco based craft company specialising in "handmade products that honour technique and tradition". Olli works closely alongside the Otomi people in the Tenango region to produce beautiful homewards that celebrate the craft of embroidery.
Recently I did some work that I then had printed at a large scale and will be nudging it off to its new home soon. The originals were about 170mm in diameter and the printed versions went up to approx. 450mm in diameter. It's nice to see the watercoloured circles in a larger format because I'm always creating them on a small scale for the purpose of the medium and the fact that I just can't get the watercolour to bleed the same way on a larger scale.
My printer is Cie-Elle in Sydney and I'm so happy with the work they do for me!