Artist in Residence

Sketches from Rio

The series Sketches from Rio is an unusual tribute to the hawkers of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches; textile art and the ‘Fine Art’ technique of en plein air (in the open air) sketching. I created 31 stitched artworks after being captivated by the hawkers who, with panache and perseverance walk the beaches selling their produce and wares to sunbathing Cariocas (locals) and tourists. I was particularly fascinated by the physical details of the hawkers and their interactions –or lack thereof- with beach goers. What appear at first glance to be seemingly quickly executed sketches are in fact laboriously stitched artworks. I deliberately chose to make the works look like sketches -something we generally create and peruse briefly (like we look at hawkers, uniformed workers or the homeless). I wanted the viewer to glance, then to take a deeper look at the artwork and ask themselves, is that merely a sketch or is there much more ‘work’ to this work? Just as when we meet another person –does their identity lie solely on the surface, defined by what they ‘do’ or is there more to them.

From Left to Right:
Watermelon man, 2008, 40x30cm, Silk and cotton stitching on hemp, Framed with light timber (think Scandinavian Birch), $625

Pineapple man, 2008, 40x30cm, Silk and cotton stitching on hemp, Framed with light timber (think Scandinavian Birch), $625

Fairy floss Dreams, 2008, 40x30cm, Silk and cotton stitching on hemp, Framed with light timber (think Scandinavian Birch), $625

Embroidered sketches
Embroidered sketches Embroidered sketches

See Oh Too

As global warming radically changes our planet we are facing an over production of CO2, a gas found naturally on our planet, and a vital part of the eco system as a whole. Our problem is now the over production of the gas, oceans are absorbing more co2 than they can tolerate and they are slowly acidifying.

The artwork, Sea Oh too, reflects on this problem and how we as individuals, communities, councils, states, countries, continents and planet are addressing the problem (or not).

During three days I will be cutting up atlases and books, specifically I will be cutting out fish shapes which I will then weave into a sculptural loom.

Books and fish are both symbolically charged – biblically, scientifically, West and East.

Fish represent food, nourishment and faith in Christianity. Their health is a reflection of the water in which they live. Books are knowledge and must be preserved and cherished -never leave books on the floor where someone could step on them, never put a cup or glass on a book, no books at the dinner/breakfast table, turn the pages from the corner -not close to the spine.

And never cut out a picture from a book.

So many rules on how to look after a book, yet we totally disrespect our greatest asset, nature.



Butterfly series

The Butterfly Series metamorphosed within the first few months of my yearlong Artist’s Residency in Malaysia in 2010. Before travelling to Asia I had become immersed in the world of butterflies and moths after visiting a Joseph Scheer exhibition in Sweden and had painted hundreds of translucent fabric butterflies.

This array of vibrant and muted butterflies, created in Sweden, was packed in my materials box and flew with me to Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia. There, in the tropical surrounds of my new studio, the butterflies were carefully placed onto a newly stretched canvas, their composition changing gradually as I explored the effects of layered colours, and with each new layer the colours changed and new forms were created.

Red hot butterflies deep sea butterflies

Gecko on my shoulder

Gecko on my shoulder is a compilation of my Malaysian experiences during my yearlong Artist’s Residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia in 2010. It is a sensory response to my environment. I stayed in a traditional Malay village house from Perak Rumah Uda Manap, which had been removed and relocated to the Rimbun Dahan compound to be restored. With its unique blend of Chinese decoration and Malay architecture the house held a wealth of cultural heritage and became the perfect catalyst for my art making, exploring the multicultural identity of Malaysia.

Rumah Uda Manap
56 x 142 cm
Ink, silk stitching on cotton