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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.



Dreams & demons

Dreams & demons

– An Interactive Installation

“Dreams & demons is an invitation for the community to share its dreams and demons, hopes and fears. This interactive installation is a platform where dreams can be revealed to inspire others; a platform where demons can be voiced and released.” –Jessica b Watson

Dreams & demons is my first interactive artwork in Australia and I am inviting you to participate. Each dream or demon will remain anonymous and be hand embroidered onto strips of fabric. The artwork will develop as each strip of embroidered text is ceremoniously woven into the artwork.

I have chosen the inaugural Avalon Art Carnival to instigate this project as it is the place where I grew up. After 15 years based in Gothenburg, Sweden I returned to Avalon four years ago and found the return to be challenging -stirring up a multitude of thoughts, demons and forgotten dreams. Through conversations with friends, family and strangers I have found I am not alone in the thoughts of what has been, what is to come, and what is truly important on the grand scale of life - thus Dreams & demons emerged.

15 year sojourn

15 year sojourn: a visual compilation of my travels between 1996 and 2011 and the impact of returning to my hometown in Australia has had on my Visual Arts practice.

My preoccupation with Identity emerged and developed whilst I was living in Sweden between 1996 and 2011 - initially as a foreigner and then as a naturalized Swede. Journeys to South America, North Africa, Europe and South East Asia, whilst based in Sweden, further informed my ideas, my creative process and my artistic style. Travelling gave me first-hand exposure to both traditional and contemporary artistic patterns and how they are used within different cultures as a way of both anchoring identity and encouraging self-expression. The symbolism and cultural connotations associated with these patterns, embodied in the decorative and functional objects of ceremonious occasions, have been powerful sources of inspiration for my own creative expression and I use them freely to explore my ideas.

The mixed media stitched artworks often propagate from quick, preliminary pencil sketches which can, depending on the complexity of the image I am creating, develop further, using watercolour or colour pencil studies as a process to explore a particular idea or element within the emerging artwork.

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