Friday, 30 December 2011

Lists of lists...

Today has been an odd day, I have a list of reasons why.
There's been pain ( I managed to pull something in my back), disappointment, sadness and tears....and that's all just been me and I am not usually a drama queen! 

I let some people down, who of course forgave me and have then been thinking about my Nanna, who passed away a year ago tomorrow. I wont forget in a hurry wishing Bryn happy birthday as he woke last year, knowing that I had such sad news to tell that same morning.

I have such fantastic memories of Nanna, who I think was a real stand out woman for her time. I was lucky enough to have some time to sit with her and record some of her stories and opinions in the year or so before she died, I might have a listen to them again tomorrow. As far as I can remember Nanna had an answer to everything, and it certainly was never good enough to say it's too hard, I can't or maybe not. She was a do-er, that's for sure and expected the same from others. Along with my parents, I would count her as one of the "forces" (my cousins will be laughing!!!) that shaped me. I miss her lots and many, many times when things crop up in the day to day, I think to myself - I wonder what Nanna would have done?

So, I love lists...every day... and am taking a leaf out of some other blogs to write a list of recent good things. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves! They are in no particular order.

  • minutae in the garden. There is good and interestng stuff everywhere. I have even started a wish list of things to plant.

  • school holidays...enough time to relax AND to do stuff, like make curry puffs and satay sticks on a whim!

  • a lovely goodbye gift from a workmate. And lemon verbena in the garden to make tea from.

  • the promise of the ocean next week...rain, hail or shine.

I have other lists of course -  lists of books to read, lists of recipes to try, lits of music to get from itunes, lists of "things" to save up for, lists of ideas for when I start my new job later in January. Also a shopping list for cake littlest man will be 9 tomorrow...time flies.
Happy New Year. X

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

endings in the gallery

A weird week, as it was my last official day at work on friday before a beautiful break with few plans, and then my new job next year. Did you know about my last show in the gallery?

It was crazy and a bit risky, but all turned out for the best and was such a high note to finish on. When I curated WALLWORKS, I invited a little group of artist to come in and work directly on the gallery walls - paint, draw etc and this is what they came up with.

The Drifters by Paul Summerfield

Here's what happened to my office - 

and here's what happened to the store room - 

Wall Works, a constructed wall complete with windows, doors, letterbox and eventually  a pile of discarded items including a TV, by Byrd and Hoon.

A 'bilateral' drawing (using both left and right hands drawing the same thing at the same time) by Tess Horwitz, which produced some lovely, interesting marks

An epic, story-like mural Loves Last Lesson, by Mariana del Castillo, Alex Asch and Gus McGrath consuming one entire wall of the gallery!

And the ghostly falling figures of Nicci Haynes, both on walls and floor!

I feel like it was such a boon to be given license to curate a show like this, and an honour to work with the artists on the project. Each time I stepped into the gallery to check up on them, it took my breath away and I will be grateful to them for contributing to WALLWORKS, which inadvertantly became my swan song at ANCA.

I will also of course, be grateful to the "painting guy", who begins his resurfacing work on January 11.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Sea Change

That predicted time of change and turmoil has hit (see previous post "Its been a while") and things are amping up towards the end of the year.

I have grabbed the bull by the horns and resigned from my job at ANCA, to take a position as Gallery Coordinator at Tuggeranong Arts Centre in the new year.

It is a completely different arts organisation to ANCA and I will miss all of "my" studio artists, but will be really pleased to focus on gallery stuff rather than arts admin for a change. The new job presents significant challenges, but also has an office overlooking the lake!! It's quite a lot closer to home, so this move is a conscious shift towards a simpler routine and a smoother daily existence for us as a family.  

And...all things going well, I will get to ride my push bike a LOT more often (around the lake in my lunch hour for example), which is one of my favourite things to do. To celebrate, I am going to get myself one of these helmets-of-awesomness by Danielle Baskin on etsy.

 Anyways, Rhys and I took a trip to the folks down the coast on the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the sea change, even just for one day! We helped them put up their tree, which is not over the top, despite the light up fibre optics at the ends of the faux pine needles! 

 We are spending Christmas (a few days) with them this year, which is a departure from the norm and after some beachcombing were struck with a moment of brilliance - a low key, natural kind of christmas tree for home - also something of a departure!

The boys were a little sceptical - they still like the annual fight with boxes of fairy lights, tinsel and stuff, but Mark was whole heartedly on board and I certainly felt like a change and the chance to hone it down to something like a breath of fresh air.

It's rather minimal, but I think we pulled it off! Natural, airy and quite low key, with lichen covered branches, shells strung on with twine, a few wooden ornaments and mini baubles. The first time I caught a glimpse of it across the room I had a lovely sense of calm - that breath of fresh air I was looking for!

I did add some fabric pom-poms, and then I got to thinking about how cool that would be another year - a completely pom-pommed tree! I saw a great window display in Melbourne years ago, and several variations on the theme on the internet.

How cool!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Hanging gardens and Thyme bombs

Hey check this out...
the results of a few weeks planning (i.e talking, chewing over ideas, web surfing and delegating shopping lists for materials) and a very productive afternoon in the sun with some lovely girls, out in our favourite outskirts location...Tharwa. 

1. The inspiration. String Gardens 

2. The ingredients - chicken wire, fresh moss, twine, various plant materials like trailing, flowering annuals (e.g petunias, geraniums), succulents (all the usual little rosette ones plus zygo-cactus), herbs (like parsley, thyme and strawberries) and we even put seeds inside some of them.

3. The method - varied - you can make a shape, line it with moss, fill it with soil, enclose it and then tuck the plant materials in

OR you can make a ball of soil around the root systems, wrap a layer of moss around it and bind with twine. G&T obligatory on both methods.

OR apply the same concept to other objects and forms - this little old chair is going to have a "blooming" seat of thyme, heartsease and geranium.

4. The results... works in progress no doubt as they fill out and lush up.

When you're finished...put your feet up (wherever you can), have a celebratory drink and survey all the green, hanging goodness!

The great thing is we all made something different with our own spin - mine were pretty full of flowering stuff, Michelle's were neat little bound balls of herbs, Leila's were imaginative diversions from the theme like a flowering pillow and bag shapes, Libby's were loose spheres of edible stuff and Ali fought with barbed wire to make another garden sculpture!

The possibilities of hanging gardens seem endless -  these take my breath away - all images from The String Garden (web and facebook details as above) 

I am definately making some more of these - watch out if you are on my christmas list...

Friday, 25 November 2011

Its been a while...

Yes, it has been a while but I have been doing "stuff", just not reporting on it! 

I got the chance to meet up with a lovely friend who I dont get to see enough of, we had lunch outdoors at a pretty swish cafe and browsed the nurseries around Pialligo - I think this would be my pick of nice al fresco places to take out-of-towners to!
It's good to have the company of someone who is a bit removed from the everyday routine of your life and gives a different perspective - we talk craft, family and big picture stuff - so obviously she deserves a little bunch of goodness!


Front and centre this week is a little show at ANCA gallery called Rituals, Relics and Icons, which I have some small works in.
I had been thinking about them for ages, and so they came together pretty seamlessly. They are small assemblages made from found objects like book covers, birds' eggs, glass and silverware and botanical materials like branches, seed pods and some living stuff like moss and succulents. Fairly self induglent as they are just a collection of my favourite things really.
There is a rather nice selection in the exhibition, with glass, sculpture, paintings, prints and tedxtiles represented. Because it was a festive, end of year show I also popped in some of those lengths of bunting made from vintage fabrics and papers. Pics below!


My horoscope today said this is a time of change and turmoil, and I have in fact been doing the usual end of year regroup - I often re-assess where I'm heading and what I could change to make for a better journey! Indeed, there may be some news in the coming weeks...
Tonight I went with a car-full of lovely, interesting friends to the Undercurrent Design Market at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.  This was the brainchild of Richard Baz, owner of the Portrait Gallery Store which would have to be one of the most interesting retail outlets in Canberra - if you only have time/funds to go to ONE shop in Canberra for a gift/gifts - I would recommend going there, for everything from great cards and stationery to specialist art and design books and homewares and jewellery.

You can also browse and order online.
It was worth the trip in this bucketing rain - plenty of interesting things and much productive shopping done with champagne glass held aloft. What a nice start to the weekend!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

colour everywhere

There've been zaps of colour everywhere lately...I'm just waiting for them to energise me into action for the silly season which looms in the back of my mind like a bit of a gloomy cloud*.

 we had champers with my beloved cousins...with a funky FINK bowl on the side...

they brought this super-special Molis Azalea from their garden for me...

 and in between gallery work and weddings I have been reading some great blogs - Pip from Meet Me at Mikes (Melbourne) has a lovely, friendly style and heaps of cute ideas for making stuff. And over at Marimekko  I found this (which combines two of my great loves - pink flowers AND hot air balloons),

and learnt how to make these, for christmas wrapping I think. 
Bryn and I also had a little crafternoon, and sewed a couple of bags out of felt, ready for christmas goodies for school teachers. There will be more of these to come, no doubt.
Have I mentioned how much I love my garden when it's all wild  - blooming, climbing and drooping with flowers?



*I don't mind Christmas, it's just the panicky weeks leading up to it where I cant seem to remove myself from the building stress of making sure everything is finshed/made/bought/posted/wrapped/cooked/hidden etc. and everyone is kept happy. They usually are.