Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Great Breeze of Language

A couple of weeks ago I visited Te Papa and discovered that John Reynolds' work Cloud has been installed up in the top gallery. I'd read lots about the work but nothing compared with standing beneath the piece, looking at it swirling around the walls.

Just breath-taking. It did for me that day everything that great art should - took me out of my head and the worries that I had that day and into a totally different place where I was spell bound by the ideas and visual images in it.

The work is a series of small canvases which Reynolds has written words on from Harry Orsman's New Zealand Dictionary - all words that are a special part of our version of the English language - and then he has formed them into a enormous cloud of words. Our very own land of the long white cloud - a great breeze of our language.

See it
here on a blog announcement from Te Papa. It even has a short clip from You Tube of John Reynolds talking about the installation of the work.

Be warned though - this is only a pale introduction to the real thing - it really has to be seen! If you are in Wellington made sure you make a bee line there before it leaves at the end of August.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy endings and exciting beginnings

Now that I'm firmly focused on the To Do list I'm surprising myself with how productive I can be. Its strange, but I tend to not get to the last few things that will complete something - I guess its a form of procrastination, or maybe just a sign that I get another idea and find it hard to resist the temptation to move onto the next thing.

First up was the quilt I started at the Mini-symposium in Picton last Easter (I say this as a reminder to myself on the perils of procrastination). All that remained to be done was the binding on the top edge of the quilt, a label and hanging sleeve - not exactly a lot. I'd had it in my mind that I would finish the top edge with binding made of the blue linen - but when I finally tried it, it just didn't work. In fact a more honest quilter would say it looked awful! So after some pondering I finished it without a binding at all - it is turned to the back on the to edge and I really like the look of it. It's now hanging happily on the wall inside out back door and has been admired already - why did I wait so long to finish it? Who knows!

Next up was "Friday Morning Coffee". This has been waiting for me to find just the right pieces of tatting to finish the top off. I took it to our Quilting Guild several months ago and told people I was looking for some tatted pieces and have since been very kindly given a number of beautiful pieces, some of which are now on the top of this quilt. The beautiful piece above was given to me by a dear friend who was given it by a customer at the quilting shop she works at. The customer asked Marilyn if she knew someone who would appreciate it - and lucky, lucky me it rapidly found it's way to my house.

The only piece I have put on it that isn't tatting is the piece above which my mother gave to me and told me was called hairpin lace as it was made on (you guessed it) hairpins.I'm now in the process of putting the finishing touches on this quilt and then only have the label to - more photos and the full story to follow in due course.

Of course temptation (and ideas) got the better of me and I also started something new - it grew out of an idea I had having pondered the odd combination of those photos of the heat mats from my daughter's science class and the amazing work of Rex Ray. It has a tentative title of "Pigeon Holes" to remind of a previous life of mine as a recruitment consultant. I'm thinking its going to be part of a triptych, as I still have other ideas I want to play with.

Here's a detail of it.... it was so much fun
and so satisfying to not only finish things, but to start something new as well. Here's to many more happy endings and exciting beginnings!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting to the 'To Do' List

I've given myself a good talking to over the last week and got cracking again behind the sewing machine - and not before time! First off the list was the collaborative quilt that I had started with my daughter. I'm pleased to say that it is now finished
and only waiting for the label to be written on by my daughter so it can be sewn onto the quilt.

Naturally the birthday girl it has been made for hasn't seen it, but both her parents have and they are certain it's going to be a complete hit. Funnily enough my daughter came home from school this week and told me that she and her friend had been talking about the impending birthday and what sort of present she would like. The birthday girl had told her that all she knew was that she didn't want any store vouchers from people, as no thought at all had to be put into these, and she would far rather have a gift from the heart, even if it only cost $1. From this we concluded that our gift would qualify.

I'm rather looking forward to seeing her face when she opens it up.

On a completely different note, I've just been listening to an item on National Radio about choreographer Ann Dewey who is developing a new dance work on why people knit. All the costumes and even the set have been knitted by 25 people spread across the world and Ann has also taught all the dancers to knit as part of the process. Unfortunately it looks like the it is only be performed in Auckland, at the moment. It sounds like a marvel and just the thing to lift us from the gloom of a cold winter. Perhaps a trip to Auckland is in order....