Day 29: found
Day 30: wip
I drove a 500km round trip today, ate deviled eggs and homemade sponge cake, joined a 5-hymn service with a group of 80-100 people to decommission a 106 yo church where I had been christened, married and where my father’s eulogy was read. There were lots of flies. One of the old people asked me what I was doing now and visibly recoiled when I said I’m a full time artist. I put my name on the list to buy one of the pews. I stopped on the way home at a flour mill that has been converted into a café. It still smells of grain.
Time passes. Almost everything gets forgotten. Make art, look at art, anyhow.
A piece of reused brown paper with a small sample of layered fabrics stretched and folded and stitched to the brown paper. The fabrics are dull shades of green, brown, pink and blue.
Image description: Two postcards blutacked to an old tea towel with the text ‘I am not a racist b’ stitched into the cloth between the postcards.
The upper postcard is a reproduction of a painting by Bella Kelly, Noongar elder and founder of the Carrolup school of painting. Her painting depicts the Stirling Ranges, which were the centre of the land in the SW of Western Australia stolen from her people by the English invaders.
The lower postcard is a photo of metal security mesh, with a red rectangle drawn onto the image to highlight a bullet hole in the mesh. The photo was taken clandestinely by one of the refugees imprisoned in the former Lombrun detention centre on Manus Island, PNG. It was taken after the Good Friday 2017 shooting when drunk navy and security officers fired more than 100 bullets into the compound where more than 1000 men were kept locked up by Australia.
A sheaf of papers lies on a wooden desk. The top sheet has personal writing about grief and memory found on Instagram and an academic reflection on a book titled ‘Vibrant Matter’. Lying on the papers is a piece of partially completed crochet, with the wooden hook attached. Also attached is the rest of the ball of yarn which is made of many shorter lengths of hand spun yarn that had been worked and presented as part of the graduation exhibition of the maker, seven and a half years ago.
Yesterday’s piece of handspun handcrocheted cloth was unraveled and remade, using up the whole ball of ‘calendar’ spinning. October 2011 recurs in April 2019.
Image description: Lying on a crumpled piece of white paper is a crumpled piece of woolly handmade cloth bound roughly with red thread.
Image description: close up of pieces of lace, torn paper and frayed pink blanket which are layered on each other to have their edges parallel and offset. A pink thread from the blanket extends and penetrates one of the small orifices in a woody seed head from a casuarina. Shadows from the frayed edge and the seed head are cast on the background paper.
Every April since 2014 12ø collective has hosted a month-long project where participants make and submit a new artwork each day of the month. This is my first year to join in.
Check out 12ø collective website to see all (!) the submitted artworks.
I have been using stitch for lines and for texture and have been thinking about how the stabbing of the needle into the cloth brings something extra – it expresses a kind of violence, perhaps a kind of necessary pain which simultaneously pierces and repairs. Stitching, as in mending, strengthens. But it also perforates and weakens. A piece which has no functional purpose except to be displayed on a wall can be very fragile, unlike a garment or serviceable cloth which must withstand handling and use. As I stitch, I damage, I restore.