Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wearable Art Mandurah

Last year I entered Common Threads Wearable Art competition for the first time and was fortunate to be selected as a finalist. Many wearable art competitions have disappeared over the last few years and there are fewer opportunities to display my work on a live model these days. Sadly the only one in Sydney now is more performance art and does not place a high value on the craftsmanship of sewing and construction, in fact you can adapt something you have purchased with no problems at all. It’s a shame my dresses have to travel so far but if they must it’s wonderful that the pieces at Common Threads have been made with a lot of skill and care.
After such a great experience last year the opportunity came up to apply for a project called Wearable Art Whispers. Common Threads, now called Wearable Art Mandurah were seeking six artists, Australia wide, to collaborate and share a unique journey. A chance to create a garment much more than the sum of its parts - it’s a chance to portray the wonder that can be created from a shared love for art and beauty. The outfit was to travel from state to state, artist to artist with each person contributing something towards the piece. After much encouragement from project co-ordinator and artist Anzara Clark I decided to apply. In the end 7 artists (Tanya da Silva, Deb Hiller, Louise Wells, Sue Sacchero, Philomena Hali, Larissa Murdock and myself) were chosen including an accessories specialist. The theme for the Wearable Art Whispers Project is ‘La Mariposa’ (Butterfly Woman) This theme is drawn from the myth explored in Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs’ Women Who Run with the Wolves. In the beginning I had many ideas of how I would contribute and at each stage as the garment progressed my ideas had to change. So much of the work had been completed by the time it got to me that I felt I must make wings for this butterfly. Described in the book as having child-like wings I sought to combine this idea with the pieces created by the artists before me. Usually I work with recycled materials but this time I had the perfect fabric at home left over from a previous competition that I never used.
I am looking forward to seeing the final piece and especially photos of it being worn during the wearable art parade. I also am looking forward to seeing how this project evolves in the future.
CommonThreads photo credit:Troy Tropiano

Friday, November 13, 2015

Being Censored

It has been some months since I had the opportunity to do a workshop with Kendal Henry - Director of Public Art in New York. We were asked to stretch our practice and come up with an idea for an artwork around 'The Game/The Carnival' and whatever that meant to us. This artwork would then be displayed during Avalon Art Carnival/The Game from the 7th till the 21st of November. I had one on one sessions with Kendal and the other curators and the artworks went through a lengthy process of approval including Council. I had applied for a spot along a large wall which seemed perfect. Unfortunately there were issues with that wall and the proposed position of my artwork ended up changing location a few times. Due to time constraints I had no choice but to start making my piece or it would not be done in time. The final location was not my choice but in the end time was running out.
I was encouraged to install my work after hours guerilla style. It was attached to a wall in between two banks. As Im sure you can appreciate I have put a lot of time and energy into creating this piece. The artwork is called 'Game Face' and explores the positive and negative in video gaming. On the wall next to my work there is a blurb explaining 'Game Face' and its purpose. At no time was my intention to offend but to make what seems like an obvious statement about video gaming (that is so addictive and so prevalent) in an artistic way. Yesterday I was informed that the manager of one of the banks had complained about my work. Apparently its not the manager who cares but the customers. It was suggested that I put a cross over the gun and the grenade to show the fact that it is anti-violence but that was rejected by the bank manager. Tonight the weapon images will be completely covered while I head off this weekend and run a workshop. The locals and many visitors have already seen the artwork and will know that it has been censored. There are many things in life I am offended by - rape, war, murder of innocent people but a painting of a gun or grenade personally wouldnt make my top 10.
I would like to thank my friends who have supported my work and shared the pictures on facebook, even congratulating me for making people think and provoking reactions.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Art in Warringah

Last year I was fortunate to have been chosen as 'Artist in Residence' at Kimbriki Resource and Recovery Centre (formerly known as the tip). This was a 6 month position offered by Warringah Council which came with a grant for training and materials, and access to all of the materials on-site. I had a studio and was also given a solo exhibition at Warringah Creative Space at the end of my time as 'Artist in Residence'.
It was an amazing period of busyness, learning and dedication. I tried to juggle family responsibilities with career as best as I could. I undertook a welding course at Tafe in the evenings and spent time at the studio during the day. I feel proud of the work I produced during that time and my solo exhibition was almost a sell out which came as a shock to me as I have never been driven by money but just to create art that is true to me. I never know what the public or judges will respond to. Not only did the residency give me a great body of work to add to my portfolio but it also gave me a lot of momentum. Some of the pieces I made during my time I held onto and entered into competitions. Firstly I entered the Hornsby Council 'Re-magined' exhibition and won the wearable art award and the 'Cleanaway' award for excellence in sculpture. I then entered the Burdekin Wearable Art competition also winning that with my dress from e-waste. Of course I also entered the Warringah Waste to Art exhibition and managed to take out the Innovation Award for the same piece. Last weekend I also took part in a sustainable sculpture exhibition at St Ives Wildflower Garden and won a Highly Commended Award for a bird sculpture created from old garden tools. This piece is called 'Prehistoric' which refers to the look of the bird but also the osbolete tools it was made from. Currently I also have two pieces in 'Sculpture in the Glen' at Glen St Theatre, one small recycled sculpture and one large welded outdoor sculpture created at Tafe from mild steel then powder coated. You can visit this exhibition which marks 30 years of Glen St Theatre anytime over the next 6 weeks. None of this would have been possible without the opportunities granted to me by Warringah Council and the hard work of their staff.
Today was something quite different. I met amazing eco artist Angela van Boxtel at Dee Why Beach pool for a public performance as part of Sydney Design festival. She wore swimming costumes crocheted from plastic bags and I wore a dress made from coffee cups. This was a light-hearted way of bringing awareness about the issues of pollution and single use products. Art has a important purpose in our society. It's supposed to make us think, entertain us, shock us, surprise us and not just simply be something pretty to hang on our walls at home. Most artists dont make much money but are driven to create never the less. I love it when my pieces make someone smile. I hope to see you at one of the many event around Warringah and dont forget to pop down to Avalon in November for The Game/The Carnival pulic art exhibtion - you are certain to think about art in a different way. Its not just paintings in a gallery.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I was very fortunate to be chosen as a finalist in Reart at the M2 Gallery in Surry Hills.  Reart is an exhibition to inspire the world to reconsider the idea of waste. It focuses on innovation in upcycling from a selection of local and international artists.
In it’s first year running Reart will open it’s doors to the public on April 22nd to coincide with Earth Day. The exhibition will also highlight the launch of Retrash, a coffee table book showcasing the upcycled work of 82 designers and artists from 20 countries around the world.

We braved shocking weather to make it to the opening.  Lucky I suppose as it is quite a small gallery and it might have been jam packed if the weather was better. My entry is a piece I made at the tip during a couple of workshops run by former 'Artist in Residence' Sandy Bliim. Its called Edison and the Piano Man. Its made from light globes, clock parts, old wood, computer wire, screws, piano parts and golf tees.

I encourage you to go and have a look. There are some very unique and interesting pieces in this exhibition like the dress made from paper and the shark made from the lids of cans among other things. Its a short walk from Central Station so its in a great spot with lots of passing traffic there is sure to be a lot of visitors.

Friday, March 13, 2015


The Rockdale Outdoor Gallery Art Prize opens tomorrow. It is situated in Cook Park along the waterfront in Kyeemagh. I have exhibited my piece previously at Sculpture in the Vineyards. Its called Shape Sorter and it is a large version of of a childs toy.
As it is an outdoor exhibit there are a number of metal sculptures as they tend to be the only thing that can withstand the weather for long periods. There are some interesting pieces including a shrine for a cat and Angela van Boxtel's crocheted plastic bags wrapped around a rock. All up you can see 24 artworks for free.
Its great to be selected for ROGAP which has been running for a number of years.
You can only truly appreciate the work involved in installing the art if you saw it. Many people digging into hard ground and spending hours in the heat just for the love of art. We bent a tent peg trying to secure my piece.

Go and check it out. It runs from the 14th to the 29th of March. Special thanks to Amanda Hurst for the long hours she has put into to organising this fantastic event.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mosaic Garden with Reverse Garbage

Today my son and I did a mosaic workshop at Reverse Garbage with Billyara Aboriginal Art. We helped create work to contribute to the mosaic yarning circle for the nearby Yenmala Nura Garden. It was a great opportunity to learn some new skills and talk to other artists. My son particularly loved to use the tile cutter and now wants me to buy one. The mosaic circle will go where the tyre is currently in the pictures.

I love the work that Reverse Garbage does. They often run workshops with adults and children using recycled materials. I have had many opportunities to visit their shop and buy various items for my recycled art and of course I always have to purchase something for my children, Today I was lucky enough to find exactly what I needed - lids from coffee cups. This will help me finish a dress I am making which you can see in my solo exhibition in June this year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sculpture in the Vineyards

Over the weekend I installed my newest sculpture at Wollombi Wines for Sulpture in the Vineyards. Its a large kids shape sorter inspired of course by my young children. After months of hard work and a hard half a day installing in the heat with some help from my husband its nice to see it in this amazing environment. This is a fantastic exhibition spread over several vineyards in Wollombi. Not only can you enjoy the art but also a nice bit of wine tasting on your way around.

 I'm really excited to be part of it this year and after seeing many of the other pieces I feel I am in good company. Its been running for several years and the standard of work is very high. I love this dog made by another local artists. There are a few of us from the Northern Beaches in the exhibition. Its always great to see what other artists have come up with especially works that I haven't seen before. When you exhibit regularly you often see the same pieces popping up. I am especially looking forward to seeing the closing when there will be a night tour with some creative lighting on the art. If you get a chance to see this not to be missed exhibition let me know what you think.