Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Brunswick Street Gallery 40 x 40 Exhibition

 It's Time to Watch what we do. I
Computer Waste
It's Time to Watch what we do. II
Animal Cruelty
It's Time to Watch what we do. III
Water Pollution
This is a series of art pieces I completed recently for the 40 x 40 exhibition at the Brunswick Street Gallery in Fitzroy, Melbourne. The exhibition opens tomorrow.
The pieces are hand sewn on cotton with clock and watch parts couched onto the background. Each watch has in it a picture of how mankind is abusing the world in which we live. 
Computer Waste is made up of many different stitches, symbolising the many things that occupy our minds and our lives, many quite meaningless. We store our thoughts, our opinions and our lives on computers, only to throw them into landfill when they don't serve us quickly enough.
Animal Cruelty has a very twee background of cutsey animals who are nonetheless in a cage, gilded with metallic gold thread. This is juxtaposed by the pictures in the watches of a battery farm chicken with few feathers, pigs in pens so small they cannot even turn around, a rabbit burned by experiments for cosmetics for human vanity, a bear trying to remove the muzzle on his nose that has a chain attached to it, and a rhino with half its face cut off so someone can have its horn. If you'd like to see something that will make you physically ill, type 'kitten abuse' into the search bar and see how some 'humans' get their rocks off.
The final piece is Water Pollution, a mass of watch parts sewn onto a background of chaotic stitching. The watch give one example of millions you can find on the Internet of waterways choked with human refuse. Google the rivers at Denpasar and see what Bali holiday makers contribute to, or check out the river behind the Taj Mahal.
Here are some closeups:

Monday, 10 December 2012

Itty Bitty Books at the Market

My daughter had her first market stall yesterday at the Manningham Fine Design market, Doncaster where she sold her handmade books. Her career is as a bookbinder and she has already studied overseas in Finland this year, with hopes of doing more overseas study next year. Most of the Melbourne bookbinders are not prepared to pass on the 'secrets' of their trade to a young person, so my daughter was unable to obtain an apprenticeship here at home. Crazy, isn't it? The craft will die without passionate young people who want to learn. Anyway, she did very well at the market, exceeding her expectations quite a bit and thereby encouraged to continue. Her little itty bitty books are made with paper offcuts that the manufacturer would otherwise discard, and many of the covers are made using materials that bookbinders consider offcuts and would also throw away. Some covers are made with scrapbooking leftovers - so all in all, environmentally friendly little books made from waste and turned into beautiful art pieces. Her father and I are very proud of her.