Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

collection, collections

collection n.1. the act of collecting. 2. the clearing of letter-boxes by a paid official. 3. that which is collected; a set of objects, specimens, writings, etc., gathered together...

This box was my Great Aunts, and it was used to display precious ornaments. It now holds things that I have collected and also made. It changes a lot.
I am very interested in 'collections'. When I start a new body of work, I collect materials, and text, before I even begin drawing, and this activity informs what I end up doing.

the cloth ball on the right is by Ilka White

To collect is to launch individual desire across the intertext of environment and history. Every acquisition, whether crucial or trivial, marks an unrepeatable conjuncture of subject, found object, place and moment. In it's sequential evolution, the collection encodes an intimate narrative, tracing what Proust calls "le fil des heures, l'ordre des annees et des mondes"( the thread of the hours, the order of years and of worlds) The continuous thread through which selfhood is sewn into the unfolding fabric of a lifetime's experience.

Roger Cardinal The Cultures of Collecting

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wisdom of Worldly Women Project, part 3

Once the individual panels were finished I cut long lengths of calico, and pinned the embroideries on to this.
The women then collectively sewed the panels on to the calico.
A second thin calico strip was prepared. Onto this, the words of a song that the women often sang as they worked, was drawn in pencil, then was embroidered in a pale blue thread.

Unfortunately I don't have good photos of the finished piece. It was hard to photograph the Narrative panel as it was very long.
The work was exhibited at the Hume Global Learning Centre.
I was helped with the installation of the work by Polly Bastow, and the table used for the Narrative panel was made and installed by Tony Stuart.

“May my story be beautiful and unwind like a long thread…” she recites as she begins her story. A story that stays inexhaustible within its own limits

Trinh T. Minh-Ha

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wisdom of Worldly Women Project, part 2

Before every class I would go and buy embroidery thread and prepare it for use. One week I visited my Mum, and we sat together and wound the thread for the women, she even donated her supply of embroidery thread for the project (as did my friend Kasia, who also was a sounding board for my ideas for the project. Kasia suggested that I look at the Bayeux Tapestry, which became my inspiration for creating a narrative panel).
I couldn't just go and buy colour in bulk as every week the needs were different. Some weeks, lime green would be in great demand, the next week yellow, so before the end of the class I would write down the requests for the next week. I love this photo by Fiona, as I would arrive with the embroidery thread laid out like this and at the end of the class it would be almost empty and very messy.
It was like the panels sucked up colours.

photo by Fiona O'Grady

The embroidery below by Cemile is of the hospital in Corum where she gave birth to her first child. The man outside the building is her husband waiting for a female relative to escort him inside. The babies are pictured at the end of each bed.

photo by Fiona O'Grady

photo by Fiona O'Grady

an Australian gumtree

This project also involved Fiona O'Grady taking photos of the women and recording their experiences to produce a book which was exhibited with the embroidery work. Nazife Sahin worked with Fiona and the women on collecting their stories.

When our teacher said, “Can you draw something very important that related where you come from?” Straight away I remembered Corum clock tower which where I was belonged, I thought building next to that tower is mosque but my husband told its not. One other thing in front of every houses in Corum has cherry trees which was surrounded all the arms with cherries and it’s looked beautiful who ever from Corum they’ll know what I mean. I have personal hobbie which, no matter which house I am living, I return that house into flower garden, I love flowers, and sometimes I will spoil myself by buying a bunch of flowers, I will cut it, put into the vase and changed it water and it will last for two weeks.


It is a good feeling to be involved in this project. For example, we, the friends, came together, sit, talked; made, enjoyed everything and we learned lots of things. What do we do unless we come here? We were just staying home. It was really good for us. It gave us confidence and we observed the potentials within us. It is a kind of an encouragement for us. None of us have tried to draw the melons and watermelons that we grow up in our gardens onto a paper and then embodied them. For example, I am not a person who drew anything after the school. I was made draw the home in which I was born and grew up. And it reminded me that home and I lived these memories. It took me to my memories which are important for me. They were really important for me and for us.

It is important to learn and teach all the things that we know, because if we don’t give value to them and teach them they will disappear. In addition to that there is a memory of every needle within me. I investigate how much effort put on it. I personally give vale to the labour and there is so much effort on these things. Because it is done needle by needle and eye straining work, it must be very valuable. In the meantime we have to give more value to handicraft arts.

I am indebted to Penelope Durston for her advice and expertise during the project. I am not a textile artist and my skills are rudimentary, and Penelope helped me to technically bring the work together as well as offering her aesthetic opinion which I value highly.

more images tomorrow