Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Beginnings

Hi, here we go at last!

I want this blog to be about my creative journey, which at present is focussed on tapestry weaving, plus all the drawing, photography and design adventures that go into a weaving.
I have enjoyed other artists blogs so much and it seems a great way to share what is really going on behind our work.

I didn't discover tapestry weaving till I was 58, and that's only 5 &1/2  years ago. I found it curled up with my hot water bottle in my caravan on a chilly Victorian night, pouring through a copy of Fibre Forum. I had been doing this every night for a while, as I felt there was a message there somewhere which would change my life direction. For the 10 years before that my creativity was channelled either into my inner spiritual life or outwardly in the form of physical work, which seemed like a good idea in a cold climate.

Prior to that I had worked hard at unleashing creative blocks through meditation and drawing practices. I even ran an art-healing group for 7 years, where we explored emotional issues and processed them through pastel drawing. My drawings were rarely as interesting as other people's, but they meant a lot to me as the only way anything flowed with me was through genuine inner feeling.

I also had a ceramic thread from my early 20s, beginning with thrown pots, and gradually moving into hand building, which lead me to large scale sculptural work over 20 years ago. It was an exciting time at art school in Darwin, where I was given an amazing creative freedom and I went for it in a na├»ve and technically challenging way, creating 2 life-size installations in my second year. And I even managed to top that experience off with a commission to sculpt a Coat of Arms for the new NT Supreme Court Building. I left Darwin with some earnings from that and from one of the installation sculptures that surprisingly got purchased by the NT Museum of Arts and Sciences in their annual Craft Acquisition Award.

But my life was periodically nomadic and I wearied of the bulky inconvenience of working in clay. I always thought there would be some sort of fabric art (I didn't even know the word 'textile' then) that would leap out and claim my attention, following on from some primitive applique experiences when quite young.

About ten years on from that thought and it finally happened. My eyes met with a picture of a tapestry weaving and it was love-at-first-sight. How come I had spent a few weeks in France and never seen one??? How come my knowledge of history was so lacking??? Well, it was time to begin and before long I found a teacher in my area. But that another story.