Glorious Descent

Glorious Descent
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 40cm

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The World's A Stage

Each month Maggie Hensel-Brown, of The Workroom gallery and shop Newcastle, curates a themed group exhibition. This month she invited me to respond to the theme (all the world's a) STAGE and contribute a piece of work.  I had Conveniently been working with recycled materials and paint, building what I viewed a sort of miniature stage set, in my studio. Scavenging materials from the recycling bin and assembling modest combine sculptures I had been struggling to understand what I was doing other than having a lot of fun. Given the context of this exhibition by Maggie has allowed me to consider the theatrical possibilities of my current work and further my practice as creator of imaginary worlds. As lover of all things circus and mysteriously macabre, of ritual and fancy dress I hope to assume the role of illusionist in my next work and tell the stories that ale place within the plastic and cardboard structures of The World's a Stage. 

You can find out more about Maggie and The Workroom at:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Parlour Fashion for Meroogal House

The Meroogal Women’s Art Prize has been held each year from 1998 and invites artists to submit site specific work that responds to the historic Meroogal House and garden. Located in Nowra on NSW’s south coast, Meroogal is a rare and precious gem. Barely changed since it was built in the 1880s, the distinctive ‘Carpenter Gothic’ house has been loved and maintained by four generations of Thorburn and MacGregor women through the pleasures and labours of daily life. The house still overflows with their belongings – favourite books and ornaments, furniture, photographs, diaries and journals, newspaper clippings, receipts and recipes, appliances and clothes – and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. Each year Selected artworks are sited throughout Meroogal, throwing new light on stories, the people that lived there, and the rich collection of objects that are contained within the house.
Meroogal House

Embroidered cushions in the sitting room.

Orange Shag Pile Rug in the lounge room.

The Parlour at Meroogal House

For this year's prize  I have created Parlour Fashion: A pair of collars that are a contemporary interpretation of the Edwardian collars located in the Meroogal House collection. The design is based on the traditional shape of the white embroidered collar, however is embellished with a variety of materials so as to chart the evolution of Meroogal’s history since the Edwardian era. The selected colours, textures and patterns of the Parlour Fashion collars are appropriated from Meroogals’ interior, including its green walls, pink and orange carpets and decorative floral emblems. Traditional embroidery techniques, beading and crocheting have been applied to their construction, paying homage to the lineage of women who have lived at Meroogal. As the name suggests, Parlour Fashion is designed to be worn in the parlour of Meroogal house on special occasions. 

Domestic Tribal Winter collar.
Recycled fabrics, beads, sequins, bones, feathers.

Domestic Tribal Winter collar (detail)

Australian Garden collar with Feather Epaulettes.
Recycled fabrics, beads, sequins, bones, feathers.

Australian Garden collar with Feather Epaulettes (detail)

Australian Garden collar with Feather Epaulettes (reverse)