LAYERED VOICES

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SAQA have an exhibition coming up in 2017 titled ‘Layered Voices’. The following is my contribution. Unfortunately it was was not chosen, but I learnt a lot from making it and that is the name of the game. I feel sorry for the judges who had to choose 30 out of 500+.

The piece is called ‘ If these walls could speak‘. The people in this piece are all from my family, four generations, beginning from Albert Smith who was a soldier in the First World War(I am the baby). Fragments of people and times are revealed as each layer of wallpaper is peeled back.

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‘If these Walls could speak’ detail 1, Linden Lancaster 2016

 

The walls of a home stand in silence as life is lived within:

“It’s alright Bert, it’s just the same dream, you’re safe, you’re home”

            I heard it night after night.

“Can’t you shut that baby up, I can’t stand it, I’ve got to get out of here”

I never heard that voice again.

Whispered voices and late night sobbing.

The baby grew up tall. The radio played constantly while he worked.

“I’ll take you home Kathleen”

He married the red haired girl from across the road. She was a talker!

“For they are jolly good fellows”

Soon there were many children racing through the house with their dirty fingers.

“Let’s put up the Christmas lights”

The girls daubed with shades of lipstick whilst arguing over what belonged to whom.

 “Is that my petticoat you have on?”

A cheeky young man with motorcycle leathers takes one of the girls away.

 “One for the money, two for the show”

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‘If these walls could speak’ detail 2, Linden Lancaster 2016

The background was made with a gelatin plate and stencil. The collage elements are photos printed onto cotton, silk and organza and some lace. The quilting is a continuous flow of ‘writing’, which could be conversations, personal letters or literature. It was difficult to combine all the pictorial elements and fabrics in a visually pleasing way.

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‘If these Wall could Speak’ Linden Lancaster 2016

 

IMPROVISATION AROUND A SPECIAL FABRIC

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Earlier in the year I was feeling a bit frustrated with my projects. I often have a lot of ideas and don’t know where to start. Or I start on something with passion and lose interest. 

One useful thing I have found when in this mood is to tidy up the studio. I often find that as I am sorting through stacks of fabric, I can re-organize and prioritize.

Another thing is to just cut and sew together fabrics without a plan in mind. I found this piece of hand painted fabric that I had used for a class sample and decided base a piece of work from it. 

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After choosing some colours that would go together, I  sewed units together. I pinned them up on my trusty design wall and rearranged the pieces whenever I felt like it. There was no plan, no dead line, no perfect seams required! I added some crosses and a small amount of commercial aboriginal designed  fabric to add some pop.

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I  used chunky pearl cotton threads to stitch the layers together with a Kantha type stitch and a big needle.

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THE FINISHED PIECE: EASTER QUILT by Linden Lancaster 2016

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ROSES FOR CAROLYN

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A dear friend of mine who loves roses has been talking about a commission for some time. I finally took up her offer and designed this quilt for her beautifully restored home. As the only requirement was ‘roses’, I was very spoilt – I have a large country garden full of them and often pick lovely bunches to put inside.

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It is a fairly large quilt, measuring 1.07 x 170 cm, and made entirely of my own surfaced designed fabric (apart from a few tiny bits). The roses were made by scraping and squirting thickened Procion dyes on plain white cotton fabric. The smaller roses were made with fabric paint using the ‘wet scrunch’ method. The background was screened printed using the thickened dyes using plastic resists- a commercial scrap booking stencil and some orange road safety fencing. The table cloth was made with a squirty bottle and black paint.

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The fabrics were free cut with scissors and fused, collage-style to the background (with a lot of auditioning a long the way). I did not use a pattern, but worked intuitively, like a painter, building up shapes and tones. The piece was then directly quilted using many different types of threads. My aim was to keep everything loose with raw edges and a sketchy type quilting line.

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Carolyn loves her quilt.

This quilt was on display at the Victorian Quilters Showcase exhibition in July of this year.

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Eight objects with eight techniques

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This is a fun exercise in Lesson four of Jane LaFazio’s mixed media course. It is Autumn here in Australia and I have chosen eight favourite plants from my garden. The Medlar was drawn with a permanent ink pen and then filled in with water colour. The Cosmos was painted straight in with watercolour. The Guara is outlined in permanent ink pen and the background filled in with watercolour after doing a light sketch with HB pencil. The Sage was drawn with water soluble pencil, in this case Dewent Graphitint. The Rose hips were outlined with a Tombow pen, then water added to make the shading. The Japanese windflowers were drawn and painted on a book page, then glued to the journal page. I tore off some little pieces of text and added them to give the background some movement. The large pomegranite is a contour drawing with permant ink. I then reduced the size (with a scanner) and traced a few more onto artists tissue paper adhering them next to the original. I added a few spots of Cad red watercolour to make the seeds pop.

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Journal page: Autumn, my favourite season

Drawing with Jane LaFazio

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I am currently doing a six week drawing and mixed media course with Jane. Jane is a mixed media artist from the US. I have admired her work and enthusiasm for many years. I particularly like the way she abstracts elements from her daily sketches and uses them in her stitch work. This is the first weeks assignment: ‘Draw something from nature’. There are so many things to draw when you really look around. I decided upon the humble bottle brush as it has different stages of development on the one bush. A bug crawled out, so I drew him too!

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‘Fragments from the Found’

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Create three small (5 1/2′ x 7 1/2′) pieces of fabric art from materials you can find around your home. Learn how to alter fabrics and papers and use them interesting compositions. Finish off with machine and hand sewing. Some of the items I have used are leaves, feathers, lace, old linen, sheet music, wrapping paper, buttons, beads, tea bags, black and white photocopies…the list could be endless depending on what you can find and your imagination.

Local class: Sat, Feb 5th, 10:am – 4:pm

Numurkah Library (Victoria, Victoria, Australia)

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