This quilt was recently a part of the at the ‘Australian Quilts in Public Places’ exhibition at the Whitehorse Gallery in Melbourne. The theme was ‘Where in the World?’
This is quite an experimental piece and based on a google map of the tiny town closest to where I live.
‘“Blink and you miss it”, I tell people travelling to my place.
A tiny Australian rural town like many others, but scratch the surface and you’ll find unique people, flora and fauna.
Parts of the map where enlarged and painted directly to a silk screen. I then printed sections using the breakdown method with dye paste. I was looking for organic lines and marks depicting trees, dams, roads paddocks, etc.
Houses were appliqued and other details stitched in by machine and hand. Overlays of printed silk organza with birds and leaves were added toward the end. It was difficult to balance all the elements in this piece, but I’m fairly happy with the result.
The birds shown are the iconic Superb parrots that live in our district.
Layer one is a very pale tint of the colours. I have used an open screen with thickened Procion dyes and tried to vary the saturation by adding some weak darks/complements. I want to get rid of all the white, but retain some value contrast.
Here I have added a resist to some of the pieces using some soy wax with a tjanging.
The one in the front is done with a pastry cutter.
Overdyed with a stronger solution of the same colour palette. These are lovely, but perhaps a bit busy- I may not use them. I have still plenty of plain overdyed fabric I can experiment with.
I have decided to use hand dyed fabrics for this project. I like the way you can mix and control your own colour palette and I am comfortable with the process of screen printing with thickened Procion dyes. Dyes have a lovely translucent quality and can be manipulated in a number of ways- overlaid, discharged and broken down.
To test the dyes I have screen printed them in different tones and saturations, onto cover paper and cut out swatches. I did try to use the thickened dyes on a geli print plate, which did not work.
I have tried to stick with a limited colour palette: blue, orange, and violet. But couldn’t resist trying a little yellow and red.
Next blog I will be trying out some surface design techniques with imagery.
This is where I will be planning the overall design. Some people let the process lead them to a design, which I very much admire. I don’t seem to get very far when I use this approach.
I am using the archways tracing. I will photocopy it, then enlarge, reduce, or rotate the archways. Using A4 size paper makes the calculations for enlargement easier. The photocopier is my best friend in designing.
The final design (after a lot of mucking about). The plan is to have writing along the curves and different things in the windows.
I have my own checklist that I sometimes use and is useful to think about various options before beginning a project, have a clear plan to work towards (that can deviate along the way if required) and most important of all to remember my original intent.
The most important thing is to feel very excited about the project- art quilts take a lot of time, effort and money to make. If you are not excited in the beginning, you are not going to have the momentum to see the project to its fruition.
AQIPP opened last Thursday night (14/11/19) at the White Horse Artspace, Box hill, Melbourne. The Australian Quilters Association produce this event bi-annually with a theme, which this year was ‘metamorphosis’. There were 52 entries from across the country that were judged by Jenny Bacon and Jan Frazer. The event runs until December 21/19.
My entry ‘Run the Fire’ was the winner. Thank you to Brother for the beautiful sewing machine, in which my daughter and son in law are going to learn to sew!
‘Run the Fire’ Linden Lancaster 2019
The traditional burning system employed by central Australian people produces a mosaic of plant communities in different stages of fire recovery – a true metamorphosis of the environment as the regeneration and germination of seeds and rhizomes allows the replenishment of grasses, bushes and trees. Bush tucker for everyone!
‘Run the Fire’ spinifex detail
Many different fabrics were used, including heavy furnishing fabrics and light weight tulle. The fabric was pre-fused then chopped up with a rotary cutter. The mounds of spinifex were made separately, then added to the picture plane. The sky and smoke were hand dyed.
‘Run the fire’ figure detail
The figure was trickiest part. I wanted him to be the focal point without adding too much detail.