Tag Archives: Travel Challenge

It’s Erin’s fault!

Shards on machineI am blaming Erin Prais-Hintz for the mess in my laundry.  She made me do it.  She told me to take a staycation.

I signed up for Erin’s 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel (strap yourself down for the blog hop on Saturday!) and the subsequent local walks reawakened my fascination with broken china and bottles.  And bits of metal.  In recent years, our slightly nomadic life meant that I had to abandon my bower bird tendencies andGobind tins until now I have been managing quite nicely.  I should have seen a relapse coming when I collected these tobacco tins on the Upper Mustang trek. ( There are actually three but one has been filed away and could not be located for the photo).

Shards 1Broken Hill is a mining town and it would appear that after a hard day’s mining, the good folk of the Hill enjoyed nothing more than hurling their china and glass around the Outback! Or so the evidence I have collected would suggest.  Fascinatingly, one could pick up 15 shards, were one inclined, and each one would be different. The hoard on the washing machine was collected from several sites…not just one place. My suspicion is that they would not match up and represent a popular set of the time rather than remnants of one plate.

Thanks to Erin, I had been taking my camera out on our walks with our dogs and consequently was entirely459.2001##S UNPREPARED for discoveries that required collection rather than recording!  I filled two pockets of my jacket but knew I would have to return with bags.  On the second foray, my darling parents accompanied us and of the four of us, three were like pigs in junk collector’s mud.  Mum focused on metal scraps, channeling Rosalie Gascoigne, inspired by her wonderful assemblages and collages.  Dad focused on glass and turned up some really old bits and pieces in beautiful colours. I was wildly non-selective and just focused on the ground.  The non collector of us just walked on ahead with the dogs, stopping them from racing off after the roos or waking the sleepy lizards!

Surfing the net for information about some of our finds (an old Lea and Perrin Worcestershire Sauce bottle and a nearly intact BalsamExciting shards of Horehound bottle) was fascinating.  I had to go back.  Fortunately I knew my friend Annie was a partner in crime. The the extent that she had to reclaim a bag of stuff she had collected that was so heavy she had to return to pick it up in a pack!  The day dawned dusty, windy and pretty awful really but undeterred, we headed off and my hoard is what you see on the washing machine.  I was especialy excited by a few fragments, scattered far apart, of some china that was a deep maroon on one side and fabulous mint on the other.  Which side to choose!?  As a more experienced collector, Annie was selective.  I do my selecting post gathering!

Annie's basketWe talked about what we’d do with our treasures.  Annie weaves wonderful baskets (here’s mine pictured here with some of our bottles) from grasses she grows and dries herself.  She then incorporates shards of china, hand made paper, fabric and other found objects to make magical vessels that are so full of a sense of time, history and stories. They are snapped up at the Art Gallery and she was a great companion for the day!

Our foraging time is limited as it is already warming up and starting to get a bit snakey in these parts.  The sleepy lizards (shingle backs) just flare up angrily if you disturb their dreams but the snakes may be less impressed with us!  We think we can fit one more trip before we have to hang up our bags for a while!

Erin, NONE of these bits and pieces was used in my necklace! Not a bit. But thanks for getting me out there and hooked.  Something will happen with my treasures found*!

*Treasures Found is the name of Erin’s blog.  Have a look. Lovely stuff.  Great challenges.

Collected Works, Collected Family, Collected Friends

Room opening 1Some of my lovely tolerant friends and family have asked that I include some photos of the BIG EVENT on this blog so I shall!  Bear with us those who may not be so interested!  It felt like a landmark night for me and was so enriched by the physical presence of some very special people who covered vast distances and the messages of love (including a magnificent bunch of flowers!) from other special people who could not physically be there!

Cathy, Darren, Ian and the rest of the gang at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery (BHRAG) are magnificent people for many reasons.  They did a fabulous job and tookW,C and Susan's flowers as much care with presenting the exhibition as I would.  And then they added experience and knowledge.  It’s a bit like when you take your kids to school and just hope that the people there can love them and see the magic in them in spite of all their little faults.  You hope that they will know what to do to help bring out the best in them. Cathy, Darren and Ian did that with my stuff!

PlinthObviously they could have felt very overwhelmed with all those bosoms.  Shadows created by the bountifully endowed did create challenges with label placement.  The variety of colours, varying bust shapes and idiosyncratic hanging methods, meant that the laser precision levelling was time consuming.  Pragmatism meant we did used covered plinths for some more fragile or removable pieces and a strong desire by all of us to highlight the importance of my relationship with the Samunnat ladies guided placement of some pieces.  There were just so many flipping labels to place and spell check’s reaction to Nepali nearly sent Cathy spare!  So to you guys, a huge thank you for doing such a wonderful job. As always. The Art Gallery holds a special place in the hearts of locals and is very much a part of the community.  I felt incredibly lucky to be able to have an exhibition there.

Seeing the pieces up in the room on Monday was great. Seeing that room filled by so many people was overwhelming.  People wereMal address reading those carefully placed labels, talking with friends about pieces, laughing appropriately and….even spending!  I had quite possibly the world’s best opening speaker deliver his speech and am so grateful to him.  For everything.  Not just the speech.

The NSW Parliament Aboriginal Art Prize  was opened by Eddie Harris, a local Barkandji artist, from a talented artistic  family, who is one of the  finalists.  As well as Looking at 52sharing of himself, Eddie did everyone the great favour of introducing us to his amazing niece Chiara who, at the age of only 8 (I think) sang beautifully and spoke with such poise, dignity and assurance that many, myself included, were tearing up!

A few people have asked whether there is a sense of emptiness or a let down having finished this.  It’s funny because in a way there is more a sense that it is all part of the bigger process.  Tory Hughes and I have our Deep Play retreat at Lake Mungo in just a few weeks (Spaces available. We’d love to see you there!)  The Samunnat work continues unabated and I head back to Nepal in just over 6 weeks (and didn’t I get a shock calculating that since I was going to type just over 8 weeks!) Over the next few weeks we have many visitors coming out to say hi and see the show and I suspect I won’t really have time for a sense of emptiness. It feels like a landmark but one that is part of a rich journey, not my last shot at something!

So…thanks for your patience. Next post will be about my Travel Challenge piece and thank you to Erin for getting me started on a surprisingly addictive broken glass collecting habit!

What I’m doing after my VERY BIG WEEK

What a week it has been.  And not just because it included a teapot that I didn’t think I’d have time to finish.  (Aptly entitled: Tea with the Girls)

DSCN4326It began on a whopping great high with my Tsarang Mala being featured here on PCD. I was, as any PCD addict would totally understand, blown out of my tiny mind.  In a really evolved and unattached and calm way, I was beside myself. Yes, indeedy.

Then, as fate would have it, a day later, my copy of Global Perspectives Polymer Clay by the magnificent Cynthia Tinapple arrived and I was even more excited! Hard to imagine!  Obviously there is a degree of bias being a contributing author etc but, casting that aside, I know I would buy this book anyway! I loved reading about the other artists.  This is not a CV/ Galleries/ articles blurb.  Cynthia’s great skill is in drawing out the people behind the stories, capturing the warmth, the journey and then seeing the links, the shared experiences.   The inner busybody really enjoyed reading about the other artists- their motivations, practices, inspirations and lives.  How their landscape, experiences and culture impacted on their work.   I also particularly liked Cynthia’s discussion about categories of motivation.  She said that not everyone fell neatly into oneDSCN4328 category, I know I don’t, but I could certainly recognise myself in some of her descriptions.  And then, there are the projects. So many I want to try.  Perfectly timed to almost coincide with AFTER THE INSTALLATION.

Ah yes….the installation. Well, on Wednesday the last piece for the Exhibition, my triptych, was delivered to the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery and a few minutes ago I pressed SEND on the final bit of paperwork.  It’s DSCN4333over to them now.  It is a weird mix of vulnerability and excitement and for now I am enjoying the sense of relief at getting it done.

I had to really fight the urge to immediately sit down and make a (long) list of all the things I now need to do and to itemise those things I have to catch up on because they didn’t get done during the GREAT EXHIBITION PREPARATION OF 2013.  Those who know me will know just how hard it was not to make that list.  Instead, I spent several hours in lovely Winter sunlight yesterday writing letters.  With pen and on paper.  Until my hand got sore and my writing deteriorated due to loss of hand writing skills.

I shared my sunny space with our boisterous and happy new dogs and marvelled that little old me, who as a child became hysterical with fear at the sight ofDSCN4338 dog poo, let alone an actual dog, can now say that these two beings have improved the quality of my life enormously.

I savoured time with our younger daughter, formerly the primary carer of the aforementioned dogs, who is about to leave Australia for exotic lands.

And…in a more traditional after finishing a big thing task…I cleaned my desk.

But wait, there’s more. And I am loving myself sick about this really.  Following a tradition of up-cycling and domestic organisation (not mine) I made a wonderful thing.  It solves all the desk storage issues I have DSCN4341been battling for years and uses tins and an old (hopeless) dish drainer.  Which may in fact belong to the Flying Doctors but it was truly useless in its intended role and I promise I will replace it with a good one!  Anyway, here is a photo and I only wish I had a BEFORE shot now.  You can imagine though.

And I joined a Challenge! For a while now, I have thought longingly of participating in a swap (like those at Art Bead Scene) or a Challenge and Erin Prais-Hintz’ in particular have appealed.  She has has Challenges based on Music, Art, Literature ans last year in her travel Challenge, she made this piece inspired by Nepal.  Her Travel Challenge for this year appealed at so many levels.  It’s all about creating an art necklace inspired by where you are.  I am very inspired by the incredible scenery here in the Outback and find that my work increasingly reflects this.  It’s time to do it in a more deliberate way so I am very excited about taking this challenge up.  I don’t fully understand what it all entails and have yet to learn what a blog hop is but am looking forward to seeing how over 80 other artists use their home as a source of inspiration.

So, enough for now.  Lots more happening but I’ll save it up for next time.