Saturday, March 26, 2016

Patchwork[1-2]
Art Essay

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Introduction[1]
Patchwork is an age old household craft that has survived over centuries. Needlewomen would exchange or collect small bits of colorful cloth, plain and patterned using them to form a final piece of patchwork. This was certainly what occurred in America from the 18th Century onwards, when “friendship” quilts were put together by communities to honor special occasions. The “freedom” quilts were made as mementos for young men on their 21st birthdays and traditionally a marriage quilt was made for a bride by her girl friends as a wedding gift. Indeed it was considered a bad omen if a bride made her own wedding quilt, although prior to her engagement she would probably have worked on the traditional 13 quilts for her bottom drawer.

18th Century patchwork quilt.

Basically all patchwork items consist of numerous pieces of material joined together with stitching to form a decorative mosaic effect or alternatively various pieces of cloth applied to some sort of backing material in such a way to form a picture or design.

Modern patchwork quilt pattern.

The ancient craft undoubtedly arose from the practical need as a means of repair. However, in the 1960s patchwork appeared on all wearables and it became a fashion statement of sorts on such items such as jeans etc.

Late 1960s summer “loving” jeans with an amazing array of patchwork and embroidery. These jeans tell such a great story through the multi-patterned fabric squares, needlework flowers, scraps of velvet, France rooster crest, a leather pinwheel on the right knee and a Carole King concert patch on the bum.

Excavations of Egyptian and other Eastern countries sites revealed a few ancient examples of primitive patchwork items. In Boulak Museum in Cairo, for instance, there was a patchwork canopy of gazelle hide dating from ca. 908 BC, which was probably used for grand ceremonies. Medieval European paintings and manuscripts also provide banners, hangings and costumes that exhibit patchwork.

Section of funeral tent of an Egyptian Queen made in a patchwork of colored goatskins.

After the 16th Century, cottons from India became available and gradually with a wider range of fabrics and greater prosperity, patchwork played an important role in the social life of female society. Generally the finished work was used for coverlets or quilts but it was also used at times for other furnishings.

Detail from 1718 silk coverlet.

Photograph by Tony Jewers of bed hangings displayed in Stangers' Hall in 2004.

There is, for example, a magnificent four-poster bed with patchwork coverlet, valances and curtains at Stranger’s Hall, Norwich, England.

The craft was first introduced in America by Dutch and English settlers and soon spread across the USA from the Eastern states. By the 19th Century a virtual craze had developed for patchwork both in the USA and UK. Many patchwork items were made as heirlooms. Jane Austen is known to have worked on a large patchwork piece with her mother and sister in 1811 and the resulting coverlet is today at the Austin family home in Hampshire, England.

Jane Austen’s, mother’s and sister’s coverlet.

The great prison reformer, Elizabeth Fry, is said to have taught the craft to female prisoners in London’s Newgate Prison; even those deported to Australia were presented with sufficient fabrics to patchwork during the journey to the great Southern Land so that the resulting work could be sold for charity on their arrival.



The Rajah Quilt (1841).

Between 1818 and 1841 Elizabeth Fry visited 106 ships transporting prisoners to Australia to ensure the well-being of the passengers on board. She provided every woman prisoner with a bag containing all that was required to make a patchwork quilt to combat the hours of boredom they faced on their lengthy journey and items they could sell or use as proof of their skills. Only one of these transportation quilts has survived. ‘The Rajah Quilt’ named after the ship on which it was sewn is in the National Gallery of Australia.

The art of patchwork was also taught to children in Victorian times, since it exercised their stitching technique.


Patchwork Today[2]
There are many excellent books giving examples of patchwork in a more modern context. Jenny Bullen's [2] - Patchwork: From beginner to expert - is among the more notable. Examples of some of the patchwork she discusses are listed below.

Sue de Barro. The design for this block was taken from a collage of torn papers, a section of which was chosen as a repeat pattern. Hand-quilted.

Jenny Bullen. Plain and print silk fabrics show the use of primary and secondary colors in a design for a small cushion and striped patchwork. Hand quilted with silk thread.

Rosie Moore. Cushion in dyed velvets, overprinted in gold. The centre has been further embellished using stitchery.

Valerie McCallum. A small quilt in various fabrics, including synthetics based on a windmill block. After it was made up the whole top was placed in a pink dye bath. Hand quilted.

Jenny Bullen. Folded star patches laid in overlapping rows. Silk and lurex fabrics. Decorated with hand embroidery, using metallic machine embroidery threads and small tassels in fine silk threads.

Sue de Barro. Small sample of cathedral window patchwork. Plain and printed cottons decorated with beads.

Ann Oblenschlager using Sue's sampler. A bed quilt, machine pieced and hand and machine quilted, using cotton fabrics and polyester cotton wadding. The quilt has piped edging. The design evolved from Katie Pasquini's book - The Contemporary Sampler.

Jenny Bullen. Silk fabrics were used in this crazy patchwork sample, with hand embroidery, beads and tiny sequins.

Jenny Bullen. Log cabin quilt in assorted cotton fabrics with plain red enters, arranged in the traditional sunshine and shadow design. Machine pieced and hand quilted.

Sue de Barro. Irregular log cabin block. Random fabric around a centre square of machine embroidered fabric.


References:
[1] Editors A. Jeffs and W. Martensson and P. North, Creative Crafts Encdyclopedia, London (1984).
[2] J. Bullen, Patchwork, B.T. Batsford Ltd, London (1992).

Saturday, March 19, 2016

My New Scarves and Fabric Lengths
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
On this blog spot there are posts that center on my “Wearable Art” (e.g. scarves, digital or analogue created fabric lengths etc.) For your convenience I have listed these posts below.

A Selection of My Scarves
Leaves Transformed: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
My New Silk Rayon Velvet Scarves@Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery
My Fabric Lengths@QSDS
My Fabric Collection:"Oh, Oh Marilyn and Mona!"@Spoonflower
2013 Australian Craft Awards – Finalist
My Scarves@2014 Scarf Festival: "Urban Artscape" Pashminas
New Range of Silk Neckties - Karma and Akash
AIVA: My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
New Colorways For My 'Cultural Graffiti' Fabrics
Byzantine Glow: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Wall Flower: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Ink Fern: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics


My New Scarves and Fabric Lengths
In October 2015 I was in Melbourne and visited Opendrawer in Camberwell. Robyn Steel-Stickland kindly invited me to create some new pieces for display/sale at Opendrawer. All of the pieces were themed on urban marks and mark marking wall imagery that I have reinterpreted and deconstructed. Various techniques were employed to create the items.

In early 2016, the new scarves and fabric lengths were displayed in the front window exhibition space. The pieces consisted of five silk scarves, four silk rayon velvet scarves, one rayon fabric length and two silk fabric lengths. Below are images of the works in-situ at Opendrawer as well as full and detail images of each piece. I hope you enjoy my wearable art.

Top: View of the five silk ArtCloth scarves. Below, from left to right: View of partial ArtCloth rayon fabric length ‘Cultural Graf’, three of the four silk rayon velvet ArtCloth scarves and ArtCloth silk fabric length ‘Marks 2’ at Opendrawer. Front: ArtCloth silk fabric length ‘Marks 1’ displayed on a mannequin at Opendrawer.
Photograph Courtesy of Tessa Stickland, Opendrawer.

Top: View of the five silk ArtCloth scarves. Below, from left to right: View of ArtCloth rayon fabric length ‘Cultural Graf’, three of the four silk rayon velvet ArtCloth scarves and ArtCloth silk fabric length ‘Marks 2’ at Opendrawer.
Photograph Courtesy of Tessa Stickland, Opendrawer.

Close up view of the five silk ArtCloth scarves hanging at Opendrawer.
Photograph Courtesy of Tessa Stickland, Opendrawer.

Title: Cultural Graf (section view).
Technique: Dyed, over dyed, discharged, silk screened and foiled on rayon employing dyes, pigment, metallic paint and foil.
Size: 185 cm (wide) x 121 cm (high).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Cultural Graf (detail view).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Title: Marks 1 (section view).
Technique: Dyed, multiple over dyes, shibori over dye, discharged, over discharged, foiled and silk screened on silk habotai.
Size: 114 cm (wide) x 193 cm (high). ,
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Marks 1 (detail view).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Title: Marks 2 (section view).
Technique: Dyed, multiple over dyes, discharged, over discharged, foiled, hand drawing and silk screened on silk habotai.
Size: 114 cm (wide) x 200 cm (high).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Marks 2 (detail view).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk Rayon Velvet ArtCloth Scarf 1 (full view)
Technique: Dyed, discharged, silk screened and foiled employing dyes and foil on silk rayon velvet.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk Rayon Velvet ArtCloth Scarf 1 (detailed view)
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk Rayon Velvet ArtCloth Scarf 2 (full view)
Technique: Dyed, discharged, silk screened and foiled employing dyes and foil on silk rayon velvet.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk Rayon Velvet ArtCloth Scarf 2 (detailed view)
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk Rayon Velvet ArtCloth Scarf 3 (full view)
Technique: Dyed, discharged, silk screened and foiled employing dyes and foil on silk rayon velvet.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk Rayon Velvet ArtCloth Scarf 3 (detailed view)
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk Rayon Velvet ArtCloth Scarf 4 (full view)
Technique: Dyed, discharged, silk screened and foiled employing dyes and foil on silk rayon velvet.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk Rayon Velvet ArtCloth Scarf 4 (detailed view)
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 1 (full view).
Technique: Dyed, multiple over dyes, shibori over dye, discharged, over discharged, and silk screened on silk habotai.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 1 (detailed view).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 2 (full view).
Technique: Dyed, over dyed, discharged and silk screened employing dyes, discharge media, glazes and pigment on silk.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 2 (detailed view).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 3 (full view).
Technique: Dyed, over dyed, discharged and silk screened employing dyes, discharge media, glazes and pigment on silk.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 3 (detailed view).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 4 (full view).
Technique: Dyed, discharged, over dyed, over discharged, silkscreened and hand painted on silk.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 4 (detailed view).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 5 (full view).
Technique: Dyed, discharged, over dyed, over discharged, silk screened and hand painted on silk.
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Silk ArtCloth Scarf 5 (detailed view).
Photograph Courtesy of Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Artworks From Remote Aboriginal Communities
ArtCloth

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Introduction
“The Ghan” - Australia’s legendary train - celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2009 with respect to its original 1,500 kms service from Adelaide to Alice Springs, trekking through the heartland of the Australian Outback and remote aboriginal communities.

Untitled cotton screen-prints on hand-painted backgrounds at Indulkana South Australia.

Named after the turbaned and robed “cameleers” who, before roads or rail, provided the only supply route to the middle of Australia, “The Ghan”, first operated in 1929 and linked Adelaide to Alice Springs. It took another 75 years (in 2004) before the track opened between Alice and Darwin.

Iconic photograph of "The Ghan" on the move.

Today “The Ghan” is a passenger train, which operates luxury services between Adelaide, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Darwin. The classic rail journey takes 48 hours and covers 2,979 kms, taking passengers on a sight seeing adventure through the heart of the country, crossing deserts and the rusty reds of the McDonnell ranges northwards to Katherine and finishing its journey in tropical Darwin.

The route of "The Ghan" through the centre of Australia.

Adelaide to Darwin is a 3-day, 2-night journey. “The Ghan” offers a choice of three levels of accommodation, namely, Red, Gold and Platinum. The route begins in Adelaide Parklands Terminal, heads north to Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Pimba, Kingoonya, Coober Pedy, Marla, Chandler, Kulgera, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and then ends in Darwin - ready for the return trip.

The Ghan's Red Gum Lounge provides panoramic views of Central Australia.

Interestingly it traverses small aboriginal communities of the central desert region of Australia. We have already highlighted the ArtCloth batik output from a number of these communities. Today we shall highlight Aboriginal ArtCloth from smaller remote art communities on tor near the trek from Adelaide to Darwin.

Some remote Aboriginal communities along or near the route of "The Ghan".


Artworks from Remote Aboriginal Communities
There are a number of remote aboriginal communities strung along or near the trek of “The Ghan”. Here are the background and artworks of some of these remote communities that often are submerged by the success of larger remote communities.

Minymaku Arts (Amata)
Amata sits in the Musgrave Ranges in the far North of South Australia on Angangu Pitjantjatjara Lands, approximately 150 km South of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and approximately 500 km South-West of Alice Springs.

The women of Minymaku Arts.
Photograph courtesy of S. Bryce.

Minymaku Arts operates from the Amata Arts Centre and the Tjurma Homelands craft room. “Minymaku” means “belonging to women”. Batik became popular among the Pitjantjatjara women during the 1970s due to its introduction by Vivienne McKintock. Today, their intricate batik pieces combine many layers of bold warm colors as well as abstract representations of their landscapes.

Mona Mitakiki, Lampshade.
Minymaku Arts.
Cotton batik.
Lampshade 75 cm high.

Mona Mitakiki, Untiled.
Minymaku Arts.
Cotton batik.
90 cm wide.

Keringke Arts (Ltyentye Apurte)
Ltyentye Apurte or Santa Teresa lays 80 km East of Alice Springs and therefore is on “The Ghan” trek. It is home to approximately 500 Eastern Arrernte people. The community sits at the foot of a range of tabletop hills overlooking a sweeping plain.

Mary Oliver at work at Keringke Arts.

The art center at Santa Teresa, Keringka Arts, was established in 1987. The majority of Keringke artworks are not accompanied by specific traditional stories, yet artists do draw on a strong traditional narrative for inspiration and to structure their work around age-old motifs.

Agnes Abbott, Atyelpe.
Keringke Arts.
Handpainted Silk.
500 cm x 100 cm.
Collection: Araluen Arts Centre.

June Smith, Untitled.
Keringke Arts.
Handpainted silk.
Photograph courtesy of M-L. Nugent.

Marie Young, Untitled.
Keringke Arts.
Handpainted Silk.

Julalikari Arts and Crafts (Tennant Creek)
Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation (JCAC) is an Aboriginal community service organization governed by Julalikari Council, an elected body representing the whole Aboriginal community of Tennant Creek. Julalikari's constitution directs the operations of the organization at a general strategy to alleviate poverty and improve the wellbeing of the Aboriginal community of Tennant Creek and the surrounding area of Barkly.

Alison Alder working with artist Leanne Chungaloo as Jessica Jones looks on at Julalikari Arts and Crafts in Tennant Creek.
Photograph courtesy of Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation.

Tennant Creek is 500 km north of Alice Springs. The Council was formed in 1994 in a tin shed. In 1995 it moved to a disused house in Mulga camp (one of ten urban Aboriginal living areas in town). The house became known as the “Pink Palace”. It is now a meeting place and workplace for women from the area. The artwork produced in the Pink Palace varies from paintings, prints on cloth, ceramics and sewn garments. Below is a small sample of their output.

Peggy Napangardi Jones, Untitled.
Julalikari Arts and Crafts.
Handpainted silk.
90 cm x 90 cm.

Peggy Napangardi Jones, Untitled.
Julalikari Arts and Crafts.
Screen printed on cotton twill.
120 cm wide.

Peggy Napangardi Jones.
Julalikari Arts and Crafts.
Handpainted silk scarf.
90 cm x 90 cm.

Peggy Napangardi Jones.
Julalikari Arts and Crafts.
Screen-printed placement print on cotton twill.
50 cm length.

Dunnilli Arts, Nungalinya College (Darwin)
Dunnilli Arts is a textile training and resource center in Darwin. It draws its clients from the Top End (Northern Australia) and in particular artists from Darwin, Western and Eastern Arnhem land, Central Australia and the Kimberley region.

Kelli Bruce of Dunnilli Arts at Nungalinya College in Darwin prepares marbled ink for printing on cotton.
Finished art is shown on the next photograph.

Dunnilli Arts was established in the mid-1980s at Darwin’s Nungalinya College to address the needs to educate indigenous populations not only in techniques to enable them to pursue their craft, but also to impart knowledge in such diverse areas as copyright, taxation, licensing and other issues related with running a small business. Hence the center operates at two levels: as an art practice workshop and as a training center. Below is a taster of their output.

Kelli Bruce, Untitled.
Dunnilli Arts.
Marbled cotton.
150 cm x 120 cm.

Circular untitled tablecloths.
Dunnilli Arts.
Top (Left to Right): Judith Fejo (185 cm) diameter; Lola Tyson (160 cm diameter); Hermy Munnich (137 cm diameter).
Bottom: Desert Parakeelya.

Lanita Numina of Dunnilli Arts in Darwin at work screen-printing a cotton tablecloth.

Hermy Munnich, Untitled.
Dunnilli Arts.
Marbled silk produced by taking a "print" from fabric paints floated on a corraghen gum bath.
300 cm x 112 cm.

Injalak Arts and Crafts Association (Gunbalanya)
Gunbalanya is a small Aboriginal township close to the East Alligator River in Western Arnhem Land approximately 300 km East of Darwin, the latter is the destination of “The Ghan”. It has an aboriginal population of approximately 1000 people who are predominately Kunwinjku speakers, with English as a second language.

Gabriel Maralngurra and Ray Young, Barramundi.
Injalak Arts and Crafts Associations.
Screen-printed cotton twill.
8 meters in length.

A screen-printing course in 1982 led eventually to the funding of the Injalak Arts and Crafts Association. The members of the association produce a diverse range of arts and crafts including screen-printing fabric lengths, tablecloths, tea towels, T-shirts and cushions. The imagery is based on the abundant rock art that can be found in the area.

Lofty Bardayal, Mini Figures.
Injalak Arts and Crafts Association.
Screen-printed cotton twill.
8 meters in length.

Lofty Bardayal, Ngarrbek (Echidna).
Injalak Arts and Crafts Association.
Screen-printed cotton twill.
8 meters in length.


Reference
[1] Putting in the Color, Jukurrpa Books, Compiled by M-L Nugent, Alice Springs (2001).