Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Norfolk Island has an extremely active (and busy) Community Arts Society. I think that is probably a feature of small communities, and the opportunities to see each others' work and bounce ideas off each other is far easier than in a larger community. There are probably more opportunities, too, for budding artists and creators to gain some exposure, and just show what they can do!
And there is no shortage of creative people on this island. No doubt our unique culture, history and environment provide plenty of inspiration, but I am always amazed at the rich variety of themes and media used to express people's view of the island.
There were well over 100 entries in this year's exhibition, covering an enormous array of media...painting, photography, prints, decoupage, weaving, carving, metalwork, patchwork, woodwork, pottery and porcelain and many others.
One of the most fascinating exhibits was Kathryn Parles "mobile" featuring 1000 paper cranes. Many of you will be familiar with the story from Japan and the paper cranes, and their link with peace and healing. Well, Kathryn's cranes were miniature...about 2 cm wide, and strung together with beads in a wonderfully mind-blowing arrangement. My pictures do not do it justice!

Now yours truly usually manages to put a few things in the exhibition each year, but it is a long time since they have had anything other than NFS (Not for sale) next to them in the catalogue. I don't know if it is because I am too attached to them, they are too personal, or if I simply lack the courage, and am not sure if people would actually be interested in owning them. One thing I do know is that I could never put on a price that truly reflected the input of time and materials alone, let alone the creative input. But that is OK....I will continue to enjoy producing my works, giving them away to special people, and leaving the others around the house hanging on door knobs, sitting on side tables etc. (And yes, quite a few stuck away in drawers.)

My entries this year included three cushions and a wallhanging.The hanging is called "Judith's Pool", an acknowledgement to Judith Baker Montano who provided the inspiration. The dragonfly cushion resulted from a Round Robin with some NZ ladies in the Southerncrosscrazies email group. The middle cushion is a lace collage, arranged around a woven silk picture of a fairy (from a Cash's card.) It is embellished with lots of beads, embroidery and more lace. The third cushion is called "Shades of Shabby Chic", and the colours remind me of my mother, who was really right into "Shabby Chic" even though she had never heard of it.

One thing I have found really interesting is that the most positive comments and feedback on my entries has actually come from men, who seem to have been captured by the intricacy and detail and the way the elements have been combined. Maybe that is something that we females take for granted!

One thing I am determined to do this year is to develop a means of presenting my work within a frame. Alison from the Community Arts Society is encouraging me to do this. As she says, a frame immediately enhances the value and appeal of the work. I feel it would also help me to focus a little more on composition and design, which are not my strongest points.

Who year my entries may even have a price next to them?

I will finish with a picture of Elaine Nobbs' "Meandering Book" which she started in a workshop with Mixed Media Artist Carolyn Stephens. It is just so precious and special, and I could spend hours with it just enjoying the detail!


Julia said...

Your wallhanging and cushions are very beautiful Mary!
Good to see you back..

Faye said...

Love your "Judith Pool" wallhanging... JBM is so inspiring, isn't she? I enjoy reading your Blog. Thanks...

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