Monday, May 25, 2015

be kind be kind be kind be kind

from this daily dose of perspective 

Michael Blumenthal: "Be Kind"

Posted by Phyllis Cole-Dai on May 11, 2015 12:00 am

Not merely because Henry James said
there were but four rules of life—
be kind be kind be kind be kind—but
because it’s good for the soul, and,
what’s more, for others; it may be
that kindness is our best audition
for a worthier world, and, despite
the vagueness and uncertainty of
its recompense, a bird may yet wander
into a bush before our very houses,
gratitude may not manifest itself in deeds
entirely equal to our own, still there’s
weather arriving from every direction,
the feasts of famine and feasts of plenty
may yet prove to be one, so why not
allow the little sacrificial squinches and
squiggles to prevail? Why not inundate
the particular world with minute particulars?
Dust’s certainly all our fate, so why not
make it the happiest possible dust,
a detritus of blessedness? Surely
the hedgehog, furling and unfurling
into its spiked little ball, knows something
that, with gentle touch and unthreatening
tone, can inure to our benefit, surely the wicked
witches of our childhood have died and,
from where they are buried, a great kindness
has eclipsed their misdeeds. Yes, of course,
in the end so much comes down to privilege
and its various penumbras, but too much
of our unruly animus has already been
wasted on reprisals, too much of the
unblessed air is filled with smoke from
undignified fires. Oh friends, take
whatever kindness you can find
and be profligate in its expenditure:
It will not drain your limited resources,
I assure you, it will not leave you vulnerable
and unfurled, with only your sweet little claws
to defend yourselves, and your wet little noses,
and your eyes to the ground, and your little feet.

"Be Kind" by Michael Blumenthal, from No Hurry: Poems 2000-2012(Etrusan Press, 2012). Reprinted by permission of the poet.

Art credit: "Hedgehog," image by unknown photographer.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

gathering for In Situ

i am a collector
a gatherer
i love how objects speak
hanging with buddies
left far out of the gang

a story of my relationship with place,
i chose to present a gathered ensemble
an intimate vignette of my forebears
all grouped under one single heading

this really is not usual gallery procedure
to think as one would in their domestic space 
and to send a gathering of things
for galleries are places where things are spaced evenly around a white room
in single units
and their preciousness is honoured and kept away from human hands

the images following are those taken at home here before the goods were boxed up and sent away
not always the best light
and now i look ..not finished or edited to the final cut at all ..  
but this is what i have

Holding Close

Ivy Alice, my maternal grandmother loved afternoon tea parties and tennis matches and the genteel society of her city upbringing. Choosing to wed a farmer required that she move far from this life to the South Burnett near the small town of Goomeri.  Her faithful husband, forever grateful to have won her hand, grew flowers by the path to her door.....twining and sweet scented, for her they were his constant caress.

Becoming a widow at aged 54 and left alone on a small farm outside Wooroolin, Vera Isobel, my paternal grandmother learnt to drive. In her brown Datsun she ventured off exploring whenever she could, painting the landscapes  that captivated her so .... trees and mountains, winding roads and  flat plains , sleepy rivers glistening in the sunlight. She painted her freedom, her independence and her beloved quiet days out on the land. 

vintage wedding dress, handstitched with silk thread and tea dyed 

vintage dress in the garden ..more work to do yet !

vintage dress close up

2 small acrylic on canvas paintings  25cm x 25 cm

collection of bits ...sterling silver, silk, linen 

the entire gathering of work for In Situ was absolutely something to behold
and the online gallery being created by India will share the wonders within 

thank you to India 
thank you to my road trip buddy Isobel
and thank you also for small town country hotels with jolly fine verandahs
in this case, overlooking the mighty Murray 

so after a long gestation period and across turbulent times in my personal life 
it is now time to let go of this work and move onto the next 

today i headed out on the road as my grandmother would have done
to soak up some countryside
turn the car surround sound to full
and do some of this 

[ when i am meant to also be driving i do tend to emulate joe's dance style ... ]


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

stitching stillness

indigo dyed silk cotton thread 
[ purchased from Beautiful Silks ]
dyed wool 

 tiny stitches
densely packed 
 1 mm dashes

breathing in and out 
giving solid ground to walk upon

[ change in colour courtesy of evening and morning light ]

Thursday, May 14, 2015

in fine company

this time next week 
a gathering of works will hang in the 
Murray Bridge Regional Gallery
in an exhibition entitled

India Flint may be there onsite finalising the positioning
 ready for the opening next friday night at 7pm

i am so very fortunate to be included in this exhibition
next to names of international note
and names of people i call friends 

sandra brownlee
dorothy caldwell 
helen carnac
imbi davidson
desiree fitzgibbon
india flint 
judy keylock
isobel mc garry 
john parkes

curated by india flint

In Situ 

Throughout life we collect layers of experience. The sense of place, whether in the pristine wild or amid the clutter of the city, whether derived from the locality of our birth or a dwelling place of choice, whether acknowledged or suppressed, pervades how we live and work.
In Situ is an exhibition of work by artists from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. It examines the experience of locality, exploring the intimacy of personally familiar places and the particular relationship each artist has with their environment.

my work is called

 Holding Close 

and speaks of the lives of my maternal and paternal grandmothers
and of my inherited relationship with country

 the image at top 
shows the upper section , a lace collar ,of a vintage wedding dress 
the lower section of which has been hand stitched
in my favourite silk thread and tea dyed

i have also offered some small metal pieces 

and two small landscape paintings

i will be going along to the opening with my friends Isobel and Imbi and India 
to represent the far flung group, 
to raise a glass 
and toast the hard work of India 
who masterminded and then made happen this wonderful exhibition

and i hope to take some good images to share for myself 

India will be continuing her curating work to build a permanent online gallery of the works in this exhibition
brilliant !!

Monday, April 27, 2015

community connection friendship at the Bay

i am back home from being there
in Tin Can Bay
i have had a good long lie down
been very very silent 
and stayed very very still 
it was a big week .

India has posted a wonderful perspective of our time in Tin Can Bay

and now i am going to post some images of this glorious location 
and simply
say these words


when a group of like minded women gather
in a stunning location
with the most accommodating and generous classroom hosts
and good friends provide additional services home cooked morning teas and a friendly smile
and each person embraces every experience that comes their way

magic happens

what a brilliant week ...

thank you to all who supported this week long adventure
to those who showed up in every way
and to the prayers that were answered for glorious weather all week long , happy  sharing days and restful nights [ after the singing and late night cavorting ended back at camp i believe ....... ]

can't beat it really  ...... 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

bower birds

last weekend 
the third and final group of bower birds gathered in the south

as helen said on the final evening after the class
just the three groups of ladies gathered for this event , only three ..... how special are we !

special indeed !
each group was so ...

on the Mountain in Queensland 

where Tarla grew an amazing crop of indigo in our steamy sub tropical climate

and where she is about to share all her knowledge of growing and dyeing with indigo on an open day at her organic property in May ... 

more can be found HERE  and @TamborineIndigo on instagram

in the valley in New Zealand

gathering in the beautiful earth home of Judy Keylock , a home complete with growing roof and the loudest cycadas i have ever heard !

and on the south coast of Victoria with the Antartic as our nearest neighbour 

inside this walled garden where a village of timber structures and flourishing garden beds embraces your senses at The Botanical Studio in Allensford , Victoria.

we all came together for community, learning, laughter and stitching together of cloth and metal and ourselves

i would like to sincerely thank our 3 most generous hosts for welcoming us into their gardens and homes 
and also India Flint for going on the road with me ...

it is true not everything went quite to plan
but the adventure rolled on with forgiving and caring and sharing women to laugh and to learn with , it was a joyful time

at each class i gave an amulet 
my own gift or wish for each in the group
the image below shows the amulets for Allensford 

... a symbol representing the gift of letting a seed or an idea grow , live a life and then set seed for another crop 

i know at Allensford yesterday , indigo and special sunflower seed harvesting was in full swing , the indigo vats were rebooted for more dipping, and the seeds of the class allowed to continue on ....

couldn't be a more perfect end really 


Monday, March 16, 2015

not to know but to go on

i am not sure how  many others may follow the cosmic world but if you do you would know that this last few months has been a period of major forces and powerful change.
its all to do with Uranus and Pluto being square.
something very rare and momentous in the astrological world and today , the 16th is the final time this happens for many years.
it is the time for any last major changes , rebirthing , reinventing ... [ well maybe at least till the next full moon or planetary alignment or solar eclipse ] get the drift.

when i was much younger i thought that by this age it was all about sorted, happily ever after land.
who knew these planets could put paid to that!

recent months have been a time of upheaval and change.
they have been a time of reinvention, reviewing and recalculating.
thank goodness this squaring off is soon to be over.

and i often wonder how these astrologers manage to read all this from the stars and on many occasions get it so right?
how can all the cancerians [ scorpios, ,leos ....etc etc ] of the world be experiencing what i am experiencing?
but i have looked about and cancerians i know nod their own heads in agreement.
yes it is going on for them too.
are we really all the same ? going through the same things? gasp !

interpretation is a powerful thing huh.
bringing our story
to the same words
to see it from our own unique perspective ...
and tick.
all about me.

my perspective
my own lens

yep it is my version of the planets squaring off is happening

it is unique.
only mine.
mine only.

and i like unique.
always have.
and honouring my uniqueness is part of the current planetary show

if you would like to catch up with your very own cosmic view , have a google of  Cosmic Path .
nothing too scary there , usually positive words and another perspective on life ...