Tuesday, 26 June 2007

journeys and endless roads

those of you who know me probably know about the journey quilt project (link somewhere down there) It was an idea designed to impel myself and Peta to work continuously, autonomously, creating art to a central theme, and coming together at the end to create something together.
The idea is something I have toyed with for years...making a piece of work on a regular basis, be it daily, weekly or whatever, as a form of documentation. For me it stemmed from the idea of keeping a journal and that journal becomming the work that it inspires. The form of a quilt seemed to be an appropriate medium for us both at the time of conception; it is tactile and nurturing, yet in so many ways a quilt is like an open story book; the pages splayed for all to see rather than closed against the world guarding its own secrets. An open book, documenting many journeys.
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a different way of telling it.

Naturally when I stumbled (with a shove from Peta!) into Ness Donnelly's blog, 'Folk'(...link over there near the other one) I was intrigued. This idea is not original....what ideas are these days? but here is someone with the courage and tenacity and sheer dedication to continue working inside a set of guidelines for a specified period of time.
I have really enjoyed following your progress Ness. I will be watching with interest to see what you get up to next!!
Today Ness has posted a link to another incessant artist: Kirsty Hall and The Diary Project (do I really need to say it again?) How intriguing! I will be keeping an eye on this one also.
I wonder how many more of us there are?

My first ever implication that I might want to make a quilt was as part of an ongoing daily journal, where I had to produce a square each day for the course of an entire year, then sew them all together. This idea stemmed from another, back when I was making books....instead of making blank journals to fill, I made pages one by one and bound them into books. A diary of sorts. The quilt was merely an extention, a different medium to push the boundaries, to relate my work back to textiles.
A quilt in its very essence is like a map; a series of squares, fields across the earth; boxes on a callendar; pages in a book.
Squares are so comfortable...yet so contrived.
Squares are manmade, sharp angles, firm lines, endless roads.

yet journeys come and go in circles.

Monday, 18 June 2007


I found this article online the other day; an art conservator in Victoria, while restoring an Arthur Streeton painting (Spring) discovered secret love notes, or rather, inscriptions of love, in the painting more than 120 years after it was painted.
It got me to thinking: what secrets would be revealed if people were passed under the UV light? I mean, everyone has secrets: secret thoughts, desires, history's.
Think about it...what information do you choose not to disclose to people?
I love the idea of something hidden just below the surface, hidden layers, secrets trapped.
It takes me back to some of the work I did while at uni that stemmed from the idea of layers as applied to the facets of a persons personality. The notions that we are in fact many different people in all the different situations in our lives. We are never just a writer, an artist, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a lover, a wife. We are all of those things and many more. And of those, how many more facets are there that we keep hidden?

Friday, 15 June 2007

a while back a friend sent me a copy of Jack Kerouacs thirty essential 'Beliefs and Techniques for Modern Prose'. The whole list is strange to say the least, not quite adhering to what one would expect from a guide to writing. Number 14 though resonated with me in its strangeness:
"Like Proust be an old teahead of time"
I couldn't make any sense of this and was keen to find some sort of explanation.
My initial search led me to believe he was a 'pothead'. probably not a far stretch for a writer, but this didn't seem to sit quite right.
Anyway, I pulled a book of essays off my shelf the other day called 'Timepieces' by Drussilla Modjeska. I bought it years ago after partly reading Stravinsky's Lunch (sadly i never finished). Anyway, I was randomly leafing through and Prousts name jumped off the page and slapped me in the face.
Here's what I found:

"I think I'm a temporiser. It's a term Andre Aciman uses of himself, and of a certain sort of memorist, of whom the greatest- the incomparable- example, is Proust. Temporising, in Aicman's view, is an attitude of mind which develops in certain people who can find themselves engulfed, even tipped off balance, by the sadness of the present. "The incurable imperfection in the very essence of the present", Proust says..... they slip into other time frames; in other words, they play with time. They propel themselves into wishful thinking, fantasising, all kinds of story telling, as a way of coaxing life into more controllable possibilities. They return to a troubled present once it has passed and reconsider it from a safer vantage point. A life of imagination, lived on the page, takes on a reality that can be a powerful as the reality their body inhabits."
(page 75)

It all makes perfect sense. Imagine living your life not in the present, but outside this moment, only to return when the dust has settled and take it all in, analyse from an objective standpoint.
To the active mind, I think, analysis offers a 'safe' way of dealing with issues; with emotions. As the analyst, you objectify what is happening around you, to you.
Callous and un-compassionate? or simply protecting my most fragile asset? My heart.

Monday, 11 June 2007

cliche or metaphor?
what's the difference?