Monday, 4 July 2016

Time for Tea and Farewells at the Koala Convention 2016

The Koala Convention continued full swing through the week, with highly talented and specialised tutors covering traditional stitch, feltmaking, book making and my input of left of field use of unusual materials and techniques for surfaces for stitch. Any gathering like this stimulates, reinvigorates and enthuses participants and tutors alike.
They are all run by seemingly tireless, organised, usually small, personal teams, and without these people, noone would benefit. So a massive thank you to Wendy and Andy who are 'Koala Convention' and their crew for inviting me and for providing seamless support. I wish them well for their new venue  at Airlie Beach. The venue sounds wonderful and I look forward to being a tutor again in a year or two.

I last posted on Tuesday. Wednesday was a day off for all and a bus trip to Eumundi market and Montville town. I took the bull by the horns and spent, and spent, and spent! It was hard!! Especially finding an amazing treasure trove of a shop in Montville called Matoomba. I think the owner was a kindred spirit and I could have stayed longer and spent more given the opportunity, if you are travelling near Brisbane, I recommend a visit. It was also great that the sun decided to shine after a few cold days here.

Sunshine at Eumundi market

Montville, Queensland
 I also had a couple of days between teaching which for once gave me a little time to explore where I am visiting. I found a swimming pool just around the corner which though clean, was a little on the shabby side of 'shabby chic'. Cute though, and convienient.

Near the ladies shower!
I took the free bus into Brisbane and wandered through the mall, across the bridge and around the cultural South Bank. It was a good feeling to be in a city which you can see is making great efforts to be interesting, lively and forward thinking.
Building front in the Mall - just stunning!

View from the South bank towards the city centre

Every city needs a wheel these days!

Strolling through the bougainvillea archways past the museums, galleries, bars, swimming pool, temporary kids ice rink, food courts ...
I popped into GOMA the modern art gallery, and though I bypassed the Cindy Sherman (didn't appeal somehow -sorry), the Tim Fairfax gift collection was interesting and I then really, really enjoyed time in the 'Line + Form' selection from the indigenous collection. After which I was mentally and visually 'galleried out', though I am sure it had loads more to offer.

A still of a haunting video 'Siva in Motion' by Shigeyuki Kihara

Line + Form Gallery
 I think I will talk about the Line + Form work another time.

The time away from home also gave me an additional bonus - I finally feel that I am underway with new work explorations for my solo exhibition in the UK at the Knitting and Stitching Shows in October and November this year. I have done a little stitching, sketching and made notes. Fingers crossed that these translate into action next week when I am back in the studio.

My final course at Koala was 'Time for Tea' - basically playing with teabags, gel medium, printing, image transfer, embossing, burning (of course) and a little stitching thrown in for good measure. Everyone left with a stack of exploratory surfaces and some were worked into, a few were even complete.
Here goes with a few of the images:

Lesley 1

Lesley 2

Lesley 3

Lesley 4
A light hearted contribution from Enid

Enid 2

Enid 3

Enid 4

Enid's collection all together

Michelle 1

Michelle 2

Michelle 3, all stitched and beaded.

Vicki's collection ready to mount in the album she was making under the tuition of Jane Nicholas.

Vicki 1

Vicki 2
Great work, and well on it's way to completion by Leonie.

Detail - Leonie
Another fabulously flamboyant work by Aiga (returning after the Crown Jewels course). Just a few more beads and all done.

Detail of Aiga's work

Another delicate piece making use of her extensive collection of lace, beads and sequins from Kerry (also returning after the Crown Jewels course) 
More detail of Kerry's piece
I often seem to have camera shy students, so Kerry and Aiga were forced to pose for me today!
There we go, a great convention, new friendships, new ideas, too much food, stimulating discussions .... then it is home again to see my girls who are on holiday from University.
I am just wondering (hoping) whether the cleaning and ironing fairies might have been in before I get back. Fingers crossed.

Thank you again for everyone involved in the Convention. Safe journeys.

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