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Monday, July 24, 2006

Stitched Up Festival, Wangaratta

Two weeks on and I haven't blogged about this!

We had to leave Melbourne earlier than usual to drop Sirius off with her dog minder, so i got an extra hour in Wangaratta. This gave me a chance to go to the aerodrome plus some exhibitions in the town itself.

I fear that a semester of 'art school' has turned me into an artistic snob. I found myself going around the exhibits at the aerodrome muttering under my breath. There was some lovely stuff there, certainly, but nearly everything that won a first prize in its section was so conventional, while the wilder stuff rarely got even a commendation. There was a lovely series of A5 embroideries, for instance, that made me think of encrusted corsets - lots of exciting techniques and effects - and absolutely nothing for them. That artist did win a prize in another section, but with the most conventional (and least interesting) of her pieces.

It was nice to see a lot of (excellent) work from High School dressmaking students, demonstrating some really nice flair for what they did. Some of them should be wearing some nice clothes in the future.

Then we popped into town and went into one of the wool/patchwork shops. Upstairs there was a small exhibition of (mostly) small art quilts. They blew me away. Some of the best work I had seen in a long time, and one of the artists was doing something that I have been contemplating for a while, and I came away full of inspiration. I also bought some Opal sock wool (currently being turned into a pair of Feather and Fan socks for me - the first 'lace' socks I have knitted!) and some hand dyed fat eights.

Then there was an embroidery exhibition that was also pretty exciting. Some of it was, again, quite conventional, but the level of technique was so high that I forgave it (after all I use some quite conventional techniques myself!) A few times I found myself thinking 'yes, I;ve read that book too' as I could tell where the particular techniques had come from, which made me smile.

Again I came away feeling inspired and enthusiastic.

At the last minute I dashed into an exhibition of church embroideries - which was way over the top, I don't really like ecclesiastical textiles much though there were two lovely Australiana themed pieces that were refreshing and beautiful.


ferg said...

I love "Show and Tell" at any level. Exhibitions and galleries are such wonders. I can visit with people but I have to go round on my own so that I can sense without chatter, but then when I see something I really like I have to go off and find someone and drag them over to agree on the marvel.
I need to feel that others agree with my judgement.
"The eye of the beholder". You beheld differently from the judges.
Good fun being a critic, isn't it?
Cheers Gillian

Bonnie D. said...

Looks like a fun trip.

Can you check your email regarding the Tote Exchange? We're trying to close it out and would like to know if you've received your bag from your partner. Thanks!