Total Pageviews

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Scarves, beads and political cartoons

I have fitted in three exhibitions in the last few days. (It helped that two of them were at the same place!)

The first was Reflections Scarf Festival 2010 at the Geelong Wool Museum. This is run in conjunction with Craft Victoria. Every year I mean to enter some scarves. Do I ever? No of course not. I will try to be firm with myself next year! It was an interesting collection of artworks and there are various categories to win prizes in. Invariably I did not necessarily agree with the prize winners in every case - who ever does? It is always so subjective. But everyone had worked extremely hard and there was some amazing stuff there. Nuno felting was obviously flavour of the month, and very nice it was too. That is something that I know how to do but cannot be bothered doing, so it is nice to see the work of other people. There were also knitted, crocheted, woven and fabric scarves of various sorts. I deliberately wore one of my own creations, made for my Diploma course. Personally I think it was at least as good as the best that were there! Maybe I will enter it next year. I can't post any pictures of the scarves there as I don't think photography was allowed and even if it was, I wouldn't post someone else's creations without their permission. I left with lots and lots of inspiration for future creations so it was a very worthwhile visit. This was immediately after a pleasant lunch with my mum and brother instead of a 'wake' for my father.

The other two exhibitions were at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Brilliant Beads was an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Embroiderers' Guild of Victoria, and this is what the blurb said : Tiny brooches, flamboyant necklaces, framed pictures, tables, bottles, vases and small toys are included in a unique exhibition where diverse objects have been embellished with millions of beads to transform them into something new.

Brilliant Beads is presented by the Ballarat Branch of the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria as part of its 50th Anniversary. It brings together pieces as diverse as a beautifully beaded wedding dress to craft and an antique fire screen lovingly restored by renowned textile artist Alison Cole.
The beaded articles on display have been sourced from various places, including the archives of the Embroiderers Guild, the Art Gallery of Ballarat as well as pieces from individual Members' collections and their own work.
This exhibition is one of a series around the state hosted by branches of the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria.
It was really fascinating. I did take lots of pictures, which was permitted, but as I said above, I don't post pictures of other people's work. I took them for my own interest and reference, for display methods as much as anything else. In fact a great many of them were made from books and magazine designs, I think, whereas I design my own stuff, as I was going to point out if anyone accused me of taking the photos so that I could copy them! There was a lot of wonderful, precise work there, probably of a much higher technical standard than I could do, but I had the usual problem I find with the Guild work, in that technique tends to be more important than originality. Which is fine for lots of people, and it isn't really a criticism of people who prefer to work that way. It does, however, explain why I am reluctant to join the Guild! Again, there was lots of inspiration.
The final exhibition I went to see, at the same Gallery, was In Your Face! Cartoons about politics and society 1760 - 2010 :
This exhibition celebrates the tradition of making social and political comment in the form of the cartoon and caricature about current affairs, a tradition that goes back many centuries but has been at its most vibrant since mass circulation printing became commonplace in the late 18th century.

Visitors to the exhibition may be surprised to discover that the things which amuse, annoy, terrify and bamboozle us are in many cases the same as those which exercised the minds of our ancestors 200 years ago - sex, politics, religion, fashion, doctors and lawyers, and, of course, the Royal Family.

In this journey through two centuries of cartooning visitors will look back to Australia's British roots, with the work of satirists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray, with insights into contemporary society and politics from such household names as Nicholson, Tandberg, Leunig and Spooner.

The cartoons cover a range of themes, including John Spooner's personal selection of his favourite cartoons by the great 18th century artist James Gillray. It also gives insights into the things that have tickled Ballarat funny bones from the goldfields era to today.

This special paid-entry exhibition is drawn largely from the Art Gallery of Ballarat's own extraordinary collection of cartoons and caricatures, which is one of the best in the country.
Again, really fascinating. Wonderfully, I had the rooms to myself at that point, so I was able to linger as long as I liked and really read everything. I knew a lot of the cartoons, both the oolder British ones and the Australian ones, but there was still plenty there I did now know and it was wonderful to catch up with old favorites too. I bought the catalogue and there will be plenty of interesting reading there.
Next week we are going back to Canberra to finalise my father's stuff. This time we are taking the kids and staying for a week. Although there will be a lot of hard work, we are determined to include some galleries along the way.

1 comment:

Sophie said...

I hear ya!! Every year I too am determined to enter the scarf festival and every year it slips by without an entry from me... I even stumbled across the entry form - incomplete of course - on the weekend as I was tidying up... I didn't even look to see when the exhibition was. I will definitely try to get there before it's finished.