Saturday, 18 May 2013

WSN A/NZ Newsletter May 2013






WORLD SHIBORI NETWORK
AUSTRALIA AND NEWZEALAND
May 2013 NEWSLETTER

Joan James                                                                                      
Secretary General WSN A/NZ 
Editor                                                                               Email: durley.jj@bigpond.com.au                                                  



UPCOMING EVENTS

Barbara Rogers will be exhibiting "Parallels" at Sturt Gallery in Mittagong, NSW, from 26th May to 21st July, with an opening by Julie Ryder on the 26th May at 11am.  Barbara is regarded by Yoshiko I. Wada as one of Australia’s finest shibori artists who has used the traditional Japanese shibori techniques to create her own modern style by building up layers of colour and design. We hope many can go along to see her inspirational work.

Barbara is a founding member of the WSNA/NZ and has greatly supported the group in making the Barometer Gallery available for our exhibitions. We all appreciate her kindness and the generosity she has shown to us.

                                                 
                                              Barbara in Paris, at the ‘Australia Naturally’ exhibition.

Thank you Barbara, for all your help.    


PROFILE -
COLLEEN WESTE  
It seems all my life I have been draping, stitching fabric making my own clothes from an early age. I inherited the genes from my maternal grandmother, an expert dressmaker and fairisle knitter.
Like many in my family I became a teacher and moved from infant to primary to secondary to tertiary. As soon as I could, I travelled overseas to work in the UK.
It was later as a young mother I decided to call myself a textile artist. We were living in Washington DC for nearly three years where as a member of Potomac Craftsmen, I studied multishaft weaving and the history of natural dyes. It was the late 70’s, a blossoming time for Fiberarts, especially in USA. Many a weekend we could be seen stirring our cauldrons of native dyes on colonial plantations.
So it was natural on my return to Australia to look at all the colours to be obtained from our eucalypts and native flora. I became a founding member of the Botanic Gardens Dye Group while studying for a Graduate Diploma in Textile Design RMIT . 


So it was natural on my return to Australia to look at all the colours to be obtained from our eucalypts and native flora. I became a founding member of the Botanic Gardens Dye Group while studying for a Graduate Diploma in Textile Design RMIT .
 

     Exquisite work by Colleen
That same time I co-convened the First Australian Fibre Conference in Melbourne bringing 40 tutors together from around the world including Yoshiko Wada.
So began my introduction to Shibori. Yoshiko was just writing her first shibori book.
Janet De Boer asked me to convene the TAFTA Forum at Halls Gap the following year and so began years of travel to forums at Mittagong and elsewhere, sometimes to teach, mostly to take study classes with Shibori masters e.g. Hiroyuki Shindo and Ana Lisa Hedstrom.  And so I added to my dyeing skills, beading, machine embroidery, etc. all combined into creative wearable art. That was and is my first love.
Could I make a living as a textile artist? I was teaching textiles part time at universities & colleges, Armadale, RMIT, Prahran and Monash while making silk work on consignment to galleries. As each course was cancelled I thought what can I do? So I decided to go retail, import French dyes and silk and freelance. If I last a year I thought I’ll be doing well, but over three decades later I’m still doing much the same (not retail after 13 years) and so grateful I can work for myself.
Retail in Brighton was such hard work and I could not say no to commissions like wedding dresses, mother-of-bride etc, a fast learning curve. I also authored a book on Silk Painting, Penguin publication, which sold out a few years later.
As a silk/shibori artist and part of the World Shibori Network there have been some recent highlights.
In 2004 I curated a wonderful shibori exhibition at Sofitel Melbourne as part of the WSN Convergence in which nine countries participated.
In 2006 a study trip to Japan especially Arimatsu and in 2008, a study tour to France which included the WSN Convergence in Paris where we had our Australian exhibition.                                                                                               
Another highlight was filming a Shibori segment for ABC TV Sunday Arts.
By this time we had moved to the Macedon Ranges in 2000 and I had discovered an amazing artistic community. Now working from my bush studio I could continue classes and mail orders but especially enter more exhibitions. A big thrill was to be accepted in WOW New Zealand and also speak about Shibori at NGV.