Archive for October 7th, 2012

OCA Visit

Last Friday we held another OCA get-together, again to the Manly Art Gallery & Museum but this time with a 50% increase in student numbers! Jacky, who started her OCA textile studies quite recently and generally lives in Shropshire UK, is in Sydney for a couple of months and shook off her jetlag to explore with us.

Claire and I visited the Regeneration exhibition in Manly last May (Claire’s post about it is http://tactualtextiles.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/regeneration-exhibition/, mine was here on 20-May-2012).
This time we were visiting QUARANTA AUSTRALIS: Gwen Harrison and Sue Anderson (this link is to current exhibitions, so you may need to do a search on the gallery site for the correct information). The exhibition is the result of a long collaboration between the artists. There are four artist books and a series of prints. The subject matter was Cockatoo Island and the former Quarantine Station, the historical treatment of Australia’s unwanted and marginalized, and parallels in current events. I felt very challenged by the material, especially following my recent visit to Wybalenna on Flinders Island (blogged 7-Oct-2012).

Also being exhibited in the centre were photographs – “light paintings” – by Peter Solness, plus part of the Manly historical swim-wear collection, which altogether gave us lots to talk about.

And talk is the main thing we did. After the exhibitions was lunch – Thai, and our pink drinks are watermelon juice. Jacky is on the left, Claire in the middle, and I’m that vacant spot. A lot was about OCA – why we each signed up, our hopes and aspirations, interpreting project requirements, assignments, assessments and the post. Jacky’s background is in painting and printmaking, so I think it’s a brave and exciting thing to enrol in a textile course.

After lunch we strolled along the Manly Corso to the beach on the ocean side (Manly is on a narrow neck of land leading up to North Head, with a harbour beach on one side and the ocean beach on the other). It was school holidays and up to 35 °C in parts of Sydney (crazy this early), so there were lots of people enjoying the day. We sat on the steps, looking out at beautiful Sydney… and talked 🙂 .

It’s a great benefit of OCA, to interact with other students in forums and blogs, and now in person. It’s also fun to show-off Sydney to like-minded people. A really good day.

Southern Islands Air Tour

Last weekend I accompanied my mother on a three day flying trip to three southern islands – Phillip, King and Flinders. It was a lot of fun and we saw, if only briefly, some very beautiful places.

We flew in a 10 seat plane – the pilot and 9 passengers. I haven’t been in such a small plane for extended periods before, so it was interesting to learn more about the complexities of flying, all the weight/weather/refueling points/safety calculations. Plus we got great views flying low.

I’m not going to do the whole travelogue thing, so very briefly:

King Island is well known for its cheese and dairy products. There are also meat, mining, and kelp industries, some fishing, lots of birds and other wildlife, jagged coastlines, shipwrecks and lighthouses.



Flinders Island is larger in land, smaller in population. They have cattle and sheep, stunningly beautiful coastline. Also there is Wybalenna, a dark place in Australia’s history, part of the 1830’s “solution” to the conflict between Aboriginal people and settlers in Tasmania. Dispossession and death.


Of course a lot of my photos concentrated on texture, colour, stripes… I think I could base my entire weaving project exercises on the texture of one small part of King Island.


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