Weekly roundup 28 August 2016

Lecture: Michael Hill Cardinal Scipione Borghese (part of the AGNSW Collectors & Collections series).

A lot of material surrounding this lecture is available online – articles by Michael Hill https://nassydney.academia.edu/MichaelHill, “The Patronage of a Disenfranchised Nephew: Scipione Borghese and San Crisogono, 1618-28”, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 2001, 432-449 and “Cardinal Dying: Bernini’s Bust of Scipione Borghese”, Australian Journal of Art, vol. 14, 1998, 9-26. Some great visual material too – 360 panoramas of San Crisogono http://panoramy.zbooy.pl/360/pan/rzym-san-crisogono/e and Santa Maria della Vittoria http://panoramy.zbooy.pl/360/pan/rzym-kosciol-santa-maria-della-vittoria/e. Enough reading and looking for many weeks!

A couple of particular points for me. First ideas of “restoration”. Nowadays we focus on the material of the item, keeping and supporting as much original material as possible, maybe reversing earlier renovations. In Borghese’s time restoration was of the symbolic significance, and a major upgrade or change could enhance that.

Second, Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne. It reveals everything at once but there is still a sequence, a narrative. Poetic.

Almost basketry
I’ve finished the project introduced 14-Aug-2016.

Coiled mulberry paper basket with felted paper rim

Coiled mulberry paper basket with felted paper rim

Coiled baskets, crochet and felted paper rims

Coiled baskets, crochet and felted paper rims

The view to the left shows some of the technical issues. Although wanting a lightly stitched vessel with the paper dominant, I created way too many stitches at the beginning of coiling. I thought I needed more, as I was making a wider vessel, but grossly missed the mark. So no nice spiraling lines. Still, I was able to match sizes and join the paper rim reasonably neatly, and the proportion of rim to coiling looks fine.

Given the initial, smaller vessel missed out on the lacy paper, I gave it a crocheted picot edge using the same cottolin as stitched the coiling.

The end results in the colours chosen are rather too pretty and flowery for my taste. And technically weak. Still, a serviceable proof of concept and some ideas I would like to take further. The current thought is to add in another new technique, some strong, graphic monoprinting on the paper before coiling and felting, and be a bit more adventurous in the shaping.


Mary Delany Poinciana Pulcherrima (Decandria Monogynia) © Trustees of the British Museum

Mary Delany
Poinciana Pulcherrima (Decandria Monogynia)
© Trustees of the British Museum

Molly Peacock The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany [Begins her life’s work] at 72.

I’ve been reading this book over the past few weeks. It’s partly biography, partly autobiography, partly musings on creativity, relationships, life…

Mary Delany (1700 – 1788) lived a life sometimes difficult, sometimes joyful, almost always it seems busy and determined. She drew, designed, stitched, made grottoes of shells, and at the age of 72 started making collages of coloured papers, often adding detail in watercolours. It reminds me of Ruth Hadlow’s strands of investigation (25-Feb-2016), coming together in a moment’s observation of a fallen petal to become something new.

Enjoyable, thought-provoking reading.

In my previous post (27-Aug-2016) I described my renewed excitement in mark-making following a class with Vivien Haley.

A tricky question in found pockets of time is “what to draw?”. I’m not currently working with samples I want to record and explore, looking around my workroom everything seems too familiar, I’m not an outdoorsy person… so I’ve chosen people, faces and bodies, as go-to subject matter. In this I’ve been influenced by some incomplete reading referring to Kevin Connor as a compulsive drawer, the basis of his art (actually in an education kit about David Fairbairn, another influence). I’m not a compulsive drawer, but maybe I can pretend a little and get marginally closer.

So the plan has become Cafe Croquis (http://www.onairvideo.com/home.html) as often as I can, plus a small sketchbook in my bag and trying to fill those odd moments with faces – either live or from photos. So far I’ve used pencil and charcoal as well as the monoprinting, and a couple of PITT artist pens when out. I’ll never be a good draftsman, but I can improve and in any case that’s not the point. A line, a mark, may be all I need.

At some point I may start being more selective, but tonight it feels faster just to do a mosaic dump, warts and all.

3 Responses to “Weekly roundup 28 August 2016”

  1. 1 Inger Inanna Weidema August 30, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Your vessel is exquisite – love the contrast of frilly edge and study bottom and the see-through effect of the rim. Very inspiring.

  1. 1 Collage | Fibres of Being Trackback on September 22, 2016 at 9:23 pm

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