Posts Tagged 'CA1-P5-Other'

Small tapestries – Yvonne Eade

Yesterday was ATASDA NSW’s quarterly meeting. Lots of chat, fun and inspiration.  The branch has been going through a process of consultation and planning, and the energy and enthusiasm in the room was infectious.

It was good to catch up with Yvonne, who had a display of her small tapestries (Yvonne will be giving a one day “taster” class later this year).

Doing the structure section of OCA’s A Creative Approach (project-9) I assumed using a picture frame as a loom was a stop-gap – a way to give students a taste of weaving without a major investment in equipment. It turns out I’m wrong (not unprecedented, I admit 🙂 ).


This was Yvonne’s loom – a picture frame. You can see the scale she’s working at from the needle in the white warp (a high twist wool – the black is a cotton warp).
yvonne_eade_02On the left are some finished samples – this time the pin heads give the scale. Yvonne was wearing a piece, mounted on perspex (I think), as a broach. Very effective. I’d like to attempt some earrings… or maybe one earring with the design inspired by a really nice handmade glass bead that would make the pair.

I love the details Yvonne’s been able to achieve and the crisp shapes. These are all silk weft I think.

yvonne_eade_03There were also some examples with inclusions. The piece on the right was a little larger, mounted on some card (rag paper with painted tissue on top), and some mohair fibres woven in. I didn’t take a photo of the one with beading, but you can see it on her blog at here.

yvonne_eade_04Yvonne’s use of colour is beautiful. This is another larger piece and the camera on my phone doesn’t come close to doing it justice. The colours just shimmered, providing light and movement. The weft is primarily wool but cotton added. Looking at the photo now I can see some texture in the background, but I was too busy admiring the blending of colour to see it at the time. The top left corner shows some very effective use of colour theory with the red and green enhancing each other.

Working at this scale might seem daunting, but look at how much Yvonne was able to achieve during the business part of the meeting (which was kept brisk and not too long by president Kirry):
We have eccentric (curved) weft and soumak, plus lovely colour. Very rewarding to do in a small pocket of time.

yvonne_eade_06Yvonne does have the advantage of a wonderful palette of colours. She and Marie Clews run a business dyeing and selling yarns and other tapestry-related items at Just a few of these made their way home with me (just a happy customer. I can’t remember the expression – No Commercial Affiliation??).

Anyway, the moral of this story is – it’s the weaver, not the tools. You can do amazing, finished work on a picture frame.


Today I saw the Menagerie Exhibition at the Australian Museum.

The impact of lighting and shadows has been a recurring interest in my OCA work (for example 17-Feb-2013). There were some wonderful examples in Menagerie – all the more impressive because it’s in the Vernon wing (built 1896-1910), a huge room with tremendously high ceilings and lots of high windows. Photography was permitted (no flash).

Taking this photo I was concentrating on the shadow of Emu (2007) by Laurie Nilsen. Unfortunately I didn’t note the name of the artist of the piece at the bottom left, although I remember it was made of bull kelp and referenced the Devil Facial Tumor Disease that is threatening the Tasmanian Devil (more information on that at

Lena Yarinkura Camp Dogs, 2008

Garth Lena Echidna, 2006

Frewa Bardaluna Stingrays, 2008

Exhibition: Alexander The Great

20130208_alexander_01Today I went with my mother to the Alexander The Great: 2000 Years of Treasures exhibition at the Australian Museum in Sydney. Mum brought us to this museum pretty much every school holiday when we were young. We’d be set up with a clipboard and fact sheet to fill in, then mum would go off to do her research (something geological presumably) while we explored. There was a beautiful minerals collection and dinosaur skeletons and a mummy in a sarcophagus and lots more wonders, plus high ceilings, tiled floors, polished wood and a huge staircase – I loved it. After a few hours of fun and interest we’d go up to the cafeteria to meet mum for lunch. It was only in the last few years I learned mum’s “research” involved going straight to the cafeteria, a cup of tea, a good book, feet up and some peace from the five of us!

20130208_alexander_02This part of the complex didn’t exist in those days. Stonework from various phases of building from the 1840s to 1910 is seen here next to a 1980s addition (the sections from 1963 and 2008 aren’t in shot).

The Alexander exhibition is from the State Hermitage Museum of St Petersburg – around 350 items dating from before 500 BCE to the 1840s. To be honest I was overwhelmed. I don’t have a mental frame of reference to understand what I was looking at, I’m not familiar with the sweep of history. I tried to read everything, watch the videos, concentrate on the lines of each piece – and I got lost. After maybe 90 minutes we stopped for lunch (the cafeteria has moved in the last 30 to 40 years 🙂 ).

sketch20130208aAfter lunch I took a different approach. I dug out a little sketchbook and a biro, then wandered through the exhibition just looking. If something took my eye I’d try a quick sketch, take a couple of notes. Some were things I thought could be translated into motifs in a textile. I was also attracted to lines of drapery (lots to choose from in that category).

sketch20130208bPaintings on vases, amphora etc were interesting. Most of the large statues seemed to be warriors, philosophers or gods in idealised, heroic poses. It was refreshing to find on a vase a woman, resplendent in jewels, leaning languidly on a pillar.

sketch20130208cThere were a number of textiles, quite a few small woven tapestries in linen and wool from the 4th and 5th centuries AD. There was also a massive tapestry from the late 1600s, Alexander the Great and the family of Darius, which was one of three interpretations in the exhibition of the same painting – the others being an engraving and an enamelled wine goblet. A major irritation was caused by the labelling of a woven panel that was block printed. The accompanying sign called it a tapestry (many exclamation marks of horror!) (note: just checked the catalogue and it’s OK).

sketch20130208dI’m planning to take Understanding Art 1: Western Art as my next OCA course, and today’s experience has made me even more keen to complete my current project. Alexander is on until late April and I would love to see it again with a bit more knowledge and understanding.

Interlude: Cockatoo Island

Last week my mother gave the family a wonderful Christmas present. She rented two adjoining houses on Cockatoo Island and mum, my four siblings and I, all our partners/wives/husbands and many of our children gathered to spend three days together. It was a huge, amazing success. We talked, cooked, ate, walked, some went boating and fishing, in a large group (19 of us for the big lunch) or in small mixes. Any old rivalries or disputes were forgotten and new bonds and memories were formed. What an incredible gift for a family!

I’ve mentioned Cockatoo Island before – it was one of the venues for the Sydney Biennale (source of some textile works discussed 27-Aug-2012), and a photo from there was the inspiration for my project 8 weaving in a rigid grid (see 27-Sept-2012).

The island was a penal settlement for a while, then a long period of ship-building and industry. When I got home I found virtually no photos of people (too busy with conversation 🙂 ), but many of lines and textures for future textile inspiration.

First just one of the family (photo credit to brother Andy), at lunch with the harbour and bridge in the background, then a mixture of the Federation houses where we stayed and other glimpses of the island.









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