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Once again it has been a rather long time between postings.  I really have no excuse other than the boring 'I've been busy'... but I really have!  This term I have started working with two primary schools, helping out with their Castaways sculptures.  We have a mermaid and a UFO in the makings.  Both coming on brilliantly.  This month sees the showcase of wearable Art and also the launch of an exhibition that I am participating in.  Two of my lovely artist friends and i are taking over CASM at the end of June for an eclectic mix of recycled material sculptures.  We all work very differently so it is going to be an interesting curatorial session to put it all together.  My birds in cages hung beautifully under the big umbrella outside Nolita's italian Restaurant in Claremont at the beginning of this month.  All in aid of the Scribblers Festival.  All 15 installations by 15 national and international artists scattered around the town were related to 'the written word'.    I actually sold 8 of the 10 cages that I made (big thank yous to the lovely Annette brown) and will be running a workshop to make them in October, registrations open in August, watch this space.  They would make a great Christmas present!  I also applied for and was successful in a new job application this month.  Workshops making lanterns from recycled materials.  Culminating in a lantern parade through the Castaways Sculptures on the beach at Rockingham in October.  I have to gather enough materials for at least 200 people to take part in several workshops throughout September and October... Thinking it is going to be a mammoth task but i am really looking forward to it.  I am also back to running another week of Big Heads in the July school holidays as the children I had last year made some exceptional pieces and council are keen for a repeat performance.  I am so very lucky to be involved in these projects.  They really are such good fun.  Oh and i must just tell you that I went up to His Majesty's Theatre in Perth yesterday for a Media Launch for Wearable Art whereupon I had a very short interview with Today Tonight - my worst nightmare.  In amongst all of the 'ums' and 'ers' there might be a little bit of worthwhile content... maybe not!!  I am sort of hoping I end up on the cutting room floor... lol Needless to say once that was over I could enjoy the surroundings.  It really is a most beautiful theatre.  If you are interested in my Wearable Art 2019 entry, I am just about to add a page to my Wearable Art section although it might take me a day or so as i have a lot to put on there!!  Thank you for reading.. :)  Until another time.. byeeeeeeeeeee  
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seem to come to my website these days so infrequently.  I look at my blog page and cannot understand where the time has gone!  I am sure that I write that on each post too... I must be getting old.. and forgetful!  However, life is busy.  We moved to Australia from the UK in September of 2007 and my husband changed from being a bricklayer and home every night to this strange and bizarre life of FIFO.  He now works away for a month and is home for a month.  I fill my days when he is away, working on projects, house stuff, dealing with the kids and when he is home life is all the more sweeter for it!  However there are the days I struggle.  And I do...it can actually be mentally overwhelming some days.  If I am running workshops or am in schools, working on a project or an application, my mind does not switch off.  I get home and find it difficult to switch back into Mum mode.  Sometimes I don't!  My poor boys!!  I currently have a few projects on the go.  Saturdays I am running paper mache classes which have been great.  I am not sure my students would agree as I had a shaky start - curse you unconfidence, and it IS a curse.  We are making small scale animal sculptures and they are looking amazing. Pictures when we have finished!

Monday saw the deadline for Wearable Art photos which are for pre-selection.  This is the step that you are judged purely on your images and statements, a little daunting this year as I am nowhere near finished.  But photos have been emailed off and I wait to see at the beginning of March if I have made it through to judging day.  This year I have entered the category of Movement.  It has been a frustrating journey this year.  I could not find the motor I needed and have turned to a 'hand' movement and my skirt I spent over 60 hours on was just not right.... so I started again!!! You know what it's like, if it's not right, it's not right.  But I have created something that i am quite fond of.  I am fascinated in children's books and the beautiful whimsical images of old vintage books.  I love that most Fairy tales started off as dark, horrific sometimes violent stories that have been rewritten over the years.  I have a touch of the pop up book in my piece, an opening / closing book and the two themes of Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood... I dare you to google their history!

Over last week, this week and next week I am working in 10 Primary Schools working with the students to create images for a wall mural that I will be painting in two weeks time at Rockingham Shopping Centre.  Another artist, Sam Prentice (who is amazing and most definitely worth a Google) is working with the high schools.  The theme is 'Your Vibe attracts your tribe' which I love.  But a little tricky to work with.  Some of the students have struggled with the concept others have created the most interesting beautiful pieces of artwork.  It is such an exciting project.  The enthusiasm and creativity knows no bounds.

Today i have also finished making 10 paper mache birds.  These little 'wordy birdies' will be hung in little copper wire cages (that I am yet to make although I have completed one)  These will hang under a huge umbrella outside of a yummy Italian restaurant named Nolita up in Claremont.  These are for the gorgeous writers Festival that is held in Claremont in April.  I had to apply to design and install a sculpture piece based on the written word.  This piece is called 'Wings to the mind' and was inspired by this quote by Plato....'Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything'  How beautiful is that?  Each cage base will be an old book - of which I have HUNDREDS!  However only damaged books will be used..... phew!!!
And besides an exhibition looming on the horizon I guess that is about me for now!!  Hope you have a creative happy week, Roll on the weekend! x
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The last few weeks have been CRAZY!  I accepted a job for City of Subiaco knowing that the time I had to complete the project was very short.  I have created a huge open book based on the the story 'Twas the night before Christmas'  It took a lot of hours but the finished project is really quite magical - if I do say so myself!  If you manage to get up to Subiaco between now and the 6th January, go and have a look.  The trail starts at 177 Rokeby Road (mine)...  If you take a photo up there and hashtag it #Subiacochristmas you are in the running to win a flight centre voucher for $500... not too shabby!

And so, project complete, I now have a couple of weeks to tie up loose ends, sort out my studio and get some applications in.  Next year is already starting to be a bit full.  I am running a paper mache workshop in Jan through till March, wearable art needs to be complete by February for photos and in July I am joining two other artists for an exhibition down at CASM, Mandurah.  My head is spinning.  I am aiming to make around 10 pieces using materials and techniques I have used on my previous wearable art pieces.  Talking of wearable art, after spending around 60 hours on the headpiece, the rest is covered in a sheet - lol.  I cannot bear to look at it right now and am leaving it until the new year.  Until then, Merry Christmas to you all and I am wishing you all a safe, happy, sparkly 2019 
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Over the week of 1st Oct to 5th Oct I ran a 'Giant heads' workshop for children on their school holidays.  3 hours per afternoon for 5 days.  Chaos, fun, glue, mess, inspiration, creativity...  We all started by blowing up a huge 'punch balloon'  These were covered with many ripped up strips of newspaper coated in watered down PVA glue.  These children totally blew me away with their end designs/pieces... Some of them who finished a little early made extra props.  Oh my.. SUCH GREAT FUN!!!!!  A big thank you to my partner in vcrime Carol Clitheroe and a huge thank you to Rockingham City Council for accepting my proposal.  Have a look at the 16 heads created!!!  Just amazing
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Yesterday was the last day of the 4 day long Schools UpCycle competion run by Rockingham Council.  Curated by a lovely lady, Barb Green, the Art Centre came alive with colourful giant pieces of art made by local Primary and High schools.  So vibrant and very clever use of recycled materials.  I worked with 5 schools over the last term and they all created unique thought provoking pieces.  This is another artist/teacher, Simon Miskin and i helping to install 'A garden without a native is a desert'​ by Rockingham Lakes PS.
I have a violin in an auction for a local Primary School.  70 Violins for 70 years.  The school is celebrating its 70th year anniversary.  They had 70 violin bases made that were then given out to local and international artists.  These will be auctioned off next month.  Have a look at the tag #70violins on Instagram. 

​ I also have a small painting on an envelope at the OXO building in London.  Over 300 painted envelopes raising money for 'The National Brain Appeal'  The online auction can be viewed from 27th September...https://www.nationalbrainappeal.org/

Oh and I have also started working on my wearable art piece for Mandurah 2019.. 60 hours so far on the headpiece and i LOVE it!!!  That is all for now... :)
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Saturday evening, 6.30pm, the Showcase for Wearable Art Mandurah.  The show was a complete sellout and very different to last year.  Bernie Bernard the Director did an amazing job to put together a show of over 40 outfits.  Each piece so individual with its own story.  Put together with amazing dancers, lighting, choreography, prose, it was a total colourful feast.  And to top it all off, I won... like REALLY won.. yes I did.  I am the 'Wearable Art Mandurah Artist of the year' which in itself is a huge mouthful but WOW.. such an amazing surprise.  I am still floating up in the air.  The categories have also been announced for next year and yes, I have a total completed garment - in my head!!  The categories are 'Movement', 'Avant Garde' and 'Land Down Under'....  So many images and techniques come to mind.  Some amazing photos have sprung up from the showcase taken by the amazing eyes of Stephen Heath Photography and Tony Tropiano... 
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SO, two weeks after WAM (Wearable Art Mandurah) judging day, we receive our photos... WOW... 
​Full credit to www.stephenheathphotography.com
for his amazing eye for detail, professionalism and all round enthusiasm... The photos of every amazing piece are incredible. 

Tash (my model) did an amazing job.  I create a wearable piece but she totally brings it to life, she is the soul of Sky and Water lll.  Sky and Water lll based on the Escher print, was made from sheets of aluminium printing plate, hand cut, embossed, drilled and rivetted.  Also strips of rubber innertube that were sewn onto a collar to look like feathers and paper mache birds flying around the headpiece.  

Yesterday afternoon, another little impromptu fashion shoot with Stephen, on location in various beautiful areas around Mandurah.  I took a couple of shots with my phone, which is not a very good phone.  My photos were quite beautiful, so when the professional ones appear it will be quite spectacular.
 
The metallic piece, using 50+ Kmart placemats that I created with Julie (Unbeaten) is currently on display in the Tourist Info Centre down in Mandurah.  Sky and Water lll will be in an exhibition up in Parmelia House, Perth from next friday until 1st June.  9th June is the showcase.. there are still some tickets left for the Saturday night show which is guaranteed to be a musical, visual feast.  Tickets can be purchased through MPAC Box Office.  Read more about WAM here: www.wearableartmandurah.com 

My next job is to apply for a 'Made on the left' market stall, and 4 schools every week next term to make Castaways Sculptures... more on that to come.  Until then here are some photos :)
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 Was just sitting in my happy place painting and thinking about the next few weeks and realised I hadn't blogged for a looong time, since Wearable Art last year in fact and here we are about to start that crazy ride all over again!  It is a funny time of year for me with 'official jobs' and my own work all becoming a little busy.  So, here is where I am... A job was advertised last November for a courtyard mural to be painted out the front of the Rockingham Art Centre.  I designed, I applied and was succesful.  So, in February, myself and 3 artist friends spent two weeks on our hands and knees painting a huge area in a large black and white vortex.  The brief wanted something bright and eyecatching, contemporary, trompe l'oeil, something that would draw people in.  I drew up a black and white vortex with stripes along the footpath.  This was a mammoth job.   Constantly up against the wind blowing leaves and dirt across the wet paint.  Rockingham was also hit by a storm halfway through the first week, bringing down a tree and pulling up paving.. eek!  We covered around 400 sqm with a two part sticky, smelly paint.  Each segment had to dry before another coat could be applied.  It was a hot tricky job but such fun!! Some photos below, Hope to have some taken from a drone very soon...
... Now that the mural has finished I can get back into my Wearable Art, paintings and Castaways - both schools and a piece that I am designing...

Wearable Art Judging Day is running towards me at breakneck speed.  In 3 weeks, my beautiful model, Tash will be wearing my 2018 entry in front of the judges.  This year the categories are metallic, transformation and avant gard...
This year I chose 'transformation'.  Based on the beautiful print 'Sky and Sea 1' by the Dutch artist M C Escher.  Fish and birds meta-morph into each other.  I have used tyre inner tube, old photo album paper and aluminium lithoplate (used in printing).  I really do love my piece this year but right now cannot foresee how on earth I will transport it down to Mandurah.  The headpiece is currently in a box i made for it and it is waaaaaay too BIG to go in the car, yet alone the rest of the outfit!!!  I do believe that this was the piece I was meant to make this year.  I frequent op-shops hunting for treasure and last week I found the Sky and Sea print, tucked in a corner, wrapped up for $3.  I love it.  
Sky and Sea l
In addition to the 'Transformation' piece, I have been hurriedly working on a collaborative entry with the amazing creative Julie Smith.  We have used around 50 KMart placemats and are entering 'Metallic' with a outfit called 'Unbeaten'... it is gorgeous and illustrates a womans strength... 
I have also just found out that I have 3 schools to work with next term to create the school entries for Castaways 2018 which is very exciting, even more so because I have decided to enter a piece this year.  However, it shall be a small piece on a plinth this year.  It will be so nice to be able to take a piece and place on the beach rather than spending 3 hours digging holes!!!  Oh and I am super busy building up a collection of paintings to go into my Madeit Store that has been empty for months... watch this space :)
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Here we are nearing the end of July.  My year so far has been very hectic.  The last two weeks have been school holidays.  My husband has been away with work and I have spent time with my two boys.  It has been a good break, time to breathe and 'take stock' before it all ramps up again next term!

My job and creative path is a very crazy and strange one!  I have to find opportunities.  This term I am designing a mural with a high school.  They are designing and making the foreground on ply and I am painting the background.  Could be interesting.  Castaways is on at the end of October and although I have finished in 4 of my 5 schools I still have some hours to make up at Malibu which is a school for children with special needs.  It has been a rewarding challenge so far.

I have some art on the back burner including the childrens book that I wrote several years ago that keeps popping up when in my shed.  It is destined to come back out and be worked on a little more.  Maybe one day...!  Some Christmas markets are also looming.  So designing, making and creating is on the cards.

Wearable Art Exhibition starts on 5th August within both CASM and MPAC in Mandurah which is guaranteed to be a fantastic feast for the eyes.... I am knee deep in sketches and experiments already for next year.... 

So that is me in a nutshell... one crazy term behind and one looming in front!  Until next time X  
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WOW - What an amazing weekend.  My dress for WAM - Wearable Art Mandurah took out a major award on Saturday night.  Creative re-use - Reuse discarded objects or material to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Requires a minimum of 80% repurposed materials.  The showcase from beginning to end was a magical journey.  Lighting, amazing costumes, music... a complete sensory delight.  I just love to view the outfits and guess the materials.  It inspires me to create and push myself.  Barb Thoms at City of Mandurah is a most amazing lady with a calm exterior.  WAM is her 'baby'.  She nurtures, encourages and hands out amazing opportunities. To Barb, I say thank you. I have been so very fortunate this year to have had my 'Fish' featured at AGWA, on Today Tonight, front cover of the Kwinana Courier, Billboard advertising on Mandurah Road and also whole page adverts in the local newspapers.  To wrap all of that up, an amazing surprise of the front cover of the WAM brochure.  Although I created my Fish, the amazing models and dancers bring it to life.  I have been so very lucky to have had 5 amazing people wear my fish.  The amazing Tash at DTX - who danced her socks off in my 2016 outfit last year.  She works tirelessly, she shares my vision and wears without complaint! Tash wore my Fish at AGWA.  Jess the amazing 14 year old who wore my Fish on judging day in April and whose face is now appearing all over Mandurah!  She was 'fierce'.. stunning.  Ashleigh who flittered around the stage over the weekend dancing and gliding, Steph another young model who spun around on Today Tonight and finally Emilie from DTX who wore my fish after the showcase yesterday, and was poked, stroked and prodded by a group of visually impaired people but stood patiently and answered questions in a professional manner.  To all of those gorgeous girlies I want to say a huuuuuge thank you.
So now, back to normal and back to another working week and in the back of my mind there is a little creative seed that is bubbling and fizzing with ideas for my next wearable art piece.  I have 4 ideas scribbled down but none of them are 'the one'... that moment will come but for now I have 5 schools and art pieces to work on/with, a mural to design and today 3 artists and myself find out if we have been selected to interview for a huge installation project.. all very exciting... :)  Till next time....... X

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