Tuesday, December 7, 2010

En Route... Kim's final contribution to Debs book-Pulp Redux Collaboration

Hello everyone, back again. No interenet connection for four days left me feelin a little crazy I can tell you!

Oh, isn't technology fabulous!...
that is until it stops working!

We have had the most unbelievable wet season so far, rain rain and you guessed it...
more rain!
The pool is overflowing and I'm not sure if it is ever going to get hot enough to swim in, but I digress!

The fabulous (only if you're a duck!!!) weather has however had a fantastic effect on my art time, no distractions at all to take me away from the studio so tada...
I have finished my contribution to Deb's fantastic book for the Pulp Redux collaboration.

Okay, if you haven't read the post over at the pulp site, (and WHY HAVEN"T YOU!!!) here's the update on the storyline...

Deb's book centres around a storyline about our heroin Maude. Now young Maude has finally escaped from a loveless marriage, and purchased some great retro eyewear to correct her vision problem (which the evil first husband didn't even know about either by the way, what sort of husband was he!!!), and has taken up with her first true love Damien and the pair are cruising the world, as only people from the late 1800's can in fabulous style, (I'm still volunteering to be the baggage handler if only they would take me up on it, I don't mind a good holiday...). Okay last seen in Egypt (courtesy of diary entries from the fabulous Alicia), we now join the story of our star crossed young lovers.

Enter Kim.

Okay, so now you know the backgrouind I decided to do a 360 degree turn (as only I can, LOL) and pick up the storyline from Damien's perspective.

Now our dashing gent had some sort of life prior to he and Maude resuming their undying love, so what is it?

Now young Damien is an anthropologist, oh yes he is... with interests in the up and coming sciences of archeology and cartography, a perfectly respectable career for a man of his age and times.

Now as you have probably guessed from the previous post, Damien has been offered a position in an expedition to the Yucatan penninsular to explore the ruins of the Mayan civilisation.(Oooo, Oooo, pick me, I'm sooo wanting to be the baggage girl now, sigh!)

(Ahh, well if I can't go in person I'm so going to enjoy the creative process of making the piece and pretending I did, so there!)

Enter the brass book!

Here you saw the background information to the storyline and the scene is set for the next part of the tale.

Hidden niches, I love them so much!

And now over the page and...


Damiens journal!

More secret compartments to reveal...

well there were more secrets to tell you LOL!

Since it would take waaaaay too many pictures to tell the story in this post I have put together a slide show instead. It includes some of the pics you have already seen and more of the new section together to tell the story. Sit back and enjoy...

or at least I hope you do!

I did think about adding music but decided it would probably drive you all mad after a while so I left it out.
(Read that as it would probably drive me mad after the bazillionth time it played, LOL)!

So here tis!
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So there did you enjoy it? So our lovers have married in the steamy South American jungle. The package in the niche contains a piece of fabric from Damiens wedding vest and a small piece of lace from Maudes dress, along with a piece of poetry from Maude to Damien. Did you notice that Maude has cast aside her eyewear? Apparently she doesn't need it now! Very brave of her really, her being in the jungle and all! Well there you are. The piece will be winging it's way off to the lovely Lisa Sarsfield in New Zealand for her contribution now. I wonder what Maude will get up to next?

Speaking of the long white cloud, (which I'm sure has hit some sort of snag and ended up hanging over my house for the last few months!) Really it has rained evey day for weeks now and we are apparently going to have our wettest summer on record, oh goody! I'd best brave the rain and try to rescue some of the garden before it washes away! Just as well I love the rain now, isn't it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'd Like to Take You on a Journey...

I thought we'd have a peek into what I've been up to in Debs piece for the Pulp Redux Collaboration. It's almost done so there will be a full update soon but until then...

I'd like to take you on a journey...

(Ooooh, secret pockets!!!)

to somewhere a little off the beaten track...

to see what remains after...

of a once proud civilisation...

Take a peek...

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Hope you enjoyed it.
Stay tuned folks, more coming your way soon, LOL!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Flutter by Butterfly

Okay so I know many of you are aware that the lovely Trudi Sissons over at Two Dresses Studios has been asking for butterfly donations, but for any of you who missed the call and may be interested here's the deal...

The Holocaust Museum in Houston Texas is dedicated to educating people about the holocaust, the millions who perished as a result and to remind us all of the danger of apathy, prejudice and hatred and where it can lead. One and a half million children died as a result of
the holocaust and in rememberence of them the museum has launched project butterfly. They would like to collect one and a half million butterflies which will go on show in the spring of 2013 in what should be a momentous exhibition. Now the lovely Trudi Sissons has volunteered to collect handmade butterflies from you. Would you like to make one and join in? All you need do to join the fun is click on the butterfly image below to go to her blog and read the details. It really is easy. Just make your butterfly and post it to her and she will on forward them to the museum. It is that simple. Come and join the fun and your butterfly can be one of the many too.

Here's mine, posted and on it's way across the seas to Trudi.

A few fabric scraps and a little copper wire and hey presto...

a butterfly.

Winging it's way to Trudi as we speak.

Come and join the fun. Just click on the butterfly link below to jump to Trudi's blog and read all about it.

Hope to see your butterfly flutter by too.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Today you are you...

And in the words of a most knowledgable and articulate hero from my childhood...

Today you are you...

that is truer than true...

there is no-one on earth...

who is youer than you.

Thank you Dr. Suess.

Happy 50th birthday dearest Carol. Friend, confidante, sis-in-law. Mwah!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Paint Play

I've been feeling inspired to play with paint again.

seeing red...

flicking my brush...

and having some fun.

Nothing specific in mind...

Just enjoying the moment.

What are you up to today?
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Studio updates and tropical bugs!

So have you all caught up with Seths fabulous studioscapes project? I have to say I was most relieved to see the pic I did send in to Seth didn't include all the packaging stuff that was going on at that time! What a relief! Things were a bit tense back at the old ranch here I can tell you. Thats what happens when you're outrageously busy and have the memory of a sieve! So I thought I would keep rolling with Seth's idea and show you a little peek at some of my fav things in the current studio setup.

My inspiration board at present, tada!

And yes it reeally is that tidy! Much of the focus is on all things Pulpy with the Pulp Redux collaboration in full swing. (I don't know what I will do when it's over, cry myself to sleep at night and dream about lost creative inspiration I think! We are all one big family now.)

Here's my desk currently. I admit that arty stuff takes over the entire house really. It just depends what room I am feeling creative in today. I do confine most of the messy paint to this space. However you might just find all manner of other bits travelling around the rest of the house with me.

My chair sits next to windows both behind and beside me. This way I get a great cross breeze without the need of too much artificial cooling. Fans are a problem blowing stuff all over the room but the aircon is an absolute necessity in Summer. (Its the subtropics here, even in the first month of Spring as we have now the temps are hovering at around 28degrees C today and the humidity is in the eighties with a storm on the way.) I need the open air as much as possible or I feel I'm going nutty fairly quickly! I found having the desk looking out the windows was far too distracting. This way I get the best of those views and am able to concentrate better. The natural light spills across the desk too and there is absolutley nothing that can come close to that!

The next pic is of my favourite space. It is just one shelf of the bookcase but it is the place I gaze at from the desk and it inspires me the most, other than gazing out of the window at natures wonderful play that is.

It is really a bit of a shelf of curiosities. There is a large wooden tiki from New Zealand to protect me from evil spirits. Hubby is a Kiwi. I love the paua shell eyes. There is a large piece of coral from the Great Barrier Reef which is as flat as a pancake. I recommend that experience to anyone, just amazing! There are two little seahorses just a few inches long and next to them some tiny irridescent perfect shells just a few millimeters long that belonged to my grandfather. I will never part with them. Some shells which have been sliced open to reveal their natural labyrinths and a small part of my collections of favourite rocks and stones. The large green piece in the back next to the tiki is a solid piece of New Zealand jade. At the front a couple of chinese authentic coins over a thousand years old. Anyeway I think you get the drift. The little bottle at the back is a 100year old chinese snuff bottle that is handpainted. The painting is done on the inside of the bottle and it still smells of snuff.

Next to this motley collection is the bug collection. Oh yes, you live in the tropics and like art you know what happens here!
I have run out of compartments in the boxes so I have resorted to plastic homes temporarily for the latest bits. On top a butterfly that recently passed away on the lawn and under that the wings of a large moth. Each wing measures approximately 6 inches. Oh yes we grow em big up here! That makes for fun times around the bbq at night. The wooden box houses a collection of scented items. From cedar chips to frankinsence and myhrr (is that how you spell that???) its all in there. I always wondered what the heck those items were when I was young. I took the trouble to find out. Anyway it all smells heavenly. I think scent is such an important inspiration too for artists.
Under that the compartment boxes house a collection of bugs that only the tropics could produce! Maybe I'll let a few come out for Halloween and show you all, LOL!
Well there you have a glimpse of a little bit more. So now show me, what's going on in your studio?
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Studio Stuff

Just in case anyone out there doesn't know, the fabulous Seth Apter from The Altered Page has his latest installment of The Pulse going out each Sunday. This installment is Studioscapes. It's a fun and at times suprising look into the studios of many artists. I have found this to be so liberating at at times downright fun to peek into the creative landscape of fellow artists. Liberating in seeing that many are messy creators, (like me!), and funny as often I can pick which artist belong to which studio without the need to see the artists names. Our studios really are a reflection of ourselves and our art. This week Seth has a pic from my studio going up. That should be fun, it was taken right before we moved house and life was utter chaos. In fact, thinking about it, I'm not sure what pics I actually sent him now! Gulp, this could be revealing! Anyway pop on over to view some fun insights and in my case mess, LOL! Anyway click the pic to jump to Seths page, and disregard the mess!

More arty posts coming your way soon!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Beneath the Descendents of the Dragon-Pulp Redux

I've escaped, woohoo! Someone finally left the studio door open here at Wandering Heart Studio's and I've made it back to the outside world dear bloggers! Ahh but seriously, I have been absent for a bit haven't I? Life caught up here and a small break was the order of the day, but now it's back to creativity again. I thought I'd start with a peek at what I have been up to whilst confined to the studio, it's Lisa Jurist's fabulous Pulp Redux book- Roots beneath the Layers. I love this theme! Very Kim this one! Truthfully I had loads of ideas for this topic and really had trouble honing it down. Just when I had a very girly can't make up my mind moment, the creative energy did it's thing and one topic just launched its I must be heard at all costs thingy!

Welcome to...

'The Descendents of the Dragon.

Did you all hear that spooky laughing and thunder too, LOL!
(Halloween is close, mwahahahahaha).

But, back to the world of reality.

The descendents of the dragon is a term that the chinese people have used for centuries in reference to themselves. The theme of the piece however, is actually inspired by the culture of the Chinese people. China is home to the world's oldest continuous civilisation. Leaving all the facts and figures behind for a moment, I wondered when doing a little research about chinese customs and culture, in a civilisation as old as this one, there had obviously been many changes over the centuries. What had changed I wondered? What has been discarded over time and what has survived and still holds a place in the Chinese culture of today? And so to research. Now didn't that just keep rolling and rolling along. Suffice to say that I found so much information it became an overload. In order to present a piece within the confines of the book structure it was necessary to do a lot of whittling of ideas, honing the project down to something achievable both in terms of dimensions, and information size but also in obtaining the support items required to do justice to the ideals I was trying to present here. The piece for Lisa's book here reflects just a small part of what I have found. And so to the piece.

Here it is, it just needs to be slid onto the book posts.

But wait I hear you say what's this? There's something that resembles a book structure and some red bag thingy, what is going on?
We'll get back to the bag thingy a bit later, first to the pages for Lisa's book. A piece always needs a good introduction, something to capture your attention. Here it's a set of doors, (yes Kim has done doors again! I love them, so effective and dramatic!)
The doors here are based on designs found within the forbidden city. I love all the drama of those huge red doors!
Under the doors...

a bit of an explanation about the piece for the viewer.

Over the page and...

meet Long, the chinese dragon.
Chinese dragons are fequently depicted with a flaming pearl under their chin. The pearls is associated with prosperity, wealth and good luck.

The dragon here is made from layers of fabric paper to give it depth and dimension. The flame surrounding the pearl is made from strands of silk fibres. The background colour, looking quite washed out here from the camera (it is much richer in person) is traditionally the colour retained solely for the use of the Emperor under Chinese custom as is also the figure of the five toed dragon. The background fabrics are all satins on this page resulting in loads of trauma for both the camera and yours truly at picture taking time.

Opposite Long, the key book. The key book is the depository of the rest of the piece for Lisa's book. It is a collection of fabric quilts sewn together as a book structure. Each page highlights one particular aspect of chinese cultural beliefs. All are still relevent to chinese customs and practices today although they have undergone some significant changes over time. Each page of the book has been designed so that each colour and embellishment used here is symbollic of current beliefs and practices. They were chosen to reflect and highlight the main theme of each page. Although mostly of a fabric construction, any paper used in the book structure was sourced from China to reflect the importance of paper in Chinese cultural history but also to maintain the ideals of the books original theme. Each page also contains a piece of literature also chosen to reflect the theme of the page, even if that theme may be a little obscure by western standards. With the exception of the last page, each page has a piece or excerpt of poetry attached. Most of the poetry here is from the Tang dynasty and many of the pieces were written by the master of Tang poetry, Li Bai. Poetry is regarded as the pinnacle of Chinese literature and reached it's height under the Tang dynasty. It is still held as the foremost form of the art today. The last page differs in that the quote here is taken from what is regarded as one of the four classic novels of Chinese literature, but more on that later too. All the beads in the book are made from bone, lotus seeds, wood or gemstones, including freshwater pearls, coral, amethyst, agate, and lepidolite. The fabrics include, silks, satins, cottons, a few man made pieces and chinese silk brocades.

The key book free of it's confines.

Onto the book.

Here's the book as it appears tied into Lisa's book structure

I decided that it would take forever to post all the pics and describe the embellishments in detail so here's a little slide show instead.
(You can click on it to bring it up to full screen size if you like.)

Oh and about that bag at the top.
Well, like I said there is so much background detail attached to this piece I decided to make a scroll with all of that information on it to fill the viewer in on the details. The scroll is made from linen, paper and silk and when finished measured over 2 metres. As it is too large to fit comfortably within the structure I decide to make a matching silk bag to house the scroll. So now the book has a doggy baggy for all the extras, LOL!

This piece was such a pleasure to make and work in. It certainly presented some wonderful challenges too. (Photography was one of them, all that reflective shine from satin and silk!!!) It is quite different from most of the other work so I hope Lisa likes it. Now to package it all up and send it on it's way. Yay Alicia, watch this space! Now it's back to the studio and onto the next pulpy book that's been waiting for me. Oh dear, hopefully I can find my way out of the studio a little faster this time!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Little Buried Treasure 2010

I'm back dear blog readers!
It has been a little while since I have said hello to you all. I have been away in the land of parties, hangovers and pain killers for a few weeks engaging in some much needed family fun time, only to return and find the wonderful Seth Apter has announced the return of Buried Treasure for 2010!

A fun must do event last year, I could not wait for the chance to jump right in and play again this year, although I do admit that last years blog cruising resulted in some much needed physio therapy for one's butt! However, not to worry , I have stocked up on pain relief, booked the husby for remedial butt therapy sessions and am fighting fit and ready to play once again!

But what to post?

After cruising back over the last years posts, there were a couple that were close to the heart for a number of reasons, but one remains for me a standout. There are certain art pieces that connect with us. Either as artists or viewers it doesn't matter the connection is undeniable. Some pieces just insist on being created. They nag at us and persist to be heard until the artist just gives in and allows that creative flow to occur. The post I have chosen to drag out of the vault is about one of those pieces for me. It's a little lengthy, so grab a cuppa and sit back, I hope you will stick it out to the end, it was a heck of a ride to create and I hope you enjoy it too!

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A Photograph, some History, and a Book- Pulp Redux update

It began slowly...

I was intrigued by a photograph...

that led me to search...

where I discovered a map...

that caused me to think...

about a nations beliefs...

and then it began...

Time for a short history lesson.

I'll try to stay brief.

I have been watching with interest as libraries and museums around the world take up the opportunity to make a number of their historical photographs available to the public through a commons licence. (Fabulous effort to all and I applaude loudly at this generous effort by those who have taken it up. Thankyou for the material that has become available!) In browsing through the various photographs I became intrigued by pictures from the first world war, and in particular those relating to the Anzacs and their part in the Gallipoli campaign. Here's where the lesson kicks in.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, Gallipoli in Turkey was the scene of a major catastrophe that resulted in a huge loss of life, for all participants on both sides of the divide during the first world war. For Australians and New Zealanders in particular it has reshaped our nations and united us with a bond that remains so strong it has never left us. Anzac is an acronym touted during the war that stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The word came to have such significance attached, and to represent such heroism that during the first world war when it was touted, the acronym was officially dropped and the word Anzac, was granted status as a word in its own right. On April 25th 1915, Great Britain and her troops from colonial India, Australia, New Zealand and her ally in France, attacked the Turkish coast first on the beaches of what is known to us as Anzac Cove and then around the rest of that headland. The next few months saw the cream of the nations men die in a futile attempt to take possession of a strip of land that would result in the deaths of thousands of men from both sides and that they would then withdraw from a few months later, resulting in a victory to the Ottoman empire. Almost 500,00 men from both sides lost their lives in a 9 month campaign.
It changed our nation.
Australians entered the war having implicit faith in the dominance of the British Empire, proud to be a part of that empire. We came out the other side, a nation altered, forged by war, really united together as Australians, for the first time. It has helped to shape our identity and it remains strong to this day.
Anzac day is a traditional holiday here. Thousands attend dawn services and line the streets to watch the marches of our veterans. The number of original Anzacs has dwindled with the passage of time to a few old men, but the places of those others who have passed away is held by their sons and grandsons who march for them, maintaining their place in the ranks of men. It is a touching sight. My own son has marched holding a placard inscribed with the name of a man who no longer lives or has any family to maintain his own place. In this way these men, and the sacrifices they made, are never forgotten.
And so the lesson ends.
I have wanted to do a piece representing the Anzacs for some time. It has been quietly smoldering away in the background, insisting on being heard as these things are sometimes want to do, but how to achieve that?
And then along came Fragments, Vestiges and Remains, my book in the Pulp Redux collaboration.
An opportunity to represent some small fragment of this time, these men and the reshaping of a nation.
And so, to the piece...

I cannot show you the before pictures or how the piece developed and was put together. I would like to, but was so caught up in it's creation that I forgot to take any photographs!

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I can tell you that the background was constructed using gesso, acrylic paint washes, metallic waxes and walnut ink. I quite liked the patina it produces, it just took ages to dry!

The left side of the page is dominated by a map of the Dardanelles campaign. A reproduction curtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

While researching the campaign, I came across the papers of Pte. Francis William Edwards. Pte. Edwards joined the Australian Lighthorse in 1914 at the tender age of 22. After training, young Francis shipped out with his comrades to Egypt then onto Gallipoli. He lost his life there in May 1915.

Under the map, a glimpse of a life lived.

The piece is representational of the lives of the men who fought in this campaign.

I have constructed a niche in the book pages and gathered some possessions to represent the life of a soldier.
What remains of his belongings, and a life lived.

Included here are copies of some of the papers of Pte. Edwards, pictures of some of the Anzacs, and some items which would have been typical of a mans belongings at this time. I could not however in my research find any photograph of Pte. Edwards himself. ( Many thanks to Australian War Memorial for their photographs which are reproduced here under a commons licence).

I have also reproduced a diary and included excerpts from diaries kept by some of the original Anzac soldiers. Just a few that pertain to the events portrayed here.

The page as it looks under the map.

A reminder of those lives lost on the opposite page.

This page contains a dedication to those men who died in this campaign.

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A series of doors and windows.

A closer view...

The words spoken so eloquently then, resound just as poignantly today.

The words are not my own but reproduced from a newspaper article of the time in 1917 (I think!!!). I don't have the original paper it came from. With the rise of the popularity of the term Anzac came a profusion of businesses trying to trade in on the sentiments of the nation. Anyone and everyone tried to cash in, until eventually the government of the times stepped in and prevented anyone from using the word without licence to do so. Hence the loss of the acronym and the infusion of the word Anzac into our national heritage.

And then there's the ode...

The ode is recited at every official Anzac day memorial service held today.

Opposite the ode, a fragment of a letter, chosen to represent those thousands of letters sent from home to the boys at the front.

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And then...

The remains of our flag, tattered and torn...

representing the vestiges of the nations beliefs...

reborn and reshaped...

into something far stronger.

And a picture is chosen...

of a young soldier...

to represent thousands of others, long since gone.

I could not resist this boys eyes in the photograph.
An unknown Australian soldier.
He too lost his life. He could be Francis.

At least he can be, here.

(Picture courtesy of the Australian War Memorial and reproduced here under a commons licence).

And so the end of a very long post. Hope you weren't bored.

So now the book will be winging its way accross oceans to Alicia and the then the rest of the girls, with a little suprise inside! I can't wait to see what they all do in the book. Of course their input will be completely different as I have not set any topic for this book but want it to reflect each artists individual take on the theme. I have reserved the last section of the book for something else by myself but you will have to wait for those fragments until it wings its way back home again at a later date.
And there you have fellow blog readers, the end.
I hope you all enjoyed the story, even though it was a long one. Thank you to Seth for another chance to retell the story of the piece. The Pulp Redux collaboration still continues and you can continue to follow the progress of everyones books there. Pop in we'ld love to see you there!
Oh and by the way, I know the name of a fabulous butt therapist if you need one, LOL!
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