A Sense of Place

Week 2 - Woodlawn, New South Wales

One of the things I love about being an artist and a teacher, is the opportunity to meet new people. Being an artist itself is a continual learning adventure but the additional role of teaching can bring a whole host of extra rewards. Working with others no matter what their level of knowledge can show you new skills and new ways of doing things. Crucially you can also learn new things about your self. Being an artist can be a fairly isolating time and at times it is good to have the peace and contemplative space of the studio. However, I also find it important to occasionally get out of the studio environment and make the most of opportunities to work with other artists and see new places. The great thing about this trip to Australia, and working for Fibre Arts, was that it combined all those things. 

 Morning mist at Woodlawn, New South Wales, July 2018

Morning mist at Woodlawn, New South Wales, July 2018

 Group photo o nthe last day - with my students from the Print and Stitch class, at Woodlawn. We were feeling a tad relieved to get the exhibition of work up. 

Group photo o nthe last day - with my students from the Print and Stitch class, at Woodlawn. We were feeling a tad relieved to get the exhibition of work up. 

For the second week we were located at St. Johns College, Woodlawn, New South Wales and from the outset it was clear that the exotic, milder climate in this region of Australia would provide a very different kind of vista to the first week in Victoria, where the temperatures had been much lower. 

 Early morning mist rising from the river    The school was sited fairly high up on a hillside and surrounded by a river that virtually circled around the entire area. Early morning especially provided some beautiful misty views - it didn't take long for me to regret not packing my camera - I had to resort to getting pictures with my phone. 

Early morning mist rising from the river 

The school was sited fairly high up on a hillside and surrounded by a river that virtually circled around the entire area. Early morning especially provided some beautiful misty views - it didn't take long for me to regret not packing my camera - I had to resort to getting pictures with my phone. 

 Student work 'detail' from my print and stitch class.

Student work 'detail' from my print and stitch class.

 Student work in the Final day Exhibition - Print and Stitch Bookwork 

Student work in the Final day Exhibition - Print and Stitch Bookwork 

 Student work In the final exhibition - book piece using a found book, mono print, collage and stitch. 

Student work In the final exhibition - book piece using a found book, mono print, collage and stitch. 

 Detail of student work using found book covers, monoprint, collage and stitch. 

Detail of student work using found book covers, monoprint, collage and stitch. 

In the second week we all got a bit obsessed with book making - Art Books of course. This was helped massively by the fact that the trade stalls had lots of old books fo sale. In an immersive experience such as Fibre Arts Australia ideas can become contagious and we were all learning from each other - whether it was a method of making or a way of using the materials. In our Print and Stitch Class we also had time for a nice long and meaningful session on the Saturday morning for a group critique - this was the first time a few of them had ever done anything like that and they found it to be a very useful way to reevaluate their work and move forward.  

 Collaborative Book piece which we made as a group for the 'Top Table' and charity auction

Collaborative Book piece which we made as a group for the 'Top Table' and charity auction

 Saturday afternoon and some time off - got to visit Byron Bay, New South Wales - crazy to think this is winter 

Saturday afternoon and some time off - got to visit Byron Bay, New South Wales - crazy to think this is winter 

On route home I got to see the beautiful location of Brunswick Heads on the East Coast - a peaceful tranquil small town just up the coast from Byron Bay. Normally going home can be a bit of a drag - long waits in the airport or a tricky connection to get there. This time it was a joy thanks to one of the lovely ladies in my class called Ann, who gave me a lift in her Mobile home. On the last day we did a 3 hour leisurely drive heading north and along the East Coast to Brisbane Airport, combining lots of chatter with even more sightseeing.  I had my very own tourist guide - how lucky was I  

 Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, July 2018 - last day enroute to Brisbane Airport 

Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, July 2018 - last day enroute to Brisbane Airport