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.
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.
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.
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