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Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Pillow Book

In the last few weeks I have been enjoying reading the Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon.

I was inspired to read this book by a beautiful knitted text pillow work at a blog called Six and a Half Stitches.

The Pillow Book was written approximately one thousand years ago - by Sei Shonagon who was a lady in waiting at the Court of the House of the Japanese Empress.

Her writing is lovely to read - it is a journal of writing using lists with headings such as: Outstandingly Splendid things;
Rare Things;
A Lover's Visit

She writes of day to day life an her reflections upon it - One comment that did catch my eye is to be found under: Hateful Things

A gentleman who travels alone in his carriage to see a procession or some other spectacle. What sort of man is he? Evan though he may not be a person of the greatest quality, surely he should have taken along a few of the many young men who are anxious to see the sights. But no, there he is by himself, with a proud look on his face keeping all his impressions to himself.

Alison of Six and a Half Stitches writes that Sei Shonagon is often referred to as the first blogger, because she wrote everything in diary format. I guess bloggers would be found in Sei's Journal under Outstandingly Splendid Things - as blogging is completly unlike attending a procession by yourself - rather it is a sharing and joining in!

Thanks Alison.

The image above is called Needle work by Japanese artist Kitaga Utamaro, (1753 - 1806).

In a little book I have about his work it is written: The beauty of the group rather than the individual is stressed in the(se) work(s).

Friday, 21 March 2008

Happy Easter



Feeling a bit chocolated out already.

I loved this post from Michi Girl (it pretty much sums up my Easter activities!)

http://www.michigirl.com.au

It doesn't take a clairvoyant or a genius to know that I love Easter. My grandpa just gave me an egg larger than my head, including hair. Tonight it will be gone. Tomorrow I will eat a lot of hotties. Saturday I will lie around a lot, might even drink a bit. Come Sunday I'll eat chocolate, and chocolate alone until bed. Monday I will most likely be sick, but after cleaning my teeth I will eat any remaining chocolate, for I am a trooper. Bring on the rain and the woolly clothes and the hot drinks. Hoppy Easter.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Space in between book project



OOoo - I nearly forgot all about this - some how I thought March would never arrive; but I have some work in a show at the Bendigo Art Gallery called Space in between book project. (it was originally shown at the VCA Gallery August last year)

It is a touring exhibition curated by Tara Gilbee, and includes the work of 32 artists who have each responded to the internal space of a book carved and presented to them for their artistic intervention.

I am involved in presenting in an artist talk 11am this coming Thursday, the 20th of March (munch on nails) at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

Tara emailed while I was away to say that the show has been reviewed in Artlink by Simon Gregg. Unfortunately the review isn't online - will have to pop out and buy a copy.



This is a close up shot, taken by Tara, of my work Gentle and Useful.

I made it last year while spending a glorious month in Sydney baby sitting my sisters apartment in Sydney - it is embroidered onto a linen that was incredibly expensive >$70 a meter (I don't think my husband reads this!).

The embroidery patter is a pattern I have used many times as you will see here, here, and here.

The pattern is from an amazing wall paper from a commission/residency I did in 2005 with the Castlemaine State Festival at Tutes Cottage, a historical relic from the Castlemaine Diggings.

I loved this lavish red wall paper that the resident - I am assuming a woman, would have ordered and awaited for its arrival to adhere to the tiny, stone plastered walls in her living room.

It was the last layer of many layers - must have been over ten layers of wall paper.

I imagine that she would have spent a great deal of time and also money decorating this room to entertain her family and friends and to present herself as the woman of this household in this room. I wonder what she baked for them.

I am reading lots of decorating books at the moment as we are doing a little decorating to make the best use of our own tiny stone gold rush cottage and today I came across a wonderful little idea and lead for more research and thinking.

"After the Second World War, Germany embarked on a huge program of new housing. This boom was followed by the discovery that people who lived in these homes started to suffer from disase and ill health, and a connection was very swiftly made with the construction methods and matrials that were being used. It led to the formation of the Bau Biologie movement which fosters a view that a home is an extension of the human body and that there are various ways to building homes that reconcile modern construction methods with nature. If we are indeed connected to the homes we live in, then it is quite possible that any changes in their construction and their contents may have an adverse affect on our health." (The Healthy Home, Gina Lazenby)


Funnily enough my sister Joy Chell has just done a post on her blog about how the clutter in our homes relates to the amount of fat we have on our thighs and bums!


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