Saturday, 29 May 2010

The next sampler step

Goodness the wonderful world of blogging has lead me to this woman - At Swim Two Birds and her stitching.

She has given me colour and also play. A way forward with my samplers project and they gorgeous shapes and forms. Thank you!

Knit knit knit patchwork dog drawing

Monday, 24 May 2010

Recent Drawing

Guache on water colour paper
Flags and castle

Sampler Love

Following on my last post behind the ideas for the Enlightenment childhood and play also have a large role in this body of work. Whilst checking out the textile catalogues I found a number of works made by young women under the age of 14 years. On viewing they are quite extraordinary needlework pieces and all are items called "samplers".

Taken from wikipedia it defines a needlecraft sampler as "A (needlework) sampler is a piece of embroidery produced as a demonstration or test of skill in needlework. It often includes the alphabet, figures, motifs, decorative borders and sometimes the name of the person who embroidered it and the date. The word sampler is derived from the Latin ‘exemplum’ - an example."

Here is a link to make your own sampler and also a link to images of samplers

Below is a series of image from the Kyneton Museum Samplers.

Kyneton Museum 3143
Sheet of Handworked Samples c1880

Eight small samples of hand work, knitting, tapestry, button and buttonhole cross stitch and fancy work. Produced by L.Banks at Standard Level 4 in 1880

Kyneton Museum 215.00
Sampler c 1895
Childs sampler in shape of tiny apron including green waist straps decorated with green embroidery, various designs, leaf pattern, drawn thread work and 2 button holes

Kyneton Museum 3267.00
Large embroidery sampler of alphabets and numbers with verse, animals, flowers, birds red, blue, green, orange, yellow, grey wool at the bottom the embroiders name "Emily Fracis Victoria Hamilton" Kyneton August 15 1891


Kyneton Museum 5676.00
Child's Sampler
Child's sampler of stitches, white material with blue stitching, button hole, blanket, feather etc

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Story of the Signature Quilt at Kyneton Museum

My role as an artist in the Enlightenment Project is to provide a more lively engagement (through interpretation) with stories triggered by significant objects and collections at the museum - as opposed to the use of text information panels.

Working mostly in textiles at the moment I was immediately attracted to their enmormous textile collection and also inspired by the wonderful show, The Presence of Things: sense, veneer and guise, curated by Stephen Gallenger way back in 2005. (sorry could only find awful links to this show!) In this show fourteen Australian artists and crafts practitioners created new contemporary art works response to the embroidery and lace collections of the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria. Simply new sunning works were made in response to selected pieces from the guild's collection and they were exhibited together - making for a sensory joy of possible links, leaps and relationships.

On my first visit to the Kyneton Museum on my residency I fell in love with the signature quilt - for its age, quality of stitch and it's story. The story of the signature quilt was shared with me by an extraordinary woman called Pat who has volunteered at the Museum for many years and knows the collection very well.

Way back in 1905 women from a local church decided to fund raise for a charity by making a quilt - not only were women involved who had extra ordinary stitching skills but locals were invited to participate through purchasing a quilt section and writing some text to be included on this leaving the donation and the message to be embroidered at the local milk bar. (I like this touch).

So the notion of community quilt is the direction I have taken this project - inviting community members to both donate fabric to be included in the quilts, to donate a patch or their time stitching them together. I will be posting soon the very first collection of fabric and quilt stories that have so far been donated.

Here is the twist in the project the final quilts will be shown on cubby - house like frames referencing the story of the museum how its form documents story of Kyneton. The museum being an icon architectural monument documenting the towns journey from a small settlement to a rich booming town with a large and grand bank being built.

I hope also to touch on an include sampler embroidery works I have recently had the pleasure of viewing at the museum last week - but more about these later in a future post.

More details about the signature quilt is detailed below.

346.00 Object Name : Table - Cloth
Brief Description: Linen cloth embroidered with Kyneton local organisation symbols and the names/autographs/signatures of donors, by the congregational church ladies guild as a fundraiser for a mission to India in 1905. The cloth comprises seventeen sections stitched together with torchen lace insertions and edging. Bought by Mr Albert Young at a Dutch auction. Full list of transcriptions of names from the signature embroider is stored with card.
Length 2220mmm
Width 1610

Donated by the Kyneton Historical Society

The signature quilt

detail : torchen lace insertion

detail : embroidery patch

The resulting works will be on show during September during the annual Kyneton Daffodil Arts Festival. I hope through viewing these new works that the audience appreciate the historical relevance of stitch in community life. Also accessing objects/items from the museum that are rarely shown due to the challenges of showing textiles - their fragility and also sheer space that is required to show them.

Lastly I wanted to acknowledge here an artist who has worked a great deal with museum collections in Victoria Malcolm Mackinon

And from the UK a research project that is within a university, rather than a museum that collects clothing stories from the local project local communities and every day people.

And finally a note about a contemporary community fundraiser quilt project I have just been invited to participate in called Project Patch Work - but more about this later


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