something …..

I have been playing with a few new ideas here at Bird Lab.

Layers of paper and frayed fabric.

I’m not quite sure about them yet….

Whether I need to do something else…
(another layer? shellac?)

or
well
something else….

Maybe they would be better on a light box or
in a lantern so you can see the textures of the paper…

there is
something about them i like.. a lot
and something about them isn’t quite right yet…..

(the photos don’t show very well the different textures in the paper back ground… but also a lot of the texture has been lost in the gluing process…)

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rope

When I was coming to Harlosa i was asked if i wanted anything… I asked for rope as this is a material i have been using in Melbourne and sometimes it’s not so easy to find…

I have been a bit over whelmed by the response …rope has been delivered to my door, big thick chunky worn rope.

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Its taken me a while to approach the rope, partly because other materials have taken my attention, and partially because my head has been full of what i would do with it in Melbourne… so i have been thinking that i need to wait for the response to emerge from this place that i am in  now.

Firstly I worked with the white rope
and this appeared…
in response to seeing the Pendulum Tit nest…

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Today i bring it inside the thick brown rope
and start to pull it apart.

It’s interesting to see the parts it is made up of.
4 thick stands and a thinner stand also made up of 3 parts that have been twisted together.

It is thick with dirt, dust and oil. It holds a  story of work.
It is rugged and strong, like an old farmer who has spent his  life in the fields …..
I think i will have lunch before i start……..

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rag rugs

Today i got give a box of hand dyed cotton that has been prepared for making a rag rugs…..

Rag rugs are a traditional rug made here in the early 1800’s by the monarchy, and this tradition slowly trickled down to the farming folk.

Linen, then cotton as it became more common and less expensive , was recycled, torn into strips, and woven into rugs…

Rag Rugs were made to adorn the floors of the important rooms. As the traditional took hold, the rugs began to tell the stories/history of the people, as the cloth used held the memories of its former use.

balls of died cotton strips

and now i have a box of hand dyed cotton balls with which to make from….

this is my first response……

cotton and string

Bird Lab begins

Well here i am in Harlosa Sweden…..

Today was spent on a bike riding from  bird sanctuary to bird sanctuary via the military training base that acts as a reserve when there isn’t target practice happening…. (Ate breakfast yesterday to the gentle sound of guns firing!!)

Apparently the tanks have played an important environmental task…digging up the earth which brings the insects and flowers to the surface…. so now that they don’t use tanks the military go in with tractors to purposely dig up the land…..

I have become very interested in the sounds that surround me… and have been recording via my IPhone the different calls. This maybe a little to do with the lack of extreme zoom on my camera so i am unable to capture the images I want… But  also I  love the way birds fill the air with music….

The willow trees here are very very old… and they have been maintained by harsh pruning  that create lines of tall cropped trunks through the landscape.

We saw a stork nesting on top of one… and below one of the tree’s was a pile of willow…so i have found some materials to begin the first nest/basket…..

 

 

 

 

time to reflect

It’s ‘Community Arts Day’
and I’m sitting in my studio reflecting on the last 3 months,

As I dither about, flicking through other web sites I find that on this day
Neil Cameron has published a book “The Cultural Development Handbook. An A to Z guide to designing successful arts events in the community “

Neil was the man who introduced me to the world of fire, lanterns and large outdoor community events. I worked with him for 7 years at the Woodford Folk Festival and in a few other places.

That time was wild, adventurous massive, exhausting, exhilarating  and the foundation of so much of what I have done since.

In fact, I returned to Woodford this year to create the opening ceremony (with Jyllie Jackson and Kate McDonald). The ceremony  was built from tools and philosophies I have learnt from Neil (and others who i meet through Neil and worked with on other projects) I felt that the opportunity I was given this year was a result of the work and time that has been layered into the festival by Neil and all the fabulous artists that worked with him, and those that followed….. over the last 25 years often with limited resources. I thank Neil and everyone else who has been a part of that journey for their time, wisdom, blood, sweat and tears!!

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Also here is the video i have finally finished for last years INTO THE LIGHT event.

INTO THE LIGHT: Between and Sky

This was the 3rd INTO THE LIGHT, a community arts event working with the bush fire affected community in Whittlesea and surrounding areas.

A lantern parade was again the spine to the event. Workshops were run in 12 schools in the area plus a number of community workshops. We created a finale with Ian Hunter, the indigenous elder for the area, based on Bungil the eagle and how he became a star.

The core local  artist group that we worked with to create the event built a beautiful bird puppet, that became Bungilina, a cross between a Phoenix, rising from the ashes, and Bungil the creator spirit.

We stared with an afternoon of games and activities, including a showing of the Blacksmith tree (this is a very special project that grew out of the fires… blacksmiths from all around the world sent leaves to the fire affected communities after the 2009 fires… and now it is a tree

Black Saturday – The Tree Project Facebook Page

the treeproject

Our own lantern tree, revamped from the year before was dressed in leaves holding the hopes, dreams wishes of the community. We ran out of leaves. There was a strong desire/need to connect with this process. Some of the leaves were heartbreaking, and  showed us that there is still a need in the community for this work,that  the burn’s are still hurting, many below the surface, and many people still trying to rebond with themselves, their families, their partners and searching for peaceful place to exist.

This series of projects have been very powerful for me, seeing and feeling the great importance of community art. It does have a place, it is a gentle and inclusive, non threatening process that is more than a nice activity, but actually essential in unlocking trapped memories/pain and creating new pathways, and so  so so important.

a new home

last Thursday

tsunami 2 was presented to

the new principal of the school in Minami Sanruki that i visited 2 years ago.

This school no longer has a school.
The buildings have gone…
although the GPS in the hire car says it is still there

as it does with many locations

ghosts hovering in a virtual landscape

Instead this school shares the buildings with another school.
next year the school itself will be merged with other schools.

What makes a school? Its buildings or its teachers and students?

anyway….

i presented tsunami 2 to the new principal…

explaining that it had been made by rope that i had found on my last visit, and the meaning behind the use of the gold-colored/copper wire etc…
(see earlier posts for more detail)

he said

he understood my thinking

(how reassuring as i was wondering if it was a crazy weird thing to be doing…)

and he hoped his school would be reborn

and thank you for thinking of us for the past 2 years……

no photos
just words
mind pictures
special moments
strange to wonder how and where and if this little nest hangs
now

Forest……..

Its been a month (or so)
since Forest was installed iIn the Little Red Train at Ceres Environment Park…..

All in all it was a success.

A friend suggested that the measure of success was… did you like it in the space?
Yes

and

Would you do it again…
Yes

below are a few of my favourite images
For more images and comments go to….. FOREST

Forest_068

 

 

Standing in the space and just… listening
beautiful Stef!
                     (Mischa)

 

 

 

 

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A wonderful travelling journey
woven and dense
with memory and transience
I think of the train
clicketty clack
of my own journey’s and restlessness
and the constructions i have about settling in one place
so much movement woven into each empty nest
Extra ordinary
Thank you

 

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Forest

is an installation of nests and Textured Paper Drops

that i am currently building in the Little Red Train at CERES Environment Part in
East Brunswick , Melbourne.
flyer forest

This installation has evolved out of 4 years of gentle development that started in the Solo Residency I undertook at Victoria University.

I thought it was going to be a dance piece
a textural poem that moved through the seasons telling a story of a tree and the bird woman who weaves nests…..

but it seems it is an installation.
the tree is woven through the space and will be echoed in the paper drops,
the bird woman it seems is me,

I still hope to make movement for it and create a performance in the Forest.

When i look back through my books, my ideas about fragility, weaving, nests, seasons, growth and death all have accumulated in this work

It’s exciting to see and feel this.
The art has taken me on its journey..
and .my first solo exhibition.

I am having so much fun at the moment weaving the roof of the train in cane.
The weaving started as a mechanism to hang the paper and nests from, but it has taken over and become a thing in its self, and slowly the train transforms….

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i am looking forward to beginning to hang the paper and the nests……

I would like to do this again……
in another gallery…
in another city…..
on another country……

i stood in the studio

for the first time
in a long time

I stopped and stood in the studio
instead of
passing through
on my way from brushing teeth
to sleep

I stood

thinking i was only going to stand
and feel the breath  of the space
upon my skin

and to
think
about maybe one day soon

But the breath turned to a breeze

and

before i knew
a night dance had begun
moving me through space
folding, falling, expanding, contracting
a hidden story
emerging from muscles and bone

relief flooded me
like when on old friend
you thought you would never see again

returns