Since each of us was several, there was quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as fartherest away. (Deleuze & Guattari, in the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, 3)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Hard Bed To Lie In

I first saw this extraordinary work, A Hard Bed To Lie In (2003) by Helen Gray and Emma Rees  at 'The New Quilt 2003', and it has stayed with me ever since as an example of the potential of the quilt form as a powerful medium of expression. 

In the weekend of January 18-19 2003, a bush fire raged through the suburbs of  Canberra

Friday, June 15, 2012

Art of Place & Displacement: Art of Place & Displacement

Art of Place & Displacement: Art of Place & Displacement: Reflections on place and displacement through art and poetry                            ... A friend sent me a link to her new blog, and I am including it in this post as a recommendation. I am writing this post on an iPad - a new learning experience - I shall be travelling and planning to write posts (and keep adding to the 'blogbook' page) during this time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Lover Circles his own Heart: Hossein Valamanesh

I have been an admirer of Hossein Valamanesh's work for some time. I am a regular visitor to his work in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Middle Path (2008 ), On May 7th, and for the first time, I saw his installation, The Lover Circles his own Heart (1993) currently on display at

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Prayer Wheel Quilt

Red Prayer Wheel Quilt (2005)
114 x 148 cm 
An old Tibetan monk tells me the soul has no memory; the dead do not feel their past. This is left to the living. 
 (Colin Thurbon, 'To a Mountain in Tibet', 10) 

It was on our first day in Kathmandu that we visited Boudhanath and walked around the base of the Stupa in a clockwise direction spinning the prayer wheels as we went.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Quilt Index

I found a link to the Quilt Index by chance when looking for images of Ralli quilts and am including this brief post as a future reference and well as the possibility of hours pent browsing for lovers of the quilt form!
The following reference explains the process of developing The Quilt Index Wiki for those interested in the details:
Archives & Museum Informatics: Museums and the Web 2009: Paper: Macdowell, M., et al., The Quilt Index Goes 2.0: A Fiberspace Case Study

Sunday, April 15, 2012

'Paper Quilts' by Declan O'Connor

Paper Quilt (one of a series) 2011
Declan O'Connor
approx.  21 x 29.5 cm, texta on paper

This extraordinary quilt is by young artist, Declan O'Connor whom I had the privilege of meeting at Studio Artes late last year.

Quilts are conventionally defined as 'two or more layers of textile held together by stitching (quilting)'. Quilts can be broadly divided into three forms, which describe the upper layer as either pieced (patchwork), applique, or whole cloth. Furthermore, quilts are most often associated with cloth, that is a woven or felted material (OED).

So, with this definition in mind, how do Declan's Paper Quilts fit into the category of quilts?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Marathon des Sables

A short note to recommend the courage of my eldest - and possibly a bit crazy -  nephew Sam Weston-Simons who is competing in this year's Marathon des Sables. Sam is raising money for a childrens' hospital (The Burns Malawi Trust) where he has worked (Sam is well on  his way to becoming an orthapaedic surgeon). I shall be thinking of him every day until I hear he has arrived safely at the finish.
So please check out his blog, the race has already begun!

Postscript, Sunday April 15:
We turned on our internet this morning to hear that Sam has completed the Marathon des Sables coming in 167 overall - an extraordinary achievement! We all wish him many many congratulations.

Post-Postscript, Wednesday April 18
Sam has arrived home safely! I've just checked  his blog and he has left detailed comments about the gear he took with him (they had to carry all their own supplies) as well as comments about his training shedule. I may not (will never be!) a marathon runner but I am a keen bush walker (trekker) and I found his comments fascinating and informative so here is the link to his blog again in case someone who reads this is interested.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is the past a foreign country?

So this is where it starts. An exhibition of quilts from India, Pakistan & Bangladesh, South Asian Seams at the International Quilt Center & Museum. I was in Lincoln, Nebraska for the Textile Society of America conference where I first presented research on quilts and this blog. I had walked through the first room past quilts from Bangladesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharasahtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat--then round a corner into the second room, and here it was a charpoy (bed/day bed) covered with a quilt from Southern Sindh in Pakistan. The applique technique is a hallmark of the work of the Muslim Charhan quilters, which often includes mirrors and sequins. This quilt was made sometime between 1950 and 1980.
Yet that's the technical part, my response to coming across the charpoy extends even wider and deeper than my interest in quilts...all of a sudden

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Black Rabbits, White Rabbits

I had intended to publish this post to coincide with the new month. As a child we used to say, 'black rabbits'on the night before the first of the month and 'white rabbits' to greet the new month when we awoke next morning. That was the plan anyway. This ritual came to mind when I first visited The White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, a suburb of inner Sydney (Australia). I was bowled over on my first visit


A few months ago a friend who lives some distance away visited me in my studio and brought with her some of her embroidery to show me. We decided to work on a collaboration--she would bead some cloth and then I would make a book using the cloth for the cover. We agreed on A6 as an approximately size. Weeks later a exquisite beaded piece of silk arrived and I began to wonder if I had bitten off more than I was prepared for...I make books that are imperfect: papers of varous types, papers hand-cut and folded, no one book the same size as the next. What is more, the cloth was stripped