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)

The 'Lost Birds Series'

The 'Lost Birds Series' and other works by Pamela Fitzsimons

Lost birds series (2006/7)
Pamela Fitzsimons


Artist's Statement:
" Landscape has been the inspiration for much of my work, but since moving to live 'in' the landscape in 2000 it has become  my main focus.  My interest is in the detail rather than the grand or heroic landscape; patterns, colours, textures, changing shapes, and nature's cycles are recurring themes. Walking through the landscape, observing birds and animals, listening, thinking and meditating in the bush all provide inspiration. 
The effects of human settlement on the land and the ways we can live within it also fascinate me: the concept of the Australian landscape as something to fear and control, to 'make tidy', as opposed to the Aboriginal attitude of living with the land in partnership; the politics of land clearing which impacts on native animal habitat.
Living in a landscape strewn with fossils from the Permian period has given me an awareness of the concept of time; watching seasons change, th migratory birds come and go, recording the passing of time.
The medium of textiles--fragile, sensuous, tactile--is what I have chosen to interpret these ideas. Cloth as a metaphor for the fragility of the land. Silk and wool are marked and coloured with plant dyes using shibori techniques, then layered and hand stitched to imprint the passing of time. "
Pamela Fitzsimons, Changing Places (2007)  


8 panels, each approximately 20 x 20cm machine and hand-stitched plant-dyed silk, ink

Exhibition History:

Changing Places, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery NSW, 9 March - 15 April 2007, touring to Gallery 154, The Gap Queensland, March 2008

Red World (Red Earth), Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery Victoria, June 2008

Our Place Cessnock Regional Art Gallery NSW, 24 July - 5 September 2010

Glossy Black Cockatoo

Connections between the 'Lost Birds'series and the other quilts in the 'Block to the Blog and Back Again' project:

Love Will Nail You To The Cross: home, loss, site, time ('doing'/'making'/'passing'), vernacular language (gaol/lost birds)

Reconfiguring the Wall: cloth linked to site (by plant-dyes), co-existence of past/present, home, memory, site, time (historical), 

[see the 'About this project' Page of this blog]

On Time:
Time is one of the assumed yet irreducible terms of all discourse, knowledge, and social practice. Yet it is rarely analysed or self-consciously discussed in its own terms. It tends to function as a silent accompaniment, a shadowy implication underlying, contextualizing, and eventually undoing all knowledges and practices without being their explicit object of analysis or speculation. Time has a quality of intangibility, a fleeting half-life, emitting its duration-particles only in the passing or transformation of objects and events, thus erasing itself while it opens itself to movement and change. It has an evanescence, a fleeting or shimmering, highly precarious "identity" that resists concretization, indication or direct representation. (Elizabeth Grosz: 'Becomings' p1) 

On the Place: 

(Images taken October 2005 by the author)
"We are made and remade by engagement with creation; and since we cannot engage with all creation, we tend to be shaped by that part of it we can know, above all the material pieces that compose what we might call a place, our home place."  (Mark Tredinnick, A Place on Earth,  UNSW Press, 2003. 27+)

On September 23, Pamela left the following comment on the 'blogbook' page (I'd phoned her the day before to ask her why she made ' quilts'): 

Maybe the reason I am making more sourdough than art at the moment is because I am too isolated. Being creative is scary as is calling oneself an artist, someone needs to give ME a label that says artist, then I would know.

The 'contemporary quilt textile' label on my work in Time & Place was attached by the gallery not me. As I think I said to you the other day "I make things" and others make of them what they can. It seems the only place to exhibit such work though is in textile/quilt exhibitions or is it as Ruth once said that it is easier to be a large fish in the textile/quilt pond than a small fish (or no fish at all) in the much larger art pond.

My process of beginning with white fabric/blank canvas and building up layers of colour and mark is the same as painting but I doubt that the work would be considered for a painting exhibition. Is that because the work is no good?

Remember when Judy had her work displayed on railway platforms, she just did not mention in the submission that the work was textile.

[I believe she is opening up some interesting and difficult points here]

More Works by Pamela Fitzsimons:

Extinction Wrap (2007)
3 panels, each 110 x 150 cm
machine & hand-stitched plant-dyed silk
installation view

Extinction Wrap #1 (2007)

Rock Fissures (2006)
79 x 86 cm
machine and hand-stitched plant-dyed silk & wool

Fault Line (2005) 
84 x 79 cm
Layered and hand stitched plant-dyed wool

Sandstone Tessellation (2001)
83 x 83 cm

Ridge Top (2000)
108 x 106 cm

Werakata Moon (2010)
108 x 63 cm
Pant dyed silk and wool, rust bees wax,.
Machine pieced, hand stitched.

skin/eucalytus (2009)
71 x 89cm
Plant dyed silk & wool, silk thread, cotton, bees wax

skin/earth (2009)
Plant dyed silk, silk thread, beeswax.
Machine pieced, layered, hand stitched.

Other Artists:

Janet Laurence [ See 'connections' page of this blog]

See also: About Time

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