“There is... there was...a country...that spoke in the language of leaves”
I have a deep love of embroidery and textiles. I love the history and the art behind pieces. I love the history of ‘womens work’ and it’s impacts on the world around us. So I was exceptionally pleased to discover an incredible example of modern embroidery in the Great Hall at Parliament House. During a wander after the Urban Sketchers group meet up and throw down, I discovered it with a friend while we were admiring the tapestries. We may have spent the next 10 minutes photographing and trying to analyse the skills and methods that were used to create the master piece.
Commissioned in 1984, the embroidery took 8 years to complete. The work was a collaboration between Kay Lawrence and the Embroidery Guides of Australia. The artwork is 16 meters long, stretching almost the full length of the Great Hall. To convert the original water colour painting into an embroidery, a countless number of techniques were used. From a distance, the painting looks whole and complete, up close there is a myriad of intricate and amazing details. The Australian Women’s Register describes the work as taking 12,000 hours of work, performed by over 504 women over several states.
It is breath taking in person, and my photos could not even state to capture how amazing this work is. Parliament House has an incredible collection and is wonderful to explore, but if you are interested in textile art this is an absolute must see.
With my all my upcoming travel plans, I thought I would try something new to help record (and savour) the experiences. One of my talented artistic friends invited me along to an Urban Sketchers group in Canberra. The Urban Sketchers movement is a community driven group, with the tag line of “We show the world, one drawing at a time”. After having read a couple of articles about slowing travel down by photographing less, I thought I might try and learn a new skill for the trip. In addition, my grandfather, as he travelled around Europe during WW2 took some limited photographs (film was expensive!), but mostly kept a journal which he would write and draw in to document his experiences. I’m charmed by the concept of creating a document that I can look back on and re-experience not only what I saw, but how I felt about my journeys. This is probably not exactly something one can easily achieve via a facebook photo file!
And so, behold! My first attempt at urban sketching!
Museum working, game playing and dog loving geek. Tune in for musings about the GLAM sector, and generally geekiness.