Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Symbiosis under Stress

I recently had the opportunity to exhibit 2 felted hangings in Gallery 159 in Brisbane in an exhibition of Craft NSW members' work in a Queensland setting, which I was thrilled about.

"Symbiosis under Stress I" and "Symbiosis under Stress II" felted hangings (centre of photo)

 When I was asked to participate I was completing Module 5 work of the Diploma, that in-between stage, so I took a moment to look back at my design work in the certificate and diploma for inspiration for this.
I found some of my designs I'd made for my module 6 work in the certificate.  I'd been looking at designs to convey the bleaching problem experienced by coral reefs when the balance and harmony of living coral and associated algae marine life is disrupted by phenomena like global warming of the seas.  My certificate piece was this

a disintegrating spiral losing colour and form named "Coral in Peril", but I had thought about other abstract representations of harmony disrupted eg, broken circles, un-spiraling helices.

design source for Symbiosis under Stress I
design source for Symbiosis under Stress II
So these became my focus for the hangings' designs as I felt the theme fitted in with the Queensland location.
For both hangings I prepared 2m lengths of fine white nunoprefelt using 21micron merino roving and tissue silk, then cut into sections for dyeing.  From the dyed nunoprefelt the design chapes were cut and placed on a prefelt background previously ombre dyed.

Laying out prefelts and resists

Attaching cords during felting stage
Each hanging had its own textural features eg. open craters and encased felt balls, or winding cords, which were created and attached during the felting process.  Each hanging reduced in size to approx 60% of the original prefelt, finishing approximately 75 x 140cm.
Then the fun bit started with machine embroidery when the shapes came to life for me.
So here are the finished pieces with some detail shots:

Symbiosis under Stress I

and Symbiosis under Stress II

So just to show that squiggles drawn 6 years ago are still more than useful today!