Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Thoughts...

Post it

Yes, it's that time again to look back on the year just gone. 2012 was a pretty crazy year for a lot of people.  I think that it was a year of change, both good and bad but looking back at it, there was so much that happened!

More 2012
(TOP LEFT: Marimekko invite, TOP RIGHT: Mark and I on his 40th Birthday.  BOTTOM LEFT:  At the Belvedere Bloody  Mary Launch.  BOTTOM RIGHT:  Mark goofing at Yosemite.)

WORK:  My gallery was closed so I was back to essentially a desk job and I really started to feel the isolation from dealing with my amazing artists.  Work seemed to be quite the downer but on the upside, working a 9 to 5 job meant that I could get much more time in the studio!  As the new gallery spaces near completion, I'm very excited to work in the new spaces at the end of 2013 and to see it all happen!

MAKING ART:  I did concentrate on making loads of new work, working on new themes and ideas and looking back at old stuff too.  Although I only exhibited once during 2012, I was able to focus on creating a new body of work for a solo exhibition coming up in early 2013 and also to put together different proposals (some which I wasn't successful!) and think about future works.  2012 was about planting seeds for new bodies of work which I'm sure will come to fruition later on.

TRAVEL:  My list of travel destinations was long this year!  It was for both work and pleasure but I definitely gained appreciation for places that I thought were a bit blah too!  I visited San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, New York, Boston, Sydney, Bendigo and Hobart!  Actually, some of these places I went to a couple of times!

Visiting Yosemite National Park and hiking to the top of a waterfall was definitely a highlight.  I had such a sense of achievement and a taste for this type of adventure now!  It was also lovely to take some 'real vacations' where I didn't have to think about work and I could relax and explore places.  I probably should do more of this!

(TOP LEFT: My first attempt at hand dying yarn.  TOP RIGHT: I grew my hair and wore lots of Marimekko.  BOTTOM LEFT:  Mad Men party with gorgeous Sim.  BOTTOM RIGHT: weaving, lots of weaving.)

FINISHING STUFF:  I created my own month of attempting to finish those pesky unfinished projects and it really did focus me to do it!  I can see that I will bring this back in 2013 too.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY:  Well old friends came and went and lovely new friends entered my life!  I am amazed the avenues that I have met people, as well as their generosity and sincerity too!  I've made new friends all over the world and it's lovely to have pen pals where we send each other interesting things.

I am super lucky to have a best friend, goofball and big supporter in my husband who always keeps my head clear in times of craziness.  Also family and long time close friends who will always laugh with you are keepers!

TIME AND WELLBEING:  I know that we all say it but time does seem to go so fast!  I think 2012 has been me attempting to not feel guilty about not being able to do everything and be everything to everyone!  You've got to keep your sanity!  I am glad that my lovely personal trainer Jen is back and that I can look forward to 2013 being a healthy year.

Here's to 2013!!! Have a fun and safe New Year's Eve!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dying Yarn...

Here's my hand dyed skeins from yesterday! So much fun and I can't believe the colours are so vibrant!
My first attempt at dying yarn!!!

I have been working with yarn for such a long time, from knitting and embroidery to now working primarily in woven tapestry as an artist.  I have never attempted to dye my own yarn before but after reading a few forums on Ravelry and having a bit of a stash of light coloured yarn floating around, I thought I'd give it a go.

Now I am totally addicted to it!!!  It is quite exhilarating to see how it turns out.  As a starting point, I have been using food colouring dye as it much safer to use in terms of toxicity but also it is quite affordable.

And another batch!
another colour way.

I think that I will make the move to move 'professional' dyes later this year and look at handpainting and dying some yarn for a sweater.  I love the fact that it has a happy accident element to it but also that you end up with something purely original.  So far I'm only dying yarn that I would knit with but I can also see the possibilities of dying yarn to weave with for my tapestries.

I can also see that lots of my yarny friends will be getting these as gifts in the near future as well!  For those interested, I will be posting a how to in the upcoming weeks.

So, if you see me with weird coloured hands, you will know that I've definitely got the dying bug!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sampler exhibition... coming up early 2013!

You Know Me Better, woven tapestry by Mardi Nowak
"You Know Me Better", woven tapestry, 28 x  30 cm, wool, tapestry, cotton, linen and silk, 2012.

I have a little solo show called Sampler coming up at Hand Held Gallery, Suite 18 (upstairs), Paramount Arcade, 108 Bourke Street, Melbourne.  The show runs from 24 January until 16 February 2013.  It is a great little space, very much a shopfront which I always love and I am exhibiting all new and unshown small tapestries!  So this is a great chance to see not only tapestries but also works that are a little out of my comfort zone also!

The series of works produced for Sampler have predominately started their life in the moving image; mostly that of music film clips. These short, often narrative films have changed the way people think of music, lifting pop stars into the realms of fashionistas, celebrity and entrepreneurs.

Sampler translates images of women pop stars in fleeting and sometimes candid moments into the traditional and centuries unchanged medium of woven tapestry. Using a variety of very low tech methods to obtain source material, pixilated images are transformed into the corresponding beads and pixels of tapestry, creating an interrogation between the plastic pop world and artisan techniques.

"I've been interested in images of women, particularly in contemporary life for quite some time. As a child I was a bit obsessed with watching music film clips, studying what they were wearing and emulating their choreographed moves in my own amateur dance classes. (Hello, grade 5 Vogue Dance Champion!)

The pop world as a child was an imaginary one. Nothing seemed real. Colours were muted or super saturated. The lyrics were predictable but also mirrored scenarios in our lives. Love lost, happiness, melancholy; you could lose yourself in this world.

All of this contradicts the tapestry and art world. To me, tapestry is serious, time consuming, and situated in a long history. But I want my tapestries to be like a pop song; fun, playful, addictive and something that gets stuck in your head."

I'd love to see you there if you are in Melbourne!

Monday, December 10, 2012


I decided to make some cute and useful pouches for my Christmas wrapping this year! #handmade

I've been making all sorts of things lately. I've been making these zipper pouches as my Christmas Gift Wrapping. I figure that they are much more useful than paper gift wrap and it is like 2 gifts in one!

These have been fun to make! #knitgeek

I've been making mittens as Christmas gifts for Kris Kringle and also for friends. They are made with love and hopefully their recipients love them as much as I did making them.

I love the back of knitted colour work.  It looks just as interesting as the front! #knitgeek

My colour work in knitting as certainly been getting a work out and this is great practice for larger colour work pieces... sweater anyone?

Crazy weavey mouth... #tapestrygeek

And I've also been making tapestries! Did I mention that I have an exhibition coming up?! Well I do, and it all happens from the 24th January 2013 at Handheld Gallery.
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