Archive for the ‘textile art’ Category

Artworks Available. Paintings. Sculpture & Textiles.

Saturday, June 29th, 2019

A small selection of artworks available from my studio. To see the artworks below and more, please go to the Art section in the menu on the left.

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It’s a chilly weekend in Melbourne, hope you are all keeping warm xox

© 2019, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Art & Recycling. Textiles & Mixed media.

Friday, January 18th, 2019

Art and recycling goes hand-in-hand in the textile and mixed- media side of my arts practice.

My artworks are often created from old, discarded clothing, vintage and antique textiles, papers and found objects. I enjoy making use of stuff that has had a life already; a life that is often purely functional and as far removed from ‘art’ as you can imagine.

I’ve been recycling all my life to make art. As a child, I pulled apart, old clothing and nylon stockings “I used to collect fabric waste from mum’s sewing and knitting basket, making wall hangings out of that.” Nowadays, I cut up my own clothing and others, antique quilts, vintage linens, fancywork and men’s suits.

The process of searching and collecting materials, is also, a very important part of my art’s making. It may take weeks, months, even years, to find a piece that talks to me. Most of the time though, a fragment of fabric, clothing or object, will trigger off the idea. I collect and document many of the pieces I find, by labeling or remembering, its history of when & where it was found. This gives me another layer to work with.

The search for materials has taken me to many weird and wonderful places over the years.

The sometimes, dodgy, back streets of cities, in Barcelona, Italy and France. Markets and charity shops in Australia, France and England. Underground spaces, abandoned buildings, coast lines and vacant beaches. Friends, family and strangers, have also, donated materials to use in my work.

By transforming old, recycled and reused materials, it enriches the stories I like to tell in my contemporary art and gives a new life, to materials destined to be wasted and thrown away.

© 2019, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Rust Dyeing Fabrics

Friday, December 28th, 2018


Summer in Australia is the perfect time for eco and botanical dyeing outdoors. During Winter, I like to save little bits of fabrics, lace and papers in a box for Summer dyeing. This is how I rust dye my fabrics….

Many years ago, I collected heaps of metal junk to use for sculpture. As, I no longer weld, I now use the rusty bits and pieces that are scattered all over my property, for my dyeing projects.

The gathering of the metal objects, wrapping them with the fabric spraying with vinegar and binding with rope and wire is quite relaxing. I call it mummy wrapping.


Rust Dyeing Fabric

MATERIALS:

Fabric: cottons silk… work best

Rusty metal objects: cooking pans, car parts, rusty nails, screws, pipes, copper objects

Wire, string, wool or rope just something to bind the fabric to the rusted item

Plain white vinegar

Rubber gloves

Plastic sheet or bags

METHOD

1. Gather all the items together wet your fabric and spray with vinegar.

2. Wrap the fabric around and around the rusted object as best you can.

3. Make sure it’s tightly bound with the string rope or wire. Cover with plastic so it stays moist.

4. Leave and wait for the magic to happen.

5. This may take an hour or 2 or if you want deeper textures of rust a week or 2. Then un- wrap your beautiful rusted fabric.

6. Once the fabric is dyed to the depth you want, soak for 30mins in warm water with a couple of tablespoons of salt to make the rust dye colourfast.

7. Wash gently in warm water with soap powder rinse dry and voila!

I also rust papers and larger pieces of fabric using a different method that I will share in a future post.

To see more of my free tutorials please go here

© 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Focus, Simplify & London.

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Recently, I’ve been unable to focus fully on my work. I feel I may have too many things going on in my life and need to simplify. I’ve also been procrastinating too long, putting off a few decisions, I need to make, regarding my arts practice.  I know, I just have to get on with it,  if I only knew what “IT” was ? Also, its been hard lately having to divide my time, between creating and dealing with with other life circumstances that have been cropping up.  I know as an artist, my main focus is to create, or nothing will get done, but more important, my inner- self will suffer.

In the meantime, my daughter and her partner (xox) , gifted me a trip to London to visit  them. After not seeing her for a few years, it was so nice to catch up and do stuff together again. We managed to fit in some very interesting exhibitions.  The Anni Albers (1899-1994) textile exhibition at Tate Modern, was excellent. She was student of the Bauhaus art school and like other women at that time , was discouraged from becoming a painter. Instead, she enrolled in the weaving shop and made textiles her means of expression. Albers rose to become an influential figure, exploring the technical limits of hand-weaving to pioneer innovative uses of woven fabric as art, architecture and design.

 

 

 

 

Other exhibitions on at the V&A Museum.

Fashioned from Nature, explores the complex relationship between fashion and nature from 1600 to the present day.

 

 

A Frida Kahlo exhibition of her belongings. There was also huge jewelry exhibition and video game exhibition on. The collections are immense. I particularly enjoyed Asian textiles & objects.

 

 

 

 

The “Censored! Stage, Screen Society at 50”  exhibition was brilliant. Especially as I can remember most of it happening when I was a teenager.

 

 

 

It took a bit of getting around the V&A  building, as its built around a very large inner courtyard. The signage wasn’t brilliant and quite confusing. I only saw a small portion of the collections and if I get another chance Id like explore it some more.

Another exhibition, I particularly loved and related too, The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History.

 

A “Kunstkammer” of cabinets full of weird and wonderful curiosities. Extraordinary dioramas displayed in a dark underground cellar, reached only by going down a very steep, spiral stair case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also managed to do a brief  bit of mudlarking on the Thames. I found a handful of bits & pieces. A handmade nail used to secure sails to the masts of sailing ships and a few shards of pottery and I think part of a Tudor terracotta tile.

 

 

 

 

I’m home in Australia now and slowly getting back into studio mode. Having spent time with my family and inspired by new adventurers, I’m feeling more nurtured to just get on with “IT” and not think too much.

 

 

 

© 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

TurkRedghost Series. Textile Art. Antique & Vintage Textiles.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

I grew up in a “make do and mend” family, where nothing much was thrown away and would be mended or, re-purposed into something else, therefore, many of my textile pieces are hand- made, created from antique & vintage sourced materials and may include, discarded, abandoned, found objects. I have been working with textiles all my life. My mother was a dressmaker and as a child, I would collect the fabric scraps and make wall hangings and soft sculpture.

For further details about my textile pieces, please go to my gallery page and click under  “Textile Art”

“TurkRedghost” series

Sometimes the antique textiles I work with, seem to yell at me, but mostly, they lay silent, as I make my own marks alongside, others gone before. Ragged bits, old and new stitching, tracing marks left behind on old textiles are a reminder, of a time when women, had many obligations and few choices. I feel comfortable, as I stitch, tear, dye and reinforce the fragmented pieces. Somehow, I hope, in a small way, by reclaiming and reworking the textiles, I can give a voice to those women.

 

 

 

 

TurkRedghost 1

 

 

 

TurkRedghost 4

 

 

TurkRedghost 3

 

 

 

TurkRedghost 2

 

 

© 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

After Exhibition Blues. Textiles.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

After exhibition blues has hit!  I’m all painted out at the moment, but still enjoying some textile pieces Ive been playing around with for a while now.  Looks like some old photos and found objects will make their way into the project too.  Please see “Spaces Below” exhibition details in the sidebar on the right.

 

 

Ragged bits , old and new stitching, tracing the marks left behind on, 120 yr old textiles.

 

 

Memories and ghosts from the 1800s, remind me, as I work, of a time when women had many obligations and few choices.

 

 

A time when, women were completely controlled by their fathers, brothers and male relatives and their sole purpose in life was to find a husband, reproduce and then spend the rest of their lives serving him.

 

 

If you were to break free, you would be crucified, ridiculed and seen as “not normal, insane, bullied and tossed aside.

 

 

The textiles from the 120 year old quilt toppers I work with, sometimes, seem to yell at me, but mostly, they lay silent, as I make my own marks alongside others gone before.

 

 

I feel comfortable, as I stitch, tear, dye and reinforce the fragmented pieces.

 

 

Somehow, I hope, in a small way, by reclaiming and reworking the textiles, I can give a voice to those women.

 

 

Just like in my own life, when I was powerless, art gave me a voice to express myself, where once I had none.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Fragments. An old chair. Inspiration for new work.

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

As a small child I pulled things apart. Even, before I could talk, I ripped apart dolls and toys. I used to make little displays, installations of the fragments and other discarded things. Today I still pull things apart. I find fragments more pleasing and sometimes, even more interesting than the original object.

 

 

Recently, I pulled apart an old chair that had been hanging around for years. The wood was still good. The cloth and leather had grit and rust, just perfect for sculpture. The rustic bits and pieces also related to some textile fragments, I unpicked from an 1800’s, quilt topper. I’m still working on outcomes and painting has crept in too. Below are some pics of the process.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Art Blog Diaries. Reminiscing & Evolving as an Artist.

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

I started this blog back in the early 2000’s as a sort of diary, to document my work and creative life and to give something back to others.

 

 

Going through some of my old posts recently, I was able to pin point, some pivotal moments in my life, of where my ideas and artworks originally came from, why my work and arts practice has changed and how, it’s evolved over the years, to where it is today.

 

 

 

After visits to Europe, UK and an arts residency in Spain, in 2005, I especially noticed some changes in the way I was working. Though I have always worked between disciplines, painting was always my main form of expression. I was becoming more dissatisfied with just painting and found it hard to do any creative work for awhile. Then, after a 3 month stay in France 2007, I realized I could no longer, only use paint, to express my ideas.

 

 

 

 

This led to a series of experimental installations, videos and a book of photographs. Touched by Dada and Surrealist ideas, I had to re-access what I was doing as an artist.

 

 

 

 

 

The installation and video below “Parisgrit” was shown at Tilt Gallery, in Melbourne in 2006. I can see quite a few interesting elements in it, but it’s way too long and very noisy. Maybe someday, I will get around to re-working it and revamping it into something else.

 

 

 

 

 

By looking back over my old blog posts or (diary entries) I find it helpful, to reflect on the areas, where I can make improvements and expand on previous ideas. I can also see where, my ideas have come from. I get a glimpse of how & why, my artwork, techniques and materials have changed over time and maybe where I could be heading in my arts practice.

© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Old Army Blanket and Collage.

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Still working on small textile collages.

 

 

I found an old army blanket from my childhood and couldn’t resist  it’s raggedy worn, loveliness and further rusted it. Leaving it in the elements outside for a few weeks.

 

 

It can take ages moving pieces around to get the right composition.

 

 

then sometimes it just happens straight away.

 

 

 

Adding more marks…

 

The good thing about using a stretched canvas as a base, I can stitch right into it.

Just like using a embroidery hoop.

 

© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Working with Textiles. Textile Collage & Drawing.

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

I am a visual artist who works with a range of mediums and my process varies.

 

 

I use which ever vehicle helps me to express my ideas. Each work informs the other and leads onto the next idea.

 

 

The collages I’m working on at the moment are a follow on from my hand sewn fabric pieces and with more experiments I can see 3d objects creeping in

 

 

 

 

© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.