Wendy Watson, Bobby Duncan and Finola Chamberlain.
May 27th until July 4th 2022.
Three long time friends set themselves a series of challenges around their textile art practices. In total there were four challenges set. The common factor in these was the selection of the range of materials that were to be used for each of the defined challenges. Fascinating to see how each artist responded so differently to this.
Challenge 1: Respond to an exercise in Fragmentation and Repair for Mixed-Media and Textile Artists by Shelley Rhodes, pp 94-97, working in a series using a limited range of materials. This challenge was a response to work by Finola Chamberlain Not Quite Katha, pp 10-11
Challenge 2: Using their own selection from a bank of the same materials + one.
Copper, Ticking, Eco-dyed silk, Cheese cloth, Mutton cloth, Bird Netting, Foliage Pounded Cloth, Cotton Tape, Beads, Black Botton Chord, Reused baby wipes.
Altering the original materials was allowed, e.g. dyes, painting, burning etc.
The artists decided they were able to swap out like for like, add one extra element, as well as material for structure, stuffing, hanging etc.
Challenge 3: Taking inspiration from a person or object. While this was a wide brief, our connection with the object was important.
Challenge 4: Book covers. We decided on removable covers for commonly available books that could be swapped out.
Wendy Watson currently lives in Whanganui and as an avid dog walker finds herself drawing much inspiration and actual materials from the river banks. These have been used in some of the works she is currently exhibiting in the gallery.
A series of cyanotype printed silk panels is one of these expressions. Wendy writes:
On the Margin (2021-2022)
The call: I walk the Whanganui Riverbank almost daily. Marginal land is defined as being of little use to agriculture or industry: marginalised people might feel likewise yet on the margins there is both beauty and nourishment. Combining found scrap steel, the delicacy of silk, the ephemeral nature and beauty of commonplace weeds found on the riverbank represents diverse viewpoints about waste, usefulness and beauty.
Materials: silk organza, found steel
Dimensions: 1360mm x 450mm
Price: $125 each.
Wendy has taken her combination of unloved margin and high grade material substrate into a series of 9 cyanotype prints on paper as well. These are framed and wall ready. Keep an eye on the gallery webshop for more details as they get loaded onto the shop.
Sculptural, ethereal and evocative are words I immediately associate with the series of pods Wendy has installed in the gallery. They speak of potential – the promise held by a pod of seeds – a message we need in these times.
Mindscapes is a series of cold encaustic works that explore the impact of wild Westcoast NZ beaches on the creative mind of this maker. Texture, subtle colour and 3D effects evoke the beaches that draw Wendy like a magnet to wandering along their edges. Light, movement, constantly changing perspectives especially in the dawn and dusk lights and on overcast days when “everything takes on a blue/black hue. I saw the beach features and landforms in terms of textures“.
There are many more enticing works from Wendy Watson in the gallery. Don’t forget also you can see Wendy’s own words about her practice at https://latestartstudio.wordpress.com/.