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Thank you, 2018!

As 2018 comes to a close, here’s a quick look back of my year of art making and projects.

As part of my move to working 4 days a week, I wanted to concentrate more on my art making and had set a few goals to try and do some more exhibitions, particularly locally and experiment a little more with my work.

My submission to show a series of 12 new works at Fitzroy Library was successful and 2018 saw work begin on the exhibition Conceal / Reveal. These works were really influenced by my new way of working; incorporating tapestry elements along with fabric fragments – becoming textile collages. I had enjoyed creating the work for Return Flight in Edinburgh and wanted to take this further on a smaller scale. Conceal / Reveal is still on show at Fitzroy Library until 1 February 2019.

I was also very excited to take part in the Google Weaving Stop Time project as part of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial. A huge thank you to Emelie Rondahl for pushing me to create a work in the Rya (Turkish Knot) technique. Although it did take a bit of time out of my plans for works for Conceal / Reveal it was a fantastic opportunity to be involved in this project and visit Istanbul too.

I also moved out of my studio in Northcote of about 7 years, to re-settle into a home studio. This has been great so far – a studio with air conditioning, great natural light and that has so much less dust than a big warehouse! I’m hoping this move will also allow for more large scale tapestries.

On the ‘job’ side of things, NETS Victoria has gotten some wonderful exhibitions on the road to tour. I hope you get this – Raquel Ormella is a beautiful and thoughtful exhibition. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Raquel further and work with the team from Shepparton Art Museum. We also secured funding for Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms – another project in collaboration with Shepparton Art Museum which will be touring nationally from 2019 too. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my dedicated team at NETS Victoria and also the many artists whose work goes out on the road. Many people ask me if I miss having a gallery – my response is that I feel like I have about 50 galleries now! It’s fantastic to collaborate with so many people!

Don’t worry, 2018 hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. I’ve had projects fall apart, funding and exhibition applications knocked back. Bleeding fingers and spent too many hours seeing physios and masseuses to keep my body working and in the studio. In the words of Rocky Balboa:

“The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that.”

(and for those who know me well – know that I warped up my beast of a loom recently to the multiple soundtracks of Rocky films for inspiration!)

So here’s to a great 2019 and a festive season that I will be spending in the studio, weaving to a deadline. Thanks to all for being part of the ride!

Mardi xx

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