Apr 5, 2011

Nalda Searles Workshop

I have just had a fantastic weekend at a workshop in Ararat.

It was professionally organised by the Ararat Regional Art Gallery and it was a workshop with artist.Nalda Searles.  You can read about Nalda on the Ararat Regional Art Gallery web page.

What an amazing woman she is.  For nearly thirty years Nalda has been an innovator of the use of native plant fibres and found objects producing some incredible fibre-textile sculpture and installation artworks.

On Friday I attended her gallery floor talk where she spoke about several artworks and the how they were inspired and created by her.  Each art work that Nalda spoke to had a significant story, and deepness.  I had seen photographs of this work, but the depth and colour and the detail of these works can only be appreciated when viewing the actual works.

The workshop was held at Allanvale Shearers Qaurters and the rustic atmosphere surrounded by lots of undulating open space was perfect for this workshop.  The morning walk with the noise of the corellas flying in waves just above my head, and the low sun catching the brightness of their wings was a perfect start to the two days for me.    And eventhough the accomodation was rustic there is no way the food was, we had meals were excellent and so beautifully presented.

Nalda worked with all of us for two days, and gave so much of her knowledge to us.  We began by making a mangure, a aboriginal head circle, placed on the head to carry a basket.  We made this with fodder and anything else we wanted to use.  The variation in each individual expression was obvious between each mangure as you can see in the photo below.  Then we began using some clay and working on deep art expression from within.

The workshop was not so much about technique, but more about where we are coming from with our art.  And what we are conveying through our art.  This is something we often forget when we get caught up in our technique and so it was great to revisit it, and particularly to be able to revisit it with such an inspirational artist and in such beautiful surroundings.

What I learned is still resinating with me, and so today I will let it be, and see where it leads.


 Early sun at Allanvale
the creek


 the stately tree


 corellas

 our mangures on a log


a lump of clay


18 comments:

kaite said...

oh how wonderful, you did a workshop with Nalda, that's like doing a workshop with the Spirit of the Earth. she has such depth and her workshops are quite rare. lucky you.

Martine said...

this all sounds very interesting Teresa and the foto's are just wonderful.
You must have had two great days with her.
XXXm

Jasmine said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time. I look forward to seeing how this workshop influences your work xJ

Penny Berens said...

Sounds like a wonderful workshop...wish I'd been there. Early morning...my favourite time of day...especially a sun filled one like yours.

jude said...

sounds like a peaceful adventure. quietly exploring is the best thing.

Joei Rhode Island said...

What a wonderful space. Open, inviting .... ahhhhh. Glad you had such an inspiring class.

iNdi@na said...

Nalda taught me how to make string
i still bless her every time i practice it...

T said...

I feel very lucky to have been able to do this workshop. Spirit of the Earth is a great description of Nalda. thanks kaite

xt

T said...

yes, it was great, a bit like when I was in Amsterdam for two days with you, dori and yvette. just wonderful.

xt

T said...

I think it will have a huge influence on my work jasmine

xt

T said...

penny, it was just one of those perfect mornings. you would have loved it.

yes quietly exploring, listening, and seeing everything, and letting it penetrate your whole being.

and incredible space joei, and an incredible Nalda.

Nalda also taught me how to make string india, and it was wonderful to have her show me how....

xt

Velma said...

teachers like this are exquisite treasures.

T said...

and i was so lucky to get into this workshop, meant to be I reckon....

xt

Tammie Lee said...

art on a log, so lovely
as are your photos of your lovely workshop.
so glad you stopped by, thank you.

T said...

thanks tammie lee

xt

dorie said...

this must be a treasure for life and reflects your works in a good way. SUch a serene place and wonderful teacher...

Manya Maratou said...

looks like a heart, that last one
I wish someone would teach me how to make string- a gift

T said...

OOOO yes, i feel very lucky to have been able to attend this workshop dori, it was wonderful.

yeh, i thought it was like a heart too manya. skip over to kaites site and you will see how to make string. or just come over and visit here.

xt