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 stately tree
our mangures on a log
a lump of clay