Monday, June 6, 2011

My Love Affair With Fabric - Continued


On the way to the gallery Saturday afternoon we got a little lost, so we were a bit late (Me, late? Who'd ever have thought?!) and missed some of the opening speech. I also had a prior engagement later that afternoon, so unfortunately, I couldn't stay long either. I really wish I had more time to spend taking photos and maybe at least taken down the names of the other artists exhibiting.

The opening pulled quite a decent crowd, especially for Mt Barker. When we finally got there, we could barely fit in the room! The General Store Community Art Centre, is an old, small cottage turned gallery, with 4 rooms to display work and a kitchen/dining area. I most often prefer the small community galleries, over larger, private galleries, which can often feel somewhat stark. Plus, I'm a sucker for the little, quaint 'house turned shop/cafe/gallery' as I love all the little rooms, the history and the character.

Above are some of my favourite pieces from the other artists exhibiting. I have to mention, I felt that a lot of the work was severely under priced. I've seen crappy, mass produced prints at cheap shops that are more expensive! Even someone who is not art inclined cannot argue with the amount of time, effort and talent that goes into a piece, not to mention the fact that it's a one off!

If you or anyone else out there is looking to purchase some art, I highly recommend visiting your local community art gallery. There are some absolute bargains! Not only would you be supporting 'up and coming' artists and your local community talent, but you would be likely to pick up a piece at a very decent price - And you never know, the artist may make it big, and your art collection could one day be worth a small fortune!

I did have a bit of laugh at the opening - While taking photos, I was approached and asked if I was from the media! I would almost be inclined to think that it was a bad pick up line, except I was asked 5 times! Apparently, if you have an SLR, and are at a gallery, then you must be taking photos for the local paper! I might have to keep this information in mind, it may very well come in handy one day... (She said, as she stroked her cat and proceeded to laugh manically) Mind you, I did rather stick out, and looked some what out of place with the other visitors, being that I was the only person under the age of 50. (Not that I have anything against the 'young-challenged' of course!)

The last 2 photos are of some of the beautiful trees out the back of the gallery, that were the most wonderful shades of yellow! My photos do not do them justice! The Adelaide Hills are so beautiful this time of year. I've been meaning to go for a drive through the hills for a while now and spend a day taking photos of the autumn leaves - So watch this space!

My Love Affair With Fabric - Joanne Hughes


Art work by Joanne Hughes

Saturday I headed up to Mt Barker to the opening of a new exhibition, in which my Nanna, Joanne Hughes was the featuring artist. Held at the General Store Community Art Centre, her collection titled 'A Love Affair with Fabric' is a taster of her creative work with textiles from the past few years.

The collection shows off a broad range of her many talents, with varied techniques, fabric manipulation, embroidery - From wall hangings, to her more adventurous abstract designs.

Joanne Hughes (left)

As far back as I can remember, my Nanna has always been super talented when it comes to sewing and fabric. Growing up, she would make me clothes, hand make all my dolls clothes. She always made my costumes for occasions such as Book Week, dancing performances, school plays and concerts. I remember she even made the costumes for the Rotary Show that used to be held at the Shedley Theatre every year.
Older now, and not so in need of costumes, her talents will still never go unappreciated by me, as I'm lucky enough to have a Nanna who is always happy to fix, mend and take in my clothes!

For 5 years, beginning in 2001, she studied textile art and other art subjects at Para West Adult Campus. She has attended numerous classes and workshops, and has been involved with a range of artists groups. Combining her sewing skills, her broad knowledge of textiles, and her creative flair, she has gone on to exhibit pieces in many exhibitions and even win awards for her textile art! She is part of the committee that pushed for and founded The Gawler Community Gallery and is still the residing Publicity Officer. She was even President of the Gawler Quilting Circle and co-ordinated eleven local art and textile groups to present the Biennial Textile Art Weekend in both 2007 and 2009!

This is just a quick overview of her artistic background. I haven't even mentioned her other volunteer work with numerous charities, her work with the Baha'i Faith, traveling and performing with the folk band Gallimaufry, 30 years at a community radio station - She even wrote and published a book! Anyone who knows Joanne Hughes, would be aware of not only her talent, but her motivation, hard work and dedication, in which she has put into so many art, textile, community and charity groups. She is an amazing woman and I am very proud and honored to be her grand-daughter.

The exhibition will be running for the rest of the month of June, so please, if you get the chance, or just happen to be passing through Mt Barker for some reason, I highly recommend stopping by the General Store Community Art Space, off Albert St, to view some of my very talented Nanna's work.