Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Bringing out the inner child

This week at Fibrecircle we had such a fun time! If you've ever had the impulse to make a mark on a pristine surface, maybe graffiti a wall, this activity is for you!

First some background. A couple of months ago, Helen told us about an activity she organised with another group. They took a sheet of paper, everyone drew on it, and then it was cut into sections and each member took a piece, to do something with. We all thought that sounded like fun. The same day, Helen also brought some fabric from her stash that she no longer needed. One piece had not been claimed - a large piece of furnishing fabric, originally from the stash of Helen Lancaster, a well-known Australian textile artist and curator. "Wouldn't it be fun to draw on that?", we said.

This week, we all arrived with our stash of fabric-fast pens. It was a large piece of fabric, so it took us a couple of hours to draw all over it. Here are some of us at work:At first it was a bit terrifying, to have to make some marks on the surface. Most people started small. But as time passed, we really got involved and started experimenting. Graffiti is fun, although we all discovered that it's not quite as easy as you might think! After a few minutes, we moved along a seat, so every part of the fabric was drawn on by all of us. We also included our name or initials each time, since graffiti is so much about tagging, about declaring, "I was here, this is my space".

Here are some close-ups of our work: Some names are easy to see, others less so.

We limited ourselves to black and red pens, and tried to cover the whole fabric evenly, like a graffitied wall. The fabric also had a muted pattern. Here's what the whole fabric looked like:(Sorry, it's hard to get all the marks to show up, but it gives you a general idea.) Once we finished, we cut the fabric into equal pieces and, with the drawing folded inside, each person took a piece. Our challenge is to use the fabric in some way and bring the results to our first February meeting in 2010. (The long lead time is because we are also doing another collaborative project at present, but since some members want the work they receive to be a surprise, we can't share those things with you yet. Stay tuned!) Each person can change the fabric in whatever way she likes - by adding colour, by cutting it apart, by stitching, whatever they want to do. I think the results will be fascinating!

No comments: