Mary Burgess Il significativo della tessitura

Mary Burgess: Il significato della tessitura

20 luglio al 28 luglio

Counterweave Arte, Via Tor De’ Conti, 22, Roma

“La tessitura diventa una reliquia dell’atto che si materializza, quando qualcosa di tangibile viene lanciata giù nel mondo, dando forma a qualcosa che si sarebbe stata sentita, sepolta dentro, è magari pure persa.” Mary Ma

 I tessuti di famiglia – i maglioni, i vestiti, i cappotti, gli accappatoi, le sciarpe, le cravatte, le coperte e più rimango silenziosi in tanti cassetti, armadi e garage. Non le vogliamo perdere ma non sappiamo che cosa farne. A volte, le buttiamo via velocemente ma con riluttanza quando facciamo la pulizia di primavera o quando un familiare muore.

Le opere qui sono tutte risposte al tentativo di tenere sospeso il filo, sia letteralmente che metaforicamente. I tessili e l’abbigliamento sono stati rilavorati attraverso il mezzo della tessitura a mano. In tutti i casi, la lavorazione coinvolgeva la decisione di usare i tessili del passato per creare qualcosa per il futuro.

Ogni capo è emerso attraverso la distruzione: strappare, lacerare e tagliare, scucire o dipanare i tessuti e l’abbigliamento. Spesso, quest’esperienza sembra rivivere la perdita dolorosa. Il processo coinvolge la rêverie, il racconto delle storie familiari, la comparsa delle verità conosciute ma impensate e la reinterpretazione dei rapporti. La tessitura sia delle storie che dei tessuti crea un oggetto tangibile dove il passato e il futuro diventano una matrice nuova, che tiene strati di significato pubblici e privati.

Questo è un processo sottile, che spesso non si può descrivere. C’è pure un senso che il capo nuovo non collega soltanto il passato con il futuro, ma sviluppa anche una vita e una storia propria.

Mary Burgess

“Tutto che creo è un tentativo a tessere una connessione con il mondo: lo sto sempre tessendo perché una volta è rotta.” Anais Nin

Mary è una tessitrice a mano da Melbourne, Australia. Si focalizza sulla memoria ed i tessili. Attraverso la propria esperienza di perdere il suo partner, ha sviluppato interesse nel modo in cui il dolore può diventare un po’ più sopportabile, magari trasformato dal processo di portare l’abbagliamento ed i tessili vecchi della famiglia e usarli per tessere una ‘memory cloth’ per il futuro. Mary ha scoperto che, attraverso il processo di tessere con le strisce strappate di tessuti che significano una cosa importante, qualcosa di nuova può anche essere tessuta dentro di noi.

Lavora con la gente che cerca a creare qualcosa originale che dura, dal vecchio ma prezioso abbigliamento di famiglia. Il suo processo creativo coinvolge ascoltare le storie di famiglia, disegnando in collaborazione con ogni cliente e usando i lori pezzi per tessere quello che si vuole: forse una coperta, una sciarpa, una borsa, una collana, oppure una decorazione per le pareti. Mary utilizza un originale telaio a terra a 4 licci molto bello ed un numero di telai da tavolo, a seconda il progetto. Lavora dal suo studio nel centro di Melbourne nel Nicholas Building, un edificio in stile Art-Déco che ospita tante piccole gallerie, gli artisti, gli architetti, le modiste, le gioielliere e le librerie. https://wovenmemories.com.au

L’abito di Delft

 In memoria di mia madre olandese ed il suo accappatoio blu che abbiamo comprato a Rotterdam.

“Non mi ricordo di mia madre, solo quando mando i miei occhi dalla finestra di mia camera da letto, nel blu del cielo distante, mi sento sulla mia faccia la quiete dello suo sguardo che si è diffusa attraverso il cielo intero.” Rabindranathe Tagore

Il tappetto di nonno per la bambina Ruby

Ogni volta che la madre di Ruby avvolge sua figliola in questo tappetto, si sente la forza, l’amore e la gentilezza di suo padre che racchiude la piccola, tenendola sicura ed aiutandola a crescere

La sciarpa in onore di Nina

Nina era un cocker spaniel splendida e giocosa. Adorava la sua coda piumosa, le orecchie lunghe e pelose e la sua famiglia. Questa è una memoria del suo calore, esuberante e tenero – un ricordo del suo spirito generoso.

Come mi amavi

Questo piccolo libro è una specie di narrativo, tracciando una storia d’amore. Comincia con gli inizi attraverso una grande gioia, poi la sofferenza e gli ultimi momenti del proprio partner. Utilizzando gli scampoli di vestiti, lenzuola e stoffa delle sedie, ogni piccolo tessile cucito o intessuto è una risposta alla memoria, una specie di rêverie tattile.

La copertina

La morbida mohair verde è inaspettatamente calda ed i tessuti strappati sono soffici dall’uso ed ai lavaggi. Il significato vero comunque viene dal atto di avvolgersi nei vestiti e tessuti d’un partner mancato tanto. Ogni filato ed ogni striscia strappata contiene le memorie d’un uomo di grande forza e generosità in un corpo cosi fragile – le sue qualità sono tessute insieme per proteggerla dal dolore di averlo perso.

Tappetto madre

Come si fa a rimanere aggrappato alle memorie dell’amore, le capacità e la cura d’una madre che esprimeva quelle qualità tramite l’arte di fare vestiti? Quando morì, i suoi tessuti, conservati cosi attentamente, rimanevano non usati per tanto tempo. Adesso che sono strappati a pezzi per tessere a mano, tengono le memorie di sua figlia molto sicure e, in più, la tengono caldo.

Ti tengo nel posto più sicuro che conosco

“La speranza è una cosa con le piume, che si posa nell’anima, e canta la melodia senza parole, e non si ferma – mai.” Emily Dickinson

Dentro ogni sacchetto, c’è un tesoro piccolo, qualcosa preziosa che tiene una memoria – un frammento di tessuto, un bottone, un grano, una chiave, un pezzettino di scrittura. Tenuta vicina al cuore, ogni pezzo porta una forza sorprendente e misteriosa.

Ma il dolore non finisce mai?

… non c’è un’altra parte, non c’è spingersi, c’è soltanto l’assorbimento, l’adattamento, e la rassegnazione. E dolore non è qualcosa che si può finire; anzi, si subisce. Il dolore diventa un elemento di sé stesso, un’alterazione del essere, un nuovo modo di vedere, una nuova definizione di sé.

[Translation from the original English by Natasha Kingston, Natasha Kingston Translations]

 

 

New exhibition: Mary Burgess, Weaving Meaning

Counterweave’s next exhibition opens next Thursday 22 July at 6.30pm at Via Tor De’ Conti, 22, Rome: ‘Mary Burgess, Weaving Meaning’ features works from the Woven Memories Collection. Mary is a hand-weaver who lives in Melbourne, Australia -she works with people who have kept precious clothes, fabric, scarves and buttons, often when a family member has died. Collaborating with individuals and family groups she takes apart and then re-works their loved items through the medium of hand weaving. Mary creates unique keepsake pieces such as baby blankets, bedspreads, throw rugs and scarves. These new pieces nurture and comfort and continue to hold memories of loved family members and special times.

The exhibition also documents the process of making the pieces through Mary’s project notebooks and the threads and ‘yarn’ made from the person’s clothing.

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As well as these precious objects, Mary has created some very special pieces of wearable art for Counterweave – these will be for sale at the gallery and through the website (stay tuned for more details).

Exhibition opening night!

Counterweave Arts Gallery & Workshop had a very successful exhibition opening on Tuesday evening.

The artworks by Trudy Rice, Lisa Sewards, Artist of Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation just glowed on the walls! In spite of the very warm and humid weather we had a steady stream of visitors who  were really captivated by the different responses to landscape by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists, and admired the variety of techniques and media used by the artists.

Counterweave is open by appointment – just contact us at arts@counterweave.com or through the Counterweave Facebook page to make a time! Free pdf catalogues and price lists are also available.

Warlukurlangu artist – Walter Jangala Brown

Walter Jangala Brown was born in 1977 in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. He comes from a long line of artists including Pintupi artist Ronnie Jampijinpa, a highly acclaimed painter and founder of the Papunya Tula Artists group. Walter went to Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs. When he finished school, he worked for the Shire for 2 or 3 years. He now lives in Nyirripi and is married to Valerie. They have three children.

He began painting for Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu in 2007. He paints his father’s Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming); Warna Jukurrpa (Snake Dreaming); and Yumari Jukurrpa (a collection of rocks located to the west of Kintore in the Gibson Desert). He also paints his grandfather’s Tingari Cycle. These dreamings relate directly to his land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it.

When Walter is not working or painting he plays football and goes hunting.

Walter Jangala Brown, Tingari Cycle (122 x 107 cm) acrylic on canvas POA

This painting depicts a portion of the Tingari cycle, a very important collection of Dreaming narratives from the Western Desert region . The country that this painting depicts is located far to the west of Yuendumu, and spans a vast area of land across the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts in Western Australia . Aboriginal groups that paint the Tingari cycle include the Pintupi, Kukatja, Ngarti, and Walmajarri peoples, among others. The Tingari cycle consists of three major Dreaming tracks.The cycle tells the story of a group of ancient creation ancestors, the Tingari, who travelled across the country .The Tingari took different forms, some human and some animal. Humans were typically initiated men accompanied by ‘punyunyu’ (novices, uninitiated men). The men were sometimes accompanied by extremely powerful initiated women (called variously the ‘Kungka Tjuta,’ ‘Minyma Tjuta, ‘or ‘Kanaputa’) . Like the initiated men, these initiated women were accompanied by uninitiated women to whom they provided a ritual education. Animals featured in the Tingari cycle include the dingo, emu, kingfisher, and western quoll, among others .

As the Tingari travelled over vast areas of the country, they held initiations and other ceremonies, caused or encountered raging bushfires, hunted game, found and cooked bush-tucker, fought and killed one another, disposed of the dead or brought them back to life, interacted with totemic ancestors, copulated illicitly , made and used sacred objects, flew through the air, and died in hailstorms . In the course of these adventures, they either created or became the physical features of the sites they visited, forming rocky outcrops, waterholes , trees, salt lakes, ochre deposits, and so on. These sites which are now regarded as sacred by their descendants, today’s custodians of these places.

The Tingari also laid down social customs n law as it should be practised today. Their journeys form the basis of sacred and secret men’s and women’s laws. Public paintings of th Tingari cycle typically only show the unrestricted portions of these stories.

Traditional iconography is used to represent the Dreamings, associated sites, and other elements of the Tingari cycle. In many paintings of these narratives, ancient wells, and other water features. Lines indicate rainfall and grasses that produced edible seeds after the rain, or routes taken by the Tingari as they travelled. People are represented by semi-circles. Sets of circles can represent the body-designs of the older men who are painting the bodies of the younger men, often as smaller circles.

 

[Information used with kind permission from  the Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists Corporation. Copyright of all artwork and text remains with the artists and Aboriginal traditional owners and is administered on their behalf by Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation.]

 

 

Two Australian Printmakers – Lisa Sewards and Trudy Rice

Counterweave’s opening exhibition features the work of Trudy Rice and Lisa Sewards – two well-established Australian printmakers renowned for their strength and delicacy of their work. The works in this exhibition are solar plate etchings printed on BFK Rives paper BFK Rives 280gsm, and sold unframed. Email us at arts@counterweave.com for a full catalogue and prices.

 

Lisa Sewards, Pigeon Wing II ( plate 30×20.5cm, paper 50x33cm) POA

 

Lisa Sewards, Love is in the air (plate 10.5cm diameter, paper 26x21cm) POA

 

Trudy Rice, Black Cockatoo & Hakea II (38 x 28.5 cm) POA

 

Trudy Rice, Blue Pincushion Protea in the garden
( 76 x 28.5 cm) POA

Ampilatwatja artist – Natasha Beasley

Natasha Beasley was born in 1972 in Ampilatwatja, an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory of Australia. Natasha enjoys painting with her sister Traphina Beasley and says ” I find that painting makes me feel good I want to continue painting. My kids like to paint too”.

Natasha Beasley, View Of Country (46 x 46cm) POA

The community of Ampilatwatja made a conscious decision not to paint ‘altyerr’ dreaming stories, the artists paint their country where those stories sit. This painting shows the layered landscape of Alyawarr, Central Australia. Knowing your country is an important part of living in a remote community like Ampilatwatja. Knowing when and where to go hunting and gathering, knowing where there is ‘soakage’ (where you can dig for water), travelling with family for ceremonies, and maintaining a connection with the land.

“This is my country, my view of country.”

Natasha Beasley, Bush Medicine Plants (61 x 30 cm) POA

“Bush medicine plants are used for healing on the body and for drinking. We make this by smashing the plants with a rock, we use the juice and the fibre of the plant. We collect bush medicine plants when we are out hunting. Different kinds of plants grow during different seasons. There are lots of different medicines, we know what their stories are, we learnt them from our parents and we teach these stories to our
children.” Bush medicine knowledge is still strong in Ampilatwatja, it continues to be passed down to the younger generations and is widely used. When the women go hunting they often gather bush medicine. The plants depicted here are found in the country around Ampilatwatja, they are used for soothing skin infections and to make a drink to help with colds and coughs. Painting bush medicine stories is important because it helps to maintain a strong knowledge and culture for the community.

 

[Information used with kind permission of Artists of Ampilatwatja. Copyright of all artwork and text remains with the artists and Aboriginal traditional owners and is administered on their behalf by Artists of Ampilatwatja.]

unwrapping artworks

There was great excitement here today as we unwrapped the parcels of artworks from Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists Corporation. Two huge rolls of carefully kraftpapered and bubblewrapped paintings arrived safely from Australia and were very gently opened and laid flat on our biggest table.

The works are breathtakingly beautiful – photos just can’t convey how much light and movement and colour leaps out of them. Next stage is getting the stretchers ready to gallery wrap the canvases and put them on the walls. Stay tuned!