Featured artist – Trudy Rice

Featured artist – Trudy Rice

Trudy Rice Black Cockatoo & Hakea II-1

We are delighted to introduce our featured artist for June – Trudy Rice. Trudy is an Australian printmaker currently living and working in Melbourne, Australia. Trudy works mainly in solar plate etching, a form of etching that has minimal impact on the environment and produces spectacular results. You can see more of Trudy’s work in her Counterweave catalogue.

Much of her inspiration is collected quite close to home, from her garden and around the coastal landscape of Lorne on Victoria’s picturesque Great Ocean Road. Her studio is filled with specimens collected from the bush and sea. Clear air, gorgeous skies, beach and bush provide a never-ending palette to draw from.

Trudy has work in the collection of the Olivia Newton John Cancer & Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital and other various Private Collections throughout Australia & UK. You can also buy her artwork on a range of homewares, from cushions to table runners and wallpaper through the Trudy Rice Collection. Her latest project is a commission for 8 metre artwork for an apartment lobby which is being refurbished.  The theme for the artwork is ‘bringing the outdoor gardens inside’, with a little Japanese inspiration from the bamboo in the garden.

Trudy Rice sketch

 

Trudy Rice – Red dragonfly with 4 seed pods & green cotton lavender-1

Trudy’s teaching includes workshops on linocut printing, solar plate etching and gelli-plate printing. She also gives regular live printing demonstrations. Trudy has managed and curated exhibitions since 2009 and is Curator & Convenor for Albert Park Secondary College Art Show often raising over $25,000 each year for this Creative Public School.

Trudy Rice Blue Pincushion Protea in the garden-1

www.trudyrice.com

Featured artist profile – Mary Burgess

Silk neckpiece

We are delighted to feature Australian artist Mary Burgess during April.  Mary is a hand weaver based in Melbourne, Australia. We were very proud to stage Mary’s exhibition ‘Weaving Meaning’ here in Rome in July 2017, which featured some of the works from her Woven Memories project.

Mother Rug, part of the Weaving Meaning exhibition, Rome, July 2017.

As part of Woven Memories, Mary 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.

Woven Memory project in progress

We have a number of Mary’s incredible pieces of wearable art in the Counterweave collection. As well as necklaces made from vintage Lyon silk, we have some of Mary’s very special talisman pouches, woven from eco-dyed silk and often incorporating found objects like parrot feathers and special sticks from Mary’s travels through Central Australia. You can buy Mary’s pieces through the Counterweave Arts online shop or contact us if you are in Rome to visit the gallery.

Talisman pouches

Australian hand weaver Mary Burgess in her Melbourne studio

 

Exciting news!

We are really excited to announce that LM Knowles has joined Counterweave!

LM is a successful contemporary Australian artist of Aboriginal and European descent, currently living in France.

My art practice has been driven by ongoing personal desire to seek out traces of my heritage, and to construct an understanding of my identity and ‘place’ in Australia’s present day multicultural society. It has become an unremitting examination of the narratives and stories of Australia’s postcolonial histories, and the impact they have had on Indigenous culture today; in particular women such as myself.

LM’s unique textural collage paintings combine textiles, leather and paper with traditional Indigenous materials like fur and grass tree resin.  She has exhibited her work across Australia and Europe. Find out more about her here.

LM’s work will be available in the gallery from mid-November  email [email protected] for more information or to book a private gallery viewing.

We are very grateful to the Australian Cultural Centre – Italy who introduced LM Knowles to Counterweave and saw the possibilities and connections between our work. The Australian Cultural Centre – Italy provides support for Australians and Australian projects and programs in Italy, and works with local Italian Communities to create and develop projects and programs between Australia and Italy that offer long-term value to both of our countries. More information on the Australian Cultural Centre – Italy can be found here.

Australian art in Rome in August and autumn classes

art | craft | anima - Counterweave - Melbourne + Rome. Australian, Aboriginal & Asia-Pacific contemporary arts, crafts & textiles. Reiki & Tarot.

Felicity Griffin Clark – mixed media indigo concertina art book

Australian art specialists in Rome, Counterweave Arts Gallery & Workshop is open throughout the summer.

August in Rome is traditionally when businesses close for the summer holiday. It’s true Rome is hot, people are saying ‘see you in September’ and there are signs going up on shop doors saying ‘chiuso per ferie’. But Counterweave Arts is open for business! If you want a cool place to revive, and see some beautiful artwork by Australian artists email us at [email protected] to arrange an appointment. Currently in the gallery we have works on canvas by Central Australian Aboriginal artists represented by Artists of Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, etchings by Melbourne artists, Lisa Sewards and Trudy Rice, and mixed media and textiles by Felicity Griffin Clark. Click here to see full catalogues of our current stock.

 

Nathania Nangala Granites, Warlukurlangu Jukurrpa (Fire country Dreaming)

 

Lisa Sewards Love is in the air

 

We also have some amazing wearable art in stock, with beautiful handwoven necklaces by Mary Burgess, silk scarves featuring the unique designs of Artists of Ampilatwatja and indigo silk scarves by Felicity Griffin Clark. These are also available in the online shop here.

We are currently working on our autumn/winter 2017 Counterweave Workshop program, with classes including:

  • Introduction to eco and indigo dyeing (one day workshop)

  • Introduction to shibori (one day workshop)

  • Meditating the Spindle – an introduction to mindful spinning (three half-day workshops)

Workshops will include materials, class notes and snacks, for a maximum of six participants, and led by Felicity Griffin Clark, an experienced mixed media and textile artist.  Dyeing and shibori workshops will use a range of natural materials including silk, wool, cotton and paper. Meditating the Spindle will focus on using wool and silk fibres. One to one classes for individual students are also available.

For more information email [email protected] or subscribe to the Counterweave newsletter for updates on exhibitions, opening nights, workshops and early bird discounts. A full autumn program and online booking will be available soon.

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).

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 [email protected] 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!

 

Counterweave Arts opening exhibition

Counterweave Arts is proud to invite you to our opening exhibition, featuring etchings by Australian printmakers Lisa Sewards and Trudy Rice and paintings and textiles from the Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu artists of Central Australia. The exhibition opens on Tuesday 27 June at 6.30pm and will be open by appointment from 28 June until Saturday 15 July. If you can’t get to the gallery please email us at [email protected] and we’ll send you a pdf catalogue.

Lisa Sewards, Little Parachute Pigeon 1/8, Etching (solar plate), plate size 9.5×20.5cm, paper 21x28cm, edition of 8, unframed, 2017 POA

Based in Melbourne, Trudy and Lisa have complementary approaches to printmaking and draw on a range of contemporary and traditional techniques including intaglio, etching, linocut, solar plate etching and digital technology.

Lisa Sewards is an award-winning Melbourne based artist with her work represented in collections throughout Australia. Lisa explores themes of memory, safety, silence, hope and strength through recurring images of parachutes and carrier pigeons, and the roles they played during World War II.  The parachute object is the source for her imagery, continually creating storytelling in the absence of text.  Find out more about Lisa here.

Trudy Rice, Red dragonfly with 4 seed pods and green cotton lavender etching (solar plate) 38 x 57 cm, unframed, POA

Trudy Rice is well-known for her sensitive artistic response to the natural world – her work features exquisitely observed and rendered depiction of birds, native plants, insects and sealife.  Much of her inspiration is collected quite close to home, from her garden and around the coastal landscape of Lorne on Victoria’s picturesque Great Ocean Road. Her studio is filled with specimens collected from the bush and sea. Find out more about Trudy here.

The work of Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu artists reflects their deep connection to country – we will be featuring different artists from both communities on the blog over the next few weeks. This post highlights the work of Lorraine Napangardi Wheeler of the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation and Joycie Pitjarra Morton of Artists of Ampilatwatja.

Lorraine Napangardi Wheeler,  Lukarrara Jukurrpa (Desert Fringe-rush Seed Dreaming) (30 x 30 cm) POA

Lorraine Napangardi Wheeler’s painting is of  the Lukarrara Jukurrpa, which Jukurrpa belongs to women of the Nakamarra/Napurrurla subsections and to Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men. This Dreaming is associated with a place called Jaralypari, north of Yuendumu. Find out more about Lorraine’s painting here.

Joycie Pitjarra Morton, My Country 61 x 51 cm Acrylic on Linen POA

Joycie Pitjarra Morton paints with Artists of Ampilatwatja.  Joycie’s husband is from Ampilatwatja and she has lived here for many years, however her country is “out Rum Jungle Way.” about 100 kms south of Darwin. In 1952 the Australian Government funded the setting up of a mine and treatment plant to provide uranium oxide concentrate to the UK-US. Although the Rum Jungle mine closed in 1971, one of the main environmental impacts of uranium mining is the creation of large volumes of radioactive mine waste (tailings) which are left behind on the site. Joycie’s land is still recovering from the damage that was done. This painting of Joycie’s depicts a happier time, when she remembers the land from which she came. Find out more about Joycie here.

 

 

 

 

 

new work from Australia

 

Joy Nangala Brown

Yumari Jukurrpa (Yumari Dreaming)

91 x 46 cm

Our first shipments of art from Aboriginal communities in Central Australia have arrived in Italy.  Paintings from the Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists Corporation, and paintings and art textiles (handpainted silks scarves and wraps) from Artists of Ampilatwatja will soon be available in the Counterweave Gallery. For information on pricing and to receive a pdf catalogue please contact us at [email protected]

 

Daisy Kemarre Turner

My Mothers Country

30 x 30 cm

Learn more about Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation and Artists of Ampilatwatja on the Counterweave artists page.

 

New Reiki wearable art in the Counterweave Etsy shop!

  Handwoven, Reiki-infused talismans by Felicity Griffin Clark have been added to the Counterweave Etsy shop.

I carefully handweave each talisman, and include decorative and significant elements as I go. The process of making these talismans is meditative and I am guided by the energy of the talisman to make knots in the cords, add crystals and feathers. Once completed, I infuse the talisman with positive, healing Reiki energy.

The talisman is securely attached to a hemp cord and can be worn as a unique piece of wearable art, or hung on the wall.  Custom orders are very welcome – contact Felicity here at [email protected]

As well as being a well-established textile and mixed media artist, Felicity is an experienced Reiki practitioner, attuned to Master level in the Usui tradition. Felicity is available for in-person sessions at the Counterweave in Rome, or Distance Reiki sessions with feedback via Skype or email. Book now through the Counterweave Anima website.