Aspects of the Goddess exhibition

 

Counterweave’s exhibition for Rome Art Week opens on Tuesday 22 October from 6.30 to 9.00pm.

Come and meet some of the artists and see how they interpreted the exhibition theme of Aspects of the Goddess. If you can’t make it to Rome, there is an online exhibition too. All artworks are for sale – email us for more details.

 

 

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 artists profile – Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation

Our featured artists for May are from the Warlukurlangu community in Central Australia. Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a community owned and run organisation representing artists from the remote desert Warlpiri communities of Yuendumu, Nyirripi and Yuelumu, which are located in the centre of Australia, 290km northwest of Alice Springs.

Warlukurlangu’s aim is to share and promote Warlpiri culture, to promote greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and to support local community projects  such as the Yuendumu Community Swimming Pool, the Kurdu Kurdukurlangu Childcare Centre and a scholarship fund supporting Aboriginal students studying medical and health related degrees at the University of New South Wales.

Joy Nangala Brown

Warlukurlangu is one of the oldest and most successful Aboriginal community-owned art centres in Australia. It has been owned and run by the Warlpiri and Anmatyerre people of the Yuendumu community since 1985. Works by Warlukurlangu artists are held in galleries and private collections around the world.

Ursula Napangardi Hudson

Warlukurlangu artists’ paintings act as ‘Dreaming tracks’ or maps and explain where and how features such as mountains, rocks and water sources/soaks were created. The paintings reflect and interpret the landscape (including the sky), birds, animals, plants and rocks – all full of significance and cultural meaning. Landscape features such as mountain ranges, valleys, soakages and rivers are seen as the result of ancient events and battles.Justinna Napaljarri Sims

These paintings do not reveal secret knowledge: they  share a certain level of knowledge that anyone is allowed to have access to. In keeping with Aboriginal laws, the artists reveal only a small amount of knowledge to the uninitiated. Artists talk of two broad levels of interpretation, the “inside” stories which are restricted to those of the appropriate ritual standing, and the “outside” stories which are open to all. Painting is an important way of passing on knowledge from Elders to the younger generations. Before Western paints and materials were introduced in the 1970s, Aboriginal people would draw in the dust, make petroglyphs and use ochre to decorate their bodies, tools and rock formations such as caves (rock art).

Alice Nampijinpa Michaels

To see more of these incredible artworks by Warlukurlangu artists, go to the Warlukurlangu catalogue or contact us if you are in Rome to visit the gallery. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram feeds as we feature more artists throughout May.

[Information used with kind permission of 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.]

Featured artist – Lisa Sewards

This year we will be doing monthly profiles on all our artists. Our featured artist for March is Australian printmaker Lisa Sewards.

Lisa uses traditional printmaking techniques including etching, drypoint, aquatint, and engraving. She also explores the potential of solar plate etching. We have a number of Lisa’s etchings in our catalogue. You can see them online or make an appointment to see them in our Rome gallery.

Lisa Sewards Little Parachute Pigeon

Lisa’s work combines delicacy of touch with strong imagery and a limited palette. Her iconography reflects a preoccupation with memory, identity and loss stemming from her family’s experiences in World War 2. Parachutes, carrier pigeons and water are all recurring motifs, loaded with emotional significance.

Lisa Sewards Love is in the air

Lisa has been represented in major exhibitions around Australia, including solo exhibitions at the Port Jackson Press and fortyfivedownstairs galleries in Melbourne.  In 2018 she was a finalist in the Collins Place Gallery Summer Salon Art Prize and the 45th Muswellbrook Art Prize
Works on Paper Section

Lisa Sewards Chaos-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

strong in culture

Counterweave Arts is more than selling Aboriginal art – we believe sharing aspects of Aboriginal culture is a fundamental part of being an ethical fair trade business. Aboriginal artists choose to share stories and knowledge through their paintings: these artworks are not just beautiful objects, they share some of the intricate cosmology, social structures, botany, medicine and spirituality that runs through every aspect of life. They are full of significance and meaning.

Agnes Nampijinpa Brown Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) – Puyurru

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have lived in what we now call Australia for at least 60,000 years. Aboriginal culture is the longest continuing culture in the world and it continues to live and grow,  handed down through the generations through ceremony, lore, song, art and language. For Aboriginal people culture and connection to country are fundamental to identity: being strong in culture means knowing who you are, where you fit, where you belong. And language is key to this. More than 250 Indigenous Australian language groups were spoken at the time of colonisation in the late 18th-century. Around 120 are still spoken today but there is a great deal of work happening around the country to revive, preserve, and strengthen language. More information is available at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies https://aiatsis.gov.au/

Currently Counterweave stocks artworks from Artists of Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation. These are communities in the very centre of Australia – about 300 kilometres east (Ampilatwatja) and west (Warlukurlangu) of Alice Springs and for many of the artists English may be their fourth or fifth language.

Margaret Kemarre Ross of Artists of Ampilatwatja

Maria Nampijinpa Brown of Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation

In other parts of Australia English is the dominant language and Aboriginal languages have disappeared or are spoken by very few people. This is especially true in the south east of Australia where colonisation almost wiped out the local Aboriginal peoples, in spite of a strong resistance. Gunai/Kurnai country is not far from our home city of Melbourne: local elders have been working hard to revive and share the Gunai/Kurnai language and in doing so, preserve and hand on the unique Gunai/Kurnai culture.

‘Language isn’t just about speaking, it’s your whole way of life,’ explained Lynnette Solomon-Dent. ‘It tells you what’s in the country, what the stories are, what your obligations are to each other.’ Unpack a single word and you can start to understand a system of kin relations and cultural obligations that are still alive and well. The word for ‘mother’ doubles as the word used for Lynnette’s sisters. If anything happened to Lynnette, her sisters would automatically become mothers to her children. It’s all there in the language.

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  • note that we use the term “Aboriginal people” to include Torres Strait Islander people. This is not meant disrespectfully but to avoid repetition. For brevity and readability we use the term, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples” at the beginning of a written piece, and “Aboriginal people” thereafter.

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).

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 [email protected] 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 [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.]