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Echoes of Land and Sea

Our open studio and exhibition for Rome Art Week was a great success! Echoes of Land and Sea showcased the work of textile artists Felicity Griffin Clark and Olga Teksheva, and was curated by Velia Littera.

 

work by Olga Teksheva

We had many visitors for the opening night and during the week. They were fascinated by the use of textiles as a potent medium to create modern, expressive art and by the capacity of textiles to achieve such a range of effects.

work by Felicity Griffin Clark

As well as admiring the artworks, people were fascinated by the collaborative installation where the artists displayed their sketchbooks, experiments and inspirations from nature. As an added piece of excitement, both Felicity Griffin Clark and Olga Teksheva were admitted to the Society for Embroidered Work during the course of the exhibition. The Society is a professional organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting artists who use stitch as a component of their work. This is a cause dear to our hearts and we were thrilled to become members of S.E.W.

Counterweave is planning a bigger exhibition in autumn 2019 to showcase the versatility of textile as an art form.

Rome Art Week open studio

Come and celebrate Rome Art Week at our open studio on Tuesday 23 October 5:00-9:00pm. Counterweave will be showing the work of textile artists Felicity Griffin Clark and Olga Teksheva in “Echoes of Land and Sea”.

Textile art and fiber art are two fields of contemporary art that are still little known in Italy, where embroidery, weaving, quilting and crocheting are still considered “making” and “craft”, but are rarely seen as “proper art”. This vision is quite different from what’s going on in other countries, mainly UK, US, Australia, France, Russia and Scandinavian countries.

That’s why the Open House at Counterweave Arts is a rare event of contemporary Roman art scene and is really worth visiting. This event is organized by Felicity Griffin Clark (Australian artist and writer, now living in Rome) and Olga Teksheva (textile and fiber artist born in Moscow and based in Rome), and curated by Velia Littera.

Felicity Griffin Clark has been working with textiles since 2005 and has exhibited in Australia, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, South Africa and the US. She uses a range of media and techniques to combine colours, textures and meanings in unconventional ways. She has a deep knowledge of traditional craft skills and uses them unexpectedly. Felicity likes people to be intrigued by her work: able to recognize elements (such as embroidery stitches) but surprised by the context, or by the meaning of the work.

Olga Teksheva started her artistic career in 2011 as an embroidery artist, working mainly in haute couture and contemporary embroidery, and also creating artistic textiles as wearable art. After a few fashion seasons she began to perceive wearable art projects as “restricting”, both in measurements and practical sense, and gradually passed to visual art, transforming and “deforming” traditional techniques of textile manipulation. In 2017 she created her first large fiber installation, and since then developed more projects in this direction.

Both artists share passion for innovation in traditional craft skills, experimentation, surprise, elaborating precious, intrinsic textures. Both of them are interested in conveying deep emotions such as grief, memory, trauma and stigma; but also courage, resistance, hope and joy. The colours, rhythms and textures of landscapes and seascapes evoke and reflect these emotional states and can provide a key to working through them.

For those visitors who would like to see the exhibiton from the 24th to the 27th of October, you can book an appointment by clicking on this link to Calendly.

Autumn workshops

Come and join us for our autumn workshops! Counterweave craft classes are fun and relaxing. My approach combines technical know-how with calm encouragement and stress-reducing meditation.

To book your place, just click on the the name of the workshop. If you can’t make these dates, please email me at [email protected] and we can organise a private lesson.

September

October

November

December

 

Etsy restock and other Counterweave news!

We’re back from holidays and are working on all sorts of exciting Counterweave ideas. Autumn and winter workshops will be uploaded to the website soon, and there will be all sorts of lovely handmade items going into the Counterweave Etsy shop over the next couple of weeks.

Keep an eye out for new artworks and a new line of art and craft supplies, including vintage Japanese kimono fabric packs, vintage laces and trims and handspun yarns. And don’t forget there’s free shipping on all items in the Counterweave Etsy shop.

This week’s update features:

  • three types of kami ito paper yarn or thread, handspun by Felicity Griffin Clark, using Japanese washi paper. Kami ito is very strong and is traditionally used in Japanese shifu weaving. It can also be knitted and crocheted and used in mixed media work. (Click on the photos for more details and pics!)

  • Handwoven wall hangings by Felicity Griffin Clark using handpsun Shetland wool, commercial yarn silk ribbon and found objects.

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).

Counterweave wearable art

Free shipping for Mother’s Day in the Counterweave Etsy shop!

eco-dyed, indigo dipped silk scarf

Sunday 14 May is Mother’s Day and we have your perfect Mother’s Day present in the Counterweave Etsy shop.

embroidered knot brooches

Free shipping on all our handmade wearable art, and unique artworks until Friday 12 May, using the MOTHERSDAY17 code at the checkout.

eco-dyed, indigo dipped silk scarf

Counterweave in Rome

We have now settled into Rome and have a permanent base in the ancient quarter of Monti. The last couple of months have been spent out and about looking for the right space for the Counterweave Arte gallery and workshop, visiting galleries and meeting curators, artists and people in the art world.

Felicity was very pleased to be able to participate in the World Interfaith Harmony Week exhibition “Lo spirituale nell’arte” which concludes tomorrow and was held in the Spazio Museale Centro Islamico Culturale d’Italia, part of the Grand Mosque of Rome.

As the Counterweave project picks up momentum we are looking forward to showcasing some wonderful contemporary Australian art, and to welcoming Aboriginal community organisations and artists to Counterweave. Later this month we will begin a regular series of posts highlighting our artists.  We are also looking forward to launching Counterweave Anima – the Reiki and counselling part of the project: for the moment you can find out more about Counterweave Anima and book a distance Reiki session by visiting our Counterweave Anima Facebook page – click here.

Introducing Counterweave!

Trace Willans Fragments 1aWelcome to the Counterweave website!

Counterweave Arts gallery and workshop will be opening in Rome, Italy early in 2017 selling and exhibiting work by a range of Australian artists.

Mary Burgess my-mother-was-a-bride-wedding-dress-fragments-neckpiece

 

We are an ethical, fair trade company proud to be working in partnership with a number of Aboriginal art organisations representing Aboriginal artists and communities across Australia. We are members of the Indigenous Art Code whose logo you will see across the website – we encourage you to click on the links and find out more about the Code and ethical and respectful trading with Aboriginal artists.

Over the next few months we will be introducing the wonderful Australian artists whose work we will be selling and exhibiting. In the meantime have a look around and enjoy!

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