Honours ideas

Just want to document what was discussed when I met with Toby Juliffe in regard to getting started with my Honours proposal.

Want to know their own practice better. What is my practice doing?

Insight into journey of practice – experiment, write, produce.

Aligned to ambition.

Proposal is in four sections and about 1000 words total.

Use references

Can decide on research or professional at the end of the first semester.

Outcome for research findings can be exegesis, publication, website, podcasts, exhibition.

Four sections – Summary – what is your question, needs to be pretty narrow, external -politics, social justice, medium related – capacity, integrity

Context – ” companions” in this area

Significance – why do this – now, here? social, aesthetic, medium etc

Outcome – guess this just means final body of work and mode of presenting research.

Needs to contribute a voice to an area.

What is motivating me and why am I doing it.

When I mentioned quilting Toby just through our a type of question – “capacity for quilting as a critical medium for art“. Sounds something like what I might like to do.

Before I was thinking that I would be putting forward something around the depiction of everyday objects but now I am thinking that it will be more about the medium of quilt making and its place in the art world. Or maybe its ability to have a place in the art world. Or maybe what elements are required for it to be taken seriously as art. Got to be careful because these are possibly questions that are too big.

But I am definitely thinking that I don’t want to limit myself to one way of printing on fabric or one theme, but rather limit myself to the production of quilts of various, possibly emotive themes. It really would be a return to my original reason for going to tafe – to learn to print on fabric to use in quilts. Of course since then it has become so much more.

Toby straight off mentioned Tal Fitzpatrick – who is an artist that works with quilts -often collaborative quilts. She calls herself a craftivist and uses quilts as a form of social activism. Not my interest really but someone to look at.

My other thought has been around art and health. Maybe I could research around mental health and quiltmaking in some way. I need to finish the unit on Arts and Health and then I’m also learning about dementia now as part of the Island Project so there is that that could also be incorporated. But that’s a bit off track possibly. Need to find artists working with quilts so I can find some “companions” and see what sort of questions or things they are working through.

Tal Fitzpatrick and Kate Just – covid19quilt on instagram

The digital submitted squares automatically assemble themselves on the instagram feed in a quilt format. So far looks like their are more than 400 submissions. I will need to make a square and submit too.


https://www.instagram.com/covid19quilt/    Viewed 9 August 2020

@stephskardal              https://www.instagram.com/craftyescapism/       https://www.instagram.com/jemolsen/      https://www.instagram.com/jacksonwicks/          https://www.instagram.com/annabelelgarphotography/        https://www.instagram.com/rowan.bridgwood/

Reading from left to right these are the artists that have contributed to this tiny segment of the covid19quilt that I have depicted here. I love the juxtaposition of the aggressive sentiment and the delicate embroidery in Fuck this shit.

This is a large scale collaborative project which to some extent resonates with my interest in the benefits to  health, especially mental health, around making.

2020_Honours_Application_Guidelines_TJ Coord

Project Proposal Guidelines from the application guidelines

Reasons for writing a project proposal

Your project proposal:

  • Gives you an opportunity to think through your project carefully, and clarify and define what you will do during your program of study
  • Provides you with an outline to guide you through your project
  • Lets the School know what you are planning to do
  • Helps the School choose an appropriate supervisor and work space


Developing your proposal

The process includes:

  • Choosing a topic
  • Narrowing and focussing your topic
  • Outlining the key literature and examples of art or design work in the topic area
  • Deciding on what visual strategies you will use to explore your topic


Your project proposal does not permanently set what you will do. It is a starting point and throughout your course you will probably adjust and change your project.


A suggested format for your project proposal

Please provide your name:

Please indicate your preferred Honours stream – Research (Studio), Research (Theory), Professional (Studio) or Professional (Internship):

Please indicate your preferred studio/media/work placement:


Description: (approximately 250 words):

Provide a brief description of your project, outlining your intentions and proposed outcomes.



Resolution: (approximately 250 words):

Outline the strategies you will employ in the development of your project. In the case of studio-based projects, this should include the practical and/or technical steps required. In the case of internships, this should include a synopsis of skills and vocational outcomes.


Significance: (approximately 250 words):

Explain why this project is of interest to you in personal, social, vocational or artistic terms. Where relevant refer to previous projects that you have engaged in.


Context: (approximately 250 words):

Provide a summary of contextual references for your project. This may include other work in the field that is relevant to your project in terms of idea, theme, style, method or technique.


Photograms – 

Should my honours be about this or about quilts. Loving my photograms on fabric currently. That’s all.



Starting self portrait

Self portrait.jpg

This is just a sketch from a photo. I have used gelato crayons and brushed over them with water. I’m starting to think about what I might do for this project. Last time I did a self portrait was in this unit in first year painting.

FIrst year self portrait

This painting was about me and how I felt about the situation with my son and how I felt a need to confess my failures around him. I’m thinking this was done in 2015 but I’m not sure.

Since then things have moved on to a situation where I no longer feel the need to confess, and in fact have been surprised myself with the resilience and perseverance I have been able to sustain in the fight to get him help.

I’m going to attempt to show that in this portrait. My idea was to fracture my image and then reassemble, not quite right but held in one place with embroidery in a chicken wire pattern. Just a slight bit of leakage beyond the chicken wire.

My starting portrait could be a photograph, or it could be a painting like above where I translate it into a digital image that can be digitally fractured and then placed back in place by printing on fabric and sewing together.

Thinking maybe I will piece together lightly and then show the straining at the edges of pieces with stitch. I don’t want raw edges because I still want it ultimately to be able to be washed as a quilt. Maybe I don’t need chicken wire pattern – maybe visible stitch showing the pieces being held together with strong stitches, or maybe mended strongly?

? a bit of a hodge podge of facial imagery from painting and photos patched together.

Think first step is to use the above to do a bit of a small tester.
self portrait bw.jpg

Start by changing to black and white and printing an inverted emulsion down transparency.


Turned out too dark which is mostly a function of overexposure but I feel like I can see enough that I don’t really want to go with it. It is rough looking on the surface which is not what I was hoping to show. Trying to show a disintegrating soft outer with a resilient core.

Painting week Four – Culture and Identity


Howard Arkley – colourful outlined work with a lot of the content being suburbia and the everyday.  Referencing both the everyday and art history.  –  made me think of my work with everyday objects and details and attempts to present them in an art context. Not particularly about culture/identity for me though. Howard Arkley.JPG

Triple fronted , 1987       https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/1.2014/  Viewed 6 Aug 2020

Lindy Lee –Lindy Lee.jpg

https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/219.2004.a-t/      Viewed 6 Aug 2020

These two included photos are the same photo but one is darker than the other.  It’s interesting how different it makes them look. Repetition with variation. This sort of configuration suits my work but I’m not sure what it says. To me it looks haunting and suggestive of loss. As though a lot of what might have been there in red has been covered up by black.

Kara Walker – 

Kara Walker

The keys to the coop   1997

In the tate article associated with this it mentioned the simplicity of silhouettes resonating with the simplicity of racial stereotypes.

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/walker-the-keys-to-the-coop-p78211     Viewed 6 August 2020

I’m more interested in the potential of silhouettes as a process given that they work well with my solar fast imagery. There is a lot of detail in the image above but it has a kind of cartoon quality which I’m not looking to use.

Sometimes I think that the stencils yield up interesting shapes and a certain reduction in the distraction away from form that lots of internal detail can give. Having said that, I like to create internal markings that don’t necessarily reflect the exact detail of what is present but more create a certain mood.

In my dog work I was happy that the man had some degraded sort of marking within his silhouette to resonate with the idea that he was being lost.





Painting 2B Black dog

First experiment using solar fast to paint with and exposure as I went. Wasn’t very happy with the image itself although the composition was ok. Don’t like the soft edges and painterly quality. Too flat and uninteresting.

This is a composition of stencils with each stencil exposed to different colour solarfast individually. It is better than the painting but I’m still not sure it’s cohesive with the separate pure colours. It has a bit of texture from the prints but not as much as I would like. And I did really want the dog sitting on the man’s chest but I have placed it wrongly.

This third experiment was printed on silk/wool compared to cotton sateen for the one above and it hasn’t taken the colour as well as I would have liked. It appears very muted and I’m not happy with the beige appearance of the background.

I have moved on to dyeing with orange landscape to unify the background and I am reprinting some of the stencils on top to see if I can demarcate them better and strengthen their colour which was someone lost with the orange dye. Likely I will end up with a painting of brown shadows on orange. Not sure what I think about that yet. If its not as good I am going to stop and just use the second version because for me this is about experimentation. The experiment of using stencils has worked in my opinion but I haven’t quite worked out the best way of applying background colour. I may try just painting colour on the back and exposing it through the front after I have already applied the stencils. That may be less invasive than dyeing. Or maybe just expose the back in colour and enough may show through to the front to tint the front without altering the colour in the stencilled area.

Black dog final.jpg

Ok this is the final one. Not perfect but I am moving on. Fabric gives it a muted matte feel which is more noticeable on the silk wool weave than on cotton sateen. This one looked a bit muddy with more loss of colour than I wanted, and I didn’t feel that the planes were well defined so I added the stitching to try and define picture planes better.

I would definitely have liked to have more control over the background colour so that the front colours are not so muddied. I don’t might dulling the colours from the primaries but here I feel like I lost control of the process.

Good thing is that I am pleased with the sewing. Doesn’t interfere with the pleasurable sharp edges of the image but still serves a purpose to better define areas of the work.

Photography Week three- Survey and Story

Stephen Shore video – How to see

Take away from that for me was that with your normal vision the subject is always in the centre. Your fovea is a very small central area on the retina which is what sees colour and is the only area of vision that is sharp when you look at something. The idea of a bigger form is built up from lots of tiny central snippets put together in your brain.

A bit like cubism where all the snippets are assembled from different viewpoints, and then your brain is asked to put that together to suggest a form.

This sort of assembly of image suits well with my way of working in regard to a quilting background and wanting to work with fabric.

Berndt and Hilla Becker 

Lots of series of water towers and other industrial structures photographed in a way that seemed to isolate them from the environment with white sky and flat light and no people.

Nan Goldin

The Ballad of sexual dependency

Lots of photographs taken of her friends and people she lived with in interior environments. Nan Goldin took photos with many different cameras and believed ‘Content is important rather than quality of photographs’. They have the feel of old polaroid photos with the focus not completely sharp and the colours not necessarily true. This adds to the feeling of nostalgia, something lost or in the past.

Sally Mann

Series based on photos of her husband who was slowly dying of MS. That knowledge adds to the emotive quality of the photographs and the bare flesh adds to intimacy.


Continuing with Covid Toes Triptych:


covid toes progress.jpg

Nearly completed. All that remains is to turn in the edges with the same material as the central dividers. I don’t really like the wrinkles although they fit with the tired and worn nature of the subject.


Need to move on to Diptych. Wasn’t sure that I had to do both but seems we do.

Bricks and Mortar

This will be my subject for the diptych. Our house is brick built by a person who took a lot of pride in making things neat and strong and right. It is the proverbial brick shit house. In this covid time our home has become even more important than before. We have been finding new things to appreciate about it and are very grateful that we have this well built sanctuary.

I’m thinking I want to try photograms for this. Probably layered photograms.

For bricks I can use two bricks and work with photograms showing multiple differents angles of the bricks. Will start with the bricks covering most of the plate and then gradually overlay the smaller sides into the photogram.

Mortar poses more of a problem but I think I will first cast the mortar between bricks out of plaster. Then make similar photograms out of the sheet of “mortar”.