Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My creative space: bags of bags!

I love making bags because it's the ultimate functional art-craft - part blank canvas, part utility, and often quite clever the way the bits fit together and offer little surprise pockets. It's a way for me to mix up fabrics - always an amazement as to what can work together - or indulge in a little applique or patchworkery, while, hopefully, avoiding anything too derivative.

And then there are bag charms! So much fun! Embroidered felt shapes, stuffed fabric hearts, tassels and pom-poms, key ring fobs, bracelets and beads...

I have recycled favourite dresses that no longer fit into bags; or used opshop finds, including jumpers and tablecloths - lots and lots of potential for repurpose and reuse. Other times I have used my most highly prized new fabric finds, as a bag tends to showcase in a way a garment won't.

I make collaged pouches inspired by the work of Japanese collage artists - Hanasho Flower and Art at West End stock these now and I'm so happy they've found a stage that suits their smallness and intricacy. Early in the year I participated in the Reincarnated Kimono Project at Hansho and made five quite different bag-like constructions using pieces of a vintage kimono as the basis for each and exploring different aspects and qualities of the fabric, and again mixing it up - with modern Japanese fabrics and vintage Western fabrics, some applique, some patchwork, some embroidery...

Little 'happy bags' are another favourite of mine - they're small enough for young girls to enjoy and I can match them to dresses or skirts that I'm making, but not so much so that they're not equally fun as a stand-alone acquisition. And they equally lend themselves to beautiful, sombre pieces of silk print and emerge with exquisite dignity as an understated grown-up evening purse.

This is my most recently finished piece of art-craft...okay, just another bag, let's not go over-board, but so much pleasure to work with the echino prints and such a delight to find the bits and pieces - crocheted flower, floral print lining - to complete the picture, out of my chaotic workspace.

Next year I'm contributing to another exhibition, using fabric construction and possibly some conventional artwork as well (family cheers)...more soon on that note.

Visit some other very creative space inhabitees here

Enjoy the rest of your busy weeks!

1 comment:

  1. I just love your work, the way you work with colour and all the little embellishments. Fabulous!