The Reincarnated Kimono Project exhibition has been in full swing for a week now, we've had our artists' night to celebrate and I'm so chuffed with the response we've had.
So now dear blog readers, would you like a tour? Get yourself a cup or glass of your favourite beverage and join me for a wander through the gallery....
Each of these artworks have been produced using and inspired by fabric from the same two vintage kimonos.
The first piece is by Thea Samios of Thea and Sami, titled "An Aussie in a Japanese Garden". Thea is a screen printer whose work has a strong Australian natural feel to it and her piece is a beautiful meeting of the two. You can read more about the process of the work over here.
I created a couple of pieces for the show. The first is a pair of "Kimono Cranes". The wings have been embroidered with the words "Love" and "Joy".
Gill Pyke of Catamation works a lot with origami as well and created these amazing modular origami atlas beetles.
I knew that Robyn Dixon was a talented quilter and begged her to whip up a piece for the show. At the artists' night she talked about how quilters love to cut fabric up and then join it all together again. And boy did she do an amazing job on this piece. It's even more beautiful in real life.
The second piece I did for the show was a large statement "kanzashi" necklace which I've called "Blooms at Midnight". It's been made with a collection of folded flowers on a laser cut wool felt base.
The other jewellery piece in the show is by silversmith Emma Kidson. The stunning piece has been inspired by one of the motifs in the fabric and has a tiny snippet of it preserved in the corner. You can see the inspiration in this photo here.
"Elements" is the title of the beautiful mixed media artwork by Chrissy Foreman C. As well as the kimono fabric, she's used pen, watercolour and crayon to create the vibrant piece. You can read more about this piece here.
Most Brisbane lovers of Japanese fabric will know the local and very popular design label Maiocchi. They created a piece especially for the show that lets the fabric's beauty really shine.
Rachael Smith of Penelope and Pip is an illustrator and showed us that her talents extend even further. Her ikebana piece is titled "I Heart Autumn" and was inspired by her time spent visiting a (mutual) friend in Japan. Rachael put into words so beautifully what I've felt for years working with these gorgeous fabrics;
“What inspires me about the project is transforming a piece of material with its own history and journey into an artwork completely different to its original intent, but still every bit as beautiful. The piece I am creating takes the material into a new path in terms of its use, but still pays homage to its history and the loving work of its original designer in creating it. Being given such a small amount to work with makes the process all that much more special as you know you are working with something precious that has a life of its own - fabric is not necessarily an easy beast to tame either! When you work with fabric, its tactile nature tends to make you feel connected to the material and its past, and this means often the result is a surprise for you as well.”
I'm trying to come up with an occasion that I can clothe my little girl in this stunning dress by Amelia of Nan's Garden. If you look closely, the bodice has been embroidered with a crane design taken from the kimono fabric as well. Truly these photos don't do it justice, but there is a much more magical picture over here.
"Reincarnated Geisha" is the title of this stunning multi media work by Samantha Gilkes of Jetta's Nest. And I just love it even more for the fact that it's been done on a recycled skateboard! “The attention to detail in kimono fabric is almost overwhelming!” she said. “The colours, the layering of fabric and print... it’s like a dream woven into every piece.”
I loved the fact that Kate Allan of Dash Robin was really eager to embrace the marks that time had left on the fabric for her work. “I love using materials which have had a life before... small marks suggest stories, who wore this kimono, how did they feel, what memories were made, where are they now? Time passing, impermanence, memory; marking these somehow into the piece is important to me and inspiring me.”
Nicole Lacey had some very beautiful things to say at the artists' night about the inspiration and process behind her work that related to the discipline needed to create simplicity that is evident in Japanese art. In her artwork "Koryu", you can see how influenced she has been, not only by the Japanese sense of design, but also by its culture.
Catherine from Made by Maisie creates beautiful dolls and her "Kokeshi Doll" using the kimono fabric is just so sweet.
Stephanie Morris of Wimcee is a painter as well as a crafter and I think her use of colour and pattern really brings that across. In her range of bags and pouches that she made for the show, she combined the vintage kimono fabric with modern Japanese, and vintage and modern western fabrics. She said about the work;
"What was significant for me during the construction of the pieces for this exhibition was the sense that colour and pattern are more universal than we generally realise, both in time and space, so that the combinations of fabrics that I was working with all came together effortlessly, almost joyously, despite such varied provenance."
And lastly in the tour we have Danielle Wood of Manx Minx's adorable critters, called "Nomoki". She tells us a little about them; "Nomoki are sofa travellers of film and literature. Indeed, they love a good comedy and especially like Bill Oddie from "The Goodies" because he is small and furry like them. Often you'll find them dancing along the back of the couches, making scrap books with comics, or going off like Mr Squiggle with a new box of crayons."
I have to say that I have truly enjoyed putting this project and exhibition together and have been blown away by everyone's gorgeous work.
If you're in Brisbane, the show runs until the end of April and is at;
5/235 Boundary Street West End.