Friday, 24 April 2009

ANZAC Day, (Deloraine) Tasmania 2009

Today is the 25th of April and possibly one of the most important days of the year for Australians, especially in terms of patriotism and history.
Today is ANZAC Day.

As part of an exhibition curated by Cat Badcock (distant relation!), titled 'Crafty', showcasing the work of artists using craft techniques to social commentary and activism:

Brief Project Background:
"With the rise of revolutionary knitting circles, stitch ‘n’ bitch craft groups and
renegade craft fairs, there has been a significant rethink of craft as domestic
imprisonment. Craft is now synonymous with sustainability, a stance against
mass culture and consumerism.

Craftivism is formed on the belief that ‘each time you participate in craft you
are making a difference...whether it’s fighting against useless materialism or
making items for charity’.

Craft collectives hope to increase participation in craft activism by offering a
different approach from the often intense, and sometimes hostile, modes of
activism most commonly associated with social justice movements.

One of the main values that these groups pioneer is the fact that activism
doesn’t have to mean taking to the streets in loud and hostile actions, it could
be as simple as placing a craft object in an unusual space or simply the act of
-Catherine Badcock, 2009

The piece I am contributing to this exhibition is based on a trip I made to Bosnia i Herzegovina in 2005, where I found myself confronted with the physical scars of warfare (people walking through the streets with missing limbs and visible scars), as well as the more overpowering emotional and psychological scars from the traumas of conflict.

This is a photo I took in Mostar, not far from the Croatian border, showing one of the many hand written signs with the legend "DONT FORGET"...

I've been doing some visual research today as I complete this tea cosy, 'Teacosy* Number (Untold number of deaths?); Journey through the debris of conflict Cosy', 2009.
This Youtube video I found has left me speechless with potentially explains why conflict in the Balkans is so prevalent and volatile... You can see more films of death, destruction and mass graves in Bosnia and Serbia on Youtube.

I know it doesn't make for comforting and genteel tea time conversation, however, as part of my commitment to encompass as many aspects as possible from society and the greater human experience, The Teacosy* Revolution does not shy away from gruesome topics, especially when I personally need to process some acquired trauma from one of the most geographically beautiful and historically strategic countries on earth.

'Teacosy* Number (Untold number of deaths?); Journey through the debris of conflict Cosy', 2009

With this tea cosy artwork, I am not taking sides, only depicting aspects of what actually exists in Bosnia i Herzegovina and the ongoing ethnic unease which is seemingly ever present- with three such dynamic cultures sharing the same borders, there are bound to be disputes unless there is the desire to collectively look outside those borders at the bigger picture, I believe.

'Teacosy* Number (Untold number of deaths?); Journey through the debris of conflict Cosy', 2009

I don't claim to have any solutions, nor do I know enough about the region and it's intricate cultural mix...which is why I continue to research and investigate...knowledge is a good way, I have found, to overcome, accept and work with the traumas I have experienced, and more importantly to find physical and creative ways of expressing the trauma. I am really surprised that its taken me nearly 4 years to come around to this experience, to revisit it and work through and with it...and I can confidently say that I want to go back to Bosnia and spend more time observing and experiencing the amazingly intense culture that exists there.

'Teacosy* Number (Untold number of deaths?); Journey through the debris of conflict Cosy', 2009

I wish I did have some answers and some practical solutions to avoid future atrocities in the world...I definitely think though, that ignorance is one of the most destructive qualities on the planet, and that we all have a responsibility to learn, teach, love and share with each other everything we know.
There are always positives, we just have to look for them.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

In the mailbox today...

My lovely friends Gwena and John sent me a glorious birthday surprise from Newcastle (Australia).
Its a pair of cosies: a tea cosy and an egg cosy, from the 1930's, of hand embroidered linen, with a cotton filled lining inside both cosies.

The Cups That Cheers....what a sweet sentiment from my Grandmother's era...and something heartening to remember in these economically troubling times, when money really isn't everything, especially if one can still boil a kettle and make a pot of tea. Speaking of which...I must go and try this one out on my little 1910's teapot for one, while I sew some artwork for exhibition which has skulls and landmines embroidered on it...I need a cheerful cuppa!

Christmas present from my mum!

I love this little knitted cosy my mum made me for Christmas, the pattern is taken from 'Wild Tea Cosies' by Loani Prior.
It has a knitted and crocheted plate of 'sandwiches' on top, and they're so edible-looking, I love the feel of them!

My mother said she crocheted the 'lettuce' rather than knitting it, to get a more curly appearance! Its a double-thickness knit, so its a self-insulating cosy...and I've taken it on picnics to the beach and other people's gardens...

Tea Cosy Books...

I have to say a huge thank you to all the lovely people, family and friends and new acquaintances, who are very generous and continue to send me books about tea cosies and tea cosy patterns...this Killer Tea Cosy book is a wild one, I love some of the cosies, like the tea cosy made with circuit boards from a computer and silver fabric, tres moderne!

I have two copies of this book and I'm wanting to give one away to anyone who would like one? Please leave me a comment here and I'll get in touch with you to get your mailing address, wherever you are in the world!

Great book from New Zealand

I found out about this book through a talented young lady who interviewed me for Triple J Arts in 2007, when I had my Teacosy* Revolution Exhibition in Melbourne, and so I finally got hold of a copy last year...its a treasure trove of the handmade, and the very personal, iconographic creations of an era and a certain generation...and now that t.v, the internet and mobile phones are more distracting and time-consuming, AND modern life is becomming so throw-away and streamlined, so many of the objects in this book appear antiquated and irrelevant, which is VERY sad!

This tea cosy is quite fascinating...

To continue along the crazy patchwork theme of my previous post here:

Going back through my archives of tea cosy history...

I have been meaning to upload images for months, of the second tea cosy I ever made, a crazy-patchwork number I made to use up a bundle of fabric scraps from art projects and patchwork projects (that are long defunct and never really suited me in the first place!)

I've also posted an image (possibly a very naughty thing to do without prior permission form the publishers), of the tea cosy that inspired me to make this crazy patchwork cosy in the first place. The book contains a huge project in northern Tasmania which my artist mother, Claire, worked on and we all helped from time to time as well. Its called Yarns Artwork in Silk, and represents the four seasons in the Deloraine area.

This tea cosy was my everyday cosy when I lived in Battery Point, Hobart seven years ago and I haven't used it since then! I didn't take it with me to France when I went to live in Paris, so that's a strong reason why I started making very different cosies in Europe and gave birth to the Revolution!

Its a nice thing to do to go back and look at what has come before, and to asses what the future can hold...

Saturday, 18 April 2009

My tea cosies at Stitches & Craft Exhibition, Melbourne showgrounds, 2009

tea cosy
Originally uploaded by Clementine's Shoes
I sent five tea cosies away for the year to be exhibited at the series of Stitches & Craft Exhibitions which will pop up in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane this year.
Inside the box displays the tea cosies are sitting on are teapots and tea cups...and I supplied my favourite tea cosy quote in the whole world!

The listing with info can be seen at:

And more info about the host organisation, Living Creatively:

I have borrowed this photo from 'Clementine's Shoes' Flickr site.
Thank you!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

We all want more time, don't we?

I'm feeling quite flat today because of an injury I sustained at the gym over a week ago! Its not healing as fast as I'd like it to (of course), and I'm getting tired of hobbling around and feeling grumpy with a flu coming on! I really don't want to get sick now, I have so much work to get done by the end of April, for three exhibitions!

I don't even feel like making any tea cosies, so I know things are getting serious and I need to 'snap out of it' and 'give myself a break', etc...enjoy being poorly and make myself a pot of Mariage Freres Ceylon tea...

I've also been checking out my sister Shannon's Live Journal site where she reviews books and films and found this stunningly good value Advertisement from New Zealand.

I hope you all had a relaxing Easter break?

Monday, 6 April 2009

Imagine a very noisy tea cosy...

This is the film clip I've been looking for, I love love love the dress!

New Tea Cosy thoughts...

While I'm working on a batch of orders for people, my mind is always turning over my tea cosy project and ways to extend and investigate the meaning of tea cosies and their very practical, physical usage...

This video of Kate Moss modelling as a hologram for Alexander MacQueen is really inspiring and prompts me to think of making a series of 'disembodied' cosies, or little shadow plays and films....

I need to think about it more..