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The truth is that at the end of a well-savored meal both soul and body enjoy a special well-being…
The Aga stove was the heartbeat of the kitchen with its four ovens, two large hot plates, a warming plate and hot water system. It was loved and cared for, coke fuelled- three times a day.
In the 1950’2 and 1960’s a rural woman’s ‘career’ was to feed and nurture the family and support the men who did the outdoor physical work.
My mother was earnest in that role- she was a competent cook, gardener, dressmaker and hostess as well as being an immaculate ironer and keeper of linen.
I spent many happy hours in the kitchen with her –watching, cutting, licking, stirring, fetching. As a young child I was trusted with the responsibility of preparing and serving meals for the large family.
Routines were embedded in the productive kitchen that presented three meals a day plus ‘smokos’ at regular times dictated by the weather and the men’s working schedule.
I cried when I opened the first box of beads that I had ordered from India.
They were so beautiful and I was overwhelmed with excitement. The colours are all there. The combinations so varied. My mind races along with my hands. Arranging rearranging, swapping, removing as I patterns. Once again I am transformed into a world of colours, shapes, texture, harmony, focus and contrast.
Studying, travelling and trading in the world of beads are an education that reaches into all cultures. The tradition of bead making, beliefs, religions, traditions of adornment, natural recourses – it’s not the big news, it’s the detail.
I like to use materials and features, made by artisans from around the world. Kazurri beads from Africa. A great company that employs over 200 workers in the outskirts of Nairobi, governed by World Fair Trade. Solo glass makers from Italy. A wonderful company from Greece.
I work with bold colours in contemporary styles.
In 2015 I will be holding series of workshops.
Surprise yourself, with a bit of guidance – whatever age, whatever stage.
Register your interest at the bottom of this post.
Design – Jewellery
Principles of Design – fashion and décor
Creative Awakening – self understanding, rebalancing, appreciation and growth through art
Register your interest here and I’ll contact you closer to the launch date:
I want to make an artwork
I may be yearning for something and need to express it. I could be reflecting and recapturing past memories. I may be grieving with loss. I may feel joyous and exuberant, overflowing with creative energy. Or I could just want to muck around and play with stuff.
I need solitude.
No phone. No radio.
In my own space with a closed door.
Removed from the reality.
I tune out of the real world into my deep self.
I look for my genuine self.
My truth at that moment.
I use my hands, while I unauthorize my mind.
I shuffle things around in the studio, look through old journals, rearrange things, fold things, and fossick through my collections of stuff.
Then comes an idea. Then another. I mull. Rearrange the thoughts.
Once I settle on the idea – the thinking has to change.
It becomes problem solving.
Then I search for a visual vehicle to express. A shape, an object, a composition, colours?
Step 2 – next time
I grew up on a family property, “Yambulla”, between Moree and Goondiwindi, NSW.
The virtues of a simple life, interdependent with nature, animals, a caring community and seven siblings, are deeply engraved.
Like many of that era I was educated at home with correspondence school before attending boarding school in Sydney. That meant six years years of travelling on ‘The North West Mail’ the 13 hour night school train.
Not only a cookbook, Love of a Laminex Table brings my photography into dialogue with a poignant community history that is centred about the kitchen table.
How did I write a book?
I’ve always maintained a time of solitude where I takes leave from all commitments, including family, work and friends. I spend a week alone, by the sea, in the country or in a village somewhere in Europe.
In 2009 I took a train from Canberra to Bundanoon. I stayed in the Bundanoon pub where I was the only guest. The hotelier kindly set up a card table under the window in her bedroom. Here, on my son’s old laptop I wrote 17,000 words in five days. With no concern for spelling correction or grammar, I typed intuitively and continuously.
The days were structured. I would write from early morning. Have lunch in the village then an afternoon nap. More writing with a refreshed brain. Dinner in the pub with the locals. Early to bed, early to rise, and write again. No TV, no Social media, limited telephone access.
Solitude – the key to creativity!
“Love of a Laminex Table – a Sustainable food Journey”
Recipes- as this book attests – sit alongside stories.
Food, like any creative expression, holds memories.
This book is about the inheritance we owe to those who nourish our lives. It documents a process in Australia beyond colonial traditions, towards an invitation to a feast enriched by many cultures.