Memory workshop with Sandy Webster

March 12, 2018 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

Sandy Webster is visiting Australia (she is a big fan of this country) at the moment for Grampians Texture and I was lucky enough to attend a 2 day workshop at our local Studio 54.

There was not requirements list (“bring the materials you like to work with”). Sandy began with some inspirational photos and talk on her personal work on memory. She then individually tutored each person to find their oeurve (the group size of 6 was perfect). I have been working on memory pieces on my maternal grandmother over the last few years as she was my mentor, teacher and inspiration for embroidery and textile work.

A while back I developed a ‘deep map’ for an exhibition in Sydney so I have decided to continue this with a series of ‘pictorial maps’ on the women in my family whose stories have influenced and inspired me.

It took a while for me to crystallise a direction for this and start but I now have a clear vision for the development of this piece and will continue to work slowly, writing down the oral stories from my mother in a journal as I go. I am hoping the memories and stories from my mother will help with the details.

Sandy does sometimes teach a travel journal workshop and had an example with her, I think a hand made bound journal to record the ‘woman’s perspective’ of their historical story would be perfect.

‘The containing piece will consist of a map holder. Traditionally the explorers used leather containers of some sort, mine will be a cylindrical holder made using ‘paper leather’ on natural dyed cotton, more embellishment to come.

Map holder

I have started my ‘deep map’ with the story beginning from the time my Grandmother married and moved from her family home to her husband’s family farm. She experienced both hardship and joyful times and I am looking forward to slowly recording these in word and picture. The next stage will be future maps to record my own mother’s story as the young family moved off the farm (leaving it to the two youngest, unmarried brothers) and into a big town for secondary and further education and employment to support the family.

The map so far includes the family farm (Wattle Lodge) and will include the buildings of this little country town that were important to my grandmother’s story, incorporating fragments of my grandmother’s embroideries and other handwork.


I look forward to continuing the storying. Thank you Sandy and Kerrie for a most inspiring weekend and the opportunity to meet up and spend time with a such a wonderful group of  artists.

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A trip to Sydney Ballarat Fibrearts 2018

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