Monday, 30 July 2012

Louise Saxton

I have been studying the work of Melbourne based artist, Louise Saxton recently as part of my year 11 coursework in Studio Arts Textiles.  On Thursday last week I,  along with another teacher took a group of students to visit her 'Sanctuary' exhibition at Heide Gallery, Melbourne.  The students loved her work, as did I, so I thought I would share it here!  I was so keen to find out more about Louise's work that on Sunday (my usual day of pj's and lie-in) I went to Louise's talk at Heide gallery.  What a pleasure it was to hear Louise talk and have the chance to ask questions!

Louise collects pieces of needlework from op shops and cuts out the embroidery motifs, which she then assembles into these wonderful pieces.  It's hard to make out in the images, but these are actually pinned together, and not sewn.  The tiny bits of embroidery are arranged and pinned onto fine tulle then are pinned to the wall.  The pins are silver or brass and give off a lovely sparkle in the gallery lighting, and the artwork sits slightly away from the wall, which creates wonderful shadows.

The colours and textures of these work are just stunning.  It takes Louise a very long time to arrange and pin these works, which I greatly admire.

Louise based these works from the Sanctuary exhibition on old watercolour paintings (see the emu image below).  It was really interesting to hear her talk about her interest in making homage to the anonymous needlework artists and the art of needlework which is a dying tradition in today's society.  She also talked about how she is paying homage to and highlighting the beautiful illustrations of long forgotten naturalists and illustrators.  Interestingly she does not view herself as a textile artist, as she doesn't actually make the embroidery, she re-works them.

You can see more of Louise's work here, and there is also a great on line interview with Louise here.  She has a lovely blog too, which you can find here.

Hope you like!

This is Louise in front of two of her works at Heide gallery.  They are much bigger than the real life birds which makes you really look and consider the detail in the tiny embroidery pieces.  You are constantly moving back and forward when looking at her work, so you can see all the detail and then when you step back you get to see the beautiful birds better.

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