Saturday, 27 October 2012


The countdown is on and now there's only a few more sleeps to go!

Just to remind you ... please come to my final exhibition at Richard Randall Art Studio from 6 – 14 November, 10am – 4pm daily.

Then from 16 – 18 November I’m joining The Botanical Artists Society of Queensland, in their exhibition “FLORESSENCE” in the Auditorium at Mt Coot-tha, 9am – 4pm daily (see the photo in my previous post).

I hope you will be able to spread the word to all your friends and contacts ... especially anyone you know who has contributed to my many collaborative projects.

Unfortunately I haven't had time to thank everyone personally, so please accept this blog post as my very inadequate expression of gratitude.

In my last post I described some of my collaborative works, and now here are some more of my projects still on the go …..


Jill Brose, my friend and very talented artist, has made pod-like structures in natural fibres and I will be embellishing them with lettering.
This assemblage, with its stylised cocoons, seed pods and nests, portrays the emergence of new life and the transformations of metamorphosis, hatching and sprouting.
This is one of the first projects that we started right at the beginning of my residency (these photos are from our day together in early March!)

  … and this is just one of several basketry structures incorporated in this project ... now in the final stages of construction.


This is another project that was started back in March, and is now nearing completion.
My friends Lyn Baxter and Sue Ford are helping me create a forest scene. We are using a wide variety of materials and techniques (including wet felting, embroidery, painting, silk paper, machine embellishing, crochet, knitting, etc).
We have worked on it during several of my ‘residency days’ in the Auditorium, making felt for the tree trunks, and painting the background.
Now we are beavering away under my house (amongst the chaos of my unsorted post-2011-flood salvage) to put it all together.


For 12 years I have organised Book Swaps in which people agree to make a certain number of books.  These are then distributed amongst the other participants.
This year I chose two themes which related to my Residency.

The books from the “Plants” swap were displayed at my June exhibition, and will also be there in November. The participants were Nat Billing, Lorelei Clark, Susan Doel, Joanna Faber, Ngaire Macleod, Jan Pearce, Sandra Pearce, Elisa Ristuccia, Lyn Rushby, Tricia Smout, Kaye Stanton and Annette Waraker.

The second swap in 2012 has the theme “Seasons” and these will be arriving soon, ready for display in November.
The participants this time are Nat Billing, Susan Doel, Gill Pyke, Tricia Smout, Annette Waraker and Robyn Wood.


Did you notice the book in the top left of the photo above?
This was my contribution to the “Plants” swap, and I’ll have extra copies for sale in November.
This book celebrates the beauty and tranquillity of the Japanese Garden, which was reconstructed at Mt Coot-tha following World Expo 88, and has since proved one of the most popular places for visitors to the Gardens.

I took photographs, and hand-lettered the hauntingly beautiful haiku poetry which was composed by my sister, Alison Horsley.
I chose a traditional Japanese-style binding for the book.


Members of the “Serendipity Art Group” (Muffin Rowlands, Joy Nelson, Barbara Richardson, Jen Pezaro, Suzanne Clifford, Wendy Perkins and Fay Hayden) are making flags inspired by the herbs and flowers in the Fragrant Garden.
Each person has created at least one artwork and these will be strung up in Richard Randall Studio in November.
Mine isn’t in this photo because it’s still under construction! Now, I bet you couldn’t have guessed that, could you?


2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon, and also the Year of Water.

Water dragons are a common sight in the Botanic Gardens, so it seemed appropriate to feature them in a project this year.
My sister Alison Horsley has written a short children’s story about a water dragon living in the gardens at Mt Coot-tha, and I had great plans to make a family of fabric dragons to illustrate the tale.
I’ve made only one dragon to date, so the planned book will not be published before November, but the story and that one lonely dragon will be proudly on display!

Actually this little fellow proved very popular at the holiday activities in September, and after I showed him 100-year-old stone water bowl in the Japanese Garden, he went exploring all by himself.



My friends from “Basketcases” (a sub-group of Qld Spinners, Weavers & Fibre Artists) created woven and twined leaves from natural fibres, and they will be displayed suspended from a vine.
Of course the ones I made had lettering threaded throughout.


I created some sentences about words being woven into written language and stored in the cultural baskets of humanity (how deep is that, hey?) and I hand-lettered these on strips of paper. My ever-patient, talented friend Jill Brose then wove them into baskets.


For this project I invited people from all over the world to email me photos of plants.
I asked for close-up detailed views of something plant-related (leaf, seeds, seed pod, flower, bud, bark, stem, root, fungus, leaf litter, etc).

I will be incorporating these into a book, which will include hand-lettered poetic phrases composed by my creative sister, Alison Horsley.


I invited people from all around the word to decorate and post an envelope with a nature theme.

I am totally delighted with the response to this A-I-R (Artist-In-Residence) MAIL project and so far I’ve received 250 envelopes from many different countries … from calligraphers, mixed media artists, friends, school children, etc.

I’m currently getting them all ready to be displayed in books in November .... did I mention that I'm having an exhibtiion from 6-14 November at Richard Randall Studio? I guess I may have told you about it already (just once or even twice, maybe?

In an earlier post, you’ve already seen the early ones I received from friends, and also from Karana Downs Girl Guides.

Here are some more …

From New Zealand Calligraphers

From USA (on the left) and Europe (on the right)

From interstate Australia (on the left) and north Queensland (on the right)

From Gold Coast & Darling Downs (on the left) and Sunshine Coast & Bribie (on the right).

From Inner City Circle & Purple Paddo Patchers (on the left) and the Year 4 classes at St Kierans School at Brighton (on the right)

From Brisbane & nearby areas

Don't forget to check out the swathes of leaves and flowers which are still hanging throughout the gardens (described in earlier posts):
  • in the Tropical Dome shelter shed
  • in the Fragrant Garden shelter shed
  • outside the Auditorium
  • on the fence near the cafe
  • in the tour bus

The spiders' webs (also described in earlier posts) are created in many materials and techniques, and they are still on display until early December in the trees near the entrance to the gardens.

So, wish me luck in getting all these projects finished, and I hope to see as many of you as possible next week at Richard Randall.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


My year of residency is nearly over, and what an exciting year it’s been!

I hope you will all be able to come to my final exhibition at Richard Randall Art Studio from 6 – 14 November, 10am – 4pm daily.

Then from 16 – 18 November I’m joining The Botanical Artists Society of Queensland, in their exhibition “FLORESSENCE” in the Auditorium at Mt Coot-tha, 9am – 4pm daily.

Now, does anyone remember that one of my first blog posts was about 2012 being the Year of the Farmer, and I outlined my monthly plans for the year?

Well, here's what I said :
... no doubt I’ll be working hard this month to get all the finishing touches completed.

... this will be a marketing exercise to encourage people to come and see the fruits of my labour during the year.

… and how true is that October entry!!!

Here are some of the collaborative projects that I’m still completing!



The original deadline for delivery of the flowers was 30 April, but after seeing them hanging in my June exhibition, lots of people said they still wanted to make one  … and I just got the last one two days ago!
So an eleventh hanging is now in the making … is there a subtle message here? … it's the eleventh hanging at the eleventh hour for the eleventh month!
There are photos in my previous posts (if you'd like to re-visit them) and here’s the latest update!


I am collaborating with the ladies from "Broadstrokes", a group of artists with a focus on creating work using fibres and textiles (Suzanne Marshall, Kate Oszko, Kathryn Iliff, Jane Rundle, Mel Forrest, Merody Buglar, Chris Jones and Sue Dennis).

Each member of the group layered various materials (which included paper, fabric, metal and organic materials) to form three similar bundles ….
  • one was hung in their home garden
  • one was buried in their garden
  • one was hung in a tree at the Gardens

This is what was in each of my bundles.

Here’s me hanging and burying my bundles at home.

.. and I hung everyone’s bundles in a Scented Bells tree (Rothmannia manganjae) in the Exotic Rainforest area at the Gardens

The bundles progressively disintegrated over a three-month period from May until August.
These are my bundles in August …I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time!
If I hoped they would disintegrate, why did I wrap them in sturdy paper and write on them in waterproof ink?
At least the buried one (on the right) disintegrated well .. it was full of worms and had tree roots growing through it!

Each artist is now creating an A3 page from these fibres, and I will assemble them into a book which will be displayed at my exhibition (and have I already mentioned that it runs from 6 - 14 November?)
Here are some of the completed pages.


I have created nine almost-identical books which contain quotes about conservation by the famous environmentalist John Muir.

These books have now been passed progressively to different people, who are responding to the page in their own way, using a variety of techniques (drawing, stamping, painting, collage, etc).   This should result in many unique and interesting interpretations of the same text, and I can’t wait to see the many wonderful interpretations.

So far I’ve received two back .. and each is a special treasure!

Carolyn Morrisey, my dear friend who now lives in Melbourne, is the talented lady who first taught me calligraphy, but she hasn’t picked up her pens this time – she’s now exploring digital art!
Carolyn has the most marvellous sense of humour, and you really must come and read this book in detail. Here’s how she has decorated the cover and first page.

Erica Michaux said she’d done ‘a few simple drawings’ in the copy I gave her.
Well … simple they definitely are not … and elegantly beautiful is what they indeed are!
You must come and see the other pages in this gorgeous book.
(did I already mention that I’m having an exhibition in November?)


I invited the staff and volunteers at the Gardens to send me close-up photos of flowers.
I am printing these in square formats, folding them into origami shapes, then assembling them into kaleidoscope designs.
This photo shows a similar idea (but these photos were of Hindu offerings in Bali).


My friends from "Pulp Action" (a sub-group of Qld Spinners, Weavers & Fibre Artists) have used paper they have made from various plant fibres to construct cones. These will be embellished with a variety of plant materials and other found objects.. and I’ll be putting lettering on some of them!
Joanna Faber, Ngaire Macleod, Sandra Pearce, Jill Brose and Nat Billing are the artists participating in this project.


I am collaborating with some of my friends from “Scattered Arts” (a Community Gallery at Camp Hill which sells paintings and unique handmade gifts all made by local artists, including me!)
Ailsa McEvoy, Pam O’Reilly, Barbara Merrin, Kit Thomas, Wendy Goode, Helen Reid, Patsie Wishart, Carolyn Morgan and Jan Steer are creating 3D butterflies which will be suspended from a metal frame.
Here are some of them.


The “Paper Princesses” are mixed media artists who work predominantly in paper. Marilena Stanton, Celeste Santin, Gaye Todd, Judy Timmins, Kasha Rolley, Margaret Cullen-Erickson and Marlene Lynne-Truman have decorated tags, all featuring a nature theme.
Here are some of them.


My friend Helen King produces amazing textiles (Paluma Prints) and she has printed her grevillea and wattle designs for me on fabric.
I am writing descriptive words (again composed by Alison Horsley) over these and embellishing them with embroidery.


Joanna Faber, an art teacher and my friend, photographed the grevillea flowers in the gardens at Mt Coot-tha, and she has printed these on the lovely paper she has made from the plants in her backyard.
I am now lettering descriptive wording around these images and they will be framed and displayed in November (remember that exhibition I mentioned before, 6 -14 November?)


Jill Brose created three abstract flowers in fabric, wire and beads, and I lettered the ribbon of descriptive words which link them together.


My friends in the “Book & Paper Group” (a sub-group of Qld Spinners, Weavers & Fibre Artists) created pages with a nature theme, using their own choice of techniques.

Each person received a page from everyone else to make into their own book.

I used green Nepalese Lokta paper for my cover, and I stitched the pages using a Japanese stab binding technique. I also included a page at the back describing the techniques everyone has used.
My book was on display at my mid-year exhibition in June, so if you didn’t see it then, you’ll have another chance in November.


This same “Book & Paper Group” joined me in another collaboration.
Inspired by leaves and flowers, we doodled on pages using only black pen and graphite pencil.
The pages were progressively passed around the group, and each person added their contribution to enhance and expand on what was already on the page.

These are some of the pages we created that day.

Jill Brose then kindly took charge of all the pages and added her own brand of designer magic to fill in any gaps and unify the designs.
I then assembled the pages into a book. I decided to continue the black and white colour scheme by using black Unryushi Japanese paper for the cover, and I stitched the pages in white thread using a Japanese stab-binding technique.
This book, finished for June, will be displayed again in November.

... and there are other projects on the drawing board too …. I’ll include some of these in another post (soon!)

So please come to Richard Randall Studio (6 - 14 November), and/or the Auditorium (16-18 November) to see how many of these are fully completed!


In amongst all this frantic last-minute panic finsihing projects for my exhibition, we had some great fun in the Japanese Garden during the recent school holidays.

In “Fascinating Fibonacci Fun” on Tuesday 25 September, children and adults created books based on the Fibonacci number sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8…) and then they wrote and drew on the pages.

On Friday 28 September we had a “Spring Celebration” when we made light-catchers and  bookmarks incorporating flowers and leaves.

“Water Dragon Dalliance” happened on Thursday 4 October. We made finger puppets and  decorative wrist-bands, arm-bands and head-bands to celebrate 2012 as the Chinese Year of Water and the Year of the Dragon .. and a real Water Dragon came to join us!

So ... that's it for now ... please stay tuned, as they say ...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

More Flower Power

I hope you can find time this week to check out the ATASDA exhibition at Robyn Bauer Gallery, 54 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington. It’s open 10am to 4pm each day until 13 October.

ATASDA is the Australian Textile Arts and Surface Design Association and we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the formation of our Queensland Branch.
There are some gorgeous wearable, wall & 3D Artworks artworks on display created by leading Queensland & Australian textile artists in a variety of textiles, fibres, yarns, fabrics, papers and  mixed media.

I hope you’ll read to the end of this post to see some images!

Now, back to the Flower Power theme …

I have mentioned the ‘Swishy Swathes’ previously. These garlands of flowers and leaves are strung up in shelter sheds near the Tropical Dome, in the Fragrant Garden, and also in the bus stop.
Now there’s even more!
They are hanging on the fence at the entrance to the Gardens near the Café.

There’s a garland at the Garden Room (under the Administration building, outside the Auditorium)

They are even draped in the tour bus.

TROPICAL PROFUSION ... yet more Showers of Flower Power!

My cousin Gay McEwan had made many of the fabric flowers and leaves in these swathes, so I asked her to help me construct a garment for Catwalk Botanique, the nature-inspired fashion parade that Volunteer Guide Bettina Palmer organises.

I had previously made a tabard which we decided would make a suitable basic design for our project, so I wore this when we went shopping for some filmy fabric.
Then Gay set to work making flowers in all shapes sizes and colours.

I made flowers and leaves in crochet and knitting, and I then wrote quotes about flowers on the fabric.
  • All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today (Willa Hoey)
  • As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life (John Lubbock)
      … and other similar sentiments

It provided a colourful, cheerful contribution to the fashion parade!

I was thrilled when it was one of the images chosen to be featured on our invitation to the ATASDA exhibition!

You can see my garment on display at Gallery 54 until Saturday.

I have another piece in this exhibition too. It’s the square blue collage on the wall in the photo on the left.
At right is a view of the shop area where we are have a great range of gorgeous merchandise.

The rest of the exhibiton is stunning too. I hope you can get to see it.