Well maybe it’s not an era in the true sense of the word, but it’s definitely the end of this chapter of my life, the conclusion of my ‘annus prodigiosus’!
True to form, I’m continuing my tradition of chasing deadlines …. in a blog post just before my exhibition I mentioned that I was making the eleventh flower hanging at the eleventh hour of the eleventh month … so now I’m writing this post on the last day of 2012!
Ah well, as they say “if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done”.
So, without further ado, here’s the story of my two final events.
At the Gardens each year the Botanical Artists have an exhibition of their work and the artist-in-residence is traditionally invited to participate.
It was advertised in the Quest newspapers …
In past years this combined exhibition has been in early December, but this time it was moved to mid-November.
So there was to be no rest for the wicked ….
After ten wonderful days of talking to lots of visitors during my exhibition at Richard Randall Studio, I didn’t have time to feel sad, because the following day (Thursday 15 November) Jill, Nat and Dave helped me relocate many of my collaborative pieces up to the Auditorium.
I knew in advance that there wouldn’t be room for them all.
Unfortunately there was a lot of heavy rain (and hail) during the weekend which probably kept some visitors away.
Maybe I should invent a new career path for myself ... anywhere in Australia suffering drought can offer me an exhibition space and I’ll do the rest!
Nevertheless those who came were enthusiastic about my display (and of course they enjoyed the botanical art exhibits as well).
So I hope you (dear readers) will settle yourselves comfortably and virtually follow me round
the Auditorium (well, actually only the parts where my display was located).
The “Fragrant Flags” were displayed on three panels near the front door.
Several people commented that the flags looked totally different when pinned on display boards … they had been strung in a line under the picture rail in Richard Randall Studio … yes, some of my dear friends actually came to BOTH exhibitions – such dedication!
A small garland of the “Swishy Swathes” was pinned on the end of these boards and linked into “Tropical Profusion”.
The “Flowers of Friendship” hangings were also displayed on this wall near the entrance, and many of the exhibiting botanical artists, as well as the visitors, were very effusive in their praise of this community project.
The rest of my ‘stuff’ was displayed near the kitchen area.
My visitors’ book, raffle and merchandise, including a rack of gift cards, were on the left.
On the front table, from left to right, were
“Japanese Garden Reveries”
Then the display continued with
“A-I-R mail Project”
On the table at the back, from left to right, were
“Wata the Water Dragon”
“Naturally InSPIREd” was displayed at the end of this table.
On the back wall were
“The Importance of Trees”
some of “Fascination with Foliage”
Most of “Emergence” was in an alcove to the side.
The remaining “Emergence” pod and some more of “Fascination with Foliage” as well as my display poster were tucked around the back, hopefully providing a drawcard to visitors returning from the refreshment area.
Then, all too soon, it was time to dismantle everything.
I’m trying to put on a brave face, but Jill and Dave look very relieved and happy!
The last stage of the dismantling process took place in early December when I took down the webs … the trees looked very bare, and (like the blue netting web) I felt quite deflated!
On 2 December, as a final activity for the year, we decorated the Shaving Brush Tree near the Visitors’ Kiosk at the entrance to the gardens.
The ‘Hug me Tight” that was tied around this same tree for the Winter Solstice celebrations in June again saw the light of day, this time draped over some glitzy fabric.
This knitted blanket was originally made for the Jumpers & Jazz festival in Warwick, so it’s had a few airings in different guises!
.... and people still all come and voluntarily hug it (honestly, I truly didn't stage these photos!)
Fortunately I was able to set up the activity under the shade of the large red umbrellas, so we were somewhat protected from the summer heat.
People of all ages enjoyed decorating cut paper shapes.
These were then tied on strings hanging from the branches.
Originally these were dangling down in long strands.
However, by the next day, they were getting overly-twisted and looking unruly ...
.... so Dave helped me loop the strings around the branches out of harm’s way.
By Christmas the wonderfully-variable Shaving Brush Tree had decked itself in glorious new foliage which perfectly matched the colours of the ‘Hug me Tight”!
Margot joined me as I gave the tree a final farewell hug – yes, it really was the end of my ‘annus prodigiosus’.
.... what a truly fantastic year it’s been !!!!
Once I fully recover from my ‘post-exhibition malaise” I need to sort out some of my mess.
This photo shows just the overflow into the lounge room … and the rest of the house is even worse!
Then I plan to finish some of the collaborations that I didn’t get done in time for the exhibition.
My first priority is the "Focus on Nature" project in which people from all over the world emailed photos of plants.
I also want to make the rest of the family members for "Wata the Water Dragon", then photograph them in the gardens and make the book.
The final stitching in the "Flowers of Friendship" hangings needs to be finished … and then I hope to find it a ‘good home’ where it can remain on permanent display, and be seen by lots of people … a rather tall ask for something that is 4.5metres long and over 2 metres high.
So let me know if you’ve got any good ideas on solving that conundrum!
Watch this space (but don’t hold your breath) for the updates!
Thank you, dear readers, for following my journey throughout my amazing year … an ‘annus prodigiosus’ indeed!