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Interesting textile facts

Needlepoint refers to a particular set of stitching techniques worked upon stiff open weave canvas.
Tent Stitch is a slanted stitch.
The roots of Needlepoint extends back to the ancient Egyptians who used small slanted stitches to sew up their canvas tents.
Tapestry is a woven textile which is traditionally woven on a vertical loom. Tapestry is made up of two sets of interlaced threads known as the warp and the weft.
Embroidery involves working designs on cloth with laid or stitched threads. Any cloth may be used and any thread may be used.
Cross-stitch is a sub-category of embroidery. All cross-stitch embroidery creates designs using threads applied in crossed (x) stitches. There are two basic forms: cross-stitch using printed patterns and cross-stitch done on open weave fabric.

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Opening Night Needlepoint West

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Needlepoint West media

Needlepoint West

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Over thirty tapestries of the familiar landmarks of Melbourne’s west including the Westgate Bridge, Yarraville Terminal, Altona Refinery and stacks of colourful containers, will adorn the walls of the Roslyn Smorgon Gallery at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. Through the use of iconic urban/industrial imagery rendered in thread, Needlepoint West is an ode to the artist’s home turf.

Textile work and craft is historically a place where women come together and around which is conversation, gossip, and connection. Jessie finds joy in the conversations she has had with craftspeople, some of whom ponder over her not quite ‘lady-like’ appearance and take a while to warm. ‘Yet the minute we connect about the craft and its practice, I am embraced. I’m fascinated by these relationships and they inspire my craft.’

Needlepoint West has been a three year project. ‘In the process I have been escorted away from the fence-line by security at the Altona Refinery, I’ve had multiple pairs of scissors confiscated while boarding planes, I have had images deleted from my camera by  security at the docklands,  and I’ve been trailed by a man who was suspicious of my motives, while scouting for images in the backstreets of Altona.’

With this surprising and energetic exhibition, Jessie is threading ideas together, threading the west and threading the relationships, which sit at the centre of her practice. Needlepoint West skillfully manages to fuse the fluidity of thread with the solidity of asphalt, culminating in a vibrant collision of craft and industry, and an art show definitely worth experiencing.

Check out the Footscray Community Arts Centre website and Big West Festival for more information

http://footscrayarts.com/calendar/needlepoint-west/

http://www.bigwest.com.au/index.php?id=186&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=202&cHash=2b46cf0a1e8b8f2738e9210b648f29ce

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Family Inpspirations

I was inspired by my Great Aunt Cecily who loved needlepoint and was always making beautiful, but quite traditional images. I am lucky to have inherited two beautiful needlepoint works which I love.

My Great Great Aunt was Evelyn Wyld a weaver and rug maker. She worked with Eileen Gray making rugs which Eileen designed. Eileen and Evie were very close friends and travelled together often.

My Grandfather was a beautiful model maker and made miniature furniture and boats.

My Great Aunt Biddy was really inspiring and taught me to love art and craft. She dabbled in set design and loved the theatre. She was my favourite and I named my dog after her!

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My kitchen utensils paintings

Kitchen 2 Kitchen 3 Kitchen 4 KitchenThese are some examples of some paintings I’ve been working on. It is yet to be titled but will be paintings of my favourite kitchen ustensils which I plan to use to make needlepoint work. Keep your eyes on the prize!

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Westgate Bridge

I love living in the west but hate breathing the air. I love the urban landscape and the shapes and colours, but hate the hum of traffic. I love the view from the bridge but always remember the tragedy that has befallen it. I love the excitement of a refinery evacuation alarm but feel terrified that one day it might not be a practice drill. I love the ships but hate the trucks. I love the piles of containers on ships and on land. I’m fascinated that wherever you go in the western suburbs, the Newport Power Station ‘s three red stripes can always be seen.

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Happy working

I studied woven textiles in the UK but I never really pursued the craft after completing my degree. Five years ago, I started thinking about making some work inspired by Melbourne’s west. I found myself driving past the Newport Power Station and Yarraville Terminal and I was fascinated by the ever changing colours and shadows. I was really excited by the Altona refinery, which I found threatening and disturbing but at the same time really interesting and inspiring. I wanted to make wood cuts to replicate the darkness and harshness of the landscape but didn’t have the resources required, then considered paintings. After contemplating this for a while, I thought about needle point. I wanted to go back to my roots and what a perfect subject matter.

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Gordie Boy

This is my dog, Gordie. He’s got toilet paper in his mouth, not a cigarette. Gordie is very inspiring and one day I hope to make a needlepoint picture of all his special poses including this one.

 

 

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