Fiona Rutherford, Textile Artist

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Preparing for the Symposium

April 28, 2008





The Sinh Party


This week is going to be busy as the tapestry workshops and talks start to get underway and the other tapestry artists start to arrive in Canberra for the Symposium at the weekend.

Last Thursday the Textile Dept. (and me) was hard at work preparing the very generous folders of information to be given out to visitors. The catalogues for The Fine Art of Tapestry Weaving arrived from the printers. They look great. 

Yesterday Valerie hosted a Sinh party at her house. For those of you, like me, who have never heard of a sinh. It is the national dress in Laos. It’s a woven tubular skirt that wraps around the waist and comes in many colours, worked in embroidery or ikat against a black background. Valerie has a large collection from her travels in Laos and Thailand and she generously lent us some to try on. We chose our fabrics and we’ll be wearing them at the Laos Textile evening this week.

It was a good way to celebrate the beginning of the week ahead. The sky darkened, the rain thundered down and the temperature dropped but indoors was full of colour and good humour. Carol Cassidy brought her beautiful shimmering woven scarves woven by her own company Lao Textiles. She takes traditional Lao patterns and gives them a contemporary twist. She sells worldwide and has rejuvenated Lao weaving. Carol is giving a talk this week. 

Nancy Hoskins had arrived from the U.S. the day before but showed no signs of jet lag. She is here for a month now to spend time in the Textile Dept. weaving. The Textile Dept. at ANU is such an energising environment to be in. There seems to be local and international textile artists constantly coming and going. I shall miss the daily contact of this open network. 

At the end of the day it was all too much for Fergie in her bumble bee outfit she lay down in the middle of the party and went to sleep. 





free tibet

April 24, 2008

The image I posted up before by mistake and before I had finished writing was taken early this morning.

The small plane was writing Free Tibet in the blue sky over Canberra and the Olympic torch ceremony taking place below.

climbing canberra





The beauty of Gum trees

I suppose the Eucalyptus tree is what you most associate with the Australian landscape. They are quite beautiful. 

There is something quite sculptural about the tall bark trunks, chalky white and grey like peeling plaster. Rust red oozes out like paint running down a canvas and squiggles like thread abstract thread marks the hard papery surface. 

I spent hours yesterday absorbed in this landscape. Walking through the Botanic Gardens and up through the National Park to the peak of Black Mountain where the views overlooking Canberra and the surrounding mountains is quite spectacular. I never thought of myself as a landscape artist but my sketchbook is all about the land. A new land.

The Botanic Gardens feels less exotic than Sydney and more Australian. That may be because it hosts nearly every indigenous plant possible to grow in it’s grounds.


free tibet

April 23, 2008

The image I posted up before by mistake and before I had finished writing was taken early this morning.

The small plane was writing Free Tibet in the blue sky over Canberra and the Olympic torch ceremony taking place below.

free tibet


The Olympic Torch