Zombie Yarn: Crochet raised from the dead

Even though I get very very nervous presenting to a group of people, this workshop proved to be a tonne of fun. Karina from the Warwick Art Gallery asked if I would conduct a class as part of the Jumpers and Jazz in July event programme. I said yes straight away. As the days grew closer to D-Day, I was surprised at how low my panic meter was registering. The calm feeling remained in me even on the day of the class. 30 minutes to go the bubbles fizzed, but I still felt excellent and relaxed.

I'm fortunate to have eight of the loveliest women attend. There were even celebrities of sorts in the room. Warwick personality and prolific wearable art practitioner Helen Newton was the first to arrive. Helen has an exhibition of her wearable art in Jacqui's Cafe. Then Narelle Mercer, the back-to-back winner of the festival theme section, walked in. I experienced a significant fangirl moment and felt thrilled to meet the woman responsible for two of my all-time favourite tree jumpers.

We had a great time, and everything went fabulously well. Perhaps the focus of the class was not solely all about crochet this time. I had chosen to work through the methods that I had used to produce my work. The crochet project was a small, fun activity that introduced the possibilities of making different items from t-shirt yarn. Every attendee completed a piece; most started on a second. I call that a result!

Running workshops is something that I would really like to be involved in with greater regularity. My nerves are the only thing holding me back. This positive experience has given me the courage and zest to look to work on something in the future.

Thank you, ladies.

Squink and all that Jazz

The concept for my tree jumper in 2018 was primarily an excuse to make tentacles. An octopus was the obvious choice, so I went with a squid. The body shape suited the jumper shape, and you know what? I think that a squid has a bit more personality about it. Making the tentacles was a lot of fun...for the first two or three limbs. Perseverance paid off though. I am super happy with how they finished up looking. The most fun part of the project was the ink element. It is crochet garbage bags adorned with shiny black sequins. I have found myself a deep love sewing sequins on to crochet. There's something meditative about the process. I have probably said that on here before, but it bears repeating. While Squinky didn't place in the awards list, I have received beautiful words of praise and admiration for the little fellow.

Thank you Jumpers and Jazz for providing this fantastic space to display my craft on such a grand scale. I have such fondness for my tree which lives outside the NAB bank on Palmerin Street (opposite the Criterion Hotel). The plans have already commenced for my 2019 tree jumper. I kid you not. Stay tuned

The Jumpers and Jazz in July festival in 2018 has been splendid. I enjoyed my four days absorbing the atmosphere and buzz that exudes through the streets of Warwick. I was involved in many exciting activities which included a nice big ol' chunk of media duties. My mentor, the expert bistitchual (knit and crochet) herself Helen Gross and I have been involved with the festival from its inception in 2014. 2018 is the 15th anniversary year. We were up super early for a photo shoot with our jumpers one chilly morning. I also spoke with David Iliffe at the ABC Breakfast live broadcast from the Warwick Town Hall about my Jumperhead exhibition and tree jumpering.

The quality of tree jumpers in the open air exhibition is mind-blowingly good. I had a bunch of favourites this year. Here are just a few of my highlights:

Jumperhead Unleashed

I was incredibly nervous about the time when it came when people outside of my immediate circle get to see the pieces I have been working on for the past few months. The time came on Thursday 12th July. It was installation day. 'Jumperhead' is my second solo exhibition. This time around I was a little more organised and focussed on what I wanted to do. 'Monsters Under the Bed' in 2013 saw me with absolutely no clue as to what I was doing. I am slightly more aware of myself, my work and my artistic expression. Now that Jumperhead is open and people are seeing and reacting to it, I feel sheer relief. I can also see what a weird little world there is tucked away in my head. When I learnt to crochet, I didn't expect that I had found my calling. That it would be my creative voice. That this voice would be quirky, weird and whimsical. Perhaps I hadn't really appreciated that these are words that describe me. I wear it as a badge of honour. Weird is cool, right? While I was waiting to commence my Zombie Yarn workshop at the Warwick Art Gallery, I was among the throngs of people attending Markets at the Gallery. The joint was jumping! The vibe was buzzing, and the sun was shining. I was stationed in behind the counter of the gallery volunteer's stall. I had an excellent view of the spectacle. There was a moment where I looked through the gallery windows to see the room completely full of patrons. There were a couple of groups of people taking photos with the pieces, and there was no room to move through the exhibit. I'd be lying if I said that I was not puffed with pride or that tears of joy were welling in my eyes. It was quite a particular moment which I will think fondly on.

Oh WoW Oh WoW Oh WoW

It is with great joy that I shout out the news that I am a finalist in the 2018 World of Wearableart Awards! I was thrilled to be pre-selected for the judging round in April. The wait is long. The judging weekend took place at the start of July. To see the word 'congratulations' at the beginning of the email brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy!

After suffering the gutting news that my entry last year was not selected, this notification has been received with utter delight and relief. While I cannot share any details about my entry just yet, as soon that 1st show kicks off on Thursday 27th September, there will be images and details galore!

Jumperhead is coming

In 2017 I was named the Inaugural entrant into the Jumpers and Jazz Hall of Fame. For the 2018 festival, I have been invited to exhibit a brand spanking new installation in the Warwick Art Gallery. A recent feature in the Warwick Daily News revealed the details.

The exhibition features new pieces created from yarn which I have repurposed from garments I have sourced from op shops and my own closet.

The process has been exhausting and rewarding in equal parts. I'm excited to install each of the pieces and to see how they interact with each other. Some old friends will also make an appearance. I have selected pieces from a collection of my entries into the World of Wearableart.

I will also be hosting a workshop at the gallery on July 21. Zombie Yarn: Raised from the Dead will demonstrate some of the techniques that I have used in creating Junperhead.

Visit the Orange Wall Gallery July 12 - August 11 in the Warwick Art Gallery to see how these old clothes were Jumperheaded.