small state – big talent

every easter the town hall in st helens on tasmania’s east coast is filled with quilts and needlework

most of the entrants are from the northeast and east of the state

(click on the first photo to view as a slideshow)

dare i say that i exhibited 6 items too –

i really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful work; in fact i went back again to have another look

congratulations to the break o’day stitchers committee for a job well done

agatha’s wardrobe – entry

as i mentioned ealier, i’ve made this from an old book for the biblio art award 2013, organised by blarney books and artagatha's wardrobe a  - rita summers 2013maybe the hardest part of the whole process was writing my artist statement

after much head-scratching, this is what i came up with –

‘Agatha’s Wardrobe’ represents the hopes and dreams of a young woman from the 1800’s as she prepares for her wedding:  the shy delight she feels as she chooses her trousseau;  the stitching of precious silks and laces for her ‘hope chest’ or ‘glory box’ (probably begun while she was still a child);  the anticipation as she tries on her wedding dress;  the mystery and uncertainty of  love and its passions;  the solemnity of the marriage vows.

Love makes us vulnerable to pain, as Agatha discovers.  I experience this with her as I read the book and create this artwork.  I feel her pain as she faces loss, betrayal, isolation, and a deep despair which almost drives her to suicide.  Ultimately, love triumphs, but not before it almost destroys both her and her husband.

 There are 12 dresses in the box – one for each month of the year.  Each dress has a swing label attached to it;   each label features a phrase from the traditional marriage vows.

I added a key to the box lid as both a symbolic and practical embellishment – ‘the key to my heart’;  the key which makes precious items secure;  the key which keeps things private.

Safety pins and buttons – again, both practical and symbolic.  Hand crocheted lace, vintage (torn) silk, stitching – everything is given a hidden meaning beyond their intrinsic beauty and structure.

Things hinted at and not always explained.  Materials and skills which women have implemented through the ages.

In transforming the original book into something beyond the printed word, I hope that ‘Agatha’s Wardrobe’ touches the hearts of everyone who sees and absorbs what it has become.IMG686

agatha’s wardrobe – finished

this is my entry for the biblio art award 2013 (to read my artist statement, click here)

agatha's wardrobe b  - rita summers 2013

i finished it in 6 days – bit of a record for me, I thinkagatha's wardrobe c  - rita summers 2013

made from a deconstructed book called ‘agatha’s husband’agatha's wardrobe a  - rita summers 2013agatha's wardrobe d  - rita summers 2013since i took these photos, i’ve added swing labels to all the dresses with phrases from the traditional wedding vows, eg.

  • to love and to cherish
  • to have and to hold
  • in the sight of God
  • my solemn vow

agatha's wardrobe d  - rita summers 2013i’ve also added a tag to the box lidagatha's wardrobe aa  - rita summers 2013

[old book, found wooden box, found cardboard, vintage sheet music, vintage key, found buttons, safety pins, silk (inc. vintage kimono silk lining), torn fabrics, new and old papers, dress pattern tissue, vintage ribbon and seam binding, lace]

agatha’s wardrobe

to celebrate my 200th post, here is a sneak preview of a project i started over the easter breakagatha's wardrobe 1 - rita summers 2013 agatha's wardrobe 2 - rita summers 2013(not the best photos, but you get the picture) ….