2015 A Crafted History:People & Place

7 November 2015 - 10 January 2016
ArtSpace Realm, Maroondah City Council, Ringwood
A Project by Penelope Aitken, Anna Farago, Siri Hayes, Elvis Richardson, Sophie Xeros-Constantinides
Curated by Lisa Byrne and Jane O'Neill

For the project I collaborated with members of Maroondah Handicrafts Inc to create 'Stitching Time' a large banner like quilted work which was made from denim sourced from local op shops, fabric and thread naturally dyed with plants and weeds from various sites in Maroondah. I coordinated a series of open sewing circles where members of Maroondah Handicrafts and friends assisted with stitching and embroidering. As part of the process, I conducted interviews with members of the group about their thoughts on community, craft and feminism. These responses were then embroidered and printed onto the surface of the fabric.

Stitching forms a key part of Anna Farago’s practice – it was a skill she learnt as a child. She now maintains a process of integrating aspects of quilt making, patchwork and embroidery into her practice as a contemporary artist.  In doing so, she reclaims something marginalized via criteria such as “women’s art”, ‘textile art’ and “crafts” and offers a new perspective on it’s relevance within a contemporary art context. For this project, Maroondah Handicraft members and the artist’s friends have attended “sewing circles”, opportunities to sit, chat and create together, demonstrating the kinds of connective glue that crafting in a community provides. Jane O'Neill 2015

Stitching Time 2015 Work in Progress, Darebin Parklands Naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric & cotton and repurposed denim jeans 100 x 327cm Photo: Andy Drewitt

Stitching Time 2015
Work in Progress, Darebin Parklands
Naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric & cotton and repurposed denim jeans
100 x 327cm
Photo: Andy Drewitt

Stitching Time (front detail) 2015 Hand embroidered stitching on naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric. Photo: Andy Drewitt

Stitching Time (front detail) 2015
Hand embroidered stitching on naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric. Photo: Andy Drewitt

Sewing circle with: L - R: Di, Marian, Anna, Joy Photo: Andy Drewitt

Sewing circle with: L - R: Di, Marian, Anna, Joy Photo: Andy Drewitt

Stitching Time (foreground) Slowagrams & Fabric Sketches (on right) 2015 Naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric & cotton and repurposed denim jeans Installation View, various dimensions Photo: Andy Drewitt

Stitching Time (foreground)
Slowagrams & Fabric Sketches (on right) 2015
Naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric & cotton and repurposed denim jeans
Installation View, various dimensions
Photo: Andy Drewitt

Stitching Time (back detail) 2015 Screenprint on naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric. Photo: Andy Drewitt

Stitching Time (back detail) 2015
Screenprint on naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric.
Photo: Andy Drewitt

Sewing circle: L - R: Anna & Nilima Photo: Andy Drewitt

Sewing circle: L - R: Anna & Nilima
Photo: Andy Drewitt

Stitching Time (detail) 2015 Installation view. Photo: Anna Farago

Stitching Time (detail) 2015
Installation view. Photo: Anna Farago

Fabric Sketches, Maroondah (detial) 2015 Naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric & cotton and repurposed denim jeans Installation View, various dimensions

Fabric Sketches, Maroondah (detial) 2015
Naturally dyed cotton & linen fabric & cotton and repurposed denim jeans
Installation View, various dimensions

Thanks to the women who assisted at sewing circles:
Maroondah Handicraft Members: Karin Bellingrodt, Jean James, Bev Glen, Joy Horne, Diane Kloet and Marian Parker.
Maroondah residents: Jill Kellett, Linda Moore and Nilima Pelz
My mates who came from far and wide: Penelope Aitken, Lissy Blake, Siri Hayes, Gabey MacGregor, Felicia Semple,
Leslie Sorenson, Laurene Vaughan, Rachel Wilson, and my daughter Cleo Farago and her mate Miriam (Memo) Mark Aitken
for their gorgeous additions of embroidered Swamp Everlastings.