Friday, 6 January 2017


One of my priorities at the moment, is to make a decision!

Decision making is not a skill I feel particularly confident in, especially if the decision making is about what art project to tackle next!

A number of artists find it hard coming up with ideas.  Thankfully, this isn't a problem for me, but CHOOSING which of those ideas to follow through into creating... that IS a problem.  Perhaps it wouldn't be so difficult if I didn't take it all so seriously....but...alas...that's just not the way my brain works! I want my artwork to mean something, to tell a story, to evoke a feeling, to emit some glimpse of the positive out into the world at large.

The decision I need to make at the moment, is which two ideas am I going to work through in the hope of submitting them for 'Dare To Differ' exhibition consideration.  This is an Australia wide exhibition that is held biannually here in Adelaide, and it celebrates non-traditional & contemporary Art Quilts.

It is a particularly significant exhibition to me, because having the above piece accepted for it... way back in 2009...marked a turning point in the way I viewed myself as an artist.  Not coming into this form of textile art via quilting, but through a 'fine art' route, to have a piece accepted in a QUILT exhibition was a VERY big thing!

This piece is called 'Mother Of Mothers of Sons' & is my contribution to peace.  Inspired by a group of Mothers from both The Republic & Northern Ireland in the 80's, who were tired of their sons dying for the so called 'cause', these women stood up & said "No more killing"! It was a huge challenge for me to do & I was so pleased with the end result.

Since then, I've had pieces in two other 'Dare To Differ' exhibitions .

In 2013,  'Household Prayer Mat' was first shown in the 'Dare To Differ' exhibition before later being included in my first solo exhibition 'The Art Of Cleaning'. This piece is sourced from a pile of discarded denim jeans stockpiled over 20 years of doing my beloved family's laundry & mending!  It's main message is about having somewhere to feel safe & heard!

That same year, I also had...

...'Pacific Guardian' accepted for this exhibition.  This piece was a result of the experience I had in Noumea, where, after the frustrations of finding Indonesian crafts being sold in the shops, & T-Shirts with Maori language on them, it was in the Cultural Museum, where I could at last experience the LOCAL people's craft & mark making patterns.  This is about keeping an identity safe.

In 2015 'Adelaide Doorway' was included. This piece is inspired by the Nasrid Palace of The Alhambra in Granada, Spain. (Which is my favourite building  & where I celebrated my 50th birthday! Lucky, lucky me! #stillbuzzing!!)  Although it LOOKS like  Arabic plasterwork, I developed each design componant from Adelaide architectural features.  A doorway is a portal, an entry, a start to a new environment, a new world. We have many different nationalities represented in this city, this is about the beauty we all create together. We are, both exotic & local!

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo...enough procrastinating!  WHAT am I going to submit this year????

At this stage I have 7 ideas.  Of those, 4 are serious contenders.  How am I going to make this decision?

By spending time with each of those 4 ideas. 

I will be starting the process of developing each of them.  From there, I'll ask myself a few questions;
-"What do I FEEL about this piece?"
-"Is it an exciting/different enough challenge for me?" (We are talking about daring to be different after all!!)
-"Can I realisticly produce it, within the time frame & alongside other committments?"
-"Can I physically create it; do I have enough space, skills, resources?"
-"Does it fit the criteria for this exhibition?"
And most importantly...
-"Do I WANT to see this idea in real life?"

Hopefully, two of my ideas will leap out at me, grab me by the nose & say "MAKE ME...MAKE ME...PLEEEEASE!"

Wish me luck!!

Dare To Differ Quilt Exhibition
1-25 Sept 2017
For entry info contact the convenor;
Suzanne Gummow


  1. Thanks for sharing. At the beginning of each year I try to decide on which projects I will work on for the next 12 months. I write them down and then have to start to eliminate items from the far too long list of hopeful textile art pieces that I will produce. Next I list all the unfinished projects that I did not finish the year before and I choose one or two to finish, before starting on new work. I have to have some new work to be excited about. Doing some finishing now while I am still thinking and making lists!

  2. Great post Joy. Decisions, decisions indeed. I like your thinking & Lesley's too. I have ideas every time but get caught up in the admin & everything for everyone else, so my aim is to actually get in & bring some ideas to fruition! The WAP has given me an encouraging start.