Cressida Campbell at the NGA

Posted: November 7, 2022 by Mo Crow in art exhibitions, It's Crow Time
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On Friday I visited my fabulous sculptor friend Bronwyn Berman in the Southern Highlands & she drove us all the way to Canberra to see the Cressida Campbell exhibition at the NGA

Cressida Campbell Japanese Hydrangeas 2005 Private collection © Cressida Campbell
The show is so inspiring with 6 rooms of her life’s work. Her mastery of tone and colour combined with skill honed through 40 years of developing her meticulous process is a humbling experience. We were in the presence of a truly great artist, if I never see another show in this lifetime this one will be enough!

I bought the catalogue to pore over & will visit again in the New Year before the show closes in February.

Here’s some more photos of my Old Man Crow with some close ups of the details

wing tips & tail detail

eye, throat & shoulder detail

at home on the mantel with the Steampunk Crow
H 22cm L 30cm (beak tip to edge of tail) W 9cm
vintage leather, satin, velvet, lace, silk cord, silk Gütermann thread
with special thanks to Louise Saxton for her antique lace around the eyes, the wing tips and underfeathers

finished my Old Man Crow for Ann Wood’s Crow Sew Along today!

made with so many memories bound into every knot and stitch

Ann’s crow pattern is brilliantly thought out & joining the Crow Sew Along really got my mojo working, will make the next one life size with an armature to support the weight as our Australian Ravens are big birds but my heart and hands need a rest, feeling quite lost today.
The bush is calling, I need to go out for a long walk, the Waratahs are in full flight!

In October last year Old Man Crow was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer so a lot of memories have surfaced as I slowly stitch this Old Man Crow for Ann Wood’s Crow Sew Along
Today a bundle of the most beautiful vintage black lace arrived on my doorstep from the wonderful textile artist Louise Saxton. These beautiful treasures will make some very fine feathers in this Filigree of Memory series of memento mori honouring my magical man.

Yesterday I caught the train into the Big Smoke to see Jane Bodnaruk’s That was Then: This is Now and listen to her artist talk. Her interrogation of the now combined with exquisite stitching honours the past so beautifully, matching the thread colours of the finely stitched vintage tray cloths from early last century with words from the news of the Covid epidemic from 2020 to 2022. Her integrity of line and depth of thought is matchless, this body of work needs to be housed in a museum for posterity.

Jane produced this catalogue for the show documenting the nearly 50 vintage tray cloths she stitched into

back cover of the catalogue and intro below

Jane talked about her work with such ease and grace

her placement of the texts compliment
the colours and forms of the the past perfectly

feeling inspired best get back to stitching my Old Man Crow!

Beth Brennan of Still Life Pond sent me these vintage gloves back in 2019, when I started deconstructing them I thought they could become a crow somehow, one day. Beth gave me a gentle nudge in that direction last week with a link to Ann Wood’s ‘Crow Sew-Along‘, inspired I bought her crow pattern

& started gathering all the black leathers, velvets, satins. silk & lace around the place and laid them out on the studio floor

Beth’s mother’s gloves will make the wings for my crow!

have cut out the pattern and underlay for the body & am ready to start stitching it all together when I finish this post! My good friend, the amazing sculptor Bronwyn Berman has been staying 5 minutes walk up the road, looking after the equally amazing sculptor Margarita Sampson’s trio of Siamese cats while she’s seeing Paris, the Venice Biennale and more!
Bronwyn and I have been hanging out, making things at the kitchen table whilst drinking copious cups of tea and catching up on life, the universe and everything. She sparked me along to finish this Blue Moon from Glennis Shibori Girl that I started stitching on the March Equinox!

Filigree of Memory I was stitched and unstitched, then stitched and unstitched repeatedly, over and over from the March Equinox to the September Equinox 2022, this is such a long strange trip … with so many memories of Old Man Crow held in each of those tiny stitches and knots, finishing it with Bronwyn’s encouragement and great sense of humour has got my mojo working again at last! Just finished reading “Earth Grief: The Journey into and Through Ecological Loss” by Stephen Harrod Buhner, a book that everyone who has a heart should read. I am hanging this next body of work which will take me the rest of my life on this quote:
“The process is difficult, time-consuming, and painful. It seems that emotional acceptance can be achieved only as a consequence of fine-grained, almost filigree work with memory.”
and talking of memory look at this filigree work in the Wind Eroded Caves !

Bronwyn and I climbed up to sit for a bit with the ancient stone

true friends are rare treasures, Bronwyn both encourages & challenges my work as well as making me laugh a lot with her great sense of humour!
This month she became officially Dr Bronwyn Berman or Doctor Bee to me, love this photo !

photo courtesy of Dr Bronwyn Berman

Thanks for everything my friend!

Spring Equinox

Posted: September 24, 2022 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
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To celebrate the Spring Equinox I went for a bushwalk with the mist obscuring and revealing the gateways to the liminal spaces in between, love this glimpse of Horseshoe Falls veiled in cloud.

what a long strange trip

Posted: September 9, 2022 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
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The path of heart is never a straightforward deal!

after a month of attempting to take two variations of high blood pressure medication and feeling totally strange and disorientated I said to the GP the drugs were not my way and asked my Tai Chi teacher for a transformational counselling session. It was a dance, she circled, I side stepped for quite some time til finally I allowed her into the heart of the matter, “what have I lost besides Old Man Crow?” I closed my eyes and felt deeply, searching and realized my third eye was closed, clouded with a saddened burnt sienna red! She helped me spin that cloud in my mind’s eye until it turned into a flame, in the centre of the flame was a diamond so I drew that and stitched it into the long cloth of grief

I started stitching this beautiful length of Japanese hand woven indigo dyed hemp on February 1st, it will take the rest of my days…

& have stitched and unstitched this Memory Keeper made from an indigo moon backed with red silk from Glennis Shibori Girl since the Equinox in March

On Monday with magical timing Susi Bancroft wrote “The ‘mark making of grief’ I would love to see. One mark or small step at a time and one day you will take that line for a walk – walks can be tiny steps to big leaps, side steps and take you in circles and even backwards sometimes…. “
Yesterday I took Free for a ride to the Wind Eroded Caves near Anvil Rock and made my first foray down the track down into the Blue Gum Forest from Perrys Lookdown

Magic Days!

Image  —  Posted: August 29, 2022 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
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the quiet peace of snow

Posted: August 24, 2022 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
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the quiet peace of snow with a Peace Weathergram for the International Day of Peace on September 21st
from Barry and Fiona of Deckled Edge Press
last night’s snow in the dawn light
the guard dragon was finding it hard to see for the snow in his eyes!
out the back
on the fenceline
out the front on my way to the Wednesday morning Tai Chi class
home again the sun is out and the snow is melting fast on this Magic Day