When ‘Rona (Covid19) took over the world it gave artists a chance to change the pace and focus.
And while we my have had to “physically” isolate, we didn’t have to “socially”. Gillian Travis, UK textile artist and world explorer decided to travel technically, and gathered like minded textile artists like Stephanie Crawford from around the world in similar time zones.
Meetings took place on-line, and as a result of talk about travel restrictions, a creative challenge ensued.
Covid couldn’t keep us inside when we had a magic carpet to take us around the world.
The Magic Carpet challenge took us to the places, far from our lounge rooms, that we most missed. It is a collection of works that explore the people, places and connections that 2020 restricted us from accessing.
Magic Carpet – Detail images
Textile artists included in the challenge are:
- Gillian Travis (UK)
- Phil Thomas (UK – Perth Aust)
- Stephanie Crawford (UK)
- Brenda Wood (Qld – Aust)
- Susan Sheath (Perth – Aust)
- Alison Charlton (Qld – Aust)
- Julie McAllister (Perth – Aust)
- Isabelle Wiessler (France)
- Christine Seager (UK)
I sat and thought about where I’d been in 2019 and where I would like to be transported on a magic carpet back to. I loved walking in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal, taking photos and saying Namaste to the locals. The views were stunning, the route challenging and the colourful windows and doors inspiring.
Raw edged applique using plain coloured fabrics
I was born in South Africa – place of colour, clear skies and wonderful animals. I was looked after by an amazing Zulu lady and this is a tribute to the colourful beaded bracelets she wore. My love of colour and need for bright hues probably comes from my southern Africa childhood. If travel wasn’t curtailed by the COVID virus at the moment and I could travel, would go to a country with bright sunlight and a colourful culture on my magic carpet.
Hand dyed fabrics, layered, stitched and reverse applique applied to top layer of orandie
Early this year, shortly before Lockdown, my son and I went on a magical trip through the fjords to north Norway, way above the Arctic Circle. We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights together. I have thought about this time throughout Lockdown and, if I had a magic carpet, would go back there.
Painted onto cotton using fabric paints. Heavily free motion stitched.
Self-dyed Cotton, stitched and then painted with acrylic paint
As you can see by the number it is not the first work I have done with the theme of horizon. But as the idea came down to make a piece during our lock down about where we would rather be, like where a Magic carpet would bring us it was obvious to me – viewing water, horizon & sunset is where I would rather be.
Hugs and Kisses
If I had a Magic Carpet during this difficult period, it would take us all to a time when self-isolation, lockdown and quarantine were not part of our daily lives. A time when people could touch others and offer comfort without apprehension and fear. A time when people did not die in quarantine without the comfort of loved ones. My textile piece represents the importance of relationships and physical communication with associates, friends and family.
Fibre reactive dyed cotton and silk, shibori, wax resist, acrylic paint. Embellished with hand stitching. Machine quilted.
Being an introvert meant that staying at home was quite a nice change for me. And while I was pondering this challenge I dove into my creative cupboard and found amazing treasures. This piece began life in a Val Goodwin class and I loved it… because I love my hometown and the twisty waterways and bays that surround me. The clear waters of Moreton Bay have an amazing calming effect. Shorelines and wildlife, dancing bends, twists and turns. The Brisbane river is iconic and magical, the river is the lifeblood of the city and the bay. With Boats anchored my art lets me touch the waters once again.
Applique, Acrylic Ink, Acrylic Paint, Textile markers, Commercial Prints, Hand Dyed fabric, Stencil cut shapes, Free motion stitch, Hand stitching
During the covid lockdown many of us turned to our computers and devices as a way of connecting and interacting with the rest of the world. The internet has been a virtual ‘magic Carpet’, allowing us to meet new people, learn new skills and travel the world from the safety of our own homes. ‘Binary’ depicts an imagined internet, with data transformed into binary code, travelling along fibre optic cables before reverting to music, images and words. The internet is truly magical!
Raw edge machine appli-quilting under tulle
A traditional piece styled to look like a Persian Carpet. Here spiked Covid virus surround a cell injecting their RNA. Once hijacked the cell starts replicating the virus. This person is fighting back as seen by their strong heartbeat!
Machine pieced and quilted Some applique and hand stitching
Flying through the Air
Covid restrictions only increase our desire to fly away on our magic carpet to places new. Places where the sky is clear, where the colours are vibrant, and inspiration abounds.
Fibre reactive dyed silk scraps from bridal gowns, machine pieced and machine quilted. Embellished by hand with tassles made from frayed silk fabric and beads
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