Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gerda van Hamond artist talk

I was lucky enough to be able to attend Gerda van Hamond's artist talk today.  She has a show on at Hawthorn Studio and Gallery.
(If you follow the above link to her site, use the links below the image to see more or her work, the front page has nothing on it at present.)
You can see images of her work on the gallery website here.  Not sure how long this link will last though.

I asked for permission to take these photos for this blog and she said yes but to remind you that her work is copyrighted.
It was interesting to hear how she works and how long it takes her to do her tapestries - 500-600 hours each for the large tapestries. And that is just the weaving, not the art work, designing and dyeing of wool - yes, she does that too!
Actually, it was great to hear that she doesn't stress too much about getting exact colour matching with her dyeing because of the way she blends her colours on the bobbin and the way she designs her work. It is not essential that the colours match exactly.  Mind you, she has been doing it for a while now and probably knows what she is doing so that the colours will be similar anyway.

Gerda began by working with oil sticks and making artworks of approximately 24cm square, on paper. This show was also made with the gallery space in mind.  She said that she knew she could have several large tapestries with accompanying small ones, two for each large piece. For most of them, she worked on the large piece first and then did the smaller ones. The smaller ones are larger than the original artwork but not by a lot.

Gerda also said that she prefers not to work on a theme for all her work and so there were works with different stories behind each.
I loved hearing about the ideas behind the images.  The titles give clues but to hear the back story makes them even clearer. It is great hearing about the thinking that goes on behind the work, that you would never know if you weren't able to go to an event like this. It is also more personal to hear it rather than read it in a catalogue, as you can do at some exhibitions.
What was also interesting was hearing what people saw in the works and how sometimes that had nothing to do with Gerda's story but more to do with how the viewer was approaching the works. 

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