Saturday, 19 July 2014

A night at the gallery

Little did I think as I held our firstborn baby that one day I would see her art work hanging in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

But there she was last night at the official opening of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes.

And there we were, soaking up the atmosphere, sipping our champers and celebrating with Maz, our son-in-law Nathan and their friends.

Note:  My camera threw a hissie at being taken out on such a cold night and became quite temperamental. It produced blurry images and half the time took video shots when decidedly not asked to do so.  This is what really happened:   

Along with about 1,000 of our close personal friends, we listened to speeches from officials and politicians, buoyed by even more champagne and Matt Moran catered food.

At last we were invited to view the art works and the rush was on.  Artists and celebrities mingled with us mere mortals as we entered gallery after gallery of paintings on view for the first time.

The Wynne Prize was taken out by Michael Johnson (r) who was suitably chuffed with his win (no pun intended).  

Another entry in the Wynne which caught the eye.

It was difficult to get close to the Archibald winner Fiona Lowry's haunting portrait of architect Penelope Seidler.  It was a popular win and looks so much better viewed in reality than it comes across on the web.

The Sulman Prize was taken out by Andrew Sullivan with his wonderful entry T-rex (tyrant lizard king).  Do you notice what a gracious person I am, considering he was in competition with my daughter?

What Death Leaves Behind
I was so happy to finally meet an artist I have admired, Jason Moad who flew up from Melbourne with his wife Peggy to attend the opening.  His beautiful painting was quite poignant - I loved it.

We took one last look at our daughter's entry before braving the winter winds to drive home.  If pride is one of the seven deadly sins, then I stand guilty.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Secret # 2

Oh, the relief.  Ten days ago our daughter Maz Dixon contacted us with the exciting news that she had been selected as a finalist in the 2014 Sulman Prize.  However, we were sworn to secrecy until the official announcement from the Art Gallery of NSW which has now happened.

Of course we are bursting with pride, as it's the second time she has been a finalist in the Sulman Prize. This is a major event in the Australian art scene and the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes will be on exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW from 19 July to 28 September.  I will try to keep my cool when I visit the gallery.  I can't promise, but I will try.

Secret # 1

Can you keep a secret?  Well, I've been sitting on two of them for a couple of weeks now and I've been very, very good.  At last I can reveal one of them here and the other will have to wait until later in the day.

Images: Justine Whiting
Eleven days ago I was lucky enough to be selected as a pattern tester for a new design by Tie Dye Diva.  There were over 250 applicants, so I felt a little chuffed to be one of the 22 chosen.

The Coral Dress and Top is the first in the new Diva Collection and it's a really versatile pattern.  I made the dress length in size 9/10, using mainly Kaffe Fassett fabrics which had been sitting on my cutting table waiting for the appropriate inspiration.  I tend to drool over Kaffe fabrics and procrastinate, but their time had come to be cut.

The bodice is completely shirred, making it so easy to fit all body types.

It's the middle of winter here in Sydney, so my model (who also happens to be my granddaughter) kept in perpetual motion to ward of the chilly temperatures.

What a trouper.  Mind you, she had just returned from a week in the snow, so she considered the Sydney temperatures to be fairly mild.

I will be featuring the dress in these fabrics in my Etsy and MadeIt shops towards the end of the month.  If you would like to pre-order, details can be found on my Facebook.