The Fibre Alchemists group recently became a Network Group of our Guild. They got together in 2007 and currently have 10 members. Most of them met through ATASDA but belonged to various guilds with different textile backgrounds (hand & machine stitching, beading, printing, felting, knitting, knotting, spinning, calligraphy, collage.) As individuals they were looking for a group that would stretch them a bit. And although they came from diverse backgrounds and seemed an unlikely combination, the combination has worked.
They started off experimenting with “round robin” projects and by teaching each other the techniques and materials they knew about. After a while They found they needed a new focus. It was time to tackle an exhibition: something none of them had done from scratch before. Their exhibition, Alchemy From the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary was held at the Seaview Gallery, Dulwich Hill in November 2009. They made two to three pieces each, and there were times when they felt pretty stretched by the process, although it turned out well.
Their next project involved a second-hand bridesmaid’s dress which they dismantled. Each person got a piece (sleeve, skirt panel or whatever) and each worked on them (without seeing what was happening to the rest of the garment) and then reassembled the dress. It was part of the Ethical Fashion and Interiors exhibition at Craft NSW and later the Waste to Art section of the Warringah Art Prize Exhibition.
Their current project, The Alchemist’s Book Club will involve two exhibitions – a smaller initial one in August 2010 at the Kinokuniya book shop, with a larger one to follow. The idea behind the theme is that each person chooses a book/s which is a source of personal inspiration and develops her works from there. The books cover architecture, plant life, politics, colour and music. The works will be equally as diverse.
Where: Kinokuniya book store’s gallery, corner George and Park Streets (opposite the QVB)
When: 4-17 August from 10.00am daily