Work in Progress

Portfolio 2009

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I use layered and stitched Textiles to evoke memories of time and place. Currently I am mostly, but not exclusively, moving between two themes:

'Trapping Colour, Catching Light' explores imagery from the Great Barrier Reef, 'Where the rainforest meets the Sea,' in Northern Queensland, Australia. Painted silks are layered over felted wool to create a rich surface with depth of interest. Fish, Coral, Rainforest provide a rich source of interest.

'Coastlines' began with an eco-friendly walking holiday on the Northumberland coast; here I am interested in the juxtaposition of printed cloth with my own collection of linen and silk fabrics, dyed with tea bags and only black dyes. Essentially I am playing with cloth and rediscovering the pleasues of piecing. The restricted palette allows me to concentrate on the qualities in the cloth and the effects of the stitched mark.


Trapping Colour, Catching Light

'Where the Rainforest meets the Sea'

Further inspiration from The Great Barrier Reef
Shorelines (45 x 138cm 2009)

Textures and colours from the beaches of Northern Queensland.

Wet felted wool and silk.
Textures added with dry needle-felting; layered and quilted.

Embellished with textured yarns and 'sequin' shells.


Trapping Colour, Catching Light:

The Journal Quilts 2009

These allow me to explore experimental ideas in small pieces before embarking on larger work.


January - The Rainy Season
(15x30cm 2009)

I used a collagraph plate created with all kinds of textures, oats, lace, raffia, embossed wallpaper and areas scored back with a craft knife.
Printed with traditional palette of Prusian blue and green (oil paint) on dupion with the slub vertical reminded me of a rainy downpour. Quilted with a double needle.


February - Heat
(15x30cm 2009)

Floods in Townsville, fires in Melbourne.
Wet felted base with merino wool and silk rods.
Dry felted with needlepunch machine to add texture.
Layered and Quilted


March - Leaf Drop
(15x30cm 2009)

North Queensland rainforest. Inspired by a photograph by Darran Leal exhibited at the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Zoom in to view the leaf surface. I tried to capture this with salt resist on silk and luscious steam fixed silk dyes.


April - Cracked Earth
(15x30cm 2009)

Crusty, textured dried Earth.
Salt resist on silk to achieve this texture; bonded mosaic the technique.
I tried to get a sense of perspective with dense quilting in the foreground, giving way to more open stitching and a graded scale of mosaic pieces.


May - Blue Coral
(15x30cm 2009)

Aerial views capture layers of deep blue, textured with irridescent glints of gold and turquoise. Wet felted wool fibres overlaid with painted and solder-marked lutrador. Machine quilted.


June - A Touch of Lime 2
(15x30cm 2009)

Green leaves, 50's style. Stencil of lime and bronze over pieced black and white Marimekko fabrics brough back from Findland in 1990.


July - Rain Forest
(15x30cm 2009)

Design from the Palm House at Kew, revisited. The diagonal aspect suggests a poweful downpour - fantastic in the tropical rainforest and pretty spectacular on my studio (glass) roof. Bonded silk onto a dark sheer. Layered onto painted silk.


August - Rough Water
(15x30cm 2009)

Batik waxed lines and marks, painted with steam fixed silk paints. Suggests the rough waters encountered amidst the blue skies and white sands of the Whitsunday Islands. Densely hand quilted whilst sailing in said Islands this August!


September - Controlled Burning.....
(30x15cm 2009)

....... encourages new growth, diminishes the risk of spontaneous fires. The road (?) to Hidden Valley from outback Undara.
Wet felted rusty red merino wool, overlaid with organza. Machine quilted with some couched threads.


October - Shifting Sands.
(30x15cm 2009)

Patterns in the sand, created by water channels. Branching, twisting, plaiting, radiating out, could be roots, branches. Organic structures have similar patterns.
Two wet felts in sandy colours, cut and inlaid. Layered and quilted.


November - Pulah.
(30x15cm 2009)

Medicine from the beach. Sap from the Pulah vine is the natural remedy to stigray and stonefish barbs. Along the Strand at Townsville there are numerous containers for vinegar, the C21st solution.
Inspired by the lino cuts of Billy Missi on display at h Perc Tucker Gallery in Townsville, August '09.


December - Coral Bleaching.
(30x15cm 2009)

White coral may look festive, but it is an indication of the coral under stress from changes in the environment, water temperature, solar irradiance, salinity and a decline in zooplankton. This causes the coral to expel the zooxantheallae which give the coral it's colour.
Wet felted merino with bamboo 'drawn' coral. Overlaid with net tulle and machine quilted.



(60x60cm 2009)

Break Through….cracking ice beneath my feet in frozen puddles, one of the joys of a crisp Winter day. Break through………. Ice melting in Greenland and the Antarctic signals concern over global warming. Break Through…. The North West Passage opens to allow an ice breaker through for the first time.

Fabric surface design with steam fixed silk dyes; background is painted silk dupion; ice floes are habotai using wax resist. I used wool wadding to create a visible contrast  between the densely quilted, thus flattened background and the ice floes, treated with metallic thread and twin needle stitching. This stitching links the more distant floes, but in the foreground there is drama in the isolation. Missing are the stranded Polar Bears and Penguins.

Break Through


(47x67cm 2009)

A walk in the woods.........
Bonded silk applique using 'mistyfuse' for a soft handle and silk wadding.




Coastal Walk I
(15x30cm 2009)


  Coastal Walk II
(15x30cm 2009)
  Coastal Walk III
(40x100cm 2009)

Coastal View
(32x99cm 2009)


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All the images displayed on this site are of original artwork by Barbara Weeks (unless otherwise stated). If used elsewhere she should be credited and would appreciate being informed!