Tuesday, August 30, 2011

love the garden

Even though this in based in the UK, it still makes for interesting reading.  Although 29% of adults grow their own food, only 17% eat it once a week...curious!

infographic from lovethegarden.com - go here to see in better detail, I can't seem to get it to post right in blogger!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

summer gleaning aprons revisit

I've been taking a mental break from showing summer gleaning things while I go slightly mental trying to write about it!  There's lots more to share so I thought I'd put together some extra details of the aprons themselves...

We tried a shop style window display using one of the lovely GPO windows...

The washing line apron worn...

The aprons were pegged onto the lines I hung inside the canopy to create a kind of pop-up shop (seen in the 2nd piccy here)...


Monday, August 22, 2011

orange and a coat

Agnes Varda discussing a poignant moment when observing a gleaner at a market (from here)...

And here is my biggest valencia for this year, happily ripening alongside new shoots and the promising buds for next years fruit :o)

Friday, August 19, 2011

reading...hungry city

I saw the brilliant Carolyn Steel speak during the State of design festival.  Reading her book now - it's a real eye opener.  Have you ever wondered about the disconnect between ourselves and the sources of our food and how the hell does it all get into the city?!

found here!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

sunlight and blossom

Beautiful day today with a real hint of spring in the air.  The damson plum is blossoming and it brings some other sunlight and blossoms to mind...

hand picks a lemon

Kamakura-Shobo Publishing Co. Pattern Drafting, vol. 2, p 154

Saturday, August 13, 2011

all we need is

I’ve been struck over the last few days by a disturbing trend which I guess has been around for who knows how long, but that recent events have brought to the fore.  We’ve had the series of riots, the constant road rage that you hear about on the news, but also confrontations that we all experience everyday. 

In my world this week I had an incident with my dogs.  Our local park has just extended the off leash areas (which are yet to be signed, but I rang and confirmed with the council that it was ok after reading about it in the local rag) and although the doggles are trained and are generally pretty good on recall, if there is a new area to explore they go a bit nuts and are unpredictable.  It was an unfortunate combo of circumstances – I met a friend at the park, so I wasn’t quite as attentive, the dogs sniffed at the fence of a property that backs onto the park at its northern endpoint, must have smelt something good as they then proceeded to run into the front of the house (it is right next to the entrance of the park) before I could blink an eye.  Then, unusually in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday the side gate of the house was open, argghhh!   I called the dogs, hugo took a few moments longer than gemma to come, and he was followed by a very irate man.  Totally, fair enough, I can understand why someone would not want strange dogs running into their backyard.  I apologized profusely, to no effect and tried to explain that my dogs aren’t used to where they can and can’t go since the off leash area has changed.  All I got was a succession of "the street is not off leash"..."my back yard is not off leash"..."they were in my yard"..."they should be on a leash"...etc.  Again, I know I was in the wrong, I should have been more careful, but I was reminded of how quick people are to lay blame.  This is a situation where one would have a choice as to how to react and how to treat another human that is just trying to do their best.

People everywhere in all sorts of situations love to blame other people and try to make them pay for their wrongs, you could say their humanness!  My impression is that somehow people feel better in themselves if someone else is made wrong or even define themselves through the wrongness of others.  My opinion is that this growing trend has something to do with the insecurity of the times, in regards to both financial and climatic matters.  Faced with crisis people take the route of self preservation resulting in defensive, me first attitudes.  It has something to do with anthropocentrism and kronophobia (click on the balls on this page!) and I wonder if this human centered view, teamed with a fear of time and change is at the root of these ugly societal trends.

Like another ranting co-researcher, I also wonder if people are really equipped to be able to work together.  Perhaps all we need is to consider fostering compassionate attitudes towards others.  When we're in that kind of situation, can we consider the choices we have in how we can act?  Can we use our anthropocentric lens to see the humanness of others instead of only ourselves?

p.s. first rant here too, and I am totally guilty of acting in non-compassionate ways myself, of which I am becoming more mindful these days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

mulch ado

I've been doing lots of thinking about gleaning with the aim to tighten up how I am using gleaning actions in the research.  More to come on that...aside, on the weekend my reward to myself post exhibition, after not having a free weekend for a couple of months, was to order a big pile of mulch!  This could be seen as gleaning, but since our council discontinued our free mulch service I had to buy it - if it you pay for it, it aint gleaning!

That's the view down our street, our faithful 10 yr old hyundai, and our lovely deco front gate on the left which I will get around to renovating one of these days.
P and I replenished the rotted and depleted mulch layer in the back yard, around all of the fruit trees.  It has been maddening over the winter as the dampness had reduced it to mostly mud and the dogs trail it in after their nightly trysts with the possums.  I'm looking forward to maintaining a clean floor, once I get to cleaning it!

You might be able to spy the last washington navel orange on the tree in the background too, I might eat it today!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

knit witted

I'm settling down post state of design.  I've kept my self busy with other things, but I'm not sure if it would have been better to stop altogether and give myself a needed rest, but that just seems too unnatural to cope with!
I did take some time out before taking down the exhibition last sunday to go to Nikki Gabriel's workshop at the cottage.  I grabbed the last chocolate in the box :o)

I've admired Nikki's work for a long time and it was a nice spur on to knit something for myself, other than the countless sock wool baby jackets I make for all my procreating pals.
Nikki is really more of a gleaner than myself, using production left overs from all sorts of exotic fibers for the creation of her lovely bespoke wooli yarn.  It is a pleasure to knit with, and I'm enjoying her construction method patterns.  I also met Juliette who is mapping urban food networks and is now a fellow PhD candidate at RMIT - some interesting food for thought!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

apron parts...to glean or not to glean?


The aim of the summer gleaning workshop was to glean and cut the cloth into to parts and sew these parts into aprons.  The apron pattern was the starting point for the design of the print for the cloth.  This pattern acts literally and metaphorically as the building blocks for the design.

Each apron skirt is a brick, and the waistband/tie panels look like the weather boards of the summer gleaning 'house'.  Reflecting back on this process makes me wonder whether this is really gleaning if this intentional use of the cloth actually partly shaped its design.  It is the leftovers from another use of the cloth, but it was one that I intended and embedded into it, although not at the inception of the project.  The initial idea was to create a canopy of cloth that would evoke to the viewer/occupant an experience of a bygone summer.  The canopy is like a harvesting machine that I knew was going to be imperfect in gathering the entire crop, so knowing that this would be the case, I thought about how the gleaning after the canopy could take place.  This projected action shaped the gleaning cloth.  Notions of harvesting and gleaning get rather slippery here, the cloth in some ways harvests, and in other ways gleans.  I feel that the obvious is a harvest, and the peripheral, less tangible aspects are gleanings.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Summer gleaning was taken down last night.  It was a sad moment, but nice to have captured its demise.  It occurred to me that I haven't posted a full pic of the canopy, so that's where i'll start :o)