Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Thanks to all my loyal friends and customers who visited my Open Studio last Sunday as part of DESIGN Canberra. It was a great day, perfect temperature, and I was run off my feet chatting and ringing that till! Luckily for me my friend Belinda Jessup popped in to deliver a coffee in the morning...and stayed to help behind the sales desk until 3pm.  Couldn't have done it without her!

This weekend I will be at Undercurrent Design Market at the National Portrait Gallery.  This is my debut at this market, but I have heard so many good things about it I thought I would give it a try.  However, as usual, my busy life intrudes.  I fly back from Melbourne on Friday just in time to set up my stall for the opening at 5pm. It should be a great weekend though, with so many other things happening as part of DESIGN Canberra.  Last night I attended the DesignBuzz talks which included Jessica Hemmings (I have written about her in previous posts) and Indigenous textile designer Lucy Simpson, who gave an inspiring talk about the influence that place has in design.

DESIGN Canberra will be finishing this coming weekend, so if you have the chance to attend some of the events, many of which are free, then go along! Canberra has definitely come of age and it's fantastic to see so many creative people living and working here. All kudos to Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre for initiating this wonderful festival.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

DESIGN Canberra

DESIGN Canberra is being launched tomorrow night at the National Portrait Gallery and will run from 21 - 29 November.  As part of Living Artists, Kirsty, Lisa and myself are opening up our studios to the public again, thanks to the successful event last year.  And for those of you who came last year in the sweltering heat....this Sunday should only reach a top of 25...perfect.

We have all been working hard delving into our archives and pulling out some amazing bargains for you as well as making new work for sale.  This Sunday is an opportunity to see our space, have a chat over a cold drink, and see some work that you would never get to see otherwise. See you there!
Sunday 22nd,  10-3pm, The Hayshed, 7 Beltana Road Pialligo
Please park on Beltana Road and walk in

Friday, 13 November 2015

here & there

Last Friday fellow Canberran, Sharon Peoples, and I were in Sydney for the opening of our group exhibition, Here & There, together with shibori-artist extraordinaire, Barbara Rogers, at her gallery, Barometer, in Paddington.

Barbara Rogers (left) talking to Jane Burns at the Here & There opening
Here & There responds to the concept of time and place - of being in one geographical location whilst making work about a distant other - about our experiences of dislocation and displacement as artists.

For me, this occurred during my 3-month Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia in 2013.  I was busy making work about Canberra for my exhibition Natural Wonders ( Narek Galleries in 2013in the heat and humidity of a tropical home-away-from-home. My thoughts about Canberra, in particular Pialligo and Aranda were more distilled and defined despite the thousands of kilometres between us. It seemed that distance enabled me to envision and articulate my thoughts on home with more clarity.
Seasonal Variations I-IV - Julie Ryder
For Sharon Peoples, her pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostella provided the inspiration for new work about walking and thinking, about slowing down to absorb the details of her immediate environment. This camino resulted in her solo exhibition Habitus ( Narek Galleries in 2014).  Sharon states that the word habitus can refer to 'second nature', and that for her embroidery is part of her identity - she embroiders every day. The repetitive and meditative nature of embroidery reflected her camino through Spain - in both walking and embroidering Sharon truly engaged her whole self.
Installation of Sharon People's work in Here &There
For Barbara Rogers, inspiration came from trips to Japan to investigate different methods of shibori. Over many years Barbara has experimented and refined her personal interpretation of carved board clamped resist shibori,  called itajime gasuri This technique results in an ikat-like patterning on woven cloth, however Roger's inspiration for this new body of work was found in Meisen silk kimono produced from the 1920's -1950's. Her modern interpretation is bold and graphic, which belies the complicated technique used to produce it.
Barbara Rogers' complex itajime gasuri
We were most fortunate to have Professor Jessica Hemmings officially open the exhibition. Jessica is in Australia for a short time to exhibit the Migrations exhibition (see previous post); to travel and speak in other institutions and to participate in DESIGN Canberra as part of Design Buzz as well as concentrating on writing...and running!
Jessica Hemmings (centre) with Barbara Rogers (L) and Sharon Peoples (R)
We thank her so much for her insightful comments during her opening speech and look forward to hearing her talk with indigenous designer, Lucy Simpson, as part of Design Buzz on 24th November.

Here & There continues until November 28th.
Opening Hours are 11 - 5pm,   Wednesday - Saturday

For those of you who can't make it to Sydney, we will be showing an extended version of Here & There at the Belconnen Arts Centre in April-May 2016