Simple materials complex construction

Crafting ideas

On a recent visit to The Sydney Festival there were two visual art exhibitions that stood out for me. Grayson Perry at MOCA  (a real treat to see so many works in one place!) and El Anatsui at The Carriageworks, Newtown.

Both exhibitions were beautifully crafted in their own way but the work by El Anatsui was mesmerising. blog-22.01.16

El Anatsui was born in Ghana in 1944 and now lives in Nigeria. His work is monumental! Huge in scale. They are installations made of simple found metal materials,like tin cans and packaging which are turned into beautiful highly complex assemblages some spilling over the floor of the galley and up the walls.3

Simple materials

When I first saw them up close I immediately thought of patchwork and quilting. Making a quilt also uses simple materials and with care, creativity and quite a bit of engineering the craftsperson turns cloth and thread a into beautiful assemblage.

Complex construction

Many of the construction techniques used in this work reminded me of patchwork techniques. If you look carefully you may see references to :6

  • blocks
  • crazy patchwork
  • suffolk puffs
  • stained glass
  • seminole patchwork

For those of you more knowledgable I’m sure you would have found many more.

Feeling inspired

This was one of those exhibition where I left feeling inspired. In fact when I got home I took out a package of Harris Tweed offcuts of all shapes and sizes which my sister had sent me and which I had no idea what to do with.  Somehow this work gave me a new way of looking at the shapes, colours and patterns.

I have starting putting all the bits of fabric together and hopefully I have enough material to make a El Anatsui inspired skirt. I’ll keep you 58posted!

Happy stitching!





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