Marijke Owen’s Observations via Textiles

My studio overlooks our large bush block, placed at the foot of the Melbourne Dandenong ranges. This is where in winter the creek gushes along after a thunderous rainfall, while at other times the antics of the parrots and little wrens produce their own magic. 

The strong central core in my work has always been visual expression about my personal experiences, observations or comments about the world around me. When starting new work, I usually submerge myself into research about the subject, to give myself a more complete picture. This can sometimes be a real eye opener. However while a work may start in a definite way, I am never certain where and how it may end since the spontaneous quality of textiles will carry a piece further.

Celebrating my father was a wall panel I did to sooth my grief about this beautiful man’s death, the gifts he bestowed on his family. Dyed fabrics, free applique and machining text come together in this 80x120cm panel. The text on the cloth under the bowl celebrates his love of life, while on a darker area it described my feelings about his actual death, the sadness  of being 600 kilometres away .

The development of my current work has followed on from my love of figure work, and in this case also using the textiles that I have collected all over my travels in Asia, Pacific and Europe. As travellers, we observe all the different ways of life, but in turn,  are also scrutinized, and sometimes judged by those we visit. Through my eyes was an exhibition which started on the ground in Istanbul where I picked up a small piece of dirty ragged carpet, pieced together from eight different pieces. This gave me inspiration to use the many collected textiles from our travels, combine them together with freestyle machine drawn eyes, this way also placing countries together who in real life do not have such peace.

The last  piece is called watching and waiting a reminder for myself to not just wait for the perfect time to make art, but do it. In the past (and still sometimes now, if I am not listening to myself) I have been very frustrated about the fragmentation of my art journey, the many other paths I must follow at the same time, and not being able to solely concentrate on my work. But now I know that in the very way I live my life, all of it is a creative journey, the many side issues are just as important to my total being. 

Using a sewing machine, dyes,  printing and painting to execute my work is my big love,  and soon will be combining with two beautiful art friends to set up a new teaching studio, KREATIVE STUDIO, here in the hills.

We are so lucky to be able to do creative work for a variety of reasons, and share our positive experience with others.

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