Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Time To Reflect - A Time To Select
Annual Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Introduction
I started this blog six years ago on the 26th August 2010. It is tilted towards my favorite art passions: prints on cloth, prints on paper and wearable art.

Detail view of my ArtCloth - "Mark Making on Urban Walls".
This Post-Graffiti ArtCloth was exhibited at the ATASDA Facade Exhibition (The Palm House, Sydney) from the 18th to 30th of May, 2016.

The blog spot also provides an art therapy for me. I was determined from the very beginning that its purpose was to inform, aspire and inspire others to get on with their own artwork. At the outset my commitment was simple: I would blog approximately 50 posts a year, including an annual review about the most popular post in the given year within each category. For your convenience I have listed below the other annual reviews that span the life of this blog spot, namely:
Where Did The Year Go? (2010/2011)
It's Been An Exciting Year (2011/2012)
Another Cheer - Another Year (2012/2013)
The Year of the Horse (2013/2014)
Cold and Windy - But on the Dawn of Renewal (2014/2015)

Before I list the categories and the most popular post within each category let me digress and ask - so what is so important about the 26th of August (other than the fact that I started blogging on that day six years ago)? To get a better feel about events that occurred on the 26th of August where else to look except on the internet. Thanks to reference [1] - here are some events that occurred on that day.

580: Chinese invented toilet paper.
1278: Battle of Marshfield: Rudolf van Habsburg defeats Ottar II.
1346: Battle at Crecy-England's longbows defeat France; cannons used for 1st time in battle.
1541: Turkish sultan Suleiman occupies Buda/annexes Hungary.
1545: Pope Paul III names his son Pierluigi Farnese, Duke of Parma.
1629: Cambridge Agreement, Mass Bay Co stockholders agree to emigrate to USA.
1641: West India Company conquerors Sao Paulo de Loanda, Angola.
1648: People's uprising against Anna of Austria and Cardinal Mazarin.
1745: England, Prussia and Hannover sign a treaty.
1791: John Fitch granted a U.S. patent for his steamboat design.
1843: Charles Thurber obtains a patent for his typewriter design.
1873: First kindergarten public school opens in St. Louis.
1883: Krakatoa erupts killing 36,000 people.
1894: Social-Democratic Worker's party (SDAP) forms.
1907: Houdini escapes from chains underwater at Aquatic Park (USA) in 57 seconds.
1914: Russian army attacks Austrian army in Galicia.
1920: 19th amendment passes - women's suffrage granted.
1929: First U.S. roller coaster built.
1937: Franco's troops conquer Santander.
1942: 7,000 Jews are rounded up in Vichy-France.
1944: De Gaulle marches to Champs-Elysées.
1945: Japanese diplomats board Missouri to receive instructions on Japan's surrender at the end of WW II.
1946: George Orwell published "Animal Farm".
1955: First color telecast (NBC) of a tennis match (Davis Cup).
1957: U.S.S.R. announces successful test of intercontinental ballistic missile.
1967: Beatles, Mick Jagger and Marienne Faithful meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
1972: 20th Olympic games open at Munich, West Germany.
1973: University of Texas (Arlington) is 1st accredited school to offer belly dancing.
1978: Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice becomes Pope John Paul I.
1981: Voyager 2 takes photo's of Saturn's moon Titan.
2010: Israel requests that Germany arrest Klaas Carel Faber, a Nazi war criminal who killed 20 Jews at Westerbork concentration camp.

This Timeline puts this blog spot in a more sober perspective, since its birth on the 26th of August coincides with events that are practical (e.g. 580), that are tragic (e.g. 1883, 1942, 1972, 2010), that are momentous (1920, 1944, 1945), literature milestones (1946), social and educative events (1873, 11894, 1955, 1967), scientific breakthroughs (1791, 1843, 1957, 1981) and with events that were so indispensable they made the list (1907, 1929, 1973).

University of Texas Belly Dancing Class of 1973.


A Time To Reflect - A Time To Select
The number of categories on this blog spot keeps growing. They are as follows: (i) ArtCloth; (ii) Art Essay; (iii) Art Exhibitions/Installations/Talks; (iv) Artist's Profile; (v) Art Resource; (vi) Art Review; (vii) Book Review; (viii) Guest Artist; (ix) Guest Editor; (x) Glossaries; (xi) My Students Outputs (Workshops and Master Classes); (xii) Opinion Pieces; (xiii) Resource Reviews; (xiv) Prints On Paper; (xv) Technical Articles; (xvi) Wearable Art.

Not all of these categories may be present in any given year (e.g. this year - Guest Artist, Guest Editor, Resource Reviews, Technical Articles etc - do not appear - just to name a few!) In fact one of my past category - Musings of a Textile Tragic - no longer exists, since I resigned as co-editor of Textile Fibre Forum magazine due to it being an extremely time-intensive commitment, which severely curtailed my artistic output.

Marie-Therese Wisniowski, former co-editor of Textile Fibre Forum magazine (May 2013 to June 2015).
Photograph courtesy of Elizabeth Spittall.

Having the most visitors clicking on a post is fraught with imponderables. For example, for a given post the bounce rate may be high, the length of stay may be minuscule and then there is the vortex effect - the more popular it becomes the more upwardly mobile it is on the Google search (i.e. most people scan Google's first page and then no further). Popular, in terms of visitors and length of stay, may not mean the post is of value. Often posts grow in value rather than explode on the scene. On my blog spot I often detect a post of many years past, suddenly makes a re-appearance in the stats (e.g. OH&S Procedures in Fiber Studios made a welcome return this season). Nevertheless, a review of a season's work is always enjoyable!

ArtCloth
ArtCloth posts were well visited in the 2015/2016 season. The two most visited posts with a small bounce rate and a sizeable length of stay were: ArtWorks from Remote Aboriginal Communities and Balinese Paintings – Tabing (Part IV). Both are a post that sits within a large array of family posts exploring and detailing ArtCloth that is projected from their mythical perceptions of spiritual existence and meanings. Of the two posts the Balinese Paintings – Tabing (Part IV) had more visitors etc. However, if one summed up all of the visitors for each series and divided this total by the number of posts in each series the Australian Aboriginal ArtCloths come well ahead.

Balinese Paintings – Tabing (Part IV) - Puppet Hanoman (made from cloth). He is a Hindu deity, the White Monkey General, an ardent supporter of the god Rama in his struggle with the demon King Ratana in the Hindu epic Ramayana.

Art Essay
There are a number of Art Essays in the (2015/2016) season. The two stand outs were: The Australian Tapestry Workshop (1986 to 1995) and Amy Clague’s Brocade Collection (Part II). The latter had two visitors more but if you include Part I of the same series, the two posts combined nearly doubled The Australian Tapestry Workshop post.

Amy Clague’s Brocade Collection (Part II).
Detail of a garment of Tibetan chubby type with four-clawed Mang dragons.
Note: It is a detail of the front of the garment.

Art Exhibitions/Installations/Talks
There have been numerous posts highlighting exhibitions in the 2015/2016 season. I have listed them below for your interests:
My Southern Land
The Last Exhibition @ Galerie ’t Haentje the Paart
Paste Modernism
El Anatsui – Five Decades@Carriageworks
Mark Making on Urban Walls – Post Graffiti Art Work
Memory Cloth - Rememberings in Textile

Of these the most viewed was My Southern Land. It was published two months before its nearest rival and so had a head start.

Marie-Therese's Wisniowski's - Gondwana Retraced I (Detail View).

Art Resource
The art resource series is the first post of every month. Hence there are a least 12 posts in this series in any given year. Naturally those that appeared early in the 2015/2016 season have a great time advantage compared to those that appear in July or August. The two most viewed posts (excluding the glossaries) are: Fabric Construction - Nonwoven Fabrics and Textured Filament Yarns. There was only two visitors the difference between these two posts, with the latter being the most popular.

Textured Filament Yarns - Air textured yarn.

Book Review
It is always flattering to be asked by a fellow artistic traveler to write a review about a book they have authored. Of course they realize that such a request may have a down-side, but my view is if I don't like it why review it. I also believe it is important to let the reader know what is your relationship with the artist and whether or not you feature in the book. It is more credible to the reader if you have nothing to gain in giving the review. Hence I really enjoyed reviewing Cas Holmes' book - Stitch Stories. I will just repeat my conclusion for your edification.
"This is a book that deserves to sit on your bookshelf. It not only inspires but is peppered with practical techniques and suggestions and so teaches you a myriad of methodologies, one or many of which will translate your inspiration onto fabric."

Artist and Title of Artwork: Cas Holmes - Bird Song (2014).
Materials: The artwork incorporates cloth given to the artist during her travels in the USA.

Glossaries
There were three glossaries published on this blog spot in 2015/2016 namely:
A Fashion Data Base; Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins; Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns. What is surprising is that, "A Fashion Data Base", is the least viewed of the three. In the developed world, where clothes are so cheap and plentiful we naturally think that we are more fashion conscious than ever before. Nonetheless it is the two technical glossaries that were fighting it out neck-and-neck with the Glossary of Fabrics etc. eventually becoming a runaway success.

Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns - Adire: blue tie dye dress.

My Students Outputs (Workshops and Master Classes)
There were a dozen workshops this year but only three workshops featured in the 2015/2016 season on this blogspot since some participants wanted to remain anonymous. All three that were posted featured Judi Nikoleski. Of the three, the two most popular were Image Dreamings - Part I and In Pursuit of Improvisational Screen Printing, with the latter being the most popular even though it was on the blog spot for fewer days.

Judi Nikoleski - Multi colored/layered prints on a white background employing hand drawn image using semi permanent silk screen media.

Opinion Pieces
There were only two opinion pieces offered this season and both centered on the same subject, namely: Writing About Art (Part I) and its sister article - Writing About Art (Part II). The first concentrated on writing about your own or someone else's art and so concentrated on: (i) Subject matter; (ii) line; (iii) shape and space; light and dark; (iv) color; (v) other elements. The second post concentrated on exploring and recognising the principles of design, rhythm and repetition, balance, proportion, scale, unity and variety and questions on the use of medium and techniques. It was Part I that was more popular (i.e. had a larger number of visitors).

Writing About Art (Part I) - Collaged, layered, torn, worn graffiti poster creating exciting compositions and juxtapositions of colors and fragments that have the power of carefully crafted collages”. David Robinson Soho Walls, Beyond Graffiti, Artist Unknown.

Prints on Paper
My other passion in Art is prints on paper. I have produced a number of Limited Edition Printmakers' Books as well as fine-art prints. However, this year I have concentrated my efforts more on ArtCloths, Wearables and Exhibitions. Hence this category is very sparse this year. Nevertheless, there is one post on Poster Art of the 1890s.

Poster Art of the 1890s - Photograph of Toulese-Lautrec with his poster, Moulin Rouge.

Wearable Art
In the "Wearable" category there were two posts that were well ahead of the pack, namely: Costumes Designed for The Australian Ballet and New Range of Silk Neckties - Karma and Akash. The former had more visitors than the latter.

Costumes Designed for The Australian Ballet - Dance troop of The Australian Ballet in 2002.


Summary of the (2015-2016) Season:
So far this blog has had over 520,000 visitors in its lifetime. I hope you have enjoyed the review of the 2015/2016 season. There are so many posts that get unnoticed compared to the few that reach so many. I love to expose my passions from Glossaries to the small visited posts that just might inform, alter and make an important difference to your art practice. Keep imaginative, keep active and most important of all, keep true to your vision of Art, no matter if you are popular or not. Remember never second guess your audience. Being true about your passion is a reward in itself!

Reference
[1] http://www.brainyhistory.com/days/august_26.html.