It’s been a crazy few weeks and amidst all of it, my two fellow Textiles Master’s students and I managed to pull off a group show at Kyoto’s Gallery Maronie. Every year the textiles department provides funds for us to hold an exhibition, both as a chance to show our work and as a part of our assesment. I suspect they also want us to experience the “character-building” process of staging a group exhibition. 


Since none of the three of us currently in the graduate textiles program are from Kyoto, we decided to use that as our selling point. We are from Hokkaido, Australia and China and whilst each of us are making dyed artwork, we each of course have a different style. 

The term “gaikokijin” or “gaijin” in Japanese is sometimes used with undertones of discrimination so I don’t really like using it. However we decided to call our exhibition “Soto kara kita hitotachi” which in Japanese means “people who came from outside”. For me, this was not meant to be a kind of self-defamation but rather to point out (almost with a touch of sticking it to the man…or the professors) that we all came together from different backgrounds and places and we too have valid ideas and expressions to share. 


So let me share with you some images from the exhibition all set up. 

My works spread across two walls. 私の作品
Takahashi-san and Luo-san’s works on the other two walls

I had two new works on display and one additional work “Fragmentation : Red-tailed Black Cockatoos” which I completed this past January. I showed you some images of my “Murmurations” piece a little while back, so now I’m excited to show you the third series of work I displayed which is also my newest called “Degradation” 


Degradation Series I-III L to R, Mallee Emu Wren, Orange-bellied Parrot and Superb Parrot. All three are Endangered Species. 崩壊I~III。全部絶滅危惧種の鳥です。左から、クリビタイエミュームシクイ、アカハラワカバインコ、三日月インコ。
These pieces incorporate two techniques that I’d tried in previous works and liked. One of them is layering sheer fabrics on top of each other. I did this with a piece in April, putting a heavy layer of stencil-dyed silk at the back and a hand-drawn resist dyed sheer organza at the front. This time I did much the same but had 3 layers. I tried to account for the way the patterns and colours on the three layers would overlap, so as not to end up with muddy colours or a strange composition when they were all stacked up. I hope the three layers create a sense of depth.

アカハラワカバインコ Orange-bellied Parrots piece. You can see the 3 layers overlapping. The very back is a pattern of coastal heath bushes.


using a Japanese style scrubbing brush, called a tawashi, to dab nori onto the fabric, a.k.a tataki-nori. 束子でたたき糊を置いた。

A second trick I included again here was “tataki-nori” is a way of flicking or dotting resist paste onto the surface of the fabric to make a speckled pattern. I used it this time to mask out areas of the design that were supposed to represent habitat degradation. (I don’t think this came through strongly, though) It’s a nice technique to introduce textures because katazome and yuzen are so often about clear lines and edges.

雲のようなところはたたき糊で防戦したところです。the white cloud-like areas you can see are where I used tataki-nori to resist the dye.


A few more photos of the series. I included some snatches of text from good old John Gould for texture and extra interest.
the work floating around in the aircon in our exhibition
superb parrot

The exhibition was well received I think. I’m planning to exhibit these works again later this year, probably in Canberra and possibly also at a group show I’m participating in in New York (!!), stay tuned for more on those soon!