The magic moment comes when the resist paste is washed away to reveal your completed design. This final step in the process is when you really feel a sense of satisfaction and it’s what excites you to move on and create the next thing. The tickle of motivation to do it all over again.

This was the idea behind the title of “resist & reveal”, an exhibition of works by myself and Amy Kerr-Menz which we held from September 23rd to October 5th in Canberra. Amy and I both studied Textiles and Japanese at ANU, where we met, and we both later went on to spend one year on exchange at Kyoto Seika University, Amy in 2007 and myself the following year. What we met on exchange was the technique of katazome, stenciled paste-resist dyeing. 
こういう気持ちを踏まえて、「resist (防ぐ)& reveal (現れる)」という二人展をエイミー・カーメンズと一緒に開催しました。オーストラリア国立大学の美術学校の中にある「Foyer Gallery」で9月23日~10月5日まで展示しました。エイミーさんと私はオーストラリア国立大学で同じ日本語とテキスタイルコースに入ってから出会いました。2007~2009年、一人ずつ京都精華大学で交換留学生として一年過ごしました。私たちは京都精華大学で「型染」に魅力されました。

In this exhibition we brought our different artworks together in the ANU School of Art’s Foyer Gallery space. I displayed  my “Degradation”series of 3 works “Daimonji & Black Kites” piece, my round work “Loss & Worth : Orange-bellied Parrots”and one small recent work depicting Eucalyptus leaves. (See more images of these works on my website
今回 Foyer Gallery にて、型染と友禅染めの作品を一緒に展示しました。私は6点を出品していました。ウェッブサイトで写真が見えます)

One view of our exhibition “resist & reveal” at the ANU Foyer Gallery, Canberra. Sept 23-Oct 5 2014. photo (c) Andrew Sikorski 2014 入り口から展示の風景

Amy had many of her beautiful hand cut katagami stencils on display, including a series based on Kyoto urban scenery, a series of geometric patterns and (my personal favourite) intricate katagami of repeat patterns formed by repeated hiragana characters (a, i, u, e, o). 

amazing hand-cut katagami stencils by Amy Kerr-Menz which are patterns formed using repeated Japanese hiragana syllabry. エイミーカーメンズさんによる繊細な型紙シリーズ。ひらがなの一文字をアレンジした模様になっています。

If you couldn’t read Japanese, you wouldn’t know these are hiragana all rearranged. And because the patterns are beautiful on their own, often even those who CAN read Japanese don’t pick up on it at first.

Amy also displayed a series of her most recent dyed works, using a palette of natural dyes and the katazome technique. These were dyed on washi paper and depict Australian Native flora combined with the first letter of their scientific name. 

The careful set up process 気を付けながら展示していたところ
Amy Kerr-Menz’s dyed flora series 2014. photo (c) 2014 Andrew Sikorski

We had a great turn out to our opening event on the 23rd of September. It was so nice to show my work to an Australian audience for a change and to experience a real exchange of ideas and interactions that is often lacking between Japanese artists and other artists/the public. I got some great compliments you’d never get in Japan like, “Mesmerizing!” and “Amazeballs!” 

The opening reception for “resist & reveal” on 23rd Sept. Cheese, sushi, nama-yatsuhashi and wine were an amazing combination! オープニングにて、「巻きずし・ワイン・生八つ橋・チーズ」という不思議な盛り合わせで乾杯しました。
Jill Mowbray-Tsutsumi from the ANU kindly opened the exhibition for us! オーストラリア国立大学のJill Mowbray-Tsutsumiにオープニングスピーチーをしていただきました!

Galleries tend to be small in Japan so exhibiting in a larger more open space for a change was also refreshing. The ANU’s Foyer Gallery is glass-fronted so that you can see into the show as you are approaching the gallery but it also lets you see a backdrop of gumtrees and blue sky out the windows and lets in a lot of natural light. 
日本のギャラリーは狭いがちなので、自然光で溢れている広々した空間で展示するのが新鮮でした。美術学校のFoyer Galleryはガラス張りので近づくと中の作品が見えるし、中から外へ見ると、ユーカリとか青空が見えていい感じです。

近付くと作品がちょっと見えてくる。The all-glass back entrance to the Foyer Gallery means the artworks are visible from the outside.
…it also means that there is plenty of natural light during the day それで自然光が結構入る
The Eucalypts outside also form a nice backdrop! 外のユーカリも背景になります!(c) 2014 Andrew Sikorski

We also held an artist’s talk as part of the ANU School of Art’s Art Forum free lecture series on October 1st. It was great to be able to show the techniques we use to people who had mostly never seen them before. 
期間中にも、美術学校のレクチャーシリーズ「Art Forum」でアーティストトークをしました。糊防染の技法について殆ど知らない人に説明ができていい経験でした。
And so, after a few Aussie adventures (mostly culinary) We packed the show up again and I’m back in Kyoto. I had virtually no downtime and spent the last month making new work which went on show in a new exhibition this past weekend!! 無事に終わって後、次の日に京都へ戻ってきました。休まずに制作に飛び込んで、あっという間に次の展覧会が始まりました!!

This time, it’s a big exhibition with 5 other young dyeing artists and myself. We were selected by our professors and come from Kyoto, Tokyo, Hiroshima and (obviously) Australia. Our common thread (textile pun!) is that we all use resist dyeing techniques but all in very different ways and not necessarily in the traditional sense. Below is a (ahem…classy?!) video where you can see some of the gallery setup and artist’s talk but it’s on until November 24th so if you have time, please check it out!

Some Seiryukan Details 染・清流館のアクセスなど

If you happen to be in Kyoto, please pop in! I’ll be sharing more images from the show in the near future.