Workshop series – Seeds and the Hidden Life of Plants

The seed is a tiny yet powerful symbol of the life force, our own creativity and the power of small

 

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“Seeds and the Hidden Life of Plants” is a project which includes a series of workshops in my studio beginning on October 21st, 2016 to explore ideas around seed diversity and the hidden potential of living things through drawing, geometry, printmaking and textile/fiber arts.

There is a growing awareness globally and locally about the importance of preserving seed diversity and I have noticed several artists around the world engaging in a dialogue about seeds.  Artists like Sophie Munns have been a huge source of inspiration to me. As well as an artist I am a gardener and a beekeeper – I have also collected seeds and seedpods for years and they have often featured in my art. I am so excited to be able to invite members of my community into my studio to participate in a cross pollination of ideas and inspirations through a variety of art materials and techniques.

Through a series of four workshops I would like to expand on these ideas with artists of all ages and experience through observation, drawing, printmaking and the possibility for natural dyed cloth and bound seed shibori. Over several months I will be working on my own response to this dialogue through drawing and mark making on cloth using natural dye, stitch drawing and printmaking. Participants in these workshops will be able to follow and observe my process as an artists engaging with the same subject matter.

I am grateful to the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and Columbia Basin Trust for the funding assistance for this project.

 

Culture Tour in the Kootenays brings visitors to my new art studio

 

001 copy‘Old Age Security Blanket’ project in process

On the 13th and 14th of August I participated in the Columbia Basin Culture Tour. Though this is the 8th year that this tour has occurred it was the first year for me. Having a new studio separate from my home made it possible for me to welcome the public into my space for this event. I had a steady stream of visitors come by on both days and I was amazed at how long they spent engaging in some really thoughtful conversations around ideas in my work – especially the Old Age Security Blanket project. After the two days I was exhausted but also really really inspired and grateful for having made such meaningful connections with some amazing people.

I am an artist who likes to explore a diverse range of media. My new studio is quite a large space for me and I was able to show a range of what I do, including some long term works in progress (like my Old Security Blanket) as well as drawings and small wearable art pieces. Before taking it down I tried to capture in photographs how my studio looked for those of you who could not make it for the tour.

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I had several new large ecoprint silk scarves on the walls, draped on models and in other little spaces. On the left is my sewing machine and wearable art worktable and in the background a door going into a small storage room and library. In the foreground is an installation I have been playing with – see the image below for detail.

020 copyPennies stitched in cloth with plant dyed thread and wooden knitting needles, needle and thread – playing with the idea of pennies being the smallest unit of exchange and ideas of slow work, traditional woman’s work and the value of small simple daily contributions to our lives.

Yes, I have a rocking chair in my studio! Though I seldom get to sit in it – maybe this winter.  The piece hanging on the wall is a work in progress and the piece below it is the first completed piece in my ‘Love Letter’ series ( slow slow work) – see detail shown later.

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024 copyDetail of “Embrace me my Obstacle” (Unfinished)

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“Love Letter to Slocan Lake” – a poem in silk, stitches, pebbles and beads

An ongoing project for me is my “Old Age Security Blanket” – a major work in progress which is close to halfway now – you can read the story about it here: OAS Blanket  It has finally reached a size that I can show it on a bed and I have a dedicated space just for this project (which also serves as a small gallery). When this installation is completed it will be much longer than the bed, reaching several feet along the floor –  an exaggerated security blanket. This work in progress is about my personal journey of inquiry into ideas of security, economics and growth. This project began in 2013 at the time that Canadian pennies were phased out of circulation and so it also explores ideas of  loss and extinction. I am making this ‘blanket’ using found natural dye colour, pennies collected and saved in cloth and contemplation through stitching, words and drawings. An accounting ledger accompanies this piece to preserve a written record of money saved and organic thoughts collected along the way.

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Following are a few more images of little sections and views of my studio. There are many threads of ideas and themes that move through the different projects I do – for example  being able to place life drawings next to draped silk brings attention to these links and little water colours and drawings of seeds show up again in my textile soft jewelry necklaces. Simple shapes and patterns like circles, the almond shape (vesica piscis) and meandering undulating lines appear in most of my work.

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Complex botanical dyes and ecoprints on silk – painterly inspiration

Lunar Mystery ecoprint scarfLunar Mystery Scarf – with cutch, indigo, blackberry leaves, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria leaves and marigold petals on flat crepe silk – SOLD.

During the autumn months of 2015 I created a collection of silk scarves using layerings of ecoprints, botanical dyes and resist dye techniques. As an artist with a background in painting and printmaking I have always enjoyed complex layerings of colour and texture.  I have been observing within the ‘ecoprint’ community that there seems to be a preference for exact detail of the leaves and other botanical material. In my opinion this is often at the expense of the subtle nuances of colour that ecoprinting can offer. I think this is due to an overuse of iron as a mordant. While iron does bring out details it also saddens and darkens colour. Iron can also affect the integrity of silk and can leave it duller and less ‘silky’. I always use alum as a mordant and I sometimes use iron in small amounts. My interest lies more in the painterly and playful effects of layered colour and texture and the infinite nuances of colour from botanical dyes and ecoprints than in reproducing the leaves exactly.

Where some may find the yellows and golds unwanted in the scarf below, I find it beautiful. Not using iron allows the golds and rusts of the coreopsis and the pale lilac blues of the cotinus to flourish. Where the warm and cold colours meet are an infinite variety of subtle greens.

Golden silk scarfCotinus leaves and Coreopsis silk scarf – with cutch, cotinus and coreopsis on flat creper silk scarf – SOLD

On the subject of painting, during my recent show “Botanical” I had the pleasure of showing my work with the lovely miniature botanical paintings of artist Nadine Stefan. We decided to do this after noticing how our work complemented each other. It was so rewarding for us to see our work displayed together in this way. We had an almost sellout show!

Botanical Show“Botanical” – Hidden Garden Gallery, New Denver, BC, Dec, 2015

Botanical show“Botanical” – Hidden Garden Gallery, New Denver, BC, Dec, 2015

Nadine Stefan paintingsNadine Stefan miniature paintings in “Botanical” 

Nadine Stefan is an artist who works in a wide variety of media. Check out her website here: Nadine Stefan

Here are a few more pieces from my collection  – some have sold and others I have made available for purchase in my online gallery  – Those still available appear first in my products, and following those I have left some of the sold ones for you to view. here: http://morgenbardati.bigcartel.com/

Wine and Gold scarfWine and Gold scarf – with cochineal, madder, cotinus coggygria leaves (smokebush), coreopsis leaves and flower buds, and sumac leaves on flat crepe silk scarf – SOLD

Moom and Leaves silk chiffon scarf

Moon and Leaves silk scarf –  with leaves of maple, birch and cotinus coggygria ecoprints with cutch, brazilwood and indigo on crepe de chine

Blue green gold silk scarfBlue green and gold ecoprints and itajime silk scarf – with madder, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria, maple and indigo on crepe de chine.

Botanical Dream scarfBotanical Dream silk scarf – with black tea, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria and maple leaves on flat crepe silk – SOLD

Landscape Illusion scarfLandscape Illusion scarf – with black tea, cotinus coggygria leaves, coreopsis flowers, sumac leaves and indigo on medium weight silk habotai

Blue and Brown silk scarfBlue and Brown ecoprint and botanical dye silk scarf – with maple leaves, marigold and cotinus coggygria ecoprints with cutch, black tea and indigo on silk chiffon

Mother pf Pearl and Flowers silk scarf Mother of Pearl and Flowers silk scarf – with black tea, brazilwood, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria leaves, indigo on sheer lightweight silk habotai

Late September Garden silk scarf Late September Garden silk scarf with cochineal, coreopsis flowers, Japanese maple leaves and cotinus coggygria (smokebush) leaves on crepe de chine – SOLD

 I wanted to extend a sincere thank you to all those of you who supported our show “Botanical”, both locally and afar. Also, many thanks to all of those who have emailed me recently with your kind words of encouragement – I appreciate you all very much. I am considering the idea of presenting a workshop – perhaps here in the Kootenays in the early Fall when the local leaves are strong with colour. I will keep you posted.

Botanical – show and sale – Hidden Garden Gallery, New Denver, BC

I am very pleased to be sharing a gallery space for a week with my friend Nadine Stefan. Her beautiful botanical ‘landscapes’ and my eco printed and botanically dyed silk scarves compliment each other so perfectly. We each have an online version of this show and sale – please see the links below.

Botanical Poster true

To view and/or purchase Morgen Bardati’s silk scarves from “Botanical” please follow this link:  http://morgenbardati.bigcartel.com/

The view and/or purchase Nadine Stefan’s miniature paintings please follow this link:  http://nadinestefan.bigcartel.com/

Please see our events page on Facebook for updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1653690094902530/