|Alvena Hall |
|Alvena was born in Adelaide, trained at the South Australian School of Art, became a teacher, but latterly self-employed as artist, write and textile consultant. She has been specialising in textiles as an artist's medium since the 1970s, using dyes, machine and hand stitching, quilting , surface embellishment and photoimagery.Her special areas of interest are the environment, the human context of technology, and the way these interact. Alvena herself says that embroidery and thread and fabric is a huge addiction, and she even tries to smuggle at least one sewing machine away on holidays. She confesses to owning over 2000 rolls of thread! Recently she has discovered the amazing tools available in digital embroidery, and a large series of miniature landscapes are the result. |
"But technology is not everything. There is the pull of the subject matter, and in my case it is equally the sea, and the desert. So far, though, I have only managed a tiny glimpse of the desert, its vastness, its fragility, and its infinitely fascinating variation and detail. Just one location - like the real Yorkeys Crossing - can have me making dozens of trips, filling endless sheets of sketches and clicking off hundreds of rolls of film. In the studio, it is the distillation of these experiences months or even years later, that drives the work.
The beach is another environment subject to the impact of urban technology, and to endless change. I cannot resist collecting things - broken glass, shells and any sort of debris. Serious pieces have come of this, and also the more frivolous beach dresses. The lace and embroidered dresses take an amazing amount of time, do not sell and are therefore a pure indulgence"
|The Miniature Landscapes |
Only a verv few stolen days were spent in Central Australia, leaving sharp fragmented memories of vivid experiences, the more poignant since serious illness made a return visit highly unlikely. The tiny 5-6cm format of digital underlay is re-embroidered in up to 20 colours. The miniature format refers to the tiny time spent, and the intense colour reflects the nature of the experience.
The landscapes are presented as brooches, or mounted on old Thai silks and framed, as little gems of memory. The work shown here is one of a set of six.
|The Yorkies Crossing Series |
Just to the north of Port Augusta, the crossing was once the main east-west route across the continent. A string of saltpans lie at the base of the Flinders Ranges. There is silence, an ominous stillness and an air of abandonment about this place, with wrecked cars, red sand banks and gliffering salt sinking below the sudden escarpments.This continuing series includes stitched wall panels, quilts and smaller fragments in 20cm format.
To the right is 'Rust and Wreck'
(92cm x 134cm), one of a series of five.
Shown in Germany, 1999.
|Where all the Horses Run |
"Inspired by Tennyson Beach, a series of lace triangles, some mounted over photographs, explore the textures, patterns and rythms of the broad zone between high and low tide. This is a perpetually changing landscape, one of endless fascination."
|Art to Wear - garments inspired by the sea. |
Alvena has a long term interest in machine embroidered laces, and garments inspired by the sea. She is regularly accepted for entry the Art to Wear exhibition held annually at Darling Harbour, Sydney.
Here is Narelle wearing 'Venus' a three piece lace dress embroidered with shells and beads. We have a frilled cockle called the Venus cockle - embroidered on the dress.
The detail below is actual size, from a direct scan of the garment.
The Sea Side Dollies
|Venus detail. |
These dresses have their inspiration in a number of sources, brought together in delicate laces mounted over embroidered silk and tulle. The inspirations come from the very full skirts of party dresses of the 50's, the cupi dolls on sticks sold at sea side fairs, and especially the one at Semaphore Beach.
Alvena has begun a series of gowns of the Sirens of Mythology, and had in mind the notion of a pair of teenage apprentice sirens, born from the sea, and setting out to hone their skills at such a fair.
The dress shown is being modelled by Amy.
|Quilted Landscape |
" I love to teach - there is so much you can do with fabric and thread - - "
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