Historical Stitching

The locals were hardly surprised to see us sitting and knitting at the opening.
The locals were hardly surprised to see us knitting at the opening.

One of our local historical groups, Rylstone & District Historical Society (who, by the way are also our landlords as they own the Bridge View Inn which houses our shop, Convent and Chapel Wool Shop), are holding a significant display at the Rylstone Memorial Hall this week.

Some of our vintage knitting collectibles on display.
Some of our vintage knitting collectibles on display.

‘Stitches in Time’ focuses on the World War I quilt that was made by local residents as part of the war effort and is now housed in the Canberra War Memorial. Gemma and I were asked to participate by holding sock knitting demonstrations throughout the exhibition which lasts for a week.

Tonight was the opening night and attracted a great crowd which seemed well-engaged. We’ll see how the week goes but look forward to meeting and chatting with visitors. Our little area has been set up using our period cane chairs and some vintage crafting tools including my Edwardian swift, tortoise shell needles and vintage military war period knitting books that were offered to us, not to mention Gemma’s lovely crochet accessories. We have lots of sitting and knitting over the next week. I wonder how many socks we’ll get through!?!

Our little corner display, sans the knitters doing the sock knitting demonstrations.
Our little corner display, sans the knitters doing the sock knitting demonstrations.

Our Fleeting Brush With Fame

This week we were ever-so-fleetingly touched by the brush of fame. One of the major lifestyle programs, Better Homes and Gardens, did a recipe road trip to our region and filmed a segment at 29 Nine 99, our legendary Yum Cha house that we share premises with at the Bridgeview Inn at Rylstone.

Unfortunately due to family commitments, I couldn’t make it, but Gemma was there in full swing and did the shop proud by displaying our blankets and knitted goodies on the front verandah in the hope we might be included in some filming. There was obvious excitement with the visit and lead-up to showing on tv and we weren’t disappointed. The segment did Na Lan and 29 Nine 99 proud and our building and shop could be glimpsed in the first couple of minutes. Whilst they didn’t film inside our Convent & Chapel Wool Shop, cast and crew visited and bought beanies and mitts for themselves.

All in all, lots of fun and some great exposure for our little town and 29 Nine 99.

Here’s the video of the segment – you can see our old sandstone building and shop around 90 seconds into the clip.

https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens/tv-and-video/video/watch/28572028/recipe-road-trip/

Kandos – AKA ‘Pirate Town’

Who would have thought of it – Kandos playing home to pirates!

Two of our intrepid locals, who always put on great events, are utilising International Talk Like a Pirate Day to hold a pirate bash in Kandos with Jon English performing, no less.

I must confess to having a soft spot for Jon English, going back to the old Jesus Christ Superstar days at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. I remember getting my Mum to take me to performances and waiting out the back of the theatre which wasn’t the best layout – the cast had to wait in the back alleyway between changes and going back on stage, so us fans had the opportunity to speak to them and get autographs. I also went to Jon English’s first solo concert at the Manly SIlver Screen and bought his album. So, YES! I was a fan and part of my is pretty excited by Mary and Sue’s choice of entertainment.

Anyway, September 19 will be a Big Kandos Day with the inaugural Kandos Pirate Festival followed up by the night Buccaneer’s Bash. I can see some pirate knitting in our future. Hoping some friends and family can make their way here for what looks to be a truly memorable experience. Aarghh, or we’ll keel haul you, me hearties!

The Convent and the Artists

Geometries: Kandos in a perfect setting
Geometries: Kandos in a perfect setting

Cementa_15 has kicked off with a vengeance and the Convent is playing her part as both a venue for artworks and a haven for some of the artists to rest up at night.

The first day, as anticipated, was relatively quiet but we expect crowds to build over the four days, peaking on Saturday.

The eerie and sad image of extinct birds vanishing before our eyes.
The eerie and sad image of extinct birds vanishing before our eyes in Indicatus.

I’m pleased with the exhibits at my place – all different but work in well with the building and grounds. Geometries: Kandos by Beata Geyer & James Culkin has had its share of publicity already, hitting the front page of what’s known locally as the ‘Mud Guard’. It is a site responsive sculpture described “The temporal disjunction between the modular construction of monochromatic planes and multidimensional forms, on the one hand, and the architecture and landscape, on the other, creates an exciting and speculative juxtaposition”. Another description is giant funky pick-up-sticks, which look great in the sprawling front yard with the Convent in the background.

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Indicatus well situated in the Chapel is one of the hits of Cementa.

Another work attracting much media attention is Indicatus, 2014 by Kim V. Goldsmith. In this installation “Goldsmith plays with different elements of our relationship with birds, and their place in our environment, using technology to do so. Taking, often sentimental, notions of birds as identifiable decorative symbols of nature, they are deconstructed using sound, the burning of a series of charcoal drawings created specifically for the purpose, and smell”. The work was specifically created to complement the Chapel and is hauntingly beautiful.

The boxing tent looks ethereal against the backdrop of the Coomber Mountains at the rear of the Convent.
The boxing tent looks ethereal against the backdrop of the Coomber Mountains at the rear of the Convent.

Alexander Jackson-Wyattt & Paulina Semkowicz’s Standard Boxing Tent No.1 was intended to be installed in the nearby paddock, however harsh Kandos winds put a stop to that idea. It’s now housed in my backyard but still suffering at times from the weather (although the cold snap has diminished and the days are kinder). “Kandos has not seen a boxing tent since 1971. From then, the empty field you have passed every day has stood there waiting for nothing to happen. Til finally the boxing troupe comes to town. From the nervous crowd, your hand goes up. You are pulled into the ring and what comes next is not the end but only the beginning”. It’s an appropriate location for the tent given the boxing boys practice five nights a week in the buildings attached to the Church directly behind my home.

Bit hard to photograph this but viewers get a beautifully reflected vision from inside the Grotto.
Bit hard to photograph this but viewers get a beautifully reflected vision from inside the Grotto.

Lastly, the Grotto gets some attention with Dan Kojta’s Infinityscope. “Peering into the infinity scope’s deep velvety depths, viewers are encouraged to reflect on their spiritual state: and interior mirror returns their immediate past back to them as a future event”.

I’m looking forward to seeing more. One of the few other exhibits I’ve seen is the mural being created at the Museum by Djon Mundine which is amazingly spectacular and epic in size and cultural context. This will be a great ongoing contribution for Kandos, well past Cementa_15.

In case any readers think I’m art literate, the descriptions have all been taken from the Cementa_15 catalogue and I can’t take credit for them.

I’ll post more of some of the other works as I make my way around.

Djon Mundine's mural will be a greatly valued legacy for Kandos.
Djon Mundine’s mural will be a greatly valued legacy for Kandos.

The Convent, Cementa_15 and Lots of Artists

Cementa15

Cementa_15 is a contemporary biannual arts festival held in Kandos. The first event was in 2013, in my very early Convent days. This year the Convent will participate again and host a number of artists and welcome the public through the gates.

Cementa2
Geometries being installed.

 

Geometries casting shadows in the early evening.
Geometries casting shadows in the early evening.

Approximately 60 artists will be exhibiting at over 20 venues around town for four days from Thursday 9 – Sunday 12 April. The Convent will be hosting Beata Geyer & James Culkin’s: Geometries: Kandos, which has already been installed at the front of the property, Dan Kojta’s: Infinityscope in the Grotto, Kim V. Goldsmith’s: Indicatus, 2104 which looks like it will be a standout display in the Chapel and Alexander Jackson-Wyatt & Paulina Semkowicz’s Standard Boxing Tent No 1 in my paddock next door.

Looks like a great few days and it will be exciting to see so many people wandering around Kandos. I’m sure there will be more photos to come.

Geometries from my sunroom early in the morning.
Geometries from my sunroom early in the morning.

The Results Are In!

G's granny squares blankets are always crowd pleasers.
G’s granny squares blankets are always crowd pleasers.

So we’ve just finished the first wave of local Shows. The shop has done very well overall, but no thanks to me.

The overall winner of all the shows we entered - G's shawl.
The overall winner of all the shows we entered – G’s shawl.

G was the champion by a long shot with her beautiful Jamieson & Smith cobweb lace shawl that took out first each show, also scoring Best Knitted Article at two of the shows. This year my shawls languished with minor awards, however I still picked up some firsts, seconds and highly commendeds for more minor articles.

Even Sheepie the Teacosy managed a first.
Even Sheepie the Teacosy managed a first.

Overall it was lots of fun and we still may enter some more local shows. A few of our items are currently on their way via CWA to the Land Handcraft competition.

My baby jumper in Zauberball did well in a few shows.
My baby jumper in Zauberball did well in a few shows.

This year I’ve been pretty focussed on shop knitting and my entries were predominantly the items I also make for the shop. I’m already thinking of next year’s entries and planning to start sooner rather than racing to the finish line as I usually do.

My lace baby shawl was left out in the cold.
My lace baby shawl was left out in the cold.
The linen stitch scarf earn its keep.
The linen stitch scarf earn its keep.

First Results

First Show results (Gulgong) were a tad mixed but overall pleasing.

G pipped me at the post for the Baby Shawl category but we can’t complain with a first and a second. I also picked up a second for my linen stitch scarf, which was great but a little puzzling when my lace shawl, which I thought was significantly superior, in the same category only scored a Highly Commended. There wasn’t really the right category for the Shawl so maybe it just suffered a little in the Accessory class. Although I thought G’s may have taken a first for the category…

We did think that this Show preferred entries that were a little more conservative but have taken in some learning and should adapt our work next time.

Anyway, between us we came away with four prizes. Just a little disappointed that this Show doesn’t award ribbons. We love our Show ribbons!

Anyway, this weekend is our Big Show, with our local Rylstone Kandos Show, so we’re a bit nervous. We both have new baby shawls which we’ve put some work into, although I’ll confess, I’d make a few changes if doing mine again.

Pictures and results will follow after the Show (unless our heads are hung in shame).