visual artist - textiles - sculpture
visual artist - textiles - sculpture

Whitework

A contemporary Trousseau
Whitework
Whitework
Whitework
Whitework
Within
Love This Life
Memory of Lightthrough Leaves
Shell Button Top
Button Sample
Button Sample
Embroidered Bunya
Sampler
Sample WallDetail
Sample WallDetail
Sample WallDetail

A contemporary Trousseau

Installing Whitework. Craft Victoria 2004

Photo: Lisa Cohen, courtesy Vogue Living

Into this delicate, beautiful, exquisitely crafted work Ilka White has woven a meditation; a sensing, a consideration, of a painful and central life dilemma which could be articulated this way: What makes a full and fruitful life? In this work she has opened out images and questions that spring, in part, from the experience of being single in her child-bearing years. As you look at the work, you will see layers of fabric and thread, layers of words, embroideries, textures, images and patterns. You will see fabric "wrong sides" and "right sides", samplers and pattern pieces. The work invites a going in, a calming down, and a careful looking. In the work, the artist considers her inheritance of ideas, patterns and archetypes and cuts her own patterns, forming a unique articulation of issues around fruitfulness, creativity and singleness. She opens her 2004 glory box and lets the trousseau hang in the air.

Beth Shelton

Whitework

Craft Victoria
March 2004

Banners:
jacquard and handloom weaving, felt and leather applique, shell button embellishment

White is my family name. For Whitework, I looked at what I have inherited (habits, expectations, sensibilities, gifts) and asked, “what do I now make with this inheritance"? Personal threads were drawn from the lives of my mother and grandmothers. My mother is a singer/songwriter and the wisdom within her lyrics is a big part of my metaphorical glory box. I literally wove some of her words into my work.

Whitework

Craft Victoria
March 2004

Foreground: hand woven sash, seagrass bandolier, machine embroidered ribbon

Textiles inter-woven with song lyrics explore the contents of a metaphorical hope chest.
Works entirely in white employ both traditional and cutting edge techniques. High and low tech.

Whitework

Craft Victoria
March 2004

A 'wardrobe' of hand spun, hand woven, felted and stitched garments.
raw silk, pure wool, shell buttons

Whitework plays with old notions of dowry and endowment, illustrating new views of women’s worth and work. The exhibition looks at the values we invest in the colour white, rethinks old notions of inheritance and glory and celebrates personal independence.

Whitework

Craft Victoria
March 2004

A 'wardrobe' of hand spun, hand woven, felted and stitched garments.
raw silk, pure wool, shell buttons

Within

embroidered lyrics on satin ribbon

Photo: Lisa Cohen
Courtesy Vogue Living

My mother is a singer/songwriter and the wisdom in her lyrics is a big part of my metaphorical glory box.

Excerpt from Within:
'why do you go looking for a prince girl ?
who can tell you where your beauty lies ?
someone to make you real, who will affirm you,
who'll make you island soul a paradise ?
you beauty lies within girl. your beauty lies within.
let it flower let it blossom.
your beauty lies within.

(fay white)

Love This Life
don't wait till the next one comes...

Hand woven sash

Featuring an excerpt from a crowded house lyric;

'Love this life, Don't wait till the next one comes, Pedal my faith, The wheels are still turning round, turn round'
Neil Finn

Memory of Light
through Leaves

felt, leather, cocktail feathers, white sequins
hand cut and stitched

Shell Button Top

collected shell buttons, thread
hand stitched construction

Inspired by the fishing net menders of Portland.
Shell buttons collected from my nannies button tin, my grandma’s jars, the Muslim markets in old Delhi and op-shops all over Victoria.

Button Sample

2004
buttons, thread, cloth

Button Sample

(reverse)
buttons, thread, cloth

Embroidered Bunya

2004
digitised machine embroidery
viscose thread on silk cloth
15 x 10cm

Family tree.
A wonderful native with an edible nut, the Bunya was once an important indigenous food source along the East coast of Australia. For me it's a beautiful symbol for sustenance and family.

Sampler

Freehand machine embroidery featuring excerpts from Fay White's songs 'door ajar' and 'millpond'.

"She sits and she weaves the song of her love that her voice wants to sing and her feet long to dance... and the warp is grief and the weft is sorrow, and in the pattern you read won't you give me a chance?

Now I am a tendril reaching from a green and growing vine, to find some way to bear the sweetest wine."

Sample Wall
Detail

Whitework celebrated the process of making along with the 'finished' works.
A Samplers wall displayed technical trials, sketches, yarn samples, weaving graphs, smocking and embroidery designs, poems, drafts, lyrics, thoughts and symbols relating to the project’s themes.

Photo: Lisa Cohen
Courtesy Vogue Living

Sample Wall
Detail

Whitework celebrated the process of making along with the 'finished' works. A Samplers wall displayed technical trials, sketches, yarn samples, weaving graphs, smocking and embroidery designs, poems, drafts, lyrics, thoughts and symbols relating to the project’s themes.

Sample Wall
Detail

Whitework celebrated the process of making along with the 'finished' works.
A Samplers wall displayed technical trials, sketches, yarn samples, weaving graphs, smocking and embroidery designs, poems, drafts, lyrics, thoughts and symbols relating to the project’s themes.

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