Wild Weaving was a community art project held on Sat 31st July and Sun 1st Aug in 2021 at the Newstead Arts Hub (NAH). The starting point was an installation featuring vines, flowers, seed pods and leaves that were made using wrapping techniques by people with disabilities through the Studio Artz Program at Pinarc, in Ballarat. The installation adorned the walls of one of the Galleries at NAH as a source of inspiration for the weekend of Wild Weaving!
A series of 4 workshops were held over 2 days in a Covid Safe way, density limits were adhered to (7 people each morning & afternoon session over the 2 days) and other restrictions were followed. Participants made birds out of a range of natural materials and added them to the evolving art installation. The birds were made using the technique of cobbling, which is a kind of random stitching used to hold the fibre together to create a form. I introduced materials and demonstrated how to cobble birds and then participants embarked upon a fun and social creation process. Everyone was “thirsty” for making and socialising as we had been in and out of Covid Lockdowns for so long!
Several natural plant fibres were provided, and I encouraged workshop participants to embark on a process of exploration and discovery when using materials. Some were familiar basketry materials such as red-hot poker, corn husks, day lilies and flax. Others I had never used before for cobbling such as giant and purple miscanthus. As I wandered through my garden collecting fibre to prepare for the event, I collected material that seemed to have fibrous strength but was soft and pliable when dampened. The biggest success in experimentation with materials was the use of donated recycled rope that ended up being used to make many of the bird’s heads and bodies. Thanks to Chris from the Newstead Arts Hub who donated recycled rope from her collection.
When participants finished making their birds they added them to the installation so that it evolved over the 2 day period. See the final art installation below that was created for the weekend of Wild Weaving.