Saturday, December 3, 2016

Art retreat - Go Create

So as you may know, I was recently invited to an 'art in' at a textile + art retreat nestled in the beautiful pastoral country of the New England Tablelands. Founded by Vicki Taylor on her sheep and cattle property, the studio was created to draw like minded people into a community of creativity.

I was blown away by the diversity in the plants and set about capturing the essence of place (as seen in the previous post). 
Here is a glimpse at what everyone else got up to over the few days.

The art in from tara axford on Vimeo.

For more info, and workshops in 2017 visit Go Create

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Artist in residence

Go Create is a textile art retreat in the beautiful pastoral countryside of New England, (halfway between Sydney & Brisbane, Australia). As you may know, I was recently lucky enough to stay there. Deciding to explore the place literally and visually, this is what I  F O U N D.

Artist in residence from tara axford on Vimeo.

It was such a wonderful experience and the first time I have done anything like this: sharing a space with other artists, spending more than just few hours on my work, not having to worry about preparing food! and having no actual plan...

Coming soon is the edit that includes the other artists and what they got up to!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Found, the magazine!

Hello! not sure if you are still out there...
I think i will be moving this along to a new website for the new year..
but, meanwhile I did this ...

I created a 20 pages magazine from my foraged photos via
Here's a quick look shot on my iphone...

Blurb also lets you sell through their site - so who knows?
If anyone is interested, I may just put it out there...

Friday, August 5, 2016

The magical world of plants

It's been a while... I have found myself amassing pots and leaves.. inspired by attended Cath's workshop recently... here is a snap shot of what happened

Eco dye workshop with Cath Derksema of Prints Charming Fabrics from tara axford on Vimeo.

It was super to take home sample snippets...

The darker colours eucalyptus, followed by rust water...

The pinks - crushed up cochineal bugs, the mustard colour is tumeric powder

work in progress...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Eco dyeing workshop

Various things happened in May, lots of them involved plants.
One of my highlights was attending a 2 day ecodyeing workshop with Australian textile artist Gina Mastio. Held in the Royal Botanical Gardens, it was a wonderful experience watching the mostly foraged plant matter being transformed into colourful jars in the Autumn sunlight. The workshop looked at submersion dyes and ecoprinting with plants, here's a peak:

Gina Mastio - ecodyeing. By Tara Axford from tara axford on Vimeo.

For more info visit Gina

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Don't ask me why...

So there I was Day one of my holiday, 2 days after we turned the studio into a 'night club' to host an 18th birthday party for our twins and 80 'close' friends. I was kneading away at the fimo, maybe as some kind of therapy, who knows? I have to say some of it is pretty hard to soften up - there must be a hack for that.. Anyway.. then I took my little creations out to play.. here's how that went...
at the beach...

I'm not sure if it was successful - it was challenging to find the right spots, but also the light was so bright, I couldn't actually see what I was shooting really...
I was also keen on experimenting with the idea of 'if rust had foliage'..
 Cockatoo Island was perfect for that...

Thanks for dropping by... back to what i was doing before that... 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wendy Whitely's Secret Garden

The other thing that seems to have happened to me - is that I'm seeking out gardens. I'm looking at plant names (although not really grasping or retaining them). Lucky for me Sydney seems to have lots of options nearby.. Wendy Whitely is known for her transformation of a piece of harbour side land - that no-one seemed to be doing anything with. I have been meaning to visit for ages.. Finally i did! Here's one of my snippets...

Wendy Whiteley's Secret garden, Lavender Bay, Sydney from tara axford on Vimeo.

For more info - there is also a book here
If you're in Sydney and fancy a tour of Lavender Bay there's one coming up in May.

finding the ephemeral

Another thing that has been featuring in my photography is trying to make ephemeral art. It could be it could be out on a walk,  it could be when it stops raining for 5 minutes, or at the bottom of the back steps,. The key thing is to work with what's there. It only takes a short time ... and then it will also be gone..

Here's a few ...

So you may get swept along with the challenges of the day, but if you create a little snapshot, (5-10minutes), chances are, you will feel like you've had a creative moment.

Postcards from a Beachcomber ...

Hhmm, so it appears some time has flown by since i was last here. Forgive me if i assume you all see my sometimes over posting on instagram, which you can view on a desktop too here.
BUT if you have missed them, well let's have a recap shall we?

In February we had a weekend in Kioala, 3hrs drive South of Sydney. I have enjoyed making 'snippet' videos.. as you may know instagram only lets you post 15secs of video, so these are edited using imovie on my iphone 6. It's basically a 2016 visual diary..

Kioala Beach, NSW from tara axford on Vimeo.

During the weekend I walked along the beach selecting a few bits and pieces.. what's nice about this, is the process... just walking along the beach taking in the sounds, the smells, the detail. I wasn't thinking about what i was going to create I just selected things that seemed interesting. Once i got back i arranged my nature table into 'like' groupings.
Then with the iphone i created little momentos of the location...

To be honest - when you arrive in a location late on the Friday night, and leave lunch time on Sunday, that does mean fast tracking one's art! So that's also why this is super, as you surprise yourself with the little art works, they can be references for future works and you can return all your finds to nature..

Why not give it a go next time you find yourself on a walk?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

From the Hortus Botanicus to the shed...

It's taken me a little while - but if you have 6 minutes and you'd like to see
some more of me making my work ... here it is...

From the Hortius Botanicus to home from tara axford on Vimeo.

After reading Elizabeth Gilbert's The signature of all things, I was keen to wander around the
Horticus Botanicus while in Amsterdam in September.

Once I had returned to the shed - I edited my favourite shots to see what, and perhaps how many variations of artworks I could experiment with.. Of course it began with some gelli plate printing.
Mostly I am using Golden open paints and layering the transparent colours.. although i do often grab whatever else i have on hand...

Inspired by the 'ponds'
 Some of the pieces I create in the video...

collage using some gelli prints

A 'straight' gelli print

Monoprint collage on gelli print background

Inside the butterfly house at The Horticus Botanicus

Distilling down the essence

Collage from gelli prints

collage of 2 gelli prints using hand cut stencil

While it is tricky to film yourself creating, and to 'stay in the moment',
I have attempted to share some of my behind the scenes process, 
as it's fun to see what others do, isn't it?? 
Thanks for dropping by - hope you enjoy watching.


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