Our 2018 Annual Re-treat

This year’s retreat was a time of great stimulation, inspiration, socialising and bonding – as usual! Also, a fantastic opportunity to focus for an extended period on our various projects – many of which related to our upcoming exhibition ‘Warped’ (which opens on the 30th November 2018 at the Mechanics Institute, Moruya).

A highlight of the retreat was on Saturday afternoon, where we launched our Professional Practice Series, with a comprehensive presentation by Charis Tyrrel.

Charis came well qualified to talk with us about Textile Display – after running the Hidden Valley Gallery in Bodalla some years ago, followed by study in textile art and conservation, and a career as a textile conservator, working for many years with the NGA.

Charis discussed both Material and Methods. She began by listing, discussing and illustrating various types of paper, board and plastics that are safe, and others that are UN-safe due to their capacity to damage textiles through discolouration or deterioration during display or storage.  A useful list of suppliers was also included.

She then moved on to Methods for displaying textiles – both 2D and 3D. For 2D she covered hand stitching, Velcro, heading cloth, sleeves, draping, magnets and frames. She discussed which methods best suited various types of textile works. For 3D, she talked about wooden bars; padded cushions and wire; foam core; and mannequins made from chicken wire, Ethafoam and Fosshape, as well as adapted shop mannequins. She addressed how to avoid damage caused by pressure points and folds.

It was a fascinating couple of hours. We learned so much, and now have several more options at our disposal for displaying our work. There are sure to be one or two unsafe materials that will now be banished from our workspaces too!

With so many EFTAG members attending the retreat, it was a great opportunity to get together to talk about plans for next year’s activities and direction. The new simplified ‘pot luck’ catering system worked fine and we all dined like royalty – as usual! It is so good eating food other people have cooked – especially when they have greater – or even just different – culinary skills than myself:)

Julie Brennan

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