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Re: review

PAPER IN THE PARK, Gail's second solo exhibition took place at the Stables
in Wattle Park during early November (11-22).
Pulp painted works, lights, lino prints, books, albums, writing sets and a
screen were on show at this exhibition.
Amongst the books, one stood out as almost a summary of Gail's work and
interests, 'Baskets, Paper and Books'. It describes the process of each in
separate sections with samples of paper, a patch of woven fibre on the
cover and a basket slipcase. It is an elegant statement of the possible
interaction of the three crafts.
Two other books I found of particular interest were 'Teddy Bear's Picnic
and 'Dusk to Dusk'. The first was a tunnel book with layers of trees formed
by fibres, and containing images of bears and a photo as the background.
The feeling of going into a forest was excellent. The second book was
another tunnel book that could be opened from either the front or the back.
The main body of the book contained twigs laminated into the separate pages
and the effect was of looking one way through the trees to early morning or
the other way to evening. Dusk, in both cases, was a pulp painted image on
the inside cover.
Gail continues her interest in pulp painting with images of trees, the sea
and nature. In 'Dry Lake', she created a dry lake bed or mud flats very
convincingly through the natural texture of pulp painting. In other works
like 'Dusk to Dawn, a similar technique was used to produce images of trees
the time in a lovely range of mauves and greys. It is a very effective
evocation of evening. Another pulp Painted piece, 'Coorong', I found the
most successful because of its bold design and linear qualities. It uses
the straight perspective lines of the barrages to divide the surface and
creates a work that can be seen as abstract pattern as well as a semi
realistic image of the sea.
The exhibition also contains four abstract pulp painted pieces, 'The Tree
Totem' series, each made up of four or five layers of coloured rectangles
plus collages of leaves and/or textured pieces. The uncluttered designs
together with the fibrous nature of the fibre paper allowed to show along
the edges create strong and eloquent works.
For me, the most adventurous and dramatic pieces were the 'Banner series.
These were six panels, about A1 size, mainly of ginger lily and banana
fibre. They were made on a trampoline with layers of mucilaginous fibre so
the colours could intermingle before draining was complete thus creating
wonderful swirling patterns. The colours and shapes were impressive and
reminded me of Aboriginal art.
I have enjoyed seeing the development and maturing of an Gail's work and
look forward to her next offering.

     /             Hands                                   /
   /                   on                                   /

 /                       Paper                         /

Papermakers of Victoria http://home.vicnet.net.au/~papervic
Victorian Bookbinders Guild http://home.vicnet.net.au/~bookbind

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