Australia's In The Building!
(The shop where I found my answer. All pics enlarge)
When spending time in another place, I like to check out where needle-workers draw their inspiration from. What kinds of motifs find their way onto, or become part of––a work?
More so than knitting, tapestry (needlepoint), applique, embroidery––needle arts that readily lend themselves to picture-making––are mediums through which I can see the represented forms of a group's cultural identity.
In Sydney, many town houses are adorned with, iron lace––a form of decorative cast-iron work; some feature a Waratah as a central motif. I wondered if Australian flora and other scenes were represented in patterns and books for the needle arts as well. Such work tells me, that people have 'pride of place'.
My inquiries about the availability of books and patterns featuring native motifs and designs, rendered an answer which was kinda' shocking––None (or none that anyone knew of). Repeatedly, I was told "maybe you should put one out." Really. Was anyone even interested?
The answer to the latter question––ranged from creative baggage, carried from the idea that English flora and motifs were the glass of fashion––to Australiana being seen as kitsch (the way Americana would be 'kitsch' to us). Hmmm. I get both Herrschner's and the Mary Maxim catalogs, and from what I can see, Americana is doing well. I was also blessed with a needlepoint of Ayers Rock, given to me by my friend Joan––and, despite her claim it was done in the 70's––I still refused to believe the Aussies hadn't developed a needle-art identity of their own.
And then I remembered Tapestry Craft. I figured if they didn't have the answer to my investigation, then that was that.