There has been a distinct absence of posts lately as I have been caught up in all sorts of artistic goings on.

Just after my last post we headed off to Setouchi, or the Japanese Inland Sea, to experience some of the Setouchi Triennial.  A truly amazing collection of art installations, performances and exhibitions held across the small islands and nearby port cities of central Japan.​

Sea Vine, Haruki Takehashi, porcelain vines suspended by fine threads, installation on Ogijima

Like the local fishermen we set out from the port of Takamatsu each day to catch the art.

Straw baboons made by the Straw Art Team of Musashino University

The Triennial is an amazing experience, due in no small part to the army of staff who manage the sites across the islands. I would highly recommend this experience to any art lover. Apart from which we saw beautiful scenery every day. 

Sunset over Ozuchi island, with the Great Seto Bridge in the background

We dragged ourselves away after four and a half days, but decided to stop in Kyoto on the way back, in order to visit the nearby Miho Museum. ​The Miho is a private museum that presents it’s own collection of ancient artefacts as well as special exhibitions.

The entrance to the Miho Museum. The museum was designed by I M Pei

At the Miho we saw an awesome display of the wealth of the Mughal emperors and various Indian royal families since that time. These now form part of The Al Thani collection


Also on display were the  Miho’s own collection of ceramics  by Ogata Kenzan, beauties of an entirely different order. 

Side dishes with Tatsuta River design, from the Miho collection

After a very relaxing week away it was time to get back to the studio and turning some my ideas into reality. 

The dreaded lurgy

There are rhythms to all residences, but what I wasn’t expecting was to get laid low by food poisoning! It’s certainly put a damper on the past couple of days. Just when I thought I was improving my body decided otherwise. It has been difficult to accept that I can’t do the things I want to, however as we are travelling to see some of the Setouchi Triennial so getting better is the priority. 

Work has been moving along steadily with new ideas developing as I stitch away. In the lead up to the open studio I have also been working on a catalogue to accompany my pieces of work.

Work in progress, sitich on photographic prints

We have also been out with the Tokyo Sketchers again. It’s great to catch up with them although our plan to sketch the Harajuku Station turned out to be somewhat of a challenge.  There was nowhere to sit and sketch so after our scheduled hour of drawing everyone’s feet were really aching. Luckily we retreated to a nearby cafe where we continued to draw, with the added bonus of good coffee to go with it.

Harajuku Station tower against a backdrop of apartments

I also managed to tick off one of my ‘must dos’ for this trip – a visit to the art store (that seems a pale description), called Pigment. It is located in a rather barren commercial part of the city, well away from the glitzy parts of the city which would seem to be the obvious place for it to be located.

The exterior of Pigment, a hint of the style of this amazing store

Inside are so many pigments, a whole wall of them, not to mention the odd brush of several hundred! 

Would you like another brush to go with that one?

Not only are the displays works of art in themselves, but so are the individual tools. 

Exquisite agate topped tools for burnishing gold and other metal leaf

It will surprise no one that I left this store with a significantly lowered bank account. 

PS We have made it to the Setouchi Triennial. There is an overwhelming amount to see and do but we will try.

In the  Moment

I will be having an open studio to mark the end of my residency at the Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo. My residency has been made possible through the Asialink Arts Residency Program, supported by the ACT Government and the Australia Council of the Arts.

The studio will be open from Wednesday 26 October from 12.00 noon until Sunday 30 October, 17.00. 

The  opening is on the evening of Friday 28 October. Everyone is welcome!

Youkobo Art Space

善福寺3-2-10 Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan 167-0041

Access details can be found here.