Many of you know about the Yuta Badayala collaboration that we have been working on with the wonderful weavers from Elcho Island. You may not know that Koskela and Mavis Ganambarr were finalists in an international exhibition called Love Lace which was set up by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Their call for entries resulted in over 700 applications from around the world. We were lucky enough to be chosen to be one of the 130 finalists that came from 20 countries. This is the beautiful shade that was part of the Love Lace exhibition and is now in the Koskela showroom. It really was an extraordinary exhibition that challenged any preconceived ideas you may have about lace and is well worth a visit.
We thought you might enjoy reading the story behind this beautiful lampshade and the journey it undertook to come into being.
It started when the Powerhouse invited us to apply to be part of the exhibition in 2010. We realised that we needed to create something pretty spectacular if we were going to succeed. We thought we would look at playing with the scale of the lampshade and try and create a frame that had additional elements within it that Mavis could work with. Once this idea was down on paper, it was off to Sydney’s Inner West to make the frame with our talented metal worker.
As the frame measures 1500mm in diameter, the easiest way to transport it to the powdercoaters was on the roof of our car. Once this was done it was packaged up and trucked up to Darwin before embarking on its week long barge journey to Elcho Island in North Eastern Arnhem Land.
When it arrived at the Art Centre in early December 2010, Judy Manany one of the other senior weavers we work with said “ Why is Sasha giving such a big frame to such a little lady!”. Although Mavis is a weaving powerhouse, she’s quite a slight woman.
Mavis worked tirelessly for 6-8 weeks on the shade at her home. First there was collecting all the materials and the dyes, then preparing them and finally weaving the shade. There were no Christmas holidays for her that year, so we could make the Love Lace deadline at the end of January 2011 back in Sydney.
The shade was finally ready to begin its final journey back to Sydney, much to the relief of Mavis and the rest of the Art Centre crew. You can see in our image gallery that Judy Manany was pretty excited to see the shade finished and ready to go back to Sydney.
At this point we had not seen the lampshade in the flesh and, like all the Yuta Badayala shades, we left it up to Mavis to decide how she wanted to interpret the form we provided her.
When the crate arrived in Sydney at our lighting factory and we unveiled it, it took our breath away!
It was indeed an amazing journey, as our entire collaboration with the Elcho weavers has been.