Saturday, 8 April 2017



6 APRIL 2017 

Take five women, add some grass hay, an assortment of plied wool and a space – could be a shed, a backyard, a campfire – give them some time and what do you get? A tangle? Quite the opposite. Women have been sitting around firesides yarning for millennia. In this instance we find them in a small country town in western Victoria in what was once a garage. 

At the centre of their activity is the hay, at their feet a very varied selection of wools (from the op shop in this instance), in their heads the shape of various animals. The conversation flows as they follow the lead of Bronwyn Razem in making ‘bush toys’. First you take a handful of fibre and bind it tight, in the middle. As you begin to see the animal in the bunch of fibre, you add or subtract, tease out, fold over. Much hilarity as the ‘toys’ evolve.

The creatures created include a ‘roo, a bird, a possum, dogs, a wombat … aches, stresses and hay allergies abate as the conversation swells, the toys take shape and the scene comes to resemble something of a nest with women at its periphery. The mood is chatty and collaborative – there is a bond with eons past. This is more than ‘bush toy-making’ it is a linking through the ages.

Thank you so much to Bronwyn and her novice assistants, Kathleen, Jane, Sue and Irene their example was inspirational and the results of their gathering is for all to see at WINDOWSPACE-BEEAC.

AS   April 2017

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