165cm x 90cm

Butterfly Rainforest Exhibition through May 11

Art, Rainforest Butterfly Flight Prep - Wire & Fiber Crocheted Art Installation

The Butterfly Rainforest is finished and will be on exhibition through May 11 at the Cairns Botanic Gardens’ Visitor Centre everyday from 10:30 – 3PM.

Professional photographer Michael Marzik has snapped some great photos of the Butterfly Rainforest art installation and I’ve posted a few here, there are more in my Portfolio.  Come explore the fibre and wire crocheted rainforest of Far North Queensland, Australia:

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Michael Marzik Photography: M.Marzik (at) hotmail (dot) com

Follow me on Instagram: Studio Deanna to find out what my next project will be!

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Collaboration

Art, Rainforest Butterfly Flight Prep - Wire & Fiber Crocheted Art Installation

It’s been 5 years since the original idea of creating a wire crochet butterfly installation crossed my mind. Part of a brainstorming session with my friend Tracy in San Diego about the “Rites of Passage” theme for a festival the next year.

Thus began the crochet chapter of my life. A couple tips from Sarah and then a Saturday class with another friend, Aine, learning flower forms and I was off, stitching hundreds of flowers!

Support from more friends such as Rachel, Daryll, Amanda, Janet, Kelly, and Patti kept me going. Their great advice and never ending patience as I made my first baby steps into the art world. 

Taking bigger steps with the Tokyo Art Byte Critique Group; more group shows as I honed my skills. Arthur, Lori, Ruri, Tanya, Dai, Lyle, Meg, et al Thank You! 

Daytime, Evening, and Yokohama Stitchers; Merja, Eva, Nao, Robin, Wendy, Chandra, Odile, Ellen, Akemi, Liz, and so many more. Everyone has been super supportive in providing constructive criticism, the push to get what needs to be done vs only the bits I want to do :)

All of them have listened patiently as I continually bounced ideas around for months, years! The gallery hopping, the owls, the tea and support from yet more friends; Michelle, Janice, Louise, and Barbara. 

My search for yarns the same colors as the flowers and butterflies of Far North Queensland for the Butterfly Rainforest installation led me to Kiki at Yarn vs Zombies, an indie yarn dyer out of Melbourne. Achieving the brilliant blues, greens, and subtle oranges of the butterflies was pivotal to making this piece work. 

Destashers also have become a part of this project. Any green yarn being given away found its way into my stash and has been utilized in the project in some way. 

Photography by Lori Ono has been essential for helping to present my ideas throughout various media outlets, from newspapers to brochures to websites. Her photos have captured the attention of Aussies and tourists alike to my work and the workshops. 

Lori is also skilled in the art of felting and at my request, made the basic body forms for each of the chrysalises within the installation. A wee bit of trimming, embroidery work, and a thin layer of watery matte medium and they fit perfectly into the Butterfly Rainforest. 

This is a solo exhibition. Yet, clearly, despite 99.99% of the fibre and wire crochet construction being done by me. This took a lot of coordinated effort on the part of so many. 

Thank You to all that have helped me get here!!

  

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Last Days Before the Opening of Butterfly Rainforest

Art, Rainforest Butterfly Flight Prep - Wire & Fiber Crocheted Art Installation

Easter Monday. It’s a thing here in Australia, a holiday from work, many businesses are closed and a source of confusion for this visitor plus a few Aussies, too. 

Took the Kiranda Scenic Railway up into the rainforest for the day.

  

   

Kuranda is a nice little town up in the rainforest with the Butterfly Sanctuary. A bit of last minute research and I had a good plan for the rest of the week. 

Lurcher Butterfly:

  

Cairns Birdwing Caterpillar:

  

Ulysses Butterfly caterpillar:

Cairns Birdwing, male:    

Ulysses Butterfly:

 

Tuesday was all about adding the leaves:  

Utilizing one of two large potted Fan Palms in the Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor’s Centre, I created an environment for the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly. Wire crocheted Native Dutchman Vine, beads included as eggs, chrysalis, a full grown crocheted Birdwing and a single fallen Wing section representing the end of the butterfly’s lifecycle.  

In both writing and in person, the little strangely shaped flower of the Native   Dutchman Vine was described as ‘insignificant.’ That made me sad as no one wants to be described as insignificant so I had to create them in yarn to show how unique they really are:

 

The second Fan Palm is home to the Lurcher and also the Green Spotted Triangle. A total of 7 chrysalis are hidden within the three islands of work. 

 On the final day before the opening caterpillars needed to be completed: 

After: My caterpillar army ready for showtime!

The Launch was on Friday at 2PM and I am very happy with how it went. A professional photographer is coming to take good photos of my work as the lighting within the Visitor’s Centre is very poor for my little smart phone photography. So I’m saving the big Launch post with photos of the completed work for after I receive the photos. 

Have a great weekend!!

Butterfly Rainforest – More Progress to Report

Art, Rainforest Butterfly Flight Prep - Wire & Fiber Crocheted Art Installation

Happily, there is a lot of progress to report today! Still living and posting through my smart phone so apologies for typos and formatting issues that are likely to happen. I’ve also blown through the wifi data plan here at the house so thankfully my SIM card plan has unlimited data on the weekends! Yay! AND free international phone calls to several countries :0

Hang in there, art & crochet photos are forthcoming…so follow me on my Cairns adventures this past week:

On my walks through the Cairns Botanic Gardens I see something new each day. For the first time I spied the Desert Petunia, a favorite of the Lurcher Butterfly. I’m super pleased with the final crochet design I created.    

 

My design for the Native Dutchman Vine, a favorite of the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly went well also:   

 

Relaxing at the Esplanade is a must for visitor’s and residents of Cairns alike:   

There is no swimming or sunbathing on the beach due to crocodiles!

Dusk brings the spectacular Flying Fox bats to flight in search of dinner, or would that be their breakfast?

 The pink flowered Evodia tree continues to grow, the top branch section at approx 70cm: Trunk details; yarn-y bark work and the early stages of adding on the Strangler Fig:  


 

Finally!! The pieces are starting to come together! A full 165cm of tree so far:  

I would love to see you at the launch on Friday, April 10 at 2PM here at the Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor’s Centre:   

Interested in adding a bit of wire crochet to your already enjoyable fibre crochet repertoire?  I’ll be conducting a workshop on Saturday, April 11:  

Fibre crochet for beginner’s and intermediate levels are available the next week. Contact Tanks Arts Centre at 4032 6600. 

To see my day to day adventures and progress you are welcome to follow me on Instagram: Studio Deanna

Everyone in Cairns has been very welcoming and I greatly enjoyed the dinners over at a new friend’s home with her family and lifelong friends. She was very brave and decided to try a new chocolate fondue which was a smashing succes…until we wanted to dip the little Easter chicks, too!  

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A Creative Type with Patience

Art, Rainforest Butterfly Flight Prep - Wire & Fiber Crocheted Art Installation

Does one’s art bring out traits otherwise hidden or unattainable in other areas of our lives?

Each day as I work in the Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor’s Centre I hear the word patience in regards to my work. 

Never would I ever describe myself as a patient person. But those who stop to see me work, see the meticulous effort I put into my craft. I enjoy the work so much I never feel a need for patience on my part. 

Today’s Cairns Eye in the Weekend Post has a nice well written article about my work on the Butterfly Rainforest: Preparing for Flight. 

  

I decide to stretch my creativity and join in the workshop offered by the Saltwater Creek Basketry Club. My aunt used to have a basket weaving business so all of us cousins learned but the materials used by this group are completely different than what I’ve ever done before. 

Using the Palm tree inflorescence native to the Far North Queensland area I attempted a basket. Instead I have a lovely not very basket-like wall hanging. 

  

Interested in learning wire crochet? I’ll be offering a wire crochet workshop on Saturday, April 11. Book your space through Tanks Arts Centre; 4032 6600

http://www.tanksartscentre.com/home/event.asp?eid=825

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Uninterrupted Work

Art, Rainforest Butterfly Flight Prep - Wire & Fiber Crocheted Art Installation

It has been such a luxury to have days and days in a row of uninterrupted time to just work on my Butterfly Rainforest! Each day brings such a huge amount of progress it leaves me so much to look forward the next day. While the photos don’t look like I’ve made much progress, actual measurements do! The tree is a total of 140cm tall and has been branching out. More leaves, more flowers, a trip to the hardware store and introducing a class to working with metals have been the highlights. Oh, and a few interviews, too!

A much needed trip to the hardware store led me to find what looks just like a Yoyoi Kusama art installation:

 

 I have now seen, in the wild, 3 of the 4 species of butterflies I’m including in my Butterfly Rainforest; the Ulysses, the Cairns Birdwing, and the Lurcher.  

  

Many have asked how big will the piece be? It will be as big a my supply of colored copper wire. Of which I now only have 10 spools of the 20 gauge. I started with about 70!

   

Up to 45 cm and growing…while I still have wire. 

  

Wire crocheting buttress roots and stabilizing the tree trunk at the same time. 

  

Adding yarn for color and texture,

    

A lovely sky at dusk:

 

Only two weeks left until the Launch and my Artist Talk at Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor’s Centre, 2PM. 

For more day to day progress on my wire crocheted Butterfly Rainforest art installation, follow me on Instagram: Studio Deanna. 

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Wire Crochet Workshop – Fibre Workshops, too!

Art, Rainforest Butterfly Flight Prep - Wire & Fiber Crocheted Art Installation

April 11 – 16, I’ll be available to teach various fibre and wire crochet workshops through Tanks Arts Centre at Cairns Botanic Gardens.

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Learn from my efforts to build the Rainforest Butterflies art installation.

I look forward to meeting other stitch artists, both new and experienced from the Cairns, FNQ area!

BOOKINGS: Ph 4032 6600

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Try and See Workshop– Ages 10 to adult

DATE: SATURDAY, April 11 – 10AM-2PM COST: $40

  

Learn to crochet at your own pace with fibre and wire. Learn which are my favorite tools to use, wire sources, and my go-to books for patterns and tips. Supplies of wire, fibre and tools will be provided for students to play at their own pace and experiment with various coloured wires, gauges, and material combinations.

Learn to Crochet Workshop– Ages 10+

DATE: TUESDAY, April 14 – 9:30AM-12PM COST: $20

Beginner course teaching chain, double crochet, half treble, treble stitches to complete flower motifs in yarn.

DATE: WEDNESDAY, April 15 – 9:30AM-12PM COST: $20

Learn to Crochet Workshop – Ages 10+

Beginner Course teaching chain, double crochet, half treble, treble stitches to complete flower motifs in yarn.

DATE: THURSDAY, April 16 – 9:30AM-12PM COST: $20

Intermediate Crochet Workshop – Ages 10+

Crocheting beyond the basics. Create more complicated flower designs or a butterfly. (Students should have some experience with Chain, Double Crochet, Half Treble, Treble Stitches).

BOOKINGS: Ph 4032 6600

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