RO COOK (textiles) is a Sydney designer and textile artist and a former head of design at the Australian Film Television and Radio School. Her interest in textiles has taken her all over Asia and she will be showing some hand-dyed drop panels especially made for the Incinerator Art Space.
I studied Interior Design and Printmaking in Sydney and Melbourne before embarking on a career as a Production Designer and Art Director, spanning many decades in the Australian film and television industry. I have always maintained a studio practice in printmaking, and in recent years I have been investigating traditional textile printing and dyeing techniques, mainly from the Asia Pacific region.
Drawing on my experience of a residency at the Dawn Fraser pool last winter, I have drawn (literally) on my understanding of the way both Australian and Japanese cultures respond to exterior domestic spaces. In the work in this exhibition I reference decks, verandahs and the threshold between interiors and exteriors – the space of connection and transition where the most interesting things occur.
The silk and hemp textiles in the exhibition have motifs that suggest the grain of timber decking, while purpose-made ceramic discs transform the space below into a stone garden. The fabrics are dyed with natural dyes using traditional Japanese shibori techniques and incorporating sashiko stitch as a design element. Dyes used are Indigo, representative of Japan, and Eucalyptus, to produce hues reminiscent of both the Australia desert and Japanese lacquerware and ceramics.