Onkaparinga Barcode Blanket

The Lobethal Woollen Mill is an inspirational place, connecting the social history of the township and bringing a community together. This felt pen drawing was inspired by the pattern of an Onkaparinga Woollen Mill blanket and fuelled by a powerful sense of place.

How did you do it?

Utilising the time granted by a long weekend and miserable cold weather, I sat at my kitchen table with a blanket over my legs. On the table lay high-grade pastel paper, a ruler and 8 Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens.

I pondered my delightful plight of free time stretched-out over a day.

I have always been fascinated by systems and patterns; each line with a meaning as a story unfolds. The barcode story is digital and physical too. The barcode is a voice for the item it adorns; this is what I am, this is where I come from, this is who made me and these are my particulars.

The blanket over my lap was a traditional Onkaparinga Woollen Mill blanket in pinks, purples and blues. The lines, patterns, warp and weft reminded me of a barcode.

This blanket has a voice too. It says I am wool, I am South Australian, someone in your community made me, I am old and yet I am still doing my job as good as ever before.

With the pattern of the blanket  and the monotone palette of a barcode, I began making marks on the paper. This artwork is a connection between threads: textile and digital, old and new, useful and useful.

Where can I see it?

The Onkaparinga Barcode Blanket will be exhibited at The Connected Thread exhibition throughout the SALA festival from 3 – 26 August. Open on weekends only, Building 20 at the Lobethal Woollen Mill.

“The Connected Thread” aims to explore the idea of fibre and textiles in contemporary and experimental art practice. This is the twelfth exhibition managed and curated by the Hills Art Advocates group (hART) at the State Heritage listed Lobethal Woollen Mill in Adelaide Hills, South Australia.

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