Micro Grant Stories: Lanny MacKenzie
Orange-based natural fibre weaver Lanny MacKenzie got her hands on some new tech to help document her art practice when other plans had to change.
Covid-19 has been a challenge and sometimes a struggle for artists in our region, especially those who rely on lots of teaching and face-to-face work. The challenge continues but we’re very pleased that our Micro Grants were able to help some, like Lanny, shift some of their focus during this time and prepare for the future.
Here Lanny lets us know how she spent her grant and what kept her busy during the last few, very different, months.
Lanny tells her story:
“Thank you so much for allowing me to be one of the Micro grant recipients for 2020. It was very much appreciated and arrived at the most opportune time, due to covid19 restrictions.
The funds received were $700 which had enabled me to purchase a SLR digital camera plus tripod, memory card and extra battery. Total purchase price was $1016.00 so the $700 was a big help.
As part of this project, due to convid19 restrictions, most of my weaving workshops have been cancelled. They are normally conducted face to face and extremely popular. With the assistance of my fellow artists at the Colour City Creatives group (CCC), based in Orange, we have been conducting a series of videotaping to enable me to upload them to my website as online weaving workshops.
So far, we have completed three sessions of nearly all-day taping and they are in the process of being edited to be about 20-minute lessons each. We still have one more video-taping session left to complete then that will complete the full series of my online weaving workshops.
Fortunately, the fellow artists from CCC were working pro bono in the video typing sessions as I could not really afford to pay them. I am also in the process of updating my website as currently it was just a simple website, but the full cost of the upgrade would be $1000 initially with ongoing fees afterwards for maintenance. As such, I am only in the preliminary stages as I couldn’t afford the fee.
So far, with the COVID-19 restrictions, it’s been really hard as there has been no income for the family as I was the sole breadwinner. My other casual work as a teacher with the local Community College have also being cancelled – no face to face classes.
I have been using the extra time to create more weaving, however I haven’t been able to sell any as most of the places that I normally place them are also closed down due to COVID-19 restrictions.
I am hoping with the easing off of covid19 restrictions we might be able to go back to face to face weaving workshops. I have tried a few online weaving workshops (using Zoom) but it has not been successful as the participants prefer the individual help and attention from a face to face meeting.
I continue to use my new camera and every day I’m learning new features to try and experiment with.
Below are some of the pictures taken at my only weaving workshop this year at Capertee Valley near Lithgow, part of a joint project between Cementa and Dept of Hydrology, educating the local farmers about land literacy. This includes a mental health component to look after farmers families by introducing them to weaving using locally available natural materials. The final workshop should be sometime in October, depending on easing of restrictions.
Again, I thank you for your continual support and assistance in my artistic pursuits.
Fibre artist/weaver – ORANGE NSW
About the artist
Lanny has been surrounded by bold, vibrant colours since birth, growing up in rural Java & Bali, Indonesia, & now channels these memories into her bespoke, woven art using all materials available to in her surrounding, both natural & recyclables.
Using intricate weaving techniques, Lanny attempts to explore the space between concept & expression to bring to life her structural yet whimsical vibrant creations.