Portals to Sharon's Digital World

Playing False

In A Minute Ago

Shareware

Sharon's work at Soul Food.

Introducing Sharon Boggon

If Sharon Boggon were a door, in order to ensure that people would have free access to her digital world, she would either have no lock, or a broken lock loosely holding the door in place.

Sharon, the hostess of In A Minute Ago, is a talented Australian textile artist who has invited streams of people to participate in innovative digital projects. Sharon is particularly interested in the connections between textiles and digital technology. She is interested not so much in what the technology can do but how people are using the technology. Sharon sees the internet as an extremely interesting cultural artefact which is constantly 'under construction' and has already made a significant contribution to the creation of valuable, digital artefacts.

Playing False is one of Sharon's digital projects that captures my imagination. This body of work was produced for an exhibition "Playing False" held at the ACT Craft Gallery, Canberra in September 1997. In this series of panels Sharon explored how women are representing themselves on the World Wide Web and the connection between 'home making' and 'home page'. In this exhibition she draws on the home-pages of a group of women. With their permission, she has constructed samplers, built up textures and embroidered where appropriate. As the curator of the project points out "The result is a gentle yet insistent blush of texture and colour with barely perceptible shifts from photo-shopped virtual stitches to coloured thread. Visually seductive, her work alludes quietly to the question of representation and appearances. This is not a riddle which will be solved in the near future, but for me, and I suspect for many others this work provides a focus on an issue which must inform much of what we do and who we are."

The Shareware project aims to explore and illustrate aspects of the textile community on the internet. A section of Sharon's site provides a dictionary of embroidery stitches and she requested that people who use this resource send her a piece of fabric, or a button, or some lace or ribbon. She also asked that if items had a story associated with them to please pass that story on. Sharon has used the objects that have been sent to her in a work to provoke ideas about the slippery exchange between the virtual and the real.

Sharon's weblog Wisdom of Ages is another intriguing digital project. Wisdom of Ages simply asks the question: What lesson have you learnt in life? The idea is to simply to share something you have learnt in life no matter what age or background. To answer simply email her or leave a comment, with your answer, your age and which country you live in on the weblog. If you are wanting to trawl the archives just click on the months in the sidebar and you can work back from there there are plenty to browse.

To keep track of Sharon's movements, or keep up with them is not easy. If you bookmark her blog In A Minute Ago, you will find links that take you to, amongst other things, her current projects . Just remember to come back to Soul Food when you are finished.

Heather Blakey.