Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I was rather excited last night to read that Patricia Piccinini's sky sculpture, 'The Skywhale' was coming to Brisbane. With no time to dally, I took an early morning drive into the Brisbane Powerhouse to see it being inflated in brilliant sunlight.
It really is an awesome sight to see in the flesh, transformed by hot air into a majestic form. I marvel at Patricia's creativity, the attention to detail and mild humour. I can also contemplate the logistics of realising a project like this, the hours of work invested.
If you have an opportunity to check it out the details for viewing today till Friday are on the Brisbane Powerhouse site.
Congratulations Patricia, its a fabulous work!
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
It's the last week for the 2013 Gold Coast Art Prize, where you can see my work in the finalists exhibition until this Sunday. I've had some great feedback on the work, which is always encouraging. I also participated in the kids Summer Series at the gallery, presenting a workshop activity for a few days, which was lots of fun - kids are so incredibly imaginative.
Resource ecology (Conserve - Develop) came about after a residency in 2012 at BigCi in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area. I spent four weeks there exploring many environments and components of the ecology. It represents one region of Australia that brings together in close proximity competing interests of, a biodiversity of natural heritage, along-side mineral resources. For a number of years I have visited natural heritage environments and considered where a balance may lie between competition for conservation and development.
Species featured in the artwork include many that characterise the World Heritage area including eucalypts, banksia, Narrow-leaf Drumsticks, Flannel flower, Isopogon anemonifolius and a macrocosma moth. These species sit within elements symbolic of human impacts in the region - power station vents, power lines and coal mining trucks.
I am conscious of the language I use when describing my work and its content. I wondered if 'impact' was the right word to use. Reading the definition in my dictionary -"press firmly together, to force tightly together", it is an apt description of my observations in the Greater Blue Mountains area, where open cut coal mining and World Heritage conservation butt up against one another in not just the physical landscape.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
A quote from my visual journal: “Monday 10th September, 2012 – Beautiful warm sunny day. Listening to the hum of bees buzzing, calls of the Eastern Spinebills, followed by the sonic flutter of their wings. On my walk today I could smell the pine trees; many are budding up with new cones. Blossom is blowing off in confetti like drifts in the breeze.”
I recall my first impressions of Hill End and Jean's garden as being rather magical. The quince, plum, apricot, pear and peach trees, along with native wattle were bursting into spring bloom. A stunning cascade carried on gnarled branches, with shades of ruby red, pale pink, pure white and golden yellow. I spent time each day looking out at this garden or wandering around it. Taking lunch on the front verandah, in the well-worn and comfy chair, where many other artists and visitors have sat. There is a simplicity, a sense of being in the moment there. Hill End has a landscape where the passing and cycles of time are interwoven in daily life.
Haefliger's cottage where I stayed during my residency belonged to Jean Bellette and her husband Paul Haefliger. They lived at Hill End in the 1940's and 50's. An award winning artist and tutor, Jean moved to Majorca with her husband in 1957 and never permanently returned to Australia. The cottage still holds many of her personal possessions. When Jean died in 1991, she bequeathed the cottage to NSW Parks and Wildlife service on the condition it become an artists' retreat. It's such a generous gift for artists today to share some time in this unique place.
Jean's Garden is currently on show at Salt Contemporary Art, Queenscliff as part of my solo show - Nature waits for no one.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I think there is something special about having creative friends. We can share all the usual good friend qualities with the added bonus of having an understanding and appreciation for each others creative practices. I guess I'm referring to peers. And I can't think of a better way to show this than by having some of their hand crafted work in my home. Last Friday I picked up my custom made, super comfy, Jeanbag from KT. Beautifully wrapped I waited to unfold it with Phil and fill with micro beads before the long anticipated lounge. I love it! When I buy, share, gift, swap a piece with friends it comes with a story, that's what makes all the difference. I know something about the development of the piece, it's inspiration and the work that goes into refining its qualities. There's just so much more to it than a trip to a store and home again. If you would like to read all about the development of Jeanbag, it's on KT's blog here; and this is the Jeanbag page.
In winter this hall catches rays like a sun room, it's the warmest place in the house during that season. I'm looking forward to my studio breaks and book reading here. Thank you KT!
Hanging on the wall behind is a painting called 'Illawarra flame' by Susan Buret. We've known each other for years and have swapped works with one another. I love the colours and pattern in this painting, it's from Susan's 'Stolen Geometry from the Gardens of Love' series. Thank you Susan, still loving it!
And all the other pieces from creative friends....and pieces yet to come :-) Thank you.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
As many of my friends would know, I have been missing socially for the past couple of months, being in action in the studio. Making works for my upcoming solo exhibition at Salt Contemporary Art, Queenscliff, Victoria. I have continued working with inspiration from my residency at Hill End last year. It was such an interesting month being there; Hill End has a landscape where the passing of time and cultural heritage are completely evident and interwoven in daily life.
Nature waits for no one features a series of paintings on linen and a selection of new hand cut paper works. I'm looking forward to seeing them up together on the gallery walls. On show from Sunday 29th December to Saturday 11th January 2014.
Friday, December 6, 2013
The Gold Coast Art Prize 2013 opens this weekend at the Gold Coast City Gallery. I was very happy when I heard my hand cut paper work 'Resource ecology (Conserve - Develop)' was selected for the finalists exhibition. The art prize, now in its 45th year, showcases contemporary art from across Australia, with 59 finalist works on show in 2013. This year the current director of the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Chris Saines will judge the prize.
This week a friend, Thank you Helena, contacted me to say she had seen my artwork in the Antiques and Art in Queensland magazine, advertising the art prize, a lovely surprise, Thank you GCCG.
The exhibition is on show from 7th December 2013 to 9th February 2014.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Over the past few years I have had the opportunity of joining in activities with many volunteers in Redlands. Collecting native seeds for propagation with bush care groups managed by Indigiscapes; sighting and recording bird species with the monthly bird watching group; and learning a little about the Seagrass Watch program in a muddy encounter at Ormiston. Each outing has been a rewarding experience, getting to know a few of the locals, who are happy to share the wealth of knowledge they have about their local environments. It's also rewarding to contribute in a small way to the valuing of environments and the regions rich biodiversity. My first exhibition at Redland Art Gallery, Plant-Life featured several works exploring the activities and sites of mainland bush care groups. In With or without I have turned my attention to the intertidal zones and water ways of the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
Mangrove Watch in Moreton Bay is a partnership between the scientific community and community volunteers who undertake training and collect data. The monitoring and collected data from this citizen science program helps with determining change, which is essential for good management of the mangroves environment.
Many of the programs are easy to get involved with, links are attached.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
'Grey matter' and 'What does green mean?' both 2013, Nicola Moss. Courtesy of SGAR.
Thinking, thinking, thinking....
When I start thinking about sustainability, what does it mean? how can I achieve it?..or more accurately, contribute towards it in a small way in my day to day living, etc....I basically find the questions keep coming, one leads to another, none of them get an easier either. But I would like to find ways of resolving some of the contradictions I have in my own lifestyle, and so the questions continue.
Don't worry, I do sleep at night. The thoughts are there percolating away in the back of my mind. At all different times and places, like every time I buy some meat from a butcher and wonder why it is so difficult to buy meat without plastic. Or when I consider my love of sushi and the disposable plastic soy sauce bottle ironically made in the shape of a fish. And most annoyingly when I come home with a plastic bag.
I have made a series of works for my show With or without that represent some of these thoughts that are often conflicting in my mind.
I began with the humble plastic grocery bag in a work titled 'Grey matter'. It features one half of a brain filled with plaited shopping bags; on the other side is a paper cut of mangrove tree top. I have plastic bags in my home still! and I value the environment.
I moved from the plastic bag to the green bag in my next work titled 'What does green mean?' There are a lot of thoughts and questions brought together in this work, beginning with the green bag label .."Made in China. 100% Poly Propylene." I started with questions of what happens to green bags when they wear out? Do they go to landfill? How do they break down? etc. There is a paper cut overlay of barnacles which references coastal environments of North Stradbroke Island where I made frottage rubbings of the rock shelf geology. I read about Charles Darwin's travels and visit to Australia, where he collected samples of barnacles from Moreton Bay; and the drag effect barnacles have on shipping resulting in reduced fuel efficiency. On the other side of the brain I thought about being an artist and trying to be sustainable in the materials I use. I don't often work with upcycled/recycled/found objects in my work, it was an area I wanted to contemplate in this series. I chose fish scales as my medium, cleaning, boiling and piercing them to be sewn over the brain motif. As several people who have seen the work commented, they make a seriously beautiful sequin effect. This area of fish scales encloses a delicate paper cut of a chemical compound motif. 'What does green mean?'
There are two more works in this series on show at the exhibition, I'll discuss them shortly. As with most art it's best appreciated in the flesh...so to speak.
With or without continues at Redland Art Gallery until the 8th December.
I look forward to hearing any thoughts or questions you may have on the paradox of sustainability.