Monday, August 11, 2014

Artist in residence - Grafton Regional Gallery

I've started reading about the history of Grafton's Jacaranda Festival in preparation for my residency in October at Grafton Regional Gallery. Experiencing the Jacaranda Festival first hand will be inspiring, while it celebrates its 80th year, Australia's longest continuing Floral Festival.
As many of you would know I have a passion for trees. There is something special about grand trees, the mature specimens planted long before I was born that will live long after I am gone. My art practice often celebrates the heritage and cultural connections communities have with trees, whether they be street trees or in nature reserves. I'm thinking about connections and the value people feel for particular trees. In a contemporary context, does this translate to caring about environment more generally.
Back to reading for now.
With Thanks to the Clarence River visitor information centre and Grafton Jacaranda Festival Committee for their assistance.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Culture Ecology on show at BRAG

The exhibition openings at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery on the weekend were lovely. A great combination of works on show, artists talks, meeting people and time for travel through the stunning landscapes I worked in during my 2012 residencies.
The opening night began with an artist talk by Jason Benjamin about his practice and the development of landscape works in his solo show 'Everyone is here'. Incorporating pencil drawings, wash works on paper and large scale paintings, it gives an insight into his practice and keen observation of topography and vegetation.

My show 'Culture Ecology' opened along with fellow 2012 residents, Kathryn Orton - 'Hill End Panorama' and Renuka Fernando - 'Disturbing the surface'. These exhibitions worked very well together, each of us manipulating and working with paper in response to our experiences of Hill End, but with diverse results. It was lovely to meet and share memories of the time with Kathryn and Renuka.

On Saturday Gavin Wilson recounted the great story of how the Hill End Artist in Residence Program developed, and magnetic attraction the area has held for artists since the 1940's. His talk accompanied the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Collection exhibition - The Third Wave: Two decades of the Hill End Artists in Residence Program. With a diverse selection of works by artists including Donald Friend, Jean Bellette, Tom Spence, Richard Goodwin and Julie Ryder.

I must give special thanks to the installation team at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, who had a huge week and took on the challenge of pining my large installation work, Making Home - softening the edges, not an easy task! Thank you - you have done a great job. You can see images of the installation team and Renuka hard at work on each of the shows here on the BRAG Facebook Page.

Thanks again to Bathurst Regional Art Gallery for their ongoing support of the exhibition and residency program, it has been a wonderful experience and contribution to the development of my arts practice.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Highly Commended at The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2014

I received a surprise in the mail this week, along with a copy of the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize catalogue was a Highly Commended Award for my hand cut paper work - Priority species (Moreton Bay). It's so lovely to receive recognition for this work.

Images of all the finalist and winning artworks can be seen on the South Australian Museum website here. And a friend (Thank you Emma) sent me a link to this image of my artwork hanging in the museum.

The winning and highly commended artworks form part of a touring exhibition that is shown at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra. If you are in the area, exhibition dates are from 26th September to 9th November 2014.

Monday, July 28, 2014

After the fires - North Stradbroke Island

Last week I headed over to North Stradbroke Island with Helena to see how the island's flora was recovering after the New Year bushfires. The landscape feels open with sand visible across hillsides amongst the charred black of tree trunks and vibrant green of regrowth. It was good to see the Banksia, Melaleuca and eucalypt re-sprouting with new growth. Even more exciting to see were the seedlings, tiny delicate new lives covering the charred ground, almost as though someone had broadcast them. Whilst witnessing the devastation it was hard to not feel buoyed by the resilience of plants.

This map from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services shows the burn areas day by day.

I'll be developing artworks for a curated exhibition in June next year, more details a bit closer to the time.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Culture Ecology opening at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

I would like to extend you a warm invitation to the opening of my solo exhibition 'Culture Ecology' at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery on Friday 1st August at 6pm. The exhibition presents a body of hand cut paper artworks that respond to the ecology of Hill End, where I spent a month as artist in residence in 2012. Some previously unseen works including the 'Time Capsule' series form part of the show.
Exhibitions of work by Jason Benjamin, Kathryn Orton, Renuka Fernando and a curated selection from the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery's permanent collection also open on the night.
If you are in the Bathurst region at the end of next week it would be lovely to see you at the opening.
The exhibition continues until 28th September 2014.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Noosa Art Award

'Life on the edge - Girt by sea' (detail) ©2014, Nicola Moss. Courtesy of SGAR.

Noosa Regional Gallery on the Sunshine Coast is hosting its inaugural Noosa Art Award opening next month. With a theme of reflecting the unique character of modern Australia's coastal and hinterland environments, it felt like a perfect fit for my art practice, and I'm delighted to be selected for the finalist exhibition with my hand cut paper work - 'Life on the edge - Girt by sea'.
Some of the entry conditions required a bit of innovative thinking in relation to size and presentation of the works, so I'm looking forward to seeing how other artists have interpreted this.

The Noosa Art Award opens on Friday 29th August and is on show until Sunday 5th October 2014.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


The time arrived this week when I needed to pack my large hand cut paper installation for transport to Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, for my solo show being installed at the end of July. I realised about a week ago that this task would be best achieved with some assistance, and I'm VERY thankful that Rachael was available. It took the two of us all day...

I haven't packed this work before for interstate travel, so we tested a couple of ideas to ensure the work wouldn't slump and slide around inside the flat packs. And at the same time thinking of others who will need to unpack and repack this work for return at the end of the exhibition. I wait now to hear that it arrived safely and wasn't a nightmare to unpack!

'Making Home - softening the edges' will be on show at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery from 1st August to 28th September, 2014.

Thank you Rachael!

'Making home - softening the edges' ©2013, Nicola Moss. Courtesy of SGAR.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A little update...

'Priority species (Moreton Bay)' ©2013, Nicola Moss. Courtesy of SGAR.

It has been an encouraging last week with a couple of lovely emails received to let me know my artwork has been selected for The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize and the Sunshine Coast Art Prize.

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize is held annually by the South Australian Museum and invites artists to investigate the world around them and present their own perspective on natural science. I visited the South Australian Museum in 2012 to see my work and the other finalists on show that year, and was impressed with the diverse selection of artwork, from Australian and international artists, in many forms of sculpture, drawing, fibre art, painting and craft. The exhibition is well worth a visit if you are in Adelaide between 26th July and 7th September this year.

The Sunshine Coast Art Prize is now in its ninth year, attracting entries from contemporary and emerging artists around Australia. Forty finalists are chosen for the exhibition featuring artworks in any two dimensional medium. The exhibition is held at Caloundra Regional Gallery from 27th August to 26th October 2014.

I'm looking forward to seeing the shows.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In the flow of making

'Making home (detail)' ©2014, Nicola Moss.

After all the thinking of a couple of weeks ago I thought a little update on progress in the studio would be in order. Although it felt frustrating at the time, trying to refine and collate the ideas in my mind, I have to say it has been time well invested. The last week has been fantastic with making and developing all go-go in the studio. I can see that by working through thoughts and connections, various experiences and serendipitous readings from earlier in the month; I don't just have ideas for one or two works, but rather ideas for a whole body of work. I am a contemplative thinker and I can see that taking this time is of value to my practice.
So while the creative juices are flowing I'm going to get back to it. More updates shortly.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

In the studio

I've been sitting in my studio chair a lot this week, far too much really, staring blankly, thinking, more thinking. Procrastination, distraction, reading, virtual activity, more thinking. Then at night waking, scrawling down ideas which seem, at the time, if I may say, brilliant; and then in the morning - well I get the idea, but there's a whole lot of questions and doubt and unresolved areas - in other words not so brilliant. And so it has been for the last two weeks, so many ideas, too many ideas, trying to untangle them, sort out the meaning, isolate, refine. In some ways I'm trying to construct finished works in my head, trying to resolve the material, concept, application, scale, site position, etc. And as I know from experience, ideas in my head can only take a work so far, at some point the physical work has to begin - the process. Through the process of making, ideas can be refined and developed, one aiding the other. So I finally made a tentative start today, applying gesso to some panels which by the afternoon I decided I wouldn't use for the idea I was thinking of working on. But actually it was helpful, one step on the way to where ever this work is going. So now I'll wait to tomorrow and start again.
If you are looking for some distraction yourself, I listened to this video today of a talk by artist, Alexis Rockman. He paints works which are ecology based.

Nicola Moss, studio work in progress.