Thursday, December 22, 2011
I've been thinking about it and concluded, that it's not so much time passing quickly, more that we fit so much in to our lives (or try to), often at a frenetic pace, and this in part is what gives the illusion of time passing quickly...it's all the go, go go! Perhaps the year passing is not fast, just choc-a-block full with little time for relaxing. So I'd like to wish everyone the enjoyment of some chill out time over the festive season.
Reflecting on 2011, it's been fun and full and slightly more balanced than the one before. I'd like to thank everyone who shared their time and experiences with me. Big thanks to my husband, first time ironman and all time supporter, recipient of two husband of the year awards in 2011 (I am slightly bias :-) All my family, it was great to catch up with you throughout the year.
Friends...you know who you are, thanks for the gallery going, openings support, residency collaboration, garden advise, french dinner, weather watching, beach walking, art making, seed sharing, bird listening, ideas thinking, philosophy, side line cheering, hiking, blog posting, photo taking, gift giving, shared food and all round good times.
Thank yous too to the gallery directors and staff who have shown, supported and encouraged my artwork in 2011.
Wishing you a merry festive season and all the best for 2012.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Helena, for a day of outdoor work. The tide was high when we arrived with large green spheres of mangrove foliage appearing to float on the waters surface. It was very pleasant set up under the shade with a light sea breeze to cool the air. We often venture over when the tides are low, so the change was good and encouraged a fresh look at the landscape. I made a series of works on paper that responded to foliage shapes silhouetted against the bright sky. And while waiting for paint to dry lay on the sand soaking up the atmosphere...a perfect day.
Little mangrove shoots are beginning to establish in the bay we visit, it will be interesting to see how these transform over time. I went for a stroll collecting any plastic rubbish I found washed up and entangled in the mangroves, which ended up being an odd mix of party balloon, fishing line, fishing net rope and an action toy. I'm looking at rubbish in environments as part of my project work next year, will have to wait a little to see how these end up in more developed work.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Salt Contemporary Art is hosting a 'pop up' exhibition - A Taste of Salt - in Ballarat this week. The exhibition features paintings, works on paper and sculpture; I'm very happy to see my paintings will be in the show at 14 Camp Street, Ballarat (B1 Gallery space).
If you are in the area and have an opportunity to pop in, please feel most welcome. The opening is on Thursday December 1st, from 5.30 – 8.30pm, RSVP (please send your details if you can make it) to email@example.com , or contact Fiona Kelly (Director) on 03 52583988.
The Exhibition continues on Friday December 2nd, 12 – 4pm
Exhibiting artists include Alan Bates, David Beaumont, Peter Blizzard, Nona Burden, Tarli Glover, Rudi Jass, Nicola Moss, Craig Parnaby, Neville Pilven, Anne Saunders and Doug Wright.
Also in the show are limited edition works on paper by selected artists including John Olsen, Christine Johnson, Dean Bowen, Rona Green and Sally Smart.
Monday, November 28, 2011
I have three new smaller hand cut paperworks on show in the group exhibition Collectibles, opening this Friday at SGAR: Spiro Grace Art Rooms in Spring Hill, Brisbane. These works began on site at Coochiemudlo Island and were completed with hand cut paper elements back in the studio.
Collectibles features small scale and affordable pieces by over 15 Australian artists and designers.
It would be lovely to see you at the opening if you can make it, please say hi if you do.
Exhibition Opening Friday 2nd December
6 - 8pm
Thursday, November 3, 2011
(Click above if you'd like a larger image.)
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
So...Focus. When asked before leaving for my residency at Montsalvat, what it was that I hoped to achieve, or 'What are the benefits of a residency' opposed to working in my own studio; one component of my answer was a reference to the focused time I thought I would experience. The absence of home chores to a large degree and working on one project are ways that I thought my time would be more focused. By the end of the residency I noted other circumstance that created a focused atmosphere. There was no TV or radio at Montsalvat, I don't watch much, but this was nothing and I have to admit I didn't miss it. As residents we provided our own internet access, which lead in part to reduced usage, but really we were just so busy - perhaps fulfilled is a better word, with making our works that checking emails, etc during the day just didn't happen. What I noticed is how productive we were, how much work was achieved when our focus was on process and making.
Administration of an arts practice can chew up large amounts of time, checking emails throughout the day at home, generally leads to more time sitting in front of the screen. It's about discipline really and the obvious realisation, or confirmation, that the world doesn't end if I look at my emails once a day. I am bringing this appreciation of focus home to the studio and look forward to more productive use of my studio time...even a balance somewhere between the before and during residence would be beneficial.
Monday, October 31, 2011
A big thank you to the team of staff at Montsalvat.
Also thanks to my family, it was lovely to spend a bit more time with you.
Now onto work for my next show...with a bit of Montsalvat inspiration.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Working on paper with acrylic and ink, I looked for the patterns and feel of the surrounds, more than the view.
The lower garden areas are a ramble of fruit trees, spring flowers, scented roses, succulents and iris ringed ponds. Luminous fresh spring growth and light provided an interesting palette of colours to work with. Images above show one view of the garden and a work in progress, unfortunately the yellow pigment is not showing up as brightly here, but you get an idea.
It's been a perfect day for nearing the end of the residency.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Montsalvat is other worldly, a combination of buildings that have the look of being taken from medieval, French and rustic slab and daub influences. Visitors love the romantic rustic charm which photographs so well (clearly they are not looking closely at the more practical side of residing here). Male peacocks strutting their stuff in each courtyard and open space only add to the exotic nature of the place. Even better if they are clambering on the roof top ridges, an activity generally reserved for evening, and trying to outcall one another.
The knife in the bottom of the 'ornamental pond no swimming'-ie. the crystal clear pool - continues to fascinate visitors who spot it, raising the eternal question, Why is there a knife in the pool? ( The event that lead to this will remain on residence, so to speak), but anyway, all these weekend activities got me thinking about what catches people attention, an ordinary item in an unexpected place, and the sense of other, something real but out of place.
I've started painting for my next exhibition which will be on show at Salt contemporary art in Queenscliff at the end of December. The influence of Montsalvat is clear to see, this place is not like any other I have spent time in and the other worldly will be a feature.
Images of workin progress coming soon.
Friday, October 21, 2011
I took in all of the exhibition spaces at NGV, progressing from a fabulous display of indigenous shields, through colonial works to contemporary exhibitions, including a selection of Fred Williams landscape paintings, a curated exhibition - '10 ways of looking at the past', and two great collections of indigenous desert paintings. So much to see, with several stand out works and many recent acquisitions to the collection that I hadn't seen before on display.
A new work by Rosslynd Piggott had me entranced, I have seen only a few of Rosslynd's works in the flesh, but have liked every one of them. She has a wonderful aesthetic that resonates with me, not to mention her exquisite command of the mediums used. "Unfolding flower - cloudscape no.2' is the recent acquisition that caught my eye.
The afternoon was taken up with a tram trip to Fitzroy and wanderings along Gertrude and Smith streets, taking in several commercial gallery exhibitions and a stop of for some more canvas. A great day all round.
Image of one of the Angel Demon babies above, I was thinking more hybrid dinosaur.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Another glorious day of sunshine in Melbourne today, with an early morning walk to the shops and a few art materials on the way home, which all made the cool aqua green waters of the 'ornamental pond - no swimming' very tempting!
So we worked in the cool shade of the studio and contented ourselves with views of the water instead. Later this afternoon I watched the (marauding) kookaburra bathing itself in the pool.
With the weather project artworks completed I prepared some canvas to start painting. Montsalvat is not short on inspiration, with an interesting mix of wildlife and human inhabitants co-existing on the grounds. More to follow...meanwhile an image of inside and outside the studio.
Monday, October 17, 2011
This morning we wrapped our large artwork in some protective packaging for the courier trip home, and with almost all of the works completed that we had hoped to make during our residency, it was good to have a little time out and soak up the sunshine.
You can see the big wrap up almost complete on Susan's blog at http://barometerofmoods.blogspot.com
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
I am staying in Sue's Tower, a small room above the archway with a narrow staircase that has a few of us thinking of Rapunzel.
Peacocks roam the grounds with a male occupying each courtyard area, displaying his finery of feathers like an elaborate bridal gown train. Once heard their call is hard to forget, somewhere between the sound of a crow and cat comes to my mind.
There is much inspiration to be found here, with each day revealing a little more of the subtle intricacies of the place.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
This detail is of a fifteen panel work we have completed while at Montsalvat. Hung with fishing line and bulldog clips, it was great to see it come together in one piece.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Still getting the hang of iPad posting, if any apple lovers out there have tips on a good image sizing app? I'd love to hear from you :-)
With so few distractions and focused attention on one project, work is developing at a great rate. The opportunity of collaborating in residence, means decisions can be made on the spot, ideas tossed around, thoughts tried and revised if need be. No emails, phone calls, mailed parcels and time lapsed correspondence...it's been great....and I think the works show the positive benefits.
Some images to follow shortly (hopefully).
Monday, September 26, 2011
I will be taking part in a group exhibition in November called - Exchange - a show which takes the 'artist swap' concept one step further. Exchange has been curated by Amanda van Gils and features art works by 55 contemporary artists from throughout Australia. Each artist is contributing one piece to swap with another artist in the exhibition and another available for purchase, with both artworks on display during the exhibition.
A diverse range of painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography and more will make up the exhibition on show at Gatakers Artspace, Maryborough from the 4th November to 1st December 2011.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
A few images above from my exhibition 'Site Lines', now on show at Spiro Grace Art Rooms in Spring Hill, Brisbane.
I would like to send out special thanks to many friends and colleagues who came along on the opening night. And for the best wishes from those further a far, it is truly wonderful to have your encouragement and support.
Thank you also to SGAR, Renai and Meagan, It's been great working with you.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Donna and Helen. As usual the day was a huge refreshment, it's hard to beat the fresh air, serenades of bird call and shared conversation. Weathered by air and water, textures of the coast are both smooth and rough, filled with life and constantly on the move. There is so much to see, but I find a whole day is easily spent working in one small area, observing details of tide lines, the layers of worn tree structure or tangled arches of mangrove roots. My works on site are usually paper based, trying to capture a feel of the place more so than the view.
I'm already looking forward to the next trip.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
I've spent some time over this winter clearing the weeds, mulching and finding plants again, I'm thinking about where the orchard will head in the next few years. For too long I left growth habit up to the plants, not pruning enough. A blog post by professional gardener Chris some time ago reminded me that gardens are created places, they need maintenance and control, so the pruning saw and clippers have been in regular use, bringing in more light where needed, reducing lower branches that created ladders for vine weed and there are a couple of trees that eight years on I realise are just too big for where I planted them....they'll have to go...such is the changing dynamics of a garden. A never ending journey, which I love.
Nicola Chatham has some great tips on starting a permaculture garden and lots more on her blog that's well worth a read.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Art by Jeanne Beck: Ikigai and Art Making: A Sense of Purpose: " Dan Beuttner discusses the cultures and lifestyles that seem to contribute to health and longevity in this Ted talk."
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Artists showing works in the exhibition are Julie Millner Barratt, Susan Buret, Sue Codee, Michelle Giacobello, Sarah Harvey, Debbie Hill, Helen Hill, Sheridan Jones, Anita Lord, Kate Maurice, Shelagh Morgan, Nicola Moss, Jennie Nayton, Liz Powell, Jasmine Scheidler, Robyn Sweaney, Emma Walker, Oksana Waterfall and Christine Willcocks. Looking through these links, I'm sure it's going to be a diverse and intriguing exhibition.
I would like to extend you a warm invitation to the opening night on Friday 5th August at 6pm.
Friday, July 22, 2011
With an extended hang the exhibition - Winter Salon [mini surveys] continues at Anita Traverso Gallery in Richmond. Winter Salon tracks the conceptual and technical development of 17 artists with a salon-style installation of selected works across several years/series of practice. I find this salon format of showing a combination of works from an artists practice an interesting way of viewing.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
These recent paper cut artworks will be on show in a couple of upcoming exhibitions in August and September, more details soon.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
This recent series of artworks on panel are currently on show in the Winter Salon at Anita Traverso Gallery in Richmond, Melbourne. I have written previously about ideas inspiring these works.
If you have an opportunity to visit and view a very interesting mix of artists work, the exhibition is on from the 29th June to 16th July.
Friday, June 17, 2011
I have been paper cutting, detail above, a work inspired by the intertidal zone of mangroves. And thinking about the way this process relates to my past printmaking studies, the composition needs to be worked out before the first cut is made, what will be positive and negative space, dark and light, contrast and texture, it's quite abstract in a way, and not unlike developing a plate for printmaking. But this will be a one off. Must get back to work...
I start each trip with a few notes in my visual diary:
11am - Low tide - the water is the furtherest out I have ever seen it. Large areas of mangrove mud, shell grit ripples from tidal currents and exposed red volcanic looking rock. The sky is clear cerulean blue without a cloud. Stunning!
Tree trunks are silver-white, sunbaked and starkly beautiful against the deep blue sky. Bird calls, waders in the shallows, curlews at the cafe. Oyster shells encrust the random rocks, deposits of past life. Large sandbars of broken rock stretch out into the bay waters with clusters of mangrove trees supported or supporting the bar. There is so much life here.
Yes, these days feel special.
I came across a blog this week recording the journey and works of a group of artists on a trip to Western New South Wales. Interesting reading, and inspiring, enough for me to start making plans for an art camp trip of my own.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I've been reading a lot too, mainly about ecology and environment, weeds, and the origin of species. The book that has my full attention at the moment though is Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. First published in 1962, it's been incredible when reading to realise just how pertinent and relevant it remains today nearly fifty years on. I have to wonder what the author would make of genetically modified foods developed specifically for human consumption. Many books I have read reference 'Silent Spring' but I just hadn't got around to reading it. In a very clear and unemotional way the book reminds me why I don't like to use chemical sprays in the garden and how we are inexorably linked to the food chain of other species.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
The 2011 Albany Art Prize catalogue is now available for viewing online. There's an interesting mix of subjects and technique displayed amongst the finalists work.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
On Friday I was delighted to see all the paintings hanging, Fiona has done a lovely job of arranging the works on the spacious walls at Salt. The opening on Saturday was equally enjoyable and relaxed, with many opportunities to speak with guests about experiences and inspiration behind the works. Hearing peoples responses and thoughts is one of the aspects of openings I enjoy most, an exchange of ideas and conversation that in some way completes the process of making art and hopefully begins an ongoing conversation around ideas in the work.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
A few weeks ago I was delighted to speak with Deirdre Carmichael the writer of the blog - Art in Geelong. Deirdre was an art teacher for several years before making the leap into print publishing in 1993. Since then she has assumed various roles including writer, editor, illustrator, graphic designer and desktop publisher.
Deirdre established her Art in Geelong blog - "to promote the visual arts in Geelong and the surrounding areas of the Surfcoast, the Otways, the Bellarine Peninsula, and occasionally extending to Ballarat. The mainstream media give scant attention to regional arts, so it is up to citizen journalists, such as bloggers like myself, to fill the gap and get the information out there".
We had a chat about my current exhibition, Diamonds in my eyes, inspirations behind works and the overall theme. You can read Deirdre's post here. Thank you Deirdre for your time and thoughts on the exhibition.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
It's two days till my next solo exhibition Diamonds in my eyes opens at Salt Contemporary Art. I'm looking forward to seeing all the works together in the beautiful open space of the gallery. It's been an odd time the last couple of weeks, works were completed and shipped down for the show, but then the wait until they are actually hung. I've cleaned out the studio and begun gathering inspiration for new works, I think I'll be more motivated once the show opening has passed.
'I went to the woods' was inspired by several visits to Kidd Street Conservation Reserve, a wonderful, wild area of bushland with striking grass trees, large hollow scribbly gums, banksias and she oaks. There is a palpable energy to the place which I've tried to suggest in this painting. It's a place I will keep returning to, I feel like there is unfinished business there, when I think about it I've really only scratched the surface.