Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Rock Pool

This piece is called Heartbreak Hotel. Complete whimsy, but the result reminds of some post-apocalytpic world I have read about in some novel or other. Where else would you ride sharks to picnic at a deserted and flooded building?



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Moving On

Rock Pools has still got a week or so to go and I have to thank everyone who has a) gone to see it and then b) made lovely comments about the work. You may have figured that the works refer to real rock pools in that they are perfect vessels for tiny worlds isolated but linked, just like us in our own little worlds.

One of the good moments of the opening was when one of my friends told me about a young boy who was touching one of the pieces. As I watched him, I could see his utter fascination with the tiny worlds, and since that was kind of the point, it made me very happy (didn't tell him not to touch). Also very pleasing was watching his Dad, clearly using his son's childish fascination as an excuse to get down to floor level amongst it as well. Priceless.

Thought I might use this space to talk about some of my favourite pieces in the show. If you have been reading this blog for long enough, you know I have a developing fascination with the Divine Feminine and have been reading a lot about Goddess religions that were the norm way before Jesus arrived. The whole show alludes to this, particularly a reference to the ritual of 'scrying' - usually performed by Priestesses using a reflective surface to see the past, present and future, and a way of communicating long distance quite a while before mobile phones. Anyway, the following piece is called Swan Lake, and I'll let you draw your own conclusions. (Yes, she has the Stigmata and yes I will likely be burnt at the stake myself). I like it because I think it is quite a strong piece and at the same time a wee bit whimsical.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Morning after the Night Before

There are times when being an artist sucks really. If you are one and you've done a solo ever, then you know what I am talking about. Lots of time, effort and of course money goes in and once its all done, there's the crash and burn. I've come away from the opening with more doubts than anything else - not enough work, space wasn't right, particularly the massive white walls, not good enough - the usual. And now I am back at home surveying the wreckage that has accumulated over the last few weeks of me frenetically trying to be ready, knowing that the weekend is going to be all about tidying, sorting and cleaning!

Anyway, a big thanks to my wonderful friends and fam who showed up for support. Special thanks to Mel for being kind enough to make a purchase. So, onward and upward, vacuuming here I come!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rock Pools Installed!

My premonition about Murphy's Law (see facebook) was unfortunately correct. Things were going swimmingly well yesterday until I got to the gallery to find no one was there. Freaked out, took half the day to track someone down and the nett result was that I had to go back today in between work, picking up kids and a netball game to finish off.

Anyway, its done now. I took a few quick snaps before I left this afternoon. Hoping that it looks okay on the night, and hopefully I'll see some of you there for the opening.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Scenic World

Some more exciting news: I have been selected as a finalist in Scenic Worlds' annual sculpture exhibition, which means I will be creating a sculpture to be exhibited in the rainforest at Katoomba. Very exciting, can't wait. The exhibition is April-May next year, so things will be pretty busy even after Doggett Street.

Below is a link to the Scenic World web page so you can see what goes on with their sculpture exhibition.

Scenic World Sculpture

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blake Prize

No, sadly not a finalist again this year, but have been notified that I am an exhibitor in the associated Director's Cut Exhibition which will be online in January next year. The piece I entered is 'Shrine to the Truth, which I have posted before, but in case you didn't see it, here it is again. I will post again when the exhibition starts.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Upcoming Exhibition

Hi y'all! This is your invitation to attend the exhibition opening for 'Rock Pools', which I have previously mentioned. Hope you can come.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Its all so dry!

I'm sure it must seem like I am terribly slack for not getting back here too often. Trouble is, just the opposite is true - been run off my feet doing some terribly ordinary things, including marking, compiling and documenting 9 year 12 folios during the last week of term, another 300 cubic metres or so of laundry (yes, I'm exaggerating, but only slightly) and the usual grocery shopping, paying bills, filling in know the drill.

As a result, the creativity has been pretty dry, I have to say. So has the weather. Sunny Qld has been living up to expectations and we've had barely a spit for the last couple of months. Spring has not been the usual heralding of life and regeneration. In fact the warmer weather has just turned the gasping plants into crispy brown things and yesterday I saw my first snake of the season in the back yard.

Generally my soul is feeling a little withered. However, I did, amongst all the busyness and madness attend a professional development workshop a couple of months ago making artists books. The books are great to fiddle around with when you get a moment here or there, unlike the 3D work I have been doing. I decided to make the first one about eyes (don't know why) and the second is just playing with watercolour. The photos below are some of the results.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Remember Me?

Yes, it has been a while...again. Not that I think that anyone is anxiously waiting for my next blog, but you never know. Anyway, things are very slow on the creative front just now, due to a whole lot of work going on. I have given notice that I won't be keeping on with the curriculum leader thing next year, which will hopefully free up some time and mental space to focus again on my work. In the meantime, I am trying to prepare for a planned exhibition in November. It will be entitled 'Rock Pools' and below are some of the pools I have put together so far.

The exhibition will be an installation involving a minimum of at least 50 separate 'pools' and some associated creatures, mainly birds. So far I have 14 pools and three birds. Going to need to get cracking!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Where's your mind art?

Sorry for those of you who look in regularly, it's been a month. I did start the year with the ambition to post at least once a week, which I thought was doable considering that good bloggers post once a day. But didn't happen. Largely thanks to the fact that my life is dedicated (against my will) to being a secondary school teacher. Anyway, that is in hiatus at least for the next two weeks.

By the way...if anyone wants to argue to toss about how many holidays teachers get, just be aware that they are necessary to prevent multiple homicides, suicides or other unhealty addictions. My term ended with two hefty adolescent boys going at each other during art class. Took 3 mins and 3 teachers to get them could smell the Testosterone...everyone involved a wee bit freaked out.

Yes, all in a days work for a lowly teacher. Anyway, been doing a bit of automatic drawing again, cause I need to do something creative and I can't quite find the time to get into proper projects. Some results below. Not sure what they say about where my head is at...

Then there was this, which kind of started out as a blotches and blobs and went from there. Not quite automatic drawing, more like semi-automatic, I guess.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bunya Art

Been back three weeks now and feels like three months. The last few weeks have been stupidly busy and pretty crap, really. So it is nice to revisit the photos from the Bunyas and here are a couple more. They take me to another 'happy' place, wish I could be there in reality.

How cute is this little emerald dotted frog?

And, half his luck, this is the kind of little mini-Eden he calls home:

Speaking of which, the following is the digital piece I will be putting in the Moreton Bay Awards this year (opening this month). It is titled 'Self-portrait as Ophelia'. It features a number of Bunya creatures as well as me and the kitty. Even though it is a bit dark (given that Ophelia killed herself), I think it is a lovely peaceful resting place.

Finally, the following is a watercolour 'doodle' that 'happened' while I was relaxing up there and communing with nature. Heavy sigh.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Back from the Bunyas (again)

Just returned from what has become a yearly trek to the Bunya Mountains. Well, actually it was a week ago, and in the ensuing week back at the grindstone, the trip has faded into a distant memory. I could swear it was at least a month ago. The break was heavenly as usual. I have put in some pics below and more will follow when I get my act together and get them off my hard disk. Can't say I am thrilled to be back. Still, it was a boost to the ailing batteries and I got to hang out with some of my favourite people - of the avian variety.

There's this gorgeous young man (Satin Bower Bird) - I also got some good pictures of his harem members:

The little fellas are hard to catch with a camera - they're little teases, actually, showing up and posing then flitting off just when you get your focus right. Anyway, managed to catch this Eastern Spinebill after his bath.

Meanwhile, blogger has a 'new look' - some more change for the sake of it. I'm all for progress, but can't they leave stuff alone for 5 minutes? If it ain't broke...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

WetlandCare Gallery

WetlandCare have now uploaded the gallery of this year's winning entries (including yours truly) to their website. It is definitely worth a look, some great kids' art and fabulous photography.

Click here to go to the WetlandCare gallery website.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New York

Right in amongst a particularly hideous school day (note I said particularly - all the days now seem to be varying degrees of said hideousness), I received an invite to do a solo exhibition in NY, NY. So in the second half of next year, I will be doing just that. This time I hope to go with.

More news as it comes to hand.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

International Womens Day

I have just watched an excellent video on YouTube called The Burning Times. It is a well-measured Canadian documentary which discusses the place of women in the Christian Age. I strongly recommend viewing to all, especially to those of us who align ourselves with the Christian faith. It is in six parts, with part one below:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Feeling better

Just remembered to check the RSPCA's Guardian Angel web page to see who I helped over Christmas. Isn't she a gorgeous girl? Feeling better now. Hope Bella has a happy 2012.

Back to the Grindstone

Really struggling with the whole daily routine this year; in particular, trying to fit in some creativity. Nett result is I am becoming a cranky old bag at home and abroad (just ask the year 7s). I am trying to change that but it seems to be getting harder, not easier. Life is clearly too short to be spending time doing things you don't love, but then there's the minor issue of putting your kids through school. Still, I may have to decide to step back a bit from the whole teaching gig in order to get my life back a bit. Not likely to happen this year though.

Anyhoo, have done some more automatic drawing and this is the result:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Revisiting the Wetlands

Have received word that a work I did for the WetlandCare Exhibition this year has received second prize in the open section. Obviously not quite as exciting as first prize like last year, but still pretty good. It is nice to be able to paint about things that matter to me and have other people recognise something in the works I create. I'm not sure if I'll get to Canberra this year, I am trying to save my pennies for other things, but it would be nice to hit the capital again, and in particular the ANG. Mind you, last year when I was there, it was 39 and 40 degrees everyday. Even though there wasn't the humidity we have here, it was still pretty hard to take! Anyway, pic below:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What else at GoMA?

Of course the big ticket gig is the Matisse exhibition, which was also rather wonderful. Aside from marvelling at the man's brilliant economy of line and formidable drawing skills, it was very encouraging thanks to a number of things:

1.  His early 'college of art' drawings were alot like mine were in those days. Did you notice he didn't quite gain confidence in drawing hands and feet until a few years later? To begin with they were nebulous shapes or behind the back etc. I wonder if his art tutors rolled their eyes, like mine did?
2. As I tell my students all the time...practice, practice, practice. Matisse developed his talent through 'just doing it'. Remembering that this exhibition of 300 drawings is a fraction of the drawings he did, which in turn represents a fraction of his overall body of work, he was obviously very productive. I am looking forward to making that point yet again to my senior students!
3. I loved his detailed charcoal drawings.
4. Also loved the way his forms became even more economical as time went on to end up as flat shapes and a change in media to screen printing.

After all that, it is just delightful to enter the drawing room, where you can sit quietly with lovely things and draw to your heart's content, (broken up by the odd cup of coffee overlooking the river, of course). I will be more than happy to buy another ticket just to have that experience again, though I must try and pick my time to avoid the madding crowds (and school kids). This is the drawing I did on the tablet in the drawing room!

Forgot to mention...Matisse was a cat man, which always raises a person in my estimation. Many artists of all kinds choose cats as companions; I think it is the enigmatic quality they exude. He had two cats, Minouche and Coussi, living in his Villa Reve in Vence. It is said that Minouche had an 'M' for Matisse on his forehead. The cats kept him company when he was confined to bed due to poor health.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Current GoMA exhibits

As I said before Christmas, I would do a couple of blogs about my latest visit to GoMA, so here is the first installment:

One of the installations I was really keen to see was the 'we miss you magic land' installation in the children's gallery. I wanted to see it, because I am thinking of an installation for my next exhibition and Pip and Pop (artists) seem to have an aesthetic not too dissimilar to mine. It certainly was the lolly-coloured fairy land I had envisaged, but overall I was quite disappointed. Perhaps that is because it was aimed at children, but there lives a child in all of us, and this exhibition failed to interest mine all that much. Perhaps again it was that the space was filled with children that stopped me from feeling immersed, but I somehow doubt that. I know this is terribly picky, but the exhibition included numerous little plastic animals, but they were all included as they were - straight out of the packet, which at times made them seem very out of place and incongruous. Given the effort it would have taken to do the sugar part of the exhibit, I would have thought a quick coat of metallic pink paint or something on the animals would have been worth it. Again, we (I) need to bear in mind that the exhibit was meant for children, but given the title, I would have liked it to say something...I don't know what, but it just seemed...well...decorative, pretty, an amazing attention to detail, but a wee bit pointless.

By contrast, I loved the installations by (clearly slightly bonkers - and I mean that in the nicest possible way) Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama in the exhibition: Look Now, See Forever.  Her installations were completely immersive, possibly by virtue of her brilliant use of mirrors, saturated colour and dynamic forms, but I could feel the buzz in my head that happens when you know you are witnessing something important, even if it is just challenging your concept of reality. My favourites were Reach Up to the Universe, Dotted Pumpkin and Dots Obsession, both pictured below.

The artist freely admits her obsession with dots, a problem that has plagued her inner life since childhood. You get to join the obsession by participating in the interactive exhibition The Obliteration Room where you can add coloured dots to any part of what was once a white room. The room virtually hums with the vibration of colour and shape. Her video installation featuring the artist singing her own composition: Song of a Manhattan Suicide Addict is fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way and what prompted my original comment. She certainly sees life in a refreshingly 'dotty' way - should be more like her.

If you want to go to the gallery's website, I have put in a link on the side, and I will be back in a day or so to talk a bit more about the Gallery's fifth birthday exhibits.