Thursday, July 31, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
My friend Caren dropped around a short time back for a very enjoyable tea drinking session and some art talk. Besides being on the receiving end of much wisdom and advice for my exhibition she also gifted me some of her beautiful letterpress work. For a few days I had it sitting on top of my work, really loving the way the print quality, font and slightly yellowed paper looked against the red. Then I had to move this frame I'd painted in black chalkboard and for lack of any more space put it on top of the print. Anyway I've been loving this serendipitous effect so much ever since I think I need some letterpress in my exhibition. It has vintage circus all over it. Now I need to choose the right piece of Victorian poetry (maybe more of E.B Browning) and the positioning/visual. Pretty excited I have to say to be getting into Caren's back yard letter press print studio. Yes, I know it will be the dark heart of winter when we get around to it but I think working with old style print, poetry, art and the print queen herself will compensate. Excited.
Over the last few months have been dropping into the Nishi centre to see friend Jodie Cunningham and her cool studio space at Three Birds and a little Boy - a pop up shop at the new eco friendly designer Hotel Hotel. Decorated by Netti of April's Caravan this pop up is retro heaven. I have to take my lap top in and pretend I am also getting some work done but really I just like being surrounded by so much creativity. And vintage frocks. And pink plastic flamingoes flying amongst fairy lights. Happy times.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Here are some pics from the artist's book I made for the Emerging Contemporaries exhibition showing now until the end of March. I wish I had been able to produce more work from last year's efforts but hey, I'm lucky any got done at all. I don't think there was any point at which I really felt good about 2013. Burn out; the immunotherapy: those side effects month after month. The winter especially looms large for the sense it was just never ending.
In September my partner - my super strong, fit, marathon training, never get sick partner - blindsided us with suffering a serious heart attack at work. We never saw it coming. There had been no signs whatsoever. He had none of the risk factors. The doctors induced a coma to minimise brain damage and told me we would not know anything for another 2 - 4 days. That could have been an agonising wait if I had been made to see it out. Thanks be his stubborn streak, pulling out of the coma in ten hours, barely having missed a beat. They told me he would not remember anything but he did, everything right up to unconsciousness. We still can't believe any of this is real. There's a recalibrating of daily life as he recovers and a silent thank you every day to the three first aid officers at work who delivered life saving CPR. Amy, Tom, Trent - you are totally getting Christmas cards form me for ever more whether you want them or not.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Sometimes I wonder if I am really cut out for this artist/exhibitions thing. I'm going to be honest here and say the pressure of delivering and fear of not delivering is kind of ruining my year. It's the whole deadline thing. I know the value of dead lines is that the pressure they apply can force a focus you might not otherwise muster, which can lead to some of your best work in record time but ugh, they can be stressful, a sword constantly hanging from above. Alright a little dramatic. Just wishing my work would come along at a more reassuring pace. And that I didn't have the flu. Or a crappy visit into hospital for immunotherapy once a month. Or that the winter wasn't so cold. Or that a couple prone to violent and abusive arguments hadn't moved into the rental next door...
Huh. Who knew this was going to turn into a whinge post? On the positive side of things I wrangled out of our internet and phone company a new contract that has me getting about with one of those modern new 'smart phones'. They come with cameras built into them so I have taken a photo of my upsettingly disorganised work space which reflects my state of mind. I have also put it through a special filter using an application. It's called Instagram. Have you heard of it?
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Have I mentioned that I love art? When it comes to the blues, being sad, bored or any kind of suffering I never cease to be amazed at the power art has to lift me out of myself and place me back down - almost spontaneously - somewhere better: restored, grateful, awed and inspired. To begin with today was one of those days in Canberra, the ones without the sun. Canberra, to me, can be hatefully, impossibly, miserably cold but more often than not it's winter days are graced with a glacially sharp type of sunshine able to seek out the darkest corners of a bleak wintery soul. And yet when it is absent....This weeks immunotherapy was really tough. A step backwards - tweaking the formula somewhat and changing 'brands' - something meant to lessen the side effects, not increase them. So when I woke up this morning with a fresh cold I was........not happy.
So it took four hours of saying I was going out to pick up some buckwheat flour to actually making that happen, the dark cold outside the door no further invitation. Eventually though, out the door I got, my smallest companion in tow.
An excursion centred around purchasing Buckwheat might sound unexciting but the shop itself is in an older part of town, where the streets are especially pretty and, as everything is bought in bulk, they sell chunks of organic chocolate by the gram. Why that is how I get my smallest companion in tow of course!
Enlivened then by the bustling inside the shop and the smell of wood fires burning I made a decision to stop off in the next street at M16 Art Space to see the exhibitions. I'd caught sight of some photos of an exhibition by Elissa Crossing on photographic magazine Life in Canberra - beautiful paintings that had immediately enchanted me with their 'through the looking glass' kind of quality (no small due the also enchanting secondary interpretation through Andrew Sikorski's photographic lens, below) and felt it would be worth my effort making it in. And it was. I adored Crossing's use of circles and ellipses as canvas alluding to the perspective of a glimpse taken and of the viewer receiving fragmented views of a private space. The muted palette with small accents of red or mustard were moody and full also of the shadowy atmosphere and mystery of private spaces. Verdict? Will buy scratchie on Monday, win and purchase the lot.
"Suggestive of music, the rhythmical imagery in both the photographs and tapestries reflect similar ideas of repetition and subtle disruption of pattern. I enjoy the contrast between the two mediums; the introspective, time consuming weaving, and the instant capture of photographic observation."
This above my favourite, the repetition and disruption, both meditative and mesmerising in effect. Really fantastic and worth seeing them all. Also worth checking out his blog if just to witness the like minded process involved in the tapestries.
Unfortunately I didn't have my camera on me as the members exhibition down the corridors of the building (and this seems always to be the case at M16) was every bit as engaging. Beautiful, varied works in paper, textiles, acrylics on wood, artists books....and only open for one last week. So much great art in Canberra and a good excuse to get out (and in) from the cold!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Last week R's jazz band was playing at a college over Northside. I didn't know what for so I assumed open day or something. C dropped us there at 9.30, doing the one-car-family shuffle, back to the other side of town for A's soccer match in the rain. I do not know what made R neglect to tell me college event was Designgate craft market. Every one knows I live for vintage, upcycled, hand made moments like this. I had $1.20 in my wallet. Not even enough for the freshly brewing coffee or baked goods.
Lots of great stalls though as you can see. My favourite was The Glory Box with her lovely porcelain jewellery. The cute vintage caravan brooch held for me until I can purchase it for my birthday present.
Other stalls I would have liked to have spent money at were Honi and Lemon with their re-done lamp shades, and Rosefinch & Belle with her laser cut cameo brooches. Sadly no money but what a nice surprise of way to spend a rainy Saturday, listening to live Jazz and trawling hand made.