Tuesday 11 January 2022

Algalrhythms Opening at Warwick

We'd travelled out the two hours to Warwick on Friday afternoon to settle in and relax before the opening on Saturday afternoon. We had a great little Air BNB - an apartment in an old house, and my sister and mother occupied another.  

Off in search off refreshments, we struggled even to find our way into the pub (back entrance only as per COVID) and I struggled to produce evidence of vaccination. Finally, cold beers and bubbles in hand, we had some good laughs, then dinner, before 'crashing' Mum and Kiri's apartment for some more giggles.

On Saturday morning Matt presented me with coffee, and a beautiful ring - I guess at nineteen years together it's an eternity ring? We spent the morning op-shopping, until it was time to get ready for the opening. Unfortunately Janet de Boer was unable to be the Guest Speaker doing the official opening as planned, but I had brought Karina an outlandish hat and scarf to don as she read Janet's speech, in order to channel the Janet presence - it worked!
Some special people made the journey which was very kind of them - I knew Jenelle and Sue were coming, but it was a wonderful surprise to see the magnificent Phillipa Rooke rock up!

So, numbers were down because of the plague, but it was a very enjoyable afternoon, accompanied by delightful noms made by Barbara.

My heartfelt thanks to those who supported me on the day, and to those I know are planning to make it at a later date in These Strange Times. I'll keep you posted on the travels on Algalryhthms.

Sunday 9 January 2022

Algalrhythms arrives at Warwick

On Tuesday I drove the 2 hours to Warwick to deliver the exhibition to Warwick Gallery. With help from Brittany I unloaded the large pink box of it’s contents directly from the ute to save unnecessary struggling. I was amazed when Britany recognised and named some of the works - she was obviously familiar with them! The stock room was soon filled with work, and as we started ferrying it out to the gallery, it seemed almost endless – it just kept coming!

Karina the gallery director very kindly let me do my version of the layout, which was initially directed by the beautiful aubergine back wall of the gallery – perfect for my dark, digital print series, and the Naracoopa Rocks triptych.

Karina advised me of several ‘hotspots’ of the gallery where popular/dramatic pieces should be placed to draw people in, and the rest of it simply grew around that. One of those was Green Lichen, also Matt's favourite piece.

Having decided that we needed the mobile walls to accommodate all the work, we agreed on a straight line down the middle, a formation which also helped maintain the openness of the space. It also provided some extra walls for my prints, which I was really happy about. The third section of my exhibition and of my journey towards abstraction, it was important to me that they be shown.

To my surprise, I also had the main foyer wall, which provided the perfect position for my leather kelp three-piece sculpture, and the most popular artwork, the Bluebottle Remains triptych. 

The foyer also has a table with two folios of my prints, my booklet of photos I printed after my residency, and print-outs of all my Situation Svenja articles for TEXTILE Fibre Forum, as they describe the evolution of the exhibition. A screen showing a slideshow of photos of my time on King Island is in a corner of the gallery, and two plinths either end of the middle wall hold my felt and leather sculptures.

I left the gallery with everything placed, but it was the gallery staff who did the hard yards of hanging and lighting it, and placing all the didactics. It was really nice to arrive with no expectations of what would go where, and just be guided by the space – a luxury I guess you can’t afford when your exhibition travels far away without you. Certainly it was a very nice experience.

Although it was a relatively small opening this weekend due to - you know what - it was great - more about that soon.