Wednesday 30 March 2022

Caloundra 2022

I’m currently enjoying a week up at Caloundra, right on the beautiful headland at Happy Valley.

I of course had to visit the local gallery, Caloundra Regional Art Gallery, which is hosting the Local Artists – Local Content exhibition. The first work I saw was that of Julya Hegarty, which struck me with its rich, dark textures, not to mention the amount of painstaking, detailed work involved in it.

This nearly made my 'People's Choice' vote, but on reflection I found it a little too ordered for my liking - I would have liked to see some wildness in it. Instead I chose the very serene and what some may find conventional work of Lindy Sale - 'Platypus Creek'. I enjoyed its stillness, the colour palette, and its ability to transport me to a hazy afternoon in the Australian bush.

Another work I found intriguing was that of Sine Black, executed as it was on shaped and painted board. I liked the use of the dual elements of paint and sculpture to render her vision. I found my reaction to it to be much more favourable than it would have been to the paint alone. Perhaps this is partly due to my current interest in low-relief sculptural work.

I enjoyed this little groover - full of expressive movement and textural paint strokes, by Trevor Purvis.
The last work I encountered was Wallum Still Life I and II Dyptich, by Anne Harris. Described only as 'natural dye on silk' I was intrigued with how the negative effect was achieved. 

On my walk home I encountered these lovely painted walls.

Later on I watched David Attenborough's Life That Glows, all about one of my favourite topics, bioluminescence. I got re-inspired and can imagine a whole exhibition made based on the many sea creatures which exhibit this phenomenon. I already have the UV glow thread.... and can imagine prints in UV ink......

After the next installment of Algalrhythms, I need a residency based in Jervois Bay or somewhere else where I can see bioluminescence for myself!

Saturday 19 March 2022

Opening at Gympie

 We’ve just returned home from Gympie where we celebrated the third opening of Algalrhythms, and I gave my artist talk. Matt was such a trooper, chauffeuring me, and cleaning up all my gear after my presentation whilst I was talking to people – what an awesome PA! But as usual, we forgot to get a photo together!

We had a great turnout at around 30 people, one being my old friend Joan from early ATASDA days!
 What a pleasant surprise!
3D printed barnacles

I think the 3d pen process was the most fascinating to the audience, as many wanted to know more. I hope I entertained them as I shared my – at times – haphazard processes of making, blessed with moments of serendipity. The description of conceiving the ideas behind the work was a little more serious, referencing as it does the hypothesis of biophilia, as proposed by Edward O. Wilson, which describes "the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life."

As I see it, the contemplation of death as part of the life cycle helps affirm our place in the natural world, and that beauty can and should be found in every part of this cycle. 

And appreciated in its fleeting appearance at each stage.

Friday 18 March 2022

Installing at Gympie

It was a long drive to Gympie for a girl who falls asleep after one hour of highway driving, but I made it. Coming into Gympie, the recent flooding had left its mark with some incredibly high, muddy tide marks on trees and houses – luckily the gallery is on top of a hill!

It’s a beautiful old School of Arts, heritage-listed building built in 1904-05. 
The School of Arts movement began in the 1820s with an intention to promote mental and moral improvement of the working classes. The first institute in Australia was formed in Hobart in 1827, and in Brisbane in 1846. From this beginning, approximately 350 Schools of Arts were established throughout the state during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  -Wikipedia.
The building also houses a beautiful gallery shop.
Although I had parked in the loading bay, the loading dock was out of action due to stored pieces, so my many helpers and I trolleyed the work in to rest on drop sheets around the gallery. From there I wanted to absorb the space and feel what would work where, but there was a little too much going on, so I was glad when a tea break was called and I was left alone to do my placements as in Warwick. Again I was guided by the gallery layout, the placement of the moveable wall, the swinging-door wall, and where the signage was to go.

Happy with what I had achieved, with a few leftovers that I just couldn’t fit, I handed over to Julie Pratt, the Exhibitions Assistant. Immediately she began to make changes, wanting to make little ‘families’ of work to hang in a staggered group layout to break up the straight line. I assisted at times, letting her know which ones had some kind of relationship. She even rescued most of those that couldn’t fit before, yet ended up making more space for my prints to hang. 
A bit of a group decision was made to hang a sculptural piece over the two felt works on plinths – which someone had arranged in the most delightful folds – ‘don’t touch these’ I said – ‘they’re perfect’! Yet different to how I would have done it. Normally a bit of a control freak, I was perfectly happy with their ideas, and indeed, loved them. There’s no point in having the exhibition look exactly the same at every gallery. The pinnacle of this was Julie’s decision to put the metallic collar on a plinth, rising up off towards the leather collar – both suspended from the ceiling. This also mirrored what was happening at the other end with the felt, and really brought them to life as sculptural works.
I really enjoyed the experience of handing my work over to fresh eyes to envision it at its best in their space, am super pleased with the outcome, and learned a lot. It’s wonderful to be able to look at my own, such familiar work in a different way, to see it reinvigorated, and to even be re-inspired by some new forms. The team was a pleasure to work with, and were absolute professionals.

Saturday 19th March is the official Opening and my Artist Talk, so I will be posting pictures of that and of the exhibition installation this weekend.

Monday 7 March 2022

Warwick Wrap-up

 Algalrhythms (I will choose a much easier to spell name for my next exhibition) has been languishing at home for the last few weeks, fortunately escaping the flooding we had that threatened my studio, but next week is to be installed at Gympie Regional Gallery, which also seems to have escaped the water.

I recently received some professional photos taken by Samantha Bennett of the exhibition at Warwick Gallery, as well as some of the media articles generated. It will be interesting to see how it looks in another space, and to see if the installation process is just as easy or perhaps more complicated? 

Ahhh, the media - they do love a profile picture - it's the human element, they tell me. I gave journalists full access to my Dropbox folder of all the exhibition images and some of me. It's always interesting to see which ones they pick, and sometimes it informs where I place the works the next time.
For once I haven't been horribly misquoted - this is the joy in providing your own written words via media release rather than doing interviews. And flatteringly, I feel like the journalists all understood the intent of the work anyway.