Sunday, November 25, 2012

APT 7 <(^-^<) and a rant about engaging with local/regional art communities/events

Get ready, the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art kicks off at GoMA on the 8th December. The APT is always a crowd puller, but not to the extent of having to line up behind velvet rope and shuffle along behind day trippers getting their must-do exhibition ticked off before shuffling off for Devonshire Tea or shopping in the city. Big name shows often create this effect (e.g. Picasso, Warhol, French Impressionists etc) and that is fine. It is a good thing that people from all walks of life should have the opportunity to see renowned and important art from around the world.  However, when a security guard watches on (armed or unarmed - it could be either) as you attempt to scan, absorb, interpret and understand an artwork in 20 seconds - you have to ask yourself a question. Are you queueing up and paying your hard earned dollars to see an artist's work or a particular exhibition because you read it about it in some naff bucket list themed list? Or worse, you are going for the sole purpose of 'checking in' on facebizzle and then sauntering off after half an hour to go shopping and Instagram fitting room selfies? In any case, of course big touring exhibitions reach a large audience and can really bolster the cultural events calendar of a place. On the other hand, keep in mind that there are exciting new ideas being explored by artists and art workers across both metropolitan and regional areas. If you live in the SE Queensland region and you want to support emerging artists, musicians, performers, dancers etc - usually all you have to do is turn up. 

My recommendations:

Regional galleries/spaces (to name a few):

For more information on arts/cultural events in Brisbane/Queensland:

  Anyway back to the Asia Pacific Triennial of wonderment. I think if you live close enough to travel economically via rail, road or boat - you need to catch the APT show. As described on the gallery website, the 7th APT "continues the series’ forward-thinking approach to questions of geography, history and culture and how these questions are explored through the work of contemporary artists."

Michael Cook, Bidjara people, Australia b.1968 | Broken dreams #22010 | Inkjet print, ed. of 8 | Image: Courtesy the artist and Andrew Baker Art Dealer | (Indicative image only) 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Inside her purse

Developing two-dimensional series as part of the Lost Girls, Strong Girls and the Assembled Image RADF Project

Cut Off Plaits
Gouache, ink and watercolour pencil on paper

Essence of Innocence
Gouache, ink and watercolour pencil on paper

Love Potion
Gouache, ink and watercolour pencil on paper

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Flying Girl - in focus

The Flying Girl sequences are focussed on the movement of a nameless storybook character that zooms through contrasting scenes, settings and worlds. The motif is an illustration cut-out of a 1930s children’s book (adventure genre for young teen audience) and is the key figure in the series of videos/stop-motions I am working on. These sequences will present differing visual notions of fictional and non-fictional texts whilst also touching on the feminine/feminist identity of a common archetype – the lone, young woman. The pose of the Flying Girl character is particularly important, as her dive position also emulates that of a superhero. Elements of the project as a whole relate to stories and fictional representations, so there is sharp irony in the image of a ditzy schoolgirl flying like Superman. Or to be more specific, as her power and intelligence as a female protagonist was hollow in the context of the story she was extracted from – the superhero type pose then transforms her into a kind of heroine. This flying ability then allows the girl to move through other worlds and places. So in the sequences she may not be a literary heroine but her ‘escape’ and surreal adventures flying through other worlds connects her image to another kind the heroine identity. This is supported by the habitual way we read fiction – imagining alternative versions of events in the story, considering the roles/motivations of silent characters and filling the gaps constructed by the author. Therefore, the Flying Girl is a version of another character and her movements in the sequences/videos make reference to a myriad of possible forms and re-imagined visual/conceptual translations.
The scenes of books/films are typically indicative of place, mood, storyline direction/genre and time. A setting featuring a prehistoric landscape and Dinosaurs would therefore be relevant to non-fictional texts and science but time given the existence of this world occurring millions of years ago. In making the Flying Girl sequences I am underlining the autonomy and evolving feminine identity after having been extracted from it’s original context. She zooms through strange landscapes and passes over impossible situations (I am also using existing two-dimensional collage pieces as backgrounds/settings). This in turn also introduces an allusion to self-reflection and possibly self-reflexive perception – as a female artist I interpose segments of personal narratives (e.g. dream experiences) and visual symbols/motifs that represent a self-characterisation. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Crustacean Woman

The Crustacean Woman is a collage that I recently transferred to transparent acetate for use on the ol' O.H.P. I still make the most of low-tech equipment and who can resist the charms of a classroom grade projector? This is a still shot taken from the studio at home and was captured as part of another short stop-motion. It will be an addition the growing collection of stills and AVIs I have produced for the 'Lost Girls Strong Girls and the Assembled Image'  video montage work/s. In the coming months, I will be re-shooting/making some short sequences and revising existing shots to then begin the editing and rendering process. Eventually, I will post sample videos here or set up a Vimeo account as a viewing platform - but for the mean time, sit tight.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Don't say the 'C' word

Deck the Walls 

Deck the Walls is a fab little group show opening quite soon and by 'C' word I mean Xmas (theme is in the title)

November 9-22, Bleeding Heart Gallery

Click here for more details

Norman Park studio days

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shadow casting with illuminated imagery

After I reviewed the captured photos from this lounge room experiment, I started to think more about different ways I could use the screen and the alternative light/projection sources that could be implemented in this exercise. I recently researched the work of Fleur Elise Noble and Miwa Matreyek and since then the combination of light, colour and motion have become more relevant. Ever since I started using silhouette motifs and shadows in my art work, colour had played a lesser part in this form of visual representation. I could talk about silhouettes and the significance of the ‘shadow’s double’ until the cows come home. But the relationship between positive and negative space cannot solely be read or seen in black and white - pardon the pun. Colour opens up another avenue of symbolic allusion and I think in reference to emotional flux and personal reflection/reflexivity, it is may also form a distinct part of my project. Hence the second round of lounge room screen test shots. When I wrote my proposal, I factored in the need access a data projector if I was to be using moving image processes, stop-motion, shadow puppets etc. Having this piece of easy-to-use but also versatile AV equipment at my disposal has aided the development of my ideas in a big way. As a follow up to the first round of lounge room tests, I used the hired projector as my light source and repeated the process. I connected my laptop to the projector and opened existing photos of sunsets, landscapes etc. In the images I have posted here, the photo of clouds illuminates pinks and blues around the stark shadows. With the help of my assistant Waz, we tested a few varying background images and textures which had interesting visual outcomes. It is my focus now to develop the these experiments further to the stage of incorporating live capture video and/or rear projected moving images for a performed sequence (performed using the silhouette of my body as seen here). 
Thanks for reading, I will keep you posted on the developing two-dimensional pieces and collage as well. 
Over and out.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Screen tests in the lounge room

The photo above was captured during a series of simple screen tests in my lounge room. As I've probably noted in earlier posts this year, I am currently working on a regional arts project that aims to develop my art practice further. Part of my proposal instigates the use of moving image/video in the project and while I am gradually developing my ideas, ongoing studio experimentation helps this process along. After writing, sketching and storyboarding concepts for the video work - I took a small collection of props into the lounge room at home to test the visual effect. This was a pretty basic kind of exercise, yet in the scheme of things, rigging up a screen with two dining chairs and documenting different movements/arrangements with still photography worked well. I am not sure whether the final outcome of the proposed video work/s will be made using stop motion, live capture or a combination etc - but I think it definitely allows for improvisation.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Heroine's Mask

My current project is conceptually concerned with the image and idea of the female protagonist's journey. It is a broad term and a journey is neither short or long. It could also exist in an emotional sense but also in the physical etc. I am interested in dividing the lone female/female protagonist entity into three parts to represent three different 'versions' if you like. In one aspect, this central figure is any young woman whose existence is suppressed - particularly in the sense of her body being like a vessel, commodity or battleground. The other interpretations I am looking at refer to the hollow heroine of nonfictional texts (especially pre 1960s youth fiction/novellas) and the character that is a self-reflection of my own traits and identity as an artist.

Anyway whilst I've been working on these ideas, other little tangent concepts have been branching out here and there. One of the visual motifs I have become preoccupied with is the facial disguise and mask.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

She looks so different up close



Matador Moth



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On the subject of Crochet

Okay at least for the moment let me linger on Crochet a little while longer. Here are some visual gems lazily unearthed via the net.

1970s coat - arguably the golden era of fashionable crochet

Crochet in the trendy craft category - yes, you can crochet the contents of your fruit and vegetable fridge drawer. Just know when to stop.

1940s hat - crochet was perhaps being experimented with in some fashion ateliers. This is noggin topper is a neato!

Crochet in the Arts - Australian artist Louise Weaver (what a pun) uses a wide variety of materials and mediums in her work. Her employment of knitting in some of her recent sculptural environments/installations evokes a soulful and imaginative reading.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I found some crochet patches in the linen cupboard recently. They were most likely prepared for the assemblage of a cosy (and cute in a 'kitsch' way) couch blanket. I commondeered the green, pink and cream coloured patches and subsequently they became studio experiment subjects. I had stitched paper imagery to fabric before, but I had not previously used yarn based items or crochet full stop. Crochet does fall into that Granny pastime category and now with the resurgence of crafternoons and funky mums fondling yarn in cafes blah blah...the overall image of the distinctive weave is what interests me more. Also, it is intrinsically associated with women's work...actually not even work, more like hobby-work that was meant to have a functional outcome (i.e. cardigan, couch blanky etc). An occupation to chip away at. Maybe that is why the appearance of crochet forms in street art has such a unique signature in the urban/suburban environments - because crochet/knitting can often be inseparable from the notion of homeliness and conventional craft.

Anyway, I experimented in the studio with some paper imagery and stitched focal point images to a couple of the patches.
The eye was painted in gouache on watercolour paper, cut out and stitched onto the patch with white thread. The face image was extracted from the corny 'Moon Child' story came across inside a big book of short stories (circa 1982).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Research topic - customary garments and symbolic garb

The Torero's Jacket

Note/Warning: If you research 'Matador' via Google, be prepared to come across images that will make you wince and wander why there is such a blood thirsty need to do what the Matadors do. I feel for the Bulls.

Nevertheless, in the context of customary garments and clothing - I am interested in the traditional costume worn by the Matador de Toros (Killer of Bulls). The jacket or 'Chaquetilla', while elaborately decorated, is intended to allow for ease of movement. What I find interesting about the Torero's whole costume is the contrast between the fine and the bloodthirsty. The jacket is heavily embellished and regal in appearance, yet the sport itself is violent and cruel. They must get bloodstained sometimes if not often, all that nice needlework tsk tsk tsk. However, leaving my unsubtle opinion on bullfights aside, I can't help but swoon over the Torero's traje de luces!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Frenz and Anemones - creative block collage

Anemone Eye

I saw her face in the Himalayas

An Unknown Vista

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Woeful Moon Child - collage test

Collage image testing - images derived from a 1960 edition of National Geographic and a children's book annual 'Misty 1983'. The illustration of the woeful face was extracted from a story about a teenage girl who discovers that she is some kind of Witch or 'Moon Child' as it is referred to in the title. The story, might I add, was hilarious mostly due to the cockney dialogue between the characters - it was like 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' meets 'East Enders' mashed together like frog spawn and shepard's pie.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Back bloggin'

After two straight months of written journal work and grant application re-hashing - I am ready to get back into some hands on studio work. The outcome of my submission for the Career Development Grant through Arts Queensland shot me off onto another tangent to apply for the RADF program through my local council. Now that it has been printed, submitted, post marked and express mailed - I can finally crack on with making some new work. So in the little meantime, personal research via GoMA Brisbane charged my battery back up to almost-utter-fullness. The new featured show that opened on the 21st April, is described on the website as: ‘Contemporary Australia: Women’ — the second in the Gallery’s Contemporary Australia exhibition series — celebrates the diversity, energy and innovation of contemporary women artists working in this country today. So many of my have Australian artists have got a spot in this one! There are also a number of upcoming and mid-career artists that I reckon will make lasting impressions on people with their work. Hiromi Tango's X Chromosome makes direct reference to the double helix form as 'X' obviously indicates the female chromosome. Tango's three-dimensional installation is an amalgamation of colourful tentacles, patch worked faces and limbs bound tightly with yarn. The materials the artist has used allude to those typically associated with 'women's work' and you can stand under it. The interior space at the base of the structure seems womb like. In another way the tactility of the soft, rainbow surrounds is reminiscent of a childhood cubby house. I won't give too much more away, but with additional readings into the after effects of the recent flooding events in SE Queensland as well as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year - Tango's work stands as a seminal reminder of the importance of community, generosity and sharing our personal histories with each other.
See also the GoMA Cinematheque guide for the current exhibition program. Some of these flicks in many ways are underrated and still not as widely recognised in Australian households as they ought to least not against the likes of the American rom-coms/comic book blockbusters etc. The program also aligns with the 'Contemporary Australia - Women' theme and the curatorial touch of Margaret Pomeranz seeks to uplift/celebrate the myriad of female characters portrayed in the films. But at the same time, audiences will be challenged which I think balances it out. Nonetheless Australian films have come a long way. Emotionally charged drama and obscure comedy dominate with force. Two of my absolute favourites are showing in the program - Lantana and Look Both Ways. Some of the other delectable flicks featured include: - Animal Kingdom - Samson and Delilah - Sweetie - The Home Song Stories - Muriel's Wedding - Looking for Alibrandi - Burning Man - see also Tracey Moffatt/Sarah Watt