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.