BeLonging Exhibition, ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery

http://www.australianceramicstriennale.com.au/2015/

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I was selected as part of the Australian Ceramic Association’s group exhibition ‘BeLonging: Embodied Commentaries Inspired by Place’, held during the Australian Ceramics Triennale, 2015, ‘Stepping Up’. The works were all under 15 cm in size and exhibited at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery, ACT, for the duration of the Triennale. My work, ‘Marrickville, father and child’ (in the image foreground), “refers to my personal sense of belonging. Living in suburban multi cultural Marrickville, Sydney, with a new baby. Walking the local streets I have become familiar with the suburbs layering of cultures and histories. Documenting the front gardens, and its slowly disappearing lemon and orange trees, figurines, urns and architectural fetaures. My work loosely references the English Staffordshire ceramic tradition, celebrating the suburban and the domestic.” 

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Works from the exhibition, and works in progress in my studio for the Marrickville series.

 

Finalist for the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize 2015

I have been selected as a finalist for the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize for 2015. An annual painting competition depicting a New South Wales subject ‘en plein air’.

“The term ‘en plein air’ refers to the practice of painting out of doors, in direct engagement with nature, where the transitory effects of light can be observed and recorded. It has a history in Europe of several hundred years, the most famous exponents including Salvator Rosa and Claude Lorraine in the 17th Century and Corot and the Barbizon school painters in the 19th. In an Australian context, the Impressionists of the late 19th century, including Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts were devoted to painting out of doors, and thus brought a new understanding of Australian light and landscape to the public through their work. Fred Williams, Australia’s great master of landscape painting in the twentieth century, used studies painted out of doors as the foundation of his work. These artists and others established a strong tradition of painting ‘en plein air’ in Australia that continues to this day.
Contemporary Australian artists paint ‘en plein air’ both in the bush and the city. For many it is a private aspect of their work, rarely exhibited, which provides a complement to their studio work. For others it is their principal method of working. Australia’s climate and landscape has long proven conducive to working out of doors and continues to fascinate the public.” 

My painting is two canvases, total size, 40.5 x 82.5 cm, ‘Denbigh, Inside and outside the home gate’, (near Cobbity, NSW) acrylic on canvas, 2015. It was great to be out of doors painting, in the beautiful green countryside near Cobbitty on the outskirts of Sydney, once an old rural and pastoral area. It also interesting the longer you look and are present in a landscape the more there is an abstraction of form, I likened the simplifying of mark making to notes on a musical score. My work depicts the landscape inside and outside the home gate, showing the different colours, trees, and roles the environments signify on a rural property. The exhibition will be held in the Fountain Court at parliament House from wednesday 17th June until Friday 31 July. Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5pm.

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Gallipoli Art Prize 2015

I have been selected for the Gallipoli Art Prize with the painting, ‘Bones of the land, the collective unconscious’. The prize, judged by John McDonald, Jane Watters, Barry Pearce and John Robertson, reflects the creed of the Gallipoli Memorial club, values of “loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship.” The exhibition is being held at the Gallipoli Memorial Club, Sydney, the 23rd of April to the 3rd of May. My work, acrylic on linen, 98 x 107 cm, focuses on the landscape, “The landscape along with the Battle of Gallipoli is fused in the Australian collective unconscious, a place of memory, suffering and of war. Bones of the land are remnants and relics of this past. Images of soldiers carrying wounded comrades and a statue of an Ottoman soldier carrying a wounded Anzac, at the Gallipoli battlefield cemetery, have loosely inspired the figures within this landscape. It is the collective empathy of human suffering and compassion that unites all.”

kate-dorrough

Redfern Biennale 2015

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Damien Minton, the curator of the annual event now part of Art Month, the ‘Redfern Biennale’, asked me to contribute this year. An exhibition with a difference, on the streets of the Sydney suburb, Redfern. Outside the commercial gallery context and on the streets of the NSW Housing Commission precinct; readymade objects, found materials, photography, all responded to the environment. I found it a liberating experience, placing art out of doors in an installation context. It made me realise it would be great to see more art in the streets without the accompaniment of commerce. The readymade exhibition was only held for one day, the 21st of March 2015.

“Be ready, again, to view for free readymades, sculpture, multi media, new media, painting, found object or even a cobweb on the street. This year, 2015, with the assistance of local community service centres, the Redfern Biennale will feature the display, on the street, of artwork by local NSW Housing Commission residents. The Redfern Biennale precinct is focussed around the fences and footpaths of Walker Street, bound by Cooper and Redfern Streets, Redfern.

The Redfern Biennale is an outdoor, eclectic, democratic free-for-all happening that will just happen on the day.

There is no Council approval, we are just placing the work on the streets for 7 hours.

Whether it is John Cage remarking ‘beauty is now underfoot wherever we take the trouble to look’ the notion of this show stems from the art dealer Damien Minton photographing readymade objects and clusters around the streets of Redfern and posting them on social media.” (Art Month, Yellam Nre)

As the internationally renowned contemporary curator Yellan Nre commented in his/her essay for the Redfern Biennale 2014, ‘Clusterfuck Aesthetics, the Radicality of Garbage:

“The nihilism of the readymade – both sneering and naïve, complete yet broken – defines our experience of contemporary art today. Objects umoored from the womb of the white cube are without referent or narrative, and yet generate narrative in their very abandonment. Art made in public space is an assault on the narrative of community, and complicates the periphery of our social engagement. But when the anti-establishment gesture of the guerrilla artwork is subsumed within the cannibalising assault of gentrification, how can the art object reclaim its radicality?

“In its democratizing gesture of a free-for-all pile of stuff on stuff, Redfern Biennale is a shot across the bow of government sanctioned social sculpture for the greater good. It places public art back in the hands of the public, where they are free to ‘engage’ with it as they wish. The utopian desire, imagined or otherwise, of a multifarious yet united society is thus enacted via the analogy of trash. The value of what we discard, conceal and detain outlines the border of our collective culture. Thus the artist’s gesture of displaying a work of art in public space becomes one of defiance and generosity. In doing so, it confounds Duchamp’s exhortation to indifference to the aesthetics or origin of an object – it enforces direct interaction with the situation of appearance and context. Destructions should take place more rapidly.”

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My work ‘Domesticity’ incorporated a collection of found materials that reflects my personal world at present. The stretcher frame without a painting except a small sketch of mother and child, signifying the amount of time you get to do your own work! The domestic world with its olive branch, acceptance, patience and love.

http://www.artmonthsydney.com.au/experiences/redfern-biennale-2015/

Muswellbrook Art Prize

I have been selected for the 43rd Muswellbrook Art Prize, with the work ‘Marking the Terrain’. The judge was Anne Ryan, Curator of Australian prints, drawings and watercolours at the Art Gallery of NSW. The selected works are exhibited at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, 1st of March to the 19th of April 2015.

Oil on linen 98 x 107cm

 

and More artists studios, Artisans in the Gardens 2014

The lovely ceramics of Katherine Mahoney and her group of functional porcelain and stoneware ceramic ware, ‘Flora Impressions’ created in her studio at home, at the bottom of the garden. Bowls, platters and vases are thrown and then impressed using materials gathered directly from the Botanical gardens, and glazes created to reflect the palette of a watercolourist. The ceramics are “inspired by the beautiful native seedpods and leaves that are bountiful in Australia”.

 

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Harriet Schwarzrock’s studio where she created work for Artisans in the Gardens using tinted blown glass and stainless steel. The sculptural glass blown forms, vases and tumblers, “speak of organic growth and transpiration cycles”, predominantly organically inspired “I am often drawn to the delicious form of the spiral”, “and seek to express a rhythm and cadence between individual, yet sympathetic forms”.

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Bev Hogg’s studio a converted garage, overlooking her front and back garden, created a collaborative work with Marianne Courtney, ‘Groundwork 1’. Using assembled cut and stacked eucalyptus sticks, taking essential elements of garden or bush land “and translating them into a semi-ritualistic meditative work that speaks of growth, wholeness, and also vulnerability.” The outdoor sculpture will weather over time reflecting the “natural cycles of birth, ageing, change and decay”.

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Marguerite Derricourt’s studio where she created  ‘Travelling Light 11’ using moulded Japanese papers. These sculptural wall pieces of moths, in particular the migratory patterns of Bogong moths, are made from moulded Japanese papers and laser cut powder-coated steel. The works speak of the moth’s nocturnal habits and self-destructive behaviour, a poetic and symbolic universal theme within

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Jan Howlin’s studio where she has created the work ‘Family Tree’ using ceramic, glazes and underglaze. “As a maker of sculptural works, I try to create forms that embody meaning; objects that suggest ideas”, “I am drawn to universal issues such as human relationships, foibles and experiences along with sustainability, the natural environment and the contemporary world”.

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