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.”
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.”
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.
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.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.
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”.
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
A few more images of exhibiting artists studios for Artisans in the Gardens 2014.
Peter Anderson’s hand built stoneware ceramic, ‘Ruins and Relics’, “draw upon the power and complexity of all manifestations of landscape from scars of heavy industry and urban decay to notions of wilderness”
Giselle Courtney’s studio where she creates her jewellery using flame worked borosilicate glass lustre, stainless steel and sterling silver. Her jewellery is inspired by the Botanical Gardens, the garden’s flora, and the surrounding harbour foreshore.
Linda Davy’s studio, creating hand built ceramic sculptures with raku and stoneware firings. The works exhibited for Artisans in the Gardens, ‘Empty Pockets’ explores concerns about the environment, both societal and personal connections, focusing on rare and endangered birds as well as imaginary birds based on the Australian landscape.
Along with the Artisan in the Garden committee we have made several visits to artists studios that are exhibiting in this years Artisans in the Gardens at the Botanical gardens, Sydney, from 1th – 19th of October 2014. I have been posting these studios daily on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Here is a snap shot of some of the great spaces and work.
Denise McDonald works in stoneware and cool ice porcelain, and creates her own glaze producing a range of functional tableware ceramics, ‘The Flannel Flower Range”. The bowls, jugs and vases are soft-slab and wheel formed featuring a vintage flannel flower design. The design is taken directly from her immediate environment in her home and studio, a source of inspiration and part of her family for three generations. “the range speaks of our relationship to our native flora and our use of decorative motifs of great longevity”.
Dimity Kidston creates tapestry using wool, cotton and linen. The shapes and textures of the seeds, pods and flowers of the Botanical Gardens inspire a series of woven tapestries, printed aluminium and ceramic plates.
Geoff Harvey is both a painter and sculptor, creating ‘The Garden Dogs’ series using laser cut steel and found objects which frolic in the garden. His extensive studio has built up a collection of found materials that is a source of inspiration for many of his works.
I am on the committee for Artisans in the Gardens for 2014. Having previously exhibited three times in the exhibition which is held annually at the Lion Gate Lodge, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney, I thought it could be a good experience to be involved in the other side, part of the team organising the show! I have been posting daily on Instagram and Facebook each of the 50 artists exhibiting, and will then post images of several of the artists studios to give an idea of their art practice and inspirations.
Have a look on our Facebook page artisansinthegardens2014 and Instagram, #artisansinthegardens2014 also the Royal Botanical Gardens website
(Images, Mollie Bosworth, Braidwood Central School, Fiona Budzynski, Helen Earl, Yoko Fujita, Bev Hogg & Marianne Courtney, Dimity Kidston, Katherine Mahoney, Shan Shan Mok)
“Artisans in the Gardens exhibition 11-19 Oct 2014 brings together some of the country’s most innovative and exciting artisans, artwork inspired by nature”. “The popular Artisans in the Gardens exhibition will return for its fourteenth year in 2014. Held in the iconic Lion Gate Lodge in the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, the exhibition showcases the work of some of Australia’s leading contemporary artists and craftspeople along with Indigenous Australian artists. The exhibition features the works of artists from around Australia including emerging and established contemporary jewellers, ceramicists, glass makers, textile artists, weavers and sculptors. Presented by Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens, Artisans brings together some of the country’s most innovative and exciting artisans whose inspiration for their outstanding work is drawn from the beauty and complexity of nature. All work is for sale and proceeds support the work of the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust.” When: Saturday 11 – Sunday 19 October, 10 am-4 pm Where: Lion Gate Lodge, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. Cost: Free Entry
SELECTED ARTISANS IN THE GARDENS ARTISTS 2014
Lyn Balzer and Tony Perkins
Braidwood Central School
Bev Hogg and Marianne Courtenay
Sarah Vane Howell
Shan Shan Mok
I am exhibiting a painting and ceramics in a group exhibition ‘Gesture‘ at the Blue Mountains Grammar School, curated by Gabrielle Jones. Fellow artists exhibited are Susan Baird, Anthony Cahill, Adrienne Doig, Coco Elder, Clara Hali, Julie Harris, Josh Honeyman, Polyxenia Joannou, Mathew Lynn, Rowen Matthews, David Middlebrook and Neil Taylor. From 5th September to the 28th of November 2014, Matcham Avenue, Wentworth Falls, NSW. The theme ‘Gesture’ refers to the subject or style of the drawing/artwork, and also refers also to the fact of drawing (with the hand) as well as the gesture that we, as artists, extend to each other, the community.
‘Marking the terrain’, 98 x 107 cm, acrylic on linen, 2013,’River country’ stoneware ceramic with glaze, 55 x 35 x 23 cm 2014 , Sediment echoes’ stoneware ceramic with glaze, 54.5 x 30 x 30 cm, 2014 ‘Undercurrents’ stoneware ceramic with glaze, 55 x 41 x 28 cm, 2012
“My work explores the notion of landscape, and its inland river systems. In an enduring Australian landscape, the river is a vital and pivotal force, the bestowal of fertility, a source of survival, with it cyclical nature of renewal and destruction. The use of mark making and gesture is pivotal in my art practice, echoed in both my paintings and ceramic works. Totemic symbols of the landscape; the river, the trees, the rocks and the broad spatial vistas infuse the work. The sculptural hand built ceramic forms are a direct and tactile link to the earth, acting as a three-dimensional canvas on which glaze is applied in a painterly mark making gesture. During the process of firing, iron oxide in the stoneware clay bleeds through the ceramic surface creating alchemy of glaze, gestural marks and clay. The painterly gestural mark derives its origins from initial sketches in the landscape and the drawn line. It is an exploration of the interplay and tension between the mark and the hand built form. My works are a conversation between paint and clay.”
One of my ceramics has been selected for the 29th Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award, which I am very excited about! The exhibition of selected works will be held at the Gold Coast City Gallery, Surfers Paradise, Queensland from the 6th of September to the 26th of October 2014.
My ceramic work is ‘Land & shadows’, stoneware ceramic with glaze, 40 x 36 x 22 cm, 2014,
“My work explores the notion of landscape, and its inland river systems. In an enduring Australian landscape, the river is a vital and pivotal force, the bestowal of fertility, a source of survival, with it cyclical nature of renewal and destruction.
These sculptural hand built ceramic forms are a direct and tactile link to the earth. These forms act as a three dimensional canvas on which glaze is applied in a painterly mark making gesture. Totemic symbols of the landscape; the river, the trees, the rocks and the broad spatial vistas infuse the work. During the process of firing, iron oxide in the stoneware clay bleeds through the ceramic surface creating alchemy of glaze, gestural marks and clay.
These works are a conversation between paint and clay.”