AIR - Oooooh.
I could leave it at that really. It pretty much sums up having 2 weeks of blissful quiet time in my very own cottage overlooking the stunning Port Phillip bay thanks to the Mornington Peninsula Shire.
Yeah - this Artist In Residence thing is quite the thing. I'm wondering if its always that good, and if so why don't more people do it, and why has it taken me so long to catch on (if you haven't yet - you really should try one).
Day one started pretty much with me bouncing around the cottage in a joyful expression of the first opportunity in i dont know how many ears (ever?) to just do TOTALLY my own thing. I stayed up late making nets and knitting vulvas. What else?
By day three I guess the novelty had pretty much worn off though as the conversations running around my mind just seemed so ... pointless. But, here I was. What direction could I go except forward. So, by reading, walking and simply going slowly I observed the things that were catching my attention. A pattern. A colour combination. A bird. And slowly, gently a story began to unfold.
The rhythm of week two continued with drawing, ink and gouache, a few lovely visitors and many many cups of tea. Until it was time to come home...and prepare for the exhibition that Oakhill Gallery invited me to be a part of (in two weeks)...
And so - you can see In Place - featuring work from the Gatekeepers Cottage Residency until June 28th. Hope you can make it.
Theme for the week: Excitement, nervousness (anxiety even), thinking, planning, preparing.
A while ago - in a fit of unbridled optimism and determination to get this show on the road, I applied for an Artist in Residence with the Mornington Peninsula Shire at Police Point, Point Nepean. As it turns out, I was successful and Monday morning will see me pack my things and head down the road to one of the most spectacular parts of the Mornington Peninsula for TWO WHOLE WEEKS of art making. The whole idea began last year with ideas that I worked on with the amazing Ruth Hadlow at a retreat in Rye and since that time, like tiny limpets - the ideas just keep hanging on, so it will be great to have a good hard look at them and see what I can uncover.
While I turn my mind in circles ( its a running joke that to get me to leave home for more than a day requires a crow bar and several weeks of delicate emotional manoeuvring )... I am gradually piecing together what my time at Police Point will look like. Walking, observations, writing, drawing, stitching and threading ideas of motherhood and history together. Slowly unraveling the emotional strands that have been woven together in my own story.
And I'd like to invite you to share a little of the process.
I would be honoured if you'd join me for
Morning tea and an Art chat on Thursday May 11 10.30am.
The new year has arrived with an abundance of new energy and new projects... so many exciting things under way. I've been assisting the wonderful Hannah Bertram install at Maragaret Lawrence Gallery, celebrating making with the crew at Frankston Arts Centre as facilitator for their fabulous Hot Arts for Cool kids program, Mixed Up Masks at Frankston North Community Centre, and now enjoying the beginnings of new adventures close to home with weekly drawing classes at Tilba Hill Studio. Thursday evening classes started with observational drawing and self portraits and have moved on to mark making with ink. With two sessions left in our Draw 4 workshops, I've been inspired to spend more time in the studio, experimenting, exploring, creating studies and going deeper with my practice. About time!
Next month see's my very first (local) drawing workshops specifically for kids launched. Bookings are now open ... and I'm so looking forward to more play time with a crew of young artists.
So I am now officially a part of the gig economy... with the changing employment landscape and the popularity of flexible work options, I'm keeping up with the times and going all air tasker. And this lovely thing was my first gig. Its a Sopwith Camel. The kind that Biggles used to fly. The very charming "Andrew" put the call out ... he needed a biplane to wear (of course - what else does one wear to a queens birthday weekend winery tour with a bunch of high spirited buddies?). And I answered the call. Yep... I could make a biplane.
And so the R&D began... with maquettes and tests and drawings...it all started to come together. The conversation with Andrew progressed and I began to have the sneaking suspicion that I was in fact making a plane for Robert Downey Jnr masquerading as a mild mannered Melbournean professional. This guy is cool - you know?
Anyhoo - after a couple of weeks construction was complete, and the true nature of the Sopwith Camel emerged despite battling inclement weather to get the damn paint dry. Phew - the pick up was arranged and and I prayed that the cat wouldn't decide that the aircraft was all his and he'd tell everyone so by marking it in the way that only an evil cat can do (dont even ask what he did to the last sculpture).
With the 'Camel carefully loaded into the car (actually it was too big so we had to remove the tail for transport - detachable tail. NICE I'll remember that for next time) and strict instructions to consider both spacial boundaries and the benefits of gaffer tape in emergencies; I sat down to think about my first venture as a professional costume maker via airtasker.
Overall - it was great. I learned heaps, got to practice my craft and think about the possibilities of becoming an aeronautical engineer. I did SEVERELY underestimate the amount of time the whole thing would take me and so will likely end up making the princely sum of $7/hour. Better than nothing - right?
And I got to meet a really nice young man - who still likes playing dressups. In a very cool way.
(Oh - and he didnt turn out to be Robert Downey Jnr in disguise but he was very nice just the same).
I'm not usually one for clip art but sometimes its too hot to do anything but sit in front of photoshop and make something political. I had visions of paste ups and stencils and printable matchbox covers and t shirts. Whether or not I actually get there is another thing all together but here it is ... my first (potential) foray into a whole new world...
Its positively thrilling to be stepping out in the world with my dear buddy Jaclyn...
Perhaps this thing had been growing since our days in the sculpture room at Chisholm, or the shared trepidation of painting class - Would this picture work? Would we know if it did? Would anyone tell you if it was a thing? Could you believe them if they did?
Somehow - we worked though all that delightful art school self reflection and found ourselves out in the world as artists... sure there were babies and music concerts and special birthdays along the way - but we found our paths converging (yes! a convergence) at a single, wonderfully portentous point.
We spoke of process, of the artist/mother, of learning, of community, of sharing magical moments making, flowing, growing into an Artful Life (it deserves capitals - yes?).
For me its about seeing... and thats pretty much my WHY. Seeing the world in a new way - and living artfully is a pretty fine way to do just that. And so - Brightly Arts was born. Jac and I will be teaching, facilitating and generally making messy fun all around the Mornington Peninsula to start - with visions of taking the art vlogging world by storm. Stay tuned...
Its here. My very first solo installation. Welcome to Tracery.
The wonderful folks at Frankston Arts Centre have supported an amazing variety of artists though their ongoing exhibition program. In participating in the 2014 FAC Open Exhibition I was fortunate to have received the Peoples Choice Award which gave me the opportunity to put together Tracery.
Its an iteration of a piece originally conceived for The end of year show at Chisholm Frankston and has come to life bigger and brighter at Cube 37.
Officially open from Thurday Jan 21 until Feb 17. During the day take 10 minutes to enjoy the story of a lonely fisherman who rows out onto a lake one dark moonlit night, or after sunset take a look at the projection of a lunar eclipse cycle through hand woven nets.
Join me on Tue Feb 2nd for an artists chat at the Arts Centre, Davies Street Frankston and cup of tea at 11...
Lucky me...I've been invited to participate in this years Peninsula Studio Trail. Having been blessed with the opportunity to work in the home of Judy and Keith Reekie this year, its been wonderful to have a space to work surrounded by Judy's beautiful watercolours. Of course its not without sadness I open the studio I've had the privilege to work from these last months with the loss of Keith in September following Judy's passing some time ago.
So - I'm trusting that the generous spirit of the Reekies will inspire everyone who visits artists over the next 2 weekends in November. May your visits be filled with fabulous conversation, exploring and sharing ideas and perhaps a cup of tea, homemade fermented wholemeal scones or maybe a glass of wine.
I'll have some older work available for sale as well as a sneak peak at a couple of projects I've been working on this year...
This video forms part of my installation '29.5 nights to catch the moon'.
Below is a brief explanation of how the installation came to be..
Chisholm Open Studio installation
With the imminent completion of my Chisholm studies combined with a hectic personal life,
and the successful installation of the Growing Home project. I really wanted to change the
rhythm of my life for my next project. Something a lot more introspective. So - I decided to
attempt a slow project that would allow a more meditative approach to the work.
I had recently attended a traditional string making and weaving workshop at the Koorie
Heritage Trust Cultural Center so the practice of traditional weaving appealed. I researched
techniques in net making, made a net loom and had a couple of practice runs.
There was a fair bit of synchronicity with this project. As the beginning of the weaving
coincided with the new moon, I thought that it would be interesting to make a series of nets,
one each day for a short time (1 month) to provide me with the discipline and consistency of
regular art practice. The net making did indeed become quite meditative and provided time
to consider ways in which the works might be displayed. I enjoyed the way each net had its
own character, often depending on my mood, time of day and time available to complete that
I became aware that there would be a full lunar eclipse that month so decided to dye the
cotton I was using to weave the nets using eucalyptus dyes. The cotton was soaked for
several days, then dyed after the dye bath preparation, allowed to rest over night then rinsed
and dried ready to to used in weaving.
The night of the full moon, I photographed the stages of the eclipse and on looking at the
images the next day realised although not technically great photographs, they were
appealing and told some kind of story. I combined them into a slide show and decided to
create a soundscape to accompany the images.
Bjork’s Biophillia app provided inspiration for sounds, and I had hoped to be able to use the
app to write a soundscape but communication between platforms became too challenging.
Garage Band, became the software of choice, knowing that it would link with iMovie in the
creation of a projection that I could combine with the nets in an installation.
In exploring myths relating to the moon and fishing, I discovered the story of the Asrai which
I then adapted to provide a thematic background for the installation. At the last minute, on
the recommendation of Robyn Rich I recorded the story over the soundscape, creating another
layer for the installation.
Although the presentation of the work will only be for the night of the Open Studio, I hope to
find other opportunities to display the work in the future.
extremely interesting things
I like to make things...paintings, stitched things, paper things and such.