NEWS - MAY 2010

Journeys Not Destinations

I am thrilled to announce my very first solo exhibition, JOURNEYS NOT DESTINATIONS, along with Felicity Martin, also making her solo debut, at ESP Gallery, 228 Illawarra Road, Marrickville, from Thursday 27 May – Sunday 13 June. The opening is on Saturday 29 May from 4- 6pm. You are all welcome.

I will be showing sculptures, paintings, photos, video and an installation. Felicity is showing paintings and a 9metre long installation of embellished train tickets.

My journey is WILD RED HEART.

In June 2007 and September 2009, I journeyed to Two Mile Bush Camp on the banks of the underground Finke River in Central Australia at Two Mile Bush Camp. What I found there was an incredible abundance of life in a seemingly arid land – a multitude of birds from eagles to pelicans; varieties of fish like the delightful spangled grunter; land animals such as euros, dingos and lizards; purple, yellow and white flowers in profusion.

The dingo welcomed me to its land. The pee wee showed me the way barefoot across the burning rocks – always pick your way across the softer sand, even if it takes longer to reach the destination. And the butcher bird kept me awake all night so I could admire the night sky, where the moon and stars are brighter than any city light.

Out on the Finke, in view of the Pocuta Ranges, with no mobile phones or TV, I was free - to be myself, to be part of the landscape, to simply - be.

Felicity’s journey is TICKETS TO RECOLLECTION.

Here’s what she says about it:

Through the use of found and assisted found objects, my work reflects the human experience that centres on non-events such as train travel. The trail of train tickets leads the viewer in a journey through my memories, experiences and imagination as evoked by each ticket. This invites the viewer to recall their own memories and experiences of everyday events such as train journeys. Upon recollection, these everyday events and the imaginative world connected to them can be experienced and celebrated by the viewer as significant to the full experience of life. Through transformation and repetition, the nondescript train ticket takes on a new presence and meaning. It establishes connections between unknown people and unseen events.

NEWS - APRIL 2010

Biodiversecity And Smartarts

More good times this week. I have been so busy with ESP Gallery that my own art was taking a back seat - that changed for the better this week.

Wednesday night – Felicity Martin had her own opening at Pine Street, Chippendale for SmartArts, Youth Week. She submitted digital prints on canvas (one of them is my avatar, it looks better on the wall.) Some good friends showed up and Pine Street showed movies - Luke Cavalan made a brilliant stop frame movie about King Street Newtown (our stamping ground) but the silent film with live jazz acompaniment got the most applause.

More good times this week. I have been so busy with ESP Gallery that my own art was taking a back seat - that changed for the better this week.

Wednesday night - Smelsmin had an opening at Pine Street, Chippendale for Youth Week. She submitted digital prints on canvas (one of them is my avatar, it looks better on the wall.) Some good friends showed up and Pine Street showed movies - Luke Cavalan made a brilliant stop frame movie about King Street Newtown (my stamping ground) but the silent film with live jazz acompaniment got the most applause.

Thursday - Mark Trueack from Unitopia was in town so he previewed his new CD and the Yesfanz went to dinner. After that, Bob Forbes gave me a special preview of the Tramtracks CD, You, launching next week, along with Brian Draper’s book, Yes in Australia. Youtube here.

Friday - having staggered through a workday, it was time for my opening at At the Vanishing Point in Newtown. This is the first gallery I ever showed at so I have a soft spot for the gang there.

The exhibition is Biodiversecity - nature in the city for the UN Year of Biodiversity (I bet you didn't know that!) I was showing 2 digital prints of my sculpture Tree Plumes and its evolution from minimalist construction to vine covered organism in my garden. Pedro Skychaser was also there with his Hendra Virus paintings. The other usual suspects were all there too - Goran, Kurt, Brendan...

The lovely BrianD and Debbie D came (thanks guys) and we all went to dinner at the Essence of India, where we ordered too much food - lunch tomorrow!

Who could ask for anything better?

NEWS - SEPTEMBER 09

Central Australia - Finke River and Uluru

Just returned from 11 days in Central Australia, a week at Two Mile Bushcamp on the Finke River with Larapinta Creative Camps and then 4 nights at Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park to see Australia's biggest icon.

At Finke River, we slept, not in tents, but in swags under the stars. The first night was a full moon which was like a searchlight it was so bright, and it set off the butcher bird in a neighbouring tree - it started at 2am and didn't shut up until dawn 4 hours later. I made many threats to it and it eventually cut its chortling time down as the moon waned. Dingos and wild bulls also roamed around at night, they are noisy but kept away from our camp.

I walked Ormiston Pound, 8 kilometres of rough terrain, including 1.5 kilometres of boulders in Ormiston Gorge. Couldn't do it last time I went, so this was a BIG personal achievement. I had a grin all over my face and everyone clapped and cheered me at the end.

Also did the base walk around Uluru (Ayers Rock) (9.6 kms, 10 if you include the trip to the toilet LOL). The backs of my thighs are still sore from that one, it's flat but you walk in sand the whole way against a head wind (there's no wind elsewhere in the park, but Uluru creates a wind tunnel effect because of its size).

Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) are magnificent but my heartland is Finke River and the Pocuta Ranges my favourite subject for painting.

Jumped in every billabong - Finke River, Glen Helen, Redbank Gorge. Even on the hottest days, the water in the billabongs is dark and glacially cold. You can't see or touch the bottom. The trick is to get numb all over so you don't feel the cold and keep moving!! If you stop you'll cramp up. Also wearing matching undies is a good idea in case anyone not travelling with you is around (changing into a cossie is too hard in the bush). It's so hot you dry off fast.

The new camera Canon Powershot G10 worked well once I figured out the manual and I have LOTS of new photos - about 600 I think. I didn't take video because it chews up memory.

As for the luggage, I travelled with 2 gym bags (one I left in the hotel when camping), an art materials bag and a backpack which included a 2 litre hydration (or camel) pack for long walks. Invaluable!

But I came back with even more luggage - a gorgeous necklace of calcite, silver and afghan jade, a bunch of paintings - my own and some gorgeous Aboriginal paintings - and my walking pole, acquired for me by the wonderful Charlie our tour leader for the Finke leg, which is a branch of river red gum about 5 feet tall, now decorated with peewee and dingo tracks. I am strong but my pelvis is not stable, affecting my balance, so this really helped getting around the rocks. Getting that into the planes was a challenge!

Here's Larapinta Creative Camps website: Larapinta Creative Camps

ESP Gallery - new art space in Marrickville

As if welding class with Dave Horton and abstract painting with Steve Harvey is not enough, now I am organising Marrickville's newest community art space, ESP Gallery.

The council gave my art group, Edith Artists, a building at a cheap rent about 18 months ago. But nothing is ever truly cheap or free - we had to put in a development application, which took months, and then negotiate with the Council over the maintenance schedule (hey, isn't the building owner supposed to fix the building??)

The hurdles have been jumped, and we are about to sign on the dotted line, with a view to opening on Marrickville Festival Day, Saturday 27 September.

I am varying between wild elation - we've done it! - and abject fear - we have no income! what if no one rents the space! what if no one comes to our classes? when will I have time to make my own art?

It's a risk, but a calculated one (I should know, I did the calculations), and if we can pull it off, it will be a wonderful achievement.

Here's the website: ESP Gallery

NEWS - MARCH/APRIL 09

Make a Splash at Lake Light Sculpture, Jindabyne

Good news! In fact, great news!

My wavy aluminium sculpture, Make a Splash, was seen over Easter at Lake Light Sculpture, Jindabyne. This is in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales (no snow at Easter, luckily and is a beautiful lake with the town of Jindabyne on one side and the mountains on the other. The lake is quite mysterious - the old town was drowned to make a dam as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme. The sculpture show overlooks the lake. My work was selected for the point opposite a small island - couldn't ask for a better site.

I was the very last sculptor to set up on Thursday, having come the longest distance - from Sydney - with some comfort stops along the way (it's a 5 hour drive if you're lucky and don't stop.) Had to spend half an hour polishing Splash's aluminum panels before installation. Ah, the romance of art - 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration (polishing is hard work). I then tucked small solar lights into the curves, as the sculptures would be lit up at night. The organisers also provide spotlights. It looked great lit up at night - the spotlighting played on the curves and the solar lights threw off eery blue highlights.

My colleague and new friend Jessica Wade from Canberra had two absolutely magnificent openwork metal sculptures right next to mine - she is an up and coming talent.

One thing I really enjoy about outdoor exhibits is the chance to listen to the comments of passers by.

Best comment - when he saw Splash at night, a little boy cried out to his dad - "Look Dad, it's the temple of the Wizard of Oz!" Priceless! Kids are the best art lovers.

Photos here.

Stargazing

My new work, Star Gate South will be shown at Stargazing, at ATVP on the 3rd of April. If you can't make it to the opening, come along on a weekend.

NEWS - JAN/FEB 09

Links

I was delving around on the internet, and located some links to some of my earlier exhibitions: Illuminart, featuring City of Peace. And The Humble Spud, featuring Tick Tock the Tater Clock.

Bushwhacked Artists Talks – 22 February 3pm

Come along, hear me talk about my short film no rules and Bob Forbes from Tramtracks talk about their new album, Rain. No dry old art talks – you won’t go thirsty.

Bushwhacked! At the Vanishing Point Gallery

My new video no rules is showing at in this exhibition until 22 February. My good friend Bob let me use a song from his band Tramtrack’s new album, Rain, on the soundtrack. Will be posting here when the exhibition ends. Most of the art works have something to do with George Bush – we had to google the word Bushwhacked on the day he got out of office – but I was inspired by Firefly – in the episode Bushwhacked, the crew meets an abandoned space ship with a homicidal survivor. My film is gentler – the intrepid crew of artists find an abandoned car in Central Australia and then do art with women from Western Arrernte. The film is a montage of photos from my journey to Central Australia.

Sculpture in the Vineyards 08

This wonderful exhibition ended in January, with another visit to take two of the sculptures home and buy even more wine than I did at the opening! In addition to the many artists who rocked up to the great barbecue put on by the wineries for us, Wollombi was invaded by grey nomad Harley riders, as it is every weekend. Thankfully, Wollombi has escaped the bushfires.

Sculpturthon at At the Vanishing Point Gallery.

A record. 120 sculptures shown on 1 plinth in 7 hours.

The artistic members of my family ie me, my daughter and my husband went along to ATVP to deliver two of my sculptures- Fly off the Wall and Fast Food Nation snowdomes. We dragged along our house guest, Steve who is an unassuming real estate agent from New Zealand, with a promise to show him the sights of Newtown later.

Steve got bitten by the art bug straight away and made 2 sculptures on the spot - one a homage to Storm Thorgerson and the other, Lava. Along with some of the other gallery regulars, we all made a few more in response to Brendan's cry of "More sculptures! Bring on the next one!" then off to the Chocolate Dog for a very late lunch and popping in to every single shop in Newtown. Steve loves shopping! A quick visit to Newtown Mission to see the beautiful new ceiling depicting Revelation. Back to ATVP just in time to meet the Matchbox Girls, and get involved with their next project (more later). Then off to the party at Tara's where Steve fell in love with a girl from a different planet.

Sculpturthon, the sequel, Thursday night:

Lots of newbies at the opening. Lily Tallulah, the jewellery artist, commented to my amazement on Pedro's and my performance of Addicted to Love at the ATVP Christmas party karaoke night - "I loved it!" she cooed, " a powerful performance!" Umm...yeah....all right....should have asked her what medication she is taking right now.

All our work, including Steve's, was on display. Amazing how much better things look against a white wall or on a white plinth.

Janine liked my snowdomes and has commissioned one representing Lake Como and George Clooney. Yes I can do it! Am I not the person who made headphones out of abalone shells with an ipod from an old cassette tape for the opening (this was photographed for the paper with me wearing them, but didn't get in thank heaven).

Brian's version of the Harbour Bridge made from door hinges was a hit. And Steve's work is beautifully displayed on a plinth.

My 'handcuffs', Gentle Restraint, dangled near the front door way of ATVP. Appropriate for Newtown.