Friday, March 14, 2014

Get tin' me sum cultcha ..

"The Adelaide Biennial is here and the Dark Heart exhibition is fantastic! It features some really great Aussie artists and I thought I would share a couple of my faves. I plan to go back for a second look because it was such a lot to take in. 

Kathryn Del Barton

Below is a detail from her nine meter long painting "heartland". del. Barton's work is often steeped in the feminine and this one is resplendent with feminine form ... and well, it is just so darn pretty as well! ('pretty' is often used as a criticism of her work - pfft!)

Fiona Hall

One of South Australia's very own artists, Fiona Hall has a room to herself entitled "out of my tree". The room is wallpapered with her skeleton drawings and full of skulls, installations , painted cuckoo clocks - well the list goes on. This artist loves to use the discards and found object in her work. She often incorporates textile processes in her work too. What's not to love?

Tony Albert

This installation is a fine example of the power of the multiple! Visually stunning, these houses of cards draw you in and then deliver a big political punch. Google Tony Albert and you will see he is an artist with an agenda - and I really like that!

Julia deVille
This woman has been a long time fave! She is a jeweller and among her many talents she is a crazy taxidermist! I know many find her work a bit creepy but I think it is just wonderful. I will let the pics do the talking ...

Hope that didn't freak you out too much! In context it is bloody brilliant! Today I found a piece of printed tin kicking about featuring a couple Victorianesque kittie ... So I thought I would make myself a little momento as a tribute to Ms DeVille's work ...

And guess what? The exhibition is FREE! Go Adelaide!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Life is good ...

I live a fortunate life ... And I am grateful for it. I get to study in a creative space specifically designed for learning about and creating art. I live in a beautiful part of the countryside, my kids are independent and I can afford decent tequila. Doesn't get much better than that huh? Well, actually, it does! Every now an then an opportunity pops up that makes life seem absolutely golden ... let me explain ...
A few years ago, when I had first started at art school, I started to watch programmes on TV about art - probably because I felt that with a bit of education under my belt I might have a hope of relating to them! I caught a great doco about an Australian artist, David Frazer. I was amazed by his image making, his process, his subject matter and his approach. Really, I was dead impressed! Among other things (painting,drawing etc) David makes meticulous, highly detailed wood engravings and in the doco he travelled back to his small country hometown to make some images around ANZAC Day. The characters and scenery of his town were so familiar to me - as they would be to anyone who grew up in rural Australia. Have a squizz at some of his work  ...

                        Lest We Forget

                     Downward Mobility 2

                           Another Night On Earth by David Frazer

Now bear in mind that wood engravings are made using the end grain of special wood, lemonwood, box etc ... this means that the images are necessarily small for example, "Lest We Forget" is only 15x12cms! That's crazy small right?! Last year I got to see an exhibition of David's work in Adelaide and I was so excited to see them for real rather than on a screen or in a book! There is no colour in these images yet they are some of the most vibrant pictures I have come across. Yeah well, by now it must be obvious that I am a fan!
So what does that have to do with me counting my blessings and feeling pretty damn lucky? Well. On Friday I got to join in a workshop with the man himself! WTF I hear you exclaim!? Yup it's true. Accompanied by his lovely partner Sarah, Mr Frazer spent the day at AC Arts showing us how to make a wood engraving. IT. WAS. AWESOME. Lookee Lookee ...

David is showing Lucy ( how to put some finishing touches on her block ( that is David's lovely Sarah in the green top working hard on her own engraving)

Intense huh?! David however made it look easy!

These are the clever hands of my friends, Mei Sheong-Wong ( another talented artist!), working on her block.

This is my little block inked up and ready to print.

My first ever wood engraving - I reckon I have a way to go but wow - I learned a lot!

I managed a small edition. All the students got to hang there work in the gallery that is hosting a show of David's work along with students from last years workshop. There was a time when I would have been too doubtful of my ability to join in such a workshop but I am so happy that I did. Given the "quality" of my print I clearly won't be giving up the jewellery making any time soon but it all adds to the tapestry right? . Meeting and being tutored by an artist you admire is a heady experience indeed. Yup, life is good!