Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Thoughts...

The artist makes works that move out into the world. When the work is relinquished, it should speak for itself. As its audience, you are on your own.
Rosalie Gascoigne

Rosalie Gascoigne would have to be one of my all time favourites... not only did she make beautiful work that responded evocatively and sublimely to her environment; she is an inspiration to all those who come to making and creating art later in life.

She was also a lover of words, and the titles of her works were always quirky, poignant and perfectly pitched. I liked that she spent time making sure the piece went out into the world with the right name.
In doing so I think she actually helped the viewer more than this quote would suggest.  Her titles give clues to her thinking or inspiration (or at least I always read them as clues).

Nonetheless, I think she is right about how a piece has to make it on its own; without the creator there explaining every concept, thought, or inspiration behind it; the work has to tell a story and the viewer has to make sense of it all - through the filters of their own experience and appreciations. A title can allude to the sense of a piece or offer a way in... but the rest is up to the viewer.

Sweet Sorrow by Rosalie Gascoigne, 1990, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth


  1. I remember coming across a Rosalie Gascoigne exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, many years ago, and I was so impressed with her sense of design, her insight, and her sense of humour. Lovely to be reminded of her.

  2. "she is an inspiration to all those who come to making and creating art later in life."
    There is a sensitivity, a richness, a paring back to the essential that can come from making art after one has accumulated much experience at being human. Her work shows that I think.

  3. save us from the explantions. i am eager to talk about technique and ideas, not what it's about.

  4. I too am interested the 'how' - the tools, techniques and tricks, but for me I also carry an interest in the 'why' - the inspiration and the story. Not to the point of thinking I have to listen to some esoteric rave about their cleverness or specialness or unique world insights tho!

  5. oh and Leslie - I love the description of richness and a paring back to the essential as we accumulate experience. A wise way.

  6. fiona, what i didn't write was this: i had a 2 woman show, and for the talk the other weaver talked for 50 minutes about her one tapestry. i had 10 minutes at the end to talk about my 30 pieces. yes, i was used, and she got to rave. my work held the show together, and i was saying to the audience, so what do you want to know about these pieces? no one had patience left.

  7. Selfish raving is never good and completely shuts down an audience I agree. What a shame for you Velma - so disappointing that everybody had 'lost the will to live' before you could engage them with your practice. Maybe next time see if you can talk first!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.