Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

…usually, I start from how interesting the material is…what its suggestions are, why I like it, am I remembering something?...does this remind me of anything?...and as I work it usually hardens into something, usually…

Rosalie Gascoigne

It's back to Rosalie this week...

Because she worked with reclaimed and discarded materials these questions make perfect sense to me as they connect so strongly to memory and remembering and association. Working with things that have had a former life, somehow for me, also makes me wonder about them, why I am responding to them, what do they signify for me, why do I love that rust so?  How do they make me feel, what am I thinking about as I play with them and explore their potential?

I rarely get this way with new materials, but certainly the used or worn ones send me off on this path of wondering what it's all about. I don't have many answers, but I just know I love them so, respond to them and want them in my life and art.

The little bit that kept catching me with this one tho, was the final "usually...". 

I found it heartening to read into this that things didn't always go as planned for Rosalie; that the process usually got her to a resolution, but not always. I sometimes find myself down a path and attempting something and having to stop. Drop it. Turn around and start again. So it's nice to think that I'm probably not Robinson Crusoe on that one.

I think most of us listen to our materials and the tales they have to tell...


  1. love the tiny markings on this pot.

  2. RG's work has always resonated strongly with me.... and I've always been interested to read her thoughts on process and materials - she had such a way with both!..... every time I drive up the snowy mountains hwy and look at the rolling dry grasslands I think of her wonderful work 'monaro' (which is perhaps my fav. oz art work)

  3. And sometimes we keep a particular item for years before we determine just where it belongs in our art. maybe she did too.

  4. I read a long interview with Rosalie some time back and really enjoyed what she had to say about making art. So many of her quotes give one encouragement.
    And another quote I am enjoying ... "Most of us listen to our materials and the tales they have to tell..."

    The teapot looks as though it has many tales to tell.

  5. Rosalie is an absolute icon in Australian art. Let's hope we all retain her enthusiasm, and the beauty of that teapot's patina, as the years roll on.

  6. Hi Velma - yes we were told it had been through a fire...

    Ronnie - yes she had a literary approach to her art and was very thoughtful and quite clever I think. I know your response to Monaro - it is SO right isn't it? Mine is to "Suddenly the Lake" - a glimpse of Lake George thru hills before they moved the road. As a student in Sydney driving back and forth to Canberra, that scene always grabbed me - and she nailed it.

    Robyn - so true, there is much about her and her work that inspires and encourages. The teapot would have many tales and one I think is that it went thru a fire - but what of its time before that I think? Who held it and used it and shared tea from it?

    Jo - Yes, she's a real star!


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