Sunday, April 1, 2012

COMA exhibition - making music

Another COMA (Collaboration of Maleny Artists) exhibition has come around in no time at all it seems.  The theme this time was "making music" to coincide with and support the Maleny Music Weekend (20-22 April at the Maleny Showgrounds).

Each of the pieces is priced at $120 or more, and are once again being displayed at Maple 3 cafe - here in Maleny.

Although I enjoy music, I would not suggest that I am at all musical; nor am I particularly good at 2-D wall pieces - I tend to get stuck in my thinking before I even begin; way too much "talk" goes on. Nor am I a happy painter or draw-er, which really limits my options. So I had to go with something that I could handle and this involved rust.

Edith-Ann and Carol managed to glean some beautifully rusted barbed wire for me from their property and together with Barry I cut it, untwisted it in part and then applied it to a canvas.

The canvas is painted the same colour as the previous COMA piece; although you would never know to look at the photos! Sigh.

I have called it "Wire Music" and I love the way it looks like a rustic, musical score.

©2012 Fiona Dempster, Wire Music,
Acrylic on canvas with barbed wire, 30cm x 30cm
I also love how the shadows play with the little barbs and create this second line of music - the harmony perhaps?

Here is my 100 words or less statement about it:

I love working with rust and all the memories and marks it holds. There is an honesty to rusty, old, and worn things.

This barbed wire has held fences together, protected animals and pastures and in my mind, may have sung as the wind and breezes moved through it.

I love how it looks like a musical score; with notes dancing along the five stave lines. I’m not sure what song it sings now, but it holds memories of music.

We are hanging the show tomorrow and I look forward to seeing what everybody else has managed to produce on this theme.


Here is a short video of it installed - apologies for the big window appearance mid-video; I really need to learn how to edit.


  1. Love the imagery of the barbed wire singing as the wind moved through it. I can see it dancing to the tune too.

    What a wonderful event COMA must be. I hope you'll post photos once everything is hung.

    Enjoy! Jennifer

  2. Thanks Jennifer! I could hear music in the wire - glad that you could too. It will be fun to see it hung; will try to get some shots for sure. Enjoy your Sunday...

  3. Good luck with this event Fiona. These images show you are definitely 'on song'... sorry couldn't resist the musical reference. I can see the music in these pieces and think your statement sums it all up perfectly.

  4. Interesting piece.. it is a very lovely, rustic score!
    I was thining as I started to read, that you were going to emboss paper with the barbed wire, or add water and vinegar to make a rusted wire print.

  5. A clever connection there Fiona. I look forward to seeing it 'in the flesh'.

  6. Music to my heart Fiona with the barbed wire. I am sad to miss being in the show - I look forward is seeing the works!

  7. love the rusted wire music ........... can hear it clearly. x

  8. This is so poetic...and what a lovely surprise to find music in such an unexpected place...
    - Lisa

  9. Thank you Lesley - I could see this as music as well - little notes dancing along...

    Ah Valerianna; all those options await I guess with the left over bits!

    Thanks Jo - as ever, a little bit left of centre...

    Hi Kim - hope you get the chance to pop over and check it out.

    Thanks Susan - I'm sure it's there; I could see and hear it!

    Lisa - thank you, and yes; it suddenly appeared in my mind's eye that barbed wire was like music..unexpected serendipity. Go well.


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