Saturday, January 30, 2021

Some good news!

Following on from my annual review and our annual planning around life and art, I recently approached the State Library of Queensland about a couple of books.

I asked if they would be interested in 

A Place Among the Clouds;

On Joy; and



I grow still...

On a visit to GOMA with friends a week or two ago I was able to drop the books off to the Library for appraisal (the buildings are next door neighbours). By the time I got home I had an email with the happy news that they would like like to purchase all three and add them to their collection!

I was thrilled.

The paperwork is underway - making sure I provide enough detail for anybody who may ever 'borrow' them or wish to examine them; and also for the Librarians who need to know how best to store and protect them in perpetuity. 

It is such an honour to be included in this collection - it is a truly fine collection and one of (I actually think the) best artists' book collections in Australia. Happy dance!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

“Art begins with receptivity” 

Mirabai Starr

I sat with these words for a while.  Is it so? Is it true? I wondered to myself. Does it indeed?

In the end I think I came down on the side of yes it probably does.  On a personal level my best art comes when I listen to a whisper or a nudge or some little niggle that suggests I do something; or that I feel I need, or want, to do something in response.

Sometimes things tell me what they need to become. Fortunately,  I am open to these conversations.

Being open to the connections, the links, the moments and the little gems of ideas that so often float free-from through our consciousness is pretty important to me and my practice.  Sometimes these connections come by talking, by reading, by viewing or by wandering past something and seeing it anew.

I have certainly come to accept that being open, being receptive is something I do for my art.  Being open and receptive suggest to me that I don't blunder forth "knowing" what is best or what needs to be done let alone being absolutely certain of the outcome, that certainly isn't me.  

I am receptive to nudges and whispers and funny little conversations with artworks and materials.  

Being open.

Glacier holes, Canada, 2010.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Gallery gleanings

 As part of a renewed focus on slowing down and enjoying things, and also investing in the idea of an art-filled life, Barry and I are trying to make a time each week to visit/view some art.  We managed that last week in Maryborough (see previous post) and the week before that, we headed to Caboolture and saw two amazing Indigenous Art exhibitions.  Some of my favourite moments follow.

Vernon Ah Kee - exploring notions of becoming; and identity.

I refuse you my death by Dale Harding.  Kangaroo hides, re-stitched and re-formed .

Detail of work by Rosella Namok

The most beautiful display...

The photograph of the attribution panel for the works above and directly below is completely blurry and I apologise for no attribution. The display was part of Manggan - gather, gathers, gathering featuring Indigenous artists from Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre alongside collected objects from the South Australian Museum.

These works are Bagu with Jiman - traditional fire-making tools of the Girrigun rainforest Aboriginal people.

Breathtaking in many ways.

It was due to this visit to the Greater Brisbane Region that we then had to go into self-isolation for three days - worth every minute of it. We didn't go there knowing that we might have to isolate, the government decision came about two days later.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

A trip to Maryborough - Impressed!

 Barry and I were recently invited to participate in a printmaker's show at Maryborough. The exhibition is called Impressed, and is on at Gataker's Art Space in Maryborough throughout February. 

The venue is beautiful and our friend Ken Munsie has a solo exhibition downstairs at the same time which is lovely - really worth a visit.

So we drove up to deliver our work a week or so ago. Here is our before shot - laugh!

Maryborough was a very important port and has a fabulous river-side precinct with traditional buildings and lots of public art. They also installed a war memorial in their gardens recently and I was very taken with it in so many ways.  Here are a few of the pieces that caught me.

This is only a small part of the war memorial which is truly beautiful - rusted corten posts curving across, with terraces reflecting the cliffs at Gallipoli.  All beautifully wrought - but it was this fragment of contrast that is my reminder point of the whole.

As you wander through the gardens, there is a path with movement activated voice-stories as well as these sculptures.  Charles Bean's diary, glasses, typewriter and the beginnings of his manuscripts.

I looked across as this woman's form from behind and I thought, she is reading that someone has died. When I faced her I thought maybe she is just reading news from the front; but her posture still speaks of the distance and the dread.

In the concrete path barbed wire was etched along with other map lines of the western front.

It was a beautiful place to visit, reflect and remember. There are just so many pieces of public art from Mary Poppins to posts to stones, to street lights, to murals...

And across the way in an almost falling down building I found part of a wall stitched together with wire.

A short but fabulous visit.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

"but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short." 

Jane Austen

I liked this one not only for what it says but also for how it says it. What style and use of the English language in such a short part-sentence.

I wonder if I could adopt "but for my part..." and use it more frequently in conversation?

All that aside, I think I know the feeling to which she refers; of finishing a book that you are so involved with that when it ends you are left a bit shell-shocked or bereft.  Sometimes it can take a while to settle back in to what is going on around you (I am so loathe to use the words 'normal life' these days) and to leave the world of the book behind.

I found this was particularly so with Hanya  Yanagihara's A Little Life.  My goodness that world and those characters stayed with me for ages, and I was constantly thinking about them and wondering how they coped.

It is truly a remarkable skill to establish characters and scenes that are so life-like that they appear as real as what you can see with your eyes or experience around you.

The book was set in NYC...The Chrysler Building in 2013.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The letters are out!

 We got back to Barry's shed the other day to remove the concrete letters from their moulds.  It was an interesting process!

At times the skinny bits of silicone fought to stay attached to the concrete; whilst the nice long thick bits were happy to be released.

Here's what one of the moulds looked like after some effort. Rather warped, odd, and almost rude in places!

The letters are all out and tidied away now as we plan our next steps and what to do with them.

Barry did the major sandpaper grinding off of the bottoms; whilst I did the fiddly filing on the curves and cracks.

None of them are perfect but I like their little quirks.  It was excellent fun and I am sure we will do more!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Time being marked

So marking time has begun and I have been busier than I thought I might be - so far I haven't been able to keep up with daily stitching and am playing catch up a fair bit.

But to begin. I chose my hankie, and taped a piece of paper to the desk.  I wrote the big things that had happened thus far down, and then taped the hankie over the top to make tracing easier.

The hankies are so fine it is easy to see through them to trace.

I am using one of those erasable pens; I can either rub it out or iron it out afterwards.

Hoop, needle, scissors thread.


Stretched and ready to begin.

First line done and relaxed half way along the second line.

Stretched and stitching

Looking lovely.

I have just about finished stitching the thing that marks 10 January - then yesterday I had to add 4 things because so much happened on one day! 

I honestly had no idea that there would be so much going on in January. Glad I started early or I would have forgotten all these twists and turns. I am only marking the things that are big for me - personal or that shock me or make me stop and think. 

Sort of my like my personal Covid headlines.