Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Impact Of Stones - Part III

After the third group, from Library Space, had had their wicked way with gallery and its contents we had an opening night to show it off in its final manifestation...

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Impact Of Stones - Part II


This is what the space looked like in week two, after the team from Trocadero had had a go...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Impact Of Stones

A group show at Brunswick Arts

Four of us who are involved with the gallery have made work to the theme 'The impact of stones.'
Next week artists from the ARI Trocadero will come into the space and, with the same theme in mind, create work that interacts with or obliterates or alters ours. The week after that a group of artists from the ARI Library Space will come in and do the same again.

This is what we have left:

Alister Karl, curator of the show, threw rocks at the wall and documented it on video... the paper was his target and he threw rocks until it fell off the wall. He has re-pinned it to show.

Colleen Jones made massive rosary beads:

Benjamin Webb made reference to the Rolling Stones:

I made this, called 'Please Do Not Touch.'

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brainstorming about stones

"The Impact of Stones"

That's the theme of a show.

These are the thoughts: A rolling stone gathers no moss. David and Goliath. Avalanches. The stone age. She/he who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones. a stone's throw away. come on everybody lets get stoned. The Rolling Stones. flint - i.e. stones to make fire. Stones to make weapons - spear heads. Stones to build houses, fences, mark property, boundaries. The stoning of people - esp women - as punishment. jewelery - precious stones... stones used to own people, i.e. engagement rings. The earth is a big rock. stone cold. boys throwing stones. blue stone streets. the great wall of china. heart of stone. that myth about that guy (Sisyphus) who had to push the big rock up the hill only to watch it roll down and then do it again for all eternity, i.e. futile effort. Stone the crows. stone as compressed earth. Stone as mineral. stepping stone. corner stone....

moss on stones, soft on hard, alive on dead. a sign of the stone being still, staying in one place for a length of time. but should that rock move, or be moved, the moss will easily tear and give way.

avalanches, many small stones gain momentum and collectively gain a terrifying force, can change the shape and face of a mountain.

stones to build walls, shelter, protection, boundaries to fields and towns and kingdoms. keep others out. or in. so, used to mark and also to contain - property, ownership - and then to protect what is owned.


I think I'll build a wall.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stuff and stuff

Sometimes I feel like I am in a constant state of existential angst. The forces tugging at my mind may change, but the state of confusion and indecision does not.

Through the years it has always revolved around the question of "what the hell am I doing here and can I justify my existence?!?!" Be that questions of employment, charity, ethics, relationships... they always come back to this and I have never had a solid answer.

Years ago I had that thing that all artists struggle with at one point or another, i.e. can I really justify giving myself over to this thing that is art when I could be feeding the poor or saving the whales or something virtuous. Painting seems so self indulgent. But after trying other things and being miserable, I figured in the end that at the very least if I became an artist then I wouldn't be a liability to society by being so miserable.

And yes, that choice has definitely made me happy - and I have not regretted it. I just wish I had made it earlier. However... contrary to many people's romanticised ideas, it IS actually a hard life. Unless you have a trade that pays well you or you manage to hit the jackpot and produce work that people will pay a lot of money for (which has its own traps in terms of feeling free to branch out and experiment with your content or style), you generally end up working multiple crappy jobs and don't spend nearly enough time in the studio. There is a truth to the poor artist stereotype, and the hardest part is that when you try and make some money from your talents your peers criticise you for being a sell out. (That is a whole other rant let me tell you)

I have spent years trying to run a small business, thinking at at least I could be my own boss. Only to discover I am really, REALLY bad at it and that it took even more of my time than working brainless jobs in someone else's business. I have spent years trying to sell stuff at markets and find myself producing work I wouldn't even buy, and getting depressed about people who literally ask me 'Do you really think you are worth that price?' And I know that that same painting at that price in a gallery would be under priced.

So I have been conflicted between my quiet little desires to produce work that I like and really loud voices, both internal and external that demand I do something useful. Be that to make money, help the world a little, contribute something to the art world and its dialogue, make work that other people think is good... something... anything! oh yeah, and that thing about money is that you really do need it, you know, for things like eating, having enough to pay rent...

Sometimes I just wish that I had some sugar-daddy, or patron who would pay for me to live so that all I had to do was paint. Ha! Like that would ever happen in Australia! And like that wouldn't be a miserable situation of unspoken weirdness, gender issues and kind of horrible gratitude. What I really need is a nice wealthy, jewel encrusted sugar-mumma! who loves me and I love her and there would be no weird incestuous sexual undertones (she'd have to be straight then). She would want to spray me with money and art supplies because she loves elephants and loves my paintings. We could go on safari together in Africa and it would be soooooo cool!

You see, the point is, if I ever get around to it, that I am still conflicted about what to do with myself. Sans my sugar mumma I have to think about things like money and how to make it. I am sure I don't want to be a sales assistant forever, but do i really want to study something else in order to be able to have some other solid skill so that I could get paid more per hour so that I could work less hours so that I would have more hours to paint? Or does that just feel like one more distraction in a long line of distractions that all originally felt like they might have been a way out of that work/paint equation, but that only ever ended up taking so much more out of me than giving back.

I could go back to uni and do a second degree in visual art. Which would at the very least give me a few years of time dedicated to my art practice... but, and maybe I'm just being annoying now, but I hate school. God forbid I should have to do another three years of undergrad... I hate small 3000 word essays~! And I don't take well to making work in any sort of communal environment. I am fiercely private when it comes to the making part. If I was to do it I think I would prefer to skip to a masters if anything, because I really want to sink my teeth into one big project, and make a whole heap of paintings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Opening night of Show and Tell

Belinda Wiltshire, who manages the Pea Green Boat studios, has created a gallery space at the front of the complex for one night shows. Artists who have studios there can book it and have an opening night. There are a lot of good things about this scenario, firstly it means that as it is not a proper gallery it doesn't have to be open to the public the rest of the time and none of us have to spend days sitting it. We can leave the work up til the next show goes up - usually a month between them - and bring people through if anyone couldn't make the opening. It is free and less formal than other galleries, which takes some pressure off so we can have more casual shows, and maybe show stuff that is a bit more experimental.

So a perfect setting for a show of sketches and photos taken while away at the Elephant Nature Park. I also managed, thanks to the superior technological skills of my brother, to have a series of videos I took projected up on the wall.

Tusk and Trunk Twisters. Am awesome drink invented by Michelle, one of the staff a the Elephant Park.

As the show was called 'Show and Tell' people started insisting that I say something, not just have all this stuff up on show...