Posted on January 9, 2017
Wonderful way to start the new year – joint exhibition Palingenesia at Folonomo Gallery, with images from my Floracopia and Returning to My Roots series.
There are always tears in time
Posted on October 11, 2014
I should have realised that there just wouldn’t be time to complete a travel journal blog, given how much we were intending to do in the US in those 4 and a ½ weeks. What I also should have anticipated was that it would all go mad when we came home and had to get back into work and all the other mundane things that are part and parcel of normal life. I will over time post images of the trip to the US, but I think one of the most amazing things I have taken out of the US is inspiration from the art. There were so many galleries, and so little time. The surface was barely scratched, but that said, it started some new thinking, an exploration of graphic art and design, a clarity about my wish to express the chaos of depression and it’s affect upon my work.
Only one day was available to me to wander through Chelsea, going from gallery to gallery and “arting myself out” as we termed it. Even then, many of the galleries were in change over between exhibitions. I can only promise myself that I will go back again one day, when I have the money to. But even that short time made a difference to me, and I have come back quite changed from it, to see the Australian art world with very altered eyes. But that’s another story, and one as an artist not an art critic, I’m not so interested in telling. For me, what mattered were the works and the artists. The wonderful opportunity to go from door to door seeing something new everywhere. I didn’t like all of it, I wasn’t impressed by all of it, but I didn’t expect to be. The standard was incredible though, and the atmosphere of being in a place that was largely devoted to art: How wonderful is that?
Several contemporary artists deserve a mention on this blog, for being the ones which truly blew me away, that opened up my mind and sent it spinning back into the creative universe new and energised again! Here is a brief summary of a couple of them:
Those who have followed the development of my work know the special place that trees hold for me. These symbols of life, of roots, of time, are so precious to me and the way that I think. Their shelter, their transformations from the elements and because of fire and thanks to man, their wealth and cover, their starkness. All of these things, the different faces of a tree, who can but not look and wonder? Certainly not me.
In one Chelsea gallery, which had left me rather cold and uninterested, I dragged myself into the back exhibition space, with the thought that I shouldn’t leave a corner unlooked at just in case – and I saw my first Stephane Erouane Dumas. Then another, and another. I stood and stared. This one below was the particular one which made my soul leap:
Light, colour, temperature and season: The spirit of a tree. That was all contained in this beautiful, beautiful work. I was heartbroken to find that the gallery didn’t sell his catalogue, and that the previous catalogues of his work I couldn’t find for sale anywhere. Instead I console myself with regularly viewing his website, and the websites of galleries who show his work. Here are a few links to those for anyone who feels the same as I do, as well as a couple of images, just to give you a feel for his work.
Stephane Erouane Dumas
And from one tree to another – the works of Jiyong Park. Such a different, three dimensional representation. And so beautifully symbolic. These tiny metallic wire trees on their canvas, leaking green life onto the surface, reaching out and yet trapped in glass, their roots stretching down. I could have stood and stared at these forever. The reference in the title to this series was religious. It may be that they are representations of the fig tree as so famously told of in the bible. But that is not my interest in them.
For me it will remain a depiction of their elemental nature. Their poignancy and their presence. Their hothouse swinging in the breeze of the air conditioner. Their rise and fall on the shelves against the gallery wall, on the upturned glasses. This is what touched me and entranced me. What a wonderful exhibition.
Moving on from the 3d rendition of a lifelike object to the amazingly abstract pieces of the artist Kaloon Chhour. Vibrant, fascinating, intriguing and striking. Another I stood in front of and simply marvelled. I was lucky enough to pick up a book on this artist from the gallery and it was very interesting to see how his past and his culture has influenced his use of colour and the compositions. That understanding gives such a greater depth to what are just unbelievable abstract works. These are images that jump off the canvas and the page at you, the computer screen does not do them justice.
There were more artists and more wonderful experiences, but for now, these will suffice. I hope that they give you the pleasure they gave me.
Posted on June 8, 2014
It has been a long time between posts, and is so often the way, the longer you go without writing, the harder it is to begin. Even more this time, for any explanation I should give would seem to drag out my soul and lay it bare for everyone to pick over. Some might argue that this is what I do with my art, so why should writing it be any different?
I don’t know. It just is.
Perhaps the gulf would have become all together too large, and maybe I would simply have ceased this blog, slowly letting it fade, but for a chance moment. A choice to step out of the small cocoon I have been inhabiting to visit an exhibition opening.
It was there, at the opening of the immensely talented Janusz Wozny’s first solo exhibition that I saw how I should proceed. Janusz includes poetry in his exhibitions; these are the words which intersect with his amazing images, which, it seems both inspire the images, and are harmonized with them. They are powerful, and the depth they imbue is gritty, honest and rewarding.
For so much of my work I have written poetry that is an integral part of my images, and yet until now I have never included any of these words on my blog. My poetry is not grand in scope, it doesn’t seek to set the world on fire, it is a journal of my feelings, fears and experiences. It is me, in a nutshell. Not Hamlet, just a pair of ragged claws, exploring my silent seas, trying to understand, and in understanding, to move forward.
In a book which I am sure I will quote far more of in future, “Still Life with Oysters and Lemon” Mark Doty wrote that
“A still life is more like a poem than a portrait”
I found this so touching, as if it twanged a sensitivity in my creative side. For it is in my still life series that I tend to include my poetry. So it is true. And yet it is so very not true, because my poetry is in fact a portrait: an intimate, challenging self portrait. And my still lifes, contrary to what so many critics hold, are narratives – of time, self and alteration.
Life has been hard for the last month, simply because it is my life. And sometimes I struggle to live it. Here are some words – in the form I love best – to go some way to explain how and why.
Sharing will not flow one way.
The ghosts have gone to dust now, so
There is only space.
My hollowness is mute.
Without the memory of communion
There is only lack.
Without the veneer of empathy
The sofa beckons
Once these words are numb.
But the surface does not
I am empty.
Time does not change me.
It does not even make the
Doppelganger more palatable
Still, step to step
The madness tingles round the
And the anger sniggers.
So little greatness,
But so much washing.
Time disintegrates the illusions,
But it does not
Is the future really this inane?
|macrographia on Fleeting|
|Jenna Bond on Fleeting|
|Bianca on Winter Time – with a hin…|
|Meg Cherry on Time in America – The ph…|
|Jane Lurie on Time in America – The ph…|