A new studio!
At the end of yet another long lockdown, and though the state borders are not all open there is more freedom of movement for us all. Over the lockdown I gave notice at my studio in Newtown (will miss the friends and community there) and moved all my art sundries to One Plus 2 Studios in Rozelle to shorten my commute. https://sites.google.com/view/oneplus2
One Plus 2 has proved to be a great community to work in and is a very professional artistic environment. A large warehouse it is divided into individuals work areas and I have been lucky to secure the luxury of a studio space with a door! The advantages are security, i can listen to podcasts and music without headphones and sometimes make long calls while I paint and draw with the phone on speaker. Poet brother Mal (in Melbourne) have burned through many an hour discussing poetry, painting, art and life.
Mal has a new book of poetry out that is a wonderful read you can order it here for yourself or a fellow reader on this link. https://www.amazon.com.au/At-Foot-Mountain-Mal-McKimmie/dp/192578097X
OR if , like me, you don’t like to further enrich billionaires you can get it straight from the press Puncher and Wattman on this link. https://puncherandwattmann.com/product/at-the-foot-of-the-mountain/
The book, At The Foot Of The Mountain, is a lovely volume to hold and handle, if you enjoy the frisson of a well made volume it is a joy. The poems are a wonderful read. I am totally objective, of course.
Well! As for me, I continue to teach part time, sadly online rather than in the classroom. I do miss being on site with my secondary students. It is hard for them to work through an art elective with limited creative materials or space to work at home. Some have more than others of course. One student tried to order some supplies from a local Officeworks online only two learn that there was a 4-6 week delivery delay due to demand!
Lessons have had to become creative. Joining an online drawing lesson (thanks to the Lester Prize site and artist Seabastion Toast for this generous free offering). Seabastion Toast offers online classes if you are interested! https://www.lesterprize.com/civicrm/event/info/?reset=1&id=6&fbclid=IwAR21lp3hOGFrguoyULKEGPuqzcchz9VGb44zdi6E5f1nMyVTrMB9lLNXvf0
Other lessons haves included carving from a cake of soap, from a lesson designed by John Baldessari. Only one student did not have a bar of soap, his family uses liquid soap so he carved a potato and a courgette! If you are not familiar with Baldessari he was a fascinating American artist important to contemporary art education. https://www.google.nl/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=video&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiK7azn_qX0AhWJsVYBHeVvDs0QtwJ6BAgKEAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2F2013%2F03%2F11%2F173745543%2Ffor-john-baldessari-conceptual-art-means-serious-mischief&usg=AOvVaw3MZa3Ak8bTn9soZ-g3_QR9
I continue in my art making to explore the remembered landscape and how, internalised, memory has shifted and changed within the year I have spent back in Australia. The work I shipped back from The Hague (that were meant to be shown at Pulchri Studios in April 2020) have been well received here. I have sold a significant number of them, covered the studio rent and some materials, and this all helps me in pushing on to continue with the landscape theme. The urban studio shift, without the immersion in a forest as I had previously, has turned my attention increasingly to the drawing and paint application, the colour relationships and the merging and fading of memories of the landscapes I have dwelt within.
Oil sticks combined with traditional brush and paint and physical attack on the wet or drying surface is how my recent works are created. With oil sticks I can draw under and over the works and be very physically and expressively free, especially across the larger works. Most are painted mon stretched linen but I am starting to work on gesso primed panel which will obviate the risk of pushing a stick, knife, or sharp end of the brush through stretched weave!
My 2020 landscape works and these new works are meeting with a pleasing level of critical success which warms my heart cockles. So far I have been short listed for the National Capital Art Prize (Canberra), The Paddington Art Prize (Sydney), The Calleen Art Award (Cowra Regional Art Gallery), The Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (Campbelltown Regional Gallery), ands recently the Blacktown City Art Prize. I’ll add more details links and images of the works on this site for you to see.
I big thank you goes to those who have purchased, supported my relocation, artwork, exhibiting and family generally over this last year. It has been essential and appreciated. My love to you all.
Also a big thank you to the people out there who world in galleries, art spaces, make studios and other initiatives possible, process entries , stage online exhibitions, deliver and collect works, frame and hang, catalogue, greet and meet and volunteer! Your work is keeping artists hopeful and art alive and also the resources you produce are invaluable to online schooling and bring life and meaning to many people feeling isolated in these times.