Sunday, October 23, 2016

So so beautiful

We are back home on the mountain after an amazing and wonderful visit to Japan as part of our Sister Cities exchange. So many great experiences, so many wonderful people and so much gorgeous time with art.

One of my highlights was the visit to Gunma Art Gallery and Museum. This is an amazing gallery space very near the town we visit (Tatebayashi). and it always offers unique and beautiful works.

This visit was no exception and this piece took my breath away.

Called "Layered Drawing - The Tactile Sky" by Nobuhiro Nakanashi it is a series of printed transparencies, each off set slightly and suspended from the ceiling in a gentle curve.

I think the images reflect an impending storm sky at sunset, but I may be wrong.

Hung in this beautiful space it was truly breathtaking; its quiet magnificence halting you in your step, forcing you to stop, observe and absorb.

Details of the lighter sky.

The slightly darker sky

And the darkest sky.

This piece worked in so many ways and you discovered more and more the longer you spent with it. The reflections on the floor.

One of the really intriguing elements was the use of mirrors.

Hand etched by a dry point  scribe tool, patterns flowed and merged and reflected both the work and the people interacting with it.

The etched mirrors added another dimension all together to the space.

 A quiet moment in between the panels.

 The shadowy view of other viewers.

Nobuhiro Nakanishis says about the series:

"This series portrays changes that take place in everyday life, like the sun rising or ice cream melting. These ordinary events were photographed at regular intervals, printed on transparent film and assembled in sequence. Capturing the accumulation of time as a sculpture allows the viewer to experience the ephemerality of time. We are all subject to the passing of time, yet each of us feels and perceives it in our own way. Time itself has no shape or boundary and cannot be fixed or grasped. When we look at the photographs in these sculptures, we attempt to fill in the gaps between the individual images. We draw from our physical experiences to fill in missing time and space, both ephemeral and vague. In this series, I attempt to depict time and space as sensations shared by both viewer and artist."

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Thoughts...

“A writer is a world trapped in a person.” 

Victor Hugo

It's kind of about books I guess when you think about writers...

This is a big thought and I pondered and pondered it to make sure I could understand what I thought it really meant.  I think it is a lovely description of the expansiveness of a writer of fiction in particular; but possibly also of non-fiction, in terms of how big their creativity can be.

The notion that a whole world, imagined, created, described and brought to life (think JK Rowling and Tolkien) exists within a person - that a writer is that whole world inside one person. Delightful and possibly so very true!

Each time a writer either creates a world or describes a world for us, it is like that world exists within them. The sense of being trapped seems to be as much about the point of release - the time when the world has to be brought to life in the outer real world; the publication point. Or the telling time, when I think about it more - lots of parents are great at telling stories to their children that are whole lands and characters and worlds created in their heads.

Whole worlds lie within...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Peace and rainbows

The weekend before we headed to Japan, we came across lots of moments of peace and rainbows - sometimes you see them, sometimes you don't.

Here on the block, the peace flags were flying with a big blue sky. This one tells the story of so many years of hanging the flags in this tree - the remnant strings...

More remnants...

One piece flag had fluttered to the ground and we tucked it under a rusty 'sculpture' along the drive. We had taken this tree down a while ago and a neighbour offered to use their tractor to pull the stump out of the ground. We decided we would rather leave it there to act as a base for random rusty things, as you do, and they are weathering together nicely.

And whilst in town we came across this set of stairs that somebody - artist unknown - had made crayon or chalk rainbows along. I loved them!

 Peace and rainbows - two of my favourite things.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Thoughts...

"May flowers grow in the saddest parts of you". 

Zainab Aamir

Achingly beautiful and oh so apt.

Those saddest parts of us can feel so hollow, so empty, sometimes so dark. they can seem like places where light will never shine again or happiness will never visit.

To wish for somebody that flowers may grow there - beautiful, fragrant flowers which talk of hope, the future, growth, renewal and most of all care is so beautiful.

For all people I wish for this.

Some of my dad's beautiful orchids...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Workshops in japan

Workshop fun in Japan 

Tea ceremony

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Exhibition in Japan

We are very fortunate to be part of a Sister-City cultural and art exchange once again. We are in Tatebayashi in Japan, enjoying catching up with artists and friends from our previous visits.

This time around we are even more fortunate to be participating in a beautiful exhibition "Australian by Nature".

Christine, Noela, Merv, Barry and I have each brought work with us to hang in the  elegant and sophisticated Gallery Fantasia in Sano.

I am showing my five artists books "Under Construction" honouring title birds and the nests they build so well.

Some before shots of a few of them.

The beautiful printer flyer to advertise the show...

We have now set the work up in the gallery and the show is open

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Thoughts...

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. 

Leonardo da Vinci

I'm with Leonardo on this!

Perhaps that's just because I like simplicity and it's pretty much how I work; but if he thinks it's sophistication; then I'm all for it even more.

Perhaps a bit like Coco Chanel who advised women "before you leave the house look in the mirror and remove one accessory" - I like the elegance of less...

Sometimes too much just covers up mistakes and blurs the whole; sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes less means there is nowhere to hide and the work has to be good; sometimes it can seem like you gave up or didn't really try. It's tricky, but I do like less.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Purple plus and a PS or two

As part of the commission I am doing for Melbourne, I need to work out what colours the words for the windows will be.

It is tricky being here, whilst the sign makers are there, and not being able to check and test colours.  So, I asked them to send me a few samples of vinyl to 'match' the purple that will be on the upholstery in the room, so I could see what might or might not work on windows.

I love how many stages I have to test and check in this piece of work! So many unfamiliar processes.

They arrived last week and I pasted them up on the windows here and there to see how the different light and different orientations to the sun would impact on the colour.

four samples with a smily note. They all look pretty purple and I think at this point that pretty much any of them would do the job.

I attached them to the kitchen window - it is north facing like the windows in Melbourne, altho it was early in the morning here. It is not easy to photograph from inside looking out into the light, so all the colours you see in the photos are a bit unreal.

I began to think the one on the left almost look black; which is not the look I was going for.

 In the afternoon I move them to western window to see if the light changes things.  The left hand one is still looking blackish

 With the sun streaming through them in the late afternoon, the one on the right starts to look bluer. The middle two are firming up as options.

But from another angle, the right hand middle one starts turning blue!

So I took them over to the shed studio - the glass over there isn't tinted or treated like the glass in the house windows.

And pretty much all I know from this is that I won't use the one on the far left.
I will use the left middle one, but the others are pretty tricky to choose between.

This may actually form part of the decision as well - this is how the middle right one looks when you look through it - it offers a bit of transparency.You can clearly see the outlines of trees and the shadows of posts.

 Whilst the far right one offers no real transparency - but lovely blobby images!

Decisions, decisions.

And a late postscript PS.

Over the weekend I won the Printmaking Prize at Kenilworth Art Show with my piece Under Construction V.  Here I am collecting it today and photographing the evidence.

 And the judge's comments which were very nice. Little happy dance!

And another late addition PPS - good grief I could have planned this better...

Just found this link to another piece Under Construction IV which is a finalist in the Sunshine Coast Local Artist Local Content Prize! Barry's there as's all happening....