Friday, March 30, 2007

Feeling Blue

Well, I’m not really. In fact, I've spent the last few days rediscovering the nice things about where I live. I feel like I've been looking at Brisbane with new eyes this week! After the come down from the heady delights of Paris, Brisbane was seeming decidedly dull and well….small really. But the other morning I woke up and there was a slight chill in the air, the first sign that the long hot summer (which I hate!) was coming to an end. The sky has turned a darker shade of blue – always a giveaway that summer is over – and despite the drought things seem to be looking fresh and green. Working from home I now also have a whole host of feathered studio buddies who chirp away in the tree outside the window. So it was nice to open the kiln to the sunny yellows of my last post, and the fresh blues of this one. More explorations into colour.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yellow Fever

Well the yellow theme continues...these little jugs have been a while in the coming as I haven’t had access to a kiln for a little while now. It feels like I’m missing a limb being without a kiln! I’m begging, borrowing and stealing for the moment, but should be back in action with my very own shiny new kilns next week! I’ve never owned my own kilns before. I’ve always worked from studios that came with kilns. So I’m feeling like a grown up now, a real ceramic artist, now that I have my own! They're red and silver and gleaming....

Monday, March 26, 2007

Just a quickie

The 20/20 exhibition is now open at the Museum of Brisbane. The opening event isn't until April 19th but the show is open to the public as of now! It's on until July 15th.

And some exciting news....Kenji Uranishi has started a blog! Check it out here.

Rule Brittania!

On Friday I went to the lifeline superstore! Now I’m not usually a superstore kind of girl (except for the occasional IKEA fix), but when it’s a LIFELINE superstore, well, that’s a whole different matter! I am there with bells on! I could have spent the whole day and a whole lot o money on STUFF, but I restrained myself and came away with a small but awesome selection of old picture frames, and the piece de resistance (yeah, see how good my french is now) this gold framed photograph (complete with hyper red and gold touch ups) of the coronation of Queen Lizzie!! It’s been a little while since I indulged my (strange and inexplicable) fascination and obsession with royalty! It is now hanging proudly and unapologetically in my loungeroom and cracks me up everytime I walk past it! The whole concept of royalty is just so bizarre and fascinating to me. Ooh, I can feel some new work coming on....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Juan Munoz

While I was away I saw an exhibition of Juan Munoz’s work at the (beautiful) Musee de Grenoble (left). One huge room was filled with his work Many Times (1999), 100 ceramic sculptures of male figures, all with the same laughing face. They were placed all around the room in groups, differing only in their gestures or postures. They looked like they were chatting amongst themselves, and some seemed to be laughing and smiling at others across the room. They are all grey, a little smaller than life size and have no feet! When I first walked into the room I was totally blown away by the sheer number and the size of the pieces. You can actually walk around them, amongst them, get right up close to them. It was kind of amusing, a room full of smiling little men. But after a while standing in there it started to feel quite strange. It was a little disquieting. It almost felt like they were all sharing a joke that you weren’t part of, or that you were the butt of even! A very strange feeling. It made me feel very isolated, as if they all knew something I didn’t, as though despite the fact that I was the one watching them, they were actually the ones observing me.

Unlike Antony Gormley’s Field, where the thousands of little eyes turned towards you seem friendly or needy, vulnerable or adoring, Munoz’s work seems almost to be mocking you, making you feel self conscious and uncertain, different and separate.

Luckily there was a patisserie right around the corner where I could run and recover with the help of a café au lait and a big chocolate croissant! In no time at all I was feeling the love again!

A momentary lapse of blogging

...but I have a good excuse! I went to France! A very spontaneous trip! D had some work over there, and it just didn't seem right that he go without me (!!) so a few hours before his flight we bought me a ticket and before you could say lickety split I was winging my way to Paris too! I spent most of the time pinching myself that I was actually there! Five days in the South in a lovely city called Grenoble (above), and four days in Paris! What bliss! Wandering the cobblestone streets, drinking lots of coffee, soaking up the art and the atmosphere, gushing over the amazing architecture, stuffing our faces with pastries and all kinds of sweet treats, reading novels in warm sunny 500 year old plazas and town squares, bread, cheese, wine....aaaaaahhh! Yep, pretty unhappy about being home!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Canada Oh Canada!

Canadians seem to feature large in my life. They pop up everywhere! Family, friends, colleagues. Which is ok by me. Cause they’re nice those Canadians. And some of them make really nice ceramics too! Here’s a little selection of some of my favs.
Coe & Waito... Jasna Sokolovic...

Friday, March 9, 2007

Pin Hole Man

The last semester of my undergraduate degree was spent as an exchange student at Utah State University in the United States. While I was there I shared a house with a guy called Mark Dungan, who taught in the photography department. He takes the most fantastic photos using old pin-hole cameras, and goes on road trips all across the country photographing roadside America and all its weird and wonderful incarnations. We’ve done lots of swapping and so now I have a whole cache of his prints, although the poor fella has been waiting for me to deliver on our latest swap for almost a year! Oops! It’s coming Mark! Recently I used one of his prints on one of my wall pieces (left). It fit in so perfectly with the themes and imagery of my work. It was just begging to be used! So now on top of our swaps we also have our first collaboration! Here’s a few of his prints.


Anyone who happens to be in Louisville, Kentucky over the next month (!!) can check out some of my work (left) in an exhibition called Convergence: A North/South Discourse at the Ogle Community and Cultural Centre as part of the 41st annual NCECA Conference. There’s 9 of us in the show, all of whom have at some point lived and worked in Canberra at the ANU School of Art. Over the years we’ve shared studios, ideas, technical information, many bottles of wine (we find that sometimes helps with the ideas thing) and have spent many hours in fiery and fiesty debates over the state of the ceramic arts (the wine helps with this too). We’re now spread out all over Australia and all over the world, from here to Canada and Scotland, but (thanks to modern technology and aeroplanes) we still manage to keep up the connections. Between them they keep me sane, they keep me inspired and they keep me on my toes.

This is the first time we’ve all exhibited together, thanks to the enduring patience and energy of Carole Hanson Epp (what a champ!). The exhibition (as Carol so eloquently says in the exhibition blurb) “demonstrates the unique diverging practices of each artist which has evolved from the convergence of the collective.” It runs from March 1-30, and the artists involved are Emilka Radlinska-Brown, Avi Amesbury, Anna Giannakis, Maiju Altpere-Woodhead, Mel Robson, Sarah Rice, Joanne Searle, Lia Tajcnar and Carole Hanson Epp.

Friday, March 2, 2007

toy land

Michael Doolan is a Melbourne-based ceramic artist. At first glance his work just seems so cute and fuzzy…cuddly bright little toys! But there is something unsettling and a bit disconcerting about them. Some of them are larger than life, which he does deliberately to make you feel like your childhood toys have grown in proportion to yourself - a frightening thought, particularly if you ever had a barbie!

I like art that unsettles me. I particularly like ceramic art that unsettles me.
I also like art that makes me laugh.
And I like the fact that Michael's work does both.
Double whammy.