Thursday, July 31, 2008

At journeys end

This work was the title piece for my show - Keep Calm and Carry On, a slogan from a British World War II poster. It was inspired by the stories of some of the women in my family and their experiences of war time (mostly the Second World War). One aspect of the stories that really interested me was what it was like for the women who stayed home, the women who had to carry on their daily lives while their husbands and sons and fathers and brothers were fighting. I was drawn into this subject by a show I was involved in a couple of years ago and despite my best efforts was not able to let it lie. It just kept coming back to me. I could never attempt to take on this subject in any universal sense, but found myself drawn into it in the context of my own family story. One way I explored this was by taking objects and symbols related to these stories about the war and recasting them in (or having them cut from) old, and sometimes iconic, domestic objects, some of which belonged to members of my family. It was a fascinating and confronting and puzzling and often unresolvable process that had some unexpected resonances and conflicts for me in the context of todays political climate.

I always get really nervous before an exhibition when people want to know what my work is about, or you're asked to write an artist statement or press release. I usually don't know what to say and get myself all tongue tied and ramble on a bit incoherently! Its not until its up and I've had some time to reflect on it and get a bit of distance from it that I start to work out where I'm coming from. So i'm still pondering and digesting all of this. Now that I'm feeling remotely human again. Geez, its been a big 4 months!! Oh to sleeeeeeeeep! For more than 5 hours at a stretch!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Narratives at Sabbia

Now here's a show not to be missed. A sweeeeeeeeet line up of some of Australia's best (and some of my favourite) ceramic artists - Julie Bartholomew, Janet DeBoos, Honor Freeman, Patsy Hely, Ruth McMillan and Angela Valmanesh. The show Narratives runs from August 7th - September 6th at Sabbia Gallery, and there's an opening event and floor talk by some of the artists on August the 8th. More info here. Should be a ripper!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gun Love 2

A few more images of the work in my show. This piece above almost didn't make it in. Something about it just wasn't sitting right with me and I umm'd and ah'd for weeks about whether to include it. I set it up in my lounge room and walked past it every day, and every time I walked past it I changed my mind about it! But after some convincing from the gallery and a few other folks, in it went. And it went down a treat! A big thank you to bum crane for her help and patience in setting this work up. She can roll a mean ball of museum wax i tell ya!

The guns above have been cut from old plates using a water jet process. I'm a tad enamoured by this technique at the moment and have spent the last six months op-shopping like a mad woman and have accrued quite the collection of plates and saucers just awaiting the chop!

Coo Coo

Yep, more pigeons. This is the last of them! All of these were cut from small saucers and I've used both the front and the back of them. I love the back of old plates, the markings, the stamps, the symbols, the text and fonts they use. They're often a lot more interesting than the front of the plates! One of the pigeons has an extract from my grandfather's war service record decal'd onto it, and another a map of PNG where he served in the Second World War.

Coo coo......

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Keep Calm and Carry On

Well FINALLY it's here - this show I've been rabbiting on about for months now it seems! The invites are out, the catalogue is ready to go, and most of the works are packed up ready for set-up next week. Time to down a few glasses of much needed champagne - it's been a while between drinks I tell ya! Opening night is Saturday 26th July 5-7pm at Jan Manton Art and the show runs till August 16th. Susan Lincoln (image below) is also exhibiting so it should be a good old shindig! Hope to see some of you there!

Susan Lincoln, The Immaculate Conception, 30 x 22 x 18cm

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Art Monthly

Well I'm sure most of you (in Australia at least) are aware of the recent hullaballoo over the latest issue of Art Monthly. But just a few pages on from THAT front cover and THOSE articles is an article by Louise Martin-Chew on me and the work in my upcoming show!