Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Ipswich House:Heritage House Portraits

A couple of years ago I worked on a fantastic project with the Ipswich Art Gallery, who over the last few years have been commissioning QLD artists to create “house portraits” of some of the heritage houses of the area. They invited artists across a range of different mediums to respond to these houses, resulting in an amazing collection of diverse artworks all currently on show at the gallery. This was a bit of dream project for me and I really lost myself in researching the history of the house, the area and its past occupants (more about that here and here and here). The show is summed up nicely with the gallery blurb:

A picturesque and illuminating foray into the history and vision of Queensland’s early domestic architecture as seen through the eyes of 13 contemporary Queensland artists, "The Ipswich House" examines the city’s significant architectural heritage through a selection of commissioned ‘house portraits’ across a diverse range of mediums.

These house portraits are more than mere pictorial representations of the city’s heritage-listed buildings, instead offering explorations into the architectural design, construction and fabrication methods while also exposing more than a hint of the personal histories and memories of their former residents.

So please drop by the Ipswich Art Gallery if you can to see the results of this most excellent project. The show includes works by Noel McKenna, Jane Burton, Barbara Heath, Michael Zavros, Richard Stringer, Maureen Hansen, Carl Warner, Annie Hogan, Christina Waterson , Madeleine Kelly, Bruce Buchanan, Judy Barrass and myself. There is also a very beautiful catalogue available with some great insights into each artists’ approach.

Exhibition runs until November 14th 2010

(image above: Jane Burton MacFarlane's House #1,2010, Pigment print, 43 cm x 43 cm)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Moving Forward...

My studio is gleeeeeeeaming. Aaah, such a nice feeling. It took me almost two days to clean it out. A massive spring clean. I almost didn’t want to use it again, so nice was it to have it in such sparkling order!! But I am about to embark on a new adventure and, along with the buying of shiny new journals and sketchbooks, the studio spring clean is an essential part of the ritual. I recently received an Australia Council grant to make some new work for a solo show next year, and so I am just starting to turn my attention to this, getting ready for the rollercoaster ride that inevitably accompanies the development of new work! I have a starting point, but as always there are a kazillion directions I could go in, so many half formed ideas from the last couple of distracted years, and so many processes and techniques I want to experiment with.

So I’ve spent the last few weeks madly scribbling down all my ideas and thoughts, trying to sift through it all, distill it down and work out a clearer direction. It’s a slow process, especially when you have a two year old vying for your attention and constantly demanding to play dress ups!

Developing new work is a process I both love and hate. It’s a process I know so well and yet one I can never take for granted. For me, the thrill and freedom of experimenting and researching and playing goes hand in hand with a kind of anxiety, because the whole way along you never quite know what the outcome will be. There are so many unknowns - and that can be both exciting and unnerving.

Rebecca Solnit writes in her book A Field Guide to Getting Lost (recently recommended to me by Marianne Huhn) that when it comes to discovery “it seems to be an art of recognizing the role of the unforseen, of keeping your balance amid surprises, of collaborating with chance, of recognizing that there are some essential mysteries in the world and thereby a limit to calculation, to plan, to control”.

That’s kind of it in a nutshell! So, here goes. Time to mess the studio up again.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Elle Interiors Norway

A feature on me in last month's Elle Interiors magazine, Norway. Its all in Norwegian, so I have no idea what it says... but it looks nice! As does the rest of the mag, full of covetable objects and abodes - such style those Norwegians.