Friday, August 31, 2012

What does 'Tribe' mean to you?

We were asked to describe "what does 'Tribe' mean to you?" ...for me Tribe embodies unity and kinship – my miniature totems explore the idea of living in a flourishing multi-cultural society.  We find ourselves living in and experiencing a rich tapestry of human existence and with each thread we are intertwined.  I believe deep in my heart we are all one and the same, no matter what shape or colour skin we wear. 'World Kin' and 'Same Kin' explore our multi-cultural lineage while 'Beyond Perception' offers another perspective for thinking. 
Outside my usual art practice when being invited into a group exhibition and asked to address a theme, I always see it as an opportunity to explore other media - for me its a little like exploring the many facets of my personality for growth both inward and outward as a person.  Not being one to get stuck or bogged down in one set of thinking and going on what material appears at any given time (when sourcing my recycled materials), this time I was guided into a sense of fun and play literally with children's blocks, I was compelled to take them home with me so I did, who's one to argue with divine intervention!    Even though it may appear child like initally on the surface, each piece embody a their own individual message as is the case with all my works.
TRIBE exhibition opens tonight at Rosebed St Gallery from 7pm, showcasing a colourful display of many and varied works of art by local artists of all walks of life and at different stages of their artistic career with no prejudice, curated with heart Directors Annie Burns & Maya Carter-Malins inspire for us all a sense of community to embrace.
Colourful and certainly different works from what you would used to be seeing from me - I enjoyed the freedom and playful nature of each piece, here's a sneak peak...

Beyond Perception
H 8 x W 7.5cm, H 8 x W 11.8cm, Diameter 6cm

'World Kin'
Tallest H 20 x W 12cm
'Same Kin'
H 33 x W 8cm

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kids in Action - art workshops

Kids in Action is a Environmental Projects day as part of Australia Post's Kids Teching Week.  The 2012 Australia Post's Kids Teaching Kids Week is an annual event educating children on enviromental issues, hosted as a free national program for kids helping them to find solutions to complex environmental problems like climate change, water, waste, conservation, energy, drought, population and pollution.  Throughout the week school kids will perform songs, comedy, dance, routines, poems, plays etc., for their classmates to deliver messages about the environment.

Kids in Action official title; Sunshine Coast Kids in Action Conference is designed for kids to learn through workshop processess. The event provides an opportunity for Sunshine Coast youth to develop skills, capabilities and confidence in taking action and building leadership around environmental issues. It builds on the Kids Teaching Kids model, in engaging and supporting local schools to address a local environmental issue, though curriculum inquiry and strategic teacher resourcing and training in effective environmental education.

Karen Shaw from Brush Turkey Enterprises Coordinator along with Clare Kiltley have invited four artists; Tricia Dobson, Noela Mills, Jill  Braiden and myself to each facilitate a workshop (consisting of four forty minute block sessions) as part of their Environmental Projects Day for the kids on the theme "Tree of Life" at the end of the workshop sessions the artworks created will feature in an installation (at the conference dinner conducted by kids for kids) onto a Tree - the Tree of Life a three dimensional wooden structure/scuplture designed by Tricia.

Each artists concept addresses the theme, Noela's 'Leaves of Life' will consist of recycled fabric dyed with onion skins using all natural/non-chemical dyes, Jill is making paper clay objects - semi abstract forms representing the human population, and my component is focused on 'foundation to awareness' making tree roots from recycled cord, jute, and fabric. Tricia who is co-ordinating the arts component of the Kids in Action conference and will be assisting us on the day.

A couple of images I came across of exposed tree roots for inspiration...

My box of goodies for the day...cords, jute, string etc.,

Using a mixture of different textures and an example to go by on the day, my 3D draft - a metre length tree root coiled around itself,

Another view; each tree root created on the day will be tied to the base of the three dimensional wooded Tree (Tree of Life).

 I really enjoy workshops and creating with kids, the spontaneity and their sense of fun and is infectous - its going to be a whole load of fun!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

People's Choice online voting now open

This years theme for Flying Arts Queensland Regional Art Award Essential Character of Queensland my entry is inspired by childhood memories, from our annual road trips to Sarina, North Queensland.

I was a keen budding photographer as a child and each holiday I would pack my camera for the journey and document each road trip capturing those special moments. One vivid memory that etched in my mind was the acres of cane fields that stretched far and wide.  Being a city slicker and growing up in a concrete jungle, I was in awe of the vast landscape.  

The image below of four photographs were taken on one of our road trips documenting the cane harvesting season. The top left image; cane fields before the burn, top right; harvesting after the burn (of course these were the days of burning the cane prior to harvesting), bottom left; transporting the cane, bottom right; massive Fig tree landmarked as the largest tree in Queensland.  These photographs were taken in 1975, I wonder if the Fig tree still remains standing!

Below; exploring my options...clear cube made in plexiglass, enlarged transparent images etc., I had contemplated filling the cube with cane mulch, and beaming a red laser light to represent the burn.  After much contemplation I decided to suspend a sugar cube in its centre.

...and the final piece captured below, the transparent images worked really well and tell of a story, one family road trip some 37 years ago!

Title: Road Trip

My artist statement:

"In the eyes of a child you will see the world as it should be," - author unknown.

This cube encapsulates the essential character of Queensland as seen through the eyes of the artist as a child on a holiday trip to Sarina, North Queensland in 1975. It depicts the field, the harvesting and transporting of the cane and the towering Fig tree. Hovering in the heart of this cube is a piece of sugar, the defining moment of being a Queenslander in a simpler age where "one of the biggest trees in Queensland" was something to be marvelled at.

If you would like to view all the other entries please click > here,  People's Choice online voting continues until 17th September, 2012 - anyone can vote, so please feel free to do so.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sunshine Coast Hinterland Open Studios 2012

It's almost that time of year for the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Open Studios 2012 (formerly Creative Spaces - Open Studios) Program, kindly supported by the Sunshine Coast Council and an initiative of Arts Connect Inc. A rare opportunity as artsits open their studios from 10am to 4pm over four weekends and kicks off this September!


15, 16 September, 2012
22, 23 September, 2012
29, 30 & 1 October (long weekend), 2012
6, 7 October, 2012 

Here's me welding in my studio - you may have notice I am not listed on the map!  Just drop me an email so we can arrange a time I am more than happy to accommodate your visit.

A related program of placemaking art initiatives is being organised by art4place and has activities planned for the weekdays during the SCH Open Studios program, perfect timing and also school holidays - stay tuned!  In my next post I will talk about my involvement and my placemaking Art Installation.

And for my distant friends, some photographs of the things in and around my studio...

My "Bling" series - stoneware Southern Ice porcelain,

My popular miniature totems,

Peg totems Tower of Words from my recent solo exhibition Domestic Duties Chp.2,

A sneak peak of artworks in my studio gallery space.

The view looking out from my studio, that's Max doing a runner chasing his toy ball.

Our rose garden last Spring in full bloom, everything looks so lush and green! 

The side beam of my new arbour for the Stephanotis floribunda vine to grow on, decorated with one of my masks and fruit trees in the distance.  And for my welded sculptures....

There's lots of deliciously rusted fodder stored all around, of course!