Thursday, September 22, 2016

archive of fragments...


I imagine the usual reaction to receiving damaged works having returned from an exhibition tour could be one of disappointment however in the case of this small collection of pieces with torn edges and detached corners they seem to reaffirm their archival/artefact belongings. There is a temptation to repair them but in their fragmented state they seem to have created their own history of mishaps. 

     The pieces are part of a wall installation 'Archive of the Unfamiliar'  that was composed of over one thousand postcards sourced from numerous antique stores throughout Australia and my personal collection. The 'aboutness' of the work related to a deliberate juxtaposition of altered texts and images whose interrelations provide the viewer with a sense of deciphering a palimpsest of historical narratives. The expanse of postcards could be viewed as a threshold of a European re-inscribing of place. Ultimately the archival tableau offers little more than an encounter with a reflective thought-space relating to a gathering of historical awareness within our colonial past that recognises the potent inscriptions that were already set in place.










Thursday, September 15, 2016

'unpacking mytho-poetics'...


Object poem 1: Living in your very last house:2014

Mytho-Poetic:Print and Assemblage works of Glen Skien.... has now completed its tour of regional galleries throughout Australia. Through the support of both the Gympie Regional Gallery and Museums and Galleries Queensland the experience has afforded me the opportunity to travel to places within regional Australia that would have simply remained  topographical notations. Such experiences have helped to reaffirm my personal conviction that the nature of art within all its layers of expectation and experience in its most fundamental and immediate state provides what the German language describes as 'Denkraum'.....'thought-space'. The philosophy of  touring works to regional districts is underpinned by the simple concept of exposing contemporary arts practices to communities who are never ignorant of its ideologies but simply starved of experience, exposure and conversation of it all. 
The premise of 'mytho-poetic' as a disparate collection of books, prints and assemblages relating to personal stories was based on the notion that our individual narratives have the capacity to infiltrate the big-picture sense of historical narrative that prevails and in doing so are capable of  providing meaningful and memorable visual articulations. Such narratives may remain within the margins but their significance and meaning need to be acknowledged and articulated. Within the realms of the poetic such articulations are never meant to provide a fixed body of knowledge...instead they embrace a more fluid and transient existence where meaning is ever only grasped and lost within the residue of the reflective moment. These ramblings are dedicated to the wonderful team at Museums and Galleries Queensland and the Gympie Regional Gallery.   


All of the things I could have told you about birds,,,miscellaneous books and postcards....





Monday, September 5, 2016

'concealed fables'...


Thank you to all who visited 'fable in brief' over the past two weeks. The exhibition was initially  realized as part of the 50th. anniversary celebrations of the Australia Print Council. It was nice to be part of the continuing celebrations that highlight the diverse methods of contemporary printmaking practise in Australia. I'm not certain that art institutions need to establish a facade of notions of a 'print culture' to ensure that printmaking practises remain relevant in contemporary times. Often for those who make prints the attraction is the nature of printmaking's covert and marginal existence. In this age of digital re-production that manipulates a desire for everything to gain acceptance within the 'mainstream' and a general public still somewhat perplexed by what defines an 'original print' I feel the mystery of making prints is rendered even more enigmatic.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Closing fables...

'fable in brief'..heart:graphite on tracing paper

'fable in brief'' has its final day tomorrow Saturday September 3rd.... an artist talk at 10.30 am...the aboutness of the work has been revealed through the collective conversations with visitors who were generous enough to spend time exploring the various ways of deciphering possible narratives...perceptive comments from several visitors allowing me to see unrealised associations...I was a little taken back with the comment of one 'academic' voice who described the work as 'safe'...perhaps in certain regards its a justified remark...feeling safe in what one creates and making 'safe' work are two quite  separate realms of experience...that sense of following a secure intuitive voice embraces equally the safe and the uncertain...perhaps for individual artists it is something that exists perpetually within a state of flux...I think if any creative response is devoid of degrees of apprehension there is a strong chance that what it evokes will be fleeting....and once one loses that uncertainty then it may be time to find another game...'fable in brief' has been one of the most uncertain collection of works I've ever made.......so the 'academic' response of creating safe work without having taken the time to tease out what is often hidden beneath the seduction of surface...of veiled wax paper images or the transparent familiarity of graphite on tracing paper may simply be regarded as a safe comment.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Camera Lucida..2B graphite pencil book tracing

Camera Lucida...Roland Barthes...(detail) book tracing in 2B graphite pencil:2016

Apart from other fragments of experience 'fable in brief' also explores an interest in the photographic image...mostly through the very simple method of transferring a photographic image with the use of acetone rubbed on the back of a laser printed image then having pressure applied either by hand or with the use of an etching press...essentially  exploring/questioning the relationship between the photographic/the mechanical and the hand drawn/the human...which has the capacity for the most compelling response?...the context and image type seems to hold sway over such questions...indirectly connected is this tracing of Roland Barthes poetic reflections on the photographic image in his 1980 book  Camera Lucida...one of the first pieces I started for this show...commenced simply with the desire to trace objects/images that already existed...creative responses that didn't require any conscious or self-conscious manipulation...there is an understated element of excess in this response that perhaps makes this one of my favourite works...there is also the fixed yet transparent element of time. The final artist talk is this Saturday 3rd.Sept. from 10.30 am in the Queensland College of Art Project Gallery, Grey Street, South Bank. 

Camera Lucida...Roland Barthes...(detail) book tracing in 2B graphite pencil:2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jean Vigo in New York...


Film still from 'Zero de conduite' Jean Vigo 1933 and  fragment of Polaroid transfer of New York 2014

The montage collisions of  'fable in brief' continue in this artist book that features a film still from the 1933 silent film 'Zero de conduite' by Jean Vigo and Polaroid transfers from my brief visit to New York in 2014. There was something in the reflective solitude of the figure leaning against a tree that seem to suggest a similar experience of what the photographic image provides...a continuum of dissolving  moments of a certain time and place remaining fixed to the past...irretrievable...no amount of duplication or filmic sequencing will rescue them...the suggestion or gesture of movement can sometimes be more interesting than the moving image.
ps
if anyone is interested in the films of Jean Vigo I recommend you start with L' Atalanta 1934.

                              Film still from 'Zero de conduite' Jean Vigo 1933 and Polaroid transfer of New York 2014                            
                                             
Film still from 'Zero de conduite' Jean Vigo 1933 and Polaroid transfer of New York 2014 


Film still from 'Zero de conduite' Jean Vigo 1933 and fragment of Polaroid transfer of New York 2014 


Film still from 'Zero de conduite' Jean Vigo 1933:photographic transfer. 


Film still from 'Zero de conduite' Jean Vigo 1933 and detail of Polaroid transfer of New York 2014