Friday, June 23, 2017

Urban Poetic:The waste books: last days

'Urban Poetic: the waste books' currently showing at the Wooloongabba Art Gallery will close tomorrow Saturday 24 June.  Thank you to all who have visited and to the many conversations shared over the course of the exhibition dates. I'm not certain if visitors realise how invaluable your support is for any exhibiting artist particularly within the current visual arts environment that reflects the constant fragmentation of skill based studio practice being set in place by art institutions Australia wide. So even the most seemingly humble of questions regarding the way something was created opens up conversations that allows the artist to translate the significant of certain material elements or the tactile act of making and how it inevitably informs the  meaning of the work. I'm convinced that the image, the meaningfully intended image, is embedded with a self-contained capacity to translate a form of knowledge that is at its most potent when it leaves the viewer feeling as opposed to thinking. sp       

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Album Pages...the found photograph.

 Album Pages: collage and found photographs (detail)

I spoke of the 'Album Pages' from Urban-Poetic: the waste books as part of my artist talk recently. Understandably several viewers made associations with house plans or some form of architectural design, as if  these aerial views of houses  pieced together by found photographs and textual notations were a metaphor for attempting to reassemble/recover a sense of a lost past. Some of which has a layer of truth but the deliberate or conscious construction of  architectural forms was never my intention. 
The use of the found photograph as an object  is already embedded with references to memory, the past and the transitional nature of life. For myself it felt as though I was simply reconstructing a fragment of some undecipherable historical narrative...nothing more than a moment taken from the past placed within the marginal edges of the pages of an album. Their placement always within the edges was a deliberate link to the notion of history forever being an experience of fragmented narratives situated within the peripheries of our everyday lives. 
Now that I have had some time and distance from these works I think that essentially they gesture towards the nature of history, something re-constructed and pieced back together, either through a collective or individual re-telling of a constructed narrative. Then there are the layers of meaning that history imports, both consciously and unintentionally. Often the recording of history conflates the particulars of personal stories within a broader narrative or a single individual narrative is held up as the collective experience of a community or nation. As Gadamer describe it..'the past is foreign and historical understanding is not so much a recovery of the past as a mediation between our sense of ourselves and our sense of the past'.
These unassuming responses are little more than gestures to such 'big ideas' but there is something in the dissected landscapes, fractious interiors and inverted figures that at least holds sway, even momentarily, within what history or the past inescapably delivers...loss.

URBAN-POETIC: the waste books...print, collage and book assemblage works by glen skien
is showing at the Wooloongabba Art Gallery until June 25. 

 Album Pages: collage and found photographs (detail)

Album Pages; collage and postcard (detail)

Album Pages; collage and postcard (detail)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Artist's Talk...Urban-Poetic

I will be giving an artist talk this Saturday June10th. at the Wooloongabba Art Gallery from 3.30pm.
 Would be nice to see some familiar and not so familiar faces.

Friday, June 2, 2017

URBAN-POETIC:the waste books...Opening Night

the waste books: [installation detail] handmade books, collage and found photographs

Wooloongabba Art Gallery Opening Friday 2 June 6-8pm.
613 Stanley Street Woolloongabba Qld

Exhibition Dates
30 May- 24 June 2017

the waste books: [installation detail] handmade books, collage and found photographs

Thursday, June 1, 2017

the waste books...

Album page:12-13: found photographs and collage 2017

URBAN-POETIC:  the waste books...
This new series of works continues my engagement with printmaking, collage, text and drawing. Essentially the exhibition can be viewed as a collection of responses that relate to living at the fringe of Brisbane’s inner-city urban environment of Fortitude Valley.
Since my arrival in Brisbane from the semi-rural environment space of my childhood town of Mackay in North Queensland I have been constantly aware of the urban environment’s capacity to alter one’s familiar sense of direction and space.The series titled Album Pages 1-16 silently continues my use of marginal forms through found photographs that have been dissected and pieced back together to form a collage of photographic fragments whose original memories and meanings have been dissolved. Unlike the usual formal placement of the photograph within the pages of an album these fragmented forms are placed within the peripheral edges of the pages as if providing a surface reconstruction of the past but one that is essentially no longer familiar or recognisable. The past and its transitional sway within the present continues to be a reoccurring theme within these works.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Atlas: Death of a Salesman. mono-type and reverse text:35 handmade notebooks 2017

     URBAN-POETIC:the waste books
'the less we know the more we name' Gaston Bachelard

1.atlas:death of a salesman

poetic utterances of the urban space
resist the notion that
something must first exist within a certain order
before that something can be identified
the poetic image maintains
a distance
between order and the need to name things
finding within the marginal 
realms of disorder
things half thought
things half seen
but always fully felt
the grafting details of palimpsest traces
within the inner urban space
Brunswick Street
The Valley
its material thinking
embracing elements of each myopic moment
the passage of intuitions 
that hold sway over image and sense
recognising the moments we gather
silent things within us
inscriptions and surface drawings
ground in liquid bitumen
reconciling with its source
a mirror play between sense and vision
the model of the poetic response
as Valery observed 
in the dance that goes nowhere.