Sunday, September 16, 2018

Reasonable & Necessary...Artel Artists Tour

Drawing head gear: Artel Group

Museums and Galleries Queensland have just announced a showcase touring exhibition, Reasonable and Necessary: Prints and Artists' Books from the Artel Artists group that embraces the creative endeavours of artists with a range of complex disabilities. This is such fantastic news. During my time involved with the Griffith Printmaking Club students supported the 36 Hour Print fund raising event that specifically raised funds as part of their support for the touring show. So thankyou again to that special group of print students who donated their works and invaluable time to contribute towards such a fantastic outcome.
Please visit Museums and Galleries Qld. Facebook page and let their wonderful team know how deserving this exhibition is.  

Monday, August 6, 2018

Finding Familiar States: Baldessin Press and the State Library of Victoria

Exterior view of the State Library of Victoria

A week ago I had my first extended days of becoming familiar with both of the spaces I will frequent over the course of the next 12 months. My time at the State Library of Victoria was divided between a formal induction into the procedures and methods for investigating the archival materials as well as learning to navigate the mirrors of space that were somewhat overwhelming at times. Walking from my office/studio space and standing below the expanse of the dome in a vacant main entrance room after closing time was the moment I realised how special my time at the library would be. I feel rather spoilt with the allocation of an assistant from the library's pictures collection to help me access the collection.This provides such a crucial element in finding a starting point to my project.
My early beginnings have swayed towards studying the photographic images of early Melbourne. It extends an on going intrigue with the photographic image and all that it invokes. On my flight down I took a book of collective essays of Susan Sontag. Her reflections on the photographic image were so astute that despite the arrival of the digital and virtual format of the photographic image her views remain poetically insightful. During this initial visit I viewed a series of early photographic images from the carte de vista collection which were essentially a handheld size photographic calling card popular in the 1800's.     

Interior view of the State Library of Victoria

My visit to Baldessin Press at St. Andrews was also a way of becoming familiar with how the studio space operates. Both Tess and studio technician Silvi, a wonderful printmaker in her own right, were very generous with their time and 'space' as it was a busy few days for the studio. I did manage to have 'a play' with a series of monotypes. Thankfully I have learnt to recognise what one needs to discard. But I enjoyed the play.
My feelings towards being in the space where George Baldessin once printed and to have his works floating within the same interior spaces was simply a reality that I never thought possible. So my unfolding time at Baldessin Press is not so much a dream come true but a reality that crosses over into dreaming. 

Baldessin Press: Interior (1)

Baldessin Press: Interior (2)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dream Voyage

Dream Voyage: 2018

I wanted to reflect briefly on the creative closing and opening of doorways and the threshold spaces that are often made available through teaching within the throes of an art institution.The closing of my recent door has been a decade of association with the wonderfully creative and passionate printmaking students I have had the most existential pleasure of teaching at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane for the past decade.

That time, space and experience has unfortunately run its course as any meaningful and memorable narrative must do. Each beginning is not so much a search for a conclusion but simply a way of responding in the only way one knows how within the unfolding of a progression of experiences that inevitably script their own conclusions.
The difficulty in surrendering the pages of a novel that one finds difficult to put down provides an appropriate analogy in describing my feelings towards the conversations, the instruction and the deciphering of students creative responses I experienced throughout my time at the QCA studios. I will miss the thought space that your images provided.

Students are often oblivious to the concept that teaching in its most essential manifestation is a two way street. The fortunate and most perceptive teachers recognise that they have as much to learn from their students as hopefully students recognise in their tutors. I feel that I have been remarkably fortunate to be inspired by the depth of your imaginative minds and images encountered during my time there. So thank you all. Special regards to those who have wished me well with my recent Amor Fellowship with the State Library of Victoria in association with the iconic Baldessin Press...truly the start of a dream voyage. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Brooching New Ground...'N o t i o n s'

For the past six months I have been absorbed in a collaborative project with Brisbane based emerging artist Michelle Wild that has focused on the creation of a collection of wearable pins and brooches that blend Michelle's print and small objects background with my own print and collage methods. The results are presently on show at our exhibition titled 'Notions' showing at the Wooloongabba Art Gallery in Brisbane. The collection forms a series of works that evoke a whimsical and impulsive use of discarded images and surfaces that extend what collage naturally does in allowing new narratives to remain in a perpetual state of flux. 

Wearable pin: Bound collage stamp: John Le Carre series.

Wearable pin: Bound collage stamp: John Le Carre series

Wearable pin: Bound collage stamp: John Le Carre series

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Phenomenology of Image and Text....

detail of work in progress from the pages of Phenomenology of Image and Text...

Phenomenology of Image and Text  is the artist book that has been accepted into the Artspace Mackay Regional Gallery 'Libris Awards' with most books I rely on the bringing together of disparate elements that tend to delivery their own suggestions and evocations.I could add 'their own meaning' but it seems to me that they provide very little of any essential meaning. This is where I begin to sound somewhat repetitive in my explanations but essentially the poetic response avoids the embrace of one fixed response. The ambiguity of the relationship between alphabetical text, names of places, Brisbane suburbs and streets and the placement of repeated images of a male figure taken from an illustrated book on healthy breathing and exercise for men seems to me to be something that is difficult to pin down to one singular response apart from the overarching reference to the strangeness of the relationship between the naming of things and the object or the image it represents.
Of course the realm of semiotics delivers systematic ways of deciphering the relationship between the object or place and how language has been chosen to represent it...something I so consciously avoid. This may seem an odd thing but I like the experience of having what I make remain within a threshold of being unfamiliar...Phenomenology of Image and Text is an attempt to hold onto that sense of the unfamiliar.

1.detail of pages from Phenomenology of Image and Text...etching and photographic transfer.

2. detail of pages from Phenomenology of Image and Text

3. detail of pages from Phenomenology of Image and Text

4. detail of pages from Phenomenology of Image and Text

detail of work in progress from  the pages of Phenomenology of Image and Text

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Wayzgoose Adventure...2018

The Museum of Print

Having just returned from four days at the Armidale Regional Gallery and the Museum of Print as part of the 2018 Wayzgoose event I thought I would take the chance to thank Robert Heather and his fabulous gallery staff for presenting a diverse range of speakers and workshops that really did deliver something memorable for everyone. Of course I will make special mention of the Black Gully Printmakers group and those who were nice enough to give up their Saturday for a day of printing and book binding with me. I am smiling as I type because I realise how much I pushed for everyone to finish the project in a single day which I will reveal now is often presented with an extra half day. So thank you to you all for your diligence and commitment to the workshop.I was very pleased that all participate left with a hand-bound series of prints. The Black Gully Printmakers have a wonderful studio space situated within the gallery and is juxtaposed beside the Museum of Print space. Being there in the studio for the open day I was given a wonderful reminder of the reasons why I make prints with the sense of community and sharing of stories expressed about each of the works that were part of a print/swap/raffle event. A series of artists talks were presented by visiting artists including myself but the most memorable and very moving talk was given by the Black Gully printmakers president Cat MacGregor. Cat spoke about her work with a deep sense of connection and meaning that perhaps the more experienced and academic of us have unremembered. So thank you to Robert and the Black Gully printmakers in providing the opportunity for me to continue to be part of the print community. 

1.detail of participants  works...


the big print...2018