Thursday, 31 March 2011

Next things

The exhibition Drawling closes today. I thought it would be a good idea to let you know what next for the artists who have been involved.

Richard Stride is creating a temporary installation work for the National Youth Week Launch event on Friday 1 April only, located in the mall on Albert Street between Queen Street and King George Square. It will be created throughout the day, being completed by 4pm, with the event finishing at 10pm. fast pace!  

Phoebe McDonald's Salt Lake series is travelling to Gympie Regional Gallery (June 15 - July 2) then Pine Rivers Art Gallery (November 4 - 18). 
Otherwise, she'll just be knuckling down in the studio.  

These two photographs courtesy of Kylie Jury

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Slow Art Day

From the Slow Art website: Slow Art Day was started to invite novices - and experts - to experience the art of looking at art slowly.

It's a very simple process. Volunteer hosts (not necessarily experts) invite people to come to a local museum and view a small number of works of art for 5 to 10 minutes each. Then everyone meets for lunch at a nearby cafe to talk about their experience. And all this happens the same day around the world. The date this year is Saturday April 16.

The result? Participants say they get "inspired not tired" and plan to return to that museum or gallery again and again (note: our not-so-secret agenda is to help more people experience the excitement of art and become regular patrons of their local museums).

Check out more at 

and maybe become a host for a Slow Art experience!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Mark Pennings' lecture Thursday 24th

The lecture focussed on a fascinating and pivotal time in Australian art, mainly during the 1950s and 1960s. What happened when figurative art and abstraction went head to head?  

Painters such as Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman and Robert Dickerson were compared to the emerging internationalist aesthetic developed by artists such as David Aspen, Robert Jacks and Syd Ball, and the Australian Field exhibition of 1968. 

 Abstract paintings exhibited in the Field exhibition were discussed in terms of the ways viewers were expected to view them at the time, as an experience, without expectation of any narrative or reference to anything but the painting itself.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Lecture & lunchtime talks - finished for now

Thankyou to the switched-on crowds who came to the talks - it was always a pleasure to see you there!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Catherine Brown's work

Catherine has been living and working in Hobart for some time, and shows 2D, 3D and installation work at Milani Gallery, Brisbane. Here is an image of paintings from Catherine's 2010 solo exhibition at Milani Gallery titled Studio Anomalies.

(All images courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane)

And this work from the show ...

Peter Biddulph has used Australian Southern Ice porcelain renowned for its whiteness and translucency in this new collection of vessels for drinking sake or spirits. The cups, guinomi, differ in form, surface treatment and glaze, but all have the fluid, soft-shaped tripod base that endows the works with a kind of slowness.

The source objects for the guinomi were created as digital 3D forms before being rendered as physical objects using rapid prototyping technology. Casts taken from these generated objects were used to create the vessels using liquid porcelain, sometimes mixed with oxides, in a slip cast process. Exterior surfaces are often unglazed and always hand polished to give a smooth, undulating surface to fit comfortably into the hand. The interiors are glazed with clear, rare earth, or ice blue celadon glazes. The guinomi are complemented with sake flasks, tokkuri, created using the same materials and processes.

Here are some images of how the work looks in the exhibition:

You can see more images of the guinomi at  

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Judith Kentish, Sandra Selig & Catherine Brown in Drawling... with a connection to Tasmania

At the opening, some people wondered whether the pen drawing by Judith Kentish was actually a drawing or (somehow) a photograph or copy of a drawing - but its the actual drawing; she used pen on a long roll of drafting film. Here's a photograph of Jude working on it on chilly Maatsuyker Island. She's inside her unheated hut/studio on the island:

'from ideas of disturbance' 2010, work in progress

..the view...

and details of the work...

Judith travelled to isolated Maatsuyker Island off the southern coast of Tasmania last winter to spend two months alone. The work on paper you see in Drawling was made while she was there, and can be seen as a measure of her paced routine on Maatsuyker.  The cloth-like surface is generated by Judith’s time-consuming action of drawing the surface slowly over the paper, and the completed work is shown in Drawling on a  purpose built white table. This work is one which embodies its own process.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

The collaborative video work Fairweather’s Dream by Sandra Selig & Catherine Brown with sound by 'Fractions' (Leighton Craig and Stuart Busby) began as colour ‘hand held’ video footage of sailboats in full sail off Hobart taken by Catherine and was projected through plastic and videoed again by Sandra to produce the ghostly images we see.  So the work is double ‘hand held’ as well as ‘double filmed’. The video images evoke the weightlessness of dreams, but it is the effect of the sound, from an album called Pumicestone Passage recorded at Golden Beach (Sunshine Coast) in 2005, that slows the work and sets our tempo as viewers.  

The title plays on the name of artist Ian Fairweather who found refuge for a while on Bribie Island and who when he was sixty made a raft out of discarded materials and set off on a lone voyage from Darwin to Timor. Presumed lost at sea, he managed to get to an Indonesian beach sixteen days later, barely alive.  

(Courtesy the artists and Milani gallery, Brisbane)

This is beautiful work!

Elsewhere on this blog there is a URL where you can download the sound work by 'Fractions'. Catherine is a Queensland artist who is living in Hobart at present.

And some more ...

'glare' 2009
 Phoebe McDonald's Salt Lake Series:
'towards dusk' 2009

Phoebe spent a solitary week at Lake Lefroy in Western Australia camped beside the salt lake she photographed for this series titled Salt Lake, slowly becoming acquainted with such an inhospitable landscape. In some of her photographs, the luminous barren place shimmers and dissolves in salt glare. Other images are anchored by the presence of sparse traces and remnants discarded by previous visitors. There are six of the series in the Drawling show. 

Here are some of the artworks in Drawling...

Here are some images of the works in Drawling.
Kylie Jury's photos of people in the street:

Kylie must have taken some time to collect the Contemplation series of digital photographs of commuters in the street, but each individual photograph was taken quickly. Looking at four images from the series we can see that a stranger’s interior space was more real to them in that moment than were their external surroundings. For these works the slowness may be in our pausing, as viewers, to consider and gauge the immensity of a person’s inner world. 

You can see these are strong works, but on the blog you don't get the effect of the scale or the matte surface, or how the four works on show relate to each other, or to the effect of the sound from the video work in the gallery...

and from Richard Stride, isometric drawings in pen on paper:

Richard's four painstaking isometric drawings of imagined scenarios are detailed and particular. Isometric drawing is a system of perspective in which all distances are to the same scale, making it functional for technical diagrams, unlike linear perspective. Its use is common in engineering and industrial design due to its accuracy and ability to convey certain information; also in many computer games. Richard’s drawings are slow to make and measured in their aspect and they draw us in to study them closely. He is interested by the fact that the isometric system provides a false view yet is functional in its ability to convey information and enable the rationalisation of space.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Opens this afternoon (Saturday 12th)!

You are very welcome to come to the gallery this afternoon between four and six. 

See the work slowly - or fast, up to you - meet the artists, have a drink and enjoy the relaxing surroundings at BIA, Grafton Street, Windsor. 

 ...and check out those grassy knolls...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Artist Catherine Brown & Musicians Leighton Craig and Stuart Busby

The video work Sandra Selig chose for the show (and my choice too) is one in which she has collaborated with Catherine Brown, and with sound by Fractions (Leighton Craig and Stuart Busby). More on those artists soon!

(work courtesy of the artists and Milani Gallery, Brisbane)

You can find music by Leighton Craig and Stuart Busby at

along with other local artists. You can also listen to the music for free on the bandcamp site.

The show is being installed!

Well, the works are being installed in the BIA gallery. It will take the best part of 2 days, and there's lots of equipment and organisation and hanging around
work on the far wall by Phoebe McDonald 

There's an experienced and careful installer,
getting things right  

and trying to work while other people are testing the lights...
Work on the far wall by Sandra Selig & Catherine Brown & Fractions.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Great image by Phoebe McDonald

image by phoebe mcdonald,
Atmosphere reflected at dusk: Steam (3)
photograph - giclee print on archival matte paper, 2008

Friday, 4 March 2011

Lecture on Australian Art by Dr Mark Pennings

Put a note in your diary so you don't miss this!  

Thursday 24 March starting at 7pm at BIA.

All very welcome.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

How the work for the show is decided.

If it seems from reading my previous posts that the process of deciding which artworks are to be in the exhibition is a quick process, and involves the curator picking from a selection of artworks like choosing books from a shelf, then I have given the wrong impression. The process is on-going, and will not be completely finalised till we have finished installing the show.

There have been particular series of works from some of the artists that I asked for from the beginning, so those have been fairly fixed. Though how many from the series and how they might be installed is up for discussion according to the space, and to the relationship to other works in the show.

Then there are those artists who have several lots of works that I would like.... but we need to choose just one (one may mean an individual work, or one lot of work).  There is much more consideration and discussion then. Questions such as - what will look good in the space? What will look good with the other planned artworks? Could the artist get something completed in time if there is a change of plans? And considerations such as - which walls can support heavy works? What technology do we have or need, for example, for a digital or video work? How many and what size plinths do we have? Is that work available for the duration of the show? Etcetera...

(Here's an installed sewn cloth work from Judith Kentish)

And when one artwork in the planned show is substituted for another for some good reason, as part of the development of the show, all the others may have to be moved or perhaps reconsidered. In a similar way to when when you are making a painting - when you change one colour or shape, it affects all the others and they need to be re-thought.

(I am pausing here to add images of installed works from Sandra Selig)

2010 Adelaide Biennial 'Before and After Science', SA Art Gallery
collaboration with Leighton Craig (sound)
altered book pages, acrylic frames, sound (9 parts)

and alongside this work, was exhibited a 'sister' installation titled
Special Mechanism for Universal Uncertainty (Time isn't Holding Us) 
elastic, stone, nails
@ 6m x 5m x 4m variable

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Sandra Selig's work

The sixth artist for Drawling is Sandra Selig.

Some of you (at BIA) will remember seeing Sandra's work at Milani gallery when we were on one of our Discovering Art in Brisbane treks, I am sure. [I would be interested to hear from you if you do remember - please add a comment]. And you will know that it is impossible to convey the memorable experience of her evocative thread or video work in a static image. But static images are better than words - here's a link to some images of her work at Milani gallery:

And I found this link from a project a few years ago where you can read Sandra's own words about her work.

A very recent work at Monash. 
Sandra has sent me some images of this work:

heart of the air you can hear 2011
currently installed at MUMA, Melbourne, in a group show titled 
'Networks - Cells and Silos'
@ 5m x 3m x 3m
polyester sewing thread, nails, paint

Sandra has also, like Judith Kentish, spent time in that Tokyo studio. Someone said recently that there aren't as many as six degrees of separation in Brisbane - only about two!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Still time to catch Phoebe McDonald's show at SGAR

This show of Phoebe's work is on till March 5 at Spiro Grace Art Rooms, Spring Hill area,m2,default,1&m2albumid=21&m2returnid=26&page=26

Drawling Opening & talks

Drawling opens Saturday 12 March 4-6pm at BIA. Hope to see lots of people there! The exhibition will run till April 1.

I've scheduled some Q&A sessions with me and/or the artists on Wednesdays & Thursdays at lunchtime while the exhibition is up - confirmed:

(all 12:30pm - 1pm)
Wed March 16 - curator Jill Barker
Thurs March 17 - Phoebe McDonald
Wed March 23- Richard Stride
Thurs March 24 - Judith Kentish
Wed Mar 30 - Kylie Jury
Thurs Mar 31 - Peter Biddulph

The Q&A sessions are planned for these times because this is when the most people are at BIA for classes. So if you have a morning class on either of those days, please think about staying on afterwards for half an hour, and you may want to come to a talk before your afternoon class. Or you may want to come to ask a question even though you aren't usually at BIA on those days. 
Each talk will be held in the gallery and will be limited to the first 25 to arrive, due to space restrictions. I may be able to add some more talks if there are enough people interested! [You can also ask questions of the artists and curator via commenting on this blog]

In addition, there will be an evening lecture on Australian Art by Dr Mark Pennings to help contextualize the artworks, and there is no restriction on numbers for this lecture. 
Watch this space for the date & time of Dr Penning's lecture!