Thursday, October 30, 2008

18th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial

This post is to let you know about Momentum, the 18th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial. Below is the invitation. Unfortunately all the writing is quite faint, so I've added it after the invitation images. After that I have images of the works that I have in the show. The opening is on Friday, November 14 at the Tamworth Regional Gallery. I'm actually going to the opening, even though my idea of Tamworth is (probably inaccurately) that it is like Wolf Creek, or that town that the drag queens in Priscilla stop at and Guy Pierce nearly gets beaten up... I don't get out of the city much. I'll be driving there. I figure if I drove out of and back into Paris and managed to live, then I can drive out of Sydney.

18th tamworth fibre textile biennial 2008

curated by valerie kirk
christine atkins babbarra designs jane bowden alana clifton-cunningham annabelle collett fiona gavino robyn glade-wright hilary green mandy gunn cecilia heffer melissa hirsch liz jeneid jill kinnear kelly leonard rodney love penny malone elisa markes-young lucille martin vicki mason ainslie murray debra porch louise saxton demelza sherwood annie trevillian elefteria vlavianos

Front image:
Ainslie Murray
An Architecture of Thread
and Gesture (detail) 2008
Tyvek, carbon fibre, acrylic,
monofilament, aluminium
Approximately: 980mm x
1410mm x 2050mm
Image credit: Ian Hobbs

Free Admission 466 Peel Street Tamworth Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 4pm Closed Sundays. Open Mondays by appointment ph 02 6767 5459

Tamworth Regional Council and Tamworth Regional Gallery invite you to the

Welcome to Country
Bob Faulkner
Aboriginal Leader and Board Member Arts North West

Guest Speakers
Councillor James Treloar
Mayor Tamworth Regional Council
Carol Mills
Director-General of the Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation NSW
Valerie Kirk
Head of Textiles The Australian National University, School of Art
Opening Address
Brian Parkes
Associate Director Object Australian Centre for Craft and Design
Official Opening
Friday 14 November 2008 6 - 8.30pm
Rsvp 7 November 2008 on 02 6767 5459
exhibition dates 15 November 2008 - 18 January 2009

I have three works from the Six Degrees series in the show. This is how they looked at the Ivan Dougherty Gallery last year when the series was shown in its entirety. Each weaving is 13x95cm (approx.), and framed they're 85x105cm.

It's difficult to see in photos, but above each weaving I've written the names of the people who donated the hair. Here's a not-very-good shot where the names are (slightly) more visible:

The next 5 images are just the weavings in various detail. The first is a complete shot of one work (not actually in this show, but part of the series). It's the section 'Vida Gaigalas to Bob Hunt' (each section is called Six Degrees with the names of the end people listed depending on the exhibition).

This section is the 'Joanna Falkland to Zara Collins' section, or at least a detail of it. This part will be in the show. The 10th, 1st and 2nd sections are in the show. They are 'Anjali Roberts to Rodney Love' then 'Rodney Love to Joanna Falkland' then 'Joanna Falkland to Zara Collins'.

I'm pretty sure this is 'Sally McLennan to Vida Gaigalas':

And this is 'Zara Collins to Emma White':

This is the first panel, 'Rodney Love to Joanna Falkland'. That's my hair on the left.

Here is another excerpt from my thesis about this series:

Six Degrees (fig. 26-29) is a series of ten hair weavings which I began in 2004. Each is a rectangle, approximately 13x100cm, with the names of the donors of the hair written above them. Each person’s hair is distinguishable from the next by its colour, yet permanently woven together. The series developed from an earlier body of work, Memento Vivere, 2002, in which I produced hand-made paper sheets, each embedded with the hair of an individual. Each square of paper in the 9-piece by 18-piece grid was a “portrait” of the person whose hair it contained. Although Memento Vivere was presented as a group, each piece could be moved or separated from the rest. With Six Degrees, each person’s place is set, their place in the group permanent and indissoluble. This was the first work for my MFA that began exploring the relation between the individual and the group.

As with Memento Vivere, the hair in Six Degrees stands for the donor, and is a portrait of that person. The genre of the portrait, however, emphasises the individual subject. “The portrayed person’s subjectivity is… defined in its uniqueness and originality, rather than in its social connections…. The subject’s continuity or discontinuity with others is denied in order to present the subject as personality.”41 With Six Degrees, the “uniqueness and originality” of the subjects is still evident, but their inclusion in a group is unmistakable. Here is an example of symbolic communitas, with each individual an essential part of the makeup of the group, but no one person being more important than another. The individual is defined, but connected to the rest of the group.

Each person is linked to the next in his or her group, but the groups are also connected. The last person in a weaving is the first person in the next weaving. The six degrees of the title are the ‘six degrees of separation’ first proposed in 1929 by Hungarian writer Karinthy Frigyes in his story Chains. The basic concept is that:
[A]nyone on Earth can be connected to any other person on the planet
through a chain of acquaintances with no more than five
intermediaries…. The concept is based on the idea that the number of
acquaintances grows exponentially with the number of links in the chain,
and so only a small number of links is required for the set of
acquaintances to become the whole human population.42

As each of the groups in Six Degrees is connected, any one person is fewer than five degrees of separation from any other. The first panel starts with Rodney Love and ends with Joanna Falkland. Joanna Falkland’s hair is at the beginning of the second panel, and Zara Collins’s at the end. Zara Collins starts the third panel, and so on. The tenth panel ends with Rodney Love, and the
chain is complete.

That's the end of the excerpt. To read more, go to my thesis online.

For those who might be interested, here is a list of the names of the donors of the hair, and their place in the work:

'Rodney Love, Lum Chune Yang, Stephanie Steadman, Sarah Marie Little, Tony Garrett, Edith Loftus, Jipsey Gitanoes, Zoe Allebone, James Kay, Teik Kim Pok, Nina Jacobson, Jason Wong, Joanna Falkland'

'Joanna Falkland, Jeremy Ryan, David Fredric, Barbara Mobbs, Emile Sherman, Michelle Barrett, David Marcelline, Jennifer Zacks, Ash McLeod, Chi Keung Lam, Michele McCamish, Rob Scott, Jane Knowles, Zara Collins'

'Zara Collins, Jenny Wilder, Nirmalya Talukder, Simon Hegarty, Alice Kebourian, Owen Leong, Ben Kay, Cheryll Lava-Gollon, Karsters Jarke, Emma White'

'Emma White, Ruth Toppler, Bem Le Hunte, Daniel Goldstein, Erin Normoyle, Hannah Player, Lyndal Campbell, Eve Spence, Matin Hing, Stephanie Schmidt, Sally McLennan'

'Sally McLennan, Kane Van Dam, Richard Gurney, Amber McCulloch, Liz Williamson, Mariko Yoshida, Jeff Wybrow, Irene Kindness, Jarrod Hocking, Philip Johnson, Vida Gaigalas'

'Vida Gaigalas, Renata Field, Jenny Tabakoff, Ben Curtis, Kasumi Ejiri, Justin Yoon, Judy Haywood, Lisa Addison, Monique Kinerson, Bob Hunt'

'Bob Hunt, Marlo Bodzick, Lisa Salmon, Amanda McLoghlin, Timothy Moore, Sylvia Ross, Eric Siu, Elly Drummond, Pim van Enoo, Tamsin Hughes'

'Tamsin Hughes, Suzanne Vose, Julie Bartholomew, David Serisier, Di Saxton, Robyn Forrest, Atanos Djonov, Paula Brand, Jamieson Hunt, Chris Jones, Jane Castle'

'Jane Castle, Izaak Connaughton, Katherine Woolnough, Rose Vickers, Michael Yelf, Penelope Benton, Bill Lungas, Deborah Rozea, Ella Dreyfus, Kirsten Hann, Anjali Roberts'

'Anjali Roberts, Hitomi Matsui, Briana Rocheta, Rosemary McLean, Tommy Kwok, Ashlin McCamish, Nathan Thompson, Jennifer Hamilton, Peta Price, Farida Batool, Rodney Love'

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Paintings for Drew

This post, which has taken me ages to put together because of all the resizing and rearranging I had to do, is about one series of paintings that I made for my friend Drew in exchange for a website. A website? you ask. Yes, I had it for about 5 years until a couple of years back. I think it got superseded by blog technology. This forum gives me much more freedom with the combination of text and image. Anyway, I made 21 small panels with various (painted) collage elements which have been combined (not by me) like so:

I can't remember off the top of my head what year these were made. Late 20th century? Nor do I recall if they have a title. No doubt all the details are on the back of the panels (along with paint brands and colour names for future reference).

Anyway, there have been issues regarding the appropriateness of some of the images for living room display, specifically these ones:

Here's how the other 15 might look without them (this post has a lot of padding...):

So what I'm working on now are 6 replacement panels for the contentious works. After that I'll be continuing to work on more paintings so that I can use up a number of panels and canvases that I've accumulated over the years, and experiment with a number of different techniques and ideas that have been percolating for awhile.

Here are all 21 panels for your viewing pleasure:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Entanglement opening

The opening of 'Entanglement' at the Manningham Gallery in Doncaster, Victoria, was last Wednesday, October 15 (I posted to my blog here). I wasn't able to attend the opening, but I have a few photos from the night. Thanks to Megan McEvoy, the curator of the show.

Jason Smith, Director, Heide Museum of Modern Art, and Megan McEvoy, Manningham Gallery Curator, looking at my work.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Helen Lempriere Winner

There seems to be a lot of interest in the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship winner. Despite being rejected for the exhibition, I went to the opening last night at Artspace. A pretty good survey of the contemporary art scene: A series of small, themed, but rather messy paintings? Tick!; a big sculptural piece, preferably kinetic? Tick!; a really big drawing that's like a high-school students notebook? Tick! (actually, that one I liked, and it's by my friend Clare Milledge, but I digress...); lots of video work? Tick! I predicted that the winner would involve a video work, and no surprise, Diego Bonetto's winning entry indeed included a video component (not necessarily the main point of the work, but there none-the-less). Predictably, but depressingly, 90% of HLTAS winners include a video component. So much seems to be written about the diversity of contemporary art, but the same stuff keeps turning up in contemporary survey exhibitions. (Hmmm...I think it's those sour grapes again...)

As-yet-untitled exhibition work

This post is to show two series of work that I'm considering for an exhibition next year some time. I've started looking at galleries with a view to submit a proposal. I'm not just interested in any gallery that will take me, but want to find a good fit for the scale of the work (i.e. a smaller space, somewhere intimate where the work doesn't get swallowed up in a cavernous space).

The first work below is a new series of hair weavings, similar to previous work, but sized to match the paper works which follow. The paper works, Violence, Abjection and Ecstasy, were shown in the Hate and Envy and Crime and Darkness and Pain show that I had at Kudos Gallery last year (see this post for some images from that show). They're matched by colour and size, but also similar themes. I don't want to write too much about the hair works yet as they're still percolating in my unconscious, but I'm thinking of links with the Holocaust (a recurring theme with my hair works) and the cloth that was made which included human hair from the concentration camps. The tentative title I've been using is The Devil's Cloth which refers to striped cloth (see this post for more info). I've used hair from the same people whose hair is in Six Degrees, but I'm not using the names in this series. The idea of individuals in groups is still relevant, but not the memorial aspects of the previous work.

The hair weavings also contain ideas of re-use and recycling, transforming a waste product into art. The paper works are hand-made paper that was buried and/or placed in compost with various materials and allowed to stain and acquire an instant "history," resembling materials which are described as having a wabi-sabi aesthetic. The stitching is the "ecstasy" part of the title, the Apollonian pattern and order on the Dionysian staining and randomness. Both series attend to this idea of bringing order from chaos, an alchemical transformation of base materials into gold.

All the works are approximately 16x16cm, except the last hair weaving which was the last of the series. I used up the last of the spun hair that I had. It may not be included as part of the series.