Saturday, March 28, 2009

Exhibition at Little Fish Gallery

Well, my solo show at Little Fish Gallery has come and gone. All that remains are the images... It's a rather odd space as it leads to an anarchist bookshop out the back, and a Queer Space that was empty while I was there. It turns out I wasn't the first stop on the tour, but the third. About 30? people came in, listened to a talk about the gallery, then I gave a short talk about my work and answered a few questions.

As described in the previous post, I exhibited two series of work. The gallery is a narrow space, and the two series faced each other. On the left hand side of the gallery I showed some works from the Everything Ends series:

On the right-hand side was part of the series Violence, Abjection and Ecstasy:

Some of the people from the Artist-Run Initiatives tour. This is looking into the gallery towards the Anarchist bookshop:

And this is looking back towards the street. Leanne Shedlezki is standing in the middle holding one of the portable Match Box Projects galleries:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Solo, one-day-only exhibition at Little Fish Gallery

Tomorrow, Saturday March 28, I'll be having a show at the Little Fish Gallery in Newtown. It's just a one day exhibition, and I'll be giving an artist's talk about 2:00 o'clock. It'll be the first stop on Match Box Projects' ARI Guide tour. I'm going to be showing some chopstick works, and some stitched hand-made paper works.

The paper series is called Violence, Abjection and Ecstasy. I showed these works in an earlier post with more pieces and larger images. I'm using these images to match them to the 4x4 grids of the chopstick works. This series is of 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. They 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).

I also showed these chopstick works, collectively titled Everything Ends in the Hate and Envy and Crime and Darkness and Pain show (more from that series are here). Each of these is about 20x20cm.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Match Box Projects - The Story So Far...

This Thursday, March 19 sees the opening of a new exhibition in Match Box project's ongoing series of community engagements and collaborative art projects.

The show is on at At the Vanishing Point gallery in Newtown until March 29.

This is my new work for the show. It's a sketch/plan for a painting that hopefully will be made soon. This work is called The Artist Renounces His Decadent Profession. It's about 21x15cm.

I've contributed 7 works to the project so far (this is the 8th). Below is a thumbnail of a hair weaving I contributed first. A larger shot as well as a photo of the chopstick works that I contributed can be seen on my page at the Match Box website.

Momentum: 18th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial at Tweed River Art Gallery

Momentum: 18th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial is a touring exhibition that started at Tamworth Regional Gallery last year (see this post and this post). It's opening on Friday 27 March at Tweed River Art Gallery. If you're in the area (and I must confess to actually having no idea where it is! I'm thinking up north...), pop along and have a look.

The Tamworth Biennial is a prestigious event in the Australian
art calendar. Momentum: 18th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial
is curated by Valerie Kirk, Head of Textiles, ANU Canberra,
and reflects the development of textiles and the ever increasing
rate of change in this field.
The Temporary Exhibitions Gallery
Valerie Kirk says, “The exhibition will present the vibrancy of
contemporary Australian textiles, exploring the forces that drive
our most innovative and accomplished practitioners. Momentum
identifies the artists on the move, embracing the future with
works that surprise and inspire.”

Thursday 26 March - Sunday 10 May
The accessibility of the language of textiles and its relevance
to contemporary life demonstrates why artists have elected
to work in this medium. This exhibition of work by 25 artists
from across Australia will provide audiences with a focus on
the finest and most exploratory aspects of contemporary
fibre textile practice.
A Tamworth Regional Gallery touring exhibition

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More wire sculpture

This post has been a bit of a struggle. After posting about the wire and hair sculptures (here) and the wire and globe sculptures (here) I thought I'd put together a post of a lot of other wire sculptures from the same era. I had some images digitised already, and I found some photos (possibly from slides), so I scanned those, but quality is not great. As I mentioned in one of the previous posts, these photos were from the very beginning of my exhibiting career and before I started getting a professional photographer to take photos for me. So basically I had lots of poor quality images from a number of different sources, plus trying to work out the titles of all of them, so it has taken a bit of time. They date from 1998, 1999, and 2000, and were exhibited in the 'Crack' and 'Touch' exhibitions at PCL Exhibitionists.

This first work was called Numbers. It's a wire structure, stuffed with cotton wool, covered in silicon gel (what you would use to seal windows or shower recesses) and then thousands of pins stuck into it. It was about 45cm high. It has since been destroyed in a purge.

The End Justifies the Means was one of a number of religion-themed works. It fit with the "oppressed by corporations" theme, the Catholic church basically being a self-serving corporation with one aim - to perpetuate its own existence at any cost. It was a phase I was going through... It was a wire cross covered in thousands of nails joined by a gel medium as adhesive. It weighed a good number of kilograms! It rested on three bibles - one white, one brown, and one black. The church isn't racist - it oppresses everyone regardless of skin colour.

This was another grid of wire boxes, these ones covered with plastic tape, polyester resin, and spray painted black. Its called
Black Paintings 1-9.

I've made a number of roughly human-shaped figures over the years. This was one of a pair for the Touch show. This is Schadenfreude, and the other was Weltschmerz. This one has the wire covered in papier-mâché which I then burnt and covered with polyester resin. Weltschmerz had hair stuffed into the wire and covered with resin. They were both about 165-170cm high.

This was another burnt papier-mâché work, but without the resin, so it was matte instead of glossy. I think it just had a gel medium over the top to seal it. It was never exhibited, except as part of a sculpture presentation at university, and has no title. It was about 60cm high?

I also tried a lot of different objects on top of the wire. For this one I bought about $100 worth of cockroaches from the University of NSW entomology department. I slow roasted them in an oven to dry them out (they were dead when I bought them, although I could have got them live! The container was thoughtfully placed in a freezer before I got there so they'd be dead). I glued them to a wire cage, then covered the lot in polyester resin. It didn't sell, so I had it in my apartment for a few years. After awhile a gap appeared between the cockroaches and the resin. I guess the structure of the wings doesn't allow a full seal with the resin? Anyway, it ended up in a garden and the lot slowly got reclaimed by the elements. This was made soon after the referendum about the Australian Republic (perverted by the Howard regime for its own ideological purposes) so is called Elegy to the Australian Republic, with a nod to Robert Motherwell.

This work uses cicada shells left after they have metamorphosed into their winged form. It's called The Physical Impossibility of Independent Thought in the Mind of Someone Working for a Transnational Corporation, pace Damien Hirst.

This one also uses cicada shells, and is called Heaven Comes to He Who Waits. I made these works before I discovered the work of Jan Fabre.

The first of a series of spheres. This was covered in chico babies, a chocolate-flavoured jelly baby. The title was Population Explosion, which I re-used for some ceramic eggs years later (here). Like the cockroach work above, the resin started to separate from the chico babies a year or so after it was exhibited. I put it out in a garden to see what would happen. It got attacked by hungry birds and destroyed! I was hoping ants might eat the sugary treats and leave a resin shell around the wire, but, no. It did inspire me to make a work of just resin shells which I'll show one day here. It had a great smell while it still existed.

Another sphere, but this one had papier-mâché on the inside which burnt to a flaky black shell. Covered with resin. It was called No Fire Escape in Hell, and I think got purged at some point.

This sphere was covered with pieces of felt sewn together, and the seams burnt/singed. It's called Fuck Beuys because of Joseph Beuys' use of felt, but also for the homophonic pun.

I'm not sure if this one ever got exhibited, or if it had a title. Another burnt papier-mâché work. I used to really love burning things! I don't do it any more. Just a phase I was going through! I love the random patterning that results, a sort of Dada-esque randomness.

A very poor (even by my standards) exhibition snapshot of Carrer D'Avinyo, a series of long wire tubes covered with burnt plastic and resin. I also had 3 tubes stuffed with hair that was called The Three Graces in the same show. All have been destroyed. Carrer D'Avinyo refers to a street in Barcelona famous for its brothels and referenced in Picasso's Les Demoiselles D'Avignon.

I think this was my first Holocaust-themed work, The Melting Pot (6 Million Dead). It was about 250cm long, and was stuffed with a huge amount of hair from possibly hundreds of anonymous donors (gleaned from hair salons). Two detailed shots, then a not-very-good installation shot.

This was never exhibited and never given a title. It was an experiment that never went anywhere. I spray painted the wire. I liked the colour, but the shape and paint didn't really lend any connotations which I always like to have in my work!