Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012 Blacktown City Art Prize

Due to a missed international flight (it takes skill) and my natural forgetfulness I managed to miss the opening of the Blacktown City Art Prize.  Which is an incredibly shame for many reasons, one of which being they do incredible shin digs.  The food they put out and exhibitions they put up are usually first class.  Apart from missing high class spring rolls and other munchies I also missed out on time on the stage.  I won first prize in Watercolour, one of the eight prizes available for the night.  With one of my friend's Marikit Santiago walking away with the Youth Art Award.  Thankfully she was there to pick up her prize.

My first large prize and I wasn't around to receive it.  As the Universe goes this was a pretty shit pull.  Nevertheless things do work out for the greater good in the end.  The prize money for winning the Blacktown City Art Prize for Watercolor has paid off the international flight I had to buy to get back to Sydney, with some left over for future traveling and art-related activities!  Another wonderful development was that my work was acquired by the Ford Land Company, one of the sponsors for the Blacktown City Art Prize.
The coveted red dot is displayed next to my work and you can see it, and the work, on display till the 10th of November.  The Blacktown City Art Prize has become a pretty popular prize pulling a lot of entrants outside of Western Sydney and it's a worthwhile trip to have a look at some really talented pieces.  Put in a vote for People's Choice Prize or buy some art!  Some of it cheap, and others not so much. 

The exhibition is held at Blacktown Arts Centre
78 Flushcombe Road Blacktown
10am — 5pm Tuesday to Saturday (closed public holidays)
close to Blacktown Station and with on site parking available.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sheffer and ongoing work

Here are just some shots of the salon style install I did for Sheffer Gallery.  Very fond of this surprisingly.  I'm still keen on installation works and the marriage between 2D elements and display units but this was really effective and got a lot of positive feedback on it.  The possible premise being that a lot of my installation units are low, therefore requiring people to bend down to look at the detail of the faux photographs.  With some basic research I think we can say people don't like bending when they don't have to.  It also explains why my work was so popular with children and toddlers in previous exhibitions.  It looks like something for them, being so short and easy to access.  Always lovely to learn some things about viewing and the way people experience artwork.  As well as thinking of the embodied spectator according to ages.

Following that are a couple of in progress shots from work in the same series.  It doesn't show up well but I'm quite excited about this because its Sparkly!  The background noise is made up by a 'silver' pastel that has a nice grey and glittery tone. (So exciting)  I'm also really fond of this image because at one stage it looked like one of the little boys was bursting into flame.  Kind of in the Marvel tradition of Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch, but as a boy in the burbs.  (Please forgive my nerd-out.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Exhibition Tonight! 'Tell us the story' at Sheffer Gallery

Late notice but I'm in an exhibition at Sheffer Gallery, opening tonight!
Wednesday the 15th of August from 6 -8pm.

Come if you'd like to be awed by some lovely work and get a little tipsy with great company.  

The exhibition was curated by Yiwon Park, and the twelve artists she's gathered touch on the idea of visual narrative through different vocabularies.  The lineup includes Leehaiminsun a Korean artist who is currently a studio artist at the Artspace Residency Program.  Artists undergoing a Masters of Research degree such as Melanie Beresford.  And myself!  The exhibition runs on till the 25th of August.  Sheffer Gallery is located on 38 Lander Street, Darlington, incredibly close to Redfern.  

Chelsea Lehmann, Scott Milington, Gavin Cawthorn
Cathy Drew, Jessica Hodgkinson,
Jess Bradford
Yiwon Park, Leehaiminsun, Melanie Beresford
Julia Kenedy-Bell, Marie Peter Toltz, Laura Taylor


38 Lander Street Darlington 2008 Sydney
                                   wednesday to saturday 11-6pm T. 02 9310 5683

Thursday, July 12, 2012

SafARI 2012

The Biennale is a Sydney event that hosts various local and international heavy hitters in historical and well-established places for the Arts.  Such as the MCA, AGNSW and Cockatoo Island.  Safari, on the other hand, is the unofficial side dish to the Biennale of Sydney.  It offers the emerging, unrepresented and alternative Australian arts scene to the public.  Despite its name, reeking of old age jungle trips, long expeditions and endless crossings over hot heavy plains in the hunt for big game.  Safari is mostly located in these three easy to reach locations:

Alaska Projects
Lvl 2, Kings Cross car park,
9a Elizabeth bay road
(behind the police station)

The Rocks Pop-up
13 Cambridge street
75 ½ George street (right behind the MCA)

The Bus Projects
Saturday: Campbell Cove, The Rocks
Sunday: Taylor Square, Surry Hills

A must see would definitely be 75 ½ George Street: 
Humanizing the specter of the artist, in the down to earth work titled ‘Day Job’, Jodie Whalen takes on mundane rituals of 9-5 work in a self-reflexive interactive performance.  Equipped with pamphlets of information, business cards, black biros and short clips of previous work Whalen merges the normative understanding of work with the distant, revered or disregarded work of an artist.  Whalen’s practice explores the mundane, from simple routines to ritualistic patterns.  Echoing, reducing and clarifying these procedures in our lives, Whalen uses repetition and endurance in her work often to address the absurdity of day-to-day existence.  Discussing her entire practice in a mini office-like space there are strange jumps between understanding Whalen as artist, as agent, as having an immediate individual conversation or catching on the fact that the information she dishes out has been repeated countless times.

Another fantastic piece is Huw Lewis’ creation of the disturbing nighttime place of a child’s bedroom in ‘Dead to the world’.  A sleeping figure, distorted childhood productions, like small crude figurines of heroes or villains and wax crayon sketches inspired by tv shows and comic books, occupy a small room in the town house at 75 ½ George Street.  But not all is as it seems, and similar to waking in the middle of the night, and darkness making the toys in your bedroom sinister and watchful, all the detail and relationships between objects created in this fictional space reveal dark and disturbing connections.  The interrelatedness between all the objects comes together to create a sense of muted horror, which I believe stems from a bizarre feeling of familiarity.  All the objects in the room have been fabricated, obviously so, there are no attempts at visual realism, at trompe l’oeil.  There is the obvious presence of material and the artist’s hand.  But that is simply the consideration of surfaces.  What Lewis manages to do is capture a startling authenticity in his production; the room feels like it was modeled on a real child’s room.  The bedroom feels like it has been played in, lived in, that the space has been occupied, is occupied.  So our presence in the room, our intrusion into the silent sleeping tableaux, is like a stranger stumbling through time and space, to a boy's bedroom that has been physically infused with subconscious terrors. 

Other fantastic work is at this venue, and I think it was my favourite for the way the works that really filled, and had a sense of, the spaces they inhabited.  Even sound works that usually bleed out and intrude on the readings of other pieces managed to cohabitate peacefully and productively.  Daniel McKewer’s video piece in particular with its waves of stuttering digital crash never once argued, in my opinion, with Julian Day’s ongoing sonorous vibrations.  

Alas Alas Safari is at its end, with only one more weekend to go.  My suggestion for this week is to ignore the Biennale for a couple of days and head down to those three venues.  For more information about look at the Safari website. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Analog Group Show

Me and many others will be showing at the 'Analog' Group show at Tortuga Studios.  Artists from various disciplines have gathered by the incredibly fertile curation proposal of: Analog.

Slides, vinyl, the ticking hands of a clock or the jittering static of a TV signal, this and other ample suggestions have been handed over to the artists.  Whatever comes about it seems as if this will definitely be an old school crowd shaking fists at the ever looming digital progression.

Fists will be shaken and feet will be moved also by the live music by Rob Joyber, Sunny Bin Roving D.J and other guests.

Opening night is 
Friday the 13th of July
6 - 9 pm at
Tortuga Studios
31 Princess Hwy
St Peters NSW 2044 
(right next to the station)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Brief interlude of Old Work

Some old work that I don't think I've shown before.  I've been cleaning up my room (for weeks) and I've finally cleared enough detritus from my desk for it to be useable.  These three works have been removed from the rubble and are now staring at me when I work at my desk.  They're relatively early and mostly experimental work from last year, and I like to look at them to get me in the mood for trying weird stuff and making mistakes.  Pretty happy with the first two images, the third remains unfinished but hopefully I'll figure out where his feet go in the future.  They're mostly experiments with charcoal, water and wax on canvas.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Work

These are just a few experimentations I started recently.  They are continuations from the work I did last year with replicating photographs onto metal plates.  Previously I was priming the plates then working on top of them with charcoal and other dry media.  During that year I was interested in working with the plate more, especially since they were mostly off-cuts from zinc etching plates and I knew that I could be altering the surface more.  But I just didn't have the time.

After recharging for a few months this year I've started with these new works.  I might build them into a proper project but at the moment I'm simply still exploring what can be done with the medium.  I'm still at a learning process with transforming tonal qualities into textural qualities, and how that relates to reading the image as a positive or negative image.  But I'm really enjoying the tactile quality of these works, and how touching diminishes the need for visual legibility.  They're quite strange little artifacts and I think they read more directly with tin types, negative glass plates or other forms of photography, which is nice.

Most of the new works are just an open bite with acid, which has me blocking out parts of the metal I don't want eaten away with acid resistant bitumen.  (The last image still has bitumen on it!)  With the possibility of progressing towards more forms of intalgio as the experiments go on.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Soda_Jerk @ UTS

Running along the same line as my last post: I urge people to see Soda_Jerk's Lecture project on tomorrow night at UTS!  I saw "The Carousel" tonight at Serial Space and it was an hour well spent.  This video performance lecture ties together Cinema, Death and resurrection, addressing the ability of film to reanimate dead actors, past scenes and impossible sequences.  Film samples from movies of the undead are  clipped together with more oblique hauntings, and offer strange temporal collisions in the act of watching.

The second running of "The Carousel" is on:

Monday, May 14
6:30 pm at UTS
702-730 Harris Street 
at the DAB Building
Level 3, Room 56

The lecture is free and open to the public

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Awesome Shows to See

I've been to a few lovely shows recently,
and I've also missed a few.

It irks me that I didn't see the Thomas Demand show almost as much as it saddens me that people didn't make it to some exhibitions that I thought were amazing.  Too many thoughts on the past however, brings too little action in the present.  Rather than moulder in my sadness I've decided to try more actively recommending some great shows.

Best show(s) so far can be seen at:

Tin Sheds Gallery

148 City Road
Part of University of Sydney
Architecture, Design and Planning

Now showing

Červená Voda (Red Water) by Nathan Babet 

Chances are if you like tree houses, watch towers and camping grounds you'll like Nathan Babet's show at Tin Shed's.  A heady combination of video, installation and performance Babet's work transforms half of the gallery into part-fictional part-factual wood working space.  Pine trees collected by Babet (shown in the videos) are installed in the gallery space to evoke a forest-like setting.  In which Babet, over the period of a month, builds a working wooden watch tower.  The work has deep roots in Babet's European family ancestry, but even without any knowledge of familial, cultural or geographical specifics the work retains an immediate relationship to nostalgia, mythologies, and the quiet and sometimes subtle menace of the forest. 

Taking up the other half of Tin Sheds is a group show consisting of Paul Gazzola, Dara Gill, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Sebastian Moody and Lara Thoms, curated by Georgie Meagher.  There is a subtle humor which underlies each work, and as a result there is an overriding playfulness in the artists' response to the curatorial theme of 'Economy'.  Taking a step back and working with simple exchanges and relationships with money, chance, production and success, 'We need you, you need us' avoids any anxiety or vanity that could cloud an exhibition based on an artist's place in the capitalist economy.  It is a fun show with interactive elements, clean reduced work, and great installation.

Luckily both shows exist in one location, rarely is there a better two-for-one deal for those with little time on their hands but starved of a good art show.  The exhibitions are on till the 19th of May, the gallery is open 11-5pm Tuesday to Saturday. 

More Starbucks!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jenny Birt Award

Deadlines have been pouring in recently, and I have been neglected my blog quite a bit.  But here is some delayed news:
I've been selected to be in the Jenny Birt Award, which opened on Monday 30th April.

The Jenny Birt Award is a shortlisted exhibition of works by COFA painting students. This annual award was initiated by the U Committee in 1995 and named in honour of Jenny Birt, a committed supporter of the visual arts. The award is presented to an outstanding coursework students.

It was a lovely opening (great catering) and the show is on till this Friday 4th May.  The exhibition is at Cofaspace, at College of Fine Arts on the corner of Greens Road and Oxford Street.  The gallery is open 10-3pm.  Showed above is a new installation with a mixture of old and new work.  Internet be willing I will post more images soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review of last week's Paper Plane Gallery Show + more openings!

Bernice Ong, a friend of both me and Chris Ross, beat me to the punch and wrote a lovely review of last friday's Live Drawing event.  You can read it here.  It was a fantastic turn out and was a truly rewarding opening night as several viewers, myself included, had a chance to participate in the drawing process.

The show has sadly come down after only one weekend but there are several more things to come including an opening tonight 6-8pm at the newly created Galerie pompom.  This is a new commercial gallery space coming out of MOP Projects, a well known ARI space on Abercrombie street.  Click here for map.

Other events happening this week include the opening of White Rabbit's Sixth Show.  The White Rabbit gallery contains one of the largest contemporary Chinese art collections in the world.  And it happens to be a stone's throw from MOP and Galerie pompom in Chippendale.  Opening is this friday night (9th of March) at 6:30pm, this function usually goes on till late and has excellent catering.  Show up early to avoid crowds.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's Art Month!

There are various talks, walks and creative workshops going on this wet and windy March as Art Month starts up once again.  One in particular caught my eye in reference to a previous post I did about phone photography.  There will be a Free Mobile Phone Photography workshop for 12 - 16 year olds happening on 24th of March, more details here

Also, on tonight is a live drawing event at Paper Plane Gallery,
at 727 Darling street Rozelle from 6-8pm
the exhibition and possible live drawing continues over the weekend.

Monday, February 20, 2012

More from Singapore, drawings from Coffee Bean

I sort of went on a mini pen binge with this one.  I had just bought expensive pens from Muji and couldn't decide which one to use...so I used all of them.    

Sunday, January 22, 2012