FOREST ART 2019

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Last Friday night hundreds of people climbed a magic stairway into a fantastic Blue world of art, music and wonder.

It was the third “Forest Art” event, born from Brendan Kelly and Claire Yerbury’s creative visioning and sheer physical stamina. This event was designed as a Bower Bird nest, with all works to be blue and proceeds from sales and a raffle to be donated to Beyond Blue which advocates for and supports people suffering with depression.

This was the second Forest Art event that i was invited to exhibit in. I created a series of cyanotype collages which were small and intriguing and not surprisingly featured a range of mythical themes.

The Kingdom of Blue
cyanotype collage
20x14cm

The exhibition is set on Brendan and Claire’s property, and begins with a walk up 98 stairs through the forest lined with artworks.

And some helpful and entertaining performance artists:

The Bower featured more than dozen artist’s work that included painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, collage and installation.

Brendan Kelly – Captain of the Forest Art ship

The night was enjoyed by one and all who must surely be now anticipating the next one that is already planned for September 2019.

I Thought My Muse Was Dead

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mixed media collage
40 x 40cm

The creative journey makes me think of a long a gruelling overland trek. At times you travel uphill and the view is clouded by strain and one begins to doubt not only ones capacity to continue but even the value of having begun it at all. And then there are moments when one sits alone beneath a starry sky and all of these thoughts vanish into a sense of oneness with creation itself.

I know the value of my work and my creative journey when i look at an image in wonder of how it was made; where did this come from.

This image is dedicated to my muse, the inner spirit that leads me into an artwork and whispers to me the directions of where and how to go. In this image I can see the years of work, the hundreds of drawings, the paintings that i have made and the ones that i have looked at. I can see every moment of doubt and struggle that i have travelled through and I can see how that all build me and inform my practice.

In gratitude and respect for the creative spirit.

Inspiration

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And so I return from a month away with my beloveds, exploring California and the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

So many amazing moments; inspiring scenery and time for self reflection.

Its time for me now to draw these threads together and lay them out before me in the studio. There is a magic in the unknowing of what will emerge. I can feel the effervescence and now it’s time to trust that that which I have experienced will be present now in what i do and how I am.

Inspiration.

Breathing it all in.

This photo was taken in a small village. It is a traditional Mayan structure. The walls are made from sticks and rendered with mud. I love the hand-made icon and the layered marks.

Women Who Run With Horses

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I’ve had the opportunity to hang some of my artworks in a busy Bakery/ Cafe in Lismore called ‘Henry’s’.

It’s the third time over the years that I have hung here and find it refreshing to place my work in a relatively ‘everyday’ situation. In places like this, artwork can take people by surprise. They are not here to look at art, but may find that they do so anyway, especially of the artwork speaks to them somehow.

This was definitely the case with this piece “Women Who Run With Horses”. This drawing/collage has been with me for a few years now, exhibited but not sold. As I hung it on the wall at Henry’s, a woman at a nearby table began to speak with me. She asked me how it felt for me to sell my work. She listened as I spoke about the gratitude I felt when I found that I had made something that had meaning for someone else.

This woman clearly saw something in this picture. It may have been her daughters, but more likely it was herself. For me, it speaks of the wild spirit of a strong, empowered woman. She bought this piece and I hope that now it goes on to speak to and inspire whoever else sees it in whichever places it finds itself.

A sculptor??

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I’ve had an itch for years that I’ve wanted to scratch.

It was a secret and insistent desire to make sculptures!

Finally, this year, having closed my studio in town to begin working from home, I took another step sideways and made the decision to finally indulge myself.

Hence I joined our local pottery club and not only do I have a studio to use in town, I have access to a kiln and a group of fun and inspired potters.

Its been a few months now of experimentation (I’ve given myself a year to be a beginner) and slowly I am becoming clearer about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of this new media.

 

 

Hand built ceramics are the first step in my intended process. Once pieces such as this one above are fired and glazed, I will be building them into mixed media pieces and installations.

Stayed tuned as finished pieces are unfolding!

A Studio is Born!

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My studio is a garden.

An overgrown tangle of influences where I plant my ideas, my feelings and experiences; digging around (fumbling around) and watching things grow.

For seven years my studio space has been in an old milk packing warehouse overlooking a weeded-over train line. Fifteen minutes drive away from home. This seven years was a time of extroversion – exhibitions, open studios, classes and sharing space with fellow artists.

But lately, the artistic journey has taken me underground. It’s been a time of looking at the core elements of my practice. Who am I as an artist? What are my goals, intentions, values? And how can I align my art practice more deeply, and more harmoniously with the other aspects of my life?

From this time of reflection, a new studio has been born!

After months of planning, saving and negotiating, I now have a beautiful wooden studio next to my home dedicated to my art practice.

Yes, a dream manifested.

New soil to cultivate.

I can’t wait to see what will grow!

studio

Belles-Lettres Exhibition, NRCG, Ballina. Jan 2016

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With a mixture of anxiety, vulnerability, relief and exhaustion, the Belles-Lettres exhibition has been hung (hanged?), opened and blessed by a wonderful crowd of well wishers. The work that I am presenting is a collection of mixed media experimental pieces that, at their core, reflect my process over the past year of rediscovering a playfulness in my practice after nearly four years of academic study.

Collage has become an important method for me to engage my creative self and I really enjoy exploring different approaches to it. These works explore the integration of collage into layers of resin. The installation itself is also a collage; of my work with those of Nathalie Verdejo. Nat similarly works in a process based way, using plaster with embedded mixed media.

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The Northern Rivers Community Gallery is a beautiful space, provided by the Ballina Shire Council. There are four rooms so four exhibitions are presented over each four week period. In the large room is Steve Waller with a magnificent exhibition of contemporary drawings:

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Steve presents a mix of hyper-realistic drawings and abstracts. Shocking, intriguing and a world unto themselves.

In the other rooms, Amanda Bromfield exhibits Rococo inspired ceramics and Imbi Davidson exhibits dynamic landscape inspired paintings.