Monday, November 30, 2009

Deep Red and Mini

Good news folks – at least for me the lunch box legend - the back issue is resolved and I am again dangerous – to myself of course.

Fiona and I have been off line for a couple of days. For some reason after a recent storm our area lost all telephone connection and of course that means internet. Two days of deprivation – we were getting a bit jittery but we are back online and all is well.

There is so much to report including Andy Goldsworthy’s visit to Kenilworth, Sue’s visit and finishing both the COMA and Mackay pieces. Thought tonight I might share the COMA piece . As you know I started with a big cube of rose gum and then carved it.

Well I have worked it a bit more and have added a twist because I got a bit carried away and not only completed Deep Red but did a mini version of map reference 26SX152E. Deep Red is about 350mm cubed whereas Mini Deep Red is 50mm cubed. You can see the difference in size as Mini sits on top of and in front of Deep Red - Mini is about a 50th the size of Deep Red.

Just love the colour and form of Deep Red but also the jewel-like appearance of Mini Deep Red. Interesting what results from retaining the design but changing the dimensions and materials.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Legend in my lunch box?

As indicated in an earlier post I have been somewhat incapacitated with back muscle strain – I have to find lighter timber and gravel??? And I have been under strict instructions from Fiona (physios never really give it up)as to: what exercises I must do; and what movements are good for me; and lifting I’m not to do while she was in Sydney for a couple of days work – she knows me too well.

I was talking to her earlier today and reporting what a good lad I’d been in that I had resisted the temptation to lift the COMA cube up off the floor onto the bench to continue working on it – it weighs a ton (be very afraid Ken).

She agreed that it was so unlike me – she said she was almost speechless (I think she nearly had to sit down for a bit such was the shock); and that I was in danger of becoming a legend in my own lunch box. Somehow I don’t think that was a compliment.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Metal pages

The pressure is on to get the artists’ book completed in the next few days. Fortunately straining a few muscles in my back has meant that I can’t get outside and haul gravel and do other landscaping jobs on the block – so the art work for Mackay and COMA have got a bit of a move along.

I finished the metal pages for my artists' book today – I think the shape and some of the patina looks great. The poem I am using is stamped on the pages – takes quite a long time and accuracy to get the words into the metal so to speak - but I like the combination of the three dimensional work and the written word.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Placemaking path kick-starts ArtSite

In a couple of earlier posts I reported on the progress of the placemaking path that Edith-Ann had initiated and a number of us contributed to the construction of. The first photo shows a view of the completed path including the garden created by Edith-Ann and Carol. The other photo is Bev Hand (local Aboriginal elder) making her hand marks on the first people panel of the path.

The path was officially opened on the 11 November by our local councillor Jenny McKay. I will post a few photos when I get my hands on them. There was a good turnout of people to witness the event. Jenny said it was the first time she had opened a path – but of course it was much more than a path – it is now a place for people.

Making the path also provided the incentive to establish a body to promote, coordinate and manage community and placemaking art in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. That new body is ArtSite. ArtSite is a cooperative community enterprise established at a meeting of artists and other community members at the Hinterland Business Centre on the 5 November.

Members of ArtSite come from the Sunshine Coast Hinterland; have a range of backgrounds (artists, urban planners, project managers, place designers); and bring a range of skills to the ArtSite community enterprise. It is managed by a committee of volunteers.

The first ArtSite project is under development so I will post more on that later.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sculptor combines rust and ceramic forms

Sometimes we come across a fellow artist whose work just seems to resonate with you. Last night Fiona and I attended the opening of Kim Schoenberger’s exhibition at Maleny Artworks Gallery.

We were both impressed with how well her larger sculptural pieces were designed and resolved. She has combined the texture, great glaze and strong lines of her ceramic work with the rust of found objects and rusted welded pedestals. Of course we had to buy some of her work for the block. It will continue to rust and weather nicely outside when installed in our rock river.

Photos of a few pieces from the exhibition are attached – but the exhibition is really worth a visit either physically or virtually.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Deep red - timber and earth

Life on the block is quite diverse at the moment. Fiona has posted a couple of times about the bounty from the garden – she did not report that it is also a great time for weeds to be bountiful - so as well as harvesting lots of great vegies we are also at war with the weeds. It is also the time of the year for us to get into house maintenance so the last week or so has seen the decks being cleaned and spruced up with a fresh coat of deck finish – hard on the knees but they are looking good and the timber is protected again.

Still we have had time to continue developing our pieces for COMA and Mackay. My COMA cube is taking on a new shape as a response to the map reference Ken gave me for the Maleny Image 6 challenge.

The photos show the chainsaw has been in action to cut a good wedge off the cube and now the topography is being carved into the top face – some good texture and timber grain showing through; and the deep red grain of the rose gum below will be great once it is oiled.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recycled materials

One lesson I learnt from the In the Stillness exhibition was that I have an ongoing love of and commitment to using as much salvaged and recycled material in each piece of my work as I can. Obviously I need to use new glues and rivets etc but the main body of work can be based on reuse. I also learnt that in the main metal and timber are the materials I warm to most – with a bit of Perspex thrown in occasionally.

I am currently working on both a COMA piece and also a piece for the Artspace Mackay artists book exhibition. The Mackay piece will be an artists book with a sculptural form – as indicated in my rough sketch.

You can see from the photos that the materials I start with can be fairly rough but the new form and at times the cutting and polishing will bring out the latent beauty of the materials.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rock - ACDC that is

Fiona and I were in Melbourne for work this week but as luck would have it there was ACDC exhibition called Australia’s Family Jewels at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. The exhibition is part of the Arts Centre Icon series.

The exhibition is a bit of snapshot of the band through posters, letters, magazine material, merchandise, film and audio clips. Interesting for someone like myself who finds ACDC music quite good to do art and move gravel by.

As part of the launch of the exhibition the Arts Centre organised a Back in Black Friday one hour free ACDC concert. ACDC tracks were performed by lead vocalists from about 16 rock bands. While some of the renditions were a bit off the pace the concert was a lot of fun; and it was great to see the wide age range of people who took up the opportunity to listen – from toddlers to oldies. It was good to be out in a daylight saving Friday evening in Melbourne.

Fiona and I were impressed with a young female rock artist Paris Wells (short blonde hair) who was supported by a couple of other female vocalists called the Bonnets - we think that was their name for the day – outrageous trio - good fun.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Timber cube

The piece for the next COMA exhibition at Maleny Artworks in December is now underway. But of course the first thing was to get the timber cube ready.

As you can see from the photo it is not small. The end result reminded me a bit of the scene from the old Crocodile Dundee movie where he says something like “you call that a knife – this is what I call a knife” as he produces a huge knife. I feel compared to my earlier 150mm cubes this one measuring 350mm is “what I call a cube”. It has real presence and great colour; and it is heavy!!!

As you can see from my rough sketch I intend to shape it to the contours of my map grid and overlay parts with various recycled and patinas metal. So we will see how it goes over the next little while.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Exhibition aftermath

Fiona and my In the Stillness Exhibition has been going for ten days now. It does not take too long to make the transition from intense exhibition preparation to getting back to normal.
As you can see from the photos below my work area ended in a clutter of metal off-cuts, tool, rivets, filings etc.

So yesterday was given over to a couple of hours of sorting and cleaning. Suddenly we had a garage and work bench again. But it didn’t take too long to create a clutter of a different kind – a chainsaw in pieces.

No not a new art piece. I was cutting up some logs with the chainsaw and absentmindedly put the wrong fuel into it and presto one seized up chainsaw. Fortunately after a mechanical strip down I have managed to free the piston and ring up – not too much scoring in the barrel – so hopefully I will get a bit more life out of it. I need to use the chainsaw to shape a cube for the next COMA exhibition Maleny Image 6: mapping the Range which will open at Maleny Artworks on 12 December.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Japanese visitor at exhibition opening

What a week it has been - I am exhausted. Fiona and my exhibition was officially opened on Saturday. The exhibitions of two other artists also opened that night so the whole opening was titled Four Artists Four Worlds.

It was a fun night as the different artists attracted a diverse crowd so there was quite a lot of crossover and interaction. It was also really great to have other local artists there to support the exhibitions.There were a few people from out of town and a couple from overseas. Hiro from Tatebayshi in Japan had made the trip to be there for Fiona and me. Pretty amazing really!!!

We met Hiro some six months ago as part of the sister city art and culture exchange. Hiro volunteered to assist with transport and translation. So now there is an international connection between Maleny and Tatebayshi that is growing. It was also great that while Hiro was here we got to play in the workshop and created a few small beaten copper bowls so he is now a Maleny artist.

Photos of our artworks will be available in the next day or so on the Maleny Artworks site but you could have a peek at Fiona’s photos to get a bit of a sense of our work. One of the things I like is that there are quite a few red dots – or in the words of Audrey a “vulgar display of red dots”.