Sunday, May 29, 2011

COMA exhibition

On Friday night the COMA exhibition 'between the lines' was opened.  Some 30 plus artists accepted the challenge to do small art pieces (150mm square for 2D pieces or 150mm cube for 3D pieces). Each work were in some way based on a book the artists had read.

The exhibition is displayed on glass shelves in a prominent corner of Rosetta bookshop thanks to the owner Anne. The exhibition was opened by Ken Munsie - COMA coordinator and general herder of artistic cats. Interesting idea of bringing art and book together. And a compact exhibition - just shows that you don't always need the big gallery to create and exhibit.

Ken's piece - wood and hand made paper
Fiona's piece has a red dot
There were a few red dots on opening night. And the opening crowd enjoyed a wine or two to celebrate the event and gathering.

I was asked about my iPhoneography so I obliged with a quick demo.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Celebrating the moon

Though today had more work-work in it than Fiona and I would have liked, we did manage to do a little art as well - Fiona continuing preparations for the workshop on Sunday; and I decided to make one last personal shrine to go into the mini exhibition we are having at the Up Front Club (opening on 16 June).

The piece below is simply called Shrine to the Moon. I had thought of calling it A Shrine for the Moon Goddess but that seemed a bit OTT.

Barry Smith © Detail - Shrine to the Moon
Barry Smith © Shrine to the Moon
 This shrine has a lot of history associated with it. It started life as a small silver plated drinks carrier, a couple of roughly rectangular and very ornate drinks trays, a couple of old and badly stained brass washers, copper rivets from Japan and a brass dome 'nut' from the old city centre in Hanoi.
Barry Smith © Testing leaves and bowl on STTM
I still need to finish the shrine; and put a solid ply backing on it. I am also trying to make up my mind what metal I will use for the offering-incense bowl and maybe accompanying leaf. Fiona thinks maybe brushed aluminium; but brass could pick up the central brass nut and washers and copper could tone in with the copper rivets. What do you think?

And by the way if you haven't visited the Giveaway for Autumn - possibility of 'winning' a little litter of leaves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Giveaway for Autumn

I suddenly noticed that I had passed 300 blog posts; and I want to maintain a bit of a promise to myself that I would celebrate each 100 post with a small giveaway.

What better way to celebrate the closing of Autumn (we are soon to head into winter) then to give away a little leaf litter. No precious metal - three leaves reminiscent of autumn tones made from old anodised aluminium canisters and trays.

Barry Smith © Leaf Litter
If you want to be part of giveaway just stop by and leave a comment - could be about the beauty of leaves or Autumn or whatever. On the Friday 3rd June (Australian time) I will draw a name out of a bowl and publish the recipient of the Leaf Litter.

And how stunning are the colours.

Barry Smith © Colours of Autumn
Barry Smith © Colours of Autumn 2
And I loved the fact that the moon was still visible against a cold clear morning sky.

Barry Smith © Autumn morning and moon
And the bare fingers of the Frangipani silhouetted against the evening sky.

Barry Smith © Reaching for the sky
Best of luck with the giveaway.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Creativity takes many forms??

Since being home we have been doing things around the block to reclaim it after being away on and off for the best part of two months. So part of Saturday and Sunday was given over to: pruning deadwood out of the citrus trees;  harvesting produce (oranges, limes, lemons and pumpkins); and barrowing and spreading 1.5 cubic metres of mushroom compost onto the veggie patch - to be dug in for our winter garden.

But Fiona and I were also working on organising bits and pieces that will go into her packs for the course she is running next Sunday with the Gold Coast Calligraphers group. As her blog post indicates she is introducing calligraphers to the art of working on a range of non traditional mediums.  Fiona needs at least 20 of each of the mediums to make up 20 material packs. Thought I'd share a few of the bits I worked on simply because the timber grain etc looks good.

Barry Smith © Huon Pine - end grain

Barry Smith © Fiona's HP Stash
Huon Pine (45X45mm) cut into 12mm thick blocks, finely sanded on end grain and two coats of eco timber oil.

Barry Smith © Oak - end grain 
Barry Smith © Fiona's oak and cedar stash
Barry Smith © Oak stash
Thin (5-8 mm) sheets (120X150mm) of silky oak and red cedar - long grain - again finely sanded with two coats of eco timber oil.

Barry Smith © Fiona's brass blanks
Barry Smith © Brass blanks - detail
Brass rectangles (15X75 mm) from old jardiniere - buffed and polished edges - to be stamped.

I think the participants are going to have a bit of fun - Fiona will be giving them the opportunity to experiment with about 10 techniques.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rust lust on Friday

Though the day has held many thing I did get an hour to complete the piece, Journey 2, for the COMA exhibition.

I have still referenced the Snow Leopard by Peter Mattehiessen but for Journey 2: the ‘pages’ represent chapters of a life. The ‘thread’ that weaves through life’s chapters represents the turns and choices or life’s journey. The ‘pages’ are stamped with the words: journey, turns and choices. 

Barry Smith © Journey 2
Barry Smith © Journey 2
Barry Smith © Journey 2 - detail
>Bit of a new thing for me  - I have used bookbinding waxed thread (courtesy of Fiona) to create the thread through the piece - I have used 7 threads combined into one to reflect the seven pages - a sacred number for life. Our lives are made up of many threads.

Barry Smith © Thread
Barry Smith © Journey 2 - detail
Barry Smith © Threads of life
Barry Smith © Threads of life
And of course I have enjoyed bringing rusted metal together with salvaged worn wood.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3D piece for Between the Lines

In an earlier post I showed a 2D piece I had done for COMA's 'between the lines' exhibition.

Fiona and I had a coffee with Ken today and he said he could do with a couple more 3D pieces.

So after an afternoon of 'work-work' I spent a couple of hours in the studio-garage and made a start on a 3D piece - photos below - Fiona said,  "very book-like Barry".

Barry Smith © Journey 2
Barry Smith © Journey 2
Barry Smith © Journey 2 - detail of rust
Still a bit of fixing, finishing, embellishing, adding a couple more elements etc to do. I have put the rusted iron back outside after wetting it so it can cure - at least overnight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Setting moon

Today we got up before the moon had set - so what a great opportunity to have photographed the full-moon last night and then captured it as it set this morning. Why rise in the darkness I hear you ask - answer so Fiona could go to circuit class at the local gym.

The photos are grainy of course as I had the iPhone's 'zoom lens' wound up to the max - though I think it does soften and distort the image in a good way.

Barry Smith © Moonset
The Moonset gave way to a soft quiet awakening of the dawn in the cloud filled valley below our house.

Barry Smith © Sunrise over Glasshouse Mountains
Barry Smith © Sunrise over Glasshouse Mountains
 Early mornings can have their own soft magic.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Unusual images of the moon

More recently I have been using my iPhone to capture images of nature and in some instances alter them.

Tonight we have a beautiful full moon - very bright and clear. I have always been impressed by Suzi Smith's moon photos and at different times have attempted to capture the beauty of the moon in the southern hemisphere.

Tried again tonight - this time with the iPhone. And again whilst I have failed to capture the actual beauty of the moon the iPhone has given some interesting images. Couple of these are below.

Barry Smith © Full moon 
Barry Smith © Full moon - through the fronds
Of course I could do better if I: took lessons in photography; had a better camera; knew about speeds etc etc - but guess what  - those things are not likely to happen - so I will continue to appreciate the great artistic photography of others and occasionally produce some wild distorted images of my own. And talking about distorted - I took the following distorted moon shot and altered it a bit - hmm!!

Barry Smith © Distorted full moon
Barry Smith © Inverted image - full moon
Barry Smith © Distorted full moon - solarized
Barry Smith © Distorted full moon -  tri-tone
Still like playing with my iPhone apps.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ahh!! 'Tis good to be back in the studio

I really felt we had arrived home today when we were able to plan to spend a few hours in the studio this afternoon; and it felt right.

While we were away working in the NT a couple of friends and Fiona's dad have been on the lookout for bits for me to use in my work. Carol and Edith-Ann presented me with a stash of silver-plate ware and a small copper tank. Graham bought a box of miscellaneous bits at a church garage sale. Included was a length of brass with three planes and old chipped lens from a magnifying glass.

Well with a little imagination and a couple of weaving shuttles those bits have become a piece called Moon Gate.
Barry Smith © Moon Gate
Barry Smith © Moon Gate
Barry Smith © Moon Gate - top perspective
At the moment our moon is about three quarters full and with cold evenings and clear skies it is just so big, bright and clear. The old lens just reminded me of the sacred moon and called out to be made into a piece. The weaving shuttle give a bit of a sense of gate posts or entry to a temple or some such thing. It all needs quite a bit of tidying, a bit more embellishment and cleaning - but I think you get the general feel of the piece. Inspired by the photography of Suzi Smith I think I feel a moon series coming on.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday's effort - a bit late

As we all probably experienced the blog system was down - makes it a bit difficult to keep in touch with the blogger art community - but we are back online so all is well.

I did manage to get down to the garage-studio yesterday after having cleaned it up a day or so before. I have started on a couple of assemblages but wanted to finish my COMA piece for the COMA Maleny Image 8 "between the lines" exhibition which is to open about 27 May - work to be submitted by 26 May. The exhibition will be in Rosetta Books (bookshop).

All works need to be 150mm square and need to reflect something about a book the artist is familiar with (read?).

My piece reflects my response to The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. I felt the book was not just a story of his journey after his wife died or about the snow leopard but also about life and the choices we are faced with, with all the twists and turns that are offered or challenge us along the way - as was the case in his journey.

Barry Smith © The journey - turns and choices
Barry Smith © Detail - The journey - turns and choices
The final piece, The Journey - turns and choices, is a grid with a central point. I have stamped sufficient letters into the piece (randomly) to enable the viewer to pick out the words: journey, turns, choices. The gridlines represent the different paths we can take in our life journey and the central point represents the fact that we are the centre of our own journey - nobody else's.

I started the piece with a blank 150mm square piece of rusted iron - which could represent the blank page we start with at the beginning of any journey.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rusted wrecks in Little Lagoon

Indigenous people have lived in the area know as Umbakumba for a very very long time. QANTAS set up an airbase in 1938 so it could make international flights from Australia. The RAAF used the base during WW2. Missionaries set up their operation in 1958. I don't know who has left the machinery behind but there are some beautiful rusted bits of machinery in Little Lagoon.

So as a farewell to Umbakumba, for now, I wanted to share how nature is gradually dealing with the machinery.
Barry Smith © Wreck at dawn - Little Lagoon
Barry Smith © Motor at sunset - Little Lagoon
Barry Smith © A sinking feeling?
Barry Smith © Wheel hub and oysters
This 'dozer" was there 20 years ago when I visited - hasn't moved but has gained more great character and texture.

Barry Smith © 'Dozer" 20 years and going nowhere.

Barry Smith © "Dozer' - Little Lagoon

Barry Smith © Engine block and oysters.

Barry Smith © Radiator - copper and salt

Barry Smith © What beautiful texture

Barry Smith © 'Dozer' tracks with oysters
Today I spent a couple of hours cleaning the garage -studio in preparation for doing a bit more hands on creativity. OK I just couldn't leave the images alone - so here are a few that have been altered.

Barry Smith © Ghost 'dozer' in Little Lagoon
Barry Smith © Jewelled hub - Little Lagoon
Barry Smith © Jewel stack - Little Lagoon