Wednesday, August 31, 2011

COMA does weeds in the local library

Our esteemed Collaboration of Maleny Artists (COMA) leader Ken Munsie has rounded some of us up once again to do a themed exhibition. The latest is Maleny Image 9  - Introduced. The introduced is about feral things but given the fact that our local library is promoting weed week most of us used that as the basis for our pieces.

On Monday Fiona and I joined Ken to put up the 18 pieces of the contributing artists.

Barry Smith © Maleny Image 9 - Introduced
As you can see from the photo above the display looks good. Ken tells us that when the exhibition is taken down from the library it will be set up again in one of our local coffee shops - the Up-Front Club. If you check out Ken's post you will see all the pieces in their glory. The colourful exhibition is receiving very positive reviews from library users; and hopefully creating a little awareness about the danger of weeds taking over.

My work (and Fiona's) focusses on Ageratina riparia (also known as Mistflower and creeping crofton weed) - it is a garden escapee.

Barry Smith © Introduced (weeds)
The finalised piece above.

Barry Smith © Foldformed anodised aluminium leaves
Barry Smith © Foldformed anodised aluminium spiky flowers 
Barry Smith © Foldformed anodised aluminium spiky flowers and leaves
Barry Smith © Foldformed anodised aluminium spiky flowers and leaves

And above photos of bits in construction mode - which I had posted on some time ago. The piece is made from cold foldformed recycled anodised aluminium that I cut from old canisters, cake tins etc.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beginnings and endings

Today was the fourth day of our Creative Spaces - Open Studios. It started with brilliant sunshine and I could not resist a photograph or two of the rusted wheels and timber beside the shed.

Barry Smith © Shadows of rust

Barry Smith © Rusted on
And the shed (aka 601 mvr studio) was also looking great in the sunshine.

Barry Smith © The Shed - aka 601 mvr studio
As were some of our sculptural work on the terrace outside the studio.

Barry Smith © Simple post with leaves

Barry Smith © Sculpture on the terrace

Barry Smith © Beautiful light across the valley
The day started slowly - Fiona and I decided to do a bit of creating just for ourselves (Fiona doing rust paper and I got into a few more intricate leaves) - but by 11.15am it went ballistic and then never really let up until 5.30pm. People were extremely interested in talking about the art; and many conversations were had about how to do stuff, technical stuff like annealing, lots of demonstrations; and as a 'party trick' I made quite a lot of small brass leaves and all the visiting children went away with a treasure (where does he get all the gold {brass} from mum).

Barry Smith © Great calligraphic art Fiona

Barry Smith © From rubbish to leaves - enthralled?
And after 100 people through the studio today the weary artists sat on the log and enjoyed a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Barry Smith © Weary after a good day's work
We are somewhat revived now after a few celebratory bubbles. And it was good the we also sold quite a few bits and pieces. Thanks to all who sent positive vibes to us for a successful time - they worked.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Art-craft on Friday

Fiona and I have used much of today to finish our preparations for the second round of the open studios on this coming Saturday and Sunday. This included cutting firewood as it looks like the days will be cold and wet - so the slow combustion fire will be burning. I annealed a heap of metal as last week people were keen to see some demonstrations of leaf forming and bowl making - giving away all my tricks?? I have moved a couple more sculptural pieces up onto the gravel terrace outside the shed. However, the main task was to create a few more 'a word a day' bowls and their words; and more Inspirations in the pocket.

Barry Smith © Word a day bowls & words on workbench
Whilst beating the bowls and cutting and stamping the work bits I was thinking is this art or craft - and does  it matter? I use technical skills to make the bowls and bits but they are a bit of a production item. However, the driver for me to make these bowls and word bits is that they might just add a little positive energy and focus in the lives of a few other people. A woman who bought a word a day bowl and words last weekend said she just wanted it for herself so that she could begin the day with positive thoughts and energy - good enough reason to continue making them really.

Barry Smith © Word a day bowls with words in place plus polishing wheels
Barry Smith © Detail - a word a day
Barry Smith © Word a day bowls with leaves
Barry Smith © Inspiration in the pocket bits
You can see from the photos above I have made a few bowls from silver plated drink coasters; and words from offcuts from various trays and fruit platters I have cut up to make personal shrines and bowls etc.

This weekend Noela and I are also going to show some of our Bazola jewellery.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Production yet unique

On the Saturday of the Open Studios there seemed to be a run on beaten bowls - we  sold quite a number of various sizes and material. So in preparation for next weekend I have had to get into production mode and make about 8 replacements.  Yesterday I managed to cut out and do some initial beating on the five bowls you see below.

Barry Smith © Roughly beaten bowl components
Barry Smith ®  Rough bowls - detail

Today I was able to finish all five.

Barry Smith © Five - shiny and polished
The three below are multi-metal and multi-layered and riveted bowls.

Barry Smith © Multi-metal, multilayered beaten bowls
The other two are simple bowls beaten from a EPNS food and drink coaster.

Barry Smith © From coaster to bowl

Always gives me pleasure to see the recycled materials turn into something of beauty; and also to ensure that each piece is unique.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

People and ephemeral art

Fiona and I are a tad tired this evening after the last two days of Open Studios and the art4place activity. The Open Studios was a great success - we had about 120 people through over the two days - about even numbers on both days even though today was wet and windy.

But I thought I might share some photos of the the art4place work that went on in Pecan Park as part of the Festival of Walks Maleny party. art4place artists Noela, Tracey, Edith-Ann and I worked with Tracey's partner and Fiona M and other visitors to Pecan Park to create Cairns of Hope and Inspiration. The aim was to create cairns with park visitors, party-goers and walkers out of timber and twigs collected from the edges of the park; and to get people to place messages of hope and inspiration into the cairns. The art was ephemeral in that it would either rot away, be burnt or be redistributed into the edges of the park. Whilst the photos below shows that one of the four cairns was burnt over night the others were still in place.
Barry Smith © Cairn after the fire
I really felt a sense of strength that community artists had given their time to create the installation of cairns.
Barry Smith © Cairn- beginnings
Barry Smith © A vista with cairn
Barry Smith © Tracey cairn
Barry Smith © Scale and majestic trees
And some people did contribute their messages of hope and inspiration - and sent those vibes out - even as they burnt.
Barry Smith © Messages of hope and inspiration
Barry Smith © Global messages
Barry Smith © Cairn with messages of hope and inspiration
Big thanks to Noela, Tracey, Edith-Ann and Fiona M - stars.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Catchup on Friday

It has been a pretty crazy week as Fiona and I have been on the road, or should I say in the air, for work-work in some shape of form for most of the week.

Tomorrow we are into the first weekend of our Open Studio event  and  601 mvr goes live - as you can see from the photo below.

Barry Smith © 601 mvr - that is us
The day has been a real mix - mowing the weeds; tidying up around the shed; getting things sorted for the art4place activity also on tomorrow; moving stuff across to enable me to actually do metal beating work; pricing; putting up signage - I'm tired already - but we also managed to go to the opening of Ken Munsie's studio - great gathering of people.  Thought I might just share a few images of the studio display in place.

Barry Smith © A windowsill of bowls etc
Barry Smith © A bookcase of Light Catchers
Barry Smith © Bowls and balancing 
Barry Smith © Light catchers
Barry Smith © Spiral
Barry Smith © A shelf of leaves
Barry Smith © Floating bowls
Barry Smith © A tin box of our new cards
Barry Smith © A stash of inspiration bits
And some photos of the metal working area.

Barry Smith © Lots of places to hammer etc

Barry Smith © A box of annealed metal
Barry Smith © A bucket of offcuts

Barry Smith © The finishing post
Guess we will see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's that over there

One of the intriguing things about walking in the half light of dawn is that you discover things but often have a double take. Fiona was telling me about how we often do double takes - like walking along seeing something that looks like a animal on the side of the footpath and then split seconds later realising it was a child's abandon hat. But sometimes the half light just encourages one to notice or question one's vision more.

The following appeared on a recent early walk.

Barry Smith © A strange fungi - no a child's pale blue mouse toy
Barry Smith © A small dog - no a hare - wot a hare in Maleny?
Barry Smith © Of course it has always been there!!
And when I got home I couldn't resist comparing a photo of an actual Satin Bowerbird's bower in morning light with my rusted bower in the increasing dawn light.

Barry Smith © Growing bower - tucked under a bush

Barry Smith © Rusted bower at dawn