Friday, December 9, 2011

All Done Now....

Da da. The finished work which was handed in yesterday morning. A package which consisted of a zine, some postcards with a blurb of info about myself - and what kind of art I try to create - and then a box of mini notecards with further examples of my work. About twenty four hours before I handed it in I asked my partner to read the zine. He said it was "a bit depressing". I thought Oh my god, he's right. Why would you want to promote yourself as depressing? You wouldn't. I had been aiming more in the direction of "Hope". I took the first real objective look at it and had a bit of a freak out about how 'wrong' it all was and what in fact had I been thinking the whole time???? I have to remind myself that with creating sometimes you just need distance before you can make an accurate judgement. I still like the concept of what I was trying to say with the zine and am keen at some point to re work it. I do like the mini notecard concept however. Next time though will go for brighter colours. After all am cheerful, happy not depressing.....

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Zine.

Here are some illustrations from the zine I'm just finishing up for the last of this years assessment. This has been a photoshop heavy exercise and I feel as though I have really 'skilled up' with my Photoshop this term. Nonetheless I'm two weeks past the deadline with an extension and my pervasive health problems have me literally dragging myself towards the finishing line.
The zine is about the years I spent in my twenties bedridden (love that word - it's just soooooo 19th century) and all the fashion trends I subsequently missed out on. I can't wait to get it to the printers tomorrow and will post more of the finished product when  get I it back. Zines are lot of fun - I recommend them for anyone in need of a bit of self expression. Anyway beter get back to work. Hope everyone is having a great weekend :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Have a heart - Installation.

Here are the fruits of my labour for last terms work which looked at the theme of 'intimacy' - through the production of multiple plaster castings - for an installation work on the theme. I know I say this every term but I think this is the hardest I've had to work so far. The process pictures of creating the latex moulds and casting the plaster are below. The first step  - creating the clay positive, which were the hearts themselves, then painting the positives in latex - making sure the 'undercuts' were supported by latex filled cotton wool - nearly did me in. I had the flu at the time and found it all so demanding and finicky (the liquid latex smelt literally toxic) I swore it would be the first and last time I ever made a latex mould. But then when it came to the casting I took my time, just doing one batch of plaster a day, out in the sun, no pressure, and I got excited about what this process can achieve. Making your own mould and then having the option to just reproduce from that opens up a lot of possibilities. 

The liquid latex smelt like the ammonia from a hair salon. It took about six coats to get this thick. It has some stretch but not a lot surprisingly.

Fun plaster casting in the sun - I needed 15 hearts in total.

OH&S photo opportunity.

My installation chose to look at intimacy in the context of a hospital - the concentration of such intense  life events in a single space contrasted with the sanitised lifelessness of the building itself. It helped that the heart is a traditional symbol of intimacy but to represent it as it is - a bloodied, messy organ which sustains life - pushed the metaphor a bit further than that. I've enjoyed playing around with concepts in this course as much as I have the materials themselves. I can't believe I've only got a few more weeks (and still soooo much work) to go. Actually, I can't believe I've made it this far.....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

1950s Fashion Print.

Was nearby my most favourite bookshop the other day and couldn't resist popping in and adding another ten books to my wishlist. Every where I turned was another title to drool over (not counting Boganomics which, while making the list, was an exception for not being in the Art and Design section). If I had to choose just ONE of those books for my family to get me for Christmas (and I do, since we're on a the "Life's Not Just One Big Bookshelf" budget) it would be 1950s Fashion Print by Marnie Fogg. In addition to the beautiful quality of the prints and literal feast of mid century textile design  the cover is cloth bound. Do I need to say more????

Oh, I forgot to mention Marnie Fogg's campanion book to this (just in case some rich relative secretly finds my blog entertaining and is loitering here) Fashion Illustration 1930s to 1970s. It's cloth bound too. Like I say, just in case....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kokeshi Doll Chandelier

Bigger than than the sum of it's parts? For my daughters bedroom I made this chandelier, combining two of our favourite things - Kokeshi dolls and an old chandelier -a lucky junk shop pick up for $5. The kokechi dolls were a fair bit more expensive than we would have liked but by then we were fixed on the idea and just had to run with it.... 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm A Bit Obsessed With...

...this song at the moment "Somebody That I used To know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra. Doesn't it capture beautifully the strangeness and difficulty of having known someone intimately when now they are a stranger to you?  Favourite line of all: You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Looking forward to the whole album coming out later this month :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Hit Of Spring.

This is exactly what I am needing today. A hit of strong colour and floral extravagance to keep me going until these winter clouds lift. Taken from Vogue US August issue, starring Racquel Zimmerman as the flower girl and shot by Steven Klein. Editorial titled Late Bloomers, the Northern Hemisphere is having to drink up the last of summer while here we can only imagine it....

Friday, August 5, 2011


A dark rainy Saturday after a week of almost spring like weather. A friend calls this "Sucker's spring" in Canberra - fooling us into thinking our bunkering down for the sub zero nights is over and that we can now emerge back into the sun in t-shirts with renewed life - only to plunge us back into the freeze for the next month. Cruel. 
A couple of cool etsy finds this morning - an original oil painting by one of my favourite etsy artists Vivienne Strauss above and below this too cool scarf by Celapiu. Hope you are having a great Saturday!
"and she grew..." by Matchstickgirl.

Tracey Emin Lite.

Tracey Emin was my chosen contemporary artist for Contextual Studies last term. I didn't know a lot about Trace before that choice, only that she'd made some pretty cool quilts which had subverted the idea of traditional quilt making by appliquéing her thoughts and messages onto them in large felt letters. The subversive bit coming from the nature of her thoughts - angry, tormented recollections from her difficult upbringing which included several incidents of sexual abuse by her mum's boyfriend, a stranger and then a rape at age 13 by an older boy from school. Then the promiscuous teenage years ending in her reputation as a the town slut. I love that quilting is such a traditional female past time and that women throughout history have probably stitched away as therapy for whatever was going on in their lives - their anguishes and joys somehow being stitched in as they went. However here Emin actually spells it out in uncomfortable truths that meet the viewing eye. See more of her work here which includes everything from textiles to drawing, installation art and photography.
As for the CRAP quilt up top, part of the requirement for the presentation I gave on Tracey Emin was to produce a small sample of our own inspired by the artists work. I have never quilted or done any patchwork before and had only half a day spare to do this but I was driven on, I have to say, by the fun of the subversive element and the excuse to avoid writing said presentation. Alas I can find no further need for the CRAP quilt but if you think you might have a use for it let me know. More than one will result in a "giveway" style draw. Less than one will have it donated to the school fete later this year where it will be snapped up by a cheeky second grader....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Love This House.

I have fallen in love with this house currently featured at The Selby. A 1960s bungalow in Auckland, New Zealand belonging to karen inderbitzen-walller and delphine avril planqueel. It makes such a nice change from what serves as my usual interiors eye candy which is often too perfect and over styled -  to the point of wondering if any body actually lives there. Check these pics out and you'll see what I mean - there is no question somebody lives here. I only wish I could go hang out there with the owners, having a cuppa on that old yellow settee in that sun room and then a long leisurely trawl through their nick knacks, book shelves and magazine collection...

Go here to see the lot including the amazing pink kitchen, bed cover made from a vintage girdle collection and a back yard you can see yourself having a picnic in. Happy viewing!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blossoms In The Dark Heart Of July.

Earlier this week was one of the bleakest days this place has to offer. Dark, bitterly cold and inhospitable. The best place to be was home and in bed. And I would have stayed there but for the pressing need for groceries and scripts waiting to be filled. So off to the shops it was. And that's where I found these blossoms - incongruously in bloom on this darkest of days. Amazing! I know this row of trees and that they do bloom out of season every year but this early? Just as we make our slide into the coldest most inhospitable month? I had no choice but to get my trusty camera out and exercise my amateur photography skills...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sculpture Gone Surreal.


Ifanyone remembers my efforts earlier this year at sculpting my own head  - with exact measurements - and plenty of struggle along the way (getting each degree of 360 accurate was a headache - no pun intended!) then this is what became of Part Two - abstracting the finished head in line with an art movement or some other element of inspiration. I chose Surrealism because I wanted to explore a recurrent dream I'd been having about houses - dreams where I 'd be in a familiar house that would suddenly reveal itself to have an unfamiliar room, doorway, hall etc. There were many variations but the constant was a sense of discovery. Sometimes it was disturbing. Sometimes it was exhilarating. I'd expressed this a while before in some of my illustrations, finding that my figures were ending up with houses atop their heads. It's a classic dream I suppose but what I didn't know while I was doing this part of the sculpture was of an amazing exhibition that had taken place in London at the Barbican about a year ago called The Surreal House which explored the relationship between Surrealism and the House - something I had naively been unaware of and thought was MY connection!!!!!
Hardly. The Surrealist Declaration of 1926 states: 
We have no intention of changing men's habits but we have hopes of proving to them how fragile their               thoughts are and on what cellars they have erected their unsteady houses.
The house was the Surrealists preferred metaphor for the psyche and unconscious as well as holding much  symbolism for Freud who put this to great use in his psychoanalysis.Once I had discovered the Barbicon exhibition and all the traditional connections between the house and Surrealism the exercise became so much richer. I ended up getting a lot out of it and maybe even decoded my own 'house' a bit along the way. Particularly fun was making the new eyeballs to reside in my 'unconscious' house and creating the 'blind spot' in the consciousness! The only down side? I've stopped having the dream.
PS A fantastic 30 second video for the Barbican exhibition is on You tube and worth watching here. It so wonderfully captures the eerie place of the house in dreams.