To make these stuffed drawings i put fabric in an embroidery hoop, draw on it with various things - pen and ink, other kinds of pens and pencils and ink washes. Then i cut the shapes out, sew on a backing and stuff them and sew some more.
I like the way they make the drawing tactile and 3D - like some kind of toy. Making things can be a lot like playing a game or solving a puzzle.
The little origami box has a piece of origami stitched inside. The top left piece is cardboard and collage etc.
This is a monoprint with biro, pencil, correction fluid. I have really been enjoying monoprinting lately, after not doing any for quite a while.
A week ago I took over the lease on the studio I have been sub-leasing, in order to avoid losing it altogether (with about 3 days notice – I was very anxious about it all for a while there ). I am so pleased with how it has all worked out – I have more space now, and it seems to me much more like a proper studio. I have been painting the walls white (they were a green colour which wasn’t that bad but not so good for a studio) and rearranging things. And I got a little fridge! Such luxury…
I loved my studio before but I really really love it now. It is funny that small things can make a big difference.
I will post some studio pictures soon.
My computer was broken for about a week, which drove me nuts. Now i am going nuts trying to catch up on everything, especially on flickr.
Some programs need reinstalling, and a lot of my stuff is in strange new places....but i am so happy to have it back. And my USB ports now work - hurrah!
This little drawing is biro and correction fluid.
I'm kinda working on a little book of drawings like this - might make it as an edition. Probably it will take me a while, other things keep getting in the way. I might even lose interest before it is done...
Click on the image to see things more clearly...
Just another picture of a spectral monster. I'll write something about them sometime.
I think this one should be called the 'horn-headed monster.'
Looks like it might make an awful noise.
Finally I have some photos of my sculptures at 4A. My computer is still not fixed (though I’m hoping it will be soon) , so instead I begun the tedious and slow process of burning them onto cds – tedious and slow because the other computer I have to use is very slow and the burning program keeps crashing on me. But at least I’ve got them. Well I’ve still got another lot to go, but I’m nearly there. It has made me appreciate my own computer, aside from those rotten USB ports. And by the way Canon ‘support’ still hasn’t contacted me. Slackers!
Anyways the name of the work is OSCILLIUM ASYLUM OMNIBUS: SPECTRAL MONSTERS OF USELESS WORDS. They are made from various types of paper, including shredded documents from my local council as well as fabric, thread, wire, plant materials, spakfilla and latex surgical gloves. Some of the paper is folded, some is papiermache.
Yes it's another bloody sketchbook page.
I finally got my fancy camera and my stupid computer won't recognize it. After buying a card reader, and having that not work, we realized it must be a problem with my USBs.
And now my printer and scanner aren't working either, my computer will not recognize any USB devices. It is all driving me a bit insane. I just want my camera to work and i want it to work NOW.
I am glad it's not the camera with the problem, because it is the most expensive thing i ever bought in my whole life.
Anyways i've got my Uncle coming round tomorrow, I am hoping he can wave some magic wand.....
If it still doesn't work i'm just gonna have to take the photos of my stuff at 4A and download them onto my sisters computer (camera is fine on that) burn a cd and put them on my computer. And i was thinking having my own camera would make documentation much easier. So much for that idea.
Oh yeah, from my experience so far, Canon Australia's online customer support is CRAP. Okay, it is not actually a problem with their product, but i didn't know that at the time, and they still don't know that, and do you think they got back to me within the 2 working days as promised? Of course not. And none of the pages of info or downloads relevant to my camera actually work on their website. Fair enough it is a new product, but they have the links there as though there is something actually there. And it was so hard to find any way of emailing them! I had to work my way through a maze to find their Canon online support query form. Not that it did me any good because of course they have not responded.
Opening night went really well, and next week i'll be getting my fancy schmanzy new camera, so photos of the show will be coming soon! But for now just another sketchbook page. Ball point pen, texta, correction tape.
It has been very nice to not have to catch the train to Sydney today. I am tired.
Finished hanging my work at 4A today. Well actually this evening. It has been 3 days of work! Hanging stuff from the ceiling is always a bit tricky, and there were about 60 pieces to hang (not sure exactly), so I spose it is no wonder it was a lot of work.
Today was mostly doing stuff like lighting and labelling, which is a big job in itself. All those dangling sculptures really get in the way when you're moving a ladder around to adjust the lights , not to mention labelling, which, due to the nature of the work had to be on the ceiling. I am kind of suprised we didn't pull anything down.
It is a relief to have it all done. Now i just have to get through the opening night. Back to Sydney for the 4th day in a row. Once again it seems there will be little chance of getting home before 10:30. Oh well.
It is strange to be in such a public place when installing, and even to have my work in such a space. It's not the usual for me. The front of the gallery is just about all glass, and the street is so busy! The Gallery (in Hay street) is between Pitt and George Streets, two of Sydneys major cbd thoroughfares, and a few minutes walk from central station. A lot of people stop and peer inside, and the work is visible even when the gallery is shut. Certainly an odd though pleasing experience for me.
Still no photos, so instead we have another sketchbook page, which is not unrelated to the sculptures. Ball point pen, pencil, collage, correction tape.
Here’s the invitation to the show I’ve been working so hard for.
Opening date: Friday October 20th, 6 till 8pm
Venue: Gallery 4a, 181 Hay St City, betw.
Pitt & George Sts
Ground floor and 1st floor galleries.
Artists: Susan Norrie, Laurens Tan, Anita Larkin, John Massingham, Luis Trujillo, Jade Pegler, Joanne Handley, Iain Whittaker, Megan Sproats, Aaron Hull, May Barrie
Curated by the lovely ladies of liminality Lauren Brown and Moira Kirkwood.
I’ll be using the whole ground floor of the gallery for my work (I won’t bore you with details about why) which will be a whole lot of sculptural pieces that will hang from the ceiling. I think they will be a little scary.
It’s the stuff I’ve been making with the shredded paper. Using this particular space only arose as a possibility about 5 or 6 weeks ago (I think), and it’s a pretty decent size so I’ve been working very hard (so not much blogging)
For an image of the sort of thing I’m showing look in the September archives for OSCILLIUM ASYLUM.
Invitation design by the Vicious Cycle.
Anyways gotta go to sleep so i can get up early and set up my stuff.
Too busy with the sculptures i'm doing for much blogging, Sydney show installs next week, details coming soon!
Just another sketchbook page; ball point pen, pencil, collage, correction tape. Oh yes, i just 'discovered' correction tape, lovely!
Also just 'discovered' spakfilla, but can't really scan anything i've been doing with that, so we'll just have to wait for the photos.
Still no photos of the sculptures i'm currently working on, but the good news is i'll be getting my own superduper (not the technical term) digital camera soon and there'll be photos coming out my ears when that happens...my sister will be happy i am sure when i don't have to pester to borrow her camera. But for the moment we are stuck with scans.
Anyways this sketchbook drawing shows the sorts of things i am making with that shredded paper. The sculptures will hang from the ceiling.
Some more thoughts and theories on the greyness of my work…..
Sometimes others (and sometimes me, too, just to make life easier) refer to my work as monochromatic. But I don’t think about it that way at all, to me all the colours are there. Just in a very toned down, washed out form. You just need to look closely.
The lack of colour provides visual relief from the multicolours we are bombarded with in everyday life……so many colourful things compete for our attention!
My feeling is that art almost always involves the past, and is an act of preservation. It is the product of an actual event, the remains of an experience or process, somewhat removed from ‘real life.’ By using the colouring that I do I feel I am amplifying the sense in which the viewer is seeing the remnant of a living thing. Probably this idea needs a whole post on its own.
It is both organic and industrial, just as many of my forms suggest body and machine.
It makes things look old, a bit jaded, I like this play on the meaning of my name. (I am only half joking) So it is a signature colour scheme…
I’m making some stuff using the shredded paper I used for packing ‘Desolation Row’ for its journey to
Of course being the paper lover that I am, it was going to be difficult to throw out all that shredded paper. So, instead I am making art with it. Sometimes I wonder if my primary motivation in making things is to avoid throwing things away.
The paper, sourced for me by the lovely John Monteleone (a.k.a Mr Monty) is from the Wollongong City Council, so there might be some top secret documents in there; how could I resist?
I am bundling it up and dying it to look rotten and decayed, the bundles are a bit like coccoons. Some will be used for pieces along the lines of OSCILLIUM ASYLUM, others will just be bundles, I think. My plan is to create a kind of installation with the parts, expanding upon the ideas behind the OSCILLIUM ASYLUM pieces, which will probably be included in the final set up. The shredded council documents work so nicely with the ideas behind the pieces.
I don’t have photos of the work in progress, so instead I have scanned some of the smaller bundles. Maybe soon I’ll have some photos.
This little piece (about 12cm high) was in my show at Wollongong City Gallery last year......and is now in the collection of the very lovely Vivian Vidulich (i can't emphasise enough just how lovely)
Often I’m asked about the limited colour I use in my work. I have many explanations for why it interests me, I am unsure if any are really true, maybe it is just personal taste.
But then I do like many artworks that use strong colour, I just don’t like to use it myself. I tend not to wear it, but I much prefer to wear it than to use it…..
Anyways here are some thoughts and theories;
I often work in a way that is detailed, even elaborate. Lack of colour is a counterpoint to this, it makes things simpler.
It looks like the work has been subjected to the natural processes of aging and decay, yet it is a selected and contrived appearance. I love a bit of paradox.
Lots of stuff I make is vaguely festive in form…….it is much more interesting to have the counterpoint of sombre colouring, otherwise it might be a bit, well, yuck, if you know what I mean….just too nice and pretty and that’s not what I’m interested in.
I enjoy tricking people. It’s true! I like the way that from a distance my artworks can look like some old relic, an outmoded device or aged ephemera, but on closer inspection it is clear that they are products of the present. Often my work uses recycled materials, so something old becomes new…..but is made to look even older. Tricky, huh? Or maybe just baffling…
I see my work as exploring the meaning of the phrases ‘shades of grey,’ and 'grey areas' etc. Ambiguity interests me.
Part 2 coming soon!
Another moleskine doodle, mostly ball point again. Also some pen and ink, and a bit of colour pencil.
In the drawing you can see the kind of sculptural shapes i'm working with. I don't do much planned preliminary drawing for sculptures, but i find the two are often kind of heading off in the same direction, apparently.
Oh yeah, ignore my whinge about my image looking crap on blog ('unfinished' and 'doodle' post ) i put it back to normal size once it moved below all
the side bar text, so now it's all ok.......i know you must be feeling a great sense of relief for me...
This sculpture is finished, but i'm in the process of making a little 'flock' of these, if all goes to plan they'll be in a show at Gallery 4A in Sydney next month, i'll post more details about that soon.
I don't have any photos of the ones i'm making, they're a bit like this, and a bit like the desolation row sculptures, except they dangle from the ceiling. See my post 'oscillium asylum'
This is a continuation of my previous Desolation Row postings, so it’ll probably make more sense if you read those first…then again maybe not. You’ll have to scroll right down to find them.
The Cinderella of ‘Desolation Row’ seems to be Cinderella before her transformation into glamourous ball-going princess. ‘The only sound that’s left after the ambulances go, is Cinderella sweeping up on desolation row.’ The aftermath of some sort of festivity gone wrong?
And so we are back to the carnival. It seems that originally this referred to a period of excess preceeding the austerity of Lent, which of course preceeds Easter. This seems to link nicely with the suggestions of the hanging being some sort of carnival, with Easter being a celebration of crucifixion.
‘And the good samaritan, he’s dressing,
He’s getting ready for the show,
He’s going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row’
Another textile reference. I think my sculptures resemble the leftover, faded paraphernalia from some sort of unknown ritual celebration, or a cast of characters in suspended animation, decaying carnival remnants, petrified puppets.
‘They’ve nailed the curtains,
they’re getting ready for the feast,
the phantom of the opera,
a perfect image of a priest
they’re spoonfeeding Casanova
to get him to feel more assured,
then they’ll kill him with self- confidence
after poisoning him with words’
Nailing the curtains? Crucifixion as theatre? It seems to fit with ‘postcards of the hanging’ And then there’s that play between soft and hard again and, of course another reference to textiles.
My sculptures respond to this through their tortured puppet appearance. I find the ‘hanging as theatre’ idea especially interesting (and a little amusing) when we refer to the act of installing artworks in an exhibition as hanging, ie ‘hanging the show’.
Afraid I think there’ll be more to come on Desolation Row.
Well i am rather annoyed at how badly the image in that last posting came up, it looks much better on flickr, so click on it at have a look at it there if you can be bothered.
This is just another dooodle in my moleskine sketchbook, in ball point pen, of course.
This is from a series of works on paper that i'm currently working on. I kind of thought it would be interesting to post an unfinished thing and then post in various stages of development. That's the theory anyway. It's quite possible that it will be put aside for a few years and become something completely different (maybe origami!) and i'll completely forget to post it again.......oh well.
The drawings reference instructional diagrams, which i love. I'm not completely sure why that is, but perhaps it is something to do with my interest in the processes involved in construction, but who can say. Maybe it's just because they're pretty.