Friday, December 29, 2006

THANKFUL


Not much art being created at the moment, but there has been a purging of my home contents to create both practical and mind space for the great paintings I am painting in 2007! I am spring cleaning properly for the first time in 6 years. I KNOW my mind will be much clearer when my environment is more ordered. I am creating spaces for more prosperity to fill! In fact, I am inviting prosperity to fill the spaces.

The children are with their Dad, so I have time to contemplate too. Oh, what bliss. I hasten to add I am not spending every hour of the day spring cleaning. I am also setting time aside to read, think and contemplate. I am purging my mind of rubbish too! Sending it all off with no return address. And inviting inspiration and peace to take up residence.

So, I already have thoughts about my next series of paintings. I believe and have always found that periods of time without the paintbrush but with the brain at rest and thinking result in an outpouring of work. The creation of an artwork does not always begin with the act of picking up a brush. It often begins in the weeks and months prior to the first mark. The gift of thinking time is very valuable. The blank canvas is metaphorically and spiritually marked in my mind's eye well before I apply that first stroke. To others the canvas may appear to be blank, but to me it is not.

The Hidden Seen In My Mind's Eye Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm

Sunday, December 24, 2006

HISTORY and INTERPRETATION

It often seems that after an event everyone has a different interpretation of what happened and what the affects are. Now, this can cause 'issues' within a family. It can cause major 'issues' between countries. History is really an interpretation of events. I remember being quite struck by this when this concept was presented to me at University. Up until then school History was just about learning dates and names! University History was SO much more interesting. I am very pleased that my secondary school daughters have already been presented with the concept of History and interpretation.

In this painting the Earth looks at itself. The tree-of-life motif becomes not only a trans-religious and cultural unifier, but a 'system-like' representation of blood vessels, brain matter, underground rivers, cracked earth and so on. I like the fact that the viewer is almost in orbit outside the painting also reflecting back upon 'life' and History.

History and Interpreation Oil on linen 120 x 150 cm

Thursday, December 21, 2006

RAIN

What do we want for Christmas? Well...diamonds, a fabulous Mercedes [my ideal is the new GL because there is plenty of room for the kids and the paintings], beautiful books, colourful crockery??? Well, actually I'd love all of these... and extra time in the day, my children unquestionally doing as I ask, plus some bountiful and steady rain to fall from the Heavens.

I grew up on a grain farm on the flat plains of the Darling Downs in South East Queensland. I grew up with the knowledge that rain/water is precious. I remember living through droughts where my two brothers and I had to bath in same water and we were not allowed to shower. I remember city visitors causing my parents extreme anxiety at bath time, because the visitors really did not understand the concept of a short shower or turning off the tap whilst brushing teeth. I remember my brothers and I doing a rain dance which involved costumes, shouting and gyrating in a circle...it actually worked. We had about four spots of rain from a clear sky [maybe it was a bird's offering!]

Actually I remember some ghastly occurrences on the farm including a mouse plague where the mice would scurry across my body while I was sleeping. And the locust plague was incredible! I recall watching tv with these large insects jumping off my face, arms and legs. They covered the curtains and other furniture and ate my Dad's crops.

But, back to water. After attending University, and doing a stint as a curatorial assistant at the National Gallery in Canberra, I moved to Goondiwindi, a small rural town on the border of New South Wales and Queesland. I lived there for 18 years during which time water became an incredibly valuable commodity due to the irrigation needs of mainly the cotton farmers. In the late 70s/early 80s water irrigation licenses to pump from the McIntyre River were easily available for a relatively small fee. Then the Government decided not to issue any more licenses to assist in regulating water flows etc. This forced the market to make a license a saleable item. They have become increasingly more and more valuable some reaching the millions of dollars.

I noticed that as the years passed the hot dry climate of Goondiwindi changed to a hot humid climate. I put this down to the increasing number of large dams which were built to house water for irrigation and the evaporation from them causing climatic change. These dams are hectares of land. People go sailing on them! From a light aircraft the land around Goondiwindi, Moree and out to St george, and further, is dotted  with large water storages/dams.
Now to Brisbane where we are on level 4 water restrictions. City people are now having to think about how much water they use. This is second nature to country people. Water and rain are always in the forefront of their thoughts, either because there isn't enough, and then sometimes there is too much!

I have driven many long stretches of road out west watching strips of rain on the horizon hoping that a strip is hovering over my place or my town. That utterance "There's rain out there" is full of hope. It is almost like a short prayer.

The painting above is called Rain Out There. It is a small gouache on watercolour paper painting. Actually it would make a great Christmas present for someone. Let me know if you are interested!

NOTE ADDED 6 Dec 2010
This painting sold a few months ago. And as I write this, rain has been falling for weeks and floods are causing destruction.
Cheers,
Kathryn
http://www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com/

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

PARTY TIME



Well. It is party time and I've been to a few parties over the last 10 days. Thus, I have not had the time or the disposition to post anything for awhile. Also, my computer had to have some loving attention from the Computer Fixit place [Concorde Computers ...very good]and I was without my conduit to cyberspace for four days.

Firstly, parties. One of the parties I went to was a fantastic 60th birthday party with a theme inviting guests to really dress up. I was extatic as I have had this pink number in my wardrobe for about five years and have only worn it once before. So, here was a great opportunity to doll up and wear my fab pink, backless dress. This is the dress that enduces my youngest to tenderly say to me, "Mummy, when you die can I have your pink dress?" I reply that I will die when I am 100 and she will be 63 and I am sure she'll look terrific in my backless pink evening dress.

I have posted this photo because SO few photos of me all dressed up are taken... and I am getting older...and while I think I still look ok I am going to show off!

My eldest daughter straightened my hair for the party...no mean feat. She also helped me with my hairdo. The only blight about the hair straightening episode, which took place in her room, was that when my daughter finished she put the straightener on the floor and I promptly stood on it. I lay screaming with pain amongst her strewn clothes and debris as the intense heat scorched the sole of my foot. I lay there crying, "Ice, Ice, Ice!" My daughter did actually feel sorry for me and ran to get the ice which she placed on my foot. Teenage children do not see parents in intense pain often and I think it is an eye opener [and possibly a bit scary] to see us vulnerable.

But, even with a scorched foot I headed off into the night to the party and had a great time. My foot is now very, very itchy.

Now to the experience of being without my computer for four days. This is slightly worrying. I really, really missed it!!! I pined for it and I dreamt about it. My daughter says I am 'sick'. I did reassure her that I miss her so much more when she is not here! But, what is this? Missing my computer? I have to think about my relationships!

The painting above is called 'Force Field' 30 x 30 cm, Oil on board. You can have your own guess at what it might mean in light of my revelations above...and more.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

BRING IT ON

Ok...Bring it on! I reckon this lady is ready for anything. Notice the long plait. Yep...she's me. Her twirly hands remind me a bit of an ad I recently saw on TV for Smallville . I really loath Smallvile, but according to the ad apparently Clark/Superman is confronted by a mighty competitor in the form of some kind of aqua-hero. In the ad this chisel chested super hero hits the water diving effortlessly and brutally below the surface to challenge a nervous looking Clark/Superman. The aqua-hero then causes some kind of miracle vortex of water to form in each of his hands. He then hurls them through the H2O in a fierce attack upon poor Clark/Superman. The super hero's face is contorted with hatred and blood thirst. Love it. Thank goodness I did not have to watch the whole episode to get the gist of the story!

Now whilst I have said this woman is me I'm pretty sure I really don't want to attack anyone. I'll sleep on this tonight asking my subconscious to reveal anything I should be aware of!

Bring It On 30 x 30 cm Oil on board will be exhibited at the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas Exhibition, 85 Doggett St, Newstead- Friday 15 December 6-9 pm and on Saturday 16 th December 10am-2pm.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

INNER LIFE

What are we really thinking and feeling? These are often the secrets we hold within ourselves. Sometimes we don't even know things about ourself because they are hidden in the subconscious.
Often the questions we ask in frustration about events and things which happen repeatedly give a hint at self-sabotaging patterns lurking in the subconscious. Peeling back the layers can be excrutiating, but it can also be amazing. I love those AAA HA! moments when things reveal themselves and some understanding of self and others occurs. Probably means more questions will follow though. I read somewhere that it is the questions we ask which take us further than the answers.

I am going to focus more on the figure over the next few months. I have really enjoyed creating the work for the Doggett Street Christmas Exhibition. I have lots of ideas running around in my head. This happens...where the ideas germinate and grow before I really get into the actual work. The thinking time is so important. I learnt that years ago. In the meantime lots more sketches of me in front of the mirror.

This painting will be in the Doggett Street Christmas Exhibition Friday 15th December 6-9 pm until Saturday 16th December 10am-2pm. All work by all artists will be 30 x 30 cm.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This painting is called 'I Am Magnificant Just The Way I Am'. Yep, its a bit like an affirmation, but when you have three daughters it is a great affirmation to have. Mind you, whenever I talk about affirmations the girls tell me I am a Hippy...as if it is just too dreadful to be a Hippy.

I will admit to standing in front of the mirror to do some preparatory drawings for this series of work. It has been awhile since I have focused on the figure and I've really enjoyed this latest inclination of mine.

I went to the opening of the revamped Queensland Art Gallery and the new GOMA on Friday night. What a party. 4,000 people were there and it was great. I didn't really pay attention to much art....now this astonishes people when I say this. But, I know I will return, many, many times. Also, drinking bubbly out of a straw [Yep, that's what was provided!] certainly turned my head into a totally aerated space. As an artist stuck in the studio you don't actually meet a lot of people unless you go out. I love going out and having a good time. Also, the networking is tres important...the nuances of the Art World are like shifting sands of time!

This painting above will be in the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas exhibition opening 15 Dec and closing 2pm 16 Dec.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Super Mum

I have painted eleven 30 x 30 cm paintings on board for the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas Exhibition Friday 15 th December. This painting is one of them. It is called Super Single Mum and yes it is me, but also every other single Mum out there! And actually every Mum. All Mothers are wonderful super women. I also wanted this Mum to look sexy. Well, I think she does.

This figure has multiple arms to represent the variety of jobs a Mother undertakes. A single Mother takes on many of the Father's roles so her list of talents/jobs is very extensive. Her long plait is my plait but it does look a bit like a whip! Well, what more can I say???

A little anecdote...Last weekend my middle daughter mowed the lawn. The guinea pig cage was moved to the carport and placed at the bottom of our front stairs. I asked the children to put the cage back on the grass when the mowing was complete. This did not happen for 2-3 days. When it finally was done a rather large pile of guinea pig poo and decaying seed was left at the bottom of the stairs [the cage has a perforated bottom]. I did not realise this for a whole day, during which we had 2-3 visitors to the house who I realised later had to walk over/through the poo! That evening when I went downstairs to take the car to get Indian take-away I was horrified to see this pile of unwelcoming poo. So ranting and raving I asked the youngest child [who belongs to the guinea pigs] to sweep the poo and seed away. No, she did not do this immediately. It happened the next day. Well, she did sweep it away...she swept it so it lay spread out all over the carport! No matter where you stepped there was a litel pellet of poo. And she brought the broom upstairs whithout shaking it and I had giunea pig poo all over the entry room. Guess, who ended up cleaning not only the entry room but also the carport? Moi! But, you know, I realised I did not give my youngest daughter clear instructions. I don't think she had ever used a broom before so had no idea how to sweep or that you need to shake the broom after use. I learnt just as much from this episode as the children did.

Super Single Mum Oil on baord 30 x 30 cm

Monday, November 27, 2006

CHRISTMAS IN DUBAI




This time last year I was preparing to head off the the United Arab Emirates with my eldest daughter for my solo exhibition at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. We spent a month over there and had Christmas in Dubai. I have never seen such wonderful Christmas decorations than those in the hotels and shopping centres of both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They were fantastic. The stuff dreams are made of.

The photos above were all taken in Abu Dhabi. The first on the left is me in front of the Emirates Palace Hotel. It is amazing and so opulent. Gold plating, Rolls Royces, large spaces, beyond beautiful furniture, marble, domes............ Well worth a visit. I dressed up too.

The bottom photo is me on the sand dunes during a rest stop on our desert safari. These desert safaris are absolutely terrific. I have now been on a couple. My daughter got such a surprise that boring old Mum would even suggest going on a safari. Once the high powered landcruiser driven by a very good looking and heavy footed Syrian man left the main road the car seemed to leap like a leopard. My daughter was astonished as she really did not expect the speed or the thrill of rolling over the dunes. I know she saw me in a different light! The sunset over the dunes was breath taking.

The photo on the top right is me partnering with the belly dancer at the camp destination. My daughter nearly died when I agreed to go up on the stage to dance with the beautiful belly dancer...this was far too embarrassing. But, I think she was secretly impressed. It was such fun, but I nearly lifted the poor girl off her feet when she tried to twirl me under her arm! She was very short and I am 180 cm tall.

I am reminiscing. My daughter and I had a great time.

Friday, November 24, 2006

REAR VIEW

Following the bride down the aisle ie: a rear view.

Weddings, marriage and relationships...what great inspiration!

Lots of conversations, gossip, reflection, happiness, sadness, joy, love, hate.

Rear View is about looking back. Reflecting. Distancing oneself from your own past. Learning the lessons.

I took my middle daughter and her two friends to a party tonight. They are just about to finish grade 8. They were so nervous....boys were going to be there. It is just so wonderful to watch and of course I tease ever so gently, because I remember wanting to be sick before going to parties with boys! I did finally get over this nervousness, but it took awhile.

Rear View gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Saturday, November 18, 2006

FANTASY

This work on paper is one of a large series of paintings which focuses on the bride. The paintings ranged from fairly benign observations about relationships to quite direct and confronting observations. I have just been reading the weekend papers and there are a number of articles about relationships. In the Weekend Australian Magazine we have an article about golfer Stuart Appleby's new love and one about new Dad's over the age of 50. The Courier Mail's 'Lustcause' is another. I have not finished the papers but I am sure there are a number of other articles. Relationships are a great source of fodder for magazines and newspapers. But, that's fine. We are all human and it is our relationships which determine so many of our life choices. I think my series of paintings about the bride are some of my most interesting work. I loved it. Some were funny, some thought provoking and some painful to look at. Unfortunately the series did not get the attention I felt it deserved. I wondered why? Still wondering. Is it because I am in my 40s and not my 20s thus fitting in with the cult of youth???

The painting above was inspired by my youngest daughter's exclamation when she heard that her Father had remarried without telling us. We learnt by letter after the event. My daughter was 5 years old.

But Mummy I Wanted To Be A Bridesmaid Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed

Monday, November 13, 2006

WOOP WOOP


I used the term Woop Woop the other day in a conversation with my kids. They had no idea what I meant. So, I presume many others may not know what is meant by Woop Woop too. It means a place so far out there, at the back of beyond, past the black stump, isolated and harsh...that's Woop Woop. I lived in a small country town for a long time...that's Woop Woop as far as I am concerned!

It is a fascinating turn of phrase...Woop Woop. But, I cannot figure out how I can relate it to my painting above which is called Universal Connection, other than to say that even those who live out Woop Woop have connections. It is the six degrees of separation phenomena. AND in Queensland I think you could almost say it's two degrees of separation. Everyone seems to know someone who knows someone else, who knows someone you went to school with or had a baby in the same hospital or Mother went to the same school as your Mother or....your ex husband's new wife went to school with! Now I am confused.

Having said all this I have experienced strange connections all over the world. In London in 1986 I was stopped in the street walking back from the theatre by someone who went to kindergarten with me in 1963! In Dubai I have met people who know this and that person. In Paris I ran into a person who used to live in Goondiwindi where I lived for eighteen years...we were at the Notre Dame. In Abu Dhabi I did not run into anyone I went to kindy with, but I met people I felt connected too. It's the art you know! It worked its magic.

Universal Connection Oil on linen 60 x 100 cm

Friday, November 10, 2006

UNLIMITED KNOWING

The exhibition in Dubai opened on Wednesday night. I have heard lots of people were there, but have not heard about anything else. It is now Friday and the weekend in Dubai, so I will have to wait until Sunday.

But, some good news. Today, I have had three people contact me by email interested in my work. A very good sign. I like multiple enquiries in the one day. Certainly puts a smile on my face.

I have been painting on board lately. It is certainly a different surface to canvas, but it affords some magical moments as the paint drips and spreads. I have been painting small 30 x 30 cm paintings for the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas exhibition 15th December. See my previous post at http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com/2006/10/woman-with-long-hair_29.html

I have bought some larger pieces of marine ply to paint some bigger pictures. I am looking forward to experimenting and seeing what happens. I remember painting on board many years ago and enjoying the transluscent look I could achieve. I am really keen on the concepts of sharing and possibility, looking for symbols which say more than they initially appear to say.

You know I really love painting. I would dearly like to just paint all the time...but I appear to be good at other things too: like organising functions, being practical and being a great Mother [At least I try-On some days my children would agree and on others they would vehemently not agree!].

Unlimited Knowing looks at the power of the collective ie: collective prayer, collective singing, dreams, meditations and so on. I don't think people need to be litterally and physically in the same place. Thought has a power which does not need physical proximity. In fact, it probably exists outside time.

Unlimited Knowing Oil on linen 60 x 100cm

Thursday, November 09, 2006

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

The Group Australian exhibition 'A Gift Of Colour' I am participating in opened last night in Dubai. I have not yet heard any feedback. They are six hours behind us. It is currently 11.25 am here, so in a few hours they will be up and about. The show continues until December 6 at Mondo Arte Gallery, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

I went to the race track in Brisbane on Melbourne Cup Day, yep the 'Emirates Melbourne Cup'.
I've never been to the track on the actual day. I was in a marquee with 1200 people. Oh my goodness! Of course, I did not see a race, but I did see a couple of horses. The favourite attire amongst 20-30 year old females was the short baby doll dress. Not something everyone should wear!

So Anything Is Possible is one of the five paintings I have in the exhibition in Dubai. I like to think that anything is possible...good things! Let's see what the political reshuffle in the US brings...anything is possible! I heard someone say the ultimate in positive thinking... Be realistic, expect miracles. I just love this.

Anything Is Possible Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm

Sunday, November 05, 2006

TEENAGE PARTIES

I picked up my eldest teenage daughter and a friend from yet another party last night. Fortunately this finished before Midnight and I was at home in bed by 11.45 pm. At 10.15 pm I bundled my nine year old into the car to make the long treck out to semi rural Brisbane where all the parties seem to be held! I had to do this because I cannot leave her home alone in bed and her older sister was at a sleepover. There is something heart wrenching about a young child awakened and slumped in the front seat of the car with a dazed look, thumb in mouth staring out at the night lights.

Last night I only needed to make one phone call to alert my daughter of my arrival at the party...often it takes a few attempts because she cannot hear her phone. You see, I am not allowed to get out of the car. That would be far too embarrassing! Apparently I am a 'Hippy'!!! I did get out at one party and ventured through the crowds of 15-18 year olds. Really, it just reminded me of parties I went to...but when I was at University.

When my eldest daughter was born I never imagined life as a single Mum. I am not going to go on and on about this life, but I will say that until it is experienced day in and day out , year after year no-one can imagine what it is like.

I painted the painting above Do You Know? Have We Met? when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I used to speak to her and imagine her. My grandmother died only a couple of months before the birth and I was sad because my child would have been her first great grandchild. I was also my grandmother's only grand-daughter. However, her death while pregnant with a new life reinforced my observations of the cycles and patterns of existence.

I think I am considered to be a 'hippy' because I am an artist, drive a bomb of a car, wear clothes which often have paint on them and sometimes even have paint on my face [which I am unaware of]. It is apparently really embarrassing when I arrive at the school with a large painting strapped to the roof racks because no other parents have strange objects on top of their cars. Did I mention the bull bar? This is a remnant of a married life in the country where kangaroos, feral pigs and wayward livestock could be huge problems on lonely roads particularly at dusk. A bull bar is beyond embarrassing...apparently. I tell the children that I must be so much more interesting than the other Mums! Problem is that teenagers don't want interesting parents, they want the kind that blend in. My time will come.

This painting is one of a series I did in 1991. They are all gouache, oil stick and pastel on paper.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE

I think there is a distinct possibility that an alternative Universe exists. Funny thing though...I think it exists right here and now on our wonderful planet. We've just got to harness it en mass. First we have to look and actually see....not just look.

I visited a truly amazing exhibition today created by Australian artist Katie Pye with other artists. The exhibition called Mantel of Beauty: Ceremony and the Divine was, "Inspired by the unifying nature of beauty, as it's expressed through religious ceremonies and traditions." The exhibition brings together Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist ceremony and tradition through, "'Light' being used as a metaphor for God/Divinity contained in all religions", and that , "all diversity comes out of the same source." When I was inside this exhibition I felt I was experiencing what I imagine an alternative Universe to be like. A place where similarities are applauded and differences acknowledged as being gifts rather than reasons for conflict. The room is a total environment of sights, sounds and texture. Light is reflected off shining surfaces, truly beautiful fabrics and intricately patterned objects. Smaller spaces of wonder/worship are created within the swirls of fabric and sound. This exhibition is a must see. Tony Gould Gallery, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Sth Brisbane until 27 January.

I was so pleased to see another artist thinking in a similar way to me. My paintings are about the abundant possibilities of sharing, of noticing that at a fundamentl level all people are the same. We share the basic signs of life ie: heart beat and breath. We share the need for identity. We all share this planet. Our religions share many of the same seeds.

I believe artists can actually 'protest' more by focusing on those wonderful things we all share. This is not a denial of atrocity and stupidity, but why give these things attention? Surely this only assists in perpetuating the voices of atrocity and stupidity? A balance is needed and I am beginning to think artists of all kinds have a role to play in reminding people about the beauty we lose if war, oppression, global warming and all the other dreadful blights on our planet continue.

My painting above is Alternative Universe Gouache on paper, 30 x 42 cm unframed.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

WOMAN WITH LONG HAIR

I decided to paint something without any thought of idea, concept or significance. I decided to experiment because I've noticed that attention currently seems to be given to art which is about the everyday, the ordinary and the mundane. Eg: images of animals, cars, everyday objects and almost cartoon-like spoofs on fashion etc and even some depicting war but in an obvious way. I've thought that maybe it is a reaction to the exhausting images of destruction, death and war which we all see daily in the media. The sense of powerlessness the ordinary person feels in the face of such enormous suffering and danger is palpable. Maybe a focus on the ordinary, everyday and the cartoonish reassures people that life is ok?

My work tends to be symbolic and layered. I get the impression some people find it difficult to understand or they feel anxious about it. I always say that each person can bring their own story...and people do. Those who have bought my paintings tell me they see something new every time they look. This is music to my ears. Many of these people have returned to buy more paintings. I love this too!

So, to Woman With Long Hair. Whilst I was painting I realised the woman was probably me. I have a long plait which falls down my back. My hair is extrordinarily frizzy. It drives me nuts and has always driven me nuts. Doing my hair before school used to take ages. I was always late for the school bus [I lived on a farm]. I remember my Mother chasing the bus in the car or me running carrying my heavy school bag with the big high school boys yelling out the bus windows, "Come on Titless!". And even at the age of 11 I was not titless....!!!! Of course that's why the boys teased me. I was 180 cm tall at 10 and well developed. So trying to run carrying a heavy bag in one hand and covering my chest with the other arm was extremely awkward. I'm sure I looked like an Amazonian goose.

Now to the present-In the morning I wake up and look into the mirror only to see Marge Simpson [Homer's long suffering wife]. Yep, my hair stands up on end and just won't fall flat. That's why I wear it in a plait...at least it is controlled. My hairdresser told me that as hair goes grey it gets even more wirey. This totally freaked me out, but over the last couple of years her words have come true. My 46 year old hair is going grey and Marge Simpson peers back at me from my mirror on a daily basis. Thank goodness there is no Homer character to complete the picture!

I go to the hairdresser about once every 12-18 months to get a trim...and get talked into various very expensive treatments which offer promises of silken hair. It never happens or if it does it lasts until the first wash. I visit the hairdresser when I cannot get my arms back far enough to finish my plait and I start to have chronic lower back aches because I'm bending backwards. This hair thing is a major health and identity issue in my life! I envy women who confidently visit the hairdresser regularly and seem to enjoy it!!!!!

Now that I have written all of this about my hair I think maybe it is quite funny....but it is also mundane and very ordinary. However, there maybe some seeds for another exhibition...an extraordinary ordinary one!

Woman With Long Hair and other paintings by me and other artists will be shown at the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas Exhibition on the night of Friday 15th December. 85 Doggett Street, Newstead, Brisbane. All the paintings in the exhibition will be 30 x 30 cm.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

SHARED HISTORY



Shared History will be exhibited in Dubai at the group Australian exhibition 'A Gift Of Colour', Mondo Arte Gallery, Mall of the Emirates [Yep, where the indoor ski slope is!], Dubai. The Australian Ambassador, Mr. Jeremy Bruer will open the exhibition on 8th November. This painting was inspired by a conversation I had with an Arab woman in Abu Dhabi last year. We were talking about one of my paintngs in my exhibition at the Cultural Foundation. This painting was called Histories. We spoke for about half an hour about how wonderful it would be if the world focused on the similarites between people rather than the differences. It got me thinking about the concept of shared history. I had many similar conversations with other visitors to my exhibition. These people came from all over the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe with some from Australia and the UK.

Well, the $10,000 Redland Art Award was announced last night. 52 paintings were hung out of 380 submitted. So, whilst I did not win I am delighted to be amongst the shortlisted. The Redland Art Gallery is a regional gallery overseen by the local Shire Council. Redland is only about 45 minutes drive south east from Brisbane.

Art prizes are an  'interesting' phenomena...that's all I'll say now! Some artists avoid them and I can understand why. However, it is a thrill to be shortlisted. For anyone reading this that does not understand the process; basically artists are asked to submit a digital image of the work they want to enter plus entry fee and sometimes other documents such as a cv. Someone preselects from the images and those chosen artists are asked to send the actual painting to the competition. All artists who enter pay the entry fee which is not refundable if an artist is not selected. There are still some competitions where artists send the actual work to the venue prior to selection. A preselection process may still [and more often than not] takes place. In this scenario the artist pays for the entry fee and the freight to and from the venue. This latter scenario is more expensive for the artist, but sometimes a photo can make a good painting look bad and a bad painting look good! Some art prizes are acquisitive which means the winning work becomes the property of the gallery or whatever.

Shared History Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Unlimited

Unlimited is a painting which I have fallen in love with. I painted it after one of my visits to the United Arab Emirates. It has also brought me luck as it has been shortlisted for the Redland Art Award which is announced tomorrow night. Unlimited is exactly as the word means...anything is possible! There are a number of layers of paint on this large canvas. I dilute the paint to a watery consistencly with turps and linseed oil and then let the paint do its own thing. Each layer is treated this way until I am happy and then I use a small brush to make marks.

I have had an enormously busy week since I last posted, meetings, meetings and more meetings. My exhibition Pulse is still on and I believe lots of people have been to see it. It closes on November 4. I am very happy with the way the exhibition looks. And, it is countdown to the opening of the group Australian exhibition A Gift Of Colour at Mondo Arte Gallery in Dubai. It will be opened by the Australian Ambassador on Wednesday 8 November. I have already had some media coverage and another publication express an interest in doing a feature. Getting media coverage is SO much easier in the Middle East than here in Australia. In Dubai they love cultural news.

Unlimited Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm

Thursday, October 19, 2006

HISTORY

Today I was on a panel to discuss arts export. There is so much to say. The Federal Government is pushing for increased exports to assist with our national trade deficit. Cultural industries export is growing very quickly. Whilst there is assistance for the exporter in terms of advice, introduction to markets etc it is an activity which needs immense tenacity, confidence and a definite business approach because it is very expensive. However, there are rewards which include financial gain [or some recovery of costs] and incredible experiences.

I was asked today if my experiences overseas [mainly the Middle East] had affected my artistic expression. I have to say yes. What has affected me is the insight into the dreams, fears and hopes of ordinary people from all over the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. The complete desire for a world of peace where similarities between people are rejoiced has imbued me with a sense of wonder, possibility and abundance. I have thought about those elements of life which we all share eg: heart beat, breath. I have thought about those things we apply to ourselves such as culture and religion which cause differences and unfortunatley often lead to conflict. However, culture and religion are signs of a basic urge which we all share. It is the urge for identity. Peel back those elements which we apply to ourselves and the basic urges are the same.

As an artist...where am I. I read some blogs by younger artists and I am overwhelmed by their confidence in revealing so much of themselves. I think they may regret it when they are older, but is this the maternal instinct to protect coming out? However, the art world is seduced by revelation, defiance and edginess and good luck to them. All I can say is that as one gets older there is plenty of interesting history! I'll keep mine to myself and let my art do the 'talking'.

History Oil on linen 60 x 93 cm 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

BOOK CLUB

Went to book club last night. I have a great book club. We do talk about books [a little!] and then we talk about a whole range of other topics. And because we are a group of 5 women with a lot of life experiences we talk about everything. Last night I showed the group Andrew McGahan's new satirical... thriller.... book...'Underground'. When I read it I could not put it down. It is like reading a cartoon where the picture in your head moves fast and furiously, and the characters are unreal playing actor-like roles. The book is a future history....one which seems bizarre, but the scary thing is that after September 11 we all know fact is stranger than fiction.
I really recommend the book.

The photo above is one wall from my exhibition 'Pulse: Throb Vibrate Quiver Thrill Rhythm = Sign of Life @ www.doggett.com.au Got my picture in the Weekend Courier Mail too...my kids were SO embarrassed, but I think secretly they were quite happy, especially when other kids commented at school.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

SHARED VIBRATIONS

Shared Vibrations- Everything vibrates with an energy. We all share this planet and thus are affected by the Earth’s vibrations and those of every other person who is living or has lived. To me individual and collective memories have a vibration. Thoughts and actions have a vibration. Difference has no power of discrimination or judgement when the common elements/forces of life are observed, because it does not exist. Seems a shame when it is the differences which we apply to ourselves [culture, religion, class] which can cause major conflict.

This painting is simultaneously a vast image of universal sharing and a glimpse at what the minutae of life may look like under close examination.

My exhibition Pulse: Throb Vibrate Quiver Thrill Rhythm = Sign of Life opened last night. Very exciting. The exhibition continues until November 4 www.doggett.com.au

Thursday, October 12, 2006

TOTALLY OUT THERE



My mother Elsie Brimblecombe and my grandmother [my two brothers and I called her Grand-ma-ma] Enid Ross, self-published a book of poems called “Out There” in 1986. My grandmother who was 87 at the time had had her first poems published, in newspapers and magazines, during her teens when she lived in Perth, Western Australia. My mother is a talented writer of both poetry, prose and history. Both are/were too humble to push for due attention.

‘Out There’ is Heaven: ‘life’ before and after mortal existence. Totally Out There [above] is a painting that 'speaks' of life's journey.

In her poem, my grandmother mentions ‘original laws…that devised creation.’ To me these are those fundamental and noticeable [but taken for granted] rhythms of life which everyone shares eg: heart beat, breath, seasons, tides, cycles of life.

Totally Out There Oil on linen 160 x 120 cm will be exhibited in my solo exhibition Pulse: Throb Vibrate Quiver Thrill Rhythm = Sign of Life opening tonight [Friday Oct 13] at Doggett Street Studio Gallery, 6-9 pm, 85 Doggett St, Newstead, Brisbane www.doggett.com
This is my grandmother’s poem:

Out There
By D.E Ross
1.
I do not cringe before the opening door
to Outside,
but brace muscle and mind
to meet
the open horizon
its fresher winds
the brighter light
undreamed of in the chrysalis:
each cloud a carriage
each breeze a wing
each star a stepping stone
beyond Time
-before and after-
toward the secret
of its source
and mine.

11.
There are no boundaries
Out There
but the original laws
that devised
creation.
neither north nor south
or east and west,
above
below
or here and there
No tides,
but streams of power forever flowing.
Time is not negotiated
wasted or lost:
an hour rates high in our accounting here:
yet a thousand years
could be held as a breath on the wind
Out There.

111.
There is no waste in God’s economy.
New solar systems
gather grace in space
[along with waste
from our allotted span of influence].
In God’s eternal meld
of warp and woof,
of foul and fair,
we have each one of us a share
in a new heaven and a new earth
aiming for birth
Out There
somewhere.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Can You See ?

A week to go until the opening of my exhibition Pulse: Throb Vibrate Quiver Thrill Rhythm = Sign of Life. An exhibition is an artist's window of opportunity to show the world what they do. There is such a build up beforehand...for the artist [normally it is just another show for the gallery!] and then its over. But it is a buzz. I've taken the paintings to the gallery and I am happy with even how they look leaning up against the walls. There has been some media coverage too which is great.

My children are back home for the rest of the school holidays. The youngest turns 9 tomorrow and we are having a birthday party. Needless to say painting when 3 children are home on holidays is very difficult. Late nights bring peace and time. I am visualising a day when I have a cook, book-keeper, someone to help keep the house clean...every day [bliss], a gardener [I have just mowed the lawn now] and a pool man. My next pool job is to dive below the water to putty up some cracks...I only go swimming when there is something to fix it seems! I have discovered trying to use a screw driver under water is very, very difficult.

Can You See? 120 x 180 cm Oil on linen. I painted this in 2005 and have grown to love it more and more. Whilst it is simple there is so much to 'see'. The title is a play on the statement about how people often look but don't see. Like a heat haze/mirage things are not as they may initially appear to be.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Love Puzzle


                                          Love Puzzle gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed

I painted this gouache on paper image a few years ago. It was part of a larger group devoted to the 'bride in the landscape' theme. This painting called 'Love Puzzle' appropriates Titian's 'Sacred and Profane Love', a sixteenth century bridal/wedding portrait...unusual for the time, because the groom is absent. Venus, the Goddess of love, is present, but the bride's gaze is dreamy as if she is looking into the future. The figures [Titian also portrayed a distracted cupid] are placed in a pastorale scene, hence 'bride in the landscape'.

Many of the women in my family, including me, were literally young brides in the landscape. Country weddings and then back to the farm...so to speak. I know that women leave their spirits in the land and in the small communities they help build and maintain, often in times of severe hardship. Remote living is lonely and the need to conform to country life expectations can consume identities. Men mark the land physcially with fences, roads, ploughed fields, irrigation channels etc. Whilst the women work with the men in partnership, they also leave something else which marks the land with their spirits and energy...and sacrifice...and love.

Love is a puzzle....

Cheers,
Kathryn

Saturday, September 23, 2006

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS



This painting is called 'When I Was A Child I Dreamt I Could Fly'. Well, I did dream this when I was kid...often. In fact, without ever having been in an aeroplane above my parent's farm, I knew what the farmhouse and outbuildings looked liked from above. As adults we tend to lose this kind of wonderment...I am dreaming it back! I thought about this painting today because my three children have gone to visit their Dad for part of the school holidays...out to the country. These young people need to know they can 'fly'. But, their dreams and imaginings seem to be only possible after school, homework etc etc have been finished. I love to see them playing pretend games because I can see they really believe anything is possible after these exhiliarating interludes. Their bodies bounce, their eyes dance and they talk... and talk. Homework does not have the same effect! That's why I love school holidays...the children become children again. I exhibited this painting in Abu Dhabi and I loved to see peoples reactions to it. They would stop and read the title and then I'd see their eyes [the women behind their veils] smile. Often they would turn to me and give me a broad grin...this then lead to wonderful conversations.
When I Was A Child I Dreamt I Could Fly Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm

Monday, September 18, 2006

SHARED TIME


We all share history which is 'time'. History is open to interpretation so it really is about how time is perceived. I am fascinated by the effect the tree of life gives as it appears simultaneously as a tree, brain, watersystem, cracked earth, lymph system and many more system-like things. Possibility is abundant and it is all there for our enjoyment. As each moment passes we have an affect on time. Mind blowing really.

This painting will be exhibited in my next solo exhibition 'Pulse' which opens Friday 13 at Doggett Street Studio Gallery, 85 Doggett Street, Brisbane. 61 7 32529292 info@doggett.com.au

"Shared Time" oil on linen 120 x 137 cm

Sunday, September 10, 2006

"In Unison"


This is a photo of me in front of a new painting called "In Unison". This painting will be shown in my forthcoming solo exhibition 'Pulse' at Doggett Street Studio, Newstead, Brisbane opening Friday 13 October.

"In Unison" speaks about the universal heartbeat of time and history. At a truly fundamental level we are reminded of life by the beating of our hearts and the rhythmic pace of our breath. No matter where we come from, what religion we have faith in, what type of political structure we espouse at a fundamental level we all share the same reminders of life. ..those elements of life that have a pattern and rhythm.

"In Unison" oil on linen 90 x 200 cm [photograph by Nikki Shrimpton]

Thursday, September 07, 2006

PROSPERITY


'Prosperity' has brought me success with a win in the Warwick Art Award Works on Paper Prize. This painting is a gouache on watercolour paper and is sized unframed at 30 x 42 cm. The title speaks for itself but the painting is more than what you initially see. The layered colours and lines take the viewer's eye into deeper places where properity of spirit is felt. The interweaving of the amorphous shapes speaks about connectivity variously between individual people and groups of people sharing history, time and the earth. Like many of my paintings this can be seen as a landscape...an aerial landscape taken from a distant perspective. As a metaphor for looking at life this concept of distant perspective is important to me.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mountains and Metaphors


I use landscape elements as metaphors for the human condition. Mountains represent overcoming adversity to find strength, opportunity and abundance. This painting is currently hanging in the Directorate at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre [QPAC] Brisbane. It and 11 other works will be there until 25th November.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

PRESS RELEASE for next solo exhibition 'PULSE' at Doggett Street Studio, Brisbane 13 October-4 November

Media release: 22 August 2006

Pulse of life at the heart of Kathryn’s spiritual art

The heartbeat – something every human has in common - is at the core of the latest solo exhibition by Brisbane artist, Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox.

Fitting then that this small collection of large paintings is entitled Pulse, and that one of the paintings, called Earth’s Pulse, represents a planet superimposed with a pattern like that of a heart monitor expanding into the Universe.

“When you bring us back to fundamental human qualities, there is no difference. Everybody has a pulse, it is the basic sign of life,” says Kathryn, whose latest exhibition opens at the Doggett Street Studio at Newstead on October 13 and continues until November 4.

In a world of chaos, war and negativity, Kathryn prefers to focus on people’s similarities rather than their differences: “It’s about people operating in a rhythm that’s natural and positive, not destructive.”

“Life should be a celebration of what people can do together and my art is about connectivity - what is symbolic and identifiable across cultures and religions, such as the circle and the tree of life,” she explains.

Other motifs that recur in Kathryn’s current work are mountains, the concept of time, and rain, which she sees as the connection between heaven and earth.

“It’s about energy and abundance and it’s cyclical. Blood gives life and rivers are like the earth’s blood vessels – they feed the earth.

“I use elements of the landscape as metaphors for life that draw us back to the earth. “

“My cellular memory of the land is from my ancestors,” said Kathryn, a fourth generation Australian. Both sides of her family come from the land and she’s lived on it herself for 35 years.

Kathryn grew up on her parent’s grain farm on the treeless Pirrinuan Plain between Dalby and Jandowae, with the Bunya Mountains as a backdrop.

She started painting as a child, sold her first piece of art at 14 years, won the senior section of a state wide art competition at 16, and held her first exhibition aged 17.

Her dream then was to be the director of a major art gallery which is why she went to university and studied art history. When she graduated she went to Canberra and worked at the National Gallery of Australia.

“Then I got married,” said Kathryn, who moved to Goondiwindi where she lived for the next 18 years. In 2000 she moved to Brisbane with her daughters, Clementine, Edwina and Winsome, now aged between 15 and eight years.

Kathryn, 45, is a full time artist and solo parent. Her studio is the garage under her house and her dream today is to be still painting at 90 and to be reputed as one of Australia’s leading and most thoughtful female artists.

For several years Kathryn has exhibited overseas, predominantly in the Middle East – Abu Dhabi (2004) and Dubai (2005), as well as London (2002) and New York (2004). Her next international exhibition is part of a group exhibition in Dubai from November 8 – December 6.

“My work is very layered. It is not just about what I see, but what I feel. My images are bigger than the actual painting itself, because emotion takes the viewer beyond what they see,” says Kathryn.

“Since I was little my work has been about feelings and things that I see in my mind rather than with my eyes. I can visualise ideas in my imagination.

“People have spoken about the spirituality that emanates from my paintings. Some have said I am like a medium channelling in some way, but I do not do this consciously.

“I believe there is a universal subconscious and that people can tap it in a way which unifies them. I do go into another place when I paint – it’s very much like a meditation.”

Kathryn said her work was not didactic or narrative: “There’s no definite story or any one meaning. I feel the work goes beyond that, allowing each viewer to bring their own experience as a way of embracing the work.

Others who view her work say they see diverse connections that range from Aboriginal and Arabic, to medical and scientific.

“This comes from the colours, designs and patterns. For instance I’ve had many people from the medical profession say they see blood vessels, sperm, ovaries, lungs and brains in my work,” said Kathryn.

In Abu Dhabi a medical professor from Eastern Europe asked her if she had studied histology, and here in Australia, a zoologist and his law academic partner have used images of some of Kathryn’s paintings when giving presentations on DNA and the legal/ethical ramifications of testing.

Pulse: Throb Vibrate Quiver Thrill Rhythm = Sign of Life

Media inquiries: Nikki Shrimpton W: www.nscomm.com
Ph: 07. 3395 3883 / 0412 64 55 47
More information: http://www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com/

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Abundance



This painting 'Abundance' rejoices in abundance of all kinds. It is a vibrant painting which I completed after pondering the sense of possibility which exists in the world, but which is overshadowed by the media's focus on 'bad news'. I was very excited and honoured when the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation decided to buy this painting for their permanent collection. The painting is an oil on linen 120 x 180 cm.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Histories











I painted this painting with history of the individual in mind ie: the tree of life and concentric semi circles indicating ancestry. After many discussions with visitors to my exhibition at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation in the UAE I realised this painting spoke also about shared history of all people. Each concentric circle showing difference from the previous gneration but with enough similarity to recognise we all share of time and history. The tree of life symbol is trans-cultural and trans-religious.
Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Life


This painting is a visual timeline of a woman's life. Each figure tells a story and provides a history. Having said it is a timeline there is the notion of life's cycle, a continuum. The figures are placed on road [indicated by the broken line]. The cycle of life is majestic and each one of us is part of a cycle which is linked to other cycles like a chain mesh.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Earth's Pulse


This painting 'Earth's Pulse" is a reminder that at the basic rythm of life level we are all the same. Our hearts beat in harmony.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

'Every Wonderful Possibility' 120 x160 cm Oil on linen

When I painted this painting my thoughts were about the abundance within our earth and the majesty of the Universe. I ask myself why is so much possibility squandered by focusing on differences when all peoples of the world share history/time.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Art @ Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox

ARTIST’S STATEMENT for my next solo exhibition:
PULSE: Throb Vibrate Quiver Thrill Rhythm = Sign of Life
My paintings focus on the primal and positive element of life shared by all people’s of the world and indeed the Universe itself. We feel it and are reminded of it as our hearts beat individually and collectively. We echo the rhythm of the earth and the universe. A shared history of life is my focus as a balance to a world environment where difference sets peoples apart in dangerous and brutal ways.
ARTIST’S STATEMENT for my next solo exhibition:
PULSE: Throb Vibrate Quiver Thrill Rhythm = Sign of Life
My paintings focus on the primal and positive element of life shared by all people’s of the world and indeed the Universe itself. We feel it and are reminded of it as our hearts beat individually and collectively. We echo the rhythm of the earth and the universe. A shared history of life is my focus as a balance to a world environment where difference sets peoples apart in dangerous and brutal ways.