Thursday, June 19, 2008


I am quite excited because there is a small article about me and my work in the University of Queensland's latest Graduate Contact magazine. It is in the section called Keep In Contact which has a variety of stories about various graduates from various years. It is always interesting to read an article about yourself. Whilst I was interviewed for the piece it is interesting to see what the writer has considered important. I am really pleased that, in this case, my thoughts about conversation and art come thorugh very clearly.
I have written about my ideas relating to conversation and art before on this BLOG. However, I am always adding to these ideas. Something which has become a little more focused are my thoughts about the agendaless quality of spontaneous conversations triggered by art. Each conversation is different with each viewer. Intimacy can be achieved. However, I think intimacy is different to discussion about intimate things. The latter can happen at various types of meetings eg: about women's health, poverty, divorce and so on. However, in the case of a meeting there is normally an agenda, whether formal or informal. Discussing intimate experiences does not necessarily mean there is an intimacy of shared feelings and emotions which have surfaced due to reactions to a work of art. My experience has been that exchange is different to sharing.
This painting above is a work on paper. It is called Sunrise Over The Vastness and whilst it is a landscape I was also thinking of the idea of personal horizons and the illumination of these.
Sunrise Over The Vastness Gouache on paper 21 x 30 cm 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Well, the last week has been a mixed bag. Some good, some not so good.

A good thing was that I went to Melbourne overnight on Friday to attend the opening of a Small Works exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy I have six 30 x 30 cm oil on board paintings in the show. Friday night was amazing. 330 artists were exhibiting and I think there were over 1200 artworks hung. I am absolutely sure about 1200 people came to the show on Friday night as it was packed with people coming and going. When I left there was a line of people waiting to get in. The line went up the 3 flights of stairs and out into the street! The exhibition is actually very good too, so well worth the wait for these people. The show ends 19 June.

I have had some really great feedback from my presentation at FEHVA. It is great when people contact you after an event.

Last week saw me also grapple with unprofessionalism from an field unrelated to the arts. I am still reeeling from the shifting sands of statements that contradict, being charged for advice by people recommended to me but I am now told were not up to the task ... and it goes on. Needless to say this is an unwelcome occurrence in my life. However, it makes me think more about what it is to be professional.

I am a professional artist who is in the latter stages of being considered an emerging artist. This state of emergence can take some time! My observation is that the older you are the harder it is to emerge into that stage of an artist's career where good gallery representation, critical writing, major awards, inclusion in curated exhibitions and being acquired by major corporate or institutional collections happen. However, tenacity is the clue and I've got it in bundles. For me professionalism means everything from using good quality materials, spending time experimenting to ensure that my technique and understanding of the medium grows and is revitalised, thinking and researching about ideas, constantly observing myself and my art, being honest in everything I do from material choice to entering prizes, writing about my work in meaningful and truthful ways, maintaining best business practice, responding to people with integrity, and being brave and confident enough to show myself and my art to the world.

Awesome Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

This painting sold a few years ago. It is called 'Go West Young Woman', taking off the old saying, 'Go west young man!' The 5 women are young brides heading out to their futures in remote and rural areas. Often the allure of the rural lifestyle beckons/seduces with promise, not revealing the hardships and lonliness.

But, that idea of 'going west' out into the frontiers can be a metaphor for our own internal lives. Like going places in our thoughts and experiences which stretch and broaden us. Over the weekend I attended FEHVA at Bangalow. It was excellent and certainly extended me. I spent 2 days attending very interesting sessions presented by an array of artists. I learnt a lot and I also came away feeling that I am not alone in my quest to juggle all the elements needed to enable me to paint, exhibit, be inspired and to develop my career as an artist. The sessions were varied from discussions about the struggle to paint, how to manage competitions [preselection, winning and not!], healing, indigineous responses to the apology and so on.

I was very pleased to also be one of the presenters [co-presenting with indigenous artist Sally Harrison]. Our topic was Peace and Reconciliation. Sally spoke about the internal peace she has and continues to find with her art. I spoke about my ideas that art, artists and the conversations which ensue may hold new clues to pathways to more about external peace.

Bangalow is a great little town and I want to go back to enjoy it some more.

Last Friday night the Churchie National Emerging Art Show opened. I was one of the preselected artists, but was not lucky enough to win. It was just great to be selected.

And, I learnt late last week that I am one of the 25 artists selected for the inaugural LAUNCH: Clayton Utz Travelling Scholarship Award. The 25 paintings will be hung in an exhibition at Brisbane's Metro Arts in July and then they will hang at Clayton Utz [large law firm] for 6 months. One person will win money to go towards travel associated with professional development. So, I am very happy to be one of the 25 artists!