Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SUN IS SHINING

Storm Oil on linen 85 x 150 cm
 
Queensland has been under seige over the last week.  Cyclone Oswald turned into a massive, prolonged and destructive weather system that has caused vast ares of flooding and continued flooding. Some communities are experiencing their second or third flood event in 2-2.5 years. After days of grey clouds, rain dumps and wild winds the sun is shining here in Brisbane today. The Brisbane River is flooding, but nowhere as badly as early 2011.
 
The destruction of property and loss of life are dreadful. For those who have been pounded for the second or third time, their spirits are understandable very low. Recovery, of all kinds, takes a long time and a heavy toll.
 
The dreadful flooding is ocurring at the same time as wild bush fires continue to play havoc in southern states. Australia is certainly a land of extremes.
 
 
COSMOLOGY UPDATE
 
Doors open tomorrow Wednesday 30 January 11 am
 
For all the details please check out my COSMOLOGY webpage by clicking HERE
 
Also if you have not read my short story:
 
A Not So Impossible Dream:
A short story about Earth and the Universe
Please click HERE
 
AND
 
To read the terrific article
 
Cosmology – Art as a Conduit between Science and Humanity
 
in
The Culture Concept Circle online publication
Please click HERE
 
 
I am working on a new painting. Here's a detail of the work in progress. I have ideas floating through my head...and a title will bubble up I am sure. But, until then it is not titled.
 
Detail: Untitled painting oil on linen work in progress Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A NOT SO IMPOSSIBLE DREAM: A Short Story About Earth and The Universe.


On The Edge Gouache on paper 43.5 x 53.5 2001

On the edge of the Universe, watching and listening, a magnificent and graceful being ponders her production. The close and far distances of endless horizons wink and twinkle, erupt and explode before her. The cosmic energy reflects in her eyes of light. This entity, which will be called Mother Nature, feels each stroke and blast, stirring her endless life systems, compelling her continual potency. She watches as the Universe seemingly feeds itself in an endless cycle of cannibalistic consumption and growth. Not an orgy, but a gleeful desire to know itself in a ritual of constant self renewal.

The Quiet Fierceness Of Light Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm 2012

Ouroborus Oil on linen 122 x 153 cm 2012

Out of the corner of her eye Mother Nature spies a small planet in the Milky Way, a spiral galaxy of billions of stars and planets, situated within the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies. She's kept her eye on this particular planet for some time. Earth. It troubles her. The human beings which inhabit Earth have evolved over eons, but they are in trouble, which both upsets and angers Mother Nature. She had thought her modelling of cyclical consumption and renewal was clear and apparent for all to see. But, many Earthlings consume gluttonously without much thought of renewal. They are stuck, but even worse many do not look beyond immediate horizons to see, and be reflected in, the light of Mother Nature's wisdom. They have lost sight of their place within the cosmic tree-of-life matrix. They have lost connection.

Galaxial Landscape Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm 2010

This loss of perspective worries Mother Nature. She is concerned and feels compassion for those who do not see the light. She fans her furnace ensuring that the light shines brightly, willing Earthlings to attempt to look beyond, as their Ancients did. With constant use of so many gadgets and gizmos, and fashion's incessant seduction, Mother Nature has noticed that increasing numbers of Earthlings have reduced their line of sight to immediate and shallow distances of space and time. They cannot see the light.

Yet there is hope, there are some whose dexterous vision and imaginative powers enables them to quickly change their line of sight from close to far distances. There is even a small number whose sight, both literal and metaphoric, can see multi-perspectives simultaneously. Mother Nature knows this is a particularly handy tool to have in a Universe of so many dimensions. She knows because she is the essence of Universal perspective. She has watched as Earthling scientists have explored the close and far distances of the Universe. She has felt them too. They probe, explore, postulate, theorise, equate, argue, debate and vision. Mother Nature marvels at the scope of their wonder and application. She is proud.

Galactic Horizons and Beyond Oil on linen 85 x 150 cm 2012

She has also watched as science's companion, the arts, attempt to reconnect with the kind of awe and wonder demonstrated by science's marvelous dance with discovery. Somewhere and somehow, as slippery fashion and transient fads easily seduced those with diminished sight, this connection became weak and vulnerable. Mother Nature's wisdom and light, which she'd infused into age-old symbols for humanity's eternal inspiration and sustenance, were obscured. The tools and energy for symbolic articulation between the arts and sciences were seemingly lost. But, the 21st century has brought a glimmer of hope. Mother Nature has happily noticed that there is a strong and powerful calling... a song... a yearning to see the light and reconnect.

Mother Nature's not so impossible dream is that humanity, dancing with wonder and imagination in a shared rhythm across its planet and history, understands its place within the Universal close and far distances of time and space...and more. She knows that this understanding will provide humanity with an important perspective... that planet Earth is its only home, for the foreseeable, and most likely unforeseeable future. Looking after its home is humanity's sacred quest. Understanding its Universal environment is humanity's challenge. The arts and sciences are humanity's lungs. With each inhale and exhale they gift humanity knowledge, understanding, the light of wisdom and a way to vision.

On the edge of the Universe Mother Nature ponders her cosmic production. She wonders how all her other Universes are going. But, that's another story.


Eternity's Breath Oil on linen 85 x 150 cm 2012.

Multiverse Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm 2010


...................................................................................................................................................................


The doors to my next solo exhibition open Wednesday 30 January at 11 am.


Exhibition Dates: 30 January - 16 February.

PURGATORY ARTSPACE
170 Abbottsford St, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 
PH: 61 3 9329 1860
E: purgatoryartspace@gmail.com  

*Private Viewing/Meet The Artist Saturday 9 February 2-4pm
 Please check out my COSMOLOGY page HERE
 
 The paintings above,
will be in COSMOLOGY

Cheers,

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox



Monday, January 14, 2013

STORMY WEATHER: WHERE?




 Stormy Weather: Where? Oil on linen 120 x 150 cm 2013

Recently I have been painting lightning, storms, rain...the weather. But, is it Earth's weather or is it from somewhere else? My answer; up to you! Is it literal or metaphoric weather...or both? My answer is both. 'Storms' brew within us, deep inside our emotions, our psyches. Sometimes they are small skirmishes, sometimes they are wild and apocalyptic. Storms, whether literal or not, urge...beg...for change to happen.

Here in Brisbane, late last year, we experienced some wild storms, showcasing nature's elements of wind, rain, lightning, dark clouds, hail and more. I painted a couple of paintings inspired by these stormy experiences which also triggered memories of storms across the flat black soil plain of my childhood home. Please check out STORM and NIGHT TIME ELECTRIC STORM

In more recent weeks Australia has been burning. Bush fires dot the country, threatening homes, businesses, livestock, natural flora and fauna and more. There are many reports of ferocious flames licking skies and fire fronts bellowed by hot winds. Many farmers lament the difficulties in gaining licenses to back burn abundant, but dried off, fuel across bush and grass lands. Back burning during cooler months, particularly after good wet seasons which produce glorious growth, is something farmers have historically undertaken with care. The Aborigines also back/controlled burned for eons. Check out this article and this article  as introductions to the burn off debate.

The drastic and sad thing is....a number of the recent fires have been ignited by lighting strikes. During wild and windy, but rain-less storms, lightning can easily ignite dried off vegetation and bush detritus. The ensuing change is dramatic and fierce.

STORMY WEATHER: WHERE?
I put the WHERE? in the title to provoke questions. Some may ask, 'Is the storm in Queensland?' or 'Is it a storm out west? Others may ask, 'Kathryn, what planet are you on with this one?' Yet, how many would ask questions about the psyche? What emotional 'storms' affect you as an individual? What 'storms' affect humanity as a whole? Paradigm shifting...maybe?!

I suggest that all these questions [and more] and their many answers, mediate assumed notions of what 'landscape' really is. Please check out my previous post WHEN IT RAINED ON MARS?  and UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE: REVOLUTIONARY?

In a recent conversation my brother Wilfred Brimblecombe  also suggested to me that the human body, from cells to organs, is a mass of ongoing 'storms'...impulses, surges, energy bursts, thumping and pumping...even while we sleep. Indeed, the 'cosmos' within propels us in life, in a dance with the cosmos beyond. Please check out previous post BODY AS SITE

In STORMY WEATHER: WHERE? a flash of lighting lights up a dark and turbulent night sky. The lightning strikes the ground emitting a red potency through the 'landscape'. In the distance, on the right, a strip of rain falls. This rain is red, like blood...like fire...life giving and renewing. On the left a small red tree rises from the potent vein. Regular readers will identify the tree as my much loved age-old trans-cultural/religious tree-of-life. For me this symbol 'speaks' of all life throughout all history...and that includes pre and post human history...beyond humanity's collective egocentric reach.

In the aftermath of fire, rain falls, small seedlings emerge...life.





COSMOLOGY
@ Purgatory Artspace

Exhibition 30 January - 16 February

I have created a COSMOLOGY page: It has all the details and more images 
Please check it out HERE 

My paintings for COSMOLOGY left this morning. They are on their way to Melbourne. 

Packed paintings for COSMOLOGY ready to go to Melbourne


SUMMER IN BRISBANE 
For readers who have never been to Brisbane I found this BLOG which features a post 'Sub Tropical Summer' of photographs showcasing our glorious colour, vegetation, skies and more.  


TASMANIAN HOLIDAY ANYONE?
Friends of mine own and run Bicheno By The Bay holiday resort. Bicheno was very close to the devastating fires that blazed through Tasmania last week. Thankfully the small seaside town avoided the firestorm. If you want a lovely, low key, natural, relaxed holiday think of Bicheno By The Bay. I plan to get down there sometime this summer or next. One of my children has been there twice and loves it. Below is a photo of the resort taken from the air. Looks great don't you think!!!!



Cheers,
Kathryn

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

COSMOLOGY AT PURGATORY ARTSPACE

Eternity's Breath Oil on linen 85 x 150 cm

Today is the 8th January 2013 and in 3 weeks time my exhibition COSMOLOGY will open to the public! 

So, on Wednesday 30th January 11am at Purgatory Artspace, North Melbourne Eternity's Breath [above] and about another 5-7 more paintings will be hung for you to see. 

On Saturday 9th February 2-4 pm there will be Meet-The-Artist/Private Viewing event.

And, Saturday 16th February is the last day of the exhibition.

Purgatory Artspace, 170 Abbottsford St, North Melbourne  
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am - 5pm

See more paintings HERE



COSMOLOGY STATEMENT


Using age-old transcultural/religious symbols, predominantly the tree-of-life, I explore the close and far distances of the Universe. I visually interpret the tree with 21st century eyes, untethering it from historical interpretations to tease out the messages it holds for us today. After all, age-old symbols have 'spoken' to many past generations. Why, should they not 'speak' to us? Are we indeed listening?

The tree-of-life evokes concepts of systems, all types of systems; vascular, water, cross sections of internal organs, invisible energies driving universal forces and more. Two paintings in Cosmology [Ouroboros and Cosmic Ouroboros] see the tree-of-life coupled with another transcultural/religious symbol, the ouroboros [snake eating its own tail]. The ouroboros has been used by modern cosmologists to visually describe the relationship between the cosmic and quantum worlds. In my paintings I have painted the snake's body with the tree-of-life. The snake eating its own tail also forms a circle, symbolic of the continuance of life, but also suggesting entities such as portals…literal and metaphoric.

The tree-of-life has taken me on a journey where new perspectives have appeared. My investigations of perspective, both literal and metaphoric, have suggested to me that developing skills in 'seeing' multi-perspectives, even simultaneously, will assist humanity in its ageless quest for physical, emotional and spiritual survival. As modern scientific research delves deeper into the vast and the quantum worlds of our universe, how does humanity envision its place within the cosmic matrix? I suggest that new perspectives, seen and taken bravely and confidently, will assist in a compassionate response...after-all it is still apparent that Earth is our only home.

I am inspired by husband and wife team Prof. Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams. Prof Primack is a Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Nancy Abrams is a lawyer, and has a BA in History and the Philosophy of Science. They are passionate about the importance of visioning our place within the environment, not only our local and global ones, but also those beyond. They advocate for art's capacity to provide conduits between science and humanity's identity. Here is a quote from a 2001 paper Cosmology and the 21st Century witten by Primack and Abrams.

All possibilities are still open because the meaning of this new cosmology is not implicit in the science. Scientific cosmology, unlike traditional cosmologies, makes no attempt to link the story of the cosmos to how human beings should behave. It is the job of scholars, artists, and other creative people to try to understand the scientific picture and to perceive and express human meanings in it. A living cosmology for 21st-century culture will emerge when the scientific nature of the universe becomes enlightening for human beings.

Check out Prof. Primack and Nancy Abrams site The View From The Center of The Universe




Cheers,
Kathryn

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

1977

                                                     My Family Acrylic on Paper 37 x 53 cm  1976-77
Photo taken after the painting was framed, hence the flash light reflection.

I have not created any new work, or even started on anything, over the Christmas/New Year break. So I thought I would reminisce

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS 1976-77
During the Christmas school holidays of 1976-77 I decided to enter an art competition which was being held to celebrate Queen Elisabeth II's Silver Jubilee. I was home from boarding school and painted a couple of paintings inspired by the theme of the competition, the family. This theme had been chosen by the Queen herself.

I painted a few images of my family; Mum, Dad, and my two younger brothers, Wilfred and Douglas. With my Mum's help I chose the painting above as the one which I ultimately entered into the competition. My Mum did not wear glasses a lot back then, but she was studying a Masters Degree [research thesis] from the University of Queensland, and the glasses must have made an impact on me. I posted [snail mail kind back then] the painting and it won the Senior Section prize! This was long before digital image art prize pre-selection processes!

By the time the award was announced I had returned to boarding school for my senior year. I remember I was sitting in a class when I received a request from the principal's office to immediately see her. A sudden thought pounced into my mind...I had won the art competition! And no..... I did not think I was in trouble...as my school friends, even over 30 years later say...I was a bit of a boring studious goodie goodie. [Check out this photo on my brother Wilfred's BLOG]

So, I went to the office and people were smiling. I was told my Dad wanted to speak to me on the phone. Oh! Well, I picked up the phone and he told me I had won, and that the award would be presented by the Queen at a reception at Government House. Mum and Dad were allowed to attend too. We would be given various protocols prior to the event. Well, I was excited! Whether a you are a monarchist or not, at  age 16 the prospect of meeting the Queen was pretty damn exciting.

OFF TO BRISBANE AND GOVERNMENT HOUSE
Some short time later, my parents and my two younger brothers picked me up from school in Toowoomba and we drove to Brisbane, where we stayed is a swish hotel...well it was then. My brothers were to stay in the hotel room while my parents and I attended the function at Government House. A bit boring for them... but no! They found a wad of money hidden behind the curtain rod. Very exciting for two teenage boys [goodness knows what they had been doing when they found the money]. We reported it to the hotel management, who made attempts to find out the owner. Luckily for my brothers, they did not trace the owner and the money was given to them. It must not have been a large enough amount of money to warrant further investigation...and who knows how long it had been there?

RECEPTION
The reception at Government House was reasonably informal, although we had received various edicts about what to wear ie: hat, gloves! At the last minute we were told we did not have to wear either, hence my description of 'reasonably informal'. I defiantly did not wear my school uniform, which the headmistress had wanted me to wear. I decided that because I had been on school holidays when I painted the painting, plus I had found the entry forms etc on my own, I would wear my own dress. I was also pretty disappointed with the art education I was receiving at my school and felt the school did not deserve any accolades! I had gone to boarding school for the last two years of my secondary schooling after previously attending the local high school in Dalby where the art education was fantastic. I did love boarding school and the other subjects were taught well [Biology particularly well with a wonderful teacher].

At Government House we were ushered into a smallish reception room. The 4-5 age group winning paintings, plus runners' up, were displayed on screens. Each of the winners was asked to stand with their painting. The disconcerting thing was the huge number of journalists and photographers also in the room, grouped in front of us, nudging each other and flash lights flashing etc. When the Queen entered the room the flash lights went into overdrive, like a strobe! She spoke for a few minutes to each of the winners, presenting us with our awards. I shook her hand, which felt like a fleeting butterfly. I had been told she does this to protect her hand from being constantly squeezed or squashed. You can imagine the kind of repetitive strain shaking hundreds to thousands of hands might cause! I am sure she's developed a great technique to avoid having her hand suffer. Imagine how many hands she would have shaken by now!

THE ART OF SHAKING HANDS
Shaking hands is an art! I imagine if one was a Queen, or some other major dignitary, that you would have to think about protecting your fingers and hand from constant squeezing. But, there is another problem for those of us who shake hands off and on, and that is having your fingers squashed, so much so that you feel a lot of pain. You know the kind...when a bloke grabs your fingers, rather than your whole hand, and almost crushes every small bone.

I was taught how to shake hands without having my fingers squashed by my Mum. She'd been shown a trick by my paternal grandfather, who apart from being  a successful farmer, had also been a federal member of the Australian  Parliament...and had to shake the odd hand or two. He was the member 1951-1966 representing Maranoa, the largest electorate in Queensland straddling approx 731,297 sq km. He had also attended the Queen's coronation in 1952 as one of Australia's official representatives. As a child I remember my grandmother telling me what it was like in Westminster Abbey. She also had to get ball gowns made for the trip and I remember she showed me  dark silk fitted one. All hazy memories now.

THE HAND SHAKE SECRET
Am I going to tell you my Mum/grandfather's hand shake trick? Well, I can try but it is difficult...essentially you make sure you place your thumb between the other person's thumb and pointing finger, extending your thumb's reach up towards the other person's wrist. You then exert the required pressure to shake hands. This type of grasp means the other person cannot squeeze in a way that hurts...and neither can you.

This kind of hand shake is particularly great for women, who don't have to protect themselves from a repetitive strain, for two main reasons 1. you don't get hurt 2. you develop a firm hand shake. Men often remark on my handshake! Good country girl style I tell them!

BACK TO GOVERNMENT HOUSE
The photo below is of me meeting Queen Elisabeth II. The man with his back to the photographer is the then Director General for Education [don't know his name]. The young boy on the right won the section for special needs children. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event too! His painting is the one above him.

As you can see I wore my own dress. I also wore high heeled sandals that made me even more amazonian standing well over 180cm tall. The Queen is very short and I felt gargantuan beside her, but I seem quite happy in this photo! We spoke for a few minutes about my painting and my inspiration before she moved on to the very excited young boy. The whole experience was great and certainly very memorable.

Me receiving my award from Queen Elisabeth II 1977
  
MY FAMILY Acrylic on paper 37 x 53 cm
So, as you know from reading above, the painting is my family, inspired by the theme of the family chosen by the Queen. I am in profile against my Dad's face, then there is Mum, with glasses. My youngest brother Douglas is on the far right beside Mum, and my other brother Wilfred is on the left behind me. I used a palette knife and brush to create My Family. It was painted at the kitchen table.



COSMOLOGY
AT PURGATORY ARTSPACE
MELBOURNE
 
Invitation!

 
 
 
Cheers,
Kathryn