Friday, November 28, 2008

Last days of Kew Cottages History Project exhibition

Kew Cottages Article 2008

The fascinating and poetic exhibition Kew Cottages History Project is in its last days and finishes on Saturday 29 November at 5pm. So if you haven't had the opportunity to check it out, make sure you get there on Saturday.

The Progress Leader ran this article about artist Cameron Rose and the exhibition this week. I have to say that Cameron looks incredibly serious in this photo. Don't be fooled! He is a lovely and very funny guy but serious about this exhibition. The exhibition has had great numbers coming through with many people telling us about their personal connections to the Kew Cottages. They have either worked there or had a family member there. With all the content in the exhibition, visitors to the gallery have been making themselves very comfortable on our large cushioned seat to watch the films for about an hour. It's been fantastic to see people so engaged with the show.

Our next exhibition is Manipulate: Construct featuring 9 tapestry weavers and kicks off at the gallery on Wednesday 3 December.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Get yourself into some t-shirts!

Yes, it's all coming up again soon. Town Hall Gallery's amazing t-shirt exhibition I Wear My Heart On My Tee 2 will be on at the gallery in February 2009. We are currently taking applications from designers, artists and people who make tees right now, so download the form and be part of this amazing exhibition.

You're an artist or designer who has some great ideas but not sure how to get them on a t-shirt? Well visit the great folks at Claxton Kustom Design in Camberwell and chat to them and they will help you make your t-shirts happen. Call 03 9888 6191 or visit their site. Town Hall Gallery is pleased to have Claxton as a partner for this exhibition.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tapestries from Finland have arrived

Aino's parcel of work 002

a postcard of Aino's work

Aino's parcel of work 003

The display of materials from Aino.
The works from the amazing artist Aino Kajaniemi have arrived to Town Hall Gallery from Finland. It was incredibly exciting to open up the well packed box of all her beautiful tapestries as well as the display of materials that she uses in her work. I had breathed a sigh of relief when it had turned up as I haven't been having too much luck with parcels arriving on time! (yes, I have a tapestry missing in transit, I think a hurricane got it!) Aino's work will be part of the Manipulate: Construct exhibition from 3 to 20 December 2008.
Here is some information from Aino about her work:
"This May I celebrated my 25 year after graduation. So this year, 2008, is a kind of celebration for me. My tapestries are small line-drawings, like graphic. I like to draw, black lines on white, white lines on black and tones between them. I have made small size tapestries (30 cm x 40 cm) more than 25 years; this scale is natural for me. It is big enough to see easily but still intimate.
In the beginning of my career I thought that artists must go through feelings of anxiety and hug the whole world in her art work. I started to work as a free artist in 1990. My parents had died and my second child was born at the same year. My start as a free artist happened when I had two extremities in my life, birth and death.

My textiles are my way of thinking. I want to produce the objects of my wonderings into something concrete, so that I could understand them. I think about problems of the everyday life and then visualize them intricately. The subjects of my works usually originate from the inmost of a human being: sorrow, joy, uncertainty, guilt, tenderness and memories. But they can also be from a picture in a magazine or an episode in life.
I respect simple things but I work them out in a complicated way because clarity doesn’t belong to a weekday. Very often in my tapestries I use textile as a symbol; laces, pleats, dresses, collars, socks, shoes, gloves, belt, hat, scarf et cetera. All of these stuffs are personal, intimate things which consist of similar and common memories. Animals and roses are also very useful as symbols. This symbol picture language is like international communicating without words.

I build a balance of contrasts, even disagreements; stopped moment in a picture and the achievement which takes a lot of time. I like the spirit of the contents and the present of the sense of touch (because of materials).
I like rough and smooth materials, disagreement and discussion between them. I like clumsiness and sensitiveness, for example different sizes in a human being.

In all art you need your senses, sense of sight, sense of hearing, sense of tasting, smelling and touching. Especially the sense touch is richness for textile art. It is said that the sense of touch is the most emotional sense of a human being. Textile brings us memories through skin; they can find happiness, by touching materials one can live the present into reality, this way also my textiles become intimate.
The sense of touch teaches us to be present in the moment. That I have had to learn. Especially if you have children, you cannot stay in your dreams for a long time. I have two children.

It is good that we have many time concepts. We have the past and the future. We have seconds, minutes, hours, days and years. When I weave I have to be present but at same time I can be on another level: I can remember things or I can plan new works. I'm working alone many hours per day and still, a single second can be very important when you make an expression for a face. One thread can change happiness to sadness.

If your life is sad at this moment you can try to move your mind to the future or the past. If your future or your past scares you, it is better to concentrate in the present moment.
I want to use more shades than colours. For many years I have used almost only the black and white scale. Then I travelled to Mexico to learn more about colours. There I found the golden colour.

I feel that colours need a bigger space because they are full of energy. When I was young I had lot of feelings inside me. I spent all my power to work out my emotional life. So I didn’t want to have more feelings to handle. The black and white world seemed simpler. Now when I have gotten older, I can concentrate more on things outside me. And step by step colours appeared into my tapestries. When I use strong colours I don’t want to tell a story in the work. Colour in itself includes messages. Usually in these big colourful tapestries I tell of the tradition of textiles, decoration, ornamental surface and contents. Colours have brought more joy and light to my works.

Once I had an introduction in my exhibition and I said that I don’t handle erotica in my tapestries. In the evening there came a visitor, a man, and he told me that my works are full of erotica. So, people see what they want to see.

I was told that I'm interested in contradictions. One of them is the discipline of the technique and the unlimited creation.
In my works I use an old, troublesome technique which is hidden under simple forms and sketch-like outcomes. In a way this resembles ballet were the dance seems easy and light as a feather but in reality is lead heavy. "

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Kew Cottages History Project launched!

visitors watching the documentary films.

Artist, Cameron Rose.

The main documentary on show.

The exhibition Kew Cottages History Project by Cameron Rose was launched to a very welcoming crowd on Thursday 6 November 2008. It was quite a squeeze in the gallery with all patrons trying to get a good spot to view the documentary films.
The exhibition is made up of a large projection of 8 short films, another monitor that shows footage from 1978 as well as 2 photo displays, one which viewers can interact with and select photos and zoom in on parts. Items including old signage from the facility adds to the clinical feel of the exhibition.
Kew Cottages History Project is on show until Saturday 29 November, 2008.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kew Cottages History Project starts this week

Beginning this week from Wednesday 5 and running until to Saturday 29 November is the Kew Cottages History Project.

Established in 1887, Kew Cottages (now Kew Residential Services), Australia's largest and oldest institution for people with intellectual disability, closed at the end of 2006. The story of Kew Cottages has been captured by La Trobe University in the ‘Kew Cottages History Project’. This project has been funded by an Australian Research Council linkage grant with the Victorian Department of Human Services.

As part of the Kew Cottages History Project, a multimedia exhibition will explore the lives of the residents at Kew Cottages through documentary video, photography and interactive media. Designed and developed by Cameron Rose, the multimedia exhibition will be installed at the Town Hall Gallery in November 2008, and ultimately will be part of a permanent installation on-site at the Kew redevelopment.

The multimedia installation interprets the history of Kew Cottages through video, photography and interactive media. Central to the installation will be a series of poetic documentaries that explore the lives of residents at the cottages. We discover their lives through family photos, their daily activities, artworks and music. There will also be archival video of Kew from the 1970s, an historical website and a photo explorer allowing the visitor to zoom and inspect archival photographs.

Cameron Rose is a documentary filmmaker and media artist. His first documentary Tea Tree Crossing explored his great-grandfather’s traveling picture show in the 1920s, interviewing people who not only remember seeing the picture shows, but the day of the tragic accident that took the life of his eldest son Henry. Since then Cameron has produced documentaries, multimedia installations and television commercials. He is currently a lecturer at Monash University and completing his Master of Fine Arts.