Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
The last of our four fabulous artists showing in the Assemble exhibition is Sarah Trethowan. In Assemble she shows two series of works, one from this year (above is one of the works) and a series of works from the last 2 years.
Below is what Sarah has to say about her practice.
"I studied at art school in the UK and came to live in Australia in 1980. I have many years of experience as an art teacher at tertiary level and as a commercial designer. I now paint full-time. I live in North Central Victoria on an olive farm with my husband who plants trees for a living. My studio looks out over a very dry landscape.
I make regular visits to Melbourne to see all kinds of shows and I read about art extensively. I have shown my work in regional Victoria as well as in Melbourne and Sydney.
I use acrylic paints as I find them both flexible and robust.
For the last couple of years I’ve been working on a series of paintings exploring ideas about the urban and natural environment. During this ongoing process I’ve gradually begun to reduce and simplify the familiar shapes and forms that constitute these environments to an abstract simplicity. It’s all about the process of developing an individual visual language. In earlier work I subordinated trees to straight lines.
In the paintings I’ve produced for Assemble I’ve turned my attention to among other things, subdivisions, buildings and roads; hence the straight lines, rectangles and squares.
Since the beginning of colonization Europeans have divided up Australia, we’ve contained partitioned and reordered the landscape.
For me, the process of making art means a journey. Along the way I hope to articulate ideas and feelings about the world in which I live."
"Spanning more than 30 years, I have worked in diverse media in the past but am enjoying the simplicity of current methodologies that I describe as fundamentally play. I use my hands, in gloves, without implements, with the canvas lying down on the ground or a table. In contrast sometimes I also use manufactured colourful Perspex in some pieces.
Last year I was involved in a process of breaking up and looking at various aspects of the habits I had in my process. I also read widely and through this and realised that in some sense my painting is about the history of painting due to my art education background. I also became clearly aware of the planar or “field” aspect of my work as I have at various times in the past. Then I began not only interrupting the field with geometrics but also dividing up the field with spaces/gaps and then stripes.
My work is about layers. This acknowledges that I always feel that I am a different person each time I meet my work. I am aware of the constant changing nature of life so my work is to do with a personal sense of ease with the constant flux nature of possibilities. Also my work is about opposites co-existing. I create a field and then marks that have a relationship with the field. This represents for me the difference between transcendent experience and the intellect of the mind. The marks give a focus and create a play, interruption or tension in the field. The field and marks unify as the surface of the artwork. The terms play, transcendent experiences and the “field” came out as a language to describe where I find myself at present.
Past influences have clearly been Tapies, Helen Frankenthaler, Rothko, Miro, Kandinsky, Cy Twombly, Robert Ryman, Roger Kemp, John Neeson (printmaker), the historical, spiritual and planar nature of Australian Indigenous and Asian art, involvement with The Women’s Art Forum in Melbourne in the late 70’s and early 80’s, traveling and living overseas in particular in Europe and India. This year I am doing an MVA at the Melbourne University art school, Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts, on St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Other artists of interest include: Lesley Dumbrell, Rosslynd Piggot, Lindy Lee, Dale Frank, John Nixon, Bridget Riley, Yves Klein, the abstract 2D work of Gerhard Richter, Emmel Fontana, Barnett Newman, Robert Owen, John Baldessari, Agnes Martin, Beuys and Steiner, Katharina Grosse, Ya Yoi Deki, Lecia Dole Recio, Gunter Umberg, Angela Brennan, Peter Halley, ADS Donaldson, Markus Dobelli, Jane Lee, the Sydney Non-Objectives… Painting is alive and well.
I support Greenfleet planting of native forests to offset the use of materials used in my art making."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Artist Grangie Kemp's work explores notions of time while investigating a variety of surfaces and textures. Her multiple monoprints have been collaged together in a very organic fashion, emulating fabric when they are pinned to the wall.
Here is what Grangie says about her work:
"I have a background in painting, textiles, sewing and printmaking, with a Bachelor of Textile Design from RMIT (majoring in screen printing). I have always been interested in texture, layering and collage and I like to combine various mediums such as ink and fabrics. More recently I have been focusing on mono printing (a one off technique of printmaking) using varied papers and fibres and experimenting with combinations of block printing inks and water colour. I am now increasingly interested in working with natural and environmentally friendly materials such as wool and bamboo.
This exhibition is based on my research, over the last two years, about magnetism and clocks and time. I wonder about how fragments of time rule our lives and which direction in life we take because of them."
Artist Peta Dzubiel is based in Sydney so we were very excited that she was able to attend both the opening night and In Conversation program that was held on last Saturday 13 June. For those who missed out on the public program, below is an artist statement by Peta.
"As a painter I am interested in the nomadic gypsy-like existence of the traveling carnival and its impermanence in the broader contemporary world. The carnival is a dynamic and visually stimulating arena, which I can engage in painterly exploration. Light and dark coupled with loose brushstrokes enable me to render a poetic atmosphere and bring forth the aesthetic quality of this nomadic landscape.
The contemporary carnival is a deeply human arena that operates on misrepresentation and façade: what is real and what is fake? The carnival is a temporary and constructed space. Beyond this setting of coloured lights and amusements, are people that belong to a nomadic sub-culture that we label as ‘carnies’. There is a paradox in working toward the suspension of disbelief and dealing with the practical and mundane aspect of this commercial business. It represents a disparity between the envisaged experience (the enchanted carnival) and actuality (the commercial venture) that fascinates and perplexes.
In my painting practice I am exploring these elements and exaggerating selected aspects in order to imbue my work with an ambiguity based on this disjuncture. I see this disjuncture as the difference between the function of a carnival (a form of entertainment) and the actual daily experiences, both of workers and patrons. It is an acknowledgement of this contradiction that I wish to engender in the audience; a mixed response of intrigue and the strangely uncomfortable."
Assemble is open to the public until Sunday 5 July.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The exhibition is open to the public from tomorrow, Wednesday 10 June and will run until Sunday 5 July. Seeing Melbourne has been giving us some cold and miserable weather this week, I thought I would let you have a sneak peak of the works on offer before you all brave the cold and come and check out the show in the flesh!
The artists are also discussing their works this Saturday 13 June from 2-3pm. Come along, enjoy a lovely cup of coffee and sweet treats and be inspired by their discussion. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Work by Veronica Caven Aldous.