Friday, September 30, 2011

Food Glorious Food!

photo_6[1]
Artist Kate Williams mopping her brow through her 40 minute session of Junk Thought.
Gluttony and the Gourmand was officially launched last night at Town Hall Gallery to a fantastic crowd.  The weather was miserable outside but it didn't keep our patrons away, who were very excited to see the exhibition and in particular the performance component, Junk Thought.

Artist Kate Williams started the performance, with a timed 40 minute session on the spin bike.  With live streaming being shown on their website, viewers tweeted at them urging them to "eat a cheeseburger" or "Kate, those cupcakes look good, eat one!".

emma 1
Artist Emma Hicks, replying to viewers tweets telling her what to eat.
The audience at Town Hall Gallery were mesmerised by the cycling.  The girls appeared to had created a stage at the back of the gallery and their set was a mass of fast food, fizzy drinks and sweets.  At first the audience appeared to be in shock but as the counting beeps of the time trial sounds got faster, louder and more intense, the audience drew in closer and started to feed the girls additional treats.  They didn't have enough hands to hold all the food on offer and respond to tweets at the same time.  As the 40 minute session drew to an end, the girls looked nauseus and sticky from all the cake they had eaten.

After their time on the bikes, I asked Kate how she felt.  She responded, "it was much harder than I thought it was going to be".  With the constant stare of the audience and their sadistic laughter and offering of food, it was something that the artists couldn't prepare for.

Below are some short You Tube clips from Kate William's session on the bike.  Both Kate and Emma will be answering questions about the performance on Saturday 1 October from 2pm to 3pm as part of the In Conversation public program.




Thursday, September 29, 2011

Get On Your Bike!

GG Junk Though program


Junk Though GG catalogue inside
Click on image to make bigger for ease of reading!

The official launch of Gluttony and the Gourmand is tonight from 6pm to 8pm.  One of the works for the exhibition is an installation and performance/interactive piece by duo, Emma Hicks and Kate Williams.  Their work titled Junk Thought, investigates what role the media plays in shaping our eating habits and how us as consumers, navigate our way through reality television programs and advertising.

Junk Thought will be 'played out' tonight as Kate and Emma get on their spin bike in the gallery.  They will be filmed and the outcomes of their cycling and scoffing of a variety of junk foods will be streamed on their website http://www.ek1.com.au/ .  Patrons can cheer the artists along by tweeting at them during their performance by tweeting @EK1_emmakate and using the hashtag #junkthought

This is one not to miss!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Preparing for Gluttony and the Gourmand!

Gluttony and the Gourmand exhibition

Gluttony and the Gourmand, the latest exhibition at the Town Hall Gallery, is an examination of contemporary food culture and our obsession with food, dining and the cult of the celebrity chef. Curated by Feyza Yazar, as part of the Town Hall Gallery Emerging Curator Program, the exhibition brings together a range of works by contemporary artists to create an eclectic and ‘appetizing’ display.


Whilst watching the Master Chef 2010 finale with 5.74 million other Australians, and inadvertently causing the national election debate to be moved to a different timeslot due to fears of low ratings, Feyza was struck by the way audiences are captivated by the hype, marketing and celebrity which dominates the complex terrain which consumers navigate. This idea shaped the concept for the exhibition in which our interaction with food and our role as ‘foodies’ is explored.

Feyza has curated the exhibition as part of the Town Hall Gallery Emerging Curator Project and has worked on a 10-month mentorship with Town Hall Gallery curator Mardi Nowak.

This exhibition will feature artists Anne Hsiao-Wen Wang, Corinna Berndt, Emma Hicks, Kate Williams, Katie Jacobs, Brittany Veitch and Ruffbat Creative who will survey the contested zone that is contemporary food culture.

Visitors are invited to join Feyza and exhibiting artists ‘In Conversation’ as they discuss Australia’s obsession with food culture, on Saturday 1 October from 2pm.

Gluttony and the Gourmand is open to the public from 28 September until 22 October.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We chat with Cristina Palacios

Pachamama install 008


We chatted with our current exhibiting artist, Cristina Palacios about her exhibition Pachamama and what inspires her.  If you would like to know more, then come along to our In Conversation program this Saturday 10 September at 2pm.  Cristina will be answering questions and telling us all about how this show came about.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF! WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America. I migrated to Australia in 1987.
My interest in materials, colour and patterns comes from my previous profession as a fashion designer.

I have also been exposed for many years to the drama, colour and light of the theatre. My eldest sister was an opera singer and I was exposed for the first time as a six year old to the opera ‘Madame Butterfly’. The experience was a powerful one and it left me with a deep fascination for the exoticism of Eastern cultures.

My works reveal a Latin American sensibility, with strong links to both traditional art and the Neo-concrete movements in Brazil. I am also influenced by traditional Japanese art and my art combines an eclectic range of influences.

This openess is an important aspect of my practice, which aims to communicate notions of energy, transformation and potential across cultures.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK? WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU WORK IN?

The source of my inspiration comes from PACHAMAMA. She is a sacred cosmic living being and a feminine god that is fertile and nurturing. In South American mythology PACHA represents infinity, the feminine spirit of force, the ‘Cosmos’, the divine and the sacred. MAMA means mother, therefore PACHAMAMA is Mother Earth. The infinite aspect is often represented by the use of the circle with no beginning and no end. This endless cycle has captured my interest and attention.

The circle and the spiral form, represents the Universe, evolution and the spiritual growth throughout our lives. The spiral reaches out beyond the circle, and continually transforms.

Pachamama’s Poncho is a work that interprets an imagined story about the birth of the rainbow. I wanted to make up a fictional story about her ability to create. I used craft to convey a sense of femininity, I used colour and a repetitive action to access the subconscious abstract realms.

The poncho is widely worn in South America, and so I based the sculpture on this garment. This version is enormous (850cm x 145cm), and is therefore designed for a figure that is beyond human scale or form. Pachamama’s Poncho was made with acetate ribbon, which is used in the fashion industry to make sequins. I wanted to create a large artwork that evoked the energy and vibrancy of this mythical figure. The acetate had a ‘wow’ factor that suggested new forms and processes. The reflective quality of the material is important because it creates a bright surface, and also reflects the viewer looking at the work.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORK IN THE MEDIUM THAT YOU DO?

My approach is interdisciplinary; however I am inspired by the hidden potential of unconventional materials, and the spontaneity of drawing practices, particularly within an installation context.

My research attempts to combine a wide range of different materials, processes and influences. This reflects the diverse cultural and personal experiences throughout my life. It has been important to try and incorporate these prior histories within my art practice.

The ready-made and found materials are important in my practice. I have collected discarded objects on a daily basis for many years and incorporated these materials into artworks. I am interested in creating new potential for these waste materials and this reflects my concerns about the superficiality of consumer culture, and our insensitivity towards nature.

Intuition, spontaneity and chance occur through the use of unconventional materials that allude to packaging and the environment, using plastic materials to play with the idea of immateriality, temporality and impermanence.


WHAT ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF TO DATE?

Wining an Award in Tokyo Japan; and being a finalist of ‘The Silk Cut Award’ in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

As a consequence of being a Finalist of the Silk Cut Award 2008, I was invited for the Summer Printmaking Residency at RMIT; which entitled me with the use of the facilities of the printmaking department for the year and an edition of my prints to be kept for the RMIT Collection.

IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANOTHER ARTIST, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? WHO INSPIRES YOU?

I would have liked to have the opportunity to collaborate with Louise Bourgeois but unfortunately she passed away last year.

Yayoi Kusama is the other artist that inspires me and my dream would be to meet this amazing artist, one day soon. I visited Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition titled “Mirrored Years’ at the MCA in Sydney. Yayoi has had an enormous influence in my practice, to see her work live was an unforgettable experience. Her versatility and her commitment to art were inspiring. Even though she is in her mid 80’s, she still works every day in her studio in Tokyo.


WHAT'S YOUR WORK PRACTICE LIKE? DO YOU WORK IN A STUDIO/HOME? WHAT GETS YOU IN THE MOOD TO CREATE?

I was lucky enough to have a studio in the city for a period of seven years while studying. That never stopped me working at home as well. My studio is at home now but my most prolific studio is the one in my head which I call my ‘virtual studio’, it never stops, especially when I’m sleeping.

I get inspired by nature and life in general, especially under tumultuous times.


IS THERE A SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR CREATIVITY? DO YOU HAVE MUSIC OR SILENCE?

My taste in music is very eclectic; I listen to classical, Opera, Pink Floyd, Gotan Project, Tango…etc…etc…. . Sometimes only silence will do….depends on my mood.


WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL TAKE AWAY WITH THEM FROM SEEING YOUR WORKS

My aim is to share my interpretation of the spirit of the land, to engage and transport the viewer to universal landscapes. The content of these works can elicit a sense of journey which parallels my own travels.

I hope that these works evoke a sense in the viewer of the varied experiences, in relation to an appreciation of difference and similarity in culture and personal identity; a journey that started for me some 9 years ago, as seen through the eyes and sensibilities of a Latin American artist.

My goal is to build a cultural bridge without the boundaries of place, race or colour. I wish to unite exchange and enrich myself and others that is my commitment.


WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN 10 YEARS TIME? WHAT'S YOUR DREAM?

I’m not a commercial artist but what I would love in 10 years time is; to be one of the most ‘expensive female artist’.

Why you may ask? My dream is to be able to fund with my art a few self-sufficient farms in different countries in the world to house homeless children. To be able to care, teach, nurture and give them some sense of belonging.

That’s my dream…I like to dream big…it costs me nothing….