Sunday, November 27, 2011

Interview with Nikita Burt

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Detail of one of Nikita's works on show at Pre-Fab.


Tell us about yourself! Where are you from?

I’m originally from the sun-struck part of the state, Mildura, and I think I’m coming up 5 years in Melbourne this year…I’ve just completed my Grad. Dip in Creative Arts Therapies at Miecat, Fitzroy.

How would you describe your work? What materials do you work in?
My assemblages on paper, linen and wood often employ tools for actions that we make everyday, tools that we construct and deconstruct our world with. Staying with these actions provides opportunities for new forms and new ways of being to emerge.

Tell us why/how your work fits in to the Pre-Fab idea?!
I’m intrigued by our capacity to love the natural world, and our insane attempts to imitate it. In the case of artificial flower production, there is a tension for me between the absurdity of them and their brilliance. Producing these works has been a process of consolidating this conflict, confronting the space between the conditioning of our industrial ways and our relationship with the natural world.

What achievement are you most proud of to date?
Completing a 12 month residency at Box Hill Community Arts Centre as I feel learning to work with the community is pretty important for artists.

What's your work practice like? Do you work in a studio/home? What gets you in the mood to create?
Nature, a pot of tea and a journal close by is usually a good start to the day. Currently I’m in transition between two studios, I’m getting ready to move from the Box Hill Community Arts Centre Loft studio to House of Bricks in Collingwood.

Is there a soundtrack to your creativity? Do you have music or silence?
A bit of both at times, mostly it’s instrumental pieces, lately it’s Dirty Three.

What do you think people will take away with them from seeing your work?
Perhaps a new relationship with synthetic flowers?

Where do you want to be in 10 years time? What's your dream?!
A full time arts practice, more collaboration and definitely some kind of role in my community that helps others move through difficulties or life transitions using art.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chatting to Pre-Fab artist Jasmin Coleman...

Pre-fab install 006
Installation view of Jasmin's work at Pre-Fab.


Tell us about yourself! Where are you from?
I am an emerging artist currently based on the Sunshine Coast in QLD.


How would you describe your work?
My hybrid practice shifts between painting, sculpture and most recently large scale site responsive installations.  The artworks I am exhibiting in PRE-FAB,  Concrete Painting (2005) and Framework (2009) both emphasise materiality but in very different ways as there was a six year gap between their making.  Both works do however mark my continued interest in employing plainspoken industrial materials and refashioning them so that material and structural integrity is highlighted. This aspect of my practice has continued to be a key focus however, more recent works (most notably Stabiliser's 2011) are much more ambitious in scale, site responsive and also geared to encourage active audience participation and reflection.


What materials do you work in?
To date, I have primarily worked with concrete, metal scaffolding tubes and couplers, perspex, hardwood timber and acrylic paint on canvas. I am presently working with fabricators to realise a very elegant freestanding installation, which will consist of multiple highly polished aluminum objects.


Tell us why/how your work fits in to the Pre-Fab idea?
I generally work with industrial building materials, which include those, that are prefabricated (i.e. scaffold tubing and couplers) I am attracted to their innate strength and function as tools used to transform. Construction or notions of the built are also central to my practice. I try to avoid modifying any materials so that structural integrity isn’t compromised. My artworks are therefore informed by both the object /materials limitations and potential.

Pre-fab install 014
One of the elements from Jasmin's Framework Series


What achievement are you most proud of to date?
In the earlier part of this year I toured my Stabiliser's installation nationally and I was pleased to be able to realise what was a very ambitious and logistically challenging project. Most importantly though the project success was due in most part to numerous individuals and businesses who graciously offered their time and financial support. During this time I also realised the value of effective project management, communication, collaborating with artists and forming partnerships with trade businesses.


What's your work practice like? Do you work in a studio/home? What gets you in the mood to create?
Generally a concept for a new artwork will be prompted by the discovery of a new object or material. I tend to bank ideas and if they stay with me long enough they I start a process of rigorously aligning concept and form. By this stage obsession has well and truly set in and everything around me gets messy. I don’t have a studio at present so most rooms inside the house are affected.


Is there a soundtrack to your creativity? Do you have music or silence?
I do find that walking for a very long time whilst listening to music is very useful activity for sifting through ideas. But I also spend a lot of time in silence deliberating over ideas.


What do you think people will take away with them from seeing your work?
How we experience and respond to art (or anything for that matter) is an individual experience so I wouldn’t like to forecast audience responses. Although, it would be nice if concrete’s appeal were to be reevaluated.


Where do you want to be in 10 years time? What's your dream?!
Ten years is too far away for me gauge but I would hope that I would have travelled extensively and that I would have developed passions outside of my creative practice.

You can see more of Jasmin's work via her website http://www.jasmincoleman.com/

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hebridean Raven is at Town Hall Gallery

raven 2


Town Hall Gallery is pleased to host Hebridean Raven, a solo exhibition by Norma Ann McGowan.




McGowan is of Scottish heritage and was inspired to use the symbol of the raven as they hold an intrinsic position within the Celtic culture. They are sociable creatures whose clever and inventive behaviour can amuse and annoy the people amongst whom they live. She stated that her childhood memories from the islands of Scotland include the thieving ways of the local ravens. In Scottish mythology they also play the role of protectors of the Western Isles, so they are regarded with affection as well as exasperation.



The paintings in the exhibition consider the sleek physicality of the raven; their wings spread wide as they rush towards the object of their interest, their mouths open as they communicate with glee. The floor installation suggests their social nature and the movement of the feathers in the slight air currents of the room implies the possibility of flight and freedom.


The exhibition is open to the public from Wednesday 26 October until Saturday 19 November. Norma will also be discussing her work on Saturday 5 November from 2pm.