A few months ago I met Mel. Mel was on the last leg of her Australian trip after completing a university exchange at ANU and was getting ready to return home to Germany. She studies astronomy, her Australian research focusing on a rare type of variable star called R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars. The more she spoke about these stars, the more intrigued I became, for RCB stars behave in quite a peculiar way. Every now and then the star ejects a large dust cloud which obscures it from view from earth, making it appear to grow dimmer and then brighter again when the dust has dispersed.
Given my ongoing interest in all things star dust, I had to explore it further.
Now, I will be honest with you, I am not an astronomer. Despite Mel’s excellent explanation attempts, it is highly probable that I will never fully grasp or understand this phenomenon – but for me, this is part of what attracts me to is as a subject. The coming together of scientific data, evidence, numbers and graphs with the sense of mystery and incomprehension of an event so far beyond the realm of the everyday is, in essence, what intrigues me about the experience of the sublime.
Since that first conversation with Mel, I have been working on a soft sculpture space cloud. Progress is slow with a great deal of fine knitting and stitching required. My aim is to incorporate RCB data collected and analysed by astronomers, and use it to create an object that explores the interplay between science and wonder. It’s going to be large, and it’s going to be shiny.
One drifts on a lone, sleepy walk, acrylic and permanent marker on found painting
I found an old print of a painting in the cupboard of my rented unit. It was in a sad state with chipped corners and peeling surface. What can I say, I instantly fell in love with it as an object that has spent so much time hanging on other people’s walls and watching other people’s lives. I have been drawing these little ghost creatures lately and I decided to introduce them in to this landscape. I think I would like to create a narrative using these ghosts on other people’s paintings. If anyone has any unloved prints hiding in their cupboards, then please let me know!
I have been feeling a little guilty lately as I have not managed to post any pictures of new art on the blog since I moved to Bunbury. The truth is that, while I have still been making art, having a full time job has slowed me down considerably!
This is a scan of an article in the South West Times the other week which I was interviewed for. It makes me feel less guilty about the slow pace of my artmaking because reading it back over made me realise that I have been quite busy and I have been achieving some pretty great goals! The photo is taken in the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries were I now work, and I am sitting in front of a painting by South West artist Monique Tippett.
I just re-discovered this photograph of me in Bristol, all dressed up and holding one of my crocheted hearts, and I decided that it was most definitely worthy of a place on my blog. I think that the Skin Cosy, or “naked suit” as it became affectionately known in the Bristol backpackers where I was living at the time, is my favourite artwork from the Cosy exhibition. It was interesting to re-exhibit the costume in Canberra for the CCAS Christmas Show. In Bristol, people were only a little shy about donning the suit, and once wearing it they were happily jumping around the gallery showing off their new knitted nipples and vagina to anyone who would look! In Canberra, however, the mood was much more restrained and the suggestion that people could try the cosy on was met with coy giggles and polite declines. I wonder what people would think of it in my new home, Bunbury?
Best heart to all you lovely people in Bristol, Canberra, Bunbury and around the world.
The work that I made during my artist residency in Iceland will be exhibited in Perth’s Paper Mountain art space in early December 2013. What a contrast of climates!
Moving to Bunbury has got me thinking about houses, about how we construct that identity of the home. What it is that makes a building more than simply a shell in which we store all our stuff?
Every evening, I have been crawling through the small doorway of my washing-machine-box cubby and decorating the walls with lyrics from Björk that I am particularly obsessed with at the moment. The inside of this box is my cave.