An Intimate Universe

Claire Pendrigh - photo Paul Webster

Claire Pendrigh, An Intimate Universe, yarn and aluminium. Photo: Paul Webster

My most resent artwork, An Intimate Universe,  is now on display at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries in the Bunbury Biennale.

The work takes the form of a hanging mobile with woollen star-clouds suspended from each arm, slowly orbiting a central point.

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Claire Pendrigh, An Intimate Universe (detail), yarn and aluminium. Photo: Sharon Kennedy

Nebulae are clouds of stars, dust and elements, drawn together and bound by gravity in a stellar family. Like a family, these environments create and nurture new stars and solar systems, and hence they are sometimes referred to as stellar nurseries.

Our own galaxy, and everything in it, would have been created through this process. The elements required for stars, planets, life, and for our human bodies, were all forged from stardust.

The DNA of my body has been passed down through generations of mothers. My mother taught me to knit, and her mother taught her; a skill, which like mitochondria, has been passed down maternally.

An Intimate Universe explores the micro world of human relations and human existence, in the context of the cosmos. This work combines the internal and external, the familiar and the sublime, to make sense of our intimate relationship with stellar matter.

You can read more about my work and the Bunbury Biennale in this lovely article by ABC South West.

You can also download the online version of the Bunbury Biennale catalogue from the BRAG website.

Conductive pompoms and other adventures

Feet felting

Feet felting

Knit Glitch is a creative duo – Daniel Macnish and myself, Claire Pendrigh.

Last weekend we packed up our things and headed out of town for an art weekend – two whole days devoted to exploring and experimenting with materials. Our primary goal was to make, and play with, a sensor that uses conductive thread embedded in felted wool. These sensors will be a central element in our next Knit Glitch project so we wanted to try out a few different techniques!

The most effective was the conductive pompom, which you can see in this video, controlling a sound. The pitch of the sound can actually be controlled by squeezing the pompom!

If you would like to find out more about Knit Glitch, then head over to our blog. We are very excited to be participating in the 2015 Awesome Arts Creative Challenge, so keep an eye out for future posts about our awesome creation.

First attempt at a felted conductive pompom.

First attempt at a felted conductive pompom.

Felting sensors

Felting sensors

Crocheting a sensor with wool and conductive thread

Crocheting a sensor with wool and conductive thread

Testing the conductivity of a pompom

Testing the conductivity of a pompom

Pompom sensor and crochet sensor

Pompom sensor and crochet sensor

A crochet sensor felted into some fabric

A crochet sensor felted into some fabric

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Tea Seas at Studio Kura

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Here are some photos from the opening of “Tea Seas” at Studio Kura in March 2015. It was such a lovely event, filled with smiles, children, and yummy onigiri!

Thank you to all the wonderful people at Studio Kura, especially my lovely fellow artists, for the time I’ve spent here. I feel so lucky to have met you all and to have enjoyed your company for the two months of my residency.

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Installation in the forest

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Bleed, 2015, Claire Pendrigh

Bleed catalogues the transition of a structured pattern into disordered forms. These small scrolls were created by stacking sheets of rice paper before painting circles on the top sheet, allowing the paint to bleed through to the paper behind.

I’ve created this work for a shrine festival in Itoshima on 21 March, and these photos are from my test run in the bamboo forest behind the residency house. I’m really looking forward to the festival now, it should be a great chance to meet some locals and enjoy a day out of the studio. I just hope that it doesn’t rain!

Bleed scrolls

 

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Tea Seas

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Tea Seas uses imagery of a primordial sea contained within a teacup to explore human existence, both in the context of the domestic and of the universe. This body of work has been created during my two-month artist residency with Studio Kura, Itoshima, Japan.

Tea is a very human beverage. It embodies society, community, hospitality and ritual – social elements that are key to our human existence. Tea is a way to connect with people and open conversations on a domestic scale, but tea can also present a connection to the human existence on far a greater stage.

The water in your teacup is one part of the finite quantity of water we have on Earth. This water changes form, but it is never replenished. The water in your teacup is the same water that flowed in the blood of dinosaurs, and it is the same water from a primordial sea, which may have nursed the first living cells on Earth.

Our natural environment is full of structured patterns, which swing between states order and disorder. Living organisms have the ability to organize. We order elements, arrange cells into complex patterns, build societies and construct rituals.

Just as the circle of your teacup echoes the shape of the cells in your body, it also mirrors the shape of this pale blue dot that we inhabit. Somewhere in the space between order and entropy, is the everyday existence that we know – our work, hobbies, families, and all the interpersonal relationships that we facilitate over a cup of tea.

Taking its cues from the Japanese tea ceremony, Tea Seas follows a ritualistic process of repetition and restraint in order to explore this precarious human existence.

Tea Seas will be exhibited at the Studio Kura Gallery on 28 and 29 March 2015.

Tea in Itoshima

Tea Seas (Red) detail.

Tea Seas (Red) detail.

It is nearly the end of February and I am now half way through my artist residency at Studio Kura in Itoshima, Japan. It has been an interesting and experience so far, and has pushed the boundaries my artistic comfort zone. I have set myself the challenge of working with a new set of materials – powdered pigments and rice paper. Having quizzed the very helpful but non-English speaking staff at the art supplies store, I now have a set of instructions, mostly in the form of drawings, for how to mix and use the pigments.

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All the beautiful colours of powdered pigments.

I am living in a traditional Japanese house, which seems to be built entirely from wood and paper. It does not hold the heat at all, and I often have to open all the doors and windows to let in the warmer-than-inside winter air. The residency is in a semi-rural area, surrounded by farms, forests and ocean. I have taken up weekly Japanese language classes in town, but am making painfully slow progress!

Working on a painting in the studio while one of the other residency artists films my paintbrush.

Working on a painting in the studio while one of the other residency artists films my paintbrush.

During the two months of my residency, I am exploring the theme of tea. Japan is renown through out the world for its tea culture, and as an avid tea drinker myself, I just had to come and find out more about what tea means to people in contemporary Japan.

I see tea as a very human beverage. It embodies society, community, hospitality and ritual – social elements that are key to our human existence. Tea is a way to connect with people and open conversations on a domestic scale, but tea can also present a connection to the human existence on far a greater stage.

The water in your cup of tea is just one part of the finite quantity of water we have on Earth. This water changes form, but it is never replenished. The water in your teacup is the same water that that flowed in the blood of dinosaurs, and it is the same water from a primordial sea, which may have nursed the first living cells on Earth. If this water could remember, it would remember all of humanity from the earliest living cells to the complex, tea drinking, societies that we have today.

My work from the residency program will be exhibited in the Studio’s gallery, housed in a converted, one hundred year old rice silo, in late March. I’ll keep you posted with the details!

"24 Cups of Tea" (detail)

“24 Cups of Tea” (detail)

 

 

 

 

Cloudbursts in New York

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Cloudburst, a duo show with myself and fellow Australian Artist Christian Lock, opened at CHASM Gallery, New York, last week. We have a great little write-up in the Social Magazine.

“Capturing the essence of fluctuations observed in nature and throughout life, “Cloudburst” opened at Chasm Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn on December 12. Showcasing works by Australian visual artists, Christian Lock and Claire Pendrigh, the exhibition fuses together each artist’s work thematically under a rubric of natural contrasts from the spontaneous to the orderly and the ironic to the sincere, ultimately communicating the ebb and flow of the human experience and of the world around us.”

-Jack Raplee-

Read the whole article at Social; Lifestyle Magazine

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Claire Pendrigh, Jessica Holburn, Jack Raplee and Christian Lock

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Photographs: Jacob Souza