At The Bottom of an Ocean of Air is open at Contemporary Art Tasmania until the end of the month. See more at clairependrigh.com
I’m excited to invite you to a new installation in Contemporary Art Tasmania’s project space.
“Noi viviamo sommersi nel fondo d’un pelago d’aria”
“We live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of air”
– Evangelista Torricelli (inventor of the barometer), 1634
At the Bottom of an Ocean of Air is an installation of home-made barometers. Made from simple materials, they respond to changes in atmospheric pressure. As the air pressure changes, the little lights flicker on and off like bioluminescing creatures of the deep atmosphere.
The installation will be open during Contemporary Art Tasmania’s next exhibition opening 6pm, Friday 27 April, and will be on showing throughout May.
Contemporary Art Tasmania
27 Tasma Street, North Hobart, Tasmania
Open Wed to Sun, 12 – 5pm
Image: Claire Pendrigh, At the Bottom of an Ocean of Air, 2018, home-made barometers (jars, latex, water, plastic), LED’s and batteries.
OFFICIAL OPENING: 6pm Friday 5 January 2018
EXHIBITION DATES: Saturday 6 – Monday 22 January 2018, open 10am – 4pm daily
SIDE SPACE GALLERY Salamanca Arts Centre
Lie on your back and observe the shapes drifting through the sky. Imagine the weight of the billions of droplets of water suspended – a blanket, saturated and heavy, slipping between forms, amorphous and ever changing. Claire Pendrigh’s exhibition Clouds of a Chaotic Sky is an exploration of the sublime, ephemeral beauty of clouds.
Join us for the exhibition opening, with opening remarks from Simon McCulloch – ABC’s 7pm weather presenter in Tasmania and senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology.
Read more at: www.salarts.org.au/event/clouds-of-a-chaotic-sky
This exhibition is supported by Salamanca Arts Centre.
Claire Pendrigh, Telescope, 2017, felted wool and various materials
I decided that I wanted to take a pencil, and trace my path through space. The line would follow me around the earth as it rotates on its axis, around the sun over the course of a year, around the galaxy as it rotates around the black hole at its core. And it would never meet its starting point, because by the time I had completed the 250 million year rotation of the galaxy, the whole thing would have shifted, continuing its trajectory through space.
Then I would take a telescope and look back behind me at this looping, arcing, whirling line that never revisits the same point twice, and I would be able to understand my own trajectory through space.
In school we learn that the Earth orbits the Sun, and we often draw its path as a circle. This was the form I imagined my line would take – a series of circular loops and spirals. In reality, our path is elliptical. Well, actually, it’s still not that simple. As the earth travels around the sun its path is influenced by the gravitational pull of the moon as it orbits us, and by the gravitational pull of all the other planets in our solar system as they travel on their paths around the sun.
The more intricate I discovered this path to be, the less confident I became in my mental picture of my path through space.
I came up against a problem of scale. I wanted my line to reflect all the variations and intricacies of real orbits, but the variations are so small compared to the scale of the solar system, that to represent them accurately my drawing would not fit on a piece of paper. Conversely, compared to the scale of me, these variations are substantial. However, to draw them at that scale you would have to lose sight of the bigger picture.
In the end, what you actually see when you look through my telescope, is a moving diagram that traces the path of one of my hanging mobiles from Some Stars Wobble. The circles each indicate the potential path of one weight. Their slow movement within each other (I think they look a bit like organisms in a petri dish) maps the potential configurations of that mobile.
I didn’t want to lose sight of my line, documenting the path of the Earth, so I also included some Earth measurements around the mobile map. The numbers cycle through 0 – 365.2422 for the days of a year, the moon experiences 12 phases, and the tilt of the Earth’s axis completes one full cycle. You can see a video of this work, along with pictures of other works from this exhibition, at clairependrigh.com.
Some Stars Wobble opens 6pm Friday 2 June at Sawtooth ARI in Launceston, Tasmania.
Here on the Earth we are never still. Imagine drawing a line in space that traces your location as you go round and round, as the globe spins on its axis, as the Earth orbits the sun, as the solar system revolves, slowly, around the centre of the galaxy. The hanging mobiles, installations and paintings exhibited in Some Stars Wobble examine the complex balance of a shared existence in the universe.
There are also three other exciting exhibitions opening at Sawtooth ARI on 2 June, check their website for full details.
Opening 6pm Friday 2 June
Exhibition runs 1 June – 24 June
Level , 160 Cimitiere St
Wednesday to Friday 12 noon – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 2 pm
I recently had the pleasure of exhibiting my Star Clouds in my home town of Canberra.
Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS), Gorman House, invited me to be part of an incredible show of work by artists who explore cosmic themes in an everyday context. You can find the exhibition catalogue on their website.
Claire Pendrigh, Paper-skin, 2015, rice paper, pen and watercolour
Rice paper feels a bit like skin, a thin and fragile covering which records its history in the layers of its surface. Just under the surface of this paper-skin is an implanted foreign body. A single circle, an ink and watercolour drawing of cartilaginous material, is sandwiched between the two sheets of paper.
Paper-skin is part of an artist book by Donna Franklin in her artwork EarMouse Such Sweet Music, 2015. This artwork is currently exhibited in DeMonstrable at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, curated by SymbioticA Director Oron Catts. In this exhibition, new work by a number of artists has been commissioned to commemorate, respond to, and reflect on the multifaceted cultural and scientific impact of the Earmouse.
DeMonstrable is open from 3 October – 5 December 2015.
Donna Franklin, EarMouse Such Sweet Music, 2015
Tea Seas, a body of work created during my recent artist residency at Studio Kura in Itoshima, Japan, is now on display at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries (BRAG). It is wonderfully refreshing to be able to exhibit in the same town that I live in for the first time in a long while!
I would like to send a huge thanks to all the staff at BRAG for their involvement, and to Sharon Kennedy for opening the exhibition.
Tea Seas uses imagery of a primordial sea contained in a teacup. Taking their cues from the Japanese tea ceremony, these artworks follow a ritualistic process of repetition and restraint. The paintings, drawings and animation work exhibited use traditional Japanese pigments on rice paper to explore our own biology and evolution.
Photographs by Taj Kemp.
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.
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.