Blue Dot: Exhibition Opening

I’m excited to invite you to the opening of my exhibition

Blue Dot
5:30pm, Thurs 28 Jun
at the School House Gallery at Rosny Farm, Tasmania

Look up – or should we say out. We inhabit a thin slice. Beneath us are layers of soil, sand, rock and magma; and above us, layers less visible radiate out from our sphere of heavier, terrestrial elements.

The nestled spheres of our atmosphere are home to the clouds.

The mobiles hanging in the School House Gallery are an invitation to cloud-gaze. The circles of sky drift gently, stirred by a breeze from an open window.

These “cloud portraits” belong to Hobart. Clouds are the movement of air and water made visible, and Hobart’s cloudscapes are distinctly shaped by its geography: the mountain, the river, the sea, the city. Nothing operates in isolation.

Beyond the clouds the sky looks blue, and if you get far enough out and look back, the planet looks blue too. A pale blue dot, precious and extraordinary, suspended in space.

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At the Bottom of an Ocean of Air

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.

Some Stars Wobble

Claire Pendrigh, Some Stars Wobble, 2017, rocks and wire

This mobile is part of an exhibition of the same name, currently on show at Sawtooth ARI in Launceston. You can see all the artworks in the show here.

Some stars really do wobble. It’s one of the ways we can tell if a star has a planet orbiting it. Anything that is locked in an orbit with anything else, wobbles.

It’s easier to see If you look at two objects of similar mass that are orbiting each other, for instance, Pluto and its inner most moon Charon. With half the diameter and one-eighth the mass of Pluto, Charon is a very large moon. Its gravitational influence is big enough that both bodies spin around a point in space between them.

All orbital systems have this balance point; it’s called the “barycentre”. When a tiny planet orbits a massive star, the barycentre exists within the body of the star, so instead of making a discernable orbit, the star just appears to wobble.

The barycentre is nicely modelled in a mobile, as each side of each arm needs to be equally weighted. In Some Stars Wobble each mobile starts with two rocks on either end of a wire. I find the balance point, and add a loop and a swivel. Then I add another wire with a rock on the end. This time, the balance point has one rock on one side, and two on the other. To make the mobile hang flat, the balance point needs to be in the centre of mass between the two starting rocks, and the one new rock. The next level balances one rock against three rocks and the pattern continues.

In this mobile, I wanted to see just how complicated a balancing act between rocks in space might be. Imagine how many paths each rock could travel on its journey around this cluster – how many variations are possible.

Claire Pendrigh, Some Stars Wobble (detail), 2017, rocks and wire

Some Stars Wobble

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

Sawtooth ARI
Level , 160 Cimitiere St
Launceston Tasmania

Gallery Hours 
Wednesday to Friday 12 noon – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 2 pm

Tea Seas at BRAG

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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.

exhibition opening

Innerspace

I’m very excited to have my work in this wonderful exhibition with all these wonderful artists! Curated by David Broke, Innerspace exhibits the work of 8 artists in Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s Gorman House gallery.

Space. It seems to go on and on forever. Then you get to the end, and a monkey starts throwing barrels at you.

Phillip Fry, Futurama

From time immemorial artists have looked to the heavens with a sense of awe and wonder but infinity (as we know it) is definitely not the concern of Innerspace. Christopher Bennie, Jacqueline Bradley, Ham Darroch, Shellaine Godbold, Ellis Hutch, Claire Pendrigh Elliott, Rusty Peters and Jed Wolki take a view of space that is more about reverie than comprehension. Deep space thus becomes a profoundly personal matter. Whether employing cosmic clichés, scientific research, observation or stories, the universal is to be found at home; in the kitchen, the nursery, the studio or the extended backyard. Materials are nearly always appropriately modest, with for example, cardboard boxes, toilet rolls, chocolate wrappers, wool, old newspapers, trash and breakfast cereal expressing grand(iose) ideas that engage with a futile struggle to conquer the meaning of life. Quite simply, Innerspace is an exhibition that sees the notion of space grounded by the gravitational pull of prosaic imagination.

– CCAS –

Innerspace is on exhibition until 15 August at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman House, Canberra.

You can view the Innerspace catalogue here… 

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. r1433624_20705557

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.

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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