25 March 2014

the accidental portrait

This was just a test shot seeing if I had the focus right but I think it's a true representation of myself right now.  I like the bubbles of highlights, my mouth probably looks like this most of the time, I haven't shown my face in a photo for a while...

12 March 2014

conversations on motherhood and dropper drive!

Since becoming a mother, I've discovered there's so much left unsaid about the realities of motherhood such as the loss of identity and the complexities of continuing an art practice after having children.  To explore this subject further I'm developing a new media project entitled 'thisplace.' which will be exhibited in January 2015.  I'm requesting honest feedback from mothers to help me understand what is unspoken about motherhood and why?

To continue my research into I am hosting a morning chat and cuppa at The Art Room for mums and artist mums to come along and contribute to an honest conversation about motherhood.  Everyone's welcome to come along (with or without kids) and contribute to the conversation, and help me brainstorm ideas.

I'm also seeking donations of medicine droppers and syringes to create a costume for one of the portraits based on this research.  I will need hundreds of them so please bring along any spares you have!  To RSVP please join the facebook page.

Thursday 20th March
The Art Room, studio 7 at the Cotton Mills
91 Moreland Road, Footscray

opening tonight!

11 March 2014

Chasing the Light - introduction to photography course

I'm very excited to be teaching another photography course at The Art Room which begins next month.  Chasing the Light is a 3 week course for beginners who would like to learn the basics of photography and how to create beautiful images without spending lots of money on camera equipment.

During the course you will learn where to find beautiful light, how to compose your images, what the camera settings mean, and how to edit your photographs.  We will have a hands-on photo shoot to put everything you have learned into practice.  Plus you'll be provided with many handy tips and tricks for taking great photographs.  All you need is yourself and your camera to get started!

Starts 27th April 2014
3 weeks
Sunday's 10am - 1pm (excluding Mother's Day 11th May)
*places are limited

10 March 2014

studio visits for This Wild Song

I'm currently doing studio visits with artists that I've asked to be a part of This Wild Song and this week I met with Melanie Fitzmaurice who makes beautiful sculptures like the one above, plus Hannah Bertram who creates amazing dust works and does 24 hour drawing projects.  Yup, you read that right.

I've been following these artists for quite a while so it's been great to meet them in person and collaborate on this project.  We've come up with quite epic costume ideas for both of their portraits which is equally freaking exciting slash oh crap am I going to be able to pull this off??

06 March 2014

behind the scenes with Kim Buck

Hey Kim, soooooo any chance you'd be up for me covering you in charcoal and taking your portrait? .......... my proposal went something like that.

Kim Buck creates photo-realist charcoal drawings and the theme of the This Wild Song portraits is for the artist to become a part of their work.  My idea for Kim was to have her amongst the trees, covered in charcoal so she blends into them, creating a shape that was similar to one of the poses in her own work, and with a white sheet as a canvas.  I found the perfect spot which was the Black Forrest behind Woodend (Victoria), another reason for choosing this area is that my sister lives nearby so Kim could shower afterwards!

We shot the photo on a muggy and overcast day in December.  I'd been flat out with the kids that day, picked up Kim, drove to Woodend, dumped the kids at my sister's, and drove to the location.  The light was fading, which was extra pressure as I'm shooting these portraits at f11 at least, and we still had to make the mixture and cover Kim.

It has been a mad rush all day and I found it difficult to make the transition to artist-brain, to quieten down and look at the compositions of the landscape.  I danced around for longer than usual trying to pick the perfect location, wondering whether the white sheet as a canvas was going to work or look just plain naff.  I was really feeling the pressure with the light fading, photographing someone else, not wanting to subject poor Kim to a reshoot, and wanting to create a freakin awesome portrait.

We made the mixture of charcoal and glucose, with some water and black acrylic paint.  Then Kim got covered in the lovely mixture which you can see above, and I threw some ash and extra charcoal bits on her for more texture.  I couldn't believe it when I got the negs back and I got the shot in the fifth frame, instincts for the win!

By the end of it I was completely exhausted, sweaty, stinky, dirty and totally in my element.  It was a hard day but also super fun and definitely worth it.  Thank you sooooooo much to Kim for being a total trooper and going along with my crazy idea, you are all sorts of awesome.

Melbourne Now - a child friendly exhibition hooray!

If I ever meet Tony Elwood (the new director of NGV) I'll totally give him a hug to say thank you, thank you, thank you for curating Melbourne Now with so many child friendly elements!  Trying to go to exhibitions with kids is a challenge for sure, you whizz by the works and a lot of galleries aren't particularly receptive to having loud kids running around.  Once I even got a talking to by a young whippersnapper volunteer who told me that children can't touch the art...

NGV International
water wall, rainbow reflections, trugo, disco, music, birds, ping pong, elevator music, necklace making - but be warned that it's near a crazy loud exhibit...

NGV Australia (Fed Square)
drawing, shoe making, liquid watching, music playing, reading corner, paper basketball

We first visited Melbourne Now soon after it opened and the boys and I had THE best time, super duper fun.  I was so excited I bought a catalogue and we've been a few times, I still need to go another couple of times on my own to see the not so child friendly works.  Aaaaaand I meant to write this post just after we first went in December to spread the word but then the school holidays happened....

Melbourne Now
St Kilda Road (closed Tuesday's) and Federation Square (closed Monday's)
exhibition runs until March 23rd

05 March 2014

the interwebs and me.

These days there are soooooooo many places to upload your work! I'm guilty of getting a bit too excited and joining a bunch of these sites, then I can't remember where I've put what, plus you need to update everything, then you have to google yourself to find the sites and that's kinda weird.  Anyhoo, over the last year I've been simplifying and deleting accounts (which feels awesome).  You can now find me on the interwebs in these places.....

Well you've obviously found this one :)  This is my personal blog where I talk about how I've created images, post personal photos and new works, and yap about what I'm up to.  I haven't been blogging very regularly lately for a few reasons like last year I was in research mode so I didn't create a lot of new work, I've given up trying to achieve much in the school holidays, and I think I get a bit of blog freeze.  I get caught up in thinking that each post has to be super but from now on I'm going to think of this blog as more of a journal.

onefourfour is the first project I've curated and it's long term spanning over one year.  On this blog you'll be able to see what the twelve artists (including myself) have created for each month's theme, plus there'll be interviews with the participating artists so you can learn more about them and their practice.

This Wild Song is another project I'm working on where I'm photographing and interviewing female Australian artists who I believe have a unique voice.  Here you'll find the portraits I have taken of the artists accompanied with an interview.  This series will be exhibited and produced as a book when it has been completed.

I'm pretty active on facebook (aka stalkbook) as it's nice and easy to use, but on the downside they now restrict how many of your likers actually see your posts.  It's pretty disappointing that people who had an interest in your work won't see your posts unless you pay to promote them, I think I'll need to focus on my other social media more in the future.

I'm a fan of good old instagram what can I say!  Even if I haven't got time to use the proper camera I'm still taking quick snaps on my phone, so I feel like I'm still able to create even if it's in small doses.  And just a heads up, I could take pics of clouds all day long...

I also suffer from newsletter freeze!  I create newsletters as a place to get all the news and info in one place but I tend to wait until I have a whole bunch of items so it's only sent out every month or two.  I'm now going to change the structure to short and sweet so it's easier to read and not so overwhelming.  I'm going to send out newsletters every 2 or 3 weeks, I think this is the best way to stay in touch with the latest goings on from the studio...

Last but not least is my website where you can view my work and see how it has developed.

A huge thank you for your continuing support, please come say hello in the interwebs, and feel free to let me know if there's anything you would like to see more or less of on any of these social media avenues x

Ps. all photos are from my phone archives...

04 March 2014

tonight's view.

views from home.  tonight's sunset.  I wish I could get up on my roof.  I take way too many photos of clouds.  what to do with them??

behind the scenes - Susan Wirth for This Wild Song

When I first discovered Susan Wirth she was creating mixed media works, like the following piece.  I approached her to be a part of the This Wild Song series and when we met in person I was surprised to learn how her practice had altered course, and she was currently working on wearable sculptures and forms.  I was intrigued how she felt changing direction, and as she mentions in her interview it didn't feel like a huge shift as she's always worked across multiple disciplines.

Susan is currently an artist in residence at Laughing Waters which was Clifton Pugh's studio and residence.  Located close by is The Black Dam which is a small watering hole, and it's said that Rick Amor gave it its name.  When Susan sent me some photos of the dam I knew that was where I wanted to shoot her portrait, waist deep in it no less.  Thankfully she was up for it and didn't mind getting the beautiful suit she had made wet.

We shot her portrait on a warm morning in December and I played around with a few ideas (just in case) and saved the dam images for last.  I was shooting on film and I love the following photograph but it didn't quite have the impact I wanted.

As it turned out the photograph I selected as her portrait for This Wild Song was one of the last pictures I took, and it was on the digital camera for safety/back up.  It had been overcast all morning and when we were just about finished a little slice of sunshine came through highlighting her in the water.  Lucky timing!

Thank you so much to Susan for agreeing to be a part of the project, I had an absolute ball shooting this portrait.  Good times.