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Sunday Studio Visit

Today I was not actually in the studio, I was participating in the Golden Plains Arts Trail, purely by chance.

I was in a group exhibition a few years ago for the Arts Trail, but this year decided not to join in, but then a friend who was opening her studio for the weekend event had a last minute commitment elsewhere on the Sunday so needed someone to babysit – and that was me! So I took along some sculpture to display in her garden.

This friend is Julie Collins, who, in collaboration with her husband, makes fantastic large scale sculptures which you can see on their website.

The Arts Trail is an annual event held in the Golden Plains Shire in Central Victoria which showcases local artists who participate by opening their studios to the public or by staging solo or group exhibitions at various venues throughout the shire. Members of the public obtain a map of all the locations from places such as tourist information centres or galleries, and visit artists over a weekend…. it is a great success and many people specifically come to the region especially for the event.

The sculptures I displayed for the day are all ceramic and are wheelthrown and manipulated while still soft to form organic shapes. The pieces are finished in textured glazes that highlight the natural forms….. here are some pictures 🙂 Have a great day!

Collidescope – Art Meets Fashion

Brainchild of Niki Lakerink, Collidescope Art Meets Fashion began as Niki noticed the use of well known traditional artists, such as Mondrian and Picasso,  on garments parading the European catwalks. An artist herself with a strong interest in fashion, Niki was also frustrated over the lack of sales and recognition within the regional art-scene. These two seeds cross pollinated and germinated into the Collidescope project. Coincidentally Melbourne Fashion Week was four months away, which gave Niki a target date to begin the process of bringing the concept together.

The project paired regional artists and designers together, inspiring them to work collaboratively to produce garments to be featured in a fashion parade event in Ballarat to coincide with Fashion Week. Thee were also designers drawn in to create accessories for some of the outfits – jewellery, millinery and bags.

After a hectic four months of setting up websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, sourcing funding via council, arts bodies and a crowdfunding campaign, and organising fabric and printers the collaborative teams successfully completed their design briefs and the catwalk fashion parade was launched on the 21st February at the Mechanics Institute in central Ballarat. Niki also secured a partnership with Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Week (VAMFF) enabling the project to leverage some promotional muscle.

There were three sessions of the fashion parade accompanied by the VAMFF short film series. The sessions were extremely well attended, including council dignitaries and senior representatives from Regional Arts Victoria and the Arts Council of Australia. The feedback was fantastic as seen in this After Party Video filmed by Augustus Firestone for his Visual Feasts YouTube Channel.

Footage of the catwalk can be seen on Niki’s YouTube channel also filmed by Augustus Firestone.

But the project didn’t stop there!

The success of the catwalk fashion parade has been followed up by an exhibition of a selection of the garments and some of the original artworks behind the garment inspiration. The exhibition is currently at Wolveschildren Art Space and continues through to the 8th March. The garments look great in the gallery setting providing an ideal opportunity to see the fabrics and designs close up. It is also fantastic to see some of the original artworks that inspired the collaborations. Images of the garments and artworks can be seen in the picture gallery below.

But wait there’s more!

This coming weekend is the annual Begonia Festival in Ballarat, and Niki has secured a place in the program of events – a catwalk fashion parade being held on Monday 9th March at 2pm. The parade is on the main stage and is a free event.

For more information bout the collaboration teams visit the Collidescope website.

Congratulations to Niki and the team for an initiative unlike anything seen in Ballarat before!

So, what’s next?

Based on the huge success of this event Niki is planning to continue this project annually in Ballarat to showcase regional local art and design talent. She is also organising a small group of the collaboration teams to design a full range to be launched at the September City of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

Oh, and did I mention that I designed the jewellery for one of the garments? The Ballarat Print designed by Niki’s son Thurston features a digital photography mash up of Ballarat heritage and modern buildings printed in a block design. The fabric is very architectural in inspiration so I designed a jewellery set capturing an industrial architectural feel. It was modelled by Deborah Klein and looked fantastic.

And below are images of the garments and original works currently on exhibition at Wolveschildren Art Space.

Sunday Studio Visit: An Actual Studio Visit!

Today I am recovering from an actual visit to my studio by approximately thirty people yesterday, many of whom are artists themselves.

My studio was part of a studio bus tour organised by Ballarat Arts Alive as a launch into a continuing program of bus tours to galleries and artist studios. There were three studios on the agenda – Paul Blizzard, Liz Blizzard and moi!

I was the last studio visit, and as with all pilot programs the timeline ran a bit behind. But, although a bit rushed, everyone seemed very interested and engaged, and appeared to have had a great day.

It was very relaxed and casual – I served some fresh organic plums off the tree, and a few people took up the challenge of playing with a bit off clay, and we just wandered around looking at things, like the pit firing pit, and after a short introduction I simply spent time answering questions. This suited me – I am good at answering questions, not so good at speeches!!

Anyway, enjoy the slideshow of the visit 🙂

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Day Five (& final) Day of Facebook Pottery Challenge

If you have following my blog over the past few days you will know that I am participating in a challenge on Facebook where potters are asked to post three pot pictures for five days and also nominate another to do the same each day. Today is the final day – and I am also sharing these pictures with my wordpress readers – that’s you 🙂

I have been taking a nostalgic approach to this challenge and have been sharing pictures that reflect my development over the years… from my early self taught days through to my Honours Year and PhD at Uni.  This journey, I think, shows the development of my work over the years, but also illustrates the basis of my major influence – the natural environment. These posts show a movement from functional ceramic wares through to abstract sculptural ceramics while still capturing nature and all she has to offer, and in later work, what is in danger of being lost.

Todays images are a selection of pictures from the years following my PhD – their theme is still about conserving the environment, but I have begun to introduce found objects – from natural things such as sticks and feathers through to industrial objects such as barbed wire and nuts and bolts. Juxtaposed against clay – the skin of the Earth – I believe strengthens the underlying premise of the artworks, making them more powerful and more confronting to view.

It was a bit difficult to limit this gradual development with only three images, so on this final day I thought I would ‘cheat’ and have posted five pics.

You can check out my original post on my Facebook page, and even follow me if you like what you see 🙂

Until Sunday’s Studio Visit….

Day Four of Facebook Pottery Challenge

So, you probably already know by now that I am participating in a challenge on Facebook where potters are asked to post three pot pictures for five days and also nominate another to do the same each day – and I am also sharing these pictures with my wordpress readers – that’s you 🙂

I have been taking a nostalgic approach to this challenge and have been sharing pictures that reflect my development over the years… from my early self taught days through to my Honours Year at Uni.  This journey, I think, shows the development of my work over the years, but also illustrates the basis of my major influence – the natural environment. These posts show a movement from functional ceramic wares through to abstract sculptural ceramics while still capturing nature and all she has to offer, and in later work, what is in danger of being lost.

Today’s images feature my PhD works– 2005-9. The title of my PhD was Sacred Space in Contemporary Society: the Artist as Sharman, and can be downloaded and read HERE. This thesis was a natural progression from my Honours thesis which questioned the role of ceramics in the 21st Century. My PhD thesis asserted that sculptural ceramics installed in the natural environment – an installation – could act as a conduit reconnecting humanity to the Earth – an act that is required if we are to stop using & exploiting the environment. The research was framed within a feminist framework, exploring the patriarchy that has allowed the unstemmed growth of capitalism and exploitation. In this context the artwork was developed to sit within the landscape, not overpower and dominate, as does much modern patriarchal sculpture.

You can see more about my PhD research on this blog HERE and HERE 🙂

You can check out my original post on my Facebook page, and even follow me if you like what you see 🙂

Until my final post tomorrow….

 

Day Three of Facebook Pottery Challenge

After reading previous posts you will know that I am participating in a challenge on Facebook where potters are asked to post three pot pictures for five days and also nominate another to do the same each day – so I thought I would also share these pictures with my wordpress readers – that’s you 🙂

I am taking a nostalgic approach to this challenge and am sharing pictures that reflect my development over the years…yesterdays post showed pots from my 2nd & 3rd years at Uni while the previous post featured pots with modelled wildlife on them, illustrating my nature influences – these nature influences remained, and continue to remain, but have evolved to become more abstract.

Today’s images are from my Honours year at Uni – 2004. It was this year that I began to to experiment with pit firing for the first time whilst exploring the function of pottery in contemporary society. To this end my work began to evolve from a functional form to a more abstract form, as illustrated by the images.

The images are not great quality…. they were taken in 2004 before I knew much about photography and before I had a great camera…. but they show the development of the work

You can check out my original post on my Facebook page, and even follow me if you like what you see 🙂

Until tomorrow….

 

Sunday Studio Visit – Professional Development

This weeks Sunday Studio Visit is a little belated because I wasn’t actually in the studio – I was in Canberra, the Australian capital!! I had never actually been to Canberra before, so was pretty keen to see parliament house the National Gallery and anything else in between- so lets put the road trip down to professional development! Parliament House Canberra

One thing I did do before leaving was to make sure my Arts Party- Founding member sticker was on my car!! The Arts Party is the latest political Party to be registered …. I have always been very political (vegetarian feminist socialist – yikes, what a combination!) yet this is the first time I have ever been a financial member of a party!! AND I certainly wanted to spread the message in the nations capital!Arts Party

The main reason, however, for the sojourn was to visit the National Gallery (NGA) where an Arthur Boyd exhibition is currently being held entitled Agony and Ecstasy. Arthur Boyd is an iconic Australian artist who came from an iconic Australian artist family – his father, Merric Boyd, is known as the ‘father’ of studio pottery in Australia. While Arthur did do some ceramic work, his main medium was painting.

I love his work! For some it can be dark and depressing, however, for me it is the expression and acknowledgement of this futility which ironically suggests hope via a working through of emotions and ideas. For those familiar with my poetry blog you will know what I mean 🙂 The exhibition was fantastic and I am glad I went… seeing original art is certainly different to viewing images in a book!! Of course, pictures are not allowed to be taken of artworks within galleries, however, the NGA also has an outdoor sculpture garden, so I was able to take plenty of pictures in the garden!

New Exhibition : BLiNG

New Exhibition in Ballarat – Last Days

Readers may remember a couple of weeks ago the subject of my Sunday Studio Visit post was about making work for a new exhibition – BLiNG.

Well since then the exhibition has been formally opened by Ballarat public arts officer Julie Collins, which was great fun with lots of art lovers turning up, and even a few sales being made.

As the exhibition title suggests the exhibition is all about sparkle and glam, showcasing new works by local artist Linda Franklin, Niki J Dai-ko Myo , Melinda Muscat, myself, and introducing the Berry Street-ettes, a group of local teenage girls.

Linda’s beautiful icon influenced paintings contain political commentary reflecting on the Western and Muslim worlds, the wearing of the burqa, and the participation of the Obama administration in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the divers range of ‘bling’ moments in life; Niki’s ornate animal skulls revisit her childhood experience of being a city child moving to the country and the sudden exposure to the harsh reality of death within the landscape. Melinda’s work, as always, is full of colour and layers of extravagances.  The Berry Streetettes explore the sub culture of graffiti and street art by BliNGing up used spray paint cans. As for me, my work is content-LESS – purely about the fun of creating, something I don’t think I have ever actually done before!

Its a great exhibition and well worth a visit, amd this is last weekend to see it!!. So, if you are in or around the Ballarat area head over to Wolveschildren Artspace.

Accessing Arts 10 Year Anniversary Exhibition

Ten Years of Accessing Arts in Ballarat

This post is a little late – the exhibition is finished – but I thought I would share it with readers anyway, as there was some great work in it. The post is late because I’ve been busy making so much art lately!!

Here in Ballarat there is a local community radio station 99.9 Voice FM and one of the weekly programs is called Accessing Arts and is hosted by Dave Knowles.  Dave invites local and visiting artists (visual, performing, writers, musicians), curators, arts organisation directors, and anybody connected to the arts scene, onto the show to talk about and promote their projects, exhibitions, classes  and anything else arty that may be going on in their lives.

This year the show has been running for ten years – one of the longest running radio art shows – and as a celebration local artist Kiri Smart curated a visual arts exhibition featuring artists who have appeared on the show over the years. I have been on Dave’s show several times, so was lucky enough to be included.

The group exhibition featured twenty one local artists across a diverse range of mediums – painting, sculpture, found objects through to photography and video.

It was a great show and was held at backspace Gallery, Ballarat and ran from 20th September through to 28th September.

So, thanks Dave for your tireless efforts in promoting local arts, and may there be another ten years to come!!

Sunday Studio Visit: Making Work for a New Exhibition – BLiNG

Upcoming Group Exhibition in Ballarat

bling1I am feeling the BLiNG this afternoon in the studio!!

There is lots happening in the studio today as I busily make new artworks in preparation for a group exhibition which opens this Friday 10th October at Wolveschildren Artspace in Ballarat. The show features five local artists across a variety of mediums and is shaping up to be an interesting show.

The brief for the show was supplied by fellow artist Linda Franklin, and titled BLiNG, I am responding to the theme by making work that is an extension of the rio and wire works I had in my recent solo exhibition ContainArt and the group exhibition Accessing Arts which finished last week (blog post to come).

The ContainArt show was about memories and fragments, and incorporated found objects that were old and rusty, but also included lace and fabrics. These works were 2D.

In this exhibition, as well making some 2D wall pieces, I have created some 3D pieces and am using blingy objects such as beads and sparkle to address the theme.

I can’t say too much about the show…. don’t want to spoil the surprise. So, if you are in or around the Ballarat area on Friday between 6.30 – 8.30pm drop into the gallery for opening drinks and nibbles. The exhibition runs through to the 26th October and will be well worth a visit!!

Here’s a little sneak peek at what I have been up to this afternoon….

 

 

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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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