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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….

 

 

Sunday Studio Visit: Preparing for Exhibitions

This afternoon it is all about preparing for exhibitions – filling in application forms, writing artist statements, taking photos, getting measurements, recording catalogue details…phew!

One exhibition is a juried exhibition, so I may not even get selected – but it is free to enter (lots of competitions charge an administration fee) so worth the effort. I have been in this show in the past, but that is no guarantee. So I have to fill out the application form, write and artist statement and sort out some good images, since this is what they judge from…. also dimensions need to be supplied. This application is due tomorrow, so I better get myself organised!! Luckily, though, I can email all the info. The barbed wire work is for this application.

Dawn Whitehand Angry Worlds 1 Angry Worlds Dawn Whitehand

The second show is a local group exhibition here in Ballarat which I was invited to participate in. It is in celebration a of a local arts radio show called Accessing Arts which has been running for 10 years – so its an anniversary exhibition. The host, Dave Knowles has guests on every week – usually local artists, curators and the like –  and I have been on the show several times, so am included in the exhibition along with many other artists who have been on the show. I am putting three works in this show, depending on space – a wall work, a plinth piece and a floor piece. These works have to be delivered to the Gallery tomorrow for the show to start Thursday with the official opening on Saturday – which I won’t be able to go to because I am running a pit firing workshop this weekend…. oh well! Still to do for this exhibition is catalogue information and a statement about my memories of being on the radio show….

So thats it for this afternoon….. now i’d better get organising myself 🙂

Dawn Whitehand

Birds, Beasts & Blossoms – My Latest Group Exhibition in Ballarat

Birds Beasts and Blossoms: Group Exhibition at Backspace Gallery, Ballarat

Birds Beasts & Blossoms called for entries that responded to the title – birds, beasts an blossoms – whether real or imaginary…. and the entries certainly addressed the theme robustly!

The group exhibition included approximately sixteen visual artists who’s artworks ranged from realist watercolor to underwater macro photography to sculpture to abstract media works – the range of interpretation was fantastic!

My interpretation translated into some handmade paper pieces with flower inclusions with mixed media additions such as feathers and embroidery. ideally I would have liked my works to be framed to highlight their true potential – but, what artist can afford framing!!?? Yikes…. I try to rely on the art buyers imagination – good idea?? who knows!!

The exhibition finished last weekend – but I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to post it on the blog till now. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter or Google plus you would have heard about it – but my blog was neglected :-((

However, without further ado here are some pics of the opening which was jam packed and wonderful!!

Exhibition Opening: Human Gridlock – New Solo Exhibition

Opening of Human Gridlock – New Solo Exhibition in Ballarat

It was a chilly day for the launch of my solo exhibition, Human Gridlock, at Mt Blowhard, on the outskirts of Ballarat…. but thanks to those that braved the conditions, rugged up, and enjoyed some wine and cheese with myself and other art die-hards!!

The exhibition is being held in the Ballarat City Council Public Art Space ContainArt – a council initiative featuring both local and non local artists in a converted container which tours the surrounds of the Central Highlands district in Victoria – a mobile gallery delivering art to people who may not usually have access to it – either because they don’t frequent formal galleries or due to where they live, IE rural areas.

This is a great concept because it brings art TO the people, rather than people having to go TO the art!

The concept gallery was launched back in March with a group show, and has been touring solo shows since, with great success.

My exhibition remains in Blowhard until the 13th August and then tours to Napoleans until 26th September.

The exhibition features hand built ceramic spheres and mixed media collages representing memories and associated attachments which can shape our everyday lives – following is the Artist Statement which accompanies the exhibition:

“Human Gridlock explores the complex relationship between humans and their immediate surroundings, including the natural landscape, domestic environments and the manufactured backgrounds of our lives. Our understandings of these environments are often defined by memories which subliminally shape our dreams and aspirations.

By juxtaposing shapes, surfaces and textures visual associations are triggered in the viewer – past and present – prompting a reassessment of the many and layered connections to the often fleeting, yet momentarily important, events that shape our earthly existence.  The vast array of fragmented memories conjured by this visual composition offers an alternative narrative to the everyday, challenging the viewer to reconsider their priorities of ‘being’ in our modern transient world.”

Following are some images of the opening and the show – all artworks are for sale, and if you like what you see click on individual images for prices. If you would like to enquire  further (including custom sculpture requirements) send me a message – easy!

Pit Firing Ceramics – The Book Launch At Last!

Book Launch and Exhibition in Ballarat

So, the long awaited day finally came – and went!!

Saturday was a bit of a dreary drizzly day, not unexpected in Ballarat, yet a great crowd managed to rug up, brave the cold, sip wine and talk ‘arty’ stuff in support of my book launch and exhibition – thankyou 🙂

The launch began at 2pm in the Annexe of the Art Gallery of Ballarat, where signed copies of the book was for sale and  a slideshow of book contributors played in the background. Also in the background, my partner Strobe Driver plucked dulcet guitar tunes and the lovely Belinda Coates, Greens member for Ballarat, officially launched the book with a fantastic speech.

Of course, having an opening speaker, I (foolishly) thought that would get me out of saying anything – but no, thanks to Strobe I was hauled (not physically) before the microphone to say a ‘few’ words. After stumbling through a few ‘thankyou’ remarks I opened it up to questions, which worked much better than speeches (for me anyway). The questions were great, ranging from ‘how did I go about getting a publishing contract’ through to ‘how to get involved in ceramics’ ie – how to learn. Of course, at that point I flogged my own classes and workshops …lol!!

Then it was down to Backspace at 3pm to view the exhibition in the Exquisite Objects Project space with a bit more wine and some nibbles.

It was a fantastic afternoon with some great feedback on both the book and the works in the exhibition, which featured contributors to the book, both national and international.

The day was topped off with a few friends joining us afterward at Mitchell Harris Wines for a celebratory bubbles.

The exhibition runs through till the 27th July, so if you are in, near or passing through Ballarat drop into Backspace Gallery (behind the Art Gallery of Ballarat) and have a look. All works are for sale will all monies going directly to the artists (no gallery commission).

Backspace Gallery times are Thursday – Sunday 10am – 4pm.

And now for pics 🙂

 

 

 

Book Launch and Exhibition Opening in Ballarat

Join me this weekend in Ballarat for the Launch of my new Book and Exhibition.

As many readers will know recently I published a book called Pit Firing Ceramics: Modern Methods, Ancient Traditions. The book was in February catalogues for Australian book shops, libraries, etc, and is now beginning to hit book shelves. it is also available online – it came out in the USA in November last year.
The book is being launched this weekend at the Annexe, Ballarat Art Gallery 5th July 2-4pm, so if you are in or near the Ballarat drop by and share a glass of wine and cheese with me.
Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing, or if you already have a copy bring it along to be signed.
The launch is also accompanied by an international exhibition featuring some of the artists that contributed to the book. The exhibition is in the new Exquisite Objects space in the foyer of Backspace Gallery and runs throughout July.
Below is a flyer with all the launch information or join the event on Facebook!!
https://www.facebook.com/events/481943265273358/
I hope to see you there 🙂
Dawn Whitehand Pit Firing book launch flyer

New Commissions – a paid writing gig!

As most readers are aware I am a visual artist working with clay, natural materials and found objects. I also dabble in some painting and drawing.

What some of you may not know is that I also write alot about art. You can check out some peer review articles I have written by clicking on the publications tab in the above menu, or you can check out some reviews I have written by clicking on the Exhibition Reviews category on this blog.

A few months ago I began writing a few posts for an arts website specific to the region in which I live – ArtsAtlas. It is a directory of artists, art news, opportunities and anything artsy happening in the area and surrounds sponsored by the Ballarat Council and other local stakeholders. After writing a couple of exhibition review articles, which also included photography, I was invited to be a contributing editor, which was great.

A month or so ago, the council put out a call for commissioned content to be written for the site, to which I proposed three articles accompanied by documentary photography – and I recently received an email notifying me that my proposals had been accepted : yay, a paid writing gig!

This is actually very exiting, and I will keep readers updated on the progess of researching and documenting my articles as it all unfolds 🙂

The following images are linked to the reviews I have published so far on the ArtsAtlas website… enjoy 🙂

Bird Boxes

Bird Boxes: Photo – Dawn Whitehand

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath: Photo – Dawn Whitehand

Living Heritage

Living Heritage: Photo – Aldona Kmieć

Ballarat Imagine

Ballarat Imagine: Photo – Dawn Whitehand

What Lies Beneath – A Public Art Exhibition

I live in Ballarat, a regional town of Victoria, Australia and I must say that I am starting to love living here – as a an artist.  I did the ‘tree change’ from Melbourne to Ballarat in 2000, because I love the history here, and the property I live on is beautiful. However, not much was happening in the ‘art’ scene at the time – but in the last few years that has been changing rapidly!

In recent years artists in Ballarat have stood up to be counted – Facebook pages have been launched, art groups have been funded, artist registries have been created and council committees have been re-invigorated!

It has been amazing!

The most recent initiative, a public art exhibition, funded by the City of Ballarat, via the City of Ballarat Public Art Committee (PAAC) entitled What Lies Beneath officially opened on March 28th to a huge crowd of art enthusiasts. The exhibition features images from eighteen artists (including myself) printed on a commercial product – Earth Wrap, a non-slip aluminium backed pavement product normally used for commercial signage or safety applications. This exhibition is the first time it is being used in a public art context.

What Lies Beneath

Julie Collins, Ballarat Public Art Co-Ordinator and the curator of the show was inspired by an existing public art piece in Police Lane and Alfred Deakin Place entitled The Goanna Totem designed by Dianna Nikkleson. The goanna image is impressed into the pavement and recalls the indigenous history of Ballarat. The participating artists in What Lies Beneath were asked to create an image that explore what lies beneath the surface – physical or metaphysical. The response from participating artists was diverse – from the literal presence of minerals, water or archaeological fragments beneath the surface through to the more abstract notions of listening to the Earth.

Another new initiative present in this exhibition is the presence of QR codes with each image, allowing an interactive experience for the viewer who can scan the QR code with their smart phone and learn more about each individual artist.

As an exhibition that incorporates these original notions into the viewers experience, it is well worth checking out if you in or near or visiting Ballarat. It is at the Backyard Gallery in Alfred Deakin Place until 5th May 2013.

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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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