cloak and dagger

I confess to being the worst blogger ever. Sorry. Had a really lovely time in Nowa Nowa, and i'm going back for the Long Now weekend, and the launch of Open For Inspection. Come along if you are in the vicinity. I am excited to see the house, my work was the first to be installed so i can't wait to see what everyone else has been up to.
Here are some photos of what we did in the community room.




Some more photos of my time in Nowa Nowa here.

Photos of the final work will have to wait till after the launch, as it's all top secret till then! Special curtains were made to keep it all under wraps.
Speaking of top secretiveness, i've had some clandestine meetings with these sculptures in Sydney and Canberra.

desolation row @ silvershot

Well not quite 'cloak and dagger' but it felt a bit that way. One of these encounters was for the Ergas Collection media launch, which was in an amazing old building in Sydney. The sculptures looked as though they just sort of grew out of the floor. It was lovely to see them in that environment. Unfortunately i did not take the good camera so have no decent photos. Photo above is an old one, taken at Silvershot in Melbourne last year.
I hurt my back when putting them back together, which did seem sort of appropriate given their contorted appearance. I was hunched over for a while there too.





I am still alive. For quite a while there I was very busy doing things so extraordinarily mind numbingly banal and tedious that i will not speak of them anymore, except to say that they involved cleaning, real estate agents, excel spread sheets and tax. These are a few of my least favourite things, needless to say.


The exhibition at Gallery 9 really went extremely well, to my amazement, with most of the work finding good new homes. Some is even going to London.
It was so nice to have my work in such a beautiful space, and to work with such good people. I have lots more photos here, including works-in-progress pictures. And i have added added some to my website, too, and will add more when i get a chance.


I am off to Nowa Nowa tomorrow, in East Gippsland, for two weeks, as The Long Now resident artist. I'll be doing an installation in part of an unoccupied house as part of Open For Inspection, in collaboration with the local community (hopefully!), and my sister Rhiannon, too (she is very good with paper and things, and a very good artist). I am really looking forward to actually getting there, rather than just preparing; there has been lots to pack, and organise, and think about. Some more about what i'll be doing here.


And here is Open For Inspection the blog


return and recover


It's been a while. I got back from sydney on the weekend, and have had lots of emails and stuff to catch up on. I stayed a week, to install my show, go to the opening and whatever. It wasn't strictly necessary to stay in Sydney, as it is under two hours on the train from where I live. But i'm very pleased I did stay up there, as it was very hard work! I'm still recovering. Actually maybe it was necessary.


I'm very pleased with it and the way it all went, and very relieved that it all went to plan. I will write more about it very soon. For now I am recovering. And catching up on emails. These are some photos of the show. I've got a whole lot more, but they can wait.






Opening 2nd August at 6.
9 Darley Street, Darlinghurst. Continues till the 25th August.


filling space 2


Here are some photos of the new studio. I really love it. Probably I would live there if I could.


It kind of boggles my mind that I actually have two studios at the moment. Not much more than a year ago I was borrowing Lauren's spare room and garage while she was between flat-mates.

I'm not really using the old studio right now, though. But it still has an awful lot of my stuff in it.


I am too tired to write any more, it was a long day in the studio. The show in Darlinghurst goes up next week, i'll be taking my work up saturday, to install monday and tuesday. Here are a couple of the things that will be in the show (in the new studio, of course).




filling space


Here are some more photos of what i'm making for the show in August. Not long to go now!

Got the keys to my new studio at the gallery on Monday. I had planned to wait till after the Darlinghurst show to really move my stuff in there, just because of the time involved (i need all the time i can get right now!) but yesterday i caved. I just couldn't resist all that empty space.


Also, i was a little frustrated by the lack of space to put the sculptures together. They take up quite a bit of room when assembled, and so i was having to take them apart at the end of the day because they made it difficult to get in and out of the studio. But, thanks to my dear Mother and her car, i've got the space to set them up, and leave them that way for as long as i like.


It felt a bit ridiculous driving from the old studio to the new one, they are only a block apart, perhaps 150 metres. But it would have taken me hours to move all that stuff on foot (what i really need is a shopping trolley. Not those little ones you can buy, but a full size supermarket one! But then i'd have to put that somewhere) It still took a while, though; there are stairs at both ends.


I'm looking forward to showing some works on paper along with my sculptures, it's often just been the sculptures that i've shown in recent exhibitions. Often in group shows there's far more space in the middle of the gallery than on the walls.


And here is a photo of a crazy tangle of sculptures in my studio (the old studio, that is; will have pictures of the new one soon).



sculptures in residence


I got some exciting news on Thursday. I am the new Resident artist at Wollongong City Gallery. Amongst other things, this means I get the use of a studio for a year, money for materials and a show at the end. I have not really begun the residency yet, Anita Larkin, 2006 resident, is in the process of moving out.

Anyone in the area should really go check out Anita's show, it is really something very special, the work is quite extraordinary.

I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to work toward a show for a whole year. And I know i'll really enjoy doing my work within the gallery, I love the people there, staff and volunteers. In fact, I am there already quite a bit. I'll enjoy a few more visitors, too. Now my fabulous artist-friend Lauren has gone to London i don't get that many. I share my studio, but unfortunately for me Shivaun works very hard at her job in Sydney.


It'll also be great to have a show where i've hardly got to move the works any distance at all, especially because I am planning to make some pretty big stuff. Though it does have to fit through the studio door. Another good thing is I could certainly use some practice when it comes to talking about my work.


The work I'll be doing is specific to the gallery itself, in a sense it will be site-specific. I'll post plenty more about my plans later. For now I am busy with the sculptures and stuff for Gallery 9. I spent a couple of days taking photos earlier this week. It's tricky with stuff this big. It was difficult to get my piece of white backround paper high enough for the tall sculptures. Some are over 2 meters. For the taller ones I had to stand on a chair to avoid getting the edges of the paper in the shot, and there was no chance of getting the whole thing, bottom to top, in the frame.
I'm pleased with the way it's all coming along, though i've still got plenty keeping me really really busy. The pictures in this post are some of the sculptures i'm making. More photos of the work here.



working and waterlogging


This is some stuff i'm working on at the moment, in my studio. I'm making them for a show in Darlinghurst, Sydney, opening August 2. It will be the first show i've had 'all by myself' that is not in wollongong.
Some of the sculptures will be pretty big, maybe larger than any I made before. As well as this i'll have drawings and smaller objects and whatever. Hard to say exactly at this point...
I am, of course, working like mad.


The place is Gallery 9. It's pretty new, set up just last year, and a rather lovely space. This is a photo of the entry/ hallway. There are three gallery rooms off this bit.

On a rather more mundane note, part of my bathroom ceiling caved in today. It was waterlogged, and has been threatening collapse for a few days now. At least having a shower won't be quite so risky now. Supposed to be a plumber coming tomorrow. The block of flats I live in seems to have constant plumbing 'issues,' a while ago we had a 'weeping wall'.
It might sound like something worthy of pilgrimage, but believe me, it was really just a big pest.



maths and masquerades


Sorry i've been making more calculations. In the last two posts I tagged 17 people. With that as the starting point I figured in only 7 rounds of tagging ( only if everyone actually did the tagging, of course!) 410 338 673 would be tagged. In eight rounds, it would be 6 975 757 441, or six billion, nine hundred and seventy-five million, seven hundred and fifty-seven thousand, four hundred and forty-one. Crazy!

That's enough maths for now.

In the post before last (confessions x 12) I posted some pictures and said I would tell you what they were.


They are the decorations made for the Project fundraiser masquerade ball, FABULEAUX, last month. The ball ended up being lots of fun, and it rose money that Project really needs. There were some awful moments before it got underway when it looked like it might be a total disaster. I won't go into detail about that.


We had a lovely Bollywood-style dance troupe, marvelous drag performances, great music from The Fast Falling Fortunes, as well as incredible acrobatic wombats and some spectacular two-headed hula hooping (the hoops, of which there were many, at least 20, i think, were actually 'hulaed' around where the two heads met, the second neck, if you will; the extra head was on top of the usual one) courtesy of Circus WOW.

And there was musical chairs, of the fund raising variety. We fined people as they got out. There was a good prize, though.


And of course, hanging above it all were my decorations. There were a lot of them, unfortunately i did not get the chance to take photos of them all. There are a few more photos of the decorations here.
Not long after I began hanging the decorations, one by one, I was struck by a brilliant idea. Well maybe not genius, but it saved me an awful lot of time fooling around up a ladder. I tied the decorations onto sticks, a few on each stick, which i then placed between the beams of Project's industrial-style open truss ceiling.
Some folks liked the decorations. I liked the sticks.


thinking (with multiplication) ?


Okay now here's the second tagging post. Only this is not called tagging. It's got the rather grandiose title of 'the thinking blogger awards'. Much easier than the 'tagging' - no random facts or confessions. Here's the little thingamy that i'm sposed to put here-
The image “http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/421/thinkingblogger2ql6.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
and the obligatory link to the origin of the whole thing.

By the way, the picture up top has nothing to do with anything, but I gotta have a picture.

Firstly it was Arlee Barr of Albedo Design that 'awarded' me, then it was Helle of Gooseflesh, and then Marion of My Art Grows Around Me. Thankyou. So does that means I've got 15 awards to give? I'm not sure.Of course it is my own fault, I should just have done the 'awarding' when Arlee awarded me. But, as usual, I was slack and took my time....

Anyways I was thinking about tagging and stuff, and about how quickly 'the tagged' (or 'awarded') would multiply. So I did the sums and it's all slightly disturbing in an amusing sort of way. Well I think so.

Now, remember these numbers only work if everyone tagged actually does the tagging. And i'm sure they don't. They couldn't. But the potential is there. I should mention maths and that sort of thing is not my strong point by any stretch of the imagination, so perhaps I went about this completely the wrong way....

Each number listed on the left is each stage of tagging, i'll call it a 'degree'. For example, 1. is the people I tag, 2. is the people they tagged and so on. I've left out the sums after number 4, but you get the idea.

1. 1x5 = 5
2. 5x5 = 25
3. 25x5 = 125
4. 125x5 = 625
5. 3125
6. 15,625
7. 78,125
8. 390,625
9. 1,953,125
10. 9,765,625
11. 48,828,125
12. 244,140,625

So, by the time a tag has separated 12 degrees from its originator, over two hundred and forty four million blogs/bloggers have been tagged. Yes that is right. Unless of course i've gotten something very wrong. Which is entirely possible. I guess it works well for whoever starts these things, at least when they get you to link back to their blog....

The blogosphere report of April 07 (most up to date relevant info I could find) says technorati is tracking over 70 million blogs. Even double that and every single blog would be tagged within 12 'degrees' of an individual initiating a tag or whatever. No wonder I got the award three times, eh?

And only 36% of blogs are in english. 37% are Japanese. Not that tagging is limited to blogs in the taggers language. I have tagged (last post) at least one blog that is not in english, though i knew that the blogger was proficient in english (after all, it does seem that people whose first language is english are less likely to be bi-lingual, so there could be lots of 'inter-lingual' tagging).
While Babelfish is a great thing, it is a long long way from being perfect! Much as I would like to stick a babelfish in my ear, it is, after all, a towel that is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Not a babelfish. Sorry, very bad joke. Anyway I would think that the tendency would be to tag blogs in your own language.

Not that i think it would be bad if every blogger got tagged or awarded once (or even occasionally), but at the potential rate that these things multiply, we could all end up doing posts that are just tagging....
There are 120, 000 new blogs created every day (according to blogosphere) but i dunno if that's gonna be enough!?! Depends, i guess; if everyone is as slow as me when it comes to tagging we might be okay.

So, in light of this little investigation I have decided i'd better just give 5 awards. I'll try to avoid those I tagged in the last post as well as folks I know already have one. But probably i'll mess up.

So here are my 5 thinking blogger awards-

1. First has got to be Lauren of She Sees Red. Partly just to get her back. Just kidding, actually it's because Lauren really is a thinking blogger. And a thinking artist, too.

2. Then there is Mandy the Feltbug. I love Mandy's work, and her blog too. I just noticed Mandy was tagged and then was too thoughtful to tag anyone back, just listing some blogs she likes, including this one. When I first read the post I thought Mandy was tagging me. Luckily that was not the case, otherwise i'd be hassling even more bloggers. Sorry Mandy, I am not so considerate as you, but at least this one is 'non-confessional'. And please ignore this if you like, or take five or six months (see last post!). That goes for all of you.

3.Next is Shula of POPPALINA. Shula makes fabulous things, and does some extraordinarily thoughtful blogging.

4. Jan of In My Spare Time. Just to get her back. No, really the blog is great, very thoughtful! And marvellous work, too.

5. Fiona Long. I've known Fionas work through flickr for quite some time but somehow missed the blog/website for a while there. Anyways the artwork and blog are both very thoughtful, and altogether wonderful.

Apologies to anyone already awarded. You can completely ignore it. Fine by me, it's probably for the best. And you can ignore it even if you have not been previously awarded, that is also more than fine by me. Bound to come back round and bite me on the bum anyways.


confessions x 12


These pictures have nothing to do with what follows but I don't like to do a post with no pictures. I'll tell you what it is some other time. No space here for that!


This was going to be complicated and somewhat confusing. For me as well as you. It is my own fault, i do let little things pile up sometimes. Instead I will divide the tagging and the thinking blogger awards into two posts. First the tagging. It may still be a little confusing. Sorry.

So now i have to confess. My dear friend and fantastic artist Lauren of She Sees Red 'tagged' me ages ago. When i say ages i mean around five months ago. Maybe six. Yes i am bad. Didn't realize it was quite that long. I guess i'm not really the tagging sort (whatever that is), I feel a bit funny about it all. Oh well.

The idea is i have to tell you 5 things you wouldn't know about me (probably). And then tag 5 bloggers. See Lauren's original post for more details.
So here they are -

1. I have a bit of a problem with collecting too much stuff. One day i will be (literally) suffocated by it. Or else great piles of it will fall on me on crush me to death. Probably you already knew that. If not, I'm sure you suspected.

2. Also i carry around too much stuff. Mostly things i'm making.

3. With my work, i have trouble stopping. Often there is no clear point at which I can say 'this is finished now'. It could just go on and on...

4. I am afraid of the dark. Sort of. Not in the usual way, i am not scared of the things that could be there that i can't see. I'm just scared not to see: in the dark i cannot do my work or read or anything. I spose i'm scared of boredom more than the dark. I like to be doing things.

5. I really like drinking ice. Or eating it. I'm not sure of the correct term. I freeze water in plastic bottles and smash it with a hammer. And then eat / drink it rather noisily (it cracks and rattles etc).
It can be very irritating to those in my vicinity.

I am going to try not to tag people that I know have recently been tagged. However I am bound to fail. So i'm sorry if you've been over-tagged lately. Maybe we'll call it tag fatigue. If you like just ignore this, or perhaps just wait 5 or 6 months. Anyways i'll tag -

1. Selflesh,

2. Amanda Watson-Will

3. Judith Hoffman

4. Mais Pozinhos

5. My Art Grows Around Me

This next tagging is thanks to the lovely and awfully clever Jan, of IN MY SPARE TIME.
I am supposed to reveal 7 random facts about myself or something.
So some more things to confess-

1. I am a vegan. Well I do eat honey. Also I eat stuff that says on the packet 'may contain traces of dairy or eggs' etc, but not stuff that says it does. Subtle but important difference!
I don't actually object to eating meat or other animal products, but I prefer not to participate/support the industry because things just aren't done the way i'd like 'em to be. And I don't find it difficult, or only very rarely anyway. It's been 10 years now. And plus it's bad for the environment.

2. I stay up WAY too late.

3. My fridge is covered in silly cute stickers.

4 I am prone to over-research things I am planning to buy. Especially technological sorts of things. Stuff like my laptop, cameras etc etc. I should probably just buy them and not read so many reviews or compare so many prices. Probably not worth the trouble. I should just read more blogs.

5. I really need to clean out my bag more often. You know, get rid of all the little bits of crap that accumulate down there. Also my wallet. Sometimes I can't shut it and believe me it's not because it's full of money.

6. I don't shave legs or under-arms. I like to pretend this is on principle but really I just can't bear to spend time doing things like that. It's dull. I get bored. Also I never wear make-up.

7 I suffer from a similar affliction to Jan. Stationery obsession. I do have to think before i spell it though. Otherwise i wouldn't be getting anywhere. Sorry very bad pun.

So i'll tag

1. Cally Creates

2. Red Red Day

3. Handmaid

4. Under Secret Door

5. Ruby-Crowned Kinglette

6. Screaming Lulu

7. Littlefish

Phew! Well I think it's all over. At least till I do the next post. Though it could be the one after that. We'll see.


window sill


It's been a while between posts. A variety of things have been keeping me occupied, including a new macbook. I've never really used OS X before so I've had to learn to do stuff a bit differently. Just little things. I really really like it. So far anyway. Nothing has broken yet.

It's lucky i got it when i did because my desktop PC decided to ignore its CD/DVD drive. Not good when you've gotta send a CD of photos (last post!).

I've been spending way to long downloading and changing icons around. I have so many icons now, i have three sets of insect icons. One is specifically bees. Another set is internal organs, and another is little felt characters. I think they're called felt critters, funnily enough.

This is not all I've been doing, of course. I have also been doing some studio rearranging. Firstly it was minor change, the things on my windowsill got rearranged. Some of the things that were there i put in a little show (at project, artist run space where i do stuff). I also got some little things back from Wollongong city gallery. The photos are of my rearranged windowsill. And then i did some bigger changes, made a mess, and cleaned it up (mostly).


The exhibition is an open entry type thing, it was a last minute (well night before) decision to go in it, swayed by director-chairperson Sara. She is very persuasive. I am actually vice-chair, though i feel something of a fraud. Sara's never missed a committee meeting so I've never had to fill in.

I did help hang the show, though i didn't work as hard as some other people, as i had an urgent thing to finish that i don't really want to talk about.

Plus hanging other peoples work drives me a little mad sometimes. The other folks hanging will vouch for that because they had too listen to the cursing and swearing. And i don't usually swear that much. Actually, hanging my own work drives me mad too. But somehow not quite so mad. At least most of my stuff isn't in straight lines, i think that makes things easier. And of course i know which way round it goes. Most of the time anyway.
And if i put a d-hook (not that i really ever have a need for them) in some ridiculous spot that made my work jut out at 90 degrees from the wall i would only have myself to blame.

And then of course there's sitting the gallery, which the participants in the exhibition do. For the most part this works out fine. But occasionally someone doesn't show, and the gallery is not open when it should be. And you only find out about it later when someone gives you (and the gallery) crap about it. Obviously it is the absent person they should be so very irritated at. But of course they don't know who they are (or why they aren't there) so you're the next best thing.

Not that ARIs aren't good fun too.


horsehairy photos

There's been a change of plan. I still have the MECHANICAL EQUITANT and will have it for a while yet; I'm taking the photo for the catalogue now. Actually i've taken it. Many of them, i'm sending a CD full and that's just the good ones.
It's taken me quite a while to get pictures i'm reasonably happy with; details are easy enough but along with close-ups i was asked to send pictures of the whole thing. Partly that is a challenge because i lack the space, but also has to do with technicalities associated with not having quite the right equipment, and i won't bore you with those. But eventually things worked out okay, i think. Though only after rather a lot of trial and error, and the purchase of a big roll of paper (which i'd wanted anyway) and 500 watt halogens (very cheap) and a second visit to bunnings to get a replacement globe cos i must have accidentally touched one of the globes which you can't touch.

The lights came only after hauling all the gear (camera, tripod, sculpture, giant paper roll etc) in the rain down to project artspace (it was maintenance week) and building a wall of plinths that was really rather dangerous. And then rebuilding it, and then a flat battery.

I confess i'm a bit of a 'pixel peeper,' it really gives me a thrill to be able to zoom in on a photo that's really clear and sharp. I've been doing an awful lot of peeping in the past few days.

I think part of the problem was that i've had photography done for a catalogue before, in a photography studio by a professional photographer. And those photos are so good!! Very close to perfect, i reckon. Proper equipment, studio, and most importantly expertise and experience makes a huge difference. The quality of my photos doesn't really even approach those, but i think they'll do. I hope. Maybe i'm too fussy. But these photos actually look pretty sharp when viewed at 100% which is about a metre tall (vertical orientation). Or at least a lot of them do, at least on-screen. Previously i've had trouble getting that when it comes to pictures of big stuff, so it feels like a real accomplishment. Of course it's likely that no-one else will notice....

So these are some of the pictures, though i've sent many more than this. Easier that way.

It has been a real learning experience, i'm all set for next time! As long as it's not summer - i don't think i could bear the 1500 watts of heat.





This work, THE MECHANICAL EQUITANT (in these photos it's not quite finished yet) has been commissioned for BLOODLINES: ART AND THE HORSE AT Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, which will open 1st of August (of course!). I'll be sending it on it's way this week, in time for catalogue photography. The show is curated by Peter Fay, there'll also be new commissioned works by Charlie Sofo, Slim Barrie, Jo Boag, Stephanie Hicks, Simon Scheuerle, Linde Ivimey, Martin Mischkulnig, and Tom Moore, as well as existing works by artists Noel McKenna, Nicholas Chevalier, Arthur Boyd, Ken Whisson, Albert Tucker, Fred Williams, Sam Fullbrook, Harold Cazneaux, Pro Hart, TV Moore, Sidney Nolan and, i believe, quite a few others.


THE MECHANICAL EQUITANT has undergone many changes and revisions as i've been making it, many parts were created that didn't end up getting used. The photos HERE show many of these parts. They'll all come in handy for something else. It seems i have a very inefficient way of working. Sometimes i think it would be nice to know exactly what it is that you're doing, and know it will work. But maybe it wouldn't be so interesting that way.

Will do another post on this work. Maybe when it's on its way and i don't have to look at it any more.