Intermission Gallery at Monash University

Last week  I collaborated in a Group Show at Intermission Gallery on the Caulfield Campus at Monash University . It is a new ground floor gallery space in the recently renovated D Building which is part of the MADA, Monash Art Design and Architecture School.

My piece ” Dress ” was a Wedding Dress found in an Op Shop several years ago. I deconstructed the dress and treated it with a chemical stiffener laundry product sourced after much trial and error and experimentation with various products.

Dress
Dress

It addresses a narrative tale based on the discovery  of my mother’s 1950’s wedding dress I found hidden in a cupboard after my mothers demise to dementia. The dress was in a rather dishevelled state replicating my mothers frail and unravelling health of her later years.

 

As a homage to this memory  I recreated a rather visceral, evocative piece. Her original wedding dress remains in my safe keeping, one of the few tangible possessions I have of my mum and something I will perhaps gift to my three daughters.

 

Sap Ball
Sap Ball

The work was hung in a small, seperate room of the gallery, strung by wire from the complicated pipe system overhead. Six small beads from the bodice were placed on the floorboards beneath. A brightly jewelled, delicate chrysalis of a bloodwood sap ball was placed on the wall above.

Spotlit and extended the ” Dress” occupied the gallery area filling the space successfully. Only two of the beads remained at the de-install. Were they collected

Dress
Dress

or had they attached themselves to the sole of a viewers shoe ?

ebb and flow 2017 Banyule Award for Works on Paper

Jo Scicluna
Jo Scicluna

I saw this exhibition of 38 finalists work which delves into the myriad different ways that paper can be employed in making art. In 2017 the conceptual theme

winner Dianne Fogwell "1903 - the Grey Sea", artist's book
winner Dianne Fogwell “1903 – the Grey Sea”, artist’s book

for Banyule Council’s Arts and Culture Program is ‘water’. The award features a wide assortment of works on paper and various techniques of production. Extensive printmaking processes feature including linocut, screenprint, mezzotint, etching, intaglio, letterpress and woodblock. Other making techniques include drawing, painting,photography, digital prints, artist’s books, and paper sculptures.

Paul Kalemba
Paul Kalemba

 

Monash fellows Marion Crawford and Paul Kalemba

Franky Howell Untitled 2017
Franky Howell Untitled 2017

are featured the former with a printed artist book ” Picturing the Island “and the latter with a watercolour drawing.

MADA Graduate Show 2015

I walked to Caulfield, from my home in Elsternwick to see the MADA Graduate Fine Art and Visual Art Exhibition. I wasn’t disappointed. The work on display was extremely innovative, explorative, and visually stunning. It covered a diverse range of visual practice including installation, photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture and drawing.

Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson

Spread over the entire floors of the old, iconic, former CIT Building, in Dandenong Rd, it embraced a fine visual aesthetic and displayed a comprehensive skill base of the newly graduated practitioners.

Of particular interest was the area where the Honours Students were exhibiting. This is the proposed 2016 studio space for the first year, Bachelor of Fine Art Degree students.

Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson

The Boyd Show

This comprehensive exhibition centred on the Boyd family, and their work, is informative and diverse. Historically interesting, it chronicles the work of one of the most influential, and significant Australian Art families. Working in the fields of painting, sculpture,pottery, ceramics, literature, architecture, poetry and music, there is much to see in the exhibition. Metric Boyd, Earthernware Vase, 1931

 

 Arthur Boyd, My father, Merric Boyd’s pottery and kiln, 1934

 

polly

‘Polly’ , Arthur Boyd, oil painting, 1951

ab landscapeArthur Boyd, Landscape, oil painting, 1969

For fifty years, they resided in an area of Murrumbeena, a South Eastern suburb of Melbourne, in an idyllic bush setting which inspired much of their work.

Battling

The end is in sight. It’s been two heady years at Victoria University, highs and lows, friendships forged and help given. I’ve loved it. I am eternally grateful to the chance I’ve been given, to return to my constant love, that of painting. Sometimes hidden in the background, but always on my mind, she is the constant nagging ache, that never quite goes away. I have embraced her these last few years after turning my back on her, for what I thought were more pressing demands on my time.

I’m loving what I do. Inspired, thankful, challenged, desperate, energised, I move onto the next phase of my artistic journey, hopefully receiving more brilliant tuition and networking opportunities with fellow visual artists.

studio
studio

The sleeping giant is awakened, but underneath I’m still a grateful, humble,

studio floor
studio floor

nervous, country kid.

 

Vale VU, couldn’t have done it without you.

 

 

 

Doing what I Love

Painting is a hard mistress. I spent some time away from her pursuing my interest of exploring Detroit, partially funded by the Fiona Myer Travel Grant Encouragement Award. paint bag detroit

I returned mightily inspired but my painting mistress was not amused. I had abandoned her. She made it difficult for me to start again. I struggled and thrashed around the studio for days, nay weeks. Now, three weeks later, I can finally say I’m back in the groove. Painting confidently and happily, doing what I love, and loving what I do. I am so lucky. I feel truly whole when creating. Thank you, my difficult taskmaster, demander of perfection, and chaser of dreams.