Friday, 11 March 2011

Into the blue...

So, I promised that I would catch up on the past six months (and more) of what I have been up to with my work and I have made a start. Here's some more...
Blue was a group exhibition I was invited to be a part of at Object Gallery in July/August of 2010. Nine artists working in diverse media were invited by curators Kylie Johnston and Annette Mauer to respond to a phrase or saying associated with the colour blue. I was given the phrase 'Into the blue...' 
The other artists in the exhibition were: Nicholas Jones, Brenda Factor, Honor Freeman, Lucille Martin, Mel Robson, Gerry Wedd, Brenden Scott French and Emma Davies - a stellar line up of amazing makers that I am very proud to have exhibited with. 
Here are some images of my work in progress:

Here are a couple of the first pieces I made, they are brooches - acrylic paint on marine ply with semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls. 
I very much enjoyed exploring paint with this work, but I also used it as an opportunity to try new things: 
And revisit current themes using blue materials...
Here's some writing about my work and the experience of working with Blue! 

Fascinated by the potential for unexpected narrative, my exhibition work has a carefully considered use of colour and often a sly, subversive sense of humour. I am inspired by architecture, the landscape, the social condition of the body and my everyday surroundings, which also frequently provide materials for my work. I have a particular interest in re-presenting the natural state of the body and many of my works have an unsettling plasticity or tactility, a response to examining internal images of the body. I use the written and visual language of the abject, the body and frequently explore the vernacular for the titles of my work, which operate alongside colour and material to re-create the interior and exterior landscapes of the body in my jewellery.

Much of my work is characterised by a monochromatic approach to colour in either individual works or groupings of pieces. I am most commonly drawn to warm colours – reds, pinks, browns; for their conceptual resonance in relation to my use of material and form and preoccupation with the body or unnatural re-presentations of nature as a source of inspiration. The colours of the body and its interior, the earth and blooms are my comfort zone, their warmth assists me to speak my visual language.

For me, blue has always been a colour whose coolness speaks of other experiences outside of making. It is the vastness of the sea and sky – a colour that is about being in the actual landscape rather than inside, at my bench making. My work is intimate; it speaks of intimate spaces and thus tends to look to the detail, the minutiae – rather than the vast, the unknowable mysteries of the world at large. Blue is a ‘big’ colour.

In this venture ‘into the blue’ I re-worked the materials and forms that commonly inhabit my practice - in blue. The result is work that seems to look outward rather than inwards, the colour seems confined by the scale of the work. Elements that once spoke of the body’s interior secrets now appear the have plunged to the ocean’s depths – flowing with the tide or soared into the sky – flirting with the clouds.

The use of blue as a constraint is also interesting in terms of the materials I have been drawn to, although they are my usual artillery of paints, wood, stones and plastics. Suddenly the blue speaks loudly of histories, of cultural value – the material resonates more loudly because of what it is and what it means. A fake blue flower – an impossible bloom in nature, lapis lazuli, ultramarine blue paint, thread dyed indigo blue - each has its own story to tell… 

Installing the exhibition was interesting as I was seven months pregnant! 
...and of course the thread works required their usual grooming once installed! 
and a bit of a haircut!
Here are some installation shots of the work in situ at the gallery taken by Object:

At the end of this experience of working with blue I have learned to be more open to different colours and embrace them... this is lucky as the next exhibition adventure, The Box Project required even more tenacity when it came to colour! 

A collection of my blue pieces are now available at Pieces of Eight in Melbourne.


michele aka the tiny said...

beautiful melly! love the way you have shown your working shots from the studio too!! xx

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