Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Debut at Jacombe

I have a drawing in Debut, an exhibition at a new artist run initiative called Jacombe situated in Myrniong, about an hour west of Melbourne. There's no official opening but there will be a closing launch on Sunday the 29th July.

Avoid people who...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Jennifer's Studio Sale

I’ve recently moved into a new studio, and as a hoarder and sentimalist (these two qualities often combined) I have kept most of the work I've made over the last 10 years. However, I have decided that it is time to part ways with some of my drawings in the hope that someone else might enjoy them and to make space for new work.

I want to create an opportunity for people to view my collection of works and be able to purchase outside of an exhibition context. This invitation isn't weighted with any pressure or expectation to buy.

Some small works (and large, inconvenient-for-me-to-store-any-longer works) I would like to giveaway and I am also open to trades. All drawings are one-offs and have their own personal history and thoughts associated with them (why I keep tucking them into drawers, suitcases and folders to carry around with me!)

I am planning to be in my studio at 1-9 Moreland Rd, Coburg 12-5pm Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June (and during that week some time) for interested people to come around to visit. I have tried to organise my works into price categories to make it easiest to see what I have. If you would like to come to the studio (or if you can't come but are interested in a particular work/series/size/subject matter/price/...) then email me at jennifer.eb.rooke@gmail.com or call/text me on 0409 165 153. There are a few things on my website http://jenniferrookeart.com/ that will be for sale. It might be possible for me to deliver or post work.

Thanks for reading this. If you have any friends that might be interested then please feel free to share this invite with them. I plan to put any money I make towards overseas travelling and residencies next year and I am looking forward to clearing some space, physically and mentally, to produce new work!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I am an artist.

At work yesterday an older staff member asked me if I am studying at the moment. I immediately felt my brain panic as I bumbled out that I felt like things were a bit all over the place at the moment as I was working casually at the library and at a frame shop as well...and I have a studio...for art...Why couldn't I say that I was an artist instead of speaking in the most roundabout and awkward way? 
I felt shame in saying I am an artist. I just wanted to keep putting the books back in order and not reveal anything about myself. 

Yet, I know that I am an artist. I've always felt it within me. I've always wanted it. 

But there are so many insecurities and fears wrapped up within that certainty. And it doesn't matter that I can provide mensurable examples of my professionalism through my work and exhibitions and education and studios over the last 10 years...

I have a fear of being accused that artist isn't a real job. This topic came up again at work today with a different person who asked me, "Artist...Is that what you want to do?" I tried to be more confident today after yesterday's interaction but it still lead to doubting questions. Or perhaps it is merely the questioner trying to understand. And I struggle to explain. It's not a conventional lifestyle, but it's what I want. And I have these other jobs in the hope to support myself as an artist. Right now I don't want to put pressure on myself to make money from art. Working my way off Centrelink over the last few months I've been struggling getting used to the time management of working but I've enjoyed the sense of financial independence and release from the ongoing emotional hangover of the dole. 

I've been feeling funny/strange/missing something within myself over the last few months not having produced much in the studio. I've done some bits and pieces but I feel like I've been on a rat wheel of work - mainly figuring out how to balance three jobs and go to the studio and have a social life and home/alone time. Although I haven't been producing much in the way of drawing lately, I've been to some good gigs and parties and worn some excellent costumes and made new friends/spent time with old friends and read quite a few books and been exposed to lots of ideas browsing and shelving books at work. I've written a little bit. I've applied for some residencies and begun researching places where I would like to travel. I've moved into a new studio and re-jigged my work shifts a bit to give me easier-to-work-with blocks of time. I'm keen to clear (giveaway/sell) some of my old work and I am bursting to work on new drawings. Things are in the process of coming together and I'm excited for the next few weeks and the rest of the year. 

I have to stay patient and focused (two things I can be extremely good at and occasionally ram against). Keep working and keep my mind stimulated with good things. And practise confidently saying to people that I am an artist, trying to convey some of the exciting things that are contained within that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

Dreaming and planning

I want to go on a big trip next year and I'm starting to think about and research where I want to go. My main aims are the north of Scotland and Norway. I want to be far north. I want to experience long hours of daylight and the change in season. I want to travel to places that historically speak of solitude and experience them as they are now. I want to see the harshness of the landscape and exist in relation to it. I want to live away for six months or so and record my experiences through drawing and writing.

I fondly remember a little drunken conversation I had at a gig in Stockholm in 2013, excitedly realising how I was on the opposite side of the world to Melbourne. My spontaneously-booked month in the Swedish Summer. What a distance to travel to escape bad feelings and refresh my perspective. It feels far away in time but close in my memory. I perceive time to be moving faster.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of routine in my practice. I often work with whims and feelings but I'm finding myself a lot more disciplined with my studio time lately. For some time now I have been trying to figure out my money-work and art-work balance and although it is often stressful or demoralising (thank you, Centrelink) it has meant that I value my time a lot more than what I may have in the past. I generally feel focused and relieved when I enter my studio space knowing that this is the time that I have set aside for my creative work.

I have aims of undertaking a few art residencies. Hopefully a mixture of short and long stays. Solo and amongst other artists. I am very keen to focus my mind in one space for a few months and see what I can produce. Although I often find myself saying that I don't know what I am doing right now, I know that my aim is to dream and plan, and put my head down and work in my studio and earn/save some money to make those dreams and plans happen.

Blyth St Billboard

Eric got Christopher and I to paint the billboards out the front of their house (an old physio clinic doomed to be demolished in the not-too-distant future). Leading up to it I nervously dithered around trying to pick the right pink and gridding-up the image to draw it properly to scale but it turned out to be a quite straightforward and not intimidating process (always tend towards over-preparing myself for things like this). I really enjoyed creating the billboard and I have laughed a few times when they have caught my eye as I pass by.