Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Of Mice and Den

hayward la gallery is pleased to announce "Of Mice and Den", the third and last exhibition in its series exploring domestic rituals in the 21st century.

What are the movements, physical or visualised, made in a household? What kind of private and collective rituals take place? What is it to be in transit within the domestic environment?
Elaborating on the permanency of physical space and the elusiveness of its psychological space, the exhibition collates the artists' own domestic trajectories and rituals and reinterprets them into the shared household of 22 Cassels rd, Brunswick.

participating artists
eric butler
mig dann
jacqueline harrison
ruby knight
roynae mayes
jordan murdoch
alex quinlan
jennifer rooke
katrin repnau

date 21/05/2016
time 3pm
location 22 Cassels rd, Brunswick

Friday, May 13, 2016

Headspace, BA(t)CH Gallery, Caulfield

She looked on and tried to discern this company of the self
Acrylic and marker drawing on paper
189cm X 130cm

Found the answer to this one in a series of mistakes
Watercolour and pen drawing on paper
50cm X 60cm

A drawing of the present that acknowledges the past without being overruled by it
Watercolour and pen drawing on paper
50cm X 60cm

Should really vacuum

Friday night. Sipping cloudy apple juice and trying to tidy my room as a way of clearing some physical and mental space. Feeling so exhausted and I'm wondering how to unwind. I've come home tired, hungry and emotional every night this week. Maybe I should add cold as well as I realise I've been home an hour and am yet to remove my buttoned up raincoat. I try to construct some sort of dinner and then zone out to a tv show like Masterchef, quickly gobbling down the food and then realising that I don't actually enjoy the show that much and I'm just watching a series of ads. This carries on for another hour or so while I can't move from the couch and look over to my housemate's laptop where he's on searching for the dream house that we pretend we will move into tomorrow.

I have mixed post-show feelings (not unusual, I know). I'm really proud of the show but now feel a bit depleted, a little low and lonely. I feel like I need to relax a bit but there's not a lot of time to do so as I have to get cracking on my big theory essay and cram in other shows and uni assessments and a trip to Sydney in the next month. There's some great things happening and I'm not complaining because it's what I want but I suppose I just need to feel well rested and sort of find my feet again after an intense last fortnight (I guess making the largest drawing you've ever done, putting up and taking down a show in a week is something). 

It was a really new experience working on the large drawing. I came up with the composition of the scene in a day and then projected this small drawing onto a large sheet of paper on the wall, staying at the studio until I had finished the outline. Recently I have been working in fineliner and watercolour, but to make a similar image on a larger scale I had to change my materials. I used paint marker and fluid acrylic paints that I ended up applying quite thickly. I have a bit of a secret desire to paint thin but I always go thick. I think this has been a habit since colouring in as a child; I would always press hard and want the most intense colours I could get. Over the period of a week I painted sections of the drawing and re-drew and added detail to some areas. There were a few late nights over the weekend, working in the large common area of the studio the whole time. It was strange having people observe me making the drawing and also comment and converse at different intervals. My comfort zone is to work alone on an intimate scale so it felt like my process had been expanded and exposed. 

Yes, those are giant paint brushes.

Overall, I think it was good for me though. I liked working on the larger scale and I am keen to try drawing on the wall or making a mural. After having the show and observing this current work I am feeling like I want to move my focused study of the studio outwards a bit. I would like to find other spaces that are significant to me. I'm keen to look more at the natural world and perhaps incorporate elements of the garden into the interior spaces that I've been exploring and constructing. I'm interested in using figures other than myself. I would like to continue my play with perspective and flatness and use drawing in more of an installation format. Some of these things I can incorporate now and some will take more time. It's intimidating but nice to have lots of directions that I can go in. Now time for a bit of rest (going to take my raincoat off and probably not clean this room tonight) and then keep moving and find new directions.

Monday, May 2, 2016


We must invert our conception of repose and activity, he continued. We should not sleep to recover the energy expended when awake but rather wake occasionally to defecate the unwanted energy that sleep engenders. This might be done quickly - a five-mile race at full tilt around the town and then back to bed and the kingdom of the shadows.


The other day my studio neighbour came by with some excess modelling material (I don't know what it was - something light and fluffy yet quite kneadable) and said it would dry in 15 minutes, would I like to make something quickly? Oh, I dont do sculpture...we both laughed and I decided to accept the challenge just for the sake of it. I retreated to my studio and began to get a feel for the material. I could manipulate it pretty well but it was kind of dry and would break apart the more I tried to model something. I shuddered as I recalled past frustrations of working with clay in high school. What on Earth would I make? I looked around me and realised that I'm constantly drawing my studio at the moment so I should just make objects that are around me. I tried to make a fineliner pen but it was too hard to roll out so I changed it into a cigarette (funny because I rarely smoke but love rolling cigarettes). The brick mobile phone also wasn't exactly what I wanted but I made do with the material and the tools I had.

It was a fun spontaneous challenge and it caused me to reflect again on the rules that I wrote for a class earlier in the semester about my studio practice. One of my main rules was to make a drawing on paper (a two-dimensional work). I suppose this is a fairly set rule for me but I don't see it as being definitive of my practice. I think that drawing is always my main focus but there are a range of things that happen around the drawing. It's like drawing is a centre for me and my orbiting around it involves a range of thoughts and processes. I guess I just need to keep the orbit reaching out to new things so that the centre is able to expand when it needs. I need to continue being aware of rules that I construct and then test them or break them so I know more about why they are there and if they can be changed.

In setting up an installation of drawings and some furniture a few weeks ago, my advisor said to think of the space as the composition of a drawing. That really resonated with me; the idea that I don't need to think of 2D and 3D as being so far apart.