Two art exhibitions opened in two days last week – quite full-on, worse still* they were my exhibitions.
This has made for a super busy time, I shan’t bore you with words like ‘busy’ – let’s get right down to the pics and the stories of how these came to be. *actually it was exciting!
The exhibitions The Substation Contemporary Art Prize at The Substation and Sheen Slip at Alternating Current Art Space opened on 8th and 9th September respectively. Sheen Slip has been in the works for a few months now and I’ve been gradually preparing for it, working on most of the paintings in the show simultaneously. I like to work that way. For that I can partly blame drying time of enamel and partly just liking to multitask in colour.
The Dirty Dozen is a space run by Creative Spaces (Melbourne City Council) and used to be known as Platform Art Space – a marvelous underground thoroughfare bedecked in heritage listed pink tiles and signs. It leads from Degraves Street in Melbourne’s city underground to the train platforms of Flinders Street Station. And it was mine, all mine, to do art to.
Instagram is pure instant gratification;
scroll scroll – great pic – double tap – scroll scroll.
As an artist I love it, love following other artists and seeing what people are making, their process, their workspace; love following design and all sorts of things. So here’s my gift to you, my list of artists you should totally follow on Instagram. I’m pretty loose with the criteria here; they either use Instagram cleverly, post frequently or have really stunning work, or all three!
Artwork that sits in public spaces gets me excited. People can feel estranged from art institutions and galleries, feeling it is not for the uninitiated. So this makes everyday places and public spaces a really interesting site to make art for. It might be a wall that’s passed by regularly or the corner of the local library where they study or meander of a Saturday morning. For this reason, I often look out for opportunities to show work in these public places.
Donald Judd sure did have some nasty things to say about painting. Of course, it wasn’t personal, I know – he wrote the essay Specific Objects during the sixties when I wasn’t even a twinkle. But a painter can become a bit defensive when you say stuff like “the composition must react to the edges [of the canvas] and the rectangle must be unified”! Judd believed that there are only so many compositions possible on the flat rectangle of a canvas, he preferred the boundless dimensions available with scultpure, Judd’s medium of choice. In short, Judd thought painting was just so done. I agree that painting on a canvas can feel limiting. You must obey the rectangle! Obey!
Showing work in an overseas exhibition, now that would be pretty fantastic. I would even settle for oversea instead of overseas to begin with, Tasmania notwithstanding. It is a Strait after all, not a sea, but I have my sights set on you too Tassie. Friend and art school compadre, Eva Heiky Olga Abbinga curated a group of Australian artists, myself included, in a show in Penang this past month opening September 12. Eva’s goal was to create connections between art communities in Melbourne and Georgetown, Penang and she received some fantastic support through the Australia Council for the Arts and raised money from generous donors through the Australian Cultural Fund. With this in mind I began to consider the theme of the exhibition, colour.