Ephemera: Why it’s not a shame when I tear down an artwork

e·phem·er·al
[ih-fem-er-uhl]
adjective
1.lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory: the ephemeral joys of childhood.
2.lasting but one day: an ephemeral flower.
noun
3.anything short-lived, as certain insects.

My work exists for a time and then it is gone again – it’s ephemeral.  This is a word I have become closely acquainted with.  Rather a nice one, especially in it’s pural form, ephemera

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Union House Commission

I was recently commissioned to create a mural on a disused wall of Union House at the Parkville Campus of Melbourne University.  The site featured a deep purple wall and a maroon vinyl seating across the front.  I was asked to work with both.  When a site has offered up colours that I have to work with like this in the past, I have toyed with complementing or contrasting, and with ignoring the colour altogether.  This time, I attempted to select a colour palette independent of its background colour but with a different tonal value.

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Fracture Below – VCA Graduate Exhibition

The VCA Grad Show took place on in late November.  Here are a few shots from the work I made there.  It covered a great deal of space, including a long hallway and a small space on the floor below which was connected by the lift, hence the title Fracture Below.  The work downstairs was the last work you saw, before taking the lift to the next floor and coming out inside the work.

I attempted to narrow my colour palette in this work.  Focussing on a more traditional landscape colours like blues and greens.  I found myself still quite attached to the contrasting colours.  I perhaps allowed a few too many in, I had wanted to include just a few contrasts but mainly focus on the blues and greens to evoke more of a landscape feeling than before.  In my next large scale work, I think I will focus more still on a narrow selection of colours.

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Fracture

The past month has been full of stuff.  I completed my research paper and submitted it, which was to discuss the issues present in my work and situate my work within an historical context.  It was quickly apparent that five thousand words wasn’t going to allow me delve too exhaustively into all aspects of my work, but I was able to cover part of it.  It was a great opportunity to learn about my practice and what drives it.  I may post a few excerpts in future posts.  Alongside this research paper submission, was my major project.  This was a major artwork installed so it could be assessed for half an hour and then taken down.  Ohhh the days it took to create for half an hour!  Actually, it was probably alive for 3 or 4 hours in total.  It now lives on in jpegs.  Oh those jpegs!  I’m still rather mourning it – it is the occupational hazard of the artist making ephemeral installations.

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Homemade Festival 2013

The Homemade Festival wrapped up a couple of weeks ago.  Dancers/performance artists, visual artists and a photographer came together over the space of about almost a year to develop works for this show.  I found the experience fantastic, especially being exposed to how artists in different disciplines (particularly dance and movement) spoke about their work.  I was surprised by how similar their creative process was, in many ways, and found even the vocabulary they spoke with was similar too.

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Pink Aurora

At the end of July, I was fortunate enough to be included in Luminescence, a group exhibition at the Hotel Windsor, with a $10,000 prize for the winner, to celebrate the 130th year of the hotel.

Here are a few photographs of my play with a few ideas beforehand.  I was painting into photographs and imagining the lobby of the hotel with my broad strokes swathing across its ornate vaulted ceilings and walls.

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