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.
What’s as challenging as painting really large? That would have to be forcing grand scale ideas into a small box. That’s what I did earlier this year with fellow artists Larissa MacFarlane and Ilona Nelson. The Hobsons Bay City Council’s Orbital space consists of four light boxes and a tiny peephole. Working together with Orbital curator, Heather van Heerwaarden, we put together Three-In-One.
1.lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory: the ephemeral joys of childhood.
2.lasting but one day: an ephemeral flower.
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.
One wintry weekend in November 2013, five artists converged at a large converted farmhouse, just out of Daylesford. Without intention or plan, apart from leaving home behind, they shared the space, pottered, cooked, showed work, took photos, walked, talked, watched, slept, faced off cows, befriended birds, got wet, doodled, played with video cameras, reclined in huge couches, and revelled in the sense of timelessness.
This exhibition is an outcome of that weekend. Using diverse media and methods, including video, projection, installation, painting and photography, the artists in this show demonstrate some of the propositions initiated by such a short incubation in a specific location.