Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bear on a Plane

A Bear on a Plane - of course

I will be flying on a plane destined for England tonight, I’m so excited! I've never been to England! 

I'm going to see family I haven't seen for years, and some that I have never met. I will visit some museums and galleries I've been daydreaming about forever, and hopefully find some nice places to do some thrift shopping. Plus, I am going with one of my best buddies which makes the trip a little sweeter still.

 Do you have some favorite places to see and shop, in and around London?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Something beautiful



I've just discovered the work of Shinichi Maruyama through the Juxtapoz blog. The video is just beautiful and I recommend exploring his website http://shinichimaruyama.com some amazing images.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Paper Chain Update

Six hands are better than two, Clare Dilworth, June 2011.

The latest collage on the Paper Chain is by
Clare Dilworth to William Wernham on Chain #11.

See all collages at thepaperchain.tumblr.com

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reflections On Being Faithful

Better Luck Next Time, David Turley.
When an invitation arrived in my inbox to David Turley's current exhibition at Free Range I was instantly intrigued by its title, On being faithful. I visited the exhibition today and it brought up a lot of memories for me.

I grew up in a family full of polarised views on faith. My mum's father, a Spirit filled preacher and my father's father, an atheist, and both as passionate about their belief (or lack thereof). Needless to say family events with them were always sure to be lively.

I was in hospital a lot when I was a kid and when I was about 5 plagued by night terrors of dying. This fear began a nightly ritual of mum and I saying the Lord's Prayer at bedtime, followed by a session of imagining. There was a picture on my wall (from my mum's childhood bedroom) of children running in a field with little lambs & woodland animals, mum told me that it was what heaven will look like, and every time I was afraid I was to imagine I was in that picture playing with them. I still have that picture in my bedroom now.

Growing up faith and belief seemed always to be in the foreground of family, whether it was to praise or chide it. I tended to follow in my mum's footstep's as a kid since belief in God gave me a sense of comfort and safety, not to mention the promise of woodland animals for friends in the afterlife! Also the gaping absence of God is a terrifying thing to face. For a period in my late teens I even carried a bible with me everywhere, preached to anyone who would listen (and probably many who would rather not) in genuine fear for their salvation. Then I got angry and blamed religion for every sad and miserable thing that had ever happened to those I loved, and every problem with the world today. In the last few years though there has been less anger, more reflection.

I enjoyed the exhibition On being faithful because David Turley succeeds in reflecting on an upbringing in the Christian faith with both humour and integrity. His criticisms do not descend into mockery, something I think quite rare in comments by artists on religion, and valuable since faith is so layered in memories and connections to our past and history.

On being faithful is open this weekend Saturday, 18th and Sunday, 19th June, between 2-6pm at Free Range, 339 William Street, Perth, WA.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good little things

B took me to see the 35th Model Railway Exhibition at Claremont Showgrounds on last weeks long weekend, Monday. I was totally blown away by some of the wonderful exhibits, the creativity of the scenes people had built!

Below are some pictures of my favorites but there were so many good ones, so visit my flickr if you would like to see more.

Train show

Train show

Train show

Serpentine

Train show


The exhibition is held annually by the Australian Model Railway Association WA Branch so keep your eye out for it next year. Also click here to see a video of some of the exhibits in action on Jane's blog.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Masked and animal

Minotaur

Ass

Wolfman

I'm working on a project at the moment with animal masks and heads, here are three of my favorite study drawings over the last couple of weeks.

If you have a picture of yourself wearing an animal mask, that you don't mind me using as a reference image, I would be interested to see it : )

Likewise, I am looking at a lot of animals in art generally, do you have any favorite animal flavoured artworks that you think I should see?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Speaking with Anita Haywood

When I was in my late teens one of my best-friends started using heroin. When expressing my concern to her she told me that it was her body and she could do what she likes with it. In my naïve teenage way I empathised with what she was saying. Navigating ones way into adulthood we are faced with questions about who we are, how to/whether to assimilate with societal restrictions and ideas of what is normal. Many of us spend our whole lives struggling to feel in control and for some, like my friend, even the most self-destructive actions can lead to a feeling of gaining a choice about ones own destiny.

It didn't take long before we realised that she was addicted, the control she thought she had was false. She had in fact, just traded one form of control for another. I felt an intense powerlessness as I watched someone I love submit to something like a slow motion suicide, with seemingly little action that I could take to change it.

Anita Haywood is currently exhibiting her show, The Illusion of Control at Heathcote Museum & Gallery. Please don't misunderstand my introduction, it is not about drug abuse but it does deal with that experience of spiralling loss of control and the methods that we try to put into place to gain some. It also spurs us into reflecting on situations in our own life and our perception of control. My story is just one and I have no doubt you'll have your own.

In her statement about The Illusion of Control, Anita says,

“We strive throughout our lives. It is the Human Condition. Racing against time, battling with opponents over various dilemmas, coping with the stresses and strains of everyday life, as if we are in 'free fall'.

We like to believe that we have control over our lives. But have we? No matter what controls we think we have established, events develop out of our jurisdiction. Even in death, nothing is guaranteed.”

The Illusion of Control will run until the 3rd July 2011 at Heathcote Museum & Gallery. Anita will be giving an artist talk at 1.00pm, Saturday, 4th June and she will be artist in residence at the gallery on Saturdays 11th, 18th and 25th June, where she will be available to discuss her work.

Anita has also kindly agreed to do a Q & A about her art practice with me for June Speaking with.

Ignition, Anita Haywood, burn photograph.

Can you tell us a little about your background, where you grew up?

I was born in England, but as my Father was in the RAF, we lived in several countries while I grew up, usually 'hotspots' - Germany, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Wales and Aden. When I married, I lived and worked in Iran and very briefly in India, all as a teacher.

What kind of work you do you make?

I did my degree in conceptual sculpture & finished my BA Hons in 2008 in Scotland. I specialised in filming groups that I planned & directed in 'communication scenarios', either as Interventions or Performance. Sometimes I set up 'mis-communication' theatrical sets for Audience Participation Art, and exhibited work in Aberdeen & Edinburgh as Sound Sculpture.

What drives you to do what you do?

That's more difficult to answer! I suppose I've always liked 'creating' something that stimulates me - from chopping up clothes as a child & refiguring them to wear. I tend not to like cooking that is consumed so fast, but making something that lasts longer & I can evidence. Answers to 'Why We War' interests me.

Did you grow up in a creative environment?

No, except that my mother was a great seamstress. She was the cook & never let me in her kitchen!


Running Past Perth, Anita Haywood, Infrared photograph & light box


You've emigrated from England relatively recently, what do you like about Perth? And how do you think living in Perth has influenced your work?

The people are very friendly. It's extremely clean & warm [maybe a tad too warm in the summer] But especially the art & the gallery openings are such fun. Fremantle Festival was the best, but I love all the performances by dancers & actors. The Writers Festival is brilliant. All hugely stimulating even down to filming at the Agricultural Show! I think about identities.

What are some of your favourite materials to work with?

Probably the camera(s) I have digital, camcorder, film & medium format, & have set up a darkroom in my bathroom [very exciting & obsessive to develop] I probably like the control of directing people too….

Any medium you would like to explore that you haven’t done yet?

I'm just starting with paint, so there's tons to learn. I want to make more small figures in mixed media that will mirror my film ideas.


Universal language, Anita Haywood, Oil on canvas.

Who are some of your creative influences?

Bill Viola of course. Rebecca Horn, Annette Messager, Shirin Neshat, Mona Hatoum, Johanna Billing, Anselm Kiefer.

Where can people find out more about your work?

My website www.anitahaywood.com shows my audience participation, collaborations & interventions. Or they can email me on anitahaywood@gmail.com & have a chat.