Friday, April 27, 2012

Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise by Christopher Baker
An immersive video installation featuring over 5000 video diaries found on the internet.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I share therefore I am?

While I don't know if my own experience with technology agrees with everything Sherry Turkle says in this talk, many of the points she raises I find really relevant to my masters research. Particularly her points on how we define ourselves by what we share and how we edit/present the self with new media - I would argue though that this can still be just as clumsy and awkward in any social situation, on or offline. Reading peoples posts on Facebook or Twitter appears to be full of unintended stumbling and revealing moments.

New technology does change us... but I don't think we should see it as a passive cause and effect exchange and I guess this is the point Turkle does make at the end about self-reflection.

I'm interested to hear from others on this subject.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vacant old hospital building in Leederville enlivened as creative studio space

(From left) Sean Morris and Kyle Hughes-Odgers are among the 25 artists and creatives leasing a studio space at The Ward.
Photo: Eva Fernandez

MEDIA RELEASE, 17 April 2012

Built in 1913 originally as a maternity hospital, ‘The Ward’ in Leederville, has been revitalised as a studio complex for visual artists and creatives, through a joint venture between Artsource and Spacemarket.

The Ward houses 21 studio spaces for visual artists working alongside other creative service peers; such as illustrators, video producers and 3D animators, allowing for collaborations and shared creative emphasis.

Artsource’s guiding mandate is to empower visual artists to build sustainable careers, and it sees having a studio space as the key platform for artists to develop their practice.
Artsource Manager of Studios and Residencies, Loretta Martella said that affordable studio space for artists can be extremely hard to come by, and even rarer; is acquiring a working space close to the city centre.

“Artsource is thrilled to have taken on the head lease for this inner city studio space. What this means for this talented group of artists is a chance to further develop their skills and
ideas in a convenient, central location without the hefty rental rates usually experience in the Perth metro area,” she explained.

While Artsource only holds the lease on The Ward for 13 months from Realmark Property Group, it is imagined that this venture will serve as a favourable model for future studio complexes.
“The Ward is the first commercial building Artsource has attained as a studio complex, and we hope this can be the first of many more inner city studio locations,’’ Martella continued.

The Ward is a welcome addition to Artsource’s well-established Studios Program, which includes a stable of over 80 studios, spread across 8 buildings in the Perth metro area. The other studio locations include Fremantle, Midland, East Perth, Kelmscott, Belmont and White Gum Valley.

Inaugural tenants at The Ward are: Linus Andersson, Tarsh Bates, Claire Bushby, Jo Darbyshire, Giovanni Di Dio, James Foley, Rina Franz, Ruth Halbert, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Tessa McOnie, Elisa Markes-Young, Sean Morris, Carley Ternes, Deborah Oakley, Kimberley Pace, Perdita Phillips, Josephine Pittman, Aaron Welch, Christopher Young, Alucinor Productions, Inkubator and The Duck House Theatre.

Claire Hastwell, Marketing Coordinator,; 08 9335 8366

About Artsource
Artsource is Western Australia’s peak representative body for visual artists. A not-for-profit organisation in operation since 1986, Artsource works to expand and improve the sustainability and profile of artists through practical services and support. For more information, please visit

About Artsource Studios Program
Artsource is committed to providing affordable studio spaces to artists and see this as a fundamental way to develop visual artists and their practices in Western Australia. Artsource sublease these spaces to artists, keeping the rent low, offering secure tenure of up to 5 years and managing the day-to-day operations of the head leases.

Further info:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sandra Dieckmann Illustration

London based illustrator, Sandra Dieckmann draws enchanting images inspired by nature and wildlife, harmonised with beautiful folk style patterning. Bear among bees is so in love with her bear images (a few favorites posted below) but go check out Sandra's website to see a wonderful menagerie of animals, or visit her etsy shop where you will find a range of tote bags, prints and cards featuring her work.

Bear Rock, Sandra Diekmann

Beach Bear, Sandra Dieckmann

Sweet Dreams, Sandra Dieckmann

Tomorrow Bear, Sandra Dieckmann

Bear, Sandra Dieckmann

Sandra Dieckmann Illustration

Monday, April 9, 2012

Speaking with Lance Kershaw Ladu

I was introduced to Lance Kershaw Ladu's work when interviewing Cherish Marrington last November. She pointed me to his Facebook profile where I found such intriguingly beautiful ink drawings, I had to find out more and Lance kindly agreed to this little interview with Bear among bees.

untitled, Lance Kershaw Ladu, ink on paper.

I have to confess I am pretty new to your work and have only seen your drawings online but I’m really loving what I have seen. Can you tell me about the characters in your drawings, are they based on people you know, or are they fictional? And where do your characters come from? 

Well, I have to say; these characters are based on myself I suppose. I try to embody my own feelings and emotions into these drawings, depicting myself mainly as women.

Your work seems to have a baroque or renaissance feel that kind of makes me think of Peter Greenaway, do you like his movies? Have you seen his drawings? And on the subject of filmmakers, there any movies that have significantly influenced your work? 

I adore film. I love Peter Greenaway’s films, like The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, though I have never really seen his drawings before, till you have mentioned their existence. But I must say they are quite exquisite. I am heavily inspired by films, such as The Hours, Mommy Dearest, The Others and many more, but my main focus of inspiration comes from psychotic, sad, depressed, cruel, disappointed women or mothers, which became quite evident in a small web design about myself clearly depicted. But I find an immense beauty in these raw emotions, which I think are intensified through women.

untitled, Lance Kershaw Ladu, ink on paper.

Who are some of your favourite artists? 

I guess I don’t really have a favourite artist. But I adore the works of Cherish Marrington, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, John William Waterhouse, Andrew Nicholls and Tane Andrews.

I saw on Facebook some beautiful works in progress for an artist book you were making. Is that complete now? Can you tell me about it? 

The book called H is for Hippophagy, was a small, 18 paged, book that looked at a different perspective of hippophagy, which is the practice of eating horseflesh. It questioned ‘What is eating the flesh?’ which in my book was the natural decay of a dead carcass. The book was complete, but with my carless handling I managed to shamefully smudge most of the drawings. So it has now been dispersed and adored, hopefully, by their owners.

death [page insert 12 (pg 24/ pg.25) from H is for...HIPPOPHAGY],
Lance Kershaw Ladu, ink on paper.

Is your work mostly drawing, or do you work in other media? 

My work is strictly Ink. I find myself in the terrible position of loving this one medium, this one effect, that my own confounding comfort has scared me from progressing to other mediums. I suppose a love for traditional print techniques and drawing keeps me held to its exquisite bosom. Though, there are secret plans of a doll exhibition, which may lead to some spectacular birth of a new art practice for myself.

What would be your earliest creative memory? 

My earliest creative memory is when I was 6 or something and I drew the study of a woman. Women have played a big role in my life.

Are you working on anything at the moment that you can tell us about? 

I’m planning a show with one of my greatest friends Cherish Marrington, hopefully to be exhibited at Paper Mountain.

untitled, Lance Kershaw Ladu, ink on paper.

How can people find out more about your work? 

At the moment, I can’t be found anywhere. Hopefully soon I shall gain access to oniemy. But, I am easily found on Facebook, having the only name Lance Kershaw Ladu. So if someone is interested in finding me, find me there and stay informed. (Polite smile)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Being Human Being

The following text is extracted from my 2005 Honours paper, Acts of Intimacy. I have recently revisited this paper looking to draw links with my current work with identity (see this post).

Part Three - Being Human Being

Art serves to establish community. It links us with others, and with the things around us, in a shared vision and effort. 
Gerhard Richter [48]

My art making has always been an attempt at intimacy, to communicate an experience of being this woman, at this moment, in this place, with this history and trying to connect my existence with that of others around me. The art I produce is inextricable from my experience and I am suspicious when artists’ claim their work is not concerned with themselves, as whatever subjects and ideas we may pursue first must pass through the self to become art. Albert Camus wrote, “That the idea of an art detached from its creator is not only outmoded, it is false.” [49]  This is not to suggest my particular experience is remarkable in anyway or to advocate a self-centered existence. In fact, it is more an effort to look at the interconnected commonalities of human experience, our needs, desires, fears and pains.  

Stitching is an important component of my work, thread and cord are representative of many things relating to the body; veins, tendons, the lymphatic system in fact the body is made up of thousands of cord like structures. There is a strong symbolic relationship between thread and life, when we are born the umbilical cord is cut to separate our body from our mother’s and of those who claim to have had out of body experiences many report an elastic-like silver cord joining them to their physical body. Thread also symbolises narrative and there are many phrases such as ‘to follow the thread’ of a conversation which incorporate this imagery. In Greek and Roman mythology the goddesses Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, also known as the three Fates controlled human destiny by spinning thread, each person acting as a spindle.

Stitching is also both a symbol of time and its physical evidence; with each stitch a second has passed, leaving a mark upon the cloth. When my grandmother started cancer treatment I was in the third year of my Bachelor of Arts degree. Nan, mum and me would spend long periods of time waiting in waiting rooms with other cancer patients and their carers, moving into the treatment room where nurses bustled about putting in and taking out needles – where again we all sat looking at each other, the carers with their healthy bodies and the patients – all just waiting. Occasionally we would try to make light conversation; many jokes were made about pincushions. I found it hard to come away from that space and sit in a studio to make art; it was difficult to think about art theories as many seemed absurd in the presence of life slipping out from real people who were suffering both physically and emotionally. In the final semester I wondered how I could continue, I decided I would take a piece of cloth that could be carried with me and just stitch with no forms in mind, just lines of hand stitching, being in the moment of the stitch.

Image11a. Claire Bushby, Time (or Mr Red), 2003.
Satin, cotton, steel and sand.

This resulted in a piece of satin approximately one metre square covered in stitches. When complete it was attached to a frame which held it in a cone-like shape (echoing the time cone diagrams in Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time) with white sand spilling from the bottom. (see images 11 a - b) This work was first exhibited in the School of Contemporary Arts 2003 Graduate Exhibition, then exhibited at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in Hatched 04, titled Time (or Mr. Red), with a piece of text which is an absurd dialogue between artist, process and material. (see appendix 2) I mention Mr. Red here because it seems to be a turning point in my working method. Hand stitching is a meditative process; sometimes it is a refuge, a place to feel empty of thought but also like meditation stitching can sometimes be a challenge to stay with and requires discipline.

Image 11b. Claire Bushby, Time (or Mr Red) [detail], 2003.

For my Honours project I began making plaster body casts and making latex ‘skins’ from them. Each skin has lines of hand-stitching in red cotton. The first series were a pair of feet in six pieces (see image 12) – I had recently read the story of the woman who washes Jesus’ feet in her tears and wipes them with her hair, the mixture of devotion and self-reproachfulness in this account seems to speak about the nature of caring for another’s body.[50]   Feet are also often a part of the body which must be cared for when someone is too ill or immobile to reach them. In the second series I cast parts of myself where cancer had visibly affected my grandmother’s body, my left breast, my left hand, my left underarm(see images 13).This was a cathartic action, a visceral extraction.

Image 12. Claire Bushby, Acts of Intimacy (skins) right foot,
2005. Latex and cotton.

Also produced is a series of photographs; close-up images of my grandmother’s tea-sets in my kitchen, combined with intimate images of my skin (see images 14 A short poem also accompanies this work [see appendix 3]). I inherited a large box full of Nan’s collection of tea-sets along with many of her other belongings such as clothes, letters, books and assorted memorabilia. It all sat on my kitchen floor and throughout my hallway for about for three months. Every now and then I would walk in to the kitchen stare at the box and build the courage to pull out a tea-cup or saucer, unwrap it and place it in amongst my own collection. Each of these objects stood as a raw reminder of the absence of their owner. You can’t help wondering of the importance of certain objects, asking was this one significant? Did this one have meaning, or was it just collecting dust? Each object a material fragment of the history of a life.

Acts of Intimacy (Skins) breast & armpit
Image 13. Claire Bushby, Acts of Intimacy (Skins) breast and underarm,
2005. Latex and cotton.

Sumantro Ghose’s explores similar issues in his Modern Painters/Guardian Prize winning Destruction and Nostalgia – Cornelia Parker’s Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View.[51]  Ghose muses upon his mother-in-laws death concentrating upon the boxes and bags of her belongings that his wife has brought home. Alongside this personal account he analyses Cornelia Parker’s installation Cold Dark Matter which is the remains of a shed and its contents literally blown to pieces. Parker has then assembled the burnt and charred fragments hanging from the ceiling as though in mid-explosion, like a frozen moment in time. Of the installation Ghose writes,
You scan the objects in Cold Dark Matter like a crash investigator or forensic scientist, sifting through the debris for a miniscule clue to someone’s identity, an object that belonged to a now vaporised existence. With the certainty and poignancy of a medieval shrine, a momento mori, this installation confronts us with our own mortality.[52]

Acts of Intimacy print series, 2005
Image 14. Claire Bushby, Acts of Intimacy, print series, 2005.

At around 9.45am on September 15th 2004 my grandmother, June Doris Storey passed away. Her two children (my mum and my uncle), her partner, Ian and I had decided to stay at the hospice the night before. I spent the night by her bedside, watching almost every breath, her chest rising and falling. A strange gut-wrenching expectation rushing through my body each time the rhythm of her breath slightly changed. After hours of watching through the night, morning came and for some reason I decided I should go move my car when Ian went to feed their dog. My uncle took my place by her side; I got back at 10am missing her last breath by minutes and was appalled with myself.

The hospice nurse later tried to console me by saying that it was a very common experience, often people who have spent days by the bedside of a loved one, walk out for the first time to perhaps have something to eat, only to return finding they have passed away. I had heard many stories about the opposite happening, of an ailing person waiting for someone they love to arrive before passing away with the comfort of knowing they are there. The nurse felt that it was the families’ inability to let go, that perhaps patients sometimes hold on for longer if they sense their families’ distress in the room. This only further heightened my sense of guilt; the thought that I could prolong my grandmother’s suffering through sheer fear of losing her was not at all comforting but it gave me a profound sense of humanity.

Contemplating the many people before and after me in that particular room, observing someone they love for every sign that life still flows through their body. Detecting the signs of losing time, as shadows on the wall change and the sun goes down, only to reappear hours later just like any ordinary day. This overwhelming sense of helpless loss is both personal and collective at the same moment. My loss is mine but I am not the sole holder of this pain. All forms of art have the potential for intimacy between people, to connect and share their subjective experiences.

Art is not about art. Art is about life, and that sums it up. 
          Louise Bourgeois.[53]

[48] Richter, G. (1995). The Daily Practice of Painting – Writings and Interviews 1962 – 1993. Thames and Hudson: London.
[49] Camus, A. (1955). The Myth of Sisyphus. (J. O’Brien, Trans.). Random House/Vintage Books: New York. p.71.
[50] Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 7:36-50.
[51] Ghose, S. (2004). Destruction and Nostalgia – Cornelia Parker’s Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View. Modern Painters, Autumn. p. 19 – 21.
[52] Ghose, S. (2004). Ibid. p. 20.
[53] Bourgeois, L. (1988). Statements from an Interview with Donald Kuspit. In M. Bernadac & H. Obrist. (1998). Ibid. p.166