Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Mountains and time

Beerwah through the Trees

This is sort of what Mt. Beerwah looks like when viewed looking south from about 100 metres up my road. The trees and foliage have been added in front which were loosely copied from another drawing - a drawing of the rainforest at Mary Cairnscross Park.

If all the ground was generally flat and mountains did not exist, would landscape painting have developed as it has? Also, would our perception of distance and time be different?

Generally a typical landscape painting has a foreground, some trees, a mid ground, some mountains, and some sky. To me this seems like a space/time illustration: sometimes we measure distance in time - how far it to Brisbane from Beerwah? Some will answer, "about one hour" and others will answer in kilometres.

If one plays with the perspective or distance aspect of a landscape one can to some degree alter the time feeling of the work. This is similar to what Pollock said about his work, "I don't illustrate my ideas but I express my ideas". If one just illustrates the landscape then it will generally conform to all the notions of space and time. But if you try to express the idea of landscape one can start to play with and tease space and time. Not only is space and time altered but also the meaning and relevance. In some way this shows some of the difference between eastern landscapes and typical western landscapes or the difference between Albert Namatjira's landscapes and more traditional indigenous art.

Someone said to me recently, "I can appreciate art that seems to be a good copy or illustration of the subject but find it hard to understand modern art" (paraphrased). That is a fair enough comment from someone not immersed in the arts, but what for instance is a piece of music copying?

My drawing above like most of my landscapes, is stuck between being a typical landscape and a more iconic one. In fact in some ways I think we see the world a bit like this - we bring a lot of ideas to our reading of the universe as we move through it.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Mungo creeping tree

I thought this photo might be of interest, it's a video still shot on Hi8 at Lake Mungo of a tree completely covered in creeper. I don't think it is so unusual but it looks very strange blowing in the wind moving like a big hairy jelly, I was reminded of this footage by the bird proofing nets displayed elsewhere.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

free spirits

Pixelated House Run

Every room of the house visited in one minute and a half, set to music then pixelated accidentally by YouTube upload.

Undue voice

This is the second of these 'Undue Voice's I'll have done at the incubator (ICU) centre in Castlemaine. These as it says are acoustic experimental voice performances, I'm performing with Penny who is a classically trained singer who has decided she prefers to experiment. I'll be playing trumpet and er hu which are extended voice type instruments, I guess. 'Undue voice' is a Castlemaine offshoot of 'Undue Noise' which is a Bendigo based experimental sound collective who import out of town and international artists for performances in Bendigo. We also put on our own performances in Bendigo and Melbourne from time to time. Come along if you can make it.

Friday, 15 February 2008

New member

We have a new member on ArtSmelter - Welcome Sunny.

Sunny is from Victoria and originally studied at RMIT.

Sunny has some lovely Abstract paintings which can be seen on her webpage here and on her ArtReview profile here.

Sunny, feel free to post as many paintings and art discussions as you like. As I get time I will redo the banner to include one of your works and snorkels (another new member). If you have any trouble posting to the blog let me know.
Also feel free to comment on this posting and any other posts by the other members. I will add Your website and ArtReview profile to the artist links in the side bar. Feel free to let me know of any other artists you know, who maybe interested in contributing to ArtSmelter.

Let me know of anything you want me too add to this page: other links, any online galleries you might have, galleries that represent you, email, etc. etc. Either leave a note in the comments here, on Artreview or email me.


And on another note - I just got a positive review to my 'as' exhibition in The Westerner newspaper - the online version is here. After the blog workshop I conducted at Pine Rivers Regional Art Gallery, they have got into blogging and set up their own blog here.

On the new ArtReview website there has been a raging discussion about the pros and cons of an internet presence - it is an interesting read and can be found here.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

As show video

This is the video that was shown on opeing night of the 'as' exhibition. Thanks must go to Simon Howard (Antlion) for suppyling most of the music. As John Drake said to me, after the opening, "it's sort of a pastiche" - this is true and in someway reflects the notion and thrust of the 'as' art show. The art represented in the 'as' show was diverse and represented different times over a period of 27 years. The art can be seen, with it's didactic wall sheets, as an online exhibition here.

The video really represents the end result of the process of putting together an art show and exploring the medium of video. There was actually three versions of this video - this was the last version which was started and finished on the morning of the opening night. The first version will be aired on this blog as I find time - it is a bit more radical.

Monday, 11 February 2008

A few more photos

I ran a workshop on art blogging on Saturday. It was well attended by about 20 people and I received a good response. It ran for about 2 hours, which is hardly enough time. I did a powerpoint talk as an outline then went on online and set up a demonstration blog. As an extra service and an exercise for myself, I have set up a beginners art blogging site. If any of you more experienced art bloggers want to be co-contributors then let me know in the comments. The site is called ArtProofer and can be found here. Here's a few more photos from my 'as' art show.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Art show opening over and now moving on to the next big thing, whatever that might be.

The art show opening is over and here's the edited video footage - sorry about the low volume speaking voices and lack of general professionalism - but I forgot the filming until about 5 minutes before the speeches - all caught up in the moment you see.

Thanks, for Antlion supplying the background music for the video. Also, I played a video on opening night, which I will post separately, when I get chance to upload to YouTube - this also has a liberal smattering of Antlion music.

This is the final photo I took of the 'as' painting, just before I blocked out the eyes and touched up a few rough bits - will post a photo of the blinded 'as' painting when I can manage to get a good photo.

as 2008

I originally was going to paint a transparent ribbon across the eyes, but I tried the ribbon and it didn't fit, so I painted it out and blocked her eyes completely with a rectangle. I have never had to rush finish a painting before, but am reasonably satisfied with the end result.

There is much to learn and much to try and master. Something that I find really challenging, is the notion of being contemporary and cutting edge. Most painting that I see (including my own) seems slightly out of date - I don't know how to fix this. The problem is not inherent in painting as a medium, because I see the same problems in Video, Sculpture, Installations etc, as well. I appreciate the greatness of artists like Will Robinson, Brett Whitely and Kitaj et al. But I am stunned by the lack of newness in 99 percent of what I see. Not only are technique, style, subject matter, marketing, skill, consistency, integrity and brilliance a major challenge, but relevance - relevance that grabs you, without using shock.

Art, whether that be painting or some other genre, is a great personal and social struggle - how do we reach deep down enough to pull out the goods, when we have been overwhelmed by the giants of history and sauteed by the flux of the information age.

Oh well, back to the grind stone!

Friday, 1 February 2008

VJ icon

this is my VJ identity from 'VS' days in Melbourne
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