Friday, December 30, 2011

Flashback Friday... arty style!

Flashback Friday
Marcus and myself at Mallee Cats exhibition in Swan Hill, I had just finished year 12.

When I was visiting my mum's house over Christmas, she gave me a bunch of clippings that she had kept from when I was a kid.  It was funny to see how much I was into the arts when I was a student, going to exhibition openings, visiting the theatre and poster girl for school art shows!

It's pretty funny really and I thought I would share these blasts from the past!

Flashback Friday
Installing some student works during high school.

Flashback Friday
Celebrating International Women's Day at the gallery, me on the left with my wonderful mentor, Director Linda Lucas.

#flashbackfriday not on a Friday! My mum & I when I was a kid, me and my love of hats!
My mum and myself about to head out to the theatre.

Does anyone else have some great 'blast from the past' newspaper clippings?  Please share!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Flashback Friday: Tapestry...

A really old tapestry of mine... Circa 1999... "laugh at you stupid"
Tapestry by Mardi Nowak, 'Laugh at You Stupid'.

I've been attempting to organize my sewing room in our house.  It's been quite a task and I've been going through boxes that look like they haven't been opened for about 5 years and sending stuff to the charity store as well.  It's a great feeling to de-clutter and create a work space that is much more focused and hopefully easy to use.

While going through everything and trying to organize all of my bits and pieces, I came across this little tapestry that I made in about 1999.  It's called 'Laugh at You Stupid' and is much finer than the tapestries that I make now.  I do love this little work as it still stems from a collage starting point and was about the start of me using text in my work as well.  Also, the word 'stupid' looks great woven!  I now have this work hanging above one of my work desks as a little reminder of how my work is progressing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Round up: Vanish/Survive Exhibition

Vanish/ survive exhibition catalogue
The Vanish/Survive catalogue.

It's been a while since the exhibition Vanish/Survive was on show at ARKA gallery in Vilnius, Lithuania but I thought I'd do a bit of a round up seeing my works arrived home the other day.

I had three works in the exhibition and my take on the theme of Vanish/Survive was about shadows and silhouettes.  In terms of tapestry, I'm always very interested in shadows and silhouettes and how they translate into the woven form.  For me, a shadow alone is something that is fragile and almost deathlike.  It isn't alive at all.  But there is something that survives to create the shadow or silhouette, it is alive.

textile (17)
Some installation shots of the exhibition, courtesy of the gallery.

The gallery sent me some photos of the installation and as you can see it was a diverse, yet quite beautiful show.  I love the look of the gallery with it's airy ceilings lined with beams and beautiful wooden floors.  I would of loved to have gone to see the exhibition and I have to say when I do go and visit Lithuania, I will definitely be going to check out ARKA gallery!

textile (5)
If you look carefully, my series of works are on the back wall to the left!

I was very happy to get my tapestries home from the show.  It's always like sending your babies to boarding school.  You sometimes forget what they look like and then they come home and you think, "wow, they look better than I remember!"  The works came back with a copy of the catalogue.  I loved flicking through and seeing all the other works in the show.  It's great when a catalogue has images of all the works that were in the exhibition.

Vanish/ survive exhibition catalogue
My entry in the catalogue in English and Lithuanian.

I also love seeing the translations of my titles into another language.  I remember having my work translated into German and now into Lithuanian,,, I love the look of it!
A big thank you to the curators of the exhibition and ARKA gallery, they were such a great team to work with!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Bit of Arty Silliness...

Art bollocks

I enjoy playing with these 'Let us create an absurd artist statement, title for a show etc' programs that you can find on the internet.  I love it when they produce something that actually sounds like something that you would use or have seen before.  As a curator I enjoy that I can still poke fun at what I do and the art world that I work in.  It's not all like this but every now and again when I need a laugh, I do visit one of these sites!

You can visit to make your own artist statement too.  Here is one that I got that made me giggle.

"My work explores the relationship between Critical theory and romance tourism.
With influences as diverse as Nietzsche and Andy Warhol, new insights are manufactured from both explicit and implicit dialogues.

Ever since I was a student I have been fascinated by the traditional understanding of the moment. What starts out as triumph soon becomes corroded into a tragedy of futility, leaving only a sense of nihilism and the dawn of a new synthesis.

As temporal replicas become frozen through studious and academic practice, the viewer is left with a summary of the corners of our existence."

Thanks Arty Bollocks for making my day!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mad Square exhibition...

Mad square exhibition
A Lissitsky work promoting the exhibition.

Last weekend we popped along to the National Gallery of Victoria to check out the Mad Square:  Modernity in German Art 1910-37 exhibition.  The exhibition covered some of my favourite periods of art; German Expressionism, Dada, Constructivism and Bauhaus. 

Mad square exhibition
Cover of the catalogue for the exhibition.

I would say that this is probably not going to be the 'blockbuster exhibition' like some of the Winter Masterpieces exhibitions at the NGV but it is one that appealed to me.  The works on show never get old to me, they still express a raw innovation, an excitement of the new.  I was pretty excited to view a series of Hannah Hoch collages in the flesh.  Her work was such an inspiration and influence on my own practice in terms of what could be achieved with collage.

Mad square exhibition
Some of the beautiful Hannah Hoch collages.

It's funny because I feel like I've gone to quite a few exhibitions that covered these works recently (well in the last 12 to 18 months).  We visited a huge Bauhaus exhibition at MOMA in NYC when we were there last and I stocked up on lots of books about the movement and various artists.  It was pretty funny that some of our favourite works in the Mad Square exhibition were by El Lissitzky.  When I came home, I had realized that I had purchased a great little book on his work in New York.  It's weird how these artists and works keep popping up in my consciousness.  I am sure that they are filtering into my work but in a very uncontrolled manner.

Mad square exhibition
My gorgeous Lissitsky book from NYC.

I guess the things that I loved about the exhibition were that:
  • these works are still so exciting, fresh and innovative even after all this time.  To me, this was one hell of a time in the arts!
  • I loved the ethos of the Bauhaus movement and seeing the camaraderie amongst artists and designers, creating works that were practical and that crossed mediums as well.
  • Women artists during this time were having such an impact on the scene!  They were making works that were challenging, political and equal to the men.
  • As a tapestry weaver, I loved seeing woven works being created and designed by artists to bring these ideas into the home as well.
If you get a chance, go check out Mad Square at the NGV.  I think that it is on until early March 2012.  I can see that I will probably go back for a second look too.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flip book Miss Nina...

You may need to click on image to view the flip book on your mobile device!

OMG, yep it's a crazy cat lady post!!!!  It's always so difficult to get a snap of Nina so I always end up taking heaps and heaps to try and capture her actually looking at me.  I am facing the fact that I will never be a professional pet photographer!

Enjoy this little flip book of my pretty little lady...
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