New art crush

5 12 2014

I’ve been indulging in art documentaries and have a new little art crush. It’s surprising really, for it’s an artist who’s almost been hiding in plain sight: Johannes Vermeer.

His most celebrated painting, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring‘, is so ingrained in our culture that it’s hard to separate the genuine beauty from the artefact, its visage and accumulated assumptions (book covers and posters and movies and such).

Take another look at his other paintings … lordy, they’re lovely … the colour and quietness is so appealing.

from Wiki; click on source for original source

from Wiki; click on source for original source

Most especially, in my eyes, ‘The Milkmaid‘ (c.1658, above), ‘The Wine Glass‘ (1658-60) and ‘The Astronomer‘ (1668).

RMIT student work

29 11 2014

While you’re at RMIT visiting ‘Hey Handsome‘ and ‘Greater Than, Less Than‘, make sure you make a quick visit to the basement level of Building 2 to see the student work in the cabinet.

RMIT student cabinet

RMIT student cabinet

This is the closest thing to a 1st and 2nd year exhibition we’ll see this year … yes, much sad face.


RMIT graduates ‘Greater Than, Less Than’ @ RMIT

28 11 2014

You’d be forgiven for not knowing about this exhibition … graduates of RMIT Object-based Practice Gold & Silversmithing are showing some of their work at RMIT Building 2 (level 2, left at the top of the stairs).

They’ve titled the show ‘Greater Than, Less Than‘ and are using the >< signs in the catalogue  … the mathematician in me loves this.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

Participating artists are:

  • Corin Adams, Cecilia Casillas, Rossmore Childs
  • Brooke Everett, Phoebe Harkness, Henry Hazeldine
  • Ada Hodgson [website], Vicky Kanellopoulos, Christopher Lee
  • Amanda Lo, Tian Lu, Stephanie Martin
  • Zeffarniah Montgomery, Jenna O’Brien, Mirinda Oosten (tumblr)
  • Natasha Sutila, Julia Tran

I walked away with my works lists scribbled all over, highlighting the pieces I liked.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

Again, I fear my “liked” list would just be a repeat of the artist listing … but I’ll try to keep to a top three:

  • Jenna O’Brien’s enameled neckpieces ‘Hyde #1‘ and ‘Jekyll #1‘ are fantastic, and what marvellous feel for colour
  • Natasha Sutila’s ‘Composition III‘, an arrangement of painted pins on the wall, is clever and arresting
  • Rossmore Childs’s smithed objects pleased me (as smithed objects do!)
  • Mirinda Oosten’s ring group is displayed in an especially imaginative manner (below)

    photograph taken with permission

    photograph taken with permission

  • you’ll notice I failed to keep to just three ….

Please be sure to show your support to students and visit.

Great Than, Less Than‘ will be at RMIT Building 2 until 5th December 2014.

2013: Good+as+Gold’  @ fortyfive downstairs

2012: As Above, So Below‘ @ Victorian Artists’ Society

2011: It was like a Fever‘ @ No Vacancy Gallery

2010: Bell Weather‘ @ 1000 £ Bend

2009: Cornucopia‘ @ Guildford Lane Gallery

RMIT Honours ‘Hey Handsome’ @ First Site Gallery

27 11 2014

This is a great show! You simply must pop into RMIT First Site Gallery to see ‘Hey Handsome‘, the exhibition for RMIT Honours students from Object-based Practice, Gold & Silversmithing and Ceramics (phew, still a mouthful).

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

Participating artists are:

  • Sue Buchanan, Pamela Chan, Jia Jia Ji Chen
  • Katie Collins, Allona Goren, Kate Jones
  • Chris Massey, Lindy McSwan, Thomas O’Hara
  • Jana Roman, Lesley Walsh, Kate Wischusen
  • Michael Wong, Xuelin Wong
photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

I happened to coincide my visit, quite accidentally mind, with the visit of a Fresh! judge accompanied by RMIT staff. It was interesting to overhear some of the conversation about the work; I do like to hear the perspective of those with a more experienced eye and insight into the actual making of the pieces.

It was all quite gorgeous … if I was to list those I liked I’d probably just be rewriting the ‘participating artists’ listing.

Though if I was forced to choose just three … erm …

  • Lindy McSwan’s collection stopped me in my tracks

    photograph taken with permission

    photograph taken with permission

  • Kate Jones’s massive ceramic objects are amazing (centre in below image)

    photograph taken with permission

    photograph taken with permission

  • oh please don’t make me … there are so many to like!

Hey Handsome‘ is at First Site Gallery until 5th December 2014.

Update (28th November): make sure you check out the First Site Event facebook page for opening night photographs

Kirsten Haydon ‘Ice storeroom’ @ Craft

25 07 2014

Kirsten was one of my two enameling teachers at RMIT. And for that I will be forever grateful – I love the practice, though of course haven’t done any for many years now. Not like Kirsten – she continues to explore the technique and her connection with the Antarctic in Ice storeroom‘ at Craft.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

The installation is wonderful. I like how it transports you to another space – moving through the structure it encloses you and it genuinely feels like you’re quite separate from the gallery. It evokes a sparsely built storeroom.

The brooches are mostly circular (though with differing diameters), and seem to me to refer to ice cores.

Exhibition media: “The ice has a remarkable quality of preserving and storing knowledge within its structure. Inclusions, both micro and macro, in the ice can provide detail about the moment the ice was formed. This knowledge could be accessed from analysing the trapped gases or dust particles or by connecting with the narrative of an enclosed man-made object.
In this installation Ice storeroom builds on Haydon’s previous work with Antarctica and explores the notion that Antarctica is a repository for environmental and cultural knowledge.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

There is more colour in this show than in her previous; with the additional hues within a limited palette of greys and blues and rusts, with a shot of dark grey / black in the bracelet in the foreground above.

Once again I like the neckpieces made of tube-components; and I loved the little objects and the neckpiece ‘ice monitor‘.

I initially thought that many of the pieces could be considered to be quite similar to previous collections (certainly not meant as a criticism but more an observation). However then I realised that newer pieces in this exhibition are accompanied with a smattering of older pieces (from 2006 and since), which may explain my sense of familiarity. I may also be experiencing ignorance or failing memory – I’m absolutely sure that were all the work to be in one room a progression would be completely obvious; and can you imagine how gorgeous that room would be!

That said, some of the neckpieces here show incredibly interesting development of form and construction (as in the ‘Lure of Radium‘ below).

I’d also like to know more about the installation on the back wall; for it is unique in the exhibition in including porcelain in the materials – though I couldn’t quite tell where…

media image; click on image for original source

media image in SMH article; click on image for original source

This exhibition has also been reviewed and written about by:

  • SMH: with a beautiful photograph and well-researched and thoughtful commentary
  • HandMadeLife: with many stunning photographs (including one of ‘ice monitor‘; my favourite statement “Every time we’ve seen her work there has been a level of finesse that makes the ideas feel as complete as the actual work. That accuracy of thinking and of execution is evident in every object, every surface, every well-considered corner of this installation.”
  • BlouIn ArtInfo

And make sure you check out the Craft interview with Kirsten here.

Kirsten Haydon ‘Ice storeroom‘ is at Craft until 26th July 2014.
[Sorry sorry – it closes tomorrow – I’ve had some trouble getting to this one.]

See also: 10th June 2011 Kirsten Haydon ‘ice structure‘ @ Gallery Funkai


22 05 2014

Perhaps the most astounding photograph yet taken : ‘Earthrise‘ by astronaut William Anders in 1968 during the Apollo 8 mission.

click on image for original

click on image for original

You cannot tell me this doesn’t give you goosebumps.


21 05 2014

Mondrian is mostly known for his primary+black line paintings … but I’ve just discovered some earlier works he did during WW1.

My new favourite: Compositie 10 in Zwart Wit, 1915

click on image for museum

click on image for museum

Check out this page for more from this period, often referred to as the Pier and Ocean.