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.

‘StArt Up: Top Arts’ @ NGV

18 05 2014

I quite like visiting the Top Arts at NGV each year … this year it’s titled ‘StArt Up‘.

installation; photograph taken with permission, without flash

installation; photograph taken with permission, without flash

Exhibition media: “In 2014 the highly popular Top Arts celebrates its twentieth year at the NGV. The exhibition presents outstanding work by students who have completed Art or Studio Arts studies in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and provides insight into young people’s ideas, thinking and creative practices.

This year I noticed that there wasn’t much painting, little 3D work, no ceramics, no metal work, only one textile work, and there seemed to be quite a lot of photography ‘ink jet’ works. Though I was happy that there was so much drawing and that quieter works were included.

Selected students are:

  • Beth Audley , Liam Barr , Kiri-Una Brito Meumann , Kelly Bull
  • Tia Clothier , Amy Collins , Natalie De Blasis , Adrian Del-Re , Eleni Diamantis
  • Adelle Elksnis , Kate Ferrari
  • Christiana Garvie , Will Goldsbrough-Reardon , Jordan Hall , Emily Hubbard
  • Jessica Inci , Elly Jackson
  • Isabella Kelly , Bonnie Koopmans , Claire Kopietz , Rachael Lever
  • Nick Mahady , Camille Mance , Madeleine McDonough , Georgia Mein , Osgar Teague Murphy
  • Tommaso Nervegna-Reed , Jessica Nguyen , Hieu Nguyen
  • Jake O’Donnell , Aaron Orellana , Kelly Peck , Stephanie Pidcock
  • Taylah Ransome , Sarah Robinson
  • Tess Saunders , Suzy Saylak , Danielle Schmidt , Monica Sestito , Qia Sun , Yukako Sunaba
  • Nicole Thomson , Gemma Topliss , Paris Triantis
  • June Uili , Darcy Whitworth , Mollie Wilkins , Angus Wishart
installation; photograph taken with permission, without flash

installation; photograph taken with permission, without flash

Most appealing to me were:

  • the hair studies in pencil by Nicole Thomson
  • the video work by Claire Kopletz (I rarely enjoy video art but this was astounding, incredibly beautiful and touching; I was entranced)
  • and the can pyramid by Tess Saunders is clever and knowingly referential.

StArt Up: Top Arts 2014‘ is at National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Ian Potter Centre until 20th July 2014.

Top Arts VCE 2010  @ NGV

Top Arts VCE 2008 @ NGV

I must have missed the other years; and I think the naming has changed – it used to refer to the previous year, so this year’s should be 2013 I think (instead of its official title including 2014)?

‘Fresh!’ @ Craft

17 05 2014

Fresh!‘ : the annual Craft showcase of selected graduate works returns.

This is the 2013 cohort, with the exhibition no longer at the end of the year but a few months later (no doubt to give the curator and students more time).

exhibition ; photograph with permission

exhibition ; photograph with permission

It was a delight to visit.

There is an assuredness in many of these pieces that bodes exceptionally well for their future as makers.

Kate Jones ; photograph with permission

Kate Jones ; photograph with permission

Exhibiting artists are:

  • Ruby Aitchison – gold & silversmithing
  • John Brooks – drawing
  • Grace Crawshaw-McLean [blog] – beautifully delicate and ephemeral weaving (so subtle I almost missed them)
  • Saskia Doherty [website]
  • Annie Gobel [website] – gold & silversmithing; bold neckpieces
  • Marcos Guzman [Kit & Caboodle profile] – gold & silversmithing (photograph below)
  • Kate Jones [tumblr] – ceramics; stunning large-scale objects (photograph above); my favourite group of the whole show
  • Tracey Lamb – visual art
  • Alexander Maklary [website] – ceramics
  • Louise Meuwissen [blog] – painting
  • Elise Sheehan [tumblr] – gold & silversmithing; close-running second favourite (photograph below)
  • Kate Wischusen [website] – gold & silversmithing; I’ve loved Kate’s work before, especially her ‘Montparnasse‘ enamel brooches
Elise Sheehan; photograph taken with permission

Elise Sheehan; photograph taken with permission

Marcos Guzman; photograph taken with permission

Marcos Guzman Ruby Aitchison; photograph taken with permission

Fresh!‘ is at Craft until 1st June 2014.

‘Fresh! 2012′ : oh, I must have missed this exhibition

Fresh! 2011

Fresh! 2010‘ :

Fresh! 2009‘ :

Updated (18th May): the ladies at HML love this exhibition too, and I especially want to quote their statement that “Fresh remains and important exhibition that acts as both celebration and forecast” (hallelujah!).

Favourite artworks

21 04 2014

During a conversation a friend mentioned their favourite artwork. I didn’t have a reply – I couldn’t call to mind my favourite artworks. How amazing. For someone who spends so much time thinking about art, it surprised me.

Therefore I set myself the task of thinking through artworks and considering which I would possibly identify as my favourites. I suspected that I wouldn’t have just one, or even five, or perhaps I’d only be able to identify artists and their periods and not individual pieces … but let’s see.

To make it a simpler exercise, I’ll start with paintings.
Expanding to other media will be for another day.

A few I admire greatly:

  • The Arnolfini Portrait, Jan van Eyck, 1434
    in National Gallery, London

    via Wiki Commons

    via Wiki Commons


  • Primavera, Botticelli, c1482
    in the Uffizi, Florence

    in the public domain

    via Wiki Commons


For someone who professes to be figurative-adverse, I was initially surprised by the portraits included in my list – but then again, they are all from that era I love most.

It’s a strange thing, but I suspect I don’t really have favourites – for I can see so much in so many artworks, and it depends a great deal on my mood and such ephemeral matters.

This topic requires much more thought.


15 04 2014

Oh the love.

Seriously, I love the shape of these little ceramic objects.

from one and many Etsy store; click on image for original source

from one and many Etsy store; click on image for original source

So much it hurts.
Not meaning to be melodramatic or anything…

Can you imagine this shape in a textured fine silver? Swoon