Calendar: December 2015

30 11 2015

post last updated: 30th November

Click on below for detail … hidden to save loading time

Read the rest of this entry »

Emma Fielden ‘Iota’ @ Gallery Funaki

26 11 2015

It was such an absolute pleasure to finally see Emma Fielden‘s work in person in Iota‘ at Gallery Funaki.

Wow. Just wow.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

“At the centre of my practice is the notion of infinity. The ideas that any line drawn is a mere portion of its infinite potential, and that a mark made is a part within a whole, are fundamental beginnings in my work, which I explore through drawing and objects, in various materials and techniques.” EF, 2015

I was exceptionally interested in seeing the handwritten ‘Infinite‘ drawings, that I’d responded to (incredibly strongly) via images from her Sydney exhibition earlier this year. Even more amazing than I expected.

For some reason I thought that the drawings were built up of little circles; but now realise that it is the number 3 repeated … in a secular meditation on the repeating decimal representation of 1/3 … and being in a triptych, together the three complete to a singular ‘one’.

Make sure you read Emma’s own explanation on her website – which of course, as per usual, I only read after writing the above(!): “The work references devotional religious acts and is itself a devotional act.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

The brooches and vessels were a revelation. And smaller than I expected; in the good way, for I like smaller things.

If you visit, please make sure you ask for her technique to be explained. While the pieces are most definitely beautiful in their own right, I believe understanding their construction … the intense precision freedom involved … can only add to their appeal.

Initially I was a wondering if perhaps a perfectly circular (or other geometric) edge shape would align and reflect with the overall concept of infinity … for somehow I have a view, not unlike our ancient and medieval forefathers, that infinite must mean perfect. Perhaps also because I saw perfect geometry in her other Infinity pieces. However I let go of that requirement when I was told that Emma actually makes her own ingots and shapes then to make the plate for the brooches, in many/most cases permitting the edges to form as they choose … another practice I relate to.

I really did want to take some home, especially ‘The Jewel (after James Wright)‘ and the one that looks like an opened clam. Do have a look at the detailed photographs … you can see how the surface detail is formed by repeated engraving. They are a marvel.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

And vessels! There should be more vessels in the world I tell you.

Axis Mundi is also an important component of the exhibition. I think perhaps my aversion to shiny-shiny interrupted my contemplation … the mirror is important, for it reflects the construction into an infinity … the vision is coherent, the installation takes hours and hours (nay, days!). Of course the mirror makes total sense … though I have a thing about mirrors … (this is usually where one says ‘it’s not you, it’s me’).

It’s pretty obvious I respond strongly to Emma’s work … the reflections on the infinite … the implicit and intuitive mathematical fundamentals … the devotion … the mediation, obsession, attention to detail, commitment … quiet determination … there is an exceptional clarity that I can only wish for.

Emma Fielden ‘Iota‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 5th December 2015.

Blog roundup

6 11 2015

Its been many moons since my last blog roundup post …

Going through my Links page, I’ve found the following to move from ‘current’ to ‘hibernating’; listed here for posterity:

Moving these from ‘hibernating’ back to ‘current’ … it’s unusual!

And the following have been removed, as they’ve not been updated in a year or more:

I’ve also gone through all website links and removed those that no longer work.
And changed NMIT to Melbourne Polytechnic (bit late!).

Happy reading.

Silver tankard

4 11 2015

Once again I’ve been indulging in documentaries. Watching one I’ve watched, and written about, before … I was stunned by the silver tankard in this painting.

Look at that handle! It could be 1920s Art Deco.

screen shot from documentary

screen shot from documentary

(cropped) screen shot form documentary

(cropped) screen shot from documentary

And how on earth is that silver plate with the lemon even staying there without toppling over … to my eye the centre of gravity of the lemon is barely in line with the edge of the table. Ah you amazing Dutch still life painters!

Willem Kalf, Still Life with Ewer, Vessels and a Pomegranate, mid 1640s.

It’s not what it is

2 11 2015

I was at a dear friend’s home recently. He was playing music that was completely out of character. It may have been doof-doof-like, if memory serves. I remarked how surprised I was by this. He explained it was by … erm, someone-or-other … collaborating with one of his most esteemed most favourite musicians. I protested, but still, it’s doof-doof-like, why listen to it. To which he proclaimed: “it’s not what it is, it’s who does it“.

Ooh, contentious.

Naturally I disagreed most heartily.

Then gave it more thought … if I do like a lot of the work of a particular artist (say), I’m probably more likely to give new (or previously unseen) work consideration (or leeway) that I may not give to an unknown artist if they produced the same object. Though I’m pretty sure it’d not make my opinion change from ‘not connecting with’ to ‘connecting with’.

I wonder if we could test the impact of this attitude in the jewellery (art) world … perhaps we could have a group exhibition with no artist names displayed on pieces? I’m imagining:

  • before you even enter the space you’re asked to fill in a questionnaire, ticking your most favourite two/three artists of those listed (the list being those in the show) … though this is a bit tricky, as it does ‘prime’ you (in psychology parlance); it would work best if the pieces are new or unusual in the artists’ oeuvre
  • then you enter the space, enjoying yourself, probably recognising pieces if they’re typical of the artists
  • after you’ve looked at all, you’re asked to identify the two/three pieces you most connected with
  • then the names of the artists are revealed
  • … how would this then impact your choice of favourites?
  • … would you revise that if you found there was a piece by your favourite artist that you didn’t recognise?