Glorious Descent

Glorious Descent
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 40cm

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Renew Newcastle Studio

At long last I have secured a new studio in Newcastle as a participant of Renew Newcastle .

I was motivated to become in involved with Renew Newcastle as a means to secure a work space outside of the home, somewhere personal and devoted entirely to my professional practice. I was also enthusiastic to become more active in my community and interact with other artists. Ironically I am becoming acquainted with the business sector of Newcastle, as I frequent my studio that is located in the CBD. The building itself is a disused office block that is an unusual expression of the commercial world, with a residue of efficiency in the elevator and ramps. I don’t quite feel like I am entering an art studio until I get to my ‘office’ and find fabric and pens sprawled all over the fire proof carpet. I like that being involved in Renew Newcastle has exposed me to another side of Newcastle and I like to imagine that the contrast of my surroundings will inspire a ‘counter attack’ of frivolity and self expression.

Whilst in the studio I am working on a new collection of textile works that will form part of a mid year exhibition at The Lockup Cultural Centre Newcastle. I am generating an imaginative series of sculptures that are suggestively monster like.  My research for this project is based on the abandoned spaces in Newcastle and my desire to animate them with imaginary creatures.  As I sew provocative and tactile work I am creating an alternate story to the quiet melancholia of Newcastle and activating the energy of the city.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Big Draw - a review

With success of The Big Draw and the documentation complete I have installed a new album at the bottom of this blog to share the results of the event. I found the day surprisingly fulfilling as I was reminded of the importance of art as a communication tool and the value of the artist in society.

I was lucky enough to be paid for my work at the festival and it was very gratifying to feel my efforts and passion appreciated in a broader community. As an artist who often works indoors and alone it was  wonderful to be outside, without barriers and sharing the experience with others, strangers at that. Not only was it empowereing for me as a professional artist I appreciated the enjoyment that the activity gave to adults and children - I watched as eager eyes accepted my paint brushes and hands and minds set about imagining colourful food.

The day reaquainted me with the positive role that art plays in indivuals lives and for a community. Civic Park was unusually active and colourful, there was music and enthusiansm - something that doesn't often happen in the city of Newcastle except around Australia day or on a Friday night outside the King Street Hotel - which are usually exclusive events. Instead a community was unified for a free event and minds were given the freedom of possiblity so as to imagine with charcoal, paint, collage and water. I only wish that this optimism could remain beyond a single day event and that as adults we could approach more days of the week with the same sense of play and excitement that I witnessed during the festival.

In the future I would like to see the Big Draw planned so as to accomodate the practices of professional artists, this year the event's main participants were children under 12. A Big Draw that showcased the works of professional artists and accomodated events for adults would be a more inclusive day and further the positive example that art sets. It would be optimistic to imagine that an arts festival could reach beyond a day or a craft activity but inspire future careers and continue to support existing artists in the community.