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    Category Archives: women in art

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    Bushfire recovery effort: Tea towels from Cloth’s Julie Paterson

    We’ve all seen on the news the devastation the recent fires throughout New South Wales have caused. But it’s closer to home – literally – for former CWC speaker Julie Paterson of Cloth.

    cloth-tea-towel-1

    Julie is an active advocate for animal welfare and is also an ambassador for The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife. In recent weeks her home in the Blue Mountains has been spared destruction, but many of her neighbour’s properties and the surrounding wilderness have unfortunately not been so lucky. Her partner Amanda wrote this blog post describing the decision to leave their home and the haunting return days later.

    To help raise funds for the recovery effort, Julie has put her creative hands to work and is selling a range of limited edition, 100% linen, hand screen printed tea towels through her website. There will be a few designs, and the first ‘Banksia’ (pictured below) is based on an original lino cut.

    The tea towels are $38.00 and funds will go to The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife to be distributed where they are needed most.

    cloth-tea-towel-2

     

     

     


    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: community support, women in art | Comments Off
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    Fluoro-pop: The art of Rowena Martinich

    By Liz Banks-Anderson

    Rowena-Martinich-portrait-1

    You’ve probably walked past one and the sight has demanded a second glance. Rowena Martinich describes her art works as “fluoro-pop abstract expressionism.” Visually, they are vibrant, striking and bright and are a welcome sight in the tedium of a grey Melbourne Winter.

    Rowena is an artist whose use of colour in the transient, everyday space has become a signature. Her work is often displayed in the spaces of the everyday to challenge the notion that ‘art’ can only exist within the conventional gallery space.

    The everyday settings of Rowena’s works add to their immersive nature, capturing all of your attention.

    Martinich calls herself ‘an abstract expressionist with a difference.’ While her work is sometimes displayed in an art gallery she is more likely to transform through her use of colour an unconventional display space such as a retail store front.

    Rowena says the idea of displaying artwork strictly within the gallery system is very limiting both for the audience and the artist. Instead, she is inspired by architecture and interiors, which strongly influence her artwork and how it can fit into that scenario.

    “I feel that art should be accessible and enriching, so making it public is the first step. I also love the idea of transforming people’s experience of a space simply by adding expressive layers of colour,” she says.

    Rowena believes that everyday spaces are often not given a second glance until an ‘intervention’ of some kind, viewing her artwork as an “activator of urban space, particularly transient spaces, often passed through without a moment of thought.”

    “Through my work one can experience the everyday, but differently. What may ordinarily be an empty interval  – a non-experience in passing from one place to another – can be altered by the experience of walking through or past one of my works,” says Rowena.

    There is something very free, fluid and natural about Rowena’s work. It captures a boundless creative energy. The artist processes a myriad of thoughts during the creative process. 

”When I am deeply focused on a work, I am in my own world of problem solving, specifically balancing the painting, its layers and colour compositions.”

    Rowena works with acrylic on canvas, colour-fast acrylic for exterior public works and acrylic on vinyl adhered onto glass for window installations.

    “Most of my painting is done with large brushes these days, however I have been known to use mops and brooms to create extra large brush strokes on public works, as well as chemical sprayers for a splattery effect.

    “I build up layers of colours, starting with large areas of block colour then gradually add layers of dripping colour. With each layer I need to be sure that the one below is dry enough that the colours will not mix. I also ensure the paint retains the perfect consistency so it doesn’t run too quickly, or isn’t too thick that it won’t run at all. I also try and take regular breaks in the fresh air!” she says.

    Rowena has bold hopes and dreams for the future and these inspire her to create. Key among these include painting a trackside marquee for the Melbourne Racing Carnival and a fashion collaboration comprising beachwear and surfboards.

    Most of all however, the acknowledgement of her work is her greatest inspiration. Rowena says she loves how art allows her to interact with the public, especially when working onsite on murals. 

“Even without a shared language, I have found that art can enable exchange and break down any cross-cultural barriers.”

    ——-

    Liz is a communications professional and freelance writer from Melbourne. Inspired by the city’s artistic endeavours she likes taking photographs, exploring the design world and has developed a great interest in all things art. Passionate about documenting and sharing the unique projects, people and possibilities in the creative community, Liz is excited by what lies ahead. Liz’s own blog will be launched soon…In the meantime, she’s happy being a twit.


    Posted by: liz
    Categories: regular columns, women in art | Comments Off
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    Women in Art: Press photography – then & now

    By Liz Banks-Anderson

    Recently I attended ‘ Press Photography: then & now’, where Photographer and Bowness Photography Prize People’s Choice Award Winner (2010) Melanie Faith Dove discussed with fellow photojournalist Bruce Postle their experiences of working as professional photographers for The Age and how photo journalism has changed in the last fifty to sixty years.

    Photojournalists manage to capture in one image many things. These can include the subtleties of emotions and relationships between people, moments of grief and hardship or political statements. Moments in life that can define an era, in one single shot. In an age where anyone can take a camera or their smartphone and press ‘capture’, the mark of a true photo journalist is an image that is truthful in its spontaneity and resulting authenticity.

    The images shared at the talk provided insight into a world past and shed light on issues we continue to confront in the present and will become all the more significant in the future.

    Melanie’s work comprises press photography as well as feature work and portraiture, book and magazine covers, to photo essays and news features.. She says to be a photographer, “…you almost have to be a bit nuts.”

    Charlie Lovick heads his cattle across the Howqua River in the Howqua Historic Hills Area in Mansfield State Forest Victoria on Fri 30th November.  Photo: Copyright Melanie Faith Dove

    Charlie Lovick heads his cattle across the Howqua River in the Howqua Historic Hills Area in Mansfield State Forest Victoria on Fri 30th November.
    Photo: Copyright Melanie Faith Dove

    Throughout the talk, each photographer shared images from their portfolio that displayed different elements of artistry, be it theatrical, realistic, political or pure fun.

    In additon, both Melanie and Bruce offered their perspective on a dynamically changing industry, transformed by new media, digital technologies and the advent of the 24/7 news cycle. They shared the view that in an age flooded by user-generated images, the role of the photojournalist is important “…in shining a light on issues that need to be explored, exposed or preserved for now and future generations. They assist in educating the broader public and perhaps bring about transparency and change,” says Melanie.

    The impact of technological advancements on the industry and its work practices has been transformative. With the help of an iPad or the smart phone, press photography is now more accessible to the reader than ever before. But accompanying these new technologies is also the expectation for the professional photographer to be ‘jack of all trades.’ Press photographers can work remotely, with jobs being emailed to them, resulting in, to a degree, a loss of camaraderie and sharing and learning from each other. Melanie says that this has been addressed in part by developing networks elsewhere.

    However, new technologies have meant new opportunities as well, producing a variety of images for different purposes, such as online galleries.

    What became clear is that behind each photographer’s method, as well as obvious talent, is an element of serendipity. Stumbling upon the perfect shot was all in the timing with stories ‘coming out of left-field.’ There is also an element of self-determination in seeking the perfect image, by placing yourself in the right place at the right time, “I have often given myself jobs, because I want to see and experience things,” said Melanie.

    More information about Melanie Faith Dove and her portfolio can be found at her website, and an exhibition of Bruce Postle’s work entitled Image Maker is at the Monash Gallery of Art until June 30.

    Liz is a communications professional and freelance writer from Melbourne. Liz’s own blog will be launched soon…In the meantime, she’s happy being a twit.


    Posted by: liz
    Categories: regular columns, women in art | Comments Off
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    Women in Art: Kirra Jamison

    By <Liz Banks-Anderson> 

    “All consuming. Considered. Calm. Intensive. Frenzied.” This is how the talented Australian artist Kirra Jamison describes her creative process, not that this discordant energy is reflected in her distinct colourful art works.

    Growing up in Byron Bay, Kirra cites being surrounded by a lot of creative people as a child as a key influence in developing her interest in art, “I can remember being taken to a lot of community theatre, dance and art shows from a young age. I always wanted to be a painter,” she says.

    Kirra Jamison Studio

    Since capturing people’s attention with her first solo exhibition in 2006, Kirra’s work has continually evolved and diversified and has seen her garner a faithful following. Once you view her latest exhibition Still Point it will be easy to see why.

    I first saw Kirra’s works from her 2011 exhibition Spirit is a Bone, where intricate and celebratory works in colour were instantly mesmerising. Since then, she has had many solo exhibitions including Love me two times in 2011 and Locomotor in 2012, gaining widespread recognition along the way.

    Kirra explains how her bold and expressive use of colour means “everything” to her and the significance of this is clear in her latest exhibition Still Point. Each work explores colour, space and line. These concepts are captured and translated onto the canvas to create whimsical and uplifting pieces of art.

    Gypsy 2013 acrylic on polyester, 185 x 153cm

    Gypsy 2013 acrylic on polyester, 185 x 153cm

    Belying its title, Still Point is anything but stationary. Your eyes cannot help but follow the flowing pattern of the solid lines of colour interrupted by flat abstract shapes. Pale pastels sit next to vivid blocks of colour and “…hollow greys create a unique spatial depth that allows the forms to hover and move,” says Kirra.

    The ethereal qualities of Still Point are a continuation of past themes in her work as well as exploring something new, reflecting a process where “each body of work feeds the next,” she says.

    The exhibition includes large canvases and small works largely using gouache on primed paper. Works are titled ‘Loop’, ‘Lucky Star’, ‘Serpent’ and ‘Gypsy’ reinforcing the whimsical qualities that remain throughout. What resonates in the art work is the sense of freedom when you view it and this says Kirra, inspires her as an artist as well as the sense of possibility and colour.

    Serpent 2013 acrylic on polyester 183 x 183cm

    Serpent 2013 acrylic on polyester 183 x 183cm

    Kirra’s artistic process is not without its challenges. Navigating periods of creative frustration and block has been the greatest obstacle she has encountered in her career so far.

    “It happens with every new body of work. It is just part of the process. But no less painful each time,” she says.

    Each composition reflects a creative expression where lines, forms and shapes come together. These works cross many boundaries, combining and transcending opposing forces including calm and chaos, harmony and fragmentation and where well-practiced as well as new ideas flow through each piece.

    All at once they can be embracing and disarming – liberating as well as consuming the observer’s attention. Well worth a look. Hope you enjoy the exhibition.

    Kirra Jamison Installation Still Point 2013

    Kirra Jamison Installation Still Point 2013

    Still Point exhibition details:
    26 March – April 20
    www.sophiegannongallery.com.au

    Liz is a communications professional and freelance writer from Melbourne. Inspired by the city’s artistic endeavours she likes taking photographs, exploring the design world and has developed a great interest in all things art.
    Passionate about documenting and sharing the unique projects, people and possibilities in the creative community, Liz is excited by what lies ahead. Liz’s own blog will be launched soon…In the meantime, she’s happy being a twit.

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    Posted by: liz
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