Thursday, June 3, 2010

Opening night of upcoming show: June 18 - 10 ARTISTS - 10 DAYS

This group show in the inaugural exhibition of Brisbane Artists Development Co-operative - hence the title B.A.D. Exposed. 10 artists will show work over 10 days in the eclectic hub of inner-Brisbane suburb Paddington. Percolator Gallery is a rental art gallery in the heart of the gallery precinct in Paddington and showcases contemporary art by emerging and established artists.

In preparation for the upcoming show I have been working on a series of oval paintings which I posted about here recently.

Rainforest fruits cross-sections

Tonight I put together the artist statement and revised the CV for the show. Artist Statements are a very useful means to review the current thinking and ideas surrounding the work. It takes time and even as I completed the statement I was still checking a word here and there.  Tomorrow it might be a sentence here and there. Sometimes one just has to stop and go directly to bed. Enough. I'm looking forward to this show as I have not fully met all the other artists even thought we are all associated with this local Brisbane Artist's group. There has been a group of 4 women who have done a fabulous job of pulling it all together. Its been a wonderfully well organised show and he momentum has been pleasant and indeed rewarding.  


‘Despite its primitive smallness, a seed is an energy centre charged to the highest degree. It comprises ineluctable 
impulses that will give rise to entirely different and highly characteristic forms. Each seed is a spin-off of a certain species 
and a talisman for the regeneration of that species’ 
        Paul Klee 
The animating life force present in all living things has always been a central focus in my artwork. 
Coinciding with the International Year of Biodiversity I am conducting a 12 month Artist-in-residence project 
titled “Homage to the Seed” at Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha which is highlighting the 
extraordinary diversity and vulnerability of the world’s seed heritage through celebrating what is on our 
doorstep in S.E.Qld and beyond. 
This current body of work for this show exposes cross-sections of seed capsules from Queensland rainforest 
fruits as well as other species, employing oval canvases which seemingly mimic the pod and seed forms. 
The subject matter correlates to and is contained by this shape: egg - seed...the biological connection is 
strong. Time spent in the Seed Lab at Mt Coot-tha - which operates in conjunction with the UK based 
Millennium Seed Bank Project - leads to rewarding opportunities for research, dialogue and drawing 
sessions that feed back into the art work I am creating this year. The variety of rainforest fruit capsules hint 
at the remarkable multiplicity of species to be found in these unique habitats - species that are often under 
threat despite the increasing knowledge of the importance, on so many fronts, of this heritage. 
A perennial interest in Micro-Macro worlds is present in these oval works. A seed may be tiny, but its life 
force is not! The intimation of worlds within worlds and the human place in that is something I am deeply 
concerned with...starting with the acknowledgment that we are but one part of a profoundly immense  
universe, the need to consider our humble place in the scheme of things and look carefully at what we bring 
to life, that which is our shared heritage, and what we leave when we go. 

about | the artist 
Growing up on the Clarence River at Grafton in the 60’s and 70’s sensitised me to the spirit of place that 
exists to be found ... and felt ... on the land, in natural environs, amongst the rock pools, by riverbanks 
and creek-beds, swimming, in the bush, wandering, observing, climbing, around tall trees, collecting seed 
pods, noticing wildlife. All this, plus a strong love of the ocean and other bodies of water, and the 
influence of an intense music education with immersion in a love of playing piano somehow seeped into 
my visual responses over time. Never long without a pencil or brush in hand its nevertheless been a slow 
and winding journey to discover the themes of greatest resonance for me as an artist over many years. 
This slow, circuitous track involved countless physical relocations, travel and new experiences, risks and 
opportunities that promoted rich learnings and led to a gradual opening to the essential meanings for 
myself in all this. 
This year’s project allows for a merging of multifarious threads of interest into something at once complex 
but singular in nature - with an evident feeling of wholeness to it. In celebrating biodiversity perhaps I am 
also celebrating that concept as a cultural and lived experience that runs parallel in a well-lived life. In the 
same way we are recognising global wealth is not sustainable in isolation from the whole...perhaps it 
could be argued that neither can personal or community enrichment and well-being exist without a level 
of engagement in a more complex and multi-dimensional understanding of our world as it is now. 
Contained within the oval is the hint of the multitudinousness of species....the seed is at once motif and 
metaphor and here is a glimpse into an aspect of the larger project - paying  ‘homage to the seed’! 

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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.