Chandelier central…

18 04 2008

                         

                                                          

                  

 

We thought we’d spread a little visual happiness and brighten your day with a symphony of  Wendy Meyen’s contemporary chandeliers.

Wendos, of course, has now settled into her studio at ANCA, Dickson, and it’s always lovely to run into her around the traps (in between those hops abroad, that is – she’s not long back from Japan…)

We’ll visit her in her lair sometime soon, and take some workshop snaps…





Enter at own risk…

16 04 2008

   

  

(above) the work of Benjamin Armstrong

This post is a bit of a backtrack – but it warrants visiting, nonetheless.

Some time ago our attention was drawn to a Sebastian Smee pontification in the March 1st Weekend Australian regarding the relevance and/or vigour of the painting scene in a contemporary environment more attuned to mass multi-media ‘fusion’. He finished up with the following gush over a Benjamin Armstrong show at Tolarno…

“Finally, the most dazzling show of the new gallery season — 32-year-old Benjamin Armstrong’s show of glass and wax sculptures and linocuts at the new Tolarno Galleries in Melbourne — reminds us that painting has been only one among many options for ambitiously original artists. Armstrong’s sculptures sit on the floor like empty, inflated condoms or giant eyeballs. They are entrancing objects, eliciting physical responses that flicker between disgust and sensuousness.

Armstrong plays with degrees of transparency and opacity, etching thin lines on the blown glass or lavishly wrapping it in turbans of gorgeously textured white wax. The linocuts are almost, but not quite, as impressive. Their rhythmic, linear designs are printed in metallic pigment or black ink on hand-dyed paper.

The two sets of work — sculptures and prints — speak to each other, generating layers of intrigue. But there’s no doubt that the sculptures are among the strangest, most beguiling works of art produced in Australia in the past 10 years.”

(http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23279040-5013572,00.html )

Wethinks Sebastian needs to get out a bit more. 

Not that we aren’t into Benjamin’s work – it’s kind of Patricia Piccinini-meets-Roger Rabbit, and the icky abject condom/sprog/flesh component frankly wouldn’t be out of place in the glassworkshop of every art school across the country as we speak. The difference being that such playful investigation is considered immature faffing about, and generally ‘discouraged’ by the time a student advances beyond second year. Craftsmanship – and all that that implies; tradition, technique, skill>virtuosity – takes precedence over dabblings into visceral existentialism. All the more so in this era of aspirant consumerism, where the arts are peddled as a viable and respectable(!) career option and craft is predominently a calculated marketing game.

Very few currently practicing glassies allow themselves the self-indulgence of artistic compulsion in a contemporary art sense – mainly because it’s not fostered by a glass establishment still firmly entrenched in the maw of the decorative arts. So this is a field ordinarily left to artists from other disciplines who are able to blithely trespass into glass territory and casually use the material with impunity, unencumbered by enforced craft historic regulation.  

[It’s nigh time that glassies broke loose and followed suit.  n(Ed)]

Which brings us to another concern – who made the glass component of Benjamin’s work, and why is there no accreditation? Surely there ought be some professional courtesy in this regard. There has, of course, long been an unfortunate trend even within glass circles for practitioners to have their work blown (or kiln-formed, or coldworked) by others, without any acknowledgement of the gaffer et al (but that’s another pandora’s box entirely…)

All good grist for the mill, me hearties.

Have a squizz at Benjamin Armstrong’s exhibition at… 

http://www.tolarnogalleries.com/armstrong-benjamin/

and wait, there’s more…

http://www.gertrude.org.au/studio_artists_template.php?id=231





Cocktail hour with La Gropp…

15 04 2008

 

The darling Jacqueline Gropp came down this last weekend for some serious Wyndham R&R – but was immovably camera-coy.

We’ll share instead our balmy Saturday evening cocktail hour view…(you’ll just have to imagine Jacqu sitting over to the left…)





Old fifty-fiver…

15 04 2008

(above) the McDonald’s museum/facsimile of the original burgery, opened in 1955.

We’ve always had a soft spot for ’55-ers (apart from Megsie, we haven’t met a ratty one yet…) but hadn’t connected the dreaded Maccas with that ‘golden’ year. A bit of a blight really – though we have to admit that if they’d retained the look of the original, we’d probably be sorely tempted to rock in…

We stumbled across these pics on the web, as you do.  They’re part of a recommended food-museum-drive-tour of America (as in, where to drag the luckless kids for their next family holiday…)

 

That wiener would probably look pretty good as the new ‘gateway’ sculpture for Canberra, don’t you think Nige?

And, of course, top of the Gang’s list of ‘things we must do before we cark it’ just has to be the Spam Museum and factory…

Oh yeah.

Any takers?





Sculpture unbound – Weereewa: A festival of Lake George…

14 04 2008

(above) Marianna del Castillo, Memoria 2008

(above) Alex Asch, Feral Gaze 2008

(above) Clare Martin, Level 2008

Jas Hugonnet (and Gilly, Max and Jack!)  walked the Shoreline Sculpture Trail across Lake George on the weekend and sent us some snaps to share. What an incredible gift Lake George is, for sight specific work!! What a great concept! What a bummer we didn’t go up and experience it, in the extended round, for ourselves! Ah well, we definitely  won’t miss out next year… 

The event, co-ordinated by Tony Steel, invited proposals from artists in all media – with a brief, obviously, to respond to the unique environment of Lake George. (So vast and eerie, says Jas. You betcha!!) How absolutely breath-catchingly fabulous.

Makes you re-think the whole civic/public art program scenario though. Does shoving a permanent hodgepodge of sculpture on pavements and street corners really constitute aesthetic enlightenment? Rarely, wethinks.

Give us fresh and immediate events like the Shoreline Sculpture Trail and Domain any day. With a spontaneous relevancy that unerringly connects and uplifts…

For more info regarding the Weereewa Festival and the Sculpture Trail, go to…

http://www.weereewafestival.org/





Plenty of Front from Amos Enders-Moje…

12 04 2008

 

Figured we’d post notice of Amos’s opening in sufficient time for you all to mark your dance cards for next Thursday night. It’s a pretty sure bet his band will be playing post-launch, so ink in a double header and prepare yourselves for a treat…





Country living, it’s a dog’s life…

11 04 2008

dogs-life.jpgits-a-dogs-life.jpg

We got up in the middle of the night to find security-trainee Lola hard at it…snoring, that is. (And we kid you not, we did not arrange those cushions.)