This is the charming speech given by Tim Berra at the opening of my solo show in Darwin.
Good Afternoon Fellow Primates
Welcome to this wonderful exhibition of Louise Fulton's work at the intersection of art and science. These two areas of human activity rarely communicate but tonight, we see how science can inspire an artist. Louise has embedded biological themes into her creactions. To appreciate her work requires a degree of scientific literacy, an important attribute for any citizen. This is especially timely during the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important scientists who ever lived, Charles Darwin. This man may have had the greatest idea ever had by the human mind, the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. It fundamentally changed how humans view their place in nature and created a paradigm shift in science. If you would like to hear more about the life of Darwin, after whom this fair city is named, I hope you wil attend my keynote address at the the Darwin Symposium on Tuesday. Meanwhile soak yourself in images of microorganisms, the juxtaposition of bonobo and human bodies and footprints, Darwin's hat and other wonders to delight the mind.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Parap market this morning had a delicious haze of sesame oil, chicken fat and incence wafting between the stalls. We tried lotus seed crepes and wild rice with palm sugar and coconut. Adrielle was selling her sweet little ocarinas by tempting the strolling crowd like the Pied Piper.
My art exhibition opened last night with a speech by Tim Berra, Emeritus Professor in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology. He opened by saying "Good evening fellow primates" then said lots of nice things about the show.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I went sailing on a 38 foot boat in Darwin harbour on Sunday. There was a young Irish electrician on board who was a first time sailor. He had red swollen feet and scabs on his lips from burns from falling asleep for two hours in the sun the other day. He got boned up on the lingo such as rope may be called a sheet or shroud or halyard or painter or hawser or bowline or rig or tackle.
The Territory Craft gallery is mine. Andrea bumped out on Sunday arvo and I have started to set up my show.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My residency at Territory Craft studios coincides with the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’. Charles Darwin was the first person to provide a rational explanation of our human origins, our relationship to the great apes and descent from a common ancestor. My exhibition which opens next Friday has diverse objects celebrating the evolution of creating art and comprises work which met the rigours of survival of the fittest in an unfamiliar environment.
Travelling across the continent via the mining towns of Cloncurry and Mount Isa, I had time to review my internal and external landscape. What does distance from home and my studio bring to thinking and making in a new environment? Does a physical change bring a change in internal creative dialogue and therefore adaptation?
These questions were addressed during my residency as I trialled new ceramic techniques, coped with the zero humidity of the dry season and its effect on greenware and smashed work that failed to adapt to the vagaries of the kilns. I was hoping that the Darwin residency would generate work that had favourable variations which could be preserved. In the end I produced numerous offspring in an evolutionary process of making that led to the natural selection of new species of art forms. The dry season environment in particular determined which forms survived and which unfavourable variations were removed.
The ceramics and mixed media work showing at Territory Craft offers a broad repertoire of ideas and techniques. It consists of pairs or ’dyads’ of objects. I use a variety of scientific source material including micro-organisms which I recombine into repeat patterns which focus on the intrinsic beauty of biological imagery. Pattern and structure helps us comprehend science and the concept of natural variation. In particular, propagation and mitosis carries contemporary resonance in the field of virology with the current problems surrounding H1N1 and Hendra virus. These themes are a recurring motif in the art work in both form and surface decoration. I have also modelled and drawn apes and man/Darwin onto the ceramic forms and 2-D work. I'll have some more images for you in the next few days.