Tuesday, November 23, 2010

summervale cottage

I've been artist-in-residence for Cudgegong Gallery for the past month. I have been staying in an old shearer's quarters spending time with merinos, galahs, a large brown snake and the rest of the usual wildlife on a sheep property. The first week was like a monastic experience because I couldn't get Radio National and the self-doubting thoughts inside my head were deafening. I started with drawing ideas for a new series of wall sculptures, then went on to making them in clay. Lots of art magazines available in the cottage library so I have also been reading and writing.
I found a small monograph about Janet Lawrence at the op-shop. I remember the disappointment I felt as a sixteen year old when I studied chemistry instead of art because I thought that it was a family tradition that I had to uphold. Science informs my artwork so it was okay in the bigger scheme of things. I'll post an image of some drawings when I get home next week.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

winter cauldron

Louise Fulton, Cauldron 2010
I could see a driver stopped on Eltham road on a small bridge in front of an animal. As I slowed down to pass, I realised it was a very large freshwater crayfish that he was guiding back into the creek. It was waving its claws. The driver was risking his life for something he could buy at the local fish and chip shop.
This vessel 'Cauldron' has a deep black and green matt glaze inside. The sprigs on the side are based on Chinese thunder and fire symbols. The vessel is part on our 'Swallowing clouds' exhibition.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


This is one of a series of wall pieces from my current exhibition. It is based on leaf profiles for botanical taxonomy. I used a magnesium crawl glaze, a milky opaque glaze as well as black iron oxide lace stencil. The clay was mixed with coffee grounds to get the mottled brown effect on the surfaces.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

two baby lomans

I found a large egg in the banana grove a while back. It must of been there when the local roaming peacock and peahen were laying. I attempted to shake it to see if it was viable. It exploded in my hand. Our three metre python has wintered over on the hay bale on the verandah. We introduced two black pullets, names: Nubia and Kali. They are still pretty reticent to go into the coup.
I've been making preparations for my artist-in-residence at Cudgegong Gallery. I'll be staying in a cottage in the Gulgong countryside for a month making some new ceramic moulds and designing some patterns for linocuts and stencils.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

porcelain workshop

We had a busy afternoon in Ballina last Saturday demonstrating decorative techniques in porcelain. Ruth Park showed how to carve porcelain at leatherhard stage and Sue Fraser demonstrated modelling and tissue transfer of oxide designs. I showed how to use linocuts for embossing and sprigs for surface decoration.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

swallowing clouds

Our group show in Ballina opens this Saturday 4th September. Still waiting on the catalogue printrun but everything else has come together. Ruth has ordered 3 kilos of baclava just in case the scones, jam and cream isn't enough.
The sculpture is from a series of four twins. Ovulation induction with IVF often leads to multiple pregnancy. I was reading about a surgeon who was performing selective termination on siamese twins in utero. He published a paper about aborting the conjoined twins while preserving the other foetus.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

won ton wrapping

I've been working into the wee hours getting work ready for our next group show with Sue Fraser and Ruth Park at Northern Rivers Community Gallery. Nothing seems to be coming out of the kiln quite how I imagined. The decals on the siamese twins have burnt off and the rich red of terracotta has turned into kak brown. Fingers crossed for the next kiln load.

Aphrodite has been patiently sitting on an empty nest for two weeks now. With no rooster in sight, it's going to be a long wait. She gets up each morning when I give the chickens some special treats from the kitchen but then it's back to brooding.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

objects of the dead

I made a sculpture for Julie Barratt's 'Hankie Project' which opens tomorrow night at the gallery. Some of the hankies in the show are full of pathos, some charming, some chilling. You can see it at objectsofthedead.blogspot.com I made a deep upholstered work in black with a spirit level attached to represent the carpenters in my family.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

pale pink camellias

I stopped outside the cemetery yesterday and picked some pale pink camellias from the roadside hedge. Their perfume was subtle but filled the car. They are sitting on my kitchen bench now in one of my female vases. This is a drawing from a series based on twins and evolution.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

chicken footprints

I walked into my studio this afternoon and knew immediately that one of my chickens was out. I followed the footprints coming out of the wet pile of clay that I had left slaking down on the concrete floor. The footprints went under the car, over the vacuum cleaner, and around the veranda back to the chicken coop and straight to Parvati, the undeniable culprit with white feet. What body language can you read in a chicken's face?
This work is called 'Blanketed'. When I was making it, I was thinking about the incredible diversity of life on earth and how each species is so precious.

Monday, April 26, 2010

going, going, gulgong

Heading off this morning to Clay Energy Gulgong. The drive should take about eleven hours. I'm looking forward to a coffee already. It's been six years since I've been to Gulgong and I would really love to sit in a window seat in Janet Mansfield's library again. What a treat. I'm taking this large 60cm platter for the participants show. It's an image of Darwin touching Man complete with slimy protazoa from the benthos.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

burringbar chicane

We whizzed up and down the hills around Murwillumbah after visiting Marc Renshaw and Karlee Rawkins show at Tweed River Art Gallery, slowing down only for the speed camera. My favourite work was Karlee's 'Pelting', a tiger, tiger burning bright orange and black stripes. I have this thing for hot orange, I have a burnt orange shirt for golf, and various other shades of orange for various other occasions.
I finished a new series of wall pieces recently. I used coffee grounds in the clay to lighten the weight. The clay was nauseatingly smelly for a few weeks, it then grew maggots and I had to use gloves when I pressed it into the plaster moulds. The iron in the coffee migrated towards the surface of the clay, leaving an efflorescene on the surface. You can see on the work, the mark of the ceramic barista.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

snakey business

I went down to let the chickens out before my morning swim last week and found a two metre carpet python perched along the bracing timber inside the chicken pen. It had jammed its head into the wire and was having trouble getting out. I let the chickens out of the henhouse and got a very long stick and managed to free it. For the next couple of days, the chickens looked left and right and then left again before leaving the coop. But they don't have long memories so they run in and out now without worrying.

I've been making some more press moulds for wall sculptures. They are based on vegetative forms and cell division. Not quite ready to photograph but I have a picture from work I made last year.