Since our previous trip in 2015 was cut short, we have been planning to get back to the crazy/sane, beautiful/ugly, elegant/kitschy, techno/rustic conundrum that is Japan. So we finally got back there this winter (hot summer over there) and loved it all over again. This time we travelled from Hokkaido down to Tokyo by train over 4 weeks. You can read the story here: http://belinda-ann.blogspot.com.au, and see the slideshow here:
Stay tuned for some Sacred/Profane Japan mashups 🙂
Producing visual art is a satisfying and addictive activity, but sharing it with the world and trying to cut through all the visual noise out there is an exercise in frustration. This inevitably cultivates festering self-doubt – ‘why would people want to see this stuff?’, ‘why should I add to all the visual rubbish in the world?’ and ‘isn’t this just an insanely narcissistic exercise?’. But those times when your work is judged to be included in competitive exhibitions feel like some kind of vindication.
A roundabout way of saying how very happy I am that my work Sacred/Profane Triptych has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming biennial Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award. My friends and fans will know that this work was shown quite recently in my exhibition Palimpsest, so it may look familiar.
The Hazelhurst Gallery and Arts Centre has provided great support for my work since it opened in 2000, particularly through the opportunity it provides for local artists to exhibit in the Community Gallery, now renamed the Broadhurst Gallery. It’s a really lovely art space with a great cafe and garden, so please do come and visit the show, from Friday May 19 to Sunday 16 July.
Proposing, designing, producing and hanging an art exhibition is a fraught and lengthy process. It always seems so crazy that the eventual show seems to be over in the blink of an eye. Two weeks is not long to present work that has been over three years in development. But of course it is part of a lifelong process of producing creative work and, occasionally, showing it to others in the brief opportunities that are available.
But artists today are fortunate, in that images of both the work, and of those rare exhibitions, can be shownto the world on the internet. So – for the several billion people who did not catch Palimpsest, with my partner, Christopher Lawrie, in February this year – here’s the slideshow (click slideshow button at top right of the flickr page to start the show).
Also: We were thrilled that our old friend and fellow Adelaidean Phil Cam (aka Dr Philip Cam, Chair of the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations and Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Humanities UNSW) gave a wonderful, thought-provoking talk to launch the show. It provides an excellent framing of the theme and guide to interpret the work. Read the transcript here.
Indigenous people lived for millennia in a way that was sustainable, but in the eyes of early settlers they were ‘uncivilised’. In this series, panoramas of Australian landscapes affected in various ways by European settlement are overlaid on encyclopaedia pages pronouncing on the history and culture of Australian indigenous people.
… well, grand-ish. In June Chris and I made a journey to England (to visit his brother Bob), Wales (where I spent childhood holidays), France (re-visiting Provence) and Italy (re-visiting Umbria).
Of course a thousand photographs ensued, and here is a selection. They have been waiting weeks for me to edit and caption them, and maybe I will do that soon, but in the meantime … You can read about the trip in my travel blog.
These images, as well as some from previous travels in Japan and Australia are inspiring my current project.
Itinerary: Hong Kong UK: London, Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia (Wales), Solihull and Birmingham (Midlands). France: Orange, Avignon and Uzes (Provence), Nice. Italy: Milan, Perugia and Montefalco (Umbria), Rome.
It’s been quite a year, with some life/death experiences that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but … all part of real loving, feeling, hurting life.
Now, at last to my creative life! Some recent work being developed for a proposed exhibition has me hunting through images from travelling done over the last year – see my galleries for the Grampians, Japan and Europe.
Since my sister Kate died last year, I have been intermittently delving into images of her to develop a series of portraits. It’s slow going, more therapy than creativity perhaps. The first portrait I was happy with is this one, ‘Dear departed’, and it has been selected as a finalist in the Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture, opening today.
Here’s my artist statement about the image:
“My beautiful sister Kate died recently, after losing her fraught 20-year battle with an eating disorder. Kate loved walking in her local national park, finding nature less troublesome than human relationships.
After losing her, it struck me how bereavement plays tricks on your mind, making you believe that you see the object of your grief everywhere around. Although I don’t believe in an ‘after-life’, I do believe that our life energy is absorbed back into the universe in the same way that our body is.
This portrait combines these ideas – an ephemeral vision of Kate emerges from, and represents the dispersal of her spirit into, the natural environment that she loved.”