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.
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.
Together with Christopher Lawrie, I’ve put together images from travels in Australia, Europe and beyond to create this new series of work about to be unleashed! My work comprises photo-collages and compositions, Chris’s is video, print and installation. After all the work, it’s only on for a couple of weeks – but Hazelhurst is a lovely gallery and has a great cafe, so we hope lots of our friends will get to see it.
National Works On Paper at Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery is “one of Australia’s most prestigious awards and acquisitive exhibitions” for art created on or with paper. It’s a total privilege to have my work The Timeless Land/Wentworth (from my series The Timeless Land) selected for the show this year. The exhibition opens on July 16, and is open Tues-Sun until September 11.
On November 1 I joined a cluster of creative women at Coledale, to participate in a ‘Collaborations with Nature’ ephemeral art workshop presented by Shona Wilson. It was a day of play, also of intense and tiring problem solving as we worked out how to work with the landscape, using no tools but our own bodies (and occasional sharp twigs!). My afternoon work was this embellished tree trunk, and I hope to explore ephemeral art further over the next year, following in Shona’s footsteps with her ‘One a day’ project. The purpose of this is to connect daily with nature in a meditative way, as a spiritual as well as a creative practice. Of course, I can’t mention ephemeral art without referring to the guru – Andy Goldsworthy, long may he reign 🙂
Travelling in India you can’t help but be struck by the social inequities. The caste system is alive and well. As ‘wealthy’ tourists we are served by many Indian workers, who cannot imagine the lifestyle options that we Westerners enjoy.
Major monuments, old Mughal palaces now open to tourists, are still maintained by an army of low-caste (and minimally paid) labourers, gardeners and construction workers – it resembles modern-day slavery. The roads of Kashmir and Ladakh traverse steep and barren terrain, and road crews camp alongside the roads and perform the necessary maintenance work, in all weathers. What are they thinking when I wave as I ride by?
In these images, taken in Northern India (Delhi, Kashmir and Ladakh), pictures of workers are juxtaposed with local found texts – plaques describing the rich Mughal history, graffitied pavilions and tombs, Buddhist prayer stones and election posters.