29 July 2011

Titania Henderson | NGV

Titania Henderson has been selected to participate in the 6th Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award.

Titania's work Together 2010 will be included in the exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia in 2012.

23 July 2011

Magda Matwiejew | Wasp Waist

We thought we would share a few images from Magda Matwiejew's newest video work Wasp Waist ("Taille de guĂȘpe") which was completed in April 2011.

The work has been selected in the 2011 Videoholica International Video Art Festival in Varna, Bulgaria, from August 5-12.

18 July 2011

100 Artists. 100 Tickets. 100 Dollars.

We are very pleased to support You're Welcome - a charity art raffle where every ticket wins an original work and all proceeds go to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre.

100 Artists. 100 Tickets. 100 Dollars.

Heather B. Swann, Lara Merrett, Lionel Bawden and Rhys Lee have donated works to the project. Get involved!

For one afternoon only at Mars Gallery (418 Bay St, port Melbourne) from 3-6pm on Sunday July 24 to add a special piece to your wall and contribute to a great cause.

15 July 2011

We're Loving | Nell and Romance Was Born

We're loving the newest collaboration by our friends Romance was Born and Nell.

The first drop of the SS12 collection has arrived in Melbourne and we are super keen to snap some up!

You may recall gallery artist Kate Rohde collaborated with the eponymous fashion duo last year for their Renaissance Dinosaur collection? (We blogged about it here.) And before that Del Kathryn Barton.

14 July 2011

Save the Date | Locust Jones

Locust Jones features on this Sunday's Art Nation on ABC 1 from 5pm, ABC 2 9.50pm.

On the programme Locust talks about his concerns about contemporary international politics and issues via the voice of his practice.

07 July 2011

Gallery Interview | Michael Cusack

Michael Cusack has been in Melbourne these last few days to launch his new exhibition Transverse Series at Karen Woodbury Gallery. We caught up with him for a few quick questions about his life as an artist...

Michael Cusack

Describe your work in 5 words.
Abstracted, reduced, interrupted, optimistic, autobiographical

Tell us about this new body of paintings? They seem a lot ‘looser’ than the works in your 2008 show. Once you make something its made, then you have to make something else. It can apply to a body of work or to shapes within a work. I took a slightly different approach this time, a more vigorous approach. I used bigger brushes and rags to make marks. I was also toying with ideas about when a painting is finished and I wanted to use the whole canvas again. My last exhibition I was moving shapes around on a flat background and the shape making was more contained. On this occasion I wanted to change the way I made paintings. I introduced line and made structures or frameworks to support the shapes. The large dark shapes are still there but they are getting older and heavier now they need frames or scaffolding to support or hold them up.

top: anchor 2011, bottom: fig.11 2011

What are your influences at this time?
Hard to say, as the process is internal and widespread. Everything from photographs by Cartier Bresson, to architectural plans, to images of ship building. Any old stuff on the street I find inspiring. It can be anything from a cardboard box shape to oil marks on the road. As an Art teacher I do a lot of research into other artists and artists practices, so these too are influences. There is also studio research of course.

Who or what inspires you to keep making? I think Jasper Johns said, “Do something and then do something else to it, and then do something else to it.” And there you go; you’re painting. The act of painting and the use of materials is its own inspiration, I guess you choose to do it. Being in the studio is not always about painting but research and converting the sometimes mundane into something poetic or of beauty. I really haven’t solved all the problems I am trying to work out in the studio and I am inspired to work on that. I believe in the work and that it changes every year and I am curious enough to stick at it to learn new things and to try and make the best work I can. I haven’t finished working out things yet and that is inspiring.

top: stone wall in Ireland, bottom: paintings at home

Tell us about your background. What path led you to become an artist?
I grew up in Ireland and moved to Australia when I was 21. Early on in Dublin I had no inkling of becoming an artist, certainly not a painter. We were exposed to a lot of literature and I was inspired by a lot of Irish writers Beckett, Joyce, O’Casey etc. Apart from musicians, they were the creative people I was attuned to early on. When I was 16 or so I took up photography and spent those early years wandering the streets of Dublin taking photographs. I think photography taught me how to look and examine. I still find it incredibly inspiring. Much later after moving to Australia all my negatives were burnt in a fire and soon after my cameras were stolen. I took that as a sign and so I gave up photography per se. I did draw from an early age but didn’t go to Art school until 1995 (when I was thirty five) at Hunter Street Institute in Newcastle NSW, which I loved. That was the beginning of painting making sense to me, now I teach painting trying to make it make sense for others.

What does a typical day in the studio involve? There is nothing typical in the studio though I always listen to music, but closer to an exhibition I will be in there day and night. It’s sort of like: paint, paint, paint, sit around and read, do some drawing, experiment, paint, paint, paint, tidy up, jump on the computer, sit around again.

top: studio inspiration, bottom: the studio

What is your dream project? I don’t really have a dream project as such but I love travel and it feeds the mind so guess a few residencies in odd locations might be something.

If you could live with any artwork ever made what would it be?
There is too many to choose from really though I would like a Thomas Nozkowski painting. I do have a lovely drawing done by my daughter who has drawn me with a scruffy beard and the words ‘my naym is dad’ written on it. I am happy to have that one.

my naym is dad'

02 July 2011

Michael Cusack | Transverse Series

As the final touches are put in place for Michael Cusack's upcoming exhibition, Transverse Series we thought we would give you a glimpse into this new body of work... in the words of the artist.

This stream of work began in 2009 with an exhibition in which the walls of the Aran Islands (off the west coast of Ireland) with their interlocking shapes held together by weight, weather and time were the beginning of a seed of influence. The metaphor of those walls (sometimes called famine walls) is long forgotten in the making of the work in that the work is not specific per se and can be read as autobiographical as much as any reference to a certain place and time.

What isn’t forgotten is the sort of logic of construction. With a long time interest in the diagram, the architectural blueprint, engineers’ drawings, boat diagrams etc, the interlocking shapes in building and technical drawing. It is not as if the paintings have to stand up as an architectural model but they do have to a certain purpose. I am trying to make work that has a certain logic, but at the some stage that logic is interrupted.

With every new body of work I am trying to re-write. Not a new language but trying to inform my current language with new codes, new rhythms, new passages. I don’t want to give too much as I want the reader to have something to do. I am interested in space and although I have abandoned perspective per se I am interested in the relationship between 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional space.

Michael Cusack, July 2011

Transverse Series opens on Wednesday July 6, from 6-8pm.