Pop up Exhibition

Think Outside the Fridge Pop Up Exhibition, The Butter Factory Arts Centre, Aug 8-10, 2020

I made the space at the Kaya Sulc Studio feel like home. Mum gave me the piece of fabric draped across the chair many years ago. It’s a sarong she bought back from a holiday. Having my paintings all around and a flowering indoor plant reminded me of mum. I grew up with indoor plants, a native garden and art on every wall.

My mother’s scales

Somehow these scales found their way to me. They pre-date Australia’s move to the decimal system of measurement in 1966. Perhaps Mum kept them to use when she followed Grandma’s time-honoured recipes, measured in pounds and ounces, handwritten in an old yellowing exercise book. Now I am using the scales, which have their own innate beauty, as well as functionality, as an art piece. They carry symbolic spheres, lovingly made using old silk ties. Each one represents a sphere of mum’s life

Waterscapes

Mother’s day memorial

My mother has no gravestone. Gravestones, like funerals are for the living. Or for the dying, a re-assurance that somehow, once gone, we will be remembered by a physical marker, something solid and tangible. I really don’t know what mum would have thought about a memorial. When death calls, we forget to ask. I am sure though that she wanted to be remembered. That seems fundamental to being human, a consequence of loving and being loved, and our capacity to feel loss so profoundly.

She is remembered, not just by me and the immediate family, but by so many others whose lives she touched, in small, kind ways. I have come to understand how important small things are. Thank you mum.

Remembering: perhaps this is the best memorial of all.

Tell the one you love

Our eyes, our identity

Anzac Day Memorial

Tomorrow I will be on the driveway at 6.00 am observing the makeshift Anzac Memorial that my neighbour will unveil on his wall. A news report tonight predicted that driveway memorials might draw a larger number of people than the traditional Anzac Day ceremonies. Such is the power of the idea of collective remembering.

War memorials, like other public memorials such as the Septemeber 11 Memorial in New York, commemorate events that are seared into the collective memory. They keep alive the memory of those who died, while telling a story of the place, the time and circumstance of their death. Generally they provide a collective meeting place for remembering on anniversaries, and at other times invite us to contemplate and make our own meanings.

In country towns all around Australia, the commemorative obilisks dedicated to those who died in the First World War are a familiar and somehow comforting feature. This year the steps or enclosures of these memorials to the fallen will be bereft of floral wreaths. Seeing dying wreaths around these stone pillars after Anzac Day, is a memory from my childhood.

Deep set eyes

Re-invention

“If necessity is the Mother of Invention, then adversity must surely be the Father of Re-invention.” Johnny Flora
What to do: continue on with other work, or do an “as if” three week at home residency on the My Mother project? I don’t have an exhibition space for the pieces, let alone rafters at home to hang my two-sided panels, so a re-think is in order.  In my mind, a virtual on-line exhibition slowly evolves. My Mother, and artistic journey  re-invented.

Fifties Fridge

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I’m developing a new series of artworks using old family photos, collage and photomontage. (Pun intended.) While this work contains much that is personal and meaningful only to me and my family, it is also a commentary on the many roles of women, the changing images of women, the tensions and struggles that women navigate and much more.

The idea arose when I came across some old photos last year and started talking to photographer and friend Craig Holmes. We got together to select photos to reproduce. Craig brought a technical and creative eye to the process of selection. He made digital masters of the selected family photos, some of which were very small, with the oldest taken in the early 1930’s.

A high quality scanner in the hands of a skilled photographer yielded spectacular images. We were both surprised at the amount of detail contained in some of the images that had not been captured when the photos were developed manually.