Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Fabulous Feast - of Golf balls

School holidays are such a lovely thing. Long languorous days of light and warmth that bring back memories of my light-filled childhood in the 70s. Hans and I have been having a great time weaving memories for his hazy childhood memory-bank. We spent a recent such day with the fabulous Rik and Jo. They had invited us to share a viewing of the Feast of Trimalchio by the Russian collective AES+F at the Art Gallery of SA.


A cut and paste Baroque orgy of delight on an imaginary island in the sun. We sat enthralled as the ballet of exotic servants and privileged tourists wove themselves amidst an animated resort with an ever accumulating vortex of golf balls.

It was very inspiring to see the clean, but obviously layered and animated elements playing against each other. In my video work I find myself spending a great deal of time cleaning up keying effects and to see how other artists deal with this is always interesting and in this instance somewhat freeing. AES+F appear not to be too concerned about the veracity of the edges of the figures which have a great deal of smoothing, yet the work is dynamic and engaging and clearly others viewing the work did not worry about that level of detail, rather the integration of the whole. 

Much of my art is inspired by the work of Classical world and responding to their concepts in a contemporary context. The Feast of Trimalchio is similarly inspired so it's fascinating to see AES+F's take on this Classical tale.  

I think I'll need to go back for another visit and spend some more time thinking about the work.

A small sample of the work can be found on the Art Nation site. 
The exhibition will be at the AGSA until the 6th of March 2011.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

After 18 months I have finished and handed over the birthday portrait of my Uncle Graeme! It's always exciting when you feel a portrait getting close to completion. He came together quite quickly in the end. And I was able to add those final elements . I had a vision fairly early on for the work and it's taken a long while to finally be able to add that sweep of stars from the Milky Way across his chest and the sky. 

I don't like to tell anyone what I have planned for a work  while it's still being created because I have this strange sense that once it leaves my lips it somehow loses power. So the stars were a little surprise for everyone, but they give him a shamanic-godlike quality that works for me.

Now that he has left the studio and travelled to Sydney and the New Year presses upon me I find myself goal-setting for the coming year. A year of consolidation, I think, and of competition entries. Compositions are already starting to crowd in now that some space has been made in my mind; pushy little pictures that need to be painted.