Friday, December 25, 2009

The Friday Report

It's Christmas afternoon here, that time when everyone takes a nap so what better time to do the Friday Report on time for once.
It's our first Christmas here and, after years of sweltering in the Brisbane heat we are enjoying a pleasant 14 degrees C with rain and mist. We will have a fire tonight.

Vege garden in the mid-summer mist.

We have unwrapped our presents including a new DVD player. We watched Samson and Delilah, a visually beautiful film, and a sobering reminder that not everyone enjoys an affluent and comfortable lifestyle here in Australia. We have got it very wrong and still have no real idea of how to (I can't think of a word that isn't patronising) help, provide for, give hope to, share with Indigenous Australians. I am left feeling guilty, impotent, useless and very very lucky to have such a wonderful life. If you haven't seen the film, do.
On a brighter note, as we are used to having summer in the heat we will have Christmas Dinner tonight so I am off to cook the turkey.
I plan to be back in the studio tomorrow but, in the meantime, best wishes for a happy holiday season and a prosperous and creative 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Friday Report

Red Cow Farm Garden Tour
Running late yet again. This weeks excuse is house guests and Christmas parties.
On Tuesday night we were invited to a street party in the village by Liz Boothby, the other artist in Burrawang. It was a cool summer evening and another opportunity to get to know more locals.
We met poets, Emeritus professors, wonderful cooks and local business owners as we were happily introduced as 'the girls who bought Judy's house'. I still continue to be amazed that we have landed in such a friendly community.
Yvette, old friend, wine connoiseur, cobbler manque, cyclist and fellow ratbag who worked with me about 12 years ago arrived from Melbourne on Wednesday. We spent the next few days touring the area, visiting Red Cow Farm for the Border Collie Garden Tour and making rumballs.
Last night we went to the Robertson Village Musical Society to hear Gerard Willems play Beethoven and to listen to John Gregg read from Shakespeare. My experience of Shakespeare at school was less than inspirational and has led to a lifelong avoidance of anything Shakespearian so I had gone to listen to the Beethoven. John Gregg's reading was really beautiful. I am now converted.
I did do some work in between celebrations. I managed to spend some time in the studio and completed a large work that I am very happy with.
I have quotes for the laser cut steel works I have been thinking and will spend the Christmas break deciding if I will make some prototypes.
Best of all, I have been invited by Brenda May Gallery to show in their exhibition of works by artists who use paper early in 2010.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Friday Report

It's a beautiful cool crisp clear early summer day. Low humidity means that the sunlight dances on the leaves and the twinkles as the colours from the underside of leaves are revealed by the wind. It's almost like looking at water.

Wet paint on canvas.

I am writing this as I literally wait for paint to dry. Hence the time to indulge in poetic fantasy about subjects green.
I have had a good week in the studio continuing to work towards my next exhibition. I also received payment for some recently sold works just in time to use the funds towards the delivery of new canvases that should arrive TODAY.  
Yesterday I set to work to make space in my racks for the new canvases by putting some older works on the top rack. I was high on the ladder when one of the heavier canvases fell on my head...... ouch! Maybe thats the reason for the poetic moments.

Susan Buret, I Often Wonder Why Red Roses Have the Best Perfume. (Detail)
© 2009.

Detail New Work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Propoganda or Not?

Australia was accused of censorship Tuesday after it denied visas to North Korean artists invited to a rare international exhibition of their work, saying their studio is a propaganda tool of their country's communist government.
The following are extracts from an article by AP Writers Rohan Sullivan and Hyang-jin Kim which appeared
in newsletter for December 9 2009.Propaganda or not I think it is sad to see artists denied the right to meet with other artists in an international forum.
The Asia Pacific Triennial is the foremost exhibition of contemporary art for the region. In denying visas to these artists the Australian Government is engaging in the same sort of behavior as the countries whose paranoid censorship it does not condone. The co-curator of the exhibition said the works were nonpolitical, and that letting them be displayed while banning their creators from entering the country so they could talk about them did not make sense.
Five artists from the Mansudae Art Studio were invited to the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in the eastern city of Brisbane to talk about their paintings and drawings that are part of the exhibition, which includes work from more than 100 artists from 25 countries in the region.
North Korea remains one of the most isolated countries in the world, with the average citizen prohibited from accessing the Internet as well as outside phone networks, radio and TV. In recent years, cultural and sporting events have provided the best opportunity for "soft diplomacy." The New York Philharmonic performed in Pyongyang in 2008, while North Korean athletes, from gymnasts to football players, have served as international ambassadors.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith rejected the artists' applications for an exception to the government's visa ban on North Korea, part of targeted sanctions in response to the country's efforts to build nuclear weapons. In a statement Smith said "The studio reportedly produces almost all of the official artworks in North Korea, including works that clearly constitute propaganda aimed at glorifying and supporting the North Korean régime, "
Some of Mansudae's approximately 1,000 artists devote their time completely to painting portraits of Kim Il
Sung, the late founder of the Stalinist state who handed power to his son and who is the subject of a government-fueled personality cult.
Nick Bonner, a Beijing-based British businessman and art dealer who helped curate the exhibition, said all art studios in North Korea — like most other things in the hardline state — were government organizations, but that did not mean every work was political. One large mosaic depicting a scene in a steel mill is from the socialist realism that is often associated with the country, Bonner said. The rest, including portraits and landscapes in ink or oil paint, were the artists’ individual works. The artists were extremely disappointed in Australia's decision, after spending weeks getting North Korean authorities to approve passports, Bonner said. “For an artist to produce a body of work and not be able to speak about it, that is censorship," Bonner said. Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korea Studies in Seoul, said the visit to Australia by the artists could have formed part of international efforts to draw out North Korea, and Canberra should not have banned it. 

"I think Australia took that step because it was concerned the exhibition may turn into a site for their political propaganda," Yang said. "But it's too passive an approach on North Korea.”
Australia, one of the United States' closest allies in the Asia-Pacific region, has diplomatic ties with North Korea, but they are prickly. Canberra froze relations in 2002 and imposed limited sanctions and the visa ban in 2006 in response to the North's attempts to go nuclear. North Korea closed its embassy in Canberra last year, citing financial reasons.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The 'Friday' Report

I've noticed that the more I paint the less I blog. I don't know if it is the total absorption of making work or whether I am only capable of output in one medium at a time.
This week I've had loads of time in the studio listening to music (hence the post below) and painting. I've managed to finish one work, create a new one which has since been deemed a dud and make progress on a third work.
I have been wondering why I am not happy with one work. At first I thought that it was just too strong and serious and lacking in the luminosity I try to create but, this afternoon I realised (yes realised with an 's' spellcheck)that the image was too static and I have always wanted to make shifting images to lead the eye on a bit of a dance.
Now I will sand and gesso the canvas and start again. I have also discovered that I prefer to paint on surfaces with a few extra coats of gesso. This new body of work  is providing an opportunity to explore materials again and I'm enjoying that.
I have also attended to matters practical, rescheduling my Sydney exhibition to December 2010 and ordering a load of stretched linen surfaces from Fitzroy Stretches. It's a major financial outlay but I have decided that the linen will give me a finer work surface and my works 'deserves' a beautiful surface.
On Thursday I had a visit fro Brisbane Artist Candice Herne who is currently traveling around Australia with her family. It was great to catch up and to show her my beautiful new studio. She was suitably impressed. We both have work in a group show about weather at Logan City Gallery in 2011 so we talked about that project and what we were planning to show there.
Last night we went to drinks and open studio at Cloud Farm where I showed great restraint and didn't buy more of Celeste Coucke's beautiful ceramics. The thought of the bill for the streches must have been foremost in the back of my mind. It was a great evening and I have decided I must have open studio in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I have just been listening to a more earth shattering spine tingling version of Saint Saens Symphony No 3 while I paint. OMG now I feel like painting the side of a skyskraper.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Clifton Pugh Moment

Look who visited this morning. She or he should have been back in the burrow at 9:30 am. Feeling a Clifton Pugh/Jackie French moment coming on I wanted to invite it to stay but was firmly reminded by my ever practical partner that it had to go. It must have picked up on the unwelcome vibes as after I took this photo it turned around and dashed off into the shrubs. What do you think of Agnes or Arthur for names?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Friday Report

Yesterday I went to Ikea to get a few furniture items for my new studio. Any journey to Ikea is taken with a great deal of trepidation. I hate the place! I have an anxiety attack even before I get out of the car. Their lovely catalogues make the idea of getting a few pieces of utilitarian furniture look so easy and, as I don't like wasting days shopping, I always get sucked in. Into the nightmare world of Ikea, into the cheery egalitarian disney world of Scandinavian chic, sucked though endless walkways with all the other happy homemakers, most of whom are decades younger than me and pushing those multiple prams. The nightmare begins. What am I doing here?
Two hours later after wrestling with 1.6m long cartons which weigh 33kg (oh, I would happily pay a 20% service charge for some assistance or, perish the thought, an online shopping service) I emerge into the car park much in need of sustenance that is not of the meatball and watery coffee self serve variety. Mr Ikea, are you listening, baby boomers who are good customers need a little more service. 
Enough of the griping. I summoned up what energy I had left and went to see Tom Loveday's exhibition Memorial at Dominick Mersch Gallery .

Tom Loveday, Yellow Memorial, © 2009, 214cm x 183cm, Acrylic on Canvas.

These dynamic works, rather than providing a quick fix of cheery optimism, invite contemplation with their beautiful composition and skillful use of colour and tone. All is well with the world again.
When I arrived home there was an invitation to the opening of Jordi Alcaraz's exhibition at Galeria Nieves Fernandez in Madrid in the mail ..... if only!

Jordi Alcaraz. Altered Book.

The rest of the week was spent blissfully in the studio.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Leon Ferrari at Museo Nacional de Artes Reina Sofia in Madrid

"Trees" by León Ferrari is on view at the Museo Nacional Centro de Artes Reina Sofia in Madrid. Photo: EFE/Ballesteros

This image comes from the Art Daily Newsletter a great source of arts news from around the world. I saw the Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel three times at MOMA. Yes it was that good.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Artist Gallery Relationship

Installation View Portraits of the Unknown. Anita Traverso Gallery 2008.

It's fairly common to find complaints and laments about artist's experiences with galleries on blogs and one Australian artist who has a very successful practice actively advocates complete withdrawal from the system. While I am not saying that  these complaints aren't justified, for some artists it is easier to leave sales and promotion to someone else so I thought it was time to present the other side of the argument. 
I don't feel this way as I am very fortunate to have a very happy and productive relationship with my gallery. 
I first visited Anita Traverso Gallery in Richmond, Melbourne in 2007 when I spent about 30 minutes there looking at two exhibition.
As we left the gallery I said to my partner  'that is the sort of gallery I would love to have represent me'. I was greeted in a relaxed manner when I entered and after I had been there looking at the work for a while Anita came over and talked to me. I was struck by her passion for her artists and their work.
I sent Anita a folio and was offered an exhibition the following year. 
My exhibition was handled professionally, I had a great time working with Anita and Catherine   and they have continued to promote  my work, including my work in curated group shows and, best of all, making regular sales.
Please comment and share your experiences. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Friday Report

The air conditioning was installed in my studio on Wednesday just in time for a run of 30 degree plus days so I am reporting in air conditioned comfort.
This week I have documented and packed my works to be included in the 30 SQUARE exhibition at Doggett Street Studio in Brisbane. I'll post the work off tomorrow. The exhibition goes online at on Tuesday 08/12/09 at 11am and opens Friday 11 December from 6 - 9pm.
I have been thinking about making some metal cut out wall hangings using the patterns from my current work and began preliminary discussions with a metal fabricator in Sydney on Wednesday. This is a very new area for me as I have never outsourced work before. I am about to make some preliminary drawings to get some quotes. Stay tuned!

Queensland artist Nicola Moss released her book Layers of Life last week. I was fortunate to see the draft of the book which documents Nicola's residency at the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens and it is fantastic. I'd recommend the book to anyone who has an interest in Australian plant species and to all artists as it documents the artist's experience in a residency and the value of serial observation in an artists practice.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Melissa Meyer

Melissa Meyer, Paint It Black, 2009, Oil on Canvas,60x50ins.

This beautiful work by Melissa Meyer is currently on show at Lennon, Weinberg, inc. in New York. It is worth a visit to their website to see the rest of the exhibition. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Friday Report

As you will have seen in earlier posts this week has seen me move into the studio.
I had two blissful days of painting and have a new work well on the way. I think that the light is so good in the studio that I should be able to take some reasonable images when the work is finished.
It was also the week when all the things I have been planning for next year feel into place. My gallery in Melbourne has scheduled my 2010 exhibition for early May and  I have secured an exhibition in Sydney at Depot Gallery for late June. So thats the next six or seven months taken care of.
Yesterday I visited the world of another artist. Whitely, the garden of cook, gardener, writer and artist Jenny Ferguson was open for inspection to raise funds for the local hospital. I had read Jenny's books and really wanted to see her garden. The Ferguson's are obviously financially very secure (understatement!). It was like visiting a palazzo in Europe with many acres of gardens with magnificent vistas and beautiful trees, sculptures and gardens.
Here is the garden view from Jenny's studio which would happily accommodate a family and sits beside the beautiful stables which are in the building with the clock tower in the background.

I managed to peek through the window into the very classy studio where works for Jenny's next book Pound Dogs are being created. Three or four dog beds! Oh well, back to life in my one dog studio. Jenny has recently published 'A Year in my Garden' if you would like to see more of gardens.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PAPER installation.

PAPER was hung yesterday at KickArts Artspace was hung yesterday and this is one of the installation immages I have just received from the exhibition curator Samantha Creyton. I am very excited to have been included in this exhibition and I am very happy with the way Sam has chosen to hang my work.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On travelling

Susan Buret Ghetto. © 2008. Paper and Pins. Dimensions Variable.

Since 1 February this year when I broke my leg and couldn't negotiate the 21 steps to my studio I have been in limbo, not intent on arrival, a sometimes pleasant and sometimes not so pleasant state. I have spent time stranded in the house as I waited to be free of crutches, time in the US as artist in residence at Ragdale, time packing and storing my studio, then unpacking some of it and in the last few days waiting for a mail order shipment of gesso to arrive. Today, after a 60km round trip to pick up some gesso I fell that I have arrived. I have spent the last few hours in the studio applying gesso to some larger canvases so that I can make some new works. 
I feel calm and empty which is the place I like to work from.
On a more pragmatic note it is a warm dry day so the gesso is drying quickly.  

Sunday, November 8, 2009

PAPER opens 14 November at KickArts Contemporary Arts

PAPER an exhibition featuring six contemporary artists creating works with paper is on show at KickArts Contemporary Arts in Cairns, North Queensland between 14 November 2009 and 12 February 2010.
Four of my works are included in the exhibition so, if you are in Cairns, I would like to extend a warm invitation to visit the exhibition.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sources of Pleasure

I enjoy hearing Roni Horn talk about her work. I haven't seen much of her work in galleries but I love her books and those about her art. When I watched the video below I was reminded of the description of the river in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha
"the river flowed and flowed, flowed ever onward, and yet was always there, was always the same yet every moment new. ..... the river is everywhere at once......everywhere at the same time" *
I first read the book in my early 20s and I've carried the words with me all my life often making work about these ideas.

A few mornings ago I was reading Gay Bilson's book Plenty when I found this exquisite description of a nest
"Another nest ('from my family's home:N'), is the same size as the first, but it's sides are higher and it is more cup shaped. It still sits in the fork of the small branch that held it in the tree. If I tried to take the nest from the branch, it would probable fall apart. The foundation (but once again the word is wrong, suggesting concreteness and solidity) is of dried grass. A large piece of faded wrapping tape is caught on one side, along with some now-brittle bubble-wrap: the presence of this unfitting human debris in nests always makes me smile. The crowning glory is a garland of leaves, built in a space made by the point where five smaller branches grew and which still retain foliage. Because of this, the nest is prettily crowned with this garland, still green although dulled, as if some bird saw that grass cup wanted for decoration and made play on classical Greek figures or Hedda Gabler." **
* Hesse,H., Siddhartha. Shambala.2002. excerpts from chapter 9.
** Bilson, Gay, Plenty. Digressions on Food. Penguin Lantern. 2004.

Roni Horn: Water

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Friday Report

This week's report comes to you from my new studio. I am still working with a temporary power connection but most of my equipment is in and I finally have a rack to store canvases.

I also have wonderful natural light even on an overcast day like today.

I am feeling very lucky and completely exhausted as my partner and I have spent the whole day moving things from the house.
I've not had much time to make work but I have worked on my exhibition plan for the next few years.
I have decided to exhibit at Depot Gallery at 2 Danks Street in Sydney next year. I am hoping to exhibit in June or July and I am waiting on advice of available dates before I make a final decision. I have been thinking about how to establish a profile in New South Wales since moving here and I think Danks Street will give me the exposure I need when I don't have a huge Sydney based mailing list.
I went to Canberra on Wednesday to look at galleries and rental spaces there and decided that it would be better to focus on Sydney for a while.
While in Canberra I visited the new National Portrait Gallery. It is a beautiful space and showed portraits from colonial to contemporary times in the 7 galleries. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the colonial portraits. Each painting included details of the artist and a brief synopsis of the life of the subject. I'm looking forward to spending more time there. I also visited Helen Maxwell Gallery. The gallery is currently showing work from artists Patsy Hely, Dorte Conroy, Judy Horacek and Alison Alder. I loved  the delicate tracery and overlays of subtle colour in Alison Alder's papercut work Cutting History.
Finally, I stopped at M16 Artspace a complex of artist's studio and rental gallery spaces at Fyshwick. They were in the process of hanging a new exhibition but let me have a look at the two gallery spaces. The space reminded me a little of Doggett Street Studio where I have exhibited in Brisbane. I think that the adjacent artist studios make this a great place to exhibit and network with Canberra artists.
It's great living halfway between Sydney and Canberra. I'm spoilt for choice.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

From the Studio

Susan Buret. Bluestar.2009. © Acrylic and Pigmented Ink on Canvas
30cm x 30cm.

Susan Buret. Burning Bright. 2009.© Acrylic and Pigmented
Ink on Canvas. 30cm x 30cm.

These are two new works on Canvas completed in the last few days. I am happy with the backgrounds at last. I can't wait to get into my studio to make bigger works.
The painters are in there sealing the floor as I post!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Friday Report

This week the painters have finally put paint on my studio walls and more work has been done on the electricity.
As we have had a series of visitors and I was interviewed by the local paper, I spent quite a bit of time tidying my temporary studio in the front living room to make it look a bit more picturesque. I can’t wait to have my own space again.
The interview with the local paper brought up those issues of identity that I discussed here earlier in the week. I entered a competition, The Mural of Survivorship, associated with the October Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. I was eager to support the cause and give hope to women battling the disease but I am an artist who survived a medical condition and not someone with breast cancer who took up painting so I was not sure about the publicity but finally decided it would have been less than gracious to refuse the interview!
The Southern Highlands Artist Studio Trail is on this weekend so today I’m going to visit the studios of several local artists. Last night we went to an opening at the Robertson Community Centre that was part of the weekends events. We had a wonderful time and met lots of locals. Artists, film makers, hobby farmers and other locals gathered in the community hall while the children climbed trees in the gardens and ran around as the mist descended on Robertson. Wine flowed and there was an abundance of beautiful food. It felt so good to be part of the rural arts community - so different from the cool sophisticated gallery openings in the city. I met Anika Ekholm, architect and sculptor, and Carlos Barrios, painter, from Studio 40 in Robertson. They have invited me to their studio so I am looking forward to the visit.

Untitled. Work in progress.

I have managed few hours in the studio this week and have been continuing to make small works on canvas. I am very happy with the way the new technique is progressing. I also made some enquiries about rental spaces in Sydney with view to showing there in 2011.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Beauty of Symmetry

Candice Herne sent me this link because she knows i love mathematics and geometry and that the Alhambra is my favourite building in the world.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How Do I Define Myself

Susan Buret. Portmanteau. 2009 ©. Detail.

Most of the work I make has dealt with ideas of definition, categorization and identity and it is only recently that I have explored ideas of displacement from a more subjective viewpoint. As someone new to the community I have to introduce myself and find that I am often asked to describe myself or my work. What is expected as a reply is a short answer which will give the person to whom I am talking a 'snapshot' of Susan Buret, artist, and will be the deciding factor as to whether the conversation or friendship will continue. I find this very difficult even though I have been taught that I should always have my elevator blurb at the ready.
In a recent post Joanne Mattera discussed the negative effects of categorization that arise when an adjective is used before the term artist. I had not really thought about this issue before but over-description does result in being consigned to a 'ghetto'. Have you experienced this when you have been asked to describe your work in a social or professional encounter.
I am going to work on a new elevator blurb which hopefully I will post soon.  

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Friday Report

Susan Buret. See All Without Looking.(Detail). 2006.© Acrylic, Shredded Visa Document
 and Ink on Canvas.75cm x 3755cm. 

The weeks gallop along. I don’t know if I imagine it, but does the western clock run faster in the 3 months before Christmas? I don’t hold any specific religious beliefs so it can only be from the comments of others and references in the media that I get this feeling of racing time. Here in the southern hemisphere the days are growing longer so it doesn’t make much sense at all. (I want to end this paragraph with a punctuation mark which expresses bewilderment, searching, question to the universe. At a time when new words and symbols appear in electronic communications I think there is a place in language for a new punctuation mark).
As the week whooshed by the builders finished up in my studio on Tuesday. I am still not in there as the painter and electrician can’t come until next week. I still have this nebulous vision of where everything will be in the space.
This week's nudge came from Anita Traverso, my gallery director in Melbourne, who asked how I was going with translating the works on paper I showed recently in Diary Notes from a New World into works on canvas for my exhibition next year. I have been experimenting with small scale works but still haven’t achieved the transcluency and luminosity that I getting with waterbased media on paper. Then one morning I woke with a new idea which involves more gessoing and using really diluted paint. I think it will work.
On Monday I wrote an artist's profile for a fellow artist. I love writing about other peoples work and have previously written catalogue essays for other artists. I would like to do more of this so I am considering marketing my services to other artists.
On Friday, I went to Sydney to visit Lyndal Hargrave and Jacinta Howard  who were shoeing their work at Geomancer Fine Art’s stall at Art Sydney 09. Jacinta’s paintings and Lyndal’s Sculptures and paintings along with the work at off the wall were the highlights of the show. It was sad to see that many of the galleries that were there last year had pulled out. I felt that the overall standard of work had fallen.
Next week I hope to start moving into my studio and continue working at my new techniques on canvas. My work has often developed from having a vision in my head and finding the technical means to transpose the vision onto canvas. This search led me to overlay paint with shredded documents and then stamp over that so, the search for the layered shifting image continues……

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vale Nancy Spero

 Nancy Spero (1926-2009) passed away on Sunday, October 18. Spero, along with Jenny Holzer, Fiona Banner, Roni Horne, Sophie Calle, Louise Bourgeois, Ellen Gallagher, Ida Appelbaum and Kiki Smith, is one of the female artists I feel privileged to have had as  a role model.

 Spero’s art has depicted women in many forms, but always from the basis of the political, and with the necessity to move the female figure away from the entrenched “male gaze” – creating a woman’s art, from and for a woman’s vision.   Her work spoke strongly against the pervasive abuse of power, Western privilege, and male dominance. Her imagery and subject matter were inspired by current and historical events such as the torture of women in Nicaragua, the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War.

Despite the nature of her subject matter, Spero’s artistic vision has often given these same women forms which embrace incredible freedom and are celebratory in their expansiveness.  Nancy Spero has said, “Even when the work is celebratory, I still hope it has subversion to it, in that all the protagonists are women.  That it is we who are the activators.  That is not the usual way of the world but it’s symbolic of the way the world could be.” 

Nancy Spero.“Explicit Explanation"
relief print and screenprint
17.00 x 22.00 Inches. ©

"I guess maybe my art can be said to be a protest. I see things a certain way, and as an artist I’m privileged in that arena to protest or say publicly what I’m thinking about. Maybe the strongest work I’ve done is because it was done with indignation. Considering myself as a feminist, I don’t want my work to be a reaction to what male art might be or what art with a capital A would be. I just want it to be art. In a convoluted way, I am protesting- protesting the usual way art is looked at, being shoved into a period or category." Nancy Spero

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Friday Report

It’s still Friday somewhere so this is THE FRIDAY REPORT.
It’s been a week of ups and downs. At times it looked like there would be nothing to report however, and this is one of the pluses of making a weekly summary, it ended on a good note.
On Monday I went to Nowra. I love Nowra because it is the nearest town to Bundanon a place that occupies a special place in my heart since my residency there. It was a beautiful drive through Kangaroo Valley as the bush changed from Highlands to rich rain forest.
On Thursday I went to the Casula Power House to deliver my entry in the Liverpool City Art Prize. I have to admit that my temporary studio is a bit of a mess and I almost missed the deadline for deliveries as the entry details were buried in a stack of paperwork. I have since bought a desk diary for next year to avoid near misses but I think I really need a wall planner and a secretary too. World do you here this? Send me a secretary.
On Thursday I received a nudge and I will send an entry to the Alice Art Prize.
I am really missing my workspace as there are some big works busting to be done. Nothing had happened in the studio all week and I was beginning to despair when, on Friday, Craig and Tony reappeared and began to install the interior lining. I had made a subtly demanding call to the foreman on Thursday and it worked.

 The plywood is so beautiful it is a pity to paint it white.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Susan Buret ,Afterimage, 2009 ©, Acrylic and Pigmented Ink on 
Watercolour Paper, 76cm x56.5cm

Most artists spend a lot of time alone in their studio and in their dreams and since moving I have not had any opportunity to mix with my peers except for emails and facebook. This is my chosen career and I enjoy the solitude and the luxury of time to dream and create but, from time to time, I fell a bit 'flat' and thats when I am so grateful for a nudge from my peers. Without their support and suggestions I would not achieve half of what I do. Without an email/nudge from Nicola Moss I would not have thought about entering the Alice Art Prize. Without several reminders from Catherine I would not have  work in the Liverpool Art Prize.
So thank you Candy, Lyndal, Nicola, Deb, Maja and Uta  for staying in touch and to Catherine from Anita Traverso Gallery for forwarding details of opportunities on a regular basis.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stargazzy 2

Stargazzy 2. 2009. © detail.
Oh how I struggle with documenting my work! Here are two images of Stargazzy 2 my newest work. I experimented with using pigments instead of diluted acrylic to get a luminosity to the background. I'm not sure about the texture to the background but I am very interested in using this pattern to make some bigger works.

Susan Buret. Stargazzy 2. 2009. Acrylic and Pigment on Linen.35cm x 35cm ©

I am hoping when I get into my new studio I will be able get the tripod out and find the right camera setting for the lighting.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Friday Report

Hossein Valamanesh
Leave Your Shoes Here (detail), 2008 ©
voile, felt, steel, lights, persian carpets
This morning I listened to a repeat of Margaret Throsby’s interview with Hossein Valamanesh on ABC radio. Hossein, who works with ideas of place and the displaced, talked with passion about how he bonded with Australia as he saw the country outside Perth and the outback. When asked to describe his art he replied that he made stuff. Wonderful, beautiful stuff indeed. You can hear the interview online. Next week there will be a series of interviews from the Melbourne Arts festival.

I attended the opening of Tickled Pink at Artereal Gallery in Sydney on Wednesday evening. The exhibition was, as I always want to say ‘well hung’ and, included works by 26 artists Cash Brown, Damian Dillon, Janice Kuczkowski and me. Funds from any sales will go to Breast Cancer Network Australia so if you are in Sydney here is the chance to support a good cause.
While in Sydney I also visited several other galleries.
Sarah Cottier Gallery was showing some whimsical works by Huseyin Sami, Liverpool Street Gallery featured work by Jeanette Siebols. A series of charcoal and burnt sienna works with layering and text reminiscent of CY Twombly’s work.

Grace Burzese. Seeker of Light 2009 ©
acrylic on canvas 168 x 152 cm

Ray Hughes was showing Sichuan Hot, a group show of young artists from Sichuan whose work combined traditional technique, brushwork and calligraphy, with contemporary themes. Grace Burzesse’s exhibition in the back gallery was a series of gestural works with yummy colours.

Penny Byrne Guantanamo Bay Souvenirs 2007©, vintage figurines, metal chains, epoxy resin, plastic, re-touching medium, powder pigments, 14 x 32 x 10 cm.

My favourite show was Penny Byrne’s exhibition of altered figurines at Sullivan+Strumpf. Her lightness of touch and use of humour engaged and challenged me to think again about ideas of power, the macho, horrors of war and the victims of fundamentalist regimes.
The big (really big) news of the week is that the windows are now in my studio and the lining will go in next week. It was approved by council this afternoon.

It will look better with landscaping!

The electrical wiring went in today.

This will be the view from my desk which of course will be tidy.

Oh, and I need to mention that the radishes are up and potatoes are doing well in the vegetable garden and here are two very pretty but unrelated garden shots.

Waterlogged tree peony, bluebells and cavolo nero.

So green after the rain.
Finally, I made it into my temporary studio today to do some work on my entry for the Chapman and Bailey competition today and I have prepared a submission for a Paper Works exhibition next year so I can finish the week on a virtuous note.