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!