Conversation pit #4: Blanket Hut: sharing in an intimate world

blanket pile

Blanket Hut: sharing in an intimate world acknowledges the impossibility of maintaining an anthropocentric worldview[1] in an era of eco-crisis and invites us to tease out ways to orient ourselves within a biosphere in which we are continuous with the network of entities we previously called nature. If you are interested in joining this conversation please message me or leave a comment here and I will get back to you. full details for this Conversation here.

[1] In which Humans are separate from the Nature, a construction in which the natural world exists over yonder, providing both resource and backdrop for human activities.

 

Avoiding Mastery: the paintings

Avoiding Mastery: Whitespace Contemporary Art 2014 

Mastery, according to the Webster dictionary is knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well and a state of having attained complete control of something.

My conundrum as an artist is that, whilst ‘understanding something very well’ might seem an appealing and mature virtue, its close association with having ‘complete control of something’ raises a warning flag that the cul de sac of orthodoxy lies in wait.

In art, to understand something so well as to control it runs the risk of remaking and refining something that you already know, and that your audience also knows and recognises; a closed circuit of mastery and applause. Less prone to success, but arguably more interesting is the strategy of avoiding the possibility of control, deliberately pursuing unknowing, cultivating areas of non-skill and embracing unpopular and little understood vernaculars as a vehicle for art making.

To put it more simply, maybe I think of art as a half wild pony, rather than the dressage mount. Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with dressage; I just prefer a little more excitement.

 

Dreaming of Iccarus, 2013 900 x1500mm acrylic on board
Dreaming of Iccarus, 2013
900 x1500mm
acrylic on board
True Romance 900 x 900mm acrylic and laser transfer on board
True Romance
900 x 900mm
acrylic and laser transfer on board
The Watcher II 900 x 900mm acrylic on board
The Watcher II
900 x 900mm
acrylic on board
Pink Pop Remix 900 x1500mm acrylic and laser transfer on board
Pink Pop Remix
900 x1500mm
acrylic and laser transfer on board
L.O.V.E. 2013 900 x 900mm acrylic on board
L.O.V.E. 2013
900 x 900mm
acrylic on board

Cupboard @ Cosset

My local cafe makes excellent coffee. They also operate as an exhibition space with the pragmatic title Paper/Cupboard. the wall space is dedicated to ‘paper’, while ‘cupboard’ is a small glass-fronted cupboard in the art deco cabinet that serves as the cafe counter. I have a Cupboard installation opening TOMORROW!

 

Cosset
Cosset

a sneak preview of my Cupboard installation:

All The Pretty Horses installation detail
All The Pretty Horses installation detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Cupboard has an eclectic and interesting program, which can be viewed on https://www.facebook.com/papercupboard

if you want to go there the address is Cosset, 1087 New North Rd, Mt Albert, Auckland.

 

 

 

Idle Hands

as part of Put Up Your Dukes! Part Two I wanted to make a text work, in response to Gabrielles text works, so i came up with a great quote from The Modern Art of Flower Arranging by Elisabeth de Lestrieux (1986) (see my post a the time: fa)

the full quote was

An old-fashioned arrangement, in shades of one, or at most two, colours, is living proof that gardens designed around a particular colour are indeed very natural in their effect.

and the idea was to hand cut it out of wood grain wall vinyl – see  An old,  to mimic Gabrielles immaculate text drawing in a lazy manner. unfortunately, while it looked suitably lazy it was really quite time consuming and tedious. i decided to settle for just “An Old fashioned arrangement” utilising the trials I had already done, not minding that they were in different wood grains. but then I looked at the roll of vinyl and went nah, I am not cutting even one more letter.  An old-fashioned did not seem much on its own, but the letters available could be reconfigured into “idle hands” which seemed apt for the situation.

idle hands wood grain vinyl,  paint pen, plumb line and tape
idle hands
wood grain vinyl, paint pen, plumb line and tape

 

 

 

 

 

 

not to be completely dissuaded from my original task I also made a plan B text work using the full quote:

An old-fashioned Arrangement The Modern Art of Flower Arranging by Elisabeth de Lestrieux
An old-fashioned Arrangement
The Modern Art of Flower Arranging by Elisabeth de Lestrieux

along the way I had found some super-cheap wood grain vinyl which prove so budget it would not even adhere to the wall, but it had a delightfully fake dark wood grain redolent of 70’s panelling. I made it into a wall panel with stencil, as you can see it is pinned and slumps slightly from the wall. It has no punctuation, as the stencil set provided none.

idle and old-fashioned
idle and old-fashioned

both text works fail gently, but in retrospect I think idle hands fails better through being more obscure, and by eventually falling off the wall itself.

Avoiding Mastery

I have a show at Whitespace Contemporary Art early next year and have been mulling over what to call it. The show will involve some paintings, a few books of drawings and a number of yet to be finalised objects. There is always the straightforward option of Some New Paintings and Objects, and I also considered Horse, Pony, Donkey but I have decided on Avoiding Mastery. It has a decisive ring to it which clashes pleasingly with its directive to avoid getting too good at art making.

 

Horse, rearing
Horse, rearing

Ironically this interest in non-mastery has its genesis in my Master of Fine Arts study at the University of Auckland in the early 2000’s. At the time I couched it in terms of cheating and lying as strategies for art making, however now I am thinking more in terms of failure and resisting the status quo. Failure to do the right thing, failure to master the art of being normal (or more correctly normative), Failure to be polite and well behaved, failure of art to strive toward being more skilled and refined and conceptually erudite.

In general a failure to progress and a reluctance to endorse progression as (a) normal/natural and (b) desirable.

Hope Leaves The Body Slowly: the end.

Time Based project #1

Hope Leaves The Body Slowly

At its inception hope fills the body in the way that air fills a balloon.

From this point hope leaves the body. Slowly, imperceptibly at first.

Hope leaves the body slowly.

Long after the mind has made the cognition of failure the body still holds hope. The body reminds the mind to hope, the mind informs the body of failure.

Long after the mind has acknowledged disappointment the body still contains hope.

Hope and disappointment form a contracting loop between mind and body. slowly the cognitive gap between hope and disappointment shrinks to nothing. At this point hope can be said to have left the body.

All that remains is disappointment

Disappointment is carried in the body like a scar, or perhaps more like a souvenir. The place where hope once lived.

Hope Leaves The Body Slowly Day 1
Hope Leaves The Body Slowly
Day 1
Hope Leaves The Body Slowly Day 30
Hope Leaves The Body Slowly
Day 30

Resisting societal Norms: Part Two

TOMORROW is the opening of Put Up Your Dukes! Part Two at Pearce Gallery. In anticipation here is part two of book 1. If you are in Auckland come along to the opening/ book launch at 5 – 7.30pm, Pearce Gallery 130 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell.

Resisting Societal norms
Resisting Societal norms
Resisting Societal norms
Resisting Societal norms

 

Resisting Societal norms
Resisting Societal norms

 

Resisting Societal norms
Resisting Societal norms