Making/unmaking with a view to time.

This past month has been full.

I travelled up to the Gold Coast by plane, hung out with some pretty amazingly close friends for a couple of days, then joined up with a small group on a road trip.

The road trip saw us staying in Brisbane for 2 days and nights, then travelling the 13 hour drive down to Sydney, where I stayed at another friends place, and then completed the journey by heading back to Melbourne by plane.

Usually I just take my phone and end up with a generically passable selection of photos. This doesn’t bother me too much if it’s just friends and such and relatable to general social media uploads. I like the idea of travelling light. And usually aim for that.

This time I decided to take my SLR to try some ideas out and to make sure I kept up with my homework. Honestly, once again, I was reminded how little I use a bulky camera in a more social setting, but I did still manage to get off a few shots.

At the Gold Coast, the night time view from the hotel room was pretty lovely with the buildings framed by street and car tail lights. I have to admit the first day or two I took quite a few shots from the balcony of the lights at night time. I had in mind the current sketchbook assignment which was due within the week.

(Assignment)

  1. Using any media you like, make a work or manipulate an image in such a way as to exhibit the process of making or unmaking as a quality of time or duration — from slow to fast, as a sequence of one thing after another, using repetition, or abrupt transitions or gaps and blanks, giving the effect of a single glance or a long slow stare or ?
  2. Using the same image, repeat the above two more times but differently each time.

Thinking about this assignment and the imagery, I was reminded of the little movies I used to take about 6 years ago.
So I am going to digress back for a bit, to revisit past experience, and to acknowledge how I arrived at the point I did with the assignment.

During a particularly disjointed and cloudy time of my life, I took an art pilgrimage to New York. It was an attempt to find myself, to spend time in uninterrupted artistic thought after 15 years of being a mother and wife. Part of this trip involved visiting and staying with an online friend I had met, who lived within the Mississippi area. This was during July/August of 2008.

On arrival, and once settled into the hotel room, my friend Joe, (who really loved his car, and driving around in it), insisted he show off the area he grew up in. I held my tiny, digital (filming capable) camera out the window, laughing at my new found sense of freedom, and enjoying the swishy and blended imagery of life speeding past in the form of trees, houses and paddocks around the back streets of Memphis, Tennessee.

I had already experienced this photographic style the summer before.

Being morbidly unhappy with almost everything at that time, I recall myself reflectively sitting by a campfire in Coffs Harbour, after a particularly rainy Woodford Folk Festival, as we had, it turned out, our last ever camping holiday together as a family unit.

I noticed the blueness of the trees on the very stormy nights. (It rained for the entire holiday, which did nothing to lighten anyone’s mood).

The colours certainly matched my own mood, and, taking photo’s prior to my USA trip, on that same tiny Olympus camera, I found, while looking through the lens at the stormy trees, my own personal issues reflected back to me. I found, if I moved the camera horizontally, I was creating an image which evoked the despondency of my dark moments, my growing sense of loneliness within a crowd, my very real and deep cry for more personal space, more solitude.

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The silence of this final image and the memory of the loud and stormy leaf rustling pay tribute to my internal conflicts at the time and they set a precedent for the moving imagery I captured when in Mississippi.

As I mentioned Mississippi was an entirely different mood.

I found myself thinking of Howard Arkley and almost sensed the way he would have responded to the very suburban landscape of some parts of inner Memphis. As Joe drove along one particularly neat row of fence lines with well manicured gardens, and clean well looked after houses.
In the end, at RMIT studying for my Diploma in Visual Arts, I wasn’t happy with the end result of lining up the photo’s. I felt that they would work so much better in single larger format. The movement in the photo’s needed much more space, more time in some ways and my working of them squashed them, shut them down, and did not show the scope of each image in full.

Memphis 2008

So now, I come back to where my assignment was taking me, the Gold Coast night lights, and an assignment which related to time. In the back of my mind were those ideas I have just discussed in the previous works. Sense of movement and the sound of palm trees moving in the wind a reminder of Coffs Harbour. The balmy climate a reminder of Memphis.

Now, many years later, having a specific assignment to do, after a period of absence, I find I have an appreciation for the visuals that come as a result of the slight movement of the camera. The production of lines and colors steaming out from lights, more by the body of the camera moving, rather than the open shutter. An an appreciation or even affinity with ‘The Linked Ring‘ style of photographic ideals, as well as my own affiliation with an almost, but not completely, abstract expressionistic view, or even a touch of unconscious connection to my imagery, such as in a surrealist endeavour.

So with this piece, I was able to utilise mirroring as a tool to aid familiarity. Building the story from original image,through to formless movement  then repeating it back to itself in  a more solid (but reflected) form. The movement of the light pushes the image to deeper obscurity with a washy palette of colors, where only previous imagery gives away what the actual construct is, and then reversing itself back out into a new image, same but different. Lapses of time slowed down, altered.

 

Gold Coast time frame assignement
I’m definitely much happier with this image.

 

 

 

 

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Aside

A Critique

19.3.14

I just thought I would upload my last Assignment for a free online Art History class I have been enjoying via the Coursera website. (A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers)
I enjoyed this exhibit at NGV so much I just felt a need to share.

Julia DeVILLE’s Degustation, 2013, (NGV) is an installation set in a darkened womb like room.

On approach, the massive doorway, framed with soft dark materials in charcoal and black, creates a Victorian Gothic shrouded style of entrance.
Its softness invites you to enter.

As you step into the room, your senses change, black on black patterned and flocked walls add a sensual touch, dim lighting, a large table before you, little serving pedestals placed around the room, frames on the walls, a smaller table sitting behind and to the left of the larger one. Many serving platters of varying sizes made of bronze or silver and all of a vintage style.

On the day I visited, a young girl sat, perfectly at ease, sketching with a white pencil on black paper, which was held in an elaborately framed writing surface, the pattern of which matched the wallpaper.

As I navigated my way through the tables, looking into each dish, bowl, platter, spreads laid out waiting for visitors to sit and feast, it drew me in, imagining the comfort of sharing, of participating in some glorious experience.

Then I noticed what was in the bowls.
I found that they were full of animals, a slight distress began to build and I felt shocked at the tiny birds with soft minute feathers, the cute little downy furred kittens or puppies in bowls, lambs on large serving trays, the lid handle attached to the spines of them. The animals seemed at peace, like they were beautifully and simply laid to rest. Two tiny little puppies had delicate little black wings sewn to their backs, as if they were about to disappear into some unknown cherubic dimension.

I felt like I was inside this encompassing and sensuous exhibition. The fur, the flocking, the feathers, the dark and mysterious lighting meant that I felt I was part of it, felt drawn to move around, and I wanted to touch things, to embrace the sensuality of it all.

Once over the shock, I found myself thinking that the animals looked nice, young, fresh, soft, even cuddly. Some were adorned with glittery things, a delicate necklace around a fawns neck, a pig with glittery flesh, and yet, half a mind was traversing the thoughts of vegan sensibilities, always a hot topic in our household with a vegan living under the roof.

I began to question.
Is this an animal rights exhibition?
How would a vegan view the room?

Where I don’t associate overly too much with that particular argument, and the exhibition only slightly distressed me at first, I couldn’t help but ask, would it be gross and horrible to a staunch vegetarian or a vegan?
So, I went back for a second look with the vegan of the household, just out of curiosity.

She walked in, saw one or two animals and left really quickly feeling ill.
I asked her afterwards how she felt, what sort of impression she had of the exhibit. She agreed that the premise was good, if it was about animal rights, and to remind people of what they are eating, but, being in the room with animals, which were stuffed and sitting on plates, made her feel very sick so she had to leave.

To me this work is, for this reason and others, a very thought provoking work. The senses are definitely heightened by the lack of bright light, and the darker colouring of drape and wall. Pictures on the walls of oil paintings, remind us of earlier times where still life’s of animal, fowl and dinner settings were used to convey a sense of table, community, wealth and social standing by painters.

You are drawn in by the array of shape and colour on table, wall, and platter. In being asked to participate with the paper and pencils, utilising the embossed stools, to contemplate, to draw, to think, you are being asked to enjoy a sensuous experience of texture, to be a part of the installation.
I honestly would be hard pressed to find an aspect that was not covered, or well thought out in this work, and it is one I feel a need to keep revisiting, see what new delight I can see, experience at each viewing, then to sit quietly and digest.

Just going to finish here with a link to the work (Deliberately left till the end so as not to pre-empt anyone’s reading impressions if they do now know the work), and a couple of photo’s I took (not particularly brilliant ones as they were on my phone and I chose not to use any flash in the darkened room.)

http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/utilities/faux-lightbox-image-andcaption?imageID=INST020103

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Shrouded entrance

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Fawn with handle and delicate necklace.

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Embossed Seating

 

 

 

March in March and a visit to the State library, Melbourne.

19.3.14

Political snipes aside, I just felt a need to walk my talk, so I attended the March in March in Melbourne last Sunday. (tagged one of the few journalistic pieces because the press has been pretty much silenced) 

A lot of the time I am in my arty, slightly feminist and definitely 21st century head space, so I was happy to head in on my own, happy to stand at the State Library of Victoria and take a few snaps before heading into the library for some study. (Bad knees this week, so no longish walks).

Something I enjoyed were the numerous banners and picket style of protests, Some people are not just passionate about their beliefs but very humorous in their approach to their posters.
A friend managed to snap some beauties, but that wasn’t my slant for the day.

I stood near the police, watching for a while. They were happy, people talked to them, I remember having a thought that they were so undermanned that if anything went bad they would be swamped and wondered how awful that would be. From where I stood, there were 10 in all at the back of the crowd, near the steps of the Library.
I then thought of how amazing Australia is, how very, very lucky we are, and knew in my heart that seeing any violence on this day would probably scar me deeply. This was part of the right to have a say. Everyones right to live like this, unselfishly and with open arms amongst a fair minded, and caring community. 

I noticed how lovely everyone was, children in prams, vegans, staunch supporters of the right for asylum, and my own personal stance: LBGTQI rights,  and Australia’s amazing environment.

I didn’t get a great many shots off, preferring the odd good one, over multiple crowd shots.
Here are the B&W conversions, I particularly loved the one of the little boy reminding us that it is our children, and our children’s children who will be affected down the track if there is no more Great Barrier Reef.. I’ve also included the two I was happy with from inside the library. Enjoy!
library. ImageImageImage

 

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Outcomes

15.3.14

From the last exploratory shoot on 13th, I did find some interesting things that were more of a personal nature.
I had no qualms about approaching the shoot with a mind for B&W sensibilities, but then taking the shots and viewing them on my computer reminded me of my love of the sensual form within nature.

Tree bark, knotted, twisted boughs and branches, and the natural palettes of greens, greys and browns found within those forms, always send me to a deeper space, a space where I feel a sense of peace.

These 3 shots were my favourites in the end. I have worked them to a grainier contrast.
This suits my end result thought processes.  They are now printed out onto transparency paper ready for stitching and mounting.
There will be more on that later as it evolves.

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Sensevolupt #1

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Sensevolupt #2

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Sensevolupt #3

This weeks explorations.

13.3.14

After viewing Leanne Cole’s The Monochrome Madness Challenge the last 2 weeks, it has sparked me to look at things from a new perspective.
Would that photo convert to B&W?
How do the shadows look, the highlights, the midtones?
I’d been heavily avoiding my camera for a while and Leanne’s posts have inspired me to get out and explore from this perspective.

I went off for Breakfast with my daughter, Lily, as we often do to Lentil as Anything at the Abbotsford Convent. Always a pleasant experience with smiling staff, and a lovely walk through the gardens.

Not sure I was happy with very many of the photo’s when I converted them to B&W, but I do like this one of Lily, who was looking her beautiful self, but decided she didn’t want a photo taken.

Lily B&W

Coming home and uploading the pictures to my  computer showed me how much there is to learn about anything we want to focus on and interestingly enough, how we can find something to do as an exercise, to challenge ourself, to expand our knowledge.