Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Curated by Catherine Wolfhagen
By Anneliese Milk
Following the straightforward premise of Tasmanian artists and their latest journey with paint, Primed is anything but simple. Curated by Catherine Wolfhagen, Primed brings together complex new works by diverse artists: Amanda Davies, Annika Koops, Jonathan Kimberley, Richard Wastell, Catherine Woo, Neil Haddon and Megan Walch. Beyond the common ground of Tasmania and the medium of paint, these works find a symbiosis that is at once surprising, challenging, and alienating.
The Academy Gallery proves to be the perfect host to this eclectic show, incorporating a different artist into each fold of the space. Amanda Davies’ latest offering reveals a preoccupation with anonymous, fragmented limbs. It is a curious moment rendered in Clear (2010) – stretched across a seat with one leg wrapped in plastic, an individual thrusts their hand out in time to obscure their face from the viewer forever. A recurring image in other Davies paintings, limbs that look as though they have been fashioned from plaster lie discarded in industrial spaces.
Continuing the theme of fragmentation, Megan Walch detaches her subjects from their surroundings – luminous jellyfish and fungi emerge from black canvases. An oriental plant mystically spirals upwards across seven black masonite panels in What goes up (2010). A glittery plinth presents itself at each new level – upon one, a tiny house of cards has been erected.
Annika Koops’ latest work challenges the viewer in its cold, disconcerting perfection. The sense of disconnection that is embraced in Walch and Davies’ work also appears in Koops’ paintings. Sleek, disembodied hairstyles are rendered on pure white canvases – Blue Black Bob (2010) and Long Black Hair (2010) become advertisements for desirable wigs.
The subject of Koops’ Clarity Jam (2010) averts her gaze from the viewer. She stares unnervingly at dead space beyond the frame. Replete with a flawless, peachy, high- cheek-boned beauty, she looks every bit the librarian or secretary from a by-gone era, primly fastened -up with an absurd pastel bow and a bun that would make a ballerina weep.
Showing until 17 October, Primed represents one fragment of the effervescent visual arts scene unfolding in Tasmania.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Arts Tasmania.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Just pausing for breath after the ride. Finally got around to reading your work. Great to revisit the gig so soon after. I intend to write some reflections in the next few days, once my brain function returns. We are all a bit like Zombies around here.
I especially want to write about the way that the Stompin work used a highly disciplining set of performance principles to completely undo the disciplining urge of the theatre. I also want to try and understand why the knitting on the Town Hall columns gave that building more authority, not less. I also want to think about how The Junc Room was so embraced by the locals (and really transformed a public square that is badly under-utilised), and how rock and roll is a force of nature when wielded by the Puta Madre Brothers. Lordy they are on to something!
It's been a really terrific few days and I do want to thank you all very much for the writing you have done. I'm expecting that once the delegates get home they might wish to contribute to this blog. I'd love to hear lot's and lot's of reflections on both the conference and the festival.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Big hARTs DRIVE , Young men and the art of Risk Taking
Ernesto Sirroli , Passion Entrepreneurship and the Rebirth of Local Economies
Saturday morning was one of contradictions for me – contradictions and possible connections.
The impassioned, entertaining and inspired Plenary with Ernesto Sirroli was a joy to hear – the story of his creative journey, and how he finds his own passion in facilitating the passion of others. Exciting stuff indeed – seemingly a golden pill for all of us middle class arty types to swallow: follow your passion. Who doesn’t want to do that?
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Ernesto Sirolli's plenary address, Passion, entrepreneurship and the rebirth of local economies, had one simple but profound message: do what you want to do and find someone to do what you hate.
Friday, August 27, 2010
So it is with WeTubeLIVE, a wild dance exhibition of simultaneous and solo performances by 50 young and largely untrained dancers interpreting their favourite YouTube clip.
Albert Hall, Thursday 26th August
Lady Jane Franklin serves as a figure of fascination as much as anyone in Tasmanian history. Unlike the fondly remembered bushrangers, she was a member of the establishment, but her reforming instincts have endeared her to a wide range of Tasmanians.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The world is in reverse with fifty people taking video pop-culture and turning it into live performance. Fifty young people in their own little white-bordered square acting, dancing, miming, freaking out, spacing out; completely self-initiated and composed.
Not managed, not contrived, not censored.
These are words used by Frank Panucci at the opening of rrala manta manta to describe the works on display by a host Tasmanian Aboriginal artists.
And it is so true.
Judy Goss, owner of Studio Hair and Beauty, approached Evon Gelekai, trainer and assessor with thirty years experience in hairdressing, with this proposition.
The result is twenty one children aged ten to twelve years who have spent two weeks learning how to snip, style, colour and clip hair.
A new and sweet view of the much-maligned snail by Esther Ottaway will show this humble stalwart in a whole new light:
You’re a show regardless of audience, a full house,
Your scribble of trails, morning reviews of your travels.
The commissioned works mentioned above, plus two more by Liz Winfield and Joe Frank, are tucked away on a far wall and deserve more space and exposure. But the poetry wall, painted by Laura Watts offers a flowing skirt of words with a blackboard opportunity for anyone to add their own. And through this, Launceston’s famous poetry festival has colonised a permanent corner of the CBD.
This chilly Wednesday afternoon poetry reading was a lovely start to Junction, a reminder that the beautiful economy of poetic words is a joy best enjoyed when read by the poet, with their own voice and inflection as soundtrack to the images they inspire.
The Poetry Wall is at the entrance to the Centreway Arcade between Brisbane and Paterson St
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
But this week belongs to a different festival, Junction, and my attention has shifted towards it. To the theatre performances, the art exhibitions, the music, the dance. To the poetry built by others.
It's a relief, it's a pleasure and I'm looking forward to being drawn into their worlds.
A junction is a place where several routes or lines meet, link or cross each other. I imagine a train horn blaring and railway lines criss-crossing over, traffic routes, motorways and canals all jumbled up together. I’d not thought of Launceston as a junction. But for five days it’s becoming a Junction of Art, with a big spoon stirring up the already small and spirited arts community with a national and international influx. Planes, puppets, cars and costumes, music, boats and bicycle wheels, installations, art art art and footsteps - are all heading to the north-east. To Tasmania’s left eye.
From remote isolated plains. From busy populated hubbubs. Everyone carrying a postcard-sized 53-page program booklet. To join and intersect. To listen and see what happens when they criss-cross over each other. And feel what happens in the junction of their hearts and minds.
This is Andy Warhol meets Alice in Wonderland and the CWA, and I love every woolly inch of it. Artists Robyn Carney, Gwen Egg and Shirley Johnson have worked with the residents and community of Uniting Aged Care homes to knit, stitch and crochet a life-sized recreation of a 1950s home in all its colourful and iconographic glory. Coming from an era of 'make-do and mend', these craftspeople have taken up the call to 'knit your bit' to giddy extremes, with life-sized structures, people and objects skilfully and magically - and sometimes humorously - created for a nostalgic experience which is as visually rich and whimsical as it is slightly surreal.
Monday, August 23, 2010
From the far north to the far south
From a small grass roots community festival in Eastern Indonesia to the great National Regional Arts Conference in Launceston.
From the third to the first we say
Floating between worlds, between head spaces, between cultures and perspectives,
I am slowly landing…wondering about the ways that art infiltrates, entwines, accumulates and filters through our lives and minds in these very different places.
Bringing people together , circling , embracing , stimulating ,confronting.
Art as celebration, art as life, art as food for the soul, arts as food for thought, art as tradition, art as liberation , art as culture.
Junction 2010 seems like it might be all of these at once and more.
Can’t wait till Thursday.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Junction 2010 is sure to delight and fascinate with a smorgasbord of creative expression that will be realised by an impressive line-up of artists over five days. While Junction will offer a dazzling array of events, exhibitions, workshops and performances it will also offer something perhaps less obvious. A challenge.
This is an opportunity for people that grace the streets of this beautiful city to explore the possibilities of art and to be challenged by perceptions of artistic expression through inventive and imaginative processes. The outcomes of these interactions will certainly be touching.
Art is everywhere, from the comfort of a willow seat at the Wild Willow Café to the less public arrangement at The Outhouse. A conversation at the Mode Café is more likely to be the audible crafting of a letter to a long lost love, or perhaps a dictation requesting the return of a long overdue DVD from that friend who promised they would watch it that night.
Junction will undoubtedly offer experiences that will entertain and amuse yet it will also offer avenues for exploration that will confront and provoke further investigation. I can’t wait.
Yep, art is everywhere. Just like my hair… So, I plan to participate in experience that will live with me long after the Junc Room is disassembled. I am laying my locks to the mercy of a ten year old. Art has no boundaries and as I will discover first-hand, no age limits either! Bring it on.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I can't wait to see how Junction is going to disturb our mundane city spaces, and see the way we re-experience them when they are activated as flashpoints of raw art spaces. My hot spots include the big top Junc Room in Civic Square, with its cabaret, theatre, circus, food and wine, and art as cultural ballast to the political sway around it; WeTubeLIVE by Stompin in the gracious Albert Hall as technology hits tradition; and Car-cophony which validates a blockie route as culturally sound.
I'm booked and ready to go to a few of my 'favourites', but I'm also going to allow myself to be seduced by the unexpected, the whimsical, the absurd and the beautiful in this once-in-a-generation festival, so that I might be startled into experiencing Launceston in a new and more enlivening way.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tell us what you are looking forward to experiencing at the festival.
Blog stations will be in our headquarters - see Information - and there will be a blogging station at the Grand Chancellor.