About

My name is Rachel Loveday, I am a journalism student currently studying Arts Journalism at the University of Wollongong.

This blog was one of my assessment tasks in which I covered a designated area of arts. My designated area of arts was visual arts, in particular visual arts in Wollongong.

I specifically designed this blog to focus on different art spaces in Wollongong which included but was not limited to; the Wollongong City Gallery, Project Contemporary Art Space and the University of Wollongong’s Faculty of Creative Arts Gallery.

I posted weekly entries from week 3 to week 8 of the Autumn session of the 2013 academic year.

I hope you enjoy this blog and learning about the different artists, art forms and art spaces that I reported on in the last five weeks.

WEEK 8: Studio 19

My two posts for this week focus on Studio 19 above the Hideaway Cafe’, in particularly focusing on their latest exhibition, Ink Paper Press, which is dedicated to the different methods and mediums of printmaking.

This exhibition runs from April 16 until April 27 and officially opened on April 19.

 

N.B. Studio 19 has decided to extend Ink Paper Press until May 11.

NEWS: Exhibition Opening–Ink Paper Press

 

Ink Paper Press, the latest exhibition at Studio 19 officially opened last night with the artists and art enthusiasts present.

The exhibition is dedicated to printmaking with the works of eight different printmaking artists: Judy Bourke, Kathryn Orton, Phillip Constantine, Samantha Waldon, Pauline Denney, Caroline Oakley, Garry Jones and Alannah Dreise.

The exhibition is balanced out by the various different mediums of printmaking. Judy Bourke’s hand cut, Collagraph artist book is to be handled with gloves and her Photopolymer Etching/Collagraph fridge magnets provides arts enthusiasts with a gallery at home. Bourke says that she likes to make practical things and making the fridge magnets allows for pieces that might not be working to still be used and on display.

“I always thought that everyone has a gallery at home and it’s the fridge–you have your children’s work, grandchildren’s work, there are notes on there, messages from people. There are common things on everyone’s fridges that you move around and I think that’s our domestic gallery. I’ve made fridge magnets so people can have an upmarket domestic gallery on their fridge.” Bourke said.

“I’ve been making fridge magnets for a long time because I have some artworks as a whole that look like crap and I often find ways of cutting up one work and find sections or parts of them and rearrange them and they seem to work better. It’s like destroying something that you didn’t value and re-creating it so people can value it.”

This worked for Bourke last night as she sold one magnet to an art enthusiast shortly after arriving at the opening.

Kathryn Orton’s Relief Collagraph and Collages, Town Planning, focuses on houses in Coniston and Hill End. Orton says that the inspiration behind the works was the destruction of old buildings that she was fond of.

“I started noticing the buildings that I liked best were being knocked down and replaced with more modern architecture. I like a lot of old things, not just houses. I particularly like the style of the older houses around Wollongong. It (the work) started with me trying to make a record of these things before they all disappeared.”

Orton explains that her works are all Collagraphs made with mat boards used for framing and states this is the simplest way of making the plate.

“All the prints here are Collagraphs made with mat boards which are used in framing. This is the simplest method to making the plate: I cut into the surface layer of the mat board, peel it off and shellac those to ink and clean them and re-use them. These ones are all printed as Relief prints, so it’s ink rolled across the top and then run through an etching press.”

Pauline Denney’s Sitting, a two-plate Solar Plate Etching involves a different technique, focusing more on light coming through the plate rather than using acid.

“With solar plates, the drawings are on film and are squashed between the solar plate and the board and exposed to sunlight. It’s a lovely finish as the glass lets sunlight go through it. Although some artists prefer using lamps on solar plates as it is more controlled lighting. You need to expose the plates on hot, sunny, clear days as the lighting goes in and out when it’s cloudy.”

Other printmaking mediums at Ink Paper Press include: Monotypes, Collagraph prints, Woodcut, Two and Three Plate Etchings and Mezzotints.

Ink Paper Press is on show until April 27.

 

Images taken by Rachel Loveday.

PREVIEW: Ink Paper Press Exhibition

 

A new exhibition is opening tonight at Studio 19 in Wollongong.

Ink Paper Press focuses on the art of printmaking and features the work of eight artists: Judy Bourke, Kathryn Orton, Phillip Constantine, Samantha Waldon, Pauline Denney, Caroline Oakley, Garry Jones and Alannah Dreise.

The different printmaking mediums on display include: Etchings, Solar Plate Etching, Relief Print, Collagraph Print, Relief Collagraph and Collage, Monoprint, Woodcut, Photopolymer Etching and Mezzotint.

Ink Paper Press is on show from April 16 until April 27 and opening night is from 6.30 until 8.30pm with the artists.

 

Images taken by Rachel Loveday.

WEEK 7: Alibi

My two posts for this week focus on Alibi. Alibi opened in September 2012 and is a combination of a night spot and an art space. Alibi has month-long art exhibitions, displaying the work of two local artists, with launches on the first Wednesday of each month. My two posts for this week focus on this month’s exhibition featuring art work by Gillian Day and Alannah Dreise.

Day’s and Dreise’s exhibition will run until Tuesday April 30th.

INTERVIEW FEATURE: Gillian Day

 

Local artists and old friends, Gillian Day and Alannah Dreise are exhibiting art work together for the first time in over a year at the April art exhibition at Alibi this month.

Gillian Day is exhibiting seven art works. All of her artworks were created using the same medium–ink on hahnemuhle paper etchings and the same size: 550 x 625mm. Day says that she created her art works using the same medium and size with this exhibition in mind.

“My works are so different to each other that it gave them some uniformity and consistency. It’s better to exhibit the work that way rather than in different sizes, it united them because they are all so different.”

Day said that she didn’t heavily plan how her work would turn out and compared her creative process to deep sea fishing.

“What I came up with depended on the day. Some of it was happy-go-lucky with a bit of planning of the processes. Some of it is luck, whether it actually works to the way I envision it. With printmaking, it’s a bit like deep sea fishing; you cast your net and you never know what you’re going to pull up. I see printmaking like that, it surprises you sometimes.”

Despite the difference in the context in her works, Day’s subjects stand out front and centre, she says that this is due to her preference of having a structure to her work.

“I don’t like wishy washy works that don’t have any structure, I like structure to my work. Most artists that I have viewed and enjoyed liked structure. Being an artist, you view a lot of work and you become more discriminating over time with your own work as well as other people’s work. Structure is a strong component of my work.”

As a painter, Day enjoys light and colour, however she also believes that contrasts are needed in prints and in art.

“I like a certain amount of contrasts in the prints, otherwise it blends into a nothingness. I think I need a certain amount of contrasts in my works to make them visible otherwise it’s just a grey mass.

“I really enjoy the dark side of things, I like how you can get black but also get blacker, there are shades of black. That’s what I was trying to do with the bird (in Night in the Rainforest). At night, you can’t really see the birds in the trees, they almost blend in with the background.”

Day believes that etching are a dying art form due to the difficulty of finding and buying resources and the health hazards with hand printing. As a result, prints are being created digitally.

“It’s harder and harder to get zinc and copper plates for etching, they’re becoming really expensive to buy. It’s harder to access the materials and artists are becoming more aware of the hazards.”

“I think the reason why digital prints are becoming the norm is that all you need for them is a good computer and electronic printer and you never get your hands dirty. Alternatively for a hand printed print, you need a press, an acid bath with extractor to take care of noxious fumes, an aqua tint box and the list goes on. You get dirty with ink.”

Day and Dreise’s exhibition is on display until April 30th.

 

Images taken by Rachel Loveday with permission from Gillian Day.

INTERVIEW FEATURE: Alannah Dreise

Local artists and old friends, Gillian Day and Alannah Dreise are exhibiting art work together for the first time in over a year at the April art exhibition at Alibi this month.

Alannah Dreise is exhibiting four art works. Similar to Gillian Day’s work, all of her artworks, with the exception of The Lifesavers, which consists of collage/mixed media, were all created using the same medium–Collagraph.

Collagraph is a printmaking art form which involves layering different materials to a base material to be printed on, such as cardboard.

“With a Collagraph, you do a rough drawing and work out the material you need. What a Collagraph is, is using different materials to get different tones. So you might start with the basic drawing and then you build up to get the tonal work, you build up in layers.”

Dreise states that the process of creating Collagraphs is a long one and can take weeks if not up to months. Two prints alone can take a whole day to complete, and Dreise says that the first print never works due to having to get the ink on the plate and applying a wiping technique.

“With a Collagraph, it doesn’t matter how well you work with a plate, you still have to wipe it properly. I do it because it’s a lot easier for me and I don’t use acid for the Collagraphs, I can work big and the plates are cheap to create.”

Despite the long creative process, she does enjoy the art form as she can create, leave the work for a while and come back to it later, which is ideal with her part-time work commitments. She describes her creative technique as different to Day’s as she works on the same subject matter rather than relying on luck or what the day brings.

“I work quite differently to Gillian. Gillian works more intuitively. I tend to work on the same subject matter, which I’ve been working on for fifteen years or more–street performers.”

Part of Dreise’s technique is going to festivals and taking photographs, she says that some of her pieces can take years to create. One of her pieces on display, The Piano was created within the last year, however the idea originated years earlier.

“The idea originally came to me in 2007 when Anne-Louise Rentell (a fellow Wollongong artist) had this tour of all of the historical sites in Wollongong; Cows on Crown.”

Day and Dreise have previously exhibited together in Mask and Symbol which ran at the Wollongong City Gallery from February until May last year and in An Exhibition of Painting and Works on Paper at the Vision and Space Studio Gallery at Austinmer in 2008. Dreise believes that their works complement each other through their individuality and creating work on their own terms.

“I think both our works are quite individual. I think that people recognise our work as being ‘our work’, because there is a lot of work that is around that you see that could be quite a few different people.

“We both do what we want, we don’t work towards a market, we just keep creating something that we want to do.”

WEEK 6: FCA (Faculty of Creative Arts) Gallery

My two posts for this week focus on the FCA (Faculty of Creative Arts) Gallery at the University of Wollongong. In particular these two posts focus on visual artist and University of Wollongong lecturer, Garry Jones and his latest exhibition, A Work in Progress. 

The first article focuses on Mr Jones and his methodology in regards to this particular exhibition. The second article focuses more on the technicality of the pieces being made.

GALLERY FEATURE: A Work in Progress

 

These are images of some of the pieces on display at Garry Jones’ latest exhibition, A Work in the Progress at the FCA Gallery at the University of Wollongong.

The pieces are traditional male Aboriginal weaponry such as sticks, spears, clubs and shields placed in an order to reflect a theme of evolutionary progress. Jones talks about Archaeologist Augustus Pitt Rivers, whose museum he plans to visit later in the year.

“Pitt Rivers once said that ‘if you amassed enough objects you could arrange them in a way where you can demonstrate an evolutionary progress which paralleled the evolution as civilised people in particular with technological development and civilisation.’ He suggested that primitive people started off with just sticks. I started playing with this idea of starting with sticks and there’s not just a science here, it’s also about the imagination and this is out of my imagination and as you go around (the exhibition), the work starts to expand and evolve and it ends with the shields.”

After researching the history of artefact making in Australia and NSW and viewing and admiring a collection of traditional male artefacts at the Australian Museum, he developed a desire to make similar ‘objects’, those objects are on display at the exhibition. He made the pieces out of polystyrene.

“I wanted to make something and that is where this comes from. I thought if I was to make something, what would it feel like to make one of those objects and what would it mean to me to try and make that today?

“It just so happened that in my studio, or rather the space I was working in, I had a block of polystyrene and I just wanted to try and get the shape and try and get an idea of what it would feel like to make an object and I started to make it.”

Jones believes that this starting process he was referring to came from making one of the clubs in his exhibition and noticed the difference between making the objects out of polystyrene rather than solid timber.

“It would have been harder to shape it (the club) out of solid timber and what struck me was that I made this object, which had a life of its own. That’s what set me off, I felt I didn’t need to go off and learn how to carve out of timber; I can work with this material and see what it might lead to.”

Jones used hacksaw blades to carve the polystyrene into the objects that are on display at the exhibition by using catalogues with the images of the dimensions of the works.

Although Jones doesn’t give his pieces any names, he does have a preference towards his shields.

“I really like the shields–they’re for warding off spears. You’d think that if you wanted to ward off a spear, you’d want something that would protect your whole body. I’ve seen drawings and paintings of traditional practice where kids would play games to learn how to use shields and they’d have their friends line up and throw spears at them. Aboriginal people became incredibly skilled and proficient and it’s because of what they are and their shape is what I quite like.”

Jones bleached the polystyrene and quite likes the finish as it ties back in with his fluffy white rabbit motif.

“The finish is something that I really like as it is a very soft, fluffy finish and when I zoom in to look at the finish, what comes to mind is fluffy white rabbit. I thought ‘it’s still there! I can’t get away from that rabbit!'”

 

Images taken by Rachel Loveday with permission from Garry Jones.

INTERVIEW FEATURE: Garry Jones

Garry Jones’ Clubs

Not many people would think that fluffy white rabbits and traditional male Aboriginal weaponry would combine and complement each other; however Garry Jones’ latest exhibition manages to do this.

Surrounded by his work at the University of Wollongong’s FCA (Faculty of Creative Arts) Gallery, Jones details the reasons behind the combination of fluffy white rabbits and traditional male Aboriginal weaponry in his evolution based exhibition, A Work in Progress. 

Jones explains that his fluffy white rabbit motif which is also present in his past works emerged during his early days as an artist, working on housing developments and hearing Dreamtime stories.

“One of the things that struck me was, in terms of traditional Aboriginal culture; in these stories was the incorporation of feral animals into Dreamtime cycles, in particular wild cats and rabbits.

“I came across these stories of Pussycat Dreaming and Bunny Rabbit Dreaming. What resonated with me strongly was that Aboriginal people embraced things outside of their culture. Nothing was alien; everything had to be incorporated in some way.

“Aboriginal people had Bunny Rabbit Dreaming and bunny rabbit totems and it just so happens that my Chinese star sign is the rabbit.”

Jones also details how his fluffy white rabbit motif developed in a past exhibition that involved Aboriginal artists developing Aboriginal art along the New South Wales (NSW) South Coast.

“I was involved in an exhibition a few years ago at the Wollongong City Gallery and it was about developing Aboriginal art from artists along the Coast. It was about representing our sense of place on the Coast as an Aboriginal person. So, not coming from here, my rabbits kept popping up, there was this sense of alienation, this sense of being introduced and having to negotiate an ambivalence of ‘are you cute and cuddly?’ or ‘Are you to be despised or eradicated?’ Where do you fit?”

Jones said that he was struck by the level of local interest in Aboriginal heritage and the interest of people looking to re-invigorate local cultural practices. He also said that this “re-engagement” of traditional art practices such as weaving, carving and shell work lead to him questioning how to engage with his own heritage.

“I was asking myself, ‘am I being too overly academic and overly provocative in terms of engagement with this discourse?’ The people I was exhibiting with were coming from a very heartfelt place and what struck me was wondering ‘how do I engage with my own heritage with all of this?’

To delve deeper, Jones researched the history of artefact making in Australia and NSW and viewed a collection of traditional male artefacts at the Australian Museum. Viewing and admiring this collection triggered memories of his childhood, which led to his desire of making the objects on display at the exhibition.

“I was struck by the level of skill, diversity and detail in those works (the collection). It triggered memories of me when I was quite young, of relatives making objects, which I had forgotten about.”

“I wanted to make something and that is where this (his work in the exhibition) comes from. I thought if I was to make something, what would it feel like to make one of those objects and what would it mean to me to try and make that object today?”

A Work in Progress is on display at the FCA Gallery until April 24.

 

Image taken by Rachel Loveday with permission from Garry Jones.