Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ring out the old, ring in the new...

Digama marmorea Moth Mask, 2009, linocut, hand coloured, 15 x 15 cm
and Cyana mericki Moth Mask, 2009, linocut, hand coloured, 15 x 15 cm

Lately I’ve been preparing selected linocuts from the Moth Masks and Enchanted Hair Ornaments series for Metropolis Gallery in Geelong - a pleasant, relatively relaxing task to undertake as the old year draws to a close.

It’s been a busy year, but with many highlights. Despite the untimely closure of Gallery 101, where I was booked for a solo exhibition in September, I was able to find a superb alternative venue in Chrysalis Gallery. The show, which ran throughout October, was a singularly happy experience.

I was one of the selected artists for the 2010 Print Council of Australia Member Print Commission.  The entire edition of Red Lacewinged Woman, 2010, linocut, hand coloured) has now sold out.

Moth Woman Vigilante #9, 2010, linocut, 15 x15 cm

Participating in Rona Green’s projects is always hugely rewarding. Her 2010 print exchange portfolio Fair and Square, which will be exhibited at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga in April 2011, was no exception. When a project such as this one comes along, it can present artists with a priceless opportunity to push imagery and ideas just that much further. Moth Woman Vigilante #9, made especially for Fair and Square, introduced a new direction for the Moth Masks imagery, which will be developed into a suite and possibly an artist’s book in 2011.

Moth Woman Vigilantes (blocks) 15 x 15 cm

Similarly, The Exquisite Palette at St. Luke Artist Colourmen also encourages experimentation and play. As usual, the participating artists rose to the challenge. This year saw the introduction of the Exquisite Palette Award. With so many outstanding entries, it was a privilege to have my palette Behind the Mask judged Most Exquisite.

Behind the Mask, 2010, Acrylic on wooden palette 
(Photograph by Tim Gresham)

In the coming year I’m particularly looking forward to participating in Freak of Nature, also curated by Rona Green, a print exchange folio and exhibition project involving artists from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. During September the collected works will be exhibited at Switchback Gallery, Monash University, Gippsland, in conjunction with IMPACT 7, the international printmaking conference at Monash University. The prints will also be exhibited at the King Family Exhibition Space, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA in January 2012.

Metropolis Gallery has invited me for the second year running to exhibit in Contemporary and Collectable, which will open on 9 July 2011.

Two solo shows are scheduled for next year. The first will coincide with my second stint as Artist in Residence at The Art Vault in Mildura throughout June. The second, in September at Woodbine Art in Malmsbury, Victoria, is also one of the Month of Print events connected to IMPACT 7.

Exterior view of my studio building in Melbourne
 (my room is on the top floor, far right)

Much as I look forward to these projects, I’m aiming for a less hectic year than this one has been, with some travel plans and a bit more time out for coffees with friends, balanced, of course, with much quality time in the studio. 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.