Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Floor Talk at Warrnambool Art Gallery

What a wonderful turnout we had for our artist talk on From the bower - patterns of collecting at Warrnambool Art Gallery on Saturday, May 13. Even with the addition of extra seating, it was standing room only. Loris Button, Carole Wilson and I couldn't have been more delighted. Warmest thanks to all who came, to WAG's Curator of Collections Agostina Hawkins for a fantastic introductory address and to Warrnambool Art Gallery for having us. 

Pictured above in front of the collaborative collections wall, comprising the collection objects and artworks of Carole, Loris, Louise Saxton and I, are (L - R) Agostina Hawkins, Carole Wilson, Loris Button and myself. 

Photos of the floor talk are by Shane Jones. The rest are by me.

Carole Wilson opens with some background information about the show. That's my Vignette Vitrine in the foreground.

Loris Button outlines the collection objects depicted in one of her multi-paneled works, including her Swiss SABA
clown doll (c 1925) in the display case to her right.

My insect collection, some of which features on the combined collections wall, has provided rich
source material for much of my work over the past several years

Centre: Louise Saxton's Marianne's clianthus, after Marianne Collison Campbell 1800s, 2014, reclaimed needlework
Far right: Loris Button's Western Australian seed pods presented in a glass dome atop a vintage wrought iron stand

Here I'm speaking about my suite of cut-out linocuts, Iron Butterflies. On the far right, among the objects in
 the combined collections installation, are some of the vintage and antique hair ornaments that inspired them 

I was as fascinated as the rest of the audience as Loris spoke about her exquisite Traveller's Tales,
a series of relief prints on tea bags

Talking about my linocut, Tattooed Faces Sampler. All of the artists have works or collection objects in the show
that relate to sewing, most of them connected to their family histories

Discussing my artist book, Leaves of Absence, along with the collection of Eucalyptus leaves that evolved into
the archival pigment prints that appear in the book and the antique flower presses in which they are stored.

Vintage maps reflect Carole Wilson's love of travel and are a major component of her collecting habit.
They are also raw materials for her extraordinary cut out paper works, including Urn 1 and Urn 2, pictured left.

After the floor talk we adjourned for a beverage at historic Proudfoot's Boathouse (see below).  Pictured back, L-R: Shane Jones, Kathryn Ryan, Annie Drum, Loris Button, Agostina Hawkins and Peter. Foreground L-R: myself and Julie Keating.

On our recent trips to Warrnambool we've stayed with our old friend Kathryn Ryan. Kathryn truly is the Hostess with the Mostest. Once upon a time not so long ago, we were studio neighbours in central Melbourne and used to see each other on almost a daily basis. Geographic distance has since separated us, so it's been great to make up for lost time. An added bonus is that thanks to Kathryn, we've got to know Warrnambool, of which we've become increasingly fond, a lot better. On the evening after the talk Kathryn took us for a sunset walk by the Merri River. The light was just beautiful.

We returned to her house for this spectacular light show, courtesy of a full moon and Kathryn's fairy lights.

The following morning we were privileged to see some of Kathryn's new paintings, soon to be exhibited at Olsen Irwin Gallery in Sydney. To see more of Kathryn's work you can visit her website HERE.