Saturday, September 13, 2008

Numero Quatro

Creating an extraordinary glasswork at the moment. The resolve that I walked away with after completing the Land Mark Education 'Curriculum for Living' was that I am powerfully creative, breaking new ground (yes, I knew that already...): it's happening now. Last month I drew the design and cut the glass for a new piece intended for the Ausglass Members' Exhibition in Tasmania, opening in December and continuing during the 2009 Conference. I thought at the time that that was a brilliant piece of work. This new piece, giving expression to a classical guitar composition of MaryJane Leahy's called "Circus Chaos" walks all over it! I haven't been so excited in ages!

"Circus Chaos", one of 7x tracks on the CD, to be launched at the opening of the Samjjana exhibition at Global Gallery, Wed 15th Oct., appealed to me from the first listening. There is a definite structure to it and a certain gentleness also, but laid over the top of the guitar work is a motley collection of random percussive noises complete with whistles and bells. When I quizzed MJ about her creative process, she told me they sat down in the living room surrounded by an array of percussion instruments, set to and had fun. The recorded noises were then "collaged" together to make a brief but delightfully entertaining work.

In my stained glass I have mimicked this process by collaging found object, pieces of old painted glass, decorated glass and the most dynamic of Lambert's flashed streakies. If you were familiar with my collage, assemblages and works on paper, you would already know how close this is to my artistic practice and why this particular song appealed so much.

Nothing like a short lead time to drive the creative engine. The group of 5x visual artists has been meeting with MaryJane and her percussionist Dominic Wy Kanak, newly appointed Mayor of Waverley, for some months now but it is only this week that I've had the clear space to be able to devote time and energy to creating a new body of work.The restoration of St Brendan's Catholic Church in Annandale is complete and the windows are installed, with the comment being "well, you'd never know they were broken!" St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Maitland and St Joseph's Catholic Church in South Maitland are also complete and will be re-installed shortly.

It's actually insanely busy for me on the exhibition front: apart from preparations for Samjjana @ Global Gallery, I have a suite of figure drawings at TAP Gallery in their exhibition "About a Man", which gives way next week to "Nudes", in which I am presenting 2x new drawings. I've been posting photos of these drawings to my Red Bubble site and have had some wonderful feedback on them.

"Spring Equinox Salon 2008" just opened today to a good crowd at the Palm House in Sydney's Botanic Gardens: here I have a series of botanic studies for glass works in pencil and charcoal, some landscapes and street scenes and four small stained glass panels featuring daffodils.

And just up the road from my studio, for the month of September I have a solo exhibition at the Gallery Cafe, located in Devonshire St a few doors up from the Gaelic Club. Well, it's kindof a solo; I share the space with my alter ego skribe, who usually works out on the street but has made a series of studio works on found substrate, including ply, MDF, gyprock, masonite, cardboard and even glass. Oh, and also on this weekend is the Hills Grammar Art Prize, for which I was pre-selected. I entered a large wall mounted stained glass piece for the prize and skribe has 2x small works on laminated MDF in the general Art Show. Phew!