A Heide Installation
Photograph courtesy of the artist.
Sometimes I seek out works of art and other times a little invitation appears in my inbox, drawing me in to the 'next big thing'. This one came via Heide Museum of Modern Art, letting me know of a recently installed work by Wona Bae created specifically for their oh so gorgeous garden. It’s made from bundles and bundles of cork sticks cleverly wound together to form giant ‘rolling’ shapes, titled Pebbles. I couldn't wait to share it with you.
I love the pared down simplicity of this work. Like minimal music it repeats and repeats a shape/phrase, altering it ever so slightly, thereby lending a meditative almost spiritual quality to the work. The voids invite the observer to look beyond the sculpture to the views it frames. You'll be tempted to touch it, to wonder how it’s been constructed and of course to delight in the artist’s endeavour. I wasn’t surprised to hear Wona admit that as far as she’s concerned “less is more”.
Wona won the 2011 Heide Sculpture Park Installation Award. (One of the awards associated with the Yering Station Sculpture Prize.) Heide was so impressed by her work that they commissioned this installation and positioned it near Heide I.
I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Wona in Brunswick Street recently and enjoyed a coffee and delicate little French cake at Madame Sousou (click on the link and you'll swear you're in Paris), ostensibly to discuss her work in general and this piece in particular. Madame Sousou is just down the road from Flowers Vasette where Wona works when she’s not creating the 'next big thing'.
It seems perfectly natural that she's a florist, given the organic nature of her work. She has trained and worked with some of the world's best florists, Ursula Wegener and Peter Assmann among them. It was Ursula Wegener who taught Wona the art of organic natural construction.
Andy Goldsworthy is an obvious influence.
You can see Wona’s work at Heide for the next few months.
Just in case you missed her 2011 Yering Station sculpture…here it is again
My thanks to Wona for her assistance with this post, for introducing me to Madame Sousou and for making sublime sculptures that sit in perfect harmony with the natural world.
I can't tell you how much I love a house full of flowers. Parrot tulips and peonies are perennial favorites. As a result, I've got a lifetime's collection of vases and vessels. I sometimes keep the flowers way longer than I should...to make sure I get every possible second of pleasure from them. So I was very interested in artist Dena Ashbolt's question... So when do you throw the flowers out?
Late last year, she became deeply interested in the 'life cycle' of a vase of flowers- from bright young brilliance to withered lifelessness. What's evolved from that is a whole body of work including a dvd, photographs (that absolutely pop and zing off the canvas) and drawings (some of which found their way onto Jane Annois nude raku pots).
The ideas began to form when Dena was drawing a vase of flowers over several days. After the initial drawings, she would come back to the work a day later to find that the flowers had drooped or dropped and changed position. She bravely rubbed out the previous day's work and started again over the top. This process drew Dena's attention to what happens to a vase of flowers over a period of time. She saw it as a perfect metaphor for her own aging as well as a perfect vehicle for 'drawing time'.
Some stills from the DVD...
This body of work, is currently being exhibited at the Alcaston Gallery in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy until 1st June (sorry, you'll have to be mighty quick to catch this one). There are two rooms of the limited edition photographs. The first room shows the flowers in full bloom while the second shows them past their prime, as they began to drop and wither. I found the second room the most captivating, which probably says more about my age and stage in life than I should be admitting here publicly. Thank you so much Dena, for pointing out the great beauty to be found at all of life's stages, via this very very engaging exhibition.
Dena was the winner of the 2009 Nillumbik Prize and a finalist in the Rick Amor Drawing Prize in 2010. She featured on Isiiad last year during her 6 week residency at Montsalvat.
STOP PRESS! As I wrote this I heard the news that Dena's DVD for this series of work was shortlisted for this year's Nillumbik Prize. The shortlisted entries will be exhibited in the Barn at Montsalvat from 14th June to 12th August with the winner being announced on the 14th June.
All work in this post is ©Dena Ashbolt. All photographs in this post are courtesy of the artist.
Ev Hales-Static Motion
I sometimes worry that there's something wrong with me. I get so excited by the artwork that I've seen that I can't stop thinking about it...Perhaps I need therapy? Then I decide to just go with it. So with Ev Hales' work, I started to think about how it would look translated into the warp and weft of tapestries created at the Australian Tapestry Workshop (where else)... hanging in banners from the ceiling of Doncaster Shopping Town (near the escalators of course) reminding mindless shoppers that there really is life after shopping.
Who would have thought escalators could excite such passion? How often do you really think about an escalator? Or the patterns that they and their travellers create in an environment? I guarantee that once you've seen Ev Hales latest body of work, you'll never take them for granted again.
You can probably see what Ev's done here. She's copied and rotated the same painted image and placed them side by side to see what new patterns emerge. (You might remember that she's 'just a bit' interested in patterns.) In the case of this work, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The shoppers move both up and down the same escalator reminding me of the work of Escher, all the while creating endless fascination.
Ev is a much loved local artist. She has participated in the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios for many years. Last year she launched her first book A Work In Progress, in which she lays bare her creative process, sharing the wonder of her work with the world... too much alliteration?... too much excitement?... too much great art being created at my back door? Nah, like fresh air, you can never have too much!
All work in this post is ©Ev Hales. Photographs are courtesy of the artist and reproduced here with her permission.