Just thought I would pop in here and add a post to record what I have been doing this week. I have had a bit of a change in direction during the week. A compulsion to pick up a paint brush and take my scribblings one step further than bits and scraps of paper scribbled on.
So...what led me here?
On Thursday afternoon I went with a group of Potter's society members to the National Gallery here in Canberra for a guided tour of the indigenous art galleries and a talk and display in their study room of some ceramics held by the gallery of work by indigenous artists.
The first few pics added here are of a large ball placed near the entrance of the gallery done by an artist I have long loved and whom has inspired me with her works. In the study room we were given a talk which was mostly centered on her. We got to see and discuss about 5 of her pots not on display at the moment plus some other works.
She died earlier this year and as is custom after an aboriginal person's death, we should not say her tribal name. I don't know is that applies to writing it, as I do here. The plaque actually says she is called Thapich, which translated in her language is "that person". I always knew her by her other name, Thancoupie, which I have also seen spelt as Thanakupi. Her Mission name is Gloria Fletcher. The tour guide at the gallery gave 2 explanations of the reason for this. First one was that it would disturb her soul from concentrating on it's rest and the second possible reason was given as, If we don't say that person's name, we have to concentrate on not doing that, so we are thinking of them.
She began her study at east Sydney tech in the very early 70"s, so she was in Sydney the same time as me. She came to Sydney from the far north of Australia to study arts and came to love clay work, though that was not her original intention in studying arts. The custom of her people was that women did not work with clay, it was only men who were meant to do that, it was something done by men in their ceremonial practices and therefore sacred. So she had to go home to Weipa and talk to the elders and get their permission to work in clay, which, as reported, was quite a feat for a woman to achieve. It must have taken a lot of persuasion on her part to get them to bypass their traditional taboo and allow her to do that. Anyway she got her permission, and went back to study in Sydney with no other than Peter Rushforth (also recently deceased) and Shiga Shigeo, two people at the pinnacle of pottery here in this country. Wow, I wish I could have done that.
Gloria used her pottery pieces to tell her traditional stories, using the animals and symbols of her area. As aboriginal art does, of course, but Gloria did it in 3d, something that was pioneering work in indigenous art circles.
I walked around the sphere at the front of the gallery to show the different sides of the huge work. The ball is made from aluminium, a material she also chose to work with because, she said that where she comes from, Weipa is a bauxite mining area so she felt that working in aluminium made her closer to the country she came from.
Below is the plaque for the large sphere sculpture. I was not allowed to photograph the works inside the study room to share.
So on Saturday morning I went back to the gallery to purchase a book she had written and had another look at the indigenous galleries. Fantastic. Love that style of art. I was looking at some lino prints there and was thinking that the style of those was akin to some of my paper scribblings. Which, I think have been developing more lately and I have been spending more time playing with pens, textas and paper so I thought I would give it a try. Not to copy them, but to develop my stuff along that style. I have been playing a lot with sgraffito on my pots and the patterns I have done on some of them have been transferred from my scribblings, so I tried it with brushes in 3d. The next 3 photos are what has come from this over the last 3 days.
This one is called "Jump, Fly" It is sort of about getting out of a situation by flying over it. See the figure's feet are being hurt, so it grew wings to go above that. I did this today, it took me about 4 hours.
The scribble above is sort of about tree growing in rocky ground but surviving and what lies below that.
And... this one is called Pods. I find kurrajong seed pods keep popping up in my scribblings a lot. I did this one yesterday and last night.
I bought an a4 size pad of nice paper and some acrylic inks and acrylic paints to play with. Maybe they would look nice mounted between sheets of clear perspex? I dunno. I like them though. They are a bit weird, like me. Double click on the pics to enlarge.
Other than that....
I am still here, under difficulty but hoping for better. Idiot that I am.