Waste for Art for 2014 proved a success with over 300 adults and who knows how many kids coming through the door. I manned the desk on Friday morning and there was a constant stream of visitors. A steel wool Koala guarded the door between the two rooms in The Stables welcoming all comers, while on the other side an emu stood ready to assist. Peter Brooks’ jazzy Australian coin dominated the back wall of the gallery … pointing the way to the future? Congratulations to Mudgee Arts and Gai Rayner who got the show together and thanks to the sponsors of the event.
The show opened at The Butcher Shop Cafe on Thursday 20 and visitors were treated to the shapes and forms adorning many of the towns buildings, as well as a few items at eye-level. Guests were treated to wine and oysters and great conversation.
The Butcher Shop Cafe
The last post before I got ill was about my ABC Video Postcard “The Land: A poem” which was posted to the web. It has now been chosen for an exhibition at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo “Stories from Our Place”. The exhibition brings together highlights of photographs, video, written and audio stories made by the Western Plains community. It’s open to the public from Saturday19 October and runs until February 2 next year.
“Stories from Our Place” celebrates two years of ABC Open stories from the Mid West and I am gratified that my short video is part of the show.
f0.95 lives because I do. Not too long ago I had a series of small strokes. I now have a stent in my brain. Some of my friends always thought that there was something strange there … now they are right.
In the event, the past couple of months has given me a little time to think and look at what I am trying to do. Until a couple of hours ago I was trying to build a unique blog using complicated and expensive software. I realised that I was wasting a lot of time when I could be writing and posting photographs, as well as generally rambling on.
So here I am back on line. The new f0.95 blog will up shortly and I am going to be concentrating on the new one in the future, but will continue to put stuff here in for the time being, at least. The new site should be fully operational in a couple of weeks.
For those as in the dark as I was, it is a community-oriented on-line project intended to encourage active participation by people living in rural Australia. It is not quite Facebook without the drivel, as it is a structured space that allows people to interact with one another and to talk about their concerns, interests and show off their creative abilities.
A team of ABC producers scattered around the country facilitate this interchange by giving workshops in video making, creative writing and photography then helping to bring it to others by showing it off on-line through Vimeo.
I attended workshops on shooting and editing and the result “The Land: A Poem” can be found on both the ABC Video Postcard Project page https://open.abc.net.au/projects/video-postcards-30rs6yp/contributions/the-land-a-poem-50bx0ya and Vimeo. I wish I could say that it is great, but it was a learning exercise.
Australian painter and long time Italian resident Jeffrey Smart died recently at 91. As a photographer I’ve always thought that he had a lot to teach me. His sense of composition and balance is flawless.
The use small portraits in a vast land or industrial scape is both a device to imply scale and to place humans into context within the landscape, is a technique I like. It’s also one that is used by some photographers … perhaps most successfully by English portraitist, Andy Earl.
Smart’s 1991-92 portrait of writer/broadcaster Clive James, has become one of the iconic images of post-war Australian art. It’s a painting that I always spend time with, each time I visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Co-incidentally, I bought a copy of MASTER OF STILLNESS Jeffrey Smart Paintings 1940 – 2011, by Barry Pearce (Wakefield Press RRP $A49.99) a couple of weeks before he died. I have been dipping into it since I bought it, and it is a great introduction to his work. Production values are high so it is possible to get a good overview of the paintings.