During my last supervisor meeting, we identified the fact that being out of town was giving me a feeling of isolation, and to be honest I feel like it has been hampering my confidence… There have been so many exhibitions on the last month that I have been dying to see, so I made a quick trip into to town, no time to see friends or visit the library – this time!
Working at home, cloth book, rainy day
I have resolved a work (stitched book) and am taking a break from my hand stitch work to reconnect with objects directly, more on that later…
I made it to seven galleries, and it was just what I needed. Looking to the year ahead, I’ll need to build this to my study and studio time, at least every other month.
Something to Remember
Top priority was Alexis Neal and Elke Finkenauer‘s Something to Remember, at The Gus Fisher Gallery. The exhibition consisted of two bodies of work, which included a series of print works and a book by each artist, there were also woven panels and long twisting ropes dividing the space or connecting the works, along with a school desk and chair with Neal’s book, and a taller table holding Finkenauer’s book. A glove placed on each book invited the viewer to sit or stand and turn the pages.
Alexis Neal’s print work
It just so happened in the lead up to the exhibition, I had also been studying Louise Bourgeois, her fabric works and in particular her cloth books and prints, so hearing that Neal and Finkenhauer were using the same starting point made this exhibition unmissable. I had also been working on a cloth book from the embroidered fragments I have been working with, so I was curious to see where Neal and Finkenhauer went with their response. I have been particularly interested in Bourgeois’s various display strategies, the books could be displayed as ‘books’ or a series of prints, this is something I had been experimenting with specifically.
Elke Finkenauer’s book
Alexis Neal’s book
For me, the display strategies; one book on a school desk and the other at a higher table were quite successful in how I approached and engaged with the work. The appearance of a school desk and chair amplified the narrative around childhood and memory, the imagery and colours of the works took me back to my childhood.
I have an idea for and exploded essay, Gabrielle Amodeo, 2018
Thinking back to some earlier MFA discoveries, my interest in the Evocative Object as source material or the work itself, I went to see two of Gabrielle Amodeo‘s projects, one in Te Uru and one in RM. The work installed in RM, I have an idea for and exploded essay, which according to her statement, is “… about unfinished work, about beginnings that went nowhere, about the constant tensions between wanting to make artwork and al the constraints that suspend the making…”. This appealed to me and spoke to my practice, which has many streams of ideas and projects happening – or not – as life happens, time slips away and priorities shift.
The work was displayed in the archive room, objects placed deliberately; organised in certain ways, the edges between the objects and the archive room blurred, could I sit on that seat? Can I open that folder? (I did neither) I had to carefully walk through and crouch down to see the labels and read them. There was a sense of ideas and plans, moments or events? Suggested by this work, I think this was through the objects themselves and the display strategy.
I really liked the wilted flowers