Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Residencies and other things .....
I recently was fortunate enough to spend time away from Melbourne's winter in firstly New York where I completed the School of Visual Art's Summer Painting Intensive.  This was a great opportunity to make work in New York and included gallery visits, trips to museums, making work in amazing studio space and critiques from some exciting artists.  I started to work on these flat backgrounds which I found focused attention on the fur.  Initially I found this colour blue so intense it felt like a flickering fluorescent light - a useful exercise in working your way out of something that is initially unappealing and then grows on you!

This is the view from my studio on the 8th floor of 141 W 21st Street - beautiful light filled studios and this photograph does not do it justice!

And secondly, on to London where I have been part of the inaugural London Summer Intensive - a collaborative partnership between the Camden Arts Centre and the Slade School of Art, UCL.  21 artists are working out of the Slade Research Centre at Woburn Square in the historic Bloomsbury.  Nice to know that the likes of Virginia Woolf, Francis Bacon and others walked these streets.  This time we are in big shared studios working intensely on our work as well as receiving critiques from an impressive line up of visiting artists, visits to museums, artist talks etc.  One of the nice things has been making friendships with other like-minded people.  The month culminates in an exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre.

This is the piece I will most likely show - there's another bit to it that is at the framer's at the moment - it's a small painting on raw linen - mimicking the fur that's in the box.  I am hoping that they will provide an interesting contrast in what is real and not.  The box has been on my desk and for someone who studied psychology, it's a great exercise in who feels brave enough to put their hand in the box and who's asking whether it's a safe box!  One thing in common is that the fur (Mongolian Lamb so not really fur, more wool) attracts people to want to touch it.  

I have also been working on small paintings - this one on pink was a bit unusual for me as pink is not a colour I am naturally drawn to but thought I would give it a chance and am very happy with the outcome!  For anyone wanting to spend time indulging in their practice, both of these residencies are highly recommended.

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