Art of Woman

Ginninderra Journeys

Another exciting exhibition!

Ginninderra Journeys explores the varied responses of the artists of Belconnen Artists Network. I had a sneak preview on the weekend and there is some stunning work...
  • Several wall hanging style textile arts combine fabric, thread, dying techniques, fabric painting and collage.
  • A representation of Ginninderra Falls painted in relief positively shimmers. The volcanic rocks emerge like children’s blocks from the canvas, offsetting a forest background with a twisted tree featured.
  • A peaceful poem, inspired by a visit to a prominent park in the region, is surrounded by graphite and charcoal palm fronds.
  • A woollen cloak billows in the breeze that wafts by as someone walks past. The cloak is embellished with embroidered spring flowers and a lavish felt flower clasp.
  • A suitcase, covered in the dust and stickers of many travels, is marked by the hand and footprint of its owner as if she is about to arrive at any moment and continue on her journey.
  • A tourist town is featured in bright colours in axiomatic projection like a Chinese map. All the landmarks are immediately recognisable and brightly coloured.
  • A fun night panorama with model cars driving to to enjoy the lady of the night.
  • A hospital facade with windows filled with the journey of life starting with birth and ending with death and many body dramas in between.
  • Four lizards expressing different aspects of the river’s personality.
  • A parliament of frogmouth owls chicks sit together on a log ready for their maiden flight.
  • Travellers with horses explore the National Bicentennial Trail.

I invite all my followers to the opening on Friday 7 September, 6:00pm at the Belconnen Arts Centre.

Download invitation

"Reconciled Rejections" by Cheralyn Darcy

On the weekend, I was excited to be able to visit an exhibition by Cheralyn Darcy, “Reconciled Rejections”. She has an amazing range of skills which she uses to express her talent and vision. Her work is varied including sculptured bird figures, assemblage, collage and a human sized bower! This body of work was themed on birds and their interaction with humanity. The birds were made from found objects and were a combination of natural and human made materials. Most of the natural world has to adapt to human influences and incorporate human materials into their existence. Using found objects is good for the environment and brings new spiritual life to discarded objects. Our culture discards things too easily, without thinking of other uses and possibilities.

Cheralyn does not criticise our waste. Instead she transforms it and creates beauty.

The birds are appealing to us to think of them within all our clutter. The Galah is holding it’s egg, but it was broken, exposing the inside. Unexpectedly, there was no downy chick inside, instead there were clockwork cogs and mechanisms almost like the egg was a ticking time bomb! Is this how we have treated birds? Is this the consequence of modern living?

These sculptures provoke different thinking about bird and human relationships.

I am greatly honoured that Cheralyn will be exhibiting with me next year from 8-20 March at Polymorph gallery, Newtown.

Body Painting

Medical students have always had difficulty studying anatomy using flat book images. There is a big difference between a flat page and the real living body. The way the organs and muscles fit together, the three dimensional curves, the scale and size and variety of body types. Here is a novel way to bring the body to life and teach anatomy. See this article from Australia’s ABC
Body Painting Helps Anatomy Lessons.

I like the way the body is used as a canvass. It gives the illusion that the skin is transparent. This is humanity in the raw and shows that we are all the same under our skins. There is no racism, no preconceptions. In a way this art is confronting how we experience our bodies and shows us all as vulnerable.

So is this Art? Should the model be nude? Personally, I think the model should be nude as a logical continuation of the painting. The underpants do not add to the learning at all and detract from the effect, they look contrived. The effect reminds me of Damien Hirst, “The Virgin Mother”. I think underpants would look silly on her too and even runs the risk of changing her from a body to a sex object.

However, this body painting exercise looks like a great learning experience. I’m sure it is fun to do also. Perhaps I should learn anatomy!

Sculptor, Tanya Menzies

"Beaded Nude"

Introducing Tanya Menzies, a sculptor who grew up in country Australia. She has a degree in Graphic Arts from Charles Sturt University. She has worked in the photographic industry and edited and designed the newsletter for Wagga Wagga Art Society.

She has created shimmering sculptures out of wire mesh, decorated with beads that sparkle like jewels. She is inspired by the female form and ideas of motherhood. Tanya was raised on a farm near Ardlethan. Born an artist, she was often in trouble for stealing pieces out of her father's shed to make fanciful mobiles, wind chimes, sculptures and anything else artistic she could dream up. After finishing school Tanya completed a BA in Graphic Design at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. In the course of her studies she worked on the student newspaper and as a freelance graphic designer. After graduating Tanya worked for a number of years in the photographic industry, restoring and manipulating photographic images. She also worked with the Wagga Wagga Art Society as their newsletter editor and in-house designer.

Along with her husband, Tanya has now returned to the land and the life she loves most. With a son and daughter aged five and three respectively, and a revitalising place to call home, life has come full circle. Tanya is looking forward to the next phase with all the creativity, passion and love she can muster.

She describes her work:

Although my interest ebbs and flows from one artistic venture to the next, I have been held for some time by the endless aesthetic qualities and possibilities of wire and wire mesh. More recently, the magic of beads has come into play. My preference for these materials has combined with my recent life experiences in the current body of work.

Essentially, the work is an exploration of womanly creation - what it is to create a new life, give birth and become a mother. There is no doubt that the experience can be emotionally and physically overwhelming, but it is also magic in its purest form. The work is intended to reflect this. It is unapologetically feminine and celebrates an experience that lives with a woman forever.