The Journey to Self through SoulCollage®

The Ego, Jung tells us, is that part of the pyche that we think of as 'I'. Our conscious intelligence. Our everyday brain that thinks, plans and runs the show of our day-to-day life. The Self, as Jung defined it, is a greater entity, which includes the Ego but also incorporates the Personal and Collective Unconscious. Dreams and intuitions come from the Self. The archetypes of the unconscious dwell there. It is, Jung believed, the sphere of the Soul ~~Steven Pressfield. 'The War of Art'

"I would love to live like a river flows,
 carried by the surprise
 of its own unfolding".

 ~ ~John O'Donohue

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Catch-up time!

I've not been a very good blogger for the past 18 months or so, as evidenced by the fact that this is my first post since July last year. However, I HAVE been busy so will briefly bring you up to date with my art-related doings since then.

Much of the second half of last year was taken up with recovering from my 4 months in Europe and preparing for the arrival in late November of the Berlin-based section of my expanding family. It was exciting to have them here for 8 weeks and to introduce my little granddaughter and my new son-in-law to Australia and family and friends here. Amongst the family activities were several visits to the fabulous 6th Asia- Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6) at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, as I've mentioned previously, one of my favourite regular exhibitions, which occupies all of GoMA, as well as a large chunk of the adjacent Queensland Art Gallery. It features contemporary art from the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, the Pacific islands, Tibet, North Korea, and from as far afield as Iran and Turkey. It's free and runs for 5 months, which means that I can visit frequently and really immerse myself in the art, and as I live within 45 minutes walking distance from the galleries, I can get fit whilst also getting my regular cultural fix!

At each of these exhibitions, I usually have a few favourite pieces. Here are some from this exhibition:
PixCell-Elk #2 (2009)by Kohei Nawa (Japan). Glass, acrylic, crystal beads.
This is a strangely beautiful and affecting piece which I never got tired of looking at. The artist purchased the taxidermied elk on Ebay and then covered it with glass balls of varying sizes. The thought of a taxidermied animal being inside may sound awful but it's very beautiful and ethereal, displayed in a completely white room with lovely white light and with interesting effects when people on the other side of the work can be seen through the larger glass balls. It looks darker in these photos than it actually is. Judging by people's reactions to it, I think it could have been the most popular work in the exhibition. I think the elk must have been a very great Spirit to have been immortalised in such a beautiful way, and now bringing pleasure to so many people.

Also sublime and luminescent was this incredibly intricate large three-dimensional work by the Iranian artist, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, featuring four thousand tiny mirror fragments in each of the six panels.

Lighting for Neda (2009) Mirror mosaic, reverse glass painting, plaster on wood. 6 panels, 300x200cm each.
I could sit in front of it for hours as it's very meditative, featuring traditional Islamic geometric patterns and drawing on Sufi symbolism. My little granddaughter of course loved the sparkling mirrors. I look forward to seeing this work again as it was commissioned for the exhibition and has been purchased by the gallery.

Other Thing (2005/06) by Subodh Gupta (India), consisting of hundreds of pairs of chappatti tongs, was also interesting, as were his other 2 works in the exhibition.

The installation, 'Cloud' (2009) by the Thai artist Wit Pimkanchanapong was also stunning in its simplicity – hundreds of sheets of photocopy paper clipped with paper clips onto string and strung high up across the main gallery. 

Another enjoyable installation for people of all ages was this one:

Liminal Air - descend by Shinji Ohmaki, Japan (2007-2009). Nylon string, mirror, fluorescent lights, Japanese paper panels.

It's an interesting and meditative interactive work which everyone seemed to enjoy immensely, especially the children. Here's some more information.

Our gallery also runs wonderful children's art activities in conjunction with all major exhibitions, in which the child in me always enjoys participating! This was one of Zizi's favourites at APT6. She loved contributing to this artwork (below) by placing some stickers on the originally all-white Buddhas. She also enjoyed the work with white strings above and got into the spirit of things by dancing with Mama and Papa in the Pacific Reggae exhibit.

This was fun and looked fabulous by the end of the exhibition, with all the aeroplanes made by little (and big!) children.

Find more information on the Children's Art Centre through the links at this page.

There's information about the APT6 exhibition, the artists featured, and images of one of each their works, through this link

Another enjoyable exhibition in the Queensland Art Gallery following the APT6 was 'Hats: An Anthology' by Stephen Jones, which I hadn't been very excited about seeing but really liked when I did eventually get to see it. The hats were amazing and it was fun to see people wandering around the gallery, around town, and even backpackers on bicyces, sporting the hats they'd made from paper, cardboard, feathers etc, at the activity associated with the exhibition. I even spotted some ladies from the Red Hat Society decked out in their finest for their visit to the exhibition (below).

Other exhibitions I've enjoyed include 13 works from the amazing Ron Mueck.

   Ron Mueck | Wild man 2005 | Polyester resin, fibreglass, silicone, aluminium, wood, horse hair, synthetic hair

Find more about the Ron Mueck exhibition here.

Another regular exhibition that I always find inspiring, Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art and Design features artworks by some of the state's final year high school art students. Unfortunately I don't have the catalogue with me in Berlin so will have to identify the artworks and the artists when I return home (apologies to the artists).

There was also an excellent Indigenous Fibre Arts exhibition at GoMA last year called Floating Life but I'll write about some of the indigenous art at the gallery in a future posting.

On my return from Europe last year 'The China Project' was showing at GoMA, featuring works from the gallery's permanent collection of Chinese contemporary art, many of which have been shown in previous APTs, including these exquisite Ah Xian figures, of which the gallery owns several. Ah Xian is a Chinese/Australian artist who does exquisite work using traditional Chinese techniques in porcelain, cloisonné, bronze and jade.

Left: Ah Xian | China/Australia b.1960 | Human human - lotus, cloisonné figure 1 2000-01 Hand-beaten copper, finely enamelled in the cloisonné technique | 158 x 55.5 x 32cm (GoMA permanent collection)

Centre: Ah Xian | China/Australia b.1960 l porcelain head (GoMA permanent collection)
Right: Ah Xian | China/Australia b.1960 l Bronze (2 works from the on-going 'Metaphysica' series)
I was also fortunate to be in Sydney earlier this year for a couple of days during the Biennale of Sydney, with the theme, 'The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age' and saw an excellent exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay, including some very interesting works by the Australian artist David Noonan.
Owl/2009/David Noonan

And a scarily beautiful installation by Angela Elsworth (USA) called 'Seer Bonnets':

The bonnets are constructed using thousands of pearl-topped sewing pins and look exquisite on the outside until one notices that the sharp ends of the pins are protruding inwards.

I also discovered another indigenous artist whose work I enjoyed, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, who works with rusted metal and wire, materials that I like to work with also.

Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Hunter-gatherer.
And I'm really looking forward to seeing this exhibition when I get home in January:


B-u-x said...

Some amazing and inspirational pieces of art featured in this blog, very interesting to see what's happening on your continent!

I'd love to have experienced some of those installations!


Inner Artist said...

Thanks for the comments, Bux. I hope to update soon but life is hectic in Berlin and I'm finding it difficult to maintain one blog, let alone 2! Hope life is good for you. Jo

J Bar said...

Awesome artwork.
Sydney - City and Suburbs