We cooperate as an association to advance the practice of sculpture and the reputation and appreciation of sculpture and sculptors in the community. This is regardless of whether or not we make a living from sculpture and regardless of our preferred style or medium. To this end we support artists’ moral rights, we advocate a professional attitude to the production and presentation of work and encourage the artistic and intellectual stimulation of interaction amongst artists of all persuasions.
Early one winter’s morning I pulled my beanie down over my ears and set off for my shed to begin work for the day. Not the most fashionable of headwear; the beret would be more appropriate in my line of work; but what colour; the colour has significance.
Hands in pockets and breathing clouds of vapour I stamped my way down the path and passed through the gothic arch of the doorway. I was working on a piece for an all wood exhibition later in the year and because of its allusions to gothic architecture wanted to leave tool marks in the surface reminiscent of those left by stone masons a thousand years ago. Starting an artwork is often a problem but deciding when it is finished can be equally problematic. In this case, too smooth or too rough and the proportions of scale are ruined. But what is just right?
The wood was eucalyptus marginata, or jarrah as it is more commonly known. It is native only to a small area in the south west corner of Western Australia. Known for its strength and durability it has historically been used, and used up, for the construction of large buildings. I use the burl wood, the scar tissue of the healing process of the damaged tree, wood that was, until fairly recently, wasted.
In the area where this tree grows is the small town of Denmark known mainly for its tourism. Some of the many artists who live and work in this town are sculptors of various persuasions working in wood, of course, metal and clay. One of the latter is Ulla Zettergren whose highly finished clay sculptures seem to have oriental features superimposed on those of a more Scandinavian origin that her name suggests. Ulla comes from Sweden.
At its closest point, only a strip of sea four kilometres wide separates Sweden from Denmark in Europe and on the tip of this particular Danish island is Elsinore, the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Shakespeare knew a thing or two about making a mark; he left his alright but I wish he had mentioned sculpture more often. The bard made very few references to the visual arts and only one to sculpture. In Act 5, Scene 3, of ‘A Winter’s Tale’ he attributes a statue in stone to Giulio Romano and lauds its lifelikeness; ‘a piece many years in doing and now newly performed by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano, who, had he himself eternity and could put breath into his work, would beguile Nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her ape: he so near to Hermione hath done Hermione that they say one would speak to her and stand in hope of answer’; the aim of every sculptor of realistic busts.
Giulio Romano, who died about fifty years before Shakespeare wrote the play, is not noted as a sculptor, he left his mark as an architect and painter. So is this a false attribution on Shakespeare’s part or just a flippant gesture to an artist he had no knowledge of but of whose name he had only heard?
Further up the coast of Denmark I could don the red beret of the paratrooper and drop in on the sculpture park curiously named ‘Louisiana’. It looks out over the sound between Denmark and Sweden and boasts large works by Moore, Serra, Calder, Arp, Shapiro and a host of other modernists including some local sculptors.
In the interests of symmetry I wondered if there is a Denmark in Louisiana, U.S.A. but no such luck. In any case to visit there would I have to wear my green beret and make a commando raid into what the neo-cons have made Fortress America? I certainly could not wear my black beret I might be mistaken for a Basque Terrorist.
Louisiana, U.S.A. does, however, boast two sculpture gardens both in New Orleans. They too have large collections of most of the moderns but that will have to wait for another time. I have spent so much time chatting to you I forgot to prepare the evening meal before she gets back. Now I’ll have to wear my pale blue beret and do a bit of peace keeping.
William Echoltz will come to Boroondarra Culture centre to tell us about his work. The talk will commence at 7.30 and will be accompanied by a power point presentation.
William Eicholtz is a contemporary sculptor, taking figurative art from its traditional lineage then performing and placing it firmly in current artistic dialogue. Evoking classic themes, his sensual sculptures rejoice in the metaphor and the physical, with a particular focus on the male nude.
Eicholtz acknowledges, in both theme and technique, the figure’s place in the classical history of art, then appropriates and translates it into a language infused with a humour and theatricality that embraces modern art.
Exploring and working with new materials in innovative ways, Eicholtz’s many public and private commissions vary from small –scale pieces suited to indoor display, to large scale weather hardy works.
These exciting and beautiful sculptures take their place in art practice today. Studying sculpture throughout his life, William has acquired a first class honours degree in fine art and he has been teaching for many years at university level.
He exhibits his work throughout Australia and is featured in international collections. William primarily works from his Melbourne studio and is fortunate to have dual USA/ Australian Citizenship.
Set up annual exhibition.
1st September to 4th October
Marija Patterson has kindly agreed to talk about her work.
Totem dolls with souls is a group exhibition exploring self identity through the resurging craft movement. Artists are invited to create a self portrait doll, not of how they look on the outside, but showing how they feel about themselves or how they secretly see themselves on the inside. These dolls will then be hung in the Fracture Galleries at Federation Square in Melbourne from 22nd of September to the 13th November as part of the Melbourne International Fringe Festival.
These dolls can be created from scratch (sewn, knitted, crocheted, carved, glued etc), conversions from pre-existing dolls, sculptural assemblages from any materials, found objects or anything else you can imagine. They can be a human, an animal, a mythical creature or anything else. They can be as fantastical or ordinary as each artist feels themselves to be. Artists can submit as many dolls as they wish. The venue can cater for dolls from 30cm to several metres.
The Venue: The Fracture Galleries are a unique exhibition space in the Atruim at Federation Square. Click here for the Fed Square website, www.fedsquare.com.au. They are totally weatherproof however they are exposed to sunlight. Please take this into consideration when constructing your doll.
The Artists: This exhibition is open to anyone of any ability, anywhere in the world. Inclusions in the exhibition costs $30 per adult artist (not per doll) and $15 conc. Payment can be via paypal, direct deposit, cheque or postal order. For international artists the entry fee is waived due to postage costs of the dolls.
The Exhibition: Totem is part of Melbourne Fringe www.melbournefringe.com.au. The dolls need to be delivered by the 15th of September. They can be dropped off or posted. If artists require dolls to be sent back after the exhibition is over, please include cost of return postage on top of your exhibition fee. Dolls that have not had some arrangement to be collected will be considered abandoned and given to charity.
A serious omission from last month's newsletter was the CAS annual exhibition. There were in fact a number of members of the ASV exhibiting and it was a show not to be missed – I hope everyone received a direct invitation and went along.
www.artistcareer.com.au is a new website developed by the Australian Business arts Foundation and the National Association for the Visual Arts to help visual arts, craft and design practitioners sustain successful careers. Its aim is to help us take control of our own learning and keep up to date with the latest short courses and workshops.
The site explores many topics: copyright, tax, grants, marketing and more. The site also sends an enewsletter.
Forming a key element to the Convent’s arts, cultural and education precinct, the gallery will present an innovative and engaging approach to the presentation of contemporary exhibitions, across all forms of artistic practice. It will also provide professional opportunities and support to artists at all stages of their careers.
Situated in an iconic building with a ground level entrance facing heritage gardens and the Yarra River, c3 offers a unique platform for contemporary community culture. The Abbotsford Convent precinct receives upwards of 25,000 visitors each month, from all walks of life.
It is c3’s mission to provide a calendar of exhibitions that represents a confluence of ideas expanding outwards from each gallery. With the structure of three galleries, each with differing intellectual projects, c3 can exhibit combinations of shows that will stimulate a large and divergent art crowd.
More information is available from Jon Butt, Director, c3 Contemporary Art Space M + 61417 112 482, P + 61 3 9415 3600, F + 61 3 9417 2472, E firstname.lastname@example.org
The staff at Bulleen Art and Garden are exhibiting a quilt: a community project which has been instigated & coordinated by Penny, a textile artist who also works in the BAAG office. Staff members have contributed patchwork squares for the quilt. After this exhibition it will then be sent to the Royal Children's Hospital as something special for children with cancer. Then there are the usual courses in limestone carving, mosaics and ceramics visit: www.baag.com.au
I was privileged to receive an invitation to the opening of Peter Blizzard’s Exhibition at Australian Galleries, 35 Derby Street, Collingwood. The Exhibition was opened by Ken Scarlett and was enjoyed by all. Liz’ photographs although superb, do not do justice to the works in the flesh. They are very powerful, beautifully executed and presented. The materials used are: brass, steel, bronze, and stone. Sometimes all of these materials are used in one piece. The effect is breathtaking. The shapes that Peter keeps on repeating represent his reverence of nature. “…an ongoing investigation into ideas and responses to nature, the environment, landscape, and about the relationship of nature to the human spirit and culture”. Comment by Peter Blizzard. The circle represents the sun, the half circle – the moon, the zig-zags the mountains, the wavy bits (for want of a better word) possibly joy. I hope that I have interpreted them correctly. Peter Blizzard is the only Australian to have received an invitation to exhibit by the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Tokyo. His work is in private collections around the world. Even in The Vatican.
Money for Visual Artists: At last!! We know you have been hanging out for the new edition of NAVA's most popular publication Money for Visual Artists, which lists all the competitions, awards and prizes, offered around the country and some overseas as well. The good news is that it is being printed now and will be available for purchase next week. You either can order it online through the shop by registering to the NAVA website http://www.visualarts.net.au/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=463&qid=60086 or ring and order it over the phone (02) 9368 1900 and it will be posted out to you.
Melbourne Art Fair: Watch out for some NAVA treats at the Melbourne Art Fair this year. If you see someone in the crowd wearing a Money for Visual Artists t-shirt, stop her and find out how you can get a free gift and the opportunity to enter for a big prize. NAVA has been allocated a stand on the first floor level next to the art magazines, instead of our usual spot opposite the cafe on the ground floor. To encourage people to come and visit us to have a chat, ask for advice or buy some of our wonderful publications, we are offering great discounts and prizes. Hot off the press, the new edition of Money for Visual Artists will be available for members at $5 off the discount price, at the fair only. Be one of the first to get this new publication!
Art Censorship: If you want to read what NAVA has been saying about the censorship of artist Bill Henson and art magazine Art Monthly, check out the News Desk on the NAVA website http://www.visualarts.net.au/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=464&qid=60086. The heat of this debate has lead NAVA to make a commitment to produce an Art Censorship Guide and the steering committee for this project is in the process of formation. The other commitment we made was to produce a checklist for artists working with children for inclusion in the next edition of our Code of Practice. Since then, the Prime Minister charged the Australia Council with this task, so we will offer our advice and see what is the outcome before deciding what to do.
Artlink: Art Mind Beauty: Art/Mind/Beauty tackles one of the questions exercising the minds of philosophers in the age of neuro-science - how does the mind create notions of beauty and why are some artists and audiences drawn to the fragile, the shimmering, the highly decorative and the nature-inspired? Has contemporary art been diminished by the absence of these visual pleasures? Perhaps beauty and a sense of the ineffable have crept back without our noticing. Could this be related to a fear that time is running out for the natural world? Artists who inspired this issue include Imants Tillers, Jon Cattapan, John Mawurndjul, Doreen Reid Nakamarra, Catherine Woo, Stieg Persson, David Keeling and Philip Wolfhagen (painters); Hossein & Angela Valamanesh, Giles Bettison, Kirsten Coelho, Timothy Horn, Ah Xian, Robyn Stacey, Karl Wiebke, Robin Best and Tina Gonsalves (other media). Editor Margot Osborne. To take advantage of the 10% discount on Artlink subscription for NAVA members, go to http://www.visualarts.net.au/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=470&qid=60086