Posts Tagged ‘ Alex Gillies ’
If you follow this blog at all then you will be well aware that everything for me over the last few months have led to my current exhibition that opened last night. Well It was a really great night with so many friends and new faces coming by and having a look at what I’ve been up to for the last few years. Once all the prints were on the wall, I was as amazed as anyone at this collection of work. I hadn’t realised I had done so many colour prints. So much for a narrative though, I guess I’m the narrative and this is how varied my life is at times…
…and on the opposing wall was the show’s centerpiece. The Fender telecaster that became a woodblock and then returned to being a guitar. It was fun last night to see people walk up and strum the stings only to them seem genuinely surprised when it made a sound.
For me the music I make and the art I make are one and the same creative past-time. So it was good to show off some of where my prints have gone.
As per usual though, I took these shots at the start of the night before anyone showed up and the forgot to take any photos as the night got underway. The artshow is up for the next few weeks and is open every day so if you are down in Fortitude Valley you should stop on by.
k.O.M.A. Project Gallery
Upstairs at Ksubi
Shop 2/30 James St,
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
A few people have asked about some of the limited Artist Books and records I made to coincide with the show. These are not in the gallery but are now available online here…
…and in the lead up to last night i even spent a few minutes having a chat on local radio 4BC about the show. You can go have a listen to that HERE
A big thanks to Matt at Mild Manners for helping put it together!
Everything is up on the walls and we’re ready to rock n roll (so to speak).
I even got a nice bit of coverage on page 9 in today’s daily newspaper The Courier Mail.
And I should mention that where as the exhibition is running for the next few weeks, the limited hand-made artist books and the vinyl I have made (scroll down the page to see them) will only be available from me tonight at the opening. So if you come along, hit me up!
Thanks and I’ll see you later on!
Recently Charlie Hillhouse (of Small House Books) dropped round to take some photos for the folks at Mild Manners. I was in the middle of finishing the last woodcut that will be in next week’s show. This is where I spend most of my days off. Around meal time it’s the kitchen table – the rest of the time it’s where all the projects that are strewn around the house are worked on.
While most of the time is spent carving the woodblock, once a woodcut is finished up, I head downstairs to the spare room which doubles as my makeshift printing room. On this day I was going back and printing a woodcut I hadn’t touched for over a year and had not gotten around to editioning. Everything is pretty much DIY. A jig from some left over timber. Inking glass that’s from an old picture frame. A drying rack that was once a clothes rack. Whatever gets the job done really.
The vast majority of my prints are printed by hand (I don’t actually own a printing press). This means that when using a baren (the little bamboo disc beside the print there) I usually need to make a few passes of the print – ink the block, apply the paper, ink the block, re-apply the paper and so on.
This is the fun part where I get to see if the woodblock has worked and eventually with the right amount of ink, the image starts to come off the block
And if everything goes according to plan then I’ll end up with a rich image with just enough wood-grain to complement the carved lines and add some texture.
So while I might take days, weeks or even longer to carve out a woodblock, I can usually have a few prints made in a couple of hours. A satisfying way to end the creative process.
Thanks to Charlie for the snapshots of me at work.
The trick to doing something repeatedly is to make it easier the subsequent times you do it. The fun part of making things for me is the challenges I need to problem solve. Those two things don’t always happen at the same time which means it is often interesting how different the outcome usually is to the initial motivating thought.
Making small-run handmade books is really fun. All it is (no joke) is some paper, sticky tape, scissors and sometimes a needle and thread! This latest book has been made specifically to go with my solo exhibition next week and it was supposed to be a piece of cake! At least that’s what I was thinking a month ago.
The not to uncommon scenario occurred where the book kept getting slicker and fancier with each new design step but hey I’m not complaining, I love how much like an actual small book this one looks like. I’ve covered some copies in metallic grey Japanese parer and some in metallic blue Japanese Paper. I’ve built the Obi strip into the front cover and hand-bound the spine.
Inside the book are some of the newest woodcuts I’ve completed over the last 12 months. While I’d love them all to be original prints, the variance in size and shape of my woodcuts means that high-quality reproductions was the most practical way to showcase the works.
Of course though It wouldn’t be right to not include an original print so you can see and feel the tactile nature of the image. The roughness, the embossing of the wood into the paper. A hand printed image is always far superior to something spat out of a machine. This print is in an edition of 20 and will only be made available with the book (which is obviously also an edition of 20). For those with good memories (or search skills of this blog), this little bird came to exist on a skateboard last year but seeing as that was a one off creation and I loved how the bird turned out, I’m using this book as an excuse to bring him back and one for myself to keep.
I will have all these at the opening night of my exhibition, next Thursday night 23rd from 6pm. I will also have the last three copies of THIS book available on the night. More details have been put up on the Mild Manners site and of course there’s stuff on Facebook too.
Yep. So this is coming up in a few weeks time and it is just the first of several exciting announcements and events that I have coming up over the next few months – I’m going to be all over the place and loving it.
This time around for the third installment of the show we have moved out of the DIY music venue and into the DIY art space. The Box Gallery is nestled in the heart of West End (http://theboxwestend.com), we’re definitly coming up in the world. I will have three new works on show which will be nestled in amongst a whole heap of great made by my friends.
If you want to have a sticky-beak at some of the works that are being made then you should head over to http://wasteddreambrisbane.blogspot.com.au or better still, go join the facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/121084578073428/ and share/invite your friends to come along too!
Well everything art-wise for the last two months has been all about the group show I’m a part of in a few weeks time (see posts below). I’m currently half way through my last woodcut for the show and what better time but to create a great big distraction. One in the form of another handmade book so I can show off some of the work I did last year.
I would almost say that this is becoming an annual thing for me, if it wasn’t for the fact that we’re only three weeks into 2012. In 2009 I made my first hand-bound artist book. I only made 5 copies of it though. In 2010 I made a much smaller sized one and there ended up being 31 copies over two editions of that made (with nine copies still somewhere amongst my books and records). In the middle of last year I made a deluxe book but seeing as it took ages to put together and wasn’t cheap to make, I only made seven copies, I couldn’t work out what I should do with them so I ended up giving them away to people who had bought some of my artworks.
I love making artist books, they are not only challenging to plan, construct and make but it’s nice to look back over what you’ve done recently and it does give you a sense of accomplishment. I always try to do something different each time with the bookbinding side of things and the one I’ve made this time could almost be considered a back to basics artist book. It’s a 16 page double-sided concertina layout with full colour reproductions of some of my favourite woodcuts that I made last year (well Dec 2010 to Jan 2012 to be precise). Also included in the book is an original hand-coloured woodcut that I’ve done exclusively to go with this book.
The original plan was to make a book that I could have to sell at the Wasted Dream art show in February but as everything came together last week I (again) didn’t know how many copies to make. So this time around I’m trying something a little different. Rather than making something and hoping others are interested (because I’ve already got my copy to keep so I’m happy) – I’m going to only make copies of the book for people who really do want one or for folks who are interested in the art I make but maybe don’t want to spend lots of money on a big print.
So I’ve set up a page where you can go and look at the book a bit closer and buy it through paypal. It’s $35.00 (Aus) and there are postage or pick up options available. Here’s the catch though… The book will be available to purchase for one month (24th Jan – 23rd Feb). After that I won’t be making any more. I’ll make the books over the next few weeks and at the end I will edition them accordingly and either post them out or (if you’re in Brisbane) bring them to the Wasted Dream art show. That means that there might only be three books made or maybe 30? I don’t know yet but this way no one misses out and I get to move onto more woodcuts (insert a short attention span).
If you look below on this blog, you’ll see that I had an art show recently. It was a great time and a great experience and a privilege to show with Murdoch. The only problem I had was that with months and months of lead up, making the art, promoting the show, etc, etc… the show itself seemed to be over in a flash. So a few weeks after everything was wrapped up, I thought I should make myself a memento of it all.
So seeing as I’d made artist books for my previous two solo shows, I figured I’d do something like that again.
This is what I’ve been making for the last two days. Seven copies of a small book showcasing all the art that Murdoch and I had on show at Nine Lives Gallery. Everything that was hanging on the walls is here in the book. I’ve constructed and hand-bound the book myself and even cut up two scroll panels to make small fabric pouches that the books will live within.
A fun little project and now something for me to keep. Oh, and I’m sorry but the copies that have been made have already gone to good homes so please don’t ask for one unless you want to give me the cash to personally make you one.