Well, the annual art show might be all wrapped up for another year but that doesn’t mean that things have slowed down any or that I’ve been lolling around watching tv. No, from one thing straight into the next and boy have I been busy with the next…
The fine folk at Nine Lives Gallery asked me to contribute to their mobile gallery that they are hosting at the Splendour In The Grass festival. I’ve contributed three pieces and while I will not be there in person, It’s nice to know plenty of gumboot wearing people will get to see some fine art amongst the myriad of things happening up there. If I get my hands on some photos I’ll throw them up here.
There’s a good and a bad side to making limited numbers of your art. The good is that you don’t often have to find storage space at home for all your creations. The bad side is that your friends and others miss out if they’re not quick enough. This was the case with a series of souvenir handmade books I made for my Doggett St Studio art show. The books showcased most of the woodcuts in the show (and one or two not in the show) in a nice little hardcover concertina styled creation. The book was an edition of 11 and was all sold out in around an hour on opening night. Still you can check them out here.
So fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and while I was at GOMA buying some great woodcuts from North Korea (more on that below) the bookstore manager Peter asked me if I would put some of my books in the GOMA store to sell. What an awesome opportunity! And so I’ve made a second edition of books. This time I’ve made 20 copies and have made some changes. This edition is green and like the first edition, has an original, unique woodcut print in the back of the book only this edition has a different print which will be available nowhere else.
The other project that has taken up a huge chunk of my life germinated some time ago but became a reality only recently in the form of a collaboration I’m doing with a good friend and fellow local artist Murdoch Stafford. We are collaborating on a triptych based around Japanese mythology, Murdoch is creating the initial illustrations and I’m making woodcuts out of them. In my way of always seeing if I can bite off more than I can chew, I’ve decided to do the woodcuts as big as possible – which is an A0 sized piece of plywood (for those overseas, that’s 33 x 45 inches)
This morning I finished the first of the three parts which happens to be the second of the three panels – it took around 52 hours just to carve it. This is as much as I’m going to show you for now…
…and the last bit of exciting woodcut related news I have (and mentioned above) is in regards to some art that I’ve purchased recently. A few months ago the state gallery had it’s triennial of art from the Asia Pacific region and amongst it all was a room full of wood and linocuts from The Mansudae Art Studio in North Korea. I spent a lot of time looking at these full colour relief prints and putting the politics of North Korea aside, I believed that these are great art. A few weeks after the exhibition closed, I went into the galleries bookstore and saw four of the prints in the show on sale. I could only afford two of them but I was so chuffed to have them to look at daily and be inspired by. The biggest of the two though is a meter and a half long and is so heavy that I couldn’t put it up on my wall. Instead it sits atop my shelves of records. The smaller one however currently sits pride of place in the loungeroom.
With these two pieces coming into my home, I got all inspired to frame up another print I got earlier in the year of a local artist named Sue Pickford. This is her linocut and it currently hangs on my “art wall” in my music room.
I have more art currently at the framers and so I’ll tell you more about those when I get them back home. Now I’m going to turn my attention towards the second panel of my collaboration so I guess I’ll be quiet for quite a few weeks to come.