Friday, November 16, 2012

Moschino Cheap And Chic 2012 Plus Distraction Techniques.

I don't have much time to blog at the moment - not just creating thoughtful posts but visiting other blogs as well. The thought of only 2-3 weeks before my exhibition and nearly half the work left to do (thats right half) makes me feel a bit nauseaus. Fashion blogging seems to be my default position then - a happy distraction and a way to keep connected in someway to the world of blogging. Here we have the Moschino Cheap and Chic Fall 2012 collection. as usual crazy, eclected, colouful and exciting. Love this - it's a bit of everything, pattern, texture, patchwork, colour blocking and retro touches with the silhouettes - which always seems to be the touchstone for what draws me in.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Orla Kiely Winter 2012

Winter 2012 is over in the Southern hemisphere so I really should focus on how happy I am to feel the weather getting warmer, but then I see these cute black retro silhouette type looks from Orla Kielly's Winter collection and I start hankering for black tunics, coats and three quarter sleeves, which is crazy. Also crazy is talking and blogging fashion when I've got so much art work to complete in so little time. Truth is I'm not having much 'luck'. I'm working when I can but not making enough progress, technique is at times eluding me and another trip to the hospital on Monday looms threatening to wipe out another week. The ever understanding teaching staff are happy for me to delay my assessment but that means missing the graduation exhibition which to me is kind of the whole point...
So no light as such at the end of the tunnel as yet but I'm not giving up on the exhibition until I absolutely have no choice. Next post I aim to start putting up some of my work in progress. With emphasis on the word progess.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The 1950s Swedish Love Seat.

This 1950s Swedish 'Love Seat' has my name all over it. But if you can beat me to saving up approximately $2500 it can be yours instead (not counting postage from the UK) instead of mine. Just don't let me know....

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Face To Face With Real Life Prada (Plus Notes On My Doctor).

I've been seeing the same doctor for twenty years now and I owe him a lot (not money, he gets heaps of that from me) but my sanity for diagnosing what no one else could throughout my childhood.  Doggedly, throughout that time, he persisted where others gave up - never once saying "get used to it, this is as good as it can be for you" but persisting with immunologists until I qualified for the immunotherapy program I'm on now. And for this I am full of gratitude. Nonetheless he can be a selfish man. For example moving to Sydney so that instead of it taking Fifteen minutes to get to his surgery it now takes Four Hours (that's right he thoughtlessly moved to the North side of the bridge, complicating the whole trip hence that fourth extra hour). What's more they love him so much in Sydney he can put his fees up astronomically and only has to work two days a week instead of four (they just didn't get him in conservative old Canberra). Hence I can really only get to see him once a year now, twice at best, and then rely on pricey phone calls I can't get a rebate for. But as you know I am nothing if not optimistic, not one to easily complain, glass half full, lemonade, not lemons blah blah.....

So here is the upside to a situation where someone I am so dependent on has semi removed themselves from my life: I get to go to Sydney - busy, thriving city with better weather than from where i come from! And stay with my sister! And see my gorgeous soon to be Five year old niece! Not good enough for you? How about this then (and here's where I really get to sound like a country hick)? Hang out in the city where I come face to face with a real life Prada store situated adjacently from a real life Mui Mui store! Which is exactly what I did, while my energy held out. Despite being dressed with no thought at all (jeans so comfortable they were on just this side of a track suit) I did not hesitate to go in. Miuccia Prada is one of my favourite designers. I adore what she does with colour, pattern, form and concept. But I had always wondered if seeing the clothes in real life - not glossed up in advertorial and magazine editorial - would be a bit of a let down, just clothes after all. They were gorgeous. Like museum pieces. My Five year old niece and I danced around Mui Mui enchanted with the glitter encrusted heel Mary Janes "Don't touch" I told her picking them up. It's not even as if this season is my favourite of collections. But I could not take my eye off the 70s inspired rock star suits or the long chunky bead encrusted tunics. I can see how if you had the money and bought just one of these designer pieces it would be hard to go back. Back to your just this side of a tracksuit jeans. Guess it's lucky then I have devoted my wallet instead to my big city designer Doctor.. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apologies In Advance For The Gloom.

I am in my final semester of study now, meaning in a couple of short months I will graduate after having presented to the world (ie meaning family, friends and those interested in the work of soon to graduate Visual Artists) a body of work that says a lot about my abilities, technical skill, thought processes, approach to art and just approach to life generally. Ultimately I would like my work to offer the viewer an illuminative and uplifting world view and yet that is very far off from the place i am sitting right now. Illness, I am sorry to say has me by the throat. I hate giving in to it. But today I yearn to. Enough of the pushing through, enough of the painful crawl towards deadlines. Why, I wonder today, don't I ever take the illness into account when I set about a new semester with excitement, planning a grand body of work that is destined to keep me in a state of stress and pressure for the endurance and lead to these inevitable moments of just wanting to toss it in or at it's very least scale it down drastically? I wont of course, just yet - I can surely come up with something, I hope,  but it wont be what I planned or what I could manage under different circumstances....and that's kind of disappointing.
And then there is the very real fear that I wont come up with anything at all.
It's early days for Intrgram and the fact is I have witnessed some little miracles already on the microbial/bacterial front (a wonder to behold as infected cuts and scrapes heal before my eyes) but no help on the viral front. Hopefully that's in time.
So here is my work, so far...I haven't got much energy today to describe it but suffice here to say I'm mixing assemblage with textiles and concepts like Ostranenie with the philisophical contexts of existentialism and absurdism. Lots of anatomical visual references and building off previous works I've shown here before with zines and artists books.
So enough of my pessimistic words.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Zombies Hate Stuff.

Day nine since the first Intragram infusion and still feeling like I've done ten rounds in the ring. Today got sick of all the net surfing from bed and persuaded C to take me out to The National Portrait Gallery even though he had taken the day off to organise various household things that needed organising. I was too unwell to actually roam the exhibitions but we had a coffee in the cafe and then took on the book shop which has to be the best arts book shop I've encountered. Heaps of brilliant books were added to my wish list but it's this novelty one that really lit my day up - Zombies Hate Stuff. Who knew? According to the author Greg Stones zombies hate all kinds of things. They're pretty disgruntled types but what they particularly hate is kittens, clowns, weddings, sharing, re-gifting and war re-enacters. They also hate...


Hippies and...

Mannequins (and regifting).

Read a little more about Greg Stone here where he guest blogs and interviews himself.
Thank you Greg Stones. You made my day :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hellooooo Intragram!

I haven't been much of a blogger lately - busy trying to come up with something 'amazing' for my end of year graduate exhibition. Don't ask me what that something 'amazing' is because I don't have it yet and am a bit worried my ideas are more in the 'lame' category rather than 'amazing' category. I've developed a bad case of flagging confidence manifesting itself in some impressive procrastination skills I didn't know I had - and not the productive kind where I might blog creatively or read a good book. More a kind of denial stupor. Bit worried. So here I am now trying to pull myself out of it by engaging with something a bit creative and proactive and hopefully that will spin off into this fantastic body of art work that will justify the last two and a half years of dogged effort. At the very least I will have achieved a blog post.

So not my usual kind of eye candy photo but yesterday was my longed for first infusion of Intragram. So what does a struggling blogger do while being infused with other peoples immune systems? They take a photo of their hospital lunch of course. Furtively I might add.
 So  yesterday was the first of twelve treatments in a year long trial. It went pretty well, except for the first nurse 'tissue - ing' my vein. I hate that word - hearing her call a botched effort that was worse than it happening. Second bad thing was realising my ipod wan't charged up and third bad thing was the environment - an airless, crowded room down the corridor from Emergency they call Hospital In The Home which brings the expectation there'll be a few crochet rugs tossed about. Maybe they should call it Hospital in the Dungeon though. There were some small windows but they look into other smaller peach coloured dungeons. I felt so sorry for the staff who work in there every day. When I arrived they said "Whats it like outside now?" I was sorry to tell them it was our first beautiful, clear skied, warm spring day. 
But for the upsides: The toasty warm blanket the nurse gave me fresh from wherever they get toasty warmed up blankets; the fact I tolerated the treatment; the fact I'm getting the treatment at all and the fact there are people out there donating their blood to make products like Intragram so I can have this chance. It's too early yet to know if it will work (hence the word 'trial') but to be sure today I feel as though I've been hit by a freight train. And I'm choosing to see that as a good sign.
Anyway enough about medicine. Stay tuned for my next post where I describe my trip last week to Sydney to see my sister and found myself stepping inside a Real. Live. Prada. Store.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Shifting Perspectives. Karl Lagerfeld and his Marie Antoinette Moment.

Here is my major work for last semester - a response to a brief called Shifting Perspectives which required a little bit of activism really - art as a vehicle for persuading the audience to think differently or just creating a new awareness in your audience. My particular work , which I titled "Let Them Eat Cake"  was inspired by by a comment from Chanel fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld that went something like.... "This is how to spend your money, but spend it in style. There has never been so much money around here as there is at the moment" as he sent models down the catwalk in outfits decorated with real diamonds ("This is the time of day when you can tell the real from the fake, no?") which had me wondering at the insensitivity of a comment like that when half of Europe is beleaguered in debt crisis. And thats to say nothing of the millions in the developing world just struggling for subsistence. It put me immediately in mind of Marie Antoinette's infamously insensitive line "Let Them Eat Cake" which set me off on this path of taking a fashion magazine focused on luxury and then satirising both it's text and imagery. Fashion shoots set in a Darfur refugee camp featuring military chic for example. $48,000 Dior bags juxtaposed with sweatshop districts. You get the idea...

I've long struggled with my love of fashion from a creative point of view and it's role in allowing people to think it's okay to spend $28,000 (even $1000 really but where do you draw the line?) on a handbag when there is so much genuine need in the world so this felt very cathartic.

The historical context I positioned this work in was key. I painted Karl Lagerfeld as King Louis the XVI for the cover of my magazine (which I called RICE) because its interesting to me that we have no problem judging this historical excess (Marie Antoinette et al's lavish lifestyle as peasants starved outside the palace gates) while today priviilged pockets of society continue to live lives of obscene extravagance generally uncriticised. Maybe we are a little disgusted when we hear the details but generally we are are too busy aspiring to a bit of luxury ourselves to condemn it with any real meaning (the revolutions in history for example). And I guess that is where the magazines come in selling us this aspirational lifestyle which only makes us complicit. At least the peasants new their place in life.......As a self confessed magazine addict you can see a little of my conflicted heart in this work!

Probably the funniest part of all this work was when I presented it to a panel of art/design industry professionals. I was told later at the exhibition opening by one of the panel that as they were discussing my work and deciding my grade one of the others had said "But did you see she was wearing Prada glasses?" Oh the hypocrisy!!! Like I say, my conflicted heart...

A couple of nights before I was ready to present I was all photoshopped out and desperate to use my hands making something so I used one of the cover posters to make a basic zine which I then stitched bits of satirised text and imagery, also from the magazine, into and slipped in between the pages of the main magazine as one of those annoying extras that fall out of a magazine when you open it up . It ended up being my favourite part of the work.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Great Gatsby and Jack White.

Ever since I heard director Baz Luhrmann was remaking The Great Gatsby I've been a little bit excited. I hunted down the movie's trailer the other day and going from just this little snippet alone it seems reasonable to hope that Luhrmann has pulled off another Romeo and Juliet while avoiding another Moulin Rouge (a collossal waste of creative resources to say nothing of sequins). But at least here -as with Romeo + Juliet - Luhrmann is working with great material, F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. I'm also hopeful for the soundtrack - again if the trailer is anything to go by. Jack white's cover of U2's Love Is Blindness looks to be a truly inspired choice, capturing the hollowed out depths of emotion and painful alienation that Gatsby's pursuit of daisy symbolises and you can catch a snippet of it in context on the trailer. I have to confess that I am slightly obsessed with this song. Not since Gotye's Somebody That I used To Know have I listened to a song over and over again for the raw emotion it savagely taps into. I've posted in the full song below to make your own mind up on!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And the winner is....Me!

How often do you enter giveaways? I only enter them if I really, really want the giveaway because somehow it just doesn't seem worth the odds - and I never win so those are the odds. And given those odds I forget about the giveaway seconds after I leave my comment/entry. So it was just the most unusual and amazing thing when I found an oldish message in my inbox from Kylie at Paravent (formerly known as the artist from 3 Sheets) letting me know I had won her cushion giveaway. I must have seemed like the rudest person, just ignoring the email, not replying with even a basic thank you. Anyway to say I was dumbfounded is an understatement. I wanted these cushions really really badly. I immediately made contact fearful she had given up on me and done a redraw!
When the cushions arrive and I saw them in person my jaw dropped. They are amazing. Not just cool but handmade flawlessly. Integrity all the way! Clever Kylie and lucky, lucky me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stuck In Bed.

A cloudy grey Sunday afternoon confined to bed. Seems like years since I was up and about taking care of life's minutea, so miserable is this latest enduring infection. But as in all things the best course of action is to focus on the upside (at least for bloggings sake). For example C has taken the last week of the school holidays off work and besides taking over all laundry/cooking/child entertaining has also wired my lap top. This means for the first time ever I can internet away in bed. Anyone who knows me well will understand what a dangerous combination this is - me, the bed, the internet. If not for illness I would have the most competitive Pinterest account known (oh the injustice!) - and that's saying quite a bit. Have discovered for instance there are some pinners busy collecting images of potato chips - and not even the fresh homemade type. Anyway who's to say my obsessions are any better? You can be the judge. Will share (a mere fraction) of my afternoon's labour on Pinterest here, including new favourite illustrator Isabelle Arnault.

Images Via.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

If Ever I write A Cookbook...

School holidays and am sadly, unfortunately,  annoyingly, pretty sick with ongoing case of flu. So have turned to the work of lifestyle photographer Dietland Wolf to get through the day! Her creativity and use of colour seem to be boundless as there are so many different styles to love on her blog. Today though it's the chalky pastels up top I'm drawn to. If ever I write a cook book (not likely, hate cooking, but then these days getting one's own cookbook out seems compulsory and I do hate to be left behind...) then definitely she will get the photography gig...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Artists Book: Intimate/Obscure.

For a while now I've been meaning to put up the results of some lino printing I did last year for an artists book. The book was in response to a brief called "Intimate/Obscure"which required autobiographical detail obscured within three lino prints (described as Space, Posture and Energy) and remains one of my favourite things to have done these past two years. Given I love books as a close second to art I found this an almost  dream project. Not that you could tell that from blog posts at the time which record my almost paralysing intimidation at the talent around me and of the lino itself. Eventually I pushed through and was glad I did. When prints come through the press, all graphic and crisp, even amateur efforts give nice results.
The other reason this is one of my favourite projects was the conceptual opportunities it opened up. I love the way accordion books can be opened from one side and then be another book completely on the other. I decided to exploit this by using two competing theories of 'self' to obscure what would have otherwise been too intimate. I kept the lino side as Biological Determinism with it's sharp graphic imprint and the subjects of the prints themselves elements I regard as intrinsic to myself. The other side opposed with Existentialism as it's context - a collage of life experiences that come together in a way that has no specific meaning but to help build a self image. For example I use bits of letters and mirrors and frames as a way of suggesting we build a self through not just experience but in how others reflect us back to ourselves and that that process is constantly being reframed. For now I like to remember the fear pushed through to create this as I try once more this semester to confront my limitations and a new brief that leaves me full of doubts and trepidation.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 12/13 Collection.

What do you think of the latest collection from Louis Vuitton to walk down the runway? It's like turn of the century meets 60s psychedelia meets so many others things I don't know where to start. Nonetheless I love it. I love the hats, the long sleek, layered silhouettes, the metallics, the bejewelling, the feathers...the whole thing. Only Marc Jacobs could have pulled this off...
(Afterthought - is it just me or is there something really Dr Suess about this collection??)