This is Spiritual and Physical: Seventh Gallery

April 3, 2016 § Leave a comment

My work This is Spiritual and Physical is showing at Seventh Gallery in Melbourne, through to 15 April 2016. Thank you to Kate Clark for her work on the soundscape.

This is Spiritual and Physical presents video shot in Scotland and Iceland over several years that documents farming and rural life and sites of pilgrimage. The imagery explores the physical and aesthetic characteristics of landscape use for work and that which is visited for its spiritual significance, and aims to elucidate the correspondence between the output of the work generated by a body performing repetitive labour and that generated by spiritual pilgrimage.

This is Spiritual and Physical, HD video with sound, 19m 16s, 2016. Stills:

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The Enclave

May 11, 2014 § 2 Comments

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Richard Mosse, Still from The Enclave (detail), 2012–13, 16mm infrared film transferred to HD video, 39:25 mins. Courtesy: The artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

I recently saw The Enclave, Richard Mosse with sound by Ben Frost, at CoFA Gallery in Sydney – and it was beautiful. In a large dark room six large screens all set apart from each other but all related, the internal four forming walls with two side flanking sceens diverting your attention with corresponding and contrasting images.

What I loved was the alternation between absurdity and normalcy. Some of the sequences looked staged, while others were so unique they could only have been of the moment. Aspects of lives that build around violence.

Seeing everything from low long sweeps of the landscape, to different urban centers of the Congo, to watching a local talent show, a funeral, a house moving. The remains of dugout houses of militia(?), hidden high on a mountain lookout. A rushing river and a bridge. The infrared film and use of stedicam give the images this smooth and otherworldly appearance, as if I was there as a sort of apparition.

The work was masterful in building suspense and tension for a moment that never came. I was left wondering what was I expected to be scared of? Was the tension indicative of the time, or have I been conditioned to align feelings with these kinds of scenes – people in uniforms, rhythmic sound, weapons, hiding and reveal.

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March 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

My birthday is today. Here are some beautiful things from this weekend.

Kulata Tjuta Project from the Dark Heart 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. The piece shows punu (wood) and kulata (spear) hanging in formation suspended above the heads of visitors. The amazing shadows are like strike marks on the wall. I loved this piece.

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Then two images from the stratosphere. Probably the only place that makes sense right now….

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Tidelands

October 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

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There have been a lot of warm winds lately, the summer ones, bringing change. Another new housemate soon.

I have a solo show in Melbourne next year, and am crossing my fingers for a second. Two talented artists are going to write essays for a catalog.

I’m not saying much as my mind feels really silent, and my days are busy and warm. Thinking about Linda visiting, parties, riding my bike, reading books about memory and the landscape. Spending time with my goddaughter Holly, who was 4 weeks old yesterday.

Neon & life

September 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

The show opening at Kings ARI in Melbourne went well. As with all installs there were anxious moments (mine) regarding lighting and balance between works, and horrible visions of broken neon all over the floor… I took lots of install shots with my medium format, and I should have that film back at the end of the week. My friend Karen took this with her Future Phone though:

Neon sculpture of outline of Prophetess Mountain, Iceland

Prophetess Mountain, 2013, Neon on aluminium, 150cm x 100cm, installation shot.

Working in this medium is interesting. I have some other ideas, but maybe fluros would be as good.

Coming back to Sydney on Saturday night, it is strange how silent and calm a plane full of people can be towards the end of the night. The row I sat in, had no window.

Yesterday I rode out to Cronulla and back, via Sans Souci and the green cycle paths through the mangroves. About 60km. There were some interesting smells of dirt and the sea, and the sun which made me think of Adelaide. The government there have been planning to tear down the house I grew up in, my father’s house, to widen South Road, a main trucking corridor. Dad says maybe this won’t happen if the libs get in the next election. Thinking about it makes me so sad… the house has featured in so much of my work, let alone my life.

“The smell of jasmine. The colour of the roof on the old boarding house in Eveleigh, the same red turned dusty pink in a warm sun set as my father’s house.”

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Going to Tasmania soon, for MoNA, visit UTas and check out the art school there… possibilities. Still feeling like I don’t belong anywhere. But having the sun come in the door to my room is a comfort. My Yashica Mat 124 is being fixed as well, another camera for me to work with.

Next year Is Finland, Norway, Iceland, USA, UK… maybe Lithuania. Next month is the video works. One is about industry and repetition, and execution of tasks, one is the snow storm as celestial event. Two visitors soon. One from Iceland, one from the US.

I also saw my friend Lea Donnan‘s show at Kudos recently – this is what I wrote to her, ” It was mesmerizing, and yes a little emotional for someone who knows the town. There was also this.. aggressive futility to some of the actions – so overt, powerful, using cars, guns, big things – but then exposing fragile cracks, bodies absorbing a gun kick-back, the ice that crumbles while wrapped in a blanket, the refuse and things left behind…”

This has become a mish-mash… I won’t ever stop hating others until I stop hating myself.

Installation documentation HD video and sound

June 21, 2013 § 2 Comments

Film documentation of my installation A place prepared for sleep / Staður undirbúin fyrir svefn. 01:10, June 2013.

This film shows the delicate nature of the piece, specifically how each string corresponds with its neighbour – coalescing, diverging, moving in accord with the wind. In the background you can hear the waves of the Greenland Sea and birds calling.

The piece is situated on the cliffs of a peninsula, and the wind can have a strong affect on the waves of the sea in this area. A stronger wind produces vibrant movement by the strings, and also a corresponding louder soundscape from the sea. In time the sounds and the movement of the strings start to share a symbiosis.

It is at this point, at the realisation of the connection, that I start to focus off each specific string. It becomes part of my larger field of vision. The exploration of liminality in this piece, is how it draws out the space between the sound and physicality of a space. How the piece gives visibility to the surrounding sounds (which change), and gives audibility to that which is invisible in a sense (the way the wind passes over a certain place, the space just above the ground).

A place prepared for sleep marries these ‘in between’ aspects and in turn gives the space a grounding, or physicality. From there we can look at collectivity, and how we might share liminal spaces with others.

Documentation above by the inspiring Yogan Muller.

Please view in HD, headphones recommended.

Guido van Helten mural project – in collaboration

June 20, 2013 § 2 Comments

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Above is one of Guido van Helten’s beautiful, poignant and dominant large scale street art mural portraits painted in Skagastrond, Iceland, on blank building space gifted by the city for Guido’s work. Guido’s portraits are rendered beautifully,with a unique layering and opacity/transparency I have never seen in street art before.

This is one of two murals that were based on some portrait studies I took for Guido, featuring crew members of the Huni II, a restored Icelandic fishing boat from the 1960’s. I feel very privileged to have helped with the studies for these final pieces.

As for the Huni II, well, we went on that boat, in a rather memorable fashion

You can see more of his series here, completed while in residence at NES, Iceland. There is also more artwork in the Summer We Go Public program, programmed by Melody Woodnutt and Kathryn Sawyer at NES.

And of course, Guido has mad skill on the scissor lift!

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