Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 - A List

A collage of watercolours from the Pecolator Exhibition

  • New Years Eve at Coolum Beach - sketching
  • 4th January - my first visit to Sydney - at the Museum of Contemporary Art seeing Chuck Close was a highlight; meeting Liz Steel and the Sydney urban sketchers  IRL was another.
  • Aspire Gallery - Petit Pieces Exhibition
  • Brisbane Collective - my sketch in print!
  • Facebook Art Challenge
  • Discovered Sktchy app
  • Deep Ripple selected as a finalist for the Moreton Bay Regional Art Award
  • Pond Reflections selected for the Lethbridge 10,000
  • Still selected for the Rotary Art Spectacular at Waterfront Place - Watching and Rocks 24th December 2014 selected for the online exhibition - and Watching found a new home.
  • Deep Ripple selected as a finalist for the Moreton Bay Regional Art Award
  • Pond Reflections selected for the Lethbridge 10,000 and Paperbark for the online exhibition. 
  • A Gold Coast escape - a few days sketching
  • Holiday workshops - The popular Introduction to Oils and a Painting Bootcamp
  • A week away in Noosa and a Cedar Pocket - more sketching
  • Nundah Village Art Exhibtion - 4 paintings on show
  • cARTwheel Collabortative exhibition at Percolator Gallery with three artist friends, and quite a few paintings found new homes...
  • Miniatures and ink drawings at The Good Hatt Paddington Antique Centre
  • Queensland State Library - teaching at a workshop for Peace.
  • 10th December - An Anniversary - five wonderful years in Brisbane
  • Still busy with Sktchy
  • a few watercolour commissions
  • And we've rolled around to the beginning and it's summer holidays again!
  • Happy New Year to all of you - stay safe - stay creative.
I've added some links (in pink!) so you can re-visit my year.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A wish for you at Christmas

It's Christmas Eve in Australia. I'm on my way up to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, one of my favourite places. I'm lucky enough to be spending this holiday time with my family. I hope that during this holiday time you will find time to rest and relax.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Visiting the Art Galleries - APT 8

Last week the first day of the holidays started with a visit to the dentist my grandchildren. When the children were asked what they were going to do afterwards they said "We're going to the Art Gallery". The dentist's reply made me sad. He said he had never been to an art gallery - ever. I realised that for many people an art gallery is something completely outside their experience.

One of the things that I love about living in Brisbane is that the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art - QuaGoma have such a creative approach to exhibitions. There's always something magical going on, and always something that both children and adults will love. Over the summer holidays there's always a biggie with lots to enjoy for all ages. This summer it's the Asia Pacific Triennial 8.

On the drive to the gallery the children remembered how much they enjoyed some previous exhibitions. - this is a link to a post about these.
I was asked - “Are we going to see the spotty room? (Yayoi Kusama's The Obliteration Room here a white room was transformed with hundreds of coloured spots) Or maybe it’s the Sugar room?" (We miss you magic land 2011 - a fairy tale world created with sugar crystals). 

We would just have to see what was in store for us; perhaps today's visit will be as memorable.

                             Mandala of Flowers - an installation by Choi Jeong Hwa

The Mandala of Flowers is an installation by Choi Jeong Hwa. Viewed from the upper level one is transported into a different world. Down below a carpeted circle is covered with hundreds of coloured discs of different sizes.

A riot of Colour

Wait - discs? Lids - these are all just lids, different sizes of plastic lids - so simple but how the space is transformed. Children are encouraged to create mandala-like shapes with the coloured shapes.

Playing with Shadows

We only read the instructions as we were leaving so didn't keep to the suggestion to make a mandala but it didn't matter. The children had fun and spent ages creating a Christmas tree and a reindeer from the coloured lids. It was surprising to realise how long they were busy - my photos show the finished creations 40 minutes later. 

We wandered through the other exhibits making our way to GOMA and lunch. The Long Gallery has an installation that is both sculpture and sound effects. Surprised kids climbing on the sleeper structure were greeted with booming sounds - such fun. 

Everyday Whispers in the GOMA River Room has a booth where they whispered wishes to be added to the secret sound cloud. The collected wishes are played through a bank of speakers suspended from the ceiling. As you walk underneath the wishes float down.

There's so much to see that I'll definitely be back for another visit or two. APT kids have at least a dozen different activities - more than one day could easily be spent here. There's much for adults to enjoy as well. It's an ideal place to escape the heat of the Brisbane summer. You might just have a struggle to find parking so coming by bus or train is recommended. The exhibition is on until April and it's free. 

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Five years on...

Today, five years ago I landed in Brisbane from South Africa. It was the culmination of a long process of visa application; of documents and bureaucracy; of waiting and waiting; of living in limbo for almost two years. 
Arriving at Brisbane airport was now the beginning of a wonderful adventure.In some ways the time has flown yet now I feel so at home that it seems though I've been here forever. 

Glimmering Fragments of the Mist - oil and silver leaf on linen

Not long after my arrival it started to rain and rain. Then in January 2011, Queensland faced the terrible floods. Everything in the city came to a standstill and all my plans for getting to know my new home were put on hold. I certainly became familiar with the geography of the region as area after area was inundated by the flood waters. Eventually life got back to normal and I settled in. Once in my own home six months later, I opened my Studio and started teaching. I've never looked back.

Sure there were times when it was very hard. It's really hard to leave family behind. Not being able to visit my family often is the hardest. Fortunately, modern communication does allow us to keep in touch easily. My family were my rock - supporting my decision to emigrate and being there when I needed to talk. 

To all my friends in Australia, thank you. Thank you for welcoming me to your country, for supporting me and making it possible for me to live my dream.

The painting above is a favourite - it's inspired by misty morning walks in the park across the road from my house - how lucky can a person be?