Our inaugural radio program on 94.9 MAINfm broadcasting from Castlemaine in Central Victoria. With digital media artist and pioneer Shiralee Saul on the challenges of being a ‘techno peasant’ in central rural Portugal and making art and life far away from where you are born and Jen King and Belinda Prest – two participants in the upcoming Arts Open in Castlemaine about making art inspired utopias.
In the can!. Listen live or stream it tonight at 7pm on 94.9 MAINfm.
With Michelle Day, Mark Wilfred Anstey, Debra Goldsmith and Jenny Nestor.
We discuss Castlemaine Arts Open- the (rumored to be) final revival of Castlemaine Idyll- or is that Idle? More rumors about an up-coming Masked Ball from the makers of the famous Taradale Ball, an in depth look at how art is made, the horrors of arts speak and how extreme sports can fuel creativity in old age.
Or you can check it out anytime here and see the art!
Atropos is a response to the image of the drowned Syrian refugee child Aylan Kurdi and the humanitarian upwelling it provoked across the world.
The subject of refugees has been on our minds for some time and is reflected in previous works- especially Dreamboat, a sculpture made from mattress wire in the shape of a 4 meter long boat we are about to show as part of the Moreart Public Art Show in Brunswick, Melbourne.
The sculpted figure we are submitting for the Blake prize, is made from shredded discarded Tattslotto tickets, referencing the part chance plays in where you are born and how that will determine your fate. Atropos comes from Greek mythology. She is the Fate with power over life and death. When the shocking image of Aylan Kurdi appeared, people hugged their children closer and were grateful that they had been born – not in war torn Syria, but in the Lucky Country.
In our work, we are interested in the big issues of humanity – especially focussing on people movement and the crisis provoked by war and climate change. We believe that art has a spiritual as well as an intellectual role to play in modern society.
In the spirit of William Blake’s own Songs of Innocence and Experience, the image of Aylan is a universal image of innocence lost that inspired a worldwide out-pouring of compassion and is testament to the power of an image to touch us all.
24/25th Oct 2015
Not one but TWO OPENINGS over the weekend: The MoreArt Public Art show in Brunswick and the Yering Station Sculpture prize where Crescendo is in pride of place.
At MoreArt, Dreamboat with the Chance Child are in situ until early January 2016 on the corner of Sydney Rd and Dawson St The show literally given the thumbs up by the drive by critic in the hotted up car who was rapt when we explained the Dreamboat was made of mattress wire (dreams!) and the Chance Child from Tatts tickets. (Lucky!)
October 4th 2015
There is a last hurrah coming up next Sunday at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery where our work Are you Lying Down? is having its first Melbourne showing as part of the Pixel exhibition on for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Frank and I are giving an artist talk – at 3pm on the ins and outs of collaboration and maintaining a relationship and art practice.
When we were to be married nearly 7 years ago, we sent out invitations to the wedding taken from a New Yorker cartoon. Two women are looking at a couple. He is in work gear and she is looking pretty fancy. The caption reads- “They are the perfect couple. She’s high maintenance and he can fix anything.” That pretty much sums us up.
Come along for more chat- not just from us, and did I mention the free wine and food?
3-5pm 117 Vere St Abbottsford.
2015: What April already?
This week we put up Crescendo in Mt Alexander Rd Essendon, just near the famous Moonee Ponds Junction as a part of the Moonee Valley Public Art Commission- a wonderful initiative of the Incinerator Gallery and its inspired artistic director Richard Ennis. It’s opposite the Clocktower Theatre and the library and town hall and near the bus terminal.
Oh- and Mt Alexander Rd was the road Burke and Wills took on the beginning of their big adventure. But Burke was in love with a dancer in Essendon and it took him several attempts to actually get past Moonee Ponds on his way to find the inland sea.
Our latest project is about to go live at the upcoming Castlemaine State Festival – March 14th- 22nd. It’s a collaboration between Frank Veldze, Suzanne Donisthorpe and Kate Osborne.
We’d also like to thank the brilliant Celeste Veldze and Jack Riddle who are the film-makers and Greg Haines and Kinja for the music.
Unsettled is a site responsive piece- to be shown at the very poignant Pennyweight Flat Children’s Cemetery. No more than a pennyweight of gold was ever found there- therefore it was deemed useless and so the land was reserved as a place to bury the children of the gold rush.Today, you see the circles of stones that mark the tiny graves and the very occasional headstone, with a single name fading into history.
Unsettled – play here
For this project, in the foreground of the cemetery Frank Veldze has created a major sculpture – a 6 x 3 meter abstracted version version of a miner’s cottage made from mattress wire. A dream home if you like – symbolizing all the hopes and wishes that have played out on this sacred land. But is also an uncanny home that offers no shelter and is made from the rusty remains of mattresses- the very site of dreams. It is a home that sits uneasily in the land, a ruin, an illusion, a theft.
The ‘dream home’ will act as a kind of holographic screen onto which a film will be projected.
The film features Kate Osborne who has previously developed a character she called Post Colonial woman – a ghost like figure from the 1860’s that haunts the gold fields- an unsettled spirit. She also made an animation of a drawing where the image evolves and disappears, an idea that has been further explored in this work.
In the film you see the portrait of an unknown man being drawn by the woman alone in the house at night. Who is he we don’t know. Her lover perhaps? The father of her children? Is she drawing to remember him – and where is he? As the film progresses, you see him appear from the blank paper. The soundtrack is light and happy with the sound of laughing children. The woman seems to be dancing to the memory. But she grows sadder, you hear a child crying, the portrait she is drawing grows darker and darker. Eventually the man disappears under a veil of black charcoal.
Suddenly another man appears outside the house. A threat from the bush. The woman sees him and is frightened and drops the lamp. A fire engulfs the house. Then the surrounding trees. We are no longer in 1860- but in the here and now. We hear sirens and the voice of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his controversial comments declaring before European settlement there was nothing but bush- that Australia was essentially unsettled.
The theme of the Castlemaine Festival is Before and Beyond. This work explores our unsettled relationship with the land, the changing environment and our unresolved relationship with black Australia.
If you want to come and see the full effect, it screens Sat 14th, Sun 15th, Fri 20th and Sat 21st March 2015, from 9-10.30 pm on a continuous loop. Duration 6 mins.
Pennyweight Flat Children’s Cemetery, Colles Rd Castlemaine
Free – no bookings required.
The sculpture season begins.
Four installations in three weeks.
Lot 19 at Castlemaine (VIC), My spiritual sculpture home as you can put up wild ideas and show them off. One year I put in three giant gorse rabbits and set fire to one on the opening afternoon, spectacular.
This year it was ‘Seat of Power’
Next in line was relocating ‘Crescendo’ from Montalto vineyard to Heide gallery where it will reside until March 2015 then on to a four month commission for the Moonee Valley Council. The Marquette for this work is on display and for sale at SxS Bondi right now. On to Yering Station sculpture prize. This one is titled ‘Stand up,Sit down.(aka The Democratic Process) Now onto Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi, NSW.
My first foray interstate as moving large scale sculpture is a hell of a thing.
They are extraordinarily generous with everything, If you are ever passing through Taradale, call in and sample good wine and great hospitality.The road trip went quite well, apart from very nearly running out of fuel on the road to Benalla. Some of the highlights were being held up at GlenrowanAnd a dog on a mysterious box just out of Gundagai.Beachhead at Bowral, the night before the last hundred K’s to Bondi.
The installation took a good seven hours, hurry up and wait being the order of the day.The layout.And upski just before darkA mad evening dash across town to Manly Vale with Suzanne navigating (brilliantly) and me careering down the goat tracks to drop the humongous trailer off with ten minutes to spare…