Now and again people send me photos of mosaics they started in my classes or pictures they too during my Open Studios. Yesterday, a friend who now lives overseas sent me this photo. I had forgotten all about it. I am holding her little boy Hugo, who is now four. The sculpture ‘Sit Your Art Down’ was my first large scale piece and was entered into the Tesellaar Sculpture Exhibition in 2011 where it sold almost immediately to a Council. I have not seen it since its installation outside a Residential Care Home. Was lovely to see it again.
It is carved from foam and layered in concrete and mesh. The mosaic is entirely glass with some mirror thrown in for sparkle and it was inspired by the drought Melbourne was going through at the time. It really seemed as if no one would ever be able to have flowers in their gardens again as watering was on a complete ban for so long. Glad to say that is no longer the case but I am passionate about mosaic art being able to provide that much needed and permanent colour.
SIT YOUR ART DOWN
work in progress
After recently finishing my Equinox sculpture where I attempted to capture the spirit of spring, I find I am becoming obsessed with snowstorms. As we head into summer here in Melbourne, I find that my thoughts are with family and friends who are heading into winter. Lots of beautiful white tesserae available in my stash are perfect for the idea that I have. Here is a sneak preview.
This week I started working with the four year old children at Seabrook Kinder. First group was the Seahorses. We are working on a Rainbow Serpent, which are a popular choice this year for school murals. Love doing them as you can combine so many different fun colours. I have worked out the colour scheme over the 11 panels, so that each child has a choice of at least 3 colours when they work with me.
These kids were so neat and tidy, there is barely any scraping left for me to do when I grout. We are using ceramic tiles which I have hand cut into little blocks.
What do you think?
pressing down those tiles
working on the background
So it is all exciting today, I just heard the Toyota who do fantastic exhibition have accepted Cosmic Hug into their annual Sculpture Exhibition. The show span three areas, the Atrium where all the big indoor works go, the gallery where the small works are the grounds where the exterior stuff is housed. I have been accepted to the grounds where I get to choose my spot. Only one piece allowed on the courtyard and i got it. Toyota run their exhibitions for four months and put on amazing launches which are always packed. Their buildings are incredibly contemporary and it is a fantastic place to exhibit and very hard to get into due to the overwhelming response from artists.
I am proud to say that this is my fourth acceptance in 8 years, 2 indoor, 2 outdoor. The theme is always picked after the curator decision is made so is always fun to see what binds the chosen sculptures together.
Cosmic Hug was inspired by ‘are we alone out there or gently watched over and protected?’ It is over a metre tall and is a glass mosaic over a hand formed substrate.
COSMIC HUG side view
This week has been all about my latest assignment, very broad in that you could explore anything about colour – what a fascinating world that is and something that I have studied and read about for many years. So I decided to work with colour wavelengths.
Do you know that red has the longest wavelength and because of this it will reach your retina faster than any other colour. Violet has the shortest and will appear further away. I needed to make a maquette to convey this, so I used kids craft paper to create lots of coils, along with plastic party cups and some straws. I pushed bamboo skewers in to a foam block in order to stand them up so I could get the general idea.
As I was working with many varieties of this, I realized how this was also reminding me of the noise levels of children’s parties, the excitement and the squeals. Here are my explorations. I should like to see this enormous on a gallery wall or ceiling, where people could sit or lie and ponder the various colours. How cool would it be if it also had LED lights within the installation that changed colour.
Ideally this would all be made from glass, what do you think?
Standing in front
Hello everyone, I have finally got a frame around the painting I did some time ago. This is my attempt at saving my wrists and thumbs as both are pretty painful of late, too much glass cutting. So I have reduced the amount of mosaic dramatically on this piece. It is just an experiment as I am not so interested in painting flowers, but that is what popped into my head when I decided to explore this technique.
Am liking the way it turned out though and will be starting some abstracts pretty soon. What do you think?
61cm x 61cm
24 x 24 inches
paint and glass
RED GERBERA detail
This week has been about the exhibitions. It is the final day for the Annual Sculpture Association’s exhibition in 120 Collins. A fabulously contemporary and huge foyer of a business corporation right in downtown Melbourne. I worked there yesterday afternoon with two other sculptors and I learned alot about their work in silver, wax and bronze. Also spoke for a long time with a couple of art lovers who suggested they would love to see tiny LED lights in the stamens of my flowers. An idea I loved and will definitely be researching in the future. Unfortunately Moonflower did not sell, but as one of my fave pieces I am quite looking forward to having her displayed in my hallway for a while.
Have also be installing the Big Heads at the Tesellaar Sculpture Exhibition where they will live for approx 6 weeks.
And on another note, I have been working on a birth chart of a friend of a friend, so on that note, I hope you are all feeling the creative vibes of that full Pisces Moon some days back, the Harvest Moon, last one before the fall equinox. All screwed up here as we are heading for the spring equinox. But hey….
Me with The Big Heads
Ages ago I started on these sculptures and they have taken awhile because I basically worked on them during classes, when everyone was peacefully working on their own pieces. It was a case of stopping and starting as I answered questions and helped others with their own work. So they are finally finished and photographed and will be off to the Tesellaar Sculpture Exhibition on Saturday, where they will be surrounded by thousands of brightly coloured real tulips.
The sides are edged with black and white circular ceramic tiles. The rest of the mosaic is glass and mirror. They are set into red gum bases and have laser cut stainless steel leaves. I have decided not to fix them to the poles which means that they do move around in a strong breeze.
THE BIG HEADS H190cm W80cm D90cm 76 x 32 x 36 inches
THE BIG HEADS detail alternative side
They are part of the Drought Tolerant Series. The statement for the exhibition is
Sun or Shade. Blooms all year. No water required. Frost resistant.
Hope that they put a smile on people’s faces when they are viewed in the tulip fields.
Am feeling less focus this week, Asteria is finished and in the gallery, Moonflower is installed in the Sculpture Association Annual (are you in Melbourne, drop by tonight for the launch at 6pm, 120 Collins). The Big Heads are going to the Tesellaar Sculpture Exhibition next Saturday. A new twisted wall sculpture is still drying. Yellow and orange smalti are ordered. One school residency is awaiting 50 circular tiles from firing. The other residency is not starting for a few weeks. Cosmic Hug has been entered into the Toyota Sculpture Exhibition, along with Asteria (wish me luck) and my new piece is waiting its photo shoot. Back at uni on Monday, so currently no studying.
So what to do and what to write about?? Feeling I should just take the day off, what d’you think?
Well Asteria has finally been finished and christened. Asteria is the greek goddess of the falling stars, and as this piece was inspired by magically being whisked off into dreamscape, it seemed a very appropriate name. She now hangs majestically on the walls of Manyung Gallery in Mount Eliza.
The mosaic is made from all kinds of glass – tumbled, seed beads, other beads, millefiori, tiny tiles, stained glass, glitter glass, mirror, smalti and czech crystal as well as porcelain. The fringe was painstakingly threaded with hundreds of glass seed beads.
Enjoy a little bit of magic.
ASTERIA side view
H115cm x W41cm
48 x 16 inches