Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An eclectic life...just the way I like it!

It seems that I haven't been home much lately. Most weeks I am working in the north of the state working with students from the Tasmanian Polytechnic or more recently, showing 3 designs as part of Interweave Arts Streets Alive Remade Fashion Show. This latest experience reinforced my commitment to supporting and promoting others, rather than being in the spotlight myself. The catwalk experience was terrifying.

I have driven the Midland Highway thousands of times over the last 27 years , so it is a familiar path; past the stumps that look like faces, the trees that look like lollipops and the bits of road that are nostalgic for one reason or another.

The turn off to the East Coast always reminds me of summer holidays when mum would pack us four kids and the dog in the Kingswood (an ex police car) and we would drive for hours before reaching Scamander. Falling out of the car in the dark we could smell the salty air and hear the crashing waves of the nearby Beaumaris Beach.

But my most recent trips have been less about nostalgia and more about the opportunity to see some new art work and visit some of my favourite op shops. Over the last few months I have been lucky enough to work with some wonderful artists. Darryl Rogers is an installation artist, who a few months ago had some work at Sawtooth Gallery. Darryl had contacted me about me helping him get the installation in front of a few people. It was a tight time frame and challenging task, as at the same time Dark MOFO was about to kick off in the south of the state. To be able to talk about the work, I knew that I had to see it and it was certainly worth the trip. It is such an appreciated feeling when, as an adult, we are surprised, delighted and left wondering; how does that work? Darryl's work certainly does that. One of our Writeresponse writers Patrick Sutczak wrote about the installation at http://www.writeresponse.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/waterwalkers_15.html and there are some images that are worth checking out at http://vimeo.com/53998257

Since seeing Darryl's work, I have met with Kitty Taylor, photographer, artist and arts worker, to talk about her ideas for progressing her practice and work in the arts. Kitty is one of a number of artists being represented by Margot Baird at Gallery Pejean. Margot is a gallery director who I am growing to respect enormously. Her approach to her business and how she supports artists is commendable. When she signs an artist they are only signed with her in Launceston; meaning they can exhibit and sell work anywhere else in Tasmania or elsewhere any time. All artists have a clear and fair contract which they sign which spells out the requirements from the gallery and from the artist. Margot is an artist, so perhaps because of this that she understands the needs of the artist as well as the needs of making a commercial gallery in Launceston financially viable. All you need do is look at the website to see how she very professionally lists and promotes each individual artist.

Fiona Tabart is a long time friend and fantastic designer and artist based in Hobart who has worked in many mediums. Fiona had a selection of works from an exhibition that had previously been presented at Carnegie in Hobart. It is not uncommon for works to be sitting idle post exhibitions and when I met Margot from Pejean I knew instantly that she would like Fiona's work. One of the main reasons I do this work is because many artists do not have the confidence, time or skills to present and talk about their work. For me this is a huge missed opportunity and it's a simple case of connecting the amazing work that I see, with the right person who can appreciate, buy or sell the work. So, on one of my many travels to Launceston I introduced Fiona to Margot and three works are now being exhibited in the gallery and they look fantastic. Check out Gallery Pejean's website as this is how artists should be promoted. http://www.gallerypejean.com.au/Artists/FionaTabart/ViewArtwork.aspx

Tim Moss and I caught up for a coffee last week. Tim is a Uni lecturer based in Burnie and an avid photographer. His work has impressed me enormously as he has the unique ability to tell a story and capture an emotion/mood/essence. I'm not just saying this, he really is very good. Tim and I are working on a solo exhibition of micro photographs he has taken. They are sumptuous, erotic works that are paintily and yummy. Tim has also been undertaking a massive project for the past year called 365 Project. Every day for the past 355 days he has captured a moment in his day. The project is great and the works are superb. Check them out and follow the blog at http://timothy-moss.com/2013/09/03/365-project-day-353/

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