Loss and Love

It’s been a crazy wild year… lots of flights to Wellington and back, lots of love and fun with my darling Blue and building a dunny (outdoor toilet for you non antipodeans!) etc with my partner…

and losing my beloved goat Moon…

On the equinox I had to say goodbye, at least on this earthy plane to darling Moon, she was old and had gone downhill in the past couple of days until she could no longer stand or eat… I knew it was time to call the vet and to honour this beautiful creature who has given me so much love and joy over the past 7 years. I adopted Moon when she was already between 10 and 12 years old, so she had a long. life and I know the last 7 years were happy.  She was a wonderful adopted mother and friend to Gypsy my wee black devil dog and loved all of our fur creatures…

It wasn’t easy, I had 3 nights without sleep, cuddled her lots…but there was no choice in the end except love… but she is a double horned unicorn now… flying free and teaching goat wisdom over Rainbow Bridge…

Goats are special… Goat wisdom is unique and we have to connect to goats to learn it… And mine are so loving… Losing Moon was so heartbreaking but she could not suffer… There is always this thing bigger than us… Greater than ego that has us surrender… Hopefully with grace…The cycle we have to bow before… Letting go is tough on this physical plane… But the heart can transcend even that… We never lose those we truly love…

I love you Moon… xxx

  

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Long time… but here’s something new!

For the past year I have been coming down to earth after my degree… trying to find a way forward and work out what I want to do. I have been looking after my 2 year old grandson a lot so work has not really been possible in a full time, work for someone else sense. After applying for loads of jobs and not even getting an interview for most, I have kind of given up anyway. It seems that there is no appreciation or respect for those of us with intelligence and life experience out there in the workforce, unless we have direct experience of the particular position on offer, even cleaning ffs!

So… I am going to try selling my custom made Tarot bags and put my energy and effort into that. I have been selling them for a few years but in a very small way and originally I sold them for peanuts. After many years as a textile artist and BA in Arts & Media I have achieved a standard in my art and craft that pleases me, and I am a bit of a perfectionist! I have a lot of testimonials from very happy clients and all this has given me the much needed confidence to go ahead and put my work out there in a more public way.

To this end I have created a new website which is currently on trial at WIX… sadly the mobile version doesn’t work with WIX so until that is sorted out the best link to access both sites from is here.

I will continue to work on the site and get it back to my own domain but I just wanted to post something here in the meantime.

Have a fantastic 2017, be brave, be confident, never feel small and be awesome!

x

 

 

 

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And it’s all over now…

So, the final exhibition of the year is over, packed up, gone. The opening went really well, it was worth all the stress and hard work, to see the place packed with people, and to hear some great comments on all the art. I was particularly pleased when a couple of Level 7 students told me that we had pulled off a professional exhibition, totally worthy of Level 7, let alone Level 6!! Woot…!

I am so proud of all of us for making it happen, against a lot of odds. It is a lot to ask at the end of a college year, for the work not only to be presented in college for assessment, but again in a gallery. This involved two lots of sanding, painting preparing walls, plinths, filling holes, curating and then the actual installing! My installation was particularly time consuming, so yeah kudos to NM,IT Bachelor of Arts & Media Level 6 2014… WE ROCK N ROLL & RULE THE WAVES!!!

And we also had live Blues music from my favourite muso’s, Russ and Phil, who you may remember from another exhibition I curated, Bikes, Blues & Metal Guitars

So now it is over… My trees were donated to firewood, my lovely friend and fellow student Leigh, gave a home to Wolfie and my painting mow hangs in my hallway. The tattered velvet hood, ah well, that may live to see another day, I’m not quite finished with my fairy tales yet….

I will leave you with some quick imperfect,  iPhone snaps that I took on the night, through a slightly tipsy haze I unashamedly admit, but I like them, the little fragments that they capture. I have given them a faded, did I dream that, or did it really happen? touch, just for fun, and because, well that’s the way it is folks…

I like this shot, love the way the branches and shadows entangle with the trees in the painting…

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The forest worked better in the gallery than in the studio, and I used all the trees!

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A real lone wolf wandered by to check out my art

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Artist – free to good home… Have rake will travel…

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It has soul… like Rory Gallagher

Our exhibition is called 26…

This may seem odd, in fact it was a serendipitous mistake (by my interpretation anyway).

You see, there are only 25 of us students exhibiting. But without a viewer there is no exhibition, and so the 26th person is the viewer… Roland Barthes would like this, that we leave room for the reader, who is the ultimate author, or artist…

Whatever. I have been making catalogues, lovingly, by hand and my trusty Bernina…

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There will be 150 of them… by Tuesday…

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I designed the layout and had the insides printed, and then I asked everyone for scraps of their artwork, and stitched them to the covers, then I stitched the covers and text together… Each catalogue is a unique piece of art in it’s own right. The viewers can have fun figuring out which artists their scrap came from ;-/

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I like gritty, edgy, scrappy, recycled, grunge style art… it has soul… like Rory Gallagher…

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Artist Statement

Ok, by  request, here is my artist’s statement for my installation which I have entitled:  In Search of the Wolf

 

In Search of the Wolf – Artist Statement

 Inevitably they find their way into the forest. It is there that they lose and find themselves. It is there that they gain a sense of what is to be done. The forest is always large, immense, great and mysterious. No one ever gains power over the forest, but the forest possesses the power to change lives and alter destinies. (Zipes, 2003)

 The above quote by Jack Zipes, takes me to a place I remember and yet cannot find on a map. In my current work I am exploring the meaning of this lost place within the concept of fairy tales. In Zipes’ forest, we can confront the wolf, and survive to tell the tale. These stories have been passed down through history throughout the world. They have set behaviour patterns, and archetypes with which we can access the fragmented parts of ourselves.

 I chose to work with this theme because I have always had a love of books and other worlds, which I am sure I have lived in. I have been in an active search of the wolf throughout my adult life, ever since I fell in love with him as a child. Unfortunately this lead to some bad relationship decisions, which I feel were due to my lack of understanding of my own identity. I live in a world and an era in which I often feel alien. This has led me to create my own worlds within my art and poetry, where I can find healing and sanctuary.

 I am currently working with mixed media, and installation, in which I allow my own personal mythology to lead the way. The fairy tale like characters and a winter forest setting, reference the stories I grew up with and the areas in Northern Europe where many of these stories originated.  I am using traditional women’s crafts, to form my beast or animus. This illustrates the strength of the female, which is enhanced by the assimilation of the animus. The tattered piece of cloak references the many retellings, of folk and fairy tales through the ages.

The narrative within my work is personal, but others may find their own story within their interpretations, or even be inspired to explore their own identity through this genre. Carl Jung believed that in order to reach our real self we had to meet our shadow and our animus or anima and assimilate these aspects of our personality into our selves. Jack Zipes illustrates the part Fairy Tales play in this process, which Jung calls Individuation, when he said:

 Fairy tales begin with conflict because we all begin our lives with conflict. We are all misfit for the world, and somehow we must fit in, fit in with other people, and thus we must invent or find the means through communication to satisfy as well as resolve conflicting desires and instincts. (Zipes, 2012)

My work engages in a dialogue with both traditional fairy tales and storytelling through imagery and installation. I am interested in the narrative art of artists such as Kiki Smith and Paula Rego

 This project is underpinned by the theories of Carl Jung, James Hillman and Jacques Lacan, relating to the concept of a fragmented self. The works of Jungian psychologist Marie Von Franz, and the writings of Jack Zipes, who is a professor of German and a scholar of fairy tales, also inform my current work.

Bibliography

Jung, C. G. (1970). The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. (G. Adler & R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2 edition.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Von Franz, M.-L. (1970). Interpretation of Fairytales. Dallas: Spring Publictions Inc.

Von Franz, M.-L. (1990). Individuation in Fairy Tales. Boston: Shambhala.

Von Franz, M.-L. (1995). Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales (Revised.). Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

Zipes, J. (2003). The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World (2nd edition.). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Zipes, J. (2012). The Irresistable Fairy Tale. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

 

 

All in the hands of the Gods…

Ah well, I haven’t sat down for over 10 hours… but the studio is all cleaned, everyone’s work is hung, I have collected a ton of info for the catalogue, and my installation is installed…

Here it is, as seen through the lens of my iPhone…

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Another viewpoint:

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Wolfie, in all his animus glory, complete with antlers that make him part of the forest…

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I think it is all jolly spectacular.. there is some fantastic work in the studio. We are the graduates of tomorrow, and we ROCK!

 

The woodcutter always finds his way into the story…

Today I cut trees, dead trees, trees that looked perfect for my installation. And then they had to be mounted on the roof of my car, and stashed inside my car.

I think this is what they call process work… I call it hard work…

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Look at this glorious shot of the back window of my car… and the reflections… you can’t see that it is stuffed full of trees inside!

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Then I finished my Animus and Anima picture book, more process work :o)

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I really like these books… I shall make more… at some point… I fancy a Tarot based one – or seven….

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Fairy Tale Driven…

I found this advertisement by The Toyota Foundation, I like it a lot… so much power in this image, and the wording:

Without nature, there are no stories…

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The use of the fairy tale in all aspects of art is something that drives my own practice. Fairy tales are recognized globally just about. Their language is universal, as old as time, and yet with a firm footing in the present.

 

The last days…

I will be so glad when this is all over… the self doubt, the exhibiting part, the assessment, the damned crazy business of getting it all as I see it in my mind, as I have seen it for the past few months. Getting others to see that vision.

Each piece of work I have undertaken this year has been installation. Not through planning, I never saw myself as an installation artist, but it has just happened. So I am discovering something about myself as an artist through my work, through experimenting, playing, making… letting the path twist and turn… But when it comes to setting up, I look at the clean simplicity of a picture on a wall, a screen on a plinth, a graphic on a laptop… and I wonder why I make things so difficult and messy for myself.

So… I made a cloak, well, part of a torn, worn, ancient cloak. I used pieces of recycled velvet in many shades of red. It is worn and torn, unpicked and restitched. This will hang on one of the trees, it represents the many layers of self, and the many retellings of the story. The story of the hero’s journey, the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the story of the wolf, the story of me…

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Here is a detail of the patchwork and rough stitching…

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Then I started to hang a few trees, trying to get an idea of what I need before Monday. About three of the trees/branches are good to go. I need to go and source more in the bush behind my property. A very awesome thing happened while I was hanging the trees… a gorgeous shadow picture appeared on my newly painted wall… I tried to capture it on my iPhone…

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This is how ‘Desire’ is looking at the moment:

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I need a title too, for the whole thing, I am thinking In Search of the Wolf…

Ok, off to the woods I go…

 

 

Furry Art

While creating Wolfie, Ruby’s animus persona dude, I have been thinking a lot about the materials that artists use and the connotations these may have for the viewer. Because I am using faux fur  as part of my animus creation I decided to investigate if and how it has been used in fine art. After all, I am guessing that quite a lot of the art viewing public would not give faux fur a place in an art gallery. I came up with quite a collection of different ways this material has been used by artists, from the obvious, to the totally out there, What the hell is that made of?!

Lets start with the more obvious, with this image of an art doll, by American artist, Linda Ehrenfried. Linda creates amazing creatures from fairy tales, mythology and her own imagination. This is Nebble, he is made from polymer clay, copper wire, faux fur and paint. I would give him a home…

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This next image is a photograph by Matthew Albanese, this amazing guy creates the most incredible landscapes from materials such as corn syrup, paprika, sugar, tile grout, jelly beans and cotton wool. You can see more of his work here. Spot the faux fur:

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One more example is Silver coated faux fur paint spill art by Kate Nichols… I am not even going to ask why, but you can read more about Kate’s work here

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So, there we go… not only faux fur, but jelly beans. There are some art snobs out there who would turn their nose up at the use of these materials, but we have to remember that water colours and acrylics were once given the same treatment.

I know why I am using faux fur, and that’s what matters to me.

As an aside, I just crocheted a nose…

 

Images sourced from:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/123004633545363305/

http://tinyurl.com/ybwvags

http://www.artbusiness.com/1open/051613b.html