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…


Another viewpoint:


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


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


Go for witchy…

We had an APA referencing session in the library this morning. It was good to find some of the sites available in the depths of the NMIT library website. Can’t help but wonder why this was not given to us right at the beginning of the course though, it would have made a lot of sense, especially when I was doing the writing diploma! Anyway it was useful.

Yesterday, I had a wee tutorial with Jose, one of our tutors, about my work, and that gave me confidence in what I am doing. Jose said she can see how all of the things I said in our first tutorial have come together, and that made me happy. Although the path I am currently treading feels right to me, it is good to know that it feels right to someone else too. I have been having many more ideas since then now I feel that I have a license almost to carry on, it seems to have opened the floodgates.

Some of the things I learned today:

I want to carry on my theme of forests, trees and shadows in this current work, especially in the final presentation. I am going to present my work in a forest-like setting, hopefully I can have shadows on the white walls of the Refinery Gallery where the exhibition is to be held. I would like to use one of the white painted brick walls, and I will need a corner. I have already been looking for suitable tree branches to use in my setup!

There is a lot of art in this world that concentrates on the darker less attractive side of life, and the abject. While I can appreciate the meaning behind latex shower curtains with embedded pubic hair, or unmade beds surrounded by the daily mess of a depressed human being, this is not what I want to do.  I can admire those who spend their artistic talents in making shocking  statements about society, and how we live,  but my way is more subtle. I have seen the dark side of life, I have experienced rape, violence, abuse and madness, and maybe because of this, I want to make something beautiful from the darkness, rather than focus on the murky detritus.

When you are caught up in a project, and then start thinking about your audience, anxiety can set in and you wonder if they will get it, and because of this you can be trapped into becoming too literal to get the point across, this is something Jose helped me to see, and something I want to avoid. So I am going to make my art without worrying too much about whether anyone gets it or not, and that is extremely freeing.

I can get witchy… I am witchy but it is ok to let it come out… woohoo!!

My current wall display… I do like the antlers a lot… the dark murky image near the bottom is a work in progress which went wrong due to an overdose of gel medium, but it is still useful a template.

IMG_1715 - Version 3

The view from my studio window :)

IMG_1714 - Version 2

Construction and Deconstruction

I went through my notes and samples for my identity project, from the beginning, and began to unpack my concept and all my thoughts to date. Something was nagging me about it which kept me unable to move forward. and I have finally worked out that it is too much stuff, and too many ideas, something I always struggle with.

So I went back to the beginning, and it all started with the empty Dilmah teabag box, which I looked at one morning and thought, tea, me, part of my identity, box, construction… a constructed image…

I took the box and covered it with part of a blown up poster I had been playing with as another identity concept. Then I added some red dymo tape labels a bit like Barbara Kruger, although I have been using this concept for years, before I heard of her, I have to admit it looks Barbara Kruger’ish’ and that ok. It is her concept that matters not the images themselves, and I like that attitude to art. Kruger in her way fits in with Warhol and Lichtenstein and Duardo Paolozzi, making art out of the ordinary, but she added another dimension with her labels and messages

This is a photo of that box, which I thought I had posted here right at the beginning, but I guess it got forgotten in all the other manic ideas!

photo 1

In this close up of some of the words, you can see I used an old Dymo tape labeller. My sister and I loved these when we were kids!

photo 2

I like this box, and I like my giant posters. I took them into college and everyone who commented said I should use them. So I looked at my fragments and fabric prints and decided that I want to stick with the posters, dots, constructed box concept, and not muddy it or dilute it with all the other stuff  I have done, (like the fragments etc.)

But I still want my tower of strength, so I went on another recycled cardboard hunt and I got lucky! I have printed out the rest if my posters and the whole lot will be pasted to cardboard and constructed into my tower. I am going to use the three colours here, because of an old joke I remember as a kid…

What is black, white, and red all over?

The newspaper of course :) But identity is like that too… and labels, we read into things stuff that appears black and white but isn’t. We construct identities for everyone we meet by reading things which we feel are balc and white but maybe they are not.

Now I have to think about how I will make this tower… it will have to be constructed in situ I think, or at least in easily assembled parts, in order to transport it to college. Meanwhile back to cardboard and glue and a whole lotta dots…



The Four Tutors


Anyone want to come up with a caption for this photo?




T-Shirt Take Two


Staju sent us this design for consideration:


I like it because it is a bit cleaner looking and less cluttered than the first design, but I don’t like the grey splodges on Russ’s skin. Also I think the fonts and their treatment look too psychedelic. Other group members prefer the look of the first design as they feel the workshop adds a Kiwi flavour. I will work on this in Photoshop because I do like this photo.



Fragments that define us…


As part of the Identity project I am also working on smaller coloured and textured mixed media pieces which will support the larger posters. These will me made up of parts of my life that fit with the particular Bobby board. Things that are symbolic to my journey at that time. For my first experiments, I played with some paintings of special pieces of pottery that I got during my marriage. This will be stitched and embroidered with bits of my poetry.




I am afraid of paint, and painting and drawing.  Although I can do it when I want to, it is something I won’t allow myself to admit I can do, if that makes sense. I want to try and work with this and find out why I have this fear. I am making small drawings and paintings of fragments of my life that I have carried with me.

In my art I like to use old or recycled materials wherever possible, I like things that have stories, that can blend with my own story. The unfinished collage above is made up of old envelopes from birthday cards, baking paper from back in my marriage days, and other leftover pieces from old projects that I did in another life.

Up Against the Wall…

So we have presented our slideshow, and it was ok. I have learned a lot from this project and that is what it’s all about.

The presentation could have been better, more arty.  I am inspired – especially by group two’s gorgeous presentation, to play with PowerPoint and get over my mental block!

Morgan made a comment which was invaluable, he suggested that our image could read the opposite way to that which we intended, ie the workers were smashing the beautiful landscape instead of unveiling it. I can see that totally. I think in future I would get someone like Morgan or maybe Staju who both think in very different ways, to give me their opinion on something, it is good to get input from all angles. When you are in the middle of something of your making it can be very difficult to step back and be truly objective.

Other comments were subjective, and more about the painting of the scene itself than the concept, which is fair enough. But as they were quite diverse and people were saying the opposite of each other,  we let them go.

Another useful comment was that the workmen did not look like workmen without their orange vests and yellow helmets. This got me thinking about why Banksy’s policemen worked but our workmen didn’t…

Kissing Coppers

The ‘Kissing Coppers’,  have changed very little in colour in the stenciled version. The handcuffs and truncheon make it obvious that they are policemen too. Our workmen lost their identity by losing the colour of their vests and helmets. I thought the pick axe made it obvious, but as Morgan says, it could have been any vandal!

I learned too, to read and check off every little detail of the brief. Make sure it is clear exactly what needs to be in the presentation, and what goes elsewhere. Last night having believed I had finished,  I had to reduce the PowerPoint size by 100 MB!  Although I had kept my half of the PowerPoint small I had forgotten to tell Jemarve. Sadly his wonderful Google Sketch movie had to be left out of the submitted PPT, although viewers did see it. I am wondering if the size  is why it kept crashing the computer yesterday!

The other thing I had to do last night was produce a full proposal from all our combined research and images etc! I thought that the proposal only had to be in the PowerPoint and our individual stuff, and then I found another forum for proposals *ahem*!

So, although I am happy to have done this, and it was a valuable experience, I am glad it is over. Group work is challenging and can be more about administration and politics, than making art, but then that is the nature of real life.  Our group situation was particularly fraught as we lost two of the original members, and other commitments in and out of college made it difficult for us to to meet up all together.  It may not have been what we would have done, had we had more time. However,  given that we were left with three members, a half inherited idea, and one week to do most of the work, I think we stepped up and performed very well. The group pulling together is a big part of an exercise like this, and we triumphed in the face of adversity!!

Cheers to Roxy and Jemarve and all of the other groups who were part of this project!


Photograph retrieved from: 12/3/2014