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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Crop of the new

In exhibition, painting, photography on 19 August 2009 at 1:30 am

Three interesting shows featuring emerging artists open tomorrow around Darlinghurst in Sydney.

Kill PixieKill Pixie

At Monster Children Gallery (20 Burton St [map]), a two-man show by Kill Pixie and Cleon Peterson called The Mirror Stage. A former Sydney graffiti artist, Kill Pixie (aka Mark Whalen) now works out of Los Angeles, where his disctinctively coloured, delicate line drawing are in high demand from collectors and savvy magazine editors. Cleon Peterson is also from LA, well known for his paintings of a world where random acts of violence are the status quo. The exhibition runs until 17 September.

Cleon PetersonCleon Peterson

Anton Benoisstreet work by Anton Benois

Around the corner at Palmer Projects (238 Palmer St [map]), new works by Anton Benois and Esjay go on show under the title Bad Influence. Benois’ work is influenced by Soviet-era propaganda of his native Russia, with icons from pop culture mingling with faces from history. Painter, illustrator and designer esjay is also showing new works. The show runs until 26 August. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Problem + Chainsaw = No Problem!” – the inspired animation of VDA Studios

In illustration, media, video on 13 August 2009 at 12:52 pm

A couple of mates, Rob Moffett and Benjamin Baker, were passing the time of day at work while making shipping pallets by kicking around ideas for a cartoon.

Their first idea was called Helpy the Helpful Turtle. “It was a faux-educational show about a man-sized turtle who spends each episode being abusive and failing miserably in his attempts to help children,” Ben says. “After a few voice recording sessions it was clear that making a cartoon based loosely on our own exploits was far more appealing.”

That cartoon became Friendcore, a few minutes of Flash animation they put up on MySpace and some blogs every couple of weeks. It was spotted by animator and visual effects artist Doug Bayne – from Double the Fist (he plays Mephisto) and The Chaser’s War on Everything – who was scouting for animated contributions for the ABC’s jtv, and in 2007 Friendcore started airing on national television.

jtv’s producer called about doing something similar for the new video game show, Good Game.

“At the meeting they asked us if we knew how to use After Effects,” Rob says. “I said, ‘Sure!’, and signed the contract. Then I had to do a crash course in After Effects.”

“We sort of jumped in the deep end on this,” Ben says, “but we figured learning a whole new program couldn’t compare to the hell of converting Flash animation to TV-compatible footage. Turns out it opened way more doors than we had anticipated.”

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Newcastle’s thriving zine scene

In media on 11 August 2009 at 9:06 am

Newcastle is home to two amazing resources for zine makers and readers. A zine is — well, I’ll let this typewriter explain.

zines 1

The community arts and media organisation Octapod houses a library of zines that the National Library of Australia assessed in 2004 as a “collection of national significance”.

It started when one of Octapod’s projects, the National Young Writers Festival, put out a call in 1998 for zines to be included in an anthology called The new pollution as part of the Loud media festival. Those first submissions formed the core of a collection which today is estimated at somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 zines from 1990 to the present – and it keeps growing.

zines 2

Unlike many other zine archives around the country, Octapod is committed to keeping its library accessible. Cataloguing and archiving the library is an ongoing project, with a work-in-progress online catalogue of the library available here.

In June 2008 Jessie Lymn, a PhD student at the University of Technology Sydney, wrote a well received strategy for preserving and maintaining the library. You can read her full report here.

zines 3

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Typing “Giraffe Sex” Into Google Yields Ungodly Results

In sculpture on 7 August 2009 at 5:02 pm

Giraffes 1

These delightful creatures are in the foyer of the Newcastle Art School. The work, by Belle Brooks, is called Typing “Giraffe Sex” Into Google Yields Ungodly Results.

It’s a pixel-perfect rendering of a jpeg (I’ve recreated the search for you, here) in plasticine.

Brooks writes:

In their creation, the magnificence of the living, breathing, feeling animal has been intentionally sacrificed for the convenience of Google Image Search, with one pixelated and vastly inferior .jpeg acting as an exclusive reference.

The circle will become complete when Google Image Search returns images, like the ones in this blog post, alongside the original source.

Giraffe close-up

The work will be on display in the foyer of the Newcastle Art School Hunter Street Campus, 590-608 Hunter Street, Newcastle West [map] until 18 August.

Belle Brooks, Typing “Giraffe Sex” Into Google Yields Ungodly Results 2008. Plasticine, fibreglass and steel. 360 x 300 x 90cm.

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Ten not-so-little Indian boys: new work by Michael Parekowhai

In exhibition, sculpture on 23 July 2009 at 5:17 pm

You see the first figure at the top of the staircase as soon you enter the gallery. In its scale and pose, it reminds you of nothing if not a glossy version of a cigar store Indian, the figure used for 300 years to advertise tobacconists. Its boyish, doll-like face, however, shows that Michael Parekowhai has dived into the childhood toybox once again and come out to play.

Parekowhai 1

Parekowhai’s exhibition at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is titled Seldom is Herd. There are 10 of the figures in total – like the nursery song, 10 not-so-little Indians – all called The Brothers Grimm, arranged like giant toys, solo, in pairs and trios. There are also three figures of antelope standing on giant books forming oversized bookends.

Parekowhai 2

As always with Parekowhai’s work, the surfaces are seductively glossy and highly refined, almost jokey in their simplicity. But they are packed with ambiguity, attracting us with childish glee, unsettling us with their implications.

Parekowhai 3

Parekowhai’s work often plays out aspects of indigenous identity and colonialism and its representation. Rabbits, the great introduced pest species, are common motifs. So too are the players in the best known colonial drama in Western culture, Cowboys and Indians. Read the rest of this entry »

Guerilla knitting in Sydney with Magda Sayeg

In knitting, public art, street art on 14 July 2009 at 10:40 pm

Magda Sayeg, the founder of KnittaPlease, was in Sydney on Monday 13 July. Kollektor was invited to join her guerilla knitting posse for the day.

Here’s a gallery of images from the event, taken in the centre of Sydney’s business district, around the Opera House and at Bondi beach. Click here for a slideshow.

About KnittaPlease

Paint and texta graffiti are so passé. Instead of tagging with a sign, the KnittaPlease crew bomb with wool. Leggings, beanies and scarves for statues, striped warmers for poles and parking meters.

The crew from Houston, Texas, formed in August 2005 when PolyCotN and AKrylik were frustrated with their collection of unfinished projects. The first knitted tag was a doorknob cozy on a clothing store. The attention it attracted lead to more additions over the next few days, and guerilla knitting was born.

It’s street art with domestic origins, confounding the line between illegal vandalism and decoration. Where a spray-painter might find a freshly painted stretch of wall an irresistible canvas, Knitta Please feel the same about ordinary urban furniture, from bike racks to park benches.



KnittaPlease’s Sydney visit was hosted by Diecast Agency, who take Australian fashion brands and people to an international audience. Magda Sayeg’s visit is part of a cultural exchange program that offers Australian audiences the opportunity to rethink the ways we can use textiles.



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Wounds in the land: Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of Australian mines

In photography on 10 July 2009 at 11:56 am

minescapes_03Super Pit #4, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

Calling this series “landscapes” or “minescapes” is too gentle to encompass what they depict. Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of Western Australian mines are woundscapes, evidence of the lasting and often devastating impact our demand for raw materials has on the land.

minescapes_02Silver Lake Operations #15, Lake Lefroy, Western Australia

Burtynsky’s images, commissioned for the FotoFreo 2008 Festival, show the rarely seen scale and effects of mining. (Take a look, for instance, at this satellite view of the Hunter Valley to see the surface mining not seen by wine-tasting visitors.)

“Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction,” he says. “For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.” Read the rest of this entry »

Specs appeal: Kelly Thompson’s geek girls

In exhibition, illustration on 1 July 2009 at 1:01 pm

Kelly Thompson, MaggieKelly Thompson, Maggie

Geek girls are hot because there’s nothing sexier than brains. For every geek girl who spent her formative years buckling down with school books before blossoming into a smart woman comes Kelly Thompson’s new suite of drawings.

They’re being exhibited from tomorrow night at Melbourne’s Gorker Gallery under the title Bookworms Never Go to Bed Alone.

Kelly Thompson, MaryKelly Thompson, Mary

They remind me of Alberto Vargas’ famous Varga Girls, with a 21st century attitude. In a digital world where the geeks reign supreme, these women are both sexy and empowered. Read the rest of this entry »

Land rites: new work by Tamara Dean

In photography on 28 June 2009 at 4:38 am

Tamara Dean, BaptismTamara Dean, Baptism

Our lives are measured in moments of ceremony, from baptism to funeral. In an increasingly secular world, these milestones take place outside the context of religion, yet our need for the ritual – and the shared sense of meaning it creates – remains.

Tamara Dean’s series Ritualism envisages these ceremonial moments in recognisably Australian landscapes, where she asks, “if bath can become baptism – if, on meditation, the mundane can take up meaning and repetition become ritual.”

Tamara Dean, The BrideTamara Dean, The Bride

In Dean’s photographs the landscape is not mere background. It is a space that, in its grandeur, creates the inspiration once reserved only for cathedrals. Read the rest of this entry »

The views from here

In exhibition, video on 26 June 2009 at 12:05 am

An outstanding exhibition of video art opens today at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, fresh from its well-received season at the MCA San Diego.

The show, called Rising Tide, features film and video installations by 12 contemporary Australian artists, including Australia’s representative at the current Venice Biennale, Shaun Gladwell.

Shaun Gladwell, TangaraShaun Gladwell, Tangara (video still)

Gladwell’s work Tangara was shot on a Sydney commuter train. With Gladwell hanging from a handrail, the image is inverted and slowed down to create the effect of zero gravity which, it soon becomes apparent, is really an act of physical endurance. Like a lot of his work, Tangara combines an ordinary public space with an extraordinary action to create something approaching the sublime.

Patricia Piccinini, SandmanPatricia Piccinini, Sandman (video still)

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