Without Walls

No dark sarcasm in the classroom please, this is a positive post.

It’s well known that one of the biggest markers of progressive thinking is openness. Wikipedia says openness is “an overarching concept or philosophy that is characterized by an emphasis on transparency and free, unrestricted access to knowledge and information, as well as collaborative or cooperative management and decision-making rather than a central authority. Openness can be said to be the opposite of secrecy.

Queen Victoria Women’s Centre prides itself on being a progressive institution and has an annual photographic exhibition open to all Victorian women (cis, trans and non-binary inclusive). It creates an exciting way to round out the year, and what better theme to work with than “Without Walls”.

I have a couple of pieces in the collection which I’m thrilled about as the exhibition is of quite a high standard.

The first piece draws from my love of graphic design and this year’s Pantone colours – “Ultimate Gray” and “Illuminating”, a punchy yellow. I first noticed the pairing of these colours in a large beaded necklace I bought from a fancy department store in the eighties. I thought it was the height of trendsetting and has stuck in my mind ever since.

My first photographic entry is called Strength and Optimism.

Strength and Optimism

Originally planted by guerilla gardeners, I spotted this gorgeous flowerhead in Armadale in the carpark just outside Firestation Print Studio. This magnificent sunflower and its background were captured to reflect the Pantone’s colours bringing a message of happiness supported by fortitude.

Here’s a link so you can scroll through and see everyone’s work. It’s quite the salon this year!

My other entry is titled “Lady of Letters”. It is a self portrait and it features my face (and messy grey hair) superimposed over a printed letter press poem. A bit self indulgent, but hey, waddyagonnado?

Well lah-de-dah. It’s the “Lady of Letters”.

Speaking of walls, here in Melbourne we recently surpassed Buenos Aires in Argentina with number of days in lockdown totaling over 260 making us the world’s most restricted city. All that isolation, surely a little self reflection is justified?

We’re out now and so far, so good.

Anyway, as you know the online gallery is now live and the salon exhibition will open at the Centre 4 January until 28 January 2022. Come along and say hi! Winners will be announced during the live exhibition.

Renée

Rock on

It’s a brand new decennium and 2020 paves the way for new beginnings with the first MAVA exhibition for the year – Passage of Time.

Showing 3-16 February at AGRA Galleries in Camberwell. Official opening celebrations are being held Saturday 8 February from 2pm.

On hearing the theme my mind started spinning with ideas of patina, millennia, erosion, eons, layers and geology.

How could I not utilise some of the curious images I captured on a recent trip to Sydney?

One of the main reasons for the hike to the harbour city was to catch Sculpture by the Sea.

An installation of dozens of creations by local and international artists, all with varying levels of weather resistance set against the backdrop of beautiful Bondi Beach with it’s pristine foreshore, sea breezes and rock formations.

It’s well known that Melbourne goes bananas for bluestone and Sydney shares a similar sentiment for their signature sediment – sandstone.

Millions of years ago erosion of mountains in Antarctica produced vast quantities of sand which was carried by a river system to southern Australia until it reached the east coast eventually ending up in the Sydney Basin where it consolidated to form Hawkesbury Sandstone.

Unfortunately I completely missed most of the man made installations at Bondi’s famous pop up sculpture park because I was too distracted by the nearby Hawkesbury Sandstone formations. I spent the afternoon studying all the swirls, crags and crevices until the sun disappeared and my partner and poodle had to come find me.

Nature trumps art for me every time.

Back home armed with a jam packed SD card I thought I’d have something sorted in a jiffy for the exhibition, but it took a good chunk out of four whole days to find and process the right image for my contribution to Passage of Time.

Virtually indestructible “Sandblasted” is a heat pressed dye-sublimation photograph on 20″ x 30″ aluminium which unlike the rockface it’s depicting is guaranteed never show it’s age.

A fraction of the final image is posted here.

I hope you take a moment to see the big picture for yourself.

Until next time