New inspiraton for 2015

I love discovering something new and today I have seen 2 new artists that Im excited to find out more about…..

The first is not an artist but an anthropologist F.E. Williams who studied village societies in Papua in the 20s and 30s,  He compiles a huge amount of photographs from his studies.  I was asked to scan some images from an awesome book  “An Anthropologist in Papua” for an academic for research and I thank him for showing me this fantastic work which was listed on the UNESCO Asia/Pacific Memory of the World Register in 2012…

Orokolo (Avavu) Hihi Kairu boys being decorated inside the eravoy, from the collection of glass plate negatives of ethnological photographs mainly taken by F E Williams.

The other artist new to me is Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli’s who really wants to just organize the world, His work organizing everyday objects as well as famous artworks  are really interesting and comical… I love his book The Art of Clean Up

From The Art of the CleanUp
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The pain when your passion is rejected….

I know I shouldn’t get upset when i don’t get selected for prizes but its really hard to not take it to heart…. Why was my work not good enough? Did i do something wrong on the application?

Is my work just not “hip” or “fashionable” at the moment (I know by even using the word ‘hip’ im totally not), I make what I love and feel passionate about and it seems to just not fit with the tortured photographic series of works about sex drugs and the mundane everyday or the ‘others’ in society. I feel if I just took photos of the alternative hills hippy family up the road in rough minimal colour id get more recognition because its whats in vogue…
‘sigh’ For some strange reason I held out such hope for getting selected for Critical Mass and with a $90 application fee its a big investment to get no return other than a book of the finalists that did get in to just rub it in….

Maybe if I work hard and long enough my work will come into vogue and be looked at with some worth, until then I will do it because i have to, its like breathing and I feel suffocated when I cant even get my ideas down into my visual diary….

I have been extra frustrated after going to Spring1882.  The Windsor hotel opened its rooms to some of the biggest galleries to showcase there top artists work in “non traditional’ spaces (I know it has been so done a zillion times before) and even with the strange and creepy ‘The Shining’ like hotel as a backdrop I found the work a joke….  It was a cliche of abstracts,, sculptures that needed so much explanation to show how amazing they are and yes the obligatory giant vagina statue oh and the love in couple in there pj’s Ala John and Yoko with guitar…. ARGHHHHHH …….
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I thing I did see on that same weekend was two ladies sketching and it made me so happy to see there creativity flow from pen to paper….drawing and coffee

Exhibitions, Beautiful Friends, Insperation

I have been meaning to write a post for a few weeks now about going to the opening of the Bowness photography prize, spending time with the amazing scientific photographer and beautiful friend of mine Kara Burns and seeing the latest show at my fav little gallery and shop Limerence in Belgrave but the task always seemed too big, each subject deserves it’s own post so instead I will give you a summary and then write about what I saw today that made me happy.

The Bowness Photography prize always disappoints me.  I feel it is always more about the career of the artist and not on the image submitted s true merit and this year that seemed even more so.  For me the image that had the most impact was a beautiful portrait by a student and not the generic cactus photo by a career photographer who has a retrospective on at ACCA.  The most fantastic thing about going to the opening was being there with my beautiful friend and fellow photographer Kara Burns.  It had been a very long time since I have see her and it happened that one of the nights she stayed was the prizes opening and the announcement of the winner.   Kara and I have been friends for almost 15 years and although we are separated my distance most of the time when we do get together we always manage to see some art and have an adventure.   Kara is an amazing photographer who takes stunning portraits and such technically skilled scientific images that put my skills to shame.  Take some time an look at her work and you won’t be disappointed.

I always love seeing what my local community has to offer and the wonderful people at Limerence in Belgrave put on fantastic shows and the latest is no exception…. beautiful paintings and even more amazing wood burnt images on skate decks of animals… beautiful…

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And today as I was walking across campus at work I saw a big beautiful oak tree standing tall and strong and always makes me think of my father and my Latvian heritage.   The oak is the masculine symbol in Latvian mythology and for me represents my father who passed away when I was 12.  The symbol is so strong to me that I tattooed it to my wrist and it has grown to include a leaf for me and my husband and will eventually include the children too…

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I also recently found an old image of myself at 21 all green and excited about studying photography and had to do a modern portrait mobile version…

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Open studios, wine, and art on a perfect spring day

on the weekend I was lucky enough (thanks to my awesome mother) to get a beautiful child free day in the Yarra Valley with my hubby….  The Yarra Valley Open Studios was on so i was very keen to check out some studios and see what was happening on the other side of the hills…  Fist off for any trip out was to find a great coffee shop and plan the adventure so we went to Yarra Glen and checked out Acme Et Al.  Acme Et al is a fantastic shop, cafe, gallery with great coffee and a beautiful collection of printmaking and some uber cool toys for photographers (think Holga and Diana)…  there was a really lovely exhibition from Thomas Merton.

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then it was off to the first studio… Margaret McLoughlin studio is on a hillside with breathtaking views, it must be the most incredible place to create and is my dream studio and it inspires her to create beautiful landscapes with bold lines and rich colour.

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Margaret’s creativity is expressed in a number of ways including oil paintings on canvas, mixed-media, works on paper and printmaking. Margaret’s experimental approach to different media affords her work a unique freshness and integrity. Her works are primarily expressions of her passion for colour, pattern, texture and strong form. Margaret is inspired by the ideal landscape, natural forms and the figure. Her compositions aim to suggest a story and are often presented as a complex arrangement of shapes. The studio is elevated, capturing a magnificent view of the surrounding Yarra Valley landscape.

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No trip to the yarra vallery is complete without a visit to the beautiful Tarrawarra Museum of Art and to sit looking across the vines with a glass of chardonnay from the Tarrawarra winery. The exhibition was a little conseptual for me but I always love to see what contemporary artists are doing and how they use there space… The current exhibition is ‘animate and inanimate’. I enjoyed  Janet Laurences displays of endangered Australian animals
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPVZAEUg1jA

and the beautiful rainbow of bones from Lin Tianmiaos Reaction 2013.
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Louise-WeaverAnd Louise Weavers giant nest. then time for a glass of wine.wine_tarrawarra
then to the studio of Christen Jo Stone where i got to watch how she makes the fibre ‘thread’ with which she weaves and twists to make beautiful fibre creations…

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Inspiration Everywhere

I know some people find social media and the proliferation of image sharing sites annoying and only for the stay at home mums to swap craft and recipes but I think its such a great source of inspiration.  My main love is Pinterest.   Not only am I introduced to some of the words most beautiful and obscure art it helps me keep it all neat and tidy in one place….  http://pinterest.com/krasmanis/boards/  

What a fantastic way to be constantly inspired, everyday i can look at new and wonderful things…. before pinterest i didnt even know who Mr Finch was now I know about his magnificent fabric sculptures Textile Moths In Courtship DanceOr  The beautiful photographs by Kari Herer
 Favourite Like this item?  Add it to your favourites to revisit it later. Magnolia and Bug illustration No. 6672

Or Misos delicate paper cuts
Miso Tokyo from Memory

And there are so many more everyday I LOVE it…..

(I also would never have know I could make bubble snakes…. which I also LOVE and so do the kids)bubble snake

my wonderful creative community

I live an a very beautiful part of Melbourne in the Dandenong ranges, it sits on the fringe in the hills surrounded by trees.  It can be scary in the height of fire season and extra cold in winter but it is like a small town in feel and so full of creativity.  Each Year over a weekend artists open their studios to show what and where they create for the Dandenong Ranges Open Studios.  I would love to go to see them all but have to be selective and this year picked a printmaking studio in Sherbrooke to meet fellow printmakers in the area.  I wanted to see Elizabeth Banfield and Paula Ewington of Altitude Press after getting a preview of their work at the exhibition Tension at Burrinja.  The studio is tucked up amongst the trees behind the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and would be such an inspiring place to work.  Paula Has a gorgeous big etching press with a beautiful big wheel (when i was press searching I decided I had to have a wheel and not a crank, there is something about the process of pulling the wheel around to make the print that I just love and is so much part of the process)  Elizabeth showed us how she prints her simple elegant lines from her linocut plates and Paula showed how she prints Chine-collé… both to produce beautiful works.

Photography Exhibition at Burrinja

Yesterday i saw a fantastic photographic exhibition at the beautiful Burrinja.  Burrinja fantastic cultural center in Upwey just around the corner from home, they have a great exhibition space, have live music and preferences and have a cute cafe…  I go there quite often as they have a fantastic playground outside which Felix loves and i get my art and coffee fix….
“Andrew Chapman: Nearly A Retrospective”
“Andrew Chapman: Nearly A Retrospective exhibition
The current exhibition in the main space is
“Andrew Chapman: Nearly A Retrospective”

This exhibition features documentary work, spanning over 40 years, by Victorian photographer Andrew Chapman. Crossing a wide range of subjects and periods the exhibition offers a fascinating insight into Australian social and political life through the lens of one of Australia’s most-prominent documentary photographers.

A long time Dandenong Ranges resident, Andrew worked as a newspaper and freelance photographer for over 20 years on numerous assignments for Time, Business Review Weekly and The Bulletin. With more than a dozen Time covers to his credit, he has covered subjects as diverse as heroin dealers, presidents and celebrities.

The work is beautiful and its so nice to see traditional black and white images and not just digital prints, they have a quality that you just don’t get any other way.  His portraits are moving and its a fantastic time capsule of life and politics in Australia.

Inspiration from the Baltic states

My father came to Australia from latvia when he was 8 on the boat called the castel bianco with his mother and sister as refugees from the war. Latvia has always fascinated and inspired me… I have some special thing always around me that inspire and remind me of my heritage.
Jug and mugs from my grandmother, special doll in traditional dress, a extra special necklace that Shane had made for me with a Latvian coin, Latvian traditional jewlery, wooden carving with woven band which sat above a mirror next to my grandmothers dinin room table for me to see at every family occasion…

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2011 exhibitions

I have been very lucky to have been involved in 3 exhibitions this year….

 Wendy Currie organised for our group (the catalogue c exhibition from Obscura gallery  “Re-imaging the Classic Print – From Digital to Handmade” to travel to Canberra to the wonderful Photo access gallery   (you can download the catalogue here)

I have also shown the starts to my new works at the beautiful Kallista Tearooms thanks to the wonderful Sandra for opening her walls to local artists… It was a great opportunity to start my new series and get some feedback from my wonderful friends who came to have a look…

Inked and Lead – drawing class

I was very lucky last night to get a night off and go to a drawing class run by the fantastic Cherry DarlingInked and Lead was started buy a friends of mine and fantstic pinup photographer Helen Mclean who i have had fun playing photographer and model with over the past few years… we have shot me in a corset and a japanese cos play outfit and Helen as Betty Page and Audrey….

I have to admit i was VERY rusty in the drawing department but i had alot of fun….