EXPLORATION17 @ FLINDERS LANE GALLERY

I have three new works appearing in EXPLORATION17 at Flinders Lane Gallery. So grateful to the stellar team at the gallery and all the talented artists I am lucky enough to be exhibiting with in the upcoming exhibition.
Exhibition dates 23 May to 17 June with some opening festivities this Saturday 27 May 1~3pm

Details of the works from left to right:

TITLE YEAR MEDIUM DIMENSIONS (HxW)
Rollick 2017 pen on painted mountboard on dibond (Ed 3 + AP) 1100 x  1100 mm
Romp 2017 pen on painted mountboard on dibond (Ed 3 + AP) 1100 x  1100 mm
Vagary  2017 pen on painted mountboard on dibond (Ed 3 + AP) 2050 x 1600 mm

OFF GRID @ MAY SPACE

OffGrid_Invitation

I will be exhibiting a work as part of ‘Off Grid’ at MAY SPACE in Sydney over the next couple of weeks (26 April to 13 May). Many thanks to Al Munro for all her hard work in curating such a beautiful exhibition in such a wonderful new looking gallery space. If you are in Sydney this Saturday 29 from 3-5pm, please drop by the gallery for a drink and a chance to meet the artists Emma Beer, Sally Blake, Julie Brooke, Kirsten Farrell, Jay Kochel, Al Munro, and Wendy Wendy Teakel.

Kinza | Naoshima

Kinza is the former name of the abandoned house turned Art House Project on Naoshima Island where it now houses the artwork Being given by Japanese artist Rei NAITO. This was perhaps the standout work for me of the experiences I had on Naoshima. Visitors to the artwork must make a prior booking as the experience is scheduled, one person at a time. The Kinza building, like many of the Art Houses in the Benesse Art Sites, seems unassuming from the outside, a normal village house. Inside however, the space has been returned to the earth, the floor reconnecting with the soil beneath the house. The only light entering the space is from the under the outside walls and from the interior, it gives the whole structure a feeling of levitation. Within lies a large round ring, also raised from the ground. The whole space gradually reveals small details laid out in some form of geomantic logic. Small transparent spheres and rings, a staff rigidly perpendicular to the ground, tiny details whose presence is highlighted by the bleeding light outside, and only revealed through time, through contemplation. Above, between two of the wooden beams supporting the ceiling, a large glass cylinder floats — mystically like depictions of The Ascension. The space is at once meditative in solitude and wonder, and also with connection to the outside world through light and sound, the street noise bleeds in as does the light, in a subdued way that is part of the space, part of what is being given.

There are rarely moments with an artwork that remain with you, that remain connected, somehow unresolved yet mystical and reaffirming. Kinza has tunneled a place of nostalgia in my memory, its ambiguity and comfort make it an unforgettable moment.

Rei Naito"Being given", 2001 Art House Project "Kinza"

Rei Naito"Being given”, 2001 Art House Project “Kinza” 

Kabuki | Minami-za

Christmas day, I treat myself to experience 4 acts of kabuki theatre at the traditional theatre Minai-za in Kyoto.  The 4 acts totalling almost 5 hours are indeed an endurance towards the end of the final act, especially with absent Japanese language. Each act was taken from a different play, the results of which were slightly confusing, but the set design and costumes were a wonderful spectacle.

The wooden panels on the outside of the theatre pictured below show the names of each kabuki performer for the season. The signage is the result of a month long residency by a master calligrapher, made possible by the Myoudenji temple. This annual residency is a centuries old tradition and the calligraphic style, kantei-ryu, is only used for kabuki actor’s names. The tightly packed black with almost no white space, is meant to bring luck and a packed house for the event. I was told that the ink has sake added to it to produce glossiness and that the master was now in his seventies and had started his apprenticeship at the age of fifteen. The sense of history and tradition in Japan is a stark contrast to the youth of colonial Australia.

 

Minami-za theatre, Kyoto

Minami-za theatre, Kyoto

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Bento lunch

 

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Flea Market | Kitano Kenman-Gu Shrine

Christmas Day, first thing, I go to the shrine at Kitano Kenman-Gu where they have a monthly flea market. I get there just before 9am as the stallholders are still setting up. The Japanese seem to prefer later morning starts so I wandered around the buildings at the shrine. Many people were making a morning prayer before proceeding into the the bustle of the market on the outer edges of the shrine complex.

The markets, once they got going, were busy with old and new wares, and food vendor of all sorts, incense, kimono, sweets, spices and all things pickled.