Artist profile: Cathy Frawley

Artist Cathy Frawley’s recent exhibition, Abstract Fields, was a personal response to a range of landscapes, including urban landscapes, seascapes or natural landscapes. Optimistic and charged with colour, Cathy’s paintings provide a positive emotional effect, offering respite from the more challenging aspects of life.

Below Cathy expands on her work and practice:



What is your exhibition about and what inspired this body of work?

Abstract Fields is a personal interpretation of a range of landscapes including urban landscapes, seascapes or natural landscapes. Through painting I conceptualise my experience of landscape, abstracting it to represent its essence in colour and shape.

The paintings are not a response to specific landscapes but are more about interpreting and abstracting the landscape through memory or imagination. However there is no fixed interpretation to the work, rather I hope the viewer will interpret the work in their own way. Perhaps a work might remind them of their own experience of the beach for example.

There is evidence of making in the textual quality of paint, which has been applied loosely with complementary colours breaking through layers. The painting surface holds all the marks and gestures as traces of the painting process.

The work is intended to be optimistic and have a positive emotional affect, offering respite from the more challenging aspect of life.

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  • Where did your interest in painting begin?

 From about the age of 6 years old I decided that I wanted to be an artist. Later in primary school I was interested in Op Art. My interest in art continued into high school. At 20 years old I enrolled in the South Australian School of Art, majoring in painting. My graduate work included some very large abstract pieces based on my experience of a building and its surrounds I traveled past each day. After art school I went back to do a Graduate Diploma in Education to become a secondary art teacher. I worked as a secondary art teacher for twenty years. While teaching I found I didn’t have the time or motivation to paint or draw, until I enrolled part-time at Adelaide Central School of Art (ACSA). After a couple of years studying at night I decided to leave teaching and enrol full-time at ACSA. ACSA was significant in renewing my interest in painting. I particularly enjoyed Abstract Painting and being challenged conceptually. My graduate work at ACSA included a series of large abstract paintings, which were interpretations of my local landscape.

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  • You say you ‘conceptualise your experience of landscape through your painting works, abstracting it to represent its essence in colour and shape.’ Which landscapes have made a particular impression on you in your life? Why?

 My local landscape has made an impression on me over the years. I have spent a lot of time walking from home, along Fourth Creek up to Morialta Falls and back again. This repeated experience allowed me to notice things I wouldn’t necessarily notice before such as the yellow line on the side of the road, which demanded my attention. Other landscapes I have interest in are those, which I can repeatedly visit for example the foreshore of Semaphore, where my son lives with his family.

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  • Does painting the landscape in a literal fashion interest you?

I have painted the landscape literally in the past. My focus was still on interpreting the landscape by painting its atmospheric qualities. In the past I was particularly interested in cloudscapes for their emotive effect. At present I am more interested in interpreting the landscape abstractly, allowing it to act as a mnemonic.

  • How long have you been a practising artist?

 I graduated from ACSA in 2009. I’ve been practising as an artist for 9 years. My practice initially involved painting, drawing, photography and video. In 2011 – 2014 I completed a Master of Education (Research). At the moment I am enjoying the focus I have on abstract painting.

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  • What has influenced your artistic direction? Has there been any significant moments in your life, or major artistic influences?

 I find I am heavily influenced by my experience of day-to-day life. Significant influences have also been my study at ACSA, including abstract painting, my conceptual development and my research of abstract artist Richard Diebenkorn.

  • What are you working on next and what are you looking forward to?

 I am continuing to interpret my experience of the landscape through abstract painting. I am experimenting with works on paper using a range of media including watercolour, gouache, acrylic, gesso and collage. I am also looking forward to experimenting with drawing media for example charcoal and gesso.  Another interest I have is to incorporate abstracted sections of the built environment with the abstracted landscape.

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Artist profile: Jane Skeer

ANEW by Jane Skeer is the first exhibition of 2018 at Gallery 1855 and is drawn from the need to rethink the ready-made.

Made entirely from recycled materials, Jane’s works are standalone visual feasts that allow the viewer to experience colour, texture and pattern in entirely new dimensions.

We chatted to Jane more about her work and what drives her to create art from the objects and materials no one wants anymore.



Why do you hold such a fascination for discarded objects and why did you decide to use them as the basis for your artwork in ANEW?

I see beauty in everything. I believe everything should be given a second chance, including us. I remember watching Disneyland every Sunday evening when I was a child, and the joy I’d feel when the fairy would light up the castle with her magic wand. That feeling has stayed with me as an adult. In a way I believe I’m doing just that today. Rejuvenating stuff and hoping it makes people smile the same way I did back then.

We live in such a throwaway society today. I decided halfway through art school to work with waste, believing I didn’t want to make any more. The joy for me is in the making, searching for new ways to re-present each material I find. I want my audience to be as fascinated with the material as I am. I aim for the viewers to look firstly at the design, but always looming in the background is the fact that we waste too much. I guess it’s educational in a playful way.

What were your intentions with the body of work in ANEW?

My intentions with this work are no different to any other work I have made. I invite the viewer into the gallery to ask questions and to think about the story I’m trying to convey. I enjoy the truckie slings for the life they have led, supporting a heavy load while absorbing a little bit of Australia on their travels. The colours, the stains and the frays describe their livelihood and in a similar way could describe ours. The title Retiring the load indicates its end, hanging up its boots, it’s earnt its rest, it may also imply something of the load we carry roaming on this planet. I’d like to think my work is highlighting, in an abstract way, what it is like to live and be in Australia.

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Image: Jane Skeer ‘Retiring the Load III’  (2018). Polyester.

How long have you been a practising artist?

I am an emerging contemporary artist who is heavily involved in South Australia’s arts community. I exhibit work regularly throughout South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. Most recently I have been chosen to represent South Australia at BOAA – the Biennale of Australian Art, Ballarat, I am the 2018 SALA – Artist in Residence at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and in April I’ll be working in Mount Gambier activating the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre.

In 2016, I was the recipient of the 2016 Arkaba Hotel Commission and the Adelaide Central School of Art, Fontanelle Residency. In 2017, I worked at the Adelaide Festival Centre as an Artist in Residence for both, the DreamBIG Festival and the SALA Festival, which was proudly supported by the Burnside City Council.  The work, Flyers, earnt the 2017 SALA Emerging Artist Award. In June 2017, I participated in a mentorship with the City of Tea Tree Gully – IGNITE public art incubator and have recently installed my first public art work in the main street of Port Pirie.

What has influenced your creative direction? Has there been any significant moments in your life, or major artistic influences?

I remember deciding in Year 11 at Tenison College in Mount Gambier that I was never going to make it in art. I handed up my end-of-year painting next to a boy who in my eyes, was the real deal. That was it – my art career was over before it had even begun. I didn’t look back until my kids grew up and didn’t need me anymore.

I decided to join art school at the age of 46 to do the odd painting class. I enrolled very casually but was soon hooked after reading an article on Rosalie Gascoigne and how she started her art career in her fifties. She gave me belief in myself, something I had lacked for most of my life.

The Adelaide Central School of Art is the most amazing place to study art. Their teaching staff and office staff are all my heroes and they would have to be high on my list of major influences. Without their guidance, nurturing and tough critique, I wouldn’t have made it this far.

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Image: Jane Skeer ‘Of Nature (Whyalla) 17b  (2018). Discarded festival flyers, timber


What are you working on next and what are you looking forward to?

I am extremely excited to be opening a studio and gallery space Collective Haunt Incorporated in Norwood which will house 19 fellow artists. I am planning to work a lot more community-minded in the future, as I really want to give back. My calendar for 2018 is very heavily booked. which is absolutely scary but very exciting at the same time. I think I work better under pressure.

Jane also ran a workshop from 14-15 March, where participants used an assortment of old road signs and other discard materials to design and produce a large-scale artwork on the fence adjacent to Gallery 1855. 

Here are some stunning shots of the finished artwork ‘Sign of the Times’, and also some behind-the-scenes shots:

 


ANEW opened Sunday 25 February at Gallery 1855 and is on display from Wednesday 28 February until Thursday 29 March.

ANEW

Rethinking the ready made

Jane Skeer

Anew 3b

Image: Jane Skeer, Of Nature 3b (detail), discarded festival flyers
Photographer Grant Hancock.

Exhibition launch: 2pm Sunday 25 February 2018

Opening speaker
Christopher Orchard – Artist and Lecture, Adelaide Central School of Art

Exhibition concludes 29 March

Associated activity – using discarded materials, create an artwork alongside Jane on
14 and 15 March at Gallery 1855. Registrations essential. Email: niki.vouis@cttg.sa.gov.au

Jane’s artist statements:

My art practice is predominantly based in sculpture and installation, involving material in a state of flux. I work with the discarded materials of the everyday, making audiences re-think relationships with the familiar ready-made objects and their associated sensory/haptic memories.

Jane works with discarded materials of the everyday and presents them anew, making audiences re-think relationships with the familiar ready-made objects and their associated memories.

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Golden Grove Backyard Plant and Produce Exchange

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Exchange your surplus garden produce. Bring your plants, seeds, fruit and veggies

 

When:  Saturday 17 March from 10am – 12.30pm
Where:  Golden Grove Arts Centre, The Golden Way, Golden Grove SA
Cost:  Free

Backyard plant and produce exchange is presented in conjunction with the City of Tea Tree Gully exhibition ‘Garden Instinct’, which celebrates our local gardeners and their passion for gardening.

REGISTRATIONS ESSENTIAL: http://bit.ly/2F8wlRG

Further information about this event contact: arts@cttg.sa.gov.au

Please note: Backyard plant and produce exchange is a cashless environment. Only fresh produce will be accepted. No preserves, processed or dried food products please.

Bloom

Celebrating Gallery 1855’s fifth anniversary

 

Amalgamated Bloom

Images (top left & clockwise): John Foubister Flowers, clouds and other lives (detail), 2016, oil on board, 61 x 81cm; Roseanne May, Under the Sakura (detail), 2016, pigment print on archival paper, 31 x 45cm; Mirjana Dobson, Synthetic Growth (detail), 2017, ceramic, glass, mixed media, 8 x 60 x 60cm

 

A presentation of ceramics, video creations, photography, jewellery, painting, pastels, textiles and glassware.

Works by Alana Preece, Alison Main, Ann Whitby, Annabelle Collett
Annette Dawson, Barbara Davis, Belinda Keyte, Brianna Burton, Bridgette
Minnuzzo, Cassidy Burton, Catherine Buddle, Cathy Brooks, Charlotte Guidolin
Christine Pyman, Dan Monceaux, Diana Mitchell, Eija Murch-Lempinen
Ellen Schlobohm, Emily Lauro, Emma Monceaux, Ervin Janek, Ewa
Skoczynska, Frances Griffin, Gary Campbell, Jack Ladd, Jessamy Pollock
Joanne Crawford, John Foubister, Judith Carletti, Judith Rolevink, Keith Giles Lee Cornelius, Margie Kenny, Melanie Fulton, Melissa Gillespie, Miriam Hochwald, Mirjana Dobson, Neal Powell, Nerida Bell, Niki Sperou, Roseanne May, Sally Goldsmith, Sally Heinrich, Sonya Moyle, Sophie Dunlop, Stefanie Giese, Sue Garrard, Susan Bruce, Susan Long, Talia Dawson, Victoria Paterson

Exhibition Launch: 2pm, Sunday 5 November 2017

Opening speaker: Kevin Knight
Mayor, City of Tea Tree Gully

On the same day
Gallery 1855 Open Day, 11am – 5pm
workshops | children’s activities | food | DJ and more

Exhibition concludes: 9 December

 

Artist profile: Sami Porter

Ceramic artist Sami Porter recently opened her first solo exhibition at Gallery 1855.

Entitled in Flux, Sami’s exhibition is about the sheer wonder and delight of microscopic forms, that have evolved into art works.

Sami has combined ceramics and natural-found objects into contemporary sculptural works, expressing a dialogue of interconnection, appreciation and imagination between our existence and that found in the hidden and microbiological aspects of nature.

She says ‘My rapture has become the alchemy of the crystalline glaze; It is a glaze that grows visible crystal structures under precise kiln conditions. I embrace it in my work to emphasise notions of organic process and growth; creating a tiny world of wonder all of its own.’



Your new exhibition, inFLUX, is described as a micro-voyeuristic journey of nature in process. Tell us more!

I am captivated with the micro-world, as it offers us the comprehension that life transpires all around us; often existing unnoticed. I incorporate natural found-objects into my contemporary sculpture works, to express a dialogue of interconnectedness, recognition and imagination between our existence and that found in the hidden and microbiological aspects of nature.

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Image: Sami Porter, Lamenta Gaia I (group of 5), 2017, thrown porcelain and crystalline glaze.

Why did you create these works?

After my Honours degree, I wanted to continue the research and work I had begun with microscopic and unnoticed entities. My inspiration and concepts were infinite!

What do you hope people see?

I hope the response to my work will be a personal journey of curiosity, and would attract anyone with an interest in contemporary ceramic sculpture, art, science, nature and the surreal.

I believe my practice offers an innovative context of organic hybridization and biological fantasy, delivered through sculptural works made from the Earth.

Higher Ground (detail)

Image: Sami Porter, Higher Ground, 2017, hand-built porcelain, crystalline glaze.

There is a variety of artwork in your show. Can you share a bit about how you made them?

As I am inspired by nature, my works often start with drawings and design. Most of the works in this exhibition are porcelain and are wheel-thrown, hand and slab built, and slip-cast.

My key passion and technique with ceramics has become the use of the crystalline glaze. This glaze grows visible crystal structures and I have been employing it to express notions of organic process and growth.

Wood-wurm (tall & small)

Image: Sami Porter, Woodworm, 2017, terracotta and metallic glaze.


Where does the need to make art come from for you?

Biophilia (the love of living things) has been the core motivation for my art practice. Making art is my homage to Earth, and fills my need to make interesting and beautiful objects.

What’s the next thing you’re working on?

After a short break, I will return to making porcelain with crystalline sculptures, looking at larger forms with a microscopic, botanical and fantastical influence.

I am always researching and concocting my new crystalline glaze recipes!


in FLUX is on display at Gallery 1855 from Wednesday 27 September until Saturday 28 October 2017.http://www.cttg.sa.gov.au/gallery1855

Artist profile: John Whitney

Bridges may be the most invisible form of public architecture.

Each day we cross bridges as we commute to work or school, visit family and friends, going about our daily lives. We take their presence for granted, never stopping to think how life would be different without them.

Gallery 1855’s current exhibition No Bridge Too Far depicts the architectural and engineering aspects of South Australian bridges, with works by Adelaide artists James Parker and John Whitney.

Using pen and ink, encaustic painting, digital imaging printmaking and installation, they explore the bridge as a landmark and anchor for identity of self and place.

James says “When I was young I assumed that if someone didn’t grow up right next to a bridge, then they longed to. I still believe that.”


 

John Whitney is a well-known and highly regarded visual artist who has been working with South Australian schools and communities over many years.

He started his working life as a secondary visual arts educator. After a number of years teaching he has dedicated his talent and skill to continuing his work with school students but as a professional visual artist.

John won the Education and Arts Ministers’ Award for his work as an artist working in schools in 2003, and has also won a number of Art awards and prizes over the years.

He has been a core artist working for Carclew’s Arts & Education Program in Artists in Schools, Arts Blast, Cargo and Creative Education Partnership Artist in Residence projects (AiR). John was one of two lead artists for Carclew’s AiR project in Murray Bridge in 2010, which went on to win an international award from The Campaign for Drawing (U.K.).

John’s work is not limited to schools, as he is also in high demand for Adelaide’s annual WOMAdelaide, Adelaide Fringe and Festival. He also contributes his time and skills to working with communities and Councils both in metro Adelaide and regionally.

We caught up with John to ask more questions about No Bridge Too Far:

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James Parker and John Whitney at the opening of ‘No Bridge Too Far’

 

Your joint exhibition at Gallery 1855, ‘No Bridge Too Far’ depicts the architectural and engineering aspects of South Australian bridges. How did this idea come about?

Through Carclew I was teamed up with James and we have worked on several successful drawing projects, Come Out activities and other workshops in schools for the last nine years.

Following my stroke in 2014, as part of rehab James suggested working towards an exhibition together on the topic “Bridges of South Australia”…… why bridges you can ask James more on that part!

So for the past two years, armed with sketchbooks and cameras we’ve traveled the state in James’ van discovering and capturing bridges.

Why bridges?

For me I like the physical presence of a bridge; its structure, the material it’s made of, as well as the practical nature of safely crossing something.  It is also a time capsule ……. often the remains of previous bridges stand beside the current ones, and locals have tales to tell of their bridge. I lived in Murray Bridge for four years and those bridges were certainly the main landmark.

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John Whitney, The Children’s Bridge, Strathalbyn
2016
30 x 20cm

 

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John Whitney, The Old Bridge Mitcham
Colour pencil on Fabriano paper 300gsm
2015
30 x 40cm.

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John Whitney, The old footbridge, Oakbank
2016, 20x30cm.

 

You have worked in several South Australian schools, as a teacher and as an artist-in-residence. How did you come to find your preferred visual arts medium?

Drawing has always been my main area of interest in the Visual Arts as it’s important not only in the arts but right across our lives.  It designs, explains and records much of our activities. It’s transportable and can have so many presentations from a scribble to photo realism.…… I’ve always drawn.

I trained as an Art Teacher and taught in country and city schools for eleven years. I then resigned but got invited back into schools as an artist. That was thirty years ago. Since then I have worked constantly in schools doing murals, hebel carving, drawing workshops, painted poles – all over the state.

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John Whitney, The culvert near Burra,
2016
30 x 20cm

 

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James Parker, Port Wakefield River,
2016
Encaustic on board

 

 

 

 

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James Parker, Bruce,
2016
Digital image

Where do you take inspiration from?

 

I get inspiration from the world around me …….  physical objects, landscapes, buildings and structures more than the human figure. I enjoy recording the detail of the world around us; I always have a sketchbook or journal handy as well as a camera. Themes and topics develop over time which often evolve to be an exhibition or a series of drawings.

 

No Bridge Too Far is on display from 10 May – 10 June 2017 at Gallery 1855.