studio la primitive
slp arts zine issue 4 march 2014
slp studio la primitive EDITOR Robyn Stanton Werkhoven
Gazing at the Stars - Eric Werkhoven
Shirley Cameron Roberts
Front cover - Painting Leaving Newcastle Harbour (detail) oil on canvas 120 x 92 cm - Brian Roberts
Please do not copy articles in this magazine without written permission of the Editor. Copyright ÂŠ 2013 Studio La Primitive, All rights reserved. Issue 4 - March 2014
Editorial……………………….. Robyn Werkhoven
Studio La Primitive Antics…….. E&R Werkhoven
Essay ………………………… Artist Interview ………………….
10 - 19
20 - 21
22 - 29
Artist Feature…………………… Hospital Haiku…………..
Peter Ronne Robyn Werkhoven
30 - 37 38- 41 42 - 45
SLP would like to thank all contributors and artists. Deadline for articles - March 15h for April issue 2014 Dreadnaught - sculpture Michael Garth
Email articles to: email@example.com
Final Journey Exhibition 2011 Issue 4 - March 2014
EDITORIAL Greetings to all our readers for 2014. This issue is coming direct from a hospital bed, as your Editor had a bad fall on New Years Day, but the show must go on!
The ARTS ZINE will now become bi-monthly, to allow for a more sumptuous edition. The March issue will be featuring artists interviews, essays, poetry and art news. The ARTS ZINE features professional Hunter Valley, national and international visual artists poets and writers, glimpses into their world of art and their creative processes. There has been a splendid response with many artists, writers and philosophers happy to contribute articles and exhibition news.
Submissions welcomed, we would love to
have your words and art works in future editions. DEADLINE FOR NEXT MAY ISSUE 5 - is APRIL 15TH Submit articles to email: firstname.lastname@example.org Regards - your editor Robyn Werkhoven
Horse Antics - by E&R Werkhoven (C)2014 Issue 4 - March 2014
N T I C S STUDIO LA PRIMITIVE (C)2014 - ANTICS by E&R Werkhoven collaborative drawings . www.studiolaprimitive.com Issue 4 - March 2014
THE ARTISTS OF THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC 1918 - 1933 We are the artists of the Fatherland
Our ink stains
who refuse to be silenced:
the plump white flesh
Grosz Dix Kollwitz Beckmann
of the Fraulein in fur and feathers, the crisp cold swastika of the nationalist, the preacher's collar.
Schlichter Hubbach and Scholz. This barbed pen writes in blood, the blood of dissidents whose acid vision corrodes the smooth veneer
Beneath these pillars of respectability
of the bourgeoisie.
mulch the growth of a renewed onslaught.
The chisel goes against the grain
Look into these drawings and peel off the silk stockings of the whore.
gouging, free from complacency,
our confiscated drawings
splinters of disquiet.
See the seven deadly sins of the Golden Twenties
Our etching needles scratch deep
flaunt and cavort
into the hard core of the storm-troopers
outside the asylums where they assign us.
who accuse us of blasphemy.
See them ignore our subjects;
The lithography crayon greases their palm
the starving widows, the beggars and the dying children.
with the only paper currency they confiscate, for they see in that paper their sordid likeness; the hooded eye of a moustached cigar-smoking fascist.
Feel the fusillade from the graphic weapons of our revolt and know that this could happen again. BEA JONES ÂŠ 2014 Issue 4 - March 2014
Self-portrait as Mars - OTTO DIX 1915 â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the second year of war, he depicts himself as the God of War with angles borrowed from cubism. In this scene, death is abundant. Horses rear and flee. Buildings burst open and cities crumble. Yet Dix remains alive. Survival under such circumstances might give anyone a messiah complex.â&#x20AC;? Publisher: Municipal Gallery, Stuttgart
The Artist of the Weimar Republic 1918 - 1933 By published poet, and artist Bea Jones, presently living in Melbourne.
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ESSAY- by ERIC WERKHOVEN ©2014
Our conscience proves to be more stubborn, because we are dealing with the cause and effect of everything
Sure we are a rambling brook, a flying kite in the blue sky. We are the road across the plain, where the screeching cockatoos come down to rest. Yonder eucalyptus trees near the lake, where a seat is made with your initials carved on it. Are we your calling card to regain your confidence? Sadness and joy are thrown at us from all sides. A perfect day to walk along Autumn Avenue.
A perfect excuse to stay and hide the things we want to ask,
that will ever walk along these places again. A note of optimism I hear, the cheer leader shout, for the game to commence. The ball is reaching the far left corner and the commotion runs high. With a near impossible twist of his heel he has managed to free himself of an opponent. To score or not to score that is the question. Now paramountly imbedded in the mind of mankind.
but can’t find the answers for.
There is a lot to do; even the wind is in a hurry.
Every day in succession, there is a stream of golden rules,
We are working on so many projects.
the light reflecting on the roof top of the world.
To mark it down, zip it up and send it through the mail for some tangible replies.
We are the rubbish on which the infection turns septic. We are the dead fish in the harbour, calling out – what have you done? We are both promise and neglect. Living and dying side by side. So we look the other way, where the grass is greener. Issue 4 - March 2014
Falling - sculpture by Eric Werkhoven 2013
www.studiolaprimitive.com Issue 4 - March 2014
Brian Roberts and Shirley Cameron-Roberts Reflections on the Hunter
Cessnock Regional Art Gallery 16 Vincent Street Cessnock NSW Australia 20th March to 13th April 2014 Issue 4 - March 2014
For their exhibition at Cessnock Regional Art Gallery Brian and Shirley thought it appropriate to select works which focus on the Hunter Valley region where they have lived and worked so happily for the past 22 years. Brianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works portray the big picture with dramatic paintings of sea and land in luscious oils as well as a glimpse of the people and creatures that live there. Shirley stays closer to home concentrating on the immediate surrounds of the old Eccleston School. Her works portray natural forms and the small creatures that inhabit them.
The Artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Journey Mixed medium on canvas 92 x 122 cm Shirley Cameron -Roberts Issue 4 - March 2014
BRIAN ROBERTS ARTIST’S STATEMENT “The Newcastle harbour and surrounding landscape and coastline have had a huge impact on my creative directions.
First the harbour with its continuous flow of movement, navigation markers, tugs and shipping information on funnels and hulls. These visual markings I developed into a kind of language to be used, redesigned, recoloured and inserted into paintings to fit my mood and creative thoughts at the time. The beaches also had their icons - life savers, flags and swimmers in an endless parade of images surrounding the main icon, Nobbys lighthouse. On leaving the harbour the ocean changes by the minute as nature’s moods and weather produce endless lasting visual impressions. Turning to the valley the landscape, lush and green or parched in a dry hot summer, always gives the impression of storm or sunlit beauty. Nature and wildlife in abundance change with the seasons. Over time so do the valley people. All these aspects of the region have encouraged ongoing experimentation and variety in content in my work”.
Navigating North - oil on paper 64 x 45 cm Brian Roberts Issue 4 - March 2014
SHIRLEY CAMERON-ROBERTS ARTIST’S STATEMENT “When I walk from the house to the old school, our studio, my eyes wander over the immediate landscape.
ground I see twists of subtly coloured barks, leaves in many shapes (some strangely transformed by the small teeth of a myriad of insects), the iridescent green of a dead beetle, tortured sticks and beautiful and varied feathers. Sometimes there are fallen eggs and even nests shaken from their moorings by heavy wind. On looking up I see the patterns of branches and leaves against blue sky or drifts of cloud, a noisy miner screeches at me or a tawny frogmouth poses as a branch on an apple gum. And always, everywhere, there is texture. In 22 years the patterns of nature in this valley and
the creatures that live here have influenced me greatly. My studio time is an expression of my response to those patterns. I thought “Reflections on the Hunter” would take me further afield but the longer we stay in this place the deeper its impression on my creativity.”
Residents - painting, mixed medium 61 x 61 cm Shirley Cameron - Roberts.
Issue 4 - March 2014
Jill Stowell, Newcastle Art Critic and writer - February 2014 Article on Brian Roberts and Shirley Cameron - Roberts Brian Roberts and Shirley Cameron-Roberts have been prominent and much-exhibited members of the Hunter art community since they came to live here in 1991. They are among the small band of independent professional artists, not attached to a teaching institution. They have been included in many group exhibitions in addition to their solo shows. There have also been significant commissions. Each has an established mode of working and for both of them areas of interest and subject matter have continued to evolve over the years. Brian’s choppy seas and harbour markers have recently moved inland, while Shirley has immersed herself in various landform environments, which she explores in the present exhibition in closer focus, employing her drawing skills in discovering shy denizens of bush and forest floor. The variety of Brian’s work in the exhibition whets the appetite to learn more about his earlier career. We can fit the moody landscapes and peachy skies into a known scenario, and the familiar play with the teasing abstract forms of harbour markers and navigation aids now takes them into new digital territory. But what surprised me are the blocks of portrait heads. Their grasp of character and air of casual vivacity reveal a different aspect of Brian’s art making. Like Shirley, he long had a real commitment to depicting the human figure; in fact they met first at life-drawing sessions.
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Masseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Creek - oil on canvas 60 x 60 cm Brian Roberts. Issue 4 - March 2014
The variety of Brianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work in the exhibition whets the appetite to learn more about his earlier career. We can fit the moody landscapes and peachy skies into a known scenario, and the familiar play with the teasing abstract forms of harbour markers and navigation aids now takes them into new digital territory. But what surprised me are the blocks of portrait heads. Their grasp of character and air of casual vivacity reveal a different aspect of Brianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s art making. Like Shirley, he long had a real commitment to depicting the human figure; in fact they met first
at life-drawing sessions. In his tightly packed archive, Brian has stored away sheaves of life-drawings and huge stacks of portraits, evidence of an easy skill acquired in his many years working in illustration. Maybe his film experience appears in the animation of his figures. Through twenty stressful years, involving constant travel between New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Milan, he kept painting, holding an exhibition in New York in 1969. Is there also a flavour imparted by the contemporary Japanese prints he established a gallery to show when he returned to Melbourne in 1973? Do luscious swathes of paint surface derive from a brief career as a professional photographer of ice cream? Bravura surfaces accompany obsessive programmes of ideas. An intense study of the explorer Matthew Flinders produced a series of paintings with a wave-top sense of the sea and the iconic fin of Nobbys; Brian has sailed competitively in small boats while his grandfather was skipper of a windjammer.
Issue 4 - March 2014
Red Trees - acrylic & charcoal on canvas 91 x 91 cm Shirley Cameron-Roberts Issue 4 - March 2014
Hearing details of Brian’s crowded past aroused my curiosity about Shirley’s earlier career. She has had great success over many years with dramatic large-scale drawings of the figure. Confrontations, even emotional connections were evoked by bold charcoal forms such as she showed in early exhibitions at the von Bertouch gallery, where Brian also showed several times before it closed. Shirley’s art making has always been intuitive and in earlier days provided a welcome release from a professional life
among lawyers and accountants. She waits for an image to emerge. Formidable drawing skills are never enough. Much of her art has looked back to the very different landscape of her childhood on the red banks of the Murray. Commissioned portraits have had to wait for the likeness to find itself. Anne von Bertouch is hauntingly herself in a work about to enter the University collection. Several portraits have been finalists in the Portia Geach Award.
Brian and Shirley have shared a studio since they married in 1983. This seems at first sight unlikely for two such different artists. While Shirley feels her way into each composition, working on several canvases simultaneously, Brian paints with passionate speed after rigorous introspection. They make a formidable couple.
Jill Stowell February, 2014 Official Opening
2pm Saturday 22nd March at Cessnock Regional Art Gallery,
16 Vincent St. Cessnock NSW. www.shirleycameron-roberts.com
www.brianroberts.com.au Issue 4 - March 2014
Fire Flares - oil on canvas 92 x 92 cm Brian Roberts Issue 4 - March 2014
Newcastle Harbour Considered as a Duchamp For J.F. One slip & you’re back, via Whiteley and John Olsen except parochially distanced away: her blonde pubic hair glued on a poster copy, or a carbon stealer with a view, still fucking with his phone, fucks someone from behind. Drink tinged clouds decorate a perfect evening, tug boats weave & tack – the freighters don’t change except for garnish and napalm burnt rust – a girl on the foreshore trips, blokes are still ego grooming their working class careers. Does art have anything to do with this, when the cannon looms from Fort Sratchley’s view, and a seagull’s in the air? Probably.
David Graham © 2014 Issue 4 - March 2014
Leaving Newcastle Harbour (detail) 120 x 92 cm Brian Roberts Issue 4 - March 2014
Sleepy Bay - drawing Belinda Street 2012 Issue 4 - March 2014
BELINDA STREET “Born in Sydney, on the Northern Beaches, I was fortunate to spend most of my childhood in this area. Upon finishing high school, I moved up to Newcastle in 1994 to begin a degree in visual arts, studying under artists such as John Montefiore, Garry Jones and Lezlie Tilley. This was a wonderfully inspiring time (although possibly more time was spent at The Bar on The Hill or playing croquet on the lawn outside the VA
Building with a cask of red than actually in the studio!), and although I had been drawing constantly since I could hold a pencil as a small child, this time at university was when my full artistic passion began. I realised that I wanted to create art for the rest of my life– much to the disgust of my mother, who thought I should be studying business! My plan was a little broader than just art however, and within my degree I studied graphic design and illustration with the plan of working as a graphic designer until my art career established. “ Studio Palette Issue 4 - March 2014
“ Upon completing my degree I moved back to Sydney and did a short course in desktop publishing and landed my first job as a junior graphic designer in a mapping company in North Sydney. I was still practising my art, mainly by attending life drawing classes at night. I managed to win the 1996 and 1997 and was awarded a full
drawing section of the Mosman Youth Art Prize two years running in
scholarship to study at the Julian Ashton Art School in The Rocks. I was very for-
tunate to study painting here under Nigel Thomson.
In 1998 I decided to throw in both my job and my studies to travel to Europe with a good friend and fellow artist. We backpacked around more than 12 countries, sketching as we went. I filled a sketchbook with drawings and paintings and came back to Australia after 5 months completely inspired! It was this trip that began my love of the landscape, of which 14 years later, I’m still painting. The following year I completed an Honours year in Fine Arts at COFA and worked at a local newspaper designing ads.
Over the next couple of years I started doing freelance work as a graphic designer in the publishing industry.
lancing worked out well as it wasn’t full time so I still had time to paint. I held numerous solo shows in Sydney during this time which were quite successful. I started my own business “Street Design” which I still juggle presently. I lived in Sydney until 2007, when my partner Walo and I decided to move up to Newcastle along with our little boy Jetson. We had had enough of the rat race and wanted to live in a smaller city, but still be in touch with Sydney. My parents were also originally from Newcastle so there was that connection also. We are very happy we made the move as we love the lifestyle here. We are now a family of 5 – our little girl Jenna arriving in 2009, and our 1 year old border collie cross ‘Fly’ in 2012.”
Issue 4 - March 2014
Belinda Streetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Studio - works in progress.
Issue 4 - March 2014
“My usual spiel is that I’m a semi-abstract Australian Landscape painter. I seem to occupy a space in my work that is not quite abstract, but certainly not realistic either. I find the middle ground very interesting – the pushing and pulling of an artwork, and the layering, allowing the painting itself to take it’s own direction, whilst trying to stay true to the actual landscape I am depicting. Combining
observation of landscapes with the condensed impressions of my memories, the work
combines perception, emotion and expression with a sensitive concern for painterly qualities.
I always start from observation– field trips to new locations where I do sketches and take photos. Most of the work though takes place back in the studio, where I feel most comfortable (where the ants aren’t biting, the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t burning!) Belinda is inspired by - “Great art. Travel. Music. Interesting people. Good wine. Good food. Time alone with my thoughts and books.” I asked Belinda what were some of her greatest achievements - Every exhibition I manage to hold I am extremely proud of – it’s a difficult juggle these days between kids, work, house, garden, dog and the like. I’ve now had 12 solo exhibitions with another one coming this year. A highlight would be winning the Mosman Youth Art Prize, which I was awarded a full scholarship to the Julian Ashton Art School. More recently, becoming a part of the stable at Eva Breuer Art Dealer has been really exciting for my career. Belinda’s present work - Last September I travelled to The Flinders Ranges and Arkaroola in South Australia on an art expedition. I don’t know how I managed to wangle a ‘leave pass’ for 10 days, but I was grateful for the opportunity to get away and just think about art. I took over 1000 photos, and did numerous small paintings and sketches. Now, back in the studio I’m using all this information, along with my memories, to create a new body of work for a solo show in Sydney in November 2014.
Belinda Street (C)2014 Issue 4 - March 2014
Granite Coast painting by Belinda Street 2012 Issue 4 - March 2014
Freycinet Study 1
Belinda Street 2012 Issue 4 - March 2014
Kosciuszko Dawn 2013 painting by Belinda Street Issue 4 - March 2014
Snow Maiden, Sandstone, 2012 Issue 4 - March 2014
PETER RONNE â&#x20AC;&#x153;Addicted to chipping, I might not do it every day, but as time goes by, the itching mounts, the twitching gathers, mere plucking at a guitar or tapping at a keyboard no longer suffices, the hand reaches for the hammer, a chisel lies waiting, the mind dreams of the stone, what must it become? What must be done? Anymore, some machine is grabbed to give it a basic shape. Noise, dust, grit on gritting teeth, cut after cut reaches into the stone, deeper here, and there more shallow, and then the chipping begins, little blocks of rock fall away, some more machine cutting may be needed, and then the chipping in earnest begins. The shape is refined with a point, a chisel with just one sharp point for digging into the stone and removing fairly large bits, it moves over the stone making patterns and lines almost like a carverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pencil. This is followed by a claw, many points in a line, and the first phase of the smoothing, like a brush in the pattern of stipples it leaves after its passing. Then flat chisels might be used, and lots of rubbing with left over chunks of broken grinding wheels until a desired texture signals that the job might be done. Somewhere in the midst of all this time and dust and tapping the thoughts of what this thing is, what it might be called, bubble through the brain. Why am I partaking in this exercise of absurdity, what for this effort, can meaning be given to a rock? A shape may echo some other or just be a shape. What looks like a smile may resemble some smile I remember remembering. How round is a buttock? Although I scratched at rocks a few times in the past, pretty much all of my carvings have been done since moving to the Hunter and discovering the availability of sandstone. The methods of work have been gleaned from an occasional book and information from the internet. The tools I use are cobbled together from what can be purchased from hardware stores and odd bits of rebar. Garage sales can be a source of hammers. My atelier is the back garden.â&#x20AC;? Peter Ronne (C)2014 Issue 4 - March 2014
Works in progress Peter Ronne out door studio
Issue 4 - March 2014
Sandstone sculptures by Peter Ronne on display at Finite Gallery, Caves Beach: Shelter II, Abstract II, and Eve. Photos by Peter Ronne Issue 4 - March 2014
I have had works on display in a number of locations and galleries around Newcastle. Every year I try to have something ready for the Maitland Showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sculpture Prize Exhibition and for Robyn and Eric Werkhovenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curated group shows held annually at Newcastle Art Space Gallery.
Sculpture - Place in This Cup the Maggots Which Have Eaten my Brain, May the Birds Feast on Them; from Preparation for the Final Journey, Exhibition, 2011. Issue 4 - March 2014
Four views of sculpture by Peter Ronne - Flowers: from A Fine Line Between Pleasure and Pain Exhibition, Newcastle Art Space Gallery, 2012 Issue 4 - March 2014
Sculptures - Dance of Capital and I Hardly Knew Ya from Nightmares Exhibition 2013 Held at the Newcastle Art Space Gallery. Issue 4 - March 2014
Sculptures by Peter Ronne - Daphne and Simple Form from Maitland Sculpture Art Prize exhibition 2014. Issue 4 - March 2014
Rising heat engulfs me Metal and bone grind.
By Robyn Stanton Werkhoven “The following Haiku poems are my personal descriptions and experiences during a long recovery time spent in hospital. During this time as an artist I found I couldn’t express my emotions in visual drawings or paintings, but released my mind with meditation and portrayed the traumatic event in words, through the traditional form of Haiku poetry.”
Where is the silence?
Bombarded by wild noises Where can I seek peace?
Blaring white tube lights My eyes are tired and weep Soft ash grey shadows.
A weakness permeates, invades Bruised arms, wrinkling worn wounds
Don’t look, bleeding skin.
White and blue black storks Wading among lotus leaves Tranquil, calm feeling. Issue 4 - March 2014
One small, brown tablet
Meditate clear thoughts
The pain declines, I can breathe!
Silky satin, light blue shades
Lightness of pale dreams.
Graceful floating forms.
No modesty left
Nurses are busy
Abandoned by dignity
Caring for their patients
I am wide open!
No time to waste.
Dignity has gone
Red flashing night light
Laying overt, rigid legs
Gurgling deep in the bowels
Modesty is banned.
Pulsing hearts of pain.
Shrilling angry sounds
Dusk is rising
Metallic, cutting sharp tools
Pulsing in my head and back
My soul needs movement.
Grey dusk descending
More pills and potions
Beyond are swaying willows
Jabbing needles, biting flesh!
Birds will come to roost.
Breathe in â&#x20AC;&#x201C; breathe out â&#x20AC;&#x201C; scream! Issue 4 - March 2014
Restless painful nights
Marching nurses with torch lights
Bed pans, tongs and metal cans
Howling winds outside.
Where has sleep gone to?
My stomach is soft
Sharp metallic rod
Blue bruises all over me
Limp muscles and white weak flesh
I fear sharp needles.
Scalpel cutting deep!
Storms encircle me
Scapel poised, ready to cut
A war rages in my wound!
Spurting blood and flesh.
Fevers take my breath.
Tall silky oak tree
Black and white birds frolicking
The night was long and lonely
Against a grey sky.
Corridors of noise.
Tears fell from my eyes
I still feel helpless
The days draw on with much pain
Recovery will be quite slow
They bathe, dress the wound
I want to scream out!
Issue 4 - March 2014
Dinner is coming
You must eat to have any strength
Fills the hospital room
Six weeks lying flat.
My hair is just washed.
My belly rumbles
Water over me
The bowels are not working
Such bliss, wet my whole body
Oh god I need to poo!
Elation and joy!
Oh God! Please no!
Friends come to visit
Septic virus invades!
I feel like smiling again
Ugly times to come.
First day out of bed.
High fevers persist Bacteria is fast growing Fearful remedies! Another dusk descends Silhouetted green orchids Fresh fruits to enjoy
(C)Robyn Werkhoven2014 Issue 4 - March 2014
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Treasures on the Beach - collaborative painting - E&R Werkhoven 2013
Studio La Primitive Arts Zine(C)2013
Design & layout by Robyn Stanton 46