Toyota Community Spirit Gallery presents
cRossRoAds an exhibition exploring crisis + the need for change in the modern world
JULY 4 TO 26 SEPTEMBER, 2007 Toyota Australia, 155 Bertie Street, Port Melbourne VIC 3207 Inquiries phone Ken Wong 03 9690 0902 Gallery Hours Thu & Fri 1pm to 6pm or by appointment
Toyota Community Spirit Gallery The Toyota Community Spirit Gallery is an initiative of Toyota Community Spirit, Toyota Australiaâ€™s corporate citizenship program. Toyota Community Spirit develops partnerships that share Toyota's skills,networks, expertise and other resources with the community. The Toyota Community Spirit Gallery aims to provide space for artists, especially emerging artists to show their work. The space is provided free of charge to exhibiting artists, no commission is charged on sales and Toyota provides an exhibition launch and develops a catalogue for each exhibition. The gallery has now shown works by over 230 artists. This project is mounted in consultation with Hobsons Bay City Council and the City of Port Phillip.
Ken Wong Curator
This exhibition marks the third anniversary of the launch of Toyota Community Spirit Gallery and commences the fourth year of a continuous program that has now featured the works of over 230 artists. It is a testament to our growing reputation as a valuable opportunity and another significant step forward from several points of view. Crossroads is an exhibition that explores crisis and the need for change in contemporary society and is the first time we have called for submissions from the broader artistic community to a specific theme. The response has been overwhelming with over 100 applications received. The exhibition features 16 local artists from the communities of Hobsons Bay and Port Phillip, along with 17 guest artists including two interstate artists and for the first time, an international guest artist in Carlo Ferraris from U.S.A. His application is an indication of the ever-widening profile of the gallery and his inclusion by special arrangement is an exciting development for our program. My thanks to Greenaway Art Gallery in Adelaide and Florence Lynch Gallery in New York for their role in facilitating this. Artists were asked to respond to the theme of this exhibition by exploring either the causes of crisis in the modern world or the process of change required to avert these crises. Over the past hundred years or so, the development of modern society and technology has ushered in an era of unprecedented wealth and prosperity for much of humankind. More and more though, we are becoming aware that our lifestyle is unsustainable. In recent years war and violence, social isolation and decay, the global proliferation of consumer culture and its effect on the environment and resources including global warming and climate change; along with social, political and religious intolerance and persecution seem to have become the dominant forces of our time.
Welcome to the Crossroads.
Ken Wong is the Director of Watch Arts, a Melbourne based contemporary arts consultancy. He has worked in the fine arts industry since 1997 in both commercial and community arts, curating and managing a host of projects including gallery and outdoor sculpture exhibitions.
Maybe in our struggle to provide a better life, we have lost sight of the importance of the essential innocence and wonder that as children came so naturally to each and every one of us. Maybe in fact, our needs are a lot simpler than we are led to believe. We have all had moments when the beauty and power of nature and creation has filled us with awe and inspiration. Maybe the challenge that confronts us as human beings is to rediscover that awe and reverence for the spirit in our own nature, and to learn again to treasure those qualities in ourselves, each other and the environment for the precious and sacred gift they truly are. Maybe the crisis we face is about the soul of humanity, and the hardest thing to recognise is that the moment is now; that the choices we make and the direction we choose to take will determine the future for all of us, and the countless generations to come.
artists + works
image (detail) Jennifer Caldwell, Where the bush used to be
Fortress Oil on cotton, 2007, 102x87cm
Street Calligraphy Type C photograph, 2007, 81x81cm
Vannakâ€™s Daughter Digital photograph, 2006, 59x48cm
Chromed Flora Extinct Lazer cut steel & chrome, 2007, 91x61cm
Where the bush used to be Digital media, 2006, 101x135cm
Scouts go Marching Digital print, 2006, 48x59cm
Walpa 1 Oil on Belgian linen, 2007, 122x92cm
Advance Australia Fair Mixed media, 2007, 30x30cm
Untitled (target) Photograph, Edition 3 of 7, 1993, 55x52cm
Tur/Door: Please open Mixed media, 2007, 227x56x28cm
Family Tree Oil on canvas, 2005, 240x120cm
The Fighters Embrace Analogue print, 2002, 60x90cm
A Big Yellow Man Looks for Answers Foam & fibre glass, 2006, 230x50x50cm
Echoes of Flowers Clay & dried rose petals, 2007, 85x90x90cm $1200
Crucifixion of Water Oil on canvas, 2007, 100x137cm
Terra Firma Mixed media, 2006, 60x72x50cm
Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy Blue and Green Running
Digital photograph, 2007, 51x41cm
06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
artists + works Markus Kunschak
A Gigantic Crime Mixed media, 2007, 50x150cm
Fairytales #2 Feltpen & oil on canvas, 2007, 90x120cm
Songbird 27 Acrylic on canvas, 2006, 50x50cm
DIY Culture Yarn, 2007, 21x11x14cm
After Brack, Collins St 2007 Acrylic on canvas, 2007, 91x81cm
Yarraville Gates Acrylic on board, 2007, 185x125cm
So many birds fall from their perch Inkjet print, Limited edition of 5, 2007, 97x72cm $690
Walking with the ancestors Yellow Box, 2007, 103x64x25cm
See Jane read, See Jane get educated, See Jane change the world Acrylic on board, 2007, 120x90cm
Family Trust Wood & tapestry weaving, 2005, 60x70x20cm $6000
From here towards Acrylic on canvas, 2007, 30.5x30.5cm
Terror Wall Photograph, 2006, 29x42cm
Handmade Digital imaging on canvas, 2005, 100x68cm
Family Tree Mixed media on canvas, 2006, 35x45cm
Waste heap child, Bo Town, Sierra Leone Type C photograph, Limited edition of 10, 2004, 76x102cm $990
The devil makes work for idle hands Gouache on paper, 2007, 80x100cm
image (detail) Amanda Slack-Smith, Handmade
community of Port Phillip
Fortress Oil on cotton, 2007 102 x 87cm
Robyn lives in Middle Park and was born in Melbourne in 1958, qualifying to become an art teacher through Melbourne University in 1979. She has spent much of her adult life painting, involved in music and publishing, teaching and raising her family but has recently returned to study and is currently pursuing her Master of Visual Art at the Victorian College of the Arts. She has produced two solo exhibitions in recent years at Galleryhm in Sydney in 2005 and Smyrnios Gallery, Melbourne in 2006. Robyn has travelled widely throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America. Her most recent trip to Antarctica has inspired her current series of works.
A recent trip to Antarctica (January 07) has informed my current practice resulting in paintings that are black and white, tonal studies of icebergs. These prehistoric forms dominate the picture space. Gloomy and isolated, they are not depicted within a landscape genre but as a still life, one that is severe and observational. These sombre figures are ambiguous and unresolved resembling teeth and bones, or taking on human or mask-like attributes. In order to make sense of these forms it is hard to resist the desire to compare them with shapes from a known environment. But these icebergs are not familiar. Their essential black and whiteness lends an ominous funereal strangeness, a starkness that invokes the idea of a threatened existence. And, if these sculpturally surreal forms suggest an â€˜end of the worldâ€™ perception, it is as much a geographical as well as metaphysical observation.
John Bodin represented by Dickerson Gallery Melbourne community of Port Phillip
" I am influenced by everything in general and nothing in particular. My inspiration is derived from attempting to exist in the present. It is as simple and hard as that. We become familiar with our surroundings. Being fully present, allows me to see â€˜new light through old windowsâ€™. My photographs comment on the conditioning process of familiarisation.
John completed his formal training in photography at RMIT in 1982 and has been a photographic artist all his life. He has also studied philosophy and meditation, a pursuit that serves as a visual source of reflection and is integral to his image making. He has travelled extensively and in 2003 served a short residency at New Delhi, India. He has exhibited in eleven group exhibitions in the last six years and more recently produced a solo show at Anita Traverso Gallery, Richmond. In 2005 he was a finalist in the New Social Commentaries Acquisitive Prize and the acclaimed Prometheus Visual Art Award in 2007. For many years he has been a judge at the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) National Awards and has participated as a Mentor to University and College students of photography. Other honorary work includes serving the last three years as Chairman of the Creative Media Program Advisory Committee at RMIT University in Melbourne. John lives and works from his inner city studio in Melbourne.
Street Calligraphy Type C photograph - Edition 1 of 5, 2007 81 x 81cm
community of Port Phillip
Vannak’s daughter Digital photograph, 2006 59 x 48cm
I’m fascinated by different cultures and lives, and by the connections that exist between people. I have lived in between two worlds and cultures my entire life, with the sense of not belonging to either, although both have influenced and enriched my life and art practice. This photograph was taken in Cambodia, a country that has made a big impact on me because of its tragic past and complicated present marked by beauty, intensity and corruption. The most engaging and fascinating part of that country was the children. ‘Vannak’s daughter’ challenges the viewer with the depth in her eyes while playing with money in her fingers. She is both young and old, wise and innocent - the dichotomies present in the image allude to both the exploitation of children around the world but also emit a sense of powerful strength of being which children carry with them and can help us change the world for the better.
Nina was born in the former Yugoslavia (now Croatia) and migrated to Australia as an eight year-old with her family who moved around between Sydney, Melbourne and Ballarat. She developed an interest in creative expression during her teens, winning a national award for poetry at age fifteen and receiving two VCE Awards from the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. While studying her Bachelor of Fine Art in Photography at Victorian College of the Arts, she was accepted into an exchange program and spent four months living and studying in New York City. “This amazing experience, as well as travelling around Europe and South-East Asia, have opened my eyes to how complex, intense and beautiful this world can be. I believe migrants like myself have the special gift of being able to understand what it is like to exist in different mindsets, different cultures and different conceptions and ideas of life. For this reason, I think travelling is very important in order to experience the realities of different people in this world and thus bridge our own experiences and connect with theirs” she said.
Kerry Buckland-Lewis guest artist (VIC)
This project examines aspects of contemporary Western culturesâ€™ relationship to the environment. Using media which is usually associated with mass production and mass culture, it explores the cultural mediation of nature. The work explores decorative floral motifs extracted from nature and employs them as emblems of this cultural mediation.
Kerry is a multimedia artist living part time in both Brunswick and Geelong. Primarily a painter, she has recently expanded her practice to include video and projection. In 2006 she completed her Masters in Fine Art at RMIT and has recently returned from an artist residency and exhibition at the Gershwin Hotel in New York. Her current practice follows an interest in the environment and using indigenous plant species as imagery from the time she spent living on the west coast of Victoria.
Chromed Flora Extinct Lazer cut steel & chrome, 2007 91 x 61cm
represented by Art Equity guest artist (NSW)
Where the bush used to be Digital media, 2006 101 x 135cm
Jennifer developed a passion for art while growing up in remote isolated parts of NSW and Tasmania and subsequently completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with the University of Tasmania School of Arts in 1995. She has exhibited widely in Australia and in 2005 at the Biennale Internazionale dell-art Contempoaranea, Firenze Italia. Her practice employs multiple media to create her artwork. The subject matter can be very introspective and personal but also aims to address social topics, with a particular interest in issues relating to contemporary Australia. She studies her subject matter, whether it is a region of land or a social philosophy, and responds to her findings visually. Her artworks allow for contemplation and reflection, empowering the viewer to find their own perspective or theory about the work.
This work is about city space. Altered environments haunted by the indigenous flora and fauna, which have been forcibly removed by a changed ecosystem of introduced species, concrete surfaces and products of human consumption and waste. Cities are disconnected with nature, causing us to forget about and undermine the importance of living with our environment and our world. Our approach is too much about what we can take from nature to â€˜improveâ€™ our lives, rather than how we need to live with our environment, and this has to change.
Danella Chalmers community of Port Phillip
" Scouts go Marching Digital print, 2006 48 x 59cm
Danella considers herself fortunate to have discovered her passion for photography at the early age of fifteen. Born in Sydney and raised in Canberra, her family encouraged her creative pursuits and she completed undergraduate studies in photography in Albury before taking her Masters at Monash University in Melbourne in 2005. Seeing the world through the camera lens has taught her numerous life lessons and fuelled her passion for travel abroad. She has taken part in two cultural exchange programs to date, in Japan and Thailand. Each experience has involved participating in a foreign families daily life and provided the rare opportunity to see life from another persons’ perspective. With the travel bug firmly lodged in her belly, she has begun planning her next expedition, which will include destinations such as Vietnam, England and most of Europe in the coming year.
There came a point in my life three years ago, where I began to ask the question ‘What can I do to help?’ Frustrated by the increasing sense of crises around me, I felt it was time to become an active part of the ‘solution’. But where do you begin! I chose to become a volunteer, starting in Northern Thailand teaching children from the remote hill tribe areas. This experience has greatly affected my life personally and significantly influenced my art. The photographs I present are a small representation of my experience living amongst the children and learning about the Thai culture. Responding to the theme of this exhibition I believe this image demonstrates the power of non-verbal communication. Communication is the much needed answer to many of the crisis situations we face. In fact, speaking no shared language enabled a whole new system of visual communication to open between us. Never have I felt the power of photography so strongly than the lesson we shared with a Polaroid camera.
represented by Charles Hewitt Gallery guest artist (NSW)
Walpa 1 Oil on Belgian linen, 2007 122 x 92cm
Gabrielle was born in Sydney and studied architecture at the University of New South Wales and art education at Sydney Teachers College. She taught art for many years and has worked as an art consultant in various companies, including Artbank between 1998 and 2005. Her career has included eleven solo exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong and numerous group exhibitions and artist residencies throughout Australia.
Through College of Fine Arts at University of New South Wales, I spent a month last October as an Iliri Artist Scholar Resident in the isolated cottage, Ochre House at Fowlers Gap, an arid dry zone area of NSW. Away from my urban base in this period of solitude and intense contemplation I moved into the landscape, imaging the spirit of place in my drawing and paintings. All life in the desert retreats from the flared sunlight to the darkness of the gullies. The constant assault of the winds was very disturbing and I got a glimpse of how wind will play havoc with our world, if global warming increases. This work is my response to the wind and heat and our need to take global warming seriously. â€˜Walpaâ€™ is the central desert name for wind.
Advance Australia Fair Mixed polymer paint, cloth, wood, poly fibre, 2007 30 x 30cm
RedDedman was born in Melbourne but has lived in rural NSW and Victoria for nearly twenty years where she worked in a variety of occupations including becoming a self-taught potter. She returned to Melbourne in 2003 to undertake the Diploma of Visual Arts at RMIT, going on to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in drawing in 2006. That same year she was the winner of the Area Contemporary Art Space Exhibition and this year was short listed for the Williamstown Festival Tattersallâ€™s Contemporary Art Prize. RedDedman lives in Brunswick and is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts at RMIT.
" Using found and recycled objects in conjunction with text, I am currently investigating the idea and outcomes of abreaction, i.e., free expression and consequent release of previously repressed emotion. I am concerned with demonstrating the right to make political and social comment in our current climate of over regulation, fear and despair through exploring issues such as global warming, the drought, sedition, immigration, industrial relations and consumerism.
guest artist (VIC)
represented by Greenaway Art Gallery & Florence Lynch Gallery guest artist (USA)
Untitled (target) Black & white photograph, 1993 55 x 52cm
Carlo was born 1960 in Romagnano Sesia, the Piedmont Region of Italy. He graduated from the Brera School of the Arts in Milan in 1987 and moved to New York City in 1994 where he currently lives and works. He has completed over twenty solo exhibitions since 1987 in Europe, the United States and Australia and his works are held in private and public collections throughout the world including the Saatchi Collection, London. Carlo is a 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Photography.
The Persian Gulf War, in particular, wars in general, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, global warming, and since living and working in the US, gun control, and capital punishment, are all topics that I address in my films and photographs. My work is grounded in conceptual art. I made the Untitled (target) 1993 photograph on the Gulf War. Considering the relative brevity of that war and its long-term consequences on everyone, that photograph was made after mulling the effects of the war in my mind for a few years. My work is metaphorical and addresses a spatial or perceptual experience and its psychological implication on relevant topics and their relation to everyday life.
Tanja George community of Port Phillip
" “Open that door and you will see. Enter your imagination. A world with all possibilities. Open or stay shut”.
Tur/Door: Please open Metal, wood & photograph, 2007 227 x 56 x 28cm (image detail)
Tanja was born in Vienna, Austria but grew up in Germany where she worked as a journalist for Esquire magazine. In 1989 she moved to Australia where she studied film, completing her Bachelor of Film and Television at Victorian College of the Arts in 1995. After graduating she made a semidocumentary called Death and Passion which was filmed on location in Pamplona and Zaragoza in Spain. In 2004 she travelled 9000 kilometres directing a travel documentary about Australia for German television. Apart from her work in the film industry, Tanja has recently assisted established artists in fabricating sculptures. She is also creating her own work, mainly in the medium of sculpture and photography. She recently held a solo exhibition of sculpture at Lancaster Press Gallery and was part of an emerging artists exhibition at Toyota Community Spirit Gallery.
As humans have exhausted the planet’s resources with their insatiable thirst for consumption and through great wastefulness, mankind finds itself at a turning point, with the environment at breaking point. With the threat of destruction of our planet looming on the not so distant bleak horizon, we have to rethink our approach to issues like climate change, energy use, materialism, the environment. My artistic engagement with these issues happens mainly through the medium of sculpture. The content of my work is reflected in my sculpture’s physicality, my choice of materials: I tend to work with found objects and recycled materials, mainly metal and wood. Thematically, I ‘reinvent’ discarded objects and materials which are considered to have reached the end of their life and use, hence they are considered to have lost their value. To me, they are beautiful and I attempt to give them an aesthetic life beyond their function.
guest artist (VIC)
Family Tree â€“ life and death, family history, nurturing and suffocation. Survival and hope. My work has always been symbolic and I want people to understand it by feeling it. Trees have become the major symbols in my paintings, although there is also a literal purpose to this - my passion for the environment, our connection to it on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. The symbolic aspect is that the tree paintings are about human values/emotions and the balance of opposites (life/death, simplicity/ complexity, pain/joy, family, isolation, beauty etc).
Family Tree Oil on canvas, 2005 240 x 120cm
Debra was born in 1959 in Leongatha, South Gippsland and grew up on a farm settled by her ancestors. Major events in her childhood include a breakdown when she was seven years old, her father leaving and the loss of the family farm and home. Art has always been her refuge and means of emotional expression and communication. After studying fine art majoring in painting, she worked in various jobs before working as a photographerâ€™s assistant to David Parker and producers assistant on the feature film Malcolm. From this point, she has been a self-employed artist, holding a very successful solo exhibition at Dianne Tanzer Gallery in 1994. Her work has varied from her studio practice, through to scenic art on films and murals, interiors, etc. In 1996 she went to Tasmania to work on The Sound of One Hand Clapping and her life was changed dramatically. She has survived many difficult and painful events in her life over the last ten years but has continued to paint in almost total isolation; at the same time raising her two children aged seven and nine.
Andrew Green community of Hobsons Bay
‘The fighters embrace’ shows the antiphonal violence and mutual self annihilation of the two fighters even as they support and respect the other. These two men hit each other for eight rounds x three minutes each. That’s almost half an hour. In the end, it was a draw. Mostly everybody I felt, thought why? Why hit each other for so long with no result? The next question we must ask is what is it to win anyway?
Andrew learned his craft over three years in the racing department of Atkins, Adelaide’s premier photolab. He was employed by The Geelong Advertiser and Leader Newspapers as a photographer. His photojournalism has included articles on boxing and Nauru among others and his works have been published in The Age and Herald Sun. His interest in art as observational self-expression has also led him to studies in still life and life drawing at Footscray Community Art Centre. More recently he has worked as a freelance photographer with the Times Newspaper in Newport and he has participated in various exhibitions including the Australian Museum’s Perspectives on Drought, in 1995. Earlier this year he was short-listed for the Williamstown Festival Tattersall’s Contemporary Art Prize.
The fighters embrace Analogue print, 2002 60 x 90cm
community of Port Phillip
This piece can easily be seen as a statement about futility – staring at his hand, disconnected from his body, the chaos of his skin. What I’ve tried to convey is his isolation – the individual as his own last resort – a condition that societies like ours produce with great (unconscious) skill. The act of turning inward is not unusual or always negative; it depends on cause and intention. This man is not meditating; he is not acting on behalf of humanity.
A Big Yellow Man Looks for Answers Foam & fibre glass, 2006 230 x 50 x 50cm (image detail)
Craig has been a sculptor all his life, first exhibiting in the Mildura Sculpture Triennial in 1967. His credits include a solo exhibition at Roar Studio in 1983 and commissions/collections include the Mildura Cultural Centre, Catholic Hospice at the City of Knox and the Springvale Medical Centre. Craig has taught both at secondary and tertiary level and for several years honed his technical skills in the two major sculpture foundries in Melbourne. Since 1990 he has worked as a fine artist and commercial sculptor and specialist props maker for film and theatre.
Echoes of Flowers Clay & dried rose petals, 2007 85 x 90 x 90cm
Christopher’s distinguished career in ceramics began in Adelaide and he received recognition as early as 1984, when he was published in the December issue of Ceramics Monthly (USA). Since then he has been published and exhibited widely and in the mid 1990’s took up a role at Monash University Gippsland. In 1999 he completed his PhD at Monash University Caulfield and currently works there as a postgraduate supervisor. He recently held Tempest, a major exhibition of his works at Latrobe Regional Gallery and also curated the Works on Water exhibition at Herring Island Gallery in Melbourne.
" “Echoes of Flowers” is a work from a series of installations that explore ideas around fear, the sublime and the domestic. Each clay bell shape is carefully placed to form a geometrical structure. A handful of dried flower (rose) petals is released as each bell is positioned. The formation of grids and patterns creates an optical illusion for the viewer moving around the transparent structure of clay bells. The structure of clay bells growing out of its bed of flower petals is at once opaque and transparent, solid and fragile, permanent and perishable, metaphorical of an unheeded warning.
community of Port Phillip
guest artist (VIC)
Crucifixion of Water Oil on canvas, 2007 100 x 137cm
Stevan is a thirty year-old artist whose dedication to his work over the past ten years has seen him short-listed and awarded in various art prizes. In 2006 he completed a residency at St Vincent’s Hospital and was invited to exhibit at Galleria Gora in Montreal, Canada. He has a particular interest in history, landscape and folklore, and his work has a distinctive style and colour palette that is strongly influenced by surrealism. In 2001 he won The Youth Award for Best Artist Under 30 at the 2001 Moonee Valley Annual Art Exhibition and since then his exhibitions and paintings have attracted attention from the public, various print media and the ABC radio’s arts program, The Sunday Show. His works can be viewed at www.stevanjacks.com.au
My work has been driven by the love of Australian landscape and history and a deep concern for the water crisis facing the country today. My aim is to examine the impact of settlement on the landscape in an imaginative and lyrical way. ‘Crucifixion’ is my latest painting and is a comment on the struggle between man and the diminishing water supply.
Terra Firma Mixed media, 2006 60 x 72 x 50cm
After devoting much time to teaching art over the last four years, Stephanie returned to serious art making in 2006 to express her increasing concern with the social, cultural and political issues that face people in contemporary society, particularly Australia. Her practice is informed by studies into postmodernism, feminist and cultural theory. Utilising a combination of ‘craft’ and ‘high art’ techniques and materials – clay, textiles, found objects, bronze and wood - she creates sculptures and installations that conceptually deconstruct notions about gender, language and body politics. Although her recent work is similarly three-dimensional and conceptual in nature, it has evolved to engage with issues such as the environment, Australian identity and personal politics, while continuing to address the way language defines culture. It is important to her that the works, which have a definite ‘hand-made’ quality, be aesthetically as well as intellectually engaging. Recent installations in the Women’s Salon exhibitions at the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick addressed themes of intolerance and identity by referencing local histories.
‘Terra Firma’ is a floor sculpture that deconstructs the migrant experience in Australia, focusing on the way language defines culture and identity. Since 9/11 and the subsequent political rhetoric, public fear has increased and even in Melbourne, a city known for its multiculturalism, we have become reticent to accept ‘outsiders’ ; the link between refugees and terrorism is increasingly reinforced in the political and media realms. The tiles in ‘Terra Firma’ are inscribed with the various (and often offensive) labels that get attached to migrants or refugees. This is contrasted with the welcoming lines: “For those who’ve come across the seas/ we’ve boundless plains to share” from the Australian national anthem. The tiles are laid out in a grid – a modernist devise that denotes order – but pieces are missing, symbolising the fragmentation that occurs in individuals who are trying to define their identity. The notion of being firmly grounded in place, as suggested by the title, dirt and footprints, is a myth for most Australians.
guest artist (VIC)
guest artist (VIC)
What would the world be, once bereft Of wet and wildness? Let them be left O let them be left, wildness and wet Long live the waters and the wildness yet. Gerald Manly Hopkins
Blue and Green Running Digital photograph, 2007 Print size 41 x 51cm
Katerina is a multi-disciplinary artist. Trained initially as a Theatre director at the VCA School of Drama and Melbourne University she has subsequently explored a range of art forms in her practice, particularly film and photography. She is the founder of tv., an ensemble that creates works intersecting live-performance, visual art and new media. Her work is inherently provocative and demanding of the audience and is currently focused on site-specific and audienceinteractive processes. Her work reflects her commitment to re-defining the role of the artist in contemporary society.
The young child does not distinguish between itself or the tree or the wind; in its necessary connectedness with the world and others, it lives in a state of oneness with nature and what it loves. We now live in a time where we have separated ourselves from nature and appear to be wildly heedless of the consequences of our actions. This is evident in the way that we discuss the melting of the polar ice caps; as if this was in any sense a reversible event. This photograph is a reminder of the delicate balance and inseparable nature of our relationship with the Earth. The current environmental crisis has been described as the greatest threat that we have ever faced and without appropriate action we will render our children homeless in the worst possible sense.
Markus Kunschak guest artist (VIC)
In my current practice I’m revisiting my own photographic work: recycling some projects, maturing them, going deeper and permeating them with new impressions, new perspectives. In this process I apply various techniques on the printed photographs such as drawing, engraving, scratching, writing and collage (no digital media), adding new and unexpected dimensions to them. This work is the latest result of this process. It is a series of three pictures propelling us into a ‘dreamscape’ of sensory imagery. It invites us to decipher a mysterious fable of creation, exploitation and destruction - an allegory of the alarming crisis in our contemporary world.
Markus was born in 1971 in Vienna, Austria, and has lived, studied and worked in Germany and Brazil as an artist and photographer. He came to Australia for the first time in 1999. Three years ago he decided to settle in Melbourne where he has been working and establishing his career as an artist.
A Gigantic Crime Mixed media on black & white photograph, 2007 50 x 150cm
community of Port Phillip
The loss of security and safety, only to be challenged by social and religious intolerance and persecution.
Fairytales #2 Feltpen & oil on canvas, 2007 90 x 120cm
Maria was born and educated in Germany where she studied and worked in architectural glass painting and design in the late 1960’s. She moved to Australia and studied art at Monash University and has exhibited several solo and numerous group exhibitions over the years including Roar Studio’s in the mid 1980’s. For the past fifteen years she has painted full time from her studio in Barkly Street, St Kilda.
Song Ling represented by Niagara Galleries guest artist (VIC)
" With this current series of works I am seeking to represent the Chinese Zen style traditional ink and brush paintings in a new way; to give an ancient image a contemporary look, to bring that symbol into a new technological context.
Song Ling was born in 1961 in Hangzhou, China. He received a Batchelor of Fine Arts in 1984 from the China National Academy of Fine Arts and was one of several important artists involved in the New Wave '85 art movement in China. In 1988 Song Ling came to Australia and participated in some of the first exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art in this country. He has held regular exhibitions in Australia and overseas and is represented in many private collections.
Songbird 27 Acrylic on canvas, 2006 50 x 50cm
guest artist (VIC)
This piece is about personal growth, about endings and new beginnings. It’s about healing a broken heart and moving on. It’s about creating strength in yourself and making yourself whole. On another level, it’s also about the Do It Yourself grassroots culture that is gaining momentum around the world. This counter culture is a taking back of skills and knowledge. We are slowly learning that we don’t need to rely on stores for everything, that so many of the things we need are available from other, more earth-friendly sources. We are starting to realise we cannot go on any longer thinking that we are not part of the problem, that nothing we do affects anything else. We are all part of the planet, and we can all be part of the solution. We are starting to rein in the unthinking consumerism and instead we are working towards sustainability. We are realising that we cannot go on the way we have if we want the planet to last for future generations. And change always comes from the heart. DIY Culture Yarn, 2007 21 x 11 x 14cm
Sayraphim is an art mercenary who has worked in theatre, film and television in a wide range of jobs including set design and construction, props, puppet design and construction, costuming, graphic design, web design, research and general art department. On the side, she runs the artistic company, Omnific Assembly, which organises group exhibitions around Melbourne, and she’s currently knitting her way through as many monsters as she can think of. Her website is www.sayraphimlothian.com
Gregory Mather represented by Greenwich Gallery community of Hobsons Bay
" After Brack, Collins St 2007 Acrylic on canvas, 2007 91 x 81cm
Gregory was born in Melbourne in 1955 and spent the early part of his working life in the building industry. In 1987 he returned to study and completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Monash University. He has worked patiently away at his craft for many years developing his whimsical, almost magical style of painting. His works have been represented locally at Greenwich Gallery in Williamstown since 2001. The work exhibited here was inspired and created specifically as a response to the Crossroads exhibition.
In the John Brack painting â€˜Collins St 5 P.M.â€™, I have long been fascinated by the sense of isolation of each figure even though they are combined as a mass with a common purpose. Now, fifty years on, we still have the same purpose but our isolation has been altered. Today we may now have private connections that reinforce the distance between individuals.
community of Hobsons Bay
As a parent, I have an individual struggle to provide for the day to day needs of my son. Providing for his long term needs however, requires a broader response from the whole community. The historic gates in this painting were saved by a combined community campaign involving all walks of life. It is an example of what can be achieved when people stand up together to fight for something they believe in.
Yarraville Gates Acrylic on board, 2007 185 x 125cm
Pol is a committed and proudly self taught community artist who has worked in and around Melbourne’s Western suburbs for over ten years. His journey as an artist began while working as a flight attendant for Ansett, when he started to make rusty metal visitors books to collect travellers artworks. In an effort to see more of the ‘real world’, he decided to change his life and went to work with Landcare at Collingwood Children’s Farm. He taught himself botany and as a bi-product found he could paint ‘real world’ subjects. After spending three years at Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West as artist in residence/environment officer, he eventually resolved to become an artist full time. This life choice has required enormous commitment, and despite experiencing extreme hardship and occasional homelessness, he has managed with only short periods of relying on benefits, to eke out a bare living from his painting since 2000. He has chosen to avoid the gallery system which has kept his prices low but he is very proud of the fact that he has sold hundreds if not thousands of affordable artworks to local community people, encouraging them to look more deeply at and appreciate their environment, heritage and culture. He has exhibited widely at events throughout Victoria and has produced several editions of his artist books of the Western suburbs. Pol is the secretary/curator of the artist run space MREAM for over thirty artists. This work is one of an ongoing series.
Ilona Nelson represented by 4cats Gallery community of Hobsons Bay
" This is part of a series of works that comment on the state of society today. We’re increasingly driven by greed; to obtain money to consume goods that we believe we need because of the saturated advertising. The feeling of community is rare as we’re all consumed by what’s happening in our own bubbles.
Ilona completed her BA with distinction at Latrobe University majoring in photography in 1998. In 2005 she won the local artist award at the Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize and earlier this year was selected for exhibition in the Tattersall’s Contemporary Art Prize. Her works draw inspiration from the different aspects of her life like fleeting thoughts and snippets of conversations overheard. The world is overflowing with static noise and confronting visuals. Ilona incorporates layers of such narratives in her work. These layers are built into the photographs through the use of text, symbols and signs. There is also an element of performance incorporated through the poses of the subject, which adds another layer of language to the images.
So many birds fall from their perch Inkjet print, Limited edition of 5, 2007 97 x 72cm
Mike Nicholls represented by Australian Art Resources community of Hobsons Bay
" â€˜Walking with the ancestorsâ€™ is a spiritual and emotional response to the disconnection of man from his fellow beings. It draws on tribal customs of reverence for family, reflecting on the worship of greed and the sad loss of compassion in todayâ€™s society.
Walking with the ancestors Yellow Box, 2007 103 x 64 x 25cm
Mike has exhibited works across Australia and internationally including the Helen Lempriere Award for sculpture at Werribee Park in 2003. For the past twenty-five years he has developed a personal language drawing on references from primitive cultures and developing his own personal iconography to explore the tribal commonalities that exist in society today.
guest artist (VIC)
See Jane read, See Jane get educated, See Jane change the world Acrylic on composite board, 2007 120 x 90cm
Carlo was born in Italy in 1956. His family migrated to Australia when he was three and he grew up in Adelaide where he studied design, graduating to work as a graphic designer. In 1987 he went to London and worked as a graphic designer for Sir Terence Conran. Two years later he moved again, this time to the USA where he worked as a creative director in San Francisco for twelve years. His art practice is self taught and includes painting, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media, and it was during this time that he began exhibiting at various shows and galleries in Northern California including the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. In 2001 he returned to Australia and now lives and works in Melbourne as a graphic designer, but has also actively continued to pursue his art practice through various exhibitions including The Toorak Village Festival of Sculpture and shows at Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Linden Gallery and Anita Traverso Gallery in Richmond.
I believe the various religious, political and social crises we continue to experience in todayâ€™s society can be attributed in large part to the generational legacy of ancient cultures, also still evident in our modern western culture, that accepts women as second class citizens. If we are to eliminate bigotry and hypocrisy we need to eliminate ignorance and in order to do this, we need to ensure equal education for all, including women. Only through the equality that this will bring to all will significant progress be made in changing hearts, minds and attitudes to the issues that effect not just the male half of the earths inhabitants, but all. If only it were as easy as ABC and as simple as our western stereotype, Jane.
community of Hobsons Bay
Photograph: Flossie Peitsch
Reminiscent of renaissance altar pieces but actually recycled home furnishings, this installation points to the past as a repository of knowledge. One can gain place for oneself today by learning about personal history. The tapestries hold the weave of the past, some details known, others hidden. If one discovers who she/he is, this can be offered to others for the good use of society.
Family Trust Wood & tapestry weaving, 2005 60 x 70 x 20cm
Flossie is an internationally known and collected installation artist who has travelled and exhibited around the world. Canadian by birth, she now lives and works in Melbourne and this year completed her PhD at Victoria University, holding an Australian Postgraduate Award comprising a three-year fulltime scholarship. Her PhD thesis entitled, THE IMMORTAL NOW: Visualizing the place Where Spirituality and Todayâ€™s Families Meet, consisted of a visual art exhibition and exegesis, which was staged in five different galleries concurrently in November 2006. Her visual art practice includes tapestry, installation, watercolours, mixed media, acrylic painting, sculpture, community/public art projects, artist residencies and workshops. A sought after speaker trained in theology and education, her art themes incorporate spirituality and families, and the dialogue and changing strictures between Community Art and Fine Art. She has worked extensively with her local community and currently has five outdoor murals and one sixty square metre indoor mural on exhibition as part of a Community Art project with local residents in the Hobsons Bay area near her home in Maribyrnong.
Vanja Radisic guest artist (VIC)
" From here towards Acrylic on canvas, 2007 30.5 x 30.5cm
Vanja was born in Sarajevo in 1975 and lived in Berlin from 1993 to 1998 before moving to Melbourne in 1999. She began formal art studies in Australia in 2001, culminating in a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) in Painting with Distinction at RMIT in 2005. She has exhibited in various exhibitions around Melbourne including ART Melbourne at the Royal Exhibition Buildings and a solo show at Brunswick Street Gallery in Fitzroy earlier this year.
In my current art practice I use devires as my main tool in the process of investigating and recording developments and changes in contemporary society. I have spent months observing and documenting re-construction of various crossings and pathways around Melbourne, continuous rising and tearing down of signs, painting and over-painting of street markings. The results of such “make-overs” are often aesthetically pleasing, but clearly add-hock; temporary. Besides being sometimes slightly confusing, they often reflect the lack of commitment in investigation, planning and consideration of natural forces such as gravity, wind etc in their execution. I have always considered streets to be not just the blood vessels of a city, but they are more often than not a mirror for society on a wider scale. They reflect our general approach to changes – the attempts are superficial although many, and the results are not long lasting. My works are close-ups of real and imagined residues of such attempts.
community of Hobsons Bay
Terror Wall Photograph, 2006 29 x 42cm
Jessica is an emerging artist based in Melbourne who has an extensive background in creative, non-fiction and critical writing, as well as cartooning and illustration. Her work has been featured in Overland, The Big Issue, Metro, Australian Screen Education and Australian Bookseller & Publisher, Voiceworks, Oxfam News, and a range of not-for-profit publications. She completed her PhD into the history of multicultural literature and the ideological culture of whiteness in commercial publishing in Australia in 2004. She currently works as a lecturer and tutor in the Publishing & Communications Program at the University of Melbourne, and has taught across a range of communications fields, including in the Media & Communications Program at RMIT University. Her recent exhibitions include: Mirror Stage group exhibition at Gabriel Gallery (2007); What We’re Going Through, a series of lightbox installations at fauxPho (2006); Youth Art group show at Hunt Club Gallery (2007); and Bittersweet, a collaboration with artist Melanie Scaife (2007).
My visual art practice primarily incorporates photography, digital imagery, paintings and text, and examines the expressions of psychological, physical and ideological trauma, desire and loss in contemporary culture. I am interested in a range of themes: the ways in which taboo topics are shielded in everyday exchanges, but are sanctioned in mass-reproduced, popular culture imagery; the tendency to ‘sell out’ our soulful and spiritual inclinations in the headiness of consumer culture; and the ways in which intimate encounters are commonly feared but might provide the most powerful inroads to comprehending – and liberating – the universalizing experience of being human.
Amanda Slack-Smith guest artist (VIC)
" Recently the British Government cleared the way for scientists to conduct experiments using hybrid animalhuman embryos, to allow researchers to continue work on potentially life saving treatments illnesses such as Parkinson's, stroke and Alzheimer's. In the same week,The Age reports that as many as 200 chemicals can be found in everyday products and city air, causing breast cancer in animal tests.
Handmade Digital imaging on canvas, 2005 100 x 68cm
Amanda was born in Roma, South-West Queensland. In 1996, she completed her Bachelor of Creative Arts at the University of Southern Queensland where she first became involved in digital image manipulation and video art. In 2006, Amanda graduated with a Masters of Arts (Animation and Interactive Media) at RMIT. For the past several years she has worked with the FRESH Media Group, a collection of like-minded artists who actively explore, wrestle and experiment with new media. Amanda has received awards for her innovative practice including a Skills and Development Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts in 2006. Non-edition reproductions of her imaging work can be found at http://www.redbubble.com/people/amanda
Chemicals are released into our air, in drinking water and food in the name of ‘progress’. Several years later these same chemicals are found to be harmful, causing illness. In response scientists now turn to transgenic experiments – new science - to fix the problems created by old science. This work is a response to my personal confusion as to where the line should be drawn. Is science saving lives or creating new and innovative ways to die?
represented by Watson Place Gallery guest artist (VIC)
Family Tree Mixed media on canvas, 2006 35 x 45cm
Brian began his art practice predominantly in painting and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts at RMIT in 1989. He left Australia in 1990 and for the next twelve years, travelled extensively throughout Europe and Japan, developing his artistic process and exhibiting regularly in both solo and group exhibitions. He collected experiences abroad that have continued to haunt the narratives and landscapes of his images. A three year sojourn in Japan was a turning point in his artistic practice. The density and intricacies of Japanese urban life drew him to investigate the possibility of exploring such intricacy through collage as a narrative medium. Since returning home to Australia, Brianâ€™s fascination with mixed media collage has grown, and he continues to be inspired and influenced by the vigour of the people, languages and cultures he encounters. In 2005 he completed postgraduate studies in Visual Arts at The Victorian College of the Arts. His works are held in private and commercial collections in Europe, Japan and Australia.
Taken one by one the physical activities of collage-making appear disarmingly simple, so simple in fact that their significance easily escapes notice. However, when they are taken together, as an integrated series of transformations, a quite surprising symbolism appears. The activities entailed in making and physically transforming collages can then be seen to embody the logic of our psychological development. These activities comprise an extended metaphor; they symbolize the growth of the human mind.
Waste heap child, Bo Town, Sierra Leone Type C photograph, Limited edition of 10, 2004 76 x 102cm
Dave grew up in Mount Eliza on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula. During his completion of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Melbourne, he was awarded a Melbourne Abroad Scholarship and studied for a year at university in Berlin. After graduating he worked in the German film industry before moving to Hong Kong where he worked as a copywriter, camera assistant and photographers assistant, eventually returning to Melbourne. In 2004 he spent six weeks in Sierra Leone, West Africa on a self-financed trip to document the war-scarred country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In the months following, Dave wrote numerous feature articles on Sierra Leone for such publications as Independent (UK), Sunday Age, The Age, Sunday Telegraph, Weekend West Australian and The Diplomat. Photography from this journey led to Dave’s first solo exhibition, Welcome to Sierra Leone, at the University of Melbourne’s Baillieu Library. Last year Dave travelled to Papua New Guinea for the Catholic Development Fund and Oxfam. This year he plans to undertake a self-funded project on asylum seekers in EU who arrive (or attempt to) by sea in Spain and the Canary Islands. This work will be in partnership with Oxfam, Red Cross and a number of local Spanish non-government organizations. Dave’s photography is in the permanent collections of the National Library of Australia, State Library of Victoria and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Gallery. He currently lives in St Kilda East and divides his work between editorial and commercial photography, writing and personal photo-journalistic projects.
" This image of a child as he traverses a rubbish tip in Bo Town has been seen by many as a picture of profound symbolic poignancy for the struggle in which Sierra Leone is embroiled. The country is struggling to recover from a horrific civil war, which reduced it to ruins. Its people still suffer both the physical and psychological scars of armed conflict. Although faced with great odds, Sierra Leoneans are working to build a country where their children grow up in peace.
community of Port Phillip
represented by Catherine Asquith Gallery guest artist (VIC)
The devil makes work for idle hands Gouache on paper, 2007 80 x 100cm
Michelle is a full time teacher in the visual arts in Droun, West Gippsland, so her artistic practice is limited to her own personal time. Her work is highly detailed and realistic and she strives to set new challenges with each new piece. She is intrigued by the use of relief in paintings and often incorporates wax medium, silica, marble dust and talc into oil paint to give defintion, body and a sculptural surface. Her focus is less on colour combinations and more devoted to exaggerated lighting conditions, physical distortion and exploring textural and relief qualities. In 2006 she was one of a group of artists selected for the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority Creative Environment, a six month mentoring program which includes a fully funded touring exhibition commencing in June 2007. Earlier this year she also won the Peoples Choice Award in the exhibition She Who - dreams at Walker Street Gallery in Dandenong.
My work exists in a perpetual dreamscape, a silent film that stops every so often to create a visual still. Thematically each image explores the darker side of mankind, the unsettling aspects of human nature. The work examines aspects of human behavior that we are all intrigued by, but often reluctant to admit to each other socially. The characters in my artworks always deliberately possess a subtle distortion in the proportions used, and this is a device employed to unsettle the viewer. While it is not overtly violent or graphic in nature, it is intended to convey a sense of decay and loss that addresses many of the issues that we face on a daily basis through popular culture and the global mass media. The creative use of symbols to remind us of our own mortality is something that I strive to include in my work.
Toyota Community Spirit Gallery exhibition