Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Percolating Mind- or Mind Mapping

Still no sewing done but a few ideas are percolating. It's been a case of going back to basics- ie my drawing journal, lace, immigration and sense of place. I still can't get up to the Youyangs to have a look around as the park has been closed  due to water damage- I had wanted to get there and take photos- like I did on  my daily walks in France. I am also looking hard at the work of Judy Watson an Australian artist who uses both her indigenous and european background in creating her work- creating connections with the past and with the earth of her ancestors whilst incorporating  elements she has encountered in her travels. I bought a book called Blood Language some time ago , really liking her interaction with the land, the fauna and flora and her passion for creating narrative and confronting  political issues such as racism and conservation.Her work is full with meaning and the desire to tell stories.All of these elements appeal to me as an artist and are things  I need to look at again- start at  the beginning- define what draws me and then look at how i can do something with those elements.

Watson's work speaks of her indigenous past yet there are other sensibilities at play- the work has a far reach to  human interaction as humans and as humans with the natural world.It's also this sense of incorporating the past that appeals to me- I am an immigrant in this land, and returning recently has created a bit of ambivalence. In one way I am happy to be back but I am oh so drawn to Europe and France and in particular  Languedoc Rousillon where I believe my french ancestors hailed form in the 16th century- does that kind of rootedness last for centuries? I am also witnessing the effects of immigation as my parents get older- yes the world is a much smaller place but still, their siblings are all over there, all childhood friends and connections are over there- so they rely on  my brother and I heavily for  family interaction and yet they are suspended in a kind of strange vacuum.

I celebrated my birthday earlier this week and my eldest daughter and middle daughter visited Heide. My eldest daughter is studying art & design at Brighton Bay College and part of their assignment was to visit exhibitions and galleries . So we decided to make a day of it. Heide is always pleasant and they had a wonderful exhibition called Freehand- an exhibition of recent Australian Drawing. We walked around the gardens and enjoyed the kitchen garden.

They also had a retrospective of Mirka Mora's work  from the period that she knew the Reed's, who gifted Heide to the people of Australia, and who hosted Sunday lunches for many of Australia's   poor artists of the time.

We then had lunch at Abla's- the food was wonderful and reminded me so much of Syrian food (there is still places on the trip if you are interested). And then we ambled down Gertrude Street Fitzroy to visit retro shops and other galleries.We enjoyed the Exhibition at Australian Print Workshop- it would be so  lovely to do a workshop there.There is also lots of graffiti like in so many urban centres- this one appealed.

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