In this studio visit, Mitzi Vardill talks about her inspiration behind her latest body of work- Embedded, charcoal drawings with rich layers of photography and etchings on rice paper.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your latest body of work for Embedded?
I started this series nearly ten years ago, the two tryptcyhs in the exhibition were the starting point all that time ago. I decided to explore and expand on those works for this exhibition.
Tell us about your latest adventures.
I have had a very busy year so far and am balancing a number of roles, one of which is working for Flying Arts Queensland. During 2016 I have conducted many workshops in and around Brisbane as well as being flown into the rural regions three times in the last 6 months.
What's the inspiration behind your latest art, "The Ladder of Creation"?
I live in an environment filled with bird life. I cannot help but be inspired by their beauty. After reading sections of Darwin's Descent of Man (and watching Bronowski's 1973 BBC TV series The Ascent of Man), I was intrigued by the homology i.e. similar skeletal structures, of the forelimbs of humans, bats, birds, cats, and porpoises, suggesting a common ancestor.
We are all very excited about our wonderful collaboration with four passionate and talented local artists - photographer Angela, fine art illustrator Lamice Ali, and graphic designers Camille and Chris of Eggpicnic - for the "Feathered Friends" exhibition, celebrating Australia's birds.
In line with this event, we asked our artists about their inspiration for their work, and how they feel about their participation to "Feathered Friends" exhibition.
We had a fantastic show with prize winning artist Belinda Street at Platform72 last year. The Journey to Arkaroola wass a vibrant mix of paintings, drawings and prints inspired by the dramatic landscapes of the South Australian Flinders Ranges. Here we interview Belinda about her epic trek to the Australian centre for the show.
I trekked out to the amazing complex, The Armoury in Newington to visit Paul Kirk in his studio. Paul was busy preparing for his upcoming solo show with us - Sirens, opening Thursday 15th September from 6pm.
Paul's exhibition explores portraiture and light. He has worked with a number of female Australian artists capturing their portrait in oils. He then fuses the painting into a three dimensional structure, sometimes adding glass, sometimes adding light. These additions create eery yet mesmerising portraits capturing the essence of the sitter.
We visited Paola Talbert in her Erskineville studio to talk ocean mythology, the environment and underwater photography.
Paola began photographing the ocean 13 years ago and continues work with water as her main focus.
From below the water’s surface, the body is set in motion with gauzy mesh and chiffon swirls. Paola's photographs capture the figure and ocean rhythmically, in a suspended state, creating light abstractions in a timeless union with the crystalline texture of film and salt water.
I recently came across a great article from the Book of Life, on The Importance of Drawing - why you should stop taking pictures and learn to draw (read here). It discussed the philosophies of John Ruskin, the 19th century artist and art critic on how it is only through drawing that we begin to be able to see. He was dismayed by the fast moving culture of the time, people missed details and subsequently missed the beauty in the world. Now more than ever the same is true and it is why the work of Gina Haywood is so important.
Her work examines the notion of time, death and decay. The intensity of her gaze penetrates into the beauty of nature. By the time Gina has finished one of her drawings, her subject a single flower has long since perished.
I visited Hobart a few year ago to write an article for the QANTAS magazine about contemporary art beyond MONA in the southern city. It was a great opportunity to visit the stunning studio of Gina Haywood.