Fish out of Water – Summer Solstice Release, 21 December 2016

I released this fish on December 21, 2016 in the Flagstaff Gardens on a very early summer morning in Melbourne. As I do every year, I put this image up on facebook and a few weeks later received this lovely message from a friend who is a facebook follower and bought one of my favourite drawings close to twenty years ago!!

Fish out of Water - Summer Solstice, 21 December, 2016Fish out of Water - Summer Solstice, 21 December, 2016

Fish out of Water – Summer Solstice, 21 December, 2016

I tried to post a message on your timeline on Christmas morning but think that the eggnog influenced the output. I forwarded your Summer Solstice post to my son who lives just opposite Flagstaff Gardens in the hope that he could snare me a fish. I’ve wanted one ever since I saw the first release and he is a great geocache finder! He texted later that night to say “no luck, it must have gone – sorry dad”! Oh well. It turns out that he is a great fibber and this was presented to me on Christmas morning.

Photo of Fish out of Water - Summer Solstice, 21 December 2016 which was sent to me by the person who discovered this release.

Photo of Fish out of Water – Summer Solstice, 21 December 2016 which was sent to me by the person who discovered this release.

I will set the scene a bit more. We only do simple gifts, often quirky and always inexpensive. Imagine if you will, the bottled up excitement of a loving son saving this for last and watching the surprise and rapture on his fathers face as he realises that dreams sometimes do come true. It was a great family moment! And all due to your vision, skill and enthusiasm. A true example of positive energy building as it expands outward.

Happy new year to everyone – I hope that this year builds on the beautiful energy contained in this exchange.

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Fish out of Water – Murray Cod

In this work Fish out of Water – Murray Cod, I worked with petrified red gum, which is between 5000-9000 years old and sourced from the Murray River. I made nine organic forms – grinding and sanding the wood into forms that are beautiful to hold. The petrified red gum carries within it stories of the Murray River, this continent, its cultural history, and the floods, droughts, fires that have affected this landscape. I feel that each organic form vibrates with the history that it carries. On each, I have painted a Murray Cod – a fish out of water – a comment on this changing continent, its climate, culture and demographic.

I then travelled the length of the Murray River and selected nine locations beginning at Cudgewa Creek and ending where the river runs to the ocean at Goolwa. There are two separate bodies of work in this project – one sculptural and one a photographic documentation of each fish specific to its location. Following are the the nine Murray Cod photographs from Cudgewa Creek, Bonegilla, Boomanoomana, Barmah, Swan Hill, Boundary Bend, Kings Billabong, Lyrup Flats to Goolwa.

1. cudgewa creek, victoria colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

1. cudgewa creek, victoria, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

 

2. bonegilla, victoria colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

2. bonegilla, victoria, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 201 

 

3. boomanoomana, new south wales colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

3. boomanoomana, new south wales, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

 

4. barmah, victoria colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

4. barmah, victoria, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015 

 

5. swan hill, victoria colour, photograph 40h x 60w cm, 2015

5. swan hill, victoria, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

 

6. boundary bend, victoria, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

6. boundary bend, victoria, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

 

7. kings billabong, victoria, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

7. kings billabong, victoria, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

 

8. lyrup flats, south australia, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

8. lyrup flats, south australia, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

 

9. goolwa, south australia, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

9. goolwa, south australia, colour photograph, 40h x 60w cm, 2015

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Fish out of Water – Summer Solstice 2013 – 2021

 

Fish out of Water - Summer Solstice, 2013 - 2021

Fish out of Water – Summer Solstice, 2013 – 2021

Fish out of Water – Summer Solstice is a development from an intervention project that I began at summer solstice, 2013 and continued through summer solstice 2014. I have been painting a lone sardine on a river pebble – the sardine is a reference to the waters near Sardegna and the Port of Napoli – the port where my parents began their journey to Australia. I then released a pebble at each of the eight sabbats. These represent the earth changes of the summer and winter solstice, the equinoxes and the four cross quarters of Lammas, Samhain, Imbolc and Beltane. Often associated with pagan festivals, I am acknowledging this history as well as connecting with the earth changes through out the year; the seasons, light and my own connection to place.

The first fish was released on summer solstice, 21 December 2013 at Elwood Beach. It was released at the edge of the breaking waves and then left behind to be either, swallowed by the sea or picked up by a beachcomber. The second was released at the Greco Roman columns near the Old Exhibition Buildings on Lammas, 1 February 2014, this was a reference to my Italian heritage. The sixth release was at Station Pier, Port Melbourne on Imbloc, 2 August 2014, this is where my parents arrived in Australia. There have been nine releases in total and the final fish in this cycle was released on the summer solstice, 21 December 2014. This project has been extended into a nine year project, Fish out of Water – Summer Solstice where I will release a sardine painted pebble at the summer solstice for each year ending 21 December 2021. The third Summer Solstice release was on 21 December, 2015 at the Speaker’s Corner, Birrurung Marr.

Fish out of Water, Summer Solstice, 21 December 2015, Speaker's Corner, Birrarung Marr

Fish out of Water, Summer Solstice, 21 December 2015, Speaker’s Corner, Birrarung Marr

 

Fish out of Water, Summer Solstice, 21 December 2015, Speaker's Corner, Birrarung Marr

Fish out of Water, Summer Solstice, 21 December 2015, Speaker’s Corner, Birrarung Marr

 

Fish out of Water, Summer Solstice, 21 December 2015, Speaker's Corner, Birrarung Marr

Fish out of Water, Summer Solstice, 21 December 2015, Speaker’s Corner, Birrarung Marr

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Fish out of Water – Murray Cod, the story so far…

Fish out of Water – Murray Cod is a work that documents a physical, cultural and spiritual journey along the length of the Murray River from Corryong through to Goolwa. The journey begins with petrified red gum sourced from the river, which is between 5-900 years old, and has been worked into pebble forms on which I have painted Murray Cod. I have photographed the painted pebble forms at nine locations on the Murray River which refers to an earlier work Fish out of Water – Sabbats . This curent work comments on our sense of place and belonging, the cultural histories the river has supported, and the changing environments from source to Murray Mouth.

The idea for this project developed from Fish out of Water - Sabbats which was an intervention project that I have been working on since Summer Solstice, 2013 and continued through until Summer Solstice 2014. For this piece I painted sardines on river pebbles and released one on each solstice, equinox and cross quarter. These pebbles rest on the petrified.

The idea for this project developed from Fish out of Water – Sabbats which was an intervention project that I have been working on since Summer Solstice, 2013 and continued through until Summer Solstice 2014. For this piece I painted sardines on river pebbles and released one on each solstice, equinox and cross quarter. These pebbles rest on the petrified red gum.

 

The nitty gritty of working the pebble forms out of the petrified redgum. Lots of hours of grinding, sanding, blood, sweat and fortunately no tears!! Instead these are the beautiful raw objects before the finish was applied and the painting of the Murray Cod.

The nitty gritty of working the pebble forms out of the petrified redgum. Lots of hours of grinding, sanding, blood, sweat and fortunately no tears!! These are the beautiful raw objects before the finish was applied and the painting of the Murray Cod.

A very nervous time in the studio trying to work out how to paint the Murray Cod onto the pebble form. This is the first fish that I painted and the first moment that I realized that this project could work.

A very nervous time in the studio trying to work out how to paint the Murray Cod onto the pebble form. This is the first fish that I painted and the first moment that I realized that this project could work.

 

The project has two outcomes. The first is a series of sculptural works and the second is a series of photographs documenting the fish at nine different locations along the length of the Murray River. There was much planning and consulting of maps to work out the nine locations. The number 9 relates to Fish out of Water – Sabbats and represents the year long cycle involved in that work – acknowledging the seasons, the changes of light and the journey that we travel each year.

The project has two outcomes. The first is a series of nine sculptural works and the second is a series of photographs documenting the fish at nine different locations along the length of the Murray River. There was much planning and consulting of maps to work out the nine locations. The number 9 relates to Fish out of Water – Sabbats and represents the year long cycle involved in that work – acknowledging the seasons, the changes of light and the journey that we travel each year.

 

A glimpse at one of the photographs from this series of work. Fish out of Water – Murray Cod, Lyrup Flats, South Australia, 2015.

A glimpse at one of the photographs from this series of work. Fish out of Water – Murray Cod, Lyrup Flats, South Australia, 2015.

 

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Hutchins Art Prize – Works on Paper

Really pleased to be part of this year’s Hutchins Art Prize in Hobart with this work Mother Tongue – Romulus and Remus. The exhibition will open on Tuesday 8 September and is current until Sunday 20 September, 2015 at the Long Gallery, Salamanca Place, Hobart. This is always a great exhibition of contemporary work on paper.

Mother Tongue - Romulus and Remus, pastel on paper, 80h x 120w cm, 2014

Mother Tongue – Romulus and Remus, pastel on paper, 80h x 120w cm, 2014

 

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Call to Arms, Catalogue Essay by Caroline Phillips for my exhibition Reclaiming Isis – Auset.

Microsoft Word - Reclaiming Isis - Caroline Phillips.docx

 

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Reclaiming Isis – Auset, Exhibition Opening

Reclaiming Isis – Auset will be exhibited at Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University, Bendigo from Monday 11 May, 2015 for three weeks. Opening event, Monday 18 May at 5pm. All welcome.

Reclaiming Isis - Filomena, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Filomena, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Auset is a work that has been evolving for some time. Initially it was a growing despair which began in my cultural upbringing that women should be married, and only when married do they have currency and an attributed value in the community. Unmarried women are perceived as other or remain the responsibility of the father. The value of women as individuals, the equality of women and the acknowledgement of the power of the feminine is the driving force in this work. Currently this is even more relevant with the attacks, deaths, domestic violence and disempowerment of women. Even when women are the victims of violent acts, one of the first responses is to tell the community of women (50% of the population) that parks are not safe for women, why was she out so late, why didn’t she catch a cab. Why is the first response not to ask how can we make our parks, streets and community safe for all women, men and children. Reclaiming Isis – Auset, draws on the Egyptian goddess and her feminine, maternal, and nurturing qualities and acknowledges that these are powerful strengths. What differentiates women is what empowers them. The mysteries of creation – life, birth and death are held within her body. Women’s bodies cycle with the moon and her name is given to mother earth. This exhibition represents a selection of photographs that honours women, their choices, their feminine strength and their power as unique individuals in this diverse society.

Reclaiming Isis - Elif, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Elif, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

 

Reclaiming Isis - Alice and Theodore, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Alice and Theodore, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

 

Reclaiming Isis - Cecilia, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Cecilia, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

 

Reclaiming Isis - Corinna, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Corinna, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

 

Reclaiming Isis - Water, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Water, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

 

Reclaiming Isis - Air, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Air, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

 

Reclaiming Isis - River, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – River, colour photograph, 60 x 60cm, 2015

 

Reclaiming Isis - Pellegrina, colour photograph, 60 x 75cm, 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Pellegrina, colour photograph, 60 x 75cm, 2015

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International Womens Day 2015

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, I have selected a few of my favourite artists to share with you. Once I started thinking about it there were so many more that have been an important part of my journey as an artist. And there are those that honour woman by recognizing the importance of art as a vehicle for sharing a message – in this I am thinking about Kate Just’s Furies which is opening today at St Kilda Town Hall, Caroline Phillips and her extraordinary F-Word exhibitions, and Elvis Richardson’s COUNTess project.

Performance artist Jill Orr, Southern Cross - To Bear and Behold, 2009.  Image taken from http://jillorr.com.au

Performance artist Jill Orr, Southern Cross – To Bear and Behold, 2009. Image taken from http://jillorr.com.au

 

Susan Dimasi, Creative Director and Designer, MaterialByProduct.  Image is taken from an internet article by ZDnet http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-melbourne-fashion-house-redefines-luxury/

Susan Dimasi, Creative Director and Designer, MaterialByProduct.
Image is taken from an internet article by ZDnet http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-melbourne-fashion-house-redefines-luxury/

 

Louise Heaman, Portraits of Bill Henson which won the Doug Moran Portrait Prize. Image from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts/paintings-of-bill-henson-wins-150000-doug-moran-portrait-prize/story-fni0fcgk-1227105829260.

Louise Heaman, Portraits of Bill Henson which won the Doug Moran Portrait Prize. Image from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts/paintings-of-bill-henson-wins-150000-doug-moran-portrait-prize/story-fni0fcgk-1227105829260.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patricia Puccinni speaking about her work The Carrier, 2012 at Melbourne Now, 2014

Patricia Puccinni speaking about her work The Carrier, 2012 at Melbourne Now, 2014

Fiona Hall representing Australia in the 2015 Venice Biennale. Image taken from http://w3.unisa.edu.au/unisanews/2005/August/main2.asp

Fiona Hall representing Australia in the 2015 Venice Biennale. Image taken from http://w3.unisa.edu.au/unisanews/2005/August/main2.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosslynd Piggot, La Somnambule also known as The sleepwalker, 1996-1997 Mixed media, silk, hooks, coat hangers, Perspex, stainless steel. Dimensions variable. Not signed. Not dated.Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2003 From the website of AGNSW.

Rosslynd Piggot, La Somnambule also known as The sleepwalker, 1996-1997
Mixed media, silk, hooks, coat hangers, Perspex, stainless steel. Dimensions variable.
Not signed. Not dated.Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2003 From the website of AGNSW.

 

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2015 Piers Festival and Mother Tongue

On Sunday 25 January, Multicultural Arts Victoria’s 2015 Piers Festival was celebrated at Princes Pier, Port Melbourne. This is the place where my parents and thousands of other immigrants arrived in Victoria to begin a new chapter in their lives. It was a wonderful day of poetry, immigration stories, art, music and food!! The video for Mother Tongue was included in the exhibition component of the Festival. It was showing in the Gate House on the first floor with a spectacular view of the pylons from Princes Pier. A wonderful celebration of the first generation of immigrants who made Mildura in Regional Victoria their home.

The pylons of Princes Pier, Port Melbourne

The pylons of Princes Pier, Port Melbourne

 

The Mother Tongue video showing in the Gate House. First generation immigrants from Regional Victoria sharing their stories of leaving Italy, the journey and their arrival. The view out the window is of the Princes Pier pylons.

The Mother Tongue video showing in the Gate House. First generation immigrants from Regional Victoria sharing their stories of leaving Italy, the journey and their arrival. The view out the window is of the Princes Pier pylons.

 

Great music, Tania Bosak and the Barefoot Orchestra

Great music, Tania Bosak and the Barefoot Orchestra

 

Beautiful plates and tiles from Turkey.

Beautiful plates and tiles from Turkey

And shoes from Peru.

And shoes from Peru.

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Fish out of Water – Sabbat Releases 2013 – 14

Fish out of Water – Sabbat Releases 2013 – 14, this year long project has come to completion. I have been releasing a sardine painted pebble at each of the eight sabbats. These represent the earth changes of the summer and winter solstices, the equinoxes and the four cross quarters. Often associated with pagan festivals, I acknowledge this history as well as connecting with the moments of change within the earth cycle. This project connects with the earth changes through out the year; the seasons, light and my own connection to Melbourne. It has also encouraged me to work outside of the studio as I have walked with each release – connecting the fish to the place, my body to the environment and also to my home city of Melbourne.

1. Summer Solstice, Elwood Beach, 21 December 2013

1. Summer Solstice, Elwood Beach, 21 December 2013 

2. Lammas, Old Exhibition Buildings, 4 February 2014

2. Lammas, Old Exhibition Buildings, 4 February 2014

 

3. Autumn Equinox, Elwood Canals, 2 March 2014

3. Autumn Equinox, Elwood Canals, 2 March 2014

 

4. Samhain, Maribrynong River, 30 April 2014

4. Samhain, Maribrynong River, 30 April 2014 

5. Winter Solstice, Botanic Gardens, 21 June 2014

5. Winter Solstice, Botanic Gardens, 21 June 2014

 

6. Imbloc, Station Pier, 2 August 2014

6. Imbloc, Station Pier, 2 August 2014

 

7. Spring Equinox, Williamstown Beach, 20 September 2014

7. Spring Equinox, Williamstown Beach, 20 September 2014

 

8. Beltane, Monsalvat, 31 October 2014

8. Beltane, Monsalvat, 31 October 201 

 

9. Summer Solstice, Elwood Beach, 21 December 2014

9. Summer Solstice, Elwood Beach, 21 December 2014

 

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