Sunday, 26 April 2009

New Drawings

These are two of the drawings I completed for uni, semi happy with the results. I am particuarly pleased with the bottom one as it is hinting at a narrative. There is a relationship dynamic between the mother and daughter figure, it is quite autobiographic actually (thats a word yes?). I hope to include a bit of roleplay and narrative in future works, it makes them that much more exciting, and it is so easy as I can just use my life experiences as a starting point.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Sneak Peak

As I have mentioned previously, I have been working on a series of six femme portrait drawings on linen. This is the first to be completely finished, others are a work in progress. As you can see the work is moodier than usual, and the girl less beautiful, but for me the greatest change is that with these works I've loosened up, a lot! The background is marked from mopping up pigment from the previous work, stained with ink and highlighted with various shades of soft pastel. The figures have been stitched with a single thread (well two if you count the bobbin thread). The tension was terrible to start off with, and I found I liked the underside far more than the side i was stitching onto, so if you click on the image for closer inspection you will see loose loops of thread. I have also included a fair bit of beading, which I particuarly like, as well as buttons, and minature flower buttons in provocative places. The others are quite different to this one, but as a series they link together well; femme, colourful, gritty, textured, hand drawn, sewn, playful xx.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Melodies & Desires

this is all you could ever desire, is it not?
Oh, the beautiful symmetry

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Drawings on Linen

The past few days my mind has been in a peculiar and emotionally draining place. I feel like I'm on the cusp of a whole change in direction, artistically and spiritually. I've been listening to new music, playing with new materials, going new places, thinking new thoughts and talking to new people. I can't quite put it into words, but I am being challenged, the boundaries are being pushed, and I'm craving something more than what I have come to accept thus far.

In light of this, the series of six female figurative portraits I am doing for uni and hopefully to exhibit at Kickarts all are far more experimental and hopefully thought provoking than previous works of mine. All the works are on cream or cobalt blue linen, primed with gesso and drawn with charcoal, water-soluable pencil, watercolour, ink or whatever else is handy. They will be embellished with various textiles. All you can hope for as an artist is to, challenge the viewer and represent what it feels like to be human in some way. Inspired by the emotiveness of Egon Schiele and Gustauv Klimt, I hope these upcoming works may be a bit more captivating, in a way I was never able to in the past.

Image by Egon Schiele

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Story of the Red Socks

My mother's mother is very dear to me; she is sensitive, warm and loving and we share a special bond.

When I was young girl, she told me about the day she went to school wearing red socks. When her classmates saw her in the red socks they teased her mercilessly, and being the sensitive person she is, it hurt her quite deeply. She never wore the colour red again. She was so cut by schoolyard teasing, that she let fear and low self-confidence take over and lived a life without red.

The above painting titled 'Let me hold your fears' (2006), I created with this story in mind. My nana is represented by the naked figure in the red socks, my mother is wearing the red wig, she would like to be red also holds the same fears of not being accepted, while I am the small girl in the corner, I just want to be red. I long to carry their fears for them, God knows, they've been holding themselves back for far too long. The painting and story is symbolic of all the fears we carry as Shipards and as women, not simply the colour red.

Three years down the track as I am in the midst of independent adulthood, I find myself questioning my moves, worrying about trivial things like how I dress and that I won't be accepted. I kick myself to think how much time and energy I waste worrying. Nomather how far away you go, your flaws and fears never escape you. Fortunately I have learnt from their mistakes somewhat, or at least I've know how wonderful they really are and how fabulous a colour red is on both of them.

Anybody who knows me would have picked up on my love of red, I wear it almost everyday, though I never made the connection between this story and my love of red. I love the colour, and went through a phase of collecting red objects. My mother also loves the colour and nana has began to admire the colour when she see's us sporting it. A few days ago I actually bought my first pair of red socks, and perhaps in light of my current state of worry, I shall wear the socks in public and prove to myself that there is nothing to fear. Maybe I might even buy my mother's mother a pair red socks, and tell she's beautiful and loved, and it's time to let go of her fears and wear red once more xx.

In My Room

By far one of my favourite ways to spend time, is decorating and rearranging my room and living space. I am most happy when I am surrounded by images, textiles and objects that inspire me, remind me of loved ones and special times in my life. I cannot imagine living in a space where I didn't have notirity to surround myself with inspiration, my artistic process depends on it. Above you can see textiles on my desk that I have collected from generations of crafty Shipard women, notibly in the front my mother's embroidery from primary school. In the centre of the desk is my beloved London telephone money box which is presently acting as a vase (since I don't have any suitable/like how the dried flowers look in there) to my treasured roses from the Stars concert, where the band ironically threw out roses to the audience as well as everlasting daisies collected during school cross country.
The ironic thing is that despite my decorating being quite a personal joy and process, is that I completely love looking at other peoples houses through sources like the Selby, magazines such as Frankie and Russh and homewares shops. Although I can't think of a time were I have seen something I liked through one of these sources and changed my room accordingly, however I can't deny their influence and inspiration. I believe though if you are truely going to have a space you enjoy and that brings you happiness and inspiration, it can't be contrived, it has to be yours. I admire people who manage to have a minimalist space, with beautiful and clutterless use of art, flowers and furniture, but alas my space will probably never be this refined. Mine is a mirad of colours, textures, pictures, random objects and downright crap. There are so many things I would incorperate or improve with funding, such as Florence Broadhurst wallpaper on the walls, the iconic egg chair and all the art and design books I could ever desire. Alas, that is why it is a changing space not a stagent one, as I am always finding ways to like it more xx.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

"I'd like to thank..."

Like an aspiring actress performs their Academy Awards acceptance speech in front of the TV, I too have a dream. Everyone has a dream; or if they don't it is because they do not have fully realized interests. Mine, as a lover of all things artistic, is to one day win the Archibald Prize, the prestigious Australian Portrait Prize that has been keeping the art of portraiture alive in Australia since 1921.  

Abbey Mcculloch (work featured above) is a young artist from the Gold Coast who gained exposure in the first three issues of dearest Frankie Magazine.  She is now in her second year of the finals for the Archibald Prize, a most deserving winner if you ask me.  Best of luck Abbey, if you win, it means there is hope for me too! My fingers and toes are crossed for you xx.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

At Last!

Somehow I believe that after witnessing Camille in concert, my whole taste in live music has evolved and I will continue to go to see musicians who likewise push the boundaries with their music. It is such a treat to the ears to hear something fresh and unknown, like tasting exotic fruit in the Daintree. I missed the chance to see Death Cab for Cutie, who happens to be one of my favourites, I wasn't really sure at the time why I was resisting buying a ticket, but alas they sold out and I missed out on seeing them last night. Now 'at last!' I know what I was waiting for, the chance to See The Do and M83 in musical glory on the 31st of March, what could be sweeter?

Why that would be Melbourne's favourite venue The Hi-Fi, moving in West-End! They are kicking off with The Drones, a free concert! and future dates include our most beloved Kate Miller-Heidke! Love it xx.

Always on this Line

So the time has come around to submit to the Annual Kickarts Insider Postcard Exhibition, with the theme of 'line'. Last year I attemped to create work for it no less than four times! But nothing stuck and I couldn't come up with anything I could happily submit for my inaugural exhibited artwork. But this year there was no more excuses, and I have been chipping away at this 8x10 piece reguarly and am almost about to post it away. I am considering making a matching soft doll as a sculptural piece but that I haven't started. One piece is a great start. If you are looking for a piece of intricate, textile artistry for a wall near you exhibition opens on Friday 24th April 2009, silent bidding starts at just $40. Be there or be square xx.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Art College Girl

For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of going to art college. Attending life drawing classes, discovering the history of my lifelong passion in art and being surrounded by a motley crew of creative people and the fruits of their hard work, including hopefully mine.

So the moment has finally arrived for me to take the plunge and throw myself whole heartedly into art college experience and product design in particular. So far it has been everything I have dreamed of and more, and it has barely begun. I the excitement and satisfaction is mostly due to the realization that I am there now, I did it and nobody can take this opportunity away from me and I haven't been dooped, there is so much to be gained from attending. The remaining excitement is derived from my nerdish reading into my course outlines and finding out that yes I will be doing 6 weeks of life drawing, I will grow rounded knowledge of post-modern and modern art history and I will be completing design assessments that will prepare me for an actual career in design, not to mention hopefully making lifelong like-minded friends.

No joke, I've been getting involentary excitement quivers that I am living out the cliche' of attending art college as many greats have done before me including Andy Warhol, John & Cynthia Lennon, Mark Rothko & Edie Sedgewick, just to name a few. Ah it feels so bloody good to be doing what you love! Don't fight it xx

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Curvy 6

This is a new artwork titled 'Coral' that I have submitted with two other works for the Yen Magazine publication of Curvy 6, which features the work of 100 fabulously talented young female illustrators and designers from all sectors of the globe. I just hope that I might be one of them, if not this year next xx.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Another year older

Today I start another year of life and living. In theme with how I think the upcoming year will pan out, I am riding the big day in quite a grown up independent way! I worked this morning from 7am! and treated myself to a cute Valentines Day cupcake, which could have been fluffier and more delicious, but was an incredible sight for sore eyes. Tonight I am going for Champagne and movies, which should be a nice finish for the day. I have had a facebook full of lovely messages, and a text message inbox also, so I'm feeling loved enough, even if my loved ones are far away. My nana and my bestie have pre warned me not to expect my card in the mail today, which gave me a chuckle (I don't mind!). A dear friend said that if he was a millionaire he would buy me lots of Chanel merchandise but I know that it wouldn't make me any happier, friendships are far more vaulable. I may treat myself to a nice new bag, that is more expensive than I would usually spend, but I think I will just stick to having a bank account with actual money in it!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Camille, I adore you

On Sunday Night was the most captivating live performance I have ever witnessed, by the most amazing woman I have had the pleasure and fortune of sharing a room with; the lovely Camille. The perfomer emerges from darkness wearing a orange cape and fluro orange socks; she begins with a whisper. Like a true performer, she does not reveal her outstanding skill, as well as that of her backup performers at once, but gradually song by song. Aside from Camille, a pianist, two multi talented beat boxers, two body percussionists and two backup singers graced the stage and as you can imagine created a multifacited depth of sound layers. One could not pick a moment during the show where one of the performers were slightly underperforming, they were all giving it their all; professional and talented.
Camille is absolutely wild, a gypsy at heart absolutely no inhibitions. Her vocal cords and body make the most suprising noises and movements, I long to be this carefree, it is truely an inspiration to watch and hear. Unlike most concerts where you have a blare of massive speakers, the Brisbane Powerhouse catered for her instrumentation that included patting their hearts, tapping their feet, swinging a fluro orange skipping rope to imitate the sound of waves, wobble boards! on the quieter side as well as the cries of Camille and the backup vocals and pianos; my ears heard everything. As you probably already know I LOVE COLOUR, and I was delighted to find an ongoing theme of orange, which she used to create narrative for the stage show.
Camille also has a remarkable sense of humour, something I could also do with more of! But nevertheless I laughed out loud many times; when she made one of her beat boxers be a koala and continued to steal his shirt when he was "sleeping" in the microphone stand tree and also managed to take two shirts from men in the audience and crafted a gypsy skirt from them which which so sported oh so fashionably, as the French can do with ease! Speaking of humour and fashion, one of my favourite moments in the performance was when Camille came out in a floor length black Audrey dress with black gloves; she was a vision of glamour and grace. Midway through the song, she turned around to reveal a cut out section in the dress that revealed her bum crack! Classic! Oh I could go on and on, but really there is nothing more to say than Camille, I adore you xx.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Yes , yes, Bloody Hell... YES!

"For the million, billion things which lie in wait for us every hour of the day, to please our sight and fill our eyes with perfection. I shall envy no man, for the things which are precious and everlasting can be found in our own heart. Yes, with the help of God, and with no other mortal ever to know … I shall do great things."
- Florence Broadhurst, before she began
So it is official, I got into the Bachelor of Design at Griffith University, Queensland College of Art in Southbank, Brisbane. Although I was advised I would have no trouble, I was still nervously anticipating my results with QTAC. Seriously art world, here I come; there will be no stopping me now xx.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A time comes to say goodbye

It is about time that I farewell to North Queensland, the place that has been my home for eight years. There are so many moments and memories that I will cherish fondly, for old times sake I'd like to name a few:
  • Swimming in the pool with my neighborhood friends in our house in Pease Street everyday, many times a day in the summer of 2001
  • Hiking up to Bahana Gorge with mum; jumping under the waterfall once we were so hot we thought we would die; eating cherries and crackers in the shade
  • Going to Rusty's market every weekend, it was a chore but I will sure miss having it there
  • Staying up with Mum and Fiona while they were 'on the piss'; dancing around to 'friends forever'; hearing the story of how they became friends for the 20th time; having loving D&M's till Fiona's eyes glaze over and it's time for bed
  • Spending time in my ever changing sanctuary; changing the pictures on my walls as interests came and left
  • Hearing Missy Higgins 'the sound of white' with the lights down low in Clarke Street; LOW in the cool echoing house in Woree, and the opening track to Stars album 'Set Yourself on Fire'
  • Going to the ice skating rink with Rosie and climbing onto the train track just because
  • Going to see Pete Murray at the Karanda Amplitheatre with mum; being surrounded by darkened rainforest whist he sang 'So Beautiful'
  • The angry.broken.tearful challenge that was 2003 and the fact that we have moved on
  • Escaping boarding school for the occassional weekend
  • Working till 3am in the morning with Domino's crew, it was stressful sometimes, but had its moments
  • Arguing about music during visual art; talking matter-of-factly about everything like we were far older than we were; contemplating the universe
  • Laying on the sand looking at the stars at Shipton's Flat, not needing to say anything at all but understanding eachother
  • Going shopping with Eadon for perfume; Escada all the way!
  • Learning to crochet; spreading my creations all around the school; sitting under the blacklight at the disco crocheting with fluro wools
  • Climbing over mountains to Cedar Bay; swimming in the ocean and having D&M's about all sorts of things; making our cedar wood hair pins- thankyou Toni for making the body of mine and thankyou Tamsyn for searching for it in the creek and successfully finding it; my treasure
  • Starting my most successful and enjoyable friendship to date; "I like Ash... just because"
  • Being a year 12 at MSB; to many things to mention
  • Getting drunk for the first time at Giovanna's party; drinking brain hamoages; sitting on the roof thinking we were within safe landing distrance from the ground; dancing like noone was watching (but yes they definately were... with a video camera in hand)
  • Graduating; getting the most important rose of all; hearing 'let your light shine for the last time'; getting dolled up and dancing the night away with Eadon and Ash; driving away from MSB for the very last time as a student
  • Forgetting all that and having great times with my partner in crime Ash; clubbing, Kate Miller-Hiedke concert going; and all the other little things in between (simply laptoping is enjoyable when its with her)
  • Singing on stage with Ash at the Clare Bowditch Concert
  • Hand-painting with my baby brother
  • Op-shopping with mum and hearing about all her latest ebay finds & sales
  • Updating my painting class on my love life every Friday
  • Magic tricks and car trips talking about all sorts of things with Lenny
  • Daybreaking it before I say farewell to the people and places that I made up my life in Cairns
I will never forget the special moments that I had in this town. I shall return to visit of coarse, but I have so much more to see; so many more scenes in the movie that is my life to act out. And to the people I've left behind or are taking a different journey, you know if I have spent any time with you talking in any depth about your future, it is because I have faith in you and your ability to have everything you could ever want. I want for you, what you want for yourself just as much, if not more than I want my dreams to come true. I will be gunning for all of you. Thankyou for the memories Cairns xx.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

and they gave me a rose...

The night starts here at The Zoo, with the arrangement of red and pink roses over the drum kits, mike stands and keyboard; the roses will not last the night.  The night was not as I had expected; the band members stood inches away from me worn, short and utterly human, they are truely sad robots.  Amy was the epitome of rock and roll women, in her shagged black dress and sex hair.  The song highlights for me were definitely Ageless Beauty, Midnight Coward and Calendar Girl the song of choice for the encore, of which Torque stood at the top of the stage and yelled I'm Alive many times at the top of his lungs, and I sang it right back, as I too felt alive.  At the introduction to Midnight Coward the band rambled something about Singapore that suggested that if everyone can't have sex on Valentines Day then no one can! it made me chuckle anyway. The band threw a rose my way at the beginning of the show; I missed, mid show; I missed, at the end; third time lucky.  I didn't get an actual ticket for the show, so I'm going to press it in a book and keep it as my momento.  Unfortunately Stars didn't play my favourite song which is apparently about fucking someone to death, that is "One More Night"... I guess that leaves me wanting more, and gives me a reason to see them again someday.  

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Semi-Permanent Submission

As you already know I have applied for a place in the Semi-Permanent book of 2009, and created two new artworks to submit for judging.  They represent the direction I am planning to go with my artworks, that is with a strong textile base of seductive portraiture.  Cross your fingers and toes for me xx.

- Grandma's Birthday Blanket

- Heartbeats

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Calendar Girl

If I am lost for a day; try and find me 
But if I don't come back, then I won't look behind me 
All of the things that I thought were so easy 
just got harder and harder each day 

Calendar girl whos in love with the world, Stay alive 

The pages keep turning, I'll mark off each day with a cross 
And I'll laugh about all that we've lost 
Calendar Girl who is lost to the world 
Stay Alive 
Calendar Girl who is lost to the world Stay Alive 
January,February,March,April,May I'm alive 
June,July,August,September,October I'm alive 
November,December, I'm alive 
I'm alive 

Calendar girl who's in love with the world, Stay alive

I have made up my mind, my decision is in, I am moving to Brisbane on the 1st of January, in pursuit of my dream of having a fruitful life full of art galleries, live music, craft markets, vintage shops and creative friends,  but most of all working towards a career in the arts.  The plan is to spend the 31st of December with my best friend Ashton reflecting on what will be the end of an era, and maybe making a scrapbook of the year that has been.  We will stay up all night, with the help of copious amounts of coffee and wine and then I will fly out the next morning to start my new life in a new city.  I will stay with my nana, while catch the train into the city everyday checking out share houses and looking for jobs.  On the 4th of January I will attend 'Stars' concert at The Zoo; after missing out on seeing Stars perform live on 2 occasions I believe I owe it to myself to see them this time- no matter what.  On the 15th of January (possibly sooner) I will find out if I have been successful in bagging a position at Griffith or QUT and will start a degree in Feb of 2009.  

The pages keep turning, I'll mark off each day with a cross
And I'll laugh about all that we've lost

So that is the plan thus far, the rest is a beautiful mystery.  I look forward to getting my new Frankie calender and Kikki.K 2009 diary and filling it with wonderful dates, concerts and art deadlines.  If I had a goal for my life it would be that every year be more fruitful and busy than the last.  I don't want to look back on my life 5 years from now and think that I should have worked harder or lived more, but be able to congratulate myself for creating the life I wanted by myself for myself from scratch. The year is not over yet, so I will cherish what is left, before I take on the challenge of my life, won't you join me? xx

Monday, 10 November 2008

What is art REALLY?

If anything and everything is art in some way, does art really exist?  or is something only art when the maker creates it for the purpose of being fine art? or when the art world puts it on a pedestal or a blank piece of gallery wall and deems it art? Does art contain any intrinsic value or is the value in what we as consumers decide it is worth?