I want to tell you about a really wonderful local program called WUNDER GYM, which I love being part of.
Headed up by Netti Wagner, I’ve loved the nature of this program to help flex my creative thinking over the last year or so, working with some of Melbourne’s esteemed artists and curators, and the opportunity to meet other creative and curious minds participating in the program. So far I’ve had the great privilege of being mentored by Ilona Nelson, Hannah Matthews of MUMA, the Huxleys, Geoff Newton of Neon Parc, and the Hotham Street Ladies.
While the last few projects have been virtual only due to coronavirus restrictions, we were very fortunate to have some group mentoring and exhibitions at the Schoolhouse Studio last year. We’ve been challenged with creative briefs that explore everything from the meaning of non-linear time to intuitive creativity, provocative cakes, masks, and the expanded self. Sometimes we end up having deep conversations about the themes and other times we laugh at ourselves and the nuances of art and honestly, we just all enjoy the process thanks to the great mentoring and excellent company.
The Hoops in Parallel. Monotypes on paper. The viewer is invited to position themselves between two images (blue image above, and another smaller print placed on the opposite wall, seen below.)
Looking forwards. Backwards. Side to side. Up & down. Up close. From a distance. Stand still. Moving. One eye closed. Zig and zag.
The print is a mirror – an alternative viewpoint; a non-linear imprint of many moments colliding. Impact as planned, spontaneous, unpredictable, reflective or directive.
This artwork measures time as margin and the critical position of our place between now and then, if and when. As with the vastness of the ocean and air, non-linear time takes on cosmic perspective.
Reflecting on rotation, cycles, motion and velocity, the hoops represent the rotation of our own energy and movement in an unpredictable cycle. Hula hoops spinning around the self. Clockwise. Anticlockwise. A full cycle with new outcomes, new patterns, and growth. In motion, body contact takes place between space. A margin now lived as the viewer’s position between the two images.
The stunning copper artwork above is by Victoria Mason. Our artworks serendipitously sat together at that exhibition and, not realising, we both wore the colour of our own artwork to the opening. Ha!
Title: Welcome #1. Acrylics and spraypaint on linen canvas
Synopsis: Dynamic strokes and movement reveal a bold and expressive form. Be greeted by an artwork made in and for the moment. This large canvas later sold for a significant donation towards fire disaster relief efforts.
Title: Emergence. The transformative moment of success. Realised desire, hope and imagination. Perpetual self actualisation. This mixed media artwork explored the feeling of success, inner actualisation and self awareness, levitation as the moment of achieving the impossible, distorted perspectives and the use of light as a symbol of the breakthrough of new paradigms. Photo: Samara Clifford
Unreeling by Jasmin de Wolf. A mixed media exploration of the mask inside. Untangling of memory and time. Ink, acrylic, charcoal, spray paint, and oil pastel on canvas. Photo: Samara Clifford
I won’t say it was easy to create anything in March as restrictions were being implemented, but I was determined to make something about the provocative experience of COVID19 upon our lives.
The mirror is of course our world right now, as we stop and confront our experience, our mortality, our selves. As this is a virtual exhibition the mirror’s reflection in the gallery was empty, signifying our absence in the age of social distancing. The version you see here is the ‘artist’s portrait’ version :)
‘Biohazard’ is the label for our new human experience…walking time bombs, an existential threat imposed on our very being.
The kisses xx -a deadly sign off, the kiss as a new threat, a nightclub bathroom mirror motif, love to the lost and grieving.
Now that the numbers of coronavirus cases are finally coming down again in Melbourne I’m feeling optimistic and ready to work on my next piece mentored by Yvette Coppersmith.Thanks Netti for creating this amazing program for artists and creative thinkers in Melbourne.