Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Exhibition Opening: Dimensions of Space

A lot of string.  Hundreds and hundreds of metres of the stuff.  Each of the three shows at the gallery have string in common and there was a bit of ducking and weaving to be done by the art-goers at the opening last night.  But I think a good time was had by all.  Myself included.

It was good fun to shamelessly talk about my work to people.   In attempting to describe my practice, it helped me articulate it to myself as well, and talking about it inadvertently extends my ideas.  There always is so much to make, but an exhibition gives an even greater boost forward.  Very worthwhile, I say. 

Thanks to all those who made it to the opening.  If you couldn't get there, don't worry, it's open until 5th April (It's not open good Friday).

28 March - 5 April 2012
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday 11am-5pm
Saturday - Monday CLOSED, Good Friday CLOSED

Location: First Site Gallery, Storey Hall Basement, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Installing Exhibition: Dimensions of Space

The day had arrived.  The sun rose, just like any other day, but on this day I loaded up the car and hi-tailed it to the gallery to start installing my exhibition. What's more daunting than a blank white canvas?  A white empty room when you have people coming in 36 hours expecting art and refreshments. 

I remembered the overwhelming feeling of white from last time and knew not to be too put off by it.  The secret seems to be, just put all your stuff in the centre of the room and get cracking.  It was much more exciting than last time actually.  I feel much further along than I was back then, and more confident in the work I'm making now.  Yet, I digress...

Here are a few pictures of the work 'in pieces'.

I planned this work to cover a certain amount of the wall.  But during the process, I realised I needed to go further around the corner.  Thus omitting work I had planned to do.  Oh well, that happens.  In doing so, I didn't anticipate how much longer it would take me to work on something double the size.  It took me pretty much the full two days to complete the work.  Including looking time.

I worked alone, although by halfway through I wished I had someone to help me.  They would have needed to be able to read my mind, and I didn't think that would be a possible achievement in the space of two days. 

The length of time it took to install the work enabled me to ponder the various elements and because of this, I added another shade of grey and some other shapes, which I think just finish it off nicely.

Pics of the finished product to come...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Exhibition Prep: Bits and Pieces

Squee!  I am super excited about my exhibition, Dimensions of Space, and it opens in just 3 days!  Not nervous.  Just a touch of the ol' racing-mind, trying to get all the ducks in a row in my head.  And lists!  Oh, the lists I have.

Look!  It's my postcards.

Have been passing these around, shamelessly self promoting myself.  I'm sure I'd have given you one, if I'd seen you.  But do make sure you come along.

I'm also listed in the latest national Art Almanac.  (As 'Noami', but I'm sure I'll get over it) 

I have been looking at my lists and checking them twice (groan), and I think I'm practically ready.  Just a few bits and pieces to pick up, a tin of paint here and a roll of tape there, and I'll be ready to start installing.  I anticipate it will be a pretty labour intensive couple of days.  Of the four artworks in the show, three don't yet exist - I'll be installing them Monday/Tuesday.

And in breaking news - I have decided to scratch one work, in favour of another.  Was reviewing photos of a corner of the gallery that has been causing me concern.  I just don't think what I planned is going to work in that space.  So, I have decided to make an all new work, that's never seen the light of day before.  Site specific, with colours I have been working on.

It appears I'm a bit of a colourist.  I play with colour in my journal, check site and go back to my journal, long before putting paint to wall.  But I also work intuitively, decide what should be added as I go - I don't plan it all out ahead of time.

Detail is minimal in the picture, but that's a flat aqua house paint, watercolour and wood-grain-look vinyl.

So now you've had a sneak peak.  Come along and see what it morphs into in the 'flesh'.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Test: Wall White and Installation Blue

Just a little test.  Wall white on the top part of the paper, installation blue on the bottom half. 

This is promising for future installations.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blue & Yellow Interior

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Blue & Yellow Interior (Installation view)
Acrylic paint, vinyl.

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Blue & Yellow Interior (Installation view)
Acrylic paint, vinyl.

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Blue & Yellow Interior (Installation view)
Acrylic paint, vinyl.

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Blue & Yellow Interior (Installation view)
Acrylic paint, vinyl.

I started this work last week.  I believe it is now complete.  

I added some narrow lengths of wood.  One I painted the same grey as the lines and it starts to bring the shapes out into three dimensional space, instead of illusionary 3D space created by the painted wall.  There is plenty more to be done in three dimensional space.  Now my challenge is to incorporate this into my work again.  More wood, foam core, paper, cardboard, fabric, plastic - all out and off the wall.

I love documenting my work.  There's always something else to notice through the distance a camera gives.  I love the angles and smalls works that exist in the larger work, just by using cropping.

What's next
I want to make some works in places where I can respond to the site.  However, since I don't even know how to begin to think in that way, I am absorbing as many artists that work site specifically as I can.  I have lots of questions and lots of time to get answers and figure it out for myself.  The likelihood is I'll just have a crack at it and see what happens.  But I'd love to hear some differing approaches to site.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wall Installation, Blue & Yellow - Work in progess

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Installation view, work in progress
Acrylic paint, vinyl.

Back in the studio (Yay! Walls!) and I am working on an installation.  A little paint here, a little vinyl there.  I am trying to go bigger than I have before, with some success.  This work is probably approx 2.5m x 3m x 2m (l x W x H).  However, I have been limited by the size of the vinyl I've been able to source so far.  I have hopefully found a place where I can get some larger widths, which will enable me to be a bit more daring with size.  I would just paint, but I like using both paint and vinyl together.  I think they have good conversations with each other. 

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Installation view, work in progress
Acrylic paint, vinyl.

One of the vinyls I'm using is shimmery-reflective gold.  Not normally the sort of thing I'd go for, but I was feeling adventuress.  It paid off: one, I think it's a really good colour to work with, and two - by using it in the corner, it has reflected itself and created a new form that isn't actually in the work.  You can see the dark area in the middle-right of the picture.  That's actually all gold vinyl and just a reflection of itself.  I did use reflective items last year, but I think it's something I need to explore again.

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Installation view, work in progress
Acrylic paint, vinyl, mess.

Above, another angle of the work, and a peek at the mess I make while working.

Still To Do
This work is only really half done. Tomorrow I'll work on adding lines/detail up to the right of the work.  I may also incorporate some more reflective elements, and I want to add some parts that jut out from the work.  I have often used wool in the past to add a tactility and to bring the work out of the corner and into the room's space.  This time I want to see how using wood instead might change the work.

Above: I have grown a bit of a fascination with the lines I see everywhere.  I think I have mentioned before my delight in the cable channels cut into the road.  Here's some good ones I snapped on the way home tonight, also starring my feet.  Great fodder for my paintings (the lines, not my feet!).