Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pleasure Palaces



Saturday morning...
its a lovely morning here... slow... quiet ... its been wet but the sun is out. I'm relishing it as this time last week was far from slow and laid back! A little reading to wake  up to the day slowly followed by a quick  check of emails led me to the latest dispatch from  so I went for a curious wander and found inspiration in the far from mainstream but delightfully eccentric and whimsical world of one artist which perfectly refreshed my notion of the many ways there are to be an artist and to exist in this world as a painter!

61UNtFqkKmL._SL500_AA300_Just as I am given to exploring the biodiversity of our planet's seed heritage I'm also driven to appreciate this human impulse towards expression in diverse ways and means. Homogenisation is not something we do to our diary products alone ... endless pressures to conform exist in in all parts of our lives...and whilst that in part is life-preserving and useful... in other respects It is quite the opposite. In the world of art rules can be as prevalent and cloning as common as the supermarket shelves laden with products that are replicas of something original and authentic but that have travelled a long way from the source to become palatable (?) for consumers - or rather - make money for companies!
I think it can be just as confounding to find what is authentic in art  - for one's own practice or as a viewer - as it has become  to find a tomato with flavour and grown from good seed that can be saved and generated again. I'm all for the biodiversity of our extraordinary plant heritage but I would also argue that cultivating a broader appreciation of the diverse ways one can manifest one's vision as a painter is tremendously important too! Being able to step back from painting after an intense time and go see others work in galleries as I did yesterday was such a delight. It served to refresh and remind me of the diverse ways we can make art and view art...!
And so to my artist for today ... someone who has clearly made it his lifelong passion to manifest his own personal vision ... trust the selby to honour this artist with a fabulous photo-shoot that peers into the artist's  world. The selby is all about finding creatives from various realms of the visual who present a broad ranging idea of authentic and lively creative diversity.

From the world of Hunt Slonem - images by the selby. Click on the artist's name for a much more thorough view of this rich and exotic world!


Pleasure Palaces: The Art & Homes of Hunt Slonem

The title of this post comes from the book "Pleasure Palaces: The Art and Homes of Hunt Slonem". In the past particularly I have often taken time for enlivening the interior world in a way that is an extension of my artwork... and am very drawn to seeing into the worlds of others. I have personal preferences of course but must say if the art work and interior / home / garden reflect the character of the person living there in an intoxicating and complete way I will often be quite deeply inspired even if it would not be a space I could imagine living in. In the same way it can be spell-binding to enter a pocket of rainforest, explore rock pools, or a coral reef by immersion in this wondrous space some people and cultures are able to bring that sense of wonder into a space they create - even with the most humble of means - and effectively generate an kind of energy field that is quite special.
Yhat is something I am always on the look out for and would happily dedicate a blog too. Here are  a few posts I have saved under interiors.

Enjoy your weekend...I'm off out soon to explore this lovely autumn day!

PS  huge thankyou to all the lovely well-wishers and commenters in recent weeks  re the show on this month. Its wonderful to participate in this encouraging and inspiring  blogosphere and I wish everyone of you much joy and fulfillment through your own projects and undertakings! S xo


layers said...

hello. I have been away teaching a workshop and am back home but slowly getting back to the groove.. This is a very interesting artist you have featured here-- Hunt.
went to his website-- very colorful.

Sophie Munns said...

Hello Donna,
He's quite a character ... glad you ventured over to the website. I enjoyed posting on someone outside my regular focus!
And I have gathered from your blog you are very much one for home and studio being very connected or at least having a consistent thread visually.
Workshop sounds interesting!

La Dolce Vita said...

ah yes, character is the word I would use too, but entertaining as well!! hope you are rested and still beaming from your show!!

Sophie Munns said...

Yes Cat... Character and of course the entertaining aspect is definitely there!
Oh to sit drinking tea in one of those remarkable sitting rooms!
Re the other... sleeping well again and breathing out after the busy time... Happy it went off so well!
My best to you my friend!
S x

PAPER GIRL said...

Hi Sophie:

I love this post.... I actually have been in love with Hunt Slonem's work for a very long time -- without really knowing who he was. So now I have ordered the book, read some on-line stuff -- and can't wait till my book arrives. Thanks for sharing!
here is a link to painting I did a couple of years ago called "Homage" to him and my other mentor Matisse: (life is funny - so glad for blogger friends -- I learn so much.)

Really enjoy your blog btw, have followed for awhile, but have now added you to my blogroll.

Happy Spring,

Sophie Munns said...

Hello Rosalind,
lovely to hear from you!
I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this post. I so loved the fact his home and studio are so exquisitely expressive of who he is... larger than life... colourful.
Its a good feeling to find links to something or one that you have wanted to know about. It does happen quite a bit on blogs.
Loved you homage painting Rosalind.... wonderful colours and the way the woman sits on the chair... the orange line and textile pattens ...I see the influence!
Enjoy the book and look forward to visiting you too!

Sanne said...

i also noticed Hunt Slonem on the Selby, very inspiring.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Sanne,

interesting how he lives surrounded by his art and all that colour!

Sandra Eterovic said...

Hi Sophie!
So lovely to meet you. I'm really glad that you said hi because I have had an amazing time looking at your blog. What an enviable time you look to be having, and what incredible work you do. Aaahhh.....
All the best

Sophie Munns said...

Ah Sandra...
you are an original...!
I loved your post "wall disguise - courtesy of the Melways"
Yes... that took me back to the 12 lively years in Melbourne I spent where I no doubt papered some unlovely walls with things to hand at times.
NEVER as smart as you Sandra ... the Melways ... of course... not only could you cover a large area in this appealing visual way... but ponder routes to travel and as you say... inform visitors.No wonder people like to visit Melbourne. I really enjoyed discovering your blog!
Hunt Slonem would have many contenders for the award of best Pleasure Place in Melb! There's something about that city that brings out that bowerbird capacity .... nesting par excellence!
In response to your charming comments to me Sandra... thank you ... and I must say ... this year is blessed! Its definitely a moment for the other side of the coin to those down and out bouts that hang around a 30 odd year journey of creative life.
Some kick off with blazing talent, confidence, sense of direction, conviction when young and drawn to a life as an artist......but I felt so doubting that I went at snails pace. I went to Art School in the good old days (graduated 1980) when women were still expected to get married and have babies soon after graduation. Women artists were ghosts in art school dialogue.... despite some lecturers being women. Colour field painting was in and men were the "it" story. I crawled away from art school to teach ... 2 years later I had a lash at doing art during a 5 month stint in Melbourne. I read voraciously from this time on. But salary called me back into the classroom.
At 30 I had another lash at the Art thing ! back to Melbourne... it seemed the place where it was possible.
At 40 I was too broke and a house fire sent me packing to north of sydney... and back to the classroom. Older and wiser I did both art and teaching at the same time... till I was way too exhausted and ill to keep that story going. So 2 years ago I came to family in Qld and did the art thing with increased focus whilst recovering.
This year is a shining example of how 30 years hard work, overcoming some pretty tough set backs and very real doubts can bring you to a place where something helps you to focus and get on with it for a while. The doubts still show up and uncertainty of what next ... but am SO focused on the residency project and the bigger picture aspect of it that I am forgetting all the what ifs and just making it the best of times.
What you wrote was so genuinely lovely Sandra that I wanted to say simply that what exists under those sunny blog posts and beachy open skies is endless stick-to-it-ness to counter the sense of too-much-challenge this road can bring.... all too often!.
I figure if one is not necessarily going to have significant or regular financial rewards for hard work put in....and one's circumstances are not easy due to those choices..... than one better be sure to enjoy the choice for what it can bring... to the absolute max - no matter what! The blogosphere brings me closer to people with shared values... not necessarily in the same circumstances or lifestyles by any means ... but definitely wanting to be part of an exchange where there's a certain generosity of spirit and understanding of where the good things of life lie. Good connections that keep you moving and feeling inspired are the most essential I find!
all good things to you Sandra!