Saturday, August 14, 2010

clearing one's head...

Yesterday it was great to get out for a walk after some rainy grey old days. A friend and I met at Brisbane Powerhouse for the walk along the riverside pathway. Once the supplier of power to the tramway network of the city as well as suburban power it has been converted more recently and opened 10 years ago as Arts precinct.... hence the sign below which is one of 4 by artist Richard Tipping (see at end of post).

Great walking around this how the Brisbane river curves around....snake-like for miles!

The Powerhouse building is well worth a visit... Saturdays twice a month it hosts a growers market on the grounds.

Brisbane Powerhouse

Feeling Power Hungry sign - New Farm Park and Powerhouse, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 070202

Today was just as sunny and on route to the studio I stopped for coffee not far from the studio... love the city views in this area. Whoever lives in this house has a great view.

Across the road from the house above is the surprisingly ramshackle one below which incidently is one of the grooviest cafes in Brisbane. I used to stop there last year on route to the Botanic Gardens for a coffee and chat... but this year have been so busy that today was the fist visit in a long time. There's no signage out the front. I once asked what it was called and have completely forgotten because I named it 'the cafe with no name' and like to keep it as a secret destination.
Inside the walls are painted black and the seating is very relaxed ...plenty of good magazines to read and THE best coffee. There is about 3 things on the menu...all of them toast... but the best - I like the  excellent sourdough rubbed with garlic and smooshed with ripe tomato and and a splash of olive oil!
And when this town turns on the heat I can tell you sitting in this dark cave of a place is perfection...
It is seriously the most refreshing place to visit rewrites all the rules...but gets the most important things really right.(and its not far from my new studio.)

OK... so what have I been painting for the last 3 days? last week I added more pages to my 'homage to the seed' journal and revisited work from a few years ago... then worked with ink on paper and reworked some older work. Basically just feeling my way into the work after a break and the relocation.
Then 3 days ago I picked up a 60 x 90 cm painting on canvas I decided I was unhappy with and completely went off in a different direction. If change is as good as a holiday... then this is the holiday I meant to take but have as yet put off. For 3 days I have listened non-stop to radio national...a lot of election reporting which has now become tedious, although I must say this election has me fascinated.

I have caught some brilliant programs - losing myself in the world of Radio National and this altogether mysterious painting below. Why I say mysterious is because it has a life of its own... I'm coming along for the ride... its dictating to me and I just shut up and follow. As I have been working on it I feel my head clearing. After 5 hugely busy months where it seemed all go, go, go.... this has been like doing a very large puzzle... the brain activity of deciding ...ok... this colour here...that line there.... its enveloped me in a way that has had the effect of clearing my head. After chaos ...the re-ordering. Probably I need to do a fair bit of this re-ordering in my home office and such...but starting here is a very enervating place to 
apply that energy.

I have no name for this yet. I know its not finished either ...but Im wondering if the finished work is as important as the process in this case. Below is a close up of a section of the work...

Whatever will be next?

Anway...back to the artist who's signage art works were shown above.... Richard Tipping. If you click on the word editorial below it will take you to the text he wrote for this Australian Art Journal. See Google images for further visuals.

The Word As Art


Artist: Mr Richard Tipping, editorial
Richard Tipping looks at the role of text and language from an historical and contemporary context, covering areas of interest such as recent technological advancements, graffiti culture and going as far back as 46,000 years to briefly discuss some of the oldest found examples of Indigenous cave art in the south of Australia. Along the way he looks to medieval and ancient Phoenician developments, Clement Greenberg's promotion of painting as a purely optical experience, one in which text has no place except as another kind of surface, the role of Dada in claiming the relationship between word and image and discusses other important figures such as Duchamp, Brancusi, Stephane Mallarme, Christopher Brennan, Picasso, Braque, Kurt Schwitters, Charles Olson, Alex Selenitsch, Allan Riddell, Rosalie Gascoigne and many others.


Janis said...

The cafe sounds mysterious and hip :^)

A walk, a view, and some great coffee - that is a perfect combination, and that is my perfect outing too - enjoy it well!

Mlle Paradis said...

Oh WONDERFUL! I love your painting Sophie!!!!!! What an exciting journey you are on! I do think the process is just as important as the finished product but this is quite a product! Love the colors, looks like you're having such fun with them.

Anyway, great post all the way around. I would love to hang out in your cafe with no name with you and Mr. T's sign about "noticing" totally cracks me up!

Continued bon travail! Looking forward to what's next. p.s. just checked out the "moon river" blog will have to go back to that one!


Altoon Sultan said...

Sophie, how interesting your new painting is! It looks as though re-looking at the "plaid" paintings has had an effect. The painting feels like a map, as though you are marking down places and directions; where you are going? where you've been? Do you think you are moving away from the more organic recent works? And how large is this?

Sophie Munns said...

This is such a mysterious cafe Janis. Of course it is very popular but not habituated with people who like perfect order and clear instruction and 35 choices on a actual menu.
Its feels like dropping to someone's home...and there is a door that opens into someone living room I noticed with intrigue one day.
You'd love it...

Sophie Munns said...

Mlle glad to hear your long, drawn out civic duty is finally at an end! Phew!!!
Thank you for your whole hearted response. Fun is the operative word. This was a most necessary reaquaintance with doing something for fun. And listening to where the work wanted to go....which is a really curious process.
I'll meet you at the caf sometime... and Mr T ... lived in the same neck of the woods before moving saw much more of his work...quite a broad repertoire - always engaging. Serious published poet and visual to boot.
Moon River has a fascinating ambience...based in Tel Aviv...I like the flavour and ambience that feels particular to place in a way.
Have fun spreading our wings again MP!
S xox

Sophie Munns said...

Yes...I think thats very true Altoon..that plaid painting called to me till I answered.
Firstly ... it is 90 cm x 60 cm... so it was an excellent size to navigate...i could sit it on angles to paint from any approach... and I did actually paint it flat on the table and propped up both vertially and horizontally.
Mapping...navigating... you are very spot on with that reading.
i think I return to these works when my brain needs to process directions. Spatial relationships and pathways....The studio space itself is very liberating and really this is the first time in 3 years I've had the space to work in the manner that I feel most at home with....(apart from the month long residency I did at Victoria University early in 2009 where the walls were mobile and as the work expanded I could push the walls out to make the space larger).
I have 5 months left of the residency work ... homage to the seed... so the organic theme will persist. The curious thing is if i paint like this for too long I have to go back to the organic approach too .Ive wondered about how I might combine the there is not such distinct see-sawing.... but dont want to be too contrived either.
Marking where I have some from...where I am now...and where I am going to ...this is essential to this kind of painting...the ruminations going on whilst painting...and being a week away from a national election...I am also pondering those questions on the broad stage.... where are 'we' going? The painting is essentially a map of working my way through all that - an opportunity for deeply expansive thinking time.
Thank you very much for your thoughts Altoon!

Candice Herne said...

Nice work Sophie! I have something for u at my blog. I just couldn't wait to give it too u in person.Candyxx

Sophie Munns said...

Thank you SO much Candy!!!!

have kjust been over for a visit and LOVE your contribution to homage.
must post on that!!!
S xox

ArtPropelled said...

I really enjoyed my walk thanks Sophie. The first sign gave me a good chuckle.
I also enjoyed your reply to Altoon about your new painting. A blog post in itself. Actually I can see a combination of the 2 styles being inevitable.... and exciting. The story of our lives .... manmade structures and order containing small organic areas .... one struggling to control the other...... but without being too contrived as you mentioned.

Sophie Munns said...

Thanks for thought-provoking comments that add to the earlier ruminations Robyn.....Its so helpful having quality responses on this very particular subject as I do find it bewildering at times...that see-saw.
Great to have others contributions to =think about!!!

iNdi@ said...

the painting brings to mind the serene and yet vibrant qualities of the Gee's bend quilts...

Sophie Munns said...

Hi India,
Ah yes...must go look ...make that connection....
thanks for that!
still sad about your blog situation... the comment publishing process is a bit stuffed this last week at my blog...dont seem to have a response form blogger yet...probably inundated with similar!
shall look to your website for sotires though!

em said...

yee ha, i love that painting! it's kind of like a map you would see in a dream, where the maze has so many dead ends, but it's a beautiful place anyway. it will be interesting to see where you go from here. what a change of pace from the organic work you are doing. that sign is funny... so paranoid.

Sophie Munns said...

Love to have you visit on monday mornings...your sunday.... imagine you've spent time in the garden.
Ah yes...i had to check these dead ends you noticed...I was not aware of that... I wont be staying too long with this work...back to more work on seeds and finishing the residency work over the next months.
I rather liked the idea I had painting the city with green and gardens popping up everywhere!
Yes...that sign does remind one of the sense of being swallowed up in regulations which some places inspire....

Sanne said...

i love your new work!!!

Sophie Munns said...

Big thankyou Sanne!

Anonymous said...

I bet the cafe is in the west end..

love it over there..
and also richard tipping - we have one that says "play" and its wonderful.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Denise...west end is great ...but this one is paddington ...surprise ... surprise ....

Tipping's work is fabulous...great to have one at home!
see you,