Friday, June 1, 2012

where to start? New things afoot!

returning to a familiar place...

Don't quite know what's been in the ether of late ... seems as if things are moving though. Back in February I wondered how the year would find momentum as I happily focused on clearing out the small home studio space and getting work going there ... first on concertina books and then larger canvases. Late February I started tutoring at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Visualisation for First year students in Architecture.

Post here about QUT tutoring

It's been an excellent experience getting to know staff at QUT since back in 2010 through invitations from both Architecture and Interior Design faculties to present on the project Homage to the Seed as well as my Journal process which has essentially been the back-bone of an art practice continuing from secondary school days. As a young student it was beyond my imagining to think of myself being or becoming an artist, yet I lived and breathed art of one kind or another and was always enamoured with books and journals.

Music studies competed with a passion for Art whilst I was growing up... I learnt piano from the age of  8.  Five people in my home played piano, and sang, and were expected to overcome nerves and compete in Eistedffods. Suffering from nerves quite badly at that point I could never see myself taking music further. By contrast Art was a soothing tonic for the soul... happening as it did in quiet anonymity. One could please oneself what one did... there was no stage, no audience,  and no adjudicator deciding whether one's technique was up to scratch or the feel for a particular composer's work was there.

Even then Journals were important... over time they led to a depth of immersion in ideas, at times offered profound solace, other times sparked intensely stimulating explorations ... all moods, ideas and impulses could find room in the pages of a journal.  Its indeed gratifying to see years of quiet unseen work has relevance and many possibilities to develop further. Its been such fertile ground for the continuity of an art practise not dependant on funds, audience, or any other externals. What I now see is a process that speaks volumes... interest accumulates for the long-term aspects of the humble, ground-hog day working life of artists. A mouthful that.. but I'm sure many will know exactly what is meant and have that feeling about their own work!

We may have the technology and resources these days to build skyscrapers and mammoth architectural structures and yet the architects we love and truly admire may be the designers behind a particular small-scale domestic building. Integrity does not rest on who creates the biggest hit, the most famous idea, or is the youngest to succeed on the big stage. Integrity comes in so many shapes and sizes!

This engagement at QUT has been a wonderful introduction to new ideas and realms of thought through those I've tutored with and met during the period. Mid-semester, when not at QUT, the Residency at UQ, University of Queensland, took place at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. You can see posts on all three blogs about the exciting experience.

in the Lab

Ive still to photograph and download all the work from that period so that is high on the to-do list!

On completion of this fascinating introduction into the Molecular world I was back at QUT for the remaining weeks of semester, seeing what students were up to and working alongside them on their final project to make a book that reflected the essence of their journey through the semester in Visualisation. I will photograph this work at their show in a couple of weeks and share it with you as soon as possible... Its been fascinating to see it all coming together!

In the midst of the UQ Residency I broke off for four days to attend the Dorothy Caldwell Workshop at Bunya which I wrote about a few posts back. As readers of that post saw.... much inspiration came from that unique time of working with others... all of us highly engaged in processes Dorothy was introducing and so poetically enlivening our thinking on.

So the year which began in a quiet and slow tempo did gain quite a spirited pace before I knew it and shows no sign of slowing down now. I find myself contemplating DNA sequencing and other  extraordinary material Scientist Joshua Mylne introduced me to and then turning to the expansive, soulful thoughts of Dorothy Caldwell's Human Mark's workshop. Then there's all the ideas and learnings from the QUT experience in architecture and design... and on top of all that there are the conversations and images filtering in from bloggers and online exchanges around the globe. I value that so much for the engaging and often consolidating influence they have.

This week I found that a new project I proposed for North Queensland to run later this year will go ahead. It will allow me to pick up the threads of the Rainforest plants, fruits and seed capsules which became my passion during the 2010 Botanic Gardens Residency. More on that when it comes through...  I was very excited on Monday afternoon to hear it will run I can tell you! I never been to the far north so this is something I've long been hoping to do.

Yesterday I met with Helena Lloyd, an artist friend who made me beneficiary of a Studio Residency at her Gallery in the second half of 2010. It was during the year at the Gardens... and in the challenging situation being on a formal residency with numerous outcomes expected but no studio provided. Helena's offer was so critically well-timed and I am forever grateful to she and her husband Trevor Lloyd for this significant in-kind support.

The studio is below the Gallery pictured here. Percolator Gallery is booked by artists on a weekly basis to exhibit their work and is a much needed For-hire Gallery Space for the region's artists to tap into.  Working from her home studio allows Helena to get on with a new era for her own painting for her with family grown up and the Gallery now a well-established venue. I will be writing a post here very soon about Helena's Exhibition coming up here in the 2nd week of June... opening Friday 15th of June in the early evening.  More on that soon!

Percolator Gallery at 135 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

the studio below the Gallery... back when I first moved in august 2010

My exciting news to finish the week on is that Helena has once again proposed a Studio Residency at her Paddington Gallery and yesterday I spent several delightful hours viewing her recent work for an upcoming show and talking through arrangements.

By the time I left with the key for the studio at Percolator Gallery my mind was buzzing with ideas... partly inspired by the conversations around Helena's unique experience behind her own work and upcoming exhibition... plus the flood of ideas generated by the thought of returning to this wonderful studio space.


(via Sophie Munns)
Click this link to participate in helping this artist!
Sophie in the Percolator Studio: November 2010 - photo by Helena Lloyd

I feel so blessed to return to this wonderful space and this view...

view from the studio at Percolator Gallery in Paddington, Brisbane

May you have a very good weekend no matter where you are and I hope to get into the flow before too long with my online communications... Ive been missing visiting you all with all this going on! I'm ready for some quiet times painting and clearing my head I can tell you!

Sophia x

                                 Photo's from Helena's website 
ArtistHelena Lloyd
TitlePreparing paper on Stradbroke Island

ArtistHelena Lloyd
TitlePandanus No 4: Coolum
MediumMixed Media
SupportArches Paper


ArtPropelled said...

Things are buzzing over there Sophie! Congrats on the Studio Residency! Wishing you a peaceful, painting, head-clearing weekend.

Sophie Munns said...
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Sophie Munns said...
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Sophie Munns said...

Thank you Robyn!
came at an excellent time.... it was bursting at the seems at home!

Valerianna said...

Congrats on the studio res. and the new project, look forward to hearing about that!

Caterina Giglio said...

oh lovely! so busy Sohie! congrats on the studio residency! that is wonderful, great photo of you in the studio too... hope you have a beautiful weekend too! xo

Printed Material said...

Sophie, you are so energised and focussed. Send some of it my way please! Good luck with the residency. I hope you can continue to juggle all these things successfully as I love seeing what you're up to! I am still inspired by that fabulous Dorothy Caldwell post and envy you that four day workshop so much. Have a fab weekend.

Sophie Munns said...

Lovely to hear from you all...

Thanks Valerianna,
All those sighs when viewing your new studio....and now there will be somewhere of my own to fill for a time... ! Recently felt like I would burst it got so crowded here at home.

thank you indeed... last time I was at this studio life was so flat out... this time I know I am going to feel a bit more rested and focused which is great. As winter closes in here its a little chilly ... I'm making soups and doing some sewing at night... finding that so relaxing!

Hi Lesley,
You could write to Dorothy in case she plans to get to the UK... it was a wonderful workshop for sure!
I think that doing things with beginning and end-dates and somewhere else to work has been such a positive way to manage lack of space at home and the need for outside contexts instead of the solo effort constantly...everything solo!
You're probably working as hard as me Lesley...just that you maybe maintain a whole lot of everyday things that I have trimmed down or eliminated in order to focus. I've seriously unlearned some lifetime pastimes and habits to allow space for this very particular kind of active era. A few negatives have become positive agents of change... if that makes sense.

... soon I hope to pop in and visit all of you!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful!!!! Simply Wonderful!!!

Congratulations on all the new beginnings and all the previous months of hard work and excitement.

I can't wait to see how this all turns out!


Sophie Munns said...

Thank you for your warmth Mary...
Interesting... in writing this I recognised for how many years I most-often chose to perpetuate anonymity. Lingering discomfort with the distracting noise happening around "audience and adjudicators" resulted in a lot of holding back ... ridiculously so ... and so this busy few years is a serious attempt to redress that reluctance by lining up things that I then have to turn up and do.
Anxiety the night before a new start is major... its my curiosity and interest in how others think that helps absorb me into the new context... so now I keep seeking out those opportunities because they bridge that gap between studio and public so well... forming stimulating and (potentially) mutually alive engagements.
It takes all kinds... I know much of this age-old resistance has been broken down via blogging and the blogging community... communications here have chipped away at old thinking, easing me into not just doing things in a far more out there way over the past three years...but feeling less unsettled when out there.
I know people assume if you write and speak passionately or in a way that puts you right out there it reflects confidence. But to be more accurate what it's actually reflecting in my case is the depth of discontent I feel with current public discourse and future planetary directions. Caring deeply one finds a voice as one is compelled to act.
S xo

roz said...

seems the year is travelling just as it should Sophie. congrats on returning to that tranquil yet vibrant spot in Paddington and to whatever is happening in FNQ ..that lush vegetation and relaxed way of life is truly a magnet for me ..and I am sure will provide abundant stimulation and gorgeous subjects for whatever you wish to do there.

Sophie Munns said...

Lovely to hear from you Roz!
The Bunya workshop still resonates loud and clear... a number of nights I've spent stitching seed pods on linen in front of TV films and taking it easy.
Shall have to talk with you about the far north before too long.The studio is a delightful new chapter indeed!
Hope you have had success in diverting those bush turkeys from your garden...and that your year contains much inspiration yet. I certainly imagine so!

em said...

Sophie, glad to hear great things are happening for you! Sorry I've been awol... same old story. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your blog!

Shell said...

It sounds like things are buzzing indeed! I hope your exhibition went well - I ended up in WA working, missing both your show and my friends birthday party. All well, it was a great experience! I don't know how you fit so much stuff into your life - it's so inspiring! When you move into the percolator studio let me know and I shall come and visit you if that's ok - I am always visiting Paddington as I live not so far away. Glad to read that all is fabulous and vibrant in your world!!

Heli said...

first time here OOOH. Thank you for all inspiration. Lots of inspiration.

Velma said...

wow. i'm so happy for you, this tale of happenings on so many fronts is bountiful, i can't wait to be in oz!

annamaria said...

Congrats Sophie, this residency sounds fabulous!! I am really looking forward to the work that will be created in this gorgeous space:)
(Sophie, you astonish me with your abundant energy- you rock!, really!)