Saturday, May 29, 2010

...over to South Africa this morning

a warm
thank you 
to Robyn Gordon,
 South African based,
a lively and 
passionate artist
working on carved 
wooden totems 
and panels.

Experiment by Robyn Gordon

This morning I received a note to say  Seed pod inspiration story was posted. Robyn had made contact re using images with various other artists working with this source of inspiration. So I am delighted to find my clan... or more precisely... to be included with this fine company in a wonderful Post. Thank you Robyn...there's so much to explore at this post and something fresh to bring to the Homage to the seed blog!

Wild dagga, Leonotis leonorus

Art Propelled is exciting to explore for many reasons - seeing what Robyn is working on is always a treat, but there are posts on books she loves, interiors, places she visits like this image above taken at the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu. Her features of artists are broad-reaching and excellent and I find her African sensibility draws her to post things that have a particularly of the earth feel to them... ancient, dimensional, rich, but also various and unexpected at times.
Here's something from Dec 4 2008...

Swans nest maze, 40 m dimeter earthwork. Read more here.

I'll finish with the last image on her seed pod story... from the Omo tribe, body paint and decorations. Photo by Hans Silvester.

Friday, May 28, 2010


... actually yesterday now... last thing before bed a quick little post on my day...and wouldn't you know it... its after midnight!
Q: So why this first photo below?
A: Because I live next door to a school tennis court and this morning when I was trying to catch a little more shut eye I had to listen to the very loud, surprisingly competitive conversation of two tennis coaches. Let me tell you ... this was louder than usual...and I heard every word... did I want to? NO! And the sky wasn't blue either like the day I took this photo!
Not to worrry! It was a painting day in my home studio and nothing was going to put me off. I had my porridge with bananas and currants and headed out to my fav Cafe for a delicious coffee and chat and bought some of their amazing organic sourdough rolls to bring home.

Here you can see my shot of a recent visit there... with toasted organic roll, buttered and spread sparingly with much loved australian condiment -vegemite. For me too salty when its lathered on!
Simple... coffee 3/4 full...not too much milk and strong quality Italian style brew! Brewbakers is the best by far in my area for this sort of thing! And conversation abounds here... good people coming by!

Home again and to the back verandah is where I paint when I want good light - this time of year its but never too cold. Even with a bit of rain its still a wonderful place to work. Summer-time it can be  ridiculously hot... so one makes the most of this time of year!

I like this quote below... I have posted it before... ages ago... but its never  a waste of time to be reminded of this! Today though it was a matter of simply getting on with what I'm working on... with some time given to going back through the wonderful book I have dipped into quite a bit this year -"Rainforest fruits of Queensland" by William and Wendy Cooper. I keep borrowing it from the Botanic Gardens Library - at $300+ its not something you rush off and buy BUT I will say its spectacularly worth it!

One does not just dip into this book ... one kind of climbs into the rainforest layers of it its so dense and magnificent. On reading of a species that may be found in the Clarence valley of NSW where I grew up I go off into a reverie of trying to recall the bush and places where I might have seen this or that. in progress and the Homage to the Seed journal I'm keeping above and below - the Cooper rainforest book I mentioned is also open above. I was very keen to get on with painting but felt the need to go back through the Cooper book, freshly documenting, with very quick sketches and brief notes, some interesting forms in the the capsules and seeds of various species. I'm loving this way of becoming more familiar with the biodiversity of the rainforests and similarly rich habitats... recognising the enormous numbers of species and seeing the variations that can occur just through this simple research is so fascinating to consider. Tonight, noticing an indigenous version of nutmeg and reading that it has little scent led to wondering about the extraordinary discoveries that people made through Millennia, the risks when identifying if something was edible, what properties it had and so on.
I'm finding ethnobotany more and more fascinating and realising that its piecing together some of my own various passions for knowledge that to date didn't seem to link that well.

I also came across a fascinating read Hybrid: the History and Science of Plant Breeding by UK based Noel Kingsbury that was published only last year by University of Chicago Press at the Garden's Library this week.

Latest Book !

 I'm still hardly scratching the surface of this no doubt timely book - all 492 pages of it. Its contains a series of topics that as they get closer to the present day heat up in terms of potential for controversy. I am noticing the writer's sustained attempt to address these topics with thorough research and due consideration. Still too soon for me to have formed a strong view of his take on current political implications of what is occuring in the complex field of genetics, patents and such. I will say that his coverage is immensely broad  but there is some clearly controversial material which I just noticed on his blog Noel's Garden Blog he owns as "unfashionable ideas".
The sense I did get in reading his book is that there is perhaps not a huge amount of material around that seriously attempts to cover this broad spectrum of human history on Plant breeding. So whilst some things made me sit up sharply and want to pick a fight I was having to address how little I knew of what was being raised and I found it a welcome book for bringing to the table a great many enormously relevant topics. much for a quick post...still its been a great way to wind down, and reflect a little on this day just passed.
Ciao! S x
You may click on the image below to enlarge.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Faridah Cameron

I saved the link to this Australian artist's work after liking some images I'd seen some time ago. Consequently where I came across this artists work is now beyond recall but you can visit Faridah Camerons website here and her home page has an email address.

Painting 1

Sane stars. Acrylic on canvas, 12 panels exch 400 x 400 mm

Painting 4

Munus. acrylic on canvas, 1150 1250 mm

Painting 1

Feral Icons. Acrylic on canvas, 1250 x 1150 mm

Painting 2

Rock Pool Starry Night. Acrylic on canvas, 1600 x 800 mm

Painting 12

Eternity Travels With Us. Acrylic on canvas, 1250 x 1150 mm

Painting 2

Acrylic on canvas, 870 x 740 mm

Painting 6

Acrylic on canvas, 900 x 900 mm

Something about the work struck me as quite singular..although it seems to refer to several genres of painting... and I particularly like her take on pattern which is so strong but not predictable. The most recent work is shown first.

Text shown on website: 

Faridah Cameron is an Australian visual artist. Originally from Melbourne, her work has evolved from her experiences in many different cultural environments in Australia and overseas.

Her work with international theatre director Neil Cameron led to the co-founding of a visual theatre company in Queensland in 1993. As artistic director and principal artist she oversaw the design and creation of stunning large-scale imagery for dozens of events across Australia.
Faridah has lectured and conducted workshops in fine arts and creativity in schools, universities and community settings across Australia.
In 2002 Faridah altered the focus of her work to full time studio practice. In her paintings, she explores the complexities and implications of our relationship to the natural environment. Her imagery is underpinned by a longstanding interest in mythology and cultural interpretation.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The energy that creates them...

"Naked I came into the world, but brush strokes cover me, language raises me, music rhythms me. Art is my rod and staff, my resting place and shield, and not mine only, for art leaves nobody out. Even those from whom art has been stolen away by tyranny, by poverty, begin to make it again. If the arts did not exist, at every moment, someone would begin to create them, in song, out of dust and mud, and although the artifacts might be destroyed, the energy that creates them is not destroyed."
- Jeanette Winterson
Art Objects
the constant reader's archived commonplace book

Q: but does it float?

A: If you've come across that title before you probably know the fascinating website I found the following sources of inspiration there catergorise under Macro/Micro which I decided to share with you here!

 In network theory, a node’s relationship to other networks is more important than its own uniqueness. Similarly, today we situate ourselves less as individuals and more as the product of multiple networks
Generative artworks by Keith Peters
Title: Kazys Varnelis

Drawings and title by Robert Horvitz

Drawings by Simon Evans

Paintings by Mark Warren Jacques

Mark Bradford is an artist who incorporates ephemera from urban environments into mixed-media works on canvas that are rich in texture and visual complexity. Though he has experimented throughout his career with many different artistic media, including public art, installations, and video, his signature and 
best-known work takes the form of massively scaled, abstract collages that he assembles out of signage and other materials collected, most frequently, from his own neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles.”

Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, scientific illustrator and science artist, was born in 1944 in Zurich, Switzerland. For 25 years she worked as a scientific illustrator for the scientific department of the Natural History Museum at the University of Zurich. Since the catastrophe of Chernobyl in 1986, she has collected, studied and painted morphologically disturbed insects, which she finds in the fallout areas of Chernobyl as well as near nuclear installations.

Separated from the familiar, confronted with the unfamiliar, and reflexed only by the brain’s mechanical feedback
katrin moller painter

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it’s forever
Marcus Mrugalla

Isolated human particles floating weightlessly through a magnetic field of fabricated pleasure, occasionally colliding

Oskar Fischinger paintings form the 1960's

Oskar Fischinger (22 June 1900, Gelnhausen, Germany — 31 January 1967, Los Angeles) was an abstract animator, filmmaker, and painter. His animated films that were partly influenced by the poetic abstraction of Kandinsky’s paintings were among the first to mix high art and mass culture.

More info on Oskar Fischinger:

Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn

Bridget Louise Riley

It is a matter of perfect indifference where a thing originated; the only question is: “Is it true in and for itself?”
Vince Contarino

There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres
Mona Hatoum

Then again, it’s the same old story

Kellyanne Burns

Morphogenesis is the biological process that causes an organism to develop its shape:
Via Xavier Hufkens

As I approach, it bestirs itself and moves deeper into the thorny swamp of dissent
Joel Shapiro

Outside is pure energy and colorless substance, all of the rest happens through the mechanism of our senses. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings
Phillip Otto Runge

Hilma f Klint : The hierarchical way we pictured the world no longer seemed adequate or accurate
Through her work with the group 'the Five' af Klint created experimental automatic drawing as early as 1896, leading her towards an inventive geometric visual language capable of conceptualising invisible forces both of the inner and outer worlds. Quite apart from their diagrammatic purpose the paintings have a freshness and a modern aesthetic of tentative line and hastily captured image: a segmented circle, a helix bisected and divided into a spectrum of lightly painted colours. She continued prolifically to add to the body of work amounting to over 1000 pieces until 1941. She requested that it should not be shown until 20 years after the end of her life.—Wikipedia

Paul Henry Ramirez painting

Susan Aldworth (1955) works in etching, digital print, film and installation. Her current practice is inspired by medical science, focusing on the human brain and issues of personal identity.

Ryan Browning

And the last words are from Travis Stearns. All images were found at But does it float with other images and links for each artist ( and many more)