One Sky, Many Stories

One Sky, Many Stories
What do stars mean to you?
A Griffyn Ensemble collaboration

Belconnen Arts Centre

Main Gallery until 1 November 2018

 work in progress, 2018, gouache on gallery wall

work in progress, 2018, gouache on gallery wall

It’s been wonderful to participate in a creative development project at Belconnen Arts Centre and to have the time to experiment with new ideas and processes - I’ve been working away at a large-scale composition of abstract organic shapes drawn directly onto the curved gallery wall with gouache. Many thoughts have crossed my mind while letting the drawing evolve one layer/intersection at a time: the swirling dynamism of galaxies, distance and the fading light as we look further into the past, the blue light of new stars, the relationships between points that become constellations… The shapes I have used are inverted, distorted details drawn from my recent monotype prints of relatively small-scale earthly origins - eroded gullies and rock formations. My work and thoughts have also been a response the music of the Griffyn Ensemble who instigated this project.

What do the stars mean to you? The Griffyn Ensemble, directed by Michael Sollis, have been asking this question since they first performed Southern Sky in 2012, and recently travelled to Tennant Creek to discover and create some more stories and songs about the stars. Members of the Griffyn Ensemble joined Arrernte man Warren H. Williams, Tennant Creek musicians and astronomer Fred Watson in August this year in Canberra for development and performance of this work.

One Sky, Many Stories explores western and Indigenous conceptions of the night sky, as well as personal reflections from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds. Interviews from Central Australians relating to the night sky were projected alongside music performed by The Griffyn Ensemble from their iconic Southern Sky, as a springboard to begin creative dialogue and development of new work in the Main Gallery at Belconnen Arts Centre.

The gallery has been transformed into a site for creative exploration with artists working in the space investigating their ideas and responses to the night sky. This is the ‘embryonic’ phase of creative development, intended to open the possibility that ideas and works beginning here will be developed in more depth over the coming year and be featured in the celebrations and launch of the completed Belconnen Arts Centre in early 2020.

Anyone from the broader community is invited to record stories and reflections on the question ‘what do the stars mean to you?’ through written text, video recordings or by adding a woven star wish to our gallery wall; visit us to experience this Inspiring Australia initiative, which is supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week.

Non Human Being

It was a pleasure to be part of Tributary Projects Non Human Being exhibition curated by Grace Blake in September. The exhibition featured one of my large-scale monotype prints along-side work by Kai Wasikowski, Mahala Hill and Tristan Jalleh. Non Human Being focused on the way the biosphere, for better or worse, must respond to the legacy left behind by humans, and envisions a post-anthropocene world in which the environment we have created for ourselves serves other species.  

Biennale of Australian Art

Just over 2 weeks left to see my solo exhibition as part of the Biennale of Australian Art (BOAA) in Ballarat. Verge combines drawing and printmaking processes in response to an encounter with shoreline erosion from my perspective as a kayaker and walker exploring the perimeter of Lake Victoria in Gippsland earlier this year. My work is among great company with 150 Australian living artists showing in multiple venues across Ballarat. You’ll find Verge in an amazing historic bacon factory, the George Farmer Building until Nov 6, open daily 10am - 5pm, tickets at https://www.boaa.net.au/

Verge series install, 2018, George Farmer Building, Biennale of Australian Art, Ballarat.

Open Studio Day + latest exhibitions

Please read on for information on 2 exhibitions opening this week in Canberra & Melbourne as well as an Open Studio event this weekend.

Open Studio Day

Saturday 28 July 11.30am - 4pm

M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Cres Griffith, Canberra



If you're curious about what I've been up to in the studio since moving across to M16 Artspace in April, this Saturday is a great opportunity to stop by for a look and a chat. I'm in Studio #1. There will be a Champagne start at 11.30am, live jazz by Tilt trio and lots of studios and art organisations to peruse. This is also your best chance to see my latest large drawing before it heads to Ballarat for the Biennale of Australian Art in September. 

I am pleased to be part of Subterrain, a Flinders Lane Gallery Pop-up exhibition now on display at Collins Place Gallery in Melbourne's CBD (Level 1, 45 Collins St). There will be a closing party Friday 3 August 5-7pm for Melbourne Art Week. In this exhibition natural formations and geological structures provide points of departure for my work and that of Hannah Quinlivan, Jacob Leary, Zac Koukoravas, Melinda Schawel, Dan Lorrimer and Agneta Ekholm. If you can't make it to Melbourne you can always view the works and read Phe Luxford's essay online.

I am also part of the M16 Artspace Studio Artists' Exhibition, which opens this Thursday 26 July from 6pm in Canberra. Please join us for a drink courtesy of BentSpoke Brewing Co. and Quarry Hill Wines. The exhibition continues until 12 August (open Wed-Sun 12-5pm).

Now on display at Collins Place Gallery, Melbourne:
Ghost V, 2018, pencil and monotype on paper, 228 cm x 112cm (photo by Brenton McGeachie).