Sunday, September 25, 2011

Speed Dating for Curators and Artists with Bpigs, Berlin

This afternoon I participated in a workshop called Speed Portfolio Viewing run by artist run initiative Bpigs . Bpigs describes itself as

A PR Network for exhibition spaces and art related venues in Berlin; it includes a printed guide & map, a weekly newsletter and a blog. BPIGS comes out every three months and it is distributed for free in project spaces, galleries and bookstores.  The focus of BPIGS is on showcasing Berlin's contemporary art scene from the artist point of view.”

This is the second time they have run this event and it is essentially like speed dating for curators and artists. Artists are required to submit a portfolio and are selected based on compatibility with the program of curators. I was one of 25 artists to participate.

There have been events like this happening in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, not so much in Perth – it’s not necessary given that everyone knows each other as the scene is so small. So it was my first time participating in such an event and I spoke with 5 curators each for a period of 12 minutes about my work.

I met curator Lauren Reid who is actually from Sydney (there are so many Australians in Berlin!), who works with a gallery I admire called GRANTPIRRI Lauren is completing a residency with Node Centre for Curatorial Studies - another interesting professional arts organization - which for artists does studio visits with groups of curators based on particular research topics. Node was initiated and is run by Perla Montelongo and Ignacio García Gómez del Valle

The other curators I met were

The event was good and I enjoyed it. It was well organized and the curators were friendly and interested and the artists weren’t too nervous.

People often have mixed opinions about this kind of “meet and greet” events in relation to artists and curators. But in a city that is overwhelmed with artists, curators, designers and all kinds of creative activity, for me it presented the perfect opportunity to accelerate connecting with people working in the art scene in Berlin. There is no obligation on the side of the curators to put you in shows, just that they are open to the possibility.

There was also the team from Niche Berlin present to meet artists and chat about their practices.

For anyone interested below is a few of the other participating artists picked at random to give an idea of the breadth and quality of participants.

Regina de Miguel
Katrin Friedmann

Bpigs has published some feedback from the artists involved here

I forgot to take my camera so here is a Youtube clip of a dog on a skateboard. Because everybody needs a little comic relief from art....sometimes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eness, AGIdeas and the Mobius - Melbourne

Earlier this year i was privileged to present a 20 minute artist talk about my practice to an audience of 2500 people at the AGIdeas International Design Week in Melbourne. AGIdeas is one of the largest and most prestigious design festivals in the world which offers an extraordinary program of events that celebrate design excellence and promotes the value of design driven innovation. I was pleased to present at AGIdeas in 2011 as one of 40 international creatives. 

Benjamin Ducroz - a Melbourne based artist also spoke about his work in stop animation film. He spoke about a project he was just about start filming in the days preceding the conference....and was asking for volunteers to come and help him! (Giving an artist an open mic and a willing audience is always a calculated risk!) But he must of had plenty of hands on deck to film what looks like a epic project. Both of our practices are influenced by the mobius strip - see the results in the below video - sorry i couldn't embed the VIMEO link.

Also view highlights of the AGIdeas conference in the below clip.

Speaker highlights for me were:
Stuart MacLachlan, Illustration 
Brian Steendyk, Architect
Something Splendid, Graphic Design
Sanky from ALLOFUS design
Francis Rings, Choreographer from Bangarra Dance Theatre

And too many more to mention. If you are interested in creative practices try and get  along one year to the conference, it is well worth the money.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Studio Update - Early September

I am just finishing a work for one of my shows next year. For the past 18 months I have been working on a series of sculptures under the title Revolutions, part of my ongoing investigations of the nexus between architecture, dress and body theories. It’s a process whereby I turn simple 2D shapes into complex 3D outcomes. I take a shape which I cut repeatedly and connect together to create an object that expands and contracts. Working from the foundation of pattern and dress making, these sculptures are built to either be installed on the wall and floor, or more often hovering in space. In their passive state the works are flat objects and when hung extend into active 3D outcomes which vary in form and size depending on installation. Each work is non-orientable which confronts the ergonomics of the human body that I describe as organic infrastructures, with equal parts rhythm and chaos. I use stencils and spray paint to create colour and surface designs which evoke movement and changing mass. To see previous works from this series check out my website here and the catalogue from the exhibition here

 Piecing together the order - these works usually have between 30 and 50 pieces to them.

Two halves........

 ....make a whole.

Berlin Art Junction im GIZ-Haus Berlin

The other night I went to an exhibition opening for Berlin Art Junction – an organization whom promotes the work of young and emerging artists based in Berlin. BAJ places exhibitions at times in corporate contexts, and as such this exhibition was held in the offices of GIZ-Haus, Having exhibitions outside of gallery contexts are always a challenge. At times you face dealing with unsuitable interior design fit out, issues with lighting, pulling an audience to a location off the gallery circuit, which in my experience in Perth can be hit and miss, and working to create a meaningful exhibition that accommodates the ergonomics of how the space is used when it is not being a “gallery”. Having said that it’s a great way to expand audiences, and by placing work in a corporate context perhaps raising the possibility of sales, and overcoming all the challenges faced must give one a smug satisfaction.

Two works stood out for me – one by my darling friend Georgina Criddle (biased yes, but you would be to if you knew how much of a wonderful human being she is as well as a talented artist), and another work by Jennifer Oellerich. Criddle showed work from here Graffiti Tapestry project which was an outcome of a residency at the MEET Factory in Prague. The work by Oellerich was the most successfully integrated into the space as seen in the photos below. Check out more of her work here

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stitch and Bitch at Linkle sewing café - Kreuzberg

Tonight I visited Linkle Stitch and Bitch – a sewing café in Kreuzberg. Sourcing materials and equipment is an exercise in pavement pounding and searching in a new city. But when I was in Paris a friend of mine mentioned there were sewing cafes where you use the facilities on a pay by the hour basis, so when I arrived in Berlin I was hoping to fine something similar. The place is run by a woman called Linda whom also runs the sewing centre at Modulor  (it’s like Disneyland for creatives – the happiest place in the world, an amazing materials shop with EVERTHING including architectural model making bits and pieces) - I have left penniless every time I have gone there. Linkle is a little closer to home and cheaper at 5 Euros an hour, not bad, and the facilities are excellent and Linda is there to help out which is always handy even for experienced sewers! It’s a cool friendly environment in which to work – really reminded me of work rooms in uni, casual chatter and music in the back ground, a nice respite from the solitude of studio work. So I got some good work done. 

There is something about sewing that brings out my sweet side. Here is a Youtube clip of a puppy that can't roll over. Aw, so cute. Puppies.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

PROGRAM and n.k.b. – Exhibition Openings

More openings last night, the first I went to was at PROGRAM – an art space in Mitte dedicated to collaborations between art and architecture. The space comprises of a gallery, residency, library and workspaces for groups and individuals. The project which debuted last night was a collaboration between artists Julian Charriere and Andreas Greiner whom collected microbes throughout Germany which they subsequently bred in vitrines in the gallery. The moulds collected created drawings which were positioned within the gallery corresponding to a map of Germany and the locality in which they were found, and the height of the vitrines corresponded with the altitude from where they were collected. The installation was well executed and accompanied by a series of stills from the artists travels during the collection process. The artists have worked together and separately and are members of Das Numen (, a Berlin based art collective that probes questions both biological and mystical. For more info about the exhbition

Something I'd like to see more of - more pooches in galleries!

Around the corner from PROGRAM is gallery n.k.b. ( . The show which debuted last night was Kunst und Philiosphie – Art and Philosophy a group show of artists whom were invited to present a project defined by their relation to philosophy. I didn’t see anything that I thought was especially compelling but the space is great and there will be a series of lectures coming up in conjunction with the exhibition on Art and Philosophy by group of European philosophers and writers – most of which will be in English so I look forward to seeing more at the space.

Image above: Thomas Hirshhorn

Work in middle of gallery: Swantje Hielscher

Image above: Christian Schwarzwald

And - riding past Check Point Charlie on the way home - surreal!