Monthly Archives: August 2013

Recently I have had the pleasure of showing parts of Queensland to visiting International Guests. One could assume that this may be a thankless task full of one way questions and one way answers.

Not at all! Through this process something quite profound struck me.

My guests gave me a perspective; a childlike view or fresh take on my surroundings.  And further they gave me an insight into just how deeply I have connected with flora and fauna personally throughout my life.

Coastal Casuarina Foliage Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

Coastal Casuarina Foliage Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

Passing a coastal Casuarina with them, I found joy in describing not only the visual beauty of this modest tree, but also the sound it makes when wind gently caresses its draping fronds; causing them to sway rhythmically with a hush hush hush sound. I questioned if this sound and the sound of the word Casuarina had a tertiary link?

Pandanus Fruit Part. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Fruit Part. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Fruit Whole. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Fruit Whole. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Frond Cellulose. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Frond Cellulose. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Spiralling Growth. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Spiralling Growth. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Prop Roots. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Prop Roots. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Further along on finding a Pandanus fruit I talked excitedly about the beauty of each part of the Pandanus; from the heavy fruit; to the serrated frond and its underlying cellulose structure; and pattern of growth supported by its succulent, if not phallic, props.

New Gum Leaves. Photography Christina Waterson.

New Gum Leaves. Photography Christina Waterson.

New Gum Leaves Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

New Gum Leaves Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

Wondering if the gum trees were OK my friends asked me “Are they dead leaves… is that tree dying?” “On the contrary,” I explained “Its the gum’s new leaves with their brilliant flash of colour”.

Paper Bark Tree Grove. Photography Christina Waterson.

Paper Bark Tree Grove. Photography Christina Waterson.

Montague Road Paper Bark Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

Montague Road Paper Bark Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

A favourite were the Paper Barks (Melaleuca); flush with water and a blush of seemingly endless distinct paper-thin and fine fibrous layers. Paper barks are very relaxing to be around and to touch. As children my brothers and I played in a wet grove (probably more accurately called a Melaleuca swamp land) where we built cubbies. It was always a cool and shady place during our hot summer holidays.

Even though now I pass these things everyday (on my way to coffee, work or various appointments) it struck me just how much I love Australian flora’s modest, diverse and sometimes contradictory nature. I suspect sharing in this way may be similar to the excitement of describing something for the first time to your children.

An eye-opening process that makes you never take for granted your surroundings or the insights of the people around you.

Six Jewellers Six Ways Exhibition at Ari Athens Jewellery

Six Jewellers Six Ways at Ari Athans Jewellery. Photography Christina Waterson.

Six Jewellers Six Ways opened with excitement at Ari Athans Jewellery, in Brisbane, at the beginning of July 2013. This group exhibition featured new explorations by jewellers Danielle Boal, Anna Varendorff, Julie Smeros, Jane Bowring, Bibi Locke and Ari Athans, and coincided with The National Jewellers and Metalsmith’s Conference.

“…Six Ways” refers to each jewellers’ experiments and idiosyncrasies that make their practice and jewellery unique. The exhibition maps Ari Athans’ professional relationships with the practitioners – formed over many years. A personal knowledge of each jeweller’s “way” stems from the experience of working closely together on Ari’s production pieces in her studio.

Danielle Boals' Pendants

Danielle Boals’ Pendants. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Danielle Boals’ pendants for the exhibition draw on Pareidolia or “the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist (as in considering the moon to have human features)”.

“I thought it was funny” states Danielle,”how such simple shapes can so quickly be interpreted as a human face.”

Glazed ceramic, brass, cotton, and polyester were combined to form Danielle’s haunting pendants.

Anna Varendorff

Anna Varendorff’s new collection for the exhibition explores the gesture of drawing. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Anna Varendorff sharing her beautiful Jewellery

Anna Varendorff shares the inspiration behind her beautiful new range. Photography Christina Waterson.

My favourite peice form the night.

A guest trying on my favourite piece form Anna’s new collection. Photography Christina Waterson.

Melbourne jeweller Anna Varendorff presented a dynamic body of work using insulated electrical wire composed with traditional materials.  These new pieces were playful and reminiscent of squiggles or doodles. They reinforced Anna’s love of drawing in space; but in a free and relaxed way that diverges from her past completely minimal and reductionist collections.

Julie Smeros

Faceted Rings by Julie Smeros. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Guests try on Julie Smero's rings.

Guests try on Julie Smeros’ faceted rings. (Julie right). Photography Christina Waterson.

Julie Smeros'”patience and dedication to detail … has been with her since our days in kindergarten” recalls Ari. Julie explored the lost wax casting technique to produce the series of faceted silver rings for “...Six Ways”.

Jane Bowring

Jane Bowring’s elegant rings. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Balance and measure underpin the work of Jane Bowring. Each permutation and combination of process, form and material are informed by Jane’s avid research.

Bibi Locke Brooch

Bibi Locke brooch. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

“…Six Ways” provided an opportunity for Bibi Locke to present her latest retail range; closely informed by a  recent study sojourn in New York. The range explored regeneration and degrees of permanence within the natural and urban landscapes.

Ari Athens

Ari Athans’ Earrings alongside one of her paintings. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Ari Athans’ playful earrings for the exhibition were made from detritus plastics found at North Gorge beach, Stradbroke Island. Working on this series while preparing for a solo painting exhibition at Edwina Corlette Gallery at the time, Ari found the plastic’s softened yet geometric shapes against the pumice resonated deeply;

“I immediately connected the plastic’s shapes and colours to my brushwork. I started collecting like mad. It was quite a contrast – the pumice with the plastic. Different origins but they travelled together and deposited on this beach because they share the same density.” Ari.


King tides and heavy seas revealed the rich vein of pumice and plastics during Ari’s family visit to the island. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

The exhibition wasabuzz with people enjoying the new works by each of the jewellers.

The exhibition was abuzz with people enjoying the new works by each of the jewellers. Photography Christina Waterson.

Six Jewellers Six Ways in essence reflects the mutual respect held between these practitioners, and celebrates the differences or their creative approach.  It also marks the important ways established practitioners, like Ari Athans, continue to support, challenge and showcase the creative practice of peers.

Thank you Ari Athans for another delightful exhibition opening. Photography of the jewellers’ individual works (as noted) courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

RECENT 2002 Exhibition Invitation - A beuatiful Transparency designed by Angela Spillane.

RECENT 2002 Exhibition Invitation – A beautiful transparency designed by the talented Angela Layton, now Practice Director/Interior Designer at Arkhefield.

Who can believe it’s eleven years, this week, since I had my first solo exhibition entitled RECENT 2002 at Palace Gallery in Brisbane. Definitely not me. It seems like only yesterday!

RECENT 2002 represented my debut as an artist. The exhibition featured four large-scale installations and three smaller studies. It shared my love of materials and their inherent properties; ephemeral and disposable materials, as well as commercially mass-produced products and self mass-produced forms; each with a unique lightness, thinness, reflectivity, or translucency.

I am presently making a series of new large-scale installations to be presented in the coming spring and summer. In readiness (and to make room and bring order to my studio) I have been filing, packing, and making space for these new works. During this process I came across photographer David Sandison’s original medium scale format transparencies, and friend Angela Layton’s photos of RECENT 2002. Here I share their photography of my major installations from this exhibition!

Near Far 1996 - 2002

Near Far 1996 – 2002, (Two Parts, Dimensions Variable). Photography Angela Layton.

Near Far 1996-2002 was installed in the forecourt of Palace Gallery so that it was the first work people saw as they arrived. Made of salvaged timber, woven and held together only by friction, Near Far inspired later studies and The Komodo Series launched in 2008 – shortlisted for The Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award that same year. These artworks also formed the basis of Tracelet – my beautiful bracelet released in 2012.

Collection 1996 - 2002.

Collection 1996 – 2002. Photography David Sandison.

Collection 1996 – 2002 was made up of hundreds of hand cut and folded mylar sleeves suspending cherished found and constructed objects, collected over many years. Each object marked a point of inspiration or potential work within my practice. Collection today continues to grow and be a reference point for my future work.

Collection 1996 - 2002, Detail.

Collection 1996 – 2002 (Detail). Photography David Sandison.

What I found most enjoyable was seeing people looking at this work in-depth, from outside on opening night. The gallery’s lights created a light box effect and illuminated and created delicate silhouettes of each object.

Remember 2000 -

Remember 2000 – (Drafting Film). Photography David Sandison.

Remember 2000- formed part of my Ocular Series and to this day remains a very personal work. The process of making it was a meditation on tactility and memory; inspired by my Father’s possible blindness. Remembering and forgetting for me are interconnected and almost one and the same; an ongoing process of fragmentation and re-assembly of a whole.

All of my work is very beautiful to touch. What ever happened, I always wanted my family to experience my work in any form. Remember 2000- marked this very conscious approach.

Rest 2002.

Rest 2002 (Stainless Steel Ties. 3000 x 3000x 3000mm). Photography David Sandison.

People were intrigued by Rest 2002. Made of interlocking stainless steel elements it was suspended in a captured moment above the ground. Just out of reach, Rest’s elements quivered with slight changes in air flow or surrounding movement.

Rest 2002, mid view.

Rest 2002 (mid view). Photography David Sandison.

Their thin edges reflected even the smallest presence of light; like dew or a web in the moonlight. It was a very quiet and meditative work. On opening night people lay underneath the work and appreciated it from below.

Rest 2002, detailed up close view.

Rest 2002 (Detailed up close view). Photography David Sandison.

Rest 2002 was reconfigured into other formations including Fall (wall installation) and Align (stacked in line horizontally). It was a pivotal work in my career and today forms part of my personal collection. Rest 2002 importantly inspired another major work entitled Array 2007 – a large-scale 20 x 30 x 1m installation realised for the 2007 RAIA Queensland Architecture Awards Event.

Hundreds of people enjoyed the opening night of RECENT 2002; experienced the artworks; stayed on; and gave amazing feedback. Reviews of the work were included in Object Magazine, Artlink and the Inaugural Edition of Artichoke. RECENT 2002 was generously supported by Panduit; an international company that makes high quality items for the mining and industrial industries.

In the decade that has passed these same works have been featured in countless National and International books and magazines as well as online; and have informed future works, commissions and collaborations. So many things have grown from RECENT 2002.

I hope they inspire you today!

Let the SpeedMeet +Folio Review commence. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Let the SpeedMeet + Folio Review commence! Photography Elliot Fooks.

The latest instalment of Tarmac’s SpeedMeet + FolioReview (presented by DIA Queensland Branch Tarmac Student Council) was held at The Queensland Museum and Sciencentre on 30 July 2013.

Using the format of speed dating, but with a whole lot more style and design intent, Industry Professionals sat down with passionate students, reviewed their work and offered advice about landing that all important first job. Students received folio feedback, made some important contacts, and gained insight into the industry.

Students mingle before the event starts.

Students gather before SpeedMeet + FolioReview event starts. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Every five minutes (or so) a bell rang to mark the time for participants to stand up and swap tables (and therefore mentors). This format made for an exciting event with a fast and furious pace, and interesting and to the point discussion.

Folio review and feedback. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Folio review and feedback. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Attending students were from a broad range of creative industries including Interior Design, Architecture, Graphic Design, Illustration and Industrial Design, as well as hybrid and interdisciplinary mixes of all of the above.

Julian Munro (Derlot) talks shop with an avid audience. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Julian Munro (Derlot) talks shop with an avid audience. Photography Elliot Fooks.

The industry professionals, who mentored for the event, included Jason Bird and Benjamin Breitenstein (Luxxbox), David Shaw (Street and Garden), Marc Harrison (Husque), Julian Munro (Derlot), Natalie Wright (Lecturer Interior Design, QUT), Christina Waterson (yes thats me), Beck Davis (Design Department, Griffith Uni), Kasia Jarosz (Jarosz Design), James Luu and Melissa Tooley (PDT), Philip Bugden (One Alliance) and Eddie Maksoud (Edwards Advertising).

Check out upcomingTarmac Events (including Speedmeets and Design Crawls) on the DIA Tarmac Facebook page or get in touch with DIA Tarmac directly and be a part of their next great event!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Vanessa Parker (President of the DIA Qld Tarmac Student Council) for inviting me to be a Guest Professional for the event! Gratitude to Elliot Fooks (3rd year Industrial Design student, QUT) for the great photography.