See these and all photos from 2015 at my instagram.
See these and all photos from 2015 at my instagram.
I’ve enjoyed a studio sojourn since moving from my beloved long term studio in Brisbane. The move and new rural surroundings (with a great community of creatives and passionate people) have guided my work to new levels while allowing me to better balance work and life. I’ve had a deeper connection to nature (wildlife; seasons and natural cycles that inform my work) and to my inner self through the time and experience.
Many of the projects I’ve worked on throughout 2015 have been large-scale high stake projects, so having a good base has been essential to keeping it real; staying relaxed and focused; and remembering why I am an artist.
Thank you to Darcy Clarke for sharing the most amazing studio in the hills with the sky and beautiful things all around!
I have had so many beautiful things make me smile and bring me joy over the last few months. A small selection is included here. You may notice that some of the images are in a square format. That’s because they are from my instagram account that I’ve been experimenting with. Check out more images and inspiration at my instagram.
During April and May 2014 I was privileged to display Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014 Edition within artisan’s Ivory Street Window, Fortitude Valley. A small preliminary study of Soft Cell was first exhibited in 2012 as part of my solo exhibition Trace at Pinup Project Space, Melbourne. This study was made in cork rubber. By this time other studies and tests of Soft Cell at a small-scale had also been made in leather, felt and fabric.
Soft Cell represented a deliberate desire to work with softer materials and forms. My Churchill Fellowship experience profoundly moved me to follow this softer approach, having predominantly worked with more linear and rectilinear geometric elements throughout my practice until that time. After my exhibition at Pinup Project Space I spent a busy year running around the countryside creative directing. There was not much time for making in the studio.
In 2013 I committed to realising Soft Cell at a larger scale in more vibrant colours and everyday materials. A successful application in 2013 to display Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014 Edition in artisan’s Ivory Street Window got the ball rolling.
After spending many years starting with hard materials and hard forms I found the result more often than not was “hard”. I set to making with soft materials and soft forms with a hope to relax and make softer works. Christina Waterson 2012
Soft undulating rhythmic forms make up the Soft Cell family. Each generation of form, while unique, originate from the same simple element combined in different ways. Making Soft Cell required me to move differently; using softer and less controlled movements than those used to make The Komodo Series and Bloom Series. These softer circular movements used different muscles in my body. Within the work the compression and tension imbued in each form’s surface did require my concentration and some good timing.
Soft Cell marked a shift from previous installations within the Ivory Street Window. My two previous installations within Ivory Street Window were more linear in nature. They were also made with a single material of predominantly one colour. The Soft Cell 2014 installation could have taken an infinite number of layouts as shown above, in the preliminary sample options (L and C) for my original application. I decided on a geometric tartan layout (R).
The installation grew over time and evolved through a sequence of patterns. In doing this my hope was to draw people closer to inspect the work’s detail and form, and maybe ponder what the forms might remind them of, or how each colour might stir different memories and associations.
Vivid recollections and studies borne from a sense of rediscovering a distinctly Australian sense of nature and place are brought to light through this new collection. While the Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream Edition of Soft Cell uses everyday materials found in our homes, up close the materials’ colour, fluidity and overlay transport us to another place and suggest different flora, fauna and landscapes. One may see a hint of parrots, waves, jellyfish or a flourish of orchids in the overlapping arabesques. It’s these tactile curves and arabesques that form the essence of things – the soft cells. Christina Waterson Artist Statement 2014
My work continues on the Soft Cell family of surfaces and forms. STAY TUNED as this new collection truly reaches its full potential!
With the Stellar Collection of sculptural screens and wall reliefs etc. soon to be launched in Spring 2014 by the fabulous Australian furniture icon TAIT, let’s have a look back at a post from March 2012 showing the development of Scale Screen 2012. Here in full follows the original post – ENJOY! You can also see the original post here!
The development of Scale Screen occurred over many years. This project was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body (through a New Work – Established – Australia Council Grant). Scale Screen’s origins are linked to my Bloom Series Home-wares and furniture range, launched in 2009. Scale Screen’s origins are linked to my Bloom Series Home-wares and Furniture range, launched in 2009. From the outset of the development of The Bloom Series, I had always envisioned Pixel Screen (pictured below) to be realised in coated sheet metal.
Through the Australian Council Grant I rationalised the design of Pixel Screen in coated sheet metal to ensure modularity, as well as fabrication and installation ease. Importantly throughout this process I maintained the essential qualities of the original artwork. The streamlining of Pixel Screen however meant the adaption was different enough to warrant a new name. The name Scale Screen comes from the form of the elements that make up the screen. They look like reptile scales (especially Brown Snakes or Frilly Necked Lizards, and also like the opened mouth of a Frilly Necked Lizard) so the name directly reflects this quality and also references my unique country Australian childhood;
The surface, colour and depth of the Scale Screen project is informed by the skin of Taipan and King Brown snakes. In my hometown of Sharon in Queensland, the remnants of shedded snakeskin on timber joists proves a reminder of the local reptilian residents – snakes rub on the rough joists to break their skin for the process of shedding. Amongst Australia’s most aggressive and poisonous snakes, the beauty of their skin belies their potential danger. I play with the duality of the notions of protective efficiency and deadly beauty as being inherent to Australian native flora and fauna.
My works are intended to be experienced in space, time and light. This is particularly clear in the development of Scale Screen 2012. The patterns within its surface are 3-dimensional; they are patterns that exist in space – new patterns are revealed and continuously evolve as you walk around the work.
I applied the knowledge I gained through the Australia Council Grant Research and Development to other subsequent commissions. Taking Flight (pictured below) uses the same fabrication techniques as Scale Screen but has dramatic differences in form and concept.
I would like to sincerely thank the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body for assisting the Scale Screen project.
My latest work, Celestial Analogue, records the ideal geometry of an immeasurable physical experience.
While recently hosting some visiting international friends who had never experienced a clear view of the night sky I rediscovered my own deep memories of the Milky Way. My friends normally live in London where the Milky Way has not been visible since the Industrial Revolution; due to pollution and compounded by big city light spill. Growing up in rural Queensland with a glorious view of the Milky Way I had perhaps taken this familiar sight for granted.
On attempting to explain something so unimaginable, immense and elusive as the Milky Way to my friends who had never witnessed it directly, I realised that it was nigh impossible to communicate the experience. Even images fell short. A visit to a remote location was undertaken to let them experience it directly for themselves.
Celestial Analogue emerged from these encounters. Though also very beautiful Celestial Analogue is an ideal representation of this immeasurable physical experience. Repetition of the reduced elements create a sense of movement across the work’s surface. With an ever shifting pattern and spatial rhythm it remains illusive when experienced from different moments and positions.
Celestial Analogue was patiently assembled from hand cut, painted and folded recycled cardboard. It meaningfully extends my previous collections of work including The Bloom Series 2009, Taking Flight 2010 and Scale Screen 2012.
PS I must admit it was hard to photograph this work in the exhibition space. With every passing car reflected light rays created hot spots and cool spots across the work. I endeavour to return one night and re-photograph the work more evenly lit.
An early hot Australian summer saw many flowering trees bloom early. Delicate blooms with startling colours provided a haven for birds and insects. Here are a few of my favourites that bloomed in succession – some native and others embraced just the same as part of our urban landscape and lives.
Such electric colours!
All photos by Christina Waterson.