The exhibition, Drawing in the Expanded Field, was part of 3 x 6, an artistic and curatorial residency developed by Modern Art Projects Blue Mountains at the Kiosk, Katoomba. The Kiosk was a temporary arts space housed in an unused heritage building and during it’s short lifetime it held exhibitions, residencies, concerts, workshops and community events.
Drawing in the Expanded Field was the second of three, 3 x 6 residencies and was curatored by Rebecca Waterstone. It was generously supported by Create NSW.
When we work together, we usually use photography, video and sculpture. Drawing is not part of our general practice, which is not to say that we don’t draw, it just tends to be a more solitary pursuit and each of us has a different relationship to the process.
Jack (age six) works instinctually with very specific ideas about what he wants to share, he is not influenced by anyone else’s views regarding form, perspective or composition. He doesn’t really care what the final image looks like, he is only concerned that people look at the marks he makes with full concentration and have an emotional reaction.
Sascha (age ten) has developed strong ideas about what ‘good’ and ‘bad’ drawing is, based on his love of graphic novels and his friend’s opinions. He is capable of engaging with conceptual ideas, but doesn’t consider the outcomes of experimental processes as successful drawings.
Paul has a natural ability for traditional drawing practice but has not developed an affinity for it or refined his way of working. He uses drawing for planning and illustration, seeing it as a functional activity undertaken for specific purposes.
Rachel has an uneasy relationship with drawing. At art school she studied photography and in early foundation drawing classes, was told how terrible she was at drawing. She doesn’t draw intentionally in her practice, bound up as it is with feelings of inadequacy. When she does draw, it is unconsciously, with repetitive forms.
For us to to be be able to respond to the curatorial brief and have some sense of what an expanded drawing might be, we thought about drawing in the context of how we usually work. That is, placing ourselves in particular environments and using play as a learning tool. The context of these play experiences were the feelings and ideas that arise when we think about mark making.
What is intended? What is accidental? What comes with ease? What comes with anxiety? What is permanent? What is ephemeral? What is imperfect? What is complete?
The year is 2060 – a period decades into the future but still well within our lifetime. A series of catastrophes have decimated the earth’s population. Global communications have been destroyed. We are alone. In Australia, those of us who have survived have formed tribes, living in small pockets of the country that are still habitable. We are scattered across the land: the mountains, rivers, deserts, and forests.
Rather than descend into chaos, we create communities in response to our new homes. We use the materials available to us – either found in nature or scavenged from the ruins of nearby cities and towns. Rather than rebuild the civilisation that we lost, we try to forge a new future that will set us on a different path than the one that brought us here.
Voting pendant from a family in the southern mountainous area of what was once known as Australia. The people of the area were know to follow an ambilineal descent principal, with the pendant being passed through the family to the individual deemed best able to argue for the family interests. Each pendant equated to one vote in group gatherings where territory and resources were discussed. Families in this area were small groups of individuals who committed to share the work involved in survival. Although often related by blood this was not always the case.
The remnants of what is believed to be a scouting kit that was used when looking for clean water sources. It is thought that the scouts travelled in pairs for months at a time in the search for rare springs that had not been contaminated.
“In the short time plastic has been around, humans have produced enough of it to completely cover the country of Argentina. ”
Kelly Heylen, Director Platform Gallery
The proposition for this group show was to respond to the overwhelming and increasing use of plastic in our communities.
Through our reading we found accounts of experiments using Indian mealmoth larvae, which have been found to metabolize polyethylene through their gut bacteria.
This made us think a lot about the human desire for ultimate solutions, often disregarding the most obvious response to problems, which is often a change in patterns of behaviour.
Thirty three international and Australian artists transformed Scenic World’s natural Jurassic rainforest in the Blue Mountains with site specific works for Sculpture at Scenic World, which exhibited from April 8 – May 8, 2016. In its fifth year, the exhibition featured international artists from Korea, New Zealand and Slovenia, alongside Australian artists from Victoria and New South Wales, including five Blue Mountains’ artists.
Coal is a remarkable substance, the lasting physical remnants of millions of carbon life forms.
Many of the coal deposits in the Sydney Basin were formed in the Permian period 298-252 million years ago. In swampy areas around the margins of an inland sea, piles of dead vegetation were buried under sediment, eventually becoming seams of coal. At the end of the Permian Period came the Great Permian Extinction, the Earth’s most severe known extinction event.
Through the language of Victorian era museums and memento mori, we attempt to briefly separate coal from it’s inevitable cultural associations. As an energy source it has facilitated the expansion of human civilisation for some. As a major contributor to global greenhouse emissions it’s continued use could expedite another major extinction event and as such it has become a touchstone for competing moralities.
It is also a physical connection to a geological timeline that is hard to comprehend. An object of our ingenuity or our villainy, it is also the compressed remnants of forests millions of years old. By absorbing what it actually is and not what it represents, can we see that all human culture, even with its real world consequences is not a given. Is it possible to just choose a completely different story?