Sex, Lies, and Flowers

 

It seems like absolutely ages since I last made a post. The break came about because I moved house (yes again!) and as usual Telstra and iiNet cocked the whole re-location up resulting in me being without phone and internet for 6 weeks. Now I have signed up with Optus and I’m the proud owner of a fantastic broadband connection.

So in the last six weeks what have I been up to? Well I’ve definitely not been slacking off I can tell you!  I’m pleased to announce that for the whole of September I will be artist in residence at Beverley Station Arts and I’ll also be showing a body of work entitled “Sex, Lies, and Flowers”. Sex, Lies and Flowers is a project on the terrestrial orchids of the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. The word orchid comes from the Greek “orchis”, which literally means ‘testicle’ (with reference to the shape of its tuber). Orchids are distinguished from other flowers by their uniquely shaped column which is composed of the fused stamens and pistils. Often the petals are modified to mimic the shapes of insects to attract male insects to mate with the faux female and pollinate the flowers. Some of the forms they take also resembles human genitalia Hence the title “Sex, Lies and Flowers”. Over the last eight years I have travelled within the region photographing the plants on location. Instead of taking the standard approach of photographing the plant in its environment showing its full structure I’ve chosen to photograph them in a style more used in portraiture so as to bring out the distinguishing features and characteristics of the plants. The aim is not to produce an exhaustive catalogue of the plants but to produce a series of images that show case the beauty of the plants and raise awareness of them and how fragile they are. Hopefully some of you can pop in and see me and the work, if you are unable then the images from the exhibition and many more can be seen here.

Below is a video clip I made a while ago about photographing orchids in the Avon Valley of Western Australia.

Thanks for your patience everyone and regular programming should now resume.

In a bit of an artistic rut …

… feel lacking in impetus? Want to try something different but aren’t sure where to start?

Well I have a solution for you. For the price of producing a postcard sized piece of work and some postage you could end up part of an international art movement, be blogged about and be part of an exhibition. No I’m not from Nigeria and I don’t need your bank account details. I’m inviting you to participate in the wonderful world of Mail Art and more particularly the Book About Death Australia project.

Now if you want a very wordy definition of Mail Art click on the link. But basically Mail Art is art you send in the mail, or post for non US readers. There are no rights or wrongs, very few rules and everyone who participates seems to be happy and have fun. It’s often said to be some sort of anarchistic hippy activity, but that seems a little bit too condescending and simple. Someone organises a project and the word spreads through a loosely organised network such as Mail Arts Projects or the International Union Of Mail Artists. Usually there is a theme but how you interpret that and using what medium is largely up to you. The projects may be exhibited, blogged about or even disseminated as an artists assembling book or any combination of those.

A Book About Death was a mail art project that didn’t want to end. Originally conceived by Matthew Rose the project was part homage to the American artist Ray Johnson and a celebration of Emily Harvey and was held at the Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, in September 2009. The project attracted contributions from artist from all over the world, some like Yoko Ono were internationally renown artists the majority were not, but they were all given equal attention. My partner Helen took part and for one reason and another I didn’t. It quickly became a global sensation and I kicked myself that I had not got involved. Then a curious thing happened, the project kept being reborn like a phoenix all over the world and I got involved with A Book About Death Omaha in 2010. The concept is still alive and kicking and is now coming to Australia.

What I like about Mail Art is that although I only do a couple of projects a year it allows me be experimental and do things I wouldn’t normally. Don’t feel limited, play with different mediums, write, draw, sculpt , collage, photograph or any combination. Nothing is wrong, everything is accepted. Above all have FUN and enjoy participating.

Roadside Memorial
Breaking News Asylum Seekers

My contributions are already in and have been blogged. So how about it? Give it ago. Who knows what it will bring.

A Good Day Out

Well the long weekend brought a few very pleasant surprises. I had entered the Kalamunda Spring In The Hills Photographic Competition on a last-minute whim. Literally there were minutes to go as I entered online. This was the image I chose to put in the open category.

White Spider Orchid
White spider orchid, caladenia longicauda, is one of Western Australia’s most well known orchids. Mokine, Western Australia. Canon EOS 5D Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro lens. Exposure 1/100 s at f/4.0 ISO 100.

I went to the opening of the competition at The Zig Zag Cultural Centre and was very chuffed to win third prize in the open category. The winners can be seen here. The icing on the cake came when I was told that I’d also sold the print. So all in all a very successful day out. Thanks to all the folks at the Gem Camera Club who organise the competition and the Shire of Kalamunda who are the hosts.

Copies of the print can be bought through my gallery .

Nemesis Exhibition Opens

A frantic day today. We traveled down to Fremantle to hang my exhibition and that of my partner. Thankfully both were hung without hitch. Here is a slide show of my exhibition:

Nemesis is an autobiographical narrative about how an accident causes change. It explores the loss of innocence and the struggle to come to terms with life in an altered physical and emotional state and how with perseverance and persistence it is possible to over come those circumstances. The story is told over a series of ten monochrome photos which combine text and imagery. The title for the story and the captions, came from actual conversations with people as I went through this experience. While the telling of this story has been cathartic it has not provided instantaneous emotional relief and self-awareness. In the same way a pebble when dropped into a pond causes ripples that slowly spread and then dissipate, the accident and its consequences have played out over a long period of time. I count myself lucky, many are not so fortunate.

Nemesis is part of the FotoFreo 2012 Open Exhibition Programme. The exhibition is being shown at the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, 16 Phillimore Street, Fremantle and is open from 16th March to 13th April 2012. I hope as many people can see as possible.

My partner Helen has curated a group exhibition entitled FotoVisPo and this being shown now at The Fremantle Library.

For more details of FotoFreo 2012 visit www.fotofreo.com .

Nemesis at FotoFreo 2012

The countdown to FotoFreo 2012 has started in ernest. Again this year I am participated in the Fringe, or as it is known from this year on the ‘Open Exhibition Programme’. The photos have been printed, mounted and framed.