Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fancy That: An exhibition if sculptures and drawings

My friend Lynda Wilson and I currently have an exhibition on at The Framing Workshop (Hamilton, NZ).

I had so much fun making a series of prints of imagined buildings in a neon colour scheme. And seeing them alongside Lynda's whimsical creatures topped it off.

Fancy That is open until 11 July 2013.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Artist in the making

Enjoying her first play with paint... artist in the making 

My first mothers day

Gary and Enid made me a lovely card for my first mothers sweet. It bought tears to my eyes! It has been such a great first 8 months of being a momma.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kraftbomb and Lil Pudding

My friend Holly has a great blog and has been making the cutest little hand screen printed onsies, number bunting and posters (to name a few things!).  She has also been attending Kraftbomb in Auckland.

I got all inspired and thought I might make some illustrations and enter a stall.  Eeek.  After looking at what I've got in my archives I've definitely got a little bit of work to do to get some things together (and a brand?).  The applications for this month close today, so I think I might try and work on a few things this month and apply for June.  See how we go I guess.

Here's some little illustrations that I did while at Tec.    Some more portraits like these could be fun.  And maybe some that would be enjoyed by other Mum's in their wee ones' bedrooms...

I also found a few illustrations I made having fun with the idea of teaching kids interesting colour names

monobrow boy

chameleon girl

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I am excited to have a sculptural work in the current exhibition "Call and Response" at The Sculpture Park & Waitakaruru Arbetorium.  To find your way look here

My work is called You are here and other stories and joins a selection of other young artists responding to the site

This was so much fun to be involved with... but posting this has just reminded me, I still owe Dad for the wood he picked up from Placemakers for me.  Love you Dad!

Emma makes a comet

Something I worked on awhile back... making a title illustration for a great short story by Heather Hayward.  This was published in Issue 3 of DOAS (Death of a Scenester), a lovely Zournal (zine/journal) published in Melbourne. 

story by Heather Hayward 
Emma's head was really big for her age, which was a contributing factor to her poor head space. Kids at her school would say with tactless frankness "You've got a big head and a little body", they compared her overall shape to a potato sitting on top of a pea.

In addition to the cruelties of the present, Emma worried about her future. She wanted to work in an office like her mother, but she wondered desperately how she would get past the interview, and how would she ever wear the standard-sized hands-free head set if she did? Would they get I.T to make her a special one and politely not say anything about it to her? She imagined finding it sitting at her desk
one morning, a massive apparatus cobbled together from old e-waste, seen by all but never talked about. These were the sorts of things that Emma worried about, although being only eight years of age, she didn't think quite in these terms, but it was as though, in an abstract way she knew these were the sort of future worries that awaited her.

Everything changed however, when she awoke one morning to find a small planet orbiting her head. "Good morning" it said. "Don't be alarmed, this happens sometimes, your head is so big, and your worries so great that they have begun to form their own gravitational pull. I was passing by on an irregular orbit from my current subject and was drawn in to your orbit. Think of me as your life companion". Emma's first instinct, as usual, was one of anxiety. "What if I spoon you in to my
mouth when I eat my cornflakes?" "I don't think that will happen" said the planet. This was the first of many soothing words the small projectile uttered.

It turned out to have one of those personalities that puts people at ease and brings out the best in everyone. At Emma's school it told a joke about a porcupine backing into a cactus that got repeated joyfully by students all day. It also managed to make Emma feel comfortable about the t-shirt she was wearing, which had a picture of
a girl wearing a plait on it, Emma was also wearing a plait and she worried that the two plaits, one graphic, one real, made an uneasy combination. "Very self-referential" said the planet, "I like it".

In fact the planet took care of all the small stresses that can make childhood unbearable at times. It assured her that her backpack was a great colour, and just the right size. I told her that her lunch was lovely and that her sandwiches smelt fine. Whenever she would worry about getting an office job the planet would shout "hey!" every time it went past her face so she couldn't think about it consistently for too long without interruption. The wisdom and perspective from one hundred years of space travel and journeys to far away galaxies was brought to bear on the life of a small child. The planet was the voice of reason and the two entities, girl and meteor, developed a rare and deep friendship.

While she slept the planet would travel out on an irregular orbit and in the morning would tell her about funny little things it saw. "I saw a man say excuse me to a cat" or "I saw a pear fall on an ant and then the whole colony ate until the trapped ant was freed". Every day Emma's consciousness and sense of self expanded. She saw things on a cosmic level as well as noticing detail like never before.

Perhaps these heightened powers of observation are why Emma sensed the boy with the enormous head before she saw him. She remembered watching a drop of water fall from the gutter of a roof and land next to a puddle. At the very same moment that the drop detached from the guttering, a monstrous motorbike roared into life. Somehow these two events coinciding seemed ominous, and sure enough a boy came in to view as the next drop of water fell. His head was colossal, heaving
and wobbling as if acting under its own particular laws of gravity. It was scantily clad in several hats, all stitched together and obtained from various eras of fashion, which only served to add a sense of timelessness to the natural wonder standing before her.

Emma saw into the future in that instant. As she felt her planet being pulled from her orbit into that of the boy's, she began involuntarily lurching towards him with a desperate energy. A simple plan formed as she lurched; to cling this stranger with the giant head. The head was four times the size of hers, but she found it insanely beautiful. Time seemed to slow down and Emma found herself imagining she and the boy living together as one person, eternally strapped to one another, two giant heads filled with healthy thoughts and a clear perspective on life, their little bodies existing only to carry the small solar system above them, and the planet, the wonderful planet, would orbit, lazy and dazzling around them both.

But of course, two eight-year-olds cannot live together in this way. Emma was pulled off of the screaming boy, blood from her fingernails trickling down his expansive cheek and tears, like shooting stars fell from the eyes of them both. "I'll find you!" shouted the planet as it and the confused boy disappeared into the distance.

It was strange, in the weeks and months that followed, without the planet to highlight the best in her, Emma slipped back into her old anxieties and insecurities. She tried for a while to keep the voice of the planet alive. For example when her Dad shouted at her for spilling juice when pouring it, she told herself: "He has unreasonable expectations for the co-ordination of someone your age." But really
she needed the help of an external perspective to properly hold on to and apply these concepts in the long-term.

The planet did eventually find Emma. She was eleven and had taken to smoking in the flax bushes in the back field of her school. The planet arrived out of breath and panting heavily said "I can't stay long. My subject lives a long way from here. He happens to be near by at the moment, but even this distance is on the outer reaches of my orbit". Emma didn't know what to say. Her heart felt as though it might break in two. She didn't know how to say that she had been the best person that she was capable of being at the age of eight, and that luxurious head space was now out of her grasp. How even by the time she was forty she felt she would not have gained the ability to achieve the mental freedom afforded to her for a short time as a small child.

Instead of trying to say any of these things however, she took her lighter and held it under the planet. A few factors combined in that moment; the planet was small and flammable, the lighter had a strong healthy flame, but most importantly the planet didn't move as it could have. In recognition of the pain contained in Emma's gesture, it remained stationary until it caught alight, and only then did it stream upwards like a small comet, desperately trying to return to the cosmos where it had first formed. It did not get that far however before exploding and raining down in a thin ash that covered Emma's head and face. Emma slowly put out her cigarette and walked back to class as the bell rang. As she walked ash from the tiny super-nova fell from her collar, in a sooty trail down the back of her shirt and rested in the waist-band of her shorts.

To do list

So I have been busy over the last year and a half making, baking and caring for a new baby.  I have been feeling its high time to organise the creative side of my life though... so felt a little retrospective organising of a couple things I have already been involved in will make me feel good.  Kind of like making sure there are a couple of things you have already done on a To Do list so you can begin by ticking them off.

First things first... the love of my life.  Enid Audrey Venn.  
Born 11 Sept 2011 - now 8 months old.  Wowee.

from this... this in a few short months