Posts Tagged Christine Turner

Christine Turner – Collective Insites – Gatakers Artspace Maryborough

As an artist who often uses objects from the past as a metaphor, Christine Turner found an ample supply of inspiration in the eclectic collection at the historic house, Mavis Bank. The essentially personal and domestic nature of the collection fitted well with the recurrent ‘domestic goddess’ themes in Christine’s previous work.

Her work in the Collective Insites group exhibition explored the intersection between the private and public faces of women and between the reality and the dream.  Objects of household drudgery from the Mavis Bank collection were juxtaposed with symbols of refinement and romanticized notions of womanhood. Her transformation of machines from the Mavis Bank collection reminds us of the meaning we find in objects from the past. Their inclusion in an art gallery exhibition, transformed by the artist raises our perceptions of these objects from mere curiosities with long gone practical uses to symbols of wider and more esoteric stories.

An old copper filled with doilies standing in a pool of laces highlighted the essential conflict between the reality of hard work and practicality with the refinement of the parlour.

An old washer became a bride like figure with a veil of lace. The backdrop hanging of impossibly white, starched lace and linen richly embroidered with the word ‘Mother’ as the centerpiece pointed to yet another idealized notion of womanhood. Indeed, the idea of ‘mother’ is often central to Christine’s work.Christine’s third piece in the group exhibition was a tribute to the collection and its owners. From the beginning of her association with Mavis Bank she had fallen in love with the ancient mangle whose ornate form combined with a practical purpose seemed to embody her domestic goddess theme. Images of the collection and it’s owners Elizabeth and Patrick have been interwoven into a large scale sepia print that rolls out of the mangle onto the floor. There are allusions to printing processes here, and to the way history is often preserved only in fading images  that flatten memory into two dimensions.

Christine continued these themes in her solo exhibition. The copper bubbled up colourful detritus of womanhood from lipsticks, hairclips and compacts to baby shoes and flowers.

The washer was again transformed  as a bridelike figure  with a wispy net veil, but if one looked closely the veil decoration consisted of tiny objects of everyday domesticity interspersed with flowers. Wardrobes, chairs, beds and other domestic furniture reminded us of the reality behind ceremony and decorative effect and of the collection at Mavis Bank.An old stove from Mavis Bank collection, included in Christine’s solo exhibition was adorned with richly decorative biscuit  tins,  reminding us again of the importance of exterior appearances that may have little to do with the contents. Also on the stove a womans head, idealised with a tiara or halo made from old chandelier pieces. But this goddesses head is not filled with mystical or heavenly thoughts- just the everyday tasks of sewing and mending. The sorts of things mothers think about while they cook?

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Collective Insites Opening

A large crowd gathered at Gatakers Artspace to celebrate the opening of the Collective Insites  exhibition on May 6th 2011. Jenny Galligan,Executive Director (Arts Development), Arts Queensland opened the exhibition.


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Collective Insites Exhibition Opens May 6th

The opening of
of two new exhibitions at Gatakers Artspace: Collective Insites curated by Judy Barrass and
featuring works by five artists and In the Half Light by Noel Brown.
DATE 6 May 2011
LOCATION Gatakers Artspace, 311 Kent Street, Maryborough
TIME 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Collective Insites to be opened by Jenny Galligan,
Executive Director (Arts Development), Arts Queensland
In the Half Light to be opened by Trevor Spohr
TELEPHONE Trevor Spohr (07) 4190 5723
RSVP 2 May 2011
gatakersartspace@frasercoast.qld.gov.au

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MAVIS BANK – Christine Turner gets inspired by the collection

Sometimes one comes across a collection that sits outside the norm. Mavis Bank in Maryborough is one of those.

It is an eclectic and personal,  private collection of bric-a-brac, furniture, vehicles, household appliances, toys and much more from no particular era (except it’s mostly late 19th early 20th Century), housed in a generic, not overly interesting Queenslander style house hidden behind a magnificent overgrown garden. There are no labels and no particular arrangement of the objects other than what suits the fancy and the needs of the owners. Everywhere you turn you see something new and interesting and perhaps disconnected from the last thing you just saw. The house is filled to overflowing with collected ‘stuff’, treasured and displayed in a domestic, ‘cottage’ setting.

Owners Elizabeth McKenzie and partner Patrick  live in the building, in the collection amongst the objects which they sit on, play with, tinker with, listen to and use.  So for them it is not a museum, it is their home, and a very personal space. Many of the objects have a story directly related to their own personal histories. Elizabeth and Patrick kindly open their home for the public to visit, and once through the doors it’s a journey into domestic nostalgia.

As part of the Collective Insites project artist Christine Turner will be working with the  Mavis Bank collection, letting it speak to her, and making her own particular interpretations of the objects and the collection as a whole.

Christine’s practice encompasses assemblage, installation, digital imaging, collage and photography. Her works relate to identity, memory, the body, power and the sacred. An avid collector herself, she uses her own collections in her works, and understands the urge that drives those who fall in love with objects from the past. At Mavis Bank she has found an instant rapport with Elizabeth McKenzie in a shared love of domestic memorabilia and is working to incorporate items from the Mavis Bank collection into her artwork that will form part of the Collective Insites exhibitions at GatakersArtspace later in the year.


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Maryborough “Collective Insites” project gets underway

Niels Ellmoos at Maryborough Historical Society

The Collective Insites project approaches the museum as a place of relevance to contemporary culture and local community.  The intention is to stimulate audience engagement and interest in museums through innovative approaches to interpreting and examining their collections.

Five artists will  focus their attention on the historic collections in the regional town of Maryborough in Queensland, Australia. They will interact with the objects in the collections in creative ways, and to explore and invigorate the interface between the collection and the audience. They will be encouraged to question the assumptions and expectations interwoven into museum practice and the acquisition, ordering and display of objects in the museum context.

David Hodges and Peta Duggan at the Workshop

The artists were selected  to be part of ‘Collective Insites’ are David Hodges, Peta Duggan, Christine Turner, Niels Ellmoos, and Susan Hutton.

The project began in earnest on the last weekend in January with a two day workshop that brought together Curator, Judy Barrass, Fiona Mohr, regional Museum Development Officer and the five artists.

In the workshop Fiona Mohr  introduced the artists to traditional  museum practices and approaches and gave a brief overview of  the historical collections that will be part of the project. Curator Judy Barrass gave a presentation on the many ways artists have interacted with, worked with, or commented on museums, collections and collecting, and museum practice. A visit to the local Historical Society collection was used as the starting point for discussion on approaches to dealing with objects  versus  stories or entire collections, and the difficulties artists might face in being ‘guided’ towards certain interpretations or stories.

Each of the artists was allocated a museum to work with for the duration of the project.

Peta Duggan talks about her reaction to visiting the Historical Society

The collections included in the project are Brennan and Geraghty’s store, The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum, MavisBank,  Maryborough Historical Society and industrial objects in various collections, including Walkers and Croydon Foundry moulds.

The artists will now go on to spend several months working with individual museums before the group exhibition in May at Gatakers Artspace in Maryborough.

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