Posts Tagged Gatakers Artspace

Creative History ‘Collective Insites’ now available as an e-book

An extended version of the catalogue essay with an introduction to the project and a section on the work of each of the artists is now available in e-book format at all major e-book retailers including the Kindle store on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo and Diesel. The book can be easily accessed in all e-reader formats as well as PDF and HTML by visiting the Smashwords publishing site  at this link  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/60135 or through any of the e-book retailers above.

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Collective Inistes- The Catalogue

The funding available through the RADF grant  was augmented by a generous donation from Downer EDI that allowed the production of a printed package that included a  small fold out colour catalogue and an artist card for each of the artists. The whole was enclosed in a vellum envelope and was a much sought after memento of the exhibition. The full text of the catalogue essay by curator Judy Barrass is available in the pages on this site (above or right).

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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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Hanging ‘Collective Insites’ exhibition, Gatakers Artspace, Maryborough

It seemed like it was never going to happen. The gallery looked like a construction site. It’s hard to image what comes before a beautifully  presented exhibition in a white cube gallery space. Chaos and stress.

Niels Ellmoos was hard at work putting together the frame-work for his massive charcoal drawing. His portable museums were a mass of bits and pieces, tools, glues, and unkowns.

Susan Hutton seemed like she was on a dream run, putting together four of her five pieces in record time. But it seemed like a cat was going to be her undoing. Many tries later the cat finally conformed to Susan’s idea of where and how it should sit on its pedestal.

It was then up to Christine Turner to create havoc and challenge everyone to remember how the mangle went back together. Trevor Spohr from Gatakers was his usual unflappable self coming up with solutions to every  problem, and finding a way to get everything done.

Of course Fiona Mohr also had a hand in trying to put that mangle back together.  In the end we had to call in the experts in the guise of Patrick from Mavis Bank.  Fiona  was heard emitting huge sigh of relief that her expertise would no longer be called into question.

Over in a corner was what we  affectionately called ‘the Tardis’, but which was, in reality David Hodges’ installation. Sometime after lunch  workmen in flurescent vests arrived and started doing all sorts of things to it. We don’t know what. Perhaps they were attempting time travel. We’re looking forward to how this thing is going to operate, if it does. Peta Duggan was nowhere to be found. We think she was at home putting the finishing touches to a fantastic and amazing sculpture that will definitely not be able to be transported and will never fit into the lift to the first floor. But we hope she’s having fun. John Meyers from the military Museum came in to  go over her work with a fine tooth comb and we are pleased to say he actually liked some pieces. Thanks John!

Make sure you’re there for the opening of this amazing exhibition. Gatakers Gallery, Maryborough, Friday May 6th, 6 pm. The catering  is going to be great! All are welcome to attend.

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Maryborough’s Industrial Past Comes to Life

Things are getting exciting for the ‘Collective Insites’ project at Maryborough with the opening of the group exhibition at Gatakers Artspace to take place on May 6th.  This will be followed by a series of solo exhibitions by each of the artists from June 13th onwards. I caught up with Niels Ellmoos, one of the artists, who has been looking at Maryborough’s industrial past. This is what he had to say:

What is the exhibition about?

This exhibition is called ‘Collective Insights’ and it is about re-interpreting several of Maryborough’s museum collections. There are 5 artists involved and each of us have selected a particular museum collection. For instance I am using a Bond store collection which relates to Maryborough’s industrial history. These wooden patterns were removed when the bond Store basement flooded. I am looking at aspects of the industrial history related to them, the kind of industry they represent and as artefacts, how they have a voice from the past.

How are you going to use them?

I see them as a part of a larger picture so to speak. As objects they now , especially in a gallery setting, relate to us as beautiful forms. We enjoy the timber quality, the design and appreciate the skill of the artisan/tradesman who made them. However they were only part of an extensive process . They were used to produce metal components of machinery systems for a variety of industries. Now I want to incorporate the idea that they have a link to the past so in my drawing I use them in the overall composition , to give a recognition and acknowledgement to the design. I also want to show the human element as they were not just stand alone objects. The human form is important and adds to the drama of the drawing. This drawing though is only a part of my overall installation. I usually interface other mediums such as sculptural forms, digital media with the large-scale drawings to create what I call multi dimensional collages or what has been termed Grand narratives.

What do you want to achieve with this multi dimensional Collage Niels?

What I want to achieve is to hopefully involve  or immerse the viewer with the different mediums so that they get an overall reading of the installation. I generally have a number of themes that are just below the surface. These relate to art history, community, history and cultural landscape. Walkers Engineering company and Croydon foundries which I am investigating have a grand local history which in these patterns whilst they are part of it , you can’t really know about it so it is up to the artist to bring other aspects to light. Museums today have the same problem as often and in this case there is scant evidence so often a museum has to make up a narrative about a particular exhibit and generally provide a story or diorama which somehow relates to the artefact they are presenting.

I like the idea of a tension between education and entertainment. When you see the other parts of my concept hopefully you will see what I am getting at. So overall I want  the viewer to be entertained, question and be educated in some way. There should be a few optical tricks and an extension from the basic artefacts which are the patterns.

I am exploring hidden histories a theme which I began back in 2001. I feel that I can engage with a particular community that I am living in if I shed light on various local histories.

I am influenced by a number of artists that have dealt in some way with these kinds of themes. The significance of material evidence is crucial where documentary evidence is inadequate and in technological history this is often the case.

Here the real original pattern is on view. How do I bring a more eclectic and vigorous history to light? In the large drawing I try to inject a sense of drama and action of those early working conditions of which there are documentary proof in BW photos. Then I incorporate the outlines of the patterns to create a flow. This is an expressionist way of working quite vigorous in its

application. I also let my sub conscious mind work so that the drawing becomes infused with abstract shapes that become lines of energy which link focal points in the composition almost like a blueprint.

For the sculptural or 3 dimensional parts of the installation I will use some of the patterns themselves to provide a museum context. Other materials such as transport palettes, wooden box , plywood cut outs, dioramas etc will be incorporated. The digital media will consist of a tv monitor showing a loop of documentary footage.

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David Hodges – Collective Insites Project Adds a New Dimesnion to Interpretation of Historic Store

New media artist David Hodges has used the Collective Insites  project to develop a new interpretive resource for the National Trust property, Brennan and Geraghty’s Store, donating many hours, his artistic talents and his technical expertise at a minute fraction of the real cost. The final result, an interactive DVD of short video clips telling the story of significant items from the collection will be unveiled at the opening of the exhibition and donated by David to the National Trust.

David talks about his work with Brennan and Geraghty’s Store below.

“The project has been a collaborative process between Ken Brooks and myself. Ken’s involvement has been providing input into every stage of the project, passing ideas on the items being displayed, the interface design, acting in the production video and providing feedback at the stage meetings.

My involvement has been vast across a number of areas in the screen and media field. The interface concepts were drawn before the digital version was created to save time. A test video was shot and modified for proof of concept. These processes allow you to get a feel for the production inspiring ideas, identifying pitfalls and highlighting areas of improvement.

Working with digital media has it draw backs as well as its benefits. Systems are software driven and to complete this project, improvements had to be made to the workstation I currently use. Software crashes and files can become corrupt; this is a standard in the digital media field so professionals save versions of work over and over along with automated system backups on a daily and weekly basis. All of these processes add to the space taken on the hard drives in the system.

The work represents around 300 hours of work that has been completed over two and a half months. That, combined with my main job meant a seven day week for the entirety of the project (I am looking forward to a day off). The process mentioned has created over 200 gigabytes of information contained in 19,282 files.

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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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