Posts Tagged Museum
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
Visitors to Gatakers Artspace in Maryborough have been surprised and delighted to find the upstairs space in the gallery converted to an artist’s workplace. Amongst the current exhibition of industrial moulds and images from Maryborough’s past, artist Niels Ellmoos is working on his contribution to ‘Collective Insites’, a project that brings together local artists and historical collections.
On the West Coast of Tasmania he interviewed some of the old miners, and made video tapes, drawings and sculptures that were inspired by Tasmania’s strong mining history
Niels current focus is on the industrial history of Maryborough. It’s a rich and very interesting part of the town’s past that has given him a lot of material to work with, including the city’s large collection of industrial moulds and other industrial objects that are rarely on show to the public. Although they may originally have had mundane uses, some of these objects are beautiful sculptural pieces themselves.
Niels will be working as artist in residence in the Gatakers Artspace. He’s happy to have visitors drop in and talk with him about what he’s doing and how his work is progressing. He’s already made contact with some of the colourful characters from Maryborough’s industrial past.
There are five local artists working on the Collective Insites project, which will open at Gatakers Artspace in Maryborough in May.
The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum is a surprising gem to find in a regional centre. It was established as a private museum by John and Else Meyers using much of John’s own extensive collection. The museum is now a public trust, and the collection has been added to by generous donation and further collecting.This important collection interprets military campaigns and aspects of Australia’s colonial history. It is housed in a magnificent old warehouse style building near the wharf area in Maryborough, and contains many significant objects.
The museum is staffed by volunteers and is very much a part of the local community.
As part of the Collective Insites project t Peta Duggan will be interpreting the collection in her own inimitable style.
Peta is a local resident of Maryborough who likes to manipulate images of everyday objects and shapes in her work. Her imagination leads her to find hidden meanings and satire of a dark nature reflected in many of her images. She says ” humans can be seen as concepts and intrigue of the imagination, where space, time and thought are one ”
It will be interesting to see what Peta makes of the museum and what the museum makes of her. It is certainly not a conventional mix, and John Meyers from the museum is to be congratulated in his willingness to participate in the project, and to allow an emerging artist working in new technologies full reign in his museum. Peta’s mind is already racing ahead with the possibilities. She says, after her first visit:
“As I walked into the old historical building in Wharf Street Maryborough, in Queensland, my senses were filled with awe…Not only is this building, built in the 1800’s, the military collection is the most highly prized museum in –as to be so bold! in Queensland, and even bolder! Possibly more impressive than the National war museum located in Canberra (1991 visit).”
Peta’s work will be part of the Collective Insites exhibition at Gatakers Artspace in May, and she will be having a solo exhibition at the gallery later in the year.
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.
Artist Susan Hutton will be working with the Maryborough Historical Society collection as part of the ‘Collective Insites‘ project. Susan’s mediums include painting, drawing, assemblage and artist books. She is also interested in various methods of printing and has recently acquired a kiln to experiment with printing onto ceramic work. Susan describes her work as using images as metaphors to tell stories from the inside.
Maryborough Historical Society is the main repository of Maryborough’s social history. Many objects, photographs and documents in the collection are cared for and put on display by a team of volunteers. The sheer size and diversity of the collection can be overwhelming for the visitor.
The collection occupies a significant heritage building, the Maroborough School of Arts and includes the original School of Arts library which is still in situ on the mezzanine floor.
Susan has made several visits to the collection spending some time there absorbing the feeling of place and space and ambling through the collection to see where it leads her. She intends to explore the books, documents and plans and the objects before deciding on her approach to making artworks about the collection. To get started she is playing with photographs and drawings making digital images that may be used in later works. For her this process is as important as the final work. She lets the collection speak.
The Collective Insitesapproaches the museum as a place of relevance to contemporary culture and . The intention is to stimulate audience engagement and interest in through innovative approaches to interpreting and examining their collections.
Fivewill focus their attention on the historic collections in the regional town of Maryborough in . 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.
The artists were selected to be part of ‘Collective Insites’ are David Hodges, Peta Duggan, Christine Turner, Niels Ellmoos, and Susan Hutton.
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.
The collections included in the project are Brennan and Geraghty’s store, The Maryborough Military and, MavisBank, Maryborough Historical Society and industrial objects in various collections, including and 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.