Friday, April 15, 2016

It's better to be TAFE than sorry

Hey! Far out, this year is going so fast, I mean, it's already the middle of April! 

But April schmapril, let's talk about July. Miranda July that is.

A few weeks ago I, (and fifteen hundred other people), was lucky enough to see a talk at Melbourne Town Hall by Miranda July, (the brilliant American artist/writer/film maker/superwoman). 

In the weeks leading up to the talk I made a ceramic sculpture of Miranda July's latest book. Here's a detail shot of my painting of the cover;

After the Miranda July talk here's a photo of me lining up to meet her, carrying my sculpture in a shoebox and feeling very nervous.
They say don't meet your idols but Miranda July was definitely an exception, she was super cool, super kind, and also super generous about my sculpture. 

She even got out her phone, took a bunch of photos of my sculpture and told me "you should feel pretty special because I've just had to delete a video I recorded for my son so that my phone has enough space to take these photos".
After that she handed me her phone and asked me to take some photos of her signing the sculpture, (which I very happily did, while resisting the urge to use her phone to call my phone and thus getting her number).And the most amazing bit of it all, later that night Miranda July posted one of the photos I took for her onto her instagram!
But so yeah, after hearing Miranda July's artist talk I left feeling all inspired about how good an artist talk can be, which was great timing because the morning after that I went back to my old TAFE and gave an artist talk of my own to the Swinburne first year visual art students.

My talk went pretty well I think and the students were really great, although secretly I was hoping that they'd all be skinny as a rake and have straightened their hair, just like me when I was in first year TAFE, as seen in this very cool photo from 2007.

The next thing I want to mention in this blog post is that I've got a nice selection of work in a group exhibition that's on now at the gallery in the Melboune city library. The exhibition is titled PLAYFUL and has been curated by Sophia Cai as part of National Youth Week. 

The library gallery is at 253 Flinders Lane, the show features a bunch of really great people and is on until April 29. A massive Frank you to Frankie magazine for doing a cool little write up on the exhibition; click here if you'd like to read that!

Also, if you're around Melbourne next Saturday afternoon I'm hosting a free drop by drawing workshop in the library gallery space between 1 and 3pm. Come along! Here's the flyer;
Thank you to all the bookworms who have already made it to the library to see the show, I really appreciate it and the fantastic feedback means a lot. And the same thanks also goes to you if you've managed to see the exhibition I'm in on at the Shepparton Art Museum, titled Cornucopia. If you haven't seen it yet there's still plenty of time as it's on until May 27. 

A big thank you to Sarah Workmeister for writing a review of Cornucopia that was published on Art Guide, click here if you'd like to read it

Definitely my favourite sentence from Workmeister's review is where she references that my work is exhibited next to Andy Warhol's. The review says, and I quote; 
"They sit nicely together". 
Super cool. I'll put up some photos of my work in the show next time, and the Warhol hung across from it, but in the meantime here's a quick drawing to give you an idea of what it looks like to see me and Andy Warhol sitting nicely together.

Me and Andy Warhol sitting nicely together, (as read about in Art Guide).
And if you happen to be near Shepparton on the evening of Thursday, April 21, from 6-7pm, come sit nicely together with me in person as I'll be presenting an artist talk at the Shepparton Art Museum. Here's all the info;
Also opening on the night of April 21 is the West Space fundraiser, so if you can't make it to Shepparton next Thursday then definitely help support the gallery West Space and head along to this. I've got three new little paintings hanging in the fundraiser exhibition, plus there's like a hundred other artists showing work too. Here's the full list;
And the last date I want to mention, particularly if you're in Sydney, is I have a solo show at Gallerie PomPom in Chippendale, opening on Wednesday May 4th, (and running until May 29). Please come! 

The show is titled A series of self poor traits

As you can probably gather from the title, the show is loosely based around self portraits. I figured I'd do this because I'm clearly an egomaniac, but also because even though I've shown my work in a bunch of awesome Sydney galleries over the years, they were all in group shows, and so it's only polite that with my first Sydney solo show I should try to formerly introduce myself. Kind of like how Eminem's first hit single was "Hi, my name is".

There isn't a flyer for this show yet, but here's a pretty professional one I just made a second ago;

So in conclusion; here are the dates for your diary;

Saturday April 16, from 1 - 3pm. 
Drawing workshop in Melbourne city library gallery.

Thursday April 21, from  6 - 7.30pm.
Artist talk at Shepparton Art Museum.

Thursday April 21, from 6 - 8pm.
West Space fundraiser opening

Wednesday May 4, from 6 - 8pm.
Solo show at Gallerie Pompom in Sydney opening,

Wednesday May 18.
Kenny's birthday. Write him a card, send it to;
P.O Box 7127, Upper Ferntree Gully, Vic. 3156.

And since I started this blogpost off by talking about my sculpture of a Miranda July book, I'll bookend this blogpost by sharing with you another ceramic sculpture I've recently made of a book. 

This time the book I've replicated is a phycological thriller titled The killer and the slain, which was written in 1942 by Sir Hugh Walpole. (If you happen to have read it be sure to let me know!)
I made this sculpture for a woman who was wanting a replica made of her late husbands favourite book. And so yeah, this sculpture really means a lot to me, not just because I'm very proud of how hard I worked on the piece, but also because it was such an honour to be invited to create such a very special commission.

Here's a photo of me holding the actual book with my ceramic sculpture in the background. 
And here's the reverse; this time the actual book is in the background and I'm holding the sculpture.

And finally, on an unrelated note to finish off this blog post, just for fun, here's a photo taken last week at the National Gallery of Victoria of me, my Mum and Whistlers mother.

Thanks so much for reading, keep on whistling, keep on mothering, and hope to see you soon!

Monday, February 22, 2016

All my eggs in one Bus-ket

Bob Dylan's The Times they are a-changin' is a great song, that's one thing that will never change. Another thing I hope never changes is you, my blog reading pal, you're perfect just the way you are. 

But don't get me wrong, change is often good; I found ten cents on the train yesterday, that was good change, and this morning I put on a different t-shirt to the one I've been wearing for the last five hundred days, that was a good change too. 

In fact, in the spirt of embracing change I'm gonna stop writing this blog post in the usual helvetica font and instead write the rest of todays blog post in times they a-changin' new roman.

But enough roman around, this is just a quick blog post to say hi and to let you know that you are officially invited to please come to the exhibition Cornucopia, (meaning abundance of food), curated by Anna Briers and presented at the Shepparton Art Museum, opening this Saturday February 27th and remaining open until the 22nd of May. 

Here's the flyer with all the information;
I'm super excited about my piece in the exhibition, I think it's probably the most ambitious sculpture I've made to date and I'll definitely put lots of photos on here once the show opens, but in the meantime as well as my piece, there's also some other great artists in the show too, like the Hotham Street Ladies; whose work I loved in NGV's Melbourne Now exhibition, and also Patricia Piccinini; another very big name, (seventeen letters in fact!) 

And incredibly of course the biggest name in the show is Mr. Andrew Warhola, a pop artist who hasn't made much stuff lately but was very prolific during the second half of the 20th century...  I'm obviously totally thrilled that Andy Warhol is in this show too, and there's even a possibility that one of his souperb soup can paintings will be hung on the wall opposite my work, which is literally a dream come true!

And so yeah, now you'll have the option of going to see Andy Warhol exhibiting alongside the great Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in the current exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, as seen advertised on this bus stop where I just had my dinner...

But in addition to that, as of next Saturday you can also go see Andy Warhol exhibiting alongside me, in the exhibition on at the Shepparton Art Museum, as seen advertised (and certainly not sticky taped on by me) on the opposite side of the same bus stop.
So yeah, like that eye opening machine from A Clockwork Orange, definitely keep your eyes peeled for that bus stop.

And speaking of buses, here's a drawing I did of Speedy Gonzales driving the bus from Speed.
Speedy. Acrylic on 225gsm paper.21 x 29.5cm. 2016.
And still speaking of buses; yesterday was the last day of Um...titled, the group exhibition I was in at Bus Projects, curated by the awesome Laura Couttie. 

Here's a photo I was tagged in on Bus' instagram page that was taken of Laura and I back during the early stages of installing the Um...titled exhibition. 
I'm told the catalogue and exhibition essay for Um...titled will be up on the Bus website pretty soon, so I'll keep you posted as to when that goes live.

Here's a description of what Um...titled was about;
And here's one of the three ceramic sculptures I exhibited in the show, it's titled All my eggs in one basket.
All my eggs in one basket. Acrylic on ceramic. 40 x 30 x 30cm. 2015.

Thanks so much to everyone who was able to see the show, the opening in particular was overwhelmingly huge, here's a couple of photos of it from Bus' instagram. 

Anyway, I'll write more about this and other stuff soon but really the main thing for today is that I'm extremely excited to invite you to please come see my big new sculpture in the group show at the Shepparton Art Museum, opening this Saturday Feb 27.

I know Shepparton is a long way away from... well, just about everyone, given that it's a two hour drive from Melbourne, but hopefully there's a chance you might get to see it as I think this show's gonna be really special. 

Also, if you happen to be at Shepparton Art Museum the day after the opening, I'm hosting a fun and hopefully informative drawing and painting workshop for people of all skill levels and ages on Sunday Feb 28 from 10am -12pm. 

Oh and also, the day after that, on Monday Feb 29, I'll be at the National Gallery of Victoria hosting a drawing workshop responding to the Ai Weiwei / Warhol show as part of the NGV's Student Night. So if you're about to go into VCE or in tertiary education then definitely come along! 

Thanks heaps for reading, hope you're going really good, see you soon and I'll end this blog post here with some drawings I did of the three main Paddlepop ice-cream flavours. 

And I guess that's the big difference between Andy Warhol and I; he's a Pop artist, and me, I'm a paddlePop artist.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The summer of finding your feet

Hey, how often do you go to the shops in bare feet?...

Yeah I can't remember the last time I did it either, but this weekend I've been waiting in two separate Officeworks and both times I've been in line behind someone without shoes.
Officeworks; come for the low prices, stay for the feeling of a cool smooth floor under your feet... 
So yeah, you heard it here first, it's this summers hottest fashion phenomenon and we can expect to see a lot more people shopping in bare feet. 

Which is why I feel a bit sorry for this cool dude, who I also spotted this weekend, lying on the ground in Fed Square photographing a bunch of footwear for instagram. Poor guy, I didn't have the heart to tell him that shoes are so 2015.
But aside from unlacing that little fashion exclusive the other thing I wanted to quickly let you know about in this blog post is a few upcoming workshop type things that I'm a part of this week. 

Today I’ll be at the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) talking with primary and secondary school teachers about my work and running a little painting and ceramics workshop with them. In addition to that, this Wednesday morning, Jan 20, I’ll be doing the same thing but with year 11 and 12 students, but with a focus on different ways of preparing a folio. 

The teachers workshop is sold out but if you happen to be entering VCE this year, (or know someone who is), then definitely come along to the NGV this Wednesday morning. For more information on that click here

Oh and speaking of the NGV, here's a photo from when I was lucky enough to meet the British artists Gilbert and George at the NGV last November, which was really great because finally my t-shirt makes sense.
(The book that George and I are holding in the photo is actually a ceramic sculpture that I made of their book and they were kind enough to sign for me. 28 x27 x 24cm. Acrylic on ceramic. 2015.)
Another thing happening this Wednesday is artists Dylan Martorell, Dell Stewart and I will be at the MPavillion for a public discussion inviting young people to lead the conversation and ask us questions about our creative process, influences and paths to becoming artists. 

So that's 4.30pm this Wednesday at MPavillion. Come say hi! For more information on that click here.

Oh and speaking of MPavillion, here's a drawing I did there the other day while listening to a harpist harp on about his harp.
And lastly, the third workshop type thing I'm running this week goes from Monday to Friday, (January 18-22), where I’ll be co-hosting a drawing and animation workshop with Melbourne artist Dell Stewart at Signal. (Signal is a government funded creative arts studio for people aged 13-25.)

Signal is called Signal because it's based out of the old building that used to control all the train signals at Flinders Street Station. So if your train gets delayed at some point this week it's probably because I've accidentally leaned against one of the buttons.

So yeah, for more information on the workshop click here.

I think the workshop's gonna be really fun and very excitingly the little animations that the participants and I make during them will be screened at the Sugar Mountain Festival in Southbank on Saturday the 23rd, and also this Friday during a closing celebration at ACMI, (the Australian Centre of Moving Image).

And speaking of ACMI, here's a drawing I did of their very encouraging information desk;
So ok, next time I'll let you know about a couple of exciting group exhibitions that I've been working towards that open in February but you've probably put up with enough information for one blog post. 

And if you want any further details on any of the talks and workshops I just mentioned then here's my footnotes;
Footnotes. 29.5 x 21cm.
Thanks heaps for reading, hope you're going really good and having a great start to the year, and if trends continue the way they're going then hopefully the next time we run into each other at the shops neither of us will be wearing shoes.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

'Tis the seasoning

Hey! Well, it's the last day of 2015, so this morning as I sat down to make Vegemite toast and read my Joy Hester book I figured what the heck, I should really take a moment to try to spread a little joy.
Spreading Joy. Vegemite on toast. 2015.
Spreading joy during breakfast wasn't the only time I played with my food today; for lunch I bought a quarter chicken and chips and because the chicken had such a generous serving of seasoning in it I figured I'd use the stuff to write a quick message to you, the very generous reader of this blog. 


Seasonings greetings. Seasoning on polystyrene. 2015.
There's plenty of other stuff (and other stuffing) to write about but for tonight I just wanted to quickly sneak in this one more blog post for the year to say a huge thanks so much for all of your support, whether it's through buying lots of my work, saying hi in person or in writing, or even just reading this blog, I really appreciate it. 

Thanks again, see you soon, and in the meantime I hope you're having a fun festive seasoning and that your 2016 is jam packed with joy.
Acrylic on paper. 29 x 29cm. 2015.

Friday, November 06, 2015

There's no business like show off business

Hi goggle head, hope your week is going swimmingly.

A few days ago I went for a morning swim, in an attempt to start the week off with a splash, and so before jumping in the pool I did what I always do which is size up the other swimmers to figure out whether I belong in the slow lap lane or the medium lap lane. And every time I do this I always think about this drawing I made back in 2010, titled Life in the Fast Lane.
So with that in mind, when I got home from the swim I decided to make a SHOW OFF painting.
Here I am showing it off.
Last night I went back to the pool again taking my new painting with me. When the coast was clear I snuck up to the FAST lap lane sign and did the old switcheroo, proving once and for all that I am in fact Banksy.
Once the new sign was in place I couldn't work out whether my drawing had to come life... or if I was in my drawing.
And then just for fun, here's a 50 second video I made last night about being in the Show Off lap lane. Thanks heaps to Cherie Peele for filming, and thanks heaps to you for watching, hope you like it!
Speaking of Life in the Fast Lane, something else that's really zoomed up on me is the fact that this Friday night, AKA tonight, is the sixth and final Friday night of my position as 'artist in residence' at the National Gallery of Victoria. 

I've loved every second of drawing with the NGV, and as my artist residency is drawing to a close I just wanna say a huuuuuge thank you to the NGV, being invited to take part in this incredible series of events has been a total dream come true. 

So yes, tonight, from 6 till 10, please come to the NGV, you'll get a free copy of my new little book Catherine the Great Gatsby, plus you'll also get to experience the incredible collection of Catherine the Great, as well a DJ, choral singers, expert lectures, yummy food, and headlining it all, you should totally come to the NGV tonight because there's gonna be people making love underground!
Ha, no wait, I can't believe I've gotten that so wrong, what I mean to say is that you should totally come to the NGV tonight because the headline act is the Aria award winning band Underground Lovers!!
(If you don't know how awesome the Underground Lovers are here's my favourite song of theirs; Losin' It.)
But if you unfortunately can't make tonight then you'll still have one more shot to draw with me at the NGV, and that's tomorrow, between 2 and 4pm. Click here for more info on that. 

Tomorrow's Drop By Drawing is gonna be slightly different from my Friday Night Drop By Drawings for a couple of reasons, the first is that, well, it's free, so that's awesome, but also I'll be doing slightly less talking one on one and a little bit more of talking to the group as a whole. Because of this I'll be wearing a Madonna headset microphone, which is very in Vogue. 

While wearing the microphone I'll try to resist the temptation to give everyone in the National Gallery a taste of my world class beat boxing, but I'm not making any promises.

Oh and a couple of other little plugs, and I'll talk about these another time, but just quickly incase you're interested; on Sunday November 8 I'll be selling a few of my self published books in the Open Spaces event at the Abbotsford Convent, from 11-4pm. Click here for more info on that. 

And then opening on Thursday November 12, I'm in a group show at Blindside Gallery in Melbourne curated by Verity Heyward and Lucie McIntosh. 

And if you're in Sydney on Wednesday November 18, I'm in a group show at PomPom Gallery, curated by Talia Linz. 

So yeah, I'm super excited about all those things and if you can make it to any of them come say hi! But definitely the big thing right now is please come to the NGV tonight from 6-10pm, and/or tomorrow from 2-4pm.

So drop by and draw with me, I'll do my best to teach what I know and make it a good time, and hey, if nothing else it'll give you a nice chance to improve your techniques and show off your drawing skillz. Everyone likes a show off.