Thursday, 20 February 2014

Q5 with Vegas Spray Part 2

This month we have the privilege of hosting a great collection of emerging artists from Brisbane which has been brought to us by Vegas Spray in their second annual 'Roadtrip' travelling exhibition.  As with every exhibition, we ask 5 questions to each artist to find out more about their art and what inspires them.  After the jump you'll find our last Q5 for this exhibition and is of for artist Fiona Price who is ex-pat from Brisbane and now settled here in Cairns.  We also have Belinda Sinclaire and exhibition curator Olivia Everett

This post is Part 2 - read Part 1 here.

Installation Day on 1st February 2014

Fiona Price

Q1 Tell us about yourself.

After working as a legal conveyancer in a busy Cairns law firm and raising three children on my own, I finally decided to follow my heart and make some art. In 2013 I completed my Diploma of Visual Arts at TNQIT, and my first solo show entitled "preVIEW" is currently installed at Vivo Artroom, Palm Cove (closes March 18 My second exhibition, in conjunction with Pam Kusabs, entitled "Oh My Gourd!" opens at Crate 59, Sheridan Street next week. (Feb 24 - Mar 15, Opening Night 6pm March 7

Q2 Please describe the art you have in the exhibition.

Three of my works were selected for this exhibition.
"Charli's Toes", a small two-tone etching, a culmination of months of figure drawing and inspired by my daughter's feet;
"Geometricity", an A5 artists book, containing stencil-cut shapes, small pen drawings, letraset, text and maps. This was a direct response to life in Cairns, and won a Highly Commended at the 2013 IAS Biennial;
"Got My Pillow", a lithograph produced in the ATSI Shed at Tafe, inspired by a photograph of a homeless man. Lithography is a painstaking art with many variables, requiring attention to detail, knowledge of chemistry and a steady hand. The stones we used are hundreds of years old, and I was extremely privileged to have been one of the select few to complete this course run by Elizabeth Hunter, Master Printmaker.

Q3 What inspired you when creating it?

These three works were each submitted as independent samples of a much greater body of work. Each piece is a part of a series, and even though they may appear incohesive to each other, they represent a cross-section of where I was at with my experimentation and learning. The techniques involved are very diverse, and have given me the skills to produce more work in these areas. Inspiration was taken from subjects very dear to me, and each piece portrays a personal expression of that subject.

Q4 What is your favourite part of making art?

As I am relatively new to the art world, I am still in a stage of experimentation. My favourite things at the moment are trying to see which colours work well with each other, which bits of recycled matter look naff, how much weight PVA will hold before I must put in a screw and how to blend 2D with 3D. My next step is to take a leap into conceptual art, perhaps addressing political and environmental issues, and finding the balance in visuals with a strong message. I also love getting my hands dirty!

Q5 Who are your favourite artists?

This is a very difficult question to answer... how much time you got? I admire and respect the Old Masters for their skill and tenacity, the Impressionists and Expressionists for their colours and rule-breaking, and I often also gravitate back to Graphic and Pop Artists. The names that pop into my head though, are: Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Tony Scherman, Rosalie Gascoigne, Sally Gabori, Lucien Freud, Lichtenstein, Warhol and Francoise Nielly. But there are so many more...

Belinda Sinclair:

Q1 Tell us about yourself.

I am a Brisbane Artist based in Wynnum. Born in Melbourne in 1970, I grew up in the outer fringes of western Melbourne until the events of the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 when my family moved to Queensland. With a background in public radio and independent media I transitioned into Visual Arts studying Sculpture and Printmaking at South Brisbane Institute of Technology. 

Q2 Please describe the art you have in the exhibition.   

The works in this show are from my current Nightclover series and are conceived as imaginary landscapes inspired by concerns over the declining Honey Bee numbers worldwide. I have recently been working closely with Brisbane based Urban Bee Keepers, Bee One Third, and last year created a set of illustrated hives, I am now planning future print and sculptural projects with them. 

The prints from this series draw directly from family connections to Beekeeping and other ancestral cultural histories, fragments of fable, myth and personal histories are fused together to create new realties, I like to search for forgotten things, lost stories and things that are dis-remembered. By combining the loose threads that call out to me I create new fragmented stories that hold glimpses of the past but also speak to the present and conjure a bewildering future. 

All of my prints are intaglio and made using photo media techniques and solar plates, a low toxic and environmentally friendlier alternative to traditional etching. For me the advantage of directly using drawings rather than transferring drawings to a plate not only saves time but opens up a lot of possibilities along the way allowing images to develop intuitively.

Q3 What inspired you when creating it? 

The power of fable and myth to transform and inspire is central to my work, I am fuelled by contemporary concerns and anxieties, and see my work as a symbolic effort to bring wonder and enchantment back into world.

Q4 What is your favourite part of making art?   

The moment you get the first good print from a new plate. It is at that point when all of the research, drawing, platemaking and proofing all come together and the image comes into being. 

Of course then you experiment with it further to see what possibilities it may hold, but the magic of all the variables of making art come together for the first time is very rewarding. It’s this moment Printmakers look forward to the most, in any print studio you will always see artists huddled over a fresh print; the search for the perfect visual manifestation of your ideas, feelings and aesthetics is very addictive, this moment for me is as close as it gets, having said that, seeing that work then framed, hanging in a gallery and sold is pretty good too.

Q5 Who are your favourite artists? 

Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Odilon Redon, Henry Fuseli, Paula Rego, Goya

Olivia Everitt,
(Vegas Spray Co-Director and Co-Curator of Road Trip 2014)

Q1 Tell us about yourself.

I'm a young creative practitioner living in Cairns after relocating from Brisbane in late 2012. I've studied and worked in the arts sector since 2008, graduating from the Queensland University of Tecnology in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts), and since then working in a variety of roles in a number of arts organisations/institutions and also on independent arts projects. During 2012 I came on board the Vegas Spray artist-run initiative team as a Co-Director and I have remained in this role since moving to Cairns. I love working as a part of a independent close-knit team to create, develop and deliver grass roots arts events and opportunities for emerging artists.

Q2 Please describe the idea and story behind the exhibition. 

Last year Vegas Spray were given the opportunity to take an exhibition of emerging Brisbane artists' work to The Lock-Up Cultural Centre in Newcastle, NSW. The exhibition that was curated for this space was literally packed up in the back of a truck and driven down to Newcastle for install and bump-out. Because of this, our nick name "road trip" for the exhibition stuck, and the first Vegas Spray Road Trip exhibition was launched in July 2013. The project provided a fantastic opportunity for emerging artists to exhibit outside of Brisbane and reach new audiences, and also presented a new curatorial and logistical challenge for the Vegas Spray ARI team. The resulting exhibition was so successful we decided to incorporate the Road Trip exhibition project into our ongoing annual program of activities.

Q3 What inspired you when curating it?

This year we put a spin on the road trip idea and put a call out to artists to submit work for an exhibition that must travel to the exhibition venue from Brisbane and back again in a suitcase. This challenged artists to think about what work/s to put forward in their proposal, and also to think about the challenges of exhibiting within a window gallery space (Cell Art Space). The quality and diversity of proposals from artists was fantastic, and it was straight forward from there for us to choose a range of styles, mediums and concepts to exhibit to the Cairns audience. We also extended the call out this year to invite ex-pat Brisbane artists living in the exhibition venue town to participate as well - so it was great to have Cairns-based artist Fiona Price participate as well.

Q4 What is your favourite part of putting an exhibition together?

My favourite part is stepping back half-way through the installation of an exhibition and thinking, "Oh wow, I think we might actually have a show here!". All the behind-the-scenes leg work and logistics are worth it!

Q5 What's next for Vegas Spray?

We're gearing up for the fourth Brisbane Experimental Art Festival (previously known as the Brisbane Emerging Art Festival), which will be held in Brisbane in the middle of the year. We're also in the process of developing the Android version of the Brisbane Art app (released on the Apple App Store in April 2013) thanks to funding from Arts Queensland.

To find out more about the art in the exhibition, you can also read the artist statements from each artist on our website here.  'Roadtrip' finishes Friday 21 Feb, 2014 at 109 Lake Street, Cairns. As always, Cell Art Space is open 24/7 and is still accessible to pedestrians during the City Place upgrade. Closest parking is behind Canopy off Grafton Street. 

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