Cowwarr Art Space - CAN Inc. eNews Feb 2014
Welcome to the Cowwarr Art Space eNews. Serving Art for 22 Years
Exhibition Program
Shelley Mcdermott, I'm not like the rest, but i can pretend. inkjet print, 2015

Double Exposure

Opening Sun 2 Aug @ 2pm Exhibition Aug 1 - Sept 28 2015

Curated by Claire Marston, Artist-in-Resident and Trainee Gallery Manager, Cowwarr Art Space.
This selected group exhibition of photography explores the theme of the self-portrait and invites the viewer to enter the private and raw world of the artist behind the camera.

Featuring Gippsland artists: Neale Stratford, Susan Purdy, Shelley McDermott, Eating Strawberries, Chantel Henderson, Rhys Knight, Chris Miller, Rebecca Gell and Claire Marston. 

Image: Shelley McDermott, I'm not like the rest, but I can pretend. inkjet print, 2015 
VCA Partnership Update

It was fun while it lasted!

The Regional Training and Engagement Fund (RTEF) No Longer Exists.

This fund supported both our residency partnership with VCA 2014-15 and the FUTURE NOW annual award exhibition from the VCA Honors program presented and toured by The Substation. We hosted this exhibition for the past three years. A real loss to regional Victoria and the art graduates involved. 
Future Now VCA

Future Now - VCA and The Substation

Artists: Christina Hayes, Isabelle Sully, Sarah Duyshart, Kenny Pittock, Dan Peter Petersen, Daniel Belfield and Alex Purchase (Not picutred)
This smiley bunch of artists came down with Curator Rosemary Ford and stayed and played in the space to create the Cowwarr iteration of Future Now

Unbeknown to us, this was the swan song!

Installing the Future Now exhibition; Isabella Sully, working on her plywood and paint sculpture, THIS TIME AROUND 2014, recycled and renamed sculpture turned on its head, in front of Christina Hayes 's oil on linen painting BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER 2013 and Kenny Pittock, laying out his wood paper and ceramic installation, ESKY CHIPS & FLAKE 2013. 
Future Now VCA Kenny Pittock Sale secondary collage workshop
Future Now VCA Kenny Pittock Sale secondary collage workshop
Future Now VCA Kenny Pittock Sale secondary collage workshop

Future Now Gippsland Art Gallery ARTIEBUS Road Trip

As part of the Future Now exhibition and the Regional Training and Engagement Fund (RTEF) we were once again able to offer an artist talk and workshop with one of the Future Now artists, Kenny Pittock. With the support of the Gippsland Art Gallery and there Education Coordinator, Robert Natoli, the Sale Collage students studying Studio Art's and their teacher, spent the day in Cowwarr.

Kenny grabbed the students attention straight away with his quirky take on contemporary Australian life and culture. I am sure it was a first for the students to see a pair of ceramic thongs as art! After his talk on his work which spans; drawing, sculpture, installation and video he threw a box of mixed chocolate on the table and gave them all the challenge to recreate the treats in clay. Totally engaging. 
VCA Artists-in-Residence

RTEF/VCA Partnership Residents

Kiera Brew Kurec joined us in February having just completed her Masters at the VCA and felt the residency was  a fantastic opportunity. "...The garden studio was an amazing space to create work. It was large enough to be able to move around in, experimenting with different gestures and positions of the body in relation to both the architecture and materials that I had brought along from my studio..." Kiera also spent time filming in various surrounding locations for her video "Between Land and Sky"

Leanora Olmi arrived in March, Leanora, a photographer had been an AIR with us previously. Originally from the UK Leanora  used the residency to focus on her PhD research proposal for VCA.  As part of her ongoing practice, Leanora hosted a Screen Bandita event at the original Cowwarr Catholic School (1869).  The  ‘Bring Your Own Archive’ event was an informal gathering, open to all the locals to bring their old photos, 8mm films or slides that they would like to share. The event explores the notion of memory held in visual archives, seeking to explore and reflect on individuals’ experience and to appreciate the interrelated nature of all our personal histories. There was certainly much reminiscing going on in Cowwarr that afternoon. "...Do you remember when the pea pickers came to town? Oh what fun!..."

Kenny Pittock a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours VCA was in residence during Future Now in April when he led the school workshop. He has popped back a few times since, which is great. Kenny was under the pump to get some ceramic work completed, so having access to the large electric kiln was ideal.  It hadn't been used for a while so it was a great time to get the kiln room ready and back in action and for me to brush up on my technical skills. Kenny was also looking to purchase one of his own so it was a timely experience to learn to set and work a kiln. (he now has one of his own)  Having ceramic packets of chips and other every day snacks emerging from the kiln every couple of days was quite entertaining.

Kenny has a very busy exhibition program, he was selected for New 14, ACCA's showcase for emerging talent, he is currently in Art As A Verb, Artspace in Sydney and is shortlisted in the Victorian Craft Award, opening in July, just to name a few. 

Hartmut Veit is also a repeat resident, Hart was with us in 2013 as a Monash MA Candidate this time round in February he was working on his VCA PhD proposal. Hart after coming to Gippsland has been interested in coal as an art material and the connection it has with the people of the Latrobe Valley. After the mine fires he was part of a community engagement project that culminated in his exhibition Vibrant Matters at the Latrobe Regional Art Gallery where he used coal both as a sculptural and drawing material and more recently in a popup gallery as part of the Latrobe Valley Winter Night Festival.

Georgie Mattingley our final RTEF/VCA resident will be staying for a week in October to coincide with a "shut" at the LoyYang power station.  Georgie a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours VCA and an artist selected in a previous version of Future Now in 2014, has harbored a desire to be an artist-in-residence ever since.  Georgie has negotiated access to the power station to take photographs and videos. She says of her work. "... My practice stems from a fascination with systems of social value: what people are drawn to look at, or compelled to look away from; what people embrace and appreciate, or choose to avoid..." We look forward to Georgie's and her partner Isaac's return visit.  They came down earlier for a reconnaissance. 

Regional Training & Engagement Fund project of the Faculty of VCA & MCM’s was funded by the State Government through Arts Victoria and delivered in partnership with us. But no more!

Visit our AIR Blog
The Regional Training & Engagement Program has been of great benefit to the Cowwarr Art Space as well as many other small regional organisation across Victoria with positive outcomes for both the artists and host communities. It is a great shame that it is no longer supported. 
Artists-in-Residence Update
Claire Marston 80s Neon Font 2014

Claire Marston, 80's Neon Font

Claire says of her work “...My sentences can often be conceptual traps. By challenging the way text is used and read I intend to communicate my curiosity with social obedience through the use of traditional communication...”
Photograph credit: Neale Stratford

Synthetica a BLINDSIDE and NETS touring exhibition at the Gippsland Art Gallery.

What a fun opening night at the temporary Gippsland Art Gallery. Curated by Claire Anna Watson."...Synthetica is not for the fainthearted—the artists have been selected for their visually charged and hypnotic imagery. Expect an experience that smacks of the strange with pulsing machines and courageous forms brimming with life and wonder..."

Featuring: Boe-Lin Bastian, Simon Finn, Bonnie Lane, Kristin McIver, Kate Shaw, Alice Wormald and Paul Yore with guest artist our Claire Marston  selected for the ‘Here in the Undergrowth’ component of ‘Synthetica’ at Gippsland Art Gallery. 
Abigail Hart AIR Garden Studio Cowwarr
Sukjin AIR Garden Studio Cowwarr
Audrey El-Osta, AIR Janina Suite Cowwarr Art Space

Diversity is the hallmark of our artists-in-residence

Running in conjunction with the VCA residency retreat we have had a full program of independent artists staying. From the top image: 

Abigail Hart, used her three week garden studio residency creating a series of (oil) painted sketches on the theme of group connection an extension on a project that evolved out of a recent solo show at c3 contemporary art space. 

Shae Rooke, a Melbourne based photographic, video and installation artist immersed herself in the garden and explored strategies of placement and comparison to investigate how landscape is represented and experienced. The main project was a video titled ‘In 3D’ which captured the movement of a series of holographic 3D images of trees and nature. Shae is also a director of the arts collective, In The Meantime.
Sukjin Choi, is head of ceramics at James Madison University in historical Harrisonburg, Virginia. Prior to that she taught at various education institutions including Kangwon National University, South Korea.  Each summer, Choi has embarked on a residency taking her around the world. This year it was Cowwarr,where she took the challenge to use an unfamiliar clay body, Feeneys, and technique, raku, to create a body of work that encompassed both traditional decoration and contemporary interpretation of form and installation. It is great to have the ceramic studio active again.

Audrey El-Osta, an emerging Melbourne Poet received support for her residency from the Glen Eira City Council Foundation for Youth Excellence which is a program that recognises young people who have achieved excellence in fields of: creative and performing arts, education, leadership, or sport. Grants are awarded to help them achieve further success in their chosen field. What a nice idea! Audrey aimed to accomplish a serious amount of final edits, brainstorming, story-boarding for her next project and writing in the themes of  mental health/illness, sexuality, feminism and memory. Audrey is Vice President of the Monash Creative Writers Club, and is currently studying psychology and English linguistics.   

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Past Artists-in-Residence Update

Daniel Crawshaw acquired by Gippsland Art Gallery Sale.

The major work from Daniel's HIGH COUNTRY GOTHIC exhibition SILVA has been acquired by the Gippsland Art Gallery. Silva, comprises four large paintings 200 x 185 cm depicting the mountain ash forest of the Alpine Nation Park's in Gippsland. This work is a culmination of his residency with us in 2012 and then his return in 2014 for the launch of the tour at the Gippsland Art Gallery. The exhibition is still on tour, currently at the Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo.
Sanné Mestrom past AIR Finalist SMFACA at SAM 2015

Sanné Mestrom @ SAM

Finalist in the Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award

SMFACA, the biennial $50,000 acquisitive ceramic prize, Australia's premier ceramic prize has made a radical departure from the usual prize format for 2015. It has shortlisted and commissioned five Australian artists to produce five discrete solo exhibitions to be held at the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) from 22 August to 22 November 2015. The Award was judged by SAM Director Kirsten Paisley and Rebecca Frances Coates.

I had a chat with both Sanné and Anna Briers, senior curator, SAM at a recent dinner, about this new incarnation of the prize and the great advantages it has both for the artists and gallery. A great idea

Congratulations to the Finalists: Sanné Mestrom, Adam John Cullen, Penny Byrne, Ruth Hutchinson and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran.

Sophia Hewson

a finalist in the Archibald Prize 2015

Sophia's work DELIVERED oil on board 2014 has been shortlisted. Sophia has been a finalist previously and is currently completing a six month residency in New York at Residency Unlimited. Congratulations well deserved.
The Directors Cut

Clive Murray-White

Smoke Three Ways

"...Clive Murray-White’s Smokebomb Sculpture at UQ in May 1971 is perhaps the single most important work of early Conceptual art in Australia. Photo documentation of the work was widely reproduced at the time — perhaps most significantly by Terry Smith, as a kind of prefix to his curatorial rationale for the important 1971 survey ‘The Situation Now’ — and since, including on the cover of Art & Australia in 1975..."  
Recently we installed 3 versions of documentation of Clive's Smoke Bomb Sculpture from 1971. Video, screen print and a large vinyl banner 2.5mm x 3.25m.

A bit of fun to revisit it all.  Clive did get sick of seeing himself each morning as he made his coffee.  
Learn more
Carolyn Crossley Wellington Shire Mayor, and CEO David Morcom, thank Gippsland MHR Darren Chester for $4.5 million of Federal funding towards the development of The Port Project in Sale. 
You can see why I have been a little busy!  What an exciting time to be Mayor of Wellington Shire and be part of the biggest infrastructure development in its history and its all about culture.  The Port of Sale Project will include a new Gallery, Library, Civic Centre and Regional Playspace. This is a great example of all tiers of government working together with funding from Local, State and Federal Governments as well as a Philanthropic donation from the John Leslie Foundation. 

The image below is a concept design by the Architects fjmt. Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp is a multi-award-winning Australian architectural practice. I am very excited to be working with them on this project. 
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