Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wanderlust an exhibition by PressNorth Printmakers

Wanderlust by PressNorth printmakers

I recently flew to Brisbane with the assistance of Townsville City Council, Grants for Excellence in Cultural Development, to help with the installation of Wanderlust, an exhibition by PressNorth Printmakers at the Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane.

Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane

The project was a collaboration between PressNorth Printmakers, Umbrella Studio of Contemporary Arts, Flying Arts Alliance and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. The Wanderlust exhibition comprises of 27 framed prints by 21 members of PressNorth Printmakers.

Ben Werner leading the Flying Arts team of volunteers
It was a pleasure and a unique professional development opportunity for both Angela Cheung, from Umbrella Studio, and myself to work with Ben Werner, an industry leader of exhibition installation in Queensland. Ben lead the team of staff and volunteers from both Flying Arts and the Judith Wright Centre at a cracking pace to produce an elegant finish.

Theatre lighting used to light the exhibition of prints

Wanderlust is displayed in a converted performing arts theatre at the Judith Wright Centre and has large windows leading directly onto Brunswick St offering passers by a glimpse of the exhibition 24hrs a day. The walls are painted a dramatic black and with the use of barn lights to frame each print individually they have created an amazing visual effect, you are not aware of anything else in the gallery space but the artwork.

Volunteers installing Hannah Murray & my collaborative prints 'Awkward Orchid #1-4

Hannah Murray and I have collaborated on a new suite of prints for inclusion in the Wanderlust exhibition. The four prints are a combination of collagraph, etching, drypoint and hand colouring. Titled 'Awkward Orchid #1-4', they are 32 x 22cm, and an edition of 5 with 1 AP each. They can be purchased through Umbrella Studio of Contemporary Arts

Wanderlust by PressNorth Printmakers
The exhibition was officially opened by Judy Watson at the Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane, on the evening of Tuesday 21 October 2014.

Wanderlust by PressNorth Printmakers
Flying Arts CEO, Stephen Clarke kicked off the proceedings speaking about the collaboration  between the three arts organisations, PressNorth Printmakers, Umbrella Studio of Contemporary Arts and Flying Arts. I was invited to speak after Judy Watson about PressNorth Printmakers. In my speech I highlighted the importance of working in partnership with arts organisations in our region and beyond. PressNorth Printmakers do not have a headquarters to call home, relying on working in partnership to hold exhibitions and run workshops for our members.

Wanderlust by PressNorth Printmakers

PressNorth Printmakers is a not-for-profit artist-run-initiative promoting innovative printmaking, fostering excellence, inspiration and transferable skills engaging with local, national and international communities.  Its members are a diverse group of professional, mid career, emerging artists, tertiary and other education personal, art workers, curators, studio managers and enthusiasts with a majority living in Townsville, although we also have members from Mackay, Cairns and Brisbane.

To view the full exhibition click here 

To read about Angela Cheung's experience of our trip to Brisbane to install Wanderlust click on the link

Thank you Townsville City Council for your financial support through the Grants of Excellence in the Cultural Development, assisting with costs to travel to Brisbane and speak at the opening launch.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Glide Artist Statement


Robert Crispe, Michelle Hall, Jo Lankester
Mixed Media Installation, Dimensions Variable, 2014

Edmund Burke wrote; the sublime and the beautiful are not the same thing. An experience does not have to be pleasant in order for it to illicit an emotional response or to cause the viewer to feel something.

Combining shapes, smells and sounds of birds and aircrafts used in war, Glide is a project which aims to be aesthetically sublime.  Sublime in the way Burke thought of it; moving imagination, creating a sense of uncertainty, but still producing pleasure, while drawing to our attention the transfiguration of society as we react to the relentless trauma of war and endless natural catastrophe.
Robert Crispe’s video art provides a beautiful yet apocalyptic sky for the drone-birds to glide in.  Michelle Hall’s sculptures become the drone-birds flying in the chaos of the apocalypse.
 Jo Lankester’s prints create the rugged, worn texture of the gliders as they negotiate a terrain fraught with danger.
Glide is the second collaborative project between the three Townsville-based artists. The choice to work collaboratively pushes boundaries and comfort zones within their individual practices, diversifying techniques and processes when working on obscure sub-straights. Sharing the experience of creation and presentation, acts to shield the individual artist from the normal anxieties of a creative practice and in turn facilitates innovation.
Showing at Pinnacles Gallery, Townsville

Exhibition Dates: 7 February - 30 March 2014

Robert Crispe, Michelle Hall & Jo Lankester, Glide, Print Assemblage & Video Art, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Glide by Robert Crispe, Michelle Hall & Jo Lankester - Artist Statement / Additional information


Robert Crispe, Michelle Hall & Jo Lankester
7 February - 30 March  2014, Pinnacles Gallery, Townsville

In our statement we talk about creating an experience where people can think about the trauma of war and natural catastrophe. In their paper 'The New Normal' published in Art Asia Pacific Masters, Lee & Zhang identify how in this decade words like 'crisis' have been used at a significantly higher rate in the media than ever before, crises has become normal.We have become numb to crises.  They go on to talk about how artists respond to the crises. Glide is our response, a response in the context of a garrison town surrounded by world heritage qualilty,  natural beauty. Glide is a combination of birds and planes, which illustrate the rich mixture of crises in our region. An army  making war and a dwindling number of bird species.  We draw on the sublime to attempt a feeling of vulnerability in the viewer to draw attention to how this situation of crises, is glossed over or ignored, but momentarily trapped in the gallery the viewer becomes confronted with an abstracted version of the everyday.  This is precisely the point of engaging the sublime. Just as Damien Hirst once did when he made 'The physical Impossibility of death in the mind of someone living.

Sound & Smell

The sound and smell is an important element to the installation taking the viewer on a sensory journey whilst walking amongst the installation and viewing the work. Melanie Pocock wrote sound and smells ’are intended to bombard visitors’ sensors, causing them to wonder about their intended effects.’