Saturday, 25 May 2013

Exhibition - OBJECT: secondlife

The Bendigo artistic community has accepted the OBJECT: secondlife challenge with enthusiasm - twice we've had to restock objects as the entries came pouring in! We still have a few objects left, but be sure to get in touch soon to secure your space.

The exhibition flyer has been finalised; we've moved towards hosting Saturday afternoon openings for the colder months, so be sure to head along to VPHG on June 15th between 4pm-6pm to be a part of the OBJECT: secondlife reveal party!

Friday, 24 May 2013

VPHG Artist Spotlight: - Kane Holahan

To round out our Artist Spotlight feature for the Anatomy exhibition, which finishes TODAY, we've got Kane Holahan in to answer some questions about his creative journey. Although new to exhibiting with VPHG, we clearly picked a great theme to showcase his works - with Kane providing 5 of the pieces in the Anatomy show.
Kane with his oil painting 'Aboriginal culture'
Who are you? Describe your artistic journey...
My name is Kane Holahan. My primary passion to begin with was zoology, in particular snakes and spiders. I have had an interest in biology since i was a very small child but i like many scientific fields. I studied biology and associated subjects in year 11 and 12 as I wanted to be a herpetologist (a scientist who studies reptiles and amphibians). however I must admit, I found the maths side of things quite challenging. I spent my teenage years searching for, photographing, capturing, and studying various species of reptiles and spiders with a small group of fellow Bendigo amateur herpetologists. I kept many species in captivity ranging from Northern Death Adders to Sydney funnel-web spiders. Photographing snakes in the mid nineties was my first introduction to the visual arts. At the same time, I also came up with designs for clothing inspired by nature e.g dressy shirts covered in small interconnected neurons, or microscopic pollen or fractals etc. I put the idea away like hundreds of others and may get it out again one day to develop it, who knows.

In 1999 I started to take poetry fairly seriously or at least the imagery in my poetry got more complex, some say schizophrenic. In the year 2000 I began working with the idea that creating transgenic organisms through genetic engineering would be the next art form. In 2002 I started drawing and oil painting, as at the time I had plenty of ideas but besides writing had no real way to express them. I picked up the camera again too. I am entirely self taught across all mediums that I work in. There is room to develop technique further, for sure. But my belief is that no one can teach you how to think in an original way. University to me, would just be a distraction.

What inspires you?
Even though my art may seem impersonal or cold, My fantasy world is where I feel most comfortable, I am not a very social person.I am motivated by an urge that has shaped and is an essential part of my nature, that is coming up with original ideas, I like to think i have been successful, at least a few times and hopefully more. Along with this, i place high value on building my own identity, having my own style, to be an individual influenced by very few, and for my mind to be free to roam. Despite this, I have been influenced to some degree by other people. Some scientists- Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin, Kary Mullis. Some musicians- Kurt Cobain, Billy Corgan. I love driving around listening to music and thinking. My favorite album of all time is aenima by Tool. As far as visual artists go, I like the painters H.R. Giger, Francis Bacon and James Gleeson, I also don't mind some of the pop surrealist stuff that I've seen. I got into these painters after I had already developed my core beliefs.

What are the main mediums you work in?Poetry, oil painting, drawing, photography
North Harcourt Tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) Kane Holahan
How do you describe your work?
A lot of my work is dark, even disturbed. Especially the poetry, An apt description was when a man said it is striking but gruesome. I say I try to explore the potential of the physical world and it's not always pretty. But I can appreciate genuine beauty too. sometimes in my world the beauty and horror intermingle. 13 years ago a lady asked me where I want to go with my poetry? I replied " I want to create something beautiful" she gasped, i said " yeah, you cant go beyond the human experience but you can write about the beauty in the brutality".My oil paintings and drawings are a bit tamer, i often use bold colours in my paintings, some could be seen as potentially controversial. My drawings are quite varied, some are spontaneous and some have obviously taken more time to get right. As far as photography goes, I have nature photographs- venomous snakes, frogs etc, and more arty shots where i have set them up or had them altered.

Tell us about the specific pieces you're exhibiting at VPHG

Living, breathing sculpture
(Two-Headed Tiger Snake)
photograph of a sculpture

This piece is an actual neonate Two-Headed Tiger Snake, the first specimen of what I propose to be a knew species of Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus bicephalus) or what I have dubbed the "medusa snake". It survived for a few minutes then died. It represents ideas that I have had for over thirteen years that creating life, and manipulating life through genetic engineering can be an art form, however i prefer that the origins of how this specimen came into existence remain a mystery.

Female internal
Photograph of a sculpture

This is a photograph of a sculpture that i made out of clay, fabric, pins and lace. It's of the female internal reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries) made to look like it is wearing female underwear. The female internal reproductive organs or any internal organs for that matter are rarely thought of outside the medical profession unless they get diseased. This piece shows them in a new and possibly confronting light. It is time to look below the surface, under the skin to examine them in an artistic way, the organs that make us function and procreate, in this case in a primal, bestial and to some no doubt disgusting, even creepy way. Or maybe its just material to some. It retains a feminine aesthetic but in effect, the viscera has been sexualized.


This is meant to represent a transgenic half human/half lizard organism. A possible future human variant, created in a laboratory and could be the next stage in biped evolution or just an aberration. This species is suited for life high up in the forest canopy. The prehensile tail used to secure itself when foraging in the tree tops and the long limbed broad shoulders and strong upper body strength ideal from swinging from branch to branch. Then again, it may only have skyscrapers to climb in the future. i envisioned this possible future organism existing on a diet of berries, fruit and leaves.

21st century genetically engineered Tarantula with Human eye on its abdomen

Tarantulas are arachnids that belong to the theraphosidae family of spiders. Some species are the largest living spiders in the world. A lot are docile, but some can be aggressive as well, but in a lot of species the venom is relatively harmless but the size of the fangs and chelicerae (jaws) would ensure a painful bite. This piece is meant to be a new species of tarantula that has had human DNA inserted into its genetic material and now has a human eye on its abdomen, A possible future product of the biotech age we now and will soon even more so, be living right amongst.
Tarantulas have eight typically poorly developed eyes and can barely tell the difference between night and day. That's why I have given this photo of a tarantula a human eye, so that it can see any predators attacking from above such as birds etc. Also it is also engaging with the viewer with a part of the anatomy 'the eye' crucial for visual cues and communication in human interaction. So you look at this, to some a "creepy creature" and it is gazing back at you, stirring up conflicting emotions. That was the intention anyway.

What are you working on currently?
I always have many works in progress but some, i don't return to for years. But recent ones that i have been working on is a painting of a half pig/half human getting crucified on a cross, entitled Porcine Jesus (pigs squeal because they are closer to hell). Another one is a bit morbid, it's a self portrait of my decapitated head in a landscape with a real human tooth on my cheek.
I also have political works and works that deal with a variety of other topics. Not all are influenced by biology and science. In fact, a lot aren't. I have between 200-300 ideas,some in progress, to keep me busy for a while, and i come up with new ideas all the time.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

VPHG Artist Spotlight: - Isabelle Kawai Vincent

If I hadn't put myself on an art purchasing ban for the next two months, the piece below by Isabelle Kawaii Vincent would be coming home with me at the end of the Anatomy exhibition, so I think it's fair to say that I'm a bit of a fan... It's my pleasure to be sharing a little of Isabelle's story with you today as part of our Artist Spotlight series.

What inspires you?
I’m a people person so most of my artwork is about the human emotions and how these emotions are expressed through body language, especially the hands. I had observed a person talking to a his mother and her facial expression and posture portrayed a relaxed and confident presence, but I noticed that she was grasping both her hands so tightly that the whites of her knuckle were showing. The person had thought that his mother was doing well, however, the mother’s tense hands was revealing that she was hiding her anxiety. Therefore the hands are the tip of the iceberg for the true human emotions.

What are the main medium(s) you work in?

Printmaking, especially linocuts, painting and drawing. I’m recently developing my photographic skills.

How do you describe your work?
Emotive themes using both western and eastern artistic techniques and styles. There is contrast in understated or blurred pictorial areas to emphasis the detailed focal points.

Tell us about the specific pieces you're exhibiting at VPHG...

I’m using traditional Sumi painting techniques, Eastern minimal composition and sense of pictorial space combined with Western style of tone, detail and form, with Fauvism application of colours. The figure is understated to contrast with the detailed hands, as it is the hands which create emotions and moods; the tip of the ice berg.

What are you working on currently?

I have recently relocated to Echuca and have developed a fascination with the Murray River. I am contently drawn to the watery life form and realise that other people are as well. So I am exploring the Murray River and how people interacts and relates to it. I currently using photography as both a final piece of artwork and references for linocuts, painting and drawings.

Exhibition: LAB RATS (June 1-8, 2013)

View Point Handmade Gallery is excited to be playing host again to some of Bendigo's bright young things!

LaTrobe's 3rd year Visual Arts students; Carol Leigh, Emily Richards-Jones, Lucille March and Chelsea Brant, dubbed the 'Lab Rats' have prepared a visual feast for Bendigo as part of their mid-year examinations. The show only runs for a week, so be sure to pop in from the 1st to the 8th of June!

LAB RATS is an exhibition that has evolved around four different artists all hoping to bring subconscious emotions into the tangible realm. It is an indirect aim at acceptance, perseverance and remembrance. 

Each artist has focused on different mediums and source material yet the majority are highly involved with the process of creation rather than the final production. The element of personal touch is highly emphasized in each artist’s very personal work; dealing with the spirit or the soul, the absence and presence, the frustration of conviction and the reflection on memory. 

Each artist seeks to allow the viewer to interpret their stories, and struggles, while intervening with their own.

Follow their journey via their facebook page and be sure to RSVP to their opening event!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

VPHG: Artist Spotlight - Alicia Huddy

Today we're featuring the one of my favourite local artists - I'm super excited to have her involved in the latest show at VPHG, Anatomy! Not only is Alicia talented, she's also one of the most effervescent and genuinely warm people I've ever met. I hope you enjoy reading a little more about her arts practice - remember, you've got until the 24th of May to catch Anatomy and see one of Alicia's works in person.
Alicia with a selection of her works
Describe your artistic journey (How long have you been creating, how did you get into it, etc)...

I started drawing and painting from the moment my motor skills were refined enough to hold an object and make a mark. I can still remember the first time I ever got to hold a paint brush. It was like magic watching a vibrant colour dance across the page. It was even more astounding that the image was made with the imprint from the power of my own hands. The incredible thing is that one moment a page can be blank and the next it is filled with beautiful colours and patterns. I became completely obsessed with creating my visions from a young age and perhaps in my younger years was quite anti social as I could always hear a blank page whispering my name. As I grew up I never lost my passion and studied Visual Arts at LaTrobe Universtiy in Bendigo. Once I had completed my Visual Arts Degree I chased inspiration from country to country. I now have settled back in the Bendigo region where I'm working and exhibiting.
An Eye For An Eye - Alicia Huddy
What inspires you?
Nature is my biggest inspiration, I enjoy all the patterns and secret imagery that the world around us creates. I am in awe of the different variations of living creatures that are here on this earth. Each holds its own beauty, magic and spirit.

What are the main medium(s) you work in?
Most of my work seems to be created with spray enamel, acrylic paint, oil paint, oil pastels, markers and resin.

How do you describe your work?
Vibrant, bold and energetic with dark and evil undertones.

Tell us about the specific piece you're exhibiting at VPHG

My piece is called "Kidney Fluid" it's the story of your kidneys trying to run away from the abusive life they are forced to endure.

Lizards Falling from the Roof Into My Dreams - Alica Huddy
What are you working on currently?
A number of pieces I have been commissioned to do. I am also experimenting with some materials and techniques to help stabilise an idea I have for an upcoming show.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Business Resources: Mining Pinterest For Gold!

I've recently been pinning some brilliant business hints and tips over on my Pinterest account, it's a great resource for those that learn best visually.

Today I found a pin that explained exactly how to add a gallery of a board directly to your blog, perfect to share my BIZ PINS with you all!

Let me know in the comments what your Pinterest handle is if you use it and we can all link up over there :)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

VPHG: Artist Spotlight - Shelley Hall

You may have noticed that over the past few months we've been highlighting our makers through the regular stockist spotlight space. With our gallery calendar in full swing, I've been wanting to add another element to our spotlights, and add interviews with our exhibiting artists!

This weekend we're featuring Shelley Hall for our Artist Spotlight - one of the artists exhibiting in the current show, Anatomy. I really enjoy Shelley's style, especially her oil works. Be sure to pop in before the 24th of May to check out Shelley's work.

Shelley Hall's Artist Book, currently exhibited at VPHG

Tell us a little about your artistic journey...

I have been an artist ever since I can remember.  As a young girl I spent most of my time painting and drawing.  I became serious about my art practice about 13 years ago when I was in a position to dedicate more time to painting and haven’t looked back.

What inspires you?

Life, nature, colour, movement, freedom, other artists.
Shelley Hall's Memento Mori

What are the main medium(s) that you work in?

I work primarily in oil painting, but also drawing, printmaking and occasionally sculpture.

How would you describe your work? 

My work is very diverse and is constantly evolving.  Essentially it explores the themes of nature, spirituality and femininity.  

Shelley Hall's John Getting Dressed
Tell us about the specific pieces submitted for 'Anatomy' at VPHG
The two paintings address the issue of mortality and are a reminder of the importance of living in the moment.  The Artist’s book was created from a meditation on the landscape.  It includes poetry and drawings of found objects such as bone, dead leaves and flowers.  The naked female figure sitting beside a river in the landscape symbolises that we are all one with nature, life and death.  The choice of handmade paper represents impermanence and transience.

What are you working on currently?

At this stage, I am continuing to respond to the landscape.  I am also considering introducing the figure and other elements into the paintings.

Friday, 17 May 2013

VPHG: Artist Spotlight: Peter Fountain

You may have noticed that over the past few months we've been highlighting our makers through the regular stockist spotlight space. With our gallery calendar in full swing, I've been wanting to add another element to our spotlights, and add interviews with our exhibiting artists!

Today we're featuring Peter Fountain, an artist new to VPHG, he has two works in our current show, Anatomy. It sounds like I may have to corner him at the next opening to learn a little more about his story - I'm definitely intrigued! Are you?

Tell us a little about your artistic journey...

No- it’s too long and tedious. Now’s what matters – that and the future. If we were chatting face to face over a nice glass of red, relating to each other about life and all its mysteries I’d be happy to share but a monologue sucks and misses the important nuances. Sorry.

What inspires you?

Many different things. Random acts of kindness; the natural world; recycling and re-contextualising; music; cool technology, science, people who are true to themselves, my family so on and so on.

What are the main medium(s) that you work in?

It constantly changes but I usually use found objects or timbers for my sculpture. When I do make flat work I like to print and collage. I like the aspects of processing and layering and the sense of time this evokes.

How would you describe your work?

Very hit and miss with fleeting moments of clarity, nanoseconds of brilliance and eons of forgettable dross. Some ideas should end right there. Some months I make nothing and am a slave to my day job where I can’t even bear to think about art. Other times I’ll only come in from the studio if I’m dead on my feet and really can’t use power tools at 2am. 

Tell us about the specific pieces you submitted for 'Anatomy' at VPHG

The body prints........ well they started years ago as a mapping exercise ( kind of reality checks) and have continued from there. They’re analogous with life’s many facets – They’re intriguing and describe an impermanence that I easily take for granted. They remind me of other points of view.

What are you working on currently?

It’s top secret but they’re 3dimensional pieces – toys – almost.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

VPHG: Artist Spotlight - Julie Proudfoot

Next up in our Artist Spotlight series is the very talented Julie Proudfoot. Julie's artwork 'Picking Jonquils' was the highlight of Anatomy's opening night - practically every attendee I spoke to loved the piece! We've worked Julie on a few exhibitions now and she is always such a pleasure to deal with; not just because her paintings tell such emotive stories but because she is just a lovely human in general!

Who are you? Tell us about your artistic journey...

A long time ago I was very bored during a Dental Nurse course in Melbourne and enrolled in an afterhours Fine Arts course. It filled a void in my life. It gave me the basics of drawing and painting. That was over twenty-five years ago. 
Since then, wherever I am, if the urge to ‘colour’ a situation strikes me, I put pastel to paper, or oil to canvas.
Julie Proudfoot's 'Picking Jonquils'
What inspires you?

When I think about art I think about colour and emotion. That’s what comes first and that’s what inspires me. 
Human emotion is intricate and complex, but at the same time universal. People recognise it when they see it. Life is full of events that pull us and throw us and needle us, and it’s the emotion we feel in amongst all that that I’m interested in. 
My interest in emotion possibly comes from my studies in psychology, or perhaps it’s the other way round: my interest in emotion lead me to a degree in psychology. Who knows? 
Then again, it may come from my un-conventional childhood: a strange primary school of ten children who ran around the bush climbing trees alongside lots of painting and pottery and textiles, and a home life confused by adults with un-medicated mental illness. 
Where ever it comes from, to expose and display an emotion is a challenge I always put to myself, and I hope it resonates with people who view my work. It’s a healthy thing to share emotion with people.

What are the main medium(s) you work in?

Oils and pastels. I love the way pastel blends, and its inherent softness. I often think I should give up the messy smelly oils, especially from an environmental point of view, but I love oils! Silky messy oils! I have a fondness for very large canvas, but it’s not practical most of the time.

How do you describe your work?

To give some context I would say I have expressionist intentions. But to put it simply, I attempt to display emotion by painting colour and figures.
Julie Proudfoot - Foetal
Tell us about the specific pieces you're exhibiting at VPHG...

The two paintings, ‘Picking Jonquils’ and ‘Foetal’, are a part of a series of ten or so paintings. The ten were painted in sequence within a period of a few months, and sometimes two at a time. 
They were painted at a difficult time in my life, and without intending to, and in hindsight, the series display an uncanny resemblance to my process through and out the other end of that time. 
They began with paintings that display frustration, pain and anger and move through to freedom, transparency, and happiness. 
‘Jonquils’ and ‘foetal’ are positive and transparent. Transparent both literally, and in the idea that there is nothing to hide from, or fear, or to be angry about. Jonquils are my favourite flower and were prolific where I grew up. So many that it was okay to roll down a very long hill over hundreds and hundreds of them squishing and ruining them. So it’s not surprising that Jonquils of all sizes and states feature in this. ‘Foetal’ is the feeling that it’s okay to live and stay and share in a moment of pain, and come through it.
Both 'Picking Jonquils' & 'Foetal' during the Anatomy show at VPHG
What are you working on currently?

I’m working on a series of oil paintings that accompany a psychological fiction novel I’m writing. Studying the characters visually helps me to tease apart and get to know them more deeply and emotionally.

You can read more about Julie's journey on her blog or over on twitter

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

VPHG: Artist Spotlight - Kerri-Anne Schnoor

You may have noticed that over the past few months we've been highlighting our makers through the regular stockist spotlight space. With our gallery calendar in full swing, I've been wanting to add another element to our spotlights, and add interviews with our exhibiting artists!

Today is that day! We're launching Artist Spotlights on the blog with Kerri-Anne Schnoor - one of the artists exhibiting in the current show, Anatomy. Her piece 'All That Is Left' (pictured below) is actually a personal favourite from this exhibition, so I'm very excited to share her story with you!

'All That Is Left' - on exhibit at VPHG until the 24th of May, 2013

Tell us a little about your artistic journey...

I have always had an interest in art but it was put on the backburner for a long time and after completing a year long art course I decided to continue with studies at Latrobe Uni in Bendigo,

What inspires you?

I find my inspiration working with materials. I usually begin researching a subject that I am interested in and then let the work grow from there through experimentation and investigation.

What are the main medium(s) that you work in?

I often begin with whatever I have laying around the studio and as ideas arise I follow them through with whatever is necessary and this process often leads me to a completed work that was nothing like where I began.

How would you describe your work?

I describe my work as process driven. I document the process of my work, with photography, writing and video, because it evolves and changes throughout its time and this documentation becomes part of the work. I try not to let myself become concerned with the final outcome or what will happen if I do this, I do it and move on. This allows me to move forward without regret or disappointment in my piece.

Tell us about 'All That Is Left', the piece you submitted for 'Anatomy' at VPHG

All that is left is an experimental work, however I did have a vision of what the final outcome would be in my head. What I was left with however was totally different, yet through the process of experimentation it became something more than what I had anticipated. It is this element of surprise and learning what the materials can actually do that drives my work forward.

What are you working on currently?

This year I am undertaking Bachelor of Visual Art Honours at Latrobe Uni and my studio space is full of papier mache sculptures, cast pieces as well as body casts and smaller clay sculptures. The work has evolved from a small concept at the start of the year to a large body of work concerned with investigating form and its relationship to space. Each piece is an evolving work and many of these pieces will be destroyed in some manner leaving only the documentation of their progress.

Kerri Anne's 'Drawing in Space', currently on display at the Phylis Palmer Gallery

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Friday, 10 May 2013

Exhibition Opportunity: 'OBJECT - secondlife' Call Out

OBJECT: 2013

VPHG Challenge Show

VPHG are hosting their first annual OBJECT Challenge Show June 15th - July 6th

For the first show VPHG is challenging artists to give secondhand items a new lease on life.

As part of the $20 entry fee each artist will be supplied with a randomly allocated secondhand item.

A BYO object option is available and all mediums will be considered, as long as the 'canvas' has had a previous life.

More details on the website

Know someone this challenge show would be perfect for? Be sure to share the word!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Behind the Scenes: Hanging Anatomy

I'm beyond excited for this show - the exhibiting artists have gone above and beyond my expectations when I set the theme. We'll be showcasing everything from 3D sculptural work to lino prints, from 10 very talented local artists.

With over 20 pieces in the exhibition, most of them large scale, let me just say that hanging a show at VPHG is where I get most of my exercise - that's at minimum of 20 trips up and down our stairs just carting the work up to the gallery!

Opening night is tomorrow, Friday the 10th of May from 7pm until 9pm at View Point Handmade Gallery, 13 View Point, Bendigo. (Opposite the fountain).

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Business Resources: The Right-Brain Business Plan

Nearly every day I chat to artists and makers who are struggling with the business side of their creative pursuit. Not everyone wants to make a fulltime income from their craft, but to help those that do I wanted to start sharing resources that I've found useful or have recommended to others - let's share our knowledge and grow together!

I've spent countless hours researching the issues and looking for solutions that will help them monetise their talents and today I want to share one of my first 'go-to' suggestions for my right-brain comrades!

Jennifer Lee's book 'the Right-Brain Business Plan':

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There's worksheets, step-by-step instructions and stories from featured creative entrepreneurs, all in a conversational and supportive style that will give your right-brain a nudge in the right direction (ha! right, see what I did there??).

Have you created a Right-Brain Business Plan using Jennifer's book as a guide? I'd love to hear from you in the posts below!

Please note: the links in this post are affiliate links, however I would never recommend a program or product that I don't personally believe in.

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