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In Art

A Clearer Vision

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Besides my little hiccup and dash of defiant behaviour, I have found my ground and admit (maybe hypocritically?) that I do not admire people who take undue credit. Above all else, I value honesty, and I can say un-hypocritically that I have never been dishonest about my work. For a long time I’ve been working towards designs that are more versatile but unique to the market. It was not until recently that I can truly say I’ve found my niche that stands a little apart from everyone else.

Polymer clay has always been a huge market. It is a forgiving medium and is easily accessible to crafters and artists alike. I have seen more and more great jewellers who form big beads of all different shapes, sizes and colours. However, often great designs get lost in the flooded business, making it more and more difficult to be “individual” where everybody seems to be drawing inspiration from one another left, right and centre. In my ongoing pursuit to be just a little bit different – I have since moved away from what is abundant in the market, and now moving towards a more stream-lined aesthetic that is delicate yet still reserves an element of the old.

My Delicates Collection draws from my older designs (such as The Original Links collection), shrunk into miniature size so that it’s perfect for layering. Its dainty quality seems to suit a wider audience whilst still preserving its unique nature. I hope that alongside my Diamond Project Collection, that this will stick as a permanent aesthetic to my brand.

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Euphemism TrioIMG_0925
Point Delicate StudsIMG_0927
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Thank-you to all of those who have given me continual support on this artistic journey! Please visit my site (emclecticcollection.com) for more of these delicates, with more colours coming later this season!

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In Art

The Internet is a Cultural Object – Brunswick Street Exhibition 2015

The internet creates an unparalleled encompassing experience. A mirage of democratic instant access to information. We crave this instant gratification: a like, a comment, a post – proving to ourselves that what we create is validity. 

The Internet is a Cultural Object. 

If our entire population suddenly ceased to exist in some major apocalyptic manner, and the only remnant to remain was a device containing the internet, what would the people of the future think of us, as they attempted to discover who and what we all were, all by looking through the internet exactly as it is today (thought provoking from Kate Geck).

The internet has become an expectation and a necessity. We cannot seem to tolerate lengthy periods of time without the immediacy of information – it has become second nature. Virtual object, capital, and existence has dissolved from artificial into real, and tangible.

In this exhibition, we seek to investigate conceptions of art practice, formalised aesthetics, and identity relationships with(in) technology. We additionally hope to question the role of autonomy, ubiquity, and how to engage critique within this ostensible collective that is the internet. How does our internet life alter social relations and raise questions about identity, privacy, and desire? What are our (false) expectations and assumptions in regards to transparency, digital capital, accessibility, and the ownership of information. 

Living within in the Internet complicates and continuously expands comprehensions.
There are so many questions: What are our new visual metaphors for self and subjecthood? Where is the activism? How does information loop and translate between interfaces and communicators? How does one own online digital data content and what does this ownership signify? How does the colour palette of a contemporary painter encompass their personal screen time? What happens when data is discarded and then reused? When does the Internet act as an independent agent? Who do see on google street view? What is intimacy?

We are constantly being during the internet, not before, after or without. 

The Internet is a Cultural Object investigates aesthetic formalisms, and socialised action, while considering contemporary arts practice as framed within internet as zeitgeist.

curated by Miriam Arbus.

Exhibiting artists include:

Claire Virgona
Kate Geck
Sarah Rhiannon 
Tansy Jana McNally
Tessy King and Niamh Minogue 
Jen Fullerton
Wyatt Knowles 
Heidi Stevens 
Courtney Blackney
Alun Rhys Jones 
Nigel Tan with Kevin Leong and Dylan Ang
S. J. de Rosa 
Cate Gowers
BK
Mark Payne 
Damien Orriss 
Siobhan Dodds 
Melissa Martin 
Maddy Anderson 
Emily Vuong
Eugene Mott
Richie Cyngler
Tunni Kraus, Brendan Bensky and Ronch Willner
Ree Hegh
Pierre Proske
Scott Anderson
Maeve Holmes

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O T H E R W O R K S
i particularly enjoyed

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In Art

Les Miserables Musical; Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne

Super quick run-down of my thoughts on last night’s experience (especially since I’m procrastinating from doing my assignments…)

Seated third row from the front,
seeing real tears in actors/actresses eyes,
listening to moving voices shaking you to the core…

Les Miserables must be one of the best musical production I’ve seen so far (and to some embarrassment I have seen many including: Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, Jersey Boys, West Side Story, Cats, King Kong, Miss Saigon, Chicago, Grease).

Simon Gleeson was absolutely brilliant – even better than his co-starring role in Love Never Dies. I couldn’t have picked a better person to play Jean Valjean, my heart was with his character the whole time, and felt very sad to see him (very realistically) age on stage. The rest of the cast members were just as amazing. I did however wish that the songs sung by Marius were stronger, especially for Empty Chairs and Empty Tables – the character was well suited to him nevertheless, even though he did remind us of Sam Tsui/Max Schneider  on Youtube…
Although cheesy at times, the stage props and effects were very effective. The ‘homeless’ often popped out from the dark sides of the stage, gun shots often went off, and background projections to indicate passing of time and movement were used. I did particularly love the moving slums as there was a great sense of depth created on a small theatre stage through the use of layering. When Fantine bit one of the rich men in her prostitute scenes, I was very surprised where the blood in her mouth came from – especially since we were sitting so close I would have expected to see how that may have been done! Also (even though cringe worthy), I had no idea how or when Javert hooked himself to the ceiling for his suicide scene.
Eponine, whilst I do not deny her talent at all, was a little awkward to watch. I noticed that her style of singing and acting had a touch of “urban” or “gangster-vibe” with her regular shrugging and accented movements… I wasn’t sure whether that was her style, or deliberate for representing “youth” or the “next generation” depicted in the story (there were also some “modern” twists in some of the songs she sung also)…hm.
The humour was great – played very well by Lara Mulcahy and Trevor Ashley. All the cast in these humorous scenes were very in character and I enjoyed watching each and every one of them get fooled by Thenardier and Madame Thenardier. I was however a little confused about why the comedic figures in theatre have to be portrayed as “big” – after all, these people were meant to be poor. But I guess it makes sense if they were meant to embody greed and gluttony… I hope this does not come across as offensive or shallow.Overall, very good delivery of the plot line, some of which was sped up where appropriate. Singing was on point, especially in parts where multiple people would sing at the same time.

ps. Hopefully I’ll be back to posting more regular posts…as soon as uni finishes (not too long now!) Thankyou for reading 🙂

In Art

About the work

IMG_9603(Left to right: HASH, FLATLAY, POTD)

Synopsis of Previous Works. 

Much like the work I explored in my final year of my Visual Art degree, the canvas prints pictured above is a continued exploration of ideas about our online presence and our online identities. My previous work were predominately portrayed through the medium of video. They involved videoing impromptu interviews of strangers, documenting their response to questions that directly linked to the “Facebook profile”  without their knowledge. This meant that the prompts were taken out of context so to capture as authentic of a response from these people as possible. In doing so, I had intended to question the differences between our “real” and online identities. My previous work (in collaboration with Salina Sok) involved the reconstruction of people’s latest “Facebook status”. We recorded each of them verbalising these statuses, broke them apart, then putting them together in different video/sound sequences to create a narrative. This project highlighted the absurd, awkward and arbitrary nature of the “Facebook status/post” by attempting to display the dichotomy between the real and online presence.

Microcelebrity 1 POTD
Microcelebrity 2 FLATLAY
Microcelebrity 3 HASH

These works helped to inform my most recent work. Pictured above is a trilogy of canvas prints of digitally constructed work. At first I was worried that the pieces were too contrived and fictitious. It wasn’t till later that I realised the medium and construction itself mirrors its concept. These images took a slightly slant on the concepts explored ini my video work. Instead of commenting on identities portrayed in the online world, I wanted to create something that was even more relevant today – that is the notion of “instafame” or “online fame” born from social media. I find it incredibly interesting how big the “online celebrity” is today, yet personally I would not go as far as to say that they are almost in the same league as the Hollywood actor/actress – but it certainly seems so since the internet and our computer monitors are becoming our new television! “Talent” is becoming an even broader term now more than ever – you can be popular simply based on how many hashtags you place in your caption, or your aesthetic taste. I watched an interesting interview which featured an “insta-famous” teenage boy, what was striking to me was when he said that it was almost “abnormal”, strange or unusual to not be taking “selfies”. From what I vaguely remember, I understood him to say that it is the selfie that let people into his life, allow him to share it and build that relationship. Reality TV and the act of “watching” or the “Gaze” is becoming more prevalent and openly accepted in our society. “Fame” is becoming more and more possible with the growing online community and businesses. But is there a compromise? Is fame just based on nice aesthetics? And are we placing less and less importance on genuine unique talent? Because what is ironic about the aesthetics is that people, lifestyle / fashion bloggers…what have you…think that they’re sharing something unique to the community. What they’re ignoring (in few/some cases) that what they are sharing is simply a reproduction of what we have already seen (on Tumblr, on Pintrest, on 9Gag, Reddit, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc etc etc.)

Down to the Nitty Gritty Details

So to represent these thoughts, and in the same vein as my jewellery, I created images in 4 repeating colourful squares to mimic Andy Warhol’s work and to make reference to reproduction of mass media. The hearts represent the hearts that appear on Instagram when you “like” something.

Microcelebrity 1 POTD: Photo of the day. Photographed is the infamous “selfie” pose on the I-phone. The content of the portrait is blank to challenge the idea that by sharing your portrait is to gain “deeper” access or connection about a certain individual’s life.

Microcelebrity 2 FLATLAY: The fashion/lifestyle online world is fraught with “flay lay” images. Upon basic google research, one of the rules to take a proper “flatlay” is to make sure that you remain consistent with the theme of the image. My version of the flat lay breaks this rule with the incorporation of the “troll” (or online troll if you will), with increasingly unnatural hyper real colours as the image repeats (or reproduces).

Microcelebrity 3 HASH: -Tag (click for outfit details). These tags have been collaged into the “ootd” to poke fun at what we “like” as users of such social media. The reoccurring theme of the blank person is used to emphasis the simplicity of social media fame.

If you’re interested to see this work in person, it will be up for viewing till the 30th of August at Brunswick Street Gallery!
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/285363214981614/

Thanks for reading! xo

In Art

Behind the Collection

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A bit of shameless self promotion here, but I thought I’d get to talking about some of the ideas behind the jewellery I make. It’s gonna sound like a whole lot of faff and pretentious crap, but I guess that’s inevitable coming from someone with an Arts&VisArts degree. Since this blog is akin to something like an online portfolio, a few purchases and the semester break has inspired me to share the concept behind my work.

The aesthetics:

It isn’t my first time making jewellery. I started making my own jewellery in year 8 with a group of friends for fun; we also sold them to a few of our peers for fun.
I’ve had experience working with metals and jewellery in my first year of my studies in Visual Art, but never saw it through because it was not what I initially imagined it to be.

It wasn’t till last year when I rediscovered  jewellery making after lusting over other Australian jewellers.

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The concept:

One polymer clay jeweller (without naming any names), claimed that the philosophy behind their jewellery is that they do not believe in “mass marketing”. I am by no means making any kind of accusation, but the popular geometric design seems to be reminiscent of jewels – something that symbolises desire, wealth, opulence. I therefore found it difficult to see how their jewels were not already loaded with implications towards mass marketing.

From these thoughts, I marked my folio with “Pop Art” and dabbled in the ideas of Andy Warhol’s works. In relation to the Pop Arts, I questioned other’s practice and the fine line between what is “Art” and what is purely and simply “reproduction”. Of course, and especially with fashion, it could be both. The line between art and mass production has been blurred for centuries and will always be reminiscent of the “Pop Art” aesthetic.

The “gem” shape has been scattered everywhere on Etsy. You can see them made in many different materials like wood and polymer clay in an array of colours and patterns. I began to wonder how I could set my own work apart from the others – and if I could do this to any extent, how do I present and convey my work so that this comes through? So far, I can’t say I have succeeded in doing this, but sharing this blog post with you all is one way of doing so.

Pop Art appreciates popular and material culture. I wanted this to be symbolic in the diamond shape – not just any geometrical shape. I also incorporated theme inspired jewellery – whether it be directly referencing familiar brands or other popular culture to further suggest that this jewellery is supposed to be holding a mirror up to contemporary society. By recreating the diamond shape into clay, reproducing something that is supposed to represent something valuable –  it becomes valueless as the same product multiplies.

To the future:

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I plan to make my online store more consistent by re-photographing my images so that they’re predominately the same.

The descriptions will also aim to gear towards “concepts and values” to match the philosophy behind my jewellery and place less emphasis on styling ideas.

Thank you for taking the time to read. Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts or if you just want to say hi! Always keep an eye out on all my social media sites linked above for new products and posts!

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In Art

Portrayal Exhibition

Portrayal was a group portrait exhibition curated by Suzannah Henty and Miriam Arbus at Brunswick Street Gallery. Below is an excerpt from the exhibition description, and a list of artists who have contributed:

Portrayal, as an exhibition, will seek to situate itself within concepts of our contemporary inclination to examine/or respond to self (and) other’s images without preconceptions (gender, sex, race, religion, politics etc), and with a sense of the image provoking and dictating new contexts for itself.

Thinking about: self-directed/identified gender, post-gender, slippage in supposed categorical definitions (sex, gender, religion), the ability of a portrait to provoke political point, marital redefinitions, high/low aesthetic, Schizoculture.

Artists:
Bec Bigg-Wither
Rian Smit
Marianna Nigra
Greg O’Toole
Savina Hopkins
Ben Guy
Cal Alexander
Daisy Lewis
Joanne Braddy
Aleta Lederwasch
Siobhan O’Brien
Michele Newman
Tony Alston
Luisa Hansal
Justin A.F Perkins

I had the opportunity to exhibit at the gallery, however due to poor timing, I was unable to participate (which is a complete shame since the theme is so relevant to my work!) Hopefully I’ll be exhibiting some artwork soon……(eek!). The below are some of my favourite pieces.

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Spread across three walls are anonymous descriptions which match up to one of the portraits placed in the middle. I thought this was a clever way of depicting the way we see and judge people. How do we make the connection between someone’s life story, values, personality and their outward appearance? Does their expression say something? Their skin colour? Their age or gender?

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These paintings were done with inexpensive materials, appropriating popular images and reinterpreting them with a bit a mock humour to comment on societal issues. Four of the images pictured above can be seen from multiple angles.

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An incredibly loaded artwork which uses bandaids to create the form of a face. This work can be interpreted in many varying ways. My thoughts meandered towards the notion of ‘identity’ and the way it is constantly layered with hurt and happiness – we break and patch ourselves up again.

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A friend’s work, by Siobhan O’Brien (see more of her work and inspiration, here or here) explores gender stereotypes through a few family members. Each photograph has a narrative, and yet grouped together in a way that could create one cohesive story. Personally, I feel like this is successful because of how strongly contextualised the images are – these are, after all, a part of the way in which stereotypes are formed.

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I love the quality of the painting as it plays with both smooth and geometrical textures to capture light and form, but again (similar to the work with the bandaids) adds depth and meaning to the work. The faceted colours could indicate multiple facets of identity – and the naked form leaves no room for us to hide our true selves.

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We went to Hammer&Tong for lunch before this. It was a bit of a disappointment because we went such a long way, for a (dare I say) mediocre meal – even though the food was presented incredibly well! We definitely had to wait in line, it was packed. Seemed like it was a bit over-hyped, or maybe we just didn’t choose quite the right dishes.

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In Art

Zack Seckler’s beautiful photography

When I first came across Zack Seckler’s aerial photographs, I instantly went on a hunt for more, hoping that somewhere in cyberspace there would be a higher resolution image so that I could use it as a wallpaper for all my devices. I fell in love with its etherial quality. If you visit his official website and read his “About” page, you’ll find that his humour reflects just as much in his photographs. He explores the extraordinary in the ordinary, the oddity in banal commodity, the strange in normality. It’s no mystery that his portfolio images are full of fun and irony, but also aesthetically beautiful with a great sense of colour and spacial relationship. What appeals to me the most is its simplicity; clean and even colour, and of course the way you have to sometimes look twice to see what’s really going on in the photo. I’ve always loved artwork that toys a little with the audience’s mind, that plays with perception and teaches us to see outside the box.zs21 zs20 zs19 zs17 zs16 zs15 zs14 zs13 zs12 zs11 zs10 zs9 zs8 zs7 zs6 zs5 zs4 zs3 zs2