I feel kind of embarrassed at how long it was since I last wrote a blog post. As per usual, there has been so much happening. In between all that, there was a mercy dash to Australia as my lovely number one supporter and grandma was ill and passed away gracefully, then there was Xmas, and then we moved house.
Unfortunately, in all that upheaval, this little precious space has been left unattended and has probably grown a few weeds too. But despite the above, a lot artistically has happened and I am going to attempt to write it all down. Sorry if it is tedious and over detailed, but if I go in a chronological order to aid my memory it will be easier…and I’ll throw in a few pictures too.
Thankfully I wrote a to-do list on the last blog post!
So, yes, I went to Auckland for one day and attended a most stimulating and exciting symposium – http://www.artcop21.com/events/temp-a-climate-change-forum-to-progress-an-outdoor-arts-science-experience/
Half of which was held on a double decker bus while driving through and around Titirangi [pictured above]. It was an amazing opportunity to hear how the Temp project was developing and meet the other participating artists, scientists and the steering group.It was also a chance to get a real feel for how the different projects will exist both separately and also in connection with the each other, their sites and audiences. I presented an illustrated and very excited first talk about my time in Antarctica. I was saddened but completely understood when the the tough decision was made days before Christmas to delay the project by a year when a funding shortfall was apparent. More about this in a minute.
More talking – Yes, I gave another talk, this time at the SCANZ – Science Communicators Association of NZ annual conference with Dr Craig Stevens in Wellington. http://www.scanz.co.nz/events/conference15 We talked individually about K131 [research in Antarctica] and the interdisciplinary nature of our collaborations and the added value of placing someone like me with an outsiders view in a research team on the ice. The talk was well received and it gave me a large amount of confidence to speak in this context and made me value my contributions as an interdisciplinary researcher, science communicator and artist even more. It is definitely affirming to be able to talk about my work, and it to have relevance in many contexts.
This is a slice from a meteorite that was handed around at the conference. My only other picture was of the conference room’s carpet…
Painting – the two murals at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington were painted by the wonderful and talented students from St Cath’s and Wellington Girls Schools over two days. They all worked hard to complete their individual works, but also collaborated so well with each other. So much to be proud of – and such a lovely project to be involved in.The greater project was launched on December 16 with many of the contributing student artists in attendance. The work will be up for a year, so keep an eye out for lots of colours on the concourse, rather than only concrete.
Data wrangling – I logged over 500 video files that I created while in Antarctica. They ranged in length and quality – from accidental videos of 1 second to 20 minutes. Many shaky and hand held as most shots where unable to be planned for or reenacted, but there was so much rich information in there. The footage will go toward two online course videos for
This was a frustrating but amazing process – frustrating as I was disappointed at the quality of many of the files, but considering I was a one person first time operation, much of it is also fantastic and honest and really interesting. It was amazing to relive many of the experiences that I had on the ice by reviewing the material also and to work out how to make connections and tell stories through the often disparate moments that I managed to capture.
Even more talking: I spoke at the Biennial NZ sea-ice symposium in Christchurch about my time in Antarctica and the research outcomes. It was a good talk at the end of the day. I didn’t spot anyone falling asleep or rustling their pages. There were a few moments afterwards that made me chuckle where the scientists were apologising for how boring it must be for me. In fact it was incredibly interesting and it was beneficial for me to hear where my work sits within the greater area of sea-ice research.
I had a mini existential dilemma when Temp was postponed. [even though I completely understood why] That project was in the foreground of my research and thinking while in Antarctica and gave my return momentum and purpose. Things have all worked out though – as they do. Fortunately an opportunity that I had said no to due to scheduling could be pursued…and I am pleased to announce that I will be having a large scale solo show at Pataka Museum+Art that opens from June 19 – Sept 20, 2016.
It is not the longest time-frame to prepare works for an exhibition, but I have accepted the challenge to work out how to present the before, during and after – work created around my trip to Antarctica last year. It will be a kind of exposé of process, research and data collection and will illustrate the challenge that is a complete change of direction in my practice. It is uncomfortable [for me] but liberating as I can’t rely on my usual bag of tricks to make my art work. I am crossing into languages and media that have been part of my process, but not my outcomes.
There will be photographs, paintings and drawings, a video work on 4 channels and a site specific work made out of cellotape/sticky-tape and light. The working title is Studio Antarctica – Fugitive Ice. I have an instagram account that is updated more regularly for this project if you would like to follow…https://www.instagram.com/studioantarctica/
Other news: I have some work in this show in Melbourne that opens on Friday 24 Feb.
Thanks to my lovely friend and buddy from art school Narinda Cook for making that happen. https://www.facebook.com/NarindaCookArtist/
Also – I have some work in a book that has recently been published out of Hong Kong:
There is much more on the horizon which will have to wait for another blog post. This year went from zero – i.e., nothing on at all, to turbo. But first I am going to take a short break and see some dear friends get married, hang out with some family, some mountains and lakes and recharge.