Tag: craft

Kate Rohde – ornamental resin

Kate Rohde – ornamental resin

Flourish Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, 2008. Polyester resin and mixed media

Over the weekend I visited the Bendigo Gallery of Art, I hadn’t researched the gallery at all so I was really surprised at the size of the gallery, as well as the range of work on display.

I love Kate Rohde’s incredibly kitsch resin vitrines. So plastic-y, they look like there made of gummy sweets with semi transparent goo melting and merging.

I find them ridiculously amazing, there aesthetically overwhelming. The coloured resin flora and fauna designs cast shadows adding visual depth to the work. The ‘specimen’ displays are made entirely of man made materials, and visually mimic museum diaorama’s.

Kate Rohde has combined her interest in flora and fauna with her love of the elaborately ornamental baroque and rococo art movements, to great affect.

In 2009 I visited the Museum of Everything in London, which exhibited shell work, hand embroidered work, hand-painted circus signage and much more. I always remember the taxidermy drinking mice, and the boxing squirrels below.

by Edward Hart (1847-1928)
A case containing’Boxing Squirrels’ by the Victorian taxidermist, Edward Hart. 5th Viscount Bangor’s living sculpture of a tableau of red squirrels in boxing poses. Squirrel opponents shaking hands.

Images taken by Sarah Murphy, except the ‘Boxing Squirrels’

Chris Martin

Chris Martin

Excerpt taken from an interview with Jennifer Sammat on Hyperallergic.com:

“If you ask a bunch of college students, “Is anybody here an artist?” most will say, “Oh, I can’t paint, I don’t know.” Everyone is embarrassed. But, if you put on some music, and say, “Anybody want to dance?” well, everybody can dance. No one says, “I haven’t really studied dance.” People get up and they have a good time. I’m just saying — that’s good! In the art world, we could all dance a little. Dancing’s fun.” This statements contrasts with the current Arts Project Australia exhibition, ‘Lets Dance’ where dance is the subject of some peoples anxieties. I don’t intend to discredit this, but quote is a means to convey a message.

Martin experienced a level of preciousness towards painting on a canvas, that he didn’t have with drawings on paper. A habit he broke through experimentation and adopting a level of fearlessness he could see within his clients/students at work.

With a background in Arts Therapy, Chris Martin had been (and possibly still is) in the presence of some rather great self taught artists. He felt their energetic channelling of creativity contrasted greatly to his formal arts training, causing a necessary rupture in his practise. His work environment provided an arena to experiment with alternative materials like pom-poms and metallic paint and glitter.

Chris Martin, Untitled, 2014
Untitled, 2014

He paints XXXL, creating what some consider ‘severe abstract’ space to mill around in, and when the mind wonders a touch, its still wonders within the XXXL canvas. Interestingly he considers himself a landscape painter, and includes what he views as a  horizon or ground line in each work.

Chris Martin you caught my eye because of your use of glitter, sheer scale, boldness and sense of journey within your work. I found you in this aptly named artspace.com article:

Glitter, Neon and Good Old Fashioned Paint: Three Abstract Painters Pushing the Medium Forward.


The publication above reminds me of all the things I find interesting about some Chinese advertising: layout, scale, changeable font styles and colour combinations.

Featured Image from Artnet.com

Hyperallergic.com interview

Making Nature – Hiroshi Sugimoto

Making Nature – Hiroshi Sugimoto

Making Nature: How we see animals at Wellcome Collection London 2016

This show was an examination of how we humans see nature. An exploration of how we think, feel and value other species through 100 objects ranging from; taxidermy, photography, video, and literature.

This part historical/ part social commentary exhibition is a refreshing concept and featured some inspiring works by Hiroshi Sugimoto, who I will explore in this post, Marine Huggonnier, and a collaborative piece by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla which I will discuss in a separate post.


This was the first time I’d seen a Hiroshi Sugimoto work and it just stopped me in my tracks. Initially I thought ‘Gemsbok’ 1980, was a photograph of these animals in the wild, but to find out it was a photograph of a museum diorama just took it to another level. The balance between the airy upper part and textured lower parts of the image broken by the striking features of the gemsbok, make for a captivating image that makes me feel I’m alone with these animals.

Sugimoto is quoted as saying ‘Upon first arriving in New York in 1974, I did the tourist thing. Eventually I visited the Natural History Museum, where I made a curious discovery: the stuffed animals positioned before painted backdrops looked utterly fake, yet by taking a quick peek with one eye closed, all perspective vanished, and suddenly they looked very real. I’d found a way to see the world as a camera does. However fake the subject, once photographed, its as good as real.’

Sugimoto believes in working with nature, avoiding sophisticated photography editing tools and software, and forging craft with artistry.

‘I am against evolution…I am sticking to the traditional method. I’m very craft orientated person, but at the same time I want to make something artistic’. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Art in the Twenty First Century, season 3, Memory

In art21.org’s ‘Art in the Twenty-First Century: Memory’ show, Sugimoto discusses his ‘Architecture’ series, where he addresses the dilapidation of Mid 20th Century architecture, juxtaposing the striking modern structures viewed in architectures books, with another view, removing the markings of time and presenting them as blurred imagery. The idea of presenting the everyday in an alternative way is very interesting to me.


Contemporay artist Gerard Byrne’s current work involves a 18 minutes film of the worlds oldest natural history museums diorama. see here