Tuesday 16 December 2014

Currents and tides...

I finished last week with a visit to CSIRO for the RV Investigator 'Welcome to Port' ceremonies. I was eager to get a bit closer to the ship and was hoping that I might be able to have a tour onboard. Unfortunately I wasn't successful in the ballot, but there was plenty to look at onshore. I had a chat to a gentleman whose company supplies the radar equipment for the ship. He explained how the systems work, tracking and recording weather information and how this data is used for constructing models. There were also several of the various devices that are deployed from the vessel into the ocean for measuring and recording all types of data including salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll as well as catching krill specimens and phyto-plankton. I was particularly interested in these and how I might adapt some of their forms into my sculptural work.

I was also paid a visit in the gallery space by one of the scientists from upstairs who is an expert on all of these devices and who will be coming to Heard Island in 2016. I will be going to have a look through the 'shed' to see the argo floats and SOT's (I can't remember exactly what SOT stands for, but will find out soon).

The last few days have seen a few new works arrive in the IMAS space. I've been adding to my small group of suspended mobiles and this morning I've been to the shops to get some more materials to play with...

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Making gaps between...

I've been away for a few days, presenting a paper at the AAANZ conference in Launceston, reporting on my current work in the IMAS space. I had the pleasure of convening a session on Drawing as a mode of thinking GEOcritically with fellow co-presenters Antonia Aitken from UTAS and Sarah Pirrie from the University of Charles Darwin. Our session explored how drawing is used within each of our practices as a key mode of engaging with place and as embodied experience. A huge thank you to Sarah who travelled all the way from Darwin and who made a wonderful contribution to our session.

This is what's been happening in and around the IMAS space over the last couple weeks...

These have moved off the wall in the last few days and are now occupying space out in the middle of the space, interacting with each other, hovering in the breeze.

 More of these have appeared in varying scales, along the window looking out on to Castray Esplanade. The tracing paper is also moving gently in the air conditioning with the layers underneath coming into and out of focus with the sigh of the wind.

The Aurora Australis departed last Friday for her next voyage into the unknown, leaving behind a Hobart shrouded in low lying cloud and light rain. Her orange girth beaconing in the grey haze.

We've also had a visit from the Royal Australian Navy, the HMAS Rankin arriving and then quietly disappearing beneath the waves.

Secret codes and hidden languages, the gaps between patterns of language and understanding... I recently saw an episode of the Secrets of Britain where they were talking about the people working out of Bletchley House on cracking the Enigma code on WWII. The code breakers were selected because of their knowledge of patterns of language. It got me thinking about my line of buoys and how I might arrange them on the floor in the space to free up some more room on my working trestles. They of course behave quite differently on the floor - interacting with their new horizon.

Coincidentally over the weekend there was an article about British Intelligence's employment of code breakers with dyslexia (see here) because of their increased ability to recognise patterns within language, patterns that non-sufferer's normally overlook. It appears once again that the gaps between are important...at least if you're trying to crack a code....perhaps the coded visual language of drawings and objects.....



assumed positions


This work has been moving around the gallery floor. A bit like a map with a key/legend and plotted points of interest...cairns of discovery, stepping stones, pebbles...

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Paling into significance...

Over the last week I have been experimenting with a series of small (A5 graphite on cartridge paper) drawings. These drawings are all silhouettes, referencing a variety of nautical objects. The graphite appears to flatten the forms out as the silhouette is filled and the forms become dark, almost black mysterious shapes. The blackened graphite shapes hint at their process of making, of the many accumulated marks used to fill their space. The light over the surface of the graphite reveals the artist's hand and the tracking of their history from outline to occupied territory.

Hanging the drawings from the hanging system here in the gallery I discovered that the air conditioning system makes them bump and sway. Three have been anchored to the gallery floor with long lines of orange thread, marine safety orange, a marker, something to take note of. The small lead weights at their ends are lightly tugged by the breeze from the air conditioning vent, threatening to loose their hold on the floor.

Watch video of Drawings in the IMAS space here