Monday, 23 February 2009


I've been alone in the house for a nearly a week, as Salva spent 5 days in Italy... About 5 minutes after he left the internet connection here fell, which was a moment of pure panic for me.
I am so, so dependent on the internet, for EVERYTHING- Communication with my family in Australia, images, blogging.... just inspiration.
Anyway. All of this served as an opportunity to take a few steps forward in the cage installation direction. It is such a slow process! I'm also working on an artist's statement, but in the meantime I'll share these photos.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Miradas Sonoras

I wrote about the Miradas Sonoras dilemma earlier this week. The project is Salva's. It's a series of concerts to be held in Valladolid relating to the Department of Ethnomusicology at the university here. The idea is to take concerts that would normally take place within the university for an academic audience, and make them accessible for the public. The concept I came up with, was 'Sound Released'

The story is as follows. I've been obsessed with birdcages for a few months now, and as soon as Miradas Sonoras put this idea to me I saw the bird as the symbol of the musician, the cage as its confines. My idea was to show the bird singing freely on top of its cage. It looks like this will be the poster for the event. It is a photograph of a painting of mine called, (you guessed it, 'Sound Released'). 

Birds, flight, freedom, nests and cages, they are all pretty, well, I won't say banal, but well-worn metaphors. There is an interesting scene of relevance in this film, which I watched with Salva the other night, AND my extremely talented cousin on the other side of the world is also, for some strange reason, thinking about this, AND we discussed it at length today at the flea market when we debated buying a beautiful orange canary, considering that by buying him and letting him free in the house, we were saving him from someone who would buy him and keep him in the tiny cage... This argument didn't hold in the end, as we decided that our house would only be a large, extended cage, and that we needed to boycott birds in captivity, especially if this installation is going to have any credibility. As Salva so beautifully put it, birds belong in the sky.


Translating the idea proved very interesting. 'Music Room' in Spanish, is 'Aula de Musica'. 'Cage' is 'Jaula'. This allowed for a nice little pun, 'Fuera de (j)Aula'. (Out of the music room, (cage).  OK so this is half of my involvement, the poster. When Salva tells me the dates and venues of the concerts the poster will also serve its purpose in conveying information. Aesthetically, I'm happy enough with it so far, though I'm sure it could be improved. Any ideas?

I also agreed to prepare an installation for the opening concert. I don't know why I thought I could do this. I've never prepared anything 3dimensional. It's such a challenge. The idea is to somehow transform the space and I'm completely stuck on how to do this. I don't even have the aesthetics clear on what I want to do with my handmade wire cages. Wood bases? Painted gold? Feathers and cloth and scruffy bits and pieces or clean, geometric lines...I'm used to deciding on these things as I work, which is quite possible with painting but with Sculpture I'm learning one must have clear ideas before starting.. I'll post some photos on here in the next couple of days. I'm going to need some constructive criticism.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

To-do list.

So I mentioned that I'm new here, both to the online community and the actual physical city in which I live. (Valladolid, Spain, see photo). I came here with just a box of acrylic paints (which I no longer use) so it has taken me a while to regain my materials and a little store of artworks.
Now I'm ready to have an exhibition! It's a matter of looking through the phonebook and emailing photos. Wish me luck.

Other artistic projects going on- I seem to have somehow involved myself in (partner) Salva's undertaking to organise a series of world music concerts in various sites throughout the city... 

I am designing the poster, which allows me to stay in the 2 dimensional world where I am most comfortable. Theoretically, I'm also preparing an installation for the opening night... It will be a mass of empty bird cages hung from the ceiling, and I want to make them myself from wire. The problem is that I am seriously inexperienced with 3D things, so I will be snooping around today adding blogs, in a bid for some kind of technical support!

Monday, 9 February 2009

New to blogging...

This is my first blog entry, ever. Everyone has to start somewhere! I'm an Australian artist, currently based in Spain. I painted with acrylics for about 6-7 years, but have recently made the transition back to oils, which is what I started with when I first picked up a brush as a teenager. I've also recently discovered the world of mixed media (thanks largely to this book and this one). It may be corny to say this is exciting, but for me it really is. There is just something about finding something to cover in glue and stick to a plywood board that gets some people's motors running. Here I'll leave you with a snapshot of my studio floor. I will write more about the studio and it's contents in the coming days...