Thursday, November 26, 2015

November Acrylic paintings

Here are those paintings I was telling you about. I've had a little feedback, which suggests that the last one I completed is the best - it's the one I like the most & the one that proved most difficult to execute. My title for this series, which is not yet finished is Remediation of an Original Emotion.
Textural differences.  Acrylic paint on stretched canvas. 40 X 50 cm. Julie Clarke (c) 2015

Sunrise. Acrylic paint on stretched canvas. 30 x 40 cm. Julie Clarke (c) 2015

High Rise, Richmond. Acrylic paint on stretched canvas. 30 x 40 cm. Julie Clarke (c) 2015

Twin Towers, or, pylons on Bolte Bridge. Acrylic paint on stretched canvas. 30 x 40 cm. Julie Clarke (c) 2015

Underneath the bridge, Docklands. Acrylic paint on stretched canvas. 48 x 61 cm. Julie Clarke (c) 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lovey Dovey

I've been working on six small acrylic paintings, which are in various stages of  completion. I'll show them soon. In the meantime, for bird lovers, or those hungry for images, here's a photograph I took of one of my Doves sitting on the nest she made in my courtyard tree last week. She must feel safe because I think I could almost reach up to her spindly construction. Addendum to this post today, Thursday 25 November: two days ago I found an empty Dove egg shell, I suspect given the size of the hole in it that another bird had pierced the shell and eaten the unborn Dove. I still have the egg shell, it's placed inside the nest, which was blown down from the tree in the gale force winds yesterday. Either way that little unborn Dove was never going to survive!
Lovey Dovey. Photo: Julie Clarke (2015)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I've deactivated my Facebook account

I'm hardly on Facebook these days so deactivated my account. Not much other news except that I've seen four films of late at the theater and place them in this order of preference. Black Mass, Macbeth, The Martian and Far from the Madding Crowd. Loving the Spring weather and that includes the constant rain that's been falling since about 6.30pm last night. Some art should follow in the next few weeks.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Beautiful music was played by Yinuo Mu, principal harpist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday night to accompany Julie Rrap’s current exhibition Artists dreaming, which fills the two large spaces on the ground floor of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at The University of Melbourne. What a wonderful event by the Potter that also included African, Egyptian and Medieval Music to complement the three other exhibitions they are showing on the other floors until late November. Suspended from the ceiling was a myriad of photographic images of sleeping people & dreaming, appropriate somehow whilst the sounds of the heavenly harp permeated the space. Their inversion interesting, as though their sleep created a downfall.
Julie Rrap - Ian Potter Museum of Art. Photo: Julie Clarke (2015)
Pity though that the majority of people were eating and talking whilst Yinuo Mu was playing & I struggled to hear the sounds. Luckily I was familiar with one piece by Eric Satie. 

The darkened second room contained free standing sculptures of Rrap’s hands (moulded) - reminded me of Stelarc's molded arm with ear; visual projections of a woman dancing with a scarf, rather akin to a whiling dervish as well as large scale aerial digital images of people dancing. They looked very much to me like a flock of birds in flight.
Julie Rrap - Ian Potter Museum of Art. Photo: Julie Clarke (2015)

Julie Rrap - Ian Potter Museum of Art. Photo: Julie Clarke (c) (2015)
Overall, it was an interesting exhibition and perhaps a divergence of sorts for Rrap. Many thanks to The Potter for inviting me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Baby Doves

I've been feeding a pair of Doves for the past year and a half and wondered why they were so hungry in August and September. I've recently discovered that they've produced two little offspring, who were sitting in the sun on the edge of the roof guttering in my courtyard yesterday. Here's two short videos I took of them. I wish the quality was better but the videos were taken with my Panasonic Lumix TZ digital camera through the window glass and fly wire screen, ditto with the photograph, as they would have flown away if I'd attempted to film them outside.
Here is photograph of mummy Dove and her cute babies.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


I was caught in a sudden downpour yesterday morning on my way to see Torrent by Melbourne artists Martine Corompt & Philip Brophy as well as The Dark Pool by Ronnie Van Hout, New Zealand artist at Centre for Contemporary Photography. 

When I entered the gallery the first words I saw was DRIP, DRIP, DRIP, which appeared appropriate given I’d just stepped in from the rain. The wall was covered with many large, rather sour colored (green, yellow, pink, orange) photographs of plastic monsters produced by the American toy company Aurora. These photographs were prefaced by a text written by Barbara Creed, who expounded on the uncanny nature of toys, particularly those that might disturb the psyche. She included a reference to Sigmund Freud and the film A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971) thus setting up the psychological significance of Van Hout’s exhibition.

After viewing the digital photographs and a rather life-like, disturbing statue of a Punk on a Bed (2015) also by Ronnie van Hout (in another space) I was reminded of the Droogs in ACO and the fact that both punks and the main protagonists in ACO exemplified sexuality and ultra-violence, an explanation perhaps for two of the other words included in this photographic display, namely cunnilingus and fellatio.
Still of Torrent. Photo (taken by my phone) Julie Clarke (2015)

Still of Torrent. Photo (taken by my phone) Julie Clarke (2015)

The meditative multichannel digital animation in the back room entitled Torrent was such a contrast to what I’d just seen. Although the imagery suggested falling rain and generated patterns on the floor akin to ever widening ripples in a pool, I thought that it was Brophy’s original harp score accompanying the piece that really made it work.

A number of themes were occurring between these two distinct exhibitions and music was the inroad, for in another small space a film of a man talking was projected onto the wall; he was facing a film on the opposite wall of another man. They were conversing with one another as one might if one was speaking with an analyst. It stood as a reminder that cinema, particularly science fiction and horror genre brought our internal fears revealed by psychiatry into the open in monstrous imagery and strange fantasies.

At one stage one of the men started singing Singing in the Rain, which was not only the title of a film that made Gene Kelly famous because of his direction and dancing, but it was also a sequence in A Clockwork Orange in which Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and the droogs approach the home of a wealthy couple, enter and terrorize them.

OK, so, we have a dark pool created by the threatening look on the face of the life-like punk, the evilness of Alex in ACO and the monstrousness of the toys that depict characters from traditional horror genre. Frankenstein’s monster was a feature of a number of the photographs on the wall and since light was his life force I was taken back again to Torrent, its animated white light piercing the darkness.  The words: drip, drip, drip evoked water and the song Singing in the Rain, but also the animated pool in Torrent. It was as if both exhibitions were speaking to each other, except that  there was nothing I could see that was remotely horrific about Torrent save for the almost complete darkness that encompassed the space between the sporadic bright white images of falling rain. Both these exhibitions are on at CCP until 6 November.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

PIERRE HUYGHE ' The Human Mask"

What remains with me as I consider Pierre Huyghe’s 19 minute film ‘The Human Mask’ screened last night at ACMI in association with TarraWarra Museum of Art and the Melbourne Festival?
The slow, repetitive dripping of a tap, a monkey wearing a human mask and playing intermittently with strands of the long, black wig & the hem of the dress she is wearing - her reflection in the mirror. Tapping its foot and then removing something from the fridge in one part of the house and, then returning to another room. The darkness of the interiors, the utter devastation outside of a city destroyed, no humans in sight save for this disturbing representation of this animal dressed as a Japanese school girl. Picking at its fingernails it turns its head slightly to the side as it listens to the sounds of wind and rain, the cat that watches the primate’s monotonous actions is mirrored in the continuous up and down paw gesture of the maneki-neko (Japanese: 招き猫, literally "beckoning cat") a common Japanese figurine believed to bring good luck. On this occasion the maneki-neko relates to the non-nonsensical, unfathomable & mechanical forces of nature. The 'girl' is in fact a macaque monkey who once worked as a waitress in a Toykyo restaurant, which explains why this primate can stand upright and does not exhibit the usual stooping movement we associate with their gait.
It is through images of repetition that Pierre Huyghe addresses and reinforces duration – the passage of time metered out not by historical human events, but in the way that non human things make their presence known in this lonely and deserted arena. The temporal nature of being is also represented by the image of a cockroach scurrying across the floor, hasn’t it been said that insects will inherit the world if it is ultimately destroyed? And the maggots, strange clones of one another writhe in concert with potential, transformative life amidst food and other objects that lay where they had been dumped by gushing water. Both the cockroach and the maggots embody destruction of infrastructure and decay of organic matter after the Japanese tsunami in 2011.

I appreciated this film for all gestures made by the monkey who wears a human mask, mirror possible mundane actions that we ourselves may become engaged in if we were left alone with very little to do. We are after all humanimals and are subject to the same boredom.
Pierre Huyghe’s film follows a number of artists who have dealt with evolution of the human species and the transhuman, such as Lisa Roet, Stelarc and Patricia Piccinini, to name a few.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A secret garden, such lurid beauty?

Remember that on 30 September this year I was talking about a homeless person who had made a make-shift bed in Richmond. Well, here are two photos of his nightly abode. First one was on a not so cold night and the second photograph, which I took a few days ago shows how he has made creative use of available materials, namely some bubble wrap to keep himself warm and protect him from the elements. Food for thought I should think and totally weird that he is sleeping rough near an advertisement for gas bottles.

On a brighter note, you must go and see The Secret Garden at ACCA, an installation that comprises four room of an exquisite nature (which I saw last Saturday), and  Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes at the National Gallery of Victoria at Federation Square (which I saw this morning). My favorites were paintings by James Gleeson and Louise Hearman as well as prints by Pat Brassington. But there are loads of other amazing works in this extensive exhibition. Don't miss it! I'm looking forward to hearing Max Delaney, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, speak tomorrow on the upcoming December exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei. Spring is an amazing time of the year and though I'm still struggling with my vestibular migraine symptoms most days I manage to get around and see things, much better off than the young man who is sleeping outside each night.Oh, for those interested, I've written a little more to my post entitled Electric Scream in which I expound the notion of the shimmer. See the following link. Note, I'm still working on that piece of writing... (ha)