Learning to Fly – Marco Corsini’s upcoming exhibition

Exhibition dates: 4 – 17 April

Opening: 6 April 6pm – 9pm

Location: Brunswick Street Gallery

I began to reflect on the King River as a source. Its river stone beds and shallow streams, sometimes bubbling around arrangements of boulders, sometimes disappearing into deep, dark, still waters, which had never been beautiful to me when growing up and I had never thought of its significance in our lives beyond its supply of water. The river as a source which had branded a primordial sense of dependency and intimacy within me over my half lifetime. The river that constantly flowed, had always flowed, will always flow. The river that bound us around itself and preserved us. I slowly connected to the idea of source and slowly felt that my own dependency on this source was being revealed. That I had felt a need for years now, to constantly return to this source. I began to connect with the notion of origin and that just as I sat on the banks of this river or swam or drank from it, all I could ever do was draw close to it, to be within in, return to it. I had to return to this river. I have always returned to the King River.

From, Returning to the river, Marco Corsini, 2016

Marco Corsini’s paintings feature the landscape and his immediate environment. Using shifts in viewpoint and perspective and often painted over extended periods of time, the works explore perception and the nature of painting as a recorder of experience rather than as a representative tool. Alongside a phenomenological interest in consciousness and experience, Corsini’s work also incorporates personal motifs such as the horse, indicating the artist’s own presence. The paintings explore perception and subjectivity, asking us to go beyond everyday discourse into deeper engagement with the nature of our existence.

Originally published on Thursday, 29 March, 2018 by Marco Corsini

Fractured Dwellings: Rosi Griffin

Paintings that describe fragmented domestic spaces populated with disintegrating walls, are timely. They come when the industrial spaces around Rosi Griffin’s Collingwood studio are rapidly transforming with new developments continually springing up for a swelling inner city population. They come at a time when massive rises in Australian house prices have turned property development and residential renovation into a national sport when glossy magazine style layouts of idealised domestic spaces cloud our image of that the home has been for most of us.

Fragmented Dwelling, Rosi Griffin, acrylic on canvas, 122x91cm

The paintings, Fragmented Dwelling and Urban Transformation, describe this time as the disintegration of the domestic space. Not only is the possibility of ownership becoming more remote for emerging generations but for those that have a home, the domestic space is now set in the context of surrounding development and unattainable images of perfection. The domestic space is being threatened on many levels as materialistic impulses cloud out communal and familial impulses. The stability and viability of that space is being torn, dislocated and shredded like the walls in these paintings. We can no longer claim to be escaping the slums, as Modernism claimed almost century ago, rather, it is now all for the sake of the new and the ideal as dictated by fake images of domestic perfection.

Urban Transformation, Rosi Griffin, mixed media on board, 60x50cm

Walls create a space that not only protect, but also provide a known place, and in that place gradually builds a narrative of belonging. The experience of a neighbourhood, the identification with a place are held by familiar walls. The walls of our home, the walls of our streets, are pages on which our stories are written. Without them we fall into a a perpetual present with no past, perpetual change eroding a language of belonging. Language of home gradually disintegrates and becomes abstracted until all that we have in its place are traces of memory of what was. As in Build after demolition, we no longer have identifiable walls, just the trace of walls that define a present space with no history and no story. Edges without containment and protection.

Build after demolition, Rosi Griffin, acrylic on canvas, 112x140cm

Opening Friday 2 June, 6 pm to 8 pm at St Heliers Street Gallery, Abbotsford Covent, 1 St Heliers Lane, Abbotsford.

Written by Marco Corsini

Jennifer Whitten – American hyperrealist painter

Jennifer Whitten

We had the opportunity of having Jennifer Whiten, an American hyperrealist painter living and working in Melbourne, present for us at our Enderby Studio Art Program class.

Jennifer completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts: Washington University in St. Louis and is currently undertaking a Master of Contemporary Art: Victorian College of the Arts.

Much of her recent work has used images of young girls in otherwise ubiquitous everyday situations such as cooking in the kitchen or dressed up in fancy dresses, common day stuff apart from that their faces are dominated by these massive mouths that obliterate all facial features. Jennifer described how each of these mouths form the shape of the first letter of a word and therefore carry hidden meaning which perhaps someone will unlock. The girls are all communication, and chatter, perhaps as they discover their everyday world and the language that represents and negotiates it.

Large areas of the works are left in flat ‘pop’ colour, negating the overall illusion of space and representation. These areas sometimes go as far as to suggest absence or a hole. These areas not only break up the cohesion of representation but suggest a sense of something beyond, another dimension perhaps. This other plane contrasts with the everyday banter of materiality which otherwise pervades the images. As she expressed an interest in the theory of the 4th dimension during her talk, perhaps Jennifer is looking beyond the limitations of a commonplace material existence and the limitations of how that existence is described.

Jennifer Whitten 1

Jennifer discussed her work, her technique and her position as a hyperrealist painter undertaking her Masters degree at Victoria College of the Arts. She spoke about finding her way through the current dominant visual arts culture which in Australian institutions heavily emphasises new media, installation and conceptual art. Jennifer spoke of the legacy of Modernism which reacted against the history of representation in art and that this reaction persists against the style of work she practices. Despite these difficulties, following a successful recent exhibition Jennifer has noticed a more open attitude to her work.

Jennifer has spent much of this year painting on glass and perspex rather than the previous wood panels and when I visited her a few weeks ago, she had a large panel of thick perspex suspended from her studio roof, upon which she was painting a life-size self portrait as Ophelia. It is an impressive piece of work requiring a wet on wet technique whereby the highlights are pushed through the existing wet paint. Jennifer prefers to work on areas of the painting wet and will sometimes work for days without stopping, to achieve this. I will post about this work as soon as it is finished.

Marco Corsini

A New Image for Melbourne Art Class

In case you hadn’t noticed, Melbourne Art Class has an exciting new look on the way!

The first step on our re-design journey has been our fantastic new logo, which is designed by one of our students: Zoe Coombe!

Melbourne Art Class is really proud of the strong sense of community we have with our students and we wanted to incorporate this into our overall image. Zoe has cleverly crafted a logo that is a representation of not only three simple shapes; the triangle square and circle; but also the perspective between shapes and the connection with the outer shape. This is representative of our community and an interaction between students and teachers.

Over the next few months you’ll be seeing quite a few changes on our website and social media. To introduce you all to the creative mind behind the design, we asked Zoe a few questions about what inspires her and why doing classes with Melbourne Art Class helps her creativity.

Zoe Coombe, Graphic Designer
Zoe Coombe, Graphic Designer

Thanks for all your efforts on our new logo Zoe. We’re really happy with how it incorporates  our community and so many shapes in just one heptagon!

Can you tell us what motivated you to become a graphic designer?

I just followed what made me happy. Art was my ‘fun’ class at school. During my final year, I went to the Uni open days and was always drawn to the art departments. After that, it was a natural progression that led me to design. 

What do you derive inspiration from when designing?

Fine art, other designers, books. Anything I come into contact with.

Is there a particular aesthetic that you lean towards and why?

Not really, my solutions are driven by the project and what communication best resolves the brief and reaches the correct audience.

What do enjoy most about designing?

The variation in projects. Designing gives me a chance to work on a broad range of projects and keep things interesting. 

Why did you begin classes at Melbourne Art Class?

Sometimes it is nice not to work to a brief or a tight deadline. Just to create for pleasure. It gives me a chance to let the creative juices flow and to generally make time for art. 

How do the classes influence or complement your design work?

It gives me a chance to brush up on techniques and learn from other artists. 

 

 

We’re really excited that Zoe has joined us for our re-design journey and look forward to seeing our vision come to fruition.

Exquisite bouquets from our Floral Design Course

The first term of our Introduction to Floristry Workshops saw a number of students who had never before arranged flowers produce exquisite bouquets. Over the four weeks, Carolyn focused on different techniques and arrangements, including elegant, textured bouquets with bouvardia and freesias and striking modern table arrangements. Below are some moments from the course. Each student took home their creations each week, which they were very happy with! We are extremely proud of the professional arrangements they created. Carolyn will be running another Introduction to Floristry Workshop beginning in April. You can find out more information and enrol here.

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MAC’s Recent Wedding Flower Workshop

Earlier in September I attended MAC’s first Wedding Flower Workshop with florist Carolyn Howells.

My previous experience with flowers was only limited to painting them so I did not know what to expect. After four hours under Carolyn’s tutelage, I now have the utmost respect for florists and their strong fingers! Carolyn’s approach to teaching is to pass on flower arranging techniques of the highest industry standard.
Rach creating a rose corsage
There were people with varying degrees of experience with floristry design, and Carolyn was very welcoming and patient with absolute beginners (myself included).

The workshop focused on roses, and we each had four bunches of beautiful white roses to work with. We were shown how to make leaves shine (with olive oil) and how to wire and tape them to prepare for the bouquet.

After preparing each rose (all thirty of them), the bouquet came together quickly and Carolyn provided ribbon and pins to finish it off.

The class was in awe of the bouquets we made and they are still holding together now, and opening beautifully. Wedding Roses BouquetWe also created a matching corsage with two leaves and a smaller rose; I never realised just how much work is behind such a small piece. Carolyn provided each student with a gift box and demonstrated how to present the bouquet with white tissue paper, which was a lovely finishing touch and very professional. We were all very pleased to take home what we had made!

What surprised me about the class was the amount of wedding bouquet horror stories everybody had to share. People relayed their wedding days when past flower arrangements fell apart, wilted, and even had wiring work showing – and they were all describing professionally arranged bouquets which they had paid for. The wiring and taping technique Carolyn taught us is exactly how we should expect  wedding bouquets to be made. I am glad I have not yet needed a wedding bouquet; thanks to Carolyn I now know how to recognise a correctly arranged bouquet!

This workshop really opened my eyes to the art of floristry and I am really looking forward to attending MAC’s upcoming Vintage-themed Wedding Flower Workshop, which will focus on a mixed seasonal flower and herb bouquet, vintage-style table designs, matching corsage and more.

Written by Lauren Ottaway

Finding beauty in the Sherrin football

AFL Grand Final fever has engulfed Melbourne once again, and the mention of a Sherrin football is the last thing you may relate to artwork.

However, one of our former students, Marion Crooke, is the Co-Producer of an exhibition that combines the two: Sherrin footballs and textiles.

Archiball Echidna, Aunty Cynthia Hardie (Yorta Yorta), Sherrin football, faux fur, porcelain quills.
Archiball Echidna, Aunty Cynthia Hardie (Yorta Yorta), Sherrin football, faux fur, porcelain quills.

Shepparchiballs is a quirky exhibition of textile work that celebrates nurturing and the creation of beauty regardless of the context – and in this instance, it is the Sherrin football. The artists are women from different cultural backgrounds living in Shepparton: African, Australian, Afghani and Koorie.

The exhibition heralds an array of humorous, colourful and creative works from a diverse group of women. From portraits, to echidnas, turtles, and intricate sculptures of trees, this unique body of work shows another side of the Sherrin football that needs to be seen to be believed.

The body of work is now on show in Melbourne until the end of October.

Where: 295 King Street, Melbourne

Time: Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm

David Palliser’s ‘send nurse’ at Chapman and Bailey

David Palliser, Triptych, at Chapman and Bailey
David Palliser’s Triptych at Chapman and Bailey

David Palliser’s exhibition ‘send nurse’, opened at Chapman and Bailey in Melbourne last night with this work being a highlight. The exhibition continues David’s exploration of gesture, tone, colour and space. They reflect David’s dedication to the subtleties of the painter’s craft and his work as a experimental musician.

With a seemingly perpetual visual play of elements, the works are anything but static. They reveal themselves slowly, reordering themselves in the viewer’s perception with any final resolution of the image, always postponed. Of particular interest to me are several works including the smaller works which seem to mark a development from David’s previous work. These have an exciting new fluidity which until now has been most evident in David’s drawings.

1 September – 8 October 2014
Gallery hours: Mon – Fri 10-5    Sat 10.30-4.30
Chapman & Bailey Artspace
350 Johnston St, Abbotsford 3067 Vic
Ph. 03 9415 8666

Marco Corsini

 

 

 

Wedding Roses workshop

Bridal roses workshop

The first of our series of Wedding Floral Design workshops will be run on Saturday September 13th. It will focus upon roses and participants will be working with:

Round, natural stemmed rose bouquet  with greenery

Button Hole – Wiring and taping techniques

Corsage – Wiring and taping techniques

For more information please go to:

http://melbourneartclass.com/floral-design-course/

Drawing course still life, working with tone.

Still Life arrangement in Drawing Class
Still Life arrangement in Drawing Class

This is a Still Life that we have used for working with tone in our drawing course. Yes, the fruit and vegetables you see are real and have been hand painted. Taking the colour out of the Still Life allows students to accurately see tones in the subject. When lit, it is beautiful to look at and fun to draw.

Our next 6 session Drawing short course will begin on Thursday August 7th and will be tutored by Jesse Dayan. See the previous post for more about Jesse and his recent exhibition. You can find out more about the course at:

http://melbourneartclass.com/drawing/