David Palliser – Deep Sneeze

Deep Sneeze, David Palliser

One of Australia’s most extraordinary abstract artists – David Palliser, who we are fortunate to have teaching painting and abstraction at Melbourne Art Class, is showing his new body of work – Deep Sneeze – at Hunger Rozario in Fitzroy for the month of June.

“It’s been 4 years since I’ve had a solo painting show in Melbourne. Much has evolved and surprised me in the studio since then and I’m looking forward immensely to getting this work onto the walls of my new gallery Hunger Rozario. Hope you can come in and have a look over the course of the exhibition.” – David Palliser

For more information, please see the Hunger Rozario website. If you get a chance to go to the exhibition (which we highly encourage), we hope you enjoy it!

Exhibition dates: June 1 to June 30
Times: Tuesday – Friday: 10.00am-5.00pm, Saturday: 12.00pm-4.00pm and by appointment
Location: 143 Bunswick Street, Fitzroy

Final work from our Portraiture Course

Marco Corsini recently held a seven-week Introductory Portraiture Course, and the group of artists that took part helped make it one of our best portraiture courses yet!

During the course, Marco introduced students to the fundamentals of portraiture through working from various plaster casts. The class then spent a session creating self-portraits, with incredible results. Marco has commented that these become special drawings for him as a teacher.

“Every time we have drawn these self portraits from a mirror, whether it is a child drawing or an adult, inexperienced or experienced, I find the resulting drawings so intimate, that I feel like a trace of the person is in them. It is always for me, a significant moment.”

Marco (teacher)

You can click on the images below to enlarge them.

The final four weeks were spent painting from a life model, with the students created some brilliant finished pieces. We want to highlight that most of these students were complete beginners, and we are very proud of how far they have come just after second weeks, and everyone should be very proud of their results!

We want to thank everyone who was a part of this course, as we believe we were really part of something special. We will be running another portraiture course later in the year – so watch this space!

Children and art

The assimilation of new techniques into children’s art work.

I have returned to teaching a children’s class after two years focused upon developing the adults’ classes.

I came into this new children’s class with the intention of introducing some elements of ‘atelier’ or ‘academic’ style training for the children. This is the methodology that many of the adults who have attended our classes would be familiar with, that enables us to rigorously teach technique.

Whilst I intended to introduce the same elements as in our adult’s classes, those of you that know me, will know that I am heavily influenced by Steiner and Montessori educational philosophies. These philosophies emphasise intrinsic self motivation (self motivation), creativity and the natural rhythm of child’s development. Whilst these philosophies are not completely incompatible with the style of training I wanted to introduce, it certainly gives me a lot to consider as a teacher.

We have had our first two classes for the term and the results, in fact, the way in which the first week’s instruction was absorbed then reappeared, fully integrated into the second week’s work has left me speechless. Perhaps these children are just incredibly talented, but somehow, they have taken in the new techniques and used them to produce work which incorporates those techniques into their own powerfully iconographic style. The three examples below by Taku, Chloe and Tyla display a far more individual approach than I would commonly see in adults, yet all have used the techniques of constructing a sphere and use of tone that I had shown them the week before.  They do this while still maintaining an aesthetic integrity; the work holds together as personal statement. The new techniques have been subsumed to the personal visual logic each child individually consistently maintains.

Taku, charcoal on paper, 2016
Taku, charcoal on paper, 2016
Chloe, charcoal on paper. 2016
Chloe, charcoal on paper. 2016
Tyra, charcoal on paper, 2016
Tyra, charcoal on paper, 2016

On the basis of these works, it seems that it is possible to teach technique to children without restricting their creative or personal expression. Taku, for example, maintains a powerful expressive line and an arresting visual impact over the foundation of the structural approach he had been shown. Chloe has a whimsical play with the line of the structural drawing. With the interplay of line and the rubbing of the charcoal, the groups of objects all merge into one whole, showing an interplay of relationships between objects. Tyra also uses value, or tone in a powerful way, inventing value for visual impact (the shadow wasn’t present in the arrangement she was drawing from).

I realise that while teaching what is essentially a limiting process to the children, I shouldn’t limit the children’s other visual processes and iconographies. The purpose of restricting would be to show the assimilation of the technique I am teaching more clearly. The problem being that by restricting other information children use in the image, I may be sending the message that other forms of expression aside from that being taught are are wrong. The eventual casualty of such an approach being the death of creativity, exploration and intrinsic learning.

For the age group in my class, (9 – 12 year olds), it seems I can teach technique and that the child experiences an adaption of the new technique into an existing canon of technique, creativity and visual language rather than a weeding out of those pre-existing elements. In so doing, they maintain their ability for powerful personal expression.

I’m very much looking forward to the work that is to come.

Written by: Marco Corsini

Teacher of our 8 to 14 year old’s Children’s Art Class

Hilmi’s recent shellac and ink works

Our Drawing and Painting teacher, and artist Hilmi Baskurt has been working on some incredible pieces this year. Below are his dried sunflowers. He has used a mix of pencil, charcoal, shellac and ink. Some of the works also have oils and ink mixed in to shellac.

Dried sunflowers, Hilmi Baskurt, pencil, charcoal, shellac and ink, 2016
Dried sunflowers, Hilmi Baskurt, pencil, charcoal, shellac and ink, 2016

 

Dried sunflowers drawing, Hilmi Baskurt, pencil, charcoal, shellac and ink, 2016
Dried sunflowers drawing, Hilmi Baskurt, pencil, charcoal, shellac and ink, 2016
Hilmi Baskurt, Dried Sunflowrs, pencil and charcoal drawing
Dried Sunflowrs, Hilmi Baskurt, pencil and charcoal drawing

 

Hilmi will be running a Drawing Workshop this Saturday 9th July, with a focus on ink, shellac, charcoal and pastel. We are really excited about this workshop and places are filling quickly!

Drawing Workshop: Structure and Value using Ink and Shellac details:

Saturday 9th July

Time: 9.30 am – 4.00 pm

Location: Enderby studio, a historic church hall at 314 Church Street, Richmond

Cost: $126

All materials included

If you would like to join us, you can find out more and enrol here: https://melbourneartclass.com/drawing-workshop-structure-and-value-using-ink-and-shellac/

What happens every Tuesday night in Marco’s Studio Art Class

Enderby Studio Art program is a term-based course and has tended to be an eclectic fusion of talks and presentations by Marco (about four or five per term), guest speakers (one per term) and studio time.

We have a range of students attending this course; from dedicated, practising artists who have been with us for over three years, high school students supplementing their in-hours art classes, to creative people who just need an outlet.

The skill level is extremely varied as well – students tend to either be beginners who are guided through the fundamentals, or more experienced and ongoing artists who work on their own projects with Marco’s guidance. That’s the beauty of our Studio Art program – you can be the creative individual that you are, in an encouraging, non-judgemental environment, and also receive critical and professional artistic guidance if that is what you seek.

Lauren Ottaway, Red Kitchen, acrylic on canvas, 2015. Completed in Studio Art Class
Lauren Ottaway, Red Kitchen, acrylic on canvas, 2015. Completed in Studio Art Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have had individuals on a Tuesday, arrive inspired with a new set of stamps and a stamp pad and stamp on huge pieces of paper all night, whilst others work painstakingly at an oil painting they have been focusing on for weeks. And we always have one or two beginners working on exercises set by Marco with his still life arrangement. The mix of people and their combined creativity is truly inspiring.

This class nurtures creativity and expression, and many students also find it an oasis from the “daily grind”. I was part of the class for three years and it was like a breath of fresh air where I was able to access that creative flow where time does not exist. Having this in my busy, corporate week was invaluable.

Marco’s Studio Art class is where I began to take my art practice seriously. Many of the materials are provided for beginners so the program allows a cost effective entry into art practice.

The class is limited to ten students to allow one-on-one tuition. Enrolments are now open for Term 4: http://melbourneartclass.com/enderby-studio-art-program/.

Returning to the River

I’ve just come back from camping and I’m drying out tents. Huge cubist polyester birds in hues of green, stretched by rope hanging over our back courtyard between a row of pencil pines and the fence. Defeated by the alpine rain and now drying, so as to be packed away. Soon the array of camping gear around the house will also be filed away to distant corners and hiding places. The underside of our bed will become an impenetrable block of chairs, tents and camping mattresses, not to be emptied and dusted until the next time we need the ‘gear’. This is camping for the inner-city dweller.

I went back to the river. Not any river; the King River in North East, Victoria. This river supplies and feeds the King Valley, its agriculture and my home town. A thriving tobacco industry existed back then, our Italian families had settled in the area and contributed to the major part of that local industry. As children and teenagers we spent long hours in the river’s not quite tamed waters. In swimming holes where ‘snags’ or fallen logs and other uncertain things hid, where occasionally we could even see a snake swimming.

All along the valley, the river’s flood plains were seasonally under threat from floods. The King River flows into the Ovens and it is there that my home town of Wangaratta lay under regular threat of flooding until a levy bank was built around it’s perimeter. I remember seeing a VW Beetle that had been swept off the flooded, washed out road near the town of Cheshunt, ending up three hundred metres downstream, wedged in a River Red Gum. Apparently its driver had to sit there above the flood waters and wait to be rescued.

I also remember the men of the town leaving work to help sand bag houses that lay close to the flooding One Mile creek. My father, old Bill and I in a row boat as we rowed through the flood waters at the garage where dad had come to work after he had to leave the family farm as a young man. We rowed through to collect the tools off the back of a truck dad had been working on. Old Bill who wasn’t so old back then, rowing. Bill, wirey in stature, toughened by growing up in the the Great Depression, a carpenter who would never buy a new piece of timber, when another could be recycled.

I came to Melbourne and the other world cities I have lived in because I needed them. I needed their knowledge. I needed to know that what I had within me would not be lost and could be connected with the great artistic narratives of the world. Or maybe I came because Greg who was with me when I was painting in Dad’s garage, told me he could not see me staying in Wangaratta. Greg who would scramble to hide my Beastie Boys tape (which he quietly hated) in my Valiant before I could find and play it loud as we drove down to the local swimming hole.

I returned to the river. We have found a place with a beautiful swimming hole not far from from Lake William Hovell, an imposing man-made lake that sits in the hills at the base of the Alpine region. We swim, we eat; we try to avoid the rain, but inevitably get rained on. I go to rest and to be with my family. Actually, I spend most of my time working, setting up camp and cleaning, but it is all done in the context of these magnificent mountains and I seem to soak up the essence of them like I soak up the water.

In the past I have often gone to actively look for inspiration for my work, sketching and collecting, but not this time. After a busy year and with my head full of such stuff as art school budgets, course plans and even the pressure that I place within myself to produce something out of my painting days I have in my own studio, I allowed myself not to feel I had to produce anything. I needed to let go.

Upon arriving I soon realised I was operating as camp manager and parent, always slightly anxious and always looking, checking and cross checking for logistics and possible dangers. Very far from my artist mind and any notion of creativity. I wanted to feel something deeper and thankfully as time went by I found that the environment began to seduce me with its complexity and strange, stark beauty. My sight or the way I saw things began to change. Beauty, or what I call beauty, filtered into my consciousness. I was awed by the erosion of the river into the bank and the smooth river stones imbedded in an overhang which formed part of a layer that was intertwined with tree roots from a tree that perhaps one day will just lean over and fall into the river.  While swimming I could look up at this fusion of elements and species, seemingly random yet so intricately magnificent. A little slice of the complexity of the universe laying at edge of the river with moss, little ferns, the alien blackberry bushes and countless plants and bushes sitting on a loose arrangement of precariously undercut river stones, roots and earth.

I began to reflect on the King River as a source. It’s 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 dependancy and intimacy within me over my half life time. 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 dependancy 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.

In the city, as I studied art, I was taught to question the idea of source or origin. So I went looking for another way to understand what we were and how in encountering each other we could understand ourselves. I found the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas who had settled upon building an understanding of ethics based upon encounters between people. Meaning and ethics are derived from encounters and the values highlighted by those encounters.  So, that is often how I live, understanding myself through encounters with others, in the negotiation between myself and others. Returning to the idea of source is for me, to step back to absolute origins where meaning is not negotiated, it already exists.  Call it Logos, God or call it the creative universe, which ever way, meaning and values begin to reveal itself in the text of the mountains and the water. The complexity of this universe is not negotiated when I immerse myself in it, rather it is read, as the veil of everyday life falls away. Meaning and values are observed or perhaps experienced through the magnificence of what one is looking at. Celtic spirituality speaks of certain places where the veil between heaven and earth is thin. For me the veil at the King River is thin, falling away easily to reveal a deeper sense of self, with a stronger current of creativity at its origins.

If the town in which I grew up in is culture, mixing and clashing, negotiating meaning within encounters and reimagining; if Wangaratta is everyday life with all its distractions and tensions, then it sits, unbeknown to itself as a beneficiary of the river that gives it life, a beneficiary from a source that is far more magnificent in scope and complexity than the physical town itself, and yet mostly unrecognised or unnoticed until the floods come.

Awakened by the river and its surrounds, I began to use Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages, whereby you write three uncensored pages every morning, first thing. This is a fantastic un-blocker for creatives and I am once again blown away by how effective it is. What a thin veil exists between our everyday selves and the inner creative self that links back into our own creative origins. I found myself further able to imagine and see.

Today would have been the third day I used Julia Cameron’s exercises. I woke up, took my journal, a few books and a pen and I went outside to begin my Morning Pages. I sat in a chair beneath my drying tents. I sat and stared at the magnificence of the forms, the tension in the fabric, deep caverns and the ropes. With other equipment scattered and visually intertwined amongst the forms, I was overcome with new ideas and inspirations. I did not feel that I was producing anything or offering anything for negotiation. I simply had seen something and the implications of that something lept onto my mind from its source. I felt like I was receiving a present as child. I had received.

I drew. I imagined a new work.  How thin the veil between ourselves and our creative origins.

Written by Marco Corsini

Explore your goals for 2016 through Art Therapy

AT 2016_01_07 pic
Carolyn Howells, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is great to have New Year’s resolutions and goals for the future. We will be holding a New Years Art Therapy and Mindfulness Workshop on January 7, which will enable you the time to look at your goals for the year ahead and enable you to see how you would like to achieve them.

In this workshop we will explore the year ahead with the use of art therapy, then learn mindfulness and relaxation techniques to help maintain equanimity, increase joy and gratitude in our lives

No artistic ability is needed as the art is an expression of your thoughts and feelings through colour, shapes and symbols using various art mediums. Some of the mediums we will use are collage, acrylic paints, and pastels.

Through the creative process we will look at where you are now, any new directions you would like to take, which in turn can bring new insights and strategies for living.  These art processes give you a chance to experiment with changes you may like to make in 2016 before trying them out in real life.

Sometimes we may really want to try something new, but there are blocks or things stopping us from trying (fear, anxiety, perfectionism, money); the art therapy can look at these and help problem solve so you can move forward if you choose to.

It is for self exploration, as no-one else can interpret your artwork, only you know what you think and feel and express through the art.  There is the opportunity to share and gain new understanding through the verbal process if you choose to.

Workshop details

Date: 7th January

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Cost: $143

Location: Enderby Studio, 314 Church Street, Richmond

Enrol here

 

 

 

Introducing Melbourne artist, Adrian Stojkovich

We are very fortunate to have Adrian Stojkovich joining us at MAC and presenting our new drawing course.

Adrian is as endearing in real life as his work. He carries a youthful energy, seemingly swaggering on the edge of the precipice of creative potentiality he is about to dive into. His work, traced with cool, skilled abandon is undergird by a sound humanity and is about to fall into something wonderful.

Based in Melbourne, Adrian completed his Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours in 2009, and his Masters of Fine Art in 2013 at the Victorian College of the Arts. His recent show at Paradise Hills in Richmond was made up of room of large abstract works and a room of dead fish paintings. He can handle either style well, demonstrating that he is an artist and painter who has taken the time to explore his craft at a high technical level. The work is infused with subtle passion but maintains the clarity to steer his little project whichever way he chooses.

Adrian Stojkovich’s abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery (http://paradisehills.com.au/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian’s abstract work comprises  hovering planes of coloured marks on a consistent pale, or dark, or umber background. The marks vary in size and slightly in tone, diffusing beneath layers of thin paint, therefore creating several planes. Despite being on a flat, consistent background, the marks drift off into pockets of infinity. Like little galaxies or the infinite suggested by certain repetitive patterns. These paintings aspire for a greater harmony, a greater resolution, a sense that there is or could be an infinite. The colours Adrain uses are slightly cool and acid, slightly sour yellows and greens, supported by pastels and more mellow cool colours. The colour combinations are fresh enough to keep the whole project interesting yet still harmonise. Abstraction at this end of its historical passage is difficult to do well and Adrian passes it off successfully.

Adrian Stojkovich's abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery
Adrian Stojkovich’s abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery (http://paradisehills.com.au/)

Contrasting these abstract works are the dead fish, Fish Tondo painting, two of which he also presented at Paradise Hills. Painted on large circular canvases, the fish paintings maintain an element of abstraction in the big sweeping forms of fish bodies in glass bowls. Up close, they erupt into the most beautiful colours gently laced with glazing. If for a moment you can avoid seeing the fish as you stand back, they are big sweeping abstracts and up close, masterly plays of raw colour. But they are fish, dead and dumped into a bowl for someone’s consumption or aesthetic amusement. There is a fishy, slimy look to the water they are in, with bubbles hovering around the gill area. They undoubtedly reference the Dutch Golden Age and its genre of dead fish paintings. The works speak of life, survival, death and mortality. Painting is a trade for Adrian, from recent abstraction to 17th century Dutch painting, he knows that trade.

The death of Anastasio Somoza, Modified Mercedes-Benz 280SEL. Image: Matthew Stanton (http://www.adrianstojkovich.com/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He also knows installation and representation. He created a fascinating work in 2014 whereby he rebuilt from historical photographs, the Mercedes Benz within which Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza was assassinated in 1980. An insightful investigation of popular media, it hovers between the same banal pop appropriation we have become accustomed to in the last three generations and the other tired contemporary art influence, Duchamp’s found object. But it is not the original object and its role as a facsimile seems to be very tentative. The power of the work is in its materiality and absences. It describes severe violence that we are all familiar with from our own current news reports. It describes the destruction of the impact of a rocket propelled grenade on a car. We know it is not the real deal but the materials, charred, torn and burned are the same, not just a copy. There is something real about the object we see. The knowledge that lives were lost is also very real. The absence of bodies in the installation makes the suggestion of death more relevant. The work jolts out from the plethora of violent images we see every day, somehow adding gravitas back to the humanity, or lack of humanity of the those original images. It recontextualises the decontextualised pop image into a new discourse of humanity and mortality.

Adrian is a solid young artist who knows his craft as a painter and handles the complexities of contemporary art and representation well. He has built up a sound base early in his career with wonderful results. Now what remains is to see what Adrian will do next.

Naked Maja, Adrian Stojkovich, Oil on canvas , 2009
Naked Maja, Adrian Stojkovich, Oil on canvas , 2009

Drawing with Adrian Stojkovich

During this six-week course, Adrian will introduce strategies and techniques for drawing from Still Life. This course will assist beginners in developing fundamental drawing techniques. It is also well suited to people with some drawing experience who want to re-establish the foundations of their practice. Read more and enrol here.

Written by Marco Corsini

A call for young artists – headspace Dream Catcher Art Competition

Dream Catch competitionMental health touches many of us, our loved ones, and is particularly prevalent among creative people. You don’t need to look very hard to find an artist who was affected by mental illness; Van Gogh, Gauguin and Rothko, who suffered from bouts of debilitating depression; Munch’s anxiety and hallucinations; Michelangelo’s underlying melancholia, just to name a few.

I believe that a creative outlet plays an important part of a life touched by mental illness. The entire spectrum of emotion can be acknowledged and celebrated, because it is OK to feel sad, and happy, and everything in between. I myself am extremely thankful for these artists, as well as the many creative people around me who continue to express themselves.

Headspace Hawthorn is celebrating Mental Health Week 2015 with an art exhibition dedicated to young people’s hopes and dreams for the future. MAC, along with headspace would like to invite our young artists to enter artwork that reflects this theme and join in this celebration of creativity.

The event is open to 12 to 25 year olds and entry is free. Three artists will WIN a $200 JB-HI-FI voucher and a NGV Membership. You can submit your entry by email; please include your full name, mobile number, medium-size photo of your artwork and a brief description before Thursday 8th October to chloe.godau@headspacehawthorn.org.au.

When: Thursday 8th October, 6 pm to 9 pm

Where: Dream Catcher Art Exhibition at Appleton Street Studios, 53 Appleton St, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia

More informationhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1696074760623444/

Celebrating spring with our Floristry Teacher, Carolyn Howells

After what seemed like (literally) an ice age, spring is finally here, bringing with it a new creative enthusiasm that infects many people. This can be a time of growth, re-birth and creation. Nothing beats sighting the first buds, then within the blink of an eye pink blossom trees are lining our suburb streets and daffodils are brightening up our parks.

This month Carolyn Howells, our Floristy and Art Therapy teacher, shares why spring is significant to her. Thank you Carolyn!

Carolyn Howells, 2015
Carolyn Howells, 2015

Is spring an inspirational time of year for you?

I love spring, where the days are getting longer and the weather is warmer (mostly) and all the bulbs begin to flower.  I find creative ideas grow and expand and I am inspired to get into the garden and the studio to paint, create flower designs, write workshops and put those ideas that have hibernated in the winter into action.

IFD 18

What are your favourite flowers during this season?

My favourite flowers during spring are, daffodils, I especially love the double daffodils, they are stunning with their pale yellow outside petals and bright yellow inner petals, jonquils, iris especially the flag iris, the vibrant coloured tulips, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, ranunculus, stock, and freesias – especially the ones growing wild.  In spring the fragrance of the flowers is exceptional.  I also love to watch the trees get buds in late winter in preparation for blooming and then watch the beautiful fragile flower blossom in spring.  The rhododendron is amazing too; the colours range from deep burgundy, to hot pink and pale pink.

Which flowers typically make up a spring flower arrangement?

Carolyn Howells
Carolyn Howells

Spring is one of the best seasons for mixed posies of hyacinths, tulips, iris, erlicheer, roses, stock, freesias and rhododendron for both the foliage and the flower.

The visual impact with all the textures is amazing and they smell delicious.

Art therapy – what does spring mean for you?

IFD 13
Carolyn’s Floral Design class

Art Therapy in spring can vary from year to year depending on what is happening in my life.  This year I find I have more energy to put things into action, especially around wellbeing.  I love to walk on the beach, practice my mindfulness, get out in my garden and pick straight from the veggie patch to make healthy salads for my family.  I have kept an art journal over winter with design plans for my garden and now I can finally get out there and start redesigning.  I am so inspired by the flowers in spring and love coming up with new ideas and designs to do both in flower design and my art.  I am in the process of updating an art therapy based goal and action board, with all my ideas coming to life as change and growth happen this spring.

Thank you very much Carolyn for sharing this with us! Find out more about Carolyn, her Floristy Courses and Art Therapy.