Thursday, November 28, 2013

Weekend Launch in pictures!

This image was taken at the end of the Studio Launch weekend just passed...

I've snapped photos on my iphone and they are not really in 
any order here... so hopefully it wont be too confusing!

A new plate from the Biodiversity Conversation Plate 
Series painted last week, based on the  Pongamia Seedpod

This series of porcelain work was based on the seed clusters that
you can see on the left in this image... in indigo, brown and black.

A vignette with artworks in the background

The gallery wall along the front hallway

Looking out to the front of the studio on the 
right and hallway to the front door on the right

These photos look across the table to the studio wall 
above ... and below to the hallway 'gallery' wall.

Furniture was moved to another room  to optimise hanging space

new shelves were added last week

Works on paper on display

Looking in from the front door

The 5 metre hallway makes a great gallery space

The niche at the end of the hall is an interesting
 viewing space... and the triptych on the left 
managed to fit quite well on this section of wall.

works in progress

views of the room from various angles

the flowers from a friend's garden

Below is the watercolour series of works 
painted on Cotton paper a month ago.


Image taken during the Launch

Two friends who've collected my work.

A lovely crowd gathered for the 5pm launch or came Saturday 
or Sunday for a chat and viewing of the new space.

the end of the weekend...

Looking into the house form the garden path

closing the front gate at the weekend's end.

It been a huge week or two but I've managed to catch my breath now and have been busy following through on various tasks after the event. I was glad to get more sleep this week... but I have to say... it's been such a worthwhile undertaking ... holding this celebration of the next chapter at a new studio named to refer to the direction I'm keen to pursue next at SEED.ART.LAB. 

before I go I will add one more pic.

Tomorrow is Thursday and until Xmas I am going to open the Studio each Thursday from Midday to 8pm as various ones unable to attend on the weekend wanted to come by. So you can either call and make a time or simply come and visit one Thursday. 

This Saturday I will also be open for several appointments.... so don't be shy if you are in this part of the world!

Cheers all!
Back to the blogosphere soon I hope. It seems awhile since I  travelled around visiting my fellow blog friends. Apologies and best to all!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

fresh works and new directions...

Darting here and there at the moment... thought I'd show some work that I'll be putting up for the Studio Launch this weekend.

it was so enchanting last week to spend a couple of nights puddling around with colours on paper ... unconcerned about what direction I was heading.

Paul Klee's writing and imagery on seeds and plants has been a fascinating exploration.

I enjoyed working representationally when combined with elements of abstraction.

Loved how these seeds pods had a uniform number of branches on each stalk... 4 pods in every case.

Pomgamia is a tree growing around Brisbane streets with pods falling on pathways... something that always stop me short to pick up and pocket for later.

Pongamia up close... botanical details here at Wiki.

Wiki Excerpt: Oil made from the seeds, known as pongamia oil, is an important asset of this tree and has been used as lamp oil, in soap making, and as a lubricant for thousands of years. It can be grown in rain water harvesting pits /ponds / lands up to 6 meters water depth without losing the greenery and to produce bio diesel.[7]

Another tangent is the Biodiversity Conversation Plate series... written about in other posts recently.

Hand-painted porcelain plates

using seed and pod motifs

come in several sizes and have been displayed on new shelves ready for the weekend showing at the launch. Its a small area of wall between two front windows... so light is good even if it didn't help when taking these shots!

I'll quickly close with several images from a brief project I did locally with 12 yr old students at a Brisbane secondary school last month. These individual works were set up for show in a huge black theatre space... hence the black walls!

Together we explored seeds and Biodiversity.

We had 4 brief sessions in all.. and covered a lot of ground through dialogue on various themes around seeds and biodiversity. It was interesting to hear their thinking on this and then take it to a public audience for response!

Buzzing off now. 
Best to all,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

7 days till the Studio: Seed.Art.Lab Launch

This lovely new glass cabinet has pride of place in the new studio...

Things are very busy getting ready for next weekend's launch so sadly there's been no visiting the blogosphere at all of late! I've even saved time by posting this here straight from my Studio blog so I can keep a little fresh info going out.

At the moment most of my posting is at the Homage to the Seed Facebook Page and on Twitter... short and sweet! Updates are quick and frequent over there!

7 days till the Studio: Seed.Art.Lab Launch

Recently I was part of a Artist-in-residence program that brought  5 artists together to work with the Jump-start Program at Kelvin Grove Secondary College in Brisbane.

I wrote about it at the Homage to the Seed blog and thought I'd post here something I wrote for the exhibition which started with the quoted above from Tom Waits from an interview with him in 2006.

This project really prompted me to think very deeply about the children inheriting this planet now and the silence of too many adults around the state of the planet. It must leave them asking a lot of questions quietly to themselves late at night if not elsewhere in their lives.

This is then what I wrote.

ITS GETTING HOT AROUND HERE : The Seeds and Bio-diversity story. 

Artist Statement from Sophie Munns 

In the 21st Century no longer can we take for granted continuation of life for thousands of plant species... including some of the 30,000 known edible species and countless other highly useful species we rely on. In fact we don't even know what remarkable seeds might be lost to us given that scientists are still discovering species, particularly in fragile Rainforest eco-systems. Certain plants have long been commodified for use as fuels, glues, plastics, fibres, textiles, papers, rubber, building materials, medications (traditional to bio-molecular), beverages... and the list goes on. 
Chocolate and coffee lovers around the planet are waking up to the rude fact that their favourite of tropical crops does not like it getting hotter. This has demanded swift response from plant science, farmers and a growing sector of coffee and chocolate companies to shift focus from quick-growth profit margins to the crucial step of increasing sustainability in the way coffee and cacao crops are grown, delivered to market, and understood by the public... all in the effort to ensure these potentially endangered species are maintained for the long term. This story is repeated over and over with many other species we like to put on our tables. 
Seed viability, the capacity of seeds to produce new life, is indeed a concern not always understood. Artist Residencies undertaken by Sophie Munns in Seed Bank Labs and Botanic Gardens since 2010 have led to ongoing exchanges with plant scientists, with access to an expanding field of scientific knowledge revealing precisely how changes in climate go on to impact the capacity of plants to survive in particular locations that for hundreds, even thousands of years, saw plants prosper in those very same regions. 
All around the globe the up-scaling of research on complex impacts on plants and eco-systems is bringing out a plethora of profoundly significant material that rarely reaches a general public audience. Dispersing information to the broader public has become an increasingly important task for the Science community and all who recognise the difference quality education makes. This is without doubt a potent and invaluable role the Arts can play in aiding the communication of critical material to a wider audience. 
Bringing ‘Seeds and Biodiversity’ to the Jump Start project the artist spent 4 sessions with a group of students examining key issues around Seeds and Biodiversity informed by current global research across Plant Science, Agriculture and related social, political and cultural issues. Students were given an overview of the role seeds have played across time, going back to the earliest known civilisations. We explored the cultural heritages of each individual in our group ... noting, wherever possible, links to family and ancestors from all over the globe and the unique relationship to plants and food growing they may have had or perhaps still have. We thought about how this shaped the cuisines and traditions we may have inherited or perhaps have some inkling of. 
Also discussed was the extraordinary number of ways that humans work with seeds and plant material, use them for hobbies and leisure, or pursuits with artistic or cultural purpose. Crucially, we considered why seeds need our protection right now in order to ensure our own well-being into the future. 
For inspiration the artist brought examples of her artwork, seed collections and items made from seed and plant material. Additionally we explored with work of two key artists ... Brisbane painter Robert McPherson’s series of bold graphic painted signage in large wall installations provided an ideal visual strategy and NY artist Keith Haring who rose to prominence in the 80’s for his strong grafitti style and extraordinary 'symbol + text' images. 
The graphic work exhibited here may at first glance appear simple, even unsophisticated. Look further at the ideas and thoughts being expressed and a potent truth may be revealed. These year 7 students are emerging into a very different world than the one familiar to those currently in the driving seats of our communities, organisations and institutions. Thoughtful students can often see a different world to the one their elders see. They possess enthusiasm for wide-ranging questions given the opportunity, and its evident they may not think it’s smart leaving nature and the environment out of planning strategies and decision-making. A desire to discover more on the complex, often contradictory aspects of how our world is evolving is heightened wherever interest in ideas, research and sharing of thoughts is encouraged. 
Given the young are inheriting a world slow to learn or act on changes already proven necessary its crucial they be able to explore and evaluate ideas and information. The case of Tobacco companies maintaining the fight to exist in the market-place despite conclusive medical science research and Govt public health campaigns demonstrate s clearly that where economics is concerned its up to each of us to question what the ads and headlines are telling us! Education has never been more vital if we want young people to be informed in taking on the challenge of climate change and the increasing call for sustainable practices that are effective, pragmatic and life-preserving. 
The capacity to think creatively, to bring both passion and critical thinking to the finding of new solutions is championed in this program which recognises our future is here... that the thinkers and creators of the future are here in this room tonight! 
Bravo to all the students taking part in JumpstART! 
Sophie Munns wishes to thank the excellent JumpstART team for this unique and highly stimulating opportunity to engage with these young thinkers and creators before us. Their insights and efforts to navigate the changing conditions of this planet demand our encouragement, sustained interest and respect as we all learn what it means to tread more carefully around this home we all share. 

I've returned over the years many times to working with children of all ages for one reason or another. Teaching posts and substitute teaching for one, then there have been classes given due to requests from parents for quality lessons not so easy to come by these days.

Recently I had two very alert students come for a 4.5 hr intensive in the holidays .... drawing and thinking about plant science. This is the direction I intend to keep on with... small groups sessions with people of all ages, focused on seeds and biodiversity and ways to think and interpret this material visually.

More on that soon. For  now I am delighted to share a small image of my new glass cabinet for seed collections taking pride of place in the new studio.

Its a beauty! Even the colour I love.

And a reminder that if in this part of the world you are welcome to come along to the launch next weekend... contact me if you need to find out more.

Busy times... back soon. Go well everyone!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

words, ideas and all that!

I had some good weeks painting...

looking out on the garden from the studio window

then other jobs were beckoning to me and getting noisier till I took notice. I'd not quite finished painting the walls of the studio so that was also waiting ... and then there was promo to do for the up-coming Studio Launch. I tried designing a new Mail-chimp E-News bulletin which worked well with a simplified Mobile compatible template.

Only problem was words kept leaping out at me and wanting to be written. That led to another problem ... I wasn't sure about where this newsletter was going but, a few drafts later and its out!

This will take you to that newsletter... if time permits you a read. 

And don't forget the invitation to the Studio Launch to be held in two weeks time. All inquiries welcome!


I hope to get back to a little more frequent posting before too long ... wishing a good week to all!