Visual Arts Project

Today we started a new project and I’m incredibly excited by the possibilities… We have been challenged to think outside of our comfort zones and try something new, for a while now I’ve been stuck in a bit of a rut with my paint so I’m taking this opportunity to push my ideas and notions of space off of the canvas and into another dimension, 3D that is.

In the last project I started to look at artists such as Anish Kapoor, Anthony Gormley and Olafur Eliaason, and while I was looking for reference books I happened across Donald Judd, it’s a good starting point for me and if you know what I do then you may see some similarities between his work and mine.

Very excited about developing my studio practice, exploring and experimenting with new materials and techniques.

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1989, aluminum, stove enamel, 150.5 x 750.5 x 165 cm, collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. © Judd Foundation, Licensed by VAGA NY c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2011.

retrieved from


Untitled (#231-234), 1991-1994
Suite of four woodcuts printed in
cadmium yellow (vertical
26 1/4 x 38 1/2 in. / 67 x 99 cm. each
Edition of 10

Retrieved from






Tapiwa Chipfuga – The Bag on My Back

Hi there,

An amazing woman director and narrator, Tapiwa Chipfuga presented her film ‘the bag on my back’ and I was totally blown away, moving, funny and serious all at once I would recommend everyone to watch this just once.

Although this short film is set mainly in Zimbabwe and there are obvious political undercurrents, for me this film is about the universal themes of lost childhood and how we as adults try to reconnect and weave the threads of our identity to discover the person we are today.

I found this film powerful and emotional, those connections are threads that have shaped me to be the person I am today and continue to change me into I hope a better person.


What do I do or What I do??

Horse cart, cart horse, that is the question, actually just trying to be clever but this intro does have a serious side to it. As a visual artist my medium has been predominantly paint on pretty much traditional surfaces and add to that a passion for abstraction, I wonder how relevant I can be in this digital world we live in.

Does it even matter to me that I might never sell a painting or do I play it safe and cover my bases with more commercial skills, ummm.

So I guess for me it’s about compromise, I need to be flexible and bend when needed but still maintain integrity for the painterly part of myself. I want to have my cake and eat it too…

As I was researching looking for material to help me with my current project the question above was burning away at the back of my brain and I happened to stumble across an article posted in ARTnews by Pepe Karmel (Associate Professor of Art History, New York University) back in April 2013, ‘The Golden Age of Abstraction: Right Now’, follow this link for the whole article,

The article and assumptions made are by no means definitive but it gives me hope that people are talking and engaging with the subject of abstraction in a variety of mediums. I tend to focus on the painters like Sean Scully and Brice Marden but there are others such as, Anish Kapoor (, Anthony Gormley ( and Olafur Eliasson ( making waves for abstract art. It makes me wonder that as I continue on my own journey will I move into other areas such as sculpture and installation or will there be new ways in the future to express abstraction, only time will tell.

The article is an interesting read and I found a lot of material that will be useful to me in the future but the bottom line I think is in Pepe’s very last sentence in the article;

“In 2013, as in 1913, abstraction is how we think about the future.”

Anything is possible.


Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, 2004, in Chicago’s Millennium Park, reflects and distorts the surrounding landscape.



Lucy Hammond and Ben Pearce

Sorry for the bombardment of posts but I can’t not talk about these two speakers they were awesome!

So Lucy Hammond from MTG Napier ( and Ben Pearce ( from David Trubridge visited our class on separate days to talk to us about what we need to do to keep on track once we leave school. Both were focused and successful and young! Great role models for all of us but especially I think the younger guys and girls in the class, nice to see real people that you can relate to as peers (more or less), being artists and living the dream…

First off Lucy is the curator at MTG, an artist and budding writer while Ben holds down a full time job as Marketing guru at local designer David Trubridge as well as feeding a career as an artist, specialising in sculpture and drawing (among others).

It was great to hear both talk in their own ways about combining careers in the commercial and creative art fields. Yes it can be done but the message I got from both was be prepared to work hard and stay focused, a plan is always good but if in doubt just keep making things and keep networking.

For me it was helpful to hear Lucy talking about having a plan and Ben in a more laid back way talking about ‘doing’, making things and being in the zone attracts like minded people and before you know it things happen. But it doesn’t have a life of it’s own we need to keep the momentum going by being proactive and professional, make the most of opportunities and things will happen.

Its a little early to say for sure but I’m really glad we have this paper now, I want to make sure I give myself a good opportunity to succeed and the message I have received from all of our speakers recently is yes be talented but be professional and be prepared to work your butt off.

PS: How cool is this performance/sculpture by Ben, retrieved from
Check out his website for more…

Shot 4, 2005

Annika Bennett – Art & Enterprise Gallery, Napier

As part of our current project Annika Bennett ( visited to talk to us about the art world from her perspective as the A+E Gallery owner, and from her past and current experience as:

  • Artist Agent
  • Art Dealer
  • Art Management Consultant

And with among others, past clients such as Delphine Lebourgeois (see her website at and Ben Stockley (here at, Annika is one to really listen to and take advice from.

It is interesting that these two artists have combined a fine art and commercial career without compromise, in today’s world this is something that I believe is relevant for all new and emerging artists, how to live and love. And the reality is that not all of us who graduate will go straight into the career we imagine and at the mid point in our degree that is an important truth to keep in mind.

But its not all doom and gloom, Annika had some very encouraging things to say and some excellent tips about being as prepared and professional as we can be for those moments when we may meet someone who can help us towards achieving our dreams.

So to end, I personally found Annika’s talk extremely helpful, far to much information to bore you all with but little gems I’ll tuck away for a rainy day.

And just because they are sooo beautiful I have pasted an image made by Delphine Lebourgeois and retrieved from


Delphine Lebourgeois – Still Life Created in 2013. Edition of 35 (48.5 x 59.5cm). Museum quality Giclée on 310 gsm archival etching paper. Each print is individually hand finished in watercolour pens.


Sleepless in Hastings

Yesterday I started to build my website as per our current project brief and I realised at about eight o’clock last night that I had some serious thinking to do, mostly about my abilities to be able to build a website but more importantly was I able to build a website I was proud of!

The answer my friends are not in the given time frame (less than a week) and maybe never…

This is hard for me to admit but when it comes to technical stuff like this it’s all in a foreign language, I know who I am and where I want to go as an artist but web design is not a strength, apologies to all those techno savvy people out there but even the simplest templates drive me insane.

Perhaps at four o’clock in the morning I am a little insane but I have to get this off my chest or I’ll never sleep.

Tomorrow (actually today) is as they say another day, and while I’ve hit my proverbial wall I’m optimistic that I can pull something together for assessment on Friday, maybe not complete or finished but from my heart and heartfelt.