Australian Fine Artist

Archive for the ‘Videos and Visiting Artists’ Category

Professional Development Workshop

McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Victoria

I  volunteer at the McClelland Gallery which in itself is a great experience. Teaching kids to enjoy art in the Education Department of the Gallery has opened up my options for teaching in the future as well as giving me some great times enjoying how creative kids can be.

The Gallery, to help us be better teachers, supplied a professional training session which I did today. It usually costs others to attend but as volunteers, we are supplied the days for free.

Today we had a morning with the exhibiting artist doing observational drawing and in the afternoon, we had an intensive session about special needs kids and taking care of our own needs as teachers. It was very hands on, which I haven’t photographed (sorry) but included painting eyes closed, sculpting in clay (I did photograph that) eyes closed and expressive intuitive drawing eyes closed.

The drawing was of the HUGE nude male sculpture in the gallery, which we were asked to in context to the room, compared to things and people around it. We had 45 minutes during which I did three sketches. I have included all three here, they were done using a fine liner on plain white cartridge paper and all are around A4 in size.

This workshop is certified so another certificate to hang on the studio wall!

So, in case you may be wondering why I am talking about this, it is to express how volunteering can have benefits that you may not think about initially, just as I didn’t. I thought I would just use my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment rather than letting it go to waste, and maybe get out of the studio and network a bit with other artists. I have gained so much more than that, so it is a big win-win for the gallery, the kids and me.

It has put a bit of pressure on me as I am trying to get assessments done and take care of domestic duties, but I feel when it is important, I can make the time.

A nice additional thing for us attending is we have lunch, and morning and afternoon tea supplied, I took a pic of one of those!

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Geoffrey Bartlett

Exhibition at the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park
March 2015

Artist Talk

Courtesy of the McClelland Gallery web site I am starting off with a little out of Geoffrey’s biography:

In 1983 Geoffrey Bartlett was honoured a prestigious Harkness Fellowship and within two years graduated from Columbia University, New York with a Master of Fine Arts (Hons). This brief but significant period was instrumental in defining the future direction of Bartlett’s sculpture. His experimental and explorative nature coupled with the maturing effects of new experiences resulted in a significant and lasting shift in his work and was the foundation of a renewed and pure independent vision.

Working predominately within the language of abstraction Bartlett’s sculptures are spatially complex; they engage with the physical qualities of tension and balance and conceptually with the interaction of opposites from the inorganic and organic, external and internal through to ideas of the physical and emotional.

Unfolding the intriguing and unique correlations that have interwoven throughout the artist’s 40 years of making sculpture, this exhibition and accompanying major publication reassess works created by Geoffrey Bartlett during his time in New York in light of works produced prior to his departure in 1983 through to the present.

Geoffrey Bartlett began his arts practice in 1972 and has over forty years of experience in producing sculptures. Contrary to his parents’ ideas about a career, Geoffrey loved art. After studying at a rural technical college in Shepparton for a Diploma for a year he went on to RMIT in Melbourne where he further developed his love of making things, especially out of found materials. Like most students he was very short of funds, so a lot of his materials came from wreckers and scrap yards close to where he was living.

He was soon sharing a rented space in Gertrude Street where many very large works were created. Geoffrey was influence by the abstract Expressionist movement and used the drawings he made as inspiration for his demountable creations. Without any thought of a market, Geoffrey made his pieces larger and larger, making use of all his new contacts for materials which they happily supplied once they got to know him. In the shared space the artists all contributed to the tools required to create their work. This sharing of space and materials etc made it possible for all of them to work.

In around 1983 Geoffrey made some new break throughs in his work which until then had been rather two dimensional. After working in the uNited States on a fellowship he started looking into making his pieces work from every angle, not just as mirror images of the front for example, but as a new view from every side. He wanted his viewers to find something new as they walked around his work.

After this his work again started to become quite large and he started using a lot more variety in his maquette construction as well as the finished models. He included colour on to his bronzes giving them a spark and boldness they hadn’t had before. Geoffrey’s work now included natural wood, steel, bronze, found materials such as bolts which are a feature in his work as well as old car parts.

One of Geoffrey’s most well known works was installed in the water at the front of the National Gallery of Victoria, where I have seen it for many years, not knowing who the artist was that created it.

Geoffrey’s works at the McClelland Gallery show the development of his work over his career. From the framed affect of his early pieces to the organic and mixed media of his current sculptures and maquette he shows an example of an artist who is constantly looking for new materials, new subjects and more creative ways of making his work.

One other thing I noticed and Geoffrey was pleased that I asked him about, was the lighting and positioning of each piece in the exhibition. He took great care in where each one was put and the lighting on it (including the large sculpture outside the front doorway). The shadows and light showing on each work for him is as important as the piece itself. I asked, because the shadows were so interesting and beautiful, I had to know whether this was an important factor.

I very much enjoyed listening to Geoffrey talk about his life and career. Learning how an artist with such a huge body of work keeps fresh and creative is very inspirational.

Ivan Durrant

Visiting Artist Talk at Chisholm Frankston


Ivan Durrant is an Australian painter, performance artist and writer. Much of his art has had “great shock value”, therefore Durrant is often described as L’enfant terrible of Australian art and is known by many as a controversial and provocative artist. Although known widely for his 1975 “Slaughtered Cow Happening”, the larger proportion of Durrant’s work consists of paintings using a self-developed style of “Super-Realism”.

His painting technique began in a childlike, folksy style, evolving into paintings of extreme photo realism and sculptures of illusionistic still-lives of butchered meats, pigs’ heads (MPRG). Ivan spent a short time working in a prosthetics laboratory at Royal Melbourne Hospital and was able to create lifelike body parts. This skill was carried over into an ability to create convincingly accurate sculptures of ears, hands, pig heads and various cuts of meat. His most recent works explore the colours and action of Australian Rules football and horse racing and work has ranged from paintings to photography, public performance and installations, short films and sculpture.


Stephen Eastaugh

Visiting Artist at Frankston Chisholm

Artist Talk and Short Movie Covering Antarctic Residency

Before any artist chat I like to get some information about the experience and qualifications of the person I am about to listen to. That little bit of research beforehand can set you up to listen with some understanding of where the person is coming from.

Stephen’s biography was extensive and impressive. He has a BFA from Melbourne University (VCA), a Diploma of Education from the University of Tasmania, and an Honorary Certificate of Achievement from the University of Oslo. He has also held over sixty solo exhibitions, several group exhibitions and is in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and several other prestigious galleries worldwide.

With a few decades of practical experience as a working artist and teacher it was a pleasure to listen to this entertaining and informative speaker.


Sarah Faulkner

Visiting Artist Talk at Chisholm Frankston

Painter Sarah Faulkner gave and interesting talk about her career and her paintings today. Having start at RMIT and Prahran Institute around the 1980s Sarah now has an impressive career of over thirty years.

With a good amount of experience producing paintings and working in the arts, Sarah had a wide range of work to show us as well as stories of travel to such places as Italy, France, Central and South America and India. Always with her it seems, was her sketch book and gauche paints.


Greg Ades

Visiting Artist at Chisholm TAFE
Artist Talk: Work and Experience as a Painter

(please note their is a small swear word in the last part of this article)

Greg Ades has years of experience as a painter starting with his education in art. His training began in 1977 in Frankston Technical School (now TAFE). He followed up with a Diploma of Art & Design – Fine Art at CIT, (later Chisholm and now part of Monash University) in Caulifeld.

Greg has been Artist in Residence at 45 Downstairs (Melbourne), in a few Victorian Primary Schools and Artist in the Community for Frankston City Council. He has held several solo exhibitions and has been included in many group ones as well. He has work in collections including the Warrnambool Art Gallery.


Graeme Drendel

Visiting Artist Talk at Chisholm TAFE

Graeme Drendel was born in Ouyen in Victoria, a rural town with a large farming community. His family was what could be described as a typical farming family, with their interests based mainly around the farm and not so much in literature and art.

The rest of the family went in different directions for their livelihood to that of Graeme who when able, went to Ballarat to study. He then came to Melbourne to complete a Diploma of Teaching (Art and Craft).

During his twenties Graeme did little painting if any, he became a father and soon became a sole parent role. An interest in playing music in a band and keeping in touch with art gave him outlets during the years up to the age of thirty until he went back to teaching in his early thirties.


Richard Stringer

Visiting Artist Talk
Chisholm TAFE Frankston

Sculptor, Painter, Archeologist

Richard has a huge string of accomplishments, so big in fact that I suggest you go to his web site to see his achievements (link at the bottom of this editorial). I will just say here that he has been a 2012 PhD candidate at Monash University, studied Middle Eastern Studies at Melbourne University in 1989 and received his Degree in Fine Art (sculpture) at Victorian College of the Arts in 1981. He has also taught at Frankston Chisholm in the past so was able to catch up with colleagues during his visit.

Richard has artworks in major collections around Australia including the outside of St Kilda Town Hall and at the Eureka Tower, Melbourne. During his career he has been able to acquire grants and funding to travel overseas to many places that I have long wanted to see, his interest in archeology is something that I share with him. For Richard, the travel meant being able to not only see and be inspired by things he expected, but also to be exposed to the surprises and unexpected that can come when you are willing to explore and be open minded about learning.


Oslo Davis

Visiting Artist Talk
Chisholm TAFE Frankston

When the visiting artists begins his chat by saying something like “I am an observer of the bizarre and the funny” you know you are in for an interesting talk. I have to admit up front that I do not read The Age newspaper, so had not heard of Oslo. It came as a pleasant surprise to have him take the time to talk to us today, as well as showing some of his work.

As well as showing his early sketches in his visual diaries, he also showed us progress shots of his process of building up the text and drawing for his cartoons. Not a lot of artists will show off the process in such detail, and explain the creative thinking behind the final product we see printed or exhibited.


Brett Colquhoun

Visiting Artist at Frankston Chisholm

Brett completed a Diploma of Graphic Design. Swinburne College of Technology in 1978 which puts him roughly in the same age bracket as me. Sometimes it is good to hear from a practising artist that is close to your own age to help make some comparisons. Also with a good amount of experience and a broad range of work to show, it is interesting to see the development of an artist’s career and style over time.

As he started in the graphics area, as I did and several artists that I know, I didn’t find it unusual that Brett began his journey there. A lot of artists have to make the choice of working in the graphics field to bring in the regular money so they can continue to do what is their passion (often painting or sculpting etc). Being a full time fine artist usually means very irregular income, which landlord and supermarkets don’t really like. So if you want to be independent and eat, compromise is often called for.