One hundred thousand projects at once. I must really like being busy! With certainty I love a space to be busy in, so I’d like to invite you into my cozy little studio.
One of the best things about being a postgraduate research student in the school of Art, Architecture & Design at the University of South Australia is Liverpool Street Studios. A manky, dusty building in the city (with resident crickets!) that we privileged few get a little spot to think, make messes and test theories in. Aside from the fact that it’s constantly under threat of bring taken away from us, it’s a sanctuary.
My practice really needs a sanctuary away from home – my work involves a lot of play, and is there anything more fun to play with than Mummy’s things? My boys don’t seem to think so.
Having that breathing room has given me a lot of space to work through ideas, to do over and to think much, much bigger.
Liverpool Street Studios includes the Liverpool Street Gallery – a generous “white cube” (with lots of poorly placed doors and power outlets) that students can use to test out ideas in a contemporary gallery setting. On each Friday morning during the semester two research students present their work in a “silent critique” situation. The silent part is the creator of the work, who can’t say anything about the project until they are invited to speak or answer questions at the end of the session. Everyone is welcome, and most postgraduate visual art students make an effort to attend as much as possible. Sometimes I think it’s like a really involved game of pictionary – lots of formidable intellects responding to and puzzling over the objects placed before them.
As a student/researcher this critique opportunity is a great way to find out if your artefacts are working in the way you hope they do. Often the audience’s response is quite surprising, but always illuminating.
It is also very valuable to see other students projects grow and develop – right up to the projects conclusion at final exhibition which are often held in established galleries.
I’ve talked about some of my research before, here are some phone shots of the install from my last critique in November 2011:
One of the criticisms of my work from the PIP Festival was that the images were so small it was hard to figure out how they were made. That made a lot of sense to me, so I tested out the work at a new scale: enormous.
The glass piece above functions as an instrument to explain how the photographs are made, while also being an intriguing object in it’s own right. The convex dome is unevenly frosted with two clear “peep holes” on either side. You can almost make out the distorted images hiding beneath the surface of the glass, but when viewed from the peep holes the anamorphic images jump out or run away from you. This was my first attempt.