Art Marathon: ready…

It doesn’t feel quite right leaving the New York experience so vague. I can’t even begin to describe what an enormous impact it had on all of us – that must be one reason I’m leaving it undocumented – I doubt I’d have the words or pictures to do the experience justice, although don’t get me wrong I have been trying!

October brings a month of getting my chips all lined up for more epic-ness. This month I have two frighteningly brilliant events to prepare and execute. The first on the calendar is the installation of a temporary public artwork on the Boat Ramp at Marino – with assistance from the City of Marion & as part of the Place2012 festival. This is my first public artwork, and I’m really excited! It happened quite organically – I had an idea, approached the council, they loved it and now we are all systems go! In the next few days Marino residents will get a little letter in their mailbox:


Dear Marino Residents,
This letter is to inform you of a short-term public artwork to be installed between October 24th and 27th on a section of the old Marino Boat Ramp. This artwork is designed by emerging City of Marion artist Aurelia Carbone, currently studying for her doctorate at the University of South Australia.
Aurelia is interested in anamorphic images, exploring designs that only form into recognisable shapes from a particular point of view. If you would like to come and view the artwork, Aurelia will mark the exact spot to stand on, when the work is complete, in order to view it to full effect. The painted image will be made with the absolute safety of our precious marine environment in mind. Aurelia uses environmentally friendly materials and methods so that they can cause no harm.
Aurelia says “For this new artwork at Marino I reflected on my experiences growing up and exploring this unique and fascinating corner of our coastline. I often acted out tales of exploration and discovery amongst the ragged rocks and found tide pools full of mystery.

This work is intended to fade over time as it is eroded by the sea and weather. It is my hope that, in time, it will become another of Marino Rocks’ secrets.”
Aurelia will be using projection on the evening of Wednesday October 24th to map out her image, before commencing painting work. There may be a generator running on that night from dusk, shutting down before midnight. If you have any concerns regarding this, please contact Marg Edgecombe, Unit Manager, Arts & Cultural Development on 0411 339 739.
This temporary public artwork is part of City of Marion’s participation in “Place 2012”; a series of Adelaide events exploring, and stimulating conversation about, our sense of place. We hope you, and the wider community, will be engaged by this site-specific cultural expression in your local area.

Hope Deane
City of Marion
Public Art & Placemaking Officer
Telephone: 8375 6828

How is that for support! So far it’s been a really positive experience.

The logistics have been interesting – because the work will be on the beach I wanted to make sure I was using materials that wouldn’t be harmful to the marine life ( who wants to be responsible for making a leafy sea dragon sick? Not me.) The Environmental Protection Agency were very helpful in looking over the project and the materials I was suggesting. I’m also battling the tides, so we have planned the project install for a dodge tide. I had no idea there was such a thing! Here is a digital mock-up of what I hope the project will look like when it’s complete.

Planned anamorphic artwork at the Marino boat ramp, Marino, South Australia

November 2nd 2012 is the opening night of my solo show in the Project Space at the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia. The exhibition is titled instant perspective machine and will involve the participation of the audience as an integral part of the machine’s operation – essentially the machine needs someone to drive it and I’d love that someone to be you. I will be reconfiguring the Space into an enormous optical illusion site, complete with a recording device in the form of a heavily modified Fuji Instax camera. Work the switches & make some pictures – it will be a lot more fun if you play too.

I’ll try to squeeze in a few more entries while the projects are in progress. Wish me luck!

The Busy

My head is still spinning @_@ my Northern Hemisphere Summer with the MFA Photo program at Parsons has been intense. It’s not my preference to make work at such an accelerated pace – I’m slow even by normal standards – but it was a superlative opportunity and I’m more than a bit sad that it’s over 🙁 I NY, I love Parsons, and I love the current MFA Photo students – it’s been a thrill to be surrounded by sensationally talented photographers.

I used the residency to experiment with something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’m often being encouraged (by people I really should listen to) to make video or animations. I find that suggestion a bit overwhelming as I will need a whole new skill set, new equipment, and a clue about where to start. As a warm up to working with longer narratives I’ve made a new photocomic.

The space I was given to work with had some quirks that I used to start the story narrative. I’d been working on this little puppet for such a long time – but I really didn’t know what he was going to get up to. The pipes and the little hole in the wooden floor gave me my staring point, from there the story just …grew? (the pun princess strikes again!) It was a very fun project, especially working with multiple anamorphic shapes in one spot. It got a bit complex there for a few days, see:

I do have some ideas about we the story goes next, and some more characters to introduce. That will have to wait until we are back home in Australia.

After I’d finished shooting for the little project above I discovered that I really wanted to use the space for another image for the Honest Magic series. Lucky for me Orlando was keen to be involved again.

The Parsons Summer Open Studios also gave me an opportunity to try out something I’m very interested in: incorporating an anamorphic installation and viewpoint as part of an exhibition. I transformed an old enlarger lens (found at a flea market on West 59th street) into a peep-hole device for the void illusion in my studio. It was great! :duck: It’s given me some fantastic ideas for my Project Space show at CACSA in November 😀

Zo babe sure liked it.

Big Guy is 5

Happy 5th Birthday Orlando! For me it’s hard to reconcile that 5 years have passed already since we brought that starry eyed little love home from the hospital, but after a brief conversation with Himself sometimes it’s more perplexing that he isn’t much older. Orlando is a practical little gentleman, thoughtful and sincere, as well as being capable of Maximum Silly.

For example, I was distressed in the week(s) leading up to going to New York. How was I going to leave my babies? I was teary and a bit maudlin until Orlando gave me a little pep talk one morning as we were getting ready to go to school. He explained that they would be ok at home with Daddo, and that I should be sure to not forget about them, to Skype often, and most importantly to get New York City all ready for their arrival in July. Well! If he was going to be so reasonable about everything, who was I to quibble?

Om nom nom

One thing I was not going to miss out on though, was the Big 5 Party. We held it a few weeks early and, at Orlando’s request, the celebrations were held at our house. If you were anything like me as a small person, one of the most fun parts of an impending birthday is picking out what kind of cake you’ll have. This year it had to be a red ladybird. Evil Aunty Delana was most enthusiastic about assisting with the decorating – we made a ladybird and her magical garden! The ladybird body was strawberry cake ( bug guts! ) and the head and little garden mounds were vegan carrot cake. Something for everyone. Most of the kids wanted the carrot cake, but maybe that had more to do with me calling the cake “bug guts”?

Orlando’s Ladybird Garden Birthday Cake

For games we played Pin The Tail on the Pikachu, we ate doughnuts hanging by strings from the washing line ( no hands! ), played Pass The Parcel (what’s with the prize on every layer thing? I don’t think it improves the game) and of course there was a mighty Treasure Hunt in the garden – which we’ve made into a very fun place for small people.

Treasure hunting

Delana made little sculpey creatures for our guests to take home, tied to their helium balloon party favours. I love home birthday parties! Especially when Orlando has such superlative taste in friends – what a great bunch of funny little loves.

Today is Orlando’s for real birthday and I don’t mind admitting to you that I’m having a hard time being on my own on the other side of the planet. 15 more sleeps until I can cuddle my wee wonders again. I don’t know if New York is ready for you, big guy, but come on over. They’re going to love you.

Hello New York! Let’s get busy.

It’s hard to know how to begin with this entry. It might be a good idea to follow the Mad Hatter’s advice and “begin at the beginning, and when you get to the end – stop!”

Storm clouds over the Highline

This story begins in China, at the PIP Festival. Amongst the many highlights of that trip was getting to meet the current graduating MFA Photography students and their professors from Parsons, New School University in New York City. The PIP Festival organisers had arranged accommodation for all of the visiting foreign students in one of two historic “courier stations” reinvented as bed & breakfast type establishments inside the ancient city of Pingyao. Because of this proximity the little clutch of South Australian students I was travelling with were included in several impromptu student demonstrations and mini symposia where all the international students were able to present their work. On one occasion we were given 5 minutes (timed) to present our research with no time to prepare notes. It was an excellent test. Anyway, anyway I’m babbling here, but, the upshot of all of this was that I had a forum to show my research to some international academics, smile and shake their hand and swap business cards. This whole social networking thing is an absolute mystery to me, and I have to work pretty hard at it as it doesn’t come naturally. I had an excellent role model in Sundari Carmody, who is not only an incredibly talented young photographer, but also an absolutely natural networker. She’s an outstanding travelling companion, too.

Who let him drive?

On my return to Adelaide I contacted the professors from Parsons, and applied to do a residency as a Visiting Scholar over their summer program. It was a long waiting game to find out if I was going to be accepted, but I kept busy by preparing for the possibility of a summer in New York City by applying for professional development grants through ArtsSA. Lucky for me, my applications were successful so when I did finally get the green light everything was (mostly) in place.

And so here I am!

Upper West Side Ground Score

For the moment I’m flying solo, the boys will arrive in early July and I can’t wait to see their sweet faces. However, this city is more everything than I could have ever imagined & I’ve kept myself very busy. So far it’s friendly, comfortable, kooky and exciting. This week was my first week of study and I’ve managed to meet almost all of the MFA Photo students across all years of the degree, many of whom are international students from around the globe. There has been much geek talk 🙂 I’m ready to throw myself into an intensive period of making, although first I need to find out where in the city they hide all the broken optical instruments for me to scavenge. I also need to find a generous designer who will let me raid their scraps, and a sewing machine will speed things up too. Let’s see how lucky I can get.