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Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

Essay for BEN KOPILOW’s “BLACK SUMMER – THE AFTERMATH” Exhibition at PhotoAccess Canberra

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Burnt trees – Namadji

Burnt trees – Namadji

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Revisiting the Fire Ground Read the rest of this entry »

2021 WORLDWIDE PINHOLE DAY – Our images

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WWPD 2021 LOGO

WWPD 2021 LOGO

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Around the [w]hole world on Sunday April 25, 20201pinholers were out having fun – Making their images for the 2021 Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.

This year – still in Toowoomba we’ve been working on projects and supporting family. Once again, far away from the darkroom, we’ve fitted a piece of aluminium with a light admitting pin-prick to the body cap of our Olympus Pen camera and braved the parkland at the end of our street. Recently we uploaded our images with a detailed caption to the WPPD website to add to the contributions from Australian pinholers and many more from around the world.

This is the 17th year we have supported the WPPD project!

SEE LINKS to our other submissions at the end of this Post.

 

WHAT IS WORLDWIDE PINHOLE PHOTOGRAPHY DAY ALL ABOUT?

From the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day website introduction

All the photographs in this extraordinary collection share two common characteristics: (1) they are lensless photographs (2) they were all made on April 25, 2021.

They also share an additional and less formal characteristic: the sincere enthusiasm of their creators who, by participating in this collective event, shared individual visions and techniques. Hence the amazing diversity of subjects, cameras, techniques and photographic materials combined in this exhibit!

The process is that photographs are made on April 25 > they are processed / optimised by the photographer > uploaded and captioned on the WPPD website. The 2021 Gallery of images can be searched to see what photographers from around the world did on that day…

 

Here’s the website page of the Australian pinhole photographer’s works:

WPPD 2021 Australian submissions @ May 11, 2021

WPPD 2021 Australian submissions @ May 11, 2021

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VICTORIA’s PINHOLE IMAGE: AFTERNOON WALK

Victoria Cooper's evening walk pinhole photo

Victoria Cooper’s Evening walk pinhole photo

 

ABOUT VICKY’S PINHOLE IMAGE:

 

We pass by these trees everyday… I decided to take pinhole photos of our walk as I enjoy the way they transform these everyday places into a kind of poem, not distinct nor descriptive just evocative.

 

 

DOUG’s PINHOLE IMAGE: TREE HOUSE

Tree House a pinhole image by Doug Spowart

Tree House a pinhole image by Doug Spowart

 

ABOUT DOUG’S PINHOLE IMAGE:

 

I chose the late afternoon to go out and make images as the low light angle and the deep shadows add drama and mystery to pinholes made at this time.

Over recent years I have continued to choose a digital camera and aluminium pie dish with a pin prick in it. Wet darkrooms and film, although it suited the zone plates of landscape that I made are beyond my current means – perhaps next year…

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OUR Digi-PINHOLE CAMERA

The Cooper+Spowart digi OLYMPUS PEN with pinhole ...

The Cooper+Spowart digi OLYMPUS PEN with pinhole …

This is a converted digital Olympus Pen, shared with my partner Doug Spowart. The pinhole is a pin pierced hole in aluminium which is inserted into a hole drilled into a body cap. It is a hand held exposure of 1/25th second at ISO 2000.

 

 

Visit the WWPD Site for details of other submissions:  http://pinholeday.org/

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Our Past WPPD images:

2020 Doug+Vicky https://wotwedid.com/2020/05/13/2020-worldwide-pinhole-day-26-april-our-images/

2019 Doug+Vicky https://wotwedid.com/2019/04/29/2019-worldwide-pinhole-day-28-april-our-images/

2018 Doug+Vicky https://wotwedid.com/2018/04/29/2018-worldwide-pinhole-day-29-april-our-images/

2016 Doug: http://www.pinholeday.org/index.php?id=1235

2016 Vicky: http://www.pinholeday.org/index.php?id=1540

2015  https://wotwedid.com/2015/05/04/april-26-worldwide-pinhole-day-our-contributions-for-2015/

2014  Vicky’s http://pinholeday.org/gallery/2014/index.php?id=1810&City=Toowoomba

2014  Doug’s http://pinholeday.org/gallery/2014/index.php?id=1811&City=Toowoomba

2013   https://wotwedid.com/2013/04/29/world-pinhole-photography-day-our-contribution/

2012   http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2012/index.php?id=1937&searchStr=spowart

2011    http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2011/index.php?id=924

HERE IS THE LINK to the 2011 pinhole video   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk4vnbzTqOU

2010   http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2010/index.php?id=2464&Country=Australia&searchStr=spowart

2006  http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2006/index.php?id=1636&Country=Australia&searchStr=cooper

2004 Vicky  http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2004/index.php?id=1553&Country=Australia&searchStr=cooper

2004 Doug  http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2004/index.php?id=1552&Country=Australia&searchStr=spowart

2003  http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2003/index.php?id=615&Country=Australia&searchStr=spowart

2002  http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2002/index.php?id=826&Country=Australia&searchStr=spowart

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 ©2021 Doug Spowart+Victoria Cooper
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Creative Commons-by-nc-nd.eu.
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Our photographs and words are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/au/..

JADA 2020: DRAWING on the PHYSICAL & VIRTUAL Exhibition Space

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Standing in the gallery before David FAIRBURN’s Drawn together-Double portraits V.H & J.E.L NO5

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The Pandemic and its significant social disruption has reduced the ability for visitors to enter the physical gallery. However the gallery has reached out through Internet mediated platforms to present online formatted exhibitions to not only to those in lockdown just down the street but also to those geographically distanced from the gallery.

This take-up of online exhibitions has been significant that now it seems that every gallery, as well as entrepreneurial artist, have a virtual gallery. Specialist online providers include Matterport, Ortelia Curator and Exhibbit.

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Some of these online programs can not only give the gallery a record of virtual attendances and where those visitors came from through their ‘hits’ stats, they may even be able to track the way visitors navigate through the online exhibition space. Bravo to the galleries who have stepped up to provide art interested people a 21st century solution to the COVID-19 challenge to provide a connection with commercial or institutional gallery spaces.

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Grafton Regional Gallery

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At the end of November 2020 after the relaxation of the Pandemic travel restrictions on the Queensland/New South Wales border we visited the Grafton Regional Gallery and the showing of the 2020 Biennial Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA).

Earlier in lockdown we visited the 2020 JADA quite a few times via their excellent online gallery. On these virtual visits we were presented with an online experience of being ‘in’ the space with enhancements that enabled us to zoom into full size images of the work and through a ‘click’ button, the ability to read the title of the work, artist’s name and other artwork details. While we were online visiting it was interesting to consider that others from all over the country, or even the world, could be simultaneously in the same virtual gallery space.

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The Matterport virtual gallery – JADA 2020

 


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SOME OF THE 2020 JADA FACTS

The JADA exhibition presents a snapshot of the contemporary practice of the drawing artform. The 2020 awards presented 56 works from a record total entry of 659. Pre-selection was carried out by Peter Wood (CEO, Arts Northern Rivers), Brett Adlington (Director, Lismore Regional Gallery, Michael Zavros (artist and 2002 JADA winner), and Heather Brown (President, Friends of Grafton Gallery). The judge of the final Award was Peter McKay, curatorial manager Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery — Gallery of Modern Art. A catalogue essay was written by Andrew Frost.

Teo TRELOAR – This is impermanence

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Teo Treloar’s work titled This is Impermanence (2019) was announced as the winner and Sarah Tomasetti’s work titled Kailash North Face IV (2019) and, Noel McKenna’s work titled Hamlet (2020) were recommended for purchase for the JADA Collection.

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DRAWING ON THE EXPERIENCE OF THE ARTWORKS

The JADA exhibition reveals a myriad of techniques, media and surfaces. The view of the artwork in the physical space of the gallery is a sensory experience that provides an opportunity to encounter the actual art object and the potential for much closer viewing that can reveal so much more about the work.

For that reason my physical experience in viewing the actual work gave me a deeper experience of the media used and the way it contributed to the artist’s communiqué. Now this may sound as if I’m proposing that the physical beats the virtual but that is not my point. The online space is critical to the broad distribution of the artworks in any exhibition. In many ways the viewing of a pixel presented view of an artwork is not dissimilar to how we experience art in the printed form in a magazine or book.

The online exhibition can convey extended information about the art and the exhibition through downloadable catalogues that cover artist’s statements, the judge’s comments and an essay. What I’m highlighting is that the online exhibition plays an important role in connecting viewers with art that is inaccessible for whatever reason. Seeing the physical object in the gallery is an elevated experience. So it is important to note that JADA is a travelling exhibition and that the ability to physically view the works will be afforded thousands of visitors during its 2 year showing.

It is important to applaud the Grafton Regional Gallery for their initiative in organising, hosting the physical show, coordinating the online exhibition and the touring component. For without JADA’s significant biennial review of the discipline in Australia the drawing community of practice could be fragmented and isolated.

My discussions in this Blog post has been in response to seeing the drawing artworks in the gallery space and connect personally with the detail of the mark and its surface. So to share the richness of the close-up physical experience I approached the Gallery to provide me with access to the catalogue and the information it contains. I have now linked this information with close-up images of selected works from photographs* made while I viewed the exhibition. Through this Blog post I’m attempting to extend the virtual viewer’s experience – it may represent a future enhancement to the online gallery.

Enjoy …

 

Doug Spowart

*Note some of the photographs contain minor reflections of lighting and other frames from the gallery space.

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View our Blog posts on previous JADA 2018 and JADA 2014

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Download a copy of the JADA 2020 Catalogue 2020 JADA Catalogue

2020 JADA Catalogue Cover

 

VIEWING THE JADA 2020 IN DETAIL

“CLICK” Image to enlarge

 

Jennifer Keeler-MilneBurnt, blackened, charred, scorched burnt offerings 2020 7 domes: charcoal, paper, glass, timber, foliage, paint Courtesy of the Artist and Australian Galleries, Sydney and Melbourne

MEDIUM: 7 domes: charcoal, paper, glass, timber, foliage, paint

MEDIUM: ink and pencil on paper

MEDIUM: graphite on rag paper

MEDIUM: charcoal and pastel on mat board

MEDIUM: charcoal and pastel on paper

MEDIUM: charcoal and ink

MEDIUM: ink, acrylic, oil stick, pastel and hand stitching with string on paper

MEDIUM: ink, pastel and stitching

MEDIUM: ink, pigment, acrylic binder on handmade paper

MEDIUM: ink on paper

 

 

MEDIUM: ink, gouache and pastel primer on cast carbon fibre

MEDIUM: felt tip pen with paper folds

 

MEDIUM: charcoal on Snowden catridge

MEDIUM: charcoal and white chalk on toned paper

MEDIUM: graphite on paper

MEDIUM: charcoal and conte on fabriano

MEDIUM: hand painted ceramic tiles

MEDIUM: graphite and White Conte Crayon on Grey Canson Paper

MEDIUM: graphite and White Conte Crayon on Grey Canson Paper

MEDIUM: graphite on hand built and etched porcelain

MEDIUM: ink and gouache on paper

MEDIUM: digital video: chalk, charcoal and acrylic animation on paper, 5:58 minutes (Detail of digital presentation)

 

 

VISIT THE ONLINE GALLERY  HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you to Niomi Sands, Director of the Grafton Regional Gallery and the Gallery team for their support in preparing this Blog post.

 

In accessing this post please respect the copyrights in the works displayed.

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ARTISTS FACING STUDIO CLOSURE: QCA vs Griffith University

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Over the last month there have been reports coming out of the Queensland College of Art about proposed changes being instigated by the hosting institution Griffith University. The University’s intentions are outlined in the University’s ‘Proposal for Workplace Change Roadmap to Sustainability *’.

*If link is broken Download a copy of the Proposal for Workplace Change Roadmap to Sustainability ‘  GU-QCA-Proposal-for-Workplace-Change-Roadmap-to-Sustainability_students

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Outcry from a cross-section of the Arts community has been forthcoming. This has included Arts academics, current and past students, staff and colleagues, Arts organisations like Occuli, NAVA, Brisbane Visual Arts Advocacy Group, Artisan and The Print Council of Australia, Arts Agencies and other supporting groups.

 

Save our Studios Poster by Isobelle Dwyer

Save our Studios Poster by Isobelle Dwyer

 

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.AS ALUMNI WE WANT TO SUPPORT THE QCA

So we composed the following letter to the Griffith University’s Vice Chancellor:

 

Dear Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Carolyn Evans,

By now you will have received a significant number of responses relating to the proposed changes to the Queensland College of Art.

I have read many of the responses to these changes posted online and I concur with the concerns raised by many of the respondents. The Queensland College of Art has history, a solid reputation for the quality of its graduates and the possibility to contribute significantly to the ongoing record of the life of human and non-human habitation on this planet.

Imagine for a moment if you can your world without the framed artwork on the wall – what it’s like to witness the vibe of the well attended gallery, the encounter of a sculpture in a public space, and the wonder of the fleeting image on Instagram. All of these are created by artists – the very people who will be affected by the changes you are intending to implement.

I understand the contemporary funding pressures created by the Pandemic and government indifference to the need to financially support academic study and research into the broader aspects of human existence.

However there is a necessity to be careful that rapid submission to comply, with what may be short-term influences, will have implications. Not just within the fine arts discipline but also, as the artist tells the stories of their times, fewer qualified practitioners will culminate in a gap in the creative record of human existence.

I urge Griffith University to reconsider what has been proposed and find a space to allow art and artists to be nurtured within the Griffith University academic programs.

I also wish you to consider that while many other universities may be considering a similar course of action in cutting Fine arts programs Griffith University has an opportunity to stand firm and continue the Queensland College of Art and realise the benefits identified in the vision and dreams that the supporters of the SAVE our STUDIOS have.

The studio is the crucible that provides the catalyst and engine room for the creative thought…

Sincerely,

Dr Doug Spowart M.Photog, FAIPP, HonFAIPP         Dr Victoria Cooper M.Photog, HonFAIPP

Graduate: College of Art Brisbane 1972                                                  Graduate: Queensland College of Art Brisbane 1993

 

 

A RESPONSE TO THE EMAIL WAS RECEIVED LATER IN THE DAY …

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STUDENT PROTESTS AND MEDIA REPORTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN GENERATING COMMUNITY AWARENESS

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Photos courtesy of Cheryl Bronson

Photos courtesy of Cheryl Bronson

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An ABC TV REPORT HERE

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An ABC RADIO INTERVIEW HERE

(interview begins at around 1:42:45 and runs for 15 mins)

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A PETITION

At the time of posting the SAVE OUR STUDIOS Petition had received 10.6K signatures

– You can add your support by signing the petition here: http://chng.it/Zv22YbfP6y

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FB Page

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE QCA SOS PROTEST VISIT:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/teamqcasos

 

Save our Studios QCA by Summer Hiskens-Ravest

 

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AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY and the School of Art and Design

It’s interesting to note that at this time the Australian National University is doing the same for their Art programs with their demand being “…the long-standing structural deficit of the School cannot continue and must be addressed. The School must position itself tobe able to deliver its programs and research with continued excellence but in a financially viable and sustainable manner.”

READ MORE HERE: https://www.anu.edu.au/files/guidance/Managing%20Change%20Proposal_CASS_Tranche%202_November%202020_.pdf?

If link is broken Download a copy HERE ANU-Managing Change Proposal_CASS_Tranche 2_November 2020_

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QUEENSTOWN’s UNCONFORMITY 2018 – From the Archive

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Driving to Queenstown for the 2018 UNCONFORMITY Art Festival

A diaristic record of the journey to Tasmania’s west coast two years ago – October 2018

NOTE: The 2020 UNCONFORMITY was cancelled due to the pandemic.
A link to their COVOD-19 response can be seen HERE
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Road to Queenstown

 

The road convulses, twists and turns as if the wilderness has challenged its taming by the road builders and engineers. Just when the wild begins to overcome your imagination a mountain ridge is crested and opening up before you is a place made by man and commerce showing their destruction of the landscape to make a place, a wild place – home.

The town of Queenstown is nestled in a valley floor through which flows a stream, a road and a railway line. The mining ceased after 100 years of operation and the town now seems devoid of what must have been the hustle and bustle of its glory days. Left orphaned by those who have moved on are commercial buildings intended for a permanence that is now redundant. Other buildings are kept cobbled together by make-do maintenance. The occasional sign in the empty shop window proclaiming “FOR RENT”. Houses of corrugated iron and rough stone construction and the occasional 1940s or 50s flat roofed ‘modern style’ straddle the ridges. They sometimes hang precariously from the narrow winding roads that move from the central business area outwards and upwards like a schematic of the human circulatory system.

 

 

In this unlikely place there exists a community of artists ranging from those for whom it is a hobby for personal life enrichment to those, many of whom are of national stature in their disciplines. Bi-yearly a special event in Queenstown celebrates its art community as well as those from around that country and the world who consider the locale as a touchstone and inspiration for their art.

Called ‘The Unconformity’ the event takes its name from an unusual rock formation found locally that was the natural catalyst for the mineral riches that were found there. ‘The Unconformity’ takes place over 3 days and attracts a worldwide audience.

Our unique proposition is to be a cultural conduit into western Tasmania—a place hard to get to and harder to engage—by mining a new cultural commodity with the spirit of independence, boldness, risk and adventure that is melded to our region’s DNA.

Mission statement from The Unconformity website

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We sat in a café munching on a magnificent homemade pie and at a table nearby the (then) former senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie also having lunch. I discovered a long lost cousin, the artist Beverley Loverock in a shop that is her studio at the top end of town. And just walking down a street between visiting art galleries and events we encountered Marc Pricop, a photodocumentary photographer who we knew from Brisbane when he was a student at the Queensland College of Art.

 

Just off the main street we caught up with nationally recognised printmaker Raymond Arnold who first came to the region in the 1970s as part of the Franklin Gordon Blockade protest. His connection with the place at that time left an indelible mark on him and for the last 18 years has set up his studio there with his wife Helena Demczuk. Called LARQ his modern studio and gallery featured an expansive artwork created in response to his years in Tasmania. It featured 100 hard ground line etchings, some multi-plates, which were presented in the gallery as 100 individually framed works as well as the assembled plates in a mosaic format that stretched the length of the studio’s main wall.

 

 

We were only able to stay for the better part of two days as local accommodation is booked out well in advance and we travelled from Tarraleah to Strahan and back to Tarraleah late Sunday afternoon. There was just not enough time to take in the range of art, performance, videos and presentations on offer many of which were booked out … But then there’s the next event in two years – we’ll be back.

HERE IS A COLLAGE OF THINGS WITNESSED DURING OUR VISIT…

 

NOTE: Due to copyright restrictions Youtube has muted most of the audio in this video – Imagine AC/DC music LOUD…!

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SOME LINKS…

 

https://www.theunconformity.com.au/

 

https://theconversation.com/the-unconformity-festival-embraces-the-power-and-peculiarity-of-tasmanias-wild-west-106147

 

https://unco-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/static/images/background-looped.4d0f74bf780d.mp4

 

 

PROGRAM

https://www.theunconformity.com.au/program/

 

EVENTS

https://www.theunconformity.com.au/events/

 

A WIKI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unconformity

 

Written by Cooper+Spowart

October 25, 2020 at 9:28 am

COOPER+SPOWART books win ‘works on paper’ Awards

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Martin Hansom Award Flyer

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THE MARTIN HANSON ART AWARDS

For 45 years the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum has annually presented the Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards. The Awards encompass the following art-making areas – easel works, works on paper, three-dimensional & fibre works and digital works. There are three awards for each category and seven special awards including the Pamela Whitlock Memorial Acquisitive Award and the overall Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Art Award of $15,000.  The $40,000 Award prize monies are supported by individuals and community organisations including the Gladstone Regional Council and with significant support from Rio Tinto, Queensland Alumina and other Gladstone mining and industrial businesses.

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Sue Smith the Award Judge IMAGE: The Award’s Brochure

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ABOUT THE JUDGE: SUE SMITH

Sue Smith is an artist, writer and curator. She has held the position of Art Collection Manager at CQ University Australia since August 2012, after serving for nine years as Director of the Rockhampton Art Gallery and Manager Art Services for the Rockhampton Regional Council.

Ms Smith is an exhibiting artist and her works are held in public and private collections in Australia. She trained in the visual arts at the Queensland College of Art and the CQ TAFE; and studied at the University of Queensland, where she graduated in Art History and Modern and Ancient History.

Her postgraduate studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, were in the History of European art.

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT OUR AWARDED ENTRIES

Over many years we have occasionally entered the Martin Hanson Memorial Awards with previous awards in the ‘works on paper’ category.

Both of the books we entered had been hand-printed and bound earlier in the year and had been finalists in the Artspace Mackay Libris Awards.

Last Saturday evening a friend who had been watching the Awards announcement via ‘Live-stream’ texted us to say “log-on and your names have been mentioned”. So we did and were excited to hear the result first-hand and also the comments from the judges Sue Smith.

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HERE ARE THE RESULTS

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THE CREATIVE GLADSTONE REGION Inc AWARD

for the ‘works on paper’ section

went to VICTORIA COOPER for her artists’ book  BEING PRESENT

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Victoria Cooper’s BEING PRESENT

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

Being Present has its physical origins from the Bundanon Trust and the Shoalhaven River.

The electron microscopic images come from unexplored work made during an earlier residence in 2007 of collected detritus from the river. The montages were constructed with these microscopic images as interventions into a riparian environment near the property.

The book is informed by the work of notable writers, thinkers and philosophers, Martin Heidegger and Rachel Carson.

Judge Sue Smith’s comment about the work…

The Creative Gladstone Region Inc. Award

Victoria’s little book is beautifully designed and its semi-abstracted examination of trees and poetic texts asks us to consider wider cosmic questions.

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THE AUSTRALIA PACIFIC LNG AWARD

for the ‘works on paper’ section

went to DOUG SPOWART for his photobook HOME

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Doug Spowart’s book  HOME

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

This book was conceptualised and created during an artist’s residency at Bundanon near Nowra in New South Wales in June 2018. The final design of the book took place in 2019.

For 5 years I have been homeless resulting from the need to travel, seeking work, looking for a place to settle, and maintaining connections with supporting friends and colleagues. The residency enabled inner thoughts to emerge that have been suppressed throughout this time.

Self-imaging is not something new to me. What is new however in this work is the frank reality of the expression, pose and perhaps vulnerability I present in these moments contemplating ‘home’ and what it means to me.

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Judge Sue Smith’s comment about the work…

Australia Pacific LNG Award

This small book contains a masterly series of photographs contemplating self and the concepts of home and human vunerability, the human figure merging into environmental images that hover between representation and abstraction.

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OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE AWARD

Exhibition Opened – Saturday, 17 October 2020 and Closes – 5pm, Saturday, 30 January 2021

This year’s Art Awards is reaching further into the virtual world, providing an alternate enjoyment experience via Council’s Conversations platform. Artist have been asked to post their profiles online as an accompaniment to their submitted artwork – They can be viewed here:
https://conversations.gladstone.qld.gov.au/projects/45th-martin-hanson-art-awards-2020/artist-profiles

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After November, in addition to viewing the exhibition at the Gallery & Museum, all artwork entries can be found in the online gallery here: https://conversations.gladstone.qld.gov.au/projects/45th-martin-hanson-art-awards-2020/entries-martin-hanson-memorial-art-show

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Martin Hanson Memorial Award Sponsors

Martin Hanson Memorial Award Sponsors

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CYANOTYPE IN AUSTRALIA Celebrates World Cyanotype Day 2020

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CYANOTYPE 2020 MOSAIC

 

The world is in a pandemic turmoil but beneath the stress, pain and fear of what some call the ‘new normal’ artists have continued making their art. During this time online connectivity has provided the space to coalesce communities of practice across the world where ideas and creative products can be shared, discussed, recognised and critiqued.

Cyanotypers worldwide celebrated 2020 WORLD CYANOTYPE DAY on the 26th of September by making cyanotypes, presenting work in exhibitions and online through their social media platforms. In the USA there are dedicated groups that have continued to support the medium: Db Dennis Waltrip, Judy & Amy and the World Cyanotype Day web and Facebook group; Malin Fabbri‘s  Alternativephotography.com; and Amanda Smith’s Gallery in Texas. These people have created the glue that brings together cyanotypers from around the world.

Two years ago The Cyanotype in Australia Facebook Group was formed to bring together contemporary cyanotype work for presentation in major survey shows to celebrate Australian practioners from across the country on World Cyanotype Day. The first show in 2018, ‘In Anna’s Garden’ was presented at the prestigious Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne. Last year ‘Under the Southern Sun’ was shown at The Maud Street Photo Gallery – The Queensland Centre for Photography. This exhibition then toured to two venues in the USA: the A. Smith Gallery, Texas, and PhotoNOLA, New Orleans for the international World Cyanotype Day exhibition.

The Cyanotype in Australia Facebook group has actively supported a vibrant community of practice of not only local, but also international cyanotypers. This year, we decided to curate the World Cyanotype Day event online through the Facebook Group page as this space enabled many artists from across Australia and internationally to contribute during these challenging times. We asked our Facebook Group members to select a cyanotype that may have been their first print, an image of a current process investigation or a work that tells a story. Forty-three Australian and a few international Friends responded and posted their work on the page.

This catalogue has now been collated to show the breadth and creative work of these artists. We are again excited to present the amazing work of Australians including our international friends on The Cyanotype in Australia for World Cyanotype Day 2020.

The Cyanotype in Australia Facebook page is a closed group though we welcome ‘Requests to join’ from cyanotype practitioners.

 

Doug Spowart,

with Gail Neumann, David Symons and Victoria Cooper are The Cyanotype in Australia Team

 

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A GALLERY OF WORKS CAN BE SEEN HERE

More information about these works can be found in the catalogue

Download the catalogue via this link  ____WCD 2020 CATALOGUE-FINALv4

 

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Over the last two years the CYANOTYPE IN AUSTRALIA Facebook group has coordinated major events to coincide with this celebration.

the ‘In Anna’s Garden’ catalogue

In 2018 an exhibition entitled “IN ANNA’s GARDEN” was curated Stephanie Richter, Gillian Jones, Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart for showing at the Monash Gallery of Art.

A blog post for this exhibition can be viewed HERE

A download of the “In Anna’s Garden” catalogue can be accessed HERE

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INVITE: Under the Southern Sun

2019 saw the assembly of a group of Australian cyanotyper’s works to be sent to the A. Smaith Gallery and Photo  in New Orleans for the WCD International exhibition. The cyanotypes were firstly shown in the exhibition “UNDER THE SOUTHERN SUN” at The Maud Street Photo Gallery – The Queensland Centre for Photography.

A blog post for this exhibition can be viewed HERE

A download of “Under the Southern Sun” catalogue can be accessed HERE

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Father’s Day: A remembrance in an art project

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Father’s Day 2020 – Thinking of our Dads

 

In 2010 artist, and then gallerist, Julie Barratt put out a call for artworks that asked artists to respond about their Fathers and their passing.

The request from Julie Barratt is as follows:

This project was borne out of the recent sudden death of my father, a handkerchief, some emotive words written by a sibling on his death and the traumatic aftermath of a death processed according to particular societal and cultural mores. Interested artists and Individuals are invited to create an artwork on a handkerchief (any handkerchief not necessarily a man’s) based around death/grief/bereavement.

We reflected on our connection with our Fathers and created artworks using the cyanotype process.

 

Doug’s Hankie

The WHITE KNIGHT – for Merv by Doug Spowart

 

MERV: The White Knight

 My father was an electrician for around sixty years. He always wore King Gee white overalls—even when we went on holidays.

Ever ready to help someone in need he would dash off at a moment’s notice—even when the family organised an outing on the weekend we would always fit in another job along the way.

Over the years he helped many an electrically troubled soul so we, his family, dubbed him the nickname – “The white knight”.

 

 

Victoria’s Hankie

Dad’ll do it – for Reg by Victoria Cooper

 

Dad’ll do it

I remember that he always tied knots in his hankie to keep it in place on his head and to soak up the sweat when he was working on things around the home. He had lived in this home (in the photo) for most of his life except for the time he was in Papua New Guinea for WW2 and shorter periods of time in other places. Over the years he adapted and renovated this home to suit the changing needs of the family.

 

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Barratt Gallery Invite

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The exhibition was shown at Barratt Gallery at Alstonville and Napier Gallery Melbourne

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A post about the exhibition can be found HERE

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A Poem for Dad on Father’s Day – Victoria Cooper

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Reg Cooper’s WW2 PNG Butterfly collection*

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A Poem on Fathers Day – Victoria Cooper 2020

Remembering small shared moments of joy for the natural world.

Many of which no longer exist but for a museum of memories.

With gratitude to my father

 

 

 

Pneumas

 

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Flashes of colour

Flutter across the wall

The souls of the warriors

Fly over

The sublime terrain

While pinned

To a never ending present

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Years pass

This man

Tends a distant garden

Preparing a fertile space

In anticipation for the end of dormancy

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And so the decades

They fly

This man and a small child

Tend the garden

With humility in everyday work

Merging into a gentle rhythm

No expectations

Just joy in the flowers

That simply grow

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But the Butterflies

Remain

Souls Hovering

Over that memory

What do they know

About Time…..

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Eventually

The child alone

Tends the garden

Now a field

Rich with Dreams

Of Flowers

And Forests

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All this …

For The Butterflies

To breathe

 

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Vicky and her Dad Reg circa 1960s

 

 

*Pneuma (πνεῦμα) is an ancient Greek word for “breath“, and in a religious context for “spirit” or “soul“.[1]

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Reg’s Butterfly collection

 

Reg Cooper served in the Royal Australian Air Force in Papua New Guinea in World War II. During this time he made this work by collecting butterflies and placing them over a map of PNG and framing. It is entitled “Nadzab 1944” – where he was stationed.

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This Blogpost is copyright:  Text – Victoria Cooper ©2020, Nadzab 1944 © Reg Cooper, Portrait of Victoria & Reginald Cooper – Helen Cooper ©circa1960

Any RSS reposting from this Blog without permission represents a breach of Copyright.

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Written by Cooper+Spowart

September 6, 2020 at 10:15 am

A TASMANIAN CYANOTYPE: Untitled Found Objects by Victoria Cooper

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Untitled found objects a cyanotype by Victoria Cooper

 

Untitled Found Objects is created from a collection made of invasive starfish species colonising parts of Tasmanian waters and a map-shaped beer coaster found discarded in the streets of Hobart. In this work I play with these found objects and speculate on their relationship with Place.

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Found objects: Starfish and Tasmanian coaster map

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When I take the time to study a place through photography and Material Thinking* history is unearthed, reconsidered and reordered. As I walk in each place, I identify and collect objects for further study. Some objects are commonplace or endemic while others may be discarded or dislocated dissonant interventions. I then utilise the cyanotype process as a site-specific medium to record these collections using sunlight and other environmental conditions as experienced in-situ. In this work the cyanotype forms a blue matrix in which these objects are imaged as their shadows. The shadowy imprints inhabit the blue as white ghostly forms referential of their solid origins.

The final work of blue and white is a paradox between its fiction and truth, the featureless blueness only revealing form by its absence. To think about the cyanotype in this way ushers in many questions: Is the cyanotype blue a political or aesthetic statement? Do the white shadows speak of absence or are they the essence of a presence? Does the reader need an exegesis to understand a poem?i

 

Victoria Cooper

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Untitled found objects exposing the cyanotype

 

*The concept of an aesthetic methodology proposed by Paul Carter in his book, Material Thinking, defines my art, and underpins the making of my work. Through a psychological dialogue with materials, subjects and objects, my work evolves reflexively and in concert with the response to physical experience of time and place. In this process I am taken in new directions and presented with unexpected outcomes for the work.

 

Just as human collaborators needed to suspend an irritable desire for control of the project, substituting instead a lover’s readiness to be plastically moulded by the other’s (intellectual) desire, so with materials: they self selected, those of especial value to enquiry displaying gifts of amalgamation and self transformation analogous to the emotional environment characteristic of the human exchange. (Carter 2004:xiii)

 

Paul Carter, 2004, Material Thinking, Melbourne University Publishing Ltd, Melbourne.

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©2019 Victoria Cooper

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