Art of the Skins

Art of the Skins

Art of the Skins is a significant cultural resurgence project that embraces memories, sharing and belonging. Rich with partnerships, it announces the re-activation of possum skin cloak making and wearing in south-east Queensland.

The beginnings of this project and contemporary possum skin cloak making can be traced to 1993 when a change to the Museums Australia policy provided Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with greater access to museum collections. The shift in policy aimed “to inspire, to reclaim and reignite cultural traditions”.

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Drawing Water

Drawing Water

When Sally Molloy, one of the artists on this project, mischievously sent me this image, the coincidence was hard to put to one side. She knew that I planned to retire on December 23, 2016, and that this would be the last project I would undertake as a full-time artist/academic at the Queensland College of Art.

I began teaching at the QCA in 1980, after returning from two years travelling the ‘overland route’ between Istanbul and Delhi and back. The kind of travelling I’ve done since then has been different, but just as interesting. It’s been a long journey. The projects that have been most rewarding have been the collaborative ones, and this one - Drawing Water - is no different. 

Projects like this can’t happen without buckets of goodwill and energy and the expectation that it’s very likely you’ll encounter more than a few shoals and shipwrecks along the way. Every profession has its scrapes, and mine has been no different. But if I’d ever been unlucky enough to be caught by the Umi Bozu doing the wrong thing at sea, I’d never have gotten away with it – I wouldn’t have been able to lie like Kawanaya Tokuzo. For this stroke of good luck, I have my colleagues to thank, and I have the artists – always the artists, to thank as well.

Prof. Pat Hoffie, December 21, 2016.

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The Philadelphia Connection

The Philadelphia Connection

The city of Philadelphia is rediscovering its deep cultural heritage as a source of enrichment, and economic and cultural revival. As the Lonely Planet’s guide for the “Top 10 US Travel Destinations for 2013” noted:

Forget the cheesesteaks and tri-corner hat, Philadelphia is becoming known as an art capital. In addition to the world renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art, the formerly remote The Barnes Foundation, a once private collection of Matisse, Renoir and Cézanne, has a new central location. And it’s not just the big museums—Philly’s gallery scene is exploding with new venues like the Icebox garnering international attention and turning the Northern Liberties and Fishtown neighborhoods into the new hot arts hub. First Fridays, the monthly gallery open house, long a tradition in Old City, has expanded to the refurbished Loft District, where the party goes on in a host of new bars, clubs and live music venues.

For some time, certain staff members and postgraduates at Queensland College of Art (QCA), Griffith, have had the good fortune to be involved as contributors and participants in the significant revival occurring in the Northern Liberties area. In 2011, when Professor Nicholas Kripal and the other members of the Crane Arts team purchased the nearby magnificent old school buildings adjacent to Saint 5 Michael’s Church to transform them into galleries and studios, QCA was offered a very favourable lease on one of the prime studios on the top floor, with a view over the city. Since then, staff, adjuncts, and postgraduates from QCA have mounted two significant exhibitions at the Ice Box at Crane Arts: Australia Felix in 2011, and Compression in 2012. In October this year, the Ice Box will host a major film event featuring film and animation from the Griffith Film School.

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Studio Research Issue #4

Studio Research Issue #4

This issue of Studio Research has emerged from papers and drawings presented at the inaugural Drawing International Brisbane (DIB) Symposium, held at Griffith University (GU) in 2015. An initiative of Drawing International Griffith (DIG) and the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research, the Symposium brought together over one hundred international drawing researchers.

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Dogs Are Not Food

Dogs Are Not Food

So many stories to tell. Being at the zoo, the vet clinic, the Animal Friends Jogja facilities in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Hearing about cultural practices of abuse but not being able to understand the whys behind them, coming from another culture. Indonesia has its own rules and traditions; it has a heritage that involves rituals subjectively perceived as positive and negative. Or not? Is it subjectively wrong that dogs taken by the streets or abducted from their owners, end up being slaughtered in horrible conditions for their meat? If so, that which cannot be questioned is the disconnection between the humans and their animality. Tradition is not the only human condition normalising abuse. Seeing animals as commodities, a perception strongly influenced by a westernised reading of life allows people to treat them as waste, discard them when no longer useful to play, show off, own. Through a research process followed so as to discover the rationale supporting these understandings, status surfaced as an additional reason; dogs and cats and birds being symbols of wealth, trophies to exhibit. 

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'Surface' Curated by Marian Drew

'Surface' Curated by Marian Drew

THE  WORLD’S LOVER

Essay by Beth Jackson

The artist is no one’s lover. The artist is the world’s lover and art is the lover’s discourse – speaking in fragments, partial offerings, tenderly apologising for inadequacies that result from the knowledge that there is no total picture, no complete view, no full story. Perhaps this is never so felt as with the artist photographer with eyes full of evidence, wide for the world. The lover’s language is not one of explanation or justification or instruction. Art can’t tell us what to do. It mustn’t be boring in that way, treating you like an idiot or a child. It may tease and tickle, tug and twist ... inviting, always inviting … even in denial, the invitation to look elsewhere. The language of the tryst – meet me here!

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Exchange

Exchange

“Souls are mixed with things: things with souls. Lives are mingled together and this is how, among person and things so intermingled, each emerges from their own sphere and mixes together. This is precisely what contracts and exchange are.” - Mauss The Gift

Designers have always solved problems, often creating new problems as a consequence. In order for a new entity, mechanism or system or to come into being, there must be an identified absence, a requirement or possibility for a new set of relationships between ‘thing’ and ‘other thing’, person or persons.

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ego • artefact • arena

ego • artefact • arena

Drawing International Brisbane (DIB) 2015 Exhibitions

Published in conjunction with the Drawing International Brisbane (DIB) Symposium. 30 September – 2 October 2015. Presented by Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research.

under arena | Ways and Means | casting body | roughing out |Something to do with Multiphrenia | Lines of contact | Graphesis – instrument and LI(n)E | On an Account of Seeing and Not Seeing | Tape drawings | Curated by Kellie O’Dempsey

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Drawn to Experience V2

Drawn to Experience V2

Surveying drawing and performance this survey explores the act and action of drawing, its processes as theatre, line, motion and record, positing drawing within an interdisciplinary platform. Curated by Kellie O’Dempsey, the group exhibition consists of works on paper, digital drawings, video and a live drawing performance. In conjunction with the Drawing International Brisbane (DIB) Symposium, Drawn to Experience V2 will also tour to ANU Galleries, Canberra.

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Experimental Thinking/Design Practices

Experimental Thinking/Design Practices

Finding Holes in Categorical Fences

Experimental Thinking/Design Practices at Griffith University Art Gallery, Queensland College of Art (QCA), explores several themes integral to how artists and designers develop research. It is the third in a series of exhibitions, the others of which included Feral Experimental: New Design Thinking at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Galleries from July to August 2014, and Experimental Practice: Provocations In and Out of Design at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University Design Hub in May 2015. The exhibitions aim to provoke debate about the purpose of design in a format that is modified for each location. These iterations of the exhibition include practitioners from the communities in which they were shown, and were developed with co-curators in each city—Laurene Vaughan and Brad Haylock in Melbourne, and Peter Hall and Beck Davis in Brisbane. 

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David Nixon 'Growth'

David Nixon 'Growth'

Collaborations can yield exceptional results when participants bring their best to the partnership. Aware of the skills and temperament of both Japanese master lithographer Satoru Itazu and Australian artist David Nixon, I could foresee the potential in this unique collaboration.

Both these artisans work with meticulous care and have a strong affinity for their craft and materials. I had the pleasure of studying collaborative lithography with Itazu at the prestigious Tamarind Institute, USA, in the mid-1980s, and of teaching Nixon in his undergraduate degree at the Queensland College of Art in 2004–2005.

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Mirror Image: Prints and Plates

Mirror Image: Prints and Plates

THE MEANING OF THE MATRIX

This exhibition features a selection of prints alongside the plates, blocks, or stones from which they were generated. Although it is uncommon to reveal the source or plate when exhibiting prints, such a strategy can be illuminating, as demonstrated by the recent Chuck Close: Prints, Process and Collaboration (2015) exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney.

Terminology related to the art of printmaking can be arcane and inherently ambiguous. For example, the term ‘print’ is commonly used to refer to both the collective sense of an edition and the individual examples that comprise it. In printmaking, what secures this notion of a work of art with multiple instances or manifestations is the expectation that the prints are produced by the same author using the same process type; that is, a plate or matrix.3 Today, the generic term ‘matrix’ is often used to refer to the plate, block, stone, screen, negative, or stencil that generates the printed image. Interestingly, this term has not yet been adopted for the memory cards or data files that carry the binary code for digital prints, despite the fact that the mathematical definition of ‘matrix’ as a numeric array would seem a perfect descriptive fit.

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Pat Hoffie 'International Travel'

Pat Hoffie 'International Travel'

This body of work titled International Travel falls within my ongoing series Fully Exploited Labour, which has continued through a number of iterations for over thirty years. During that time, a range of materials and approaches—including performance, video, installation, embroidery, billboards and painting—have been used to explore changing ideas about what constitutes work, and to simultaneously ask how this is reflected by, and in, the practice of what we call art.

William Platz’s essay here, “Works on Paper”, continues and extends the enquiry through his consideration of just what might or might not ‘work’ on paper. Or, to be plain: how can works on paper work? And, in the case of this particular body of work, how can works-on-paper-about-work work?

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