28 March 2011

Chocolate Sculpture Workshop @ artisan

Don't miss out on the fantastic Chocolate Sculpture Workshop we're running in May for Mother's Day. The workshop will be run by the ever so talented Sally Colpoys whose exquisite white chocolate sculptures are featured in the current exhibition Critical Craftings: Unleashed 2011. Limited places are available so book early! Full details below.

Sally Colpoys, The merry-go-round 2009, white chocolate, wood and engraved plaque. Photo: A. Higgins.
Sally Colpoys, Stacked stakes 2009, white chocolate, wood and engraved plaque. Photo: A. Higgins.

Critical Craftings Courier Mail Article!

Our current exhibition "Critical Craftings" had a write up in the Courier Mail today! 
Have a read here.

25 March 2011

Artisan interviews Michelle Knowles

Artisan recently caught up with Michelle Knowles, one of the emerging artists featured in Critical Craftings: Unleashed 2011 to get the inside scoop on everything from her inspiration to favourite cafe...
Michelle Knowles, Dysplasian rites 2009, digital photograph.

Tell us about your background – how did you come to be a creative practitioner?

This is such a big question and I could answer it any number of ways, but I’ll try to stick to the facts and be concise! This may not be the story I want to tell, as I feel more inclined to start my own myth making. The reality isn’t so fantastic, but what it has led to certainly feels that way.
As a child of the seventies, growing up in the eighties, I was heavily influenced by the culture of the time. Sesame Street, The Muppets and Punky Brewster on the TV. The Neverending Story and ET at the movies. And of course, the music and Saturday morning Rage. Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and Michael Jackson. It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that exposure to such cultural phenomenon has shaped my creative path.

My father is a school principal, so I spent my most formative years growing up in small towns across rural Queensland. In some places my friends lived on properties hours from town. I spent a lot of time alone, or with my little brother, inventing fantasy worlds and trying to bring them to life on paper or through making them with whatever was available to me. I had access to the preschool collage table throughout my whole childhood. There are entire worlds to be made from toilet rolls and dyed macaroni!

Michelle Knowles, My skull my pulpit (for those who swallow their deity) 2011,
cow skull, feathers, beads, crystals, and plastic crucifix.

I took art classes throughout my schooling, but had in mind that I’d like to be something more ‘respectable’ like a lawyer or an architect. Fortunately I didn’t receive the grades necessary to enter into such courses at university and thus many years of adventurous soul searching began. I spent my entire twenties asking “what do I want to do with my life?” I packed a lot into the decade that it took me to decide. I completed two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in both Justice and Studies of Religion. I volunteered in a human rights organisation and became an activist. I worked various administrative positions and took courses in everything from Lifeline counseling to marriage celebrant training.

Finally, as life began to seem as though it was flittering past at an unfathomable rate of knots, I decided enough was enough, and that I was just going to take the plunge and do what I loved to do the most. That being, making art. And now here I am, at the other end of a Fine Arts degree, a practicing and exhibiting artist!

Michelle Knowles, Object for ascendance 2010,
deer antler, bone, sequins, feathers, googly eyes and tulle.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration is a funny thing. It is always manifesting itself in different ways. It’s elusive and sometimes downright treacherous.

Still, I search for inspiration every single day. I wish and wish for a divine bolt from the blue, but it never happens. Seeking inspiration is most commonly known as research. You’ve got to dig, dig, dig until some little morsel grabs you by the throat and pulls you deep into its slippery vortex. You’ve got to be willing to make that leap down the rabbit hole though…you know, in order to grasp onto inspiration’s tail.

So, to answer your question, I find inspiration in unusual and unexpected places (including the mundane). There is no ‘one place’, or even a group of many places. It is everywhere and nowhere. Kind of like God, if you will.

Michelle Knowles, Object for ascendance 2010,
deer antler, bone, sequins, gems, crystals and fabric.
Michelle Knowes, Object for ascendance 2010,
digital image printed on board.

 What other creative people do you admire?

There are so many. Jim Henson. Annette Messager. Frida Kahlo. Yayoi Kusama. Anais Nin. Diane Arbus. Mirka Mora. Kiki Smith. Yoko Ono. Marina Abramovic. Jesus. Buddha. That eerily tall street performer you see around sometimes with the marionette cat that plays the fiddle. Joni Mitchell. My peers. My mentors. My amazing friends and family. I feel like I’m giving an Oscars speech.

What’s next for your practice?

I’m currently attending a residency in Banff, in the Rocky Mountains in Canada [read more about Michelle's residency experiences on her blog]. Then I’m travelling for a bit. After that, who knows? Hopefully I’ll find some way of making a meager living out of my creative practice, but according to current statistics that’s fairly unlikely. Actually, I’d prefer not to think about the future too much. I’m just going to make my work, apply to exhibit the results and hope that it’s all interesting enough to sustain people’s curiosity for a long time to come.

I guess, what I’m really saying is that at this stage, my plans are sketchy.

Michelle Knowles, Object for ascendance 2010,
deer antler, bone, sequins, feathers, googly eyes and tulle.

I couldn’t live without…?

I couldn’t live without… Oh this is hard! I guess you’re not talking about the essentials. Um, I feel the need to be really corny here, so I’ll apologise in advance. Here goes:

Love, passion, friends and family, adventure, a challenge, my super, wonder-cat Venus (though I suppose one day I’ll have to, assuming I don’t go first), my freedom, books, words, black leggings, a hot glue gun, glitter, cheesecake, dark chocolate, feta cheese. Uh oh, when the list turns to food it’s time to stop!
Favourite café/restaurant?

In Brisbane? That’s a tough one. Actually, I’d much prefer to hang at home or go to a friends place for dinner, a BBQ, or a glass (or bottle!) of wine than a restaurant or café. But if I had to pick one I’d say that little French place up at the Barracks. French breads, pastries and wine whilst reclining on a chaise lounge – yeah, that’s the spot right there! Or that restaurant at Iceworks in Paddington is pretty good too – they have jugs of Sangria that get you rockin’. Ooh la la, Sangria!

Favourite weekend pastime?

This will probably reveal how truly ‘un-hip’ I am. But anyway, it varies. Eating and drinking on the deck with the best people in the world! Watching DVD’s with my partner BJ and the wonder cat. Attempting to control the garden which could accurately be described as a suburban jungle (there’s even a menagerie of wildlife in there!). Taking mini breaks to the coast or the mountains. And of course, taking in a few art shows.

23 March 2011

New website for artists career development

artscareer (say arts-ka-reer)

Definition: A web portal designed to assist with the career development of artists and arts educators in all disciplines (dance, drama, inter-arts, literature, media, music, visual arts).

Today, the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) is officially announcing the launch of 'Artscareer', a brand new, independent, non-commercial, online portal dedicated to the career development of artists and arts educators across all disciplines - dance, drama, inter-arts, literature, media, music and the visual arts.

Artscareer provides access to a wealth of information about professional development training and resources available around Australia.

Artscareer has been developed by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) in partnership with arts and educational peak organisations with funds provided by CREATE Australia.

Check it out at www.artscareer.com.au & sign-up for the free bi monthly e-news.

21 March 2011


Andrea Higgins, Untitled 1 from Wire Works Series, Photogram 2009
Artisan's Andrea Higgins is exhibiting a collection of her photograms in "Memento Mori" at Obscura Gallery in Melbourne. The exhibition opens on Friday the 1st April from 6:30 - 8:30pm and will be on display until the 25th April. Please do pop in if you are in Melbourne during those dates! 

Exhibiting alongside Andrea is Elizabeth Dobrilla's collage pieces in "Mizu-Nami-Rising". For more information about Obscura Gallery please click here.

Elizabeth Dobrilla, Mizu-Nami-Rising, Digital Collage, 2010


Arts Queensland has established a partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts and Education Queensland to provide an Artist in Residence Program (AIR) that recognises good
practice and encourages innovation in arts and education programs in Queensland 

The aims of the AIR Program are to:
• increase the engagement of Queensland students and teachers in creative practice
• increase capacity of educators, artists and arts and cultural organisations to work collaboratively in the provision of high quality arts education programs
• enhance student learning outcomes.

Arts Queensland is pleased to advise that the Artist in Residence Program guidelines and application form for 2011 are now available online.

The key dates for AIR 2011 are:

Closing date for applications:                       13 April 2011
Advice date for successful applications:      June 2011
Projects must occur between                       11 July 2011 and 30 March 2012
Final report due:                                           20 April 2012 

For more information please contact:
Susan King
Arts Development Officer
Artist in Residence Program
Creative Communities
p. 3224 5383

Elizabeth Lada Gray and Barbara Heath Exhibition at Handmark Gallery in Tasmania

If you are in Hobart from 26th March - 20th April, make sure you pop past Handmark Gallery and take a look at Barbara Heath's fabulous jewels on display alongside mixed media works by Elizabeth Lada Gray in the exhibition Mapping the Consequences of Colonisation: Two Southern Latitude Islands. Visit the Handmark Gallery here for more information.

17 March 2011

Interested in exhibiting with Craft ACT?

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is currently developing their 2012 exhibition program and are looking for artists and exhibitions. More info below...

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre call for 2012 exhibition applications

Applications close: Thursday 31 March 2011

Annual exhibition programCraft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is calling for proposals to exhibit in the 2012 exhibition program. The Centre presents an annual innovative and high quality exhibition program of contemporary craft and design. Proposals are invited from our members, and local and national craft and design practitioners, and independent curators.

Emerging practitionersCraft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is calling for proposals from recent graduates and emerging craft and design practitioners, still in their first 10 years of practice, to participate in a curated group exhibition in the 2012 program. This inaugural exhibition will be presented in the main gallery.

National Multicultural FestivalCraft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is calling for proposals to exhibit in the Centre's 2012 exhibition program. Proposals are invited for a selected group exhibition to be held in conjunction with the National Multicultural Festival in February 2012. The exhibition is designed to provide a platform for the celebration of cultural diversity, showcasing cultural traditions and heritage through craft and design. Proposals are invited from our individual members, and local and national craft and design practitioners whose practice reflects multicultural heritage and traditions.

For more information contact Diana Hare, Curator and Exhibition Manager on 02 6262 9333 or diana.hare[at]craftact.org.au.

16 March 2011

Matilda Awards

The very talented ceramic artist Pru Morrison was commissioned through artisan to create these wonderful trophies for the Matilda Awards which are an annual event that honour and celebrate the achievements of the Brisbane theatre industry. Congratulations to all the winners who received one of these fabulous awards!  

 Congratulations to Leah Purcell

15 March 2011

Margaret Throsby interview with Tony Mott

This morning on ABC Classic FM leading Australian broadcaster Margaret Throsby interviewed Tony Mott about his exhibition at artisan and his recent publication. Tony even got to pick a range of music to be played - it's a hard life!

Listen to the interview.

The walls at the beginning of the exhibition Tony Mott: Rock'n'Roll Photography is the New Trainspotting.....

And now.....

Remember that crazily deep comment about Tex Perkins we posted awhile ago? Well this is all the responses so far!

Don't forget to check out the show and add your own comments before the show finishes on Saturday.

March exhibition openings at artisan

Well, it's that time again, as Tony Mott: Rock'n'Roll Photography is the New Trainspotting and Beautiful Beast: Simone Tops come to a close (don't miss them, they finish on Saturday!!!) the staff here at artisan are gearing up for the next round of exhibitions, Critical Craftings: Unleashed 2011 and Homage: Emma Davies.

Opening 6-8pm next Thursday 24 March both of these shows are sure to delight! 

But don't forget to RSVP if you want to come along. Give us a call (07) 3215 0800 or email us before the end of this week.

Oh, and don't forget to stay tuned for more information about our Mother's Day chocolate sculpture workshop 2-3pm Saturday 7 May. Bookings are open now and places are strictly limited so book early!

07 March 2011

Collected Patterns: The botany of Walter Hill by KT Doyle

Photo by Troy Hansen
We dropped in to have a look at this beautiful exhibition by KT Doyle on the weekend. KT's solo exhibition, Collected Patterns: The botany of Walter Hill explores plants cultivated in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens during Walter Hill’s curatorship, through a series of paper and textile-based works. The exhibition is on at the Myrtle St Studio until this Saturday the 12th of March.

Photo by A. Higgins
Photo by Troy Hansen

02 March 2011

Jimmy Pike goes to China

The Desert Psychedelic: Jimmy Pike exhibition is off to China in April! We have just received the translated didactics that will go up in the Ningbo Museum of Art and they look great! We’re ready to send off Jimmy’s colourful psychedelic prints and textiles in preparation for a fantastic exhibition in Ningbo, China!

Print 1: Grandfather and Grandson by Jimmy Pike. Photo: A. Higgins
Print 2: Partiri by Jimmy Pike. Photo: A. Higgins