Category Archives: POSTS

Squirrel Glider ready to fly..

Squirrel Glider FB

This sculpture will be part of the upcoming Nathalia Vic G.R.A.I.N.Store community exhibition. I use used cardboard, as thrown out in huge quantities at the rear of retail premises, notice the ‘log’ the flying marsupial is standing on. The sheer quantity cardboard produced  and destined for packaging ‘products’ is staggering, we are destroying the places gliders live to make paper and cardboard.

This is the last of three posts which describes the process I use, and looks at painting the surface. Go to side menu to see previous posts for construction stage.

Painting begins by filling in darks, these are usually crevices and concave surfaces. Paint the darks into ‘fur’ (tail) and fur folds (front of back leg etc. Be bold and ignore areas which are to be light or white.

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White gesso is underpainted on areas which are to be light and mid-tone areas are left bare entirely of paint.

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Here’s a detail of gesso underpainting. A process similar to gesso underpainting used by painters on canvas.

Colour is now applied to whites where required, and lighter highlights added to mid-tone areas and dark areas. Glider prog z finished paint small f one

This is a studio shot of the ‘just-finished-painted’ marsupial glider.

Details about this upcoming exhibition will be posted at https://www.facebook.com/The-GRAIN-Store-Nathalia-125682797583711/?fref=nf

The G.R.A.I.N. Store exhibition in Nathalia will be opened Sunday June 19th, 2016 4pm by John Kean curator and writer. He is an Honorary Associate of the Museum Victoria, where he was a producer of exhibitions and other projects for fifteen years. Kean has written extensively about the representation of nature in Australian museums. He has also published extensively on Indigenous art and was Art Advisor at Papunya Tula Artists in the late 1970s.

http://www.abc.net.au/classic/content/2015/01/29/4169599.htm

 

Squirrel Glider from cardboard box continued…

After much time and effort I managed to get most of the fluffy tail cut and assembled..

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I use fresh box cutter blades and use cardboard which I has one layer of paper carefully removed by wetting the surface. Then its time to crank up the ipod.

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I have given the tail a trim and blow-wave to settle the ‘fur’. I will come back to this at a more finished stage.

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Details such as ears claws and eyes bring the piece to life. It’s best to use plastic pegs to clamp surfaces together, they don’t stick to PVA glue.

Throughout the process I look at ways to achieve a natural posture for the species, note the change of angle.

I will post more progress photos in the coming weeks.

Petaurus norfolcensis (endangered in Victoria) will become part of an installation to be seen at: The G.R.A.I.N. Store, Nathalia and will be opened Sunday June 19th, 2016 4pm by John Kean https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/about/author/1170-johnkean

http://www.abc.net.au/classic/content/2015/01/29/4169599.htm

Squirrel Glider from a cardboard box.

squirrel glider in hand

A Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis (endangered in Victoria) held by Deb Fowler of Bohollow Wildlife Rescue, photographed  by me in Kotupna Victoria 2015. This little chap had been injured and was ready for release.

He’s some progress photos of how to make a Squirrel Glider from this…

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So here’s my progress so far:

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A basic shape

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Building up a shape

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Adding limbs and looking at posture

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Modifying head angle and increasing tail size

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Starting work on tail detail (very time consuming)

More about the species and some amazing efforts to minimise road casualties can be seen at: https://lifeontheverge.net/tag/road-ecology/

I will post more progress photos in the coming weeks.

The G.R.A.I.N. Store exhibition in Nathalia will be opened Sunday June 19th, 2016 4pm by John Kean https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/about/author/1170-johnkean

http://www.abc.net.au/classic/content/2015/01/29/4169599.htm

 

Great news from Sumatra!

Great to read this is happening in Sumatra especially considering pressures to develop and to grow palm oil.

sumatran rhino

Pity Australia seems unable to make similar decisions in regard to the demise of our own unique species. Conservation science here works with almost no support from policy makers and a public generally unaware of imminent species loss. President Joko Widodo, Siti Nurbaya and people like Farwiza Farhan must be regarded as heroes and congratulated.   https://theconversation.com/good-news-for-the-only-place-on-earth-where-tigers-rhinos-orangutans-and-elephants-live-together-58777

 

Communicating Ecology, Barmah Forest and Nathalia

My last 2 weeks have been educational both for me and the arts community in Nathalia, (Yorta Yorta country) Northern Victoria. Meeting and working with US artist Bill Kelly OAM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kelly_(artist) was a privilege.

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His wealth of experience and understanding of the role of the arts in communities and his establishment of THE G.R.A.I.N. STORE (Growing Rural Art In Victoria) http://www.thegrainstore.org/  added hugely to the value of my residency.

Ancient Barmah remnant Red-gums inspired this installation piece:

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together with Superb Parrots by pre-schoolers:

kids parrots.jpg inspired by…

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some of which I saw on the Broken Creek and known as “Green Leeks”in the Nathalia district. Unfortunately green leeks are becoming a difficult to find species due to loss of food/nesting trees. I noticed large paddock trees ‘still being burnt in the area south of Picola, prime box eucalypt food habitat for Polytelis swainsonii. The recent trend by croppers to implement overhead spray irrigation means large paddock trees are being destroyed by the thousands (bush poet, indigenous plant seeding expert,Tammy Muir https://twitter.com/logiemuir)

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Sculptured Green Leeks (by pre-schoolers) at their cardboard “hollow”.

A combined artist/community exhibition will take place at THE G.R.A.I.N STORE  in June 2016.

 

 

 

 

Cardboard Redgums and half-cooked creatures

We have been in residence at Nathalia Grainstore now for one and a half weeks and our redgum (which had to be finished before the weekend due to size limitations) is well on the way.

393A6142.JPG CARDBOARD GLUE GESSO AND PAINT PLUS LOTS OF EFFORT.

Tomorrow is another day and we will be seeing 20 pre-schoolers who will be making superb parrots which will be included in the final installation. Superb parrots are a rare and diminishing species and this part of the country is major habitat, red gums near water seem to be a favourite place for them to find nesting hollows.

Ian with kookaburra

Local lad and workshop participant Ian Bolton heads off with his masterpiece. However not everyone sees benefit in maintaining species and habitat..

THIS IS A HAPPY LITTLE SIGN WE GET TO READ EVERY MORNING ON OUR WAY INTO TOWN.

heather looking in can

I could not have achieved what I have without the help of my partner and lover Heather, who has shown her graphic skills are still up to par.

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Three days remain for my residency and still so much to do. Exhibition is scheduled for June.

 

Workshopping artwork for ecology, Goulburn/Broken/Murray

My residency in Nathalia ended its first week with a sculpture workshop which invited community members to a hands-on cardboard art-making day.

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I thought I had asked too much of my participants initially, but they proved up to the task as the day went on and we had some very promising results by days end.

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Internationally known artist Bill Kelly attended and kindly spent much of his day assisting with any creative problems which occurred, I am indebted to him.

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Fun was had by all and it proves serious subjects can be approached in a light-hearted and friendly manner.

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Getting a 2d material into a 3d shape is often not easy but my workshop participants approached the problems with an enthusiasm, wonderful to see.

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Drying in the intense sun at day’s end were little creature beginnings….

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and their ‘tree’ hollow homes.

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With another week to go who knows what will eventuate? Our collaborative exhibition will take place in June so the heat will soon be on to get some finished work ready for showing.

 

 

My Nathalia artist-in-residency; endangered species

I am currently working on a community-based arts project which aims to increase public awareness and ecological response to species/habitat declines in the Goulburn/Broken/ Barmah system. 393A5501.JPG

The Grainstore Community Arts Centre is sponsering my 2 week residency which so far has been amazing.

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Philippa Schapper (left) has been wonderful, and Heather my partner has offered to help with some 2D works.

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So far I have the beginnings of a Squirrel Glider, a species special to this part of Victoria and…

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…. a River Red Gum, the majestic and iconic Australian water-course tree. Unfortunately most of the  old trees have been destroyed in years past as part of forestry practice and many ancient ringbarked stumps are in evidence.

My residency will I hope shed some light on the importance of hollows and the need to retain what ancient trees remain.

Katrina who is visiting from Greece (centre) was amazed by the light and primeaval look of the forest at Hutt Lake on dusk.

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to be continued…soon.

 

 

Arid Australia at the Garden Show, video

Our arid garden installation at the Melbourne International Garden Show seemed to be the only ‘garden’ example not related to people and their leisure activities. We noticed it was those people who had travelled to inland Australia who most appreciated our efforts and who had an interest in how many of our small mammal species are under threat.

 

Communicating species loss…by gardening?

This week Heather and I have been installing a ‘garden’as part of the MIFGUS event, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne. I am using this opportunity to introduce the subject of loss of mammal species to a large audience. Here’s some photos of our week’s work. The rock outcrop is in fact made of recycled cardboard, so lets hope it doesn’t rain!

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A blank canvas, the builders had finished their support stucture and gone.
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Placing the stones and ‘outcrop’
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So far so good, we have to finish by Tuesday
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You can always tell who’s boss.
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Eri, Rob’s Japanese girlfriend helps out.

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By Saturday 3pm, the garden instal is starting to gel, but we are all gardened out!

Warru copy
This flier will be handed out and kids encouraged encouraged to find a Warru.

120,000 people attend this event.

FOUR DAYS LATER….the installation is finished. Here’s how it looks for opening day (Wednesday 16th March)

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Thanks for all the likes and comments..Peter