Yesterday just for fun, I uploaded a photo of my cardboard ‘Phascogale’ to my Facebook page and it was ID’d from the artwork from a friend. Here’s what the animal looks like, although this is a red-tailed Phascogale from WA. Both of these small carnivores are declining.
And here’s my sculptural Phascogale on a cardboard ‘log’. I often leave raw (recycled) cardboard because it makes the connection to the cardboard/paper/packaging industry and our insatiable need to buy new stuff.
This work is part of ‘Departure Lounge” and will be seen at;
The G.R.A.I.N. Store exhibition in Nathalia. Opening Sunday June 19th, 2016 4pm by John Kean curator and writer and Honorary Associate of the Museum Victoria. 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.
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.
White gesso is underpainted on areas which are to be light and mid-tone areas are left bare entirely of paint.
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.
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.
After much time and effort I managed to get most of the fluffy tail cut and assembled..
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.
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.
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
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…
So here’s my progress so far:
A basic shape
Building up a shape
Adding limbs and looking at posture
Modifying head angle and increasing tail size
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.
Great to read this is happening in Sumatra especially considering pressures to develop and to grow palm oil.
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
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.
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 red-gums of Barmah
Ancient Barmah remnant Red-gums inspired this installation piece:
together with Superb Parrots by pre-schoolers:
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three days remain for my residency and still so much to do. Exhibition is scheduled for June.