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Posts Tagged ‘Fahey’

This thing in the mirror

I have been thinking today about self-portraits – mainly because I was trying to take a photograph of myself for a bio which was rather unsuccessful. I don’t think I’d like what I saw no matter what and the camera shows all those little things that the eye/brain connection can blank out. I think when you look at yourself intently it also can bring around the clash of the inner and outer worlds. Personally in my head I will forever look 20, but the truth is, that page has long since been turned. It is indeed a case of “This Thing in the Mirror

Also I got news of someone flying up from Christchurch to see the Rita Angus exhibiton that opens at Te Papa this coming weekend (now that is an opening I’d love the opportunity to go to). Rita of course was a master self-portraitess and I think we get a glimmer of her inner world in these works.

Oddly the self-portraits I love are of/by women – Frida Khalo, A Lois White, Jacquey Fahey for example. Perhaps women are overly judgemental of themselves? I like to think of it as a form of self analysis which makes the pictures all the more intriguing.

 

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Down at my local

I had some time to stop by the Mahara Gallery again yesterday to see their new shows. I was lucky to have a quick chat to Director Janet Bayly and also to tag along on a curators talk they were giving.

At the moment they have RAY (Real Art Youth) which is work made following the recent visit of the Real Art Road showto the regions schools which kicked off at the gallery. Only a few of the works were from direct inspiration, but the floortalk pointed out a few more that had links to artworks that were “in the truck”. Although a lot of it is what you’d expect from a high school art show, there were some very ‘sophisicated’ pieces amongst it from the students (a few of the teachers works were also included). One thing I thought was great was that the gallery had framed up some works which really gave them a whole different look – a valuable exercise for the students and actually to the viewer as well, making me think about the value and process of ‘framing’. The art also made me wonder about where these kids will end up after school and whether I should “buy now” from some very promising talents. I was surprised that there wasn’t more ‘edgey” stuff but maybe taggers and/or bombers don’t take high school art or perhaps what they produce doesn’t end up on gallery walls. There were some that looked very much like Jacqueline Fahey’s skatepark and ‘Bringing it Home’ series – but that was just my interpretation. So how many of these artists will go on to art school (or not) and become the future of NZ art??

 
Tradgedy Outside the Dairy II From Bringing it Home, 2003

Also on show were new works by Neville Smitheram now residing in the Horowhenua. These mostly paper works of encaustic and acrylic were fantastic. Geometric, digital – but an analogue take on it and something quite ethereal about the waxed paper. I imagine this type of work is quite challenging to gallery regulars but I feel its great to see work like this in the mix.

Lastly was what I would call ‘outsider art” which could be easily dismissed. Local artist (and builder) Rhys Collier had a short film “My Dreams are Death” and assemblage pieces on show. I was kind of repulsed but drawn to a work, “Burnt” which consisted of burnt wooden boards, bloodied foot prints and a highly lacquered red (bloody) fibrous mass. I would have happily taken this home (although it would not have got a good reception). I used to work in a healthcare field and can say this is a truly visceral artwork and ‘spot on’. In my view, Colliers other works didn’t compare.

The Mahara has been described as “the little public gallery that could” although it faces challenges with location and the building. However, some significant shows continue to be mounted here that acknowledge and perhaps are more suited to the intimate spaces.

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So what are your qualifications…?

Some things have conspired recently to make me look at qualifications. A few people have  asked how I am qualified to write this blog. Well actually I am not in the sense of any formal art qualifications but any idiot can put a blog up right? And I do have post grad qualifications in other areas. There is no test you have to pass or licence you have to take out to have a web space. As a friend said, this is about art and MY life which I am uniquely qualified to write about. I am after all Jane Public – the person who likes arts and letters and has a little knowledge (definitely a dangerous thing) and walks into your gallery, watches your film, reads your book, sees your public artwork. I am not part of the art world or literary world. I am a viewer, a consumer, an end-user.

That said I am considering applying for a job that would take me into that world in an employment sense. I know I could easily do the work and a large chunk of it is admin. However my CV doesn’t have any arts, literary or museum quals on it. I doubt I’d even get short listed but I am going to apply for the process anyway. I wonder if I should wear the Hammond shirt to the interview if I got one (ha)? I think I like being mostly an outsider actually :-)

On a lighter note, I wanted to run a competition for a picture of the worst NZ public art work but that seems a little negative and I’m not sure how the prize (cupcakes) would travel via NZPost. So I’ll just post a picture for the day.

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Jacqueline Fahey – The Birthday Party (1974)

Oh yes – I am anxious to see the Theo Schoon exhibition on at Te Papa too

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