vessel

For a long time I have been watching basket makers online, mostly on Instagram and thinking maybe I should give it a try.

I decided to start small and simple and take it slow.
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about this point I resorted to what I know best, crochet and started working the bowl that way.

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Here it is finished!

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I love this, I love the process and the simplicity of the end result. Even though ideas of colour and texture and additions are swirling around in  my head I have to stay calm and take things slow.

Submerged at Off the Kerb

October last year I was lucky enough to have a solo show at one of my favourite Melbourne galleries, the amazing Off the Kerb

It was called Submerged and included my jellyfish forms with some crochet coral floor pieces into an encompassing space that viewers seemed to love engaging with.

I got some amazing feedback from this show and people saying they found peace in my work, seeing children playing in it is always fantastic.

Images by Suzanne Balding

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These are the floor pieces, each was fitted with LEDs to low softly in the evening light of the space.Suzanne Balding_6400

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Suzanne Balding_6312-2And yes I do always look this suspicious when surrounded by my work.

One night stand

And now we are almost up to date with the big shows at least!

Earlier this year I participated in a really exciting group show called One Night Stand: Transient status, This is the second iteration of “One night stand” by Coalesce ARI (which itself is on its umpteenth iteration  since I was involved with its founding what seems like forever ago)

with the first being at Donkey wheel house last year, this was a really amazing show and at the time I regretted not being a part of it, so I was very excited to see a call for application open up early in the year.

There was a great range of work on show from amazing performance pieces through to durational works such as mine and artists drawing the viewers and recording the event in text.

My work was my very first durational piece and incorporated my crochet fungus works into a larger piece called “decay”. This piece sat in a dish of black ink that gradually was absorbed into the crochet forms and moved progressively higher up the piece. Here are a few images of the transition.

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I was happy with this piece and I am eager to try this sort of durational piece again in the future.

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The Great Mandala

Another show that was quite a big deal to me was to be a part of the Toyota community spirit gallery annual sculpture show which was titled “The Great Mandala”.

This was the 10th annual show and was a bit special, Celebrating 10 years showcasing the diversity and excellence of sculpture practice in Victoria.

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You can read more about the show and some opening night images
Here

For this show I installed a new set of 121 jellyfish, these were made in the couple of months between the two shows, rather frantically. This is alarmingly how I do most my work. Despite this it was an easy install with help from the curator and a great event to be a part of.

Here are a few pics!
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Endless forms

I’m starting from the oldest thing I should have posted, I had a big solo show at D11, in the back room which was HUGE. It was called Endless forms.

The name came from this Charles Darwin quote from the origin of species: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

The advantage of this massive space is I could have all of my varied work in together, as the viewer came into the space to the left the first thing they would see is my mycelium works, with small purple fruiting bodies. This appeared to be growing through the space, starting with the incomplete walls these spread out across the floor and onto the pristine white walls.

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The second body of work shown was that of my specimens, these pieces were partially mounted on the wall and some on small shelves I made to display them. These were a collection of found objects on which I added toadstools, brackets and other fungal growths, both out of yarn and crochet and clay forms.
These are an idea of the Wunderkammer or cabinet of curiosity that I have played with off and on for years, I have moved away from it but I keep coming back and exploring other facets.

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In the centre of the room and on the back wall were my light up toadstool works, these are clay and have a wire running through the stem and an LED under the transparent cap, mounted on a canvas, the battery pack will fit inside the back of the canvas and remain hidden.  I made some to be wall mounted and some to sit on a shelf, including a couple of really large ones. I’m really happy with how these worked in the space and mounted on plinths the created islands of light and work within the space.

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The last of my series of works was my jellyfish swarm, this contained 101 crochet jellyfish forms suspended in the space from a net and they appear to be floating in the low light. I also created a video to be projected across the work, this was blue liquid being poured into a clear pool of water and gradually taking over.

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This was my biggest solo show to date and was a massive amount of work. Installation took a week and was only possible with the help and support of my friends. People loved the show, the positive feedback I received for the show was mind-blowing, and a lot of people made a decision to take a piece home with them, I was overwhelmed by the support.

Hello

Hello blog,

it’s been a long time.

I’d like to say I have sorted things out and I’m less busy now, but that’s a lie. I’m busy as ever and have a million things to do at any given time.

I have realised something though. There’s no point in working away if nobody ever sees anything, and that’s where you come in blog! I want to do a bit of a recap of some major shows I have done and some of the works I have become obsessed with and go from there.

Sound good? Thanks for your patience blog, I’m sorry I have neglected you.

Here is a rabbit.

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About!

I thought I should do a bit more of an about page since it’s been a while since I have regularly updated this blog.

Hello, I’m Beka and I like making things and bunnies. I live in Melbourne.

I have a Masters of Fine art from RMIT and I have a very diverse Craft based practice that engages with ideas of sustainability and is an attempt to translate  my own wonder and joy in the natural world for the viewer. I am obsessed with Fungi.

I currently have two rabbits of my own Iago (black ) and his wee girlfriend Beatrice (grey). Little Bea had to have eye surgery when she was young which is documented in this blog.

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I help run a gallery in Docklands called D11 @Docklands, this takes up a fair bit of my time, but is a pretty great thing to be a part of. I have participated in a few shows and curated a couple which is a great challenge. The Facebook is here

I’m also involved in Blacksmith Doris, which is a women only blacksmithing group based in Bundoora, forging  is an ongoing joy and challenge for me.
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I love making jewellery using silver and enamel and I have a sweet studio set up in my house, Which I won’t show you a picture of as its permanently messy.

 

I want to get my etsy back up and running so that will be my next big task.

If you need to know anything else just ask :)

Debbie Harman

The next person I want to talk about in the list of inspiring and amazing people is Debbie Harman.

I cant remember where I met Debbie, I think it was through  Blacksmith Doris.

Debbie is the artist that never stops. Judging by her output I’m not even sure she sleeps!
Debbie is an artist, a ceramicist, mosaic maker, stitcher, teacher, cartoonist, mother, tea drinker extraordinaire.

I think the first work I saw of Debbie’s was part of more art many years ago when she was obsessed with chairs and was incorporating personal text into public space. I remember a chair covered in ceramic words and a wall that had text on. I remember the word “you” written beautifully in ceramic hanging on a fence. Somehow  I ended up with one (no I didn’t steal it).

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Also there is a cheeky Mary Hackett work in this image.

Debbie works a lot with taking personal text into public space, she has just finished her masters of public art where she explored this further, however she also likes things that have feet.

Here is a toadstool with feet that she gave me for a birthday once,  a TOADSTOOL WITH FEET.
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Here it is doing a dual job of being awesome and holding up my books.

Another piece I got in a trade is this,  a painted rabbit on ceramic she made, soon it will be added to my rabbit wall.
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Recently Debbie had two shows on simultaneously ,  One was the drawing show that I organised  for this I asked Debbie to submit her work “a year of envelopes”  (blog here)
This series of works is an attempt to ensure that Debbie opened her mail instead of letting it sneak away and pile up.
Its pretty impressive:

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The snails are one of my favourites

The other show that Debbie had on is  massive solo show (across two spaces) called abandoned selves, which exlored the selves we leave behind and the perception of the selves we have become as we a move through our lives.

This show was amazing, Debbie had worked with her friend  Annette Louise Signorini who had written some inspired by and to work with the pieces themselves. It was a lovely balance and it was also really great to have Annette talk about  Debbie and her generosity of spirit which is something Debbie shares with all she meets. This was shown in  the excitement of Debbies friends crowded around at the opening.

20140811_105657Abandoned selves had handmade invites (some with errors!)

Here are a few works from the Huntclub show this show had a blind bidding system which started at $30 an artwork, it caused a stir on the opening night, fingers crossed I win the works I bid on, here are some pics!

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And from the Smallpieces show at Northcote pottery

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Blog for Abandoned Selves is here
The shows are on until the 16th. you should go.

In summer Debbie has been running classes for people, me and Dan made most of a dinner set once so fancy!
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Debbie is a character who is an amazing person I’m lucky to know,  here she is serenading her unimpressed dog Lucy.

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