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.

Pretty in pixels, cross stitch

This post has been a long time coming, just like the work itself.
Every year I make a work for the RMIT annual textiles show, this year the theme was ANALOGUE: Digital

I decided to use cross stitch as my medium as it converts well to digital images and the basis for this work was pretty traditional embroidery slowly becoming pixelated towards the lower end before becoming a pixelated colour bar.

I incorporated patterns that belonged to my grandmother, who was a devoted cross stitcher, and I have happy memories of her helping to teach me to stitch, I even used some of the threads I inherited from her.
These patterns were incorporated into a larger pattern I drew up myself on grid paper with much more simplified forms.

Suffice to say this piece not only took a while to make, it also means a lot.

here is a detail of it part way through:

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and here it is finished (I have been storing it rolled up so it needs a iron)

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Forgotten Fungi – exhibition now on

New year, new start, new exhibition!

I currently have a really exciting show on at Rooftop art spaces, which is a series of nine weather proof boxes that showcase amazing art from some of Melbourne’s up and coming artists.
their blog here
their Facebook here

What I love about this space is it is perfect for small works like mine, there is a push in the art world to go big, and an implication that larger scale items will always be better, a space like this one allows artists like me to show that small works can make big statements.

Here are some images in the daytime:

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The really awesome thing about these boxes is that they have tiny lights built in and at night they come alive in a very different waylights

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I am really pleased with this exhibition and I’m in love with the space, it is on until the 29th of January, if you are in Melbourne go grab a cider and check it out.