Tag Archives: art exhibition

Fascination Finale

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Today, members of Perth Kimono Club visited our art exhibition “Fascination: Maiko, Geiko, Kyoto”.

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Outside it was an incredibly stormy day.  Only the bravest of the brave actually wore kimono as a strong bitterly cold wind blew non-stop while horizontal rain teemed.   Inside the gallery we sat and discussed maiko, geiko and Kyoto – interrupted at regular intervals by the front door blowing open.

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President of Perth Kimono Club, Izumi Woods, was given the task of randomly selecting the winner of 40 Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 coloured pencils (held by Robyn Varpins) donated by Kadmium Art + Design Supplies in Sydney.  220 names were in the bag.  Congratulations Di Swain!!!

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After a group photo, people chatted and looked at the art.  It was a lovely way to finish off the exhibition.

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Matthew (my Better Half) was given the task of photographer.

Tomorrow people will come to take away the sculptures and drawings they bought.  And I will go back to being a person who works quietly at home…at least for another two years.

Thank you to EVERYBODY who took the time to visit our art exhibition over two and a half weeks.  Your interest, encouragement and support are hugely appreciated.

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Pictures at an Exhibition

Speech

Speech on Opening Night no. 1

Robyn Varpins and I are half way through our art exhibition, “Fascination: Maiko, Geiko, Kyoto”.  To mark this point, I am writing a post to share the journey so far.

Gallery Opening no 1. With my youngest daughter, Lucy.

Opening no 1. with Lucy.

Lucy Clements (youngest daughter) came all the way from Sydney to lend her support during the week’s lead up to the show and to help serve food and drinks (with style) on Opening Night Number 1.  We decided on THREE openings because the gallery is intimate in size.  We wanted our guests to have plenty of space to move around and see the art – and more openings meant more opportunities for celebration.

Showing the audience "Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto" by Robert van Koesveld.

Showing the audience “Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto” by Robert van Koesveld.

Two artists and their work.

Two artists and their work.

The Consul-General of Japan in Perth, Mr Tatsuo Hirayama and his wife, Sachiko, attended our first opening accompanied by Consul for Information and Culture, Mr Hideo Shinozuka.  We also had visitors from Australia-Japan Society of W.A.

Robyn taking a break last weekend.

Robyn having a brief respite last weekend.

We held two “Artists Talks”; last Sunday and today which were both well attended.  Robyn Varpins (Sculptor), Robert van Koesveld (Photographer and Author) and I (coloured pencil artist) held our audiences spellbound (I think) as we explained our processes, art materials and secrets as well as introducing the subject of maiko and geiko of Kyoto.

Robyn at today's "Artists Talk" explaining her sculpture process.

Robyn at today’s “Artists Talk” explaining her sculpture process.

After the 'Artists Talk' this afternoon.

After the ‘Artists Talk’ this afternoon.

Tomorrow is a public holiday in Western Australia.  I would like to announce, “YES, WE ARE OPEN ON THE PUBLIC HOLIDAY MONDAY” – and every day of the week after that, 10 a.m till 4 p.m until close at 4 p.m Sunday 2nd October.

Another exhausting day!

Another exhausting end-of-day!

We love to make our visitors feel welcome so we have chocolates to munch as well as a box of 40 Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils to win.  At this half way point in the exhibition, there are 163 people in the draw for the prize.  Thanks very much to Kadmium Art + Design Supplies in Sydney for donating the Luminance pencils.

On Saturday 1st October the exhibition will be visited by members of Perth Kimono Club.  That should be a beautiful occasion!  (I’ll have my camera ready.)

Half the drawings have sold as well as many of Robyn’s sculptures.  To see which drawings are still available, click here.

Only seven days left to see this little bit of Kyoto transplanted in Fremantle.  And after that it will be gone forever.  Please share this fleeting moment with us if you haven’t already….

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The Humble Seagull

"The Humble Seagull" Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle September 2016

“The Humble Seagull”
Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle
September 2016

"Port Side" Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle September 2016

“Port Side”
Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle
September 2016

My art exhibition “Fascination: Maiko, Geiko, Kyoto” is on at the moment.  Leading up to it I was such a bundle of nervous energy that I had to try to find something to calm me down.  These two drawings are the products of “how I kept calm and carried on”.  For as you might also have found in your life, if your hands are idle, your brain starts manufacturing problems.

At present I am at the gallery from 10 a.m to 4 p.m (until 2nd October).  I can’t sit there any longer without DOING something.  Tomorrow I am going to take a small drawing to work on…a crested tern this time.  Working on a drawing might stop me from becoming sleepy in the blank spaces between visitors.

If you are in Perth or Fremantle, please come and visit me at Early Work Gallery, shop 9/330 South Terrace, South Fremantle.  I’d love to see you.  (P.s we have chocolates at the gallery AND the chance to go in the draw to win a box of 40 Luminance pencils by Caran d’Ache.)  As for the art, you be the judge.

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“I didn’t know that artists talked to people”

This visitor to the exhibition was a clandestine street artist. He wanted to remain incognito. Photo by Melanie Alexander.

This visitor to the exhibition was a clandestine street artist. He wanted to remain incognito. Photo by Melanie Alexander.

Now that my art exhibition “Life is Beautiful” is over, I am (naturally) reflecting on it. I had mentioned to the director of the gallery that I would like to spend time on site during my show.  She thought it was an odd request.  Why would an artist actually be IN the gallery during an exhibition (apart from at the opening)?  People might somehow be ‘put off’.  I didn’t pursue the subject.  Happily, before the exhibition began she went overseas – and – while the cat is away, the mice will play!

With Sandra; new collector and new friend!

With Sandra; new collector and new friend! Photograph by Melanie Alexander

And so…I ended up spending nearly three weeks at the gallery (along with Exhibition Manager, Melanie).   Melanie attended to gallery business while I just talked to people.  And guess what?  They liked me being there.  One delightful lady, who I very much enjoyed meeting, said with wonder, “I didn’t know that artists talked to people”.

Lorna, who got in early, and bought one of the most popular pieces in the exhibition - The Welcoming Cat.

Lorna, who got in early, and bought one of the most popular pieces in the exhibition – The Welcoming Cat.  Photo by Melanie Alexander

Perhaps artists don’t talk to people but they SHOULD.  Artists depend on galleries to represent them but (has anybody else noticed?) …galleries are closing down.  Are they shutting up shop everywhere or just in Perth where I live?   This is a trend which started after the global financial crisis and is ever-increasing in this city.  Galleries are disappearing and artists are left high and dry.  Artists need to step in to represent themselves – and actually meet and talk to people.

A way to connect to one's audience is to write a small description under each work - to share some insight into what the idea was behind the work.

A way to connect to one’s audience is to write a small description under each work – to share some insight into what the idea was behind the work.

It was exhausting for me to talk every day and yet there was nothing I would rather have been doing.  I am used to solitude – just sitting and drawing.  What a change to have to drive “to work” in the mornings and not get home again until evening.

A client (Tina) collects her framed limited edition print. Here we are, discussing her chosen frame. Photo by Melanie Alexander.

Tina collects her framed limited edition print. Here we are, discussing her chosen frame. Photo by Melanie Alexander.

I developed a way to introduce myself: I would offer each visitor a chocolate when he or she entered the gallery.  “Welcome to the gallery. Would you like a chocolate?  I’m Julie and I’m the artist.  If you have any questions while you are looking at the work please ask.” Invariably, most people DID ask (and some enjoyed the chocolates, too.)  People wanted to know about techniques, the art materials themselves – and a lot of people wanted to know about maiko and geiko in Kyoto.

Vanette and Trevor are the owners of Rue de l'Echaudé. Photo by Melanie Alexander

Vanette and Trevor are the owners of Rue de l’Echaudé. Photo by Melanie Alexander

One of the most poignant interactions for me was when a lady brought in her aged aunt who has dementia.  She gently led her aunt around the whole exhibition, explaining all the way.  She said to me that though her aunt would not remember the experience, she would know that she had had a good day.

Because it was such a fulfilling experience for me to meet, greet, listen and discuss, there was no sense of ‘let down’ after the exhibition closed.  Always in the past there has been a build up of momentum and expectation before a solo exhibition and then, equally, a sense of grief after it closed…a real period of blues.  This time I feel a sense of completeness rather than the hollow feeling I used to have post-exhibition.

Visitors to the gallery discussing the work. Photo by Melanie Alexander.

Visitors to the gallery discussing the work. Photo by Melanie Alexander.

Perhaps galleries have felt it in their interest to keep artists and public separated.  But this method is not serving anybody well.  Artists must take the reins, rather than being mere ‘horses’ in gallery ‘stables’.

Some of the works hanging in the exhibition.

Some of the works hanging in the exhibition.

As for me, I am now without representation by a commercial gallery.  What will I do next time I am ready to hold a solo exhibition?  In two years from now I will have a substantial new body of work. Whatever and wherever it is, I will be at the controls.

Julie, June and Tina

Julie, June and Tina.  Photo by Melanie Alexander

New readers to my blog, WELCOME!

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