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Nude :: Art from the Tate collection :: Art Gallery NSW

So, I often go along to these things, and am moved to tears – then forget the pieces that captivated me. This is mainly to serve as a visual recall for my own reference. Added is the bonus that there are a few of you reading who may not have gotten to see this at all, and this is but a glimpse.

These are the pieces I had a deep visceral reaction to. The story, the emotion, the light. The inspiration.

It was the last day today – and I’ve never ever seen the Gallery so crowded.

It was worth all the queues.

 


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LOVE LOCKED OUT

Anna Lea Merrit (1890)

Cupid, the god of love, is shown here trying to force open the door of amausoleum. Merrit made the picture in memory of her husband, who died  within three months of their marriage. Both Merrit and Cupid face the task of conquering death, which they are bound to fail. 
 
The depiction of the male nude by a female artist was a contentious issue in the late-nineteenth-century art world. Merrit escaped censure by choosing to paint a child, rather than an adult. Children, she believed, were less conscious of nudity and had ‘no sense of shame before artists’. 

Gallery label, July 2004

 

 


 

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LA HOLLANDAISE

Walter Stickert (c. 1906)

Stickert wanted to show the naked female form without idealisation. This is one of several paintings showing a naked woman in poor surroundings: on an iron bed in a dimly-lit room. The painting does not reveal the woman’s identity, but the title (‘The Dutch Girl’) may refer to the nickname of a prostitute in a novel by the 19th-century French author, Honoré de Balzac. The seedy feeling of the painting is reinforced by Sickert’s handling. The brush marks form a surface so rough that, if you look at it closely, the image seems to fragment.

But then, ranking higher on google is the link (or suggested) theory that this artist was one of the most notorious serial killers..

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2001/dec/08/art.artsfeatures

 


Nude Girl 1909-10 by Gwen John 1876-1939

NUDE GIRL 

Gwen John (1909/10)

The human body, a traditional theme in western art, was a tricky subject for women artists at the turn of the century because of questions of morality and decorum. By using a narrow colour range and minimal setting, and suppressing biographical details, John draws attention to the naked body. At the same time, the character of the model, Fenella Lovell, comes across powerfully. So the viewer experiences this painting, disconcertingly, as a portrait of a contemporary woman with no clothes on, who seems to be uncomfortable that we are looking at her.

 

 


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SEATED NUDE WITH NECKLACE

Amedeo Modigliani (1917)

Famous for his elongated portraits and lush nudes, Italian born, Parisian-based artist Amedeo Modigliani’s interest in African masks and sculpture is evident in the treatment of his models’ faces – flat and mask-like, with almond eyes and twisted features. His graceful figurative distortions and large flat areas of color were strongly influenced by Cezanne. Modigliani also developed decorative arabesques. He died at age 35 of tuberculosis accelerated by excessive drinking, drugs, and poverty.

*This was where I actually cried sobbed.


Scylla 1938 by Ithell Colquhoun 1906-1988

                                                                                         

SCYLLA

Ithell Colquhoun (1938)

Colquhoun wrote that the title of this work refers to the female monster who, according to the ancient legend in Homer’s Odyssey, inhabited narrow straits and devoured passing sailors. Yet there is also strong sexual and feminine symbolism at play in this work. As Colquhoun explained, ‘It was suggested by what I could see of myself in a bath…it is thus a pictorial pun, or double-image’. Produced during Colquhoun’s transition from magical realism to surrealism, this painting is one of her most introspective.


The Visit
THE VISIT
Willem De Kooning (1966/7)
De Kooning’s boldly expressive style, with its thick gestural brushstrokes, meant that he was often categorised as an Abstract Expressionist. However his paintings often include recognisable figures, even if they are barely discernable. The central figure in The Visit is a woman with her legs spread out. In the right-hand corner is a shape that could be either the woman’s outstretched hand, or a face in profile looking over her. The title was suggested by one of De Kooning’s assistants, who thought that the composition resembled a medieval painting of the Annunciation.

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Fiona Banner (2007)
*Speaks for itself.

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Sarah Lucas (1997)
Following the Surrealist tradition, Lucas places familiar objects in shocking or unexpected arrangements. Many of these exploit the sexual innuendo that is a key feature of popular British comedy, from Carry On films to Viz magazine. In this photograph, the humour has a troubling edge. Displaying a plucked chicken in place of a young woman”s genitals, Lucas hints at the violation and gender stereotyping that underlies such jokes.
*All the places my mind went. This was breathtaking!!!

 

THE LAST THING I SAID TO YOU WAS DON’T LEAVE ME HERE IIthe-last-thing-i-said-to-you-was-dont-leave-me-here-tracey-emin

Tracey Emin (2000)

This photograph, which was published in an edition of six, is a self-portrait of the artist sitting naked on the floor in the corner of a beach hut. Her back is to the camera and she leans slightly forward. A small tattoo of a scorpion is visible on her left shoulder blade. Thick gold necklaces glint at the nape of her neck. Her pose recalls the vulnerable, dejected figure of a punished child. Paint is peeling from the walls of the empty hut, giving it a ramshackle appearance which heightens the mood of pathos.
Emin bought the beach hut in Whitstable, Kent with her friend, the artist Sarah Lucas (born 1962), in 1992. Emin used the hut as a weekend retreat, going there with her boyfriend. She has talked about the importance of owning property for the first time, saying, ‘I was completely broke and it was really brilliant, having your own property by the sea’ (quoted in Lobel). In 1999, she transported the hut from the beachfront to the gallery, titling it The Last Thing I Said to You is Don’t Leave Me Here (The Hut), 1999 (Saatchi Gallery, London).

 


 

the-birth-louise-bourgiousBIRTH

Louise Bourgeois (1994)

Much of Bourgeois’ work is autobiographical, and relates to her traumatic childhood. She idolised her mother, and loathed her overbearing, adulterous father. Bourgeois made her first prints in the 1940s and, after a gap of about forty years, returned to printmaking in 1990. Frequently child-like in style, these works portray the events and fantasies of her childhood and adolescence. The scenes include the trauma of birth, the pubescent discovery of the body, the moulding of a daughter by her mother, and the stifling of a daughter by her father.

 


 

WILD MAN

Wild Man 2005 by Ron Mueck born 1958
Ron Mueck (2005)

Wild Man is a sculpture by Australian artist Ron Mueck of a large naked man sitting on a stool. The man has a light skin tone and is represented with a high degree of realism apart from his scale, which is larger than life-size. Measuring nearly three metres in height in his seated position, the man sits on the edge of a wooden stool with his back and arms straight and his hands gripping the sides of the stool. His shoulders are raised up to his ears while his toes press into the floor with his heels elevated. The man has long brown unkempt shoulder-length hair and a dark bushy beard. His body is brushed with hair, including his chest, arms, legs and genitals. The man looks slightly downward to the right with his face contorted in a tense expression.

Wild Man is made from polyester resin, fibreglass, silicone, aluminium, wood and synthetic hair. It was made in 2005 according to the same method Mueck consistently employs to create his sculptures. The artist begins with drawings before creating small clay or plaster maquettes to refine his ideas. The maquettes are gradually scaled up to create a full-sized, detailed clay model of the work. From this clay model Mueck creates a series of mould sections in order to cast the sculpture in fibreglass. The fibreglass sculpture is then painted and hair is applied. Although the artist tends to use real hair for his smaller figures, for Wild Manacrylic fibre hair was used. The last detail added to the sculptures are the eyes. Like all Mueck’s sculptures, Wild Man is rendered with hyper-realistic detail, noticeable from the texture of the skin to the careful placement of individual hairs. Before working as an artist Mueck was a puppet and prop maker for television and film, where he developed his precise techniques.

Mueck initially planned to make a figure who appeared confined, as if backed into a corner, but decided to make Wild Man after seeing an illustration of the colossal stone sculpture Appennino 1579–80 (Villa di Pratolino, Vaglia, Italy) by the late Renaissance artist Giambologna. Appenninodepicts a crouching hirsute river god, which inspired the oversized hairy ‘wild man’ of Mueck’s sculpture. The critic Anne Cranny-Francis notes that a wild man tends to be a reclusive individual afraid of human society and that this ‘might explain why [Mueck’s] large male figure – in one sense, the very image of the powerful white male – grips his chair, body rigid with tension, and stares over the heads of viewers in a paroxysm of fear’ (Cranny-Francis 2013, p.6). The man’s nakedness adds to this sense of vulnerability, making him both physically and emotionally exposed.

Mueck’s sculptures frequently experiment with scale. Some works are smaller than actual size, such as Spooning Couple 2005 (Tate AR00033), while others, including Wild Man, are much larger than life-size. The artist has noted that he never makes life-size figures because ‘it never seemed to be interesting. We meet life-size people every day … It [the size of the sculptures] makes you take notice in a way that you wouldn’t do with something that’s just normal.’ (Quoted in Tanguy 2003, accessed 10 December 2014.)

 


 

Our final MVPS Christmas Gift, and it didn’t hurt the Earth…

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We moved to Manly 7 years ago, half way through Lou’s kindergarten year. It’s been filled with so very many highs and obviously lows, but it’s the best move we ever made. I remember, for the first time feeling like I fit. Friends and acquaintances have come and gone, as have diseases, business and many things; but our one true constant has been Manly Village Public School, where Lanya attended. We couldn’t have wished for a better school for her, or better friends along the way.

Now in her final year, wanting to gift something to the school that was personal, relevant and captured the school spirit – and who she was, we came up with the idea of a Christmas wreath. Now, if you’ve ever met my kid you’ll know that we are never in a position to recycle uniforms. They get lost in our family, they get ripped, paint covered – you name it. But they’re never in a position to be passed on to anyone else, for the shame of the state of them. We had one particular dress that was all kinds of bad, so we set about. As a family we’re pretty passionate about re-use, and always have been. We’re don’t harp on about it, but have always had a philosophy of ’cause less harm.’ The catch phrase for Red Olive since 2003 has been ‘re-invent, re-create, re-generate’ and this has been important in our home, and business life, and I’m proud to say has totally rubbed off on our kid. Manly Village has been brilliant at implementing ways for the children to learn about the environment, waste reduction and educated the kids by way of ‘waste free Wednesday.’ ‘Earth Alive,’ and even the song ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’ I remember when she was year 1 or 2, and they were learning about water conservation, she would follow us into the bathroom, and see if we wasted any water while brushing our teeth (which apparently we did), and would hover while we were doing the dishes in an attempt to find a better way. These are pretty cool principles to install in our kids, and along with many other things and reasons, I think Manly Village Public School is all round pretty ace.

So, enough nostalgia, here we go folks. Step by step. Super super easy and I think it looks pretty tops. I’m looking forward to making one for us. Fortunately I have just over 52 weeks!

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  • Get a wire coat hanger and bend until you get a circle (you can bend once it’s finished so don’t fret too much about the perfect circle at this point). Twist the hanger part down into itself.
  • Heres the fun part. Rip or cut roughly the same size strips from your uniform/fabric/items.
  • Tie them onto the circle. I recommend this part is done while watching a really fantastic movie, so you forget you’re doing it. It’s a process.
  • When you think you’re done, squish it together and keep going. No unsightly gaps – see close up.
  • For the hanger part, we used a scrunchy. If I was doing it again, I think I’d glue and weave fabric around it.
  • We looked around for ages to find some bauble that were colour suitable. We wanted whites and silvers, and ultimately found them in Coles. Great colours, but because said baubles were from Coles I had to spend a bit of time super glueing the bauble back onto its attachment…
  • BE CAREFUL of glueing your fingers together. I’ve been glueing for years, and I don’t think my skill has ever improved.
  • I then got short little twists of a silver craft wire to twist them on to the wreath. We left these a little posse so you can play around with the positioning of them.
  • Done. Then it was off to console several devastated Year 6 girls, tears of the like I’ve never seen!

Give it a go. I’d love to see your images, and add them into this thread.

Merry Christmas, over and out from me and my crew.

xxx

LIVE – Images from Chromesthesia… Be part of the Exhibition ONLINE as it happens!!

Slide01

As the Worm Turns – Faith No More

“Through their hollow tombs I can see them, through their mouths

I can hear them praying for pain. It’s only a game.”

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Slide02

Caffeine – Faith No More
“The world expects the pose, perfectly natural (loosen up).  Smearing wet concrete, and swearing you’ll never be…(caught).  At your weakest, etched in stone.  And we’re frozen here peaking.”

Slide03

Daniel – Lior
“Outside it’s overcast, and visions hard to find, but the memories will be my guide.  ‘Cause even though I know our skins have changed, colours that we share, they still remain.”

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Slide04

Dear Mr President – P!NK  
“How can you say, no child is left behind.  We’re not dumb and we’re not blind.    They’re all sitting in your cells.  While you pave the road to hell.”

Slide05

Fade to Black – Metallica
“Growing darkness taking dawn. I was me, but now he’s gone.  No one but me, can save myself, but it’s too late.  Now I can’t think, think why I should even try.”

Slide06

Fast Car – Tracey Chapman

“I remember when we were driving, driving in your car – speed so fast I felt like I was drunk. City lights lay out before us, and your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder. And I, had a feeling that I belonged.

And I, had a feeling I could be someone.”

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Slide07

Forgive Me – Missy Higgins
 
“All, all, all of my light is for you. An home, home’s anywhere you are too. So take this one fallen man on his knees. Saying please, forgive me. “

Slide08

 Hard to Concentrate – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Do you want me to show up for duty, and serve this woman and honour her beauty? And finally you have found someone perfect, and finally youhave found yourself, with me.”

Slide09 

Heading West – Cyndi Lauper 
“And I’m heading west, without a sad goodbye. And I’m heading west, I’m  like a letter with no address; just like a book I read I’m heading west.”

Slide10

I Could Have Lied – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“A mountain never seems to have the need to speak, a look that shares so many seek. The sweetest feeling I got from you, the things I said to you were true.”

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Slide11

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri
“And it took so long just to feel alright.  Remember how to put back the light in my eyes. I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed,  ’cause you broke all your promises. And now you’re back, you don’t get to get me back.”

Slide12

Letter to Hermione – David Bowie
“But something tells me that you hide, when all the world is warm and tired. You cry a little in the dark – well so do I.   I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to say, but I can see it’s not ok.”

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Slide13

Nitemare Hippy Girl – Beck
“She’s a nightmare hippy girl, with her skinny fingers fondling my world. She’s a whimsical tragical beauty. Uptight and a little bit snooty.”

Slide14

One Crowded Hour – Augie March
“Now should you expect to see something that you hadn’t seen, in somebody you’ve know since you were sixteen;  and if love is a bolt from the blue – then what is that love, but a glorified screw? And that doesn’t hold nothing together.”

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Slide15

Phoenix Rising – Annihilator
“Wings on fire, tearing into the night. Screaming into the light of another day. Carry me, out of the hurricane.  Into the smoke and flames, and we’ll fly away.

Slide16

Redemption Song – Bob Marley
“But my hand was made strong, by the hand of the Almighty.  We forward in this generation, triumphantly.”

Slide17

Return to Serenity – Testament
“This innocent beauty my words can’t describe. This rebirth to purity brings a sullen tear right to your eyes. No time for anger, no time for despair. Please let me take you, cause I’m already there.”

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Slide18

Same Love – Macklemore + Ryan Lewis
“Live on, and be yourself! When I was at church they taught me something else. If you preach hate at the service, those words aren’t anointed. The holy water that you soak in has been poisoned.”

Slide19

 Settle for Nothing – Rage against the Machine
“A world of violent rage, but it’s one that I can recognise. Having never seen the colour of my Fathers eyes.  Yes, I dwell in hell, but it’s a hell that I can grip. I tried to grip my family, but I slipped.”

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Slide20

Shattered – Casey Donovan
“And I’m Shattered – I’m not broken enough to bleed.  And I’m Shattered – I was blind but now I see. And it hurts like hell, but you are not the end of me.”

 Slide21

Soul to Squeeze – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“It’s bitter baby and it’s very sweet. I’m on a rollercoaster but I’m on my feet. Take me to the river let me on your shore. I’ll be coming back baby, I’ll be coming back for more.”

Slide23

Space Oddity – David Bowie
“Though I’m past one hundred thosand miles, I’m feeling very still.  And I think my spaceship knows which way to go. Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows.”

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Slide24

Suddenly – Cam Tapp
“It’s every wrong that you wanted to right. It’s every star holding up the night.  It’s every song that you wanted to sing. It’s every gift that you wanted to bring.  Suddenly”

Slide25

The Past Recedes – John Frusciante
“I lied to the greatest thieves about anything and everything.  I’m a figure of forgotten speech, I’m out of reach.  I can’t play it safe, but I might just incase.”

Slide22

Sound of White – Missy Higgins
“If things get real for me down here, promise to take me to before you went away – if only for a day. If things get real for me down here, promise to take me back to the tune we played, before you went away.”

Slide26

They Weren’t There – Missy Higgins
“You sighed and I was lost in you, weeks could’ve passed for all I knew.     You were the blanket of the over world, and so I couldn’t say, I wouldn’t say No. They all said, you’re too young to even know.”

Slide27

This Love – Pantera
“I’d been the tempting one, stole her from herself. This gift in pain, her pain was life. And sometimes, I feel so sorry – I regret this, the hurting of you.”

Slide28

This Love – Pantera
“I’d been the tempting one, stole her from herself. This gift in pain, her pain was life. And sometimes, I feel so sorry – I regret this, the hurting of you.”

Slide29

Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
“Together we can take it to the end of the line. Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time. I don’t know what to do and I’m always in the dark. We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.”

Slide30

Uncomfortably Slow – Newton Faulkner
“So don’t take my photograph, ’cause I don’t wanna know how it looks to feel like this.  As cars and people pass, It feels like standing still but I know. I’m just moving uncomfortably slow.”

Slide31

Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“I drive on her streets ’cause she’s my companion. I walk through her hills ’cause she knows who I am. She sees my good deeds and she kisses me windy, and I never worry. Now that is a lie.”

Slide32

White Lies  – Paolo Nutini
“Take a chance, watch it fall. Grab too much, and lose it all.  Now I’ve lost my disguise, it was all white lies.”

Slide33

Wish you were here – Pink Floyd

“Can you tell a green field, from a cold steel rail. A smile from a veil.

Do you think you can tell?”

Slide34

With or without you – U2
“See the stone set in your eyes, see the thorn twist in your side. I wait for you. Sleight of hand and twist of fate. On a bed of nails she makes me wait. And I wait, without you. With or without you.”

Chromesthesia – The Colour of my Song

Limited edition of 10 prints only

 

* First editions purchased on opening night $220.00 
Please contact us to see samples, and select preferred framing option
WHITE,  BLACK, GOLD, SILVER, DARK TIMBER, LIGHT TIMBER:  ALL $275.00

SAVE THE DATE – Saturday 21st September “Chromesthesia – The Colour of my Song”

You saw it here first folks! My first solo in years, and my first entire Exhibition playing with photography…Nervous, excited…Aggghhhhhh xxx

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LOUIE & I

You didn’t REALLY think by winding up the retail space, I’d lay low did you?

Some of you are aware of this, others will be hearing for the first time now! My kid and I have been getting our creative and colour on, and have come up with ‘louie & I’ handmade and homemade jewellery.

The idea kind of cemented itself when she didn’t get in to Mosman High – as a distraction, and a reminder that she was a valid creative kid and her ideas were pretty fab! I’m pretty stoked with our results so far… Hope you enjoy browsing our Etsy shop 🙂 

THANK YOU for browsing, and remember you are not just supporting Handmade, or even Homemade; you are supporting family – and that’s kind of cool on any level.

There are no corporations or entities here – simply a Mum and her girl trying to live a hardworking, creative life. Thanks for continuing to make that possible, and believing WE CAN DO IT.

Live your dreams 🙂

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…To white, or not to white…that is the annual question!

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Compare the two rooms. One on left is sparkly, fresh – where Unicorns live. One on right looks nice, but Unicorns wouldn’t live here…Written of course, without prejudice. 

Ok folks out there in blog land, followers, friends I NEED YOU!!! (I hope you had the appropriate visual of the finger pointy poster whose name escapes me). NO, I’m not trying to engage you in public warfare. Not even close. Relax…

It’s as simple as … choosing a colour!

You know that saying about how Sparkies have dodgy wiring at home, builders have countless un-finished projects etc? Well let me tell you it’s THE SAME for Designers, Stylists and ESPECIALLY when said Styling Designer specialises in colour. Purely for home you see. My record is it took me 18 months to choose a living room colour once. Oh dear lord I went through every shade of Olive known to man…18 months later, we fell for Wattyl ‘Pepper.’ Six months later we moved…but that is another story.

Here’s the real deal. We repaint the floors at the ARTspace every year (and sometimes in between). It’s important to me to maintain the space to the same level of professionalism the Artists give us along with the privilege of hanging their incredible works. It’s picky and pedantic – and I’m ok with that, they’re my middle name. I LOVE the ARTspace. I’m walking away from retail to focus on said ARTspace. I’m re-launching, and I’m doing it large! I have all sorts of ideas and plans for upcoming shows, but one thing at a time. The floors.

As you know, we’re selling of the retail wares and making way for the lovely Christine O’Hagan to join our crew. Perfect timing for a little bit of a spruce up, we have to move stuff anyway you see…Now, the dilemma is not in that I can’t choose a shade of a particular colour, it’s the actual colour.

I LOVE WHITE FLOORS!!!!!

We have a yummy neutral grey on there now. It sits at around 5 maybe on the Greyscales. It’s lovely, I picked a great shade. It doesn’t conflict or compete with any Artworks, it doesn’t take away or impinge in negative ways on the space.

It works.

OR: It ‘worked.’

In the spirit of fresh new change, I’m re-visiting my annual internal (and to anyone who listens) debate on the repainting of the floors…

Anyone who knows commercial enamel knows that it’s not going to be easy to do this. The walls are an low sheen pain in the butt regularly patching but utterly fabulous colour and solution for the Gallery. The don’t reflect OR absorb too much light. The don’t engage the eye away from the Artwork. HOWEVER white enamel cut in to said walls is a painstaking detailed job. It will require several coats from my beloved. It will looks INCREDIBLE.

White floors make everything around them look shiny sparkly and wonderful – and yet they draw your attention to the objects and works they embrace. Beauty seems to float within them…I have always always loved white floors, but at home I accept that we’re not a white floor family as a unit. Here’s why. Today my daughter arrived. There was the clunk thud of her arrival, the dropping of scooter – and then in chorus a guitar case propped against the other side of the table bang crashed to the ground. I was sending a prayer of gratitude that she wasn’t carrying paint….

But it’s the ARTspace, that’s a place of solace and beauty…

Here’s my pro-cons. Comment, vote, HELP MEEEEE because as I said to Aj today – I would imagine that the pain of dealing with this each and every year is surely now outweighing the pain and annoyance of painting the floor. Surely right? Who want’s to ‘just wonder?’ That’s not how I roll myself… Obv. I’m Team White…PRO is for white CON is not for white.

PRO: It’ll look pretty spectacular, let’s be honest.  CON: It looks really nice now.

PRO: When white scuffs it looks all charming and shabby. It works. CON: Mud.

PRO: When grey scuffs and wears it looks unkempt and poorly maintained. CON: It’s already there and easy to keep.

PRO: It’ll look pretty CON: So would I if I wasn’t painting floors…lol.

PRO: At least I’ll know. CON: White = 3 coats, Grey = 1

PRO: At least I’ll see when the floors are dirty. Dirt is gross – if I see it I’ll clean it. CON: It hides a multitude of sins now, and I don’t enjoy mopping. Nope, not a fan.

PRO: We love putting love and energy into the ARTspace CON: We could be reading, talking, hanging in Lola.

PRO: My husband loves me enough to support my kind of crazy. CON: I love him too, and I’m sure he’d rather surf.

So there you have it…Do YOU have white floors? Are they as bad as I am anticipating? Should I just stop blogging and start painting…???

x

P.S. STOKED to have a drama of this (lack of) calibre to bring you after the last few years – let me tip you reader!

$5 FRIDAY!!!

Utter madness. Instore only…HEAPS of other items included in $5.00 Friday. We have leased the spot where the Retail is – so we’ve gotta get out!!!

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Howdy Peeps,
I hope you’ve had a marvellous Easter break filled with all the important stuff. We hightailed it to Jambaroo, so there was laughter a’plenty between freak storms of course!

I always thought that if a time came where I sent an email of this nature, I would do so with a heavy heart. Though it is in fact possibly long overdue and maybe even expected, it’s with lightness and vigour I write to you about the winding up of all things retail. As you know the last 2 years have been … confronting for me to say the least, and something had to give. With a keen eye, I’ve been paying attention to all the hats I’m wearing, and balls I’m juggling (no, don’t be rude!) and something had to be shifted. Lately going to the ARTspace has felt a little like being pulled from 4 different directions. It’s 2 years with Easter weekend to when I first “checked in” at RNS Hospital, and stayed there for 5.5 months of that year. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what’s important to me, and the kind of future I want to create. In deciding, I threw it all up in the air, and it landed like this…

1) ARTspace itself, the studios, Gallery, my return to Art+Craft classes (for young + old). The ARTspace makes my heart sing, it always has. I want it to return to a place that inspires, not overwhelms me. I want to facilitate creativity again, play, learn, be reminded of the joy of being creative. I went to the Talhouse-Lautrec Exhibition recently in Canberra, and Lanya asked me why I always cry in Galleries (this time it was a Monet that started the tears). I explained that these people made it possible for me, my peers, my buyers – they gave us permission to set free that part of us that can’t help but create.
2) My own Art + Design stuff, which is constantly on the back burner to everything else. I miss painting, the smell, the texture, the sense of oneness it’s always been for me. I really am un-settled by this very long period of paint free clothing. I don’t think its a long term ‘look’ for me. And I miss you guys! I miss Exhibiting, and I miss Decorating. I’d like to be back on the road soon. I love taking your forgotten treasures and making them stars again. I love changing your spaces from being something you reside in, to something you ‘live’ in, with your favourite memories around you, somewhere you show love, entertain – or work for my old Commercial clients…whatever that case is. To me Design/Decorating was always all about making a space synonymous with its intended use…I see more value in that than ever having been stuck in mine for 2 years, let me assure you! I have a Solo Exhibitioned planned in my head, and I can’t WAIT.
3) Loobylou – the candle biz. I’m loving it! Emma and I have created something really special and it deserves more of us. We’ve begun retailing, selling online – and are really enjoying the ride. It’s nice being at this end of the production line, the creating side of it, rather than the selling of someone else’s creativity. It just makes sense to me, and to be creating something unique in a market that seems to be filled with sameness, and something we’re truly proud is a nice feeling. I have the first candle we ever poured on Jan 15th 2012 in a special nook in loobylou HQ. It’s a wonderful reminder, that big old Moccona Jar of how far we’ve come (and also how AWESOME our wax and oils are, you’d seriously think it was poured this week it’s so fresh!)
4) That leaves Red Olive – the retail side of things. I set up the shopfront initially more as a platform to meet your fine selves, and a billboard for Interior Design stuff when I first moved to the area. I’d gone from being a busy retailer and decorator in the Inner West to being a stranger on your shores. And what made perfect sense then, doesn’t really anymore. The shop became an entity unto itself, and almost got in the way of design and Art, and it wasn’t supposed to be that way, so… I’m taking the reins back.
The Retail side of Red Olive has got to go. It makes the most sense. It brings me the most peace. For 4 weeks following Easter, we will be there from 10-3pm, Fridays and Saturdays. EVERYTHING MUST GO. We have some interest in the space already by a pretty spectacular Artist we’d be thrilled to offer a space to. Everything will be 50%+ which for a lot of products it’s MUCH LESS than wholesale as for many things we’ve sold at below retail, and they’re already reduced. Some jewellery now if about 80% less than RRP. Essentially, I’m paying you to help me take it away… so go on, stock up. Go Christmas shopping. You know how I feel about being super organised – there’s no such thing as being ‘too organised.’ My old work colleagues will have a little chuckle here – I was WORSE in the corporate office Insurance days…
Sales will extend online, but do keep in mind we will be updating the online shopping platform as fast as we can, but be aware of the odd occasion where something may sell minutes before you try to buy it online and still show as being available. In the situation you REALLY want something, I would possibly call or email in this situation as I have a feeling these weekends are going to be bonkers. But weekday online sales are a good way to stock up on your favourite ranges while you still can, at prices unheard of! I’ve still got a little Jaye Niemi, Aunty Cookie, Have you met miss Jones, some Outliving, and lots and lots of vintage and even more jewellery! Because it’s a US dollar site, I’ve reduced everything 40%. The extra 10% will come from exchange rates, and often better off for you. Plus this way there’s paypal and Credit card as an option, whereas instore it’s cash only, or direct deposit for larger/bulk purchases (or paypal in store).
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So, like the very talented Artist Videographer, Marijose Cruz likened this to last week, was a personal renovation. We all need to renovate our lives and souls, and this is me working on mine. Rather than juggling many things badly – I’ll do less of them and be great at them. Red Olive will still exist, but it reverts to being the Design + Art + Curating Business it used to be, with the odd personally custom made and created item or two…
So tell your friends. These prices will be unheard of, insane, and for a limited time only. We have to move out of the space at the end of April, so let’s get cracking!
Creating I shall go… Watch this (evolving not ending) space xxx

Fab Feb + the Fire Snakes…

Long time no hear folks – I hope you all had a wonderful colourful Christmas and New Years.

 We’re in the Chinese year of the snake again – a BIG year for creativity and learning of all kinds. I can’t wait to see what amazing works will be created this year. Interestingly my daughter and I are not only both Snakes, we’re both Fire Snakes at that! Has always made for an ‘interesting’ family dynamic…And Valentines Day Thursday. I’m always amused by peoples take on Valentines and I find a lot of people for or against. I’m Pro-Valentine. I kind of think it’s nice to have a day where you pause, be grateful and appreciate your loved ones.

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Lot’s of building and learning and planning from this end last year. A year of working out what to focus on, and what ideas to let go of. Often people think it’s wonderful having a head full of ides – but in can actually be a pain in the butt at times. We’re almost at max. again in the ARTspace which is nice. Lot’s of wonderful creative energy bursting from the place – just how we like it. It’s been a slow and steady return to exhibitions and public events in the space. I’m making a conscious separation of the underground ARTspace, and Red Olive Studios this year, which will culminate with a website launch and corresponding Exhibition of our featured Artists, ‘underground ARTspace HAND PICKED’ which we’re really excited about. Further to that a few of us ARTspacers are in the Early stages of planning a Product Launch – which is perhaps the most exciting part about managing the ARTspace – witnessing the ideas that come out of it, and the growth and transformations that happen there. So many ideas have been conceived and born, and ultimately introduced to you. There’s been a real shift, and as always change can be wonderful.

One of those was an idea from yours truly born in a hospital bed and bought to fruition with my good friend and family member, Emma Rush. ‘Loobylou – candles with conscience’ has been long in the planning, but we had to be confident we were bringing you something truly wonderful. I’m attaching more info for those interested – but it was important to Emma and I that we created a product that actually lived up to what it said it was, at a price point that made it accessible. Too often candles are promoted as being Environmentally aware, thoughtful, and the like – and then they come with so much packaging which looks pretty for thirty seconds – before it (hopefully) hits the recycling bin. Too often someone actually will have a great candle, but package it in cheap glass which splits or overheats and ruins your furniture. Too often inferior candles with inferior materials are bought in from China – then marketed as Australian Made – What the?. Oh, and my personal favourite – ‘organic’ or ‘pure’ candles filled with more Emulsifiers and stabilisers than there is fragrance! Our candles are not 100% essential oil (we have created our own blends) but a mixture of essential and high quality fragrance. Our wax is pure organic Soy wax (food grade) and our wicks are cotton with no lead or harmful chemicals. The jars are thick strong pharmaceutical glass which retains the heat better than any other candle I’ve ever burned, and the re-use options are endless. Our candles are about the experience, the time you set aside when you burn a candle – and each fragrance features a quote or creed we try to apply in everyday life. Our candles are about contributing to thoughtfulness, both for the Environment and your homes – because, above all else – they smell AMAZING!!! And we are 100% Australian made – as in the first few batches were poured in our kitchens until we could set up in the ARTspace. The website will be launched before the end of the week, but if you want to know more it currently re-directs to our online shopping site www.loobylou.com.au

Loobylou is taking a very public step forward by having a stand at the fabulous H.E.A.L Network event, the Healthy Happy Family Expo’ next weekend in North Balgowlah. I’m attaching the invitation, and strongly urge you to come along and support this wonderful event. Bring along your open mind, and there’s something for everyone! We’re really proud to be invited to take part in this event.

So much to say, so little time. Stay in touch though …I miss your faces.

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xxx  Kere + the Red Olive rangers

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