City of Swan Awards

COS Awards_2010

It’s that time of year again.

The City of Swan’s annual art awards are opening on Friday 5th November 2010 which means it’ll be a busy week behind the scenes. I am, again, one of the curating team which means longs days, sore feet and a meaningful relationship with a ladder… since there are over 200 works to be sorted and hung so that they are all looking an absolute picture (groan… sorry about that, couldn’t resist).

If you want to attend the opening you’ll need to RSVP by Wednesday.

The exhibition then runs until November 21, 2010, 10am to 4pm daily.
It’s at the Midland Junction Arts Centre
276 Great Eastern Hwy
(Cnr Cale St), Midland

More details on the event page at their website.

Tonello and Taylor

Underpass Motel DVD cover
Underpass Motel DVD cover

Last night’s opening of The Underpass Motel exhibition was also the launch of the film from which it all began. Looking around the gallery (as best one could – it was standing room only) at the paintings, sculpture and drawings being shown it was easy to see why the film itself might be forgotten.

The collaborative video project began 18 months ago when Stuart Elliott invited eight artists to take a room in a motel which didn’t exist. Beyond that there was no brief and few of the artists knew what anyone else was doing. Most of us had never met. We all worked in different ways with different mediums – pencil-drawn animation, puppetry, live action and computer animation. The rooms we made and the characters which inhabited them had nothing in common, no storyline and no controlling direction. From this came hours and hours of footage in every format imaginable from which someone had to make a film…

Still image from Patrizia Tonello's animation Underpass Motel
Still image from Patrizia Tonello’s animation Underpass Motel

Those “someones” were Patrizia Tonello and Graham Taylor. Their participation was noted in a press release which said “Pivotal to the creation of the movie trailers was the involvement of Graham Taylor and Patrizia Tonello. Graham …3D animation, web and graphic design. Patrizia, a well known local artist, brought not only artistic skills to the project but found herself developing great editing and film skills. …Together they created a world that has incorporated Stuart’s themes and iconography, weaving a story about a story about a yellow suitcase that keeps appearing, a case that is baffling police…”.

What that doesn’t tell you about is the thousands of hours of creative editing which turned a disparate pile of disks into The Underpass Motel. It’s pretty easy to miss that they made a story where there was none. It doesn’t mention that working within a group of eight single minded artists can be far more difficult than attempting to herd cats. It doesn’t tell you anything about their own animation – computer generated by Graham and stop motion puppetry by Patrizia. Nor does it say that they also created the posters, the packaging design and the booklet which accompanies the dvd.

And while all this was going on Patrizia was, like the rest of us, painting and sculpting for the exhibition. Hardly surprising then that only 9 of the 111 works being shown are hers. In the catalogue we see 8 paintings and one sculpture. There are also some of the sets used in her film which are being shown with the others in a room behind the main gallery space. Not listed: is the film itself. Nowhere does it say that Patrizia is a tenacious and talented filmmaker deserving more than an ordinary place in the list of collaborators. Nor that without her and Graham The Underpass Motel would be just a pile of disks. We need to keep that in mind for ourselves when we are watching the video or seeking out her work. Make the effort. Her puppet, a little old man, is to be found sitting on the edge of her set – look for him – he’s exquisite.

See you there,

Patrizia Tonnello is represented by Gallery East in North Fremantle – details of current work can be found there. Her own website shows a wonderful visual history of her work.

Graham Taylor’s website includes both still images and animation.

The Underpass Motel exhibition is showing at the Turner Galleries until the 7th November 2009.

The Underpass Motel DVD is also available from the project’s website.



An exhibition curated by Perdita Phillips and Stuart Elliott
Wednesday 7 October 2009 6-8 pm
The Junction Gallery
N block Swan TAFE Midland Campus
(at the back of the campus, Lloyd Street, Midland, Western Australia)

Exhibition runs 8-22 October Monday to Friday 9:30 to 4:30

Featuring the work of Michael Arnold, Paul Caporn, Peter Dailey, Clare Davies, Stuart Elliott, Eva Fernandez, Richard Foulds, Matthew Jackson, Michael Jurotte, Peggy Lyon, Adrienne Marshall, Geoff Overheu, Perdita Phillips, Lorraine Pichette, Gregory Pryor, Bruce Slatter, David Small, Sue Starcken Andrea Wood

Artlink for Underpass Motel

I’ve talked already about the Underpass Motel – a project that’s been keeping me off the streets for the past 18 months…
Artlink cover
I’m pleased to announce now that there’s a story about it in the current issue of Artlink magazine.

Underpass Motel is a collaborative video project described as a “series of musings or dysfunctional daydreams” by eight artists with very different styles. We then went on to produce works related to the film – drawings, sculpture and paintings. The dvd will be released at the opening of the exhibition on the 9th October 2009 at the Turner Gallery. The exhibition will include some of the sets, puppets and props used in the making. The dvd itself is over 2 hours long – with the main film, “making ofs” by each artist and extra scenes.

Still image from Underpass Motel
Still image from Underpass Motel

In Vetland

In Vetland
In Vetland

The WA showing of Dr Perdita Phillips In Vetland exhibition opens on the 28th August to show the results of her 2009 Art Meets Vet Science Artist in Residency program at Murdoch University’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Her X-ray sculptures, photographs and drawings will be situated in both the clinical and research areas. For full details as to times and events see the In Vetland blog.

In addition to her own work, in order to do something a little different, Perdita combined her interest in collage and maps by calling for images from other artists to create a large wall piece. The aim was to show a ‘world’ of ways that animals are represented by connecting many images together. My contribution came about when a friend forwarded on the invitation suggesting that “Blue might get a guernsey”.

Blue, oil on panel
Blue, oil on panel

So who’s Blue? He’s a character in the body of work I’ll be showing in October as part of the Underpass Motel exhibition. He appears in animation and in a series of paintings. This one, which is showing as a digital image at In Vetland, is an oil on panel study for a larger work which, as yet, remains untitled. Blue is a good and sturdy cattle dog with a gritty sense of humour yet he encompassess more layers of meaning than a fine torta – few of them much fun. None of which are going to be explained… ever. Blue also doesn’t exist.

The model for this incarnation was a Belgian statue called Tennike Pis which is located on the corner of Kartuizersstraat and the Rue de Vieux Marche aux Grains in Brussels. Unfortunately that is all I know of him – enquiries as to his maker have drawn a blank. Does anyone know?

Have fun Amanda


Print(Ed) ’til the 16th August

Oops. I forgot to give the dates for City of Swan’s Printmedia exhibition Print(Ed) 2009 when I was enthusing about the opening night a couple of days ago. Which, I might add, was a great night. The show will be open for a couple of weeks yet so, if you didn’t get there, you still can.

Print(ed) 2009

There are over 70 entries with examples of pretty much every print process there is including collographs, lithographs, digital prints, screenprints, embossed monoprints, etchings, linocuts and much more. Basically everything under one roof. If you’re a printmaker, would like to be or just love prints this exhibition is worth a drive. The standard is very high.

Open to the public until 16th August 2009
Wednesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm & Sunday 10am – 2pm
at the Midland Town Hall,
Great Eastern Hwy, Midland

Also. Listen up. More than half of the awards for this show were won by members of the Printmakers Association of Western Australia – if you’re not a member and would like to be – email me for details.

Worth a look,

Life Drawing – new times

There have been changes to the Midland life drawing groups. Yes that was plural – there are now two – and if these are well supported more sessions will be added at the newly established Midland Junction Arts Centre. In fact, we need to support the whole venture with enthusiasm – ideas for other art groups, workshops and exhibitions in the new space will be welcomed. Contact: Swan Community Arts Officer Rachel Birighitti on 0424 023 871.

Life drawing

Monday mornings
Organised by the Centre for the Celebration of the Human Figure
9.30am – 12.30pm at the
Midland Junction Arts Centre
Cale St & Gt Eastern Highway, Midland
Cost $12 – BYO Materials
Easels are available
Contact: Peter on 9293 2363

Wednesday evenings
Organised by the Midland Artists Group
7.00pm – 9.30pm at the
Mechanics Institute Hall
Meadow Street, Guildford
Cost $12 – BYO easels & materials
Contact: Ben on 0403 319 562

Print(Ed) 2009

Yesterday Studio A was abandoned without a backward glance. Destination: Midland Town Hall.

Print(ed) 2009The event was to assist with curating the Print(Ed) exhibition with Jánis Nedéla. (If you don’t like where your work is hung I will immediately deny all responsibility and demote myself to the role of “fetch and carry”.) It looks great.

The opening should prove to be a big night – there are over 70 entries from artists hailing from all over Perth. And I will break the code of silence to tell you that the standard is high. Whether you’re a printmaker or an appreciator of print – attendance is mandatory- even if it’s raining. I will cast an extra lure: by reminding you of the wine, nibblies and a Town Hall full of prints and printmakers. What more could you want?

Opening this coming Thursday night, 30th of July, at 6pm. Location: Midland Town Hall Great Eastern Highway, Midland

I won’t be able to wriggle out of it either because I’m one of the speakers. And goodness it’s my annual cake day (gave up calling it a birthday – I’ve had too many) – instead – I’ll be providing some of the entertainment.

Public speaking, by the way, for the weak-knee avoider is actually really easy because you can’t lose no matter what you do. Even if one falls flat on one’s face – one’s worst enemy will be delighted!

For further information contact City of Swan Visual Arts Officer Rachel Birighitti on 0424 023 871

Have fun,