Tuesday, December 30, 2008

RMIT MFA Online Catalogue/Website

At the end of each year, RMIT University usually produces a small soft cover catalogue to display the works of their post-graduates. I remember they were handed out at the commencement of each academic year, and I really enjoyed looking through them and reading both the artists statements and the CVs. It was interesting to see the wide range of experience that people brought to the course, some straight from school, through the TAFE system, an undergraduate degree and on to this masters, while others had spent a decade or more out in the "real world" before "something" drew them to this particular course.

I found all of that background inspiring and motivating. During that time, we had some candidates who had already established notable reputations, and I have to say that did make me feel honoured to have been accepted.

Anyway, for some reason which I missed hearing about, the old tradition of the hard copy catalogue has gone and this year an online catalogue was produced. This has benefits of course, inlcuding an online presence for those who don't already have one. We have also been able to include a greater number of images for each student, so the website does operate as somewhat of an online portfolio. Generally it's considered more enduring and professional, but I miss being able to flick through the images and stop at one that piques my interest to have a more detailed look.

Anyway, here is the link to the website (click on the image) - and please don't be put off by the annoying way you have to chase the words around (you'll see what I mean if you go there....but maybe I'm just showing my age). This year's MFA candidates created a varied and interesting body of work, and it is great that it is available online for anyone interested to check out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Anyone love maps?

I know a lot of people are fascinated by maps, and despite not being great at deciphering them, I place myself in that group too. In fact, I suspect my fascination may relate to the mystery held within the map...so much information...so much potential. I really like hand-drawn personalized "mud maps" which show landmarks that have special meaning to the drawer. And I also love old maps, which reveal so much about the thinking of the time, like this one. I used it about a year ago in this collaboration with Alex Itin for the Flickr "Library" group.

However, this post was prompted by a Christmas gift from one of my brothers-in-law. It's a book of what I would call "art maps" entitled, Where are you?

I tried to select just a few of my favourites to share with you, but I found it too hard to narrow the choices down, so I decided to scan the back cover which has detail shots from a number of the maps. If you click on the image, you should be able to see an enlarged version.

And one that isn't on the cover, but I simply had to show you. I don't know whether the one below is my favourite, but it does leave me open-mouthed in wonder. My cat would so love to play with that!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Resistance: porcelain flag book (still in progress....)

I thought you might like to see what stage of development the porcelain flag book made it to by assessment time. It looks quite good from a distance but I'm just not happy with the detail. There are two aspects that need work:
  • the decals: these are quite large as decals go and tricky to apply without air bubbles; having them fill the flags to the edges means any flaws are highly visible. I actually did a second firing of flags to replace the imperfect ones, but the colour was quite different due to variance in the firing schedule. (I had to fire quite fast because time was tight.)

  • the way the pages and the concertina spine join: clay shrinks at various stages during the making process - when it first dries and during each firing. For adjacent pieces to fit "nicely" it's best for them to dry and fire in position. This is common practice with something like a teapot and its lid. Working with flat slabs, I thought I would be able to get away without doing this, but I was wrong! The problem is especially obvious in the view below.

Monday, December 01, 2008

RMIT MFA Graduate Exhibition

For anyone in Melbourne, I'm posting this invite to the MFA Graduate Exhibition. The work of the 33 graduating candidates (including yours truly) will be on show across two gallery spaces. The variety and the standard is impressive, and it just might be you'll see early work by a future "name". In case the detail on the invite comes up a bit small, you can see times and dates here.