Rebecca Baumann

I’m a big fan of Rebecca Baumann’s work. Last year I loved her Automated Colour Field at ACCA, an installation of 100 flip clocks with pages of coloured paper. This was a beautiful contemplative artwork, constantly changing as the coloured pages randomly flipped over. In November last year I saw her golden curtain of tinsel, Untitled Cascade, animated by a small domestic fan, at West Space. It reminded me of a theatrical curtain or a backdrop from a cheesy TV game show. She’s also created a confetti machine and used exploding balloons filled with confetti and coloured smoke bombs in her installations. Her work is really fun and beautiful and she’s interested in the relationship between colour and emotion.

More of Rebecca’s work here.

Pat Brassington at ACCA

Last week our class visited a survey exhibition of photographic artist Pat Brassington at ACCA. Brassington uses photographs and photo collage to produce her images. Her work is influenced by surrealism, Freud and the language of dreams.

Recurring motifs in her work include interior and domestic spaces; carpets and wallpapers, furniture and curtains, figures with obscured faces (by masks or coverings), bodies (often cropped) and legs and feet. Themes are sexuality, domesticity, repression, for example images of taped and fabric-filled mouths, and deformity. Untitled VI, 2002, inkjet print, shows a young boy standing against a wall, his mouth taped up, and lines of tape crossing his body, restraining him. In my mother’s house, 1994, is a grainy photo of a young boy with his head tilted back to display two large goiterous lumps in his throat.

By the Way, 2010, pigment print, shows a woman walking away from the viewer, her head covered by a tall hat-like piece of pink fabric. The figure is very large and is walking along a path or road. Her clothing, a long skirt, jumper and sensible shoes, suggests a disapproving mother. The Secret, 2010, pigment print, is a black and white close up of a young girl’s face, her right eye crossed, and her mouth covered what looks like a piece of blue tape. A strand of hair like a rope hangs around her neck. It’s implied that her ‘secret’ has been censored.

I liked Untitled, 1989, a large triptych of black and white silver gelatin photographs, one showing a pre-Raphaelite looking woman with long tangled hair blowing in the wind, and a draped dress, the second palm trees on a beach bending in a gale next to a wild ocean, and the third a nude woman covering her face with her arms. There is a sense of drama of mystery about this and the feeling of some obscure narrative.

Brassington’s work is both disturbing and sinister, with its grotesque nudity, vulva-like wounds, and stretched tights. Her photographs blur the boundaries of the real and imagined, and have the strange logic of dream or fantasy.

Kusama at Louis Vuitton


Yayoi Kusama has designed Louis Vuitton’s new window displays! Thanks to my painting teacher Marina for tipping me off. I’d actually seen a photo of LV Kusama windows in Bangkok, but didn’t realise they were also in Collins Street, Melbourne.

Gemma Smith

Gemma Smith is one of my favourite artists. Her paintings are made up of geometric colourful ‘shards’, giving a sense of perspective and depth. She also makes multi-sided perspex sculptures she calls ‘boulders’. Her new works (Tangle paintings) are much more painterly and use organic shapes. I love her use of colour and the way she uses both geometric and organic shapes.

Work from 2011 here.

Yayoi Kusama exhibition

Flowers that bloom at midnight

In March I went to Brisbane Gallery Of Modern Art to see Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition, Look now, see forever.

In the show were large acrylic sculptures, installation rooms with inflatables, sculptures and mirrors, and large paintings, including an ‘Infinity Net’ series which inspired my Psychedelic Pink Coral painting. The Obliteration Room, an interactive work — a white room containing white furniture — was gradually covered with round colourful stickers by the audience. I love Yayoi Kusama’s work, it is so vibrant, quirky and colourful, and her installations are amazing. I first saw her work a few years back, her infinity room Soul under the moon, which is also at Brisbane GOMA. It’s incredible. You enter a small dark room and feel like you’re in a galaxy stretching to infinity. I’m so pleased I was able to see more of her work this year.

New work in progress

My latest painting uses geometric shapes again. I based the composition on a random arrangement of cut-out shapes then added new layers with transparent paint. Next I think I’ll add some drippy sections as a contrast.

Welcome, Bruce

Melbourne has lots of ARIs (Artist Run Initiatives) which usually show different and more unusual work than commercial galleries, and a new one has popped up locally in Footscray. My artist friend Michelle and I went to the Bruce opening night last night.

We saw some interesting installations using lights, cane, a birdcage, timber and paper ‘fungus’ by Leon van de Graaf.

Welcome to the neighbourhood, Bruce! More places to show art can only be a good thing…