Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Bright young things

There's nowhere better to get new ideas and inspirations for all things artistic and creative, than turning to students. I love going to student art shows. And this time of year is the best time to see one. I'm going to recommend two: the Twentyseven exhibition by twenty seven textile artists from RMIT in Melbourne, and the ANU School of Art Graduating Exhibition. Some images from the two exhibitions are above and below. Go! And be inspired.

**Photos in this post are from the ANU School of Art website and the Twentyseven exhibition website**

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Hifi and lofi

What's better? The latest sophisticated technology packaged in a fancy digital SLR, or a $30 plastic medium-format film camera?

Tough choice, I know.

I'm going to go with the $30 camera, even though it came in a cardboard box labelled 'toy camera'. Why? Because old school, lofi film cameras are cool. Film cameras are what digital are based on - the photo proportions, the ISO, the film speed, the white balance... everything is based on what film does. And the 'accidents' created by film - accidental overexposure, yellowing due to age, light leaks, all of these fantastic effects are what is copied now by digital cameras. Your hipstamatic app is just a pale imitation of the beautiful, unique images you can get on a film camera. And the best thing about film? Every shot is unique. You can't recreate it. And if you develop it in a darkroom (I know, I'm getting really old school here), every print you make is a one-off.

Now that's what I call creative.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Last chance to book into December workshop

It's your last chance to book into simoneandginko's upcycled jewelry workshop on 1 December. It will be held at the Artists Shed in Queanbeyan, only 15 minutes from Canberra civic centre and 5 minutes past the airport. 

We'll provide the materials and guidance to help you create beautiful pieces of contemporary jewelry.

Date: Thursday 1 December 2011
Times: 6-9pm 

Location: the Artists Shed, 14 Foster Street Queanbeyan
Cost: $40 (includes all materials)
Bring: jewelry and beads that you would like to up-cycle

If you'd like to enrol in the class, contact us beforehand and bring your course fee to the workshop. See you there!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Washington: museum city (but in a good way)

I'm not usually a museum person. There's the people who poke around museums endlessly on their travels, and there's the ones who soak up the atmosphere outside. I am usually the second kind. I'm not even a national monument person, and I don't get excited about West-Wing style politics. So when it looked like Washington DC would be a stop on my whirlwind tour of the US, mainly due to my return flight to Australia, I wondered exactly what I would do there.

To my unexpected delight, I really loved the museums in Washington. For one, they are amazingly well-funded and well set up. They have fantastic exhibits. And they are free.

The Hirschhorn Museum has a wonderful collection of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The Museum of American Art and Portrait Gallery has a great collection of folk art, and an amazing atrium in the centre of the building where one could (and perhaps did) spend hours just hanging out with a book.

The world-famous Natural History Museum has its mammoth, and stuffed lions and tigers, but also a fantastic exhibition on race - a very topical issue for Americans - that was curated by the American Anthropological Association. The Air and Space Museum has its fair share of planes and other craft suspended from its ceiling.

The American Indian Museum is probably my favourite. It has remarkable exhibits on native American arts and crafts, as well as exhibits exploring native American identity and contemporary culture, plus a great gift shop and a very tasty cafe with all native foods. Yum.

Suffice to say I was a complete convert to museums, at least the ones in Washington. Amazing, inspiring, and a great way to end my stay in the US.