Saturday, 15 October 2011

Frustration first thing, then a good day

I cycled to class this morning, Saturday, to get some more printing done on my black  linen using texiflock glue, prior to foiling.  Unfortunately the glue tub only had dried scrapings left.  I peeled all these bits off, and rehydrated them with 3 tablespoons of water, and gave it a good beating.  (My experience of making lumpy roux sauces came in useful here!).  It was still too granular to use, so I decided to leave it overnight and see whether it improved by time to stand.  So I will go into class again tomorrow to see whether it will work - I don't even know if rehydrated glue will work. And both my class and the Surface Design class are using the workshop today, so the rehydrated glue may be used anyway.

So as my plans for a productive day had come to naught, I took myself off for a trip to Perth to the Art Gallery of Western Australia.  I had a wonderful afternoon.  I looked at the Annual Indigenous Exhibition, and the work I liked best was a series of ambiguous dual photographs.  There was a head and shoulders photo of each Australian Prime Minister this century, superimposed over an image of an indigenous Australian, challenging the incomers' assumption of Terra Nullius.  This is where the English set up their own parliamentary system, assuming that because no previous european style government existed, there was no valid system in place, and we could impose our government on the indigenous population.  I'll have to go back to identify the artist - I looked at so much art I can't remember his name, but I want to credit him.

Then I went on to look at the Collection in Focus exhibition - Plates, Blocks and Stones; five centuries of international prints.  Wonderful.  I saw quite a lot of prints by artists who we had covered in my Historical Issues in Art & Design class.  These include Josef Albers, William Blake, Toulouse Lautrec, Albrech Durer, Paul Gaugin, Francisco Goya, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Rembrandt and Renoir.  How good is this!  Additionally there were prints by names that I knew - Muirhead Bone, Georges Braque, Eric Gill, David Hockney, Wassily Kandinsky, Edvard Munch, Paul Nash, Bridget Riley, Egon Schiele, William Scott, and Andy Warhol.

The Art Gallery is an example of Brutalist architecture.  I was not greatly impressed by the exterior, but I think the design is based on hexagons.  The interior was fantastic.  Wonderfully spacious and somehow the hexagon format enhanced the viewing area.  I have no idea how, but it made a really lovely space.  Additionally I noted that the Japanese prints were displayed against a muddy turquoise wall space, and the rest of the prints were on the usual art gallery white wall.  I wonder whether the turquoise was designed to enhance the flat colours in the Japanese prints.  There must be a  reason.

And I treated myself to a box of pastels.  I've been admiring the pomegranate flowers at the flat, and the seed pods are starting to swell, so I want to record all the stages of fruiting.  And they are such lovely colours, they are crying out for pastels.  And I got a 10% student discount, so I felt virtuous buying them as well!

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