Monday, July 30, 2012

Residency Exhibition

Some shots of the exhibition showcasing the work created by 10 artists during the 44th International Art Symposium/Residency in Győr, Hungary.

Exhibited at the Napoleon House from July 28 - August 30, 2012

My lace and handmade paper pieces, titled "temporary state of being"

I was showcased in a little Baroque room alongside the delicate ink drawings of artist Enzsoly Kinga

Ephemeral wax and paper sculptures of dear friend and fellow artist Laura Jade from Australia.

the end :-)
As usual, more images can be found on my facebook Art Page and flickr account.

I'll post some close-ups of my new ghosts soon. Now I get to prepare for my second solo show opening Friday 10th of August, and then another International Residency the first week of September.

Last Minute

As usual, the artists were still working away right up to the very last minute before the exhibition. Attila was already hanging the show when we were still scribbling/painting/sculpting away, desperate to finish before the opening.

I came down with a fever the very last day, and sat in my little corner - my works half-hung around me, painting my last large piece for the show.

Here is what I was working on - the fever helped.

partially completed... pale and dead looking

and once she was done and hung behind glass.
I guess she's still pale and dead looking, though :-}

Friday, July 27, 2012


Residencies are a great opportunity to try new things and experiment with techniques or materials you might not have access to in your normal studio practice. I’ve been trialing working much larger than is possible on my small studio desk – I’m working on a couple of pieces over 100cm in height.
With my new ghosts, I feel it is important for me to steer my usually meticulously tight style towards a much less tangible, looser handling of paint. Using larger brushes keeps me from being able to get too delicate and detailed. I’m actually finding my mind a little turbulent this week - but my mood has actually benefited me – loose washes of fading colours lift out incomplete faces from the white paper – lingering memories and unsettling spirits.


And as a little peek into my working practice, my friend and fellow artist participating in the residency found my concept sketches pinned to the wall behind me hilarious, so different in style and mood from the final paintings.
Here are my toothy ghosts in the early concept stages.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lonely Ghost

With my current series of “ghost portraits” I feel I am not solely depicting the traditional Western idea of a departed soul, but also the “ghost” of a memory, the “ghost” of a face of someone you have almost forgotten; the misty remnants of your own childhood, perhaps something you have tried to block out. Ghosts can be seen as the restless souls of lingering spirits, but also the haunted parts of our own psyche. Our own fears and inhibitions softly strangling us. 
My recent subject matter has been exploring these ideas, and of depicting these intangible faces more as curious and persistent visitors, rather than a dangerous force wishing us harm. Messengers bearing warnings or advice, trying to communicate voicelessly.

I am quite a rational person, and have never been a believer of ghosts, fairies, monsters, spirits or sci-fi style aliens. However, I did experience my first “paranormal” visit the other night. Sleeping in an old building in adjacent beds with a good friend, I felt the other side of my bed grow noticeably heavy, the weight (of a body) throwing off the balance of the mattress – the unmistakable feeling of someone having soundlessly crawled into bed behind me. I wondered what was wrong with my friend that she had needed to do so, perhaps she’d had a bad dream - and I tried to open my mouth to ask her if she was alright. At this point I realized I couldn’t speak or move. After a second failed attempt to call out to her I fought the temporary paralysis affecting my throat and body and managed to sit up in bed, when I noticed I was alone in my bed, as my friend was still fast asleep across the room in her own bed. I let the darkness of the night freak me out, and I spent the rest of the sleepless night sprawled out across my mattress to make sure there was no available room for a lonely ghost to snuggle up behind me.
The next morning I put the strange experience down to the previous day’s extensive wine-tasting tour, talk of ghosts in the 1000 year old abbey wine cellar where we were, and that ghosts and spirits are often on my mind due to my recent subject matter.

Still, in a strange way I enjoyed the thought of being visited by a lonely ghost, who simply wanted to snuggle up to a warm body in the dead of the night, hungry for human contact. I know the feeling and can empathize.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

44th International Art Residency

For the next two weeks I have been honoured with having been invited back to take part in the Győr International Art residency. This year I am joined by Laura Jade from Sydney to help represent Australia, as well as emerging and established artists from all over Hungary, as well as Slovakia.

At the end of the three weeks we will be exhibiting the work we produce in the Baroque-style Napoleon House (so named because he stayed there for a night after a nearby battle.)

As well as continuing some large scale watercolour Ghosts, I created a small serious of anatomica hearts and insects, inspired by some of the incredible natural history and science museums I have visited here in Europe.

Some snapshots of me working away on a new Ghost for the exhibition.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Art Workshop

 I just took part in a week long art “event” with 4 other young female artists to communally work on a project and exhibition. Billed as a “workshop” to strengthen ties between Hungarian and Australian artists, we received the spacious “Napoleon House” (so named because Napoleon famously stayed there after a famous battle nearby) as our communal studio to spread out and create. We were faced with the challenge of using each others old art and discarded prints to create a new body of work to be exhibited, an interesting concept for many of us that forced us to try new techniques and methods of working.

Zsuzsa Farkas / Kinga Énzsöly / Mónika Viktória Diák / Laura Jade Hindes / Alexandra Georgina Németh

It was wonderful to see the cross-overs between our individual styles. The other Australian artist was a dear friend of mine from back home, so I was particularly thrilled to see Laura Jade again after a year being abroad. Getting to spend our “reunion” creating art was an added bonus.

Photographs of our work to come soon.