Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Textiles and other fragile species"...

A great start to the new year for me with an article and photo in The Age newspaper today.  Its not online as I write, so only have this photo from my phone to share with you at the moment. I hope to have a pdf up on my new website soon. Article is by Louise Bellamy and photo by Michael Clayton-Jones. Louise first saw my work at Heide MoMA in 2012 and has wanted to do an article since then, so thanks to Louise for her continued interest in my work and thanks to Michael for a terrific photo.

Please also see the post on my website - http://www.louisesaxton.com/journal/

Happy New Year and best wishes for the year ahead!

Friday, December 27, 2013

launch of louisesaxton.com

Dear followers

I'm very excited to announce that my new website is officially launched - you can find more about my art practice at louisesaxton.com

On the website is a page called "journal" which will replace this blog in respect to my art practice

There is also a link to me on Facebook - Louise Saxton Artist

thank you all so much for following this blog and I do hope you will follow me there as you have done here….

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New website coming soon!

Dear blog friends,
In the new year of 2014 I will be launching a new website - louisesaxton.com - and am feeling quite excited.  This blog will appear on the website as a page called "journal" and while it will have a different layout, I do hope you will continue to browse every now and then to see what I've been up to. I will keep this Lou Saxton Artspace blog for more personal projects - such as the one I'm posting below of my current holiday by the beach.  I'm enjoying a few glorious, lazy days away from Melbourne, before the Christmas mayhem hits.  

Thank you so much for following my posts throughout 2013 and I wish you a wonderful holiday season - peaceful, restful and filled with happiness.

full moon rising behind Anderson's Inlet

Magnolia grandiflora

Grevillea speciosa - very Christmassy!

 a very special moment when this enormous Echidna 
wandered past on our first afternoon here!

paper cutting for my next art work

and last but not least, holiday inspiration
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cultivating a 'Heart Garden' for St Vincent's Hospital

As some of my readers will know I have been 'in residence' at Caritas Christi since May. This is the Palliative Care arm of St Vincent's Hospital and the quid-pro-quo of having the studio there is that we donate a work to the Hospital's art collection.  The various art programs and the art collection are part of what is known as the "Mission of St Vincent" - also referred to as the "Mission to the Heart".  In response to this idea I wanted to create a 'Heart Garden' as my donated art work and began work a few months ago.  When I shared this idea with the St Vincent's Hospital art curator, Monique Silk, she suggested it might be appropriate for the work to be installed in the soon to be opened St Vincent's Cardiac Centre - also known as the Heart Centre, which is housed in one of the fully restored Art Deco buildings on Victoria Parade in Fitzroy.  You can imagine my excitement.  

The art deco staircase and windows leading to the Heart Centre

 Fabulous lead-light doorways - with workmen still in situ
and below, wonderful tiling in the ground floor foyer

The first point of inspiration for making the Heart Garden comes from 2012 when I had the privilege of exhibiting in the project gallery at Heide Museum of Modern Art.  Heide has a famous 'Heart Garden' which Sunday Reed designed in the shape of a 'love heart' and planted in the garden at Heide I. 

 Sundays Heart Garden at Heide I and below 
Sunday in her rose garden 
(photos taken from Heide MoMA image search)

I envisaged my 'Heart Garden' to be in the shape of a human heart and so it is with absolute delight that something I dreamt of making over a year ago has not only come to fruition, but will find a permanent home in an important and beautiful medical centre. 


My 'Heart Garden' is almost finished and so I want to share with you some of the steps along the way, including the fabulous St Vincent's Heart Centre building.

day 1 - pinning the outline
day 2 - the veins go on

 There are some special pieces in the Heart Garden which have been donated by friends or acquaintances from their own family collections - made by mothers, grand-mothers and aunties - including the beautiful tiger lilies which you can see in the aorta and other areas of the heart. I've chosen mostly vintage hand made needlework, from the 20's and 30's to give the heart a sense of time past.  There are exquisite fragments of embroidery and lace from Japan, China, Poland, Vietnam, Hungary and Australia.

the hand of the new maker working with the hand 
of the anonymous and departed makers

the work tables below - you can see how exquisite 
these vanishing materials are

the photo above gives a sense of scale
of my 'throbbing' Heart Garden - almost complete.

 (In 2007, the same year I began working solely with reclaimed needlework, 
my father died of heart failure - this work is also made in memory of him).

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Bird in Hand

A few months ago a lovely journalist, Tess Curran and an equally lovely photographer, Alarna Zinn from Peppermint Magazine came to visit me in my studio.  The gorgeous 5 page article is now published in their latest issue #20.  I'm absolutely thrilled to be included in this terrific magazine and to be given such a generous spread with such a thoughtfully written article which covers all the main ideas I wanted to get across.  
There are lots of other great articles in the issue as well, with a focus on music - great summer holiday reading. 


the gorgeous cover

so lucky to be given full page images of my birds;
Ellis' Paradise, 2011 - after Ellis Rowan, 1917

and Madeira's Lyre, 2010 - after John William Lewin, c.1815

and a small photo of Last Gasp, 2013 - after Maria Sybilla Merian, 1670
and a sneek-peek at Let the Jungle In, 2013 my reclaimed 
bamboo birdcage sculpture at Yering Station 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

the 'jungle' turns...

Sorry to keep blowing the trumpet, but for those who've only seen the still images of my Yering sculpture 'Let the Jungle In', here is a short video my son took of the work turning, as it's meant to do, in my studio (it's not quite finished - not as many tendrilly bits and not as beautifully high as at Yering) but the close up shots are quite wonderful I think. I'm sorry the resolution is not very good - YouTube seems to compress things very badly!!
If you would like me to email you the video directly let please feel free to contact me on lmsaxton@aapt.net.au

Let the jungle in, 2013
This work takes its title from Rudyard Kipling’s tale of the jungle’s revenge on civilization. Domestic needlework which is disappearing, along with many plants and animals that inspired it, becomes a jungle. A human heart motif, extracted and freed from the bamboo birdcage, creates a cavity through which we can imagine “letting in the jungle”.

Louise Saxton is represented by Gould Galleries, Melbourne 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

2013 Yering Station Sculpture Award - winner!

For those who don't already know (thanks to my Facebook
self promotion) I am incredibly fortunate to have been
awarded the 2013 Yering Station Sculpture Award,
for my first large sculptural work 'Let the Jungle In'

An emotional moment - receiving the Yering Station
Sculpture Award from Kelly Gelatly and Jason Smith

With my boys - Colin & Rory - I could not
have got this far in my career without their support

Before the awards
were announced

Joan contemplating
the 'jungle' or perhaps the 
price tag on the floor label?

'The Heart' 

'Nest' and 'Heart' of the Jungle

me and my jungle on instal day

I like this angled shot

and the beautiful reflective pool looking
across to the historic barn where the
Awards were announced!

Friday, October 25, 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN and Year 12 Dress Up Day - Jack Skellington costume (with apologies to Tim Burton)

I've decided to post a personal creative project for a change.  From the time my son was 3 years old he was intrigued by all things spooky and we embarked on our first papier mache project together, creating a big black spider pinyata for his birthday.  This collaborative tradition continued until he was 8 or 9.  He is now 18 years old and about to embark on his final year exams.  We have collaborated again on his Year 12 Dress Up Day costume, based on the wonderful character of Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's "A Nightmare Before Christmas" (which we watched together many times, from when he was only four).  I've documented the project which might be inspiring to some other parents ...

flour and water make the glue and shiny newspaper strips build the form
Rory drew Jack's face on the balloon and we built the 
papier mache around the eyes mouth and nose
first layer of paper and glue
2nd layer of paper and glue - we did 3 newspaper layers
and then one layer of tissue later
Drawing on the pin-stripes (we bought a pin-striped suit from the 
opportunity shop and he added to the existing stripes with a 
white fabric pen, to give it a sense of the original cartoon character)
Rory drew the bat bow-tie onto stiff cardboard and I
glued black fabric to it (using spray adhesive on both
sides) and then stitched the edges on the sewing machine
the wings and the face were attached/sewn to a dress-up bow tie 
after the newspaper layers were dry we added 'Das'
(commercial papier mache which looks like clay and
drys in the air), to build the 3d form of eyebrows,
nose and teeth - giving expression to the character of Jack
once the Das was dry we put a layer of white tissue paper
over the whole form (to help hold the Das in place)
and then painted it white with acrylic paint
Rory then busted the balloon, drew the black lines on the mouth 
and I added black stocking fabric to the eyes and nose -
I cut the shapes and then used pva glue around the edges
of the fabric and glued them to the inside of the mask
we bought white cotton cleaning gloves from the
supermarket and Rory used black texta to create
the bones of the hands and wrists - looking pretty 
scarey now!!
and here is the finished artwork - happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yering Station 2013 Sculpture Exhibition & Awards - opening Sunday 27th October from 2pm

I'm so happy to share with my blogosphere friends that my work 'Let the Jungle In' 2013 is now safely installed at Yering Station - a beautiful winery in the Yarra Valley, just 45 minutes out of Melbourne.
A beautiful historic farm which is now a popular winery and a major sponsor of Heide MoMA events.

 unveiling the 'nest'

 checking the floor

the very brave and chilled out installation
assistant Dean, 5 metres up the ladder
without a care in the world.

 Could not have done it without him!

 'Nest' and 'Heart' of the Jungle installed

 hopefully there will be some air
circulation, as the work is kinetic and
much more interesting when turning

 the room at the opposite end of the
winery restaurant looks into the area where
the huge wine 'kegs' are kept.  It also houses
Yering's array of trophies and the administration offices.

thank you for taking the time to read my
blog and I would love to see you there on
Sunday 27th if you can make it - all welcome
and a beautiful spot for a picnic!