Thursday, 29 June 2017



Flight Cloak, (2017)

Flight Cloak (2017)

If you have ever lain down in the grass and gazed up at meandering clouds you will have a fair idea of the mesmerizing beauty of Jane Bear’s textiles. Somehow, from lumpy clods of wool and silk, Jane beats out yards of fabric that peak and hollow, billow and waft like clouds on mountains on clouds. Chimeric, delicate – there’s an inclination to wish for the Inuit lexicon of white.

Akin to paper-making – the transformation from one fibrous texture-material to another is this artist’s metier. An alchemy. The visual ‘magic’ Jane Bear creates mirrors her life’s transitions – her first calling was as a mid-wife; following a car accident she studied farm management at Glenormiston Agricultural College and there picked up a ‘side-course’ on nuno felting. In the twenty years since then she’s been exploring her fascination with ‘structural textiles’.

Jane gives me a physical prĂ©cis of how it’s done: strands of fibres are laid this way and that, atop a matting material (could be carpet underlay); these mesh in a soapy wash in which they are rolled back and forth; a firm material evolves and is teased into the desired form. In a pot on the stove Jane has some yarn bubbling away. ‘Look at this – apple leaves!’ One pale yarn has an evanescent pinkish hue – rose petals? another a faint sunset glow – apricot? Each bubbles in the same pot, the different fibre lending its own character to the staining leaves, chemically ‘held’ by the mordant, in this case the copper pipe on which the fibres are wrapped. Magic indeed.

Art is rarely so close to the ‘land’ – or sky – there is a knitting with the cosmos in all this, that feels a privilege to be near.

Judit Pocs 'felt hats'

Bear refers to Anita Larkin and Judit Pocs as inspiration, the former Australian, the latter Hungarian, each highly experimental. Larkin incorporates all manner of found objects in her weave and these initiate amazing structures, 'improbables'.
Pocs too creates extraordinary structures – hats that curl and wrap with stunning come-hither.

Bear’s work in WINDOWSPACE responds to ‘flight’ with fantastical cloak-like wings.  Her installation is current through July. Read more about Jane Bear’s work at


Jane Bear with 'felt containers', 2017

Monday, 19 June 2017

DAVID MUTCH @ Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

Technician’s Choice

Technician’s Choice honours the important yet often overlooked role of the technician in exhibition-making. It interrogates the role of the curator and notions of authorship within the development of exhibitions and presentation of artists’ works. It also calls into question the nature of authority within the gallery system.
Victoria, Australia
Technician’s Choice image

Thursday, 8 June 2017



‘The Brolga is a large grey crane, with a featherless red head and grey crown’ according to one source – not exactly a promising vision, so where does the Brolga’s magic lie? With the dance? With the female-led trumpeting song? With aboriginal story? What is indisputable is the fact that there are a number of brogla ‘homelands’ around Beeac.

The Brolga, which mates for life and shares the care of young between mother and father, likes a wetland to build its nest of twigs and raise its one or two young. The volcanic plains of Kanawinka have an abundance of salty lakes and associated wetlands.

During Term 2, sculptor Peter Day, artist-in-residence at Beeac Primary School and the PS students are focused on the big grey bird that dances. They have requested local postie Dave collect news of sightings on his rounds. Elderly citizens are sharing their tales, the children are listening and putting together a map of brolga activities in the area, spreading awareness of the bird’s presence far and wide. This gathering of resources, information and images will culminate on 21 June when the project meets the public with an extensive display in the hall, engaging local brolga dancer Jamie Marloo Thomas, research experts and others.

The focus of the students’ project with Day is to create artworks with a brolga theme that can be displayed around the town and raise awareness of the bird’s local presence. It’s all hands on toward this goal: feeling the dimensions of the bird, tracing its shadow, examining its outline, form and space, the weight of the body, the thrust of legs and neck, how the bird moves, how it stands and twists.
Day is encouraging students to investigate a variety of materials in the creation of their brolgas – two dimensional and three.

Teacher, Karen Cherry, who prepared the funding application to engage Day, speaks of the excitement the project is generating as the students work beside a practicing artist on work designed for public display.

Chimeric, like the bird, BPS students' brolga on the PO wall