Two Pages

Two Pages is inspired by Art Forum’s 500 Words and seeks to bring some reflective element to the artists, exhibitions and works that engage with Jugglers at a number of levels. Submissions are invited from artists and arts writers in particular. Editor: Peter Breen. Previous articles by: Emily Devers, Peter Breen, Jan van Dijk, Sue Beyer, Stephanie Munro, Ashleigh Bunter, Paul Harris, Megan Holloway and others.

If you are interested in work experience writing article about exhibitions, for use in promotional material, website and/or newsletter please send us an email at for more information.

Numinous-i at Jugglers Art Space - Oct 9th to 21st 2015

Article written by Sophie Rose

On entering numinous- i, one is invited into a space of sanctified quietness. A series of large, busy, Primitive-esque paintings by David Howard encircle a suspended black box, containing Darryl Roger’s hologram piece, Sehnsucht; and so, pagan visions surround the tabernacle. A sense of ritual undoubtedly informs both sets of work, yet is manifested quite differently in each. Howard gives a wild, uncontained spilling-forward of figures: as if spirits have seeped from the canvas into the gallery space. The shapes seem to balloon before one’s eyes: the image is full of gaseous intensity. Rogers provides a far more internal experience. One must enter his space; the art becomes a kind of confession-box and, as such, the surrounding area of the gallery begins to concave in on the box. The coupling of these two artists is something like the coming together of the voodoo and the sacramental, to create a meta-spiritualism.

It is from this that we can consider both artists in a dialogue with Magritte’ian surrealism. In both works, one figure slowly morphs into another. In Howard’s paintings this transition is spatial. Thick coils join one shape to the next, springs jump out from the background and various substitutions – a saucer for eyes, a river for a tongue and the face divided like tectonic plates- form conceptual links between shapes. What Howard makes apparent is that the mind does work to see saucers in eyes and connective “coils”, that is associations, between the objects in our world.

Rogers achieves much the same effect in the temporal. His hologram is projected onto a model stage, allowing a pantomime of associations to unfold. Against a backdrop of ocean, a moon superimposed by a sheet of clouds sits. On looking at this collage one cannot help but separate the elements: a moon sits above the sea; a moon lies in the sky with clouds. Each still forms a condensation of associative imagery: a reduction of common memory into a code. And yet nothing stays still. The moon fades into brick, the brick into wild dog. If in automatic drawing the hand is allowed to move freely over the page, then here we have something like automatic theatre: the show moves freely from one concept to another, following the thread of a playful mind.

Through its bold and heavy forms, Howard’s series brings Surrealism back to its Cubist and Primitive roots. The shapes in the work push out from the canvas, tense behind the picture plane, bouncing off its surface. The small sections of titanium white leap out at the viewer, above the collection of deep greens, yellows and red. The images appear to bubble to the surface, pushing against the picture plane. Like water boiling beneath the lid of a saucepan, the tightness of Howard’s painted forms creates a repulsive force against the eye. The paintings provides a retrospective insight into this repulsive nature of surrealism and the surreal nature of the repulsive: often we say of something strange, a dream perhaps, that it cannot be grasped and that it seems to work against one’s memory.

On the other hand, Rogers brings Surrealism forward to what may be considered its natural conclusion: the virtual realm. In digital art, images can be collected, stored and re-arranged with great ease; pictures of different times and places can be brought into the same space with the click of a button. As Rogers explains, many different images stream into his process:
My digital art is approached like a collage. I collect images, video, 3D meshes and other art works that interest me, over a very long period of time. The video imagery in Sehnsucht was collected from disparate times, a holiday in the Whitsundays, a walk on a beach in Tasmania, a chance connection with a 3D modeler in Madrid. (Darryl Rogers, 17 October 2015)
If we consider the various images one sees on a computer screen, associations between them are not necessarily pre-ordained but generated by their collection in the one space. In other words, Rogers’ images are not products of a singular theme but hold a potential to create a number of different ideas, depending on their arrangement. In this way, a “memory” between objects is creative: one does immediately know the connection between the sea and a brick wall but is forced to create one; both can shield objects from view, perhaps.

However, the spiritual is not merely the surreal but also the ritualistic. Here it is worth considering the use of repetition in both artists’ work. In Howard’s paintings, rhythm bounces form one canvas to the next. As a series, one might be tempted to think that Howard’s work is monotonous: that each canvas is very similar to the next. However, what may appear at first to be repetition is, more precisely, insistence. In Gertrude Stein’s famous line “a rose is a rose is a rose”, one does not hear “rose” in monotone but with a varying stress on each repetition. Similarly, each canvas by Howard embodies a different character; has a different stress to it, one could say. Motifs are carried throughout the series, in particular, wires and coils. Yet from painting to painting we see wires thicken, coils accumulate and spirals tighten.

The repetition in Rogers’ work is more dreamlike, as if following a steady mantra. The transitions from one frame to the next are regular and slow. Sehnsucht is a German word that means to long for a home never able to be obtained. It is to feel a kind of dislocated nostalgia: to miss something without knowing precisely what that object of desire is. Watching Rogers’ work for a few minutes entails seeing repetitions of the video. After a while, one cannot remember whether the memory of an image in the hologram originates in real life or from a prior cycle of the tape. The work is not only about a dissociative memory but in fact induces the very feeling of sehnsucht in its rhythm.

The exhibition lives up to the expectation set in its title. Both artists achieve that specific combination of dream and ritual embodied in religious sensation. This is a show that matches its theory with competence and beauty.

Jugglers 19/10/15

The Importance of Drawing and the Marie Ellis Prize

The Marie Ellis Prize is one of the few awards given to professional artists for their works in drawing. It is indeed a rarity in the today’s scene and yet one of the most important initiatives in Australian art.

Why do we need drawing? The immediate answer is that it is fast becoming a lost craft and that it cannot be expunged from society’s skillset, as it were. Yet many skills have been wiped out of practice, with no hint of mourning for the lost arts of butter churning, telegram composing or riverside clothes washing. There is a more profound reason, beyond simple traditionalism, that drawing must be kept alive.

During the late twentieth century there was a radical shift away from representation. Art, seemingly paradoxically, became anti-aesthetic. The painting on the wall became an emblem of an unnecessary critical distance: it could never invade the physical space of the viewer the way an object could. Not only drawing, but the ideology associated with the practice, fell out of fashion.

From the 1970s onwards, art’s new purpose was to perform upon its spectator. It was not enough to represent the surrounding world, as it must now find a place in that tangible and temporal reality. No longer a painting of cubes as in Picasso’s Ma Jolie but a physical cube in the gallery is in Tony Smith’s Die. No longer a painting of a chair, as by Van Gogh, but a chair to sit on, as by Joseph Beuys.

However, it is too easy to associate the non-representational with the direct. Would we see a pond the same way without Monet? Would we see the movement in a ballerina’s tutu without the flickering brushwork of Degas? Would we admire the beautiful woman across the street without the countless muses that fill galleries?

What was overlooked by the post-modernists’ assertion of the “real” is that art has a role in framing that reality from the outset. Put more simply, we cannot read the world around us without the prior knowledge of its representation. Drawing is then not simply a refined skill but a way of mediating, of framing, the world. Representation is not merely imitative of reality but makes up what is real around us.

Many artists in the show claim that, for them, drawing exudes a sense of authenticity. While this is a term held in a web of various meanings, I think drawing captures a particular type of artistic truth. Drawing not only celebrates line but the hand that drew it. The pleasure in the works is ultimately tracing the memory of the pencil, pen or now, computer mouse. In this way, the image cannot be separated from its creator. Drawing is then authentic in the way that installation cannot be. While a physical object may be more spatially and tangibly direct, it is un-composed, it holds little association with the artist. In a drawing, we see not only the object of the work but also the idiosyncrasy of its maker. We see the object processed by the artist: chewed up in the mind and spat out by the pen.

The winner, Jeremy Eden and runner up, William Platz (featured image above), of the Marie Ellis prize are emblematic of the two prominent means by which this authenticity is realised. Platz’s work consists of two panels of life drawing: the first a triptych of a man and the second a triptych of a woman. The nudes themselves are rather ordinary yet his innovation lies in the beautiful line with which he has moulded them. Shapes of the body twirl and coil. Gestural lines ooze from the figures such that the space they occupy becomes part of the flesh. Platz leaves his fingerprints on the canvas, allowing them to build up into an intrusive haze over the figures. The fingerprints act as residues of the artist himself. They remind the viewer of the hands, the fingers, the skin from which the artwork emerged. Platz’s work is raw, personal and leaves us to dwell not so much on the image but the chaos of ink that undoes it.

Eden’s work can be thought of as the inverse to Platz’s. His technique leaves no evidence of the hand. The work is extremely crisp and appears with the reality of a photograph. However, this is not to say that his work can be understood on first sight; in fact, it is the opposite. Interest lies in Eden’s highly ambiguous and uncanny image. The drawing shows Eden with a plastic-wrap around his head, an X of duct tape holding it in place. Unlike Platz’s spacious composition, Eden fills the entirety of the page with this figure. Suffocation then is not only depicted but generated in the image: the figure is trapped both in the plastic and in the paper frame. It is not an image to glance over. The strangeness of Eden’s subject matter dislocates our prior processes of seeing. It takes a few moments to realise the work is in fact a portrait. Slowly and carefully the horror of the image takes its form.

The works in the show vary so much in technique, scale and genre that it is hard to find a constant thread between them. Minimal ink sketches, softly shaded landscapes and even collage feature in the finalists’ exhibition. I believe what connects all these works lies in the nature of drawing itself. Each artist has re-expressed the objective to create something intriguingly subjective. In each drawing exists some fragment of the artist.

- Article & Review by Jugglers Art Space Intern: Sophie Rose

Jugglers 15/10/15

Marie Ellis: Feature Artist Profiles

During the 2015 Marie Ellis Prize for Drawing, Jugglers established a range of small initiatives. One of these, initiated by MEPD co – manager Holly Riding, was the Artist’s Profile segment. This involved selected practicing artists who are passionate about drawing. The intent was to expose artists, collectors and the general public to the ongoing conversation and excitement around drawing in its many phases and applications. These conversations have been included in Two Pages as part of our contribution to a more reflective and educated readership.
-Peter Breen: Jugglers Director

Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing Feature Artist – Nicholas Plowman

Nicholas Plowman, Melbourne
- Drawing, it’s my second language.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work
I have always drawn, ever since I could hold a pencil my Mum says. But it probably wasn’t until I went to TAFE after high school that it occurred to me that I wanted to be an artist, a painter. I then studied at USQ under Charlie Boyle (Painting) and Alan Bruce (Drawing) and things stepped up another notch. However, it was when I returned from Mexico (after visiting Frida Khalo’s studio) that I really chased the autobiographical in my work; this I see now as the first time I actually made “real’ work about my life and my own existence.
Throughout all of this, drawing has always been the base of my practice. I ran life drawing sessions at Jugglers Art Space for six year before moving to Melbourne; here I do life drawing twice a week, it underpins my practice and keeps my eye fit and my hand experimenting.

How would you compare the traditional practice of drawing to the digital approach?
I wouldn’t, I mean by saying that, that I can’t compare them because I have no experience with the digital approach. My only concern would be for losing the ability to understanding the subject by drawing it, studying it, looking at it. Drawing for me is still most important skill to any artist, it seeks answers and attempts to describe. I think most artists are very inquisitive and drawing seems the first logical step to understanding something.

How do you feel the practice of drawing evolved over the past 10 years?
Well, it’s both evolved and devolved. A lot of art schools got rid of drawing for a while, so a lot of graduates were coming out of uni with five or six drawings under their arms; whereas we did life drawing and general drawing twice a week at uni, so that’s four three hour drawing classes every week in second year. The only way to “get good” is to devote time and energy toward it – like anything else in this world. Saying this, I’m all for using technology and exploring digital mark making, but for me there is nothing like walking up close to an image and seeing marks, seeing where the artist’s hand has been. There is nowhere to hide with drawing, it’s all out there for all to see.

*Why are competitions like the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing important within Australian Arts culture? *
Because it promotes, fosters and encourages drawing. With the changing of the Dobell Drawing Prize to invite only, Australia and its artists (and the public) have lost a great prize for many reasons, it still exists but no longer can any artist have a go. I think the public engage with drawings a lot more than other forms of art, because everyone has used a pencil, biro, crayon etc. People can understand the marks, but still be fascinated and invigorated by the outcomes.

Why is the practice of drawing important to you?
It’s my second language. It allows me to investigate and understand the world and my experiences within it, and to inevitably re-describe; and because there is no place to hide, it is at once exposing and exhilarating.

Read more about Nic Plowman at
Read more about the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing here

Jugglers 07/10/15

Marie Ellis Feature Artist - Peter Kozak

Peter Kozak, Brisbane
- Personally I like things that are handmade. I like to see people’s hands in the work.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work
I’m 31-years-old. I originally trained in drawing at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart, but now work mainly in video and installation. My current practice is concerned with representations of trauma and perceptions of the body.

How would you compare the traditional practice of drawing to the digital approach?
I don’t have much experience with digital drawing. I think the results can be quite similar. I have friends who work mostly digitally, when they show me pictures of their work I often have to ask “is this hand drawn or drawn on a computer?” Personally I like things that are handmade. I like to see people’s hands in the work.

How do you feel the practice of drawing evolved over the past 10 years?
I think how an image reproduces digitally has become a bigger concern for artists working in drawing and other traditional mediums over the last 10 years, with the rise of the internet audience. An example of this, I have a friend who started using thicker outlines in his drawings when he realised that they reproduced better digitally, as it’s more likely that people will view his work online than in real life. For myself also, to document my latest series of drawings I decided to have them digitally scanned because the light pencil marks didn’t translate well photographically.

Why are competitions like the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing important within Australian Arts culture?
I think more than anything else prizes like the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing are important for giving artists encouragement to continue with their practice. I got a huge lift from winning the prize in 2012, when at the time I was feeling kind of insecure about my practice.

Why is the practice of drawing important to you?
Even though my practice has evolved more into video work it is still definitely informed by my background in drawing. The first piece of video art that I made, which showed a vapour trail being made and then fading away, is an example of what I would call ‘expanded drawing’ in its use of line, spatiality and temporality.

In what ways did winning the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing affect your drawing practice?
It gave me more confidence in my work and has helped facilitate a closer relationship with Jugglers.

Jugglers 07/10/15

Marie Ellis Feature Artist - Leona Fietz

Leona Fietz, Brisbane
- Drawing allows me to express myself, while exploring and pushing the treatment of letters within the rules of type anatomy.

Where are you based?
Living and drawing in East Brisbane.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work
I’m a designer, illustrator and typographer. I’ve spent the last two years since graduating teaching myself the foundations of typography and experimenting with different treatments and tools through workshops and a lot of reading and practicing. I split my time between personal and professional work, as well as exhibiting in group shows. So, my work ranges from illustrated lettering, experimental typography and digital logotypes.

How would you compare the traditional practice of drawing to the digital approach?
You can digitally mimic hand done effects, a worn texture, splatter drips or a dry brush, but it’s just not the same. I’d rather use the tool in real life, find the right paper texture, and leave room for the unexpected; you can decide to not draw up a baseline, grid or angle guide, or follow them loosely and get a really unique result. For example: I love the way a hand painted sign ages due to its environment! This gives it a story and a history. A vinyl sign would just peel off eventually; where’s the charm in that!

How do you feel the practice of drawing evolved over the past 10 years?
Craftsmanship and creative trades have become more appreciated and valued, and it shows, with more companies desiring a human touch reflected within their brand and/or products, embracing the flaws and imperfection that come with a hand rendered effect. Products like Wacom tablets and Cintiqs have sped up the creative process for illustrators, making their work more commercially viable.

Why are competitions like the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing important within Australian Arts culture?
It encourages artists to strive and work hard towards a deadline and to be seen by a wider audience.

Why is the practice of drawing important to you?
Type based illustration is the crossover between design and art for me. It allows me to express myself, while exploring and pushing the treatment of letters within the rules of type anatomy.


Jugglers 07/10/15

Marie Ellis Feature Artist - Caroline Walls

Caroline Walls, Melbourne
- There has been a real return to and appreciation for craftsmanship – people are looking for a sense of authenticity and traditional, drawing offers that.

Where are you based?
My studio is in Collingwood, Melbourne. I love the area.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work
I am an artist and designer working across a number of mediums such as drawing, oil painting and soft sculpture. The female form is a key area of exploration with sexuality and the fluidity of this being underlying themes of my work. I guess I’m really interested in the construction and complexity of the female identity and the distinction between the private and the public self.
Although I am now based in Melbourne I spent five years living in London and New York so was able to immerse myself in the international art scene. I wasn’t really involved in my own practice apart from sketching every now and then but since returning to Australia I have enjoyed picking up the tools and creating a larger body of work.

How would you compare the traditional practice of drawing to the digital approach?
I work in graphic design so I employ both approaches on a regular basis – I think that they can happily coexist given they play such different roles, especially in the commercial sphere. I have just recently done a series of hand-pulled screen prints of figurative forms that I used the computer to build for instance, so I think each have their good qualities. Personally though, stepping away from the computer and working on something by hand is so much richer and rewarding, where as there is a certain aspect of disposability to digital. I love that traditional hand drawing is so pure – take a pencil and a piece of paper and you are off.

How do you feel the practice of drawing evolved over the past 10 years?
I think 10-15 years ago there was still a buzz around digital technology and the internet, so many people jumped on that because it was a fairly new way to create, but today there has been a real return to and appreciation for craftsmanship. People are looking for a sense of authenticity and traditional drawing offers that.

Why are competitions like the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing important within Australian Arts culture?
Competitions like this are important to continue a dialogue around traditional artistry – drawing has expressive and educational value and these competitions encourage and engage with this.

Why is the practice of drawing important to you?
Drawing has a meditative effect on me – whether it is one of my quick sketches or a larger, detailed piece they both offer me a moment of quiet that I don’t find from anything else.


Jugglers 07/10/15

Marie Ellis Feature Artist - Carolyn McKenzie-Craig

Carolyn McKenzie-Craig, Brisbane
- I draw every day and its physical potentials to engage with my subjective being keep my practice alive.

Where are you based?
I am based in Brisbane and Sydney. I work at the National Art School in Sydney and am a PHD candidate at the Queensland College of Art, where I have my studio.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work
My current practice investigates how power is socially inscribed upon the body, focusing on how gestural and linguistic regimes may reproduce systems of power and shape subjective presence. Material investigations commence with the primacy of drawing and extend to engage with Printmedia, photography and digital arenas. I am particular interested in the historical nature of the photo archive in constructing truth and social hierarchies and how this may be both articulated and subverted with graphic potentials (both drawn and reprographic trace).

How would you compare the traditional practice of drawing to the digital approach?
Both traditional and digital drawing offer the artist rich tools for investigating the graphic arena. Some ideas are best realized within a digital form and some ideas require the haptic and kinesthetic engagement that traditional drawing materials offer. The convergence of both approaches can lead to exciting new developments with contemporary graphic practice, and activate “traditional” materiality by bringing them into new perspectives and outcomes. In considering the term digital I am referring to all the digital tools available such as scanning, photocopying as a drawing tool, illustrator and other direct drawing interfaces, film and video, digital still cameras which may draw with light or movement, 3D scanners and printers, data modeling, and architectural design elements.

How do you feel the practice of drawing evolved over the past 10 years?
The visible presence of drawing within high profile curated shows ( unfortunately mostly overseas) and drawing centres such as The Drawing Center ( New York ) and the Drawing Room ( UK) has given impetus to the practice of drawing based artists and increased the commodity value of such practices within the art market. This has translated into a renewed interest in the practice of the graphic mediums and expanded and traditional drawing.

Why are competitions like the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing important within Australian Arts culture?
The Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing provides a review of current drawing practice and a tangible support for artist’s who work within the graphic mediums. The prize makes drawing visible, validates it as a medium of importance and importantly financially invests in artists through the generous provision of prize money.

Why is the practice of drawing important to you?
Drawing is the primary investigative tool within my practice. The kinesthetic action of graphic mediums activates process driven thought and experimentation that I can only articulate through the medium of drawing. The final outcome may not always be directly drawn but the initial phases of all experimentation is drawing. I draw every day and its physical potentials to engage with my subjective being keep my practice alive.

Jugglers 07/10/15

Marie Ellis Feature Artist - Sam Eyles

Sam Eyles, Brisbane
- Drawing is the story I write to converse with myself.

How would you compare the traditional practice of drawing to the digital approach?
For me there is no comparison. The way I treat “traditional drawing” processes; pencil to paper, requires honesty and confidence whilst also being open to flaws and inconsistencies in materials and methods, open to working with the uncontrolled or unforeseen to occur.

The personal hand written, mark making, pressure and variation, the exploration of new materials, the rawness, the immediacy, the time, the lack of time, the control, the lack of control, a touch that I don’t believe can be captured in a digital process. There is something special about drawing, the physical action of applying a medium to a surface, the touch that is required to make those materials come together, to communicate your thoughts, your ideas and tell your story. Only through the physical practice of drawing can these raw and honest notions be expressed.

There is nowhere to hide in drawing. I have to make those marks work.

How do you feel the practice of drawing evolved over the past 10 years?
There seemed to be a move away from traditional drawing practices in institutions in favour of “conceptual” practices where drawing was not expected to underpin the work. Leading, I believe, to some bodies of work with less substance. More recently I have seen a move back to artists exploring drawing and using the medium to inform their practice. People want to see the artist’s hand at work. Creative consumers want to see the artist’s hand in what they are consuming. To humanise is to create true connection. To mechanise is to disconnect.

Why are competitions like the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing important within Australian Arts culture?
Drawing is the fundamental practice to any successful visually creative outcome. To support this technique (through drawing exhibits) is to test artists, expanding ideas of what is and isn’t drawing through public engagement. I believe this will only strengthen all art practices, be it sculpture, video art, painting or drawing.

Why is the practice of drawing important to you?
Drawing is the story I write to converse with myself. It allows me to explore topics in existential ways whilst trying to discover the meaning to these truths I aim to uncover. It is a story I share with others on topics I struggle to express and understand.

Drawing is a technique that is so simple but can explore such complex themes. It is a challenge and difficult pleasure. Like a word becomes a sentence, becomes a story; a drawing is a mark that becomes a line, becomes a picture and pictures tell a thousand stories.


Jugglers 07/10/15

“In Depth” Review by Sophie Rose on Joanna Bone and Aaron Micallef at Jugglers Art Space, Friday 12th June to Wednesday 17th June 2015

With art today becoming a highly tactile, visceral and immersive experience, the medium of glass takes on a significance that it may have never had before. Joanna Bone’s works call to be touched. There is something beyond the composition of forms and even beyond the many colours of the works that attracts us. Looking at the sculptures, one wants to delve into the layers of glass: to thread your hand through the ribbons of its substance. The tension between what we know to be a solid object and the molten, taffy-like quality those objects exude cannot be overcome and constantly draws us back for just one more look. If we can judge art by its hold of the eye, then Bone’s project undoubtedly succeeds.

The collection takes its inspiration from the life forms of the deep sea. This is not through any explicit citation but in a kind of collage of shapes and surfaces found on the ocean floor. The works have the veneer of mysticism we often associate with those creatures that lie out of sight, below the land and below our general consciousness.
Again, I find the medium to draw out the subject matter in a way painting, photography or clay could not. Creatures of the deep sea are boneless, transparent and when photographed reflect a multitude of colours. What better material then than one that appears structure-less and organic and one that is ultimately not about outside surface but the strata beneath it?

Bone’s process is not of sculpting but of layering. Using cane to colour her glass, she works by creating a series of thin, pencil like rods each woven with a coloured pattern, much like rock candy before it is cut. These can then be wrapped around a hot bulb of glass, creating an egg like shape, and then stretched again to create a new, more intricate set of cane rods. The process can be repeated indefinitely; completed when Bone feels she has reached the complexity she requires.

The final works are a residue of Bone’s practice. We can read into the layers and see where colours have been combined, stretched and stretched again.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is an installation of tall, seaweed like structures. A series of green poles rise out of the plinth and curve like seaweed floating in the sea. This is the work that holds most evidence of the artist’s fact. The seaweed appears to be heaved up, strung out by Bone herself. We can trace the artist’s hand through the curving of its forms. Seaweed has the most direct effect on the viewer: not purely through a removed, aesthetic appreciation but through a more tangible connection to the action of its creation.

I feel, however, the show would be lacking without the accompanying photography of Aaron Micallef. Micallef does not simply document Bone’s work but takes it as a springboard for his own art. Most of his images are digitally manipulated: a result of clear glass being too reflective and frosted glass appearing already to be out of focus. Those images that most alter Bone’s glass are by far the most interesting.

In his Clypeasteroidia collection, Micallef photographs the frosted glass and then sharpens the contrast of the image. The milky, clouded surface of the original sculpture takes on a bright and luminous quality. The sculpture and the photograph of it become quite different objects. Yet in this lies the true appeal of the show. Micallef brings out what we may at first have missed in Bone’s sculpture. We are able to see the original through its copy and, as such, see it more clearly. What looks like a cross stitch in the glass reappears as scales in the photo. The copy returns the original to its own inspiration.

Throughout the show there is a lovely doubling of spectatorship. Bone watches the sea and Micallef watches Bone. While both artists create good works in their own right, it is the coming together of the two that gives value to the exhibition. It is perhaps ultimately a show about watching. We are invited to look deeply into the levels of Bone’s work and deeper yet through Micallef’s transformation of them. It is an exhibition about both how closely we can see and how, through the selections of seeing, we create our own art.

_Written by Sophie Rose
Current Art History Student at University of Queensland_

Jugglers 24/06/15

Art Is Essential: A Reflection by Jugglers Director Peter Breen

What is it about artists?

What is it about art?

There are times every week when I wonder what I do in the scheme of things and wonder about the “grand scheme” and if there is one, where does this aspiration to be an artist and running an art space – Jugglers Art Space – fit.

Passion for art comes from doing art over and over and over and then doing it some more. The waiting for inspiration probably means someone else will do their art on my coffin.

At a recent South Bank [Brisbane] TAFE Dip of Fine Art Graduating Class Exhibition I gave a short speech on art as essential. As someone has said: “When we dilute or delete arts programs, we unravel the infrastructure that assures the cultural future of the nation.” A boring deductive speech does nothing to help the intent “stick in the throat” so I dressed and redressed with due decorum to deliver at least a memorable beginning in the guise of the Juggler. And life for an artist is a juggling dance, a twisting pirouette in a fog with no-one watching!

“Graduates – whether you sneak out onto the world’s stage or rush out flamboyantly you are artists and you are essential. You are not doctors, accountants, lawyers, project managers or engineers but artists and as artists you are essential. Essential for the growth and depth of our society in this and every era.

Artists are cool, weird, poor, fun, eccentric, introverted, extroverted, innovative, rich, depressed, happy and ESSENTIAL and to be essential we can only be convincing if we are passionate. Passion is everything!

Passion is deep, felt and experienced in all kinds of ways by all kind of temperaments.

You know you’ve got passion when you have this sense of being carried.

You know others have passion when they seem carried.

Doing art constantly is the path to passion and change.

There is a young artist who graduated from this institution [TAFE] who is passionate and is followed by thousands around the world, a friend and supporter of Jugglers and an artist who “does art”. Sofles [Russell Fenn] is a graffiti artist of exceptional natural skill and a passionate art practitioner whose work is a conduit for renewal in this contemporary art form, this frontier of new art in the 21st century.

The challenges with passion and doing art are the extraneous diversions: Expenses, income, sales, studio space, exhibitions, relationships, representation, moods, ideas. How we manage those accoutrements will be yours to manage but manage them you must at great cost sometimes.

The last is this: If you are going to be passionate practising artists essential for the growth and depth of our society – no pressure!! – then you will need one thing: You will need to determine to make the search for beauty a commitment until the end of days. Not glamour and superficiality and productivity but beauty. Set you heart and mind to search for, find, experience and represent beauty. If this is your core focus and intent then passionate art and art in passion and passion following art will carry you, carry us. We will always need skill refinement and refine our practice to find our own modalities but pursuing beauty in all its illusive,silent, loud, monochrome and colour filled expressions is the mysterious spiritual formational framework for a satisfying life as an artist and as an influencer on the deepening of a more reflective society.”

Peter Breen: Director – Jugglers Art Space Inc.

Jugglers 17/06/15