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TRANSITIONS @CRAFT ACT until May 5th 2018

Helen Bodycomb  | Pamela Irving  |  Rachel Bremner  |  Caitlin Hughes  |  Kate Butler

Featuring work by five leading mosaic artists, Transitions will explore the mosaic as a vehicle for complex artistic expression and conceptual investigation using traditional methods and experimental techniques.

In the last two decades there has been a resurgence of the ancient craft of mosaics both internationally and in Australia, with numerous Australian practitioners gaining international recognition. Despite the current surge in contemporary mosaics in Australia it is a little known phenomena. The exhibition seeks to address this imbalance.

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ESSAY FOR TRANSITIONS, CRAFT ACT 22 MARCH – 5 MAY 2018

The Sum of Parts, by Kate Nixon

The winter of 2013 was when it happened to me. Like any good romance, there was conflict, resistance and tension. But my fate was sealed and by the end of a week with the American experimental glass duo of John Drury and Robbie Miller, I was in love with mosaic.

Such is the seductive quality of mosaic that has captured the imaginations of patrons and artists for centuries. Mosaics have a long history, stretching back to the 3rd millennium BC. Admired by the ancient Greeks and the Romans after them, the appeal of mosaic has transcended religions, adorning synagogues, mosques and cathedrals throughout history and across continents.

Once a sign of power and wealth, mosaics fell out of favour during the renaissance. With the division between fine art and craft firmly established, mosaic found itself on the wrong side of the divide, relegated to the unfortunate status of ‘women’s handicraft’ or ‘outsider art’. Sentimental and decorative, mosaic wasn’t the stuff of serious artists.

Like many traditional crafts, the 21st century has seen a global resurgence in the popularity and recognition of mosaic art, as artists challenge traditional hierarchies and digital communities democratise the cultural landscape. With the highly publicised completion of New York’s Second Avenue Subway featuring mosaic work by artists including Chuck Close and Vik Muniz, mosaic is not unfamiliar to the establishment. Mosaic processes have also been embraced by street artists such as Invader’s video-game inspired mosaic graffiti and Jim Bachor’s pothole mosaics. Simultaneously, the hobbyist community has exploded with online forums, Facebook groups and YouTube channels sharing how-to mosaic projects for enthusiastic suburbanites.

This tensions between high and low, art and craft are nothing new, but it seems mosaic has been particularly dogged by these labels. TRANSITIONS, turns these assumptions on their head; a very exciting prospect in the contemporary resurgence of this art form.

Like all crafts, there is a history and technical language embedded in their construction. All five artists have been trained in traditional mosaic techniques and this strong craftsmanship and the enjoyment of the physical process of mosaic is evident in the work. However, each of the artists also challenges what we think of traditional mosaic from subject matter to material.

The most striking example of this is Helen Bodycomb’s The Material and the Immaterial. This ‘deconstructed’ mosaic challenges preconceptions about what constitutes a mosaic. Combining a range of conventional and unconventional materials from marble tesserae and slate, to fun fur, cardboard and plastic, Bodycomb plays on notions of permanence and impermanence, boundaries and value. 

There is a certain musicality evident in many of the works, from the ascending and descending tones of Bodycomb’s piece to the curious dancing character of Pamela Irving’s Mr Hanky Panky. The work that is the most strongly informed by music is Rachael Bremner’s. A professional violinist in a previous life, Bremner explores transitions between harmonic and inharmonic states. Playing with the boundaries between the visual and the musical, Bremner’s work shares similarities with musical improvisations, expressing both a joy and experimentation in the process, as well as a discipline in the practice and execution.

Similarly, the dramatic work of Caitlin Hughes references a more symbolic realm or inner dialogue. Her Weapons of the Mindseries, rendered in glossy black smalti, evoke ceremonial objects, hieroglyphs or symbolic codes. There is a cathartic quality to the objects, released through their creation, giving form to the invisible.

One of the inherent qualities of mosaic is its unique dimensionality. Most mosaics are neither 2d or 3d, they exist in their own state of transition where they are both surface and form. Kate Butler’s On (the) Edge series deftly exploits this quality. From a distance the forms appear soft, like velvet or felt, but closer inspection reveals aggressive surfaces with sharp shards of slate and smalti. A play on words, Butler’s On (the) Edge series speaks of the sharp textural use of the tesserae, while alluding to the political uncertainty and social inequality that seems to be propelling us towards some unknown precipice.

The final body of work in TRANSITIONS belongs to Pamela Irving. Irving’s wickedly funny Mr Hanky Panky & His Seven Deadly Sins series cleverly utilises humour as an entry point into a pertinent political work. In an era of Weinsteins and Trumps, Irving’s loveable larrikin, Mr Hanky Panky, takes on a more ominous tone. Irving’s delightfully subversive play with materials, stereotypes and traditions delivers a resonant commentary on contemporary life, in a world facing significant change.

Transitions are not always easy. This exhibition of contemporary Australian mosaic presents an exciting glimpse of a dynamic craft that is in the process of challenging conventions and reinventing itself. I am excited by the prospect of disrupting traditional attitudes to mosaic and bringing this nuanced art form to new audiences. And who knows, we may even witness the beginning of some new love affairs.

Glossary

Smalti: coloured glass used in mosaic (the plural of smalto)

Tesserae: a small block of stone, tile, glass, or other material used in the construction of a mosaic.

Kate Nixon is the President AUSglass and a mosaic enthusiast

Without Pier Gallery SOLO show until September 27th, 2017

My current exhibition “Dreaming with Open Eyes” is at Without Pier Gallery 320 Bay Road, Cheltenham.
The exhibition continues until 27th September. The exhibition includes paintings, mosaics, wood assemblage and prints. There are 75 works created over the last couple of years. Without Pier is a beautiful gallery with a welcoming atmosphere. They represent many fine Australian artists. The catalogue is also online on their website.
http://www.withoutpier.com.au/gallery/PamelaIrving
If you miss the exhibition, the unsold works, will come back to my studio gallery in Patterson Rd, Bentleigh. Please call on 9557 2688 to make a time to view works.
Currently, at my gallery in Patterson Road, I have a large range of unframed prints all $110 and a collection of very large framed drawings which are not included in the exhibition due to space.
I am open most Saturdays 10 – 2pm without appointment or by appointment at other times. You are welcome to browse.
OTHER NEWS
Deakin University Art Collection purchased my piece “An Angel for Fake Truth” and the City of Whitehorse have acquired a “Larrykin” sculpture and 5 YOLO Man prints. Both collections have works made by me from previous years.
In November I will be exhibiting at SOFA, (sculpture, Objects, Fina Art) in Chicago as part of an exhibit organised by the Gallery of Contemporary Mosaic, Chicago. I will also be teaching at the prestigious Chicago Mosaic School in November.

Tasmanian Perspectives in Mosaic + Art in Pieces

“Tasmanian Pieces in Mosaic” finishes on the 27th August.
Please visit this beautiful space at the Waterside Pavilion, Mawson Place Hobart.
Opening hours are 10-5 pm daily.
The exhibition contains works by Rachel Bremner, Wendy Edwards, Helen Bodycomb and Pamela Irving.
This exhibition has been generously supported by the City of Hobart.

“Art in Pieces” is another exhibition I am part of this month. It is an exhibition of mosaic artists from around the work at City Hall Gallery, Lexington, Kentucky, USA.
My piece is Titled ” Its’s a Retro Dog’s Life”. This exhibition is filled with great works from colleagues. It continues until October. Thanks to Terri Pulley who curated the show.

Irreverent Tales ARTSPACE GALLERY, Box Hill Town Hall until 29th July

My Exhibition Irreverent Tales continues at ARTSPACE until July 29th.
Box Hill Town Hall, Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill
Hours are 10-4pm Tuesday to Friday, Saturdays 12-4pm
On the 22nd July I will be giving a talk at 2 pm. Please book in for this.
On the 29th July I will also be at the gallery for the Victorian Public Buildings open Day.

Upcoming Exhibitions 2017

A belated Happy 2017 to all my friends, clients and followers.

It has been a while since my website has been updated and that is currently underway by Toni from 2aT Startup.  2017 is a big year for me and I am very excited about the plans ahead.

I am currently working towards two big solo exhibitions in Melbourne.  The first is “Irreverent Tales”, an exhibition being organised by the City of Whitehorse’s ARTSPACE Gallery. This exhibition will contain some of my early works from 1984 to recent paintings, prints and mosaics, some of the works have not previously been shown in Australia. One work is being loaned from Museum Victoria and has not been seen publicly since 1992. I am looking forward to being reunited with it again. The exhibition promotion by the City of Whitehorse reads…

“Renowned for her humour and quirky mischievous characters, Pamela Irving’s Irreverent Tales is an entertaining and witty exhibition, destined to evoke smiles from delighted patrons. Her enthralling Yolo Man will be displayed alongside His Apocalyptic Alphabet with intriguing references to famous artworks throughout art history. …”

I will be giving a public talk on the 22nd of July at ARTSPACE, located at the Box Hill Town Hall.

My other public exhibition will be at Without Pier Gallery in Bay Rd, Cheltenham. This large solo show will be from the 10th – 24th September 2017. I am very excited to be joining Without Pier who have been representing contemporary Australian Artists since 1995.

Please email me if you would like to receive an invite to either of these exhibitions or to join the mailing list for all my events.

My Studio + Gallery is open most days, but best to call or make an appointment to view works available. My number at the studio is (03) 9557 2688. Saturdays is a good day to visit if you just want to browse. I am at 68 Patterson Rd, Bentleigh which is just off the Nepean Highway near Dendy Park, Brighton. If coming by train get off at Patterson Station which is on the Frankston line. Check out the mosaic underpass as you arrive.

In the Gallery I have a new range of prints available. They can be purchased online or come into the studio to see them. They are limited editioned prints, hand signed and numbered, editions of 30 only.

Looking forward to seeing you in 2017!

Pamela.

 

STUDIO OPEN WEEKEND JULY 11th +12th, 2015

Please join us for an open studio weekend on July 11th + 12th . Feel free to drop in anytime from 10am -4pm on that weekend. You are most welcome to invite your family and friends along.
There will be new framed and unframed works to see including my new series just shown in Chicago at the Gallery of Contemporary Mosaics.
The studio phone number is 9557 2688
If coming by train, the gallery is located on the Frankston line, get off at Patterson Station. We are located about 50 metres from the station.
Studio address is 68 Patterson Rd, Bentleigh 3204
Just off the Nepean Highway…near Dendy Park Brighton.

MOSAIC WORKSHOPS WITH EMMA BIGGS + SUZANNE SPAHI IN AUGUST 2015 @ PAMELA IRVING STUDIO + GALLERY

The PAMELA IRVING STUDIO + GALLERY is very proud to present three wonderful workshop opportunities for Australian mosaic artists and enthusiasts in August 2015.

Your tutors are:

The amazing Emma Biggs and talented Suzanne Spahi.

EMMA BIGGS

Emma Biggs is from London, UK. She is one of the founders of the renowned Mosaic Workshop, the largest mosaic studio in Britain. She has authored and co-authored many books on mosaics. She also makes collaborative paintings with her husband, the well-known art critic Matthew Collings (presenter of the UK television Channel Four’s Turner Prize programme).

www.emmabiggsmosaic.net

SUZANNE SPAHI

Suzanne Spahi is from Montreal, Canada. In her personal works, Suzanne specializes in interpreting antique oriental rugs in miniature mosaics. Such decorative works take between five and nine months to make. This subject matter came to her naturally, as she is a fan of elaborate rugs and has always had a desire to own the most famous antique ones. So now she weaves her personal stories in mosaic.

www.suzannespahi.com

Workshop # 1

MINIATURE MOSAICS WORKSHOP by Suzanne Spahi

A TRIBUTE TO HUNDERTWASSER

Learn the fine art of working miniature mosaics using Mexican smalti. Suzanne will transmit her precise techniques for working on small and intricate mosaics according to the works of Hundertwasser. It is the same technique she uses for oriental mosaic rugs. You can see them at:  www.suzannespahi.com

You will learn the skill of how to use the wheeled nipper to do precision cuts into small pieces that are 3mm squares and 3x5mm rectangles. You will get to combine some bigger pieces to bring balance to the work visually. You will be working the ‘Mosaika Method’ on the sticky film over an intricate pattern design and will be guided constantly on the working method. Suzanne will pass on all her little tricks of her trade! The last day of the class you will learn the delicate process of transferring the mosaic onto the wood surface and the special coloured glue recipe. Mastering the transfer process took Suzanne 5 years! The mosaics are decorative for hanging and involve no grouting as the small pieces would loose their charm with grout.

 DETAILS:

Location : Pamela Irving Studio + Gallery

68 Patterson Rd, Bentleigh 3204

Melbourne, Australia.

Ph 03 9557 2688

DATES:

Friday 7th  August 2015        6.30 – 8 pm

Saturday 8th August 2015    9.30 – 4.30 pm

Sunday 9th  August 2015      9.30am – 4.30 pm

Cost: $360 + gst

Materials: $30  + gst

Total cost of this workshop $429 including gst

To ENROLL please email Pamela Irving with your contact details (including your name, email address, and contact phone number) and title of the workshop you wish to do.

pamela.irving@bigpond.com.au

Payments can be made by VISA, MASTERCARD or DIRECT DEBIT

Workshop Option:  #2 with EMMA BIGGS

MOSAIC PATTERN AND VISUAL COMPLEXITY

This course asks students to look at how pattern is used in mosaic. We discuss its role in aesthetic concerns: color, tone, texture & reflectivity, but also in conceptual ones – the way ideas repeat and become patterns themselves.

The aim of the course is to make every student freer as an artist by doing something really difficult: having a long, close examination of his or her work. It involves putting under the microscope all the internal contradictions there may be – to give a practical example, framing a mosaic. What does it mean when a mosaic that is about texture, and surface properties of material and mortar, is bounded by a rectangular wooden frame? Do those two sets of ideas – material and mortar, and the conventions of framing a painting, which after all is quite different from a mosaic – enrich one another when they are combined, or do they confuse the message? There’s no right answer, but there is an urgent need for the mosaic artist to realize it is a question they need to ask — just one of potentially thousands of such questions.

Why? Well, for work to have real impact, the artist needs to know what he or she is attempting in order to deliver it effectively. This is more important than technique unless the work is ABOUT technique. It is liberating to realize that not every work needs to strive to include everything – it just needs to deliver one thing very well.

DETAILS:

Location : Pamela Irving Studio + Gallery

68 Patterson Rd, Bentleigh 3204

Melbourne, Australia.

Ph 03 9557 2688

DATES:

Wednesday 26th August 2015     6.30 – 8 pm

Thursday 27th August 2015         9.30 – 4.30 pm

Friday 28th August 2015              9.30am – 4.30 pm

Cost: $360 + gst

Materials: A small materials levy will be confirmed soon.

To ENROLL please email Pamela Irving with your contact details and title of the workshop you wish to do.

@ pamela.irving@bigpond.com.au

WORKSHOP OPTION #3 with EMMA BIGGS

COLOUR AND MOSAIC: HOW IT WORKS AND WHY IT MATTERS

Colour is like a language. Because we can all identify colours, we assume it’s one we all speak. When learning a new language, we know how to communicate to some degree once we’ve grasped a few rules, but in order to convey meaning at greater depth, it’s important to keep working at it, and the more you work, the more you comprehend, and the more you realise there is to know. In mosaic making, tone is the most important principle to grasp. Hue, intensity, reflectivity of surface, texture, contrast and mode of laying all have a role to play in how colour conveys its meaning, but understanding how tone works is the key to using colour really effectively. Students at all levels should be able to take away something new from this course.

We will begin with a powerpoint presentation. We will look at images both of mosaics, and the environment – photos of landscapes — both urban and rural. The idea is to train the eye to see what it really sees, and to stop the mind getting in the way and sending the eye false messages. We will begin the practical work with colour exercises, and then work on individual pieces to see how to apply the principles in practice. If the group would like to do so, we can finish with a very short powerpoint presentation designed to sum up the lessons of the day.

The fascination of colour doesn’t run out. The more you know about it, the more you understand how much there is to know.

​​​DETAILS:

Location : Pamela Irving Studio + Gallery

68 Patterson Rd, Bentleigh 3204

Melbourne, Australia.

Ph 03 9557 2688

DATES:

Friday 28th August, 2015            6.30pm – 8pm

Saturday 29th August, 201          9.30am – 4.30pm

Sunday 30th th August, 2015       9.30am -4.30 pm

Cost: $360 + gst

Materials: A small materials levy will be confirmed soon.

To  ENROLL please email Pamela Irving with your contact details  (name, email address and contact phone number) and title of the workshop you wish to do.

@ pamela.irving@bigpond.com.au

Payments can be made by VISA, MASTERCARD + DIRECT DEBIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternative Walking Tours, Dr Sketchy + Pamela Irving team up!

 

Join us on a an adventure that begins in my studio and then in to the city for an walking tour then up up at Dr Sketchy’s for a fab drawing session!

See Alternative Walkiing tours for all bookings.

Its going to be a lot of fun!

https://alternativewalkingtours.rezdy.com/48167/pamela-irving-artist-walk-march-2015

 

Craft and the Cat

I met Alice from Craft and The Cat recently who has put together this on my pussys.

http://craftandthecat.com/pamela-irving-talks-cats-and-dogs/

ENCAUSTIC WORKSHOP with Sydney artist Noula Diamantopoulos

Encaustic Magic with

Noula Diamantopoulos

@PAMELA IRVING STUDIO + GALLERY
68 PATTERSON RD, BENTLEIGH 3204

30th + 31st January 2015

 A 1.5 day Encaustic Magic Experience with Noula

Friday 30th January 6.30 – 8pm  +    Saturday 31st January 9.30 – 4.30

Cost $245 + materials $30 cash on the day

Contact Pamela Irving 0402 946 940   or 03 9557 2688 for Bookings.

We accept VISA, Mastercard, EFTPOS

In this 1.5 day intensive encaustic art workshop, you receive an individual materials kit, including a set of Steiner wax crayons and 5 wooden substrates. You will learn how to make your own wax medium, experiment with different encaustic techniques and encaustic tools, and create up to 5 small encaustic artworks to take home! We cover History, OHS, encaustic resources and Melbourne encaustic suppliers.

check out the website gallery for student images

http://spontaneouscreativity.com.au/portfolio-view/introduction-to-encaustics/

On the Friday night Noula will do a meet and greet and general discussion on the Encaustic process and history.

On the Saturday:

Workshop all day, Students can bring their own lunch or buy your lunch from Patterson Village.

Tea and Coffee supplied.

“ITS ONLY ONE MONTH TO CHRISTMAS EVENT” 22nd + 23rd NOVEMBER 2014 10am-4pm

On November 22nd + 23rd I am having a open studio + gallery weekend.
We will be open both days from 10am -4pm
@ 68 Patterson RD, Bentleigh ph 9557 2688 or mobile 0402 946 940

There are works for sale from $70 upwards….Lots of sale stuff for Christmas
If you cant get there at those times, I am happy to offer you a preview of the works.
Feel free to call me.

How quickly this year has gone. Thanks to everyone for your support this year!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Festive Season.

Also if you are interested in my work you can follow my Instagram account @pamelairvingart
and my Facebook page Pamela Irving Visual Artist.
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