Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Whole mess o' concrete tentacles

OK, so the plan for five full size tentacles was never going to be enough. I set it up in the backyard and it jsut lacked any real physical presence. The answer is obviously more More MORE tentacles. So I'm casting shorter tentacles by simply half filling the mould. I broke a few so I'm using the tips and I'm think I'm just going to keep going casting tentacles till something breaks or I get totally sick of it. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tentacles, Awards and Meeting Winners

Finished tentacle lamp, Fibreglass shell filled with concrete, painted with purple, pink, green and cream enamel, topped off with a hand painted lamp shade. Feeling pretty pleased with my spray can handling. Might have to go and get a few tips from the graff boys hanging at Jugglers Art Space.

Friday night was the opening of this years Moreton Bay Region Art Awards. I got a call the day before from Claire Sourgnes, the councils Network Coordinator for Art Galleries, Community Services, Arts and Heritage (sounds like a monster workload) to let me know the council would like to purchase the Rainbow Glitter Bombs for their public collection. I was so excited, it was pretty hard to settle down to any real work for the rest of the day.

The prize is acquisitive so at this point I realised I wasn't the winner (otherwise MBRC wouldn't need to buy the work) but I felt like I'd won. I gladly headed off to the opening looking forward to meeting Claire and her team who'd obviously shown so much faith in the work. I genuinely wasn't expecting to be presented with a merit award that night. Don't ask me the name of the Councillor who presented it to me, I was too stunned to pay much attention to anything. 

And I must also admit to feeling a certain amount of embarrassment for her. Such an auspicious occasion with speeches from the Deputy Mayor and the director of Arts and Heritage, celebratory and joyous but in a serious way, all about the value art brings to our community and the valuable role artists will play in its future and prosperity, "...and to begin, we'd like to present this Merit Award to Cameron Eaton for his work Rainbow Glitter Bombs." 

It's was as though Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle had harrumphed and stamped their way into a minutes silence for the Anzacs. Ok, maybe not that surreal, but it certainly didn't roll off her tongue. But maybe that moment of awkwardness was a sign of something really good. A WTF moment that stops everyone.

Loads of people congratulated me throughout the rest of the night, not least of all the winners, Husband and Wife team James and Eleanor Avery who were introduced to me by my old painting tutor Nameer Davis who also had a work selected for the award. And Karl De Waal, my sculpture tutor, who miraculously now works for the MBRC and who assures me the choice to purchase my piece was made before anyone knew of the connection between us two.

I ran in to Paul Harvey whom I know from the BIA who also had work selected and spent some time trying to find Ryan Daffurn whom I know form Atelier Art Studios and have painted with not too long ago. And the point of all this name dropping is to say that altogether, it added up to a feeling of "Having Arrived". I'm sure there are many stages to feeling like you've arrived, and in between, lots of time when you're not sure if you've gone anywhere at all, but for now, I'm riding the wave.

Friday, May 16, 2014

More Concrete Tentacles

I'm slowly casting concrete tentacles with a view to submit them as a single outdoor piece for this years SQ members exhbition, held in the Mt Coot-tha Botanical gardens. The plan is for five tentacles arranged like the petals of a flower with the life bouys in the centre representing stamen. Without going into it too much, the life bouys represent risk and the tentacles consequences. Each piece has a steel spike cast in the base so they can be fixed in place in a garden setting.

The first cast has problems and wasn't for this piece so it doesn't count. For the second cast I changed release agents from Vege oil to petroleum jelly (vasoline) and that failed epically (is that a word?). Switched back to Vegetable oil for 3 and 4 but applying it in thin layers and allowing time for it to dry between coats.

The mould is deteriorating more with each cast so I'm temporarily patching it with clay each time. Fingers crossed I can get three more out of it.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Split pig - Casting

I'm procrastinating. I have to make a mould for my S#itting Pig and I don't want to F#@k it up. So I made a mould for the split pig instead. First cast in resin revealed several faults in my not so careful planning but it's full steam ahead anyway. As a result, I spent a strangely long time in a bead shop in Fortitude Valley which was about the weirdest thing I think I've done in ages. A really discordant mix of young and old that I certainly was not expecting but on reflection is very cool.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

2014 Moreton Bay Region Art Award

My cast resin 'Rainbow Glitter Bombs' have been selected as finalists in this years Moreton Bay Region Art Awards. I almost didn't enter. I've had a lot of stuff on in the past few months, not just work and kids, although there's always plenty of that. I'm taking a fairly active role with the managing committee of Sculptors Queensland this year and that continues to be a real learning experience, absorbing a lot of time, none of which actually involves making sculpture. 

As well as finding time to make some art, there's several other projects on too, so when the call for entries came out I was thinking it was all too hard. At the time, my pigs head trophy wasn't going so well and I wasn't sure if I even had anything I could enter. 

I certainly wasn't thinking about these pieces. I'd submitted the original carved Buddha Bomb to both the Churchie emerging art award and the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize and been rejected on both counts. I figured this piece simply wasn't going to work in a competition context. But with one day left for submissions, a friend asked what I was entering, "Surely," He said, "you've got something."

So late that night, I typed out my Artist Statement, edited it several times to hit the limited word count (still not sure it makes any sense) and PayPal'd my entry fee. Really glad I did. It's great to get accepted, great to be involved and you just never know how these things will go.