Sunday, July 20, 2014

TEAM HUMANITY

http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/hope.html
Hope Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013

Recent dreadful events around the world leave us feeling bewildered and frightened. For those directly affected it's far far worse.

War and conflict rage in various locations around the globe, causing death, mayhem, social destruction and more. Innocent victims are caught up in the horror, loosing life and limb, fleeing homes and seeking refuge in other places. Long term effects are equally as deplorable and damaging.

What can we do?

It seems blame, reprisals, sanctions, increased surveillance and threats are what 'we' do. It seems that escalation is the currency of the moment. A pervasive fear exists. Politics fails to offer hope.

There's a loss of faith in the human race...surely humanity can do better than this?

But, what can I do?

And now, my thoughts turn to how the arts could be an agent of change, an agent revealing new perspectives through which life can be viewed, revealing alternative pathways to seek solutions for all sorts of problems and issues. An agent that helps us re-discover our humanity...our 'team' which works and plays together on our shared planet.


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/pale-blue-dot.html
Pale Blue Dot Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm 2014


Am I being naively optimistic, illogical? Maybe? But, where there's hope.....

CATALYTIC AGENCY
I've previously written that I do not see the arts has having a role, but rather a catalytic agency. The word 'role' insinuates prescription, not only in method but also in outcomes, thus for me it is too reductive, and vulnerable to manipulation through agenda. Whereas, 'catalytic agency' denotes a freer more wide ranging agenda-less, but not directionless, capacity. Who knows what new and surprising perspectives could be stirred and revealed? The arts per se are not the solution, but their catalytic agency can be a potent ingredient helping to stir humanity's imagination, generating creative and new questions... and answers. It's more hopeful!

But, what are art's barriers?

These barriers scream for attention, truly narcissistic in intent, myopic in vision, sensationalist but not sensational...secretly holding hands with apathy. Here's some examples:
  • The ubiquity of fashion and style,
  • money commandeering as value,
  • the cult of celebrity,
  • labels misidentified as meaningful symbols,
  • sentimentality mistaken for beauty,
  • simple copying misunderstood as piercing appropriation,
  • super/hyper-reality quelling nuance,
  • technical virtuosity mistaken for creativity, 
  • didacticism masquerading as wisdom,
  • virtual reality insidiously eroding the psyche.

http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/planet.html
Planet $ Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm
 

MASS MEDIA
With mass media and its incessant reminder of disaster and mayhem in pictures, videos and words, the arts must somehow differentiate to be distinguishable in the maelstrom. And, to be distinguishable and affective [ie: transformative] the arts cannot simply or only reflect back. Indeed, this kind of reflectivity is ably and grotesquely the domain of 21st century mass media. It cannibalises disaster swooping for graphic images. Why would art want to compete? Mass media persistently reminds us of the blood, gore and human suffering, which I suggest, desensitises and neuters us to the point where hope fades, fear cascades, contempt for humanity escalates. Better to bury your head in the sand or in fashion or other 'entertaining' diversions?

So, what about the arts and hope...and team humanity?

And, how do I engage with current events in a way that does not neuter me?


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/all-of-us.html
All Of Us Gouache on paper 15 x 21 cm


I think generating, or trying to generate, hope is astutely political. So, that's what I try to do in my paintings. I find inspiration in cosmology, the scientific study of the universe, if not the Multiverse. The ever increasing perspectives it reveals, across the close and far distances of the Universe, demand our attention! And, why should we indeed pay attention? These perspectives offer us new ways of viewing ourselves and our planet. For instance, they make it both painfully and beautifully obvious that 'Team Humanity' has only one shared home! Shouldn't we work together to look after ourselves and Earth, not only for the now but also the future?  Cosmic perspectives reveal new questions and demand rethinking about land 'ownership', borders and boundaries. They also re-contextualise human history against Uni/Multiversal history, begging reappraisals of relationships, from the individual to the international. All of this does not mean no robust debate, but it might mean de-escalation of war and conflict, horror and destruction?


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/meeting-place-of-mind.html
Meeting Place Of The Mind Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm


So, in my paintings I try to visually interpret cosmic perspectives in a way which is hopeful, but also questioning eg: Planet $ above. I use age-old transcultural/religious symbols, mainly the tree-of-life plus landscape. With both, I attempt to untether them from traditional visual interpretations by catapulting them into Space and beyond.

My intentionally ambiguous 'scapes' disallow didacticism, thus leaving it up to the viewer to explore and interpret, even if they are initially disorientated.

The dark side, however, does still exist in absentia. It is not ignored, but acknowledged and then deliberately set aside. To not acknowledge would be naïve. The active choice to set aside means hope reigns.


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/blood-connection.html
Blood Connection Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm


A SELECTION:
Of Previous Posts Linked To This One-In Some Way Or Another!

WAITING FOR THE BEEPS
AGENDA-LESS BUT NOT DIRECTIONLESS
COSMIC OUROBOROS
STIRRING THE STAR DUST: A Short Story About Digging
DIPLOMACY
ART PERSPECTIVE AND POLITICS
BEAUTY GIVES HOPE A CHANCE
BEAUTY AS A PORTAL
AFTER THE IMPLOSION


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/life-takes-cosmic-perspective.html
Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective Oil on linen 91 x 137 cm 2014

 
 
 my next solo exhibition
 
2 - 14 September 2014
 
Graydon Gallery
29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Earth, The UNIVERSE
Please visit Untethering Landscape's Webpage HERE
 
Cheers,





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

IMPASSE AND MIND'S EYE

Studio with work-in-progress, on left Pale Blue Dot and on the right a fresh stretched linen 'canvas'...and then general studio clutter.
 
 
So here's an insight into an artist's way of working. I've been inspired by so many things that my new paintings, over the last year, have to greater or lesser degrees, flowed from me. I say to greater or lesser degrees, because each painting poses different issues, questions, possibilities, delights and problems.
 
But, at the moment the painting-in-progress, on the easel in the photo above, has got me stumped. I love its red richness, but what to do next?
 
There are a few problems with this painting and the main one is that I've got too much in my brain at the moment, some of it inspiring and some not. So many ideas, but no clear picture in my mind's eye. This happens periodically. In the past, years ago, I would have become frustrated and completely destroyed the image, if not ripped off the canvas. But, I've learnt to sit with the frustration especially if I am happy with work-in-progress. So, I am sitting.
 
But, even writing this post is sort of cathartic!
 
I can feel some clearer thoughts percolating.
 
Time will tell........
 
__________________________________________________________________________
 
 
You can see a section of my last painting Pale Blue Dot on the left. Now, this painting flowed, at times easily and at other times not so easily. This painting is essentially about perspective. You can read more by clicking HERE
 
 
............................... 
 
 
 
AND TALKING OF MIND'S EYE
Here's a painting from 2004 called
 
Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
Previous post can be read HERE
 
 

http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/hidden-seen-in-my-minds-eye.html


 
 
NEWS
My next solo show is soon!
 
 
UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE
From Earth-Bound Horizons
 
2-14 September
 
Open daily 10 am - 6 pm or by appointment
 
Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Queensland, Australia
 
Exhibition website is HERE
 
 
...............PLUS..............
 
 
I have been invited again to participate in the

TATTERSALL'S LANDSCAPE $30,000 ART PRIZE
 
The prize is announced on Wednesday 3 September
 
 
Cheers,
Kathryn

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

PALE BLUE DOT

Pale Blue Dot Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm 2014
 
On the 14th February 1990, at Carl Sagan's suggestion, a photograph was taken by Voyager 1 as it left our solar system.
 
Here's a quote from The Planetary Society website:
As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 6.4 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) away, and approximately 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane, when it captured this portrait of our world. Caught in the center of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth appears as a tiny point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size.
 
To see the photograph please Google images.
 
 
 
 
 
The video above has Carl Sagan speaking about the impact of the photograph. Sagan's words are poetic, marvellous and inspiring. They challenge us to take a perspective of ourselves and Earth that I suspect many still find difficult. Sagan published a book in 1994 called Pale Blue Dot: A Vision Of The Human Future In Space
 
Many astronauts speak and write about seeing the Earth from afar, in space. The experience shifts their perspective of life. I encourage you to research, but to start with I suggest a visit to the Overview Institute . If you are particularly interested in reading some astronauts quotes please click HERE
 
 
PERSPECTIVE
Regular readers will know of my interest in perspective! They will also know that I suggest we need to develop skills in seeing multiple perspectives, literal and metaphoric...even simultaneously. Cosmology, the scientific study of the Universe, demands that we look up from our computers and phones, to take in and appreciate, the vast perspectives offered by the close and far distances of the Universe...if not the Multiverse. Our survival, Earth's sustainability...depends on it.
 
 
PALE BLUE DOT Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm
So, to my painting Pale Blue Dot. Is this simply my imagined view of Earth in space, from space? Is it some kind of good-bye to Earth, a last wave? Or maybe it is a wishful painting...a view of an imagined new home, another habitable Earth-like planet? Maybe if we could take a photograph of our Universe, it too would look like a dot...this assumes that our Universe exists within a Multiverse? Talk about possible literal perspectives!
 
But, what do these perspectives shift within us? Like astronauts returning to Earth from space, can we, even if we don't literally fly, develop new appreciations of life by actively and imaginatively engaging with Universal/Multiversal perspectives? As Edgar Mitchell, sixth man on the Moon said, There was a startling recognition that the nature of the universe was not as I had been taught… I not only saw the connectedness, I felt it...
 
And. as Carl Sagan wrote in his book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision Of The Human Future In Space, It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. To think that this quote was written twenty years ago, and many of us [individuals and nations] in the name of religion, sense of ownership, economic imperatives etc are still in states of conflict, war...and more! And, as for succeeding in cherishing the planet...well!
 
And to my current quest, to untether ideas of landscape from Earth-bound horizons. Pale Blue Dot does just that! Like an image of a mountain against a sky, we have an image of Earth [maybe?] against a backdrop of the Universe...or it could be a 'landscape' of the entire Universe against a backdrop of whatever it might be that hosts/sustains multiple Universes. Or it could be something vastly smaller...a drop of water, a piece of dust, an atom...even a thought?
 
Landscape and perspective are indelibly entwined...both can be taken literally and metaphorically. It's a powerful combination with lessons for us to learn...if we look up and pay attention.
 
 
http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/birth-of-landscape.html
Birth of Landscape oil on linen  138 x 168 cm 2014
 
 
 
UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE
solo exhibition
 
2 - 14 September 2014
Brisbane.
To see the exhibition webpage please click HERE
 
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
Copyright: Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox
 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

BEACON

Beacon Oil on linen 91 x 102 cm 2014
 
TREE-OF-LIFE
As regular readers know I love the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol. Regular readers will also know that I do not visually interpret the tree-of-life in traditional forms. Rather I cascade it across canvases creating vast, complex and intricate scapes. Or, I use it as a beacon, on cosmic inspires scapes, heralding and rejoicing the persistence of life, hope and energy.
 
I aim to untether the tree-of-life from traditional visual portrayals as a way to explore its symbolic potency in the 21st century. The tree-of-life and the tree-of-knowledge have long held meaning across eons, cultures and religions. The persistence of the tree's capacity to hold and give meaning tells me that it still has something to give us, yet we must untether it from past visual interpretations to explore, and find, what this might be.
 
As I have previously written the tree's branching appearance mirrors all kinds of systems, from natural to human-made ones. Think of vascular systems, cross sections of internal organs, river systems, mountain ranges...and for human-made systems, think of aerial views of road networks, flight paths, technology's unseen energy waves and more. All systems propel life in some form or another. .
 
So it is to LIFE that I now turn to...the tree as a beacon for all of LIFE, past, present, future. It contains history in a way that collapses history where past, present and future are one. It extends beyond human history to that of the Universe...if not the Multiverse! Humanity was not present at the beginning of the Universe, but life in its broadest sense, began then. The tree, for me at least, is the perfect form to take as a symbol that encapsulates all of LIFE. That's why I use it as a beacon.
 
BEACON
The painting above Beacon has the tree-of-life at centre stage. It's two 'roots' create an impression of an outline of a mountain...a landscape. Yet, these 'roots' could be tethers unleashed, allowing the tree to take flight as a meaningful symbol...into the 21st century! The background is indeterminate. Is it the sky, outer space, inside a bubble or a raindrop? And the white balls...are they planets, cells, atoms, other universes? Whatever they are, they seem to watch over the tree, at the same time as being illuminated by it.
 
My thoughts about untethering the tree-of-life from traditional visual interpretations are coupled with my quest to untether ideas of landscape from Earth-bound horizons. Untethering is necessary because 21st century cosmological research is pushing the boundaries/horizons of the close and far distances of the Universe. If humanity is to grasp new horizons and perspectives with curiosity and bravery, we need to embrace science, but also symbols and artistic interpretations that engage and include us in the ever changing wonder. I suspect our physical and spiritual survival depends on it!
 
My next solo exhibition is called Untethering Landscape
  
 
Here are some more paintings where I have painted the tree as a beacon...of hope and life.
 
http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/hope.html
 Hope Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/are-we-there-yet.html
 Are We There Yet? Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/untethered-landscape.html
 Untethered Landscape Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm 2013


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/playing-with-landscape.html
 Playing With Landscape Oil on linen 80 x 90 cm 2013


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/super-earths.html
Super Earths Discovered Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013
 
 
http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/surrendering-horizon.html
 Surrendering Horizon 100 x 150 cm 2014


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/new-world-habitability-vacation-anyone.html
New World Habitability - Vacation Anyone? Oil on linen 70 x 102 cm 2014
 
 
Next Solo Exhibition
 
                                             UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE
2 - 14 September 2014
Brisbane.
To see the exhibition webpage please click HERE
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

FOREVER LANDSCAPE

 Forever Landscape Gouache on paper 50 x 57 cm 2014
 

What do I mean by Forever Landscape? Well lots of things really. Let's see...that landscape exists even without us observing it...or does it? The Universe, and maybe the Multiverse, exists in some kind of endless perpetuity and thus landscape does too. The macro and micro extend beyond our imaginations, with science chasing their tails revealing more horizons as old ones are relinquished. 
 
 

Terrain Gouache on paper 50 x 57 cm 2014
 
 
Terrain = land, topography, territory, ground, landscape, environment.
 
My painting Terrain appears to be all of the above descriptors. Yet, I thinks it's funny how the literal meaning of these words can be used metaphorically or analogously.
 
TOPOGRAPHY OF TERRORS: BERLIN
I recently visited Berlin's Topography of Terrors [Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre]. It is a fascinating, sobering and sombre place to visit. For me the use of the word 'topography,' in the title of the exhibition centre, was an interesting choice. In a way it made the prospect of visiting the centre more intriguing, as if the visitor was to negotiate, navigate, explore whatever was on offer to see. The idea that 'terrors' can be mapped is implied by the word 'topography'...and not simply mapped by geographical places of terror, but by social, political and cultural inputs as well. The title of the centre Topology of Terrors is certainly not as benign or mundane as if it had been called Museum of Terrors.
 
INVOKING LANDSCAPE
There's something about invoking a sense of landscape that adds to an experience, whether it be reading an article, visiting an exhibition centre, understanding a political situation and more. For example when someone says 'political landscape' I immediately feel my expectations broaden. When someone describes an environment as a 'cultural environment', my perception and expectation shifts. When someone describes an event or a phenomena as 'unknown territory' it adds a serious weight to what may transpire to be a dilemma. When a person 'holds their ground' in an argument or debate, there's gravitas.
 
And...all of this brings me to universal landscape! By using the word 'landscape' the Universe becomes more familiar...don't you think? Less daunting, more exciting, a place to explore. That's why I suggest we need to untether ideas of what landscape is, from Earth-bound horizons, to explore unknown territories, new ground, galactic environments...and more...the forever landscape!
 
My next solo exhibition is called:
 
 
UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE
2 - 14 September 2014
Brisbane.
To see the exhibition webpage please click HERE
 
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 
 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

THE HORIZON HAS DISAPPEARED

The Horizon Has Disappeared Gouache on paper 46 x 115 cm 2014
 
The horizon has disappeared...what does this mean? Well, for me, quite a number of things.
 
  • With new cosmological research known horizons about the Universe have been transcended, yielded, vanquished. So, whilst literal horizons have been pushed to places beyond dreams, what does this mean for other kinds of horizons? What other kinds? Well, let's see...humanity's future and past: the Universe's past and future: humanity's intellectual, emotional and spiritual capabilities and beliefs...and more. It's exciting... and daunting.
  • What does it mean to be human in an age where augmented reality, simulation, artificial intelligence and technology 'provide' so-called enhanced experiences, automated labour, economic benefits and more? The horizons of possibility, once viewed as science fiction, are now not so fantastical. They may have been propelled afar, but they are also often obscured. And, if they are, what else maybe obscured, hazy or blurred? Entering a fog can be frightening. If it lifts there's often a bright sunny day, but if it doesn't...?
  • The horizon of what constitutes threat to individuals, nations and the world has shifted. Terrorism, cyber terrorism, bio terrorism, trans-national crime are all now aided and abetted via technology...yet technology is something we welcome into our everyday lives, often without thinking of its dark side...or even being aware that there is a potential dark side. Squadrons of fighter jets, no matter how hi-tech, will have little impact on an orchestrated cyber attack...don't you think? Traditional modes of defence left their horizons back in the 20th century. New defensive and pre-emptive tactics, I suggest, will be found in scientific research plus new ways of forging relationship and exchange. And, culture and the arts are vey much part of this! [If you do a quick Google on the top threats to world/national security all of the ones I have listed above are mentioned.]
  • I wrote a post awhile ago where I suggested that the driverless car maybe a metaphor for the disappearance of landscape. How? Well, imagine a car being driven by a computer. The occupants are sitting behind darkened windows. They are passing the time with entertainment provided via various kinds of devices, some may even be imbedded in their bodies! Well, there's no need to look out the window is there! No need to orientate oneself, no need to keep a watchful eye on other traffic, road conditions, terrain etc. No need to distract children by pointing out interesting things along the way. In a sense the landscape disappears! As we lose literal sight of and interest in it, plus lose abilities to negotiate our way through it, what happens to horizons? Are they actually diminished? Do they disappear or are they extended? And, what about relationships if all occupants are individually entertained? No conversation, no commentary and probably no fights! My earlier post was called Looking Out The Windows
The Horizon Has Disappeared Gouache on paper 46 x 115 cm 2014
This is an ambiguous landscape. Is the viewer flying above the landscape? Or are they part of it? Is it actually a landscape?
 
For me 'landscape' is a metaphor for the internal 'landscape' of the human psyche. It is also a metaphor for many other kinds of 'landscape'...Universal, macro, micro, political, spiritual and more.
 
If you have a pair of simple 3d glasses put them on...the painting separates into various dimensions. Many of my paintings do this! The impression of multiple dimensions, alludes to multiple horizons! It also alludes to the possibility of other horizons beyond sight too. This I like very much. This 3d phenomena is not done deliberately...I have no desire to paint 3d, but I certainly like that it happens.
 
 
 EXHIBITION ALERT
-
 
SEPTEMBER 2 - 14 2014
Graydon Gallery
29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia, Earth, The Universe!

Cheers,
Kathryn
 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

EMERGENT

 Emergent Gouache on paper 38 x 59 cm 2014
 

So...I am working towards my next solo exhibition Untethering Landscape...and in the process of painting and writing, new ideas emerge. It's a fun process!

These two works on paper, here in the post, continue my thoughts on untethering landscape from Earth-bound horizons. Emergent [top] shows glimpses of my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life as it seems to emerge from some kind of happening...maybe the Big Bang? Life [and landscape] begins! These small glimpses take on a life of their own, as if they are unique 'scapes' of some kind. Yet, the viewer is aware of an enormity...a vastness...that hosts and embraces. Nothing is really in complete isolation.

The branches of the tree also take on a suggestion of systems, of all kinds, from naturally occurring to the human-made. Literal landscape is, after all, the result of a system, a highly complex one that produces life and matter.

As I have previously written, the symbolic potency of the tree-of-life crosses time, religions and cultures. The fact that it has been a meaningful symbol for humankind for so long makes me think that it holds clues for us 21st century dwellers of time and space too. We just have to explore, investigate...and untether the tree-of-life from historical visual manifestations, to discover new ways of interpreting its potency. Anyway...that's what I try to do!


Emergent Landscape Gouache on paper 52 x 115 cm 2014
 
 
Emergent Landscape...well this was fun to paint. Lots of water, paint and then waiting for it to dry before I started the line-work. The landscape seemed to emerge before my eyes. It was like my hand was being lead by something beyond me. I also love the way the watery background has created tree-like shapes, especially on the far right.
 
So, the painting could be a landscape emerging from a haze or glimpsed through rain or something similar. Yet, that's all a bit banal for me! Rather, it could be symbolic of new ideas about landscape itself. These ideas emerging from the exciting discoveries made by cosmologists. New perspectives of our planet and ourselves are on offer! Surely, these must translate into new concepts of landscape? Well, I think so!
 
 
 
 
2 - 14 September 2014
 
Graydon Gallery
29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Earth, The UNIVERSE
 
Check out Untethering Landscape webpage HERE
 
 
 Cheers,
Kathryn