Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Introducing Lauryn Arnott – Workshop Participant, Adelaide South Australia

Crossing over 162 x171 cms. Medium: Charcoal, charcoal pencil, collage, on Dessin 300gsm paper

Lauryn Arnott
I arrived in Adelaide, Australia, in 2003 having lost my home to a brutal regime in Zimbabwe, Africa. In Adelaide I started the Crossing Over drawing as part of a Masters of Visual Arts degree. This drawing became a site of remembering and forgetting memories through a process of drawing and erasure. My methodology became a physical enactment of the state that I found myself in, a process of working through persistent memories, acknowledged and unacknowledged, a retrieval of history as memory and memory as history. This process works as a catalyst through which I can harness my sense of place and identity. It is an appropriate technical way of dealing with memory and loss, using the mark as an increment of retrieval and its erasure as a metaphor of loss.

The Crossing Over drawing was exhibited at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, as a part the 2009 Harare International Festival of Arts. Much like my participation in The Border Crossing Project, this demonstrates my interest in the important role that art can play in retrieving and transforming ideas and memories that cross borders and cultures. My intention in this to create links and build relationships between different countries and cultures, despite what is said in the media.

Part of the content of this drawing is the deliberate use of fragile and temporary materials such as the large unprotected sheet of paper pinned to the wall. The fragility of the medium of this work expresses its stark subject matter.

The Collaboration

I worked together with Nina Rupena and Patricia Wozniak; we come from diverse cultures, yet our work has been shaped by the fact that we are all living in Australia because of the conflict in our home countries. I came from Zimbabwe, Nina from Bosnia and Patricia’s recalls her grandmother’s stories of her displacement from Poland after the war. The central themes that we share in our work is; conflict, displacement, fragility, memory and post-memory. An important factor we discussed was whether cultural diversity was the source of peace (and collaboration) or the root of conflict. In this we felt that it was vital that our collaboration be one of negotiating and not negating our work and our histories, because there is no single essence, no single history.

What I consider an important aspect for The Border Crossing Project, is that it can open up a dialogue in which the artists and viewers can consider their own positions on these proposals.

Meaning through making:
The deliberate use of fragile and temporary materials is an important aspect of our collaboration. The materials; collaged paper, charcoal, pastel, xerox transfers, lace for stencils, spray paint, printing ink and muslin

Text by Lauryn Arnott

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Introducing Nina Rupena – Workshop Participant, Adelaide South Australia

'Vestige' ink, colour pencil and watercolour on old doily mounted on canvas-backed wallpaper, 
46 x 51 cm, 2010.

Nina Rupena
As a result of personal experiences linked with dislocation (as a refugee of war located in Bosnia and Herzegovina), I am attempting to analyse and mediate this experience.
My artwork ‘Vestige’ attempts to examine the perception of ageing. In a visual sense, hands are a symbolic vehicle, representing wisdom and endurance where folds, wrinkles and scars narrate a story and represent personal histories.

I have an evolving history as an industrial designer, photographer, video and installation artist, working both within a fine arts context and my own cultural community developing work which explores memory and the nature of history and place.

Nina Rupena

The Collaboration

I am collaborating with Patricia Wozniak and Lauryn Arnott. We come from diverse cultural backgrounds – Polish, Zimbabwean and Bosnian.
What we hoped to achieve with our collaboration is to enrich our art practises by openly exchanging ideas, techniques and materials. The opportunity to share personal histories and explore the complexities of exile was greatly rewarding. We enjoyed the synergy formed when creative minds are put together and exciting ideas for future projects came as a result of Borders Crossing project.

Text by Nina Rupena

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Monday, September 13, 2010

Introducing Svetlana De Gennaro - Workshop Participant, Adelaide, South Australia

Australian Landscape’, Svetlana De Gennaro

Svetlana De Gennaro

Artist Statement

Quoting Papastergiadis,
Cultural identity is…defined by the way ideas and practices which have crossed frontiers find new homes; it is a way of coming to terms with the past without ignoring the pressures of the present, an expression of belonging which does not lock the individual into a single place. The dream of a single home is gone, only to be replaced by the daunting promise of multiple affiliations.1

Within the context of my art practice I examine the issues emanating from the transition to a new physical, social and cultural environment, geographically and/or emotionally distant from “home”. My enquiries are based partially on my personal experiences, as I am a recent immigrant to Australia, and previously living an expatriate lifestyle in several European countries. A lifestyle of moving through different cultures, even if by choice, plus working as a professional interpreter before I commenced the study of art, cultivated in me compelling attitudes of empathy and understanding for cultural diversity and multicultural existence. Australia, my present home is a multi-cultural society and a “fair and lucky country” according to a well constructed myth promoted by popular media. This is far from reality and many Australian artists, of any colour, refer to this issue in their art practice. ‘Genuine social justice and equality are still far from a reality, and the struggle continues’.2 Aboriginal people are exiles in their own land and the prejudice and patronising attitudes of the dominant culture towards Indigenous Australians and other ethnic/cultural groups, is still a major contemporary problem within Australian society today. Such attitudes often involve the demonisation and dehumanisation of “inferior others” to justify exploitation. In my painting ‘Australian Landscape’, I referred to the particular place of South Australia known as Tandanya, meaning the land of the red kangaroo, according to the stories of the local Kaurna people, as a reminder that the vast and harsh environment of this land necessitates ecological sustainability as well as social and cultural balance.

1 N Papastergiadis, Spatial aesthetics: Art, place and the everyday, Rivers Oram Press, London, 2006, p.102
2 W Caruana, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, 1993, p.17

Experiences of Collaboration

Within this project we chose to use “chain” collaboration, whereby I am working on Dr Irmina van Niele’s print as my inspiration for further experimentation and communication, whilst in turn Lindi Harris chose my work for her explorations. The Border Crossing Art Project is an opportunity to work with artists of different origins and life experiences and share our views and discover points of connection. I find this exercise is a constructive approach to exchange of knowledge, in a contemporary global environment of constant mobility.

Short Biography

I arrived in Australia in 2004, whereupon I made the decision to commit fully to a Professional Visual Arts career and undertook studies that resulted in achieving my BA in Visual Arts from Uni SA in 2009.

I am currently completing an Honours degree at Uni SA with the intention to continue with further post graduate studies.

I also hold a second degree, BA in Education, with specialisation in languages and have significant experience of working as a professional Interpreter and Translator.

Text written by Svetlana De Gennaro

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Introducing Sheila Whittam - Workshop Participant, Adelaide, South Australia

Consecrated Elements. Watercolour and ink. Collage and conte. - 


Betty Sumner.  Oils on Galvanised iron.  image ;detail. 

Collaboration with Aboriginal Artist Betty Sumner for The Border Crossing Art  Project

Sheila Whittam 

C.V 2010 - Short version


  • Currently Artist in Residence at The Cedars in preparation for solo exhibition called Portrait of a House. August 6-Sept19th. 2010 at Hahndorf Academy.
2009. Graduated: Degree in Bachelor of Visual Arts, Adelaide Central School of Art,
Norwood. SA.
2009. St Peter’s Cathedral Art Prize. The Crypt. 
2008. St Peter’s Cathedral Art Prize.

Solo Exhibitions.
2007 Royal SA Society of Arts. Institute Building, North Tce/ Kintore Ave, Adelaide.
2008 South Coast Regional Arts and Heritage, Goolwa, SA: touring.
2008 South Coast Regional Arts and Heritage, Hahndorf, SA: touring.
2009.Carrick Hill, Springfield, Adelaide, SA. SALA.

Artist Statement 

In May 2009 I had the opportunity to stay in an Aboriginal Community - Mutitjulu situated at the base of Uluru. This great monolithic rock was situated at our front gate, and each day I set off with my equipment to try to capture the structure.

Many tourists walked around the base of the rock honouring the sign board information about how the Aboriginal community understand their sacred stories while others climbed the rock for a challenge. It was during this time that I caught hold of the reverence and awesome magnificence of being in that place.

Consecrated Elements has an over layer over the top of the initial work – Uluru. The over layering form is from ideas I saw in the Temple de la Sacrada Familia, a Barcelona church designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. The organic forms and designs within Gaudi’s buildings are influenced by nature.

The Gaudi - esk spires that hover over Uluru are ideas about the Catholic observation of the Mass, They speak of Host, the bread that is given in the most sacred ceremony in the Christian Church.

My use of architectural forms is metaphorical in which I analyse some of the question and the dilemmas we humans find ourselves as we struggle for being. Architectural ideas provide for me a psychological space in which stairways, tunnels, passages, large spaces, open or locked doors provide an imagery of the human journey.

The mixed media drawing materials including collage and the use a palimpsest/ic process which show the process of drawing and the under layers of working. This formal concern replicates the process of aging architecture which concerns the essence of time and the usage of buildings by its curious occupiers.

Artists Statement

 Collaboration between Betty Sumner and Sheila Whittam.

Work entitled, Strange Dream upon my Day Bed

I met Betty for the first time just a few days ago and she showed me her work which was painted in oils on a support: A sheet of galvanised iron. She explained the work to me as being about the women ancestor spirits who are guarding the land around Adelaide.

She explained further that her thoughts had been about the colonisation of Adelaide by the British which was devastating for the land. Betty explained that all the micro organisms were diminished due to being changed by blasting and quarrying and removing sacred stones and earth to be formed into roads and buildings in the new colony . One such building is the first church built in Adelaide 1838: The HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, which Betty’s people have had long standing concerns about because it was built from sacred stones.

I considered her story and told her that I was part of the colonisation! I am British. I asked her how she felt about that? She replied that she could hear my accent but we are all caught up in many difficulties, especially women. I think she may be an Aboriginal feminist!

In approaching this collaboration I decided the story is too beautiful to obliterate with my own over layering. I decided that I would connect her work with an interior room, with a long day bed and pillows. That day bed usually brings sunshine in to my complacent interior life. This time it brought a view that was strange yet comforting.

Text written by Sheila Whittam

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Press Release

Helpmann Academy

For immediate release

The Border Crossing Art Project arrives in Adelaide

Opens 6:00pm, Wednesday September 22
Concludes Thursday October 14

Light Square Gallery
Adelaide College of the Arts
39 Light Square, Adelaide

Visual artists from Australia, Thailand and New Zealand have collaborated together and with South Australian artists and art students for a unique cross cultural initiative called The Border Crossing Art Project.

Showcasing the work of artists Wendy Grace Allen (nee Dawson) (New Zealand), Dr. Apichart Pholprasert (Thailand) and Helen Stacey (Australia), the Border Crossing exhibition first opened at The Art Centre Gallery at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok in February. The exhibition will be on show at the Light Square Gallery during September and October, before heading off to New Zealand later in the year.

The Border Crossing Art Project is an exploration of collaborative visual arts practice, where the artists involved - among the first graduates from the University of South Australia’s Masters of Visual Art program - experiment with multi-layered techniques that traverse geographical and cultural boundaries,” explains Helen Stacey, who has coordinated the South Australian phase of the project. “All of the pieces on show are a unique discovery of the progressive transformation of our original work, each of us reflecting on issues relating to land ownership.”

In addition to the Light Square exhibition, the collaborative research project also includes a two-day workshop, a public forum, a seminar and a series of artist floor talks. Up to 16 students, staff and visual arts graduates from the Helpmann Academy’s visual arts partner institutions will take part in a collaborative workshop, with each artist working to interpret the theme ‘border crossing’.

The Border Crossing Art Project has been supported by a Helpmann Academy major grant.

  • Public Forum - ‘New trajectories in regional cross-cultural collaboration’
Light Square Gallery, 3:00pm Thursday 23rd September
Speakers: James Bennett, Curator of Asian Art, Art Gallery of SA
Dr. Pamela Zeplin, SA School of Art and the Border Crossing artists

  • Acsa Seminar - Eddies and flows: narratives of cross-cultural collaboration
Adelaide Central School of Art Gallery, 12:00 noon, Friday 24th September
The Border Crossing Artists

  • Artists Talks: Light Square Gallery
11:00am, Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th September

For further information contact Chris Bull, Helpmann Academy Marketing Manager, on (08) 8463 5015 or 0425 615 233

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Comments from Our Guestbook in Bangkok, 5th Feb - 6th Mar 2010

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Introducing Christobel Kelly - Workshop Participant, Adelaide, South Australia

Christobel Kelly
This work is concerned with the realm of the imagination. Its intention is to codify the threshold we step over when we slip into a private narrative.

There is always a border we cross when our thoughts- prompted by experience- run towards imaginary places. This work reflects our ability to make up stories about what we see which are both universal, and individual at the same time.

The image has as a reference point, the first sentence of any book that elicits and commands the minds eye.

Text written by Christobel Kelly.
The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Introducing Sue Michael - Workshop Participant, Adelaide, South Australia

Sue Michael
Adelaide August 2010

During my childhood, my family travelled extensively across Australia in a caravan. My Grandparents could never travel this far due to work/ farming commitments. I too am like them. It has been 24 years since I have had more than a couple of days travelling across a state border. Those childhood vistas occupy my thoughts even now. This painting ‘Great Divide,’ is inspired by old slides. I have collaged 35mm slides, made tritpography- like images using dual projectors, then finally mixing our family’s slides from the 1960’s and 70’s.with stranger’s holiday snapshots. New landscapes emerged from my experimentations. The eyes stare back.

I must cross those borders once again to visit the earth energies.

My collaboration with Lindi Harris’s image continues the theme of longing to return to the earth energies that I was acutely aware of as a child.

Suitcases will be photographed at various locations around Adelaide.

Lindi’s original image has gone through a few photographic abstractions and been replicated into ‘tiles’. I have covered three suitcases resulting in a French toile feel to these Australian landscapes. Other peoples’ hearts always go with you when you travel. Vessels for these well wishes are supplied with the luggage tags.

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Friday, September 3, 2010

Introducing Lindi Harris - Workshop Participant, Adelaide, South Australia

No Borders 

Lindi Harris
This work describes my relationship to the Australian landscape and the British Isles, and evokes the power of sacred sites. It alludes to the nomadic nature of humanity, our desire to hold onto memories and objects of the past, and the effect of climate change and erosion on the built and natural landscape. Standing stone circles were constructed in the British Isles as early as 3400 BC and remained in use as astronomical observation devices until around 1500 BC, at which time northern Europe experienced a “global cooling”.1 Populations abandoned the Orkney and Shetland Islands to the north of Britain, and the Hebridean Islands to the west. Due to the subsequent lack of human activity and the peat moss that slowly covered all evidence of early civilisation, these regions today host some of the most well preserved Neolithic sites in the world. The earliest known examples of the Celtic cross, found in France and dated from 10 000 BC, are carved “ancestor stones” thought to contain the spirits of the dead. The Standing Stones of Callanish were originally laid out in the formation of a Celtic cross.2 The evolution of Uluru, central Australia, began over 900 million years ago.3 The warm reds and soft curves and contours of Uluru contrast with the angular cold grey of the Standing Stones of Callanish. As a small child emigrating in the 1960’s from the Northern hemisphere to the Southern, it was this dramatic change in light and colour that left a life-long sense impression. Both the Standing Stones and Uluru hold cultural significance to the people who live amongst them.

Processes and mediums used in this work include linocut, collograph, ink and pastel drawing and collage. Papers are Japanese Kozo, Hahnemuhle and silk paper.

Collaborating on The Border Crossing Art Project

At this stage I have selected another artists work and commenced initial studies with it. What I have learnt is how easy it is to choose similarity. I selected a piece that reflected my own values/ethics/style/medium and I feel very comfortable with it. I knew instantly how I would proceed-or at least had a couple of very clear directions to move in. How would it have been if the piece had been selected for me? If I had been required to respond to a work I didn't immediately understand? Crossing borders is uncomfortable and we avoid it where we can. This project has highlighted my discomfort with that I do not understand. And yet it is difference that attracts me. A paradox. 

About Lindi Harris

British migrant 1966 

Art student since 1966 (aged 5) when I questioned my mum about why the teacher said I was wrong because I had drawn the strokes the wrong way-my mum (an artist) told me the teacher was wrong. 

Early Childhood Education Diploma 1980 
SACAE Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling 1995 
University of South Australia Cert IV Art Practice 2001 
TAFE SA Currently student of Bachelor Degree of Visual Arts and Design 

Text written by Lindi Harris
The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shoutouts - Artgazine

Shoutouts on-line in Artgazine (Click on this link)This video was shown as part of our exhibition at The Art Centre, of our one day workshop with Thai artists and art students.
The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Visual Representation of our Collaborative Process

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo