Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Matthew Dowling - From Landcare Officer to Photographic Artist

I first became interested in taking landscape photographs in 1990 when I was employed as a Landcare Officer based at Port Augusta. During the three years I worked for the Department of Agriculture, I travelled huge distances attending landcare meetings from the Gawler Ranges west of Port Augusta, to Copper Hills Station near Marla and even at Moomba in the middle of the Strzelecki Desert.

It was during those long trips by car or plane that I fell in love with the desert landscape of outback South Australia and the almost overwhelming beauty of the Flinders Ranges. Although I’d visited these regions many times before, it almost felt like I’d rediscovered this vast expanse of SA by experiencing the full range of seasonal changes that have created this complex ancient landscape.

Gradually I expanded my range of subject matter and to my delight I discovered the ‘moody’ wetlands of the Limestone Coast/South East region; the Adelaide Botanic Gardens; Fleurieu Peninsula’s exquisite coastal landscapes; grand 19th Century buildings; the mining history and secluded beaches of Yorke Peninsula; the fabulous isolation of Kangaroo Island and most rewarding of all - capturing people ‘doing their own thing’ whilst completely oblivious of the camera.

Many people ask me how I became a photographer? No, I am not an industry trained photographer. I believe that my ability to compose a good photograph developed during my Parks & Wildlife Management Degree and the subsequent large number of field based environmental projects that I was associated with over a 15 year period. When composing a photograph I attempt to have as many contrasting colours and patterns in the camera’s view finder as possible.

Incorporating Human Form into the Natural Landscape

Whilst working at the High St Gallery in Willunga during 2005, visitors from Adelaide often remarked to me how sensual the Sellicks Hill Ranges were. These ranges form a prominent backdrop to the township of Willunga. Gradually it dawned on me that I should create a photographic art portfolio which reflects the sensuous nature of the Fleurieu Peninsula by incorporating the human form into my landscape images.

The two best images that have best captured the synergistic relationship between the human form and natural landscapes are: ‘Lettuce Lady, Maslin Cliffs and ‘Silk Moth, Sellicks Hill’.

Embracing New Technology

Having intensively used the fabulous program Photoshop for 12 months or so, during 2005 quite by chance I discovered that it was possible to easily reverse the colours of an image, such that a blue sky become ochre and ochre rocks are converted into various shades of blue.

At its best this reversal of colour can transform an image into what is best described as ‘colour x-ray’. The attractive ochre rocks in the photo ‘Radio Active Rocks, Victor Harbor’ appear to be almost radio-active in the colour reversal image, hence the title. Another image that has been magically transformed via Photoshop is ‘Chocolate Sea, Port Willunga’.

Why is My Business Called Desert Lime?

This shrub or small tree is Australia’s only true citrus species that grows in many parts of inland Australia. The closest stand of Desert Lime to Adelaide is a small grove adjacent to Mambray Creek National Park in the foothills of the southern Flinders Ranges. I choose this name from a book on bush tucker to reflect my love for the Australian continent.

Photographic Art: My Secret Garden

Somewhere within all of us there is a secret garden. This is a place only truly known to yourself in whom we seek refuge when times are tough - feel the need to contemplate the universe or simply do something that gives us joy. We all have emotional landscapes inside us, secret rooms where feelings and impressions blossom into our secret garden.

Some people talk about it, others write poems or express their inner feelings on canvas. Sitting in your favourite chair contemplating the joy of life or simply take a walk amongst nature allows many of us to nurture our own secret garden. For me, my secret garden is the joy I feel when I’m amongst nature capturing those exquisite moments or even ‘sneaking up on’ members of the human species when they are blissfully unaware of the camera whilst doing their own thing.

Website Images/Biography

www.artroom.com.au (click on Artists in menu)

Joint Exhibitions

‘The Fleurieu Experience’ with Leigh Marshall, Shingleback Winery, McLaren Vale, Oct 2006
‘Corroboree’ with John Davis and Evelyn Roth, Red Poles Gallery, March 2007
‘Eclecticity’ with Evelyn Roth and John Davis, South Coast Regional Art Centre, Goolwa, May 2007
‘Textural Tensions’ with Kim Thomson, Willy Hill Café, Willunga, August 2007

Solo Exhibitions

Tandanya Café, Adelaide, Nov 2001
‘Taste of the Outback’, Waverley House, Willunga, Sept 2002
‘Inner Reflections’, The Art Room Gallery, Hyde Park, June 2003
‘Ochre Dreaming’, Rawnsley Park Station, Flinders Ranges, July 2003
‘Epi:Fleurean’, Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre, Oct 2004
‘Fleurieu: Four Seasons’, Waverley House, Willunga, March 2005

Competition Wins

2004 Winner, Penola District Business & Tourism Acquisitive Photographic Competition
2005 Winner, Penola District Business & Tourism Acquisitive Photographic Competition
2006 Merit Award, Willunga Almond Blossom Festival Photographic Competition
2007 Merit Award, Alexandrina Photographic Exhibition

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MuscularTeeth - breaking patterns

MuscularTeeth was born, raised and lives in Adelaide, South Australia and wouldnt have it any other way. MuscularTeeth started out about four years ago dabbling in the field of electronic music - and quickly getting local radio play and reaching 1st in the electronica genre of JJJ unearthed. Realising that he needed to get more people hooked to his music, MuscularTeeth started to make short videos for the music he wrote so people could stare at something on the screen whilst listening. MuscularTeeth uses vintage footage from the 20's through to the 70's, often splicing dozens of seperate movies, adverts and news reels together to create something quite unique. Quickly his videos became popular on the internet, and this was his mainstay of Art for about two years. The videos either told a story by splicing footage together (see APE VS MAN SPACE WAR as an example) or relied on the footage synchonising heavily with the audio. MuscularTeeth now has 51 videos across the internet and his music has become available on itunes, napster and the like due to this. Well over 130,000 people have watched his videos - and one video NUANCE received 7000 views in a single day on one website alone. MuscularTeeth then started to dabble in photography and started to draw like he did when younger. Joining Redbubble.com his Art/Tshirt range is extensive and he has one tshirt included in the most popular of all time (as well as a tshirt listed as 'Most Wanted' on Mysoti.com). His short story "Air" has been on the front page of AustralianReader.com In 2008 MuscularTeeth was voted the most helpful member of Redbubble.com - out of, at that time, roughly 90,000 members. This was and is a huge award/honor for MuscularTeeth as it reflected on his commitment towards Art and nurturing a community spirit of comradeship with all he meets online and in real life. MuscularTeeth enjoys interaction with everyone. Indeed MuscularTeeth has collaborated with artists (making them music videos) in America, Austria, interstate Australia, and Romania and even more artists throughout the world on other small projects. MuscularTeeth works with a friend in the electronic act "SONTAGE" as a side project, and is also currently working with Tania Rose of NSW on a collaborative CD. Approximatly four years from starting, MuscularTeeth is well on the way towards a succesful career in all things Art - writing, photography, design, music and video. http://www.reverbnation.com/muscularteeth

Monday, September 21, 2009

Opening dates for the Outsiders Festival - Adelaide 2009

We are happy to announce the following dates for the opening of the Outsiders Festival - Adelaide - 1-30 November 2009:

The West Torrens Auditorium
1 Brooker Terrace, Hilton
1 November 2009 - 1:00 - 3.00 PM

The Elbow Gallery - The Parks Community Centre
2-46 Cowan St, Angle Park
5 November 2009 - 10:00-11:00 am.

Stefan Maguran
(+618) 8297 5760

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

JUNK ARTIST Steve Oatway

After 23 years of working in a Government defence environment and discovering ART after attending a welding course, I made a decsion to leave my job and dedicate my life to art. I took a package to get me started in 2004 since that time I have developed my website to share the amazing world of junk art with the world www.renkrn8.com.au I have exhibited in many galleries in South Australia most recent 2009 SALA Festival, Northern Territory, twice in New York City in 2006 and Texas USA. I have appeared on TV, ABC Stateline, Ch 7 News, Ch31 Community Channel most major Adelaide newspapers, American publications, Nickelodeon, Gallery & Studio New York and many Radio Interviews.

Currently working as a fulltime artist in a restored Church at Punthari Mannum S.A after returning from two years living and working as a Team Leader Youth worker on the Imanpa Aboriginal Community in the Northern Territory teaching welding, junk art, entering exhibitions and creating short films on the making of art and the art processes.

Yours in ART

Friday, September 11, 2009

A brilliant article

IN SEPTEMBER 2006, the Halle Saint Pierre in Paris hosted a survey of Australian outsider artists. The event was organised by Orange Regional Gallery, without a cent of support from the Australia Council. At the same time, the council spent $1.3 million to see works by Aboriginal artists copied onto the walls and ceiling of the Musee du Quai Branly's administration building. Shortly afterwards, more than $2 million was found to send three artists - and numerous bureaucrats and curators - to the Venice Biennale. Needless to say, the two latter events were hailed as extraordinary triumphs for Australian art abroad, although it is difficult to find much corroboration outside of the Ozco press releases. The Australian outsiders show, which cost about $40,000, having been assisted by the Gordon Darling Foundation, was well received in Paris but hardly made a ripple in Australia. This is a familiar story for outsider artists in this country. Outsider art is the English-language term for that movement the French artist, Jean Dubuffet, dubbed "l'Art brut" or "raw art". To provide the most basic of definitions, outsider art is made by people who work outside of the accepted art networks and institutions. In many cases, the artists suffer from mental illness or disability but the list also includes prisoners, hermits and anyone who simply doesn't fit. There has always been a stigma associated with psychiatric illness and this is reflected in the institutional neglect of outsider art. A few years ago, I lent support to a project that proposed a museum of outsider art for Parramatta. The idea was obviously not sexy for the local council, which is now talking about spending millions on a centre for digital media - a proposal that has the capacity to be an expensive white elephant. It does, however, have the clean, "modern" veneer beloved of politicians and bureaucrats. This attitude is also found in public galleries that have acquired vast quantities of work by insiders such as Mike Parr, who strive to emulate the unselfconscious creative processes of outsiders. They have been less willing to see merit in the genuine article. In other words, while funding bodies and museums have supported all kinds of "radical" art, they have hesitated to get behind anything too conspicuously raw. The National Gallery of Australia possesses a small outsider collection, thanks to a bequest from Peter Fay, who donated part of his private holdings in 2003. Another notable patron is the art dealer Stuart Purves, who has acquired hundreds of works from the Art Projects workshop in Melbourne. The steady growth of local interest in outsider art mirrors a worldwide escalation of exhibitions in private and public venues, dedicated workshops and publications. In the past few years, I've seen exhibitions by outsiders such as Henry Darger and Augustin Lesage in Paris and a survey at London's Whitechapel Gallery that put outsiders alongside some of the biggest names in modern art. If one had to speculate as to why outsider art is becoming more prominent, one need only look at the upper echelons of the contemporary art world where there now exists a cosy - almost conspiratorial - relationship between the big-name artists and the marketplace. In the 1970s, conceptual artists went to extraordinary lengths to avoid making objects that could be co-opted by the art market. Nowadays the game is to make a piece of glittering kitsch or a contemptuous daub and charge the highest possible price. More often than not, some rich but shallow "investor" will buy it. Selling junk to the super-rich is considered to be not only profitable but "subversive". Welcome to the modern world, where all forms of greed and corporate barbarity are justified by the "dismal science" of economics. For certain artists and curators, the grotesque spectacle of such a society, in which everything is measured in monetary terms, holds a perverse fascination. This trend has created an audience of "outsiders" who look to art for a more immediate form of experience. They seek an art that is moving or challenging - that appeals to the heart rather than one's fashion sense..."
How outsiders get a raw deal - John McDonald September 6, 2008 - The Sydney Morning Herald
copyright John McDonald - used with permission

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Angela Polglaze, the chainsaw chick

My name is Angela Polglaze and I am a ‘Power Carver’.‘Power Carving’, as the name suggests, is the practice of creating monumental sculpture quickly with the use of powered tools … primarily chainsaws, grinders, sanders, routers and the like. A noisy, jaw dropping, crowd-pleasing spectacle, ‘Power Carving’ has become a popular Performance Art of it’s own accord, with public events drawing huge crowds the world over.13 years ago I was to pick up a chainsaw for the first time in my life with the sole purpose of making art. Immediately hooked, it wasn’t until 2002 that I discovered the International Power Carving Circuit via the internet. Beyond my wildest imaginings this discovery lead to a whirlwind 8 years of carving in over a hundred competitive and non-competitive events around the globe, including Canada and Japan, across the USA and the UK, and various European countries. I was quick to become recognized amongst my peers as one of the leading female competitive power carvers in the world during this time, winning several awards along the way, including being the only woman and non Scottish resident to win 1st place in Scotland (still), and the first female to place 1st in a ‘Masters of the Chainsaw’ chainsaw-only carving event in the USA. A prolific decade for me to say the least, with total dedication to my chosen art practice, and although I have explored various subject matter over the years (and still do), my bold use of color and my ‘Cheesy Chick’ series … or ‘My Girls’ … have undeniably become my signature pieces, with ‘Clown Girl’ winning 3rd in the USA 2006 and ‘Little Miss Leather Fetish’ taking 3rd in the European Open in Steinbeck Germany 2007. In 2006 I was a founding member of the first international female power carving team, the ‘Chainsaw Chix’. It has been a wild, creative and hugely inspirational life journey these past few years, and a terrific amount of fun, but I have missed being home in Australia and I am delighted to be back, and honored to be a participant … alongside some of ‘My Girls’ … in the Outsiders Festival of 2009. We look forward to seeing you there !!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The major sponsors for the Outsiders Festival - Adelaide - 1-30 November 2009 so far are: The West Torrens Council, The Parks Community Centre, Redbubble, Raw Vision Magazine and SAFM.
Organisations helping out: CAN (Community Access Network), Arts-Access and Arts-Access-SA, NEAMI, Tutti, Club 68, NAVA, the ABC, the Helpmann Academy, TAFE SA, the Fringe Festival, Downunder Hub.
Special thanks to the following people (in random order) (hope not to miss anyone): Sarah McCarthy, Steve Langdon, Brad Buchel, Renate Nisi, Ava Leitner, Peter Jungle Philips, Mike Retter, Mike Barr, Wendy Olsen, Gerhard Ritter, Mike Greenwood, Miron Abramovich, Lisa Phillip-Harbutt, Alex Bickford, Angela Polglaze, Leon Woods, Tony Moffitt, Mark Roberts, Michelle Mitolo, Paul Hoban, Nicolle Cheung, Peter Tregligas, Paul Collier, and I'm sure I've missed a few. Alzheimers...