Tuesday, July 28, 2009

John Mawurndjul

John Mawurndjul is from Maningrida, in North Australia. He was born in 1952 and has been intensely prolific for thirty years.

Mardayin at Mankarrard 2004 Ochres on bark 204 x 74 cm
Mardayin Ceremony 1999 ochres on bark 153 x 88 cm

I've gathered these images and information from a book just published in 2008 about the collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty, Beyond Sacred, Recent Painting from Australia's remote Aboriginal communities. The specific text about John Mawurndjul is by Apolline Kohen. Mardayin at Makkamukka 1998ochres on bark 158 x 78 cm

In 1989, his work was included in the landmark exhibition "Les magiciens de la terre" at the Centre Georgess Pompidou in Paris, France. During the 90's his work became abstract images about the rarely performed Mardayin ceremony. This is a ceremony about clan identity and about mortuary rites.
His paintings are on bark. I only have seen them in reproduction, but I imagine them to be wonderfuly textural and earthy in reality. Mardayin at Kakodbebuldi 1998 orchres on bark 154 x 64 cm

His work since 2000 are abstract representations of places in his clan estate. I am inspired by the way John Mawurndjul balances circles within intense backgrounds. His use of the cross hatching infil (called rarrk) in the backgrounds is innovative and has been a huge influence on other Kuninku artists. Mardayin at Milmilngkan 2003 etching on paper 60 x 35 cm

In 2005, the artist was given a retrospective of his work at the Musee Jean Tinguely in Basel, Switzerland that then travelled to Germany.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sue Hammond West

Wisdom Nerve paint, wool, silk, thread, objects on felt 72" x 72" 2006-2007 In 2007, I took a four day workshop with Sue Hammond West at the Surface Design Association conference in Kansas City. The class was called "Art as Quiet" and I loved it. Each session began with meditation. We painted with acrylic on scraps of upholstry material and stitched into them afterwards. We did not make small talk while creating and this encouraged each of us to work with inner passion. Abundance Magnent paint, silk yarn stitching, gold leaf on industrial felt , 72" x 72" 2006 Sue Hammond West also had an exhibition in Kansas City at that time and I was very impressed with seeing her work. It is very large and simple with barely tangible circles and organic shapes surrounded by large quanities of space. I found myself emotionally gripped by her work. numina paint, paper, mica, stitching on cloth 49" x 50" 1999 - 2004 She currently teaches at Naropa, the Bhuddist University in Boulder, Colorado. Tacit Longing paint, paper, rocks, flower petals on industrial upholstry cloth 59" x 60" 2003-2004 These images of her work are from her 2007 self published catalog of mixed media textile paintings as well as from an article about her work by Ginger Knowlton that I read in the spring 2007 Surface Design Journal. Nectarian Moonlight paint and stitch on industrial upholstery, 79" x 38.5", 2006