About 50 brave and dedicated art lovers honoured me yesterday afternoon by attending the opening of my South Australian Living Artists exhibition, After the rains at the Duke of Brunswick Hotel (the DOB). As one attendee observed as he brushed rain drops off his coat, it seems the rains hadn't actually stopped!
Despite the wintery conditions, it was cosy in the DOB, the launch was a wonderful event and it was terrific both to catch up with old friends and to meet some new ones.
Many thanks to all who supported me and helped in practical ways to make it happen, including Malinda, Simon, Maria and Adele.
Many thanks also to Katrina Lazaroff, who gave a beautiful opening speech. Katrina is the CEO and Artistic Director of The Mill, South Australia’s leading multidisciplinary arts organisation, opened the exhibition, and I felt greatly honoured to have her officiate.
The exhibition runs for the whole of August, so there is plenty of time for you to visit the DOB and see my works.
There are 12 paintings, all with an Augmented Reality (AR) dimension. What does that mean? It means that in order to enjoy the full experience when looking at the artwork, you need to view it through the Artivive mobile phone app and have earphones plugged in to your phone. This is because I have created unique animations with a 3D feel for each work. In addition, a soundscape composed especially for each individual work by sonic artist Simon Koehn has been added. That is why you need your mobile phone and your earphones with you when you visit the exhibition.
Here are some instructions for getting your mobile device ready to view the artworks:
Once you have installed to app on your device you can try it out on the painting below. You'll need to get the painting up on another device or computer screen, then point your phone's camera at the painting while the Artivive app is open, and hey presto!
You can see the exhibition during the DOB's normal opening hours. It's actually a great place to have a meal, with a casual atmosphere and a completely gluten free menu! One tip about that: if you want a meal there you need to book. It's a popular spot.
And while you're there, have a look at the quirky, fun art of Meg Mader and Stu Nankivell. Coincidentally they had an opening on the same afternoon as I did, and double coincidentally, they have also applied AR to their artworks. So you'll need your phone loaded with the Artivive app to view their works as well. They are definitely worth a look. Click here to go to Meg's Facebook page.
Invitations are out to my approaching SALA exhibition!....Trumpet fanfare!
SALA stands for South Australian Living Artists, and the SALA Festival, which is held every year in August, involves some 600 venues and 9000 artists!....Gaping mouths!
Why not visit the SALA website? If you find my entry in the program you will see two of my paintings and be able to sample the AR enhancements by pointing your mobile camera at the image on the screen (with the Artivive app installed and open). And don't forget to use earphones.
And guess what? I am a finalist for the SALA Unitcare Services Digital Media Award! ....Cymbals and fireworks!!!
Apparently judging will be during the festival.
Here's some more information about how you can experience AR at my exhibition:
This afternoon I took a break from studying the gait of emus to stretch some canvases.
Using some good quality, pre-gessoed cotton-duck and some beautiful pine stretcher bars purchased from Art Stretchers last month, I assembled three canvases, two large and one small.
Hang on....the gait of emus, I hear you muse?
Yes, the gait of emus.
I acknowledge this might sound rather odd, but I'd like to keep you in suspense for the time being.
Except to say that it has something to do with my August SALA exhibition, After the Rains. If you want to fine out more, head to the Illume Arts Studio Facebook page.
Pastel is a lovely medium. I use it a lot:
Summer days lost - Kangaroo Island
Deliquescence - Lake Torrens
Several years ago I came across a clearance sale where pastels were going for an unbeatable price, and I nabbed as many as I could. Pastel paintings have featured amongst my works ever since.
'Pastel painting?' I hear some of you say, 'Aren't they best described as drawings?' Well, despite the fact that pastels come in crayon or pencil form, the term painting is used to describe a pastel artwork, provided the entire surface of the work is covered. If it isn't, then the term drawing may be used. I usually refer to my pastel works as paintings because I cover the surface with them.
Why do I like pastels so much?
They are easy to use, needing no smelly solvents. You don't have the problem of having to finish working them before they dry (watercolours and acrylics), or waiting weeks until they are dry (oils). The colours are vibrant, despite the fact that used as an adjective, pastel means pale. The artist can achieve a range of textures, from very soft blends and gradients, to rough and raw. If one insists on using them as watercolours, that can also be done, applying water to create a wash effect. They are also easy to go over or erase. Some types of pastels are hard, some are soft, some come in chunky blocks, others come in pencil form. I prefer soft pastels.
One drawback with pastels is that they generate dust. I can get pretty messy when doing a pastel. The dust also creates complications for care of pastel paintings. I always seal my pastel paintings using a spray-on fixative that smells like hair spray. I suspect it is the same stuff! If you’ve ever used hairspray you’ll know that while it holds, it does not make one’s hair as solid as a rock. Similarly, pastel fixative does not completely prevent smudging or dust fall. This is something you might like to note if ever you buy one. When framing a pastel I will put it behind glass, and I’ll also create a gap between the painting and any mattboard I use to mount the work. It is inevitable that over time, some dust will fall from the work. If a gap is left for the dust to fall behind, it doesn’t accumulate on the edge of the mattboard, which would be somewhat unsightly. When transporting a pastel it is important that it is kept upright so that dust does not cloud the glass or fall on the mattboard.
In case you assume pastel is a rather obscure medium, it’s been used by some very famous artists, two you may have heard of being Jean François Millet and Edgar Degas.
Dancers at the Barre, by Edgar Degas.
It’s been such a great week! Ever since I created a profile on the SALA website my email accounts have been busy.
One particularly exciting email was from the lovely people at Uptogether Healthcare, a disability services provider based in Adelaide’s southern regions. They have recently expanded into McLaren Vale and have brand new premises that they thought needed a lift, so they decided to ask some local artists to hang their works there. As Shirley Coleman, one of the directors, explained to me, it's also about building connections and becoming part of the local community.
Seeing my name on the SALA website, Shirley got in touch and invited me to take part. Last Saturday Malinda and I made our way to Uptogether's McLaren Vale premises to hang some works. We then enjoyed the great pleasure of meeting Shirley face to face, and she introduced us to their other director, Sharon Storr. They were both so friendly and fun!
We wish Uptogether every success as they start their McLaren Vale journey, supporting people with disabilities to live their lives to the fullest.
By the way, part of the deal is that 10% of the proceeds of sale of artworks will be donated to OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. According to their website, OzHarvest's mission is 'to "Nourish our Country" by stopping good food from going to waste and delivering it to charities that help feed people in need'.
Thanks to all who attended the opening of Catching the Song on 1 September. There were about 70 or 80 of you! What a great time we all had! We are very grateful particularly to those who so kindly helped out (Adele, Simon, Jesse, Mel, John, David, Helen, Teti, Elke and Sarah).
If you couldn't get there and still want to have a look at our art, viewing hours are Monday to Friday 10 am to 4 pm until and including 27 September. Entry is via the North Adelaide Public Library. Just make your way through the library to the hall behind. Apart from that you can pop in this Saturday, 15 September, between 11 am and 2 pm when Oliver will be there to greet and chat with you.
If you wish to enquire about purchasing a work, please go to our contact page.
Oliver and Malinda
Ostinato, Malinda Jenner
Unfortunately the viewing times for our approaching exhibition, "Catching the Song", have changed.
They are now:
Saturday 1st September 2pm-4pm (this is when the opening happens - everyone is invited)
Saturday 15th September 11am-2pm (Oliver Gerhard will be there to tell you about the artwork)
Monday to Friday from 3rd to 27th September, 10am-4pm.
Hope you can still make it.
Click here to go to Facebook event page to register your interest.
Oliver Gerhard 😀 and Malinda Jenner 😀
We at Illume Arts Studio are busy preparing for our approaching exhibition, Catching the Song. Together with Jan Burns we explore the music that threads its way through all living things.
Everybody is invited to the opening. There will be wine, nibbles, music and it should be a buzz. For enquiries click here and leave a message.
Oliver and Malinda