Monday, May 26, 2014

Rising from the ashes...

I have neglected this blog so much over the past 12 months. And honestly, I thought I'd never come back to it. You see, I lost my Art (the capital A is important) mojo - I lost my love of contemporary art and I didn't know who I was without that. It hasn't come back. I don't think it ever will. The veil has lifted, the mystery dissipated, the romance stripped away. Art required too much from me, and I never felt any satisfaction from it. Art made me sad. 

But that doesn't mean that my creative fire has burned out. No way! Indeed, in letting Art go I found a well of creativity within me so deep and full of fabulous frenetic energy that now each and every day is filled with making. I craft, draw, paint, photograph and conceptualise all day, every day. 

My photography venture has taken flight and it fills my life with so much joy and meaning. You can see some of my work on my website Michelle Fleur Photography and on my Facebook Page. I spend a lot of time making things for my photoshoots, crafting headpieces and altering vintage gowns. I've also begun sewing again, and making things with my hands that are both beautiful and useful. 18 months ago we moved house into a fabulous architecturally designed late 1970's home that looks out over a valley of rooftops to the surrounding hills. When we moved in the gardens were a little neglected, but had great potential, and recently I've started the long, but fulfilling process of reworking and rejuvenating them into a tropical wonderland. There are many years of work ahead of me there, but there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the fruits of one's labour in a garden, so I take up the challenge eagerly and with great enthusiasm!

So, what to do about this little blog? Well, it's always been a place to share my creative ventures, so that is what it shall continue to be! Art, craft, gardening, whatever it may be, this will be my little space in which to share my world. If my contemporary art mojo returns I will share that too. But for now let's just go with the flow and see where that takes us?

I'm glad to be back in this space. I can't wait to share! :)

Oh and follow me on instagram if you have it. I love it there! I'm HERE, or search for username michellefleurphoto. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Smile though your heart is breaking...

Well, it has been a little while hasn't it. Six months in fact! I've needed this break though. I was a little art-drained, directionless and lost about where my practice was heading. So I decided to take some time out from my own practice and rediscover what it is that I love about contemporary art. I also started up my own photography business, Michelle Fleur Photography which has eaten up so much of my time! It has been worth it though!

But never fear, I've been working on group projects through my involvement with Current Projects and have just finished exhibiting at Melbourne Projection Space. The exhibited work, Smile though your heart is breaking was a part of the dispatch project and you can read an essay about it HERE.

Thanks to Melbourne Projection Space for the image!
Also, excitingly, Current Projects was lucky enough to exhibit with several other Queensland Artist Run Initiatives at the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair as a part of Q-ARI. We are currently showing our collaborative collective work at the Griffith University Art Gallery until 16 November. So, check it out if you can!

Finally, I'm doing a fun little project with Keiron over at KLV. I love to collaborate with other creatives (I used to loathe it but a switch changed several months ago and now I can't get enough) and I can't wait to show you what we've been up to! Stay tuned as I start to ease my way into regular blogging. I've missed you all! xx 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

AWTM Installed...

I'm currently exhibiting recent works on paper in a show titled Alone with the Moon. If you happen to be around Paddington (in Brisbane) then be sure to pop in and have a look! Here are the details:

Alone with the Moon

Recent works on paper by Michelle Knowles

24 - 27 April 2013

Viewing times: 10am - 4pm daily

Evening reception: Saturday 27 April 6 - 8pm

Percolator Gallery, 134 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington, Q, 4064

For those that can't make it I've posted a heap of pictures below. I'll be updating my website with images of each work soon.

I've made quite a few artist books over the course of the past couple of years and I really wanted to show these too. So I set up a little 'reading room' at the back of the gallery:

Also, I did a little interview with Moustache Magazine about my new works and practice in general. You can read it HERE

Friday, April 19, 2013

Autumn happenings...

It's a funny thing to finish a body of work, because it's not really finished. Those works that I took to the framers just represent another step in an ongoing journey. It's not the end of anything. It's a dot on the line. That's all. I can't slow down now. I can't stop making things. The energy and enthusiasm I have for being in the studio is abundant. I almost can't contain it. I am greedy for my own time, ignoring phone calls, making excuses not to go out, scrounging the pantry for food when I should be making trips to the supermarket. 

The weather is cooling, my surrounds are lush from the plentiful summer rains and brightly coloured parrots are resting in the trees outside. The seeds I planted in my herb garden have burst through the soil and into the light. My cat is becoming more affectionate as she searches for warm places to sleep. I am happy. So very happy.

I picked up my pieces from the framers and I couldn't be more pleased. They did a beautiful job. I can't wait to get them on the gallery walls. My show starts next wednesday, so if you are from Brisbane and reading this, please do come along. I'd appreciate it so much! I'll be in the gallery every day, so I'd love a few minutes of your company. Better yet, come on opening night and I will give you wine! Or beer, whatever you prefer. :)

Details are HERE.

I hope you're happy too.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Alone with the Moon

Wowsers! After a frenzied and frenetic 6 weeks of studio madness I've finally finished the work for my next exhibition. Yesterday afternoon I carefully placed sheets of greaseproof paper between each work and bundled them all up into a large plastic folio. Then I took myself, and my works, to the framers. They're there now and I can't wait to see them in their new frames.

As you can see, these works aren't for neutral palette lovers. No, indeed! I haven't even tried to reign in my love of colour here. It's all out there. I'm interested in psychedelia and have wanted to make a body of work which explores the visual aesthetic of psychedelic art for a while now. I think that a psychedelic aesthetic has penetrated much of my work in the past, but self censorship has always forced me to pull back, sometimes editing out all traces of the influence. It's no secret that I love bold, bright and bombastic colour so I'm not shy of exploring the psychedelic visual, however it's tricky to go there without falling into visual cliches. Here I've used rorschachs, kaleidoscopic designs, loose symmetry and stream of conscious scribbles to build these works. The animals reference a symbology, one that's more archetypal than personal. Whales are like the most super new-age creature on the planet don't ya know? Especially if they're flying through cosmic star dust! 

This is the first time I will exhibit works on paper and I'm very excited as they are an important part of my practice. I already have plans to create a larger project from these works, extending them into objects and wearable pieces. Yes!  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Late night solo art parties...

The studio is a riot of colour at the moment. I've been frantically working on pieces for my next show. I really need to get them to the framers tomorrow but there are a few works that I'm not quite happy with yet. I think a late night of tinkering is ahead of me. But it's all good, 'cause Braveheart is on the TV and is proving to be quite good company. I can't really watch it while I'm working, but like most people I've seen it about a zillion times, so listening to the dialogue is enough to keep me up to speed. Anyway, I thought I'd take a break to snap some photos and give myself some distance from the work. I'm so happy with these pieces - they kind of made themselves - collapsing together in front of me. Think pink, flouro, sea creatures, metallic gel pens, gestural marks, feathers, butterflies and scribbly spots all mixed up in a bowl of psychedelic abandon. They're little trips...made for activating your crown chakra and penetrating your mind's eye. Or something like that. :/ In any case, they've been so long in the making that it feels like a great achievement to see so many completed works piled up on the dining room table. Yes. Good.

Well, I'd best get back to it. But before I do here are some pics of the colourful chaos that surrounds me. Isn't it grand?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cut + Paste

It's all about paper around here at the moment as I prepare for my next exhibition in April. I'm showing works on paper, and works made with paper - works that I wouldn't usually have the opportunity to exhibit but which inform my practice as strongly as the 'big' stuff. These are small scale works, quiet in many ways, but they still explore my interests in the otherworldly and the absurd. The vast majority of works in this exhibition will be collages. Originally I planned to show drawings and watercolours but in trying to pull together a cohesive body of work they got pushed aside.

I've been revisiting works that I started many years ago, adding to them and trying to push them in new directions. If someone asked me how long it took to complete some of these works, and I responded honestly with '4 years', I doubt they would believe me. I now understand what my university lecturers meant when they spoke about 'process'. It really is everything. I'm amazed at how patient I have become in the studio, how methodical, thoughtful and contemplative. I can, and do, spend hours and days deliberating over the selection of works I would like to show and how I want to show them. I have become picky, finicky and very deliberate. Less is more. Until it isn't. And this is where I am at right now. Needing to take a risk with many pieces and being tentative about it. Time to be brave. It's OK, I have courage in abundance, it's just a matter of digging down deep enough to find it!

Working on the pieces for this show has been a delight. I have the luxury of time and it's wonderful to spend so many hours engaged in making without distraction. My phone has been playing up since I returned from holidays so I've abandoned it and I tell you, life is so much more pleasant without it. I've been curbing my internet time to an hour a day (more when I'm writing applications - you need to mix it up when engaged in such drudgery! ;) ), and spending time outside so that I don't become one of those crazy, pale, bug-eyed, cave-dwelling types. It's good. Simplicity and a loose routine makes for productivity...I hope it continues! I'll just keep squirrelling away for the next couple of weeks until time demands that I stop and take stock of what I've done. 

Oh, and look at what arrived in the mail invites! An awful lot of them too. Geebus! I have no idea how I'm going to get rid of them all. Should you want one email me your address and I'll pop one in the post for you when I do my mail out next week. Don't be shy! There's plenty to go 'round. They'll match your fridge too. :)

Bye bye.