Good morning! As part of my work with FORM I’ve been privileged to write about many clever artists and jaw-droppingly beautiful artworks, including those by West Australian Indigenous artists. FORM has collaborated extensively with many established and emerging WA Indigenous art centres and artists and one of the ‘littlest’ art centres (in terms of newness) is Spinifex Hill Artists based in Port Hedland in the Pilbara. The group formed several years ago in an arts development project run by FORM and since then they have launched a handful of exhibitions and sell their work through regional markets such as the Port Hedland West End Markets.
I wrote a piece about one of Spinifex Hill Artists’ exhibitions back in 2010 and recently rediscovered it among my files, so I thought it was worth sharing – you can flick through the entire exhibition catalogue (including my story – Invisible Histories) HERE.
Spinifex Hill Artists also have their own blog – HERE.
*Catalogue images Copyright and courtesy of FORM; artworks Copyright the individual artists. Book design by Amy Moffatt.
Hello! It’s a breezy, humid Sunday here; the perfect kind of day to pop up a piece I wrote at the start of the year about one of my favourite West Australian painters, Larry Mitchell. His work is so meticulous and evocative and it perfectly captures the character of a place. I wrote this essay and produced the publication it lives in as part of my work at FORM - in fact this project was the last I worked on before having my baby – I worked on it from home in the latter stages of my pregnancy. The talented Sandra Elms designed the book and it was part of a stunning exhibition at FORM, Larry Mitchell: The Pilbara Project, and fantastic bigger project about Western Australian desert and outback life called The Pilbara Project.I’ve also included a few layouts from the book as a teaser (available from FORM).
I have always loved this painting by French artist Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, titled Madame Vigée-Lebrun et sa fille. It was painted in 1789 but it looks so modern and fresh to me; I think because of the genuine tenderness and liveliness of mother and baby. Since having my own child I’ve become unsurprisingly fascinated by mother and child paintings and while they are beautiful, accomplished paintings I have found some of them to be somehow lacking in genuine ‘motherlove’ – the faces are too formal or too perfectly serene, for example. But this one, to me at least, describes just perfectly that unassuming sense love a mother shows for her child.
I came across this gorgeous project via Wit + Delight:From Cover to Cover is a pet project by designer Jenny Volvovskiin which she envisions and designs a cover for every book she reads. She has read and imagined a few of my own favourite novels (her covers for these are featured below – yes, I confess to a love of Agatha Christie) and I love her aesthetic, which flits between a sort of simplified, stylised pop and beautifully fluid and romantic.
As a writer and reader I’ve always placed great stock in the cover of a novel. I despise novels adapted to film that feature a film still on their cover – I think because the novel existed before the movie and continues to exist in its own right, as its own entity, therefore should have an independent cover. But of course I understand the leverage this affiliation would create for the writer so really who am I to lament? But I digress … for me a novel is like a satisfyingly neat rectangular box that, when opened, allows me to access entirely new worlds. A novel is an adventure and the physical book is the touchstone. So a compelling cover not only sells a novel to me, but it exists as an object of beauty, wonder and intrigue that reminds me of the adventures to be had, the adventures already had. There is something so winsome about that, don’t you think?