Elysha Gould: upcoming artist-in-residence

Elysha Gould, Destruction Creation, 2011, cut paper stencil installation

Elysha Gould is currently based in Toowoomba, Queensland, where she is developing her practice as an artist and balancing life as a mother and Co-Director and founder of artist-run gallery Made Creative Space.  She completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 2008 at University of Southern Queensland, and has exhibited in group and solo shows in Toowoomba, Brisbane, Townsville, the US and New Zealand.   In 2010 Gould was commissioned to create an installation for Artist's Dozen - a Brisbane City Council Creative City Initiative, and in 2011 she began setting up a regional artist exchange program between Toowoomba and the village of Sam Rit in Thailand.

Elysha Gould, Nuclear Power Plant, 2011, cut paper stencil

My Japanese heritage has always played an influential role in my art practice alongside my recent experiences of domestic life as a young mother. The profound aesthetic of compositional balance and nature-inspired content within traditional Japanese art is something that I strive to achieve in my own work. Using contrasting contexts in imagery and materials, my work explores ideas of cross-cultural compositions. I incorporate visual metaphors such as carp fish and origami cranes, as references to my Japanese lineage and traditional Japanese folk art forms.

During my stay at Gunyah, I intend to explore the contrasting environments of the coastal region of Port Stephens and the inland city of Toowoomba.  Water will be my point of interest as I compare this natural entity, from the man-made water features of an inland city particularly dams and constructed creeks, to the organic body of water in Port Stephens.  I will also explore the differing perceptions of water between a coastal and an inland city.  Within Toowoomba, water has long been a sparse commodity with the region affected by decades of droughts, until recently when too much water became a threat as torrential rain created damaging floods.  It will be a nice change to appreciate this natural resource with a sense of enjoyment whilst staying at Gunyah. My explorations will culminate into a series of preliminary drawings, paintings and stencil cuts.
(Elysha Gould,  July 2011)

To see more of Elysha Gould's work go to www.elyshagould.com

Elysha Gould, Nuclear Power Plant, 2011, cut paper stencil, detail view

Keiko Matsui: upcoming artist-in-residence

Keiko Matsui, Still Life Torn, 2011, porcelain, dimensions variable

Keiko Matsui was born in Osaka, Japan, and immigrated to Australia in 1999. In 2006 she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) majoring in Ceramics at the National Art School, East Sydney. She has exhibited widely in Australia and overseas and been awarded several prizes including the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, the Fete Picasso Small Object prize in France and she was also an exhibiting finalist in the John Fries Memorial Prize 2011. Recently Matsui received an ArtStart Grant from the Australian Council of the Arts. Her ceramics can be found at Object Gallery in Surry Hills, the S. H. Ervin Gallery on Observatory Hill, the Sturt Gallery in Mittagong, Craft Victoria in Melbourne and National Gallery shop in Canberra. Along with her practice, she teaches ceramics to children and adults in Bondi.

Keiko Matsui, Still Life Torn, 2011, detail view

I am a Japanese born, Sydney based, ceramic artist. My Japanese heritage, with its long history of and respect for ceramics, combined with the experience of living in Australia, an innovative new culture, are the major influences in my work. 

I focus on making forms that act as my canvas. I have been practising calligraphy and drawing since I was small and I now find joy in using Australian porcelain to give my lines form and shape. Porcelain can be difficult to work with but the invitation of its pure whiteness, translucency, density and surface qualities more than compensate for any problems. It is through clay that I express my emotions and through this ongoing journey of process; refining surface, texture and colour, is similar to a path of self-discovery. 

Researching form and colour in nature gives me fresh ideas for new work. I look to nature for motives to draw onto my ceramics so while at the residency in Gunyah I would explore and sketch the area then apply these botanical or landscape motives to my ceramics when back in the studio. By visiting new places and investigating different shapes and colours I refresh my eye. The idea of working at Gunyah is exciting also because it would allow me to explore my long held desire to make vessels from leaves, twigs, paper and fabric. 

I look forward to being be isolated from my busy city-life whilst at Gunyah, no instant communication for a week would enable me to clear my mind and let in new creative ideas, to totally concentrate on my work. It will be a welcomed meditation for me.
(Keiko Matsui, July 2011)

Emily Valentine Bullock: Hand Bagged, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #1, 2011

Hand Bagged, 2011, Emily Valentine Bullock

In October 2011, I was artist-in-residence at Gunyah at North Arm Cove, Port Stephens. I went there with the intention of pushing myself in a new direction, to do something new and extend my photography practice.

The resulting series of photographs, titled "Hand Bagged", shows people wearing handbags around their necks. Through these images I aim to show how the handbag is like jewellery – it has the status and power relating to design and manufacturing, what it is made of, how it is worn and carried. Is the handbag itself valuable or just a chain around our necks? With these images I wanted to create the feeling of burden (which I don’t think I captured) and the ridiculousness of our need to carry our lives with us constantly.

I choose the bush garden as the backdrop and let my friends’ select their own pose and bag. I am in the first and last photos.
(Emily Valentine, December 2011)

To see more of Emily's work go to www.emilyvalentine.com.au

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #2, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #3, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #4, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #5, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #6, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #7, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #8, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #9, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #10, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #11, 2011

Emily Valentine Bullock, Hand Bagged #12, 2011