Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spin Cycle at Heathcote

Spin Cycle opened last Friday night, the 20th January 2012. If you couldn't make it,  included here are photos with a few short videos of the installation for you to see. It was a wonderful night with a fantastic turn out. Louise Morrison, artist and lecturer, delivered an insightful and entertaining opening speech and was praised by many for her eloquence.

Installation took the better part of a week's effort and energy - impossible without the expertise and professionalism of Heathcote curator, Soula Veyradier and gallery officer, Claire Bushby who made every effort to ensure the show looked amazing.

You will have to exclude the dodgy video & photography - my phone was all I had to hand at the time. Every now and then is a delightful glimpse or squeak from the gorgeous Minerva Honey in the background, she was most patient! Love and hugs to Kathy and Pop Money for their help with her during the week...


Monday, January 16, 2012

Clothesline, where for art thou?

Mid-installation yarns often yield interesting results, in this case, today Helen shares the history behind the old washing line timber posts from yonder back yard...

The old clothes-props were lugged from house to house by men for sale during the depression. The sale of these props helped to support their dependent families as well as providing a useful washing line for housewives of the era.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spin Cycle at Heathcote

Only 9 days to go before we open this show of gorgeousness at Heathcote in Perth...

Thanks to a generous Janet Holmes a Court's ARTIST GRANT through NAVA we might actually be able to afford decent photography to record this momentous occasion.

Check out the information on the show on the Heathcote Museum & Art Gallery website here, and here.

Also thanks to DCA who have come to the rescue for me (Naomie) with an ARTFLIGHT grant so that I might fly from Derby to Perth for the installation and opening night.

Pencil it in the diary - look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Derby Town

Scattered to the winds, Virginia is divided by time and distance but simmers away, quietly on a backburner.

She navigates the logistical difficulties of installing her kitchen at Northcliffe while also hoping Melville's Heathcote Museum and Gallery will consider helping her with the dishes.

Still, she ponders a recent acquisition to her collection (see image above) and wonders how this lively specimen might be 'restored' and added to her collection.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spun dry...

Whatever happened to Ginny? Well, the tea-towels came down off the line and she's been busy investigating new opportunities for further cunning stunts.

Between sending off acquittal for Janet Holmes a Court NAVA grant - thanks a million - and investigating a stint with Art on the Move to travel Spin Cycle across country (Share the love, you know it) and tossing a hat in the ring for a few other 'possibles' Virginia has been diligently stitching together another chapter...

A wedding, a baby, a move and trips to the never-never with Awesome Arts have thus far kept Virginia's creative escapades at bay, however in light of her new experiences she may have some additional juice to inject into her next intimate public offering.

Postcards - possibly notes to self will be forthcoming. ..Stay tuned to a tree near you...or possibly quite far away from you...

love love love x

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

She Speaks

Outed at last, Virginia spoke to the masses crammed into the Bunbury Regiona Art Galleries exhibition space on August 1st to speak to her audience about the inner workings of her Cunning Stunt machinations.

Ginny does Abbey Rd

Toting our most precious possessions we boarded the galleries vessel for a morning of delight and solidarity among a collection of newly recruited Virginias. As one observer duly commented to a delighted Ms Cunningham; 'I'd be disappointed if I didn't have a little bit of Virginia in me'.

Helen and Jean Speak, Steam and Spray

Virginia spoke of her humble origins, her exhibition intentions and what the future may hold for a Virginia scattered across the state in all directions. From her humble regional roots she has grown in confidence and strength and plans to continue her Granny Guerrilla actions in the urban and rural landscape. In the Kimberley, Derby and Broome Dwellers may be in for the occasional humble domestic artistic fancy swinging modestly from the trees to announce her 'spreading of wings' into other regional areas.

Helen Shows how it is done in style

Audience members were delightfully generous in recounting personal stories aroused in response to the exhibition and the tea towels on show. Virginia was humbled by the beautiful anecdotes bravely shared in the space. Many women spoke of the traditions and generations of home-making handed down over the years. The teatowels - in their suffocating domesticity - struck a chord with many participants who responded to the intensity of the claustrophobic intimacy of the doemstic sphere re-created in the installation space.

All in all, between the squirt and hiss of the iron, Virginia managed to smooth out the wrinkles collected in her laundry basket with pride, nourished by the shared experience of those collected together on this most auspicious occasion.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Spun Dry

The Spin Cycle exhibition opening for Virginia Cunningham was a blast. Virginia was most humbled by the endearing rambles put forth by her dear friend and esteemed academic Prof. Ronald Crunkle who said many a wise word about 'wegional life' and the arts as well as a particular breed of Australianness.

 Prof. Crunkle toasts Virginias at Spin Cycle Opening

Virginia has instructed us to post some images here if you haven't yet managed to or can't get to the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries to see the show. One of the most incredible aspects of the installation is the distinctive aroma of the 3rd drawer down. Known to tea towel users the world over; that familiar faint smell of laundered linen mixed with fetid fat particles welded to the fibres of the fabric and emanating forth a most unusually familiar smell of housework. The smell of household groundhog day subltly permates the exhibition space as a result of the many donated teatowels rendered into artworks and strung from a criss-cross of clothesline throughout the space.

 Opening Legs

Another wonderful aspect to the installation is the intimacy it affords the audience. The criss-cross clothesline works to create a multitude of 'rooms' locking the viewer into a small and intimate space - literally four 'walls' of teatowels. One has to negotiate their way through the space by parting the teatowel 'curtains' to enter into the next space, and so on. Each teatowel 'room' is approximately 4 - 5 teatowels wide and 2 - 3 teatowels deep so it creates a lovely disruption to the stranger-in-the-gallery syndrome. One is immediately compelled to communicate with the person already occupying the space you have just slipped yourself into because the space is so intimate and cloistered. The only way you can find the rest of your party is to identify their feet or legs and negotiate the tea towels to arrive at their space. Beautiful. 

This installation challenged the traditional notion of the exhibiton opening as a social networking party - there was no way of seeing the whole at any one time as you found yourself completely immersed, people were absorbed and lost in the space, identifiable only by their legs or feet. There became a 'hide and seek' aspect as people would suddenly discover someone they knew in the adjoining tea towel corral.

The Entrance to the Installation

Indeed, the proximity and cloistered spaces claims a territory impossible to explain to anyone without firsthand experience - that of the suffocating entrapment of the house and neverending housework. The two rooms evoke a sense of claustrophobia as one attempts to navigate through, hoping to come across a larger space for a breath only to discover space after space of tea towel rooms almost the same as the last, yet with subtle differences - the teatowels themselves.

It is impossible to capture in stills - or even on film - the impact of Virginia's most awesome cunning stunt yet. It is an adventure to be experiencd first hand. Virginia has decided to travel the show, perhaps Perth for now - she is still 'in talks' with herself about this prospect at some stage in the near future.

 Tea Towel VideoWork on floor of second room (and avid audience)

ABC Southwest has been following Virginia's story and posted a video of the Virginia's at work in Hath's Mullalyup studio. This can be seen here if you are interested.

Still to come - Virginia's floor talk...stay tuned, ever faithful...