Dog love

Bob Georgeson, My dog is better than your dog, 2012

Always one to appreciate serious obsession I couldn't resist popping in to the local dog show. The 'dogvan' above had a generator running all day (unclear whether it was for air con or television). One thing about the dog owners in general is they are not an effusively friendly bunch, but on further enquiry I found out that the dogs had actually painted the van themselves! Made me think there is an opportunity for the grey nomads to do the same. Don't leave it to the hippies and backpackers to decorate their 'Wicked' campervans, lets see some serious portraiture on the Winnebago!

More pics here...

Creativity in education

In my last post I mentioned a past life as an art teacher, and how valuing and encouraging creativity in the case of Danius Kesminas had led to greater the time at Xavier College they were going through a period of reassessment of their role in society (i.e. Is it in the Christian spirit to be an elitist educational establishment?). I was asked by the Headmaster: 'Why are we teaching art?' Answer: Through art we teach visual perception, the ability to see objectively...nice to see all these years later that Xavier still values this aim, even if it can't shake its elitist reputation.

If you are interested in this subject one of the key global evangelists (not religious here, but who seriously believes in the need to nurture creativity in order to save the world) is Sir Ken Robinson. His talk on the subject at a TED conference in 2006 is not only very profound, but very funny...nearly 9,000,000 people have seen can too by clicking here...

Danius Kesminas

Slave Pianos, The Execution Protocol 111: Mutually Assured Production (The MAP room), 2007-11

I first met Danius Kesminas in 1978 when he was around 12 years old. I was an art teacher at Burke Hall, the preparatory school for Xavier College in Melbourne. One of the greatest rewards a teacher can ever have is when one of your pupils becomes famous! What part did I have to play in this? Well, absolutely none, because by the time I met Danius he was a more than competent draftsman, an accomplished musician, and brought that Lithuanian heritage to the finish of a crafted object. All I could say is develop your own projects and go for it!

He has since gone on to do just that, not only in his own artwork, but a series of collaborative projects that span categories, countries and trends. Whether it's blasting out the 'drip and splatter' with his band The Histrionics, forming collectives like Punkasila with young Indonesian punk artists and musicians, or the above work with group Slave Pianos (where the audience can 'execute' an avant-garde artist from the list on a console, track their movements on the world map and listen as a giant electric chair activates an antique piano in a farewell ode) Danius challenges the contemporary art world without ever losing his sense of humour.

He is represented by Darren Knight Gallery (for more info click here), and was recently featured in eyeline - contemporary visual arts, which is in my opinion the only art publication in Australia worth reading. Hang on! Did I say read? Silly me...of course you can't READ it, its full of wanky art speak, but the pictures are nice...

...and back to The MAP prizes for guessing I would choose Joseph Beuys first.

Spiral Gallery - Past and present

Bob Georgeson, Burnt out cafe, Campbelltown, Tasmania, 2011

Last night Spiral Gallery in Bega celebrated 15 years in existence with the opening of Past and Present, a group show comprising the 54 members who had been involved with it since it's inception in 1997. The exhibition was opened by founding member Barb Crowden who paid tribute to the original vision of Alexandra Seddon in bringing the co-operative to life. The show, which runs until 29th February, includes some of the far south coast's finest artists, and is testament to the voluntary dedication of members and associates who believe in the Spiral aesthetic of a non elitist public art space. An honour to be exhibiting the above work in such company...

Bega to Cobargo after the party

Bob Georgeson, Bega to Cobargo after the party, 2012

I was going to enter this one in the Bega Valley Art Prize but when I saw who was judging it! Ooops...just joking...I actually couldn't afford to get it framed...which reminds me that all of my work in this site is for sale...

The series...

Etta James

Etta James passed away last month. She was a few weeks short of her 74th birthday. That she made it that far is something of a miracle, and the usual sensationalist media reports focused on her struggle with addiction rather than give her the credit she deserves as one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. Not possessed of a range like Flora Purim or the gospel clarity of Aretha Franklin, she more than made up for it with an honesty of expression that is rarely matched. The capacity to go from a guttural roar to the most delicate of tones virtually within a single word, let alone phrase is her trademark. When Etta sings "I'd rather go blind" you FEEL the pain of a failed relationship, and when she sings "All the way down" you know she's been ALL the way. Her version of Randy Newman's "God's Song (That's why I love mankind)" is spine chilling in the ferocity of its delivery. Where Randy sings it with his usual laconic cynicism, Etta is pure destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Effortlessly transcending genres she soars from rock'n'roll to blues to soul to funk to jazz with a total lack of pretence in delivery or stage presence. Much missed by those that like their music powerful and passionate...

Jelena #1

Bob Georgeson, Jelena #1, 2011

I have absolutely no interest in tennis as a sport, either as player or spectator, but I am fascinated by the central European female stars...they have a 'look' about them which not only reflects their region's history, but I keep getting drawn back to Caravaggio's Judith with the furrowed brow as she beheads Holophernes. (Jelena and her father perhaps?)

More images...

The Brides of Christ

Bob Georgeson, The Inspection, 2010

Bob Georgeson, Abandonment, 2010. Photomontage

Bob Georgeson, Angels, 2010. Photomontage

Bob Georgeson, Confirmation, 2010. Photomontage

Bob Georgeson, Temptation of St Benedict, 2010. Photomontage

Bob Georgeson, Two primates discussing the role of women in the church, 2010. Photomontage

Bob Georgeson, Will you stop dripping wax on the floor!, 2009. Photomontage

All images are original cut and paste...not digital!
And are for sale at ridiculously reasonable prices...senior's discounts etc.

The Brides of Christ series is about the relationship between religion and eroticism...