Another year ends…

A regular end of year ritual of mine is to flick through my diary and remind myself what it is I did for the year, before writing  the new dates and appointments into the next diary.

Yes am still using a physical paper diary. I see the benefit of the digital diary but I am attached to the physical page turning, the hand scrolled entries and maybe even the regular panic about having lost it for a few days!

This is what the list looked like…
(The entry with the circle was a  long weekend we took to NZ to see my folks in February)
My Year 2017

What I did in 2017…
I continued my causal/part time work at the City of Whittlesea as an Arts Project Coordinator. This year we invited the schools to create art work for the Community Festival around the idea of Weaving Community. The response was fantastic…

After Community Festival we rolled into Knowing You Knowing Me, a community dance project partnered between Ausdance Victoria and The City Of Whittlesea, funded by Creative Victoria.
This is an 18-month project where we are connecting community in the growth suburbs within the City of Whittlesea, through dance workshops and community events. It’s slowly gaining momentum and is already having exciting results. This will continue into 2018 and finish with the Inaugural Annual Dance Affair coming to town…very exciting. My role is project manger/coordinator.

I continued my relationship with Polyglot Theatre this year: starting with being called in to replace an injured performer at the art centre in Tangle in January, and ending with two creative developments. In Our Hands is a collaboration between the Tjpani Desert Weavers, Form (WA), and Polyglot Theatre. I was invited into the second stage of a three-stage development, traveling to the weavers’ home in Warakuna where we spent two weeks with them, camping , weaving, drinking tea, sharing culture. This was the most incredible experience that I can’t to justice to in this quick summary. Then in November, we all went to Perth and completed the development with a showing in the Goods Shed Gallery. What we have created together is an interactive play space built around and with the weavers…. hopefully in 2018 we will be able to reveal the work!

The other development is a part of the generators project that Artistic Director Sue Giles has launched, where Polyglot supports, nurtures, helps to develop work by its core artists. Mischa Long had imagined a magical work called Light Pickers, a light and sound installation for under-5s. It’s very beautiful and once again an honour to be a part of the development…

And finally with Polyglot, I returned to Warringa Park Primary to create with the students, alongside Mischa Long and Ash Hughes, a tunnel and installation of vines and cocoons. Four weeks of crazy fun! We went back in December to install the work outside for their end of year concert and the fabulous Steph Ohara added a soundscape, also created with the students.

 

As well as these regular employments…
I was commissioned to created an endangered species lantern for the Werribee Open Range  Zoo’s Wild Nights in Winter… this year the Orange-Bellied Parrot.

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I hung nests in the Windows of Lupino Bar and Restaurant for the Craft Cubed Window Walk, and in the Civic Building at Knox City Council for their Immerse Festival.

I spent April in a shipping container in Footscray as apart of the Artbox residency, developing the Stories of Clay and Rope and inviting community to drop in and make their own nests.

And I returned to Lismore in June to mange the Lismore Lantern Parade, which this year felt all the more important after the massive flooding events in March which saw three metres of water pour into the CBD. Watch it here!

Throughout 2017 I continued my clay journey, developing glazes with Neville French at SoCa…That has been very exciting. I love the work that I have been making.

I  started with magnesium glazes and developing a colour palette, shifted to shino glazes then we finished the year with celadon glazes, which I love.

I finished the year taking my ceramics to a few Christmas markets, which was a great experience and very successful. All of which is very inspiring for continuing into the new year….

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And finally…

I was asked to Work with Mel Smith as a visual designer on her solo show Spas Motive, with the provocation of working with her to include her artwork into the dance work she is making. This will have a development showing in February and it’s my first task for the new year…

 

Oh and I turned 50!

(Phew…!!)

Nest

A review and images from my installation at Rubicon ARI, Queensbury St, Melbourne August 2016

 

“Very cool to drop in on Stefanie Robinsons installation at Rubicon ARI today……we walk into a white space, walls , floor and ceiling . Hanging from the roof detritus ropes, sun worn ,ocean swept , sometimes unravelled and frayed . At intermittent points the ropes flair out into beautifully woven nests before being drawn back to follow gravity and continue to the floor where some coil , frayed ends tickle the floor, a minute nest, the essence of intimacy and well being , nestles in the fraying…Where rope meets floor a heaviness of clay nests ground it all and their weight and earthiness are such a wonderful counterpoint to the lightness of the suspended elements of the work. Roughly modelled and fired their earth colour combined with the subtle hues of ropes, hemp and the weaving create this exquisite and reflective environment….I just sat down and dreamed away. you can touch !….Texture ! I moved through and just a gentle bump to set it all in slight motion and the weight of the earth elements holding us firm. Anyway I think it’s really bloody groovy and quite literally hangs together really well…twenty stars ! 309 Queensberry street, We’d to Sat…12 to 5 PM, until 31 St August…oh and it’s a side entrance around the corner.”

Simon Fisher

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Scenes on the Yarra

I sent a lovely day yesterday in Williamstown as apart of the final Scenes on the Yarra guided performance/installation  celebrating the Yarra River, created by Jeminah Reidy.

I installed a collection of nests in trees along Nelson Parade and highlighted them with a sound scape created by Dean Lombard.  The soundscape include a song that he had written in response to one of the nests I had made from rope found washed up on the newport breakwater.

The long tails of the nests reached down to the footpath. As I sat and waited for the performance to pass through I got to watch the general public interact with the installation. It was so delightful. People on bikes negotiating the tails, walkers caught by sounds , stopping and looking, curious minds trying to workout where the sound came from….pulling the tails of the nests or waving their hands around thinking they were activated by their presence (unfortunately not just sparse sounds randomly emerging)

Only two people found the need to tell me it was dangerous…everyone else enjoyed it, so many smiles,so much curiosity. It really was such a joy to experience others experiencing it.

 

Its hard to capture the the experience with the camera ….

Lantern Season is over…for this year

Since returning from the  Bird Lab Residency is Sweden I have been deep in lantern land.

First the Lismore Lantern Parade
This year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of this fabulous event.

and then

INTO THE LIGHT – Cycles of Change.
This was the 4th year for INTO THE LIGHT, which started in response to the 2009 Black Saturday fires. Each year we have reflected on the process of healing and with a group of local artists,designed an event in response to where the community is at now.

It is a very special event. I feel privileged to be part of it
This years video is still in process but here are the last 2 years.

Between Land and Sky
The Unfolding Story

And now that lantern season is over
I have time to return to my studio.

This started with a shift from studio 2.14 which has been my home for the last 2 years to works in progressStudio 2.26 across the hall. (At River Studios in West Melbourne which is run my City of Melbourne’s Creative Spaces program)

A chance to dust of the dust and re look at everything that i have gathered or done or thought about doing. I now have a wooden floor, 2 white walls and a square space rather than a rectangle.

So i sat in it today
and stared at all the projects
started, played with , begun, thought about
and waiting
waiting
waiting
for me to start, return to , finish, begin , complete, start,
remember

So many threads and ideasIMG_1871
how do they inter link?
Do they inter link?

 

Is it all one creative journey ?

Or separate threads heading in opposite  directions?

Questions

always questions.

So I picked up some clay (my newest thread)
and blocked out the questions
and let my fingers play

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rope

When I was coming to Harlosa i was asked if i wanted anything… I asked for rope as this is a material i have been using in Melbourne and sometimes it’s not so easy to find…

I have been a bit over whelmed by the response …rope has been delivered to my door, big thick chunky worn rope.

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Its taken me a while to approach the rope, partly because other materials have taken my attention, and partially because my head has been full of what i would do with it in Melbourne… so i have been thinking that i need to wait for the response to emerge from this place that i am in  now.

Firstly I worked with the white rope
and this appeared…
in response to seeing the Pendulum Tit nest…

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Today i bring it inside the thick brown rope
and start to pull it apart.

It’s interesting to see the parts it is made up of.
4 thick stands and a thinner stand also made up of 3 parts that have been twisted together.

It is thick with dirt, dust and oil. It holds a  story of work.
It is rugged and strong, like an old farmer who has spent his  life in the fields …..
I think i will have lunch before i start……..

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a new home

last Thursday

tsunami 2 was presented to

the new principal of the school in Minami Sanruki that i visited 2 years ago.

This school no longer has a school.
The buildings have gone…
although the GPS in the hire car says it is still there

as it does with many locations

ghosts hovering in a virtual landscape

Instead this school shares the buildings with another school.
next year the school itself will be merged with other schools.

What makes a school? Its buildings or its teachers and students?

anyway….

i presented tsunami 2 to the new principal…

explaining that it had been made by rope that i had found on my last visit, and the meaning behind the use of the gold-colored/copper wire etc…
(see earlier posts for more detail)

he said

he understood my thinking

(how reassuring as i was wondering if it was a crazy weird thing to be doing…)

and he hoped his school would be reborn

and thank you for thinking of us for the past 2 years……

no photos
just words
mind pictures
special moments
strange to wonder how and where and if this little nest hangs
now

Tsunami 1 and 2

Three years ago i went to Minima Sanruki, a small village on the east coast of Japan, with Polyglot Theatre.
This village had stood in the way of a giant wave.

(You can read more about that visit here)

At the time i picked up a piece of black rope,
a remnant of a place, a time, an event.
and bought it back with me.

On reflecting on my experience 
I wove
what i called 
Tsunami.

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In 5 days i will be returning to Minami Sanruki
again with Polylgot

I was sitting in my studio starring at the piece of rope that was left
wondering what this visit will be, how will things have change, or will they have
and many more questions about the upcoming visit

and in these thoughts i picked up the rope, and some copper wire
and was reminded of the Japanese art of Kinsukuroi (or Kintsugi)

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and i start to weave a nest mended with gold
The weave was tighter, stronger than the first,
the roof rebulit
a new life
still echoing with the history, the journey…….

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If only rebuilding
a home
a community
a future

was as simple as twisting some found rope and reclaimed copper……..

 

 

a gardening day

yesterday

I pulled up some bricks
from the front of the studio i live in

to make room for more garden

In the process old tree roots were removed,
as was the min that had established itself through the small garden
that was there already.

and then
i wove them into this……..

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a nest
a place where new things are given birth too

Weaving the mint was great
a minty smell released
as i twisted and pulled at the roots
adding a freshness
and a sensualness to the task

then i planted
some bulbs into the new garden…..
a touch too late but fingers crossed

and jumped around in a NIA class
to get some energy moving
through this wintry stiff body of mine…..

and it all feels just a bit better
than it did
with a touch of possibility
planted
ready for spring

 

Forest……..

Its been a month (or so)
since Forest was installed iIn the Little Red Train at Ceres Environment Park…..

All in all it was a success.

A friend suggested that the measure of success was… did you like it in the space?
Yes

and

Would you do it again…
Yes

below are a few of my favourite images
For more images and comments go to….. FOREST

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Standing in the space and just… listening
beautiful Stef!
                     (Mischa)

 

 

 

 

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A wonderful travelling journey
woven and dense
with memory and transience
I think of the train
clicketty clack
of my own journey’s and restlessness
and the constructions i have about settling in one place
so much movement woven into each empty nest
Extra ordinary
Thank you

 

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Forest

is an installation of nests and Textured Paper Drops

that i am currently building in the Little Red Train at CERES Environment Part in
East Brunswick , Melbourne.
flyer forest

This installation has evolved out of 4 years of gentle development that started in the Solo Residency I undertook at Victoria University.

I thought it was going to be a dance piece
a textural poem that moved through the seasons telling a story of a tree and the bird woman who weaves nests…..

but it seems it is an installation.
the tree is woven through the space and will be echoed in the paper drops,
the bird woman it seems is me,

I still hope to make movement for it and create a performance in the Forest.

When i look back through my books, my ideas about fragility, weaving, nests, seasons, growth and death all have accumulated in this work

It’s exciting to see and feel this.
The art has taken me on its journey..
and .my first solo exhibition.

I am having so much fun at the moment weaving the roof of the train in cane.
The weaving started as a mechanism to hang the paper and nests from, but it has taken over and become a thing in its self, and slowly the train transforms….

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i am looking forward to beginning to hang the paper and the nests……

I would like to do this again……
in another gallery…
in another city…..
on another country……