Honored to be selected from Australian artists working with paper and to be the winner of the 2017 Banyule Award for Works on Paper with my artist book titled: 1903 – the Grey Sea.
1903 – The Grey Sea – L82cm x H37.5 x 8.5cm – linocuts- perforations – watercolour – found timber – handmade rag paper – 2017 –
The Australian Border Deaths Database reports that 1,903 asylum seekers have drowned at sea during attempts to migrate to Australia during 2000 to 2017. In these devastating circumstances, water becomes both the saviour and the killer. This artist book imagines the tedious ebb and flow of the water for a journey that promises hope after desperation. The determination, forgiveness and strength of spirit summoned for such a journey is represented through the artist book’s materials (handmade paper over 30 years old), the coming and going of the water’s edge embodied in the work’s binding. Water can be a division between tyranny and freedom; this work is a meditation on the circumstances that force an escape over an ocean in a crowded small boat.
“You have to understand,
That no one puts their children in a boat
Unless the water is safer than the land”
Excerpt from “Home” by Warsan Shire
I am very happy to be the winner of the 2017 Geelong acquisitive print award with my artist book. An honor to be selected from Australia’s printmaking community and to be acquired for the collection.
Mildura Meander 2015
linocut (artist book); unique state
30.0 x 31.0 x 2.0 cm (closed)
700cm length (open)
The artists’ book Mildura Meander is a visual wandering inspired by a 3 week visit to Mildura in Victoria. The muse for this project was the native landscape in the region from the Murray River to the edge of the outback as well as the inland botanical gardens. Botanical gardens play an important role in the awareness of environmental issues through research, conservation and education. They act as a sanctuary, a safeguard for what can be lost in nature or destroyed by urban planning. This artists’ book is a meander from ground to sky, a reflection on what is important to preserve and an observation of some of the unassuming beings that are important to the health and beauty of our Australian environment.
drawing +linocut + woodcut + book construction workshop 16 – 29 May 2016.
This 2 week workshop is the opportunity to contemplate the people, flora, fauna and the varying range of landscapes found on the island of Skopelos. A creative printmaking intensive – processes available during this workshop include linocut + woodblock + the artist book.
The workshop will be delivered as a series of master classes and will give you a comprehensive understanding of the varied applications of relief images, from bold to refined outcomes that can be applied to your own working practice. You will develop your drawing skills and discover the alternative and traditional approaches to the artist book.
for more information www.skopelosworksonpaper.com
Those arriving for Inflorescence at The Street Theatre were greeted with a dimmed room full of delicate, hand-crafted paper flowers. Butterflies on the walls formed the words “breathe” and “care”. The attention to detail – each crinkled petal, the lace-like perforations on draped paper – was exquisite. The audience settled in as the room plunged into darkness.
Improvisation musician Reuben Lewis on trumpet, accompanied by double bass, drums and electronic percussion, set the mood but never took over the show. The music smoothly transitioned between warm, playful jazz and a foreboding emptiness, punctuated with Morse-like beeps, insect chirps and the sound of a gentle breeze blowing through a desolate forest. Changes in tempo marked the passage of time, shifting from 1920s-esque jazz to sparse electronic beats (and back again).
Meanwhile, visual artist Dianne Fogwell moved carefully through the “garden”, gently placing small beads of light in the heart of flowers and making shadows of butterflies dance across the floor. A long strip of perforated paper ran through the room while other pieces draped, rockily. On taking a closer look, the pinpricks of light were laid out in patterns representing pollen forms, language (Braille), insects and a musical score. This suggested a concern not just with the literal pollination of flowers but with inspiration as a result of the creative cross-pollination between music, language, art and nature itself.
At the end of the performance, there was a long, expectant silence. Fogwell explained that Inflorescence was a brief sketch designed to make us think about pollination. This was a wise decision and a necessary prompt and reminder. Inflorescence claimed to draw inspiration from “the triangle of pollination: the flower, the pollinator and the pollen” (YAH program) but it was not immediately clear that pollination was the focal point. The dreamy performance washed over the audience and could be enjoyed with minimal effort. It did not necessarily compel one to ponder the significance of pollination. The fact that the flowers and butterflies were but beautiful facsimiles seemed, instead, to question how far we’ve come from nature.
Lewis and Fogwell, equal partners in the development and execution of Inflorescence, drew on one another for inspiration. This speaks to the “pollination of new ideas with old”, mentioned in the program. Fogwell mingled with the audience afterwards and was happy to answer questions. This helped to clarify and strengthen her message.
It is difficult to fault a performance as thoughtfully put together as this one. A joyous yet meditative celebration of life, Inflorescence was both visually and aurally beautiful. Without Fogwell’s closing comments and willingness to engage with the audience however, its messages about pollination risked being lost. It was the type of performance that will go on to inspire others and this, perhaps, was its true aim.
by Shu-Ling Chua
August 29, 2014
Dianne Fogwell: Exhibition ‘Inflorescence’
Beaver Galleries, 81 Denison Street, Deakin. ACT. 2600
Dianne Fogwell has been exhibiting professionally since 1978 and her practice has been characterised through its diversity, vibrancy and passion. She is a hyperactive and multifaceted individual, one who refuses to be easily pinned down or compartmentalised.
She is predominantly a printmaker, but she has also ventured into furniture design, she is a recorded jazz singer, and has worked with installations and in collaborative projects.
As an artist, Dianne Fogwell is a builder and compiler, rather than an inventor of the grand gesture. She will create an exquisitely wrought module which becomes the creative epicentre around which other modules are arranged. Her art involves an endless process of adjusting and arranging until an internal harmony is achieved and then the work is complete.
In her studio she has countless trays of small carved lino blocks which she will move around the arena of her picture space until the desired composition becomes apparent and is resolved. The final appearance of the piece frequently appears as much of a surprise to the artist as it does to her audience.
A recurring theme in the present exhibition is that of pollination and cross-fertilisation, the glue which brings life together and guarantees that future generations will come into being. The show consists of oil paintings and relief prints, the latter serving as the backbone and highlight of the display.
A number of the titles I found somewhat puzzling, such as Anthomancy, for one of the big oil paintings. I am assuming from its etymology, ‘anthos’ meaning flower in Greek and ‘manteia’ prophecy, that it deals with making pronouncements about the future by looking at flowers, a bit like ripping petals off daisies to determine if she loves you. Are flowers for Fogwell the canaries in the cage that testify to our planet’s health?
Fogwell’s general anthomania (love of flowers) sees the creation of complex bouquets of flowers, where seashells and ocean plants share the space with birds, butterflies and bees. It becomes a cornucopia of fecundity with precisely observed plants, flowers, marine molluscs, seed pods, insects and birds all crammed into the same space. There is a sense of joy in her celebration of this fecundity and an appeal to all the senses – particularly to smell, touch, taste and sight. And a celebration of the choreography and the frozen music that surrounds all of life.
Her linocuts, particularly Aroma, Hover and Fragrant, are the strongest pieces in the show and see the assembly of her cast of characters, in cut-out lino matrixes, brought together in unexpected juxtapositions. Delicate, exquisite in their detailed articulation, and realised in a soft pastel palette, these prints are charming pieces and breathe a distilled maturity. For the purist, the editioned black and white linocuts Protea, Banksia and Waratah are hard to beat with their crisp classical beauty.
Dianne Fogwell has taught for many years and worked for more years as a professional master printer. In these recent works she adopts a more reflexive attitude as she contemplates the beauty and magic of nature. She celebrates a fragile ecology with a wish and a prayer.
Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/entertainment/a-master-printer-explores-flowers-and-fertility-20140828-107b0w.html#ixzz3ByobfMCf
“Pollinisers, pollinators and pollination are part of an exacting process that is fundamental to the world’s food source and usually goes unnoticed, quietly working away in the background of our daily lives. There is an intrinsic beauty to this process that has formed the basis of my contemplations leading to the work in this exhibition. When moths, butterflies, bees and others visit to harvest their essence it is a choreography that nature has performed throughout history. In these encounters, the flowers disclose their secret to the pollinators, who take it home in the form of scent and taste.” – Dianne Fogwell
Musicians Reuben Lewis, James Greening, Miroslav Bukovsky, Ronny Ferella, Geoff Hughes and master printmaker Dianne Fogwell come together to contemplate the natural choreography of pollination. Drawing on their accumulated history and perforated backgrounds in jazz, groove-music and free improvisation the ensemble will explore the sympathetic resonances found in this hidden world of Dianne’s artwork; illuminating memories of pollinators planted, plucked, gathered, observed and listened to.
Presented with support from Colbourne Avenue and the Sydney Fringe Festival.
Start time & door price TBA
Reuben Lewis will be playing a short performance at the opening of the exhibition ‘ Inflorescence’ at Beaver Galleries on the 21st August at 6pm. Hope to see you there.