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2005 New Work

Journeys Exhibition

Press release

“Journeys” is a collection celebrating the art and joy of travel. Leading paper artist Gail Stiffe pays homage to three diverse locales that inhabit a very special place in her heart: Papua New Guinea; Korea; and King Island. Each of these destinations has played an important role in her lifelong journey as an artist and a global citizen.

The works in the exhibition are a mix of pulp paintings, photographs printed on handmade paper and painted cast paper. Symbolism is used widely in this collection. Of particular note is the use of ‘the bowl’ to represent welcome and the colours chosen to for each area. Gail observed symbolism in art and life throughout her travels and has used the experience to draw together her own understandings which she has translated palpably in her artwork.

Whilst in Papua New Guinea, Gail taught a group of unemployed youth how to make paper from recycled office waste and from plants including local grasses and banana tree. She also shared some printmaking techniques and the participants made a series of prints on their paper. They each gave Gail a piece of their art. Gail has incorporated these in a bookwork that is included in the exhibition. She has also used the Milne Bay area as a source of inspiration for a series of pulp paintings and photographs.

Many of the works in the exhibition have been inspired by Korea, in particular the many Buddhist temples. Gail found Korea to be a real mix of old and new, with many high rise apartments, the latest mobile phones, cars, industry and grey skies, contrasting with a strong respect for cultural heritage. There was an obvious effort to preserve the old ways in conjunction with the new fast paced growth. Each town celebrates a festival centred on some aspect of the district’s history. Jeonju, where Gail spent a large part of her time in Korea, was a papermaking city and had a paper festival where children and adults could try their hand at papermaking, printmaking and other traditional papercrafts. Korea was a very inspiring place for a papermaker to visit and whilst there Gail purchased many sheets of Korean handmade paper. Some of this paper found it’s way into several pieces in the exhibition along with paper by the artist.

A trip to King Island inspired another series of works including books and pulp paintings. Gail found King Island to be a wonderful wild place, very sparsely populated with rocky shorelines, rough seas, plenty of wildlife and green rolling hills. It is the blue of the ocean and the orange lichen on the rocks which are the symbols for this series of works. ‘Journeys’ also features seascapes by June Creedon and jewellery by Linda George, Joy Elizabeth Lea and Sarah Fletcher and will be shown at

C- cubed Contemporary Artspace, Balwyn.

237 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn

From the sixth of December 2005 until the 28th January 2006.

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Thursday 10.30 am – 9.30 pm; Friday 10.30am – 10.30pm; Saturday 11am – 10.30pm; Sunday 11am – 7.30pm.

Closed Mondays and from Christmas until mid January.

Phone 98168725.

The following Photographs by Tim Gresham

King Island Bowl

King Island Triopulp painting and digital image printed on recycled paper 230 x 500mm $275

Naracoopa

pulp painting and digital image printed on recycled paper

420 x 520mm

$440

King Island

Korea Bowlpulp painting 470 x 470 mm $ 495

Korea Triopulp painting and digital image printed on recycled paper 230 x 500mm $275

Korea

Three Bowls

Milne Bay Bowl

Milne Bay Triopulp painting and digital image printed on recycled paper 230 x 500mm $275

Waga Wagapulp painting and digital image printed on recycled paper 420 x 520mm $440

Milne Bay

Alotau Project

Journeys

Journeys

Body Mask done for a pregnant friend.

Summertime Blues Series

pulp paintings

Sunflower pulp painting

Fragments

Fragment 1

Recycled archival paper cast into a carved plaster slab and painted with acrylic and watercolour paints and verdigris wax. Mounted on foamcore width 400mm height 300mm.

Fragment 2

Recycled archival paper cast into a carved plaster slab and painted with shellac and graphite. Mounted on foamcore width 400mm height 300mm.

Statement about Fragment 1 and Fragment 2. These works evoke a sense of past cultures and art - of the loss of past civilizations and of the endeavor to re-find those treasures albeit imperfectly and only in fragments. At the same time the works demonstrate one of the many characteristics of handmade paper - its' ability to take many forms - here the appearance of low relief metal work - of tarnished copper and of pewter or lead.

Copyright © 2007 Gail Stiffe

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