Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Moerenuma Park - SIAF 2014

As part of the Sapporo International Art Festival we took a day trip to Moerenuma Park. Wow! What an amazing park. Designed by Isamu Noguchi, the park itself is considered to be one complete sculpture. With various large mounds, play mountains, water features, tree groves and bicycle tracks, it's hard to describe the expansive scale. From the top of Mt. Moere panoramic views of Sapporo city and suburbs are in clear view, that's after you climb the 390 steps to reach the top, well worth the effort. From the high points the park reveals itself as a connected pattern of triangular and geometric shapes surrounded by a water moat.
After walking around for a few hours we took a break for lunch and then hired bicycles to ride around the shaded tree lanes. The glass pyramid 'Hidamari' is visually striking and hosted several contemporary installation works as part of the art fair. The architectural structure contrasted beautifully with overhead organic clouds.

I must mention (and recommend) lunch was a most pleasant surprise when we came across Restaurant L'Enfant qui reve, with French/Japanese fine dining, we indulged in a delicious degustation. Desert and coffee was taken in a separate room where we sat alone and took in views of the gardens. A great day trip if you are visiting Sapporo.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Last weeks for Culture Ecology at BRAG

'Time capsule 1'  ©2014 Nicola Moss, Synthetic polymer paint, rust stain, water colour, hand cut paper.

It's the final two weeks for Culture Ecology on show at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. If you couldn't make it to the area or missed out on a room sheet while visiting, details are now available on-line.

It will be two years since I completed my residency at Hill End, while I think about the memories of that place, I'm also looking forward to spending time exploring the ecology of Grafton next month, on a residency that coincides with the Jacaranda Festival, celebrating its 80th anniversary.

The Grafton Regional Gallery Artist in Residence program is open to professional artists and curators from all disciplines. The program generously supports artists' new work, research and collaborations.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sapporo International Art Festival - Japan

Views from our walk over Toyohira River into town at Sapporo.
As some of you may know, my travel to Japan last month was related to my husband's Ironman sporting activities. With positions often selling out in the races within days, travel is booked up to a year in advance. Given this I was absolutely delighted to find out a few months after booking that Sapporo would be hosting its International Art Festival while we were there....serendipity!

SIAF 2014 is being held as part of the Creative City Sapporo initiative, from July 19 to September 28, 2014, under the stewardship of Guest Director and globally renowned artist Ryuichi Sakamoto. The theme of the event is City and Nature - great fit with my practice, and an opportunity to see contemporary artists exploring how cities can coexist with nature in the future.

We were away for two weeks in the north island of Hokkaido, with five days in the rural race area of Lake Toya and the remaining time in Sapporo. This gave me plenty of time to check out almost all of the art festival venues and see some great art. I'll say now that for me the highlight of Japan (this being my first time there) was the people. I found them incredibly polite and helpful, sometimes going to extraordinary lengths, and very humble, all admirable qualities. Shuttle buses to two major venues in the outer suburbs were punctual to the minute, making it very easy to tell if we were catching the right bus. And with plenty of signs, brochures and volunteer helpers available, it was a very well organised festival.

I had a bit of an idea of some of the art I would see at the festival, such is the internet, but was also pleasantly surprised, particularly with textiles.

Ainu Textiles were on display in the festival venue Sapporo Eki-mae dori Underground Walkway - and instantly caught my eye with their striking patterns and tonal contrast. Beautifully hand stitched, the stunning patterns are said to ward off evil spirits, and have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations. I saw several more examples of Ainu textiles in Sapporo and contemporary examples of artists working with these traditional craft forms.

Paper and wood were other material highlights, with Japanese artists highlighting the natural surface and aesthetic qualities in often subtle and minimal was definitely a 'less is more approach' in many works.

Takashi Kuribayashi's paper forest (above) titled 'Wald aus Wald (Forest from Forest)' 2010 was one of these works. We had a lot of fun engaging with this installation and at the same time admiring the creative skill and concept. On display at the Sapporo Art Museum, the white forest is made of Japanese washi paper that is itself made from trees. For more images and installation shots, check out this post on designboom.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

More Gold Coast

'Coast Life' (detail), Nicola Moss. Image from the website More Gold Coast.

It's almost a year since the new Gold Coast University Hospital opened at Southport. So it was a pleasant surprise to come across a lovely post last week on the More Gold Coast site. Written by Megan Reading, the article speaks about benefits of having artworks integrated into the hospital environment, with a really lovely mention of my public artwork on the atrium lift shaft (at the end, I missed the scroll down the first time, Thanks Deb :-)).

This was a fantastic project I enjoyed working on a lot and was made possible with the assistance of many people, with special thanks to Renai Grace, art curator; and Stacie Gibson, lead designer.

Must get back and check it out in the flesh again some time.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Art show openings on the Sunshine Coast

'Life on the edge - Girt by sea'  ©2014, Nicola Moss. Courtesy of SGAR.
There has been plenty happening in the last week. While I was away travelling, both the Sunshine Coast Art Prize and the Noosa Art Award opened. It was disappointing to not be able to be there on the nights, but I'm not complaining too much.....the trip to Japan was fabulous (posts coming soon).

My hand paper cut work - 'Resource Ecology ( Conserve-Develop)' received a commended mention at SCAP by judge Chris Saines, Director of QAGOMA. The exhibition is on show at Caloundra Regional Gallery and continues until 26th October if you are in the area. The forty finalists works can also be seen online, and there is a People's Choice vote and prize if you feel inclined to choose a favourite work.

A couple of nights later at the Noosa Art Award my hand cut paper installation 'Life on the edge - Girt by Sea' received a Highly Commended Award. Special thanks to Marguerite who collected the award on my behalf. Congratulations to Simone Eisler for winning the overall prize.

In conjunction with the award, Noosa Regional Gallery is hosting a panel discussion by Noosa Art Award finalists on Friday 5th September, between 10.30 and 11.30 am. I'm looking forward to seeing the show and catching up with anyone who can make it on the morning.

There is a people's choice award and prize with this show too, if you feel like voting for a favourite artwork. The winner is announced on Friday 26th September, and the exhibition continues until Sunday 5th October.