May 2018:

In February and March this year, 2018, I had my first solo exhibition for a while, called Fleeting Glimpses. You can see the images soon by clicking on gallery in the bar at the top. In the meantime, here is a brief explanation of how it all came about, which I included in a folder that accompanied the show…

The idea of fleeting glimpses first occurred to me back in the autumn 2003, when I finally fulfilled my dream to make it over to Aotearoa New Zealand. I travelled by bus and train extensively around the North and the South Islands, and took lots of photos through the windows when I was not walking around. The exhibition included the prints of some of the first paintings I did as a result of that trip – Rain, Arthur’s Pass, Tongariro and glacier – as reference points for the beginning of it all.

Not surprisingly, the concept of fleeting glimpses relates not just to quick views of landscapes through bus or train windows, but to the fragile state of the world as a direct result of human activity, and the fact that so much is disappearing before our eyes, on our watch. The most obvious example of this is melting glaciers. The original painting of glacier is on two deep canvases, the proportion of ice blocks, so I used the sides to drip the paint down to indicate melting ice. When I revisited Aotearoa New Zealand again in 2016 I was distressed to learn that the Franz Josef Glacier, the glacier depicted in the painting, has receded so much that it is no longer possible to walk up it as I did. Now, the best way to see it is by helicopter, so not only are greenhouse gases on the increase thanks to the fuel needed for the helicopters and other similar activities but the area is polluted by the noise of these machines as they take tourists up to the top multiple times a day.

The work in the exhibition was divided up into three spaces. Room 1 showed images from Australia, Room 2 images from Aotearoa NZ and the hallway, a mix of both.

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May 2016:

Jeff Aschmann’s new CD, which was launched by Bob Brown on Tuesday May 24 in Moruya in the presence of about 200 people. Here is the link to the 24 page booklet accompanying the CD with all the lyrics etc. You can also find details about how to contact Jeff to secure a copy.

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May 2015:

100 words

Ancient jewel – immutable,
or frail earth, sucked dry by man’s naked greed?
A future foreseen but ignored,
we betray our voiceless children
with weakness and inaction.

Careless, complacent, blind,
we drown in dust,
pure waters lost for gold,
wisdom hidden in shadows,
dwarfed, trembling, weary.

(forest, rainbow, orchid, eagle…
barely imagined, only a dream)

Choice burns its message on the mountains –
wither, unhearing,
or waken truth,
intent on a new and gentler existence?

In another time, ill-willing death,
we transcend the past, mourning, wounded,
but with love and peace
dance into a tranquil sunlight
touched by hope’s kiss.

                                                       CM,  April 2015

 

The 2015 Two Fires Festival included an exhibition called Deadly Friends, and I was one of three non-Indigenous artists participating. When I was asked to be in this exhibition, the first thing I did was to read A Human Pattern, an anthology of Judith Wright’s poems that Judith herself had selected, a copy of which she gave me after I painted her portrait in 1991. As I read through the poems, I collected words – everything from nouns to articles and pronouns – with a view to writing a poem of my own. The words I chose were a reflection of the way/s I was feeling at the time, and when I finished the book I wrote the poem. With this year the centenary of her birth, I decided to make it 100 words in length. When the poem was completed, the day I finished the book, the painting began, and the works in the exhibition, along with the words and poem, were my response. My installation was completed at the opening, when I read the poem and then put it with the words and rest of the artwork in its corner at Altenburg and Co. Photos of the full installation will be here soon.

Motion towards 2015 oil on four canvas panels 650 x 1630 installed

Motion towards
2015
oil on four canvas panels
650 x 1630 installed

 

The words:

apocalyptic naked heavy delicate unliving abandoned crackling bleached lost frail snarling same sane dry endless own tranquil senseless deep alone empty broken forgotten torn restless centuries shelter water shouted for I we blood blind message you wild mountains earth deserted me fuming and fruit them our spin season unbuild the from with shrieking time drown trembling clear tender pure careless unaware tolerable smothering wakeful unhearing voiceless strong weary economical irrelevant unshaped insane unhurt thirsty soaked intent desolate stillness struggle moon world heart spin spiral end infinity eternity man dust body children patience dream leaves thought wisdom answer sign waters orchid choice birth death are mouth of breath clouds love home edge future tree fire child weakness world’s wound flesh greed gold shadows silence mourning pain ground bodies strength dominion jewel exchange grief lament shock truth gift anguish depth loss rainbow birds gnawed touches dying surrender cracked suffer forest rock sleep gone being create take cries reshape sucked dance/s waken wither made move love draw find scatters hardening sucked break dwarfed was is inherit glow burns make dances creaks scar measure murmur weeping shone locked feeds their my his your everything ignorant its ancient on or as in by till fall under weep learn vanishing find groped imagine foreseen uphold cease wander let driven strangling easy immoderate spoken found read sleeping speaking writhes drinks reflowed wither trust falling howled lost crumbling complacent reluctant green old easterly gentler new unaccepted uneasy flexible young immutable hidden inaction retribution justice ground remnant pattern darkness existence fusion kiss words asymmetry thrust clench undid weep expecting hoping ill-willing vanishes assaulted abandon tug remember condemn chill wounded dark paradox encounter shocks tempt over up out towards a through away another below none only that gloriously barely strength failure emptiness rhythm ignorance past midnight’s peace simplicity time innocence signature hope eagle haze haste silences space sunlight gullies language tree fear word done touched die transplanted undoing transcend seek carving fail betray snatch harvested burn left

 

An artist’s book from 2011:

Life in the Catchment

The artist’s book Life in the catchment, which can be viewed here in full, was produced for the exhibition that was part of the 2011 Two Fires Festival of Arts and Activism.

The edition is limited to 25 copies and is printed to order on Canson paper, with the slip cover on Hahnemühle.

I bind it with Irish linen thread, and each copy is signed and includes an original paper-cut on the colophon page derived from the paper-cut image in the body of the book. The colophon page paper-cut is not shown in this online version.

See also the gallery page of this site for some of the drawn, painted and cut illustrations.