Beyond the Gilded Cage on at Artspace Collective

Cages have been a reoccurring theme in my work for sometime so I readily accepted the invitation to exhibit in this show Beyond the Gilded Cage at the Artspace Collective until the 25th of August. See their website for opening times https://theartspacecollective.com/exhibitions/

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Humans love to cage things not just birds or animals but themselves, constricting and limiting themselves sometimes out of fear, sometimes doubt in their own abilities. I have tried to illuminate this visually. Perhaps it can open the door so that some people can see more of their own potential, as I have recently done myself,by making this work.

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure”. Steven King the Shawshank Redemption

Australian Galleries in Melbourne hosting Between the Sheet Exhibition of Artists Books

I am very happy to be part of this exhibition which has now travelled to Melbourne. This is a great show, which challenges the notion of what a book is.  Artists’ books have always done this and while my previous books have been a lot more bookish, I decided to think outside of the square – literally with this work. (See previous books here http://shanajames.com/artists-books/I recently had two of my books purchased by Monash University.)

My work is titled “Ourself Behind Ourself Concealed” the title is taken from a line in an Emily Dickerson poem.

Derived from the paper dolls I loved as a child, this work is not about dressing up but more about whats inside. You can read more about the work here on a previous blog. http://shanajames.com/blog/2017/04/11/ourself-behind-ourself-concealed-the-ideas/

If you are in Melbourne have a look at the show there is some beautiful work. The Between the Sheets Exhibition will be on at Australian Galleries, 35 Derby Street Collingwood  until 2nd July 2017. Here is a link to their website http://australiangalleries.com.au/exhibitions/

Ourself Behind Ourself Concealed by Shana James

Ourself Behind Ourself Concealed by Shana James

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Understanding Alice Linocuts Purchased by Monash University

Recently I have been printing up more of my Understanding Alice Edition for Monash University who requested a full set (17 Linocuts see them here http://shanajames.com/understanding-alice-images-2/) and two artists, books for their rare book collection one of these is a one-off book where the images are original mixed media drawings and the other is a linocut book editioned to only 3 (both shown here).

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If you have been to my website you will know the book as the making of it is on the banner of the homepage. I am very glad to be part of the Monash University Rare Books collection.

Here is a video showing the Printing of the Understanding Alice Linocuts you can see the individual images on the website they are $220 unframed each, shipping is free if you buy more than one. http://shanajames.com/understanding-alice-images-2/

 

Ourself Behind Ourself Concealed – The Ideas

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Thank you to everyone who went and saw the Between the Sheets Exhibition curated by Gallery East. The exhibition is now being packed up and sent to Australian Galleries in Collingwood, opening on the 13th June 2017, which I am very excited about. Some people have asked me about the ideas behind the work so here is the artists’ statement:

This work is derived from both: the paper dolls I used to make as a child by cutting a figure into concertina folded paper and the paper dolls that came in a kit with stylish paper clothes to dress your doll in.  This work is inspired by the free-flowing creativity of children at play, and my wish to reconnect to that self.

The human condition is to strive for change, to want more in the physical world, through this external striving. Do we find the self concealed within? or is this busy work distracting us from our true purpose?

I chose for this work the format of female form, but this is not just for a female audience, it is a representation of all humanity, transcending gender and culture. It is a work that speaks to our humanity. The paper clothes have been replaced by  the transparent openness of the internal tree. The tree is vividly coloured, reminding us of our potential brilliance and potential growth. It is the capacity to tap into this state of flow that allows us to evolve.

The title is taken from a line in a Poem by Emily Dickinson. While I found that line to be perfect as the title of this piece, the rest of the poem which traversed the dark corridors of the mind and does not really relate to this work except in that it offers an alternative way of looking at the self, perhaps deeper than the mind. The self concealed within.

The Between the Sheets Exhibition will be on at Australian Galleries ,35 Derby Street Collingwood 3066 from 13th June to 2nd July 2017

Between the Sheets Exhibition Reviewed in Saturdays West Australian

William Yeoman has written a great review of the Between the Sheets Exhibition, curated by Gallery East, now on at Central Tafe Gallery. Exhibition continues until April 8th before travelling to Melbourne. I was fortunate to have a photograph of my work chosen for the review.

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Artist in Residence Penrhos College

I was invited by Penrhos College to come and work with their year 7 and year 9 students who are working on linocut. I am also mentoring a year 12 student who is using linocut to create her final project. Today we did chin colle on the year 9 sample blocks. They did these pieces as a precursor to larger ones they are working on now. So far I have been incredibly impressed with the standard of the work.

During my short stay there, I am also working on some of my own work and have a display of my work up in the gallery area adjacent to the art room. I have talked about my work to several classes but will be having a more formal artist talk in the first week of next term (date to be advised).

I have felt very welcomed by the staff and the students are focused and attentive. I am really enjoying my stay.

New Classes for 2017, Bali Wrap Up and Artist Books

What a great start to the year the Bali Workshop was! It was a fantastic group of interesting artists and teachers. Being surrounded by the beautiful gardens, trees tropical flowers and the sound of running water wherever you go has had a lasting effect on me. The ARMA resort did NOT disappoint with great food as usual Ibu Puska who has worked at the ARMA for over 20 years, is the head Chef there, a lovely lady. When you talk to her you can hear the passion she has about food and ingredients and it shows in the outstanding meals we had.  I haven’t got any food shots unfortunately but here are some photos, of our week away.

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Now back home and classes at the Fremantle Art Centre

Studio Print is a fantastic way to get back into making your own work, share ideas with likeminded people and be mentored through your own project. Mondays 1:30 – 4:30pm  or Saturday  1:30 – 4:30pm.

Contact the Fremantle Arts Centre 9432 9555

I have some other great classes coming up Linocut on Tuesday evenings, Etching Wednesday mornings, Beginners Printmaking Monday Mornings, Learn to Draw on Tuesday mornings. See the website for details http://www.fac.org.au/courses/adults/?cat=50

Other things on the Horizon

I’m finishing off an artists’ book for Between the Sheets which is an exhibition that will be on at Central Tafe Gallery in March. Here are some images of the work in progress. I have just been asked if I would do a short artist in residency at Penrhos College, which should be fun.

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