My latest residency project with Noosa Library Service.
The overall goal was to get multiple artists, starting with me, to recreate their favourite places in Noosa, purely from memory. Each artist will create the location within Virtual Reality, using an application called Tilt Brush, from Google.
Once the places were all created, the goal is to incorporate all of them into a single read-only VR environment, which will have its default state as a 3D topographical map of Noosa.
My creative phase lasted for two weeks, the second two weeks would be spent guiding guest artists.
A week of grant writing. It’s lots of work, for what amounts to a relatively small grant amount, but it makes a huge difference in passing a critical mass of available liquidity for me to set up a welding space at home.
It’s always a process of difficult self-reflection to work on one of these sorts of things. You end up being forced to re-examine your career, your work, and then chop it down, and down, and down to meet word limits. You worry constantly about losing something essential, some nuance about yourself, by reducing your career, motivations and plans to their most basic and businesslike, and then you worry further that the examining peers won’t enjoy reading it.
But at the end, it’s done, and have a weekend off to try and recharge, before trying to get back into clearing more stuff out of my storage space.
The final week of my residency, and two of the guest artists managed to create finished works:
The week ended checking out my TIG welding skills, on both stainless steel and aluminium. From the looks of things, it seems a lot of my previous problems were down to having gloves that were too thick, which the TAFE instructor hadn’t noticed in the catastrophic garbage course I’d done previously.
Monday, I was drenched during my bike ride, attempting to outrun a storm.
This storm, to be precise. Soon after taking this photo, the leading edge, with all its lightning was overtaking me. As I got onto the flat ground for the last 10 minutes to home, the rain started. By the time I pulled into the carport, I was wet to the skin.
After the storm, I went out to grab a few post-storm images by the river:
The middle of the week was mostly occupied with grant-writing.
Thursday & Friday saw guest artists brought in to my Noosa Mnemonic project. The first session for each was an introduction to the technology, and the application they’ll be working in. The goal is they’ll use next week to really get stuck in to work on their location, and hopefully join up with the Makerspace to finish their pieces off in their own time.
Some time working on my next grant application, and some bike riding. Thursday and Friday were spent on Week 1 of my new residency project.
The really interesting news was from chatting with one of the staff about my upcoming residency, and what I planned on doing. He asked how much I was budgeting on spending on welding training, and then mentioned that he’d been teaching and assessing welding for something like 20 years.
I’d been planning on this byzantine process of travel down to Brisbane, and hideously expensive training, this guy is offering to do it for about half the price, and lives about 10 minutes away.
So, with that in mind, my grant application is looking a lot healthier.
I’ve been accepted into Swell Sculpture Festival 2019.
Not that I should be shocked – I was trained for this, and I have some good works sitting around in storage, just waiting to be seen. However, it’s a thrill nonetheless, and ensures I don’t have a gap in my exhibition record this year. The work I’ll be exhibiting is There. which also has a small companion piece, so I can exhibit in the small sculpture part of the exhibition as well.
The exhibition is in September, so I have some lead time, but there’s some significant work to do – I need to perform some repairs to the work where a weld has popped, and then brace that weld invisibly. I know what needs to be done, I just don’t have the studio space to do it. Hopefully I can convince a local fabrication company to help me with it, in exchange for a sponsorship.
Had a bit of a blow for the next VR residency project, the technical person I’d hoped to bring on board isn’t going to fit within the project’s budget. It’s a shame, but after the last year’s set of high stress, low return projects dumped my health into the ground, I think I’m going to play this one a bit less emotionally committed. I’ve presented the idea, handed it over to the people who’ll manage it, I’ll do my part, but I can’t afford to become emotionally involved in it overall.
Locally, it’s been interesting here the past week – the tail end of a cyclone has been hitting us, and beaches have been closed after 40 people were rescued here in one day alone.
The storm surge has coincided with massive high tides, which have resulted in signs warning of salt water on the roads. It really is a different thing to be living in a glorified marshland.
My camera tests are continuing, and I think it’s reached a point where it seems to be pretty reliable, I feel like I’m circling around where the solution may be.