Congratulations to the three winners of the inaugural Marie Ellis OAM drawing prize. What a great achievement. And what great entries. Thanks too to the judges, Vernon Ah Kee, Nic Plowman and Jeff Hopkins Weise. Auspicious judges indeed!
Thanks to each of the artists for their story telling tonight linking spoken word to the stories that hang so profoundly on these walls.
Some of the people I read in the 70’s talked about the flow of history. You could say that history repeats itself or there’s something greater that flows through events or is the organizing intelligence paradigm in all that happens. We can only know this when we reflect on events. We could say that one of the organizing intelligence paradigms in all foreign power invasions from Rome to the British to the Spanish to the Americans to the Japanese is the desire to impose one culture on another. We understand that culture is a way of thinking, of seeing, of being together, of custom.
What happens when we reflect on works of art, on movements in visual art? Is there a flow? Is there an organizing intelligence paradigm at work? Charles Blackman with alcoholic dementia is showing work again and today I had a patient starting X-ray art. Here at Jugglers we have Sue Ching’s felt sculpture, regular graffiti and street art, artists in residence Nic Plowman, Abby Whitaker, Sam Eyles, Randal Breen, Megan Cope, Nina O’Brien & Anthony Walker & the Marie Ellis winners Greg Grienke, Ben Warner and Gimiks Born. Such diversity! Is there an organizing intelligence paradigm to explain this creative phenomena? Or is it just chaos theory?
If we look at another invasion we can maybe get a perspective on this question. The Brand invasion. The brand invasion we are all familiar with I think has as part of its organizing intelligence paradigm the desire to impose a certain cultural mindset on the masses and to dominate the culture to control how we “are”. Just as imperial invasions do. The brand can be as simple as the toothpaste we use or as expensive as the cars we buy. An interesting phenomena in the USA is that young adults are not buying cars as a right of passage but are using public transport as mild reaction to the car brand. The iphone [he pulls one out of his pocket!] is a brand phenomenon as normal as the toilet!
Visual art as we have here at Jugglers though driven by some desire for sales has as one of its organizing intelligence paradigms the representation of the artists’ reflection on life, as the artist’s reflection on the culture. We are not a design studio or interior decorators. We are reflectors of the brand invasion and what it is doing to us. As a contemporary ARI we produce art as a reflection, as a feeling, as a meditation , as a story of what we see, what we feel, what we experience. And so our art is the nerve end of the culture whether it is sold or not, whether it is graffiti or felt sculpture. And in that sense we expose the brand invasion calling the normal into question.
And in doing that we are always in danger of loosing the questions and of becoming the normal culture that needs to be unsettled!
Peter Breen MA, BTh, ARMIT, MIR
Jugglers Art Space Inc
Runner Up [$500]