Postcards from the Sky
A living studio exhibition
Artists > Akka Ballenger Constantin, Michele Elliot, Hazel Hall, Kathy Kituai, Chris Mansell, Clare Martin, Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello, Lizz Murphy, Melinda Smith and Sarah St Vincent Welch
Foyer Gallery > 8 February – 17 March 2019
Opening night | 6pm Friday 8 February 2019
Growing out of the 2018 exhibition One Sky, Many Stories, the Postcards from the Sky living studio includes completed work and work in progress, across photography, 3D works on paper, mobiles, wearable art, mixed media, art & text and poetry of wide-ranging styles. The living studio will continue developing work throughout the exhibition, alongside artist talks and poetry readings.
Ten artists and writers are sending ‘postcards’ from the sky — Chris Mansell’s omnipresent and all-seeing sky; Sarah St Vincent Welch’s postcards from Heron Island, where life and death, earth and sky, night and day collide; and online, where night and day connects and contrasts through the skies in the daily walks of Michele Elliot and Lizz Murphy. There is also the impossible love story of the sun and moon as told by Akka Ballenger Constantin, and a remaking of the indigenous story of the Lightning Brothers by Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello. Melinda Smith reimagines the stories behind constellations and other night sky phenomena, Clare Martin reinterprets meteor landings and stellar explosions, Kathy Kituai investigates the phases of the moon and Hazel Hall researches Jupiter, its moons and related musical compositions.
About the artists >
Akka Ballenger Constantin
Romanian-born Akka Ballenger Constantin swapped her homeland’s mountains for the Canberran grasslands. An almost perfect trade – although she misses the heights. She explores her surroundings through keen observation, often focusing on the unseen detail, rather than on the obvious scenery. Her practice combines over 20 years’ experience in photography and alternate processes with new-found mediums such as drawing, mixed media, printmaking and spoken words. Akka exhibits regularly, both with local and international venues. Recently, she found her feet in live poetry performances at the Noted Festival, Alliance Française, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres and the Multicultural Festival.
Michele Elliot is a visual artist, educator and writer whose practice spans sculpture, installation, textiles and drawing. Her artworks encompass material explorations in relation to body, memory and place. Michele’s survey exhibition Some Kind of Longing: Textile Works 1995-2018 was shown at Tamworth Regional Gallery, and her artworks have been included in Horizon: Exploring the West Coast with the Clipperton Project (2014); Tamworth Textile Triennial (2010-2012); and Kindness: Udartha, New Delhi and Melbourne (2012). Michele completed a Masters in Fine Arts at Monash University in 2007. She runs textile and drawing workshops in the Illawarra and beyond.
Hazel Hall is a well-published Canberra poet and musicologist. Her latest collections are Eggshell Sky, a collaboration with calligraphers Angela Hillier and Narelle Jones (2017); Step by Step, a tai chi collaboration with Angie Egan (2018); and Moonlight Over the Siding (2018). She also edited the School of Music Poets’ chapbook Silver Fugue in 2018.
A diarist, poet, editor and creative writing teacher since 1990, Kathy is the recipient of two Canberra Critics Circle Awards and founder and facilitator of Limestone Tanka Poets since 2010. Although she has published five collections of tanka poetry (her recent book, Deep in the Valley of Tea Bowl won the 2016 ACT Publishing and Writing Award), she has also published three free-verse collections and individual poems in Japan, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and Australia.
Chris Mansell‘s latest publications of poetry are Verge, Stung, Stung More, Spine Lingo, and Seven Stations (a song cycle with music by Andrew Batt-Rawden). She won the Queensland Premier’s Award for Poetry, Amelia Chapbook Award (USA) and the Meanjin Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize and has been shortlisted for the National Book Council Award and the NSW Premier’s Award.
A sculptor living in rural Burra, her sculpture includes site-specific installation and work in museums, using a variety of mediums. Clare first started to use text in installations in urban areas to reflect the high incidence of text in those environments, and later expanded to making zines, combining image and text, to document temporary installations. Recent exhibitions include Just Playing at M16, where she explored childhood games and improvisation, and Sea of Dreams at Form Gallery, work based on dreaming and the subconscious.
Jenni Kemarre Martiniello
Jenni Kemarre Martiniello in an award-winning visual artist, poet, writer, and photographer of Arrernte, Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent. She was NAIDOC Artist of the Year in 2010, and was awarded Canberra Critics Circle Awards for Visual Arts in 2011 and 2013. Jenni is an ACT Creative Arts Fellow (2003) and is the recipient of a 2-year Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts for 2013/2014. In 2013 she won the prestigious Telstra Prize for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. Her works are held in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Art Gallery of Western Australia, the ACT Legislative Assembly, Tasmanian Art Gallery and Museum, QAGOMA, Northern Territory Art Gallery and Museum, Australian Parliament House Collection, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Museum of Palau, National Art Gallery of the Solomon Islands, the Corning Museum of Glass, USA and the British Museum, UK. Jenni works from her studio at Canberra Glassworks.
Lizz Murphy has published 13 books including eight poetry titles and is widely published in Australian and overseas journals and anthologies. She is an ACT Creative Arts Fellow (Literature) and her awards and mentions include the Rosemary Dobson Poetry Prize (joint). She is currently the Canberra Times Poetry Editor. Lizz has a visual arts past which occasionally resurfaces through mixed media, art & text. In more recent years she’s been in three group exhibitions at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery and ANCA. She participated in Project 366 posting poems and images daily throughout 2016.
Melinda Smith is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Goodbye, Cruel (2017) and Members Only (2017) with artist Caren Florance. She won the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Drag Down to Unlock or Place an Emergency Call. Her work has been widely anthologised and translated into multiple languages, and she has performed her poetry at events and writers festivals across Australia and internationally. She is based in the ACT and is a former poetry editor of The Canberra Times.
Sarah St Vincent Welch
Sarah St Vincent Welch is known for chalking poetry on footpaths at art festivals. A Graduate Diploma in Media developed her engagement with the visual, as did her work in film preservation at NFSA. She wrote a poem a day in 2016 and posted it along with an image for Project 366, an online international project of poets, visual artists and translators. She has co-edited a social history and three anthologies of poetry and prose. Her poetry chapbook Open is being published in March 2019.