Archive for the ‘random’ Category

studio stencil

March 9, 2010

I made this paper cut out life-size figure a while back to assist in installing a wall piece in the M16 gallery. I stuck it up in the studio to keep it and have been enjoying the presence it has against the grimy old cupboards.  M16 is an artist run space in Canberra where I have rented studio space since 2005, and if you check out the M16 website in the next week or so you will see that one of my mushroom prints is being used to promote the studio tenent’s show which is on at the moment.  Meanwhile I am working hard at producing some new work for a group show called systematic opening March 25.

lost momentum

December 21, 2009

It has been such a long time since I added to this blog, rather lost momentum on it.  I do have a few excuses – I’ve just finished my honours degree in visual art which has kept me busy for one thing.  I’ve mostly been making prints and other works on paper recently, rather than ephemeral work, which is what this blog concentrated on.  Nonetheless I’m going to try and regain the blogging momentum, though I’m not sure yet what the main focus should be – time will tell I guess.

Gully cairn

May 31, 2009

gully cairn

I built this rock cairn in a stony gully next to where I’d camped for a couple of days.  A pleasant little spot, though definitely only for when no rain is expected.  A little pretentious to build a cairn to mark my own camping spot, though that feeling was tempered by building it in the gully since it wont survive the next downpour of rain.  Of course in Canberra that may not be for months. 

Rock cairns are often a little pretentious really.  I’m thinking particularly of the tendency to build a cairn at the top of a mountain, as if we think we are bettering nature just because we built a little pile of stones on top.  On the positive side it’s a nice little ritual to add your one stone to an existing cairn, playing your part in the maintenance of a cultural mark on the land.  Of course the balance between nature and culture has shifted somewhat the last couple of centuries.  Still, it is fun to build a pile of rocks so maybe I shouldn’t try to think about it so much.

camping under the apple tree

April 27, 2009
camping under the apple tree

camping under the apple tree

I’ve been doing some camping lately.  No surprise to anyone who knows me.  Thing is, I’ve been camping in some unexpected places.  Instead of the usual ‘in the middle of no where’ places out in the mountains, I’ve been becoming more acquainted with some areas on the suburban fringes.  Of course there is nothing like camping on your own to promote a bit of philosophical thinking.  Something happens to a site when you camp there.  That is, something happens to your relationship to it.  Camping in a place is like enacting a ritual.  You bring your well worn familiar equipment with you, and repeat the familiar actions of setting up camp, preparing meals etc in this new location.  By the time you enact the ritual of repacking to leave, the site has become special to you.  It is a site you have occupied, a site that has sheltered you through another night.  Your relationship with that site is shared with the other unknown people who have camped there before you, and thus you have some sort of relationship with them also.  I want to find a way of incorporating this sense of camping as ritual occupation of space into my creative work.  Actually, for some time now I have been photographing my tent every time I camp somewhere, and this has become a sort of ritual recording, but I am thinking of something else – something more real?  Well for now this idea remains a work in progress. By the way, the apples were delicious.   Happy camping everyone.

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australian land art

April 21, 2009

I thought I’d give a heads up to this guy’s web site.  His name is Brad Schwede and he also works with natural materials in the environment, so go give him a look.

markers

March 24, 2009

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I’d been thinking about territory and access to land – the implications of “ownership” and the circumstances of being excluded from ownership. Being in a National Park is the nearest I can get to legally rightful access to land right now. Then I came across these markers (and others like them) while I was out in Namadgi lately. Exactly what they mark and for who I do not know. They mark a walking route yes, since I was following a worn footpad at the time, but it is not actually a National Parks walking track as such, and not really the way to anywhere in particular – other than the sort of semi-random ramble I was doing. Do they mark something else of significance to someone? Was the footpad created by someone checking on whatever the markers indicate? What was also interesting was that if you know a little of the recent history of the site then there is a clear marker of time in the paired old and new stakes – obviously before and after the fires of 2003 that devastated much of this region.

A little earlier I had climbed a hillside up away from the river, then kind of suddenly decided the days’ exploration had reached it’s zenith and it was time to turn about and angle back towards where I had started. I sat on a log to rest a while and just as suddenly thought I should build a cairn of sticks – not initially really sure why. I’d been looking at Richard Long and Hamish Fulton books you see. I think I was marking “territory” – the furthermost point I had so far reached in this part of Namadgi. Thus part of my personal “territory” – even if I was the only one who knew it.

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prints for sale

January 20, 2009

You may have noticed that I have added some new links on the side bar. I’ve been getting myself organised and started a profile on etsy.com. Etsy is an online market place where artists and makers can sell any item that is handmade. So if you are interested in purchasing my work you can find it at petermclean.etsy.com. For the moment I am having a look at some of my old screenprints and other prints and putting them up on etsy. I’ll be uploading more items regularly so go and have a look!

all done!

November 16, 2008

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A life size dust and rubish man that I made in the middle of one of my assesment rooms this week.  Yes that’s right, final assesment is done so I’ve finished the degree !

dust man gets a friend

November 9, 2008

Dust Man has been hanging out in the back stairwell at school for a few weeks now (seems to be off the cleaning radar).  Recently he gained a friend. Somebody unknown has come along and added another figure. The mood of the work has been quite changed by this intervention, but I like that it has happened. It means the work has an ongoing life, and that someone else has been enticed into participating in the project.

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snow about

July 9, 2008

It’s cold, and there has been snow in the mountains with more expected the next few days.  So I’m off camping!  Heading down into Namadgi NP on my bike tomorrow for a week.  Very exciting – over a year since the last bike trip – though this one I am going to really just stick mostly to the road using the bike to get there and back but stay put once I get somewhere down near Gudgenby and do some walking (and arting out and about).


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