Residency at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica

Venice, 2013

In November and December 2013 I undertook a four week independent artists' residency at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice. This was a period of reflection, consolidation and experimentation with temporal works, as well as an opportunity to soak up the 55th International Venice Biennale and associated satellite exhibitions.

I produced two series' of temporal works with hand cut leaves, Arrivederci and the Madonna dell'Orto, as well as a number of optical experiments with kaleidoscopes, camera obscura, drawings and video. Conceptually these works explore the idiosyncratic relationships and tensions between humankind, nature and the built environment in Venice.

Arrivederci (goodbye) was installed in a number of locations near the Venice Biennale (from whence the leaves came) before retiring to interact with the elements adjacent the Giardini, facing the Canal Grande. The work contemplates my personal relationship with the nature of temporal work, the danger Venice faces as it fights against becoming a modern day Atlantis, and my experience of the Biennale itself. The typeface references a Venetian Humanist style by Nicolas Jenson in the 15th Century.

The Madonna dell'Orto (Madonna of the orchard or kitchen garden) is a 14th Century (renovated) church in the sestiere of Cannaregio. This work made from bay leaves is both a lighthearted attempt to give the Madonna back her kitchen garden, and a reflection on the social, religious, and environmental history of the area.

Please visit Work // Videos for further documentation, including optical works.

The residency was supported by Arts SA and the Government of South Australia, and the 2012 Qantas Foundation Encouragement of Australian Contemporary Art Award.

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Arrivederci
Hand cut leaves from the Giardini della Biennale. Photograph: Amanda Lee
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Arrivederci
Photograph: Amanda Lee
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Arrivederci
Documentation of disintegration. Photograph: Amanda Lee
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Madonna dell'Orto series
Hand cut bay leaves from the Scuola Grafica. Photograph: Amanda Lee
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Madonna dell'Orto series
Photograph: Amanda Lee
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Madonna dell'Orto series
Photograph: Amanda Lee
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Camera obscura projection
Cardboard, tracing paper and lens
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Camera obscura projection
Cardboard, tracing paper and lens