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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Craigslea Update "Last One" - Tamara Playne

The project is now fully installed and awaits only an official opening.

Yesterday we (teacher, students and myself) trooped up to Ed Qld HQ and presented the project to a Showcase Forum including the Deputy Director-General of Arts Qld and the Assistant Director-General, Curriculum, Ed Qld. So, for all us community artists busy 'heads down' it is good to see that the value of artists working in schools is being appreciated at the top.

The good news was that the Art Built-in Artist-in-Residence program in Ed Qld Schools will continue next year so that will mean a few less starving artists in 2007!!

I am now transferring all my blogging regarding this project and others to www.tamaraplayne.blogspot.com

Please come and have a look and drop us a line.

If you have trouble with it in any way let me know at tamaraplayne@yahoo.com.au

Thanks to QCAN and Karen Tunny in particular for guiding me into blogging. I would love to see more members' activity through this blog site so have a go and thrill us all (in the nicest possible way).

Tamara Playne

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Craigslea Update 7 - Tamara Playne

The artwork is nearly ready for installation. . .

The primary students made the ceramic tiles which are being attached to the small water feature. They developed their designs with the cascading water flow in mind.

Here's the middle-sized water feature with some lovely organic curves in the carving.

Here's the aluminium light feature which will sit on top of the digital projection box. The light will shine through the dot patterns which repeat the braille for "You are Beautiful" on two sides and the patterns of the zodiac with the Southern Cross in the centre form the patterns for the other two sides.

The digital projection box which is a large black plywood box on the outside has aluminium panels attached to it so that it will go well with the pyramid light feature sitting on top of it. This is the template used to dot pierce the text onto the aluminium.

Not much further to go now. The revolving cubes structure is all finished bar final assembly. I'll have pics of that and hopefully the finished projections box, cascading water features, and flapping banners for the next update.

Yours creatively,


Friday, May 19, 2006

Craigslea Update 6 - Tamara Playne

Now things are really cooking. . . take a look

The hebel water features are taking shape and we picked up the aluminium water troughs for them this week that they will sit in. That's what the 'stilts' are for, so they'll sit nicely in the water and leave room for the pump.

Here's one side of tiles made by the primary students to be glued to the small pyramid water feature.

Next up are the beloved revolving cubes made by the plastic box guy after numerous phone calls to discuss every last millimetre of them. When they arrived, I bonded with my newborns at first sight! Here you can see the interchangeable insert sides (filled with laminated colour paper collages) and the next facet featuring drill-hole design sheet aluminium.

Here's the lovely letters that will spell out You Are Beautiful on one side of all the revolving cubes.

And here's the textural tiles made for another side of the revolving cubes.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Craigslea Update 5 - Tamara Playne

It's been an exciting week tracking down the last of the materials and finally nabbing a metal fabricator not too busy to fit us in. Various fabricators are underway with the water feature troughs and the revolving cubes support structure. I've finally found a minute to check out the ramp where the work will be sited at the school and it's still at the dirt-track stage. But all that could change within hours with a few cement trucks, hopefully in time for our celebratory student morning tea in a few weeks. And here's some photos of this week's effort.

Above: the tie dyed fabric banners are being screenprinted with images of students from both schools. The images were created from digital photos, which were then printed out and photocopied onto litho paper. The paper was then hand cut to produce paper screens for printing.

Above: One facet of the revolving cubes structure will feature the words "you are beautiful" spelt out in plywood letters which are shown here being carefully sanded.

One of today's best surprises was to hear the xylophones ring out after being cut to size (thanks Linsey Pollac for the measurements). We had to get everyone else to stop drilling and sawing hebel first but the sound was lovely. Part of the theme of the project was to address the five senses so now we can tick off hearing!

Here's the middle sized xylo before it is finally rigged. We've used aluminium tubing for the notes, stainless steel cable and fittings to hang, and also little pieces of aluminium tubing to space the notes apart. The beaters are made from left over lantern Pahang for the stick and some lovely foam balls found in the golf section of a discount shop, drilled, and glued on. They remind me of bobby dazzlers.

Next week is the full tilt whole day effort on Thursday so more photos then of the water features, the light feature and the digital projection box.

Yours in creativity

Tamara Playne

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Craigslea Update 4 - Tamara Playne

We are rolling into phase two now: that's the exciting/nerve wracking phase where we actually make the artwork we've been thinking about in phase one (see previous updates). It's been a mad time sourcing so many different materials: aluminium pipes, sheet metal, hebel stone, water pumps, timber, fabric, pvc pipes and bits to fit. Then finding those precious people who know their stuff: like the guy who's waking up in the wee hours with the solutions to our perspex cubes we're getting him to make, and the metal fabricator who assures me it's all do-able. My secret response as we reach deadlines is "well get on and do it then". I'm still on the lookout for stainless steel split rings (like a key ring), if anyone knows where. . . let me know.

The year 11 art students are working up blisters making two of the larger hebel water features. There will be three loosely pyramid shapes from 1metre high, 75cm high and 40cm high. The triangular shapes echo the triangular shapes created by the path of the entrance ramp (the artwork site).

The second picture shows some of the inserts for the 'revolving cubes' installation. One side of the cubes is designed for temporary changing exhibitions of laminated artwork like these.

One of the other sides will have aluminium 'dot drawings' made from drilled holes which reveal the black perspex background. Picture three shows these being made using a mallet and nail to make starter marks for drilling later. The sheet of aluminium is under the paper template.

This last picture shows some of the banner fabric which has been bleached-backed tie-dyed sometimes called 'Shibori'. The five banners are different colours and dye patterns and will also be screen-printed featuring posterised faces of students. They are 2metre high and cut to a scalloped triangular shape to match the triangular theme and will be flown from the ramp railings.

I welcome any questions about the artwork and processes you may have. It is hard to know how much detail to go into so in brevity I might have also lost some meaning.

Yours creatively

Tamara Playne

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

QCAN AGM and Awards

QCAN's AGM was held on Friday 24th March. As well as the election of the
Management Committee we were delighted to recognise Aunty Vi McDermott. Aunty Vi, a long time member of QCAN was awarded life membership. Aunty Vi is a Jinda Wakka Wakka Elder, (Burnett district - Queensland) a storyteller, singer, performer, song writer and public speaker with a deep knowledge of her culture and the sacred world.

Aunty Vi was a founding member of Icy Tea (Inala Community Theatre), a leading participant in the Magdalena Womens' Theatre Festival and Patron of the 2003 National Storytelling Festival, held in Brisbane.

Nominations for the 2005 Community Artist of the Year were all extremely worthy and were acknowledged by their nominators as outstanding cultural workers. The assessment panel, Cathy Hunt of Positive Solutions, John Jeffrey Community Arts Officer Brisbane City Council and QCAN Director Bronwyn Jewell faced a very difficult task.

The artists who were nominated were: Dr Pamela Croft, Bronwyn Davies, Dr Judy Pippen, Chris Pye, Craig Shaw, Jo Cruikshanks, Erica O'Neale, Michael Connolly, Carmen Stewart, Chris Stannard, Motoyuki Niwa and Scotia Monkovitch.

Scotia Monkovitch was chosen by the panel as the 2005 QCAN Community Artist of the Year for her work with Princess Alexandra Hospital, Access Arts and Helicon Dance. Neal Price, in his nomination of Scotia said: 'Her work achieved life changing outcomes for participants and positioned ccd processes as an integral part of healthcare and community well-being.'

As there was another outstanding nominee amongst the entrants who had made a significant contribution, it was decided to create another award: the 2005 Emerging Cultural Worker of the Year. That award went to Craig Shaw. Craig spent 2005 in tremendous change, both personally and professionally. His development was shared, nurtured and enjoyed by his community and specifically young Brisbane Murris. Craig was one of the many keen workers in the So Superfly project.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Charleville Generational Learning Project - Daryll Bellingham, Brisbane

Well I've returned from Charleville with a swag of digital stories almost ready for burning to DVD and some cherished memories of some very special culturally significant places in Bidjara country.

Helping Shaun video at Carnavon rock shelter.

Reeghan interviewing Aunty Carol at Boonaroo Springs lookout.

It was a real buzz to be with the young and old as they explored sites like Lost City, Goats Rock, Bulla Cliffs, Boonaroo Springs and the Carnavon Ochre Pots. As the 11 young people and the Elders they were matched with started to absorb some of the specialness of the sites they were given much to think about. Digital stories with their emphasis on oral storytelling and visual creativity seemed a perfect match.

Our show and tell session on Friday evening at the Indigenous Health centre was wonderful. Fed with marinated kangaroo kebabs and a great salad, my wonderful volunteer, Christabelle Baranay, and I wrestled with the vagaries of Microsoft MovieMaker, recalcitrant laptops, a different data projector and a hastily thrown together sound system to show the participants' Digital Stories in an open air movie theatre under the western stars.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to Charleville again and doing another project with a focus on the Elders' stories. Hopefully we can get the funding because it would be good to extend the training component of the project. I believe Digital Stories has tremendous potential as a community cultural development tool.

More detailed report - austories.blogspot.com

Daryll Bellingham, 29th March 2006

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Craigslea Update 3 - Tamara Playne

This will be my last post for another month as we end the first 6 weeks of workshops and take a break till next term.

The primary students today saw the blog and I am hoping to get some comments from them to add here soon.

In the meantime here's some pics of one of the water features being made. It will be a square based pyramid made of hebel and covered in hand-made ceramic tiles. The students have worked in pairs to make each facet emphasising texture and anticipating the water flow over the texture.

Tamara Playne

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More on Craigslea Project - Tamara Playne

Time for my second foray into blogworld. Thanks for the comments. I don't know where I am supposed to respond to them so it'll be in this post.

Left: here's a sample of some bleach dyeing we've been doing for the banners. There will be a series of 5 triangular banners 2 metres long. They'll be tie-dyed and then screen-printed. One of the teachers, Wendy McHugh, revealed her talent for shibori, which involved a combination of a 1metre drainpipe, some fabric, some students and 250metres of string. Wendy resisted the temptation to tie the students to the post. . .

Digital Installation. . . what is it?
There are six separate art features on the site. The one I'll feature today is the digital installation. It's basically a sturdy plywood box sited next to the ramp with two slots so people (of differing heights) can peek and in and . . . watch a visual story. The visual is coming from a data projector and laptop which will also go inside the box from time to time. On top of the box is a light sculpture in the shape of a pyramid made from hole-punched sheet aluminium. The idea of the box allows people to view digital stories in the day-time as well as night and mimics the building site hoarding where there is often a peep-hole for passers-by.

The students working on the digital story are interested in the "You are beautiful" concept. The YAB is an international non-commercial phenomenon. Google You are beautiful and you'll get an idea.
The basic notion is to remind people among the hustle,
bustle, and crazy consumerist world that you, everyone, individually, is
beautiful from the inside out
The message is being spread in lots of different ways including public artworks, messages left in lifts, stickers placed in surreptitious corners etc. There is no merchandise to buy and no-one is making a profit from it. It's just a lovely reminder of what's important in this world.

As a starter the students are photographing lots of different people in different locations wearing you are beautiful shirts, highlighting both diversity and sameness (equality of all life). Simple but cool.

So that'll be the first digital story that goes into the box but expect more. Because like quite a few of the artwork settings on the ramp (the banners, the revolving cubes, the water features) they are intended to be re-fitted for the next lot of creatives to make another addition .

Lastly, Junes comments about herb gardens, we're working on it. It's not a workable garden site but we want to address the sense of smell through planting lavender, rosemary and anything else that's hardy and aromatic. Suggestions welcome.

That's all for now, I'm off to story-telling of the Harry Potter kind. Anyone for Quidditch?


Tamara Playne

Friday, March 17, 2006

Art Built-In Craigslea Schools - Tamara Playne

Picture: Craigslea State School students constructing a scale model of the ramp, which we then used as a working tool to test out proposed artworks and to get a sense of the site which is still under construction.

Hi everyone,
Yes it's the Maiden Voyage for me into the land of Blog, so please forgive any first-timer mistakes.
I want to share an exciting project and link up with others doing the same one.
I am one artist (of 12) selected to work on the Education Queensland version of Art Built-in for 2006. Basically it's a residency within a school to create some permanent and temporary artworks with students.
I am aware of one of the other artists, but wondered if there were any others out there who can share their paralell experience.
I am working with Craigslea State High School and Primary School, side by side in Chermside Brisbane. We have a site which is the entrance to the arts auditorium being built as we speak.
The entrance is a long multi layered ramp and is the only entrance since the construction budget was cut and there are no longer any stairs.
Half the students I am working with have disabilities and the schools are a great example of accessibility in physical layouts and inclusivity in education. I am working with primary and secondary.
The brief is to create artwork that heightens the sensory experience of people entering the arts auditorium. So there are, some large scale xylophones (a la Linsey Pollak), an interactive revolving cubes installation, some water features in ceramic and hebel, a digital installation or two, some celebratory textile flags and hopefully a cable installation designed to grow things up.

Yours creatively
Tamara Playne
p.s. I noted somewhere that Roland Nancarrow is doing an ABI up north. If you know him say hi from me. He was one my art teachers in high school!

This is another picture from someone else's project (google you are beautiful). The YAB concept is being used in our project too. More about that in the next blog.
Hooray for now. . .

Tamara Playne