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The Linden team is happy to share some great links and art activities with you during the closure of the gallery.
What you have been working on during lockdown and how lockdown may have impacted your work, for example access to your studio or materials?
I am lucky to not have been badly affected by the current pandemic. However, I haven’t been able to access my studio during lockdown so I have been working at home using what materials and equipment are close to hand. Recently, I began working on a new series of photographs. The idea for these works has persisted in the back of my mind for a few years, and because the camera is portable and I will be able to resolve the works on my computer, this seemed like the right time to realise it.
Any podcasts, books, films and music that you have been enjoying, or that have inspired you?
I listen to music to keep up energy levels and block out distractions when working, and lately I have been listening to sets by some of
my favourite DJs, like DJ Hell, Helena Hauff and Nina Kraviz. It is interesting that even with venues closed electronic music has not
slowed down. The sets are freely shared online and people all over the world tune in. Bedroom dancing is the other current global
pandemic, for sure. There is great generosity and a sense of mutual appreciation between listeners and DJs, and I am enjoying being a
part of that community during isolation.
IMAGE > Andrew Atchison, Figure in the Round (Mobile), 2018. Image courtesy of the artist. Photograph: Theresa Harrison Photography.
Any tips you might have for keeping going and staying motivated?
It is easier said than done, but I think if artists can find an opportunity to work differently than they usually do it can counteract the frustration of not being able to follow through with original plans. If you can’t make art, it is a great time to research your favourite artists. For me, listening to an artist talk about their work is fantastic for rekindling inspiration. Going back to the source is vitalising.
In 2019, Julie Shiels presented a solo exhibition of her work in the Linden Projects Space, titled Hidden Lide, A Domestic Study.
This series of photographs captured objects and spaces from angles that made them unfamiliar. Shiels’ photographic and sculptural practice
encourages us to look more carefully at the world around us, especially the things that are hidden in plain sight. Shiels is a passionate
environmental activist and she has spent her time during lockdown focussing on the future of our planet.
I usually work from home, so the lockdown hasn’t much changed the way I work. But the climate emergency has. No point just focussing on the plague when you can worry about the ecological collapse as well.
Consequently, the curiosities of my arts practice, while offering a welcome retreat from a traumatised world, have seemed frivolous. So regardless of having uninterrupted time for artmaking, I initially found myself building a new garden. That was until I revisited a previous interest in Deep Time and the Anthropocene, areas of enquiry which both satisfy my need to distract myself from the news and make work that engages with our uncertain future.
I have been reading Donna Harraway’s Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene and Anthropocene Poetics: Deep Time, Sacrifice Zones, and Extinction by David Farrier. While both books address the existential threat to the planet, they have been oddly comforting, and are informing my new online project. ‘Letters to the Future in the Age of the Anthropocene’
The project is quite is different from the work have been making over the last 10 years and is an extension of an earlier socially engaged practice. Contributors are invited to create a letter, postcard, a fiction, a photo, an artwork, poem, or song for the website which is intended to be creative portal to assist us in dealing with the times ahead.
I consume way too much world news and current affairs, listen to too many podcasts, and continue my practice of swearing at the TV and the radio over the recalcitrant behaviours of a political class focussed on the petty and the partisan. Sadly, there has been no creative development of my cursing style, which remains pure potty-mouth. But when it gets too much, the poetics of Deep Time, geology and the natural world is a comforting distraction, reminding me that in the vast scheme of things, humans are not really that significant.
In 2019, Lisa Waup presented an exhibition of her work at Linden titled Carry Me Softly. This was shown alongside an exhibition of
work from the Baluk Arts studio, titled Elements, which she curated. Carry Me Softly included a series of shields and
coolamons and explored the concepts of the vessel, places of belonging, loss and motherhood. In a show of immense strength and power, all
the artists reflected on what they carry and what they have let go. We asked Lisa what had been keeping her occupied through lockdown.
At present I am studying a Master of Contemporary Art through the Victorian College of the Arts. I did get a taste of being on campus - three weeks in, then the whole thing shut down. Ever since then I have been tethered to a computer and zoom classes. It has been challenging - yet at the same time it has been a wonderful distraction to what is happening outside my home. I feel fortunate that I have had such wonderful support from the incredible lecturers at the VCA, and my brilliantly resilient and creative cohort.
I won't say it hasn't been challenging, and at times I have greatly lost motivation to create. I guess I also had a particular path I dreamt I would have been on this year and it has diverted considerably. The up-side is I am learning a great deal about art theories, and being directed to look at artists that I didn't know existed which has been incredible.Through an essay that I wrote last semester, I was able to do a lot of in-depth research about certain Aboriginal women artists that I greatly admire and inspire me. I have been thinking about how I can draw similarities out through the context of their work that I feel also drive my practice.I have been buying a lot of online books, art magazines, and exhibition catalogues to shows I wished I could have gone to - such as NIRIN, Destiny Deacon at NGV and also a recently arrived book/catalogue Nyapanyapa Yunupingu - the moment eternal - which was shown at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.I have some incredible curatorial projects and exhibitions coming up, so am focusing on that at present. I am feeling so thankful that I have a creative spirit at this moment in time, I am forever amused and directed by it, at times in the most unusual ways.
Shane Nicholas was a finalist in the Linden Art Prize 2019. The works he presented in this exhibition, which had been created as
part of his Masters of Fine Art degree at the VCA, were produced using 3D scanning of the artist’s body, 3D printing, rescanning and
reprinting. The distortions in the sculptural forms were caused by errors that occurred when translating the subject into digital data,
and then back into a real-world object. The final forms of these works were therefore unexpected and the result of a process of chance
and discovery. We asked Shane what had been keeping him busy through lockdown.
“The current circumstances eerily coincide with my most recent ongoing project. I have been working with CT scans and MRIs made during the diagnosis of my heart condition a few years ago. The condition is quite rare and was most likely caused by a virus. The correlation between imaging technologies used for diagnoses and my data-driven artwork fascinated me. The work investigates human vulnerability in the midst of an increasingly technologised world.
Moving house three days before Stage 4 restrictions caused a very unsettled few weeks working from home while supervising our four-year-old. Now that I have a studio space more or less organised, I am feeling grounded and ready to experiment.
Before leaving my previous residence, Nina Sanadze filmed me for her BUSTV project Living Room, filming artists in their home studios during lockdown. The video has quickly become a record of a previous state in an environment that is ever changing.
Teaching online and working with a lot of software, my coping strategies have become increasingly analogue. I long for precious moments when I can listen to a record or read a book. I have been finding solace in jazz and soul from the early 1970s, namely Lonnie Liston Smith’s Cosmic Funk, Miles Davis’ On the Corner and Zambian psychedelic rock from the same period. This music communicates a deep enthusiasm for creativity and an optimism for a united future. I have been reading Superhumanity: Design of the Self, Dungeons, Dragons & Digital Denizens and Wired Magazine to serve my interests surrounding the ways technology and life intersect. Although it has been good to view art collections online from across the globe, it has reinforced the need for sculpture to be viewed in relation to the body. I predict that sculpture and spatial practice will play an important role in the near future.”
Last Summer Kate Wallace presented her work in the Linden Projects Space in a group show titled Coalescence, which brought together
the diverse practices of the board of directors of Alternating Current Art Space. Wallace showed a series of small oil paintings, each only
18 x 13cm, that delicately captured quiet and fleeting scenes. The exhibition examined the nature of connection and how friendships can lead
to fruitful and inspired outcomes. We have been interested to find out what small things Kate has been doing during lockdown.
“Since lockdown began, I’ve ‘transformed’ part of the kitchen space into a studio of sorts. As my normal studio is located in the city, it’s been difficult to form a routine during this time, particularly with the fridge so close. In July, I was meant to be going to New York for an artist residency. Given how much the world has changed in the past six months, this is a strange thought.
While limited contact with family and friends has been difficult, I’ve cherished the time lockdown has brought as a counter to the fast-paced norm of the everyday. Walking in nearby parks and reserves has kept me sane, as has exploring areas like Warrandyte (although this is sadly now outside our 5km.)
Aside from this, podcasts have served as a great background while I paint. There’s a few, but some worth a listen include TalkArt, BowDown, Debutante: Race, Resistance and Girl Power, Talking with Painters, Pro Prac, Simon Scharma’s Great Gallery Tours via BBC, In Our Time, The New Abnormal, Drinking with the Artist, A Brush With and Qiq pods. I’ve recently gone back to reading The Poetics of Space (which is a nice book to go back to at the moment) and The Drowned World.
Currently I am developing work as part of the Constant Ecology Residency. Through this project I have been exploring ideas of nostalgia, escapism and isolation via painting and a series of short stories and personal reflections in a blog. It’s been interesting to develop this part of my practice that is often kept to a series of scrawls in a notebook!”
In 2019, Cat Hope presented a solo exhibition with Linden titled Sub Decorative Sequences. Cat is a composer, musician, songwriter
and performance artist. For her show, she transformed the decorative elements of Linden’s interior design to create a unique graphic score
that ran the lengths of the gallery walls and was performed by musicians in a series of special events. We asked Cat what she had been up to
during lockdown and we were not surprised to find that repetition, routine and rhythm have underpinned her recent work.
“This most recent lockdown is hard. I have been feeling quite adrift but have now learnt you just go with that for a while and you eventually find your way back in when someone knocks on that virtual door. Luckily, early on I started a project that sees 2 x 2 minute new music commissions recorded every month, in the '2 Minutes From Home' project with my group Decibel. This has turned out to be pretty robust for these ups and downs: we all record our parts at home, and they are edited into short audio visual experiences where you see us playing, accompanied by a podcast series, and the score scrolling in a video released on the groups social media. We have 20 to do, so this will take us up to the end of the year at least! Talk about Repetition, Routine and Rhythm! It strangely keeps us together. I recommend doing things with your gang that can withstand changes and are not conditional on 'things getting better'.
Online experiences of visual art have not been as rewarding, but I have enjoyed getting access to galleries without having to travel. These are best when there are new and extra interviews added - it makes up for the paucity of online. I have been reading poetry, then sharing the books so I can talk to others about them: Antonia Pozzi in Italian with my friends there, rediscovering Emily Dickenson though a colleague's Instagram posts, taking me back to the texts, talking to my daughter over in Perth about Nikita Gill. There is a lot of great poetry on Instagram. A little book by Clarice Lispector called The Hour of the Star that I have returned to few times as it’s so rich and strange. Short is best for me right now. I have also read a beautiful book of dance as writing entitled The dancer in your hands <> by my PhD graduate Jo Polllit, that was recently published on UWA press.
Loving the online film festivals, most recently, Revelation's “Couched” version from Perth. Working with friends on low impact audio visual collaborations to see what happens - then trying to make my scores flash for an online collaboration with Chicks on Speed as part of Ars Electronica in Austria. And back to making silly Facebook posts instead of promotional ones. I have discovered GIFS and MEMES. I am a social person, and I think I have found a way!”
+ Find out more about Cat Hope
In 2017, Sam Leach presented a solo exhibition with Linden titled Avian Interplanetary. This show was held at Domain House in
Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, while our Acland St home underwent a major renovation. We caught up with Sam to find out what he had been
up to during lockdown and as it turns out, he has been very busy.
"My studio is at home and normally it is very quiet, but during lockdown I have been joined by my wife and daughters so isolation for me has meant a lot more human interaction than usual. Home-schooling has been fun – I found a mistake the maths teacher made, which was very satisfying. Some of the material they cover in school is quite interesting, and some is not. But it is nice to recall how much fun it was mucking around with the other kids when the teacher isn’t looking – or when you have the camera turned off.
During round one of lockdown I added to my difficulties by building a new studio in my backyard and giving myself a couple of semi-serious (not actually serious though) injuries. Calling the ambulance and going to the hospital was an opportunity for conversations with different people and also an outing, so in a way quite a treat. I’m not sure what round two will hold but we have recently adopted a rescue cat (our beloved old cat died at the end of last year so we were ready for a new addition). Building a relationship with a new cat is a complex process so that is absorbing a lot of attention now. With what energy I have left after the cat and the home-schooling I am preparing for a solo show in Sydney at the end of August (touch wood). This show is paintings based on compositions developed using AI and its all about finding a way to have a society without anybody doing hard work. I started that idea before Covid but now it seems pretty apt."
2019. The exhibition aimed to raise questions about the use of technology to manipulate nature and biological systems, including the human
body. We asked Alicia what she had been doing during lockdown and what had been keeping her motivated and entertained.
“While in lockdown I've started a new job and moved into a new house (both of which I'm very thankful for), so it's been quite a hectic time. I feel like I have less time now, even though I don't have a work commute anymore. I'm a bit of a workaholic homebody at the best of times, though in my 10th week working from home I finally have itchy feet to get out into the world again. In between packing up my old studio and setting up my new space I haven't had much creative time but having a break from making has been perfect for daydreaming and thinking about what I want to do next creatively. I've been doing a lot of reading and journal sketching, mapping out new project ideas; making the most of ACMI's free Wednesday night film program and links to queer films online; soaking up podcasts like Criminal and This is Love; disconnecting from the news-hype and avoiding COVID-19 conspiracy theory emails from certain family members. It's been a strange time.”
Kylie Stillman’s solo exhibition The Opposite of Wild was shown in 2017 at Domain House in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, while
our Acland St home was being renovated. We asked Kylie what she had been working on recently and what had been keeping her entertained and
motivated over the recent weeks.
“Isolation for me has had me yearning for everything audio. The need to be on screens to communicate for work and learning had me reach for Bluetooth headphones and speakers and flood the house and studio with music, audio readings and conversation. Here are my three loves that are getting me through:
Dan Fox has released a makeshift audio recording of his book ‘Limbo’; the work has been great to revisit in the current climate of isolation.
Richard Watts, 9am - 12pm Thursday on RRR Smart Arts. To be able to still hear from the Melbourne arts community has helped bring the wider world within virtual reach.
And for the kids (3-6 years old), I have discovered Kinderling, which plays quality kids radio programs and music all day long.
Learn to create the perfect balancing act.
By making a simple and fun balancing scale sculpture. Uniquely designed from resourceful materials found around your home. Experiment with weighing scales created with various shapes, sizes and colours, to find that ideal equilibrium.
Create a colourful Hourglass to measure moments of time. Will it pass quickly or very slowly?+ Read more
Fun and a little bit of a challenge, create a Roman Arch or Keystone bridge. Throughout time the ingenuity of the keystone concept demonstrates structural strength and dates back as far as the Romans!+ Read more
Bring a little unexpected colourful surprise into someone else’s day by creating a rainbow pop-up card to send in the mail. Of course, you can replace the rainbow with a pop-up image of your choice.+ Read more
Keep healthy and creative during your isolation. The kitchen is the place to be.
The demand for food globally will increase by around 70 per cent between now and 2050.
The way humanity currently consumes and produces food must change dramatically within this time frame. To put it simply, we do not have the resources to sustainably achieve an adequate food supply to meet this demand on today’s diet.
In order to strike a balance between supply and demand a rethink of what goes on in the kitchen is required: how our food is produce, where
we can source it locally, and what we can do to put an end to food wastage.
We invite you to tighten your apron strings and boldly put nature at the heart of your kitchen decisions by trying sustainable future food today!
 Global Agriculture Towards 2050, FAO – United Nations
We invite you to clear your next Sunday schedule and to dedicate a day to some slow food Italian cooking inspired by the heritage of Carlo Petrini.+ Read more
Start your day strong with this Banana-Oat Breakfast Smoothie!+ Read more
If lockdown is making you want to hit the source like a YBA in the 90s … here are some cocktail ideas to get you started. (Please drink responsibly)+ Read more
This week, the team challenged our Director, Melinda, to make a meal that looks like an artwork. A stickler for simplicity, it is not entirely surprising that Melinda’s recipe has just one ingredient.+ Read more
For the ultimate in small-scale cooking, check out The Tiny Kitchen. We particularly like the tiny peach pie episode+ Read more
Inspired by artist Kirra Jamison. When thinking about repetition, routine and rhythm, there is only one recipe that
springs to mind - pasta dough made from scratch. All it takes is a bit of flour, water, egg and a bit of time to knead, roll & shape and
knead, roll & shape.
This week we have looked to the master of magical cuisine, Heston Blumenthal, for our cooking inspiration. Well-known for creating illusory recipes such as ice cream pork pie or meat fruit, we have found a recipe that is achievable without a science-lab kitchen, yet still has that beautifully surprising element of not being all that it appears.+ Read more
Tuesday 29 September, 3PM-4PM
FREE, suitable for practicing visual artists
This event aims to improve the wellbeing of practicing artists during the pandemic. Using tools that will help you achieve a sense of security for the future, boosted self-esteem, stronger connections in our communities and, most importantly, some room to breathe.
The Linden team, board and volunteers have all contributed to this list of songs that make us feel strong and geared up to take on any challenge thrown at us … enjoy!+ Read more
When the world's falling apart, how can you tell if you need help with your mental health?+ Read more
The ambient music of Takashi Kokubo just might be the perfect relaxing accompaniment to brighten any of your repeated household tasks .. you’ll feel like you’re vacuuming in a forest.+ Read more
If you're concerned or if you require some help. Have a look at the headtohealth
You can also call the Coronavirus mental wellbeing support service on 1800 512 348.
The Lifeline Crisis Support Chat is also available to help if you need.
You can also call Beyond Blue at 1800 512 348 or visit their website here.
This activity is inspired by Atchison's Figure in the Round (Mobile), a stunning example of a “free-wheeling mobile form to depict the subject as a shifting constellation.” In order to find a perfect balance between differently shaped objects, each a different material and weight, one must shift each component and re-evaluate it’s position. Just like life, we must constantly shift and adapt to restore balance.+ Read more
Time-lapse is a cinematography technique that can show the change of something over period of time whether minutes or hours long in a matter of seconds. It has been used to show the change of sunsets, seeds germinating, the rotation of the earth through the nights sky and the progress of an artwork.+ Read more
We know that seeing your favourite people via a screen is not ideal, but here are some ways to make it a bit more fun. Take turns to play party host, source the contents of your party packs, and send them to your guests. You might even want to prepare a prize for the grand winner to send physically or digitally after the party.+ Read more
In 2010 the ArtAnd Foundation asked Del Kathryn Barton to reimagine a timeless fairytale. A long-time aficionado of Oscar Wilde’s works, Barton chose The Nightingale and the Rose. With a score by Sarah Blasco, this poignant story is led by a vulnerable but emboldened feminine protagonist.+ Read more
An immersive dance performance in virtual reality, Celestial Motion is inspired by the imagery of solar physics. Choreographed by Alexander Whitley and made in association with Sadler's Wells Theatre, the experience features 360-degree filming and motion-capture technology. The dancers are visualised both in human form and as other-worldly digital figures in a cosmic landscape, showcasing the choreography from a unique perspective.+ Read more
Black Catbird is a beautiful video clip by The Garifuna Collective. It features birdsong from species in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The visuals are stunning and based on Mexico's textile traditions.+ Read more
Enter a world of mythological beauty and see the preview of Dior’s Autumn-Winter 2020-2021 Haute Couture collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri, showcased in an exclusive film directed by Matteo Garrone.+ Read more