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18 July 2008
what's it all about?
Now Playing: princess one point five - vous je vous
Topic: art

untitled #116

Now that the largest projects that have been on my plate for the past couple of months are all done and dusted I've been catching up on some light reading.

Following links from the Arts Hub UK weekly "Front Page" email that I subscribed to a few weeks ago, I read an interview with Tracey Emin which leaves me no more decided on how I feel about her or her art; and one about Martin Creed's "Work No. 850" currently being staged at the Duveen Gallery, Tate Britain.

And I found myself having to agree with the author of the latter article in regard to his points about art and meaning, and the imposition of meaning on art:

What we're up against here are two of contemporary art's guiding imperatives. Rule 1) Justification by meaning: the worth and interest of a work resides in what it's about. Rule 2) Absolute freedom of interpretation: a work is "about" anything that can, at a pinch, be said about it.

In short, meanings are arbitrary, but compulsory. And this double bind holds almost universal sway. Whenever you learn that a work explores or investigates or raises questions about something, that it's concerned with issues around this or notions of that or debates about the other, you know you're in its grip.

It's weird how people can't resist. If you want to make art sound serious, this is simply the way you do it. Read any gallery wall-caption or leaflet or catalogue, and see how long it is before the writer commends the work solely on the basis of what it's about. And then note how it is isn't really about that at all.

Meaning comes first – even before the work itself. At some point in the near future Antony Gormley's project One and Other will occupy the much-discussed fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. For 100 days, 24 hours a day, a succession of volunteers will stand, for an hour each, as living statues on the plinth-top.

What will happen exactly? Goodness knows. It's anyone's guess. But what will it mean? Oh, we know that already, for the artist himself has explained: "Through elevation onto the plinth and removal from common ground the subjective living body becomes both representation and representative, encouraging consideration of diversity, vulnerability and the individual in contemporary society".

And in the circumstances, pre-emptive interpretation is only to be expected. When meanings are crucial but also completely out of control, the artist had better get his meanings in first. He must make it clear his work will encourage us to consider "diversity, vulnerability and the individual" – rather than other less uplifting things, like exhibitionist tendencies among the public or messianic tendencies among artists.

One and Other is another of those works that might mean anything or nothing. But because it's art, not life, it has to mean something. In fact, that's pretty well what defines the difference between them.

Although there are images of mine that were directly born from an event, an experience, an idea and therefore do have meaning that I may choose to elaborate upon with text or a journal entry; and I have had to write proposals at various stages in regard to my art before it's even executed; I don't believe that art has to have meaning or a prepared explanation by the artist or a gallery accompanying it for it to be a successful artwork.

I find it interesting to know what the artist was aiming for / thinking about / influenced by when producing the artwork, and I enjoy the written word and the way it can be used with images, whether as a title or as accompanying text. But not everything lends itself to a title, not all artworks require explanation or accompanying text of any type.

Although I always feel proud of my work when an audience recognises in it the same ideas, meaning and influences that I have been conscious of when creating the work, I am just as intrigued to find out what other interpretations the viewer brings to my images.

Because in the end we all view art (and most things in life) from our own subjective viewpoint. The work in front of us is "tainted" by our own knowledge, our own experience, our own personal visual preferences. When you view an artwork, listen to a piece of music, watch a film, there are always doors opening in your own memory behind which lie other artworks / images you've seen, sounds / music you've heard, films you've watched, places you've been, people you've met, experiences you've had of which the work may remind you or may colour your enjoyment (or lack thereof) and interpretation of the artwork.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 14:56 BST
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13 July 2008
my life in a box
Now Playing: tegan & sara - this business of art
Topic: exhibitions

untitled #17

More exhibition news!

The above image and "The Nights You Stayed Always Ended this Way" will be included in the next Inner Northerns exhibition "My Life In A Box", which will take place in the display case on Level 1 of the Northcote Town Hall from August 4th until September 2nd.

I also found out just today that "Mannequin" has been selected to be included in an exhibition showcasing Melbourne and Victoria Red Bubble work to be held at the Rialto Towers for two weeks in August.

I'll post opening times and dates as soon as I know.

Oh, and since I have your attention, I'd love it if you could vote for "The Nights You Stayed Always Ended This Way" in the latest round of the Saatchi Showdown...

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 13:01 BST
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12 July 2008
the nights you stayed always ended this way
Now Playing: jacques brel - integrale: les flamandes
Topic: self-portraiture

the nights you stayed always ended this way

Standing half-naked in the kitchen, unable to sleep, as the world shook off the night and I shook off the false belief that there was anything more to this than fleeting desire.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 16:03 BST
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5 July 2008
[im]material girl
Now Playing: the cure - join the dots
Topic: photography

immaterial girl

Laying in bed this morning contemplating arising from my warm cocoon a random jumble of thoughts meandered through my mind.

One of which was that if I were to leave these shores next April there would be only three items of furniture I would not sell or give away: my dressing table and chair, my piano (okay, so not technically furniture, but you know what I mean) and my red-ribbed velour lounge suite. Everything else I now feel I would be able to part with permanently, unlike last time when it all went into storage.

Though I might have to part with my lounge suite if everything else could be stored at my parents' house - they would definitely take the piano and quite possibly the dressing table, but the lounge suite would not fit into their home.

Of course I don't actually expect to win the travel award, but it's good to know that I could leave it all behind if I had to.

In other news, you should check out the Inner Northerns' exhibition at Brunswick Bound which opened today. Some beautiful images to be seen.

Buy my book!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 11:03 BST
Updated: 5 July 2008 11:10 BST
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30 June 2008
the letter
Now Playing: the walkmen - a hundred miles off
Topic: exhibitions

the letter

I received notification today that the above image was not chosen as a finalist in the Olive Cotton Award, so now that it no longer has to be an unpublished artwork to qualify for that, I can publish it online :D

Phirebrush Release #63 is also online as of today, sneaking out a little earlier than usual. I have five images included: one image in the featured section, and it and four other images on the first page of the photography section.

By the way, for those on Facebook, you can show your support for my photography here.

Buy my book!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 12:53 BST
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29 June 2008
night nurse
Now Playing: hercules and love affair - hercules and love affair
Topic: exhibitions

carry on nurse

I received notification yesterday that "Carry On Nurse" [above] has been selected to hang in the finalists exhibition of the Corangamarah Art Prize, to take place from 9 to 17 August 2008 at Otway Estate Winery and Brewery in Barongarook, Victoria!

I wonder if the selection of this image from the three I submitted has anything to do with the Prize being auspiced by Colac Area Health with all proceeds from the exhibition going to Corangamarah Residential Aged Care facility? ;o)

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 02:31 BST
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tony olsson
Now Playing: tony olsson - demos vol. 1
Topic: portraits

untitled #71

untitled #80

untitled #49


From a recent client shoot for musician Tony Olsson

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 02:00 BST
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27 June 2008
darkness & light
Now Playing: pulp - we love life
Topic: photography books

darkness & light

Hot off the press!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 15:45 BST
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14 June 2008
coming attraction
Now Playing: elliott smith - elliott smith
Topic: photography books

darkness and light

I just ordered a proof copy of my new book tonight!

Including over 100 images from my 366 Days project
completed between 17 April 2007 and 16 April 2008,
it will be available in softcover, hardcover with dust jacket
and hardcover image wrap around the 1st of July.

**I also ordered a copy of Katie West's Low Self-Esteem, and you should too...

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 19:29 BST
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8 June 2008
Now Playing: einsturzende neubaten - silence is sexy
Topic: phirebrush

praveen and chenai

Five of my images are included in Phirebrush Release #62.

They are in the fourth and fifth rows of the first page of the photography section.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 14:42 BST
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