Self Portrait

Self Portrait
Holly Pepper

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Currently I am undertaking an internship in Utrecht, Netherlands with the renowned design team consisting of Tejo Remy + Rene Veenhuizen. Through this blog I plan to document my design experience in Holland.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SSX falters on artist payment!

Yesterday I had a email from Sculpture by the Sea stating that the organisation had not received anymore revenue from the sale of sculptures in the exhibition, since the conclusion of this years Cottesloe exhibition. As a result SSX organisers have breached the artist contract, which states that if artists who are unsuccessful at making any sale at the exhibition, will receive an artist subsidy to assist with the cost of exhibiting. 


SSX was relying on receiving a grant from the Department of culture and the arts to provide this subsidy to artists. However, they were unsuccessful at receiving this grant and as a result artist have been left to bare the full cost of showing in the exhibition.


This is the sixth annual Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. It is a well established exhibition that should be working towards creating a financially sustainable exhibition that is not totally dependent on funding bodies to pay there exhibiting artists subsidies. SSX has become complacent with there previously successful grant applications to the Department of Culture and the arts. Generally funding bodies assist with establishing new projects and exhibitions.


For myself exhibiting at Sculpture by the Sea was a big financial risk. It took me over 400 hours to complete my sculpture, I contracted a metal fabricator who spent another 100 hours on the project and then there is over one thousand dollars in materials. The artist subsidy was a small token gesture that I was relying on to pay my material bills. It is very disappointing that Sculpture by the Sea is not able to pay this subsidy on the agreed 10 week time line following the conclusion of the exhibition.


I feel that artists will be deterred from exhibiting in future events because of the SSX organisers inability to pay the artist subsidy this year. I also think that it will begin to stifle the type of work exhibited in the exhibition, artists will tend to create commercial work that will guarantee sales, rather than edgy works which experiment with new materials or works that make a political statement. 


The piece i created for this years exhibition experimented with the use of industrial waste. The piece I created used recycled plastic, not a traditional sculpting material. This experimentation in the work meant I couldn't guarantee the lifespan of a relatively expensive work to interested buyers. 

It is disappointing that artists who basically make the show at Cottesloe have been left to bare the entire expense for exhibiting in the show! 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sydney Town Inspiration

Over the past week I have been in Sydney with my partner Saj. It was a great week to break up the design work and to scope out art and design in Sydney. We met up with a group of mates in Surry Hills on Crown street for dinner while we were perusing the streets for a good place to eat I came across my mate Adam Cruickshanks Chrysalis Pendant lamp. I was pretty chuffed to see Adams lighting design piece progress from the small paper models from back in the uni days, to a really spectacular feature in this bar in Surry Hills. It is people like Adam who have stuck at there design work over a number of years to develop very marketable pieces , who provide a bit of inspiration for me to keeping pursuing this very challenging career path. 

We also went and checked out Carriage works in Redfern. Carriage works is a railway yard that has been converted into a contemporary Art-space for a range of different artists and art forms. On Saturday morning there are bussling food markets, filling the shed spaces with nice foodie aromas. In other railway sheds there are installation artists who have installed massive steel sculptures. At track 8 my sister works away doing some crazy hours at Murrugecko Stalker. A whole heap of art based offices have been created with precast cement panels. This is a quick way to stick up internal walls and fill the large ceiling space in the railway sheds. However, one downfall of the space is that the offices are bloody cold. It is like a house within a house, so no sunlight touches the office space. Maybe the offices should have been positioned on the North side of the the shed with an exposed wall to the sun.
Anyway, to get to the point, this was good food for thought. The space is very similar to the Midland Railway Yards, which is currently being developed my Midland Redevelopment Authority. It also showed an example of a fairly dero suburban location being converted into a really nice artistic space. This gives a bit of hope for Midland in Perth.

Midland Atelier

Midland Atelier
The Water Tower Studio.

The Water Tower View

The Floor Mat

The Floor Mat
This is an organic looking floor mat I am creating. It was inspired by mold crawling up the wall