In 2018, in addition to my group shows at Incube8r Gallery in Fitzroy, I in participated several other group exhibitions at a range of venues. Each one presented some interesting challenges – whether it be theme, venue, weather or technology.
The work, or one of the works, from each exhibition is shown to the right. Other works from group exhibitions can be viewed at the Instagram hashtag #nancydeegroupshows.
Not So Gentle Arts – In Fact, a Shark
Early in 2018, I attended a meeting of the Artists Guild. In addition to discussing art, we had the chance to create an embroidery. It was for their exhibition, Not So Gentle Arts, which was part of Rebel Embroidery at Docklands from 9 to 29 March 2018.
My work ‘Cookie Cutter Shark’ included pieces of metal I’d picked up on the way to the meeting. It was featured on the Artists Guild Instagram website on 23 February 2018 bottom centre, as well as in their exhibition. This work is now framed and has a home in Paraparaumu, New Zealand.
In addition to in-person exhibitions, I entered the First International Splash Trash Art Expo virtual exhibition online. It ran from 1 February to 1 May 2018. It was launched at the Sixth International Marine Debris Conference in San Diego, California.
As part of Craft Cubed from 1 to 26 August 2018, three of my works were included with other River Studios artists at the Docklands Library, Melbourne. They were Cylindrical City 1, Grand Circle Tour 3 and Lonsdale Mandala.
This exhibition was held in conjunction with the River Studios Open Day on 26 August. I also had six works displayed outside my studio for the Open Day.
The Immersion exhibition at the Frankston Arts Centre from 10 to 31 August 2018 presented an interesting challenge. Immersion seemed to imply water, but also thought. My work in the exhibition was entitled Circles Within Circles Within Circles. My artist statement in relation to the work read as follows:
“Are the strange yet familiar objects in the dark brown water bobbing like innertubes, drifting like jellyfish, floating like lotus leaves? The variation in the dimensions and textures of the circles encourages viewers to take a careful look. So does the subtle difference in shades of the basic silver-grey and rust palette. When viewers gaze more closely, new questions arise: What were these bits of metal previously used for? How did they end up in the street? And what possessed the artist to pick them up and put them in a wall sculpture?”
From Nature was an open air exhibition at Gasworks Arts Park from 3 to 11 November 2018. German artist Julia Zoellner and I entered a sculptural installation entitled Tree Spirits. We were lucky enough to be awarded a materials stipend for the exhibition, which used a timber-framed window, alcohol ink, stones and shells.
Our artist statement read: “Many cultures believe in tree spirits, each with different characteristics—menacing, playful, or sacred. Look through the window, merge your image with the tree, and create a spirit that is fun-loving, mystical or scary. ‘Hug’ the tree, even though it is on the other side of the window; run your hands ‘through’ the natural objects hanging from it. How does this tree spirit make you feel?”
Despite some strong storms and winds, the installation survived the week. Our thanks to Bruce Filley who built the base that held the window upright and secure.
My final group show for the year was Small at the Fortyfive Downstairs Gallery. It ran from 8 to16 November 2018. My three small found object assemblage wall sculptures (20x20cm or less) were made from trash I found on the streets. These stood out amongst the paintings and drawings.
All in all, the differing requirements and challenges of each of the venues made for an interesting and challenging year as a found object assemblage sculptor.