Monday, June 4, 2012

Installation images - Of Virgins

Installation view [above and below]

Michael Graf,Two drawings by Parmigianino of the Wise and Foolish Virgins for the church of the Steccata, Parma
From vas spirituel / a melisima by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1989 – 1992)
Oil on Canvas Panel 119 x30.5cm

Kiki Smith " Virgin Mary" [left] " Virgin with Dove" both 1999
Etching, aquatint and Drypoint 22.3 x 27.5 cm each
Private Collection

Catalogue images from " Kiki Smith: A Gathering, 1980-2005"

Helen Johnson  "23 Specific References" 2012
Acrylic on linen, Silk, Copper nail, Leather

 Brent Harris  " Sad Madonna" 2007-2012
Coloured pencil on Paper
19.8 x 27.5cm

Rosslynd Piggott, "Closed Lily"[left]& "Open Lily" 1989
Oil on Canvas
30 x 38cm each

Justin Clemens, Presentation of sonnets.
"Three Virgins of the Annunciation"

Three Virgins of the Annunciation
Justin Clemens


As narrative establishment, it’s weird:
You’ve been engaged to marry this old guy
Who seems OK, but, like, you know, his beard
Is pretty mangy, and he’s kinda sly;
Well, anyways, one day you’re sitting there
Alone, perhaps a plaything on the floor
Or some dull book, when this dude with cool hair
Blows out the window with a trumpet’s roar.
‘G’day,’ he says, two fingers raised, a flower,
Maybe a lily, in the other hand,
‘You’re gonna be a mother!’ A golden shower
Of spirit ripples through the room like sand
Through spiral shells, then bursts to sense as son
Et lumière — as if already done.


You’re sulking in your cell, when suddenly
This guy bursts in, his spiral perm on fire,
A giant lily in his hand, and he
Looks like he’s got a circlet made of wire
Stuck somehow to his head. WTF?! You think,
Who is this bozo? OMG he’s got
A strap-on of real feather wings, a pink
Cloak draped about his natty pastels, hot
Designer lamé sandals, and a smirk
Like he knows something juicy that you don’t.
You bristle at the stranger, tell the jerk
He has to leave: he says he can’t and won’t,
But that he’s got a bombshell text in store
That’ll flip out your fallopians, for sure.


When Zeus would change his form into a bull
Or swan or gold to fuck his paramours,
No dictate was the medium of his will — 
He’d do the job himself, with dirty paws.
But when the lonely Jewish God decides
He wants Himself to be His only Son,
He sends a proxy, who in turn confides
The happy news to His anointed One.
Inseminated through the ear, without 
Concomitant enjoyment of the act,
Our inadvertent heroine’s redoubt
Transmutes impossibility to fact
In that it’s Word alone that makes the cut —
Like spirit was a bone, and nothing but.

Installation View June 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Of Virgins- Greenwood Street Project

We are happy to announce the new exhibition "Of Virgins" at Greenwood Street Project supervised by Brent Harris

This exhibition explores of the notion of “the virgin” through painting, printmaking, drawing, installation and poetry; the various mediums and artists who employ them respond to ideas of immaculate virgins but also the virgin as the symbol of the impossible, the possible and the potent.

The artists included are Michael Graf, Rosslynd Piggott and Kiki Smith with new works by Brent Harris and Helen Johnson.  A suite of sonnets have been composed for this exhibition by Justin Clemens.

Foreword by Justin Clemens - Virgin
The etymology of the word ‘virgin’ is extremely interesting. One reputable etymological dictionary provides the following information: ‘virgo, ĭnis, f. root varg-; Sanscr. ūrg, strength, ūrga-jami, nourish; Gr. ὀργάω, to swell, ὀργή, impulse.’ One can immediately see the original senses of natural power and nourishment, the burgeoning of capacities for fruitfulness in the term. Samuel Johnson’s famous Dictionary of the English Language gives the noun four meanings: 1) A maid; a woman unacquainted with men; 2) A woman not a mother; 3) Any thing untouched or unmingled; any thing pure; 4) The sign of the zodiac in which the sun is in August. Examples of uses of the word are given, notably from Shakespeare: ‘Angelo is an adult’rous thief,/An hypocrite, a virgin violator.’ Western art would be impossible without virgins, without the Virgin. Indeed, the Virgin is the very emblem of the impossible: maternity without male matter. Sometimes the Virgin is the Christian transubstantiation of the pagan Muses, to be invoked as inspiration and protection; sometimes she is the privileged ur-subject of all representations; sometimes she is the alibi for experimental transgressions. Virgin: the impossible paradigm of human creative power.

Greenwood Street Project is a creative initiative under the supervision of Donald Holt & Tomislav Nikolic, located in Abbotsford, Victoria.

The exhibition is on view 2-6 Thursdays and Friday and by appointment during June with the final day of the exhibition July 6, 2012