Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Residency at SLQ 'The Edge'

Image of first trial laser cutting my design into 3mm Plywood. Image courtesy of the artist.

Winning the ‘The Edge Digital Art Award’ as part of the Queensland Regional Art Awards meant that I could undertake a one-week residency at ‘The Edge’ State Library of Queensland.  I had previously undertaken some short courses at ‘The Edge’ so knew that this residency would present some valuable opportunities and skill development for me as an artist.  Once the residency dates were set I began researching equipment, programs and projects that ‘The Edge’ had to offer.  I was spoilt for choice, however as a multi-discipline artist decided that working in the Lab and learning how to use the Laser Cutter and the 3D printers was of most interest to my arts practice.

I am intrigued with the idea of connection, and work across a range of media including sculpture, installation and digital media to explore networks and relationships within the natural world. My most recent body of work, ‘Unseen’, explores symbiotic connections between plants and fungi, so I used this project as a muse for creating and trialling new works during my residency at ‘The Edge’. 

My first day in the Lab involved inductions on the Laser Cuter and 3D printer, and also a tour of the facility.  Then, thanks to the wonderful team at ‘The Edge’, began to learn new skills in Adobe Illustrator, and Corel Draw in order to design works that could be processed by the laser cutter.  Whilst I am quite familiar with Adobe Photoshop, I found Adobe Illustrator quite challenging, but persisted and was able to create a few designs, based on fungal root systems, which were then etched and cut using the laser cutter. 

I also trialled a number of materials in the laser cutter to explore creative possibilities; these materials included acrylic, cardboard, plywood and vinyl.  All produced very different results, however, the works that were most successful for my practice was the acrylic etchings and the intricate plywood design cut-outs.   I spent many hours cutting and etching to create a series of multiples that could then be incorporated into new works once back in the studio, these are still in development.

Overall, the residency provided me with valuable skill and professional development, allowing me to understand the capabilities and limitations of this type of equipment and opportunities available to do further work at ‘The Edge’ through their public Lab program.

For more information about my work visit: www.donnadavisartist.weebly.com

ABOVE & BELOW: Images of smaller plywood cutouts (multiples) and etched acrylic. Images courtesy of the artist.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Exhibition Installation Images

Installation images from the recent showing of my new 'Unseen' exhibition at the Richard Randall Studio, Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.  Thank you to Andrea Higgins for taking these wonderful photographs of the exhibition.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

'Unseen' exhibition to be launched at Richard Randall Studio

I have been busily working away in the studio creating artworks for this upcoming exhibition, designed as a touring exhibition and to be launched at the Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha.  Exhibition will open 22 March and run until 26 March 2016.

Public Programs will include:

1. Artist Talks daily @ 11am
2. Scientist Talk (Nigel Fechner, QH) @ 3pm Sunday 26 March
3. Opens days at the Queensland Herbarium to view specimens from the collection, that form part of the research side of the 'Unseen' project :  10am -2pm on Saturday 25 + Sunday 26 March.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Talk at the Queensland Mycological Society

'Untitled', 2015-16, donna davis. Image courtesy of the artist
I will be presenting a talk this month at the Queensland Mycological Society: Tuesday 11th October at the Queensland Herbarium [FM Bailey Room] @ 7pm.  

The talk will be about my Ipswich Fungi Project; a project that researched and conceptually developed ideas for a new body of interactive artworks inspired by fungi that grow alongside the endangered Swamp Tea-tree population found at the Purga Nature Refuge, Ipswich. 

I will talk about the fungi that I collected in the reserve and also talk about some of the artworks created along the way. The project saw me collect and document fungi that grew in the area each week over a 12-month period; these specimens were identified by the Queensland Herbarium and stored into their collection.  The project itself presented a unique opportunity to study fungi-tree relationships due to the particular habitat containing only one dominant species, the endangered Swamp Tea-tree (Melaleuca irbyana). 

This project has been proudly supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).  The Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Ipswich City Council partnership to support local arts and culture.  This project is also supported by the Queensland Herbarium, centre for research and information on Queensland ecosystems, plants and fungi and the Queensland Mycological Society.

Lycoperdon sp. found out at the Purga Nature Reserve. Image courtesy donna davis.
Cyathus stercoreus [Birdsnest fungi] found out at the Purga Nature Reserve, image by donna davis.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

'Entwined III' wins The Edge Digital Art Award - QRAA

Entwined III, 2016, donna davis, pigment print on fine art rag. Image courtesy of the artist.  
I am very pleased to announce that my work 'Entwined III' has just won The Edge Digital Art Award as part of Flying Arts, Queensland Regional Art Awards.  The work has also been selected together with 35 other artists to tour the state during 2016/2017.  

Congratulations also to Karen Stephens for her work 'Noogooraville' for winning the Flying Arts For Life Award (major prize) and all the other artists who have won awards and been selected for the touring show. To check out the full list please visit: http://flyingarts.org.au/whats-on/regional-art-awards-winners-2016/

Once again, thank you to the team at Flying Arts for their dedication and support to regional artists of Queensland. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Upcoming art-science exhibition at Eco Science Precinct: 8 August - 2 September 2016

Truncated_i, donna davis, 2016, pigment print on fine art rag.  Image courtesy of the artist.  
This work explores our connection and understanding of the natural world; using symbiotic relationships between plants and fungi as the muse.

The physical forms were constructed by weaving images of fungi onto fallen tree branches, using discarded thread from industry waste; to reference the idea of a closed loop ecosystem. These forms were then digitally captured and interlaced to portray just one of the many important ecological processes in the natural world, mycorrhizal associations; where the roots of plants and the mycelium of fungi connect to share nutrient pathways.

The work simultaneously presents both above and below perspectives, to reflect notions of 'seen' and 'unseen', 'known' and 'unknown'; referencing the complexities of understanding ecological systems, which in turn informs our sense of value for sustainable practices.

The work reminds us of the dynamic and interconnected sphere of nature, inviting us to consider a holistic, rather than truncated view of our ecology.

donna davis

This work will be just one of the works on display at the upcoming Eco Sciences Artist-in-Residence 2016 exhibition from 8 August - 2 September 2016.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

ABC 612 Interview with David Curnow about my 'Unseen' project

To hear more about my 'Unseen' Project, have a listen to the radio interview between myself, Nigel Fechner (Senior Botanist, Qld Herbarium) and David Curnow (ABC).
ABC 612 Evenings with David Curnow: "What-happens-when-art-and-science-collide?"