Monday, October 31, 2011

an art gesture a day...

Over the next 30 days 
(starting tomorrow -  the first day of November) 
I'm setting myself a small challenge
(no obligation, no guilt, no pressure)

I'm going to try to complete a small arty something each day

no, not Big and Important Artwork using
Big and Important art materials for a Big and Important art event
(although I DO have one of those I'm supposed to be thinking/doing right now.....)

but a little something....

(an arty gesture of sorts)

using whatever things I may have at hand

just for me...

just because....

and then I'll post the pic here every day

(I think it will be fun to do something FUN for a few moments each day... 
I've been up to my eyebrows in heavy duty reading & writing & ruminating over the previous months... 
I'll share something about that in the coming while.... 
expect a few verbous posts about copyright, 'on being a girlie arteest in the bush' and similar musings)


Friday, October 28, 2011

I (heart) Cuttagee...

Side trip to Cuttagee (near Bermagui)  this morn

I had the beach and the old bridge all to myself

I collected some flotsam and jetsam 
(including rusty flakes from the bridge and a purple snail shell)

and left a small calling card...

a public (albeit temporary) declaration of my abiding affection for the dear old bridge


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

and another zine (not yet seen)...

 here's the third in my ongoing zine series... 

'Book culture'

(featuring a detail of  'Navigo')

 inside features a mini print of  'Ex Libris'

  turn the page for a small view of 'Fahrenheit 451'

(a little flotilla of encyclopaedia boats from my ephemeral work at SotE)

this zine is archival inkjet
on 160gsm recycled paper
  edition of 50
 it's A4 - folded to 10 x 10.5cm
and comes in a DL envelope (100% recycled paper)
This is the third in a small series of related zines 
(the smarty pants in the crowd may notice 
that this one has a different orientation to the other two...)
and like the other two it has a pithy booky quote 
ps I have popped some zines in the mail today for those of you who put your hands up
so keep your eyes on the mailbox!

Monday, October 24, 2011

a rose is a rose is a rose...

three beauties from the garden

 (david austin 'eglantyne' if I remember correctly...)

I can't remember the name of this stripey show off....

or this delicious deep, dark red 

(I seem to remember that one of them is called 'scentimental' 
but I can't remember which!)

the dark red one has the yummiest scent... 
mmmmmmmmm - wish you could smell it

I'm done with exegesis writing for the time being..... 

and I'm getting my body back into the studio 

(too much difficult writing does not a happy ronnie make)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

a small project on the side...

In winter I bought 2 hanks of deliciously soft, super fine, dark charcoal 
2 ply baby alpaca...

 from the moment I spied it I've had 'ideas' of making myself 
a super soft, super fine, super light weight, lacy mini wrap

 In a couple of weeks time a dear dear friend is getting married 

I thought it would be nice to make myself a special something to wear...

(I couldn't find a pattern for what I could imagine - so I'm just going for it freeform!)

(I wonder if I'll get it finished in time?)

mmmmm the baby alpaca is soooooooooo lovely to snuggle against!

but even if I don't get my project finished in time - 
my girlie has been inpired and is discovering the joy of making things with bits of wool...

I love us sitting together - hook and wool in hand

it's a sweet special time


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

another zine (in between)...

I've been so tied up with writing writing writing (ugh ugh ugh)

I clean forgot to share the little zine I made from my art-in-res stint in Byron Bay

'Book Passions'



 lift the page for another interior double spread


the little zine is archival inkjet
on 160gsm recycled paper
very limited edition of just 20
 it's A4 - folded to 10 x 10.5cm
and comes in a DL envelope (100% recycled paper)

This is the second in a small series of related zines 
'Book Passions' features ephemeral bookworks and pics from my stint
as artist-in-residence for Byron Bay Writers Festival 2011
along with another pithy booky quote

ps I don't have an online 'shop' or anything so I'll need to mention the practicalities here

All the very limited edition little zines are $4.50 ea plus postage
(they are a standard letter size)
drop me a line to organise the high finances!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

writing about process...

The last few weeks I've been solidly wrangling with my exegesis 'process' chapter

Higher Degrees in the Visual Arts are extremely strange beasts - especially for anyone who has undertaken postgraduate studies in pretty much any other discipline..... these folk often look on in horror at all the self-referential written material that we studio-based HDR students churn out!

As my supervisors remind me (and other uni departments I suspect!), the exegesis in a studio-based Higher Degree is not the site of the research (that's the job of creative studio work). The exegesis operates as a support document - a place to contextualise the work and to unpack research methodology

Here are a few snippets of what I've been writing about my 'studio research methodology' (ie - my process chapter).....

"Everything I create is based on my connection to and tacit understanding of a very particular place."

"My readings provide context for my interests in site, self and sustainability and help build the bridge between my interest in tacit and explicit knowledge." 

"What materials I use, where they come from, how they are made, transported, used and disposed of, and where my purchase funds go to, are all actively considered in my work. Fundamentally, I believe the means must be justifiable in the end."

"My artistic practice is defined by an interplay of dynamic opposites – fast and slow work, old and new technologies, transient and permanent creations..."

"Practical. Pragmatic. Pithy. That’s the essence of my process."

It's still a work in progress...... but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.... 

(ps when I DO finish all the writing and making
I will allow public access to a closed blog I've been keeping for the duration of my research
- in the meantime you can drop by my recently added tumblr blog
to see some of the interesting things I've recently discovered and shared...)


Thursday, October 13, 2011

more time out...

Taking a break from writing
breathing in the view from the front verandah

(click to embiggen)

B-Boy, stalwart as ever, is up front and centre, 
Sarah is out of shot, faithfully sitting by my feet
Brody is off chasing dandelion fluff (she's a bit of a dumb blonde)

the cats are inside asleep on the lounge

the kidlets are off doing farm things

I see lots of spring jobs to do in this my cool summer garden

soon my garden - soon


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

garden time out...

Currently doing battle with the HDR exegesis (again)

and other assorted nemesis (still)

When it all gets a little too much

I wander in the garden....

ahhhhhh that's better



Monday, October 10, 2011

art and lies (lies and misdemeanours)...

Well folks it's past time for me to show you all
what I created for my second BAO project
based on an excerpt from Jeanette Winterson's 'Art and Lies' 

I made a small edition (just 12) of vertical hanging concertina booklets

 Rhonda Ayliffe
'Lies and Misdemeanours'

archival inkjet print on TH Saunders
handcrafted distress dyed book cloth by the artist
satin ribbon 

The piece features a print from my ongoing 'codex incendium' series of ephemeral book/fire installations and an excerpt from 'The Enemies of Books' by William Blades 

Each 'Lies and Misdemeanours' booklet also contains a folded printed excerpt from my draft exegesis chapter (on biblioclasm). I thought this excerpt was especially pertinent to the Art and Lies project, as it contains my research and writing about the loss of the great library of Alexandria

There's also a small folded card-as-colophon (featuring a tiny print of an ephemeral work completed at the Cape Byron lighthouse in August this year...)

 (here's a few of the finished books... all folded up) 

I've blogged a couple of times about how this piece gave me quite a bit of grief, as I struggled with just the right approach to the Winterson text... In the end I decided to create a piece that was my response to the text (indeed there's no sign of the jumping off text in the final piece).  I chose a very simple structure as the text was incredibly dense... Misgivings and highly self-critical debate aside - I'm content with the final piece...

I'm especially thrilled with how the entire BAO 'Art and Lies' edition pulls together as a collection of books. When these books were exhibited together at Impact 7 recently, it was amazing to discover the unity of the collection. Despite that all the pieces were worked on separately and simultaneously on three different continents, by wildly different artists (all without any 'checking in' with each other about just how we were approaching the work) - strangely (fortunately) the work has a complementary aesthetic - and the edition looked fabulous sitting together. From a dispassioned, curatorial viewpoint, it was a nice moment!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

more things lugged home....

Also in my bags returning from Impact 7 along with many gifts

was a small collection of art goodies to experiment with for my forthcoming projects...

paper samples

from Magnani papers

paper samples from Awagami 


(mmmm washi, kozo, gampi and more....)

more paper samples

(Revere.. is subsection of Magnani - I think.....)

non-toxic water based printmaking ink from Akua

(I'm hoping to experiment with a colourless base
and add ground pigments/ochres from around my creek home... this a long term project...)

and of course all the goodies from beautiful silks

including (L-R) some silk taffeta, tussah silk and 'nun's cloth' - a wool cloth,
all of which I'll be trialling to see if I can make what I'm attempting to create!

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when you live a looooooong way from the arty shops (heck ANY shops) is getting supplies! 

I'm always on the look out for where to find good paper and bookbinding supplies as well as non-toxic/ethically produced art materials that can be sent to me here at the creek.... For a couple of decades I've relied on the lovely folk at Wills Quills for a solid proportion of my paper and calligraphic goodies (but the shop has been changing its focus over the past few years.... less art supplies, more wedding stationery... sigh).

Sooooo I'm very keen to find where I can get STUFF! - if any of you out there in blogland know where to source great (natural, non-toxic, ethically manufactured) arty supplies that can be posted to me - I'd love to hear from you!  

p.s. I'm currently trying to work my way out of my current funk.... 
I usually don't talk about personal things... like illness or depression or monumental setbacks or such either in here or indeed anywhere.... I generally keep more to myself than I ever share (even when I offer a blizzard of posts!).... but then it struck me - if folk only talk about the light and fluffy and nice stuff, well it gives a somewhat skewed view of things don't you think? mind you I've noticed that whenever I get all D&M and opinionated in blogland few folk are game to add their voice! (and I've also noticed that the light and fluffy blog folk tend to gather the most admirers...) 

ahhh well... I can only keep it real and trust that my occasional opinionated or D&M post doesn't scare off the party crowd... thanks all for hanging in there....


Friday, October 7, 2011


I can feel myself entering yet another arty low 
(a recurring period I call 'de funk')

when this happens I spend even more time in my garden....

just looking at the blooming clematis makes me feel better

and watching little seeds push out of the soil gives me hope
and pulling out weeds makes my muscles ache in a good way

I don't like to think what I'd do without my garden and forest and creek (and family)


Thursday, October 6, 2011

end of an era...

moments ago via the magic of the interpixies I learned of the passing of Steve Jobs

in the computer world it seems you're either passionate or horrified about Jobs and Apple

and despite his/its obvious shortcomings - I've long been a self-proclaimed Apple gal

I saw and played with an Apple first in 1985 (and retrospectively I now know that it was indeed the first actual Apple computer...)

It was love at first sight

I've not been one of those devout Applettes who would stand for days in lines for a new product... but I DID know great things when I saw it.... 

I bought my first Mac in 1993 (a second hand IIcx.... 16Mb of brute power.... with ittty bitty screen... on it I ran Photoshop 2.0 and Adobe Illustrator 5 - hooked up to a HP B&W scanner, a HP laser printer and a Roland cutter/plotter ..... even though I wasn't a geek - I had accidentally created one of the most original and powerful computer sign graphics set-ups of the 1990s - my strange concoction was light years ahead of the PC game.... my love of the Mac was cemented)

In 2000 I saved up for a iMac (ahhhhh the beautiful thing.... my father took one look at it and raced to the Mac store.... we've since joked to each other 'once you go Mac, you never go back')

that Mac led me into a job at the local (Apple infused) newspaper and then at an Apple-infested high school.... I ended up being the number two Apple techie teacher in the school (based primarily on the fact that I loved the Apples whilst other geeky teachers loathed them!)

Last week I presented my work at Impact on an iPad (a birthday gift last year from my dear mac-loving daddy), I blogged away, took piccies and called home on my iPhone....

I still have every Apple product I've ever bought (the 'bubble' mac with its system 7 is STILL operating perfectly thank you very much....)

Love him or hate him, it's undeniable that Jobs changed the face of technology forever - the world lost a unique visionary today....


from my generous monash uni mates

my homeward-bound impact backpack was filled with treasures....

Rona slipped a pack of postcards into my bag whilst I was registering for the Impact conference....

my research SUPERvisor Ros gifted two little Rona-made badges for Sass and EJ

Mick gave me one of his latest creations - the wedge-tail brooch (I had to have the bogon moth too!)

and Deb, seeing my distress at all the disposable coffee cups
in the Impact bin, bought me a keep cup....

and biggest gift from was from amanda -
who gave me a warm welcome and a lovely place to stay!

thanks everyone - you guys are worth your weight in gold... 

(and then some)


Sunday, October 2, 2011

beautiful silks - beautiful peeps..

You might recall I've already mentioned I visited Beautiful Silks whilst in Fitzroy...

and it's safe to say I've developed something of a serious crush on the people and the place...

...... mmmmmm all the yummy cloth.... all the yummy threads.... all the yummy yarn... all the yummy colours.... and the loveliest of lovely people...

I gave into temptation....

(expect a LOT of experimentation now that I've got my goodies home - as I have a seriously massive project in the works.... let's see if it ends up being created from silk or from paper or a mixture of both!)


Saturday, October 1, 2011

far enough...

Opening last night 6pm at
Bega Valley Regional Gallery

Far Enough
Aesthetic responses to the Far South Coast, NSW
September 30 - November 4, 2011

Here's what I have contributed to the show...

Rhonda Ayliffe
Kooraban Koalas

Archival inkjet photographic print
58.0 x 140.0cm
and my somewhat obscure catalogue statement....

"In spring of 2010 I heard astrange sound emanating from the forest of the Kooraban National Park behind my home. It was a mixture of a bellow/roar/grunt of monstrous proportions. Surelysomeone or something was being killed in a hideous fashion in the depths of the park. Weeks later, as word of the dreadful sound passed around, I received a call from Chris Allen, aka National Parks koala survey man – and over the phone Chris made a frighteningly accurate imitation of that scary sound: “What you heard was a male koala announcing his territory”. Wow. What a way to find out that you live next to arguably the most vulnerable koala population in the land of Oz..."

Kooraban Koalas is the photographic record of an ephemeral work, set up in the Kooraban National Park, at the site Chris and I surveyed in January this year.... the piece (in various manifestations) has been in the works since the day trip surveying Jimmy's Creek site with ANU folk back in April....

I have been deeply touched by the story of the koalas of the Kooraban - leading to my small participation in the Kooraban koala surveys and contribution to the documentation of local koala history (the document will be publicly released later in the year I think). Although I'm aware its not at all discernible in the displayed photographic work, this piece mostly represents my unfolding ideas about the blending of knowledge and site, art and practical work....

(ps I didn't catch the opening - last night I was on the bus instead! I've just survived the 10+hr bus journey home... had a short nap with EJ snuggled against me like a teddy bear..... mmmm it's so nice just to snuggle and breath in the sweet smell of my favourite little girlie)