Wednesday 3 September 2014

Tiny Travelling Gallery

If you follow me anywhere you'll know that it's been a very busy time for me. Around 6 weeks ago Spark (formally Telecom) contacted my partner Scott and I. They had heard through some dear friends of ours that we were planning a big trip at the end of the year to take part in two large art events in LA and London. We have both spent most of this year working our butts off to save the money to fund our travel.  
Scott and I trying to take press shots
There are lots of reasons why Scott and I are going on this trip but it's largely because Scott has had a long term dream of making his own designer or art toys*, However like most deep set creative passions a lack of time and fear of failure got in the way. Any one who's tried their hand at doing a creative project I'm sure will understand. At the start of this year we had a long chat about what would help to get Scott turning his dream into a reality and realised nothing gives you a kick up the butt like a deadline. It was at this point Scott applied and got excepted to take part in DesignerCon LA. That was the whole story really until we got asked what Spark could do to help us fulfil our potentials. That's when things went from quietly busy to full on 'who needs sleep' crazy. 

Some of Scott's large toy collection, image thanks to Insiders Dunedin
With Spark in the picture we know we wanted to make the project bigger than just us and to use the platform as a chance to showcase a number of other creatives. Knowing we were going to be exhibiting at a major lowbrow art event and that my work was a borderline fit with that genre at best I had already been in contact with a number of New Zealand lowbrow artists to talk about doing colabs. It was a pretty natural next step to develop this idea into a tiny travelling gallery, you can see the concept in detail here and read more about our line up here.

Catus in the making a join project from Scott and I
This little project has gotten so much bigger than we had planned. We are now taking three times the number of artists we had aimed (or budgeted) on having. Due to transport costs, display space at the events and just the logistics of managing so many people, we can not (at this stage) commit to more artists. However please, if new artists do want to get in touch to register interest, email Scott you'll find his contact details here. We are very much hoping to tour this show around New Zealand and it will be a lot easier to include more creatives at this stage. Just as a side note this is a Lowbrow exhibition so have a think if you work fits this category. 

Drawing from a second meeting with our industrial designer planning the gallery design
If you would like to help us with this project there are a number of ways, of course any little donation is fantastic and gratefully received. Just a handful of people giving $5 soon adds up. As I said we have totally shot our budget by including so many people and now don't really have enough for much in the way of promotion material. Even as little as a further $300 would mean we could get some nice handouts printed for the events. You can also help us by sharing the link to our Spark page with your network of friends and family. 

We would also really value help in other ways, we would love to exchange sponsorship for services. Something as simple as Air New Zealand transporting the gallery for free would mean we could afford leaflet printing. A printer giving us a discount would mean we could get twice as many printed. We are also looking for contacts at galleries interested in displaying the show. If by any long shot a business that could help us is reading this please do get in touch. Scott and I are trying our best to do an amazing job for all the New Zealand talent we are showcasing but there's only two of us and some many hours in the day. Helping us get our foot in the door would be an amazing gesture of support.

This is our amazing line up of 30 artists
Thanks for taking the time to read this. We have been so blown away by the amount of good will, care and love shown to us with this project. We deeply believe in the talent of the lowbrow art sense in this country and it's a huge honour to get the chance to work on this. We have a tumblr in place if you're keen to follow the progress of the gallery build and it's ongoing travels.

*If you don't know the term 'designer toys' these are objects that are more akin to tiny sculptures than children's play things. Although they often trigger nostalgic memories and have references to youth and/or childhood, they are really made for adults.  

Monday 1 September 2014

Make a Plant Pal

I made a couple of these last month, partly because I though a cactus I had bought looked a bit like a beehive and partly because I needed a pen pot for my desk. This DIY is really easy, all up no more than an hours work max. 

What you need:
• A Tin Can
• Modern Can Opener
• Power Drill or Hammer and Nail
• White or Light Coloured Paint (ideally enamel-based spray or house paint)
• Black Test Pot of Paint and Small Brush or Water-Proof Permanent Marker
• Small Plant
• Suitable Soil (potting mix)
• A handful of Small Stones
• Newspaper

Step 1: Remove the lid of the can so it doesn’t have a sharp top edge. Thoroughly wash and remove the paper label of the used can. Allow to dry completely.

Step 2: Drill four drainage holes in the bottom of the can using a 3mm drill bit. If you don't have a drill you can hammer through with a nail to punch a hole. If you're making this as a pen pot you can skip this step.

Step 3: Cover a table with newspaper in a well ventilated area. Paint the outside surface of the
can. I propped mine on a bottle to make spraying it a bit easier. Painting the bottom is not necessary. You might need to repeat this step once the paint is dry to get an even covering.

Step 4: Once the paint is dry, draw a face or anything else you like on the can using a pencil, once your happy with the design draw over with the permanent marker or paint it on.

Step 5: If you're potting a plant nows the time to place the stones in the can. Fill the can a third the way up with potting mix. Place the plant in the can on top of the soil. Fill around the plant to the edge of the pot with more potting mix. Press soil down gently around the plant until it can stand on its own.

Step 7: Place can in a little dish.

Step 8: Put her on your desk and enjoy your new friend.