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Photos documenting eMotion meets eArt performance at The Arts Hub, Yarragon May 18 2012.

eMotion meets eArt Project

eMotion Practice session 1

Acrylic on canvas, 92x102cm

eMotionL Impact (Performance Artwork)

Acrylic on canvas, 92x122cm

 

eMotion Project (8 pieces), Mixed media on canvas and paper, 92x470cm

eMotion Practice Session 2

Acrylic on paper, 45x70cm

eMotion Practice Session 3

Acrylic & pastel on paper, 45x70cm

eMotion Practice Session 4

Charcoal on paper, 45x70cm

eMotion Practice Session 5

Acrylic & pastel on paper, 45x70cm

eMotion Practice Session 6

Acrylic & pastel on paper, 45x70cm

eMotion Practice Session 7

Acrylic & pastel on paper, 45x70cm

eMotion Practice Sessions

In May 2012 during Gippsland’s ‘Be Inspired’ annual Festival for the Arts, a public art and music performance called eMotion meets eArt shook a small Yarragon gallery out of its comfort zone.

Held on a Friday evening, The Arts Hub Yarragon had been transformed by members of the ShyRobyn band with the addition of a stage, carpet, lighting and PA  into the resemblance of a Melbourne music venue with a difference.  An easel was positioned so that the audience could watch as an image of the band emerged onto Janine’s canvas during an hour-long ShyRobyn  performance. This was a unique experience for artist, band and audience alike.

 

The aim of this project was to harness the spontaneity, energy and emotional content of the music played by ShyRobyn during a single performance onto canvas. For me this was quite scary as I’m not a performer familiar with being in front of an audience but I was very familiar with ShyRobyn’s music as I’d heard many of their songs being developed while I worked on paintings during band rehearsals in my studio and had been to most of their Melbourne gigs during 2007-09.

I decided to do a series of practices in the lead-up to the performance. These practice sessions revealed all sorts of issues like: whether to be figurative or completely abstract; what mediums would produce the desired result; getting the paint to the right consistency; trials using various colour combinations; how best to show the movement of the musicians; whether some sort of restriction would work such as using a single colour for each song. These practice sessions produced 7 works in various mediums and styles that were probably to some extent more successful than the performance piece. They were where the real explorations of these issues were made. It became evident also during the practices that the sequence of songs was extremely important to the emotional build-up for the performance, something the band had never really thought about for their gigs. They became interested in concepts they’d never considered such as if putting a colour to a song, what colour would that be?

 

In the end, the performance was completely different from the practice sessions in the studio and many of my intentions evaporated as the anxieties of performing kicked in. But as soon as the music began I became absorbed by it and the act of painting became automatic with very little conscious thought. The idea of using a single colour for each song disappeared and I didn’t even think about which colour I was using. So to some extent the situation itself resulted in contributing to the sense of spontaneity due to the lack of control.

 

I was very pleased with areas of the paintings where the multiple images of an individual merged to create a sense of movement and I think that overall the feedback indicated that the project was a huge success. The image at the bottom of this page shows the 7 practice pieces assembled with the final performance piece, together creating one exciting artwork almost 5 metres across that I’m hoping I will have the opportunity to exhibit.

 

It was only due to the support of ShyRobyn and the unique relationship that had developed between us that enabled this project, preserving a fragment of time in our lives. I’m indebted to them - my son Cam Price, Andy Brown, Dan Mackinnon and Michael Nocentini - for their support. Also a very special mention to Eugene Mackinnon for sound mixing and the Mackinnon family as a whole for magically transforming the gallery, providing PA, sourcing lights, carpet and drapes etc. Also the Nocentini’s for sourcing a stage and other props. Without the support of friends and family it wouldn’t have happened.

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