She Started To Know Herself

Wishing all my friends and fellow artistic traveller's a wonderful 2018!

Over the Christmas break, I threw myself into a work of art which took me several days to complete. I often use art as an anchor when I have moments of stress in my life, and the holiday period is, for me as many others, fraught and one I look forward to being finished.

This past year was particularly difficult, as in the lead up to it, we realised that our beloved pug, Elvis, was in the final weeks of his life. Elvis came to us just after our wedding and has been the centre of our lives for more than 14 years, so the prospect of losing him bore down on us. Sadly, this past Friday (5 January), we held him close as he crossed Rainbow Bridge to join his little sister, Sunny. We are devastated, but Michael and I are holding each other close to get ourselves and each other through this period of grief. As a childless couple, Elvis has been "our baby" and especially for me, the centre of my universe - through illness, study, trauma - as well as good times together watching our favourite shows, reading and making art. His place will never be filled.

She Started To Know Herself (2018)
11" x 14"
Mixed Media on paper

The art I created over the holiday was this: She Started To Know Herself (2018). Inspired by Del Kathryn Barton, it also references Jane Davenport's aesthetic as well as young up and coming Indigenous artist Ella Gillespie. The work reflects the period of change in my life - losing my #soulpug, turning 40, finishing university study at the end of this year and more. I am slowly starting to identify myself and who I am, without too much care for what others think of me. This is certainly a period of transition and I don't know what it will look like when finished, but I hope it is a woman of strength and integrity.

You can purchase a high quality print/canvas/other products of this work by clicking on the Society 6 button.

kass hall
Del Kathryn Barton @ NGV

On November 28th I spent a couple of hours at the National Gallery of Victoria, taking in the sublime exhibition of dual-Archibald Prize winning painter Del Kathryn Barton. It would seem obvious to anyone who knows me why Del's work speaks to me in ways few others do - her use of colour, detail, imagination and a sense of Australiana is captivating.

I sat for quite some time in the gallery, just absorbing the work. Instinctively, I pulled out my journal (my Jane Davenport Butterfly Traveler's Journal) and did some line drawing, trying to capture some of the ideas and to understand how her work might begin. I also took about 80 photographs, including many details, so I could really study her artistic approach and practice. It was a concertina page I had made and put into the journal, measuring 25" x 8",and was always meant to be an 'on the road' sketch.

Things changed.

I write this on December 10, almost two weeks after my gallery visit and I have been working on this page since. I don't know what I will do with it (my Dad thinks I should frame it) but I am proud of the amount of work that has gone into it, that it is clearly inspired by Del Kathryn Barton's work, but has some of me in it too. I am also very excited to be feeling so inspired by art after two and a half years of feeling nothing. 

Page in it's entirety

Left hand side in closer detail

Right hand side in closer detail

If you would like to read more about Del Kathryn Barton, here are some links:

Sydney Morning Herald

Vogue Australia

Australian Centre for Moving Image

kass hall
Butterfly Journal - November 2017

I have a Jane Davenport Butterfly Journal - much like a Traveller's Notebook - which I take with me most places. It's where I record what is happening on the day. Sometimes it's a journal, sometimes it's a doodle or art work (this often happens if I am doing something a little stressful and need to concentrate but also unwind).

These are some recent entries.

kass hall