About Me

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Sydney, NSW, Australia
I'm an arts management worker/ artist/ designer. I work at Accessible Arts in administration and bookkeeping, but also work on various freelance activities from photography to graphic design. I'm Associate Partner at the ARI, the Big Fag Press, board member of Runway Australian Experimental Art and occasionally work at Bailey and Yang Consultants. My creative work has often been driven by social issues and commentary. This blog started as a way of documenting research for my honours year at uni, which I have continued, in order to gather inspiration for future artistic practice.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Administration Officer at Accessible Arts

I've been AWOL from my blog as of late, and here's why:

In June I applied and received a position at Accessible Arts, an organisation who helps people with disability be fully included in arts and culture in NSW.

I've had contact with Accessible Arts in the past if you remember, John Demos' residency at the Big Fag Press, his solo exhibition at The Cross Art Projects including Josh Charles' beautiful doco, and the Supported Studio Network forum in which John and I were both panellists. I also attended a training day at Accessible Arts on Disability Awareness.

Anyway, I'm the Administration Officer and my role is largely database management, day to day bookkeeping with MYOB, and general administration. I am so grateful to be part of such a wonderful group of people, and it feels so rewarding to work towards a cause I believe is so important.

You can read the Accessible Arts July Newsletter in which I am introduced, and you can see me at the bottom of the staff information here

My colleague Jo Agius also welcomes me in her Auslan translation of the newsletter (at 5:24 - 5:40)

We've been learning a bit of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) at work, which I've found very interesting. I can say:

Hi, How are you? Welcome. My name is Louise. I'm 26. I live with my partner, Nathan, I like cats. I have one cat called Poppy. I am the administration person at Accessible Arts.

We've also learnt a host of other useful phases for use around work - things like, Are you busy? Can I help you? What time is the meeting? I forgot. I'm working on MYOB. This week, I'm learning the volunteer procedure. I am working on the database instructions. See you tomorrow. Have a good night/ weekend.

Our upcoming Arts Activated conference means we're also learning to give directions, like "turn left, go up the stairs/lift to the registration desk on level 2 in room 5."

As someone who speaks English, Polish and teaches French, I've found Auslan very interesting from a linguistic point of view. And some of my understanding of language sentence structures and tenses has actually been useful. I'm thinking about maybe taking an Auslan course, but I'm not sure if I have time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kiribati - Putting a Face to Climate Change

This is a cross blog post of mine from Runway Australian Experimental Art on the theme of our latest issue Runway #24 ISLANDS


The polemical topic of refugee rights has never been so prominent in common Australian discourses as it is today. It is a hot topic for discussion in Parliament, the media, and around the dinner table of many Australians. While there are many refugees fleeing from persecution, war and terror, there will soon be refugees who have simply lost their homes, fresh water and livelihood to the Climate Change we in Australia can ignore so easily. Our latest issue of Runway focussed on the theme “ISLANDS”, which reminded me of the work of Jon Lewis, Australian photographer, founder of Greenpeace Australia and a thoroughly inspiring tutor at the University of Technology, Sydney. Jon Lewis spent 6 months in 2009 travelling through the Republic of Kiribati, which consists of 33 atolls in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean and south of Hawaii. The entire nation has been under threat from drastic changes in weather patterns, fresh water salination and rising sea levels. Lewis produced a series of photographs entitled “Portraits from the Edge” Kiribati – Putting a Face to Climate Change.

Abaro Mud Kid-Tarawa.  © All rights reserved Jon Lewis 2009 Australia. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The impact of Climate Change on the people of Kiribati is far more significant today than just a few years ago, and in recent news a man named Ioane Teitiota has just lost his appeal for refugee status in New Zealand as the world’s first Climate Change refugee. Experts predict that the nation of Kiribati has only 30-40 years left before climate change renders it uninhabitable, and it seems Australia will most likely be facing a new influx of “asylum seekers” in coming years.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Other Worlds Zine Fair

The Big Fag Press has decided to withdraw our participation in the Sydney Writer’s Festival MCA Zine fair this year. We will instead redirect our energy by taking part in an alternative event - the Other Worlds Zine Fair.

Our decision comes after much deliberation. We are opposed to the Abbott government's Operation Sovereign Borders scheme which violates refugee and human rights. The recent expanded involvement by MCA sponsor Transfield in offshore detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island is something we at Big Fag Press take a stand against.

The Big Fag Press does not wish to endorse an event which is supported by money raised from the mandatory detention of refugees.

We are hopeful that awareness raised, no matter how small, will have an effect on the conscience and opinions of everyday Australians, which will in turn eventuate in changes to federal discriminatory laws.

Please come along to this event and say hey to us. The facebook event is here. I am personally making a zine for sale and we're taking along a lot of our latest prints!

Latest from Runway Australian Experimental Art

I am proud to announce to the release of our latest issue #24 ISLANDS!

Our launch was a huge success with a small exhibition and a performance by Sumugan Sivanesan. The new issue is up online now: http://runway.org.au/

We're also slowly releasing the archive of all of our print magazines. We put up issue #14 FUTURES a while ago: http://runway.org.au/archive/futures/ and are working towards releasing #15 LIES. Extracting text and images from the original design files and contacting previous contributors is a slow process, but will be well worthwhile once we have all the previous issues up and an amazing directory of artists, arts writers and editors on our website. I'm on there too, of course.

We're really getting into a rhythm of callouts, launches, releasing issues and thinking ahead to future issues. I'm very excited about the theme of issue #15 which I won't reveal yet, but get excited, because I think it will be really astounding.

It is a pleasure to thank the Australia Council for the Arts who have funded our next two issues.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Audio available - Accessible Arts Supported Studio Network Forum

The audio from Supported Studio Networks: Possibility and Potential has just been released. If you want to read a previous blog post about the project, see this previous post of mine.

Artist John Demos and I are panellists at the beginning of this one, Building Culture, but you can find the rest of the audios on the Accessible Arts site.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yeomans Exhibition and Field Trip

I posted previously about working on a project for Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein called the Yeomans Project, which has just finished exhibiting at the Art Gallery of NSW. I went there on Monday and finally got some decent photos of the exhibition just before it closed. I also went on a field trip to one of Yeomans' original farms organised as part of the public programs. Here are some of my photos from both:

I'm also working on transcribing the talks by Kirsten Bradley, Joanna Mendelssohn, Stuart Hill and Wendy Yeomans from the public programs. These will eventually be up on the Yeomans Project blog.

Monday, January 27, 2014

4 tonne tango!

We had our big moving day from Woolloomooloo to Glebe on Tuesday! The following photos give a pretty good idea of what that entailed.

And a quick montage I made of the day:

It'll probably be a month or so until we're settled into our new home. There's some brilliant old stories about the Glebe viaducts. It's lucky I don't believe in ghosts!

*All photos and footage are mine.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The BIG FAG Dance

Big Fag Dance graphics designed by Pat Armstrong
A while ago we were told by Firstdraft that unfortunately we cannot stay at their depot in Woolloomooloo (which is this strange shaped building here):
Photo by Pat Armstrong
It was really sad for us because we have so many wonderful relationships in the area with Firstdraft, Artspace, The Cross Art Projects and many others.

However, we applied for and were successful in getting a City of Sydney Accommodation Grant! This is a really fantastic opportunity for us. So, our new home is in the Glebe Viaducts in Jubilee Park:

Photo from Google Images
Unfortunately, to get our 4 tonne machine there is tricky, and expensive! So in December we launched a campaign on Pozible to raise money.

I came up with the idea for Zoe Sadokierski to produce a print which looks at the history of printing presses. She decided to focus on the FAG family of presses.

Here is her beautiful limited edition print:

Big Fag Dance, 2013, Zoe Sadokierski
She also did some other drawings for us, which we printed onto small cards at our good friends the Rizzeria.

Dance Cards by Zoe Sadokierski, printed on The Rizzeria
We also made this brilliantly embarrassing video:

Big Fag Press » Big Fag Dance from Big Fag Press on Vimeo.

..and sent out some press releases which landed us a few shout outs like Art Almanac.

We also had some fabulous Big Fag Tshirts, aprons and little badges, and after 18 days of dancing, we had doubled our goal of $3000 to raise a total of $6297!

It was then clearly time to ACTUALLY DANCE!

So we organised a great 70s themed party with local DJs and lots of great food and beer. Alex Stevenson and I even got outed by Two Thousand!

I even made a cake. Here are Lucas & I with my cake:

A close up of my cake: (Yes I have cake making problems)

Now all we have to do is actually move the press this January!

The Yeomans Project - Art Gallery of NSW

In 2011, I started working on printing a series of works by Lucas Ihlein and Ian Milliss for the Yeomans Project on the Big Fag Press which was to be exhibited at ACCA in Melbourne. You can see I wrote a post about it in my blog here. The prints went on to win the 2012 Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award.

Here is Lucas holding up one of the prints:

In the lead up to another Yeomans exhibition, this time at the Art Gallery of NSW, Lucas Ihlein and Ian Milliss asked me to assist them in some of the legwork for the show, mainly making up some posters, and designing a newspaper based on their research blog.

The Yeomans Project recognises the work of PA Yeomans, an Australian inventor who came up with what's known as the Keyline concepts in agriculture and farming. The AGNSW exhibition is interestingly retrospective, as a similar proposal for an exhibition was rejected in the 70s when the trustees felt that such work was not art. Just goes to show how the meaning of art has changed in the last 40 years!

The posters I designed were based on websites of other artists or artist groups who use agriculture, farming or food as the basis of their art practice: (f)route, Artist as Family, Milkwood Permaculture and Diego Bonetto (who is also a partner of the Big Fag Press).

An interesting off-topic note: When I did my short course on social media business marketing at Media School, (who have no particular association with art or agriculture), Milkwood Permaculture were their prime example of awesome social media marketing. Small world, huh?

Anyway, for the posters, I had to request high resolution images and names of fonts, and loosely put together information about each artists' practice in one poster for the exhibition. Here are some of my proof prints stuck to my hallway wall! (yes they look better in the art gallery).

And here are the posters in the gallery (and Diego next to his one). I keep meaning to get back to the AGNSW and take some better photos of the whole exhibition but I haven't had time! If you wanted to see some of Lucas' photos of the launch, they are here.

The University of Wollongong (where Lucas teaches Media & Arts) funded the production of a newspaper for the exhibition which was based on the Yeomans Project blog.

It was a great experience getting it printed at MPD in Alexandria. At the Big Fag we print one hand fed sheet at a time, one colour at a time, about 100 imprints a day, not to mention an hour of cleaning up. I've explained our process in more detail in this post from ages ago. For this newspaper, MPD were using their web press machine. Now, the big fag is big, but, this is a BIG machine:

These are the rolls of paper they use to feed through the machine:

And here are the first proofs I had to look at to see if the colours were all right. (This took a bit of time).

Then see all these knobs here? Apparently they change the balance of the ink somehow. So for example, when I said a page was looking too yellow, they could fix it for the next proofing.

Here is my contact at MPD, Eleanor holding up one of the plates they use in the machine. They don't look too much different to our Big Fag plates! And on the right is the big roll of paper being fed into the machine.

So, the Big Fag does about 100 imprints of one giant page a day, and that's just one colour... this web press machine does 15,000 copies of a full colour newspaper in 1 hour! Here are some videos of the newspaper being printed:

Amazing! I would love to know more about how the web press machine works, I think it's fascinating.

So, all this was great fun but a harrowing few weeks designing the posters and newspaper during the time I was working at Sculpture by the Sea. I'm really proud of the way it all looks though!

 Art Gallery of NSW advertising for the Yeomans Project

The AGNSW exhibition is on in the Contemporary Project Space until 27 January 2014. The newspapers are free at the exhibition, so please pick one up!

*All photos and videos are mine, unless captioned otherwise.