THE ART OF PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP - KAY ABUDE

To celebrate the Wangaratta Performing Arts and Convention Centre’s tenth birthday anniversary, Wangaratta Art Gallery presents two performance based artists during the month of September. Video works are screened, with feature performances by each artist scheduled throughtout the exhibition duration. Both Melanie Irwin and Kay Abude are multi-disiplinary contemporary artists who present to the Wangaratta community unique approaches to the practice and delivery of performance art.”
Wangaratta Art Gallery, didactic panels

Images taken from the workshop, in gallery two of the Wangaratta Art Gallery.


“This was a unique chance to be a participant in 'THE ART OF PERFORMANCE -Performing Textiles with Melbourne based artist Kay Abude. Performing Textiles was a 3-hour performance workshop engaging in ideas of work and labour developed and facilitated by Melbourne-based artist Kay Abude. Participants took part in a hands on process-based workshop responding to historical research from the 1900s Abude has collected on Wangaratta as the ‘Town of Textiles’. “ - WAG event description.

Wangaratta is my home town, I enjoyed many years finding inspiration in the nature I was surrounded with, the community I felt connected with, and the thriving textiles industry and textile artists. I had a close connection to the Wangaratta Wollen Mills as growing up my Dad worked there. I never got to go inside the factory, nor was I interested in what was inside. However after this workshop I wish I had.

“Participants will develop performative artworks in response to photographs of manufacturing by Wolfgang Sievers, stories from Bruck Textiles and the Wangaratta Woolen Mills.” - WAG event description.

Bruck Mills Factory Interior, Wolfgang Sievers 1954, gelatin silver photograph, 20 x 25cm


Kay brought in tables worth of materials, photocopies of Sievers photographs, off cuts of fabric from her Gertrude Street Studio, wool, string, paint and more! It was so we could create artwork in response to Wangaratta’s rich history of textiles. I decided to design some wearable art. Starting off with some of Wolfgang’s photographs. I made the top half out of canvas off cuts and the bottom from black silk. I used red and white wool to attach my favourite images. And weave the word ‘machine’ to the front of the garment.

Kay Abude is an artist engaged in many forms of making, including sculpture, large-scale installation, performance, photography and silk-screen printing. A current Gertrude Studio Artist 2019-2021, Abude is interested in the nature of labour, with its economic, repetitive and somatic properties, and how work connects and divides us. (Kay artists bio)

I was familiar with Kay as an artist from her work in the Castlemaine Art Festival. “WORK WORTH DOING integrates art into local Castlemaine business Shedshaker Brewery and Taproom by inviting workers to don garments silkscreen printed with the words ‘Work Worth Doing’ during the 10-day festival. The words are adapted from a speech made by Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 – “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing”.Artist statement from Kays Website.

Kay Abude  WORK WORTH DOING  22 - 31 March 2019  Hand silk screen on linen sewn into garments and performed by staff at Shedshaker Brewery and Taproom for the Castlemaine State Festival 2019  Dimensions variable

Kay Abude WORK WORTH DOING 22 - 31 March 2019

Hand silk screen on linen sewn into garments and performed by staff at Shedshaker Brewery and Taproom for the Castlemaine State Festival 2019

Dimensions variable


It was an amazing opportunity to reconnect with the local community after investing more of myself in my current home town of Bendigo. It has been a hard transition these past few years, moving to a new city, finishing my degree, starting new employment, and making art.
This workshop invigorated my creativity! Working alongside the other participants and Kay has helped me in wanting to keep up my research, my networks, and my community.

Revisiting the Unsuccessful

For La Trobe University Bendigo's open day (August 2018) I was asked to exhibit work in the Phyllis Palmer Gallery Annex on campus. 
I used the space to explore more process driven art. I re-exhibited my large work on paper, In Over her Head from the collaborative show Intercalibration. It was previously exhibited as one large image [Fig. 1]. I felt it was not successful as a single large image, the walls height was not big enough, I felt like it needed more negative space to 'open' it up.

[Fig.1]  In Over her Head  Ink Jet print on A4 paper.

[Fig.1] In Over her Head Ink Jet print on A4 paper.


I took the opportunity to seperate the image. It was created in 6 sections to make the install easier, by putting it together part-by-part rather than one whole image. For the PPG Annex I separated the pieces out, spreading them evenly along the wall [Fig. 2]. 

[Fig. 2] The seperate sections to  In Over her Head  2018

[Fig. 2] The seperate sections to In Over her Head 2018


My research for Honours investigates the process of making art, where the process is not hidden but a prominent aspect of the work. Seperating the image like this divides the sections up, no longer seeing the image as a whole but as segments. I feel this is an extremely important shift in how I install. It represents its making more effectively because you can see the parts. Instead of encountering the large image as whole you are encountering it in pieces, which leaves behind the traces of process.

In the space I also documented a new performance. This was an experiment to explore how loose strips of receipt paper would react to a heat gun, hoping the heat gun would blow the paper around and make organic marks.
Using loose strips of receipt paper is a contrast to my previous performances this year. Usually the paper is joined together with masking tape. 
Unfortunately this performance was not successful.


I left the strips of receipt paper exposed to natural light for too long (2 weeks). Receipt paper/thermal paper reacts to heat, when it is exposed to natural light the chemicals that create the marks loose their opacity, for example when you leave a receipt from a store on the dashboard of a car the text fades, eventually to nothing. Instead of reacting like I thought that paper did nothing, unless I was 10cm away from the paper.
This performance overall was a learning experience. I now know to make my objects closer to the performing date, and keep them away from natural light. 

 

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This semester I have been exploring the colour pink. Last semester I was drawn to red.
I do not believe that I will include any pink in my graduate exhibition, but I will experiment with it further in my own personal projects.
Fig. 4 was a pieces created as a reaction to the new install of In Over her Head, I traced white shapes from one of the sections and created a grid and the shapes from glitter foam. I would have liked to put pink card the same colour behind the glitter outlines. It would look more whole rather than disparate like it feels in this image.