感 - (Kan)【カン】


'オリーブ' Green pigment liner, olive tea ink, metallic watercolour, hanko signature stamp, 400 x 560mm

I would like to begin this introduction to '感' (Kan) and summary of my artist residency in Shodoshima by first thanking MeiPAM Gallery and the community and people of Shodoshima for their hospitality, kindness and openness to share their lives and culture with me. 

I was very fortunate to visit Shodoshima earlier in 2015 when I traveled around Japan for three months from Hokkaido to Himeji and everywhere in-between; but it was the islands in the Seto Inland Sea that resonated with me. This area had a very special energy and I felt a deep and instinctive connection to this particular part of Japan. I engaged and unabashedly indulged in my preference for being situated in places where I want to make opportunities because by being somewhere and following my nose on where I want to go, I create memorable experiences with people which has long term value and significance. It was through my passion for adventure and following my intuition that I arrived at Shodoshima, met the wonderful people at MeiPAM Gallery and subsequently was invited to apply for their AIR program which culminated in me achieving one of my dreams; to be artist in residence at a gallery within Japan and to exhibit there. 

The outdoors, natural world and my environment is where I feel most connected, inspired and aware. Living on Shodoshima was an incredible experience which propelled my artistic development. The location of my residency; atop a cliff overlooking the Seto Inland Sea with a beautiful beach and olive grove below greatly inspired my work. Having the rare opportunity for quiet, solitude and reflection gave me time to un-package my feelings, emotions, fears and passions and honestly look and evaluate them. I had time in this hectic modern world to stop, simplify and define what is important; valuable and what makes me who I am as a person and as a creative. 

There are two chapters to the collection I created. This starts in the literal and moves to the figurative and sensory. 

The olive tree was my initial inspiration. Using both the motif and painting with a tea/ pulse ink I made from the olive leaves, my initial works payed homage to the ink works of the Japanese masters. Combining iconography with my signature mark making that mimics embroidery, I created intricate, feminine and dynamic pictures that incorporated the energy, romanticism and beauty of the olive trees. 

Please click on the thumbnails to enlarge and see more detail.

I had come across a new type of ink pen while on Shodoshima, but what I did not realise was that the ink was heat sensitive. On completion of an intricate A2 design, I went to flatten the paper- and the artwork disappeared! This setback proved to be anything but, as it instigated an emotional development which unleashed a much more powerful and connected direction in my work. I cleared away from the literal and stripped back to really what being there was making me feel and become. 

The ‘’ (Kan) collection of orbs are like the rising and setting Japanese sun. They are evocative of nebula, iris, dreamcatchers, portals, stain glass windows and are snap sketches of what I was feeling at that particular moment in time. Each of us are complex and unique in how we feel, see and recognise our moods. Ever changing, shifting and developing, they can elevate, liberate or hinder depending on how we process them. By visualising mine I can understand them, relate to them, see the beauty and complexity within; remove the tags of ‘ good’ or ‘bad’ and see them each individual. What surprised me this process was that some of the emotions I had internally categorised as ‘negative’ became the most beautiful and complex paintings. As a group they look like the periodic table- each an element and component of my psyche. They are timed and dated as I claim ownership of what they are, and when they were; noting the past and moving forwards.

The images are about trying to assimilate into new surroundings merging my identity with my environment. A little bit Japanese and a little New Zealand they mix components of both cultures. Stamped with my Japanese hanko signature instead of the 'MM knuckles' they take a cheeky nod towards the Japanese way of integrating ideas. The orbs are created with olive inks and synthetic materials which I handle, smudge and touch- they are intimate and tender, but have I truly claimed these emotions as mine or have I passed them off under my artistic moniker? I intentionally painted on the reverse side of Japanese calligraphy boards (shikishi)- as these works they are about what is internal, personal; what is on the reverse or the inside; what is colourful and what makes us unique.

'Connection' Green & black pigment liner, olive tea ink, metallic watercolour, oil crayon, hanko signature stamp, each shikishi square 240 x 270mm

Viewers entered the room where the artwork was displayed by touching, parting and pushing through layers of silk. Participants were invited after viewing my creations to sit by the window, take time to reflect on what they were feeling and draw with the materials and circles provided. Participants were informed that there was no right or wrong creation and they could leave or keep their output. Below is a video walking you through 感.

On level three resided the amazing  sculptural, music/ video/ visual and dance/ video artworks of Tim Prebble (NZ), Katarina SkarHenriksen (Norway) and Alexander Clinthorne (America) who were previous participants in the MeiPAM AIR program.

I am thrilled to share this collection with Shodoshima and now the world, and hope these works inspire, create question and delight as this opportunity gifted me the fortune to do so. 

 この島で、制作した作品には2つの段階があります。それは具象から始まり、抽象的で感覚的のものへと移ります。まず、オリ ーヴの葉から抽出したした自家製インクを作りました。しかし、そのインクは熱に弱いということが分かっていませんでした。 A2サイズの作品を描きそれを平らにしようとすると、なんと作品が消えてしまったのです! この失敗によって作品制作が、自分の中でもっと力強いつながりのある感情的なものへとつながっていきました。私は、まさに空っぽになり、ここにいることの存在意義を改めて感じたのです。
 その後に制作したのが『感』コレクションです。日本の日の出と日没のようでもありますが、この作品群はひとつひとつが特定の瞬間に感じていたもののスナップ・スケッチです。私たち各々が、こころの中でどのように感じどう認識するかによって、複雑で独特な存在となります。感情は、変更させたり、転換したり、発展させることにより、開放的になったり内にこもったりします。いいとか悪いとかとではなく心の中を視覚化することによって、自ら理解し、内在する美しさや複雑さに触れることができるので す。ネガティブな感情が、最も美しく複雑に作品に現れることもあり、自分でも驚きました。この作品群は、私のこころの要素と構成を表していますが、周期的にもみえます。作品にはそれぞれ日時が刻まれていて、そこから、わたしのこころがいつなにを感じていたかが読み取れるのです。それは、過去を感じ前へと進むためのものです。オリーヴの葉の自家製インクと合成インクを使って描いた作品たちは、細かくて穏やかです。日本のサインボードのあえて裏面を使っています。それは、作品の中に込めるものが、内面であり個人的であり、オモテではなくウラ、そしてカラフルでユニークなものだからです。
 私は、自分の作品が小豆島に展示されると思うとぞくぞくします。そして、これらの作品がイン スピレーションを生み、問いかけをし、楽しんでいただけると幸いです。

October 2015


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Click image below to have a virtual wander through the exhibition


Viewers artworks


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In addition to the exhibition Moena Moxham artwork is for sale at MeiPAM shop alongside textile purses and crafty nifties ^=^


Moena Moxham numbered and embossed prints for sale at MeiPAM shop alongside textile purses and crafty nifties ^=^