Limited edition prints; works on paper escapades

Remain Calm & Open The Show...

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FLASH Alternative exhibition of works on paper by Karen Kaese
After what seems like several weeks of constant tiredness & internal conflict i finally reached a place that was beyond my expectations.
Its a momentous thing to commit to, create & stage exhibitions. In this instance as a one band women (one women band). From whimsy it is an easy distraction into all kinds of shallow thoughts that lead nowhere. Worst still when you do intermittent 'things' in between the everyday 'things'  like family interactions and such you wonder if anything will eventuate. ..Of course stressing too much is never a good the end i just went with whatever processes i felt like doing intuitively. The outcome? I am still processing that however i definitely felt close & within  the  creative space whilst both painting on paper & sewing.  Quiet through the deadlines..In the end ..the opening was terrific. It worked out & in combination with the Manus Island Dancers who brought everything to life by performing several pieces in the gallery, all the audience was for a moment able to be transported somewhere else. 

Sky Dancers, Karen Kaese

My Myths, Karen Kaese

Karen Kaese

Sprout, Karen Kaese

Yes doubt

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The dredded doubt just creeps doesn't it? When in doubt relax & line em up..Not sure what to do with these but i have 8 other pieces i want to draw on which sadly remain blank due to said 'd' word...images are poor but i think ill squiggle a few more lines on these beginings & just breath........

thinking aloud in the kitchen

Sitting here in  the kitchen observing a minor bird trying to menace a crow. Between them & the traffic it is difficult to stay calm & picture layout & possible intall configurations.
Thinking about the space of the gallery in which i will be opening my next solo show. The gallery is a biggish new space that is located above an open access print studio in Brisbane. The show is called Flash...etc(see image) I am looking at the idea of Bilas & multiple identity... so Bilas is dressing up in Papua New Guinea; enacting specific clan rituals at special events, places; celebrations generally...Sometimes ostentatious sometimes  minimal; the focus is about  representing something about where you are from, your identity & carry on the tradition & strength of the clan. It's usually a moment when tribal spiritual beliefs are displayed in public with the same fervor as christian beliefs and people get into the spirit of things making the spectacle even more captivating.
I saw an interesting coverage of the Goroka show(famed gathering of peoples throughout PNG as well as adventurous tourists i guess) on ABC online which sparked a series of collages & thoughts about myths.. The ABC story  consisted of photos of a bizarre  group dressed in balaclava's with some men painted in black grinding their bums together making twirking like movements as well as so many other beautiful creations that really inpired me. .In the last few years we have celebrated PNG Independence Day in Brisbane with dancers,musicians & singers from throughout PNG & Queensland performing. Thats been an invigorating experience because it unites all the people settled in Brisbane with those in PNG in a cultural celebration we dont experience too often in Brisbane. Theres Chinese,Greek,Italian but anything from the Pacific is rare.

So what does Bilas mean in this instance??
Nowadays Bilas is a generic term for putting your best on & stepping out with your wantoks. My interpretation in this series is imagined in a space of departure;a distance in which i have been living,working in Australia without language or culture really..It is also a transitional & transformative state that i want to explore in the manner of using this ephemera...invoking this place & my connections through collage of materials.
 I am finding it is an intriguing learning experience trying to remember & to know the place you have been as much as trying to determine the future.  I have forgotten so much  that it is like an archaeological exploration with threads that lead to all sorts of possibilities. How did i get so estranged from all this? Well  i supposes like most migrants i went to school here & lived a life of constant information about how to be "Australian" that i learned  within the broad brush of 'assimilation'...and  multiculturalism...To me it seemed pretty obvious..we accept you;  now you are one of us ..anzacs..explorers, bushrangers, flags, waltzing matilda...don't go inland, go to the beach but don't get eaten by a shark! All interesting information & rhetoric that seemed  a diversion, a ruse to what was really going on.Another estrangement...

Though i have the majority of collages,drawings,prints done i am in the midst of completing objects. Specifically Ive been assembling these little critters made out of Fimo..which id like to populate a low space..they are whimsical & reminde me of when i was a kid & all the time i spent with the other kids wondering along the reef that surrounds my grandfathers island playing in the hot shallow water,looking at all the creatures...hmm seems like  a few threads in this show then..we' ll see!?#*

1001 ways to see..same same but different

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bilas 1

 Where to start? Instead of metal i have been using plastic perspex (i think thats what it is) to scratch drawings &
 print from...making drypoints this way is both economical & addictive if you want to work fast... i like that you can see through it after you wipe off ink ...unfortunately it lacks that surface quality of printing on metal but its adaptable to collage & line work. I simply like the line &  the fact that i can add or subtract elements as i am going along in the studio.I sometimes paint the other side of the plastic & print a monoprint which becomes the surface of the drypoint. Fun & games on the go....especially when the print manifests in so many variations that i have the impulse to keep going & going with the  matrix..
These are some examples for the series i am focused on involving the tradition of body adornment in PNG called bilas. This can be for a specifc function for instance marriage or it can be dressing up to represent your wantoks
 at a festival or dance. Increasingly it has become a way to describe dressing up in general; being flash out & about town!
 These representations are imagined
things with beings who are in transit enacting a narrative of their own.
I have these other collages from the show in Biloela last year which is the same concept.
bilas 2

a book..collage on the go1
Anyway i went to the Impress studio to print & it was the most peaceful experience ..really great. I didnt do a lot..again i bought too many plates & laid out paper etc & only got to test some prints & start 4 leaves of a book that i might do...i say might because i cant remember the sewing method well so...hmm maybe ill collage them..
a book..collage on the go 2