Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet Your Maker: Bridget Kearney

An unashamed 'country girl' at heart, Bridget Kearney is an artist much-valued in the Daylesford area, and a long-time supporter of Wolf At The Door, Jason and Magali's former maker/design/art space, prior to Stockroom.

At Wolf, Bridget sold her paintings - mostly the colourful abstract canvases for which she is best-known - and her superb range of bamboo jewellery, under the name Caravan Creative (which you can now find at Stockroom.)

With her graphic design business (Bridget Kearney Design) and Caravan jewellery line ever-growing, Bridget has had a very busy year creatively, also contributing work to 'Current', a group show at c3 Contemporary Art Space at Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne. (See pics from the opening here.)

Above: An image from 'Cyburbia' by Bridget Kearney.

Bridget's new show 'Cyburbia' debuted both galleries at Stockroom on December 11, 2010. It is another labour of love for this dedicated artist, who has been making art in one way or another ever since she "can remember." In it she takes humble paint swatches and transforms them into paintings in their own right - with the colour names becoming a clever play on words, and a form of poetry. Expect the geometric!

big pre-Xmas crowd turned up to usher in the new show, with lots of great feedback to the artist - also in attendance. View the photo gallery from the opening on the Stockroom's Facebook.

'Cyburbia' runs until January 2, 2011, at Stockroom.

Bridget Kearney
now gives you an insight into her new show, and her life as a working artist in the Victorian country...

Stockroom: How long have you been a professional artist - and when did you start making art?

Bridget Kearney: For as long as I can remember I have been making things, translating thoughts into objects, books, paintings, mini visual worlds. In a professional sense, I have been working in both graphic and art for 20 years, trying to formulate new visual languages.

Above, Bridget Kearney at the 'current' opening at C3. Pic: Anthony Scibelli.

SR: Can you tell us a bit about your work - what areas you work in?

BK: I studied in painting at RMIT completing my honours and then I went and completed graphic design at Swinburne University. My interests in visual communication via many sorts of mediums is still being informed.

I also have a jewellery design business called 'Caravan Creative' which is informed from my time spent living in the countryside ie botanically-influenced laser-cut bamboo jewellery being a reflection of my current surroundings.

SR: How did you come to live in Daylesford?And what it's like practising there, in comparison with say a city like Melbourne?

BK: I came to Daylesford after I finished my studies and was looking for larger more affordable space to work in. I grew up in the country and I felt like I needed to revisit my roots, Daylesford being a fairly quiet lifestyle to focus on projects.

SR: Is it 'challenging', balancing your commercial work with your exhibition work?

BK: Challenging is one word to describe 'multi-tasking'! Presently my home/work space is a number of rooms with various projects being worked on within each space. It is a constant 'many hats' situation.

SR: Do you feel like you are part of a particular art community?

BK: Fortunately Daylesford has many creatives of all forms working in its domain and within the broader community. Magalli and Jason from Stockroom are wonderful supporters of regional art, for which I am very thankful, although I still require the 'urban buzz' for inspiration.

SR: Who are some of your influences/inspirations?

BK: I am influenced by a broad spectrum of objects and events including people, music, architecture, moments in time, daily papers and travelling and being receptive to the social currents.

For inspiration... it's everywhere.

SR: Can you describe your new Stockroom show 'Cyburbia' for us?

BK: Well I have a long time love for paint swatches, and I have used them as a base and source for the work called 'Cyburbia'. Colour is amazing when you get to play with it minus the mess. The collages are derived directly from the swatches which aret a joy to work with, then the forms become something else. They act like marquettes for something bigger. I have, for a long time imagined the job of being a colour namer. So I have employed myself to describe colour, based on suburban ideas/space and the make-up of social and technological activity.

SR: Do you have any particular art ambitions - what is your dream gig or show?

BK: The ambition is to combine all my ways of making and for this combination to create a financial support structure to allow the continuation for their future.

SR: Where does making art fit into the scheme of things for you?

BK: I would like making art to be the absolute of what I do, although every day requirements - bills rent, etc - make it necessary to have different jobs to keep the 'wolf from the door'. I take on many job roles to make sure this is manageable.

SR: If you weren't an artist, what might you be doing instead?

BK: A philanthropist...

View the photos from the opening of 'Cyburbia' on Stockroom's Facebook.

Visit Bridget Kearney online and check out her Caravan range of jewellery.

Words: Megan Spencer: Thanks to Bridget Kearney for the interview and 'Cyburbia' images, and to Anthony Scibelli for the artist photo.