Rona Green: Watching you, watching me, watching youat Australian Galleries featuring Oomi the Greyhound in the window (model for the print Cola nights)
Rona Green, Cola nights, 2022, hand-coloured linocut, 49 x 72 cm, edition 23
Rona Green, Roberto Fortuno, 2019, hand-coloured linocut, 57 x 76 cm, edition 13
Rona Green, Stellan, 2021, hand-coloured linocut, 53 x 47 cm, edition 23
Rona Green, Meat Man, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 106.6 x 55.9 cm
Q: What were some of the foundation ideas for this exhibition project?
A: Quite a while ago I was gifted the Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt boxed deck of cards called Oblique Strategies (subtitled Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas). Each card is printed with a phrase to think about in regards to creative situations. There is one card that has stuck in my mind as it resonates with me, and it suggests “Not building a wall, but making a brick”. The way my brain operates is not the way that can create a defined series, feel a sense of conclusion or resolution, then move on to the next series (which is an admirable method of creating). The pictures I make are more part of a kooky continuum. If circumstances permit, I much prefer to be focussing on one work at a time; starting and finishing one after the other. And eventually enough stuff gets produced to construct an exhibition. Ideas/subjects of interest are enduring preoccupations – persona, appearance, notions of uniqueness, transformation, theriocephaly, animality, and the figure.
Q: How did the artwork selection take place?
A: As mentioned, in a sense, my artistic project is an ongoing one. Therefore all the artwork I’m generating between scheduled exhibitions generally feeds into the next one. It is not in my nature to give up on realising an image, and I rarely do. My modus operandi is posing a problem and nutting it out until it’s resolved. It is important that all the images that form a show sit well together. Usually I’ve more pieces completed than are required hence there is a selection process, which is an enjoyable undertaking. Ending up with a group of works that vibe off each other effectively is the objective.
Q: How does the exhibition manifest – what do visitors experience?
A: This exhibition comprises fanciful figurative hand coloured linocuts, acrylic on canvas paintings and a single ceramic tile. From feedback received to date I would agree that the assortment of pictures on display are eye-catching, and the colours are brighter than before increasing immediate visual impact. As my work is based on observation the desire is to spark a feeling of familiarity or possible recognition in the viewer – maybe a character depicted reminds them of a person they know or alternatively they might see something of themselves reflected.
Q: What are some of the key works and what subject matter do they deal with?
A: With my subject matter being animal hybrids (frequently domestic types and occasionally native or feral), adorned with body decoration and often gazing directly at you, I endeavour to instigate appraisal of these characters by the viewer. Humans having a natural proclivity to discern and categorise conveniently adds another dimension to an encounter with the peculiar personalities I portray. If a positive connection occurs this is a favourable outcome. Though it is totally acceptable to me that the audience will have strong opinions about who they may or may not find appealing – imitating real life engagements between actual individuals. A recurrent reaction to a space full of my pictures hanging on the wall is the viewer feeling like they have entered a party full of people they’ve not yet met. And as always, humour is an integral element of the experience.
Q: What is it about the printmaking experience that you most appreciate?
A: Everything about printmaking is alluring. From conceptualisation and mulling over how an idea will translate technically into print form, executing process and successfully developing a desired result. Additionally printmaking materials are completely enchanting – composition of linoleum, paper surface qualities, scent of ink; plus the fantasticness of equipment such as U and V gouges, rollers, printing presses, etc. Another thing to appreciate about printmaking is the ability to make multiples. Once an edition is completed and all the prints signed a considerable amount of satisfaction is attained.
You can visit ronagreen.com if you are interested in finding out more about my work.
Rona Green: Watching you, watching me, watching you is at Australian Galleries Melbourne until 4 November.
Artist talk: 2pm Saturday 28 October
28 Derby Street, Collingwood VIC
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