Monday, February 07, 2011

Under Exposed

I've always produced a lot of visual material, from photographs and rough sketches to digital illustrations, collages and small paintings. Very little of it goes further than the floor under my desk.
Occasionally, an assistant, worn down by my repeated requests to find a particular image from the myriad scraps of paper and photographic proofs I discard during the course of figuring out a new work, will take it upon themselves to organise this material into meticulously indexed files. It still ends up strewn around the studio.
For many years, I cared little for what I regarded as valueless by-product. Then, in 2006, a friend came across a plastic garbage bag filled with Polaroids I had taken (as references for my enamel paintings) stuffed at the back of a cabinet beneath my kitchen sink. He sifted through them to select the handful that were exhibited as part of my Venus In Hell solo exhibition at MARS Gallery, in Port Melbourne. Two years later, I assembled a collection of sexually explicit study photographs I had taken of myself – and which others had taken – to create another exhibition at MARS Gallery, called PORNO.
Since then, there has been a small but not insignificant market for my study drawings and photographs in Australia. Encouraged, I began uploading excerpts from my sketchbooks to the visual archives on my web site. But most of the hundreds, possibly thousands, of photographs I've taken over the years, using Polaroid 600 and 35mm negative film, as well as an assortment of digital cameras, remain hidden away in filing cabinets, drawers and hard drives.
Many of the images are of nude women or sex acts. In a reckless moment, last year, I published a few on my Facebook page and within a couple of hours, the faceless, middle-American censors there had erased my presence. Several have also been published on this blog but I am conscious of dulling the attention of my readers with too much distracting tits 'n' ass. While I made an exception for a few of my favorite monochrome images from PORNO, I'm hesitant to include photography in the substantial body of artwork currently archived on my web site.
That might change. In the meantime, a visual 'notebook' on Tumblr, with no words other than captions, focussing on my 35mm and digital photography – no Polaroids, sketches or paintings – felt like a better option. Reassured that the platform tolerated images that many others wouldn't and that I had more than enough material to sustain it for a couple of months, I devised a stripped-to-the-bone slate grey on white design, a simple title – An Artist's Notebook – and a week ago, started uploading images.
Take a look sometime.

7 comments: said...

I have an artist friend who calls his filing system "Deep Litter Management"...

Funnily he is exceptionally good at retrieving the required morsel when needed...



Lea said...

hej Hazel,
I have come to realise that one is not suppose to even approach a concret idea of talking about the artist work on her blog, not even express more than a light comment, some support like in sport. I find it difficult because therefore we see no interaction or exhanges between any spectators. I felt quite a smile when looking at some photos a friend took while walking in the West End Area, I come to realise that Christies, Sotheby and Bonhams were so close to each other, a street or two, my favorite remain Bonhams, and (oh!) what a stupid thing to say but at Bonhams they have to most confortable modern design toilets rooms, while the building is Mayfair period architecture, not far Cork street too of course.
I looked at your very beautiful photo note/sketch book, really beautiful, both models are great but I like the second more, something wild(e) and also very tender in her body expression, tension, forms, thin lines really elegant, lovely stand, beautiful visage I found.If I may say very sensually attractive female.
One photo made me smile because it reminded me of certain photos by the like of artists like H. Newton or Haskins ( an Australian photographer of the 1970/80ties, Cowboy Kate), the one photo where we only see a leg in one room next to room with papers on a matress. A beautiful, erotic to the limit, sensual photo.
That is all for today, very exciting prospects coming.
bye, Lea. (8th feb. 2pm UK.)

Fitzroyalty said...

I like this - the quietness of the images without any words.

Matt said...

Hi Hazel - sorry for leaving a comment, but your email bounced back.
I was given your name by a Sunshine Coast based artist who holds you
in high esteem. Besides being impressed with your work, she is also a
fan of your use of social media. I've reviewed your blog and website
and can confidently say, you now have an extra fan :)
I wondered if you'd be willing to share some insights with me to help
bring a presentation to life. I am talking to a room full of artists
at the end of this month for a Queensland Arts Council event and I
thought it would be cool to feature some real life examples:
Specifically I'd love to know, what has been the best thing(s) to come
from embracing social media? I read that you use it to source models
but perhaps there is something else you'd think would encourage your
Thanks for your time and consideration,

Hazel Dooney said...

Matt, Clearly you've read VERY little of my blog, my web site, or my other social media presences if your main 'take' on my social media experience is that it's a good source of models (it isn't, btw). I was one of the first artists globally – and am generally acknowledged as the first in Australia – to have built a substantial career outside the traditional gallery system using the web. I would suggest you read/view and [sigh]

Lea said...

hej Hazel,
I do love the notebook added documents, it is like a "journal", the new images somehow seems more intimate, quite erotic even, the "around" the work wih the model within quite a sensual touch, you in "neglige" working, pieces of clothing, a little Emin reminder. I found very erotic the use "with" the mirror as an actor in the action, those last shots connect me more with your large enamel paintings and your latest sexual drawings. It make me think of a Welsh Artist of the Pop Art period, You are not like him but I feel a similarity with Allen Jones works in a way, a duality of female/male, but again your work is different and I must say much more woman sharp sensitivity, raw and tender, tender in its violence too, raw in its esthetic, almost loud still delicat sounds.
I like coming to find more images on your notebook (3rd time I look), intimicy.
bye, Lea

charlotte said...

Dear Hazel,
A friend of mine, while a little questioning herself asked for my impression on your note book photos, a rather good looking set, jolly even and filled with some lovely sights, I mean in the esthetic not the poses, beautiful models, one in particilar "savage"( not wild) looks in her eyes,her body , real turn on if that is allowed to say.
So my impression is that the artist (you) seems to be searching her sexuality ( I don't mean -for her... ), I say that because of some ways of exposure about herself in the sequences, some desired intentions, even if an intercourse has happen it remain extern of both actors, specially obvious with the "savage" girl, still beautiful images, it does make feel at some of Groz drawings it their expressionnism.
I said to my friend what would be the next step in my view toward your work - the Masturbation (real). A year ago I visited an art show in Stockholm, there I befriended a young female artist of Finland. Irena invited me to her studio up town, showed me more works,very conceptual,in there was a similar path to the one in your note book. Then around a glass or two of wine Irena asked me if I would accept to pose for her, I am 42, good looking, female type, I wear stockings and high heels - you see the "bourgeoise" in town. I am not gay but not impartial to a good sex interactiv. I smiled when she explain that she would like to film me masturbating sat on a stool (why a stool- have a guess). Well I accepted at one condition -that we see my face I I am a little ezhibizionist. We did it but in final she got censured when she exhibited the film in an installation, a little too much even in Sweden but we had a good laugh, Irena is not wandering no more.
Your search reminded me of hers, very beautiful, not sensuous yet but on its way, the interactiv with the camera was terribly sensual. I do find your photos very beautiful and fairly pure.
yours Charrlote.