Sunday, July 30, 2017

Studio Notes Ed. 2017.07

It seems like forever since I emailed regular updates via my newsletter, Studio Notes, which debuted a decade ago. I'm aware that my most recent edition didn't reach everyone who wanted to receive it, in part due to changes of email address and new filters. You can subscribe, or re-subscribe with a new email address, at my website (please add my new address, to your address book). In the meantime I thought I'd share the most recent edition here:

Back From The Precipice

There is a rich tradition of insanity among artists. Although it may heighten creativity, the less welcome symptoms can have a severe impact on one's day-to-day ability to function.

Over the last years I took an extended, self-imposed hiatus to learn how to manage a complex form of bipolar disorder which onset in my mid teens. Thankfully, the intensive treatment I received at a progressive private psychiatric hospital was successful.

Recently I moved back to Sydney. My focus is on making new art and reconnecting in person with collectors and supporters of my work. Earlier this year I travelled to Melbourne. As I re-establish myself financially I will travel more often, nationally and internationally, to reconnect – or meet for the first time – in person after many years of communicating remotely.

As you may know, my high gloss enamel paintings are now only available on the secondary market. Due to sensitivity to enamel paint fumes I no longer use the medium. In future I will continue a stream of major hard-edged works using traditional oil paints. Rather than attempt to replicate the finish of my enamels, I intend to further develop the ideas (and aesthetic) I explored in them – alongside looser, more experimental works. I'm currently painting gouache on paper and watercolour on paper artworks, which I will use as studies for these larger pieces.

I'm also launching a major conceptual artwork with two components: a text-based series titled Dooney Lives; and a companion series of one-off photographs, titled Dooney Lives (In Pictures). The artwork is an ongoing, autobiographical narrative told (and sold) in bite-sized pieces, inspired by a long engagement with social media and the idea of photographs as evidence. The series will develop in parallel with my life, with no end date:

"The expected life story of a woman like me is simple: burn bright and go down in flames, consumed by insanity. The End. I refuse to accept this as the story of my life. Dooney Lives and Dooney Lives (In Pictures) are a defiant declaration of intent and a voyeuristic invitation to watch me."

New works from Dooney Lives and Dooney Lives (In Pictures) will be posted regularly on my Instagram account, @hazeldooney, and archived on my website. If you are interested in one (or more!) of these pieces – or other works – please email me at Please note that my email addresses have been closed.

You can also find me on Twitter under the same username, @hazeldooney. I am gradually returning to writing longer pieces on my blog, Self Vs. Self. If you would like to receive my new blog entries via email please enter your address in the section marked "Follow by email" (at the top right of the page).

Hazel Dooney

Above: Making works on paper in my new space. Sydney, late June, 2017.