Tag Archives: Kim Goldsmith

Uncensored: 5 Years Installation by Yasemin Yilmaz

19 Sep


Uncensored: 5 years is the newest photographic installation by Hanover-Berlin-Barcelona based artist Yasemin Yilmaz, and is currently in the group exhibition Ich warte auf mich  Osterwald – Garbsen Germany. Yasemin is constantly exploring the different perceptions and experiences of time and place in her work. In the centre of the installation, a screen flashes 28 000 unedited photographs at 2000 times the normal speed. These images are a chronological record of the last five years of the artist’s life condensed into a 1hr 40min video. The image of Yasemin’s walking feet is repeated in the video reel and symbolises her constant movement between countries for art symposiums and exhibitions from 2009 – 2013. The hundreds of photographs of signposts taken on the move, are glued to the walls surrounding the screen and act as a geographic anchor for her travels. Handwritten on a small canvas opposite the installation is the rhetorical question – How long is now? Can we capture a moment in time when it is simultaneously fast and slow, static and in motion, seen and unseen?


The installation is a dialogue between analogue and digital photography. Yasemin commented that in the past, analogue photography was a slow process that involved careful documentation of significant moments in time. The photographer was aware of the limited number of photographs, around 24 per film, and took time to consider composition, lighting and capturing the subject. After a few days or weeks the pictures were developed, and only a few of the best that were not over-exposed, blurry or ill-composed, would be carefully pasted into a photo album for posterity. Now there is the possibility to rapidly take endless digital photographs with a camera, phone, tablet or laptop, and immediately delete or edit shots using software. Even a bad photograph can be cropped, sharpened and adjusted with filters. These photographs become either an instant public record of a person’s daily life that is posted and shared with a community of friends, family and strangers online or they are saved on an external hard drive never to be seen again.


Yasemin intentionally restrained from editing the photographs for content or quality. The personal moments are mixed with the professional and there are upside down and blurry images juxtaposed against more picturesque and high resolution shots. She believes that in this way the project is a more authentic record of her last five years. The installation acknowledges, and to some degree accepts, the way that social networking has changed our connection to our photographs – our memories and lives are no longer a private album of solitary and sentimental moments, but an open stream of images posted online, shared, tagged and commented on by others.


Uncensored: 5 years offers the audience two experiences of time: the slow pause for reflection on the past and consideration of the future with the static images on the walls, and the speed and fleeting nature of the now, in the video loop. Despite the quantity of photographs, it is clear from the installation that it is almost impossible to create a complete record of a life time. Even in the production of the video, images were erased or the time signature changed by mistake.


In the context of the exhibition Ich warte auf mich (I wait for myself), Yasemin considered the process of collating the images for the installation as a moment in which she was able to wait for a complete image of her last five years to emerge. In this time she came to the realisation that we need signposts in our lives, moments when we are forced to stop and reflect, and catch hold of who we are, and where we are, in the rapid pace of the everyday.


Ich warte auf mich is open from the 15/09/2013 – 06/10/2013 in Garbsen-Osterwald Germany and includes small paintings by Kim Goldsmith (Australia – Germany) within Yasemin Yilmaz’ installation.


The 8th International Artist Camp, Kariklevi Hotel, Cappadocia ,Turkey, 19th – 29th of June, 2011

12 Aug

View of Cappadocia mountains

This June I was invited to participate in the 8th International Artist Camp at Kariklevi Hotel which is situated amidst the picturesque setting of Cappadocia, one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations. The camp is organised annually by Hotel Manager Mr Abdullah Sen. Mr Sen is an avid art admirer and eight years ago decided that his hotel would be a perfect venue to host an international collection of artists, so that they could paint outdoors and gain inspiration from the ancient cave houses and mountain ranges. I must admit that I was astounded by the beauty of the region, the crumbly calcium carbonate rocks appeared like petrified sand dunes and changed colour according to the time of day.

Kariklevi Hotel, Cappadocia Turkey

There were roughly twenty artists invited to the camp and for the first time in my experience I noted that they were predominantly women. Half were Turkish and the other half from all over the globe including Ecuador, Mexico, Croatia, Hungary, Germany and Italy. As with most of these types of events, the intention was that the artists would live and work together for ten days, and during this time exchange their stories, share their artistic processes and discuss the nuances of their cultures. However, I felt that at this particular event this element of cross-cultural interaction was lacking.

The camp organisers were generous, providing luxurious rooms decorated with old Kilims, antique wooden furniture and artwork from the previous camps. Daytime meals were taken at the hotel, and each evening we were driven to a new location, my favourite spot (although the food was not particularly great) was inside one of the old caves that used to be a pigeon-house but was converted into a restaurant. Abdullah even took us out to his private shack set within the fields, and cooked us fish and kepaps, while we drank our Raki and watched the sun sink behind the sorbet pink stones. These were wonderful moments of hospitality.

The issues I had with the camp were related more to the lack of adequate communication between the International guests and the host organisers. This is often part of the excitement and chaos of art camps, each artist is trying to express themselves maybe with a limited grasp of English. Yet, usually the host organisation has staff in place that can effectively speak English or a common language to explain the rules of the event and to clarify any questions. There was only one English interpreter at this camp, and although she had good intentions, I still felt that a lot of our needs were not addressed. Most of the artists would have been happier if we had someone explain at the beginning that there were only two canvas per artist available, the reasons why and also where we could purchase more materials if we wanted to. If this was addressed at the beginning of the camp I am sure the attendants and the organisers would have got along better. For some reason this issue was unresolved through the entirety of the camp, and because things went unsaid or were inaccurately translated, many artists left feeling disappointed.

I always enjoy listening artist talks during workshops because I can learn about their regular arts practice, which may differ to the work they experiment with during the camp.  Unfortunately, this was not integrated into the schedule for the Cappadocia art camp and so I left knowing very little about the artists involved. Usually this would be a chance to break the ice between participants and find common ground to discuss when making their work. In future, I hope that the camp will see this as a vital component of the schedule.

As usual, the ten-day camp only allowed time for three or four days of painting which was interrupted with visits by school groups, or trips to explore the Fairy Chimneys. I actually accepted this part of the camp, I enjoyed having a few days to explore my surroundings and respond gradually to the environment. I know this process is not for everyone, and I could see many artists were frustrated with the interruptions. I think that if you are invited to an art camp, then it should be seen not as a solid amount of time to work on a series, but rather, an opportunity to deviate from your regular process, and stir up new ideas for work. I painted two large paintings (much bigger than my usual work) but also went on regular walks and took photographs, wrote in my journal, and sketched my observations. I know that these recorded impressions of my experiences will emerge in my work over the coming months.

Fairy chimneys, naturally occurring rock formations converted into houses, Cappadocia

Kim Goldsmith, Peephole Cappadocia, acrylic painting

The two paintings I produced were Peephole and Cloud and were meant to be displayed as a diptych since each represents the opposite of the other. Through the Peephole the landscape is calm and idyllic in contrast to coarse foreground of craggy rocks. In Cloud, the chaos and energy of the rock is transferred to the form of the cloud, that seems heavy and disturbed, and which, casts an uncertain shadow across the serene landscape. Each work expresses a sense of ongoing alternation between two internal states of being; calm and stable or unstable and in trauma.

I would say that this camp has very kind hosts, with good intentions, and offers an idyllic setting to gain inspiration for new work. However, if you are an artist looking for a workshop with engaging debates about art, and opportunities to show your work in a professional setting, then I would look for an alternative camp. The exhibition opening seemed to be a promotional event for the hotel, with government officials and hotel owners in attendance rather than any serious connoisseurs of art. This was anti-climatic, because the camp ended without a chance for the artists to properly celebrate the work or share it with the public in an open floor talk, nor did they have an after party in which to bid farewell to their friends. Despite these minor complaints, I have to say that overall, I enjoyed my time immensely at Kariklevi hotel: all of the artists were interesting and easy company, and the landscape was spectacular. I chose to see my time there as a holiday with a bit of painting, and so left very satisfied.

In a further post, I hope to focus on some of the works produced by participating artists.

Kim Goldsmith, Cloud Cappadocia, acrylic painting

The 3rd ICMEA (International Ceramics Magazine Editor’s Association) Symposium: The Fuping Pottery Art Village, Shaanxi Province, China 8 – 12th of November 2010

10 Jun

Last year in November I was invited to attend the 3rd ICMEA symposium in China, because my ceramic sculpture Shelf Life was selected for permanent display in the ICMEA gallery at The Fuping Pottery Arts Village, Shaanxi Province. My article about the symposium has just been published in the Ceramics Ireland Magazine, Issue 27, pp. 10 -13. You can purchase a copy or subscribe to the magazine by visiting www.ceramicsireland.org

For those of you who prefer online reading, I have added the article to the following blog post.

The Fuping Pottery Art Village, Shaanxi Province, China.

The Fuping Pottery Art Village in Shaanxi Province, China, hosted the third International Ceramics Magazine Editors Association Symposium 8– 12th of November 2010. The triennial event was attended by ceramic artists, magazine editors and academics, and coordinated by the Fuping Pottery Art Village Director I-Chi Hsu and members of ICMEA, including the former Head Chair Janet Mansfield. The symposium provided an opportunity to present research papers and exhibit new ceramic art. In the opening ceremony speeches, the host I-Chi Hsu shared his vision of the symposium: a platform to build the reputation of Fuping as a world centre for ceramics and to stimulate interest in the history and contemporary production of ceramic art in China and abroad. Approximately one hundred participants attended exhibition openings, folk art shows and performances, fireworks and many excursions to significant cultural ceramics sites during the symposium.

On the first day, a large group of visiting Eastern European artists exhibited work that was made during a residency at the Fuping Pottery Workshop to celebrate the opening of the new dome shaped FLICAM Ceramic Museum. The Third ICMEA International Emerging Artists Competition Exhibition opened later in the day and showcased sixty -nine ceramic artworks that explored functional, sculptural and conceptual approaches to the medium. All of the selected pieces are now part of the permanent collection of the Fuping ICMEA gallery, including my ceramic sculpture Shelf Life. Shelf Life playfully explores questions of object identity and is a one out of six compositions made from porcelain and glaze. I was proud to see that all five Australian artists chosen for the show had made the effort to travel to China, including two recent RMIT graduates, Andrei Davidoff and Kellie Barnes. Andrei presented Denkyu Forest, an arrangement in which trees are substituted for porcelain, fluorescent light tubes and wires, whilst Kellie’s delicately cast glazed porcelain objects resembled components of architectural structures. The competition winners were announced in the evening: Gold prize (US2000) Sinead Glynn, Silver Prize (US1500) Gabriele Gisi, and Bronze Prize (US1000) Martin Grade. The night wrapped up with a spectacular display of Chinese fireworks.

Kim Goldsmith, Shelf Life (1/6), Southern Ice Porcelain and glaze, 60x40x20cm, 2007. Permanent collection of the Fuping Pottery Village ICMEA gallery, China.

During the three-day conference, twenty-one papers were presented covering a range of topics. After many discussions fuelled by the topic of the day or Sedrine beer (helping to “release our true emotions” according to the label) it was evident that recent activity within the International ceramics community has moved beyond the tedious art vs. craft debates, or the obsession with the Hamada – Leach ceramic philosophy. Instead, the speakers focused on the global-local position of ceramics and the necessity of critical discourse. Magazine editors debated the importance of critical peer reviewed articles and digital versions of journals to connect with young artists and academics. Strategies for the expansion and survival of ceramics magazines included revising target markets to engage a broader public readership by collaborating with recognised authors (such as Salman Rushdie or journalists from the New Yorker) and paying writers for their submissions. The adoption of digital technologies (Rhino, AutoCAD and clay printers) and offering ceramics residencies to artists from other disciplines were suggested by the European Ceramic Work Centre as alternative means to revitalise the general image and appeal of ceramics. The same fears that the “pure art” of hand-crafted ceramics will be destroyed by the hybrid, digital, global and interdisciplinary tastes of the art world continue to linger. Yet, whatever these new permutations may be, most of the artists at the conference seemed keen to embrace and support fresh technologies and modes of promotion if they sustain the future of ceramics practice.

Andrei Davidoff, Denkyu Forest, porcelain and florescent lights, dimensions vary. Permanent collection The Fuping Pottery Art Village ICMEA gallery.

After the topical debates of day two were over, we visited the X’ian terracotta warriors at the original pit where a local farmer found over six thousand statues in the 1970’s. At the gift shop the actual farmer sat at a table signing exhibition catalogues for ten Yuan. That was rather unexpected, but I imagine that it was a profitable occupation since his farmland had been taken over as a tourist attraction. Ceramic conservators had painstakingly restored each broken figure, a feat almost more impressive than their original construction. The conservators remain at the site and can be witnessed remodelling the figures, or watching Youku, the Chinese equivalent of You tube, on their laptops! Outside of the pit, there were many small stalls where the locals sold images of Mao Zedong, Warrior figurines, or “bear skin” rugs that were in fact made from dog fur.

On the fourth day we ventured three hours by bus from Fuping to the mountain top pottery village Chen Lu. Along the way, we saw many low lying unfinished brick houses. Corn cobs were strung up on each house, and kernels spread on the ground to dry, ready to be pummelled into flour used to make special noodles. The village was a string of small potteries that made their wares for export or local sale atop the peak of a series of mountains tiered with green rice paddies. Visibility was minimal because of the combination of the smoke emanating from the wood stoked kilns and the thick smog and dust in the atmosphere due to heavy urban and industrial development in the region. The small studios contained rows of slip-cast porcelain jugs, tea sets, ornate wine cups and vases decorated with celadon or black glazes, carved patterns, and elaborate tiger and dragon sprigging. Most of the town was built from discarded terracotta: roof tiles were used for pavement,

Kellie Barnes, Untitled, porcelain and glaze, dimensions vary. Permanent collection of The Fuping Pottery Art Village, China.

pots stacked to make walls and glazed teapots marked the studio entrances.

The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen was established in the early 1980s and since this time, more studios in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing have emerged. Artists, designers and manufacturers can apply for a residency and pay a fee that covers accommodation, food and studio space. The workshop is surrounded by small studios that specifically focus on one or two aspects of ceramic practice, such as mould making or glazing. Resident artists treat these workshops as an extension of their studio, and may employ local craftspeople to replicate their own designs in small editions, learn a specific skill such as overglaze decoration or engraving, or fire batches of their work.  In the courtyard below the studios, there is a regular craft market where students from the local ceramic college have an opportunity to sell their wares to visitors.  The workshop has an education centre for children and adults to learn basic ceramic skills, and where the conference artists returned to present lectures and images of their work in the evening.

During the day, we drove to the Big Piece Ceramic Factory in the mountains outside of the town centre. The factory produces giant vases and bowls that are exported and purchased as decoration for homes and hotel lobbies. The vases were hand built and moulded in sections and then decorated by hand with traditional Chinese patterns and characters. Some of the pieces were three times the size of an adult. The last visit was to the Sambao Mountain Ceramic Studio where we met Jackson Lee, the American educated Chinese ceramicist who is the director of this studio. The studio is secluded and restful, nestled in mountain forests that overlook a small stream and low vegetable patches, offering Chinese or International ceramicists a tranquil space away from the city to create new work. Here we talked to the resident artists and enjoyed yet another delicious round table meal in the restaurant, which is a popular attraction for locals. After our stay in Jingdhezen the group split in two, some stopped over in Shanghai before their flight home, whilst the rest took a bus to Longquan for the Celadon Festival to visit the museum, ancient kilns, work factories and master studios.

Large ceramics factory, Jingdhezen

The third ICMEA Symposium was an intensely engaging and educational experience. We witnessed the role of Chinese ceramics as both an artefact of ancient history and a material applied to the modern and industrial development of new cities. It is clear that in China the biggest potential market for ceramic designs is within the built environment. However, as the country expands, so too does the interest in innovative ceramic art. ICMEA gave the group a rare opportunity to access studios and potteries local to China, and a chance to share our own perspectives, ideas and passion for clay with other International artists, editors and academics.

Chen Lu Ancient Pottery Village, China.

About the author

Kim Goldsmith completed a Master of Visual Arts, specialising in Ceramics, at the Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since this time she has travelled to Egypt, Germany, Morocco, and China to present conference papers, and exhibit ceramics and paintings for International Symposiums. Currently, she is employed as an Art and Design Teaching Fellow, Bachelor of Architecture Program in the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies at The University of Nottingham, Ningbo Campus, China. Her research and arts practice is focused on theories of object identity, material culture, craft theory, and the psychological/emotional experiences of architectural space.



Artist Bytes: The Art of Patricia Goodrich

26 May

Patricia Goodrich

It is my great pleasure to publish the first Artist Bytes Profile on my friend and fellow artist, Patricia Goodrich from the USA.  We first met in May 2009 during the 2nd Spring Festival for the Visual Arts: Art, Storks and Nature in Rabat-Sale Morocco and became reacquainted in March 2010 during the 8th International Women’s Festival: Art and Development in Asillah, Morocco. She is a published poet and multidisciplinary artist, who makes sculptures, paintings and mixed media installations. From the 14-24th August the Inirii Museum in Alba Iulia, Romania will present a solo exhibition of her work titled Art Beyond Borders that is sponsored by the Romanian Inter-Art Foundation . The Virtual Artist’s Collective published a book of her poetry titled Red Mud in 2009, and will release another book On the line of the Orient Express around fall this year.

Patricia is a perfect example of the itinerant artist. In the last few years her  art has taken her on expeditions throughout the USA, Europe, and Africa. I imagine her artworks to be pinpoints on a map of the world,  that enable us to follow the trails of Patricia’s expansive artistic career.  The  artist often uses materials found on location and she has an intuitive understanding of the way that landscape shapes and defines our experience of place. Whether it be the  traced  lines of paint and pigment on canvas; the carved organic forms made from wood, salt, stone or steel; recorded voices of international artists on cassette tapes for her Voices Underground Audio Project; or the words and rhythms of her poetry, all of her creative works follow the contours of the landscape and capture a moment in which the artist engaged with, and attempted to become a part of, her immediate environment.

If any one person can demonstrate the benefit of intercultural exchange and involvement in artist’s workshops and conferences, it would be Patricia. Through constant exposure to the perspectives of diverse International artists, cultures and countries, she has shaped a unique perception of the world through her art and established herself a home within a global artistic community.

The following piece of writing  provides an insight into one of the artist’s festival experiences.

View of Asillah Morocco

Shifting Sands: Morocco’s Creative Women Festival
Written by Patricia Goodrich

Two months have passed since the Festival of Creative Women: Art & Development in Asillah, Morocco, and here in the USA I feel its influence almost daily.  Last night I opened an email from Fatima, a painter whose vibrant colors reached from her clothing right into her art works, a woman with whom I shared a circle of conversation and fresh brewed tea along the sea near the walls of the old city medina.

Patricia and Fatima

This was a conference/exhibition where time was available to become acquainted, to laugh, and to communicate in the universal language of art stitched together with French, Arabic, Berber, English, and a good measure of gestures.  Sufi music, couture fashion, meeting the Princess Charifa Lalla Oum Keltoum, walks through the winding medina streets and along the sea, the warm hospitality of our hosts— all were there.  And still with me here, as I search out possibilities for the craftswomen to exhibit their works here, a desert and ocean away.

Patricia with Mina Boutoutla, President of the Artisans Cooperative in the North Atlas mountains and Asass Khan.

Sufi Musicians

The work I chose to exhibit, two abstract paintings from my Rivers Without Boundaries series, another titled The Fire Within, and  Almost Perfect, an egg-shaped jadeite sculpture, were influenced in part by my misconception that figurative work should be avoided in Morocco, a largely Islamic country. Yet when I arrived at the festival, I found the women were creating portraits, landscape, abstract works, often incorporating cultural symbols and colors into canvases, graphics, and even into traditionally woven fabrics, rugs and blankets.  Yet, my own selections did reflect the festival: art pushing beyond boundaries, created from an inner spirit and passion, celebrating the imperfection of what it is to be human.

Patricia Goodrich, Rivers Without Boundaries (one of a series), acrylic on canvas, 2010. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Patricia Goodrich, Almost Perfect, polished jadeite stone, 2010. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The festival, founded eight years ago by Wafaa el Houdaybi and supported by the Association of Contemporary Artists with the patronage of the Princess, benefits not only the women painters, sculptors, and crafts artists, it inspires and informs non-Moroccan artists like me through the connections we make and by erasing preconceptions of what it is to be a Muslim woman creating art.  The Festival also promotes connection and economic development among the Moroccan artists.  For instance, two of the crafts artists represented a cooperative of women weavers from the Atlas Mountains and another woman and her husband brought their hand-woven fabrics used for finest quality traditional garments. Joining the company of the Moroccan artists were also dynamic artists Kim Goldsmith from Australia and Natasha Novak from Slovenia.  We were four continents drawn together!

Natasha Novak, Kim Goldsmith, Wafaa El Houdaybi and Patricia Goodrich

Married couple Hamzaoui Aycha and Ole Bzou presenting their silk woven fabrics.

Yet, men were not excluded.  In fact, their participation was integral to the conference and its influence on me. Knowledgeable, progressive men from Egypt, the Emirates, and Morocco spoke about the origin and influence of Berber language and the bridge between traditional and modern architecture.  Art critics reviewed the exhibitions. More, they interacted with conference participants over long conversations, shared meals, and much drinking of mint tea.

Patricia with exhibition guests at King Mohammed's palace in Asillah

This Festival reminded me we are grains of sand shifting in a common desert, waves in the same ocean. How grateful I am to share this world of arts and artists and appreciators of it all.

Morrocan artists and craftspeople with Patricia in the gallery, Asillah

The 18th European Artists Symposium “Art and Intercultural Dialogue” 11th – 24th of April 2010 Haus am Turm Werden-Essen Germany

21 May

View of Werden-Essen Germany

Haus am Turm Werden

I have been to a few International artist workshops since 2008, and I can say so far there are three major benefits. First, the provision of space, time and art equipment provides an opportunity for the artist to experiment with ideas and to make new work. Second, in conjunction with the workshop there is usually almost always an exhibition coordinated by the host organization in which, the artists present the work they produce during the workshop without the overhead costs of installation and gallery rental. Third, what I consider to be the most important and interesting part of the workshop experience is the opportunity to work alongside a variety of artists from different nationalities and stages in their career, and with whom you can establish a network of friends. The last point is the most important for myself as an artist, because for most of the year I am working in isolation in my home, so the workshop enables me to observe other artists approach to their practice, but also to engage in lively discussion about art, and life in general, not to mention having lots of fun!

Scottish artist Sigrid Shone

Japanese artist Norio Takaoka

The 18th European Artists Symposium “Art and Intercultural Dialogue” was described by many of the participating artists as the best workshop they had been to for a long time, because of the interesting and friendly group of artists invited to attend. I would say that the workshop was very successful, because it included the three benefits mentioned above, and was a very well organized event, thanks to Karola Teschler, Simone Ramshorn and the rest of the European Artists ev. Management team.

Saudi Arabian artist Ola Hejazi

President of the Omani Society for Fine Arts Maryam Al-Zadjali

The workshop was located in Haus am Turm on a mountain in Werden-Essen, overlooking the city and river. The artists invited included current members of the European Artists e.v. from European countries such as Germany, Poland, and Italy, and also new members from Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, France and myself as an Australian/European National. The artists primarily created paintings for the duration of the symposium, but a few artists including Brunivo Buttarelli and Rudi Punzo, and Fulvio Colangelo created sculpture, photography and performance art.

The artists worked for nearly two weeks in the shared studio spaces, and in the evenings presented slide shows or videos of their practice to the group. There were two excursions to visits museums in Dusseldorf and Essen.

Rudi Punzo designed experimental instruments and insects that were used to create organic musical performances. His insect pieces were displayed in a public park just outside of Werden. On the final evening of the exhibition he gave a live performance.

Insect installation by Italian artist Rudi Punzo

The group of artists from Essen Symposium

Ralf Klement, an artist from Germany, is a sculptor who uses a chainsaw to carve giant carrots, vegetables and ordinary domestic appliances. He coordinated a special workshop for children, in which they would draw a portrait of several artists in the symposium, and then Ralph would carve a giant wooden version later painted by the children. This was a very popular activity and was a nice link between the artists and the children.

The resulting artwork from the Symposium is now on exhibition in several locations. The opening of the exhibition was in Haus am Turm, and then the work moved on to its current location in Mulhausen, Germany (details in my previous post or check out the European Artists e.v. link on my blog).

Ralf Klement's sculptures from the children's workshop

Italian artist Fulvio Colangelo and his two portraits

The highlight of the workshop from my personal experience was the group of artists and the friendships and sense of fun that developed over the course of the two weeks. It was an intense experience, to live, eat and work with the same group of artists for that length of time. Yet, this is what made the experience so rewarding, as I gained an insight into the methodology, process and approach that each artist pursues to produce their work. I learned a lot about my own work through discussion and the observations of other artists, particularly from the Arabic artists in my studio space. I discovered how the personal and cultural identity of an artist might influence the approach and concept for an artwork.

Not having to cook, or clean for two weeks, and sleeping one minute from my studio, allowed me plenty of time to experiment with concepts for new work that I had not explored at home. At the end of the workshop I came away with plenty of new ideas for artworks and approaches, as well as many new friends I hope to see at future workshops.

Maryam Al-Zadjali, Kim Goldsmith and Ola Hejazi in the studio

In the upcoming blog posts, I intend to include profiles of artists involved in the Symposium.

Artist Bytes: Textile paintings by Kim Goldsmith

13 May

Currently I am working on a series of paintings inspired by the many vibrant woven rugs and tapestries I saw on my travels in Morocco in 2009-10. The patterns and imagery for the paintings use personal symbolism, but the memory of the Moroccan fabrics is suggested in the unusual combination of colour.

I am interested in the possibility of evoking the sense of touch in the viewer. I treat the canvas as a three-dimensional object-in-space and intend to emphasise the characteristics of form, colour and texture that allude to the fabric’s object-hood, rather than create an illusionistic image of a textile.

The idea that I can confuse the sensory perception of the audience becomes a constant stimulus for my work. In the past I have experimented with forms and glazes that make porcelain  look and feel like some other material, such as plastic or flesh. In my Shelf Life Series of 2008 I attempted to trigger childhood memories of plastic toys by developing a specific glaze for my porcelain objects (for images check out my link www.noise.net/spoonfeeder).

My background as a ceramic artist is now influencing the form and approach of my painting practice. The ultimate aim for my series of Textile paintings is to move the imagery beyond the surface of the canvas and create something that lies between sculpture and painting.

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Arab-mediterranean “Art and Development” International Women’s Day Festival, 15th-19th March, 2010, Assilah, Morocco.

6 May

Between the 15th – 19th of March, 2010 I was invited to Assilah, Morocco to participate in the 8th Arab-Mediterranean “Art and Development” International Women’s Day Festival.The exhibition and festival was located in the Centre Hassan II des Recontres Internationale, situated in the heart of the five hundred year old Spanish Medina, near the mouth of the sea port. The festival coincides each year with International Women’s Day and is organised by the artist Wafaa El Houdaybi who is the President of L’Association Marocaine des Créatrices Contemporarines. The festival was opened by the honorary President of the association Acharifa Lalla Oum Keltoum Alaoui, in addition to government officials and ambassadors from many Arabic nations.

Centre Hassan Recontres II

The emphasis of the festival was to support and promote the artistic skills of  rural and urban women in the Arab-Mediterranean nations. The L’Association Marocaine des Créatrices Contemporarines created the festival to showcase the achievements of women and to encourage the artists to sell they artistic products nationally and internationally as an independent means of income.

Eighteen female artists were selected from Morocco for the exhibition, and ten from Australia, Japan, Palestine, Egypt, USA, Slovenia, Libya, Argentina, and Italy. The exhibition included a variety of paintings, and sculptural works, some of which were produced on location during the festival, all encompassing the different views of women.

Some focused on Islamic tradition and the world of women behind the veil, such as Palestinian artist Abouhassan Samira who exhibited a portrait of her sister in traditional dress. Other works were deeply rooted in spiritual and religious beliefs of the universe, such as the paintings of Wafaa El Houda.

The Slovenian artist, Natasha Novak, presented a series titled Korant Children which is based on the masks worn during a festival that is meant to scare off the winter. Natasha explained to me that the Korant masks are only worn by men during the festival. She imagined the children of these ghoulish Korant characters, and portrayed them in her haunting series.

Natasha Novak and her Korant Children

Natasha Novak, Korant Children Series, acrylic on board, 2010.

The American artist, Patricia Goodrich, presented a series of abstract landscape paintings based on map patterns, and one of her signature river stone sculptures polished by hand.

Patricia Goodrich

I exhibited paintings that used personal symbolism to express my response to my dislocation from Australia and relocation to Germany. Refuge Nest, was a site specific sculpture that I created from fishing nets, mosaic tiles, blue thread and eggs found in Assilah. The nest provides a temporary home or refuge where I can connect to the people, culture and environment of a foreign place.

Kim Goldsmith

Refuge Nest Outdoor Installation, mixed media, 2010.

Alongside the exhibition, women from the Sahara Desert near Mauritania, were selling their silk and wool woven rugs, cushions and blankets. The group travel across Morocco every year with their wares to make an income during the festival. Two video artists, Margarita Manev and Paco F. Parado, collaborated during the festival by showcasing a video of the Moroccan women rug making. The duo video document art and craft traditions of women in indigenous, nomadic, or remote communities as a means to promote awareness and support of women who may suffer inequality.

To coincide with the exhibition, there were a series of musical performances during the evening at Centre Hassan. Group Rayula and Cordatum is an instrumental group from Germany and Switzerland that performed a repertoire of fourteenth century Italian love songs the origins of which lie in occidental musical practice. Group Al Houda and ensemble Al Jazouli, on separate occasions, performed Sufi music for the festival guests. The highlight of the evening activities was a fashion show of traditional Moroccan Kaftans, Introduced by Safae Melihi.

Three women artists creating together.

The most obvious benefit of the festival, from my perspective, was the connections that were created between women of differing religious and cultural backgrounds. By sharing the exhibition space with the rug weavers, I learned a lot about the traditions of Moroccan women.  I discovered many small things that I would never read in a book, like  how to use a twig from a bush in the Sahara to brush my teeth! On a broader level, I found that women artists share a common bond through the language of their art and craft, and this is something that disintegrates any cultural boundaries. I didn’t speak any French, Spanish or Arabic yet through my art I was able to share my own perspective. The friendships, and mutual respect for each others creative efforts, were the most valuable rewards I gained from my participation in this festival.


If you can read French, check out these links which include information about the festival, in particular, Margharita and Paco’s video project in Asilah, supported by the Goethe Institut.






Also, in click on the tab “articles” in the top header of this website and you will find an article written in Arabic by Said Kadry for the Journal of Today’s Morocco, which includes a picture of me with my paintings. I attempted to translate the article in English via Google translator, it is not perfect but you get the idea!