Sunday, September 10, 2017

 I arrived in Leipzig in August and have been working away steadily in my new studio at LIA.  The studio is located in Die Spinnerei - an abandoned cotton spinning mill that used to supply a lot of Europe's cotton.  The studio is 80 sq m and has been a wonderful space to make big works.  I am loosely working on a theme of the Fox and the Goose - you can see some of the imagery below.  The 16th and 17th September is the big Rundgang when our studios are open to the public and attract visitors from all over.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The studio is super busy - several exhibitions coming up and I have been working with models and fur.

Aunt Bella and her fur wrap - thanks to Tobi Kahn for the photo and fur!

I am now the owner of Aunt Bella's wrap and this has led to quite a few paintings - Aunt Bella left Europe after losing both her sons to the Holocaust.  Her only item of value was this mink wrap.

Aunt Bella's Wrap, Orange Key
Janice Gobey, 2017, Oil on Linen, 50 x 60 cm

I have also been working on some paintings with hands and fur - really enjoying these too!

Janice Gobey, 2017, Oil on Linen, 30 x 40 cm

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Residencies and other things .....
I recently was fortunate enough to spend time away from Melbourne's winter in firstly New York where I completed the School of Visual Art's Summer Painting Intensive.  This was a great opportunity to make work in New York and included gallery visits, trips to museums, making work in amazing studio space and critiques from some exciting artists.  I started to work on these flat backgrounds which I found focused attention on the fur.  Initially I found this colour blue so intense it felt like a flickering fluorescent light - a useful exercise in working your way out of something that is initially unappealing and then grows on you!

This is the view from my studio on the 8th floor of 141 W 21st Street - beautiful light filled studios and this photograph does not do it justice!

And secondly, on to London where I have been part of the inaugural London Summer Intensive - a collaborative partnership between the Camden Arts Centre and the Slade School of Art, UCL.  21 artists are working out of the Slade Research Centre at Woburn Square in the historic Bloomsbury.  Nice to know that the likes of Virginia Woolf, Francis Bacon and others walked these streets.  This time we are in big shared studios working intensely on our work as well as receiving critiques from an impressive line up of visiting artists, visits to museums, artist talks etc.  One of the nice things has been making friendships with other like-minded people.  The month culminates in an exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre.

This is the piece I will most likely show - there's another bit to it that is at the framer's at the moment - it's a small painting on raw linen - mimicking the fur that's in the box.  I am hoping that they will provide an interesting contrast in what is real and not.  The box has been on my desk and for someone who studied psychology, it's a great exercise in who feels brave enough to put their hand in the box and who's asking whether it's a safe box!  One thing in common is that the fur (Mongolian Lamb so not really fur, more wool) attracts people to want to touch it.  

I have also been working on small paintings - this one on pink was a bit unusual for me as pink is not a colour I am naturally drawn to but thought I would give it a chance and am very happy with the outcome!  For anyone wanting to spend time indulging in their practice, both of these residencies are highly recommended.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Busy in the studio with these paintings for my next exhibition - really enjoying the palette and subject matter!

Friday, March 20, 2015

This is a section of my new painting - just starting work for an exhibition later in the year.  I think it will be called "The Haunted" and features three wolves.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I've been enjoying painting this little guy - working from a photo I snapped at the Collingwood Children's Farm - think it will be called "Fracas".  Still some work to be done but almost there!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Refuge" was packed up today and will come out again as a finalist for the Toyota Community Spirit Sculpture prize in November.  "Refuge" invites visitors to interact with the artwork - you can try the suit on and then write about it in a fur lined book.

Some of the comments are about animals dying for the artwork, please note that the fur that has been used for the suit is from reclaimed vintage fur coats - mostly from the 30's and 40's - they have been sitting in musty cupboards around the world - at least the animals are being honored now. This suit was made to create a refuge for traumatized people - I wanted to make something that would create a protective "suit of armour".  Using traditional female craft skills, the suit made use of vintage fur coats, hand stitched with red thread, mimicking blood or scars.

In traditional societies, trauma was something the community dealt with, you would sit around a fire with your family and friends, perhaps wearing a mask or some sort of costume.  The collective action of gathering, perhaps chanting, singing or dancing was a way of healing for those who had experienced trauma - in a way this is my gesture to the community and I thank those of you who have tried on the suit, interacted with it, left the comments below and generally enjoyed the experience.

 I thought it would be nice to share some of the comments that have been made, so here goes:

  • The suit - beast without, beast within.
  • Comfortable and Unsettling.
  • It feels surreal ....
  • Guilty - even though I've never bought / worn fur.
  • I want to write a story about it.
  • Cosy, warm, disturbing ...
  • I couldn't try it on.  It's shocking ...
  • I felt like something from where the wild things are.
  • So surreal, but so soft.
  • Really disturbing, but felt really strange.  Just wondering how many animals died to make it???
  • Everybody loves interactive art.
  • I feel like a better person in this coat, very nice xoxo.
  • Made me feel royal.
  • What a furbulous exhibition!
  • Warm,/safe/comforting/surreal/confronting/loved it!!
  • I felt powerful, invisible and visible all at the same time.  A stronger version of me.  I was invincible in the fur suit - warm and protected and yet capable of doing more than I do, becoming more than me.  I wish I could wear a fur suit all the time.
  • A powerful exhibition that talks deeply.
  • So warm, so luxurious, so safe - I loved the feel of the fur against my bare skin.
  • The fur is rich and beautiful, sensual and embracing.
  • Very warm inside, neat experience.
  • It does look attractive but once I was inside it felt amazing so soft, warm and cosy.  I don't like fur, but this was interesting.
  • I tried the suit on, on the hottest day of the year so far, after running 3 blocks to get to the Gallery because I was desperate to see the exhibition before it closed.  The experience was hot and sweaty, I felt like I was forcing myself into another creature's skin. Amazing!!!!
  • Love the feeling in the room, especially the hand prints left int he fur, something lingering.
  • Why do we wear fur on the outside? Sensuous!
  • I felt so "Game of Thrones" - fur body suit now top of my shopping list.
  • The suit felt warm and comfortable and strange at the same time.  I felt uneasy wearing the fur of a dead animal - especially being vegan.
  • I didn't expect that an item of clothing could make me "feel" different.  Inside this beautiful, all encompassing garment, I could have been an Eskimo - or an animal.  It's a hot day today but I didn't feel too hot.  The garment seemed to breathe like skin.
  • It really is a refuge, I felt so enveloped in the coat as it hugged me. Even as I sweated, I knew the coat would catch the sweat and i'd then be a part of the coat.
  • Makes me want to purrrrr - meow.
  • Something good with the suit - I felt I am king of somewhere in Africa - love it.
  • Makes me wanna be a cat.
  • Felt like I was crawling into my cat.  I am one with cat.
  • I think I've just discovered a fetish! Made me tingle.
  • I thought I would feel like a Russian Princess, travelling through the snow in a sled with the fur swinging free in the icy wind ... but the "onesie design" tho warm and cosy was somewhat confining.  An amazing creation.
  • A beautiful experience and a wonderful exhibition.
  • A Russian Queen for the day! Beautiful, powerful & magical.
  • Wish I had this suit in Berlin winter!
  • Inside out, outside in.
  • Awoke my inner beast!
  • Loving the fur creation!!! Inside another's skin ....
  • I love animals and couldn't bring myself to wear the suit!
  • I felt warm in the suit and felt like an animal - very interesting work!
  • I felt heavy!
  • Soft and all encompassing.  Great animal experience, enjoyed the bare feet on fur and stitching in red very creepy.
  • It's like an animal - I like it!
  • It's really heavy and soft - stinks. I sort of like it.
  • I feel very powerful and seem taller - felt stunning!!
  • I felt hot and heavy and a bit arrr!!!
  • So Lush.
  • I couldn't put this fur suit on ... it saddens and horrifies me that we use animals in this way.  Too awful.
  • It was like sitting in an oven and baking on a 40 degree day.
  • I want it in front of a fireplace on a winter night.
  • It's a medieval onesie.
  • You call this art? Wearing murdered animals? You, or whoever allowed this coat to be included as art, is fucked in the head.
  • I felt powerful.
  • Would buy it if it had buttons.
  • The coat sucks, it doesn't even taste good.
  • It was good, for sure.
  • Fur in my mouth already.
  • Walking into this exhibition and seeing this suit was very confronting and saddened me deeply.  Saddened me to imagine what torture these innocent animals had to go through for "art" for entertainment.  You all it art?  I call it murder.  This to me is just condoning animal cruelty and violence, watching people wear it and laugh.  Enjoy it.
  • Cruella de Vill (sic) Feel saddened by the death it brought.  How the animals were skinned.
  • I felt warm and safe ... and very happy :-)
  • I felt like a mixture between Eskimo baby and cave woman.  A gorgeous prehistoric cuddle!
  • Feels like a cat!
  • I wanted to walk down to St Kilda beach in it! Then it wouldn't be cold.
  • Is really nice, need one!  Liked scaring people! :-)
  • That felt magnificent! Happier for it!
  • Cosy gloriousness.
  • So warm and cosy.
  • A bit claustrophobic, thanks for the experience had a chuckle to myself. Bear hug!
  • Wonderful!! the expertise in the machine stitching of the b & w stripes of base part of the garment - extraordinary. The room: so sensuous, yet cosy, breaks away from the white cube as setting in art.  A relief that the walls were artificial.  I give you respect about your jumpsuit combination, well put together and warming as an experience, resonances - Russia, Eskimo/life threatening cold and saviour warmth, real and reclaimed!
  • Eerie, yet addictive. Love/Hate - thank you!
  • Interesting and comforting to wear the suit, feel the warmth and the weight of it - pressure like this is used to settle autistic children.  It's wonderful to think about where fur suits would be worn too as the previous person noted.
  • Beautiful piece of art.
  • I felt inside the beast.
  • OMG! I loved this! A truly warming experience! Soft and furry, bring it on.  REFUGE ... in the room in the suit.  thank you :-).
  • I am in someone else's skin, or a scene from Silence of the Lambs ....
  • Feels very safe inside.  I love the heightened sense of touch on bare feet inside.
  • Nice cosy  room to keep warm in winter.
  • Very interesting.
  • I felt like a murderer inside.
  • The ultimate onesie.
  • Beautiful, soft and cool on a warm day.
  • I felt like a tiger.
  • Being hugged by a polar bear.
  • Wow so peaceful, OMG so calm! I loved it!
  • Blessings for all us hairy and furry and / or other creatures.
  • So soft and cuddly - I want to sleep in it!
  • Roar .....