Who are we? That was just one topic of (surprisingly sober) conversation I had with bubbly artist Jamie Lewis when she and the folks at Metro Arts invited me for the second last day of the Singapore<>Brisbane Exchange.
The story is this: a collaboration between Metro Arts in Brisbane and Chan Hampe Galleries in Singapore, the Exchange was designed to bring together contributions from artists from both Australia and Singapore. The artists were given residency across the two countries and were asked to organise a series of talks, events and also host an exhibition in Metro Arts that represented what they learnt during their trips.
The plot thickened when Jamie came on board. A Singaporean-born artist living in Melbourne, she was assigned by Metro Arts in Brisbane to travel back to her homeland to represent Australia. Hence the birth of some pretty profound questions: Who was she? Was she a Singaporean, an Australian or someone who needs a whole new label?
Some of those questions were probably answered through some of her work, which features handwritten postcards and traditional cooking.
Jamie mentioned that her art is always evolving; what she’s creating now might not be what she creates in the future. Although the exhibit isn’t on anymore, you can still see some of her and her fellow artists’ works at the Singapore<>Brisbane Exchange website. The piece that Jamie is standing in front of in the image featured above is by Richard Stride.
I remember the time when I dreamt of becoming a visual artist. I thought I’d become a painter of some sort. I’d be one of those guys with a beard and ponytail, painting pain from my intense relationships and blissful moments of insanity – all while secretly hoping that I’d get filthy rich from my work one day.
Anyway, there’s a lot going on at Metro Arts (and there’s much more planned for 2013). We may even be hearing from Jamie again.
You can find out more here.