vivonne thwaites



sarah crowEST


Sisterhood, fron the Lisbon Suite, 2008
Found lithograph with watercolour
25 x 16 cm

The Modern Sprit from the Lisbon Suite, 2008
Found lithograph with watercolour
25 x 16 cm

Big Man from the Lisbon Suite, 2008
Found lithograph with watercolour
25 x 16 cm

pffft from the Lisbon Suite, 2008
Found lithograph with watercolour
25 x 16 cm


The Lisbon Suite 2008-2009

The Lisbon Suite is a set of things that belong together through their genesis in that strange and beautiful city. I lived and studied there for just about one year as a Samstag scholar at Escola Maumaus in Portugal. The whole experience which was both wonderful and disturbing is present every day in my life back in Australia. I experience flashbacks several times a week and I continue to be immersed in the details of that city. So the work of The Lisbon Suite still unfolds in Melbourne and I wonder if and where it will end. The principle source of materials and inspiration for me in Lisbon came from the Feira da Ladra (lady thieves market) where I would wander for hours perhaps twice a week. I was looking for drawing paper and came across old lithographs from the 1800’s. These showed signs of age and use and even a few curious drawings on the reverse. I began my own tentative interventions that developed into the series of works to be shown at Artroom5.


In Lisbon’s Pavilhão Chines, on Rua Dom Pedro V,
the bar is full of curiosities—tin soldiers,
model trains, hats, model planes.  The effect,
‘paradoxically’, is to force you upon yourself—
which is why I go to bars anyway
(Hullo, who are you?  It’s me you fool,
I’ve come back to claim you,
or to touch base at any rate—
haven’t you had enough?)—
at Pavilhão Chines
there is the sudden urge
to dust, to order a drink,
sweep all the stuff into a sack
& clear off, before the drink comes,
Then you breathe out, you drink the drink
& go somewhere—the Mirador de Graça or Casa do Alentejo,
which are pretty, frankly,
& where you can have fun
& scuttle home, even late at night,
without too much hissing from the lecherous men
if you’ve become a woman, as maybe I have become
with all this drinking—Imogene Coco, Madeline Kahn,
Sarah Crowest, Thelma Todd.  Vinho Verde
did this?  Anyway, to quote my friend Dave Glazbrook,
“There’s a little Audie Murphy
in every girl”, & I check my knuckle-dusters
are in my purse, order
another wine, cast a final look
over the gardens, palm trees, moorish arches, the lemon
& olive trees that my heart loves so much,
toss back my drink & make my way out.
I push the waiter hard in the back
as I pass—now why did I do that—
he pulled my pigtails in another life?  I start to run
as I hear the crash & cry of surprise,
back to my apartment in Mouraria
in lovely Lisbon.  What a night!

- excerpt from “Kirkman Guide to the Bars of Europe” by Ken Bolton, 2009
   Ken Bolton is a poet & critic


LIFE AND FORMS: Blotchwoman becomes a Lady-thief

Still. Still I wander around the Feira de Ladra in my dreams. I lady-thieved away a pile of mouldy, blotchy etchings to Australia.

Artefacts constitute an order of existence and this order has the motion and the breath of life.

Still I gently scratch and finely deface and intervene.

Plastic forms are subject to the principle of metamorphoses, by which they are perpetually renewed. This process is inevitably underway during the development of the forms themselves and continues even when they appear to be at rest.

I drink my morning pot of coffee and squirrel away the grounds. Furthermore, Portugal gave me permission to be old-fashioned (an expression I use these days in an affirmative way.)

Whether constructed of masonry, carved in marble, cast in bronze, fixed beneath varnish, engraved in copper or on wood, a work of art is motionless only in appearance. It seems to be set fast – arrested, as are the moments of time gone by. But in reality it is born of change, and it leads to other changes. 1

Henri Focillon’s view was that ‘art was always dynamic, shifting, riven by fractures and discontinuities, unstable and off-balance’.2

I think of a close and contemporary situation in which I am acutely aware of forms in the realm of time. Away from the, sometimes rarified, world of art, the circulation and re-purposing of objects via flea markets offers and extends life to more mundane forms.

For many artists, there are rich and strange pickings to be had and humour to be found in the outmoded, the pathetic and the formerly loved. Recontextualising objects through arrangements, inventing fresh taxonomies enables the noticing of things anew.

Malandrices lurk on my table. These Melbourne days I form clay, wax and cast bronze. Slowly a process intensive agglomeration which includes parts of Lisbon…. parts of you…. accretes.

 Sarah crowEST

1 Focillon, H. (1989) The Life of Forms in Art,  (New York, Zone Books)   p. 41
2 Millar, J. (2007) Fischli and Weiss - the Way Things Go,  (London, Afterall) p. 17

sarah crowEST - cv

2008 Independent study program at Maumaus, Lisbon, Portugal
2007 Experimental Art Foundation Studio Artist
2005–2007 Master of Visual Arts, SA School of Art, University of SA (Practice-led research into the function of the alter-ego in contemporary art practice)
2005 Co-Curator of Downtown Artspace, Adelaide.
2004 Bachelor of Visual Art, Honours (First Class), SA School of Art, University of SA
2003 Curator BANK Gallery, SA School of Art, University of SA
1992-1995 Studio artist, Jamfactory, Adelaide
  previous studies--Textile Design, Middlesex University, London
Solo Exhibitions
2008 FRAMEWORK:for the wicked woman @ projecto 'a sala' Lisbon
2008 Sarah crowEST @ Gallery 9, Sydney
2007 agglomeration @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space
2006 Getting Away with it @ 24HR ART, Darwin
2005 Get Rid of Yourself Now! @ Experimental Art Foundation
2003 Love and Dissimulation @ project space, Contemporary Art Centre SA
  End of Roll Approaching @ Downtown Artspace, Adelaide
2002 twitchy Studio 54 @ The Chemist, Adelaide
2001 Delaying the Inevitable @ Bank, University SA Underdale Campus
  Gleaming Rapscallions @ Studio 54, The Chemist, Adelaide
2000 smoochy smoochy @ Studio 54, The Chemist, Adelaide
Selected Group Exhibitions
2009 Thesis: Sydney College of the Arts Gallery
2008 Cite Radieuse, MAUMAUS Gallery, Alta de Lisboa
2008 Uneasy: Recent South Australian Art, Samstag Museum
2008 Up Coming Show, Espaco Avenida, Lisboa
2007 Strange Beauty @ Linden Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
2007 mentor/mentored 3,@ Contemporary Art Centre of SA
2006 someone shows something to someone @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space
2006 Snapshot (as blotchwoman) @ Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide
2006 Taking the Cure @ Downtown Artspace, Adelaide
2005 Unrealised Projects 3 @ G. & A. Studios, Sydney
2005 Hatched: National Graduate Exhibition @ Perth Institute of Contemporary Art
  Unwrapped: Australian Fashion & Textiles @ Earl Lu Gallery, Singapore
  Helpmann Academy Exhibition @ Drill Hall, Adelaide
  Shimmer @ Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre
2004 Unwrapped: Australian Fashion & Textiles @ Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Phillipines
  Unwrapped: Australian Fashion & Textiles @ Bangkok National Gallery, Thailand
  Pins and Needles @ NGV, National Gallery of Victoria.
  Moving Image screening @ Mercury Cinema, Adelaide.
  Manifesto (aka blotchwoman) @ Downtown Artspace, Adelaide
  REC/PLAY/PAUSE @ N Gallery, Uni. SA, Adelaide
  NO VACANCY @ Motel 277, Adelaide
  Downtown @ Breadbox, Perth
  Constance Gordon Johnson Sculpture Prize @ N Gallery, University SA, Adelaide
  Helpmann Academy Exhibition @ Drill Hall, Adelaide.
2003 Void if Removed…. @ Metro Cinema wall, Hindley St. Adelaide
  BUILT! an ephemeral public art project @ Adelaide Festival Centre.
  Unwrapped: Australian Fashion and Textiles @ National Gallery, Kuala Lumpur; Bendigo Art Gallery
  Stick’em Up (aka blotchwoman) @ Revolver, Melbourne
  Lucky 7 (aka blotchwoman) @ Area 101, Adelaide
  Art Gallery of South Australia
  National Gallery of Victoria
  University of SA Library Art Collection
  Ararat Gallery, Victoria
  Queensland Art Gallery
  Alice Craft Acquisition Collection, NT
  Okayama Prefectural Government, Japan
  Stanthorpe Art Gallery, Queensland
  The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
  Diamond Valley Art Collection, Victoria
  NT Museum of Arts and Sciences
  Artbank, Sydney
Recent Grants and Awards
2008 Best Experimental Film at SA Short Film Awards
2008 Best Screenplay at Sony Tropfest Film Awards
2007 Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
2007 Arts SA Project Grant
2005 Visual Artist of the Year Award, Adelaide Critics Circle
2005 Malaysia Airlines/Australia India Council residency at Sanskriti Kendra, New Delhi
2005 Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship
2005 Helpmann Academy Travel Grant
2004 Uni SA medal for Academic Excellence
2004 Constance Gordon Johnson Sculpture and Installation Prize
2004 Arts SA project grant
2003 Uni SA medal for Academic Excellence
2003 Helpmann Academy grant
2002 University of SA Library Art Purchase Prize
1998 Arts SA project grant



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