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With this blog, my aim is to post a slather of ideas, lines, colour and inevitably a little bit of babble. I would like it to be a place where Architecture meets Art, falls in love and procreates. This is my passion, brilliant, unguarded and unafraid.

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Notes on Artist Talk between Vivienne Koorland and William Kentridge 181116 

Last night, Edinburgh had the pleasure of receiving Vivienne Koorland and William Kentridge at the Fruitmarket Gallery near Waverley Station. The exhibition titled Conversations in letters and lines curated by Tamar Garb is on from now until the 19th of February 2017. A must see. William Kentridge is a long-term art hero of mine so it goes without saying that I'm feeling very lucky and grateful to have heard him talk last night. I am a relatively new audience to Vivienne Koorland's work, but there is so much richness there to explore that I just can't wait to return to the exhibition! Which by the way is free.. !

I took some notes on questions and comments from the talk last night and I won't go into great detail but I will list a few poignant moments. Please forgive me if I have paraphrased incorrectly or misinterpreted what was said. It was clear that the three artists had a genuine affinity for one another; also evidenced by the people they had around them. I look forward to learning more about these two and engaging with their works first hand at the Fruitmarket Gallery. Here goes.. 


Tamar Garb (TG): Both artists are brought together by a shared personal history as well as the tangible links that underpin the foundations of their works. Both artists are engaged in the act of making and the use of palimpsest both materially and historically. There's a strength in the traces of making being allowed to remain.

Vivienne Koorland (VK): Idea of home as something that is everywhere and nowhere, having left South Africa and made home elsewhere, making for her is an act of comfort. Referenced Maurice Merleau-Ponty's idea that the artist/painter brings their body to the action of painting.

William Kentridge (WK): Making as a bodily action


TG: Does the political come out of an ethics of making?

WK: The answer is more stupid than that. Between history and the collision of making arises a practical epistemology. Like making history on one leg, there is agency in making the leaps and filling in the gaps.


TG: When does one declare/secret oneself in the work? 

VK: The act of inscribing her name and date on the work as an intervention of self-declaration.

WK: Particularly referencing the change in using Felix as a character to using his own image in his works, WK spoke about the articulation of the self being like a self portrait in the third person. 


TG: What is your relationship with narrative? 

VK: Vivienne spoke about a desire to move away from representation. Forsaking representation, moving away from sentimentality. 

WK: William challenged this idea in saying that there was something very special in the fragmentation of narrative and that he enjoyed the moments of the 'particular' in Vivienne's work. In the particular you'll find the global. The work will speak for itself. If the work is elegant, crass, arrogant, whatever... you can't hide. 

VK: In questioning the limits of representation, Vivienne spoke of her 'song paintings,' as an extension of language. 


In summary, the most important thing I took away from this conversation was this idea of a practical epistemology between history and the collision of making (WK). Finding truth through making and a pulling together of knowledge to form new links and ways to understand the world and our context as human beings from the personal to the global. These were powerful and very practical words of wisdom from two greats. Thanks guys! x





Brexit Day Sketch, from Kinghorn looking out over the Firth of Forth

My home at the moment is by the water on the Fife Coast. Daily I walk along the the various paths with my dog and my sketchbook in tow. There is a colony of seals that live between Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn and we love to head to that spot and watch them play in the water and hang out on the rocks.

This sketch I drew on the 23rd of June this year, the morning that the UK voted in the Brexit referendum. I'd been living in Scotland for about 2 years and since I'm an Aussie (part of the comonwealth) I also had the right to vote. As I sat here and thought about the future, the tide was going out quickly. There were many seals perched on different rocks but by the time I had finished this drawing (between 6am-7:30am) the many smaller rocks were all just one big one. A very poetic and appropriate realisation given the political climate I thought. 

Here we are, over 4 months later. The tide still goes in and out, but the world feels very uncertain. Next week the US wil have the ability to vote for the first female President. That's amazing. 

Brexit Day 230616, 'watching the tide go out whilst the colony of seals sunbathe on the rocks. Form of the bay changes dramatically as more rocks emerge. 6am-7:30am : The Path between Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy, Fife UK



Ma & Pa on the Train to Fort William 

Here are the humans that made me. My folks are a formidable team. So incredibly different, yet so complementary in their strengths and weaknesses. It's very rare that I have them sitting across from me so I relish any moment I have with them. I like this sketch because I feel that it captures them well. My Pa is easier to draw than my mum as he sits quite still.. either deep in thought, observing something, or nearly nodding off. Ma is looking out the window of the train here busy taking in all she can. She's also very aware of me, which makes her nervous. That's ok though. The wrigglers are the most challenging but that's not a bad thing. Fun to draw the contrast in their characters side by side. x

Train from Edinburgh to Glasgow on the way to Fort William, Scotland UK. 060716



There is something very sexy about multiples

This week I'm putting together all the parts of my editioned artist book. A sexy set of 7 means that there are multiple banandled books to spread the joy further. how to to cope with the death of your unicorn is a meditation on the beautiful and painful process of grief. It's also an illustrated guide to casing a banana. I'll discuss the content, process and the poetry in a future post. If you're interested in checking it out, get in touch! x

Neat little unicorn nuggets all in a row.


Banana For Scale : New Works by Emily Fong

Thank you to all who came and enjoyed my works at DOK Artist Space, Edinburgh, in October. I had many awesome conversations with you all about bananas, hearts, brexit etc, etc. I hope that you took something special away with you as well. 

These two works were the inner core (installation) of my show and what I had hoped to achieve was something like a floating home. An island that was safe to explore some big stuff like grief and the transport (migration) of precious organs and bodies. I've been experimenting with casting bananas and banana plants over the past year and what I've been delighted to discover is that the banana heart is aesthetically close to that of a human heart. This discovery has opened up so many imaginative possibilities. With the piece titled Transplant seen below in the foreground, i have re-assembled two severed parts of the banana plant to an off-cut of garden hose and hung it from the ceiling with chain and a meat hook. With this material choice, I am hoping to make an association between the private inner mechanics of bodies and the outer workings of domestic environments. 

My wife and I have moved a lot in the past 3 years. 5 times to be exact, including a big inter-continental move. This doesn't come without it's share of emotional trauma and upheval...and we're not even fleeing from conflict and war. Alice is an expert in packing and stacking and she devised a system whereby we re-use supermarket fruit boxes to pack and move our belongings. For 3 months over last winter, the majority of our posessions were stacked neatly in these collected boxes and housed in a shipping container in Fife, Scotland. In my world, everything is artful. Every choice in life is filled with some random sense of poetry or meaning. The thought of all our worldly posessions living in fruitboxes seemed at once absurd, painful, privliged and perfect.

Two fruit boxes we collected had the saying Eat Me Keep Me Bananas written all over them. I found them whilst casting the banana plant in the middle of winter. Saving them out of random association and intuition, I knew they'd come in handy when the time was right. The Transplant is housed in this retrofit fruit box, which has been surgically reduced in size and reinforced with a negative-space inlay made of papier mâché which was formed around the suspended plant. This makes the container an essential part of the piece as well as an effective and safe method of transporting a delicate sculpture.. internationally if need be. What's important about the action of retrofitting a fruit box to house the movement of organ-like sculptures is the meditation on how easy it is to transport goods internationally for consumption and profit. Humans however are not easily consumed, therefore the movement of people is less staightforward. I guess from a place of deep empathy I am trying to create homes for the safe transport of awkwardly shaped hearts and colourful skins.

Prior to this exhibition Banana For Scale, in the process of studio mayhem and high productivity, I set some time aside to clear my thoughts and consolidate the onslaught of ideas. The task of laying down a simple manifesto to drive me forward was extremely useful.

Studio Manifesto of the NOW. Existing (playing) between the multiple crosshairs of three institutions:

Supermarket + Botanic Gardens + Surgeons Museum

There's really a lot more going on than that, but for the moment... that's keeping me a-float. 

Foreground: transplant, resin cast banana plant on garden hose and retrofit banana box with papier mâché inlay, dimensions variable.

Background: how to cope with the death of your unicorn (Edition 1 of 7), screen printed artist book inside bound bespoke skin with resin cast banana handle, dimensions variable.


Studio Walls as Big Sketchbook

Studio still : October 2016

Pre-exhibition studio shot. I am working out of a most beautiful studio at the moment. Feeling super grateful.



8 Studies of a Pull-Apart Heart

I've recently been spending some time drawing at the Surgeon's Hall Museum in Edinburgh in an attempt to find solutions to articulating some small sculptures I'm working on. I am drawn to hearts at the moment. Not the emoji kind but the real, machine kind. What an incredible organ we all have beating away inside of us. I've found many-a-heart to draw in the museum. Mostly sick ones and ones with epic aneurysms but I also came across one of these teaching hearts with pull-apart sections. It was wonderful to be able to hold it and turn it around...look inside. So I spent a good while drawing these different elevations and to my surprise, stepping back now, they're quite beautiful. Top left is a banana heart for scale. I am thinking of asking my butcher for a heart to play with. I am keen to learn more. 



Painted Borders

Sometimes it's good to be reminded that borders are invented by humans.


Show Time!

Banana for Scale

New works by Emily Fong


(21st – 23rd October 2016)


DOK Artist Space

The Steel Shed

Ocean Drive




Using the banana as vehicle to explore the experience of being in the world, Emily Fong has created a space where culture, diversity, identity and power are examined under the lens of playful absurdity. 


Spend time in a container other than your own and warm your bones with mulled wine.


NO works for sale.


Opening Night

Friday 21st October 2016

6pm - Late

All welcome


Exhibition Opening Hours:

Friday 21st October 6pm - Late

Saturday 22nd October 10am - 5pm

Sunday 23rd October 10am - 5pm