Dale Devereux Copeland
Assemblage artist from Puniho in New Zealand.

A blog - it's a weird concept. Like leaving your diary on a high shelf in a dark corner of the biggest library you can imagine.

But I kept a diary for years and years, and I guess this is no less rational than that pile of dusty books in a corner of my lair.

So, for what it's worth, here it is. A day (or more) in the life of an artist. A very occasional blog.

email me if you wish. At dale @ tart.co.nz (remove spaces)

Read the earliest page in this occasional blog.
The 2008 page, the 2010 page, the 2011 page,
The 100-day project

Or return to the current page.

The Pizza Oven ... see the step-by-step method here.

Friday, 20th November, 2009.
We drove to Dunedin for Toby's graduation. Doctor Toby, she's a dear.

Three days to drive there, a bit of time in Dunedin (even a train trip and then a bit of a bike ride up in Middlemarch) and back. It was good, but it's great to get back in our studios.

Friday, 20th November, 2009.
A lot has happened since I last wrote here.
The Cities-of-Art exhibition showed throughout October - 50 artists from France, Canada and New Zealand.
It can now be seen on the cities-of-art.com site and there's a lovely little book showing each artist and one of their works, on my 'Press' page.
Mike Scott, a photographer with the Daily News in Taranaki, made a really nice little video of me and my studio. You can see it here.
And he made one about Paul's making of classical guitars. It's terrific. You can see it now.
I've been making things .... three tiny assemblages for the Never Think Small show at the climate/gallery in New York and some bigger ones which I really must get around to putting on this site and/or the Virtual Tart site. Busy busy.
Our daughter Toby had her last day as a medical student today, and on Monday she starts as a house surgeon in Dunedin. How they do grow!

Monday, 3rd August, 2009.
Sent 500 postcards to the A Book About Death exhibition at the Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery on Broadway, New York. Wish I lived closer ... visitors to the exhibition can collect the postcards, one from each artist. Nice concept.
I finished the assemblage Last Chance to Dance. From the song by Alan Muggeridge ... it's always moved me. The skeletal and battered copper figure ... sometimes he looks as though he's dancing and dreaming, sometimes playing air guitar. Either way alone with dreams.

Putting together the catalogue for the Cities-of-Art exhibition in October. Artists from Paris, Vancouver & New Plymouth. The catalogue will be full colour, one page for each of the artists (about 50?), showing one of their artworks, pic of the artist and their words. It's taking ages, but that's O.K. Looking good.

Saturday, 11th July, 2009.
Back from a holiday in Samoa. Good to be back in the cold. Honestly.

I've finished an assemblage. *ego*. It's been the most difficult one to actually put together.
I knew exactly how I wanted it to look, with an old metal half-circle floating in front of a heavy security mirror (one of those with the stripes for looking through) and a small plastic hero figure in front. As I've often said, there's not a glue that I will trust so to put this together with glass, metal and plastic all on a wooden base was going to be difficult.
I've just put an image of the assemblage onto http://virtual.tart.co.nz/Dale/dale209.htm I don't know what that metal bit is from .. Paul found it on the road. It looks like half the top of a 44 gallon drum perhaps? Love the colours. A difficult piece to photograph of course ... mirrors always are. I found a patch of ground here where I could lay it and see only sky reflected, with no trees.
The assemblage is sort of built from the inside out. I fixed the mirror onto a wooden drawer by putting a wooden frame around it and screwing it down. The metal bit: leather behind it (first layer held by a smelly rubber glue, later layers by industrial-strength PVA, then a layer of hardboard) I made an eyelet sort of rivet out of a big bullet case and attached it all together through the one hole in the metal bit.
Then I made two steel brackets with a right-angled bend and screwed them to the back of the metal bit and also onto the wooden base. The 'dunghill' for the figure to stand on (and to cover the metal brackets) is layers of board held down by PVA and brass brads. The figure was wired and nailed and glued (two-part resin called Araldite) to the top piece of board before the board was nailed & glued down.
Then I covered all the back (base of the drawer, with a wooden extension at the top... all screwed together) with black leather held on by small brass brads. It's heavy of course - that mirror alone is weighty - but I'm pleased with it.

Wednesday, 10th June, 2009.
A lot has been happening. Another driver crashed into me & wrote off our car, all a bit of a trauma. Took a while to get back to wholehearted kicking and punching at Taekwon-Do. But spent most of Monday climbing trees with an axe and chopping (can't cut from the base as they might damage a rimu, kauri or totara when they fell. So demolishing from the top down.)

Have finished two assemblages and put them on the Virtual Tart site. Myths and Beliefs and the question of intelligent design
Working on another but it's requiring a lot of sawing and sanding and screwing to hold a heavy mirror on a wooden support.
Paul persuaded me to go onto Twitter but so far I see no delight or use in it.
Good to be alive.

Friday, 15th May, 2009.
April gets pretty much wiped out with collage hanging and selling and sorting. But it's all over for another year.

Waiting for the postie: that was the last half of the packages heading away.
And then it was straight into my studio to make a little thing.
Happy to be back.
And a good challenge to get me started, 125 small collages for None of the Above run by the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts.

Here are 4 of my 125. All called So Much I Don't Understand
(My thanks to Lynda Andrus and Nancy Bell Scott and Sebastião Pedrosa for the use of some of their images)

Wednesday, 18th March, 2009.
Busy, busy. JUST managing to keep up. 95 packs of collages here so far.
Puke Ariki is doing an impressive job preparing to show the collection.
During April the exhibition will be the International 11th Exhibition/Exchange
The collection will be shown in Puke Ariki from 28th March until 5th May.

Click here to see the Puke Ariki website.

And click here to read the Press Release they've put out about the 11th International (in pdf format).


Click on images to see the postcard which is advertising these exhibitions. (Use 'Back' button to return)

I packed up 20 assemblages in wooden boxes and sent them off by courier to my exhibition Cabinet of Curiosities at ROAR Gallery in Wellington.
And I finished another work for the Easter show ... a set of nested Russian doll-things, with the layers of meaning of Easter.

Under the modern Easter egg choc-fest there's an "Easter wishes" card from about 1900 ... bunnies and chickens and flowers. Peel that away and you get a Resurrection painting, from about 1500 I think. Further in, further back, lines from the gospel of St Mark written about 100AD?. And in the middle, bones. I remember being profoundly stirred when Lloyd Goering, a New Zealand theologian/philosopher, said "I have no doubt that the bones of Jesus lie somewhere in Palestine". It caused a great fuss at the time, supporting the myth-making rather than any absolute truth of the biblical story. So at the centre we have the bones of Jesus.

Monday, 9th March, 2009.
This one pleases me (pic of Reliquary for Creeping Things below). Using the rattlesnake's rattle and the alligator claw I got at the Bone Room in San Francisco, and a cicada shell from Anne who collects them, and the image of a museum fly from Joan. AND another piece of the canvas from Boca Raton ... it's proving to be gloriously useful in small pieces.

Friday, 20thFebruary, 2009.
It takes ages to get back into full working mode in my studio, but at last.... I've been invited to be part of an Easter-themed exhibition, in spite of my total lack of religious belief. I was tempted to decline, but have started to make things looking at belief systems. IN GOD WE TRUST puts money above any other symbols. (I used the garishly-coloured canvas I made at the Boca Raton workshop as a background. One coin on the front and 3 at the back.)

The wooden cross-shaped 'box' came from the Dollar Tree shop in the States. I think of it as $ Idolatry, but it's an amazing source of resources. How can things be so cheap? Or perhaps we should ask, if that's the actual value of things, then how can they be so expensive at other places?

Wednesday, 8thFebruary, 2009.
I'm back from a wonderful time in USA. I am so very very fortunate.
All the artists I met were amazingly kind and hospitable.
Here are just a few of the snaps I took - a tour of artists' studios as well as a great country. (Click on any image for a larger view)

San Francisco

Janet Jones in her studio on top of a mountain. She took me to The Bone Room, which is heaven. I got rattlesnake rattles! And a coin purse made from a cane toad. And horns and shells .... lovely stuff. An exhibition by Al Farrow, with a mosque, a synagogue and a cathedral, all made from guns and bullets. Superb. And this stunning carousel.


San Francisco is a beautiful city. There are so many parts of the world where I'd like to spend years instead of days.
We visited assemblage artist Sandra Taylor in her studio/treasure-house.


Joan Schulze in her beautiful studio, filled with light. Janet & Dale, photographed by Joan. The bridge on a lovely day for photography.

New Jersey & New York

The hostess with the mostest. Elisabeth Holmes, and darling little dog Max.
And snow! The delights of walking a fluffy little white dog in fresh snow.


I think New York is my favourite city. Each day I caught the bus and explored. Hell's Kitchen FleaMarket was wonderful!
I met Mimi Shapiro and her husband and we went through MOMA. A great day, but I caught the wrong bus, ended up in a "Park-and-Drive" - a big car park out in the country (in the wrong state even!!) with no-one around, temperature way below freezing ... it was all a bit horrendous. But after a cold hour I eventually got back to Elisabeth and Max - here seen in her well-equipped studio.
And the next day I met Marie Otero and her husband and we explored the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York has such treasures.

Connecticut

I caught a bus up to Connecticut and stayed the night with artist Peggy Earle. I've known her as a writer, assemblage artist (and friend) a long time. She has taken up painting as well. Her cats Stanley and Stella are 'helping' in her studio.
Peggy and Walt drove me back to New York and we visited the Morgan Library and Museum .... a delightful place.

Florida

Elisabeth and I flew to Florida & attended a weekend workshop at the Boca Raton Museum of Art school. A class in using metallic techniques, run by the enthusiastic Eydi Lampasona. A friendly and enthusiastic group ... here are some of us at "Stir Crazy" where the chef handled 4 flaming woks at once!
I stayed with 'snowbirds' Barbara Stevens and Jocelyn Pollard. Their proper studios are at their homes up north. I would find it very difficult to live in two places but they manage it well.
Barbara with her workshop abstract.
Jocelyn at her Lake Worth collage studio.


Things that appeal to me .... a Sheriff's van and the Spanish architecture.
The long trip back ... one delayed flight meant all the connections became very tight, so I spent all the non-flying time running between terminals. Good to be home. And, perhaps inevitably, I've come down with a nasty cold so am feeling totally miserable. It will pass.

Saturday, 10th January, 2009.
How it flies. Christmas, summer, making things, being with family, getting ready for going to USA.
Go to Room 2 to see bigger versions..

You know the game where one person draws a head, hides it in a fold of paper, and the next person draws the torso? You can do the same thing with words, and that's how the name for the game arose: People playing the game with words, in French, ended up with "Le corps exquisite boit le vin nouveau". The exquisite corpse drinks the new wine.
I've been making 'exquisite corpses' by finding or making body parts which go together. Good fun.

Sunday, 23rd November, 2008.
I've been on a roll, making things. I've got an exhibition in March, at ROAR Gallery in Wellington and things will get a bit hectic before then, so I'm preparing now.
Collage packages are starting to trickle in ... the flow will become a flood by March.
AND ... stunning new, this .... I'm going to New York for a week and then Florida for a week. By the generous invitation of Elisabeth Holmes in New Jersey, I'll spend time with her and explore New York, then accompany Elisabeth to Florida to take part in Eydi Lamapsona's collage workshop in Boca Raton. I'm so excited. To at least meet so many of the artists I have corresponded with for so long.



Read the earliest page in this occasional blog.
The 2008 page, the 2010 page, the 2011 page,
The 100-day project

Or return to the current page.

email Dale at dale @ tart.co.nz (remove spaces)


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