Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Drawings for BACKSTORIES

A marathon signing session (top), followed by a trip to the framer (below) brings me another step closer to Backstories, my upcoming solo show at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne. The exhibition, which opens on 15 April, will comprise paintings and small works on paper.

Shane Jones and framer Jo at Omnus Framers, Melbourne

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


New Horizon, 2020, acrylic on linen, 50.8 x 50.8 cm, the first major work completed in my new studio, will be part of 20 [2020], an exhibition celebrating 20 years of Tacit Galleries, Melbourne. The show runs from 4 - 15 March.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Climate Crisis National Day of Action

State Library of Victoria
Saturday 22 February 

Another climate action rally, another terrific turnout. It was great to bump into fellow artist Theo Strasser and his wife, Heather (what were the chances?) and to be surrounded by so many like-minded people.

What do we want? Climate Action! When do we want it? Now!

Shane Jones (foreground, right)

Theo and Heather Strasser march towards Parliament House. 

Friday, February 21, 2020


Amidst preparations for my upcoming show at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery (more about that soon), Shane and I are still beavering away at the house and gradually making it our own. 

Despite a setback with the roof which has yet to be resolved, last weekend we enjoyed some first-time visits from old friends. On Saturday, our near neighbours Annie Drum and Carole Wilson came for lunch (unfortunately we neglected to take photos) and on Sunday afternoon the delightful Jazmina Cininas called in after her linocut workshop at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Tea in the sunroom was followed an impromptu evening meal before Jazmina headed home to Melbourne.

Jazmina's visit coincided with Alice's afternoon walk time.

In what was a weekend of firsts, the large cactus in our front garden burst unexpectedly into bloom. The results were spectacular.

All three of our guests remarked that it looked like we’ve been living in the house for years, which warmed the cockles of our hearts.

Just as I was about to publish this post, there was a knock at the door. It was Ballarat friends Christine and Gary Hickson, pictured below. This was also their first visit to the house. They came bearing a gift of Lindt chocolates. I love the packaging created by Christine (see final photo below), which is inscribed ‘Wishing you many wonderful times in your new house!’ Thanks to our lovely visitors, we’re off to a great start. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Burning Boat

Liberated from storage: Burning Boat, circa 1995, oil pastel on two sheets of Stonehenge paper

Back in the day, in this instance, around 1995, there was an autobiographical bent to much of my work, although I didn’t always admit to it and in many cases, was genuinely unaware of it. This is another work that has been stored away for decades, but which, thanks to Shane’s encouragement, now hangs in a prominent spot in our house. I’ve absolutely no recollection of the original narrative and its personal significance, but viewed today (at least, it seems to me) the drawing could be a response to these deeply troubled times. 

The dining room of our Ballarat East house with newly installed Burning Boat

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

WONDERMENT: last weeks

My Homo-insecta watercolours have been keeping great company in the Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop summer exhibition, Wonderment. (Other featured artists are Antonio Balletta, Christine Gibson, Lizzie Horne, Hyun Ju Kim, Michael Leunig, Soula Mantalvanos, David Moore, Geoffrey Ricardo, John Ryrie and Lucinda Tanner).  

Above left: Chrysochroa buqueti beetle woman

Chrysochroa buqueti beetle woman (detail 1)

Chrysochroa buqueti beetle woman (detail 2)

There’s not much time left to catch Wonderment before it finishes its long run on 23 February 2020, so do go along and see it if you can.

I’ll be sad when it’s over, but the way the year is starting to accelerate, Animalia paradoxa, my solo show at QG&W in November 2020, which I’m very excited about, will be up and running before I know it. (More about that in future posts).

A big thank you to Soula Mantalvanos of QG&W for the installation views and details of my work.
Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop (QG&W)
P 03 4202 0942 M 0438 866 068 A 81 Hesse Street Queenscliff VIC 3225 

Monday, February 10, 2020

FOTP 2020

Featured here are selected highlights from yesterday's 2020 Sticky Institute Festival of the Photocopier Zine Fair. For the first time - and hopefully not the last - the event was held at the historic Meat Market in North Melbourne.

The Meat Market and surrounding area area hold many memories for me. In the 1980s, I worked for a couple of years as an administrative assistant at the Print Council of Australia. During that time, the Print Council established a gallery and office in North Melbourne after their original base in Collins Street was demolished. Subsequently, the PCA moved into an office at the Meat Market, where they remained for some years before relocating to their current office in Fitzroy.

Shane and I drove to the Meat Market from Ballarat. We were a little early and had an opportunity to see inside this magnificent building shortly before the hoards of stall holders and zine fans arrived.

In recent years, all exhibitors, apart from zine distros, have been allotted a half table, owing to the sheer number of zinesters requiring stalls. This year there were over 450 stallholders over the two days that the zine fair was held. Andrew Pilkington, pictured below, shared a table with me. I couldn't have wished for a more convivial neighbour and thought his zines were terrific. In fact, his first sale of the day was to me - and vice versa.

I was doubly blessed with zine stall neighbours because on the table to our right were our good friends Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison (centre and right). To their left are Gracia's parents, Elaine and Peter Haby.

There was a sensational turnout and the entire affair ran like clockwork. As always, we could only marvel at Sticky Institute's peerless organisational skills.

After spotting the splendid George Costanza tee shirt sported by a zine fan (below, centre) Andrew and I discovered we share a mutual enthusiasm for the legendary TV sitcom, Seinfeld.

Thank you, Sticky and the Meat Market for having us, and warmest thanks to all who stopped by the Moth Woman Press stall and helped me raise funds for Wildlife Victoria's Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

At the day's end, it was announced that Sticky hope to hold the 2021 Festival of the Photocopier in the same venue. My fingers are firmly crossed.