Sunday, November 29, 2015

Splendid emerald Wasp Woman

Pictured above: the recently completed (and aptly named) Splendid emerald Wasp Woman, 2015, watercolour, 41.91 x 29.72 cm, followed by a short sequence of developmental views.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Castiarina sagittaria Beetle Woman

Appearing here for the very first time is Castiarina sagittaria Beetle Woman, a newly discovered Homo-insecta that was recently documented in the Ballarat studio. The Castiarina sagittaria jewel beetle from which she evolved (pictured in the final image below) hails from this part of the world, namely south western Victoria.

The completed painting, Castiarina Sagittaria Beetle Woman (2015, acrylic on wood, 32 x 30 cm) is shown above. Directly below are a series of progress views of the work:

Friday, November 20, 2015

The 2015 Ballarat Show

Every year Shane and I eagerly anticipate the Ballarat Show. This year's show opened last Friday and ran throughout the weekend. We spent the entire day there on Sunday. The weather was marvellous (I can't believe how lucky we were - it's pouring as I write this) and we had a fabulous time. As I've mentioned before, I'm irresistibly drawn to fairgrounds, probably a result of growing up in St. Kilda near Luna Park, and the subject particularly impacted on my earlier work. Below are just some of the day's highlights.

This prize winning cake pays tribute to an Australian icon:

There was even a small circus. The acts took me back to my childhood:

Morning tea was courtesy of the Country Women's Association. The scones were delicious:

I've never been able to resist puppets:

This attraction, a staple of most fun fairs, is a potent reminder of childhood visits to Luna Park:

Our favourite event is the Dog's High Jump. This was the State Championship:

Here is the winning jump - a magnificent achievement from a wonderful little dog called Jessie. At 2.6 metres, it was an equal State Record:

Her owner was thrilled and so were we. Immediately after her win, which was against some pretty stiff competition, Jessie jumped into his arms. She seemed oblivious to her spectacular win - all she wanted to do was play with her red ball.

The bored attendant directly below couldn't believe we genuinely wanted to visit the Ghost House. We had the feeling he hadn't had too many takers:

It was pitch black inside, and some of the ghoulish exhibits were only visible when I used the flashlight on my camera:

At the Pony Ranch we discovered these miniature horses. Mini (foreground below) was keen to try Shane's coffee:

We went for a ride on the ferris wheel:

Then caught the last of the show jumping:

These gorgeous kids were clearly enjoying the show almost as much as we were:

Next year we are intending to visit the Fun House, which is guarded by this gargantuan fellow. (I can see why clowns have an established place in horror movies):

We left as the show closed its gates for another year, declaring this to be the best Ballarat show ever.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Cabinet of Moth Masks bound for Mulberry Hill

Recent studio activity: assembling hand painted miniature plaster masks in the drawers of A Cabinet of Moth Masks, which is soon to be part of a multi-media exhibition at Mulberry Hill, Return to Hanging Rock. The show will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Joan Lindsay's novel Picnic at Hanging Rock. Mulberry Hill is a National Trust property and Lindsay's former home. The exhibition will preview on 12 December from 2 - 7 pm, then run from 2 January - 27 March, 2016.

It’s taken many long hours to ready this piece for its trip to Melbourne, then to Mulberry Hill. The plaster masks are very fragile. To secure each one, I cut up and applied dozens of tiny pieces of museum quality double-sided tape, a fiddly, time-consuming process, but one that will hopefully prevent the masks from moving and breaking during transit. As the wrapped drawers (final image below) will testify, each one is also well padded.

Also pictured are the individual drawers and bubble-wrapped cabinet. (A Cabinet of Moth Masks, 2010-2013, acrylic on miniature plaster masks, 8.5 x 5.5 cm and 13.9 x 8.5 cm. Cabinet: 43 x 47 x 29 cm).

A Cabinet of Moth Masks is one of two of my works that were selected for the exhibition. The other is Vignette/Vitrine (2012).

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Return to Hanging Rock website HERE.