Some more great news for THE BIG KITTY. It has just garnered its first award - Best Trailer in Another Hole in the Head - the San Francisco Virtual Film Festival 2020.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Following are a selection of developmental views.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
In the wake of a new year that’s barely under way, we’ve received some exciting news. THE BIG KITTY, debut feature of Australian artists Tom Alberts and Lisa Barmby, has been selected for the Paris International Film Festival.
Highlighting the new voices of independent cinema, PIFF puts French and International filmmakers with a positive message under the spotlight.
Built around its independent features and short films competitions, the Festival offers a wide look on both international and French independent production, in particular independent films broadcasting a clear, positive message with international potential.
- From the Paris International Film Festival website
This latest accolade follows closely on the heels of THE BIG KITTY’s world premiere at Another Hole in the Head, the San Francisco Virtual Film Festival, which ran from 11 - 27 December 2020.
THE BIG KITTY stars Tom, Lisa and their cat Monsieur Baptiste with a supporting cast plucked from the Melbourne arts world. As previously reported, I have a small speaking role as fortune teller Madame F and my partner Shane Jones plays Shadrack, a corrupt Irish cop. The above photo was snapped directly after shooting the only scene in which he and I appear together. L-R are Jasmine Mahon, Paul McCluskey, Mariella Delconte, Tom Alberts, Lisa Barmby, Lewis Miller, myself, Shane Jones, Angela Cavalieri and Steven Kafkarisos. Pictured below: M. Baptiste and Lisa Barmby in a still from the nightclub scene.
In Berkleyside, John Seal included THE BIG KITTY among his top picks from Another Hole in the Head, The San Francisco Virtual Film Festival. His review, dated December 11, 2020 is HERE.
Shane has written about the film on his Art Blog. You can read the post, dated December 12, 2020, HERE.
For more about THE BIG KITTY, including a trailer and It’s a Wrap short, go HERE.
The Paris International Film Festival website is HERE.
For a list of selected films and to purchase tickets, go HERE.
PIFF 2021 runs from 4 - 14 February.
Sunday, January 3, 2021
This brand new year may still be markedly tarnished by the old one, but in anticipation of better days to come, here is a preview of just some of what’s ahead, at least, in my little corner of the world.
Due to circumstances entirely beyond my control (one of those infernal curveballs referred to in my last post) there will be further changes to my exhibition schedule for 2021. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude go to Stephen McLaughlan, Director, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Theo and Soula Mantalvanos, Co-Directors of Queenscliff Gallery and Anne Virgo, Director, Australian Print Workshop, for their kindness, support and understanding and for rearranging their already brimful exhibition calendars with astonishing dexterity.
My revised exhibition dates for 2021 are as follows:
Backstories, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, July 21 - August 7. Opening 2 - 4 pm Saturday July 24
Rückenfigur (working title), Queenscliff Gallery, 30 September - 18 October
The George Collie APW Award Exhibition, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, will also run in the latter half of the year, most likely in September. Dates TBA.
More detailed information will be supplied nearer the time of each event.
On a positive note, the delays have enabled me to extend my vision by creating additional works for both solo shows. Pictured on the drawing board, top, are two of several paintings in progress for my exhibition at Queenscliff Gallery.
Thursday, December 31, 2020
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been enchanted by bookplates. This is the first relief bookplate I’ve designed in many years. It’s also the first one I’ve made especially for myself and the first of my works to include our cat, Alice. That’s her third from the top in the group of photos below, obligingly posing with the finished lino block.
The biennial Australian Bookplate Design Award was the impetus for this project. For several years, I’ve been keen to enter, but each time the dates have coincided with a particularly busy period - usually the lead-up to a show. In this year of lockdowns, with all of my exhibitions postponed until next year (yet another update on those will feature in my next post) I found myself with some unexpected time on my hands. This time, I was able to make the bookplate a top priority. The closing date for the Australian Bookplate Design Award 2020 was originally mid-October and the bookplate was finished in good time for that. Despite its title, however, this is an international award and given the continuing uncertainties of COVID-19 in many parts of the globe, the deadline for entries has been extended to 28 February 2021. I’ll have a lot on my plate in the first few months of the new year, so have posted off my entry well ahead of time.
For many of us, our books and pets provide diversion, stimulus and inspiration, not to mention comfort and solace - never more so than during the months of lockdown - and it is to this that my work pays homage. The bookplate design incorporates the motif of Rückenfigur (a figure viewed from behind) that is central to much of my imagery and draws from a decades-long accumulation of personal iconography, including hair ornaments, decorative collars and stylised Arts and Crafts-inspired crimson roses.
The block was printed on the little craft press purchased online during lockdown specifically for this purpose (see final photo below) and hand-coloured in watercolour. Dimensions are 15 x 12.5 cm (image) on A4 sized paper. A selection of progress views follows directly.
For more about The Australian Bookplate Design Award, go HERE.
As 2020 draws to a close, I think it’s safe to say there isn’t one of us who will be sad to see its passing. Unfortunately, 2020 isn’t quite done with us and there’s no doubt the impact of the many curveballs it has thrown with seemingly ceaseless abandon will be felt well into 2021. Nevertheless, I wish each and every one of you a safe, happy, healthy and fulfilling New Year. But more than that, here’s to a brighter future when the last vestiges of 2020 are well and truly behind us.
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Veteran visitors to this blog will be well aware that Shane and I take great pride in our Christmas trees. We have two of them. The small tree saw many Christmases in our house in St. Kilda before we moved into a warehouse apartment at Abbotsford in Melbourne. In recent years, our larger tree, pictured above, graced the living room of our second home in Golden Point, Ballarat. Late last year, after we’d sold both places and moved into to our new home in Ballarat East, we installed the big tree in our upstairs cinema room. At the time we hadn’t fully settled in and didn’t have the energy to erect the small tree too. This year, both trees are up.
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking
I may be rushing things but deck the halls again now
Candles in the window, carols at the spinet
Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute
It hasn't snowed a single flurry but Santa, dear, we're in a hurry
Put up the brightest string of lights I've ever seen
Slice up the fruitcake
It's time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough
Grown a little sadder, grown a little older
And I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder
Need a little Christmas now
Need a little singing ringing through the rafter
And we need a little snappy happy ever after
Need a little Christmas now
Saturday, December 12, 2020
In the lead-up to Christmas comes some terrific news. Tom Alberts and Lisa Barmby’s indie film, THE BIG KITTY, a comedic Film Noir pastiche in which I play the sinister spiritualist, Madame F, has hit the international stage.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
The George Collie APW Award Exhibition at the Australian Print Workshop, a joint survey of my prints and those of fellow award recipient, the late Barbara Hanrahan, has now been confirmed for Saturday, 6 March - Saturday, 3 April 2021.
Revised dates for Backstories, my solo show at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, were also recently confirmed. The exhibition will run from Wednesday, 7 April - Friday, 23 April. The opening event is on Saturday, April 10 2021.
My residency at Geelong Grammar remains penciled in for May 2021, dates TBC.
As previously posted, my solo show at Queenscliff Gallery will run from Sunday, June 3 - Monday, June 21 2021.
Dates for a third solo show, at Gallery on Sturt in the second half of 2021, are still TBC.
The above information may be subject to further changes. Nevertheless, as things gradually open up in this part of the world, it’s heartening to have something more concrete to work towards.
In that spirit, pictured top is my newly completed drawing, Looking forward, 2020, ink and gouache on Khadi paper, 21 x 15 cm.
Saturday, November 7, 2020
|Deborah Klein, current work in progress, a triptych as yet untitled.|
Acrylic on linen, 40.5 x 30.5 cm (each panel).
I have to stay alone in order to fully contemplate and feel nature. The painter should paint not only what he has in front of him, but also what he sees inside himself.
- Caspar David Friedrich
Recently I discovered by sheer chance that the dominant motif in my work for well over two decades has a name. It’s “Rückenfigur”, or “figure seen from the back”. Why did I not know this before? The subject dates from antiquity, but the term originated in the German Romantic Movement of the 19th century and is most closely associated with the painter Caspar David Friedrich, whose work I’ve long admired. In fact, his paintings were the main catalyst for my current body of work, a series of anonymous figures I call “Journeywomen”.
|Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, 1818.|
Oil on canvas, 94.8 x 74.8 cm, Kunsthalle Hamburg.
The history of figures viewed from behind spans the entirety of visual culture, including graphics, cinema and photography. Among the painters who have employed the Rückenfigur in their works are Rene Magritte, Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Gustave Courbet, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and, most notably and consistently, another of my favourite artists, Vilhelm Hammershøi.
|Vilhelm Hammershoi, Interior with Young Woman Seen from the Back, 1904.|
Oil on canvas, 60.5 x 50.5 cm, Randers Museum of Art.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, ca 1597.
I’m fairly well versed in the ever-evolving history of “rear view portraits,” yet this feels like a real light bulb moment. I am amazed at how empowering it is to to know that there is a collective name for them. To my mind, it validates and unifies this somewhat scattered tradition. Moreover, the Rückenfigur addresses a particularly divisive time in our history, when our state of disconnection - from ourselves, from each other and from the natural world - seems greater than ever before.
Only connect! That was her whole sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.
– E. M. Forster, Howards End, 1910.
Photo credit for above image: Shane Jones.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
This painting was missing, presumed lost, for a couple of years. In the months following last year’s move, I discovered it in a storage box we had believed to contain packaging materials. (It did, but the individual components of the painting were safely packed underneath).
The work was a finalist in the Geelong Painting Prize in 2002 and toured in the curated group show, ‘The enchanted forest - new gothic storytellers,’ in 2008-2009.
I even wrote a fairy tale based on it. An early draft of the story was published in my first blog post. You can read it HERE. The final version of the tale was subsequently included in my book, There was once... the collected fairy tales (2009).
I’d more or less resigned myself to never seeing the painting again, so much so, that I still find it hard to believe it’s back in my possession.
Pictured top: Swarm, 2002, acrylic on 32 oval canvases, paired. Large: 25 x 20 cm each; small: 15 x 20 cm each. Overall dimensions approx. 172 x 194 cm.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Today’s blog post brings news I’ve been remiss about sharing earlier: the group exhibition, THINKING OF PLACE II, originally conceived for the international print symposium IMPACT 10 in Santander, Spain in 2018, is currently on exhibit at Northsite Contemporary Arts in Cairns, Far North Queensland. The show opened in September and continues to November 7.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Pictured above: Wallpaper Rose, the Disappearing Woman, linocut, 15 x 10 cm.