Monday, December 24, 2012

'Tis the Night Before Christmas

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.
Mary Ellen Chase

There’s much than I enjoy about Christmas, but like most people, I’ll also be glad when it’s over. We all need the rest!

Once again, Rona Green provided one of the year’s highlights, this time with Corporeal, her latest print exchange portfolio. As previously posted, I found coming up with an idea for this one particularly challenging. I tend to be quite hard on my own work, but perhaps because I struggled so much with this image, it’s one that I have a particular affection for. Corporeal will be exhibited at Geelong Gallery in February 2013.

Corporeal/Ethereal, 2012, linocut, 60 x 50 cm
Printer: Andrew Gunnel

Another high point was Inga Walton’s article Behind Beauty’s Masks – Works by Deborah Klein, which appeared in the journal Etchings, Issue 10, The Feminine. In my opinion, Inga is one of our finest arts writers. To read the article, scroll down the right hand sidebar and click on the link.

Steven Sondheim on stage at Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, 23 November 2012

One of the year’s most unforgettable experiences happened quite recently. On 23 November my partner Shane and I attended One Afternoon with Steven Sondheim at Melbourne’s Her Majesty's Theatre. I’ve revered this brilliant composer and lyricist for decades. To call the event a dream come true would hardly be accurate, because never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d see him in the flesh. Sondheim was genuinely modest, disarmingly warm, open and generous, discussing in entertaining and enlightening detail his work, ideas and creative process. It was pure gold.

Attack of Moth Women from the Moon, 2012, by Deborah McMillion Nering
Self portrait photograph placed in Sketchbook Pro, with collaged moths.
Tooned in Comic Book app

I’ve very much enjoyed an ongoing correspondence with Deborah McMillion Nering, an Arizona-based artist who makes her work on an iPad. In fact, she is a pioneer of this still relatively new art form. Over the last several months, we’ve found that aside from sharing the same first name, we have an uncanny amount in common, including similar tastes in art, artists, books, films – particularly a mutual enthusiasm for 1950s science fiction movies. We also share a fondness for moths, which we believe are far superior to butterflies. Deborah’s emails and imagery continually surprise, stimulate and delight, none more so than the visual treat she sent me prior to the recent opening of the exhibition BAZE at Hand Held Gallery. (To see it, click HERE. Take particular note of the book titles.)

It’s been a busy year, although next year will be busier. My first ever book art show will take place at Hand Held Gallery in June. I’ll also be making more work for Wonder Room, a group exhibition at Maroondah Art Gallery which is scheduled to open in late October. My fellow artists Rona Green, Filomena Coppola, Heather Shimmen and Paul Compton are a very talented lot, so I’m really looking forward to that one.

Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year. I hope you’ll drop by from time to time in 2013.