Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Pictured above: four happy artists, L - R: myself, Carole Wilson, Louise Saxton and Loris Button, snapped last Thursday on Day 2 of the installation of From the Bower - patterns of collecting at Warrnambool Art Gallery. Behind us is the exhibition's centrepiece, a huge wall work combining aspects of our private collections, constructed with consummate skill by Carole Wilson and Shane Jones.
Photo credit: Ren Gregoric.

L - R: Deborah Klein, Exhibitions Curator Ren Gregoric, Carole Wilson, Louise Saxton and Shane Jones
Photo credit: Agostina Hawkins

Directly below are some progress views of the install taken earlier in the day.

Carole Wilson and Shane Jones

As Carole and Shane beavered away on the wall work, Loris, Louise and I set about arranging additional collection objects and artworks in one of two large display cabinets.

On the middle shelf above and below, pages of my unbound artist book, Leaves of Absence, are paired with the hand painted Eucalyptus leaves that were the basis for the artwork, together with the antique flower presses in which the leaves were pressed and dried.

On the shelf beneath Leaves of Absence are tantalising glimpses of objects from the collections of Louise Saxton, Loris Button, Carole Wilson and myself, including one of my personal favourites, Loris's book of art deco wallpaper samples.

Below: A still life on the top shelf. The mannikin was a gift from my late mother when I was budding teenage artist. Needless to add, I've owned it for a very long time!  The miniature desk, doubtless an apprentice piece, was discovered at an antique market in Daylesford. The faux book, which has a secret compartment, was made by my late father as a gift for his sister, my Aunt Eileen. The vintage map and antique books are from the collection of Carole Wilson.

More of Carole's map collection can be seen in the view below.

Loris and Louise did a magnificent job of installing other collection items, most of them relating to the domestic realm, in the second vitrine. I'm particularly enamoured of Carole's miniature sewing machines (middle shelf, far right).

Above L - R: Loris Button, Agostina Hawkins, Ren Gregoric and Louise Saxton

Below is a detail of the finished display. The raffia sewing basket on the bottom shelf belonged to my mother. The remainder of needlework-related objects in this view are from the collections of Loris and Louise. Personal favourites include Loris's film canister containing buttons from four generations of her family and Louise's Sydney Harbour Bridge commemorative d'oyley (bottom row front, second and third from left).

As work continued apace on the wall piece, Iron Butterflies, an installation of cut-out linocuts, also began to take shape:

Iron Butterflies (directly below) is a suite of linocuts inspired by my collection of antique hair ornaments, a number of which are also in the show.

Agostina Hawkins, WAG's Curator of Collections, painstakingly installed the work. Meanwhile, on the far left, two Homo-insecta watercolours wait patiently in the wings.

The multi-faceted exhibition that is From the Bower took three days to install. I had to leave at the end of the second day in order to prepare for the Australian Zine Showcase at NGV International (see previous post) so I haven't yet seen the completed installation. If the photographs sent to me by fellow Bowerbirds and messages from those who've already seen the show are anything to go by, however, it's all come together beautifully.

From the Bower opened to the public on Saturday, 18 March.

Opening night is this coming Friday, 24 March, from 6 pm. If you're in town, do come in and join us for a celebratory glass of wine.

From the Bower - patterns of collecting
Warrnambool Art Gallery
26 Liebig Street
Warrnambool Vic
Free entry
Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm
Weekends and Public Holidays 10 am - 3 pm

The exhibition runs until Monday, 12 June.

From the Bower - patterns of collecting will travel to the Art Gallery of Ballarat, where it will run from 29 July - 17 September.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Melbourne Art Book Fair and Australian Zine Showcase, NGV International

Photo credit: Shane Jones

Yesterday, Saturday March 18, from 2.30 - 8 pm, Moth Woman Press took part in the rotating Sticky Institute Australian Zine Showcase, the latest and freshest addition to the annual Melbourne Art Book Fair at NGV International. Directly below is the view from our stand -

followed by a wider view of the Australian Zine Showcase.

Due to the number of participants, Moth Woman Press was relegated to a half table, but we were pleased with the final result.

Some of the day's greatest pleasures were provided by visits from friends, some old, some new. Below on the righthand side is one of the former, Louise Jennison, mugging with my indispensable assistant, Shane Jones. Louise is one half of the team of artist book makers, Gracia and Louise, who are showing their books and zines in the Melbourne Art Book Fair. She and Shane are pointing to the location of their stand in the Great Hall.

In the Great Hall, Moth Woman Press is represented by Esther Gyorki (pictured right) at Assembly Books. My artist book, Castles in the Hair (2013) hangs open, next to the Assembly Books sign. The Melbourne Art Book Fair opened on Friday, 16 March and ends at 5 pm today. For more views of the book and zine fairs, visit Moth Woman Press.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A group show, a zine fair and a book fair

This morning I'm heading off to Warrnambool Art Gallery to meet up with fellow artists, Loris Button, Carole Wilson and Louise Saxton, to begin the hang of our long-planned exhibition, From the Bower - patterns of collecting. Loading the car will be a job of work. Shane is convinced it will all fit; I'm not so sure... Currently our hallway looks like the warehouse scene at the end of Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (all that's missing is Rosebud) and some of the boxes have also started to colonise the living room. From the Bower opens on 18 March (see also previous post). For more about the show, go HERE.

Meanwhile, it's also been a hive of activity at Moth Woman Press. We've been working on two new zines for the Sticky Institute Australian Zine Showcase that will be running concurrently with the Melbourne Art Book Fair at NGV International, National Gallery of Victoria. Moth Woman Press is part of that too; our books will be represented by Esther Gyorki at Assembly Books. For progress views of the new zines, go HERE and HERE. For more about the MWP publications that will be shown by Assembly Books, go HERE.

The Melbourne Art Book Fair runs from 16 - 19 March. The website is HERE.

I'll be presenting a selection of Moth Woman Press zines at the Sticky Institute Australian Zine Showcase at NGV International on Saturday, 18 March from 2.30 - 8 pm. Sticky's website is HERE.

Left - right: Fuchsia, Harpy and Cactus Flower, 2013, one-of-a-kind artist books,
pigmented drawing ink, cloth binding, each 80 x 15 cm (open) will be presented by
Assembly Books at the Melbourne Art Book Fair at NGV International from 16 - 19 March

On the cutting board: PRESSING MATTERS, one of two new zines heading for the Australian Zine Showcase at
NGV International. Moth Woman Press will be there on Saturday, 18 March from 2.30 - 8 pm 

Monday, March 13, 2017

From the Bower to Art Monthly

The current issue of ART MONTHLY AUSTRALASIA (Issue 296/March, 2017) focuses on Victorian-based artists and galleries. It includes a lavish six-page spread on From the Bower: patterns of collecting, an upcoming show comprising the private collections and related artworks of Louise Saxton, Carole Wilson, Loris Button and myself (see also previous post).

From the Bower: patterns of collecting opens at Warrnambool Art Gallery on 18 March and continues until 12 June, then travels to the Art Gallery of Ballarat, where it will run from 29 July - 17 September, 2017.

Click on individual images for a clearer view.

Left hand page: introduction by the artists. Right: collection object and collage courtesy Carole Wilson

Left - right pages: Collection items and archival pigment print courtesy Deborah Klein

Left hand page: artwork and collection items courtesy Loris Button
Right hand page: collection items and artwork by Louise Saxton

Friday, March 10, 2017

An invitation to FROM THE BOWER: patterns of collecting

Click on image for a clearer view

From the Bower: patterns of collecting is an exhibition presenting artwork and items from the unique personal collections of four contemporary Victorian artists, Loris Button, Deborah Klein, Louise Saxton and Carole Wilson. The artists are linked by their studio practice, their appreciation of textiles and traditional sewing crafts, their regional locations and connections, and their love of gleaning. Their studio collections range from domestic textiles and sewing paraphernalia, curiosities, natural history specimens, memorabilia, discarded books and china, carpet and linoleum, and old tools of trade.  In this exhibition a portion of each artist’s studio collection is gathered, in an engaging and dynamic installation, alongside works by the artists which respond directly and/or relate to, their greater collection.  The exhibition draws these individual artists together into one large ‘bower’ and creates a space in which the private becomes public.  It allows the viewer to reflect upon the process of collecting, gathering and making, in the practice of these four artists. 
Dr Carole Wilson

From the Bower: patterns of collecting
Warrnambool Art Gallery
26 Liebig Street
Warrnambool Vic
Free entry
Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm
Weekends and Public Holidays 10 am - 3 pm

Opening night: Friday 24 March
Exhibition dates: Saturday 18 March - Monday 12 June

From the Bower: patterns of collecting will travel to the Art Gallery of Ballarat, where it will run from 29 July - 17 September.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Streeton Prints and the Weavers' Picnic

In between seemingly endless preparation for From the Bower; patterns of collecting, a forthcoming group show at Warrnambool Gallery (and a couple of other events besides) last weekend Shane and I actually managed some time out. On Friday afternoon we drove to Queenscliff Gallery and Workshop for the opening of the much-anticipated launch of STREETON PRINTS. It is real coup for this wonderful gallery, and a surprise for admirers of the Australian Impressionist painter, Arthur Streeton. Until recently, most of us had no idea that he even made prints. 

Pictured below at the opening event, L-R are gallery directors, Theo and Soula Mantalvanos. Far right is Margie Brown, General Manager of the Print Council of Australia, who gave a fascinating and enlightening opening address. Shane is particularly passionate about Streeton's work and recently posted about the exhibition and our delightful, but all too brief Queenscliff sojourn on his art blog. The link is HERE.

On Sunday afternoon, back in Melbourne, we attended the 2017 Weavers Picnic, which this year was held in Caulfield Park. Many of our old friends, including Tim Gresham, Sonja Hanson, Chris Cochius, Robyn Mountcastle, Sara Lindsay, Oenone Oxelade, Joy Smith and Cresside Collette are skilled tapestry weavers who honed their craft at the legendary Australian Tapestry Workshop in South Melbourne. They kindly include Shane and I in this annual event, having charitably proclaimed us Honorary Tapestry Weavers.
Photo credit: Dean Varndell.

Warrnambool part 2

My last post was written just before heading off to Warrnambool to give a linocut workshop that took place on the weekend of 18 -19 February. Rather a lot has happened since then (including a bout of bronchitis I could have lived without). Aside from that, the bulk of my time has been spent preparing for a forthcoming group show that, ironically, will take me back to Warrnambool once more. 

Meanwhile, thank you so much to everyone who attended the linocut workshop at Studio 10 in the Fletcher Jones Factory. What a lively, enthusiastic, hard working and talented group they were. Huge thanks also to Glenn Morgan for making it all happen, ensuring everything ran like clockwork and for looking after us so well. The following photos of the workshop were taken by Shane Jones. 

As an added bonus, we were able to catch up with our old friend, Kathryn Ryan, who is now based in her home town of Warrnambool. It's always a privilege to see an artist's workspace, and our tour of Kathryn's beautiful house and studio, together with a preview of her stunning new works on paper, was just that.

Glenn also showed his latest work in progress in his shed, as he calls his studio. I'm a huge fan, so this was also a treat. 

Glenn shares my enthusiasm for carnivals and sideshows, as this fabulous work testifies: 

Shane and I stayed with Glenn for the weekend; what a wonderful host he was. On our last night he prepared a sumptuous feast for Shane, Kathryn and I.

Next Wednesday I'm heading back to Warrnambool to deliver work for a forthcoming group exhibition, From the Bower - patterns of collecting, which opens at Warrnambool Art Gallery on 24 March. (Full details to follow soon).