Saturday, July 14, 2018

Last Day of Melbourne Athenaeum Library Residency

At the dawning of my last day as artist-in-residence at Melbourne Athenaeum Library, here is my artist book Progeny in its final stages of completion. (Fortunately the hand-stitching went without a hitch).

Following directly below are ‘shelfies’ of the completed work (aside from binding) and finally, portraits of the women who inspired the work: Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein (1818) and Elsa Lanchester, whose astonishing, all too brief performance in James Whales’s film The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) was the point of departure for my artist book. 

In Shelley’s novel Frankenstein builds a bride for his ‘monster’ but just before giving her life, he destroys her. (Well before this stage, we’re seriously questioning who the real monster is).

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Walking and Talking at The Johnston Collection

Pictured above: A corner of the Natural History Room created for PATTERNS OF COLLECTING/From the Bower at the Johnston CollectionIn colonial times the 'picturesque pursuit' of natural history illustration was considered a respectable pastime for amateur women artists much like those imagined here. In fact, numerous women, among them Elizabeth Gould, Margaret Flockton, Harriet and Helena Scott, Sarah Stone, Louisa Anne Meredith and Rosa Fiveash were invaluable contributors to the field.

The European Butterflies and Moths book is a treasured gift from recently retired Art Gallery of Ballarat Director, Gordon Morrison. In fact, the Natural History Room was essentially built around it. Gordon has just reminded me (and I quote):  'Don't forget Margaret Stockton who apart from being an exceptional artist, managed the unthinkable and became the first salaried artist at the Sydney Botanical Gardens'. 

This morning between 10 am - 12 pm fellow Bower artist Loris Button and I are leading an informal Walk-and-Talk through the treasure-laden rooms of of Fairhall Exhibition House at The Johnston Collection House Museum. We’d love to see you there.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Extension of Melbourne Athenaeum Library Residency

 At work in Melbourne Athenaeum Library amidst an array of Moth Woman Press publications. Photo credit: Shane Jones

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been invited to extend my residency at Melbourne Athenaeum Library, so am back in the library for the remainder of this week. Because of a couple of other commitments, however, my hours are slightly different.

Monday and Tuesday: 10.30 am - 5.00 pm

Wednesday: 3 pm - 6 pm 
Thursday: 1 - 5 pm 
Friday: 10.30 am - 4pm 
Saturday: 10.30 - 2 pm.

If you come outside of those times, it’s likely I won’t be there, but my work will be. 

Library hours:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 10 am - 6 pm
Wednesday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 2 pm

For selected highlights from the first part of the residency, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

MULTIDISCIPLINARY ART MAKING, an artist talk for Melbourne Rare Book Week

Melbourne Athenaeum Library, my principal place of work during Melbourne Rare Book Week 2018

My residency at Melbourne Athenaeum Library is well and truly up and running. I've already met some terrific people, had many lively conversations and been gratified by the positive response to the work. At present I'm working on an artist book titled Progeny, one of two projects inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: a Modern Prometheus.

On Wednesday, July 4, from 6 - 7 pm I'm presenting an informal talk. My artist book, Leaves of Absence (2017) acquired last year by the library, will take centre stage, alongside Fallen Women, a small companion volume published early this year. (To preview Fallen Women, go HERE).

Tomorrow evening I'll discuss these and other Moth Woman Press publications, past, present and future. The event is part of Melbourne Rare Book Week. Attendance is free, but due to space restrictions, bookings are essential. For more about the talk, go HERE.

Wednesday, July 4, 6 - 7 pm
Speaker: Deborah Klein
Presented by Melbourne Athenaeum Library
Level 1
188 Collins Street
Melbourne 3000
Phone (03) 9650 3100
Or book online HERE.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Farewell, Exquisite Palette Show

Shane and I with our respective palettes. Photo credit: Louise Blyton

Yesterday afternoon Shane Jones and I called into Tacit Galleries for a last look at the St Luke Artist Colourmen Exquisite Palette Show during its final hours. (It was virtually impossible to see the works on the lively, but jam-packed opening night). I also wanted to bid a fond farewell to my palette, which I’ll very likely never see again. 

My Reflection, 2018, acrylic on wooden palette

It was great bumping into St Luke's Co-founder and Co-director, artist Louise Blyton, who took the photo of us with our palettes. Shane’s “ink drawing” of our cat Alice on a sketchbook page that’s apparently taped to his palette is an illusionistic work which fooled the majority of viewers, even in extreme closeup. Aside from the natural wood of the palette, the entire work, including the masking tape and slightly creased overhanging corner of the “paper,” is an oil painting. 

Shane with Sketch of Alice, 2018, oil on wooden palette

Directly below, the lovely Louise stands alongside the St Luke Artist Colourmen Exquisite Palette Manifesto, while her elegant wrap-around palette What's Arp? hovers above it. 

Louise Blyton with her palette What's Arp? 2018 (detail), one of my favourite works in the show

Sunday, July 1, 2018

My Monsters at RMIT Gallery

Shortly before My Monster: the Human-Animal Hybrid officially opened its doors (to a queue of 1,400 people, I'm reliably informed!) we were invited to a special curator's talk. During that relatively quiet time we seized the moment to take these photos. That's me above, pictured with two of my monstrous creations. (Photo credit: Shane Jones).

I'm delighted with the way my works are presented. Ordinarily I'm not a huge admirer of patterned walls in contemporary art exhibitions - they have a tendency to overpower the work - but in this case, I think it works brilliantly.

Actinus imperialis Beetle Woman, watercolour (installation view at RMIT Gallery)

Ladybird Woman, watercolour (installation view at RMIT Gallery)

There is a substantial article about the show in yesterday's Age newspaper (Saturday, June 30). My watercolour Actinus imperialis Beetle Woman (also pictured above, third from top) is reproduced, along with works by Kate Clark, Peter Ellis, Rona Green and a photographic portrait of My Monster curator Evelyn Tsitas.