Thursday, May 16, 2019

Good news

In recent news, these things happened: whilst walking Alice last week, Shane received an extremely welcome phone call regarding his warehouse apartment in Abbotsford, which has been up for sale. Scroll through to see the happy outcome.

Of course, Alice is convinced it was the photo of her on the real estate sign (see below) that clinched it, and to be honest, the agent (whose advice throughout the whole process has been right on the ball) was keen to include her in at least one shot.

Thank you so much to everyone who left messages of support and encouragement when we placed the Abbotsford place on the market at very short notice, our fingers tightly crossed.

We celebrated with a celebratory glass of bubbles in the ACMI cafe before last night’s Cinematheque screening.

We’re still hard at work preparing my Ballarat house for sale. Meanwhile, we’re a step closer to moving into our Art Deco dream house and making Ballarat our permanent home.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Public Works

This piece by Bronwyn Watson focusing on my work Vorticist 2 (2004, collection: Art Gallery of Ballarat) appears in the Review section of today’s Weekend Australian. What a delightful and unexpected surprise. 

Many thanks to the friends who alerted me to the article and to Art Gallery of Ballarat Director Louise Tegart for her perceptive comments about the work. (Click on image for a clearer view).

Saturday, May 4, 2019

FRANKENSTEIN'S WOMEN artist book: cover art in progress

Pictured below is a developmental view of the cover art for my upcoming artist book Frankenstein's Women, a project that began life in 2018, the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's gothic novel Frankenstein.

For further progress views of the lino block, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Full Moon in Abbotsford

‘He who has two women loses his soul. He who has two houses loses his mind.’
(Introductory proverb to Full Moon in ParisDir. Éric Rohmer, 1984)

Shane Jones and I still have a way to go before our respective houses are sold and we move full-time to Ballarat. I haven’t lost my mind yet, but have certainly misplaced it on several occasions. 

Meanwhile, Shane’s two-storey warehouse apartment in Abbotsford, our home for 21 years, has never looked neater or more clutter-free (for us) and is just about ready to go on the market. The last two views show part of his ground floor studio.

Monday, April 22, 2019

End of an era

It’s amazing what you find when you’re having a major clear out, for example, this snippet from THE AGE newspaper, dated Wednesday, April 24, 2002. The article focuses on the challenges faced by artists who are based in inner-city areas, in our case, Abbotsford. There is a long history of artists discovering affordable areas in which to live and work, then being forced out when they become fashionable and prohibitively expensive. The article contains some inaccuracies - for example, our soon-to-be-former studio/dwelling most certainly wasn’t purchased with the aid of a government grant. Aside from that, it’s spot on.

Friday, April 19, 2019

West Side Story

Lately Shane and I have been so flat out and distracted (see previous post), it would have been easy to miss the powerful Opera Australia production of West Side Story at the Arts Centre Melbourne, which we saw last night. Fortunately, we’d purchased our tickets well before we dreamed we’d be in the throes of house moving. The story (based loosely on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) and the sublime Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim score have lost none of their edge or relevance, moving us from laughter to tears, from shock to despair to hope in the blinking of an eye. The dances are breathtaking, the entire cast impeccable. In fact, everything about this production is perfection. 

This morning we've both returned to scrubbing and packing with a renewed spring in our step. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

My world... and welcome to it

Not Drowning, 1996, oil pastel, 160 x 120 cm. Collection Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW.
Acquisition of the 1996 Jacaranda Drawing Award. 

At present, I'm trying to keep my head above water as Shane and I tackle a slew of odd jobs and renovation projects before selling our respective properties and moving into our new home.

New carpet is being laid in my old Ballarat house this week. Our furniture and other possessions are strewn everywhere, including the kitchen, sunroom and my studio.

The contents of the boxes below, labeled 'Library Books', are from our personal library. Rest assured, they are not overdue library books!

Ideally, we'd have preferred polished floors, but the condition of the floorboards is too poor.

Before the carpet can be laid, Shane and I have to paint and install new skirting boards.

Meanwhile, in the Ballarat sunroom, a steadfast Alice guards our possessions.

As stress levels mount, however, she wisely decides to follow in the footsteps of her namesake and escape through the looking glass.

While the carpet installation is under way, we're in Melbourne, madly finishing numerous odd jobs, cleaning, clearing, rearranging and decluttering the contents of Shane's Abbotsford house before it's placed on the market on May 1. The agent is sending over a photographer on Tuesday, so the pressure is really on.

In the meantime, work deadlines, including a forthcoming solo show, are piling up. Despite my best efforts, it feels like I'm sinking fast. I may just throw in the towel and follow Alice into Looking Glass Land, where, with any luck, a clean, organised, workable studio awaits me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

More progress views

Pictured above and below: an as yet untitled work in various stages of progress.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Other

Another painting that's nearing the finishing line, although it seems to me that the works in this series will never be quite finished. There's always a hair out of place somewhere.

Top: The Other, acrylic on linen, 40.5 x 30.5 cm. (Progress view).

Thursday, April 11, 2019


The Untold Want

The untold want by life and land ne'er granted,
Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find.

Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

Pictured top: Voyager, acrylic on linen, 40.5 x 30.5 cm, considerably reworked and near completion.

For earlier progress views of Voyager, go HERE

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Brilliant Brolly part 3

A quick follow-up to yesterday’s Brilliant Brolly twilight fundraiser at Duldig Studio museum + sculpture garden. A dynamic auctioneer ensured excellent results from the donated works in the public auction, opening with my brolly, Sunshade (pictured background centre).

There were some delightful entries in the open competition, all of which were silent auctioned. The Brilliant Brolly campaign certainly brought out the latent creativity in many of the entrants. Several of my favourite brollies were made by people who insisted they weren’t artists and couldn’t draw. 

It was an evening to remember and such a fun and creative way to raise funds for this truly unique museum.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Brilliant Brolly part 2

Here’s hoping the sun will come out from the clouds for today’s Brilliant Brolly extravaganza at Duldig Studio museum + sculpture garden.

The museum’s months-long Brilliant Brolly Campaign will culminate at twilight, from 5 - 7 pm. This is your chance to own a truly unique artwork and support this remarkable house museum’s campaign to raise funds to care for its nationally significant art collection and extend its outreach programs.

For those not familiar with the Duldig Studio, it’s the former home and studio of Viennese-Australian artists Slawa Horowitz-Duldig (1901 - 1975) and her husband, sculptor Karl Duldig (1902 - 1986).

Brilliant Brolly is a homage to Slawa, who was also the inventor of the folding umbrella. The prototypes, plans and documentation pertaining to the umbrella, Flirt, which she patented in 1929, are on view in the museum.

Numerous artists have hand-decorated specially donated umbrellas for Brilliant Brolly, and the results are spectacular.

I’m one of several artists who were invited to create an artwork for auction. My contribution, Sunshade, is featured here.

• "Light as a Feather" Headpiece by Milliner, Lynette Lim of Love Lotus Millinery
• Printed Silk wearable textile by Susan Dimasi of Materialbyproduct
• Umbrella designed and decorated by Deborah Klein
• Umbrella designed and decorated by artist Judi Singleton

To place a bid, go here:

For further information, go here:

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dream Home

I wonder if you are like me and find that most days fly by so quickly, it can sometimes take a few moments to recall what happened just few days ago. What was it we did last Sunday, for example? Ah, yes - we went to the market, had coffee and brunch in Kittelty’s café at the Art Gallery of Ballarat (a Sunday ritual) did a few chores - and oh, yes, we bought a house.

Shane Jones and I first visited the property in Eureka Street, Ballarat a couple of weeks ago, on one of the last days it was open for inspection. We thought it the most beautiful house we’d ever seen, heartbreakingly so, because we assumed that financially it would be way out of our reach.

We decided to attend the auction, however, mainly to take one last, wistful look inside our dream house. On the afternoon of the auction, however, we were attending to some of those aforementioned chores, and barely made it on time. 

To our amazement, not one person placed a bid and just as the property was about to be passed in, we tentatively raised our hands. The auctioneer continued his final spiel in a vain attempt to coax further buyers. To us, this seemed to go on forever, and I was convinced we’d be outbid at the last minute. I started to feel like Jane Eyre when her wedding to Rochester was thwarted at the altar. But no such tragedy befell us and, to our continuing disbelief, the house is ours.

The whole thing was so completely unplanned and unexpected that, needless to say, neither of us has had time to place our existing homes on the market. (Shane’s is in Melbourne and mine is in Ballarat). Fortunately, the agent has negotiated a particularly long settlement to give us time to prepare both properties for sale.

This is the first home Shane and I have owned together. As I mentioned to a friend, I’ll miss my current studio and the humble little house in which I’ve been so happy. But the new place will give us the additional space we so badly need to hang our artworks and, for the first time ever, to properly display and utilise other collections, in particular, books, music and films.  I must admit I’ve already watched the slideshow below countless times, especially on the evening after the auction, in an effort to convince myself that it wasn’t all a dream. I still haven't quite got there.

The house has five good sized-bedrooms, two of which will be requisitioned for studios. Best of all, on the first floor is a cinema. As lovers of Art Deco and lifelong cineastes, it feels like we’ve died and gone to heaven. 

To view the slide show of our future home, go HERE.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

National Eucalypt Day 2019

Fallen Woman 5, 2017, phemograph, 43 x 32 cm, edition: 20

In celebration of National Eucalypt Day, here is a random selection of works from the Fallen Women suite. The leaves in these works were sourced in the Victorian Goldfields town of Newstead.

Held annually on 23 March, National Eucalypt Day aims to raise awareness of eucalypts and celebrate the important place that they hold in the hearts and lives of Australians. 

The National Eucalypt Day program aims to meet the promotion, education and conservation objectives of Eucalypt Australia by addressing the themes of tree breeding and genomics, primary education and public awareness.

- From the Eucalypt Australia website.

The Last Leaf, 2017, phemograph, 35.5 cm x 29.5 cm, edition: 20

Fallen Woman 4, 2017, phemograph, 42.5 x 32 cm, edition: 20

Memory 40, 2017, phemograph, 29 x 21.5 cm, edition: 20

Fallen Woman 11, 2017, phemograph, 39.5 x 29.5 cm, edition: 20

Memory 4, 2017, phemograph, 29 x 21 cm, edition: 20

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

IMPRINT: Survey of the Print Council of Australia at Parliament House, Canberra

Pressed for Time, 2017, archival pigment print, 31.3 x 23.2 cm. Edition: 30.
2017 Print Council of Australia Member Print Commission. Printer: Luke Ingram. 

My archival pigment print Pressed for Time (2017) has been curated into a special exhibition at Parliament House, Canberra. IMPRINT: Survey of the Print Council of Australia comprises 58 prints selected from over 600 works in the PCA Member Print Commission archive.

The exhibition includes works by Noel Counihan, Barbara Hanrahan, David Rose, Ray Beattie, Bea Maddock, Earle Backen, Ruth Faerber, Hertha Kluge-Pott, Olga Sankey, Judy Watson, Janet Dawson, Mary MacQueen, Raymond Arnold, G.W. Bot, Yvonne Boag, James Taylor, John Coburn, Jenuarrie Warrie, Maria Kozic, Wilma Tabacco, Rick Amor, Treahna Hamm, Robert Jacks, Bruno Leti, John Olsen, Michael Kempson, Susan Pickering, Andrew Ngungarrayi Martin, Belinda Fox, Georgia Thorpe, Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Gosia Wlodarczak, Rebecca Mayo, Janet Parker-Smith, Rona Green, Sophia Szilagyi, Glen Mackie, Tama Favell, Elizabeth Banfield, David Fairbairn, Graeme Drendel, Deanna Hitti, Sue Poggioli, Maria Orsto, Samuel Tupou, Pia Larsen, Deborah Klein and Cat Poljski. 

In September 2017, Andrew Stephens, editor of the Print Council of Australia's journal IMPRINT, interviewed me about the making and meaning of Pressed for Time. You can read it HERE.

For further information, go to the Print Council of Australia website HERE:

IMPRINT: Survey of the Print Council of Australia 
Exhibition Area 
Level 1
Parliament House 
Canberra, ACT.

Exhibition hours: 9 am - 5 pm daily until Sunday 12 May.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Soothsayer - a work in progress

Featured on this International Women’s Day are selected developmental stages of Soothsayer, acrylic on linen, 40.5 x 30.5 cm, flanked (in the top and bottom views) by corresponding works from the steadily growing Back Story suite.