Saturday, May 28, 2022

Geelong Grammar School Residency: Week 1

Pictured in these views is the spacious, light filled artist-in-residence studio at Geelong Grammar School soon after I’d finished setting it up, with much appreciated advice and assistance from Rupert the technician and department head, Peter Bajer.

The intention was to demonstrate the technical and thematic trajectory of my work over the past 40 or so years through a selection of paintings, relief prints, experimental digital prints and book art. A range of lino blocks, proofs and working drawings are also on show. The two earliest works, a still life and self-portrait, both made in 1982 during my first year at art school, are displayed on easels. 

On the table easel by the far window (see following two views) are my three most recent paintings, still in progress, but now very near completion. These are the final works for Rückenfigur, my solo exhibition at Queenscliff Gallery that opens on June 23. 

The wooden table directly opposite the painting station (see below) is my printmaking table. Not shown in this view is another work in progress, a small linocut intended for a group show in 2023, now drawn up and ready to begin carving. 

It has been a busy but immensely productive week, filled with work and lively conversations with students, teachers and visitors. The first of my two weeks long residency has flown by. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

A.I.R. at Geelong Grammar School


From next Monday I begin a much anticipated nine-day residency at Geelong Grammar School. My period as artist-in-residence was originally scheduled for 2020, but was placed on hold when the first of the lockdowns began. The residency was rescheduled for 2021, but in the meantime, I got sick. 

Recently the A.I.R. was postponed for a further week when I caught a particularly nasty dose of flu. It’s hard to believe the residency is happening at long last. Most of this week has been spent in preparation and I’m still not there yet. The school is keen for me to show developments in the work. In part, this has involved digging through my disgracefully messy plan drawers and excavating some hoary old works in order to share something of my journey. 

Coincidentally, that’s the title of the humble hand-coloured linocut dating from 1995 that’s pictured above. Heaven only knows what messages are contained in the bottles. 

All of the prints featured in this post were hand-burnished with a spoon, a method which, in my experience, is considerably slower but infinitely more satisfying and far less problematic than printing with a press. 

Top: Journey, 1995, linocut, hand coloured, 15.24 x 10.26 cm.

Directly below: a selection of relief prints made during the same period that will also travel with me to Geelong. 

Keeper of the Flame, 1995, linocut, hand coloured, 15.24 x 10.26 cm.

Now, Voyager, 1995, linocut, hand coloured, 15.24 x 10.26 cm. 

 Not Drowning… 1995,  linocut, hand coloured, 15.24 x 10.26 cm. 

 High Flyer, 1995, linocut, hand coloured, 15.24 x 10.26 cm.

 Life Saver, 1995, linocut, hand coloured, 15.24 x 10.79 cm.

Monday, May 16, 2022

A short film of ATTUNED at Nicholas Building Up Late, February 2022

Nicholas Building Up Late, February 2022. A short film by Taylor Beaumont-Whiteley documenting the exhibition Attuned at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, which I had several works in. The project was initiated by City Precinct and facilitated by the City of Melbourne.

Thanks to all of those mentioned above and to Stephen McLaughlan for this copy of the film. For a full screen view, click on the bottom right hand corner of the video. 

Nicholas Building Up Late 2022 took place on Wednesday evening, 16 February 2022.

Attuned ran from January 19 - February 26.

Details of the event and a list participating artists are below.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

PRINTED - images by Australian Artists 1942-2020


This afternoon a wonderful surprise package arrived in the mail:

PRINTED - images by Australian Artists 1942 - 2020, by Roger Butler, a sumptuous 416-page book published by the National Gallery of Australia. 

My linocut, St Kilda Warrior, 1997, 61.4 x 45.4 cm, is reproduced on page 240.

Images above (clockwise from top left): 

Barbara Hanrahan, Birth, 1986, linocut;

Kate Lohse, 1986, Women’s issues, etching/aquatint;

Diane Mantzaris, The Wedding Present, 1987, lithograph from computer generated image; 

Deborah Klein, St Kilda Warrior, 1997, linocut.

All works collection National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. 

Over the coming months I’ll be working on several printmaking projects and this exhaustively researched, lavishly illustrated publication will be an invaluable reference. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Some local press for THE BIG KITTY

Further to my Blog Post of Saturday 27 April 2022, THE BIG KITTY has just made The Ballarat Times. 

To read the article Small film gets big local screening by Fiona Watson (Ballarat Times, Saturday 7 May) click on the link below:

Photo credit: Fiona Watson. 

Pictured L-R: Tom Alberts, Shane Jones, Lisa Barmby and Deborah Klein.

Thank you to Fiona Watson for the article and to Lisa for alerting me to it. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Exhibition Preparation

When you’re preparing for an exhibition at Queenscliff Gallery, you need all the help you can get. And in some cases, not.

In these views, Shane Jones joins the multiple panels of my paintings and wires them. He is “assisted” by Alice, who volunteered her services before I had a chance to close the doors to the room.

Rückenfigur, my upcoming solo show at Queenscliff Gallery, opens on 23 June and runs to 27 August. Full details are HERE.

Between now and then, I’ll be undertaking a residency at Geelong Grammar School. Meanwhile, I’m just about keeping on top of things - thanks to Shane and no thanks to Alice!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

THE BIG KITTY comes to Ballarat


On Monday April 24, artists/filmmakers Tom Alberts and Lisa Barmby visited Ballarat for a very special event: a one-off showing at Cinema Eureka of their prize-winning film, THE BIG KITTY. The indie film has previously screened at numerous international festivals, including the Paris, Saint-Tropez, Rochefort and Cannes Film Festivals. The Ballarat screening followed hot on the heels of THE BIG KITTY’s Australian Premiere at Melbourne’s Classic Cinema, a sold out session that necessitated a second screening. 

Before setting off for Cinema Eureka, Lisa and Tom joined Shane Jones and I for afternoon tea in the upstairs cinema room of our house.

On the wall behind Lisa and I is a photo of some of the BIG KITTY CAST and crew, taken during the filming of one of its penultimate scenes:

Upon arrival at Eureka Cinema, we were delighted to find this welcoming sign by the front gate:

Cinema Eureka is a private cinema owned by Bryan Putt and Megan Finlayson. They’ve been keen to screen the film for a couple of years, and it was marvellous that the event coincided with Tom and Lisa’s all too brief visit to Australia. They return to Paris in a few days.

Ballarat Times journalist Fiona Watson photographs the filmmakers: 

Above and below: Bryan, Tom and Lisa:

Lisa interviewed by Fiona Watson: 

Pictured below: Cinema Eureka co-owner, Megan Finlayson:

Cinema Eureka is a sixteen seater, purpose-built to the side of Bryan and Megan’s house. Prior to the screening, Bryan welcomed the specially invited audience. Pictured below, L-R: Spencer Harrison, Tim Jones, Bryan Putt, Shane Jones, Tom, Lisa, Tim Gresham and Erin M. McCuskey.

Below, L-R: Tom, Lisa, Gaye Britt and Tim Gresham, who has a small, but memorable role in the film:

Below: Lily Mae Martin, Christine Hickson and Erin M. McCuskey:

Spencer Harrison, Tim Jones and Shane Jones:

Carole Wilson, Peter Cooper, Lily Mae Martin and Christine Hickson:

Spencer, Tim, Loris Button, Carole and Peter:

Tom and Lisa introduced the film and held a Q&A immediately after the screening:

Among the audience members was Annie Drum (foreground):

Megan thanks Tom and Lisa and announces post-screening beverages:

Gaye and Tim, Shane and I joined Tom and Lisa for a celebratory meal in the dining room of their hotel, Craig’s Royal:

Afterwards Lisa and Tom invited us all for drinks in their hotel room:

It was a night to remember. Warmest thanks to Bryan and Megan for organising the event to perfection and to Lisa and Tom for taking time out from their hectic schedule to make the trip to Ballarat. We wish them further success with THE BIG KITTY and a Bon Voyage to Paris!

For further reading on THE BIG KITTY, read the article by artist/writer Steve Cox for FILMINK HERE.