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Sunday, August 7, 2022

2020-22 APW George Collie Award Exhibition Opening + Award Presentation



In the car on the way to yesterday’s opening of the APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition, I wrote the following on my phone, mainly because I didn’t want to forget to thank anyone. Although I didn’t read from the notes at the opening, my words came out much the same as what I’d written (if a bit more garbled) so I thought I’d share them here:

The Australian Print Workshop has been a big part of my life, but never in a million years did I dream I’d be standing here in this context. 

L-R: Myself, APW Artistic Director and CEO, Anne Virgo and 2022 Award Recipient, Hertha Kluge-Pott. 
The works behind us are by my fellow 2020 Award Recipient, Barbara Hanrahan.  

Firstly, I’d like to thank Anne Virgo for inviting me to be part of this prestigious award way back in 2000. I was doubly thrilled to learn I would be sharing it with the late, great Barbara Hanrahan.

Myself and Hertha Kluge-Pott

Since 2000, we’ve been riding the waves of COVID. A major benefit of waiting so long for this day to arrive is that my works now hang alongside two other artists whose works I’ve long admired, the 2021-22 Award Recipients, Ann Newmarch and Hertha Kluge-Pott.

In fact, there’s not an artist among the list of distinguished past recipients whose works I don’t hold in high regard. It’s an enormous  privilege to be counted among them. 



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Screenprint by Ann Newmarch OAM 

Intaglio prints by Hertha-Kluge Pott

A big thank you to the wonderful team at the APW, particularly Liz Errol, and similarly Alex Gillies, who hung this show so beautifully. Thank you both for the elegant artist book and zine displays too. 


Outside the APW with some of my artist books

Above and below: my artist books and zines in the APW windows 


A huge thank you to Simon White, who printed my linocut,
Wished on the Moon. (See previous post). It was a joy to work with Simon. This isn’t the first time we’ve collaborated on a print edition and I certainly hope it won’t be the last. 

Warmest thanks to my partner, Shane Jones, who has been a tower of strength throughout all of this, and much else besides. 

Finally, thank you so much to everyone who came today, including many old friends. Your presence means the world. 


Euan Heng, Catherine Heng and myself

With Leigh Hobbs

L-R: Tim Gresham, Annamaria Plescia, myself, Gaye Britt, Cresside Collette

L-R: James Harrison, Priscilla Ambrosini and Shane Jones

L-R: Cresside Collette, Shane Jones, Simon White

Priscilla Ambrosini, John Waller, Annamaria Plescia and myself 

L-R: Tim Gresham, Cresside Collette, Gaye Britt, Anne Virgo Hertha Kluge-Pott, Kathryn Ryan

From centre: Kathryn Ryan, Gaye Britt, Tim Gresham

 L-R: Shane Jones, myself, Steven Kafkarisos and Angela Cavalieri 

In recent years, my work has mainly focused on painting. I should also have mentioned that working on the linocut edition with Simon has taken me back to my roots and reignited my love of printmaking. 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

I Wished on the Moon

Deborah Klein, I Wished on the Moon, 2022, hand-coloured linocut, 34.5 x 26.8 cm, ed. 20
Printed by Simon White at the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne 
Photo credit: Tim Gresham 


After nigh on three-and-a half-decades as a practicing artist, the time is ripe to revisit and re-evaluate the past in order to clear a pathway for the creation of new narratives. 


Accordingly, my current works gather together and re-contextualise the myriad of accumulated influences, motifs, themes and personal iconography that have directed it thus far. Among these are insects, particularly moths, and the meticulously braided hairstyles of my anonymous protagonists, the Rückenfiguren, or figures seen from behind. 


From the outset, music has been a key influence. In this instance, the work begins and ends with the song from which it takes its title and much of its narrative content. 


I first heard I Wished on the Moon several years ago on a reissue of Mel Tormé’s classic recording, Swinging on The Moon,  a compilation of moon-themed jazz standards originally released in 1960.


It was one of the few songs on the CD I was unfamiliar with. Moved by the plaintive melody and bittersweet lyric, I was compelled to look into its authorship and history. The music was written in 1935 by Ralph Rainger, a prolific composer whose work I’ve long admired. But the real surprise was the identity of the lyricist. Dorothy Parker is best known as a writer of prose and poetry and is one of my favourite authors. Her writings have had a profound impact on many of my works. I was aware she was one of several people who contributed lyrics to the original production of Leonard Bernstein’s scathingly brilliant operetta, Candide (1956), but she is not generally known as a lyricist. I can find only one other lyric penned by her, and it’s also a standard. (1)  I wish she had written more, and wonder why she didn’t. 


I Wished on the Moon (detail)

The exquisite longing expressed in Dorothy Parker’s lyric set the stage for my work. The linocut doesn’t specifically seek to illustrate the song, but does take a number of cues from it. These lines prompted the inclusion of the evening star as part of my own narrative:


‘’I begged of a star

To throw me a beam or two;

Wished on a star

And asked for a dream or two…”


And its chorus encapsulates the entire work:


“I wished on the moon

For something I never knew;

Wished on the moon

For more than I ever knew;

A sweeter rose, a softer sky, an April day

That would not dance away.”



I Wished on the Moon has its own Wikipedia Page, which lists some notable recordings. These are my own favourites: Ruth Etting (1935) Billie Holiday (1951) and Mel Tormé (1960). Notably, all three artists have chosen to retain its verse. By comparison, Bing Crosby, who introduced the song in the film, The Big Broadcast of 1936, where he performed it in its entirety, omitted the verse and sang only one chorus in his 78 rpm soundtrack recording. 


Luna moth (Photo credit: Emmett Tullos, Jackson AL, US) (2)


Fittingly, the great winged insect that literally has my protagonist’s back is a Luna moth. 


The founder of modern taxonomy, Swedish zoologist, physician and botanist, Carl Linnaeus (1707 - 1778), included the species in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae, (1758). He named it Phalaena luna, later Actias luna, with luna derived from Luna, the Roman moon goddess. Subsequently, its common name became "Luna moth". 


In mythology, the Luna moth is chiefly associated with rebirth, transformation, transience, resilience and new beginnings.



Dorothy Parker (Photographer unknown)


Ralph Rainger’s haunting melody, so perfectly matched by Dorothy Parker’s heart-rending lyric, played in my head throughout the creation of this work. Because of the song’s apparently idiosyncratic nature, however, I was initially reluctant to attach its title to my own work. In fact,  Dorothy Parker’s lyric for I wished on the Moon transcends the personal. After all, who among us hasn’t wished on the moon, or even longed to go there?


My linocut I Wished on the Moon is part of the 2020-2022 APW George Collie Memorial Exhibition at the Australian Print Workshop, opening today, Saturday, 6 August. 


The exhibition is current to Saturday, October 1. 



(1) How Am I to Know? (1929). Music by Jack King, lyrics by Dorothy Parker. You can hear Billie Holiday sing it HERE.


(2) This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. The image was originally posted to Flickr by ravensong75 at https://flickr.com/photos/12938199@N00/2494163376 (archive). It was reviewed on 18 November 2017 by FlickreviewR 2 and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0

Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Gentle Reminder

OPENING SATURDAY

2020-2022 APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition + Presentation 


2020 - 2022 APW George Collie Memorial Award Recipients:
Barbara Hanrahan / Deborah Klein / Hertha Kluge-Pott / Ann Newmarch OAM
Exhibition Opening and Award Presentation 
2 - 4 pm Saturday 6 August

I hope to see you there! 

Pictured above, right: Lace Face, 1996, 46 x 30 cm. Printed by the artist at the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne. Collection: APW Archive.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Work in Progress for IMPACT 12


Pictured above: a linocut ready for printing. Begun during my recent residency at Geelong Grammar School, the completed work will be part of a Goldfields Printmakers portfolio to be exhibited at IMPACT 12, the upcoming International Printmaking Conference in Bristol, UK. Would that I were travelling with it.

A couple of earlier progress views are below. 


Once the drawing is resolved and the block is ready to carve, I apply a coat of transparent ink to make it easier to see the areas that have been cut away.


Friday, July 29, 2022

Your invitation to the APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition + Presentation

You are warmly invited to the Exhibition Opening and Award Presentation of the 2020-2022 APW George Collie Memorial Award at the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne. 


As part of the Award (which I am privileged to share with Barbara Hanrahan, Hertha Kluge-Pott and Ann Newmarch OAM), I was invited by the APW to create a special print edition, a hand coloured linocut printed by APW Master Printer, Simon White. It will be included in the exhibition, along with several earlier works, the majority of them from the APW archives. A selection of Moth Woman Press artist books and zines will also be on exhibit. 

APW George Collie Award Exhibition Opening + Presentation

2 - 4 pm, Saturday 6 August


Australian Print Workshop Gallery
210 Gertrude Street,
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, AUSTRALIA
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
T: (03) 9419 5466
E: contact@australianprintworkshop.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition: D’oyley Face

 

D'oyley Face, 1997, linocut, 46 x 36 cm, edition 15

Back in 2020, I was a recipient of the Australian Print Workshop’s 2020 APW George Collie Memorial Award, which acknowledges “Artists who have made significant and enduring contributions to the field of Australian Printmaking.”* (See also previous post). 

Traditionally, the award presentation is accompanied by an exhibition in the APW Gallery. This was originally scheduled to open on June 13, 2020. Then along came the pandemic. The rest, as they say, is history, although sad to say, COVID is still very much a part of our lives. 

The APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition and Presentation will finally forge ahead on Saturday August 6 from 2 - 4 pm. The 2020 Award also recognises the work of one of my printmaking and literary heroines, the late Barbara Hanrahan, alongside more recent recipients whose works I also revere, but whose names I’m not yet at liberty to divulge. It’s a tremendous honour to have my name linked with theirs and eminent past recipients Alun Leach-Jones and Kevin Lincoln (2019), Graham Fransella and Euan Heng (2018), Kitty Kantilla and John Wolseley (2017), Bea Maddock and Jennifer Marshall (2016), Grahame King and Jan Senbergs (2015) and Rick Amor and Noel Counihan (2014).

As part of the award, a special print edition has been commissioned by the APW. My hand coloured linocut entitled I wished on the moon, 2022, printed by the APW’s Simon White, will be part of the exhibition, along with a selection of earlier works. The majority are from the APW’s archives. I’ve only just noticed that one of them, D’oyley Face, 1997, pictured top, incorporates fragments of hand embroidered doilies formerly owned by my late Aunt, Eileen Klein, including the doily that was the basis for my painting, Primavera l, 2021 (see below). I had completely forgotten about this early reference to my aunt’s home textiles collection that has inspired so much of my recent work.

Eileen Klein’s doily (left) with Primavera I, 2021, diptych, acrylic on canvas, 37 x 15 cm 

The APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition has been a long time coming. I can’t believe it’s happening at last and hope you’ll save the date. The exhibition runs from Saturday‬ ‪August 6 to Saturday October 1, 2022

*From the APW website 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Countdown to the APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition

Yesterday I called into the Australian Print Workshop to sign and number the linocut (an edition of 20, plus proofs) commissioned for the forthcoming APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition. On my left is APW master printer Simon White, who printed the edition, which I hand coloured in my Ballarat studio. (See below).

After two long years of COVID-related delays (and then some), the APW George Collie Memorial Award Exhibition will officially open on Saturday 6 August and run to Saturday 1 October 2022

Further details about the exhibition and print edition will be posted nearer the time.

Photo credit for image 1: Shane Jones.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Swan Hill Print and Drawing Award finalist

 


The Needlewoman, 2022, pigmented drawing ink and watercolour, 76.5 x 56 cm, has been shortlisted for the 2022 Swan Hill Print & Drawing Acquisitive Awards at Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery.

The work is pictured here, all packed and ready for delivery to the good folk at Creative Framing Gallery. (Thank you, Shane Jones, for the loan of the box). 


Umpteen hours over a long period of time have gone into the development of this drawing. In fact, more than once I nearly gave up on it. Along the way, it even acquired a new title. Its inclusion in the award means a great deal. It will also be a huge relief to have the work safely under glass so I can no longer fiddle with it!

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Wrapping up RÜCKENFIGUR

 

Jade, 2022, diptych, acrylic on canvas, 37(h) x 15(w)cm. 
Photo credit: Tim Gresham

It’s a wrap (well, almost).


Rückenfigur, my solo show at at Queenscliff Gallery, ends today, Sunday, July 10, at 4 pm.


Scroll through for a small selection of highlights, most of them taken at the official opening. Warmest thanks to Queenscliff Gallery, to those who made acquisitions and to everyone who dropped by during the exhibition’s run. 


To view additional highlights, scroll down to Blog Post Monday, June 27, 2022 or click HERE.


For those who missed the show, never fear. You can still pay it a virtual visit here: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=wki33M1KvV3 


A link to individual works is here: https://qgallery.com.au/item-tag/ruckenfigur

Photo credits for the following, unless otherwise stated: Soula Mantalvanos and Kathryn Ryan.



Antonietta Covino-Beehre, Loris Button and myself

With Helen Bodycomb and Martin Paten

Heather Barker, Loris Button, myself and Euan Barker


Lara Davies and Paul Compton 

With Euan Barker and Shirley Ploog

L-R: Tim Gresham, Christine Hickson, Gaye Britt, Susan Balletta, Theo Mantalvanos, Antonio Balletta
Shirley Ploog, Shane Jones
From centre: Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, Annie Drum, Gaye Britt

Peter Cooper (background, left), Miranda Costa (foreground),
 Loris Button and Antonietta Covina-Beehre (background, right)



Shane Jones


Libby Drew, Shane Jones, Scott Bain, Gaye Britt, Susan and Antonio Balletta, Tim Gresham and Christine Hickson 

Michael and Jennifer Fitzgerald, myself, Godwin Bradbeer, Angela Bourke and Christine Hickson 

With Godwin Bradbeer

Coffee at after the show at 360Q with Shane Jones, Kathryn Ryan, Brendan Ryan, Susan Balletta, Antonio Balletta 
and Godwin Bradbeer, surrounded by magnificent harbour views. Credit for above photo: staff member from 360Q