Pages

Saturday, December 14, 2019

December 11 celebrations



Settlement of my house in Bradshaw Street on December 11 (see previous post) coincided with a visit to Eureka Street from two Melbourne friends, Anne and Nathan Moshinsky. They are among several people we initially met through our mutual friend, Ross Campbell, with whom we share a love of film. (Leigh Hobbs is another - see the final photo below). Not surprisingly, Nathan and Anne were especially drawn to the cinema room on the first floor. We'd originally planned to go out for brunch. But no one wanted to leave, so we celebrated in our new home.

Shane and Nathan were soon immersed in an in-depth discussion about art. Note Alice's attempts to distract them. When all else fails, she finds that clawking the sofa never fails to achieve the desired response.




Later that day, Shane and I drove to Melbourne for screenings of The Long Day Closes and The Neon Bible at Melbourne Cinematheque, both of which are part of the current Terrence Davies season. (Davies is one of our favourite directors). December 11 is also the birthday of my gorgeous sister-in-law, Patricia Gillard (pictured below, right) and we met her for a celebratory drink beforehand. We were briefly joined, via a series of happy coincidences, by our dear friend, Leigh Hobbs (second from right).


All in all, it was a memorable day.


Friday, December 13, 2019

A fond farewell and belated thanks


On Monday afternoon, Shane and I called into 7 Bradshaw Street, Golden Point for one last wistful look at our former home and my beloved studio (above and fourth photo below). Final inspection was the following morning and settlement took place on Wednesday, 11 December at 11 am.






The settlement nominated by the buyer was alarmingly brief - we had under three and a half weeks to vacate the studio and house. It was an intense, frequently stressful period, with little time for anything else, especially when the deadline drew disconcertingly near.

I spent my birthday on December 4 at our new place, unpacking seemingly endless piles of boxes and attempting to find homes for their various contents, while Shane remained in Bradshaw Street patching the dozens of holes where our artworks and other collections once hung. We did take some brief time out, however. In the morning, Shane took me out for breakfast and in the evening for a celebratory meal.

For Shane and I, 2019 has been dominated by a chain of moves: from his warehouse apartment in Park Street, Abbotsford, to my house in Bradshaw Street, and finally to our place in Eureka Street, Ballarat East, the first home we've owned together. It feels like it's where we're meant to be. We've still got a lot of work ahead of us, but now we can do it in our own time and at our own pace.

There are many people to thank, but first and foremost, thank you all so much for your birthday wishes, via social media, email, text and even snail mail. You brightened my day more than you'll ever know.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

WONDERMENT launch

 Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop

Featured here are selected pictorial highlights of the official opening of WONDERMENT at Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop last Sunday afternoon, December 1.

The exhibition showcases works by Antonio Balletta, Christine Gibson, Lizzie Horne, Hyun Ju Kim, myself, Michael Leunig, Soula Mantalvanos, David Moore, Geoffrey Ricardo, John Ryrie and Lucinda Tanner.

Welcome to WONDERMENT

My Homo insecta watercolours

Pictured with a selection of my watercolours. Photo credit: Shane Jones

Works by Soula Mantalvanos

A wall of works by Soula Mantalvanos

Shane Jones and Soula Mantalvanos with paintings by Michael Leunig

L-R: Shane Jones and John Ryrie discuss John's work. The four works to the right of the window are by Christine Gibson

A selection of works on paper by John Ryrie

The gallery's new racks currently feature additional works by WONDERMENT artists

Works by Hyun Ju Kim

Michael Leunig's works

L-R: works by Antonio Balletta, David Moore and Geoffrey Ricardo

L-R: Soula Mantalvanos and myself. Photo credit: Shane Jones

Theo Mantalvanos with works by David Moore (left) and Christine Gibson (right)

Centre, L-R: Soula Mantalvanos with Susan and Antonio Balletta

Geoffrey Ricardo (background, second from right) and Shane Jones (right)

It was great to finally meet Antonio and Susan Balletta and to catch up with Geoffrey Ricardo and the multi-talented John Ryrie. John's guitar accompaniment to the event was a joy.

John Ryrie on guitar. Backing him (L-R) are works by Christine Gibson and two of his own.

WONDERMENT is the gallery's summer exhibition; it runs to February 24. Warmest thanks to Theo and Soula Mantalvanos for inviting me to be part of it.

Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop
Phone: 03 4202 0942
Mobile: 0438 866 068
Address: 81 Hesse Street Queenscliff VIC 3225

Friday, November 29, 2019

Opening night: ANTHROPOCENE - The 2019 R & M McGivern Prize

Viewing my watercolour, Phyllium giganteum homo insecta at Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery on the
opening night of the 2019 R & M McGivern Prize. Photo credit: Shane Jones

Yesterday evening, ANTHROPOCENE, the 2019 R & M McGivern Prize, was launched at Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery. The exhibition attracted a record number of 450 entries. From these, 45 finalists were chosen, among them, my watercolour, Phyllium giganteum homo insecta.


For the first time in its history, the show is exhibited over two venues: Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery and ArtSpace at Realm, enabling more works to be included in the show.


ANTHROPOCENE was officially opened by the Mayor of Maroondah, Cr Mike Symon, with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Zeta Thomson, followed by remarks from Perpetual Trustees.


This year's judges were Charlotte Day, Director, Monash University Museum of Art, Penny Teale, Bunjil Place Gallery Curator and Ryan Johntson, Director, Buxton Contemporary. Mr. Johnston (below, third from left), announced the winner of the $25,000 prize, Nadine Christensen (below, second from left).

Congratulations to Nadine, all the finalists and warm thanks to everyone concerned with administration of ANTHROPOCENE.


The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with detailed information on each artist's work and an introductory essay by Emily Jones, Curator Exhibitions and Collection, Maroondah City Council.

ANTHROPOCENE, the 2019 R & M McGivern Prize, runs until 1 February 2020. For further information, go HERE.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A house and drawing in progress




For the past several weeks, I've been juggling house moving with work, a balancing act that's becoming increasingly precarious as the settlement date for our old place approaches. Throughout this unsettling and disruptive time, drawing has provided a much-needed sense of equilibrium and continuum.

Several of the drawings will eventually form the basis for larger scale works, once the dust on our move has settled. The most recent drawing, pictured above, was started at our old place and further developed in my new studio (pictured below). Like the rest of the house, the studio is very much a work in progress. It's unlikely to remain in this minimal state for very long.


The following photos were snapped a few weeks ago, the day after Shane Jones and I got the keys to the new house. Our friends Tim Gresham and Gaye Britt popped in for an impromptu celebration that started in the cinema room on the first floor, then gravitated downstairs.














Our new home is gradually taking shape as we simultaneously cut ties with the place we called home for the past nine years. Pictured below is an updated view of our cinema room. The easel painting to the right of the windows is an trompe l'oeil work by Shane.


Alice is loving the new house and has made herself completely at home. The sculpture on the far right, below, is by Dean Bowen.


Pictured below is a cosy corner of our reading room. Originally the projection room for the cinema, it's my favourite room in the house.


On the table in the library is another trompe l'oeil painting by Shane, paired with the paperback novel, Shane, on which it's based.


On Monday morning the removalist will collect the really heavy stuff from the old house and studio, including our etching press. Setting up a shared printmaking studio/workshop in our new place will be among the challenges facing us in the new year, and beyond. The prospect is somewhat daunting. But we've already come this far, I reckon we're up for it.