Monday, April 22, 2024

2024 NEWS

Coming events:


Solo exhibition

The Old Butchers Shop Gallery, Ballarat

Deborah Klein’s emblematic ‘rear view portraits’ allude to the countless women who have fallen through the cracks of history. Her latest solo exhibition marks the first time this body of paintings and works on paper, created over the last 6 years, has been exhibited in Ballarat. 


Presented in conjunction with Ballarat Heritage Festival.


The Old Butchers Shop Gallery

112 Seymour Street 

Soldiers Hill 

Ballarat VIC 3350

Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday 12-4 pm 

Weekdays by appointment

I: @theoldbutchersshopgallery


The exhibition runs from 4 - 26 May


Animated Projection

White Night Ballarat

Deborah is one of the featured artists in White Night Ballarat, the city’s acclaimed festival of projections, illuminations, music and interactive works.

Deborah Klein’s enigmatic tattooed and masked women are the stuff of fairy tales. Adopting adornments drawn from nature, they metamorphose before our eyes, reclaiming the night in a veritable enchanted forest right in the heart of Ballarat. 

Ballarat CBD

Saturday 1 June, 6 pm – midnight



Panel Conversation


Castlemaine Art Gallery, Castlemaine

The CAM Art Book Fair returns in June 2024, in connection with NGV Melbourne Art Book Fair. Melbourne Art Book Fair is part of Melbourne Design Week 2024, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.  

Deborah will take part in the panel discussion Self-Publishing Artists Reaching Across and Beyond the Region at Castlemaine Art Gallery.


Links to all Art Book Fair events are below:




Castlemaine Art Gallery
14 Lyttleton Street (PO Box 248)
Castlemaine VIC 3450
03 5472 2292


Sunday 2 June, 10 – 11 am



Solo exhibition

Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne

Tattooing has variously been described as the oldest profession after prostitution and tax collection, an act of bravery and a specialized art form that marks its wearer as the member of a tribe. The tattoo publicizes and politicizes through its permanence and visibility.

Comprising recent paintings and works on paper, Decorated Women revisits the Tattooed Faces and Figures, a key theme in the artist’s oeuvre, taking it in entirely new directions.


Stephen McLaughlan Gallery
Level 8, Room 16

The Nicholas Building

37 Swanston Street

Melbourne, 3000 (Cnr. Flinders Lane)


The exhibition runs from 4 - 21 December

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Upcoming exhibition: UNSOLVED HISTORIES



A Ballarat Heritage Festival exhibition

Opening event: Saturday, 4 May, from 2-4 pm 

Old Butchers Shop Gallery
112 Seymour Street
Soldiers Hill
Ballarat, VIC 3350

Open weekends, 12-4 pm, or by appointment

Pictured top, L-R: Streaked Bowerbird and Green Catbird, both 2018, watercolours in found frames

UNSOLVED HISTORIES runs until 26 May, 2024

Friday, April 12, 2024

Tudor Rose (Part 2)

Pictured top, far right: a further progress view of Tudor Rose (acrylic on canvas board, 30.5 x 30.5 cm). To its left is the study for the work and a reproduction of the eponymous needlework panel designed by May Morris, from which the tattoo iconography is drawn.

Additional developmental views are below:

The work is from the current series, Decorated Women, to be exhibited at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne in December 2024. 

For earlier views of the work in progress, go HERE.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Progress views of CAT WOMAN with artist’s model

Pictured above and below: snapshots from a recent working session on Cat Woman (acrylic on canvas board, 10.16 x 10.16 cm), with model and muse, Alice B. Cat.

A fine set of whiskers was subsequently added, and, with Alice’s seal of approval, the work is now ready for the 5th annual One Hundred Faces exhibition at Playing in the Attic in Talbot, Vic.

One Hundred Faces opens on Saturday 27 April (Anzac Day long weekend) and continues until the end of May.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Coming event: UNSOLVED HISTORIES at Ballarat Heritage Festival 2024

Delighted to see UNSOLVED HISTORIES, my upcoming solo exhibition at the Old Butchers Shop Gallery, listed on the Ballarat Heritage Festival website. I’m always excited for this time of year in Ballarat and doubly so to be part of it.

The link to the Ballarat Heritage Festival 2024 program is here:

To preview selected works and learn more about UNSOLVED HISTORIES, go here:

Pictured top, L-R: 

Primavera ll, 2021, diptych, acrylic on canvas, 37.5 x 15 cm and Wayfarer, 2021, diptych, acrylic on canvas, 37.5 x 15 cm. Part of UNSOLVED HISTORIES at the Old Butchers Shop Gallery, 112 Seymour Street, Soldiers Hill, Ballarat, VIC, 3350, 4-26 May 2024.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Whereabouts continues at Solander Gallery

On more than one occasion during the run of Whereabouts: Printmakers Respond at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, curated by the indefatigable Rona Green, I remember thinking it was such a shame the exhibition wasn’t travelling further.

For those not already aware of the news, it has. With a slightly different title: Whereabouts: Artists Respond, but the same lineup of artists, Whereabouts is currently on exhibit at Solander Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand.

At 1pm on Saturday, 6 April, you can join Solander Gallery Director Vincent Drane for a walk through the exhibition to learn more about the 56 Victorian-based Whereabouts artists and their work. The event is free but RSVPs will be appreciated.

Artists: Sue Anderson, Elizabeth Banfield, Matthew Clarke, Paul Compton, Miranda Costa, Fiona Davey, Rachel Derum, Mark Dustin, Grace Eve, Philip Faulks, Kevin Foley, Eleanor Franks, David Frazer, Tyronne Gietzmann, Silvi Glattauer, Jackie Gorring, Rona Green, Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Greg Harrison, Bill Hay, Judy Horacek, Anita Iacovella, Kyoko Imazu, Deborah Klein, Gillian Kline, Anita Laurence, Dianne Longley, Michael Lye, Marion Manifold, Cassie May, Aaron McLoughlin, Glenn Morgan, Carnegie Muir, Angela Nagel, Billy Nye, James Pasakos, Jim Pavlidis, Catherine Pilgrim, Michael Reynolds, Cathy Ronalds, David Rosengrave, John Ryrie, Libby Schreiber, Gwen Scott, Heather Shimmen, Glen Smith, Ruth Stanton, Neale Stratford, Sophia Szilagyi, Helen Timbury, Clayton Tremlett, Peter Ward, Deborah Williams, Joel Wolter and Jessi Wong.

Whereabouts opened on 22 March and runs to 4 May.

A selection of installation views, courtesy of Solander Gallery, is pictured above.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Tudor Rose: a work in progress

Pictured above and below: developmental stages of Tudor Rose, acrylic on canvas on board, 30.5 x 30.5 cm.

The face decorations on the small study, soon to be recreated on the larger work, are based loosely on selected motifs in Tudor Rose, c. 1890, an embroidery panel designed by 
May Morris. An article on the significance of the Tudor Rose and its application in embroidery is HERE

Tudor Rose is part of my ongoing series, Decorated Women, scheduled for exhibition at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery in early December 2024.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Craig Gough at Cascade Art Gallery


A highlight of our Easter weekend was yesterday afternoon’s opening of Craig Gough’s exhibition at Cascade Art Gallery in Maldon. 

Craig was my painting and drawing lecturer at Monash University, Caulfield Campus, back in the 1980s. He and his partner, fellow artist, Wendy Stavrianos, are two of our favourite people. It was great to see them both and a lovely surprise to encounter several other old friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in years. 

The gallery, which is stunning, was formerly a church, and I was struck by the reflection from a lead light window on one of Craig’s paintings, Garden Space. Uncannily, the colours of the stained glass are remarkably similar to those in his painting, so that the reflection almost seems to emanate from the artwork. 

Craig Gough’s exhibition at Cascade Art Gallery runs to April 21 and is highly recommended.

Images from top:
1 Craig and me;
2 Shane Jones, Craig and I;
3-4 Garden Space with stained glass reflection

Friday, March 29, 2024

Sondheim Trivia Night


In a somewhat belated follow-up to my last post, here are a selection of snaps from last Friday evening’s Stephen Sondheim Trivia Night, a fundraiser for Watch This, “Australia’s first and only Sondheim repertory company”, of which Shane Jones and I are proud patrons.

Aside from Shane and I, our table comprised Melbourne Gallery Director, Stephen McLaughlan and Phillip (I never learned his surname), who we met for the first time that night. If I do say so myself, we made rather a good team. We didn’t win any prizes - not even close - but we didn’t disgrace ourselves either. The main thing was, we had an absolute ball. 

Pictured above, L-R: Phillip, Shane, Sonya Suares, myself and Stephen McLaughlan. Sonya is the Chairperson, Founder and former Artistic Director of Watch This. The outfit she is wearing was the subject of one of the trivia questions posed by Quiz Master, Nick Simpson-Deeks. We were asked to identify the Watch This production she wore it in. That was a question I could answer with some certainty. She wore it as Amy in Company. I ought to know - I saw it three times! She was brilliant in it, as was Nick, in the central role of Bobby.

Pictured above: Mel Hillman and Dean Drieberg, Co-artistic Directors of Watch This.

Pictured above: Nick Simpson-Deeks, Design and Communications, (and leading performer in many a fine Watch This production). 

Foreground, above: fellow trivia contestant, John O’May. A distinguished actor of many years’ standing, John played principal roles in  A Little Night Music and Into the Woods for the company. I’m a longtime admirer of his work, and dearly hope we’ll see him in future Watch This productions. 

Directly below: Watch This Co-Director Dean Drieberg made my evening when he told me that on my recommendation, during his recent trip to London, he managed to catch Old Friends, then in its last days, and loved it as much as I did. Like me (and no doubt, thousands of others during the show’s run), he was moved to tears when, at the very end, Bernadette Peters turned face to the images of Sondheim hovering over the stage (top photo, previous post) and sang Not a Day Goes By.    

Friday, March 22, 2024

Happy Birthday, Stephen Sondheim/Old Friends

The late, great Stephen Sondheim was born on this day in 1930.

This evening we are celebrating the occasion by attending a Sondheim Trivia Night, a fundraiser for Watch This, the Melbourne-based theatre company that for almost a decade has dedicated itself to performing his works. 

I still can’t believe my good fortune that my visit to London last year coincided with Old Friends,  a star-studded musical tribute to Sondheim that was performed at the Gielgud Theatre from September 2023 to early January 2024. Put simply, it was one of the finest theatrical productions I’ve ever seen. The top photo was taken from my seat on the night of the performance we attended.

I still remember my excitement the day I met my old friend Bev Murray in the West End to book our tickets at the theatre. 

Old Friends has recently been nominated for an Olivier Award, and deservedly so. 

During my stay I was also fortunate to attend a production of Sondheim’s Follies at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama at the instigation of Susan Verney, another old and very dear friend. It was a dazzling production, with brilliant choreography and stunning performances which completely belied the fact that we watching a student production. 

Sending much love to all my old friends in London. Who’s like us? Damn few.

Hey, old friend

Are you okay, old friend?

What do you say, old friend?

Are we or are we unique?

Time goes by

Everything else keeps changing

You and I

We get continued next week

Most friends fade

Or they don't make the grade

New ones are quickly made

And in a pinch, sure, they'll do

But us, old friend

What’s to discuss, old friend?

Here's to us

Who's like us?

Damn few 

- Stephen Sondheim, Old Friends, from Merrily We Roll Along (1981). 

Happy Birthday, Stephen Sondheim.