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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Ballarat Heritage Festival 2024



Unsolved Historiesmy solo exhibition currently on view at the Old Butchers Shop Gallery, is an official Ballarat Heritage Festival event.

Ballarat’s renowned Heritage Festival opens this coming weekend, on Saturday 18 May. For those who are planning to include the exhibition in your itinerary - and I really hope you will - here is a little about what you will find.



The Rückenfigur, or rear view figure, has occupied a central position in my work since the turn of the last century. The motif has figured in every medium throughout the history of art, but arguably is most closely associated with the work of nineteenth century German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich. Victorian mourning and sentimental jewellery, Early and High Renaissance art, Elizabethan portrait miniatures, the films of Alfred Hitchcock and surrealist paintings of Rene Magritte are among the disparate influences infiltrating these works. Unsolved Histories charts a course through selected paintings, prints and drawings created over the past last six years, uncovering a link to my own familial connection to Ballarat.

Continue scrolling for additional installation views and to learn about the evolution of the Old Butchers Shop Gallery. Situated in historic Soldiers Hill, it has a heritage all its own. 








For further information about Unsolved Histories and the Old Butchers Shop Gallery, visit the Ballarat Heritage Festival site here:


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

The gallery is open from 12-4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays - 18-19 May and 25-26 May - or by appointment. I’ll be there on all of these days and look forward to welcoming you. 

Photo credit for image 1: Julie Bennett;
Photo credit for images 4 and 7 from top: Jimmy Pasakos;
The rest are by me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

World of the Book, 2023-24


Pictured above and below are selected highlights from a recent mad dash to revisit the latest iteration of World of the Book in the dome of the State Library of Victoria one last time before the exhibition closed.

The section focusing on silhouettes included four page views from my unbound artist book, Leaves of Absence, 2017, collection: State Library of Victoria. (Images 1-2). Coincidentally, the book is also on display just a few tram stops away at Melbourne Athenaeum Library. It has been a thrill to see my work placed in this particular context, alongside works by some of the greats of silhouette art, among them, Arthur Rackham and contemporary artist, Kyoko Imazu. 






Of greatest personal significance were the sections devoted to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (I was particularly taken with Lynd Ward’s illustration in the 1934 edition, pictured above) and Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, with illustrations by John Tenniel. Both authors have had considerable impact on my own work. 





The following works are by Dianne Longley (Threads Drawn from the Past, Towards a Digital Future, 2005) and Angela Cavalieri, whose large-scale linocut, Luce, 2005, was inspired by a 2003 residency undertaken at the British School in Rome. The work, which references Donato Bramante’s Tempietto of San Pietro in Rome, is equally at home in the dome gallery overlooking the library’s magnificent Reading Room (final view). 




The exhibition opened on 1 April, 2023 and closed on Sunday, 12 May, 2024.


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

WHITE NIGHT BALLARAT

For me, White Night Ballarat has always been an evening of sheer magic, but not for an instant did I dream I’d ever be part of it. Thank you to the amazing White Night team for inviting me to be one of this year’s featured artists. There will be two animated projections of my work, one on Cobb’s Corner (National Mutual Building) and the other on Eureka House (north wall). Based on the teaser I was shown a couple of days ago, I’m doubly excited for the sun to go down on Saturday, 1 June

Reposted from White Night’s Facebook page:

Local artist Deborah Klein infuses an ethereal quality into her work, weaving tales of enchantment. 

The notion of “looking over the overlooked” is a powerful concept, and using moths as a metaphor is particularly poignant. Often overshadowed by the more flamboyant butterflies, moths possess their own quiet beauty and serve as a reminder of the hidden wonders that exist in the world.

These hidden wonders will shine bright and flutter across Cobb's Corner at White Night Ballarat. Decorated Women is one of the incredible projections in the White Night Ballarat program. Be sure to come and see it for yourself on 1 June, 2024.

Monday, May 6, 2024

UNSOLVED HISTORIES - Opening highlights

After Saturday’s lively opening of Unsolved Histories at The Old Butchers Shop Gallery, I fully expected Sunday would be comparatively quiet. My plan for the day, such as I had one, was to belatedly post some of Saturday’s highlights.

But it was not to be. By yesterday’s end, I reckon we had nearly as many visitors through as on the previous day. It was terrific to see so many faces, both familiar and unfamiliar, and I’ve so enjoyed chatting with many of you over the past two days.

The very short video directly below was shot by Julie Bennett, Director of The Old Butchers Shop Gallery.





















A million thanks to everyone who has called in so far, to those who have purchased works and to the friends who stepped in to take these photographs, predominantly Jimmy Pasakos, but also Tim Gresham and Doug Willis.

Thank you to Julie Bennett for inviting me to show in this gem of a gallery and to my partner, Shane Jones, for far more reasons than I can possibly count. 

The exhibition is open weekends from 12-4 pm or by appointment until Sunday 26 May. 


Saturday, May 4, 2024

Ballarat Times: PAINTING A PORTRAIT OF HISTORY’S LOST WOMEN

On the eve of the launch of UNSOLVED HISTORIES at The Old Butchers Shop Gallery, Ballarat, I received this delightful and very well-timed surprise.

Many thanks to Tim Bottams for his article in yesterday’s Ballarat Times, Saturday 3 May. 


UNSOLVED HISTORIES officially opens today at 2pm. For further details, scroll down to my last two posts.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Behind the door


Scroll down to see some of what has been going on behind the closed door of The Old Butcher Shop Gallery over the last few days.







Better yet, come along and see for yourself when my solo exhibition UNSOLVED HISTORIES opens tomorrow, Saturday 4 May, at 2 pm. 

The gallery is open weekends from 12-4 pm or by appointment. 


With enormous gratitude and thanks to Shane Jones (in views two and four above) for his invaluable help and tireless support throughout this project.


UNSOLVED HISTORIES continues to Sunday 26 May. 


For further information, scroll down to the invitation in my previous post.