Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rick Amor Drawing Prize Finalist

Two-Faced Woman, 2012, pencil and pastel, 75 x 56 cm 
Photograph by Shane Jones

My drawing Two-Faced Woman is one of 72 works shortlisted for the Rick Amor Drawing Prize 2012. I understand that there were over 600 submissions this year, which is surely a positive sign that drawing is alive and well and kicking.

Rick Amor is quoted on the invitation: “I hope that this prize gives people one more reason to keep drawing on paper…the most direct and intimate expression of an artist’s sensibility”

The opening event is on Friday 27 April at 6 pm, with formalities commencing at 6.30 pm.

The exhibition will run from Saturday 28 April – Sunday 24 June.

Art Gallery of Ballarat
40 Lydiard Street Nth
Victoria 3350
Telephone: 03 5320 5858

Thursday, April 19, 2012

MLC Contemporary Art Collection

An exhibition showcasing a large selection of the MLC Contemporary Art Collection will be launched next Tuesday. In conjunction with the event, I've been invited to give an informal talk about my works in the collection, my work practice and recent artwork.

The invitation is reproduced above. Images L to R: Trap, 2005, Funambulist, 2005, Crowning Glory 1,
2005, all acrylic on wood. Collection: MLC Melbourne.

Opening 7 pm Tuesday April 24
Common Ground Exhibition Space and
James Tatoulis Auditorium
207 Barkers Road

Refreshments provided by
MLC Friends of Art

The exhibition runs until May 16.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

'behind beauty's masks' by Inga Walton

Campylotes desgonsini Moth Mask, 2007, oil pastel, 112x 76 cm 
Photograph by Viki Petherbridge

Issue 10 of the journal etchings, titled the feminine, features an article on my work by Inga Walton, by far the most extensive that has been written to date.

Inga has written about my work twice before, in 2004 (1) and 2009 (2). She is a superb writer, who is not only remarkably conversant with and genuinely enthusiastic about the work, but also ‘gets’ it, which is enormously gratifying for any artist. She worked particularly long and hard on this piece, unearthing some entirely new ground along the way.

On this occasion, I had some small involvement in the process, in that Inga sent me a list of thought-provoking questions, many of which I’ve ever been asked before. For the most part, it’s a relatively straightforward matter for artists to discuss the basis of our ideas and influences. But at times, even to us, it feels as if some ideas are simply plucked from the air, and this can be far more difficult to articulate. Her questions sometimes required some serious delving on my part, uncovering personal memories that I’d never fully thought about in connection with my work. I learned that some of its sources go back much further than I’d realized - in fact I hadn’t even recognized them as such.

An excerpt from Inga Walton’s behind beauty’s masks: works by Deborah Klein can be read HERE.

Etchings is published by Ilura Press. Issue 10 will be launched on April 19 at Readings Bookshop, 112 Acland Street, St Kilda from 6.30-8.30 pm. Full details are posted on the Ilura Press Website.

(1) Feminine Mystique by Inga Walton, Independent Arts Review, Issue 20, December 2004 - January 2005, Summer Edition

(2) Inga Walton’s article The Elusive Feminine: Works by Deborah Klein (eyeline contemporary visual arts, number 67, 2009) is reproduced on the Articles and Reviews page of my website. To read it in pdf format, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dorothy Parker, Part 2

This second of a two-part post focusing on Dorothy Parker's writings that have directly and indirectly inspired my own work features three more of her verses and the opening paragraphs of the story Sentiment. Unfortunately, it’s too long to reproduce entirely (including its bittersweet ending). I hope that those not familiar with the tale will be encouraged to seek it out in book form. For me, Parker’s short stories are her finest literary achievements. Several of the most memorable, including Sentiment, are interior monologues.

To sample another of her stories that take this form - and for a complete contrast in mood - revisit Dorothy Parker’s  The Waltz, Blog Post Sunday March 8, 2009, by clicking HERE.

A word to those wanting to make a closer acquaintance with the work, with the intention of forming a more lasting relationship: ultimately,  her words are best experienced by way of the privacy and intimacy of the printed page, not on a computer screen.

 Sentiment (excerpt)

Oh, anywhere, driver, anywhere – it doesn’t matter. Just keep driving.

It’s better here in this taxi than it was walking. It’s no good my trying to walk. There is always a glimpse through the crowd of someone who looks like him – someone with his swing of the shoulders, his slant of the hat. And I think it’s he, I think he’s come back. And my heart goes to scalding water, and the buildings sway and bend above me. No, it’s better to be here. But I wish the driver would go fast, so fast that that people walking by would be a long gray blur, and I could see no swinging shoulder, no slanted hat. It’s bad stopping still in the traffic like this. People pass too slowly, too clearly, and always the next one might be  - No, of course it couldn’t be. I know that. Of  course I know it. But it might be, it might.

And people can look in and see me, here. They can see if I cry. Oh, let them – it doesn’t matter. Let them look and be damned to them.

Yes, you look at me. Look and look and look, you poor, queer tired woman. It’s a pretty hat, isn’t it? It’s meant to be looked at. That’s why it’s so big and red and new, that’s why it has these great soft poppies on it. Your poor hat is all weary and done with. It looks like a dead cat, a cat that was run over and pushed out of the way against the curbstone. Don’t you wish you were I and could have a new hat whenever you pleased? You could walk fast, couldn’t you, and hold your head high and raise your feet from the pavement if you were on your way to a new hat, a beautiful hat, a hat that cost more than ever you had? Only I hope you wouldn’t choose one like mine. For red is mourning, you know. Scarlet red for a love that’s dead. Didn’t you know that?……

Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom

Daily dawns another day;

I must up, to make my way.

Though I dress and drink and eat,

Move my fingers and my feet,

Learn a little, here and there,

Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,

Hear a song, or watch a stage,

Leave some words upon a page,

Claim a foe, or hail a friend-

Bed awaits me at the end.

Though I go in pride and strength,

I'll come back to bed at length.

Though I walk in blinded woe,

Back to bed I'm bound to go.

High my heart, or bowed my head,

All my days but lead to bed.

Up, and out, and on; and then

Ever back to bed again,

Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall -
I'm a fool to rise at all!


Her mind lives in a quiet room,
A narrow room, and tall,
With pretty lamps to quench the gloom
And mottoes on the wall.

There all the things are waxen neat,
And set in decorous lines,
And there are posies, round and sweet,
And little, straightened vines.

Her mind lives tidily, apart
From cold and noise and pain,
And bolts the door against her heart,
Out wailing in the rain.


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp;
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

The fragment from Sentiment and the poems reproduced above originally appeared together in The Portable Dorothy Parker, as arranged by Mrs. Parker in 1944. An expanded version is in print as a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition (paperback) first published in 2006. It’s a handsome volume, although to put it mildly, I’m not an admirer of the cover illustrations, particularly those on the inside back cover.

There are numerous online links to Dorothy Parker’s printed works. One of them is HERE. Along with Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker is arguably one of the most quoted authors of all time. To discover her point of view, see Oscar Wilde according to Dorothy Parker on Moth Woman Press HERE.

Images from top:

Dorothy Parker (photograph by Associate Press, 1941)

Reflections, 1996, linocut, chine colle. Collection: Silk Cut Foundation

Her Mind Lives in a Quiet Room, 1994, woodcut

The Little Hours, 1994, woodcut (detail)

Dorothy Parker, 1994, woodcut, chine colle