Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Christmas at Ballarat, 2013

The Season to be Jolly comes but once a year. For many people that's more than enough, with the compulsory jolliness simply too big an ask. But I've always rather enjoyed this time of year. Perhaps I've read Dickens's A Christmas Carol once too often. Since I bought the house at Ballarat, we've even turned into a two Christmas tree family. Our fine new tree currently takes pride of place in the living room (see directly above) and offers seemingly unlimited scope for our growing collection of Christmas decorations. Every year Shane suggests we leave our tree up all year (like Harpo Marx once did). But in the end we reluctantly take the advice of those boring old Corinthians and put away childish things. We are comforted to know that another Christmas will be upon us before we know it.

Meanwhile, our original tree of many years standing graces the living room in our Melbourne place. It's still our sentimental favourite. See it at Moth Woman Press HERE.

Pictured  top:
Untitled, relief print, 1998, 73 x 62 cm (called back into service as a Christmas card)

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Last Days of Wonder Room

Immediately below are selected snapshots of the Wonder Room Floor Talk Paul Compton and I gave last Saturday to a wonderfully warm and receptive audience. The photographs were taken by Shane Jones.

DK pictured with Maroondah Art Gallery Curator Lisa Byrne

Paul Compton provides some fascinating insights into the making and meaning of his remarkable suite of
Cabinets of Curiosity drawings, as Curator Lisa Byrne, the audience and myself listen with rapt attention

Recently Tim Gresham took some installation views of the exhibition. 

Tim Gresham in Gallery 1, with works by Rona Green, Deborah Klein, Paul Compton and Filomena Coppola.
Photograph: DK

These are just some of the many terrific shots he took that day:

Gallery 2, left-right: works by Deborah Klein, Heather Shimmen and Rona Green. Photograph: Tim Gresham

Gallery 2: works by Deborah Klein, Paul Compton and Rona Green. Photograph: Tim Gresham

Gallery 2 detail: Shadow Box by Deborah Klein. Photograph: Tim Gresham

For those still keen to catch Wonder Room, you have until this coming Saturday, 30 November.

For more installation views, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

To read Penny Peckham's online review of Wonder Room, visit her blog Word and Image HERE.

Friday, November 22, 2013

'Wonder Room' Floor Talk

Tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, 23 November at 2pm, fellow Wonder Room artist Paul Compton and I will give an informal talk about the exhibition we created together with our Wonder Roommates Filomena Coppola, Rona Green and Heather Shimmen. Please join us.

See full details directly below:

Pictured above: Wonder Room installation view, featuring works by Paul Compton, Rona Green, Deborah Klein
and Filomena Coppola. Photograph by Tim Gresham.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The 5th Anniversary of the Art Vault Part 3

Sunday brunch with Julie and Kevin

We were warmly greeted by Kevin upon arrival at the house on Friday evening. It was marvellous to see Kevin, Julie and all the Art Vault folk again. Left to right: Shane, Kevin, ex de Medici and Ros Atkins.

The chairs and tables were already in place for Sunday brunch:

On Sunday morning, just before the festivities got under way: Kevin, ex, Julie and Ros.

What a feast it was. Pictured below: Trace from the Art Vault (in profile, second from left) and Sasha Grishin (5th from right, rear). Second from right: artist Graeme Drendel piles his plate with tasty morsels.

Below: artist Susan Baran, the Art Vault's Mia Kolpin and Mia's Harvey.

Inside Julie and Kevin's house: myself and Peter Lancaster. (The following two photographs are courtesy of Anne Spudvilas):

Julie and Kevin had all the artists sign a life-sized poster of the door to the gallery's vault, from which it takes its name. The vault is now used as a storage area for artwork.

Here is Anne adding her signature and message of congratulations.

From left: Andrew, Shane, Peter, Wendy and Stephanie.

Below: yours truly with Shane, Susan, Anne and Martin. Photo courtesy Anne Spudvilas.

... and a visit with Anne Spudvilas

After brunch Anne kindly invited us to her house in Wentworth. Here she is showing us her studio in progress. Pictured from left: Anjilie, Martin, Anne, Denise and Susan.

The river from Anne's back garden:

I have quite a thing for birdbaths; this is the most striking example I've ever seen:

Anne's house, viewed from the back garden:

Another river view...

...and an unexpected visitor:

The 5th Anniversary of the Art Vault Part 2

Our long weekend in Mildura was blessed with warm, sunny weather. After another relentlessly cold, wet Ballarat winter (which has now extended into spring), this was a welcome bonus.

Not surprisingly, upon arrival our first port of call was the Art Vault, where we reunited with Art Vault Director Julie Chambers and met fellow artist Tony Ameneiro.

Julie showed Shane and I our pages in a sumptuous new book containing highlights of the gallery's first five years. Behind it is the Art Vault 5th Anniversary catalogue, which details its history and devotes a page to every artist who has undertaken a residency to date.

Back at the Art Vault on the following day, we met up with artist Martin King and Dr Sasha Grishin. The latter was invited by Julie to launch the 5th Anniversary exhibition. I wish I had followed Sasha's example and had all the artists present autograph their pages in the commemorative catalogue. Below, from left: Shane Jones, Martin King signing Sasha Grishin's catalogue and on the far right, Sasha himself.

Back at Julie and Kevin's house, my fellow shipmates prepare to depart for the exhibition opening and anniversary party. Below, from left: Martin King, Rosalind Atkins, Shane Jones, ex de Medici and Stephanie Bolt.

Thoughtful as ever, Julie and Kevin had arranged for two stretch limousines to take us to and from the party. I am sure that we all thought that these vehicles were the last word in vulgarity. But once we had the opportunity to actually ride in one, we were as excited as children. Most artists I know are not used to being made to feel so special. Pictured below from left: ex de Medici and Ros Atkins.

From left: ex de Medici, Ros and I.

Heaven knows how many photographs we took of each other during the relatively short ride to the Art Vault. Here, Ros photographs me photographing her, while ex contemplates her next shot.

Below: Shane Jones, Anita Laurence and Bill Young.

Our James Bond-style bar changed colour every few seconds. It was stocked with mineral water and  lollypops.

Shane Jones contemplating a lifestyle to which he wouldn't mind becoming accustomed. Anita and Bill concur.

Our limos arrive at their destination. Ours was the one in front. Later that evening we road home on the second one.

Sasha Grishin's memorable launch of the exhibition. (Photograph courtesy of Anne Spudlivas)

At the party's commencement, Julie Chambers takes the microphone.

Completely absorbed in Julie's speech, Shane Jones is oblivious to the charms of two of the party's exotic hostesses:

Helen Healy especially composed and performed a song celebrating the Art Vault's inestimable contribution to the arts in Mildura. It was unquestionably one of the evening's highlights.

During the ride home in limo #2 David Frazer and his partner Sarah partook of some of the limo's extensive supply of lollypops... did Rod Gray.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The 5th Anniversary of the Art Vault Part 1

On Friday, 1 November the Art Vault in Mildura turned 5 years old. For art lovers and especially the hoards of artists they have befriended during that time, this really was an event worth celebrating. And celebrate we did, almost non-stop, from our arrival on the evening of their birthday until our reluctant departure on Monday morning.

My partner Shane Jones and I have each undertaken two residencies on alternating years and on each occasion the experience has been incredibly rewarding and productive. My artist statement in their 5th Anniversary Catalogue sums up something of my experience of the Art Vault:

From my very first day at the Art Vault, I felt as if I’d come home. The environment is warm and friendly, the facilities superb. Everything is set in place for us to make our work and to use our time in the best way we see fit. A generosity of spirit pervades the Art Vault: artist-residents are nurtured and encouraged - sometimes downright spoilt. As an added bonus, over the years I’ve also met some wonderful people and made some lasting friendships.

Deborah Klein
July 2013

The generosity of  the Art Vault's founders Julie and Kevin seemingly knows no bounds. For the duration of our three-day long visit we stayed on their luxurious houseboat Cutting Edge. It is moored at the bottom of their garden which slopes gently and lushly down to the Murray River.

Our delightful houseboat-mates were fellow artists Ros Atkins, ex de Medici, Stephanie Bolt and Martin King. You would be hard-pressed to find a finer crew.

Below, clockwise: Dr Sasha Grishin, ex de Medici, Stephanie Bolt, Rosalind Atkins, Martin King and with his back to the camera, Shane Jones

On the day of the Art Vault's 5th Anniversary exhibition and party we entertained Dr Sasha Grishin, who would launch the show that evening. Below from far left (clockwise): Shane Jones, Dr Sasha Grishin, ex de Medici, Stephanie Bolt, Ros Atkins, Martin King and Rod Gray.

On Sunday, November 3, Julie and Kevin hosted a spectacular picnic brunch in their garden. It was great to meet fellow artist Anne Spudvilas, a former Art Vault artist in residence who loved the Mildura area so much that she has now moved here permanently. Having since visited her house, which nestles by the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers, I can hardly blame her. We are pictured here in the spacious living room on the Cutting Edge.

Dusk over the Murray...

... and the sun sets on the end of a perfect day.