Friday, February 28, 2014

A Profile in Print by Sasha Grishin

The latest edition of Craft Arts International has just hit the newsstands in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US. On pages 50-55 there is an article by Professor Sasha Grishin: Profiles in Print - DEBORAH KLEIN, a detailed and insightful overview of my printmaking practice, dating from the early years through to the present. Prof. Sasha Grishin selected the images that accompany the article; there are a far more generous number of them than most art magazines allow. My wholehearted thanks to Sasha for his superb essay and to Tim Gresham for converting the older images from slides to digital: some have either never been published, or haven't surfaced in many a long year.

Pictured below:
Page views of Profiles in Print - DEBORAH KLEIN by Professor Sasha Grishin, Craft Arts International No. 90, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

And Now for Something Completely Different

It’s great news that our friend Donna McRae's acclaimed movie Johnny Ghost (which she produced, wrote, directed and edited) has just been released on DVD. 

But before Johnny Ghost, in 2008, in fact, there was Donna's short film Lamb of God. Indeed, that is how it was again last week, when both films screened in Melbourne, the latter on Wednesday, January 12 (for a three week run at MARS Gallery as part of Make Believe It's Nothing, an exhibition showcasing short films) and the former at ACMI on Sunday, February 16 for two back-to-back screenings. What none but the most ardent of cinephiles will know, is that Shane and I appear in both movies. In the former we are mere extras. Our scenes were filmed in St Kilda's Dog's Bar Cafe (we can be glimpsed in the background conducting a heated argument). In the latter film, however, I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to call us supporting players. Lamb of God's non-linear narrative is based on the true story of Emma Williams, (1) a prostitute who was hanged for murder in the Old Melbourne Gaol (as was its most notorious inmate, Ned Kelly).

Yesterday Shane and called into MARS Gallery to revisit the film. We were thrilled to see it in its original three-screen format. I've unearthed some never-before-published snapshots that Shane and I took during the shoot. I remember we had to rise very early in the morning so that the scenes in the Old Melbourne Gaol, which is a National Trust property, could be completed before it was opened to the public for the day.

The film is almost without dialogue. I played the hard-hearted prison guard who coldly pushes Emma towards the hangman's noose. The superb Tamara Searle portrayed Emma. Production Designer Michael Vale (2) was the chillingly sinister hangman. The D.O.P. of both films was the brilliant Laszlo Baranyai.

Shane's scenes were filmed at Latrobe's Cottage, which is also owned by the National Trust. He played one of Emma's customers. I may be a tad prejudiced, but I thought he was terrific in the role.

(1) Emma Williams was hanged on 4 November, 1895. To learn about Emma and other women like her, visit CULTURE VICTORIA’s Felon Families: Stories of Women Prisoners and their Families HERE.

(2) Michael Vale's wonderful film, The Long Walk, 2009, was the other standout of the exhibition.

The Old Melbourne Gaol: a chilling place - it's not hard to believe the many claims that it is haunted

We were each assigned a prison cell to change into our costumes. Coincidentally, I was given Emma Williams's cell.

The affable Michael Vale chats to Tamara's Emma, prior to his transformation into Emma's hangman

Running through a scene prior to shooting: from left, DK, Tamara Searle, Donna McRae and Laszlo Baranyai

Latrobe's Cottage: Michael Vale assists Shane with his costume

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

B.A.T. at A.P.W.

Yesterday morning I met with the Australian Print Workshop's Simon White to check the proof he had made of Jewel Beetle Woman (pictured above).

Overall, we were both pleased with the result, but were concerned that once editioning was under way, some of the finer lines might begin to fill in. Over the next couple of hours, I reworked the areas in question and Simon made a number of trial proofs until we arrived at a B.A.T. (bon a tirer, or "good to go": the last proof to be checked before approval for editioning). Signing it off was an enormously satisfying moment

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ready to Proof

Last week in Ballarat the final stages of cutting the lino block for Jewel Beetle Woman were completed - just before the heat in the studio became completely unbearable. During the coming week I'll deliver the block to Master Printer Simon White at the Australian Print Workshop for proofing.

Although I initially drew a border around the image, I thought it better to float the figure on the page, with no extraneous marks. All that remains of the original background are the areas around three of the insect woman's legs. They were retained to provide reinforcement for those particularly fragile areas; however, they are not intended to appear in the printed image.