Thursday, July 23, 2015

(Inter)National Moth Week

National Moth Week (actually a misnomer, as it is celebrated in several countries) is an annual event that runs from 18-26 July. The following Mothstralian stamps are my modest contribution. All feature the mysterious masked Moth Women who several years ago began life in my paintings, drawings, prints and one of my early fairy tales, then morphed into the far less pretty and polite Moth Woman Vigilantes (AKA the MWV). 

As previously documented on these pages, the reputed aim of the MWV is to overthrow the perpetually dysfunctional Ruling Party of the Penal Colony of Australia and establish a nation in which all are equal, that celebrates diversity and maintains an open-wing policy to political refugees. (This echoes the rallying cry of the Mothstralian Apolitical Party: 'Open Doors, Open Wings, Open Minds and Open Hearts!')  

Furthermore (in stark comparison to the current regime) if any member of the MWV needs to fly to a conference - or anywhere else, for that matter - she will use her own set of wings. Here alone (for those whose vision doesn't extend past their purse strings) the savings to taxpayers will be incalculable.

The stamps from this series will shortly appear in a new mini-zine. To preview the zine, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

 2015 Argina astrea Mothstralian stamp

 2015 Hyles lineata Mothstralian stamp

 2015 Eustixis laefitera Mothstralian stamp

2015 Agathia pisina Mothstralian stamp

 2015 Chelepteryx chalapteryx Mothstralian stamp

2015 Choreutis periploca Mothstralian stamp

2015 Othreis fullonia Mothstralian stamp

2015 Hednota bivitella Mothstralian stamp

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Two reunions in one day

Last Saturday Shane and I reunited briefly with two old friends, fellow artists who once upon another time lived in Melbourne but now live and work elsewhere: Maryanne Coutts, currently Subject Leader in Drawing at the National Art School in Sydney, and Kathryn Ryan, a full-time artist who is now based in her home town of Warrnambool.

From left: Loris Button, Maryanne Coutts and Shane Jones outside the Art Gallery of Ballarat

Thank you to Loris Button, another fellow artist and mutual friend of Maryanne, for organising our reunion lunch at the Art Gallery of Ballarat cafe. (Thankfully Loris is based rather nearer to us in the neighbouring town of Creswick).

Left-right: Loris Button, Maryanne Coutts and I

After our lunchtime meeting, Shane and I headed for Warrnambool and the launch of A Quiet Place, the Warrnambool Art Gallery's 20 Year Survey Exhibition of Kathryn Ryan's work. The show is superb, charting the breadth and depth of Kathryn's connection to place. As the exhibition so compellingly testifies, the most significant and enduring of those places (which include Dubai in the UAE) remains the one in which she was born and bred. The exhibition, which is highly recommended, runs until 22 November.

Kathryn Ryan and I, snapped during the opening night of her survey show, A Quiet Place at Warrnambool Art Gallery

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fully formed Metaxymorpha nigrofasciata Beetle Woman

A rainbow-hued Homo-insecta is released from her warm cocoon into the cold, grey Australian winter:

Metaxymorpha nigrofasciata Beetle Woman, 2015, acrylic on wood, 32 x 30 cm

Pictured above: completed Metaxymorpha nigrofasciata Beetle Woman, followed by further progress views. (See also previous post).

Metaxymorpha nigrofasciata Beetle Woman, 2015, acrylic on wood, 32 x 23 cm

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

An emerging Homo-insecta: Metaxymorpha nigrofasciata Beetle Woman

Of all the Homo-insecta we have been documenting of late, Metaxymorpha nigrofasciata Beetle Woman is surely among the most beautiful. She is also proving to be one of the most challenging to capture, if only in paint on wood. We hope we can eventually do her justice.

Pictured above are some early progress views of Metaxymorpha nigrofasciata Beetle Woman (2015, pencil, gesso and acrylic on wood, 32 x 30 cm). She evolved from the rainbow-hued jewel beetle Metaxymorpha nigrofasciata, which you can view HERE.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A visit to Newstead

Last week my partner Shane Jones and I visited our friends Leigh Hobbs and Dmetri Kakmi at the cottage in Newstead that they’ve periodically house sat for many years. It was our first visit to the cottage, which was utterly charming, and also the first occasion we’ve taken time to explore the area. After a hearty lunch (doubly welcome on such a cold day, as was the open fire) we all went for a walk in the nearby woods, accompanied by Dmetri and Leighs’ two eager hounds Snowy and Lulu.

Newstead is about 15 kms from Castlemaine; both are part of the historic Goldfields area of Victoria. The crevices and potholes in the photos below are remnants of its goldmining history. I have a project relating to this very subject looming (more about this in a future post) and was able to collect a great deal of reference material, namely the leaves (mainly eucalyptus) some of which are pictured in the final photograph below.

For a short history of Newstead, click HERE.

Into the woods

The man-made crevice (above) and pothole (below) date from the gold mining era

Left: Leigh Hobbs; right: Shane Jones

Shane and Dmetri Kakmi

Aside from a few scattered bricks, there is little evidence of the cottage that once occupied this spot

At the approach of dusk: Shane, Leigh, Snowy and Lulu

Shane in a spontaneous moment of levity - or possibly an attempt to levitate

A small selection of my own treasures gleaned from Newstead's goldfields