Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dream Home

I wonder if you are like me and find that most days fly by so quickly, it can sometimes take a few moments to recall what happened just few days ago. What was it we did last Sunday, for example? Ah, yes - we went to the market, had coffee and brunch in Kittelty’s café at the Art Gallery of Ballarat (a Sunday ritual) did a few chores - and oh, yes, we bought a house.

Shane Jones and I first visited the property in Eureka Street, Ballarat a couple of weeks ago, on one of the last days it was open for inspection. We thought it the most beautiful house we’d ever seen, heartbreakingly so, because we assumed that financially it would be way out of our reach.

We decided to attend the auction, however, mainly to take one last, wistful look inside our dream house. On the afternoon of the auction, however, we were attending to some of those aforementioned chores, and barely made it on time. 

To our amazement, not one person placed a bid and just as the property was about to be passed in, we tentatively raised our hands. The auctioneer continued his final spiel in a vain attempt to coax further buyers. To us, this seemed to go on forever, and I was convinced we’d be outbid at the last minute. I started to feel like Jane Eyre when her wedding to Rochester was thwarted at the altar. But no such tragedy befell us and, to our continuing disbelief, the house is ours.

The whole thing was so completely unplanned and unexpected that, needless to say, neither of us has had time to place our existing homes on the market. (Shane’s is in Melbourne and mine is in Ballarat). Fortunately, the agent has negotiated a particularly long settlement to give us time to prepare both properties for sale.

This is the first home Shane and I have owned together. As I mentioned to a friend, I’ll miss my current studio and the humble little house in which I’ve been so happy. But the new place will give us the additional space we so badly need to hang our artworks and, for the first time ever, to properly display and utilise other collections, in particular, books, music and films.  I must admit I’ve already watched the slideshow below countless times, especially on the evening after the auction, in an effort to convince myself that it wasn’t all a dream. I still haven't quite got there.

The house has five good sized-bedrooms, two of which will be requisitioned for studios. Best of all, on the first floor is a cinema. As lovers of Art Deco and lifelong cineastes, it feels like we’ve died and gone to heaven. 

To view the slide show of our future home, go HERE.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

National Eucalypt Day 2019

Fallen Woman 5, 2017, phemograph, 43 x 32 cm, edition: 20

In celebration of National Eucalypt Day, here is a random selection of works from the Fallen Women suite. The leaves in these works were sourced in the Victorian Goldfields town of Newstead.

Held annually on 23 March, National Eucalypt Day aims to raise awareness of eucalypts and celebrate the important place that they hold in the hearts and lives of Australians. 

The National Eucalypt Day program aims to meet the promotion, education and conservation objectives of Eucalypt Australia by addressing the themes of tree breeding and genomics, primary education and public awareness.

- From the Eucalypt Australia website.

The Last Leaf, 2017, phemograph, 35.5 cm x 29.5 cm, edition: 20

Fallen Woman 4, 2017, phemograph, 42.5 x 32 cm, edition: 20

Memory 40, 2017, phemograph, 29 x 21.5 cm, edition: 20

Fallen Woman 11, 2017, phemograph, 39.5 x 29.5 cm, edition: 20

Memory 4, 2017, phemograph, 29 x 21 cm, edition: 20

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

IMPRINT: Survey of the Print Council of Australia at Parliament House, Canberra

Pressed for Time, 2017, archival pigment print, 31.3 x 23.2 cm. Edition: 30.
2017 Print Council of Australia Member Print Commission. Printer: Luke Ingram. 

My archival pigment print Pressed for Time (2017) has been curated into a special exhibition at Parliament House, Canberra. IMPRINT: Survey of the Print Council of Australia comprises 58 prints selected from over 600 works in the PCA Member Print Commission archive.

The exhibition includes works by Noel Counihan, Barbara Hanrahan, David Rose, Ray Beattie, Bea Maddock, Earle Backen, Ruth Faerber, Hertha Kluge-Pott, Olga Sankey, Judy Watson, Janet Dawson, Mary MacQueen, Raymond Arnold, G.W. Bot, Yvonne Boag, James Taylor, John Coburn, Jenuarrie Warrie, Maria Kozic, Wilma Tabacco, Rick Amor, Treahna Hamm, Robert Jacks, Bruno Leti, John Olsen, Michael Kempson, Susan Pickering, Andrew Ngungarrayi Martin, Belinda Fox, Georgia Thorpe, Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Gosia Wlodarczak, Rebecca Mayo, Janet Parker-Smith, Rona Green, Sophia Szilagyi, Glen Mackie, Tama Favell, Elizabeth Banfield, David Fairbairn, Graeme Drendel, Deanna Hitti, Sue Poggioli, Maria Orsto, Samuel Tupou, Pia Larsen, Deborah Klein and Cat Poljski. 

In September 2017, Andrew Stephens, editor of the Print Council of Australia's journal IMPRINT, interviewed me about the making and meaning of Pressed for Time. You can read it HERE.

For further information, go to the Print Council of Australia website HERE:

IMPRINT: Survey of the Print Council of Australia 
Exhibition Area 
Level 1
Parliament House 
Canberra, ACT.

Exhibition hours: 9 am - 5 pm daily until Sunday 12 May.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Soothsayer - a work in progress

Featured on this International Women’s Day are selected developmental stages of Soothsayer, acrylic on linen, 40.5 x 30.5 cm, flanked (in the top and bottom views) by corresponding works from the steadily growing Back Story suite.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Meanwhile, at MOTH WOMAN PRESS...

Progress on my latest body of paintings is continuing at a slow, but steady pace. Recently, however, I took a detour to Moth Woman Press, following the chance discovery of a vintage children's poetry book in a secondhand market at Smythesdale.

As if by magic, the little book opened onto Alice, a short poem by Christina Rossetti. I've been interested in Rossetti's work for many years, but was unfamiliar with her writings for young readers. The poem, one of two of her verses contained in the book, refers to an ebullient child. Whether Rossetti's subject was real or fictional may well remain a mystery, but her description fits our little cat Alice like a glove. The urge to combine Rossetti's verse and a selection of my recent photos of Alice in an eight-page mini-zine proved irresistible. This is the result.

The zine is limited to an edition of 60. For further background on Alice, visit Moth Woman Press HERE and for page views, go HERE.

A selection of this and other Moth Woman Press publications are available at Playing in the Attic in Ballarat. This diminutive, delightful emporium, which strongly supports local makers, is currently celebrating its third birthday and is well worth a visit if you're visiting these parts. You can find it here:

Playing in the Attic
119a Sturt Street
Ballarat Victoria 3350

Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 am - 4pm
Phone: 0428580309

Bev Murray, a visitor from the UK perusing Moth Woman Press publications in Playing in the Attic.
Several (including three Alice zines) will shortly return with her to London.