Sunday, January 26, 2020

Recent acquisition by Maroondah City Council Art Collection

Pictured with Phyllium giganteum homo-insecta on Thursday 28 November 2019 at the launch of Anthropocene, 
the 2019 R & M McGivern Prize, at Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery. Photo credit: Shane Jones.

Last week I received the happy news that my watercolour, Phyllium giganteum homo-insecta (2018), currently part of Anthropocene, the 2019 R & M McGivern Prize, has been acquired for the Maroondah City Council Art Collection. For more about Anthropocene, go HERE.

Phyllium giganteum homo insecta, 2018, watercolour, 41.91 x 29.72 cm.
Maroondah City Council Art Collection. Photo credit: Tim Gresham.

There is still time to catch this superb show, which is exhibited in two venues: 

Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery32 Greenwood Ave, Ringwood Vic 3134 
ArtSpace at RealmEastland Shopping Centre, 179 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood Vic 3134.

Anthropocene runs to 1 February 2020.

Friday, January 24, 2020

A Repository of Memories

Step inside my studio, if you will.

This is the view from the work table. My works on the opposite wall span well over three decades. Like all the walls in the new studio, it’s a repository of carefully selected memories. The oldest by far are the undergraduate self-portrait, circa 1982, (upper left hand corner), posted previously, and another student work, the still-life painting on its right. Some pictures have been stored away for decades. I’ve a tendency to feel ambivalent about older work, seeing nothing but its flaws. For the first time, it’s occurred to me that I might actually learn something from it. Nevertheless, it’s somewhat disconcerting to be eyeballed by a younger version of myself on a daily basis.

Directly below the self-portrait is a poster of one of my favourite paintings, Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia Von Harden, 1926, by Otto Dix. I discovered the original work on a visit to the Pompidou Centre in 1993 and still recall the colossal impact of that first sighting. The poster was purchased in the museum shop soon afterwards and it’s been one of my most treasured possessions ever since. For a short biography of Von Harden, go HERE.

The oil pastel drawing in the bottom corner, far right, dates from the same period and is another work that hasn’t seen the light of day for many a long year. It was made at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, where I was undertaking a three-month long Australia Council residency.

During this happy and productive time, Shane Jones, who I’d met the year before, joined me for several weeks and produced a substantial number of oil sketches. A selection of these, including a couple of portraits of me, as well as an exquisite, and (viewed in the light of recent events), poignant drawing of Notre Dame Cathedral, now hang in our Ballarat house. They too had been in storage, due to lack of wall space. It’s quite moving to be reunited with these fragments of our shared history after so many years. To view Shane's drawing of Notre Dame, visit his Instagram Page HERE and scroll down to his post of 10 June 2019.

NB: Since this was posted, Shane has published his drawing of Notre Dame Cathedral on his art blog. You can view it HERE.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

My younger self

Deborah Klein, Self-portrait as an undergraduate, circa 1982,
 oil on canvas, 50.8 x 38.1 cm

The self-portrait pictured above was made in the early 1980s when I was an art school undergraduate at what is now Monash University (Caulfield Campus). Buried deep in storage for decades, it resurfaced during our recent move. 

The two photos directly below date from around the same time. They were sent to me in late 2018 by Melbourne photographer, Russell Brooks, although this is the first time I’ve shared them. In the second photo, I’m pictured with Tania Sironic, a fellow printmaking student. Hard to believe I was ever that young, although I still feel the same at heart. Happily, I’m still in touch with some of the good folk from those dim, distant days.

Saturday, January 18, 2020


Fallen Woman 5, 2017, phemograph, 43 x 32 cm, ed. 20, the
second of two works I'm donating to ART AID FOR GIPPSLAND

Below is an update from Simon Gregg, Director of Gippsland Art Gallery, for the information of those who wish support ART AID FOR GIPPSLAND, the upcoming fundraiser for bushfire relief in East Gippsland. It's directly followed by selected highlights from yesterday afternoon's second Melbourne Climate Action Rally. 


IMPORTANT - Before donating any artworks please read the guidelines on the Gallery website here.

The website provides all current information, including how to get your work to us and guidelines about donating artworks. The website also includes a link to download the Artwork Donation Form that we ask everyone please send in with their artwork (I have also attached it to this email), so that we can correctly catalogue your artwork and in case we need to contact you. Please note that due to the number of artworks being donated we’ve had to rapidly revise our first message that there was no limit on size or number of artworks. We are now asking that not more than two artworks be donated, and there are some restrictions now to sizes (refer website link above).

Please see information at the bottom of this message about the eleven drop off locations across Melbourne and Gippsland (Please Note – a new drop off location for South Gippsland has been added today). Big thanks to all those drop off points for supporting this fundraising appeal, and especially to our couriers IAS and Gippsland Art Couriers who have offered to get the work here to us in Sale. Please keep in mind the following points:

·       Can you please send me an email if you intend or if you have dropped off your work at one of these points, so I can keep track of what is where and to assist the fine art couriers when they pick up.
·       Please read the instructions for each drop off location and observe the dates and hours provided. Each of these studios, businesses, galleries and individuals have offered to accept artworks out the goodness of their hearts so please respect these instructions.
·       If your artworks need to be wrapped/boxed can you please do so prior to delivery.

Remember you can also post or drop in directly to the Gallery – details are on the website. Please note that we are currently unable to organise collection of artworks outside of Melbourne and Gippsland. If postage to the Gallery (see website link above for address) is not an option for you, we would encourage you to look at other fundraising options as we’re not going to be able to get your work here. Same goes for international offers of support. We’re very grateful for those who have contacted us from overseas, however please note that we have no capacity for international freight.


The Art Aid Gippsland exhibition will be held at the Gippsland Art Gallery from Saturday 15 February to Sunday 15 March. There will be an opening preview on Friday 14 February at 6.00pm, as part of our opening for new exhibitions by Peter Cole, Susan Purdy, and Simon Deere. Guest speakers on the night will be curator and writer Robert Lindsay (for Peter Cole), and Mayor Wellington Shire Council, Cr Alan Hall (for Art Aid). There will be complementary refreshments prior to speeches but on commencement of speeches the bar will close (about 6.30pm). There will be no access to the Gallery spaces prior to the conclusion of speeches. It will be a busy night so if you’d prefer to look at the Art Aid exhibition without the crowds and without being rushed, I would strongly recommend visiting during normal opening hours.

The other important thing for all donors to note is that we are not going to be able to physically display every single work at the Gallery for the four-week exhibition – there are just too many. However, we will ensure that all artworks are at the very least photographed and listed in the online catalogue (to go live late February). All artworks will be either auctioned on 15 March regardless of whether or not they are on physical display, or auctioned online. Because this is a fundraiser, with the intention to raise as much money as possible for bushfire relief, the items that we believe will fetch the highest prices will be ones exhibited – but we will endeavour to display as many as we possibly can. If this is a deal-breaker for you donating and you’ve already sent your artwork, let me know and we’ll be happy to arrange return.


The Art Aid Gippsland auction will be held at The Wedge Performing Arts Centre in Sale on Sunday 15 March. More information about times, online live streaming, online bidding, bidder registration, all to come in later updates. If, once all donations have been received, we feel we are unable to auction everything on one day, we will look at other options including online bidding. At this stage the plan for unsold artworks is to keep them listed online and people can continue to bid for them there. But beyond a certain point any unsold artworks will need to be returned or we can talk to the individual donors about other options.


A few people have asked whether they can claim their donations of artworks on tax. Advice I have received from my personal accountant is that I can provide you a formal letter from the Gallery (will be emailed as a PDF) confirming that your work has been received as a donation, and information about the Gallery’s tax deductibility and ABN. You will need to let me know what the normal value of your artwork is (not what it sells for at the auction). Happy for you to let me know if you will need a tax letter, but please note I won’t be sending any of these out until after the auction (in case your work doesn’t sell and needs to be returned).

But I do stress that if you are relying on getting a deduction to please confirm with your own accountant prior to sending anything in.


The preferred option for those in Melbourne is to deliver directly to the IAS (International Art Services) depot in Tullamarine. Please email to arrange drop off and for address details. If you can’t make it to Tullamarine IAS will be picking up from the following seven locations across Melbourne:

Address: Art Tree Creations, 1/15 Newcastle Road, Bayswater VIC 3153
Contact: Tamara McLeish
Ph. 0439 326 333
Instructions: Deliveries can be made Mon-Fri, 10.00am-4.30pm, from now to 5 February. Please call Tamara for delivery outside hours

Address: The Pea Green Boat Studios, 31 Tinning Street, Brunswick VIC 3056
Contact: Sandra Tobias
Ph. 0415 521 072
Instructions: Deliveries can be made Mon-Sat, 10.00am-4.00pm, from 20 January to 25 January

Address: Art Spectrum, Newmarket Business Park, Building 2, 43 Scanlon Drive, Epping VIC 3076
Contact: Tamara McGuane
Ph. 03 9387 9799
Instructions: Deliveries can be made Mon-Fri, 8.30am-4.30pm, from now until 5 February. Please deliver to the office (look for the sign)

Address: Energetiq, Level 27, 303 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: Adam Kierce
Ph. 0410 498 828
Instructions: Deliveries can be made Mon-Fri, 9.00am-5.00pm, from now until 5 February. Please note that this is a CBD address and there will be very limited parking.

Address: Private address corner Bridge Road and Burnley Streets, with 48 and 75 Trams passing by. Specific address will be given on contact with Alisa.
Contact: Alisa Tanaka-King
Text. 0400 664 832
Instructions: Deliveries can be made Wed 5.30pm-8.30pm; Thu 5.30pm-8.30pm; Sun 4.00pm-8.30pm, from 15 January to 5 February

Address: Linden New Art, 26 Acland Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
Contact: Juliette
Ph. 03 9534 0099
Instructions: Deliveries can be made Tue-Fri, 10.00am-4.30pm, from 28 to 31 January only. Please note doorway is domestic size (H 210 x W 86cm)

Address: The Blender Studios, 33-35 Dudley Street, West Melbourne VIC 3003
Contact: Autumn
Ph. 0416 971 707
Instructions: Deliveries can be made on Sunday 2nd February 11.00am-2.00pm, and Monday 3rd February 11.00am-2.00pm only. Please enter the studios via Maloney Lane.

In addition to the seven locations in Melbourne, there are three drop off locations in Gippsland:

Address: Town & Country Gallery, 111 Princes Highway, Yarragon VIC 3823
Contact: Jo & John Wolswinkel
Ph. 03 5634 2229
Instructions: Deliveries can be made daily between 10.00am and 5.00pm from now until 12 noon, Friday 7 February

Address: East Gippsland Art Gallery, 2 Nicholson Street, Bairnsdale VIC 3875
Contact: Crystal Stubbs
Ph. 03 5153 1988
Instructions: Deliveries can be made Tues-Fri 10.00am-4.00pm, and Saturdays 10.00am-2.00pm, from now until Wednesday 5 February

Address: Meeniyan Art Gallery, 84 Whitelaw Street, Meeniyan VIC 3956
Contact: Jenny Montford
Ph. 03 5664 0101 or Jenny’s personal mobile, 0428 891 350
Instructions: Deliveries can be made during Gallery opening hours, 10.00am-4.00pm every day (including weekends) EXCEPT Tuesdays when they are closed, from now until 12 noon, Friday 7 February.

If you’re in West or South Gippsland but you can’t get to one of the drop off points, please contact Gippsland Art Couriers, Wayne Foenander on 0407 399 664, who may be able to help out. 

Saturday 18 January 2020

A lively crowd attended the second Melbourne Climate Action Rally, which took place yesterday afternoon at 2 pm, starting at the State Library of Victoria.