Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Under her eye

Under the steely gaze of Alice, life in the studio continues at a measured pace. The photos above and below were taken roughly a fortnight apart, as the increasingly crowded bench top attests. When not in use for printmaking, the worktop frequently overlooked by beady-eyed Alice doubles as a repository for current paintings in various stages of progress. In the final photo below, I’ve singled out one of them. Initially the work was intended to comprise a single panel, but after some consideration, it was extended into a diptych. My next post will focus on key stages of its subsequent development.

A favourite painter of mine is Hans Holbein the Younger and the palette of this work, notably the blue-green background, was influenced by three of his works I particularly admire. Postcards of two of them, Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling and Portrait of a Young Woman, collected during the years we could still travel, are propped up on the drawers to the right of Alice’s lookout. These portraits and Christina of Denmarkthe third of Holbein’s works I’ve lately revisited, if only from a distance, will be discussed in more detail in my following post. Click on individual images for a clearer view.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

THE BIG KITTY wins its first award

Some more great news for THE BIG KITTY. It has just garnered its first award - Best Trailer in Another Hole in the Head - the San Francisco Virtual Film Festival 2020.

Hearty congratulations to THE BIG KITTY filmmakers and stars Tom Alberts and Lisa Barmby, pictured above. 

Pictured below: a screen shot of me in the supporting role of fortune teller Madame F. Tom and Lisa made the majority of costumes for the film, including my magnificent sequinned turban. Seemingly the vintage black crepe dress, with its diagonal panel of hand-sewn stars and moons, was tailor-made for the role too. In fact, it’s from my own collection; I bought the dress several years before THE BIG KITTY was even conceived. I had never worn it, however, and wondered why I was bothering to hang onto it. Some things, it appears, are written in the stars.

THE BIG KITTY will screen at the Paris International Film Festival, which runs from 4 - 14 February. For a preview of the film by John Higgins of FILM AND TV NOW, including a link to the prizewinning trailer, go HERE.

Photo credits: Tom Alberts and Lisa Barmby.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Work in progress - final stages

This is one of the paintings that was on my worktable when the old year made way for the new. (See Blog Post Sunday, January 3). On the face of it, the picture appears to be fairly resolved - however, I sometimes like to live with a work for awhile before deciding whether or not further touches are needed. As yet untitled, the painting is acrylic on two canvases and measures 35 x 12.5 cm.

Following are a selection of developmental views.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

THE BIG KITTY - Official Selection for the Paris International Film Festival

In the wake of a new year that’s barely under way, we’ve received some exciting news. THE BIG KITTY, debut feature of Australian artists Tom Alberts and Lisa Barmby, has been selected for the Paris International Film Festival.

Highlighting the new voices of independent cinema, PIFF puts French and International filmmakers with a positive message under the spotlight.

Built around its independent features and short films competitions, the Festival offers a wide look on both international and French independent production, in particular independent films broadcasting a clear, positive message with international potential.

- From the Paris International Film Festival website 

This latest accolade follows closely on the heels of THE BIG KITTY’s world premiere at Another Hole in the Head, the San Francisco Virtual Film Festival, which ran from 11 - 27 December 2020.

THE BIG KITTY stars Tom, Lisa and their cat Monsieur Baptiste with a supporting cast plucked from the Melbourne arts world. As previously reported, I have a small speaking role as fortune teller Madame F and my partner Shane Jones plays Shadrack, a corrupt Irish cop. The above photo was snapped directly after shooting the only scene in which he and I appear together. L-R are Jasmine Mahon, Paul McCluskey, Mariella Delconte, Tom Alberts, Lisa Barmby, Lewis Miller, myself, Shane Jones, Angela Cavalieri and Steven Kafkarisos. Pictured below: M. Baptiste and Lisa Barmby in a still from the nightclub scene.

In Berkleyside, John Seal included THE BIG KITTY among his top picks from Another Hole in the Head, The San Francisco Virtual Film Festival. His review, dated December 11, 2020 is HERE.

Shane has written about the film on his Art Blog. You can read the post, dated December 12, 2020, HERE.

For more about THE BIG KITTY, including a trailer and It’s a Wrap short, go HERE.

The Paris International Film Festival website is HERE.

For a list of selected films and to purchase tickets, go HERE.

PIFF 2021 runs from 4 - 14 February.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Moving forward

This brand new year may still be markedly tarnished by the old one, but in anticipation of better days to come, here is a preview of just some of what’s ahead, at least, in my little corner of the world. 

Due to circumstances entirely beyond my control (one of those infernal curveballs referred to in my last post) there will be further changes to my exhibition schedule for 2021. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude go to Stephen McLaughlan, Director, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Theo and Soula Mantalvanos, Co-Directors of Queenscliff Gallery and Anne Virgo, Director, Australian Print Workshop, for their kindness, support and understanding and for rearranging their already brimful exhibition calendars with astonishing dexterity.

My revised exhibition dates for 2021 are as follows: 

Backstories, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, July 21 - August 7. Opening 2 - 4 pm Saturday July 24

Rückenfigur (working title), Queenscliff Gallery, 30 September - 18 October

The George Collie APW Award Exhibition, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, will also run in the latter half of the year, most likely in September. Dates TBA.

More detailed information will be supplied nearer the time of each event.

On a positive note, the delays have enabled me to extend my vision by creating additional works for both solo shows. Pictured on the drawing board, top, are two of several paintings in progress for my exhibition at Queenscliff Gallery.