Wednesday, June 30, 2021

An Intervention from the Art Police

Some outtakes from my last photo shoot:

Beware the pitfalls of documenting your own artwork. I thought my current work in progress might be difficult to photograph, mainly because of backlighting from the studio windows. But there was something else I failed to take into account.

For an Alice-free view of the work, scroll down to my previous post.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Special Message for Followers of this Blog

Pictured above: work in progress that will soon be part of Backstories, my solo show at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne, running from July 21 - August 7. Further details will follow soon. 

On a separate note, as of July 1, for reasons best known to themselves, Google will remove the ‘Follow by Email’ option on all blogs, so followers of this blog will no longer receive email notifications of my new posts. 

At present, I’m not clear about whether Google intends to substitute an alternative. I can’t see any way around this, except to provide links to future posts via my Instagram and Facebook accounts. These can also be accessed under Other solo sites in the right hand column of this blog.

I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the many loyal followers of this blog. Your support means a great deal. I do hope you will still drop by from time to time.

Saturday, June 26, 2021


Pictured here: a couple of snaps from this afternoon’s buzzy opening of ONE HUNDRED FACES at Playing in the Attic in Sturt Street, Ballarat. Apologies for the reflections - I’m afraid my photo doesn’t do the installation justice. The general consensus is that it’s even stronger and more varied than last year’s show - and that’s saying something. You’ll just have to come along and see for yourselves.

It was lovely to chat (albeit briefly) with other participating artists, including some old friends I haven’t seen for far too long.

Thanks so much to exhibition curator, Playing in the Attic’s proprietor, Trudy McLauchlan, for your vision and the tremendous effort involved in putting it all together. 

Pictured above: Peter Sparkman (left) and Christine Hickson (right). Peter is the editor and designer of the new Ballarat Arts Alive online magazine, ALYVEN KIIKEN (Alive & Kickin’, Winter edition, 2021), which includes my recent post on ONE HUNDRED FACES, as well as being chock-full of other arts-related news. The magazine is HERE. To read my Blog Post, dated Tuesday, 22 June, scroll down, or click HERE

ONE HUNDRED FACES concludes on 18 July

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

STAGES: photography through the pandemic

I’m happy to have learned that the photographic work pictured above, Covert Covid 1: Self-portrait in Anaxidia lactea Moth Mask, (2020-21) has been selected for inclusion in STAGES: photography through the pandemic, an evolving exhibition in the MGA Atrium Gallery, Monash Gallery of Art. 

Extract from my artist statement:

The work, one of a suite of twelve, was begun during the relatively early days of lockdown, when the efficacy of face masks was still under debate. It was only later that mask wearing became recognised as an essential protective measure, one that remains firmly embedded in our daily lives. 

STAGES: photography through the pandemic runs from 1 June – 29 August 2021

Monash Gallery of Art - The Australian Home of Photography 

860 Ferntree Gully Road

Wheelers Hill Victoria 3150 Australia

Phone +61 3 8544 0500


Tuesday - Friday: 10 am - 5 pm

Weekends: 10 am - 4 pm

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

One Hundred Faces 2021

For the second time since its inception in 2020, I’m participating in the group exhibition ONE HUNDRED FACES, curated by Trudy McLauchlan. From Saturday, 26 June, a grid of 100 disparate faces created by Ballarat artists will be on display in the window of Trudy’s enchanting store, Playing in the Attic.

Pictured from top:

Woman with Ruby Earrings, 2021, acrylic on canvas panel, 10 x 10 cm

Young Woman with Ringlets, 2021, acrylic on canvas panel, 10 x 10 cm



Playing in the Attic, 119a Sturt Street, Ballarat, Vic 3350

Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm

ONE HUNDRED FACES is part of the 2021 Ballarat Winter Festival, which runs from 26 June - 18 July. The installation can be viewed 24 hours a day until the festival’s end.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Eyes Have It

My linocut Lace Face (A/P, 1996, 46 x 30 cm) has been included in the group exhibition The Eyes Have It: featuring works from the Warrnambool Art Gallery Collection. 

A response to mask wearing, quarantining, closed borders and isolation during the time of COVID-19, this exhibition presents images and objects that explore the themes of observation and monitoring; restrictions on movement and the effects of anxiety. Artists have long dealt with aspects of alienation, uncertainty and social disruption. Though the works in this exhibition were made without the direct influence of COVID-19 they interact with our moment in time and are curiously prophetic.

- From Warrnambool Art Gallery’s website.

I’m delighted to see my work is hanging next to Pierced, a linocut by my old friend, Heather Shimmen. Coincidentally, Shane Jones and I have a copy of this print in our own collection. Shane also has a work in The Eyes Have It, a self-portrait titled Painting Drawing (2010), pictured below. You can see additional installation views on his blog post of Monday, 14 June

At this stage, we haven’t had a chance to see the exhibition, so we’re indebted to 

Kathryn Ryan for the photos. Kathryn runs a fantastic Instagram/Facebook page, Warrnambool Region Arts, which has just celebrated its first anniversary. You can find it on Instagram HERE and on Facebook HERE

The Eyes Have It opened on Saturday, 5 June and runs to Sunday, 26 September 2021.

Warrnambool Art Gallery

26 Liebig Street 


Phone: +61 (0)3 5559 4949


Opening Hours:

Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm

Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 3pm

Public Holidays: 10am - 3pm

Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Monday, June 14, 2021

Extended dates for INTO ME SEE

Some positive post-lockdown news: the group show INTO ME SEE has been extended to Saturday 19 June 2021. 

Venue: The One Star Gallery, 301-303 Victoria Street, West Melbourne 3003

Gallery hours: Wednesday-Friday 3-7 pm and Saturday 1-7 pm

To learn more about the exhibition, go HERE and HERE.

INTO ME SEE was curated by Mariella Del Conte. For further information, visit the The One Star Gallery on Instagram HERE or on Facebook HERE

Pictured above LHS, top: detail of my painting New Horizon, 2020, acrylic on canvas. LHS, bottom: detail of my drawing Maid of Honour, 2020, watercolour, water soluble graphite and pigmented drawing ink. Click on the image for a clearer view. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

GATHER with Minerva's Books & Ideas


In recent years I’ve become an inveterate devourer of podcasts, and one of my favourites is a relatively new kid on the block, GATHER with Minerva’s Books & Ideas. The series was conceived and created on traditional Wadawurrung land here in Ballarat by its presenter, Amy Tsilemanis (

Amy describes GATHER as: “Audio adventures exploring the lives of books, and the ideas they ignite and illuminate. Each episode is themed and unfurls from a book or books, and features the work of artists, writers, musicians and thinkers”. 

Fairy Tales Continued, the most recent episode, includes my fairy tale, The Moth and the Butterflies. (The link is here: The story is superbly read by Ballarat-based artist and musician, Ellen Sorensen ( Over the years, I’ve been gratified and delighted by other aural presentations of my stories, including a wonderful reading by Amy herself (see her Instagram post of August 20, 2020) and am slowly coming to the realisation that, like fairy tales of old, they are best savoured when read out loud.  

The Moth and the Butterflies is part of my illustrated anthology, There was once…The collected fairy tales, currently available at that “curious extraordinarium of papery delights”, Playing in the Attic (, which you’ll find nestled in the historic Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute building in Sturt Street, Ballarat. 

A link to all episodes of GATHER is here:

The website for Miverva’s Books is here:

The Minerva Books Facebook and Instagram pages are here: and here:

Monday, June 7, 2021

Memorial de Maria Moura

The edition of my linocut Lace Face (1996) sold out many years ago, but lately it seems to have taken on a life of its own. See Blog Post Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The work will also be included my APW George Collie Memorial Print Award show at the Australian Print Workshop in March, 2022.

In January 2021, I was approached by a Brazilian publisher seeking permission to reproduce Lace Face on the front cover of a special edition of the biography Memorial de Maria Moura by Rachel de Queiroz. The book has since been published, and this is the result. 

Maria Lacerda de Moura (1887-1945) was an author, educator, political activist and social reformer whose significance in both Brazilian and feminist history can’t be stressed highly enough. You can read about her HERE and HERE.

The biography, which is in Portuguese, is published by Grupo Editorial Record, Brazil in a limited edition of 2000. The website for Grupo Editorial Record (Record Publishing Group) is HERE*. For more about the special edition, go HERE* and for the Kindle and paperback versions of the book, go HERE*. (*Note: these sites are in Portuguese. The new edition will not be published in English).

Memorial de Maria Moura was first published in 1992. A  biography of its author, Rachel de Queiroz, (1919-2003) is HERE.

To view the linocut, Lace Face, visit my website HERE

Thursday, June 3, 2021

A Room of One’s Own


Pictured above: a corner of my freshly tidied and slightly rearranged studio, with a place for everything and everything in its place - well, almost. (Click on image for a clearer view). 

Over the past several weeks, all of the work surfaces had become increasingly cluttered and it became difficult to think clearly, much less create work in there. My workspace is quite small and a build-up of disorder can render it practically unworkable. Fortunately Alice was on hand to supervise (although I suspect she preferred the former chaos). Next to her is a copy of The Gentle Arts - Two Hundred Years of Australian Women’s Domestic and Decorative Arts by Jennifer Isaacs, a much treasured reference book I’ve been revisiting during the making of a current work. (More about this in a future post). 

The room actually needs a total overhaul in order to make better use of storage, but at least this is a start. On the bookshelves a postcard of Virginia Woolf, author of the seminal A Room of One’s Own (as indeed this one is) has followed me from studio to studio. It was purchased many years ago at one of my favourite places, London’s National Portrait Gallery. The shelves were built by Shane in an alcove that previously housed an inbuilt dressing table. 

Melbourne begins a further seven days of lockdown from midnight tonight, while restrictions in regional Victoria will be carefully eased. Who knows what the next seven days will bring? In these uncertain times, I’m extremely thankful for this room of my own and for the most part, this is where I’ll be.