Thursday, December 2, 2021

Jazz age memories

I’m delighted to learn that two of my early, rarely seen relief prints, Jazz age memories and Sunny Sunday afternoon (not pictured), both 1985, are now part of the permanent collection at Geelong Gallery, thanks to the generosity of donors Conrad O'Donohue and Rosemarie Kiss.

Both works were made shortly after I graduated from art school and are a continuation and development of the still lifes and interiors on which I was primarily focused in my final year of undergraduate study. The subject matter was drawn from my immediate surroundings. When I began the series, I was living in an early 1940s apartment in Westbury Street, St Kilda East

As shown in the following photos, snapped in the living room of our house in Ballarat, the Art Deco clock and vase, together with the wind-up gramophone and record cabinet are still treasured possessions. All were purchased in London, where I was based for most of the 1970s - the clock, vase and gramophone cabinet at Portobello Road Market and the gramophone at an antiques fair in Alexandra Palace. I remember the gramophone came complete with a scratchy 78 rpm record on the turntable - Mel Torme’s classic recording of Rodgers and Hart’s Mountain Greenery, which I love to this day. I wouldn’t have paid more than a few pounds for any of these objects, but purely for the precious memories they hold, each and every one is priceless. 

The two ceramic sculptures seen in the preceding three photos are by Melbourne-based artist, David Pearson. Aside from a fragmentary view of Untitled 17, Shane Jones’s surrealist  glove painting directly above, top right, remaining artworks are by me. Click on images for a clearer view.

Pictured top: Deborah Klein,
Jazz age memories, 1985, linocut on handmade paper; edition 4/25. Geelong Gallery, Gift of Conrad O’Donohue and Rosemarie Kiss, 2010. © Courtesy of the artist.