Sunday, February 27, 2022

Memorable memories

Featuring some highlights from the last couple of days, most notably, catching up with old friends on Saturday, the last day of ATTUNED at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery. (For more about ATTUNED, scroll down to my last post). 

It was wonderful to see Kim McDonald there. Kim and I first met at art school in the 1980s and have been friends ever since. Kim is based in South Gippsland and it’s been way too long since we last caught up - I’ve since figured out the last time was in 2016 - but the intervening years fell away in minutes.

Pictured first and second above: Kim and I, followed by Stephen Mclaughlan, myself and Kim. 

Photos 3 - 4: It was an unexpected surprise to bump into another artist friend, Ballarat-based Carole Wilson, pictured below, third from left.

Photo 5 below: Kim and Shane at Brunetti, which has become my go-to place during exhibitions with Stephen. (Kim is showing me a recommended book). 

Backtracking to Friday, we had a delightful visit from another local artist, Christine Hickson (photos 6 - 8). In the final pic, Shane is giving her a tour of our new storage units, not that there’s a lot to see there at present. 

Another Friday highlight (not pictured) was an equally delightful visit from artist/filmmaker Erin M McCuskey. You can see some of Erin’s work HERE.  

On Saturday evening after our return from Melbourne, the final highlight was a memorable meal further along our street with family members (also not pictured). Thanks for having us, Tim Jones and Spencer Harrison, and it was a treat to reunite with James and Rosemarie Jones after 15 months of pandemic-inflicted separation. 

(Photo credit for photos 1 and 2: Shane Jones).

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Last days of ATTUNED

After a very long run, this coming Saturday sees the final day of ATTUNED at Stephen Mclaughlan Gallery. Among the exhibits is the above drawing, aptly titled Nevermore.

ATTUNED features works by Laszlo Romer, Jenny Loft, Felicity Spear, Elizabeth Banfield, Peter Rowe, Irene Barberis, Callum Jackson and myself. 

I’ve loved being part of this show, but all good things must end. The exhibition may soon be nevermore, but I’m looking forward to exploring fresh fields.

Top: Nevermore (ink and gouache on Khadi paper, 16 x 11 cm)

Above: Fresh Fields (ink and gouache on Khadi paper, 16 x 11 cm)


Curated by Stephen McLaughlan

Stephen McLaughlan Gallery 

Level 8 Room 16 Nicholas Building 37 Swanston Street Melbourne 3000

(On the corner of Flinders Lane)

T: 0407 317 323     E:

Gallery Hours: 

Wednesday - Friday 1 - 5 pm

Saturday 11 - 5 pm

- or by appointment 

ATTUNED ends on Saturday, 26 February, at 5 pm.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Ballarat Imaginarium


I’m thrilled to announce that my books, There was once…The collected fairy tales and Fallen Women, are now available at the newly established Ballarat Imaginarium

Helmed by artist Melinda Muscat (pictured top) and a testament to her unique vision, this dazzling Aladdin’s Cave really needs to be experienced in person. My photos simply don’t do it justice. 

The Ballarat Imaginarium has the added distinction of being the only Ballarat retailer/gallery that specialises in works by local makers, including visual artists, jewellery designers, sculptors, textile artists, clothing designers, ceramicists musicians and writers. For this, we owe Melinda a debt of gratitude. 

You can read more about the Imaginarium HERE.

It’s also the only establishment where both Deborah Kleins show under one roof. Yes, believe  it or not, there are two of us in town. We’re not related, but recently I discovered we even share the same middle name, Lee. (In both cases, it’s an inherited family name). A future post will highlight the exquisite work by my fellow Deborah Klein that I purchased at the memorable Imaginarium launch. Meanwhile, some of Deborah’s remarkable paper sculptures, including her amazing leaping frogs, can be glimpsed in these photos.

For regular updates, visit the Ballarat Imaginarium on Instagram HERE and on Facebook HERE.

The Ballarat Imaginarium

119A Sturt Street, BALLARAT, VIC 3550

Open Tuesday to Friday 10 am - 5 pm

Saturday 10 am - 5 pm

Sunday by appointment 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

REVIEW: The Nicholas Building “Up Late” by Helen Hughes

Many thanks to Stephen Mclaughlan for forwarding the following review of THE NICHOLAS BUILDING “UP LATE” in the online arts publication, MeMo. 

Here are a couple of snippets, by way of an introduction:


MeMo, 19 Feb 2022

 99%, BLINDSIDE, CAVES, Joseph Beuys Cafe, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery 16 Feb - 16 Feb 2022 

Those who prefer their art galleries stacked one on top of each other—as opposed to sprawled out, Sexpo style, at the Convention Centre—would do well to visit the Nicholas Building, where several art spaces opened their doors to punters on Wednesday night as part of Melbourne Art Fair’s “Up Late” program. Queuing for the lift in the Cathedral Arcade, I was quick to encounter Dario—a charismatic member of the Nicholas Building Association—who advised that the best way to “do the building” was to take the lift up to the ninth floor and wend your way down. Part of the lifeblood of the building, he was mysteriously omnipresent all evening—coursing through lifts, stairwells, hallways; putting up posters, snapping pics, gabbing with tenants.

The building is a genuinely social place and the community it houses is real…

My works in ATTUNED at Stephen Mclaughlan Gallery even got a mention: 

… At Stephen McLaughlan Gallery (also a Nicholas Building stalwart, McLaughlan having kept a space there for almost thirty years), Deborah Klein’s haunting paintings of the backs of women’s heads were a standout.

To read the full review, click on the link below:

Thanks also to Helen Hughes for her kind words and for championing the incomparable Nicholas Building. 

ATTUNED is in its final days. The exhibition concludes on Saturday 26 February at 5 pm. Gallery hours are below:


Curated by Stephen Mclaughlan

Stephen McLaughlan Gallery 

Level 8 Room 16 Nicholas Building 37 Swanston Street Melbourne 3000

On the corner of Flinders Lane

T: 0407 317 323     E:

Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Friday 1pm-5pm. Saturday 11am-5pm.

& by appointment

Monday, February 21, 2022

New arrivals

For Shane Jones and I, the arrival last week of two small, fully insulated storage units felt like the first day of the rest of our lives. At long last, we can liberate the remainder of our artworks from offsite storage and declutter our studios - not to mention the spare bedroom. The next stage is to level the units (our driveway is on a slight slant), instigate a storage system - and also do a great deal of culling. 

From the day we ordered the units, locally based Ryebucks Portables Ballarat were brilliant to deal with. 

There were a few challenges involved in manoeuvring the units down our driveway, including  a very tight fit halfway along (see below) and overhanging tree branches. Kudos to their highly skilled driver, Kyle, for his patience, good humour, cool head and ability to think on his feet.

Arrival of the second unit:

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but it will be worth it. 

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Progress amidst distractions

Above and below are progress views of my current work, followed by photographic evidence of why I’m not further along with it.

Despite every distraction Alice (and life in general) throws my way, I’m confident all paintings will be ready in time for Rückenfigur, my solo show at Queenscliff Gallery, opening June 23 and running to July 10.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Reminder: UP LATE 2022 Gallery Night

ATTUNED, curated by Stephen McLaughlan, is a considered snapshot of the Gallery zeitgeist – an opportunity for 8 of our artists to “strut their stuff” in fine coalition. Such exhibitions are a traditional opener for us and a perfect “introduction” to the Gallery. We look forward to welcoming you.

GALLERY NIGHT is presented as part of the Broadsheet LATE NIGHTS program, and is supported by City of Melbourne through the Events Partnership Program (EPP).

From the Melbourne Art Fair website.

Happening tomorrow, Wednesday, 16 February, 6 - 8 pm, at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery:

A special nighttime viewing of ATTUNED, part of NICHOLAS BUILDING UP LATE, in partnership with Melbourne Art Fair. Featuring Laszlo Romer, Jenny Loft, Felicity Spear, Elizabeth Banfield, Peter Rowe, Irene Barberis, Callum Jackson and myself.

Other participating art spaces in NICHOLAS BUILDING UP LATE 2022 Gallery Night: 


Do drop by if you can. Personally, I reckon the only thing more fascinating than the iconic, heritage-listed Nicholas Building by day is the Nicholas Building by night.

Pictured top: Philonist, 16 x 11 cm, pigmented drawing ink, one of my contributions to ATTUNED.

ATTUNED installation views: courtesy Stephen Mclaughlan.

For further information, please find your NICHOLAS BUILDING UP LATE invitation below. Alternatively, scroll down to our Blog Post of Friday, 11 February, or go HERE.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Foreign Flora - a work in progress


Presenting Foreign Flora, 15 x 11.5 cm, a newly carved lino block intended for Illustrated Women, an artist book that’s slowly, but surely, in the making. 

The subject’s floral tattoo is a motif from Australia, circa 1888, an embroidered table cover designed in Britain by the remarkable May Morris (1862 - 1938). It’s reproduced (not to scale) in the first developmental view below. In fact, none of the flowers depicted in the textile are native to Australia. The table cover was originally commissioned by a Scottish-born couple residing in Adelaide, South Australia, which I assume is how it acquired its title. Australia is now held in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Directly following are four sequential progress views of Foreign Flora.