Saturday, January 28, 2023

In our own time


My linocut, A Man, a Woman and a Duck, 1996, is part of In our own time, one of four summer exhibitions currently on view at Latrobe Regional Gallery.

When I was undertaking part-time post-graduate studies at Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education, I was invited to create a Patron Print as a fundraiser for the university, and this was the work I made. The artist Jenny Peterson (who also has a work in the show), was the studio technician and editioned the print on my behalf.

Its setting is my home town of St. Kilda, where I was living at the time, just minutes from the sea. The print contains other autobiographical elements, although sadly, I never did own a duck.

It’s a privilege to be part of this exhibition and to have my work hanging alongside so many artists whose works I admire. 

In our own time
12 November 2022 – 12 February 2023
Gallery 4

Artists: Lisa Anderson, N Barnes, Hanna Chetwin, Sarah Dingwall, Helen Eager, David Gatiss, Tiffinie-Jane Gerritsen, Siri Hayes, Mark Hooper, Lorraine Jenyns, Tim Jones, Deborah Klein, Robert Knottenbelt, John Marshall, Tracey Moffatt, Jill Noble, Polixeni Papapetrou, Jenny Peterson, Susan Purdy, Stefan Szonyi, Richard Tipping, Tony Trembath, Fred Williams, Ian Mowbray, John Wolseley, Ermes de Zan.  

Featuring work from the Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection and invited artists, In our own time is an exhibition that brings together works that, through various approaches, reference ideas around recreation and the activities undertaken in our spare moments.   
The importance of both connection and solitude, the need for exploration outside our everyday environments and quietude within, nurturing old and creating new memories are points of reflection in these works. It is arguable that now, more than ever, it is critical to integrate connective and comforting activities into the modern lifestyle.   
Through the selection of works in this exhibition, we are reminded of the agency we have over our time and the opportunities we have to engage, pause, introspect, play and discover.  

- Curator, Gabriella Duffy

NB Jenny Peterson is guest-curator of the group show, Fellow Travellers: Prints from the LRG Collection, which is also part of the gallery’s summer program. The exhibition includes another of my linocuts, Anon, 1998. Details will follow shortly.

Pictured top: Deborah Klein, A Man, a Woman and a Duck, 1996, linocut, 30.5 x 46.5 cm. Collection: Latrobe Regional Gallery. Photo credit: Tim Gresham. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


Istoria: history, story, tale, a Goldfields Printmakers exhibition, opens at Burra Regional Art Gallery on Thursday January 26.

The official opening is on Saturday, January 28 at 5.30 pm. Full details are on the invitation below; click on it for an enlarged view. 

Memory 40, one of two prints I have in the show, reflects a long-held interest in hidden histories. My works pose a question that may be unanswerable. During the Australian gold rushes, what fates befell the thousands of women and girls who remained in China after their menfolk departed for the goldfields? 

In 1861, Chinese immigrants made up 3.3 per cent of the Australian population. The vast majority (38,337) were men, compared to only eleven women. But virtually nothing is known about the women who stayed behind.

Recalling the traditional Chinese art of cut paper silhouettes, profiles of Chinese women were hand-painted onto similarly ephemeral Eucalyptus leaves and transformed into archival pigment prints suggestive of fading Victorian photographs. All of the leaves in this series were sourced in the forest at Newstead, which, at the height of the Victorian gold rushes, was a base for over 3000 Chinese miners.


The exhibition theme is broadly based on the concept of Istoria/ἱστορία

The term history has evolved from an ancient Greek verb istoria which means "to know". Originally meaning inquiry, the act of seeking knowledge, as well as the knowledge that results from inquiry or what we now call histories, stories or tales.

The Oxford Dictionary gives a definition of the tale as a fictitious or true narrative or story, especially one that is imaginatively recounted. 

The words story and history share much of their lineage, however today we mostly think of the dividing line as the one between fact and fiction. Stories may be fanciful tales woven at bedtime, melodramatic plots, or the relating of a simple tale. Histories, on the other hand, are records of events, although the veracity of those events usually depends on who has written the history/herstory.

The word history refers to all-time preceding this very moment and everything that 'really' happened up to now. The distinctions may be much messier than that of course and as printmakers — people who use visual imagery to imaginatively convey meaning - we make full use of the freedom afforded by mark-making, to play with the way a picture tells a thousand stories, histories or tales.

- From the catalogue essay by Dr. Loris Button

Istoria: history, story, tale

Bence Room,

Burra Regional Art Gallery,

6 Market Street,

Burra, SA.

Open daily 1-4

January 26-March 12

Pictured top: Memory 40, 2017, Archival pigment print, 28 x 21.4 cm, edition 20.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Lotus - early progress views

Pictured above and below: another lino block prepared for carving. Body decoration is based in part on Lotus, a panel or curtain (one of a pair) attributed to May Morris and embroidered by Morris & Co, circa 1895.

As previously mentioned, before carving, I coat the block with a coloured drawing ink, making it possible to see carved areas - particularly the fine lines - more clearly. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Behind the scenes

My last post featured developmental views of the lino block for Horn Poppy, one of several linocuts inspired by the works of British Arts and Crafts artist and designer, May Morris

Now scroll down to see the behind-the-scenes drama that threatened its very completion, namely, the battle of the studio chair. Fortunately a peaceful compromise was eventually reached. 

Pictured below: Alice B. Cat.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Horn Poppy - further progress views


The carving of Horn Poppy, 20 x 15 cm, a linocut partly based on the wallpaper designed by May Morris for Morris and Co, circa 1885, is near completion. 

The image was drawn freehand onto the lino block, then coated with a layer of transparent drawing ink in order to see the carved areas with greater clarity. 

Directly below: retrospective process views.

For more about the work, see Blog Post Thursday, 5 January.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Storage units update

For artists who have been around for as long as Shane Jones and I, storage can become an increasingly vexing issue. Last year, in an effort to ease the load and hopefully introduce some order out of chaos, we acquired two small storage pods. As documented on February 21, 2022, delivery and placement of the pods presented a series of nerve-wracking challenges, each one systematically dealt with by the expert, cool headed driver and quick-thinking Shane. 

It’s occurred to me that I’ve never posted an update on the pods - although to be honest, for far too long, there wasn’t a lot to show. 2022 was a particularly hectic year (including two exhibitions and a residency for each of us), so it was several months before we could find the necessary time to set them up. The adjustable shelves, which are perfect for accommodating our changing needs, were purchased from our local Officeworks. I’ve owned the drop-leaf table for several years. It’s proving particularly invaluable for sorting the contents of the plan cabinet opposite and when not in use, the sides can be dropped down to save on space. 

The storage units still need fine-tuning, but we are thrilled with them. For the first time since our move, we have been able to liberate the last of our artworks (and other stuff besides) from paid storage and accessing my work can now be achieved with relative ease, rather than being a major stressor. 

The next step - and it will be a doozy - is organising our garage into a printmaking studio, another long term project, juggled, as always, with other commitments.

At this stage, it all feels a tad overwhelming, but we’ll get there. Meanwhile, in the first month of a fresh new year, it feels good to pause, take a breath and reflect on just how far we’ve come.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Horn Poppy

Kicking off the working year: a linocut in progress, part of a series begun in 2022, draws inspiration from Horn Poppy, a wallpaper design by May Morris for Morris & Co., circa 1885. (Page view above, left).

A recurring motif in the prolific Morris’s work, the horned poppy was often incorporated into her embroidery designs. 

In September 2022, the first two works in the series were exhibited in the Goldfields Printmakers show, The Printmakers’ Garden of Imagination at Newstead Arts Hub, Newstead, Vic, and at IMPACT 12, the international printmaking symposium, in Bristol, UK. They can be viewed HERE.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Our 30th Anniversary

Happy First Day of 2023!

New Year’s Eve 2022 was especially significant for Shane Jones and I, as it marked the 30th anniversary of the night we met. Ironically, it was at a mutual friend’s New Year’s Eve party neither of us had wanted to go to. (Unlike our cat, Alice, we are not, nor have we ever been, party animals). 

Earlier in the evening we enjoyed a celebratory meal at Oscar’s in Ballarat (top picture), and later welcomed in the New Year at home with Prosecco and sparklers.

By way of a trip down Memory Lane, the remaining photos, the best I’ve been able to excavate from my iPhone in a relatively short space of time, date from 2002 to 2022.

In the studio at our former Abbotsford home. Clipping from Domain, THE AGE, Melbourne, April 24, 2002.

Excerpt from the Gallery Association Magazine, Art Gallery of Ballarat. Interview by Amanda McGraw, 21 January, 2020.

With Shane at his solo show at Charles Nodrum Gallery, 12 June, 2007. Directly behind Shane: Steven Kafkarisos. In the background to my right: Mark Chapman and Angela Cavalieri.

At RMIT TAFE Gallery, Melbourne, in front of my linocut installation, Iron Butterflies, 7 December, 2007. Photo credit: Robin Rogers.

At the opening of a group show at C3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne, 2 September, 2009. Far right: Paul Compton.

Pictured with Shane and his sculpture, Passage, at the Small Sculpture Awards, Deakin University, 22 October, 2009

Article by Megan Frankel-Vaughan, Sunraysia Daily, Mildura, Thursday November 27, 2014.

Photographed by Anne Spudvilas (who also made the martinis) at her former property at Wentworth on 6 December, 2014.

Alice at our former home in Abbotsford on 24 December, 2017, two days after she first came into our lives.

In Melbourne with our friend Leigh Hobbs and Shane’s sister, Patricia Gillard, 11 December, 2019.

Directly after the sale of our previous home at Golden Point, 18 November, 2019. Photo: Terrence Morse.

At our present home in Ballarat East shortly after we took possession in late 2019. Photo credit: Tim Gresham.

At the opening of Backstories, my solo show at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne, 24 July, 2021. Photo: Kathryn Ryan/Julie Keating.

I can’t begin to imagine where the past 30 years have gone to, nor can I imagine life without Shane. Happy 30th Anniversary to the love of my life. Long may our journey continue. 

At Potts Point, Sydney, October, 2022.