After more than two and a half years, two vaccinations and two boosters, I finally succumbed to Covid, in New Mexico USA.
I was in a place that I have wanted to see for many years, the House, and Studio of Georgia O’Keeffe, or it may have been Taos, or even Santa Fe. One cannot be sure, however, it got me.
Now, resting up in bed, in isolation and needing to rebuild my strength, I am taking the opportunity to write again.
In this blog I will reflect on several projects that have kept me engaged throughout 2020, into 2021 and 2022. Fitting in and around lockdowns, five-kilometre restrictions and curfews. It was great to take a breath of fresh air into 2022 and see some outcomes. Thanks Tony for the photo of Cecelia and I. Thanks Cecelia for the photo of me in the grass.
A friend and her husband, who had downsized, asked me to visit and assist in selecting and placing artworks in her new home. What a pleasure it was to help her work through her collection of artworks and framed family photographs, discuss her favourite works and make decisions on where they would be located. We even selected a work that was stored away in the garage, that now has pride of place in the sitting room.
She was very happy and recommended to another mutual friend that I assist her. Hence in the early days of 2020 I made a visit to her new abode, and we started a journey together. Questions asked:
Which are your favourite works, forget value?
Which works do you not want to keep?
Which works do you prefer to look at everyday, where you spend most of your time?
As several of the works had been living on bricks walls, the rear sides were in disrepair, a couple had the glass broken and one gifted work needed to be mounted for hanging.
She had a significant, very old Chinese artefact to donate to a museum, another possibly to sell, and several to be donated to the Op Shop. I contacted the Chinese museum in Melbourne, who recommended the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo. It seems that her family have descendant connections with Bendigo, and they are happy to receive the piece. Some research met dead ends, however one work that we enquired to sell, she has kept and received an authenticity certificate to accompany it. Others went to the Op Shop. I took artworks home for repair, reglazing, and mounting.
Eventually we were able to have time together to plan for placement of the artworks in the home. I made several enquiries regarding an installer and finally made a date with Jessie to hang the works. Unfortunately, my friend was in hospital and could not enjoy the time with us. We kept sending her photos of the hang as we went about the house installing. It was such a privilege to engage on this project, delving into a collection that has taken many years to acquire, bringing works back to life and placing them in their new home. I gain much satisfaction and pleasure in this form of work. It took much longer than we both anticipated, but well worth the result.
At some stage during the pandemic my young sister called to ask about refurbishing a casting that she had had in storage for several years, that previously hung in her backyard. Now in her new home she wanted to silver leaf the piece and asked if I had any ideas about it. Slowly, slowly was how it happened, due to her health issues. I decided to surprise her and do the job myself. I had previously looked at the piece, which is made from plaster, internally supported with a fibrous, grass and extremely pitted from time in the weather. With the cast in my studio, I researched, don’t we love YouTube? I had dabbled with leafing, but this was a big male torso casting with lots of surface to clean and prepare before any additions. I started with steel wool, steel pot scrubber, sandpaper and finally got out the trusty rechargeable drill and brass rotary brush, that I had cleaned down the inside of the fireplace with. (That’s another story.)
I didn’t want to wet the surface, so all work was done dry, with face mask and vacuum cleaner. The green mould was tough to remove, and the structure held together well. After discussion with my sister, we decided to leave the pitted surface to create a texture under the silver leaf. I purchased a white primer that I had used when repainting our stained timber kitchen chairs. The primer states that when used it will seal almost any surface for painting, even plastic.
We had had a discussion on the base colour, under the leafing. My understanding is that red is used under gold leaf and traditionally, I recently was told, that blue is used under silver. My sister decided on black as her new interior is mainly chrome and black. I purchased a flat black acrylic spray from the local hardware and became most annoyed when almost finished the nozzle would not work, so frustrating. When you have a third of the can left and cannot get it out. I reverted to using nozzles from other cans in the studio, hence ruining another couple of nozzles.
The black cast looked superb, and I checked with her whether she still wanted the silver leafing, yes, she did.
Not knowing how much I would need I purchased two packs of 25 sheets and two bottles of specialist glue. What I discovered was that I had silver leaf from many years ago, when I was dabbling. Silver leaf is quite forgiving within the application process. Like all good stable artworks, foundation is important, you will not have a good oil painting if the canvas is not prepared well. I was happy with the surface to adhere to; the glue was superb to work with once I understood the consistency and curing procedure. All these actions were trialled first on an old plaster cast that I had made, each step taken was trialled, even the brass rotary brush. The only time I wet the surface was with a damp cloth prior to the prime sealer and then the cast dried as quickly as possible with hairdryer and heater.
The final layer was a clear varnish coating to protect the silver leaf from tarnishing.
My sister likes shiny surfaces, I like satin. Again, it was trialled, and she opted for the shine. I am pleased with the outcome and happier still that my niece came with my sister during the leafing period for her to apply some of the material herself.
Art Legacy Collector
A very dear artist friend, J, could see the time coming when she would perhaps have to change accommodation and live in a care facility. What a traumatic decision to make. J had built the house, with help, made the bricks, sourced to the quirky fittings, scoured the demolition yards for windows and doors that spoke of her character and lived there for 50 years. I had offered to assist her in closing the studio, which included selecting paintings to go to new homes and others to be destroyed. In late May I went to discuss and look at several artworks with her just prior to her leaving the house for the last time.
Another mutual friend Anne and I, mid-June, delved into a life-long collection of all things in a working studio and an incredible storage of artworks. We had allocated some three days to sort, photograph and allocate artworks into piles of yes, no, maybe to be considered. J had placed allocation notes on many of the hanging artworks, however it had been many years since she had entered the cellar storage. Works that were simply not finished, and or damaged were relegated quickly to the ‘not to be kept’ pile. Another old friend of J’s came to help sift through what he thought was to be retained, basically what he could not let go of, which found him with a stack of artworks to take with him. He had known J since he was 15y.o and very close to her.
We had previously discussed her legacy and I took on the ‘job’ of separating out boxes of negatives, slides, recordings, CDs, DVDs, photographs, catalogues, invitations, and an amazing amount of art related paraphernalia.
Anne and I managed to get the bulk of photography done on the third day so that family and friends could collect the artworks allocated to them.
I found it most difficult to destroy the works that had to be culled, Anne had that awesome task.
I was amazed to find that each time I opened a cupboard or drawer it was filled with more works, art materials, or things to be sorted for her legacy.
Anne and I called into the care facility to update J, show her some photos we found, ask about newfound file and boxes.
My task extended to include collecting items for asylum seekers and arranging pick up, twice.
The family waited for our task to be done before calling in the declutter/cleaning company. I passed by one day to find about six women busily sorting and was pleased to hear that much of the goods were headed to charities, half-way houses and youth facilities. I had cringed at the thought of everything going into landfill.
The house sold within a week of going on sale. J was very pleased as the purchaser is a man who had originally helped her make the mud bricks. As she said, “The house is in good hands.”
Anne I will work through compiling J’s legacy for perpetuity and in the meantime, I am the recipient of one of her stunning artworks.
Pop-up Exhibition Coordinator
Local Potter and friend, Jane Annois and I were chatting about the Warrandyte Art Space. The Space, through Manningham Council, is administered by the Warrandyte Community Association. WCA gave the space for the photographic exhibition at the end of 2021, Fresh Perspectives.
Jane had been offered the space for more exhibitions and I suggested a series of pop-up events.
We got together with Wayne Rankin for further discussion, which grew into a meeting of about sixteen artists at Stony Creek studio on 29 May. It was a fabulous session of nutting out what a group of artists perceived as a workable opportunity for Warrandyte artists. On the day we scheduled a pop-up exhibition for the last weekend of each month until November this year. Each month three various artists would showcase artworks from their studios.
The Warrandyte Diary was contacted to run a series of promotional articles that each group submits. I decided to be a floating participant and to slot in where an artist was required. I showcased artwork in August with Wayne Rankin. It was quite a buzz and I thank everyone who came along to support the project. It has been fabulous to see the evolution of the project, where new artists are joining the group. We originally scheduled exhibitions for six months, however, the space is now being scheduled for six months in 2023. The first exhibition is to take place on the last weekend in February and coincides with the Annual Pottery Expo.
Several years ago, the NGV featured an extraordinary exhibition titled The Slowness of Speed.
I was intrigued with the artists’ interpretation of the theme, or perhaps the theme was based on the work of the many International Artists.
Previously the fastest way for humans to travel from A to B was to walk, then run, perhaps sprint. To ride a four-legged animal was so much quicker. Today we can take a fast train at over 300kph, sit, and relax with a glass of red while watching the world whizz by.
Humans have set limitations, on time, speed, measurements in order for us to live cohesively in an orderly and manageable world.
I am a product of a world that seems to have increased in speed since I was of an age that I could comprehend a world beyond myself and family.
Do I idealize what life was like when seemingly time dragged and I enjoyed long summer afternoons and winter nights by a fire that warmed one room in the house.
Perhaps I am drawn back to the time of pandemic lockdowns, when life was a ‘Groundhog Day’, when I read and listened to many books, held a personal war against onion weed on the property and my five kilometres constantly.
I welcomed 2022 with a promise of engagement with others, physically seeing exhibitions and friends, interstate travel. The epitome being time spent with my daughter, who could finally travel from USA. The featured image was snapped locally at Eastland.
So, what is happening around Stony Creek Studio in a sped-up world of 2022.
It was a pleasure to have the exhibition Asia Series at Art at St. Francis. I met several friends on site, received positive feedback and the experience of showing at the gallery flowed extremely smoothly.
After three years, Warrandyte Festival was on again in March. Anne and I joined in a lamp making workshop for day and night decoration at Stiggant Reserve. It was a buzz having our Fu Yu (Happy Fish) swimming the river on the stage.
Sunday March 27, I found myself at an onsite artist presentation by Sean Lynch. His installation Distant Things Appear Suddenly Near continues in place at University Square, Melbourne University, corner of Barry and Pelham Streets.
To view the full image: Select and click on first image – click on the i in a circle RHB of opened page then select View Full Size.
I continued onto the Secret Art Lounge showing artworks by Chris bold, Maggie McCormick and Elisabeth Weissensteiner. A fabulous concept that featured a single work by each artist in the studio of Elisabeth. The showing was from 2-5pm, one afternoon, only. People gathered outside of the studio where drinks and nibbles were on offer, chatted with each other and particularly the artists. I found concentrating on one artist and one artwork, in detail, allowed me to fully understand what that artist was wanting to convey.
It led me to think about the Art Space in Warrandyte that has been offered to artists for artwork display.
After a chat with Jane Annois and a meeting with Wayne Rankin, on 29 May we invited artists to gather for further discussion regarding pop-up weekend exhibitions. We are thrilled that sixteen artists have responded and scheduled the last weekend of each month to end of November 2022, to feature their works. Sandi Miller at Warrandyte Diary is eagerly supporting the project.
Read about it here on Page 25:
On 29/30 October, I will join with Fraser Colin, metalwork and Steffanie Tisi, paintings at Art Space, Main Road Warrandyte. Pop the date in your Diary.
Yarra Sculpture Award managed to fit in after Lockdowns lifted. It was a pleasure to see the show again.
On April 13 Walter and I were dining at Dubbo Zoo to a chorus of animals settling down for the night.
We camped OR glamped by a Billabong and were treated to evening and morning walking tours by the experienced staff. Looking for something a little different, I recommend dining with the lions.
Easter saw us at Lake Macquarie for an MG National Meeting, with seventy-three Victorians attending the aftermath was that sixteen came down with Covid. It is very much still around.
Anne Hastie and I went to see the opening exhibition of a new gallery ACAE (Australasian Cultural Arts Exchange). It had been a little while since meeting up with the Director, Damien Smith. We saw two stunning exhibitions and it was great to catch up on the work of Gonkar Gyatso, who I had met through Redgate Gallery Director Brian Wallace.
The latest exhibition to show at ACAE, 82A Wellington St, Collingwood, opened on Saturday July 9. Featured artists are Tony Scott/Australia and Kwong Manchun/Hong Kong.
Have a look at ACAE here: https://acaearts.com.au/
I applied for and received a free ticket to see The Other Art Fair Melbourne, held at the Meat Market in Blackwood Street North Melbourne. May 28, I met up with a girlfriend who also received free tickets. The place was pretty cram packed with stalls of artworks in all shapes and forms. Typically, it was a mishmash of good and not so good works. However, my overall impression was that the exceptional artworks stood out and an abundance of female artists were on site with their works. Putting on my MSWPS, (Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors) hat I introduced myself and the role of MSWPS. Who knows, perhaps new members could be coming through.
MSWPS was able to hold a function at the Ola Cohn centre on July 7 to celebrate our Winter Lunch, with the theme Christmas in July. There was good attendance with some thirty members meeting up after a very long pandemic break.
Have a look at the website here: https://mswps.com.au/
Anne Hastie and I actually flew, yes took a plane, to Sydney for several days at the beginning of June to catch up on the Sydney Biennale. Pleasantly it also coincided with Vivid. Friends Lili and John Barbieri have been travelling to experience Vivid for several years. For Anne and me we were Newbies.
I do enjoy going to Sydney. It is a vibrant, fun place for a few days break and boy, did it hike up my step count.
Catch some of the action here: VIVID: https://www.vividsydney.com/
Anne and I were overwhelmed by the joy of the people in Sydney. It seemed they had been restricted for so long that they just wanted to get out, no matter the cold, to interact and engage with the activities. We commented that Sydney does it so well.
We returned to Melbourne, my home flight is another unfortunate saga, but I eventually got to sleep in my bed.
Anne and I had prebooked tickets to a Melbourne Rising event at Golden Square Carpark in Chinatown.
In 2021 I bought several tickets to the Rising festival and opening night we were informed that lockdown would take place again. All events were either cancelled or postponed.
This year with, speeding along, I did not even look at the event until Anne suggested Golden Square.
We also walked across to the Myer Music Bowl for The Wilds experience. Having just returned from Sydney and seeing the vitality there, it was exciting to see Melburnians with the same vibe. Yes, we said, Sydney does it well and, you know what, so does Melbourne.
Catch a glimpse of Rising here: https://rising.melbourne/festival-program
23 June Walter and I, with Dolly dog, headed west to the great adventure of Mt. Torrens in South Australia. Dolly met up with her first love, Ali and her second love Jannie. Excitement all round as Dolly remembered and was happy to see them both. She was a little confused because me being her third love, she was unsure who to follow.
Dolly had a great time until she and two other dogs got put in pens for the day after chasing sheep. That is a definite a no no.
Jannie and Bruce are the owners of Ardene Australian Whites.
Have a look at their website here: https://ardene.com.au
Wal and I had a day in Adelaide as I wanted to catch up on a few exhibitions and visit the Adelaide Jam Factory.
The papers recently are raving about the work of Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota. My friend Sally in QLD is recommending I see her work at GOMA. I sent Sally some photos of the installation I saw at AGSA, stunning. AGSA was featuring all things Japanese, with a lovely work of Yayoi Kusama and Contemporary Japanese sculptural ceramics.
Have a look here: https://www.agsa.sa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/
This Blog is an update, and the speed of life is overtaking the slowness to write. The studios continue with a variety of activities and projects of which I will detail, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.
We jumped into 2022 with some aspirations and a little reluctance, our summer more humid than before and it feels like more hot days than before. The beauty of it all, especially living in a high fire risk area, is that we have not had the hot Northerlies or Fire Ban Days that usually overshadow the joy of living in the bush.
Preparedness is key to knowing we cannot do more than we have for the safety of our home and so we keep up the watering and loving the recently installed rain water tank.
In this La Niña season temperatures are cooler and this summer was predicted to have more rain than usual.
New Year found Walter in hospital again, coming out on New Year’s Day. It was also our first anniversary with Dolly our kelpie, who is loving the Yarra bank walks, meeting lots of play mates and swimming in the river. She has grown in confidence, curiosity and trust of humans. She no longer is afraid of wheeled vehicles on pathways, such as prams and bicycles and has much respect for road vehicles.
With Qantas now flying into USA and especially Nashville TN, I am planning to get there to spend concentrated time with my daughter Cecelia and her husband Tony. They are thrilled to finally have their own house and backyard. They have revealed skills in carpentry, painting, recycling and putting them to good use in house improvements.
Walter is ‘back in the studio’ working on new paintings and pleased to be part of the AGRA upcoming exhibition of selected artists. He is planning a solo exhibition later in the year at the Victorian Artists Society Galleries.
Currently my artwork Conversation is included in the YAVA Inaugural Small Sculpture Exhibition INterior in Healesville, coinciding with the Yering Station Sculpture Art Award. Initially planned for October 2021 were postponed to when galleries could open and welcome visitors.
Based on cultural tea drinking rituals, the marble tea caddies in the artwork Conversation, are a symbol for relationships. Relationships between family and friends that strengthen solid foundations through the ritual of drinking tea. Rituals that are passed from generation to generation.
The exhibition continues until March 6.
February 28 I will deliver artwork, Hard Baked, to The Hut Gallery, Ferntree Gully for the exhibition Smorgasbord a MAVA collective exhibition. Open 1 – 10 March.
In March 2020 my exhibition at Art at St Francis was cancelled after five days due to the first wave of Covid 19. Brigette has offered space for a solo exhibition in March.
Asia Series: Cultural Costume Reimagined will be showing at Art at St Francis’ 9 March to 4 April.
The weekend of 19/20 March after a two year hiatus, showcases the Warrandyte Donvale Rotary Art Show, in conjunction with the Warrandyte Festival. Four of my artworks will participate in the show as it is a pleasure to support the excellent work of Rotary. Official Opening is on Friday March 18.
Walter and I have found a window of opportunity to take a regional gallery tour 1 – 4 March.
We will visit Michelton Gallery of Aboriginal Art Gallery, where my daughter Melissa has arranged for a tour with gallery director Adam Knight. https://mitchelton.com.au/gallery/
Shepparton Art Museum recently had a major rebuild and are currently featuring the work of Lin Onus: The Land Within. https://sheppartonartmuseum.com.au/
To complete the tour we will head North to Benalla to lunch with my sister from Yarrawonga and visit the Benalla Art Gallery. Situated on the edge of Lake Benalla, the gallery hosts changing exhibitions and features some three centuries of Australian Art. https://benallaartgallery.com.au/
Victoria is rich in regional galleries, who present superb exhibitions. Always well worth planning a short trip to visit a few.
Plan a visit to Warrandyte to experience the Pottery Expo on the last weekend in February 26/27, on the River bank; following the theme Clay Communities. https://www.potteryexpo.com/
The final hurrah on this blog was the Fresh Perspectives event, held at wonguim wilam park on Saturday February 5. We celebrated summer with music, food friendship and pleasure whilst enjoying the projection of photographs by local artists, under the Bridge. The display of images in Taffy’s Hut continues until June 30. Read about the event (pg. 19) in the February Issue of Warrandyte Diary. Get all the news on the Festival (pg. 13) and Pottery Expo (pg. 8) https://warrandytediary.com.au/2022/02/
To view the full image: Select and click on first image – click on the i in a circle RHB of opened page then select View Full Size.
Cultural Costume Reimagined
National costume identifies culture and the significance of nations’ customs.
Contemporary fashion continually rebels against customs, whilst simultaneously appropriating traditional costume style and materials.
Intrigued with contemporary indigenous Asian fashion designs I have attended fashion parades, exhibitions, designer studios and bespoke boutiques during my years of travel throughout Asian countries.
Asia Series is based within fashion forms and styles that combine traditional
costume design with 21st century fabrics and concepts of four countries.
I have introduced a personal heritage symbol into the works that include silkscreen printing and Japanese paper collage.
The artworks are float mounted and framed to harmonize with the colour tones of the work.
9 March to 4 April 2022
Mo to Fr 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday 10 to 2 pm
I am an Australian artist who creates artwork based at Stony Creek Studio in Warrandyte Australia. Between 2005 and 2019 I maintained a work studio at Huanghua Studio in Beijing China.
A major highlight in 2021 was Deep Blue Crossing, a solo installation, presented in partnership with Fed Square, Melbourne.
I participate in many local, national and international exhibitions and undertake many workshop programs. I am the recipient of several Residency Awards including Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon AIR and Montsalvat Artist-in-Residence, Manningham Arts Fellowship and Residence in Australia. My international residencies include Australia/China Council Residence Award in Beijing, Da Pu International Art Centre in Da Qing, Centre D’art I Natura AIR Farrera Spain, 99 Art Museum AIR in Beijing, the 3rd Heshun International Art Festival AIR Shanxi, Erdos Inner Mongolia International AIR, Hudson Centre for Contemporary Art AIR Hudson Valley New York, Shimenfeng Celebrity Culture Park Wuhan.
As secretary for the Artists 2000 Foundation I have received grants for curatorial and workshop projects in Australia and China based on International Cultural Art Exchange.
I am the recipient of several commissions including Tianjin Port Authority 60th Anniversary, BHG and Cocoa Cola Art Project, Western Academy of Beijing, Willoughby Visual Art Biennial, 27 Degree East Lake Ecological Sculpture Biennial.
I completed a Master of Arts at RMIT, Melbourne in 2002. My art practice is based on cultural diversity, belief systems, rituals, and icons that form the celebrations of these. I use a variety of media to enhance and harmonize with my conceptual expressions encompassing places of worship, sacred sites, spirituality and related symbols. Human characteristics impact upon natural environments and my environmental concerns relate directly to Australia, whilst conveying a global awareness.
I am Patron for Tasun Creative Art in China, Secretary for the Artists 2000 Foundation, Website Administrator and bi-monthly Bulletin editor for Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors and an independent curator. Memberships include: NAVA, MSWPS, MAVA, Artaviso
Between 2005 – 2016 I was curator for the Nv Yishu (Female Art) Series of bi-annual Touring Exhibitions and Meeting Halfway in Guangzhou China and the Chinese Museum in Melbourne; commissioned in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of Australia China Diplomatic Relationships.
My artworks are held in collections with:
Shimenfeng Celebrity Culture Park – Wuhan China,
BHG Beijing Hualian Department Store Co., Bundanon Trust, Loyola College, Nillumbik Shire Council, Containers Packaging, Zhengzhou Contemporary Art Museum, Australian Consulate-General Guangzhou, Redtory Art & Design Factory, EMG Art Guangzhou, Dapu International Art Centre, Da Qing Normal University, Imago Mundi: Luciano Benetton Collection, Heshun Cultural Development Art Museum, Private Collections, Hudson Center for Contemporary Art, Tasun Creative Art
All things in perspective, Melbournians received lockdown relief on 22 October, at 70% double vaccinated, we had a few uplifting moments, albeit hesitation with the installation at Fed Square. Booked to install on 27 October, Fed Square staff were confident it would go ahead. Much to our pleasure 29 October gave more freedoms at 80% double vaccination.
Deep Blue Crossing went live to the public arena, officially, on 1 November. NGV Ian Potter opened the doors on 3 November. On display at Fracture Gallery read more about the project here: https://stonycreekstudio.art/2021/10/06/deep-blue-crossing/ and here: https://fedsquare.com/events/multicultural-week
It has been an exciting experience and I thank the team at Fed Square who have been extremely supportive throughout the project.Great to see it was picked up by some of the Social Media organisations:
WHAT’S ON MELBOURNE
The famous Warrandyte Diary featured an article in the Diary Bulletin October and November Issue:
WARRANDYTE DIARY AND BULLETIN
The installation continues at Fed Square until November 30. I thank all who have given me feedback and sent images on their perspective of the artwork.
November has been one of the wettest, stormiest periods in weather history. Our new 5500 litre Rainwater tank was filled to overflowing within ten days of installation.
Melbourne Cup Racing was particularly fortunate on the first Tuesday in November to have about 26 degrees with sunshine.
At least the dog got a bath and smelled especially human good for a little while. Dolly is gaining her confidence with water, enjoys paddling in Stony Creek and is taking to the Yarra. Still a timid dog, she is now curious, letting more females give her a pat and socialises well with other dogs.
Pouring rain, high winds and falling trees seem to be a symbol for the chaos that has erupted throughout Victoria and the many protests. Lockdown has confined us, in between breaks, for over 260 days since the start the pandemic. Victorians, we have down well to reach our 90% double vaccinations, however, it has affected each and every one of us in more ways than I know. I can only speak for those around me and the effect on my mental and physical health. We congratulate ourselves for a job well done, and well deserved and now we face the consequences.
Along with the flood of rain, came a flood of opportunities, so much so that I could not keep up and give each worthy event the promotion it deserved.
My artwork has participated and continues to participate in several online exhibitions.
SHADOWS AT PLAY – A MAVA Collective Online Exhibition
Shadows can produce darkness, highlight the light, evoke beauty or something more sinister. Shadows can be very obvious or somewhat subtle by definition. Shadows at Play is a collection of over 60 artworks exploring the theme with sculpture, NFT’s, moving image, digital works, paintings, illustrations, photographs and more.
NO STRINGS ATTACHED – A MAVA Collective Online Exhibition
No Strings Attached is an exhibition that takes the definition in its literal form. Most of the artwork in this exhibition requires framing or mounting of some sort. Each piece is the same size and the same price. We wanted to keep it simple and yet provide opportunities for our art buyers to purchase Christmas gifts at more affordable prices. All the artworks are A4 in size, $150 in price, and ready for a frame or mount of your choice.
CHANGING PERSPECTIVES – MSWPS ANNUAL EXHIBITION – Online Exhibition
The creativity, diversity, and artistic excellence of our members will be showcased in this exhibition. Sincere thanks to Sophie Gerard, Assistant Curator of Australian Art NGV and judge of 2021 Annie Davison Oliver Award and Valda Cuming Sculpture Award.
Chinese Abstract Art (Nantong) Exhibition: A Hundred Years of Zhang Jian – Curator: Ma Yiying
I received a social Media Wechat message from Ma Yiying advising that my artwork is in this exhibition in China. A pleasure to know that pandemic and all my work continues to be featured in China.
The previous blog mentioned eight artworks hibernating at Fitzroy Stretchers since mid-July. After four months, I finally managed to arrange the framing, now completed, and collected the work on Monday 22 November. Art at St Francis Gallery has had to postpone again and we will connect in 2022, looking to the future.
MSC MARITIME ART EXHIBITION Online https://gallery.missiontoseafarers.com.au/
BLUETHUMB – 10 Day Collector Sale
Where art buyers connect with Australia’s emerging and established artists. You’ll only find original art for sale here.Welcome to Bluethumb, the Home of Australian Artists.
An artwork lasts a lifetime.
Don’t miss a rare opportunity to save on original Australian artworks.
Save 10% off any order using code COLLECT10
Save 15% off orders >$1,500 using code COLLECT15
Sale ends 29 NOV on bluethumb.com.au
With my two images selected for the next photographic event Warrandyte will hold an event Under the bridge on 5 February 2022, featuring all selected images.Photo posters have been installed at Taffy’s Hut and will remain in place until June 2022.
In conjunction with the event artists are displaying samples of their photos in Warrandyte Village for the month of December.Warrandyte Community Centre, next to Library as the Art Space.
1 – 30 December Open Wed – Sat 10am to 3pm. Denise will be on site 10 – 12:30 on 1,8,15,22, and 29 December.
After a flood of info on my activities, Walter is thrilled to be featured on the Victorian Artists Society website: PROFILE WITH VAS https://vasgallery.org.au/Walter-Magilton~22021
And what a buzz to have Deep blue Crossing featured at The Atrium at the same time as Found and Gathered an awe-inspiring exhibition on Until 20 February 2022.
Found and Gathered: Rosalie Gascoigne | Lorraine Connelly-Northey brings attention to the shared materiality at the heart of the practices of Rosalie Gascoigne (1917–1999) and Lorraine Connelly-Northey (b. 1962). Both artists are known for their transformative use of found and discarded objects to create works of art that challenge our understanding of the landscape, and Country.
To view the full image: Select and click on first image – click on the i in a circle RHB of opened page then select View Full Size.
Presented by Denise Keele-bedford in partnership with Fed Square
Fracture Gallery, The Atrium Fed Square 1 – 30 November 2021 24-hour Viewing
Wednesday 3, 10, 17 and Thursday 25 November I will be at fracture Gallery from 1 -4pm.
You are welcome to view the work anytime during November and please contact me if you would like me to meet you on site.
In celebration of Multicultural Week at Fed Square, an armada of origami boats will sail through Fracture Gallery, accompanied by rainbow colour beams dancing across the space. The installation uses colour to convey the kaleidoscopic diversity of nations who have traversed oceans and created a fusion from their cultural inheritances that transforms Melbourne into a unique multicultural society.
Read more on the project here:
Deep Blue Crossing acknowledges our First Peoples, our first-generation migrants who continue to enrich Melbourne’s heritage, and all people of different backgrounds, ideas and cultures who contribute to the harmony of future generations.
With Thanks to: Stony Creek Studio, Kayendee Acrylics, BMG Australasia, Karyn Blokkeerus, Megan Caine.
I also thank the exceptional team at Fed Square who have guided the installation process with consideration and professionalism.
From the beginning of contacting Fed Square with an art installation concept, through Covid restriction concerns, to promotion, schedule planning, contact assistance and ongoing through November, my experience has been one of feeling completely supported.
Bastille Day, July 14 I enjoyed the company of Ceramic artist Jane Annois. Jane is very much a Francophile, who like me, travelled often, and embraced all things French. I was booked to travel with Jane and a small group on a walking tour in Corsica in June 2020.
Over coffee we excitedly talked of her upcoming trip to Magnetic Island and my trip in August to Brisbane. http://www.janeannois.com/
The day before I dropped eight artworks to Fitzroy Stretchers for framing. We arranged for me to go back on Friday 16 when the framer was present. https://www.fitzroystretches.com/
Bundit Puangthong their framer was absent, working on one of his major murals in the city.
As it happened, Melbourne went into Lockdown 5. Writing this Blog, I find myself having to research the dates and versions of the Lockdowns; they are all beginning to blend into one long series of restrictions with short periods of time being able to travel outside of 5 kms. Don’t blink otherwise you will miss it.
We know the drill of postponements, cancellations, zooms, refunds for tickets bought. Some of my refunds were difficult because my Credit Card had since expired causing phone calls to update the Expiry Date for remittance.
The MONOCHROME online exhibition was extended to end of August and the artworks are currently displayed in the online shop. https://www.mavacollective.com/shop?page=5
MSWPS Covid Creations online exhibition continues to be available for viewing.
With the expectation of the uplifted restrictions on 27 July I have continued to prepare for the Manningham Arts Fellowship Event on September 19. Unfortunately, this event is to be rescheduled, possibly into 2022:
As Melbourne tumbled into Locked 6 on August 5 for 7 days, then a further 14 days……we find ourselves, early September, still here, at home in STAGE 4 restrictions, most likely until 70% of us are fully vaccinated. Big news: Walter and I have our COVID vaccination certificates.
The length of time it has taken me to write this blog Victoria now stands at 70% with at least the first vaccination shot.
2021 Victorian Seniors Festival is with us and series of podcasts are available to listen to.
Two artists with Italian heritage are featured in Episode 4, including my dear friend Liliana Barbieri. Check out the link below:
Visual artist and gallery director Wilma Tabacco speaks about the triumphs and challenges of growing up in an adopted country. Fellow artist and educator Liliana Barbieri talks about migration, family, and following her dreams.
About twenty MSWPS Members visited the studio of Vicki Sullivan via Zoom recently.
Vicki’s art practice is based in the realist tradition with a passion for 19th Century portraiture.
I wrote a review of our visit that can be read here: https://mswps.com.au/a-virtual-journey-to-vicki-sullivans-studio/
Walter continues the rounds of medical checks, tests, in and out and in again to hospital during August. He is well on the way to recovery from skin grafts. The Victorian artists Society will create an online Profile for him and he is pleased with the recognition.
While I wait for the outcome of various exhibition entry submissions, notices of postponement have been received and some different activities in my studio are occurring.
Preparation for Deep Blue Crossing to be held at Fracture Gallery in Federation Square has continued with some difficulty having acrylic forms made during this Lockdown.
The installation will coincide with Multicultural Month in November and fortunately Fracture Gallery is a view only 24-hour space, constructed of glass and steel. The Public will be able see the work without concern.
From the Orient: Recent Works from China is still planned for Mid-November for one month.
I have edited the Spring Edition of The Bulletin for the Melbourne Society of Women Painters & Sculptors and am currently preparing more than ninety artworks from fifty members for the online Annual Exhibition. Changing Perspectives 2021 will be launched for Public Viewing on Friday 1st October.
An older friend, who downsized, asked if I would advise on where to hang her art collection in the new abode.
Having less wall space than previously we took time to work through her collection and select the pieces that had the most ‘value’ to her, not monetary but emotional and historic value. I have been assisting for several months, in and out of lockdowns and her getting to travel to Darwin for a month. What luck.
It has been a most satisfactory engagement on my behalf with one piece now waiting on a valuation certificate and another which will be donated to the Golden Dragon Museum. It has been a pleasure dealing with these people and the Museum in particular are quite excited to receive the donation. When I suggested the donation to my friend, I knew nothing of her family background, the Museum, however, knew of the family connection to Bendigo. My friend is thrilled that the piece that has been in the family for well over 100 years will be well cared for as has in essence returned home.
You will recall me writing about The Year of Wonder Photographic event in Warrandyte, that resulted in a fabulous publication.
The next iteration is on the way with entries closing on 17 September for an event to be held late November. My submission was entered this week with my view on the theme Fresh Perspectives.
2021 is the 30 Year Anniversary of Redgate Gallery in Beijing.
In 2003 China opened to the world after SARS and I was one of the first foreign artists to go there. For Redgate Gallery anniversary many artists and associates have written articles, sent images, and a range of memorabilia for the celebration. The link is to my article:
Symbols of Joy is an article I wrote for the Warrandyte Uniting Church Bridge. I will make a post for the article. Based on the quirky artwork by Joan Denison, they bring a smile to faces that see them. Take a look at her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/joan.denison.52
Although it seems not much is happening in this time of Lockdown 6, with a little light coming in on Saturday, there is a lot to be thankful for, a lot to keep us engaged and a lot of reading. Just finished reading The White Road by Edmund De Waal, who wrote The Hare with Amber Eyes. Thanks, Anne Hastie, for lending me this book on a pilgrimage through the history of porcelain.
On the last note, I am thoroughly enjoying watching the wrapping of the Arc De Triomphe; the last work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude https://christojeanneclaude.net/artworks/arc-de-triomphe-wrapped/
Around Stony Creek Studio
As we move beyond Winter Solstice and into the second half of 2021, life around the studio continues to ride the waves in and out of Covid restrictions.
A pleasant time was had when Anne Hastie and I met at Tacit Gallery to chat with Celia Bridle and view her latest exhibition of exquisitely detailed prints. She described and process of layer upon layer in between printing until she is happy with the completed work. The works demand to be investigated intimately.
When the Rising Festival had to cancel or postpone all events during our fourth lockdown Walter and I were disappointed to miss all the events we had planned. However, Anne and I did get to visit the Old Ballroom above Flinders Street Station and be awe inspired by Patricia Piccinini’s A Miracle Constantly Repeated. The exhibition continues until 31 August.
Arc One Gallery, have been showcasing an exhibition of works by Guan Wei. Not sure if it will be extended beyond 3 July, as unfortunately it opened on 26 May only to be closed the next day for the lockdown duration. Anne Hastie and I had a wonderful visit to Guan Wei’s Beijing studio in the days when we could travel internationally. Talking on international travel, my crate of artworks has been held up. Due to be delivered to my door on 18 June, the ship has been delayed and at this stage no news of its arrival. https://arcone.com.au/
On the upside, my artwork from the re$pect exhibition is currently online with mavacollective:https://www.mavacollective.com/product-page/siev-series-expression
Mava Collective will also showcase my monoprint in the upcoming online exhibition MONOCHROME to be launched 1 July at this site: https://www.mavacollective.com
I have been a smidge busy putting together the MSWPS Covid Creations online exhibition to also be launched 1 July. https://mswps.com.au/covid-creations OR under the website address and WHAT’S ON.
24 July I will be in Melbourne CBD engaging with the Scavenger Print Hunt. The event will see artists placing ‘free gifts’ in a range of locations throughout the city streets. The scattered artworks are to bring some joy to anyone who finds and collects them. It is a gentle way to also acknowledge the significance of art in our world. From 12 Noon in a radius from Flinders Street Station.
AUGUST and beyond
Mid August, fingers crossed, I will be on a plane. Yes, those wonderful flying machines, we remember them, don’t we? Learning Gel Printing, I have been guided by a series of video classes put together by Kim Herringe in QLD. I am combining a visit to friends with a weekend workshop at Kim’s Maleny Studio https://kimherringe.com.au/
A week in and around Brisbane is just what the travel bug in me has ordered.
Looking forward to experiencing the James Turrell Light Installation at GOMA: https://blog.qagoma.qld.gov.au/james-turrells-light-installation-in-brisbane/
I recently sent a brief and images for promotion of Deep Blue Crossing and workshops to be held during Multicultural Month at Federation Square, in November. Paper folding continues.
I am putting a callout for volunteers interested in joining me on 19 September on a Public Interactive Project at Finns Reserve Templestowe. In conjunction with the culmination of my Manningham Arts Fellowship I am supporting Talk Like a Pirate Day https://www.talklikeapirateday.com.au/
If you are into poetry, like to sing, play an instrument, like to make art, know stuff about ships, waterways and pirates OR like to support worthy causes, contact me: https://stonycreekstudio.art/contact-us/
In March 2020 my exhibition Marks in Time at Art at St Francis had to be cancelled due to a little bug called Covid 19. Mid June it was lovely to receive the offer of a gallery exhibition for mid November. The exhibition will overlap with Deep Blue Crossing at Fed Square for two weeks.
Lastly, for funky art materials: Reverse Art Truck – https://www.reversearttruck.com/
Re-use, Recycle, Revive, Re-invent, Revamp, Renew and Reduce!
Today I saw a Facebook post by my dear friend Zheng Xuewu. His post is reflective on a 2006 exhibition and an introduction to a 2009 exhibition. Below is the text from his post.
I was invited to participate in the 2006 ‘Qingzhou International Art Exhibition’, my first real international art exchange exhibition. In a Museum, how exciting. Although many international artist were represented only three attended the event, Kim Nam-Oh, Nathaniel McMahon and myself. I felt like I was representing female artists across the globe and was extremely proud to be an ambassador for my country on this momentous occasion.
We traveled by train for eleven hours. There is much to be said for the fast train today as it now takes four hours from Beijing to Qingzhou. Many of the Chinese artist went by car. Nathaniel and I were offered to go by car, however Wang Lifeng was so nervous about taking us, due to his little experience of foreigners, that he backed out of the offer.
I learnt much about luggage; all the things that I do not need to travel with. I felt burdened by my load of too many changes of clothes, laptop computer, backpack etc. My room mate, the other female Wang Jing, carried so little that I look like I was going for a month, not a week.
The exhibition was a buzz of activity, my rice and bean installation well received and made on site with local produce. I remember Shen Jingdong watching me working in the exhibition hall, whilst a row of artists sat opposite also watching me. They had carried their artworks with them which already were on the walls, while I spent several hours installing my design. Shen Jingdong announced to all and sundry, “Here, you are watching a real artist at work.” Another artist who was also busy creating in the gallery hall nearby was Liu Bolin. Today Liu Bolin is an internationally celebrated artist, who in 2019, was honoured with a solo show at Ballarat Art Gallery.
Qing Zhou International Art Exhibition
Qing Zhou Museum of Art, Shan Dong, China
Curator: Xuewu Zheng, Baijun Sun
In the summer of 2006, Beijing’s art atmosphere is as hot as the weather.
Three big jeeps carried over ten Chinese-foreign artists, starting from Beijing, running six hours to the ancient city Qingzhou that is located in the middle part of Shandong province. On the way passing Dezhou, we were attracted by famous food braised chicken; we stopped for a while and bought a fat one and felt quite good.
Ancient city Qingzhou has a long history and strong culture atmosphere. Colour stone carvings collected in museums are particularly exquisite. Artist Sun Baijun and I together with Qingzhou museum jointly planed “2006 Qingzhou International Modelling Art Exhibition”. Plus, Qingzhou local artists, more than 40 artists attended the exhibition.
The exhibition mode is completely different from exhibitions at art districts in Beijing. It uses the method of local governments organizing large-scale cultural activity. The huge banners and ad billboards, colourful banners, Qingzhou leaders and cultural bureau leaders attend the opening ceremony. Zheng Zuoliang, director of Collection Dep. National Art Museum of China, famous engraving artist cut the ribbon for the exhibition.
In fact, in just short days, people who came to see the exhibition were so many. Besides the local poets and scholars, more were ordinary visitors. This is probably due to the report by Qingzhou radio on the exhibition. People cheerfully communicated with artists. We were also very happy, although the terrible Dezhou braised chicken made me and Shen Jingdong go to hospital for intravenous infusion before the exhibition ended.
This year is just good time of Chinese contemporary art. Beijing is China’s most important art battlefield, with various exhibition activities concentrated here, seeming to fight for land. Many artists are busy with little time to go away from Beijing. In such a background, we planned this modern art exhibition in little Qiangzhou which is far away from the noisy city, really out of serious artists’ art historical responsibility. Modern art in Beijing is already very active, which gets world’s attention. But small and medium cities completely do not know what modern things look like! Like Qingzhou this ancient cultural city, people’s cognition on tradition has reached a high degree. Compared to other places where traditional culture is not deep, choosing such places as pilot locations of publicity and popularity of modern art will have better effect.
We’re really a bunch of idealists.
In the summer of 2009, the weather of Beijing is still hot, but art scene is “cool” a lot.
Artist Bi Hongliang and I together with Zibo Museum jointly planed “2009 Zibo International Modelling Art Exhibition”. To conduct this activity, we drank for many times and had meals for times! Hongliang did a lot of detailed concrete and trivial things for the exhibition, such as implementation of exhibition hall, leaders and insider’s invitation, artists’ accommodations in Zibo, manual mill visit, and pictorial design and printing etc.
Compared with 2006, today’s art environment has changed significantly. Global economic crisis cooled China’s popular art market. Many artists are like hundred hearts scratching, with no interest to conduct any exhibition activities without any benefit. In fact, the exhibition activity is far better than last time. The organizers print brochures for us, arrange accommodation, visit coloured glaze factory and ceramics factory, also arrange special travelling place. This is really quite good cultural and artistic activities.
This exhibition is full of famous Chinese artist elites: oil painting master, professor o
Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts Sun Jianping; engraving master, famous art educator, professor of China Central Academy of Fine Arts Wang Huaxiang; Pioneer modern artist Shen Jingdong; true power heavyweight artists, professor of Luxun Academy of Fine Arts Wang Jiazeng; Representative of the new realism Bi Hongliang and Jin Guangri; active international modern artist, the Chinese character biennale planner Pan Xinglei; Academic painting master Zhang Chun; dean of Nanjing engraving yard, famous engravings artist, “practice power” contemporary engraving literature exhibition curators Liu Chunjie; The Chinese modern experimental ink important artists Sun Baijun; Installation artist, curator Zheng Xuewu; Wang Chuanhe Qingdao drawing artist, well-known for sea drawing. International artists attending this exhibition are Tokyo Kabata Yuuri and Kabata Chihiro sister’s combination; American Chicago site artist Alsion Rhoades, North Carolina young artist Lauren Goding, New York’s installation artist Heejung Cho; Slovakia copperplate painter, Professor Peter Kocak; Australian famous painter Jayne Dyer; South Korea installation artist Kim Namo and Yoon Ilkweon; Dutch photography installation artist Rienke de Vries; American material artist Kathryn Gohmert.
Every artist is like flying flags in the wind. Wherever these colours dance to, there will be bright beautiful scenery. We take on our art sincere, eternal love to art, we will go to more places and enjoy pleasant sensations that come from a collision of different cultures, different space-time, many differences with more people!
We believe, in the future, the climate will remain cold in winter, hot in summer. What will art be like? It is unknown.
But we always expect, if China has more places such as Qingzhou and Zibo to accept and host modern art activities, and through various media with various means, let our ordinary people have access to modern art and foreign culture with various forms and fresh vitality. We ordinary Chinese people’s drab aesthetic orientation formed in hundreds of thousand years will become multivariate.
Thanks to the Chinese and foreign artists; Thanks to all the people that participated in activities.
Songzhuang studio, night of June 7, 2009
Here we are in a ‘7 Day’ lockdown which has given me time to stop and reflect on the month of May that went so quickly I almost missed it.
It was such a shame that Walter and I could not attend the much-awaited RISING festival activities as our tickets for all performances were cancelled. On the eve of Reconciliation Week, we were to enjoy Bungul in Hamer Hall and experience the magnificent projection on the Art Centre. I hope that the projection is extended, as it looks great in the video clips.
We did, however, have an at-home dinner celebration and extensive clear view of that giant red-blood moon. Joy for Walter that his oncologist does not want to see him for a year.
May came in a flurry as the Flora exhibition closed, the Nillumbik Prize opened at Montsalvat, and Walter featured on the front page of the Warrandyte Diary that reported on the Anzac Day March.
In between Walter’s medical appointments we managed a few days, with the dog, in Lakes Entrance. What a vibrant arts community, full of energy, collaboration, and some broad thinkers. We spent time with Jan Martin, Cynthia Boyle, Ngaere Donald, enjoying their creative studios, afternoon tea in the converted dairy and great conversations with spouses.
Another lovely dinner at Jan’s place with Josephine Jakobi, Andrea Lane, more spouses, and an introduction to the Lake Tyers Float residency.
At Red Gallery in Fitzroy, with Janet Boddy and many others I listened to Anne Hastie’s presentation, set amongst her artworks in the Peridot exhibition, in gallery one. In gallery three Beatrice Magalotti exhibited her Migration Series of drawings, installation, bronze, and photography.
I was wowed when I walked into an exhibition by Sue Jarvis. Art That Makes You Think was held at the Cardinia Cultural Centre, a superb gallery space where Sue’s paintings were literally awesome. The exhibition was a survey of some 15 years of studio production. An absolute credit to her.
It was a privilege to attend the wake and exhibition of works for Valda Cuming OAM. Valda, at 91, passed away in April 2020. Valda’s legacy continues with the profit from exhibition sales being divided between her three favourite arts organisations. I am pleased to say I now own two small Valda Cuming artworks.
Not knowing whether June will be spent at home in our 5klm zone, Walter and I are in preparation for future activities but keep low key immediately. This time is good for, well, writing, studio work, touching base with friends and family and updating social media.
With a major installation planned for November, I am required by end of June to submit images and text for promotion of the artwork and workshops, whilst continually folding paper for the installation.
As the webmaster for the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors (MSWPS) June will see me setting up an online Covid Creations exhibition due to be launched 1 July.
Also, as editor for The Bulletin, a bi-monthly MSWPS Newsletter, my job is to have the publication out before 1 July.
For more than a year I have been planning for a crate of my artworks to be sent from China.
11 June sees the crate landing in Melbourne and delivery to my studio 18 June. I look forward to having a few of my babies in Melbourne.
In February I participated in the Year of Wonder presentation in Warrandyte. The exhibition concludes on 30 June and a celebration with a book launch will take place on Saturday 3 July. I was fortunate to be able to by a copy and full of excitement to see my images included in the publication. Our Year of Wonders Warrandyte 2020 is available for purchase at $40.