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Category : Denise Blog

Spring has Sprung in September

What a wow of a month in September for our studio.

Denise submitted two artworks for the Eltham Art Show and both works were selected to be show at Montsalvat Resident’s Gallery from 30 August until 10 September.

Denise won the Sculpture Prize sponsored by Meridian Sculpture for her bronze work ‘Hard Baked’. The judge JD Mittman commented:

Denise Keele-Bedford’s bronze sculpture ‘Hard Baked’ is one of 40 sculptures short-listed for the Sculpture Award of the 2023 Eltham Rotary Art show.

The work stands out for its contemporary and conceptual design. It resembles a real life arrangement of bones.

The work is simple, yet intriguing and beautiful: Twelve bronze objects are carefully arranged in a pile each in the shape of a bone from a rib cage, possible of a cow or cattle.

Each object displays a different state of corrosion showing a shade of green coating.

The title Hard Baked reaffirms the association with drought, heat and death, and in extension, climate change. The work therefore can be seen as a reflection on humanity’s current situation and as a timely comment in view of the on-coming Australian summer.

Website for online sales: https://elthamartshow.org.au/gallery/

Walter restarted Tuesday Art Classes in the studio 10am – 3pm.

Melbourne and Victorian Artists (MAVA) called for entries for a collaborative exhibition with regional members at MiRA Gallery in Marysville. Two of Denise’s artworks are featured in the exhibition that continues until 30 September. We had a most joyful opening on one of the rare warm early Spring days. It was good to meet up with several artists living in regional Victoria.

Website: https://www.mavacollective.com/


This year Denise joined the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria (CAS) and featured two artworks in the Annual Exhibition held at Gallery 314 in Church Street Richmond. I attended the opening on 10 September to find a very extensive exhibition of 115 2D and 3D artworks in a broad range of styles and mediums. It was great to see two colleagues Robyn Pridham and Carmel O’Connor receive awards. I sat my duty on 14 September and am learning more about the artists in the society through their artworks. I was pleased with the organisation of the show and the opportunity to display five mounted works on paper and fifteen hand-made cards as an extension to the exhibition.


Warrandyte Artisans continue with monthly Pop-up exhibitions at Artspace, next door to the warrandyte Library. On September 23 and 24, September Surprise will feature Wayne Rankin, Walter Magilton and Denise Keele-bedford. Walter will present a series of his linocut prints and Denise will showcase ‘Turkish Delight’, the artwork created during her Barbara Residency in Ayvalik, Türkiye. Thanks Warrandyte Diary for the great write ups on pages 13 and 19.

Link: https://warrandytediary.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/577-WARRANDYTE-DIARY-SEPTEMBER-2023-DL.pdf

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/739496750449525

and Instagram:  instagram.com/warrandyteartisans

The VAS Spring Members exhibition opened on 12 September showcasing on of Walter’s traditional gumtree landscape oil paintings. The place was abuzz with members’ peer voting, a piano player and a fantastic announcement of sponsorship by the Mackley Family.

CAS Pop-up at Carringbush Showing 27 September to 7 October is at Carringbush Hotel, 228 Langridge Street, Abbottsford. Two of Denise’s artworks are participating in the show.

Website: https://www.contemporaryartsociety.org.au/exhibitions/pop-up-exhibitions

The Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors (MSWPS) are holding their Annual Exhibition ‘Changing Perspectives’ at VAS Galleries, East Melbourne from 29 September to 9 October. Denise will show two ‘Wall stories’ artworks. Each work features twelve panels of mixed media drawings representing wall surface fragments.

Official opening to be held on Sunday 1 October 2 – 4pm.

Website: https://mswps.com.au/

While Walter plans his 2024 solo exhibition, he awaits confirmation of the venue and time of year that it will take place. We shall keep all informed as it draws closer.

And as Walter celebrates his 90th birthday on 2 October we will venture to Darwin for several days before boarding The Ghan to travel South to Adelaide. We expect to return home with a wealth of images and sketches in preparation for more studio production.

La Maison de Barbara: An artist residency in Turkey

I was fortunate to undertake an Artist Residency (AIR) in Ayvalik Turkey at La Maison de Barbara, from 15 June until 15 July 2023.


Serif Kaynar, an art lover, and collector established the residency, in Ayvalik, where his family had lived since the early 1920’s. Constructed on the site of an 1860 tannery, the residency is purpose built to accommodate artists and maintains the original tannery vats under a glass floor.

Serif’s infatuation with French singer and songwriter known as ‘Barbara’ inspired him to dedicate the residency to her. He states that Barbara, “An outstanding talent who inspired me throughout my life.”

The program started in 2016, I am artist number 33 to be hosted at Barbara House. I felt privileged to undertake the program for one month, as generally it is planned for artists to spend between 5 to 16 weeks in residence.

The exchange for the residency is that each artist contributes two artworks to the La Maison de Barbara collection. Currently plans are underway to convert a disused building, in Ayvalik, into a museum to house the Barbara collection. I understand the plan is for it to open in 2025.

Over a period of some twenty years, I have undertaken a wide range of residencies Australia and internationally. Artist residencies vary considerably. If you are thinking of an AIR, look at Res Artis to gain an insight to the variations: https://resartis.org

In 2014 I wrote an article on what I thought constitutes a great and satisfying residency. Having just found it on file, it was written whilst in residence at Montsalvat, Eltham. I confirm what I wrote nine years ago, here are some extracts:

“I enjoy the excitement of the unknown. I do not know what artwork I will make until I am on site, so my application proposals are always written broadly to allow for decisions during the residency.”

“A great residency for me is one that challenges and inspires me to create new works. A great residency makes me think about the site, my relationship with that site and how I will interact with it.”

“A satisfying residency should allow an artist the freedom to develop, create and present the resulting artwork even if incomplete.”

“AIR is an appropriate anagram for often starting a residency has the sense of air; nothing is solid, decided, consolidated, or yet thought out. “

“A great and satisfying residency is one where the artist needs only think of his/herself and his/her developing artwork. It is a residency where life outside of these two things is a world away.”

On the morning of June 15, I boarded a ferry at Mitilini (Mytilene) Lesbos traveling about one hour to the port terminal at Ayvalik. I had received an extensive list of information and contacts to assist me upon my arrival. However, I was met at the ferry by Ingrid and Haluk Aysu who accompanied me on a bus to Old Ayvalik and the residency.

Ingrid, an Australian is the sister to Karen, a friend from Beijing. The world starts to shrink with connections at this point. Ingrid, lives in Ayvalik, told Karen about the residency, who in turn introduced me to the website. Having closed my studio in Beijing the Barbara Residency looked inviting for the future. We all know about 2020 etc and non-travel.

I had booked a walking tour in 2020 in Corsica, with Zeste French Tours that had to be cancelled. I was thrilled that it was to take place in 2023.


Taking a chance, I contacted Barbara Residency to ask about the opportunity to undertake a residency that would coincide with being in Europe. Due to time restraints, I asked if it was possible to be in residence for one month, which is outside of their program criteria. It always pays to ask, you can only be told no.

After sending my proposal, website contact, a series of artwork images and resume, I received an email on 8 October 2022 advising: “We can accommodate you in Ayvalik at La Maison de Barbara from June 15 for 4 weeks in year 2023.  Can you kindly make your plans and advise us with your final decision.”

I am the first Australian artist to be in residence at Barbara House and am now ‘officially’ an ambassador for the residency. Serif rang on the second day of my stay to welcome me, he came to Ayvalik, from Istanbul on July 1 and we enjoyed dinner with Ingrid and Haluk that weekend. He visited the studio and studiously discussed the sixteen artworks that I had on display for him. Two artworks I made are specifically related to Barbara House, the singer Barbara, and the unique location of the property. Serif asked me to select two works for the collection, in which I responded asking him to select the two works that he wanted for the collection. The four artworks were photographed, wrapped, and taken with him for framing in Istanbul. Two days later I was invited to the family home in Ayvalik where I met Serif’s sister Oyo, nieces, and close friends. My artworks and catalogues were on display and shown to the group.

On July 13 Barbara House was open to visitors to view the finished artwork and other pieces created during the residency. People were helpful and Janet contacted locals to announce the event. Janet, from New Zealand, has lived in Turkey for some thirty years. She and her husband, Ramusan, moved to Ayvalik in 2022 after renovating their very quaint house that they had rented out for twenty plus years. They and Haluk were full of information on Istanbul, where I headed on July 15.

This article does not go into the day-to-day details of my residency; however, it shows the generosity of the people around me and how comfortable I felt in the environment.

On July 14, packing up day, Serif contacted me with a party invitation at his house in Istanbul on July 15.  I was pleased that I booked an early bus and after a seven-hour journey arriving at my hotel in time to shower, rest a little and get into party mode.

Again, I met Oyo, family and friends and was introduced as the most recent artist in residence.

The party was in honour of birthdays, friends who travelled from afar and a farewell to me.

Back to Basics and Fingers in Pies

In my previous blog I mentioned art restoration as an extra skillset. How satisfying to see the finished product ‘in home’ and being loved by the recipient. Also very satisfying to see a favourite old work, that had won a photography prize, happy in a new home.

Speaking of new homes, ours has been in turmoil for several months having the kitchen renovated. While we set up a temporary kitchen in Walter’s studio, our evening summer drinks took on a whole different perspective. My dear daughter visiting from Nashville took up accommodation in my studio and decided it was better than the house. There is a recommendation.

We did manage a one week break, with dog in tow, in the high country, where we rented a house on the Omeo si-e of Dinner Plain in Victoria. I completed a few pieces of work that had been inspired by my classes with Stephanie Ellis and Sacred Geometry. See her site here: https://www.theartofprocess.art/

I had started engaging with Kim’s Challenges, creating some boxes from gel prints, however internet was not reliable in the high country so had to abandon her weekly notes. I have the collection and will come back to them at a later date. Have a look at what Kim offers on her website: https://kimherringe.com.au/

A challenge that I set for myself was to spend time with pencil in hand and create a series of small works using images from USA and items around my studio. What small drawing could I make in about an hour. Pencil is a lovely subtle medium, easily manipulated light to dark through pressure. Love it.

Usually,I take up some Summer projects and this year managed to complete one of those.

Our Warrandyte Uniting Church sign was looking very sad. It had a long innings of some fifteen years and I suggested an upgrade. I thank Hans van Herwerden and Josie Eeles for their assistance with installation and vinyl lettering. It was well received by the congregation.

Currently I am preparing to take an overseas journey. Lots of folks asked if it was back to China. No, it isn’t. Not sure if and when that may happen. However, my dear Chinese friends have been of great support physically and with managerial talents to sort, pack and ship my artwork to Melbourne. Five crates arrived on 14 February and thanks to Legacy Removals are now safely, snug in storage. If you need anything moved contact them: https://www.facebook.com/LegacyRemovals

My overseas journey will take me to Corsica, a guided Walking Tour via Zeste French Tours, headed up by my friend and potter Jane Annois. Website: https://www.zestefrenchtours.com/

The second part of my journey, very exciting, is to Turkey. From 15 June – 15 July I participate in the AIR Artist-in-Residence program at La Maison de Barbara in Ayvalik.


Some comings and goings in my art practice during this past period.

An invitation to judge the Australian Art Excellence Awards for AGRA Australian Guild of Realist Artists.

A floor talk with Tan Yifeng, a participating artist, at the Geoff Raby collection exhibition, at Bendigo Art Gallery In Our Time.

Winner of the Best Work on Paper at the Warrandyte Art Show, Judge Cherry Manders who said, “I am just intrigued by the overlapping triangles, and I keep wanting to go and peek behind them. Her work evokes a sense of movement in an otherwise static subject. I think that’s the secret of a good painting, it has a bit of magic to it.” (Black, White and Shades of Grey V)


Jane Annois and Wayne Rankin coordinated the Warrandyte Artisans stall for the Warrandyte Festival. As I was on the Art and Craft Stall Committee, coordinating all of the 25 stalls at the festival; it was great to have them do the work. I took  my work along to the Artisans stall and a lot of fun engaging with the public. Follow us on Instagram: @warrandyteartisans

The International Flower and Garden Show exhibition by MAVA Melbourne and Victorian Artists. My work sold as did 25% of the exhibition.


My dear friend Lesley invited me to an evening of Story Telling. Story Wise Women hold a monthly gathering on a themed subject for open mic.

Follow them: www.storywisewomen.org

And finally deepest condolences to Brigette Remmen, Director of Art at St.Francis, whose husband, Walter passed away on April 28.



An Artist’s Additional Skillset

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.

Art Advisor

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.


Art Restorer

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.

The slowness of 2022 speed

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.

Read more here: https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/arts-and-culture/art-outdoors/public-art-melbourne/projects/Pages/sean-lynch-distant-things.aspx

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.

Artfairmag: https://www.artfairmag.com/the-other-art-fair-melbourne/

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/

BIENNALE: https://www.biennaleofsydney.art

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.

Welcome 2022

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.

About Conversation:

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.

The Asia Series at Art at St Francis

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

Opening times:

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.

Deep Blue Crossing

 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

Studio Meanderings November/December 2021

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:





The famous Warrandyte Diary featured an article in the Diary Bulletin October and November Issue:




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.

A Flutter

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.



Asia Series: Japanese Red

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.

Bluethumb Collectors Sale

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



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.








Deep Blue Crossing

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.

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.

Comings and Goings September and October

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/

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.