Late October 2020, Pam Howman, a Warrandyte friend and Warrandyte Church member, suggested that I meet her for coffee. It had to be take-away and out-of-doors.
I had been suffering for weeks with a distressing skin complaint and after finally getting an appointment with my dermatologist, Pam and I were amazed how quickly the treatment worked.
Pam wanted to introduce me to a walking trail Research. We met at the local Research Café and in the window was a quirky black chook painted on a piece of old pailing fence.
Pam went on to explain that there were many quirky animal paintings on pieces of fencing along the walking trail.
Off we went along Main Road where it was such a joy to discover random paintings sitting in the grass and leaning against trees and poles.
I took several photos which I passed onto Sandi Miller at Warrandyte Diary. Not knowing any of the story behind the works I suggested that Sandi take a drive and do some investigation.
Early this year the Warrandyte Diary ran a story on Joan Denison and her quirky paintings.
Joan’s Iso Chooks became such a success that she was calling out for more used fencing material.
James Poyner states; “These cheerful Iso chooks became an overnight success and what started as a distraction for her street soon saw Joan painting thousands of Iso Chooks which now adorn gardens and shop fronts all over Eltham.
They are scattered through the gardens of Austin Hospital and are being given to new Australian Citizens at Nillumbik Citizenship ceremonies.
My daughter, Melissa, working from home for the past 17 months, is quite isolated out near Wallan. On March 13, 2020. Her office in Southbank advised all employees to collect their computers and go home. Like many people we did not see each other for several months and this year has been difficult, as we all know.
In May I decided to give her a surprise gift of Joan’s Iso Chooks. What I didn’t realise was that I had to go on the new waiting list. I finally received notice that my Chooks were ready for collection on 25 July. Waiting to be able to see my daughter, we missed the opportunity between Lockdowns 5 and 6.
I sent her parcel last Saturday and yesterday received the included image.
She claimed that they are adorable but not sure where they can be installed. Her husband, Troy, is concerned that they will be destroyed if placed outside in the weather. I guess he likes them too.
What I love about their story is that something of little monetary value that I gifted to brighten and create a smile on a temporary level, has become highly valued as a symbol of optimism, bringing great joy and pleasure.
If you happen to be wandering or driving the streets of Eltham, when possible, keep an eye out for an old piece of timber, with a few splashes of colour; that I am sure will make you smile.
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/
Boats provide the physical means for movement on water, they are buoyant and shaped to provide stability. The boat can symbolize a journey on the sea of life, the ups and downs, joys and thoughts of pleasure and fun filled days.
Ahoy me Mateys
Free Public Event:
Sunday 19 September 2pm (be on time Lest ye Swab the Decks)
Finns Reserve at the Yarra River on the Corner of Union Street, Lower Templestowe
MEET AT THE MAIN CARPARK – Look for the Pirate Flags
BRING YOUR PICNIC BLANKET AND A MUG FOR KOMBUCHA
Participants are encouraged to wear Pirate Gear
Denise Keele-bedford is the recipient of a Manningham Arts (FAIR) Fellowship. Her culmination of the Fellowship includes a Free Family Friendly Public Event of activities based on Pirates, Boats and all things Nautical.
19 September is also “talk like a Pirate Day”. https://www.talklikeapirateday.com.au/
The day is to raise funds to support families affected by Childhood Cancer.
It is a great event to bring kids of all ages.
Follow along the Treasure Trail for activities that include, A Pirate Name, A Pirate Hat, The harmonic voices of Women of Notes, Pirate Language, A performance of The Owl and The Pussycat, Sharon Jackson Hoop Dancing, Story Surprise, Sea Shanties, Trout, Unique Zen Jackson performance, Poems and to Support Childhood Cancer Families.
Kittenbound Studios – Renee McCrae
KittenBound Studio’s is a page for Renee McCrae to run havoc, while sharing her modelling, acting, music, artistic, scientific and environmental adventures with you all.
One second it could be hula hooping, the next it could be a crazy science project.
It could be a model shoot, or cooking edible mushrooms locally found.
Who knows? Life is an adventure full of knowledge and fun. Why not share!
Stony Creek Studio – https://stonycreekstudio.art/
Established in 1973 Stony Creek Studio is situated at the junction of the Yarra River and Stony Creek in Warrandyte. The studios of husband and wife team Walter Magilton and Denise Keele-bedford offer an exciting range of traditional and contemporary artwork.
Manningham Arts – https://www.manningham.vic.gov.au
Fletchers Real Estate – https://fletchers.net.au/
Fletchers is a proud, fourth-generation family-based real estate agency with a history of 100 years in the industry that has earned us an unsurpassed reputation in servicing our clients.
Since Fletchers inception in 1919, the face of real estate has changed remarkably. Fletchers has evolved accordingly, embracing new technology and communications systems, structured ongoing training programmes, a state-of-the-art integrated database and a strong focus on customer service. As pioneers in many of these areas, we are proud to say that we are well respected in the real estate industry.
Volunteers – Anne, Melissa, Jane, Ann-Maree, Jacky, Beatrice. Volunteers are the crew who are most essential to an event flowing. They are the ones who from start to finish look after the Public, helping them move safely through the events. They hand out maps, help select pirate names, teach hat making, inform and guide participants. They are the ones with the Red Bandannas and the Flags. Most importantly they are the ones who will accept your donations in return for a gift.
Good Brew – https://goodbrew.com.au/
We brew a delicious range of Kombucha, shipped straight to your home or available at your local health food store.
We aim to produce and deliver all of our products through the most environmentally friendly and sustainable methods that we can. Local, sustainable and organic suppliers are used where possible in our production chain to deliver quality products. Both of our warehouses (one in Brunswick VIC and one in Daylesford VIC) utilise solar panels. Staff are encouraged to walk or ride their bikes to work and get lovely bonuses for their efforts. The descriptive labels of our bottles are made from 100% recycled paper with vegan ink, plus they don’t use any glue.
Jock McNeish – Strategic Images
I’m Jock Macneish OAM, an architect, illustrator and cartoonist with a special interest in work systems.
I studied Management Science with Marvin Weisbord, Margaret Wheatley and Fred Emery and have illustrated many books on how people can best work together. I worked as a staff cartoonist for The Age and Post Courier and as a set designer and producer for the ABC in Melbourne and Sydney.
Story Surprise – https://www.storysurprise.com.au/
Lauren and Anthony bring you Story Surprise! This is an ongoing series of funny, interactive, educational and stimulating videos and podcasts featuring songs, stories, art and craft.
What started as a few videos to connect with friends and family across the globe has turned into ongoing series! Each theme tackles important childhood learning concepts. Recent themes include feelings, motivation, and uniqueness.
Women of Notes – Ruth Schoenheimer, choir leader
Women of Notes began almost 25 years ago at the Donvale Living and learning Centre.
During those years we’ve sung for local council events, art gallery openings, private parties, retirement villages, flash mobs, and at our annual Big Sings with choirs and singers from all around Melbourne.
We’ve sung with people from many places around the world, delighting in the sharing of music and culture.
We’ve sung at the funerals of a few of our beloved choir members, and discovered both how difficult it is to sing whilst crying, and also how magically the human voice, folded into song, transforms grief into something more bearable.
We’ve helped raise funds for neighbourhood house programs, asylum seekers, cancer research, fire and flood victims and many other wonderfully worthy causes.
Women of Notes are proudly and passionately dedicated to making joy through our music, both for ourselves and for our community.
Now and Not Yet – https://www.nowandnotyet.com.au/
Now and Not Yet is a not-for-profit social enterprise. We live in Warrandyte and are committed to seeing our community flourish. Having places and spaces where people can connect, hang out and do what brings life to each other is vitally important. We believe it’s better to give than receive, so our profits go back into supporting Warrandyte.
Legacy Removals –http://www.legacyremovals.com.au/
Our business began as a specialist removal service for Melbourne’s premium auction houses.
Transporting paintings and antiques that cost more than the average house taught us the importance of performing our work with meticulous care. We bring this same level of professionalism, planning and care to all our removal work. So whether you’re moving from the suburbs to the city, whether you’re moving home, growing a business or buying that unique item, Legacy Removals will ensure the process is hassle free.
EVENT: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Thursday July 1 is the launch for the Melbourne Society of Painters and Sculptors special exhibition Covid Creations.
As the website administrator for the society I have been busy putting the show together for the twenty-nine participating members.
The exhibition features an intriguing diverse range of artworks expressing talents of these fine artists.
See the online exhibition here: https://mswps.com.au/covid-creations/
I am showing three works made during 2020.
Here is a glimpse of the accompanying artwork statements:
Walking Tour/No Restrictions
In 2020 for eight months plus, my life had been a whirlwind of emotions and stress, yet a hollow vacuum of lethargy and questioning purpose, of laziness, yet undertaking major sorting programs.
For one hour per day a walk in my 5km neighbourhood, instigated looking at my environment, seeing the changes of the seasons, plants sprouting new shoots, flowers, and colours. Nature has no restrictions.
Encouraged to create prints, I watched copious videos from, across the globe, on a form of printmaking new to me.
I blossomed into a creative functional being who looked forward through a black tunnel to the small light at the end and I have seen it grow larger as I get closer, and the blackness dissipates.
I am moving along with a series of artworks reminiscent of the healing power of nature.
Artwork is currently Framed under Glass
And Our Friends Are All Aboard
Statements such as: ‘We are all in this together’ and ‘We are all in the same boat’ were in abundance throughout the media as Australia endeavoured to come to terms with a pandemic that was speeding across the globe. Six weeks earlier, in late January, I left Beijing in a flurry as the city around me was shut down within two days. My solo exhibition at the beginning of March was shut down, after one week and by mid-March Melbourne was in virtual lockdown.
This artwork reflects on the media statements and my questioning that our boats during the pandemic are not all the same. I have borrowed and acknowledge my use of a line from the Beatles song: yellow submarine
Artwork is currently framed.
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!
M O N O C H R O M E
An artwork that is….
“black and white or in varying tones of only one colour.”
The month of July will see MAVA Inc. host its first-ever ONLINE-ONLY exhibition. We’re super excited about.
And I am super excited to be one of the selected feature artists showing a monoprint in the exhibition.
Denise’s artwork: No Restrictions for Nature IV is a Unique State Monoprint Framed under Glass.
See the online MONOCHROME exhibition at: https://www.mavacollective.com
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 $40.
I am very pleased to have my photographs included in the publication “Our Year of Wonders”.
The publication in conjunction with ‘A Year of Wonders’ event that concludes on 30 June, is available for purchase at locations around Warrandyte and a special event on Saturday 3 July.
Read below a message from Jane Annois and Bill McAuley regarding the event.
Catching up on News of activities around Stony Creek Studio
Denise was a Recipient of a Manningham Artist-in-Residence Feb/March 2021 – Feb 22 until March 21 (blog coming up)
re$pect – Bendigo Bank, 282 Lygon St. Carlton 6 – 30 April https://www.mavacollective.com/
Rock, Paper, Scissors – Red Gallery, 19 March – 1 April,
Flora: Celebrating the Plant World – Until May 1, https://www.greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au/flora
Flesh After Fifty – Until April 11
Preserving Your Future – Legacy Planning for Older Women Artists, Thursday 18 March
Check out the Warrandyte Diary, page 18.
A Year of Wonders – Photographic exhibition and Projection event –
@ Taffy’s Hut, Lions Park Warrandyte – Continues until 30 June