Right click function has been disabled. Left click to continue

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. […]

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. http://www.barbararesidency.com/ 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Around the studio July and August

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 […]

Travel Lightly

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 […]

Out and In the studio May and June

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 […]

Arts Manningham FAIR (Fellowship & Artist In residence)

In 2020 I applied for a Creative Industries Small Fellowship with Manningham Council. I was successful in Phase 1 and currently awaiting the outcome for Phase 2. A future blog will be written when I know the outcome. In the meantime, this link introduces the project: https://www.manningham.vic.gov.au/row-row-row-your-boat Pleasantly surprising was a call to ask if I was interested in being part of an artist-in-residence program. Manningham Arts, as most organisations, had to rethink programs, utilizing spaces and public engagement due […]

Thanks for Resilience

  Two months on and a fresh perspective on my world. Well actually it is three months on. Wow that went fast. With ups and downs, cans and cant’s, sudden restrictions on again and off again our lives have been in a state of questions. Do we make plans, buy tickets to a show, arrange dinner with friends, book the restaurant etc. for if we do will it be postponed, cancelled or become a non-event? Here I am three months […]

Moving Through The Tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be looming closer.  It has grown from a pinprick, like a distant star in a vast blackness, constantly out of reach; to something not quite beacon like that illuminates for miles as a guiding symbol. That light, what ever it is for millions of people, has been a distant hope in a time of turmoil. It has been bright at times where we have willed it to beam us up […]

Whitemark on a Map

Mid December 2006 Walter and I drove the old van to Moorabbin airport to catch our flight to Flinders Island. I had recently returned home from an amazing adventure in China and my new studio in Beijing and thought that my time on the trip with Walter would be reflecting about my China trip. Walter was really enthused and with a painting kit all packed and ready to go was eager to discover some great painting spots. As I was […]

A Journey to the end of the Road

Late 2014 I wrote an article based on an Artist-in-Residence (AIR) in Spain, titled a Tribute to Farrera. Whilst in Spain, at least three times, I drove to the end of the road, usually up a narrow mountain road. Farrera is at the end of the road on the edge of a valley in the Catalan Pyrenees. A small village of houses and barns, built with local stone and slate, grouped around the 17th century church of Sant Roc, it […]

Traveling North Part Two

My immediate environment of my studio and the Dapu Art Centre design influenced A personal Perspective, Lines and Light and He Cha artworks. In Part Two we go outside, further afield to Daqing city and beyond. Daqing city was established through the finding of oil. The city is literally built on top of an oil field. It is China’s largest oilfield, discovered in 1959 and today is home to a museum in celebration of Wang Jinxi, deemed to be the […]

Traveling North – A long way North Part One

An invitation to specifically create installation artworks at the DaPu International Art Centre saw me travel into Heilongjiang Province 150 plus kilometers North East of the capitol Harbin, to Daqing. Artists in this recently established city had heard of installation art, however, they had not experienced interacting with this discipline of art making. The attached text was written in response to a series of works titled Lines and Light. In the early 20th century when Marcel Duchamp, the father of […]

A River Journey

My second journey in this series takes us along the Hudson River USA. A dear friend, Zheng Xuewu, who is the director of the Hudson Centre for Contemporary Art invited me to undertake a residency in Poughkeepsie on the Hudson River in New York State, about two hours by train North from Manhattan Island. I finally found the physical and mental space to take up his generous offer. I suggested that perhaps two other artists may like to join us […]

A Journey through the Isles

At this time when we cannot travel, I have decided to reflect on some of my journeys that have given me great insight, learning experiences and immense joy in my art practice. In September 2008 Walter and I toured Islands of Scotland. The trip included several Ferry crossings, bridges and a causeway to Holy Island, or known as Lindisfarne; just South of the border on the East Coast of England. We toured in The Orkneys, Outer Hebrides, Mull, Iona, Anglesey […]

Sail Away: The Boat Project

In 2016 my Artist residency was in Poughkeepsie on the Hudson River, two hours North of Manhattan in New York State. Poughkeepsie is a multi-cultural community and there I saw correlation with my community and topical aspects of immigration, trade and asylum seekers. I created my first origami boat installation that represented the 315-mile length of the river, the assortment of vessels of trade and diverse cultures who have engaged with the river. An installation was again created in Warrandyte […]


The Enlightenment Project has been part of my art practice repertoire for over twenty years. The components of perforation, light, circles, reflection and mass have been pushed and pulled, inverted, punctured, suspended and shifted into many interpretations for many years. I have been sorting through an immense amount of photos during isolation and creating a series of books for my library shelf, simply getting ‘my history’ into order. Until now these series of works basically came under The dot project however, […]

Walk a Crooked Mile

With the lifting of restrictions, being able to visit my daughter was fantastic. Finally that lovely long cup of tea together. We took a walk skirting the fence line of her property and planned to walk on Saturday 16th, my father’s birthday. Longridge Farm and along the Yarra River Banks, 2nd walk was to the end of Glynns Road and the superb water marsh area of the Yarra River. Each Saturday we have taken a walk and they began to […]

A Walk to Contemplate

I wonder what strategies our community and the broader global community are embracing, to assist in managing their well-being these days. We all know that the time we are living in is temporary, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. However, we are not accustomed to Government Restrictions in Australia, even though we know they are the best strategy for us. Much of the reading and information flowing my way is that people seem to have settled […]

Walk in the Park

As I enter the eighth week of required isolation and have again taken a glorious walk in my Warrandyte Bush, I am reminded of a Walking Challenge that I undertook last December when life was hectic and squeezing in even ten minutes of walking time was a challenge. Last December I decided to commit to a Five day Walking Challenge under the following criteria: For five days, we challenge you to walk for at least ten minutes a day and […]


In the Blog Her Light in Native Colours the artwork is based on the tradition of Tea Drinking in my Western Culture. All my years traveling to China, I have drank tea in many and varied environments; I have been fascinated with the Tea Ceremony. In 2006 I wrote an Article that was published in Women’s Art Register, The Bulletin No. 41 Summer 2006/7 and Victorian Artists Society, The Quarterly Journal DEC-JAN 2007. The article titled Tea and Teachings reflects […]

Her Light in Native Colours

Nearly one month of isolation and some rising melancholia in missing cuppas with my daughters, I found myself reflecting on an artwork I created several years ago. Sandra Angliss, Chair for International Women Artists’ Association Australia Inc. extended an invitation to participate in Her Light in Native Colours: Her Presence in Colours VII Australian Chapter 2006 Artists were invited to create artworks reflecting their personal social and cultural backgrounds, culminating in an exhibition at Manningham Gallery in Melbourne in celebration […]

LOVE IT AND LEAVE IT: Australia’s Creative Diaspora Part Two

LOVE IT AND LEAVE IT: AUSTRALIA’S CREATIVE DIASPORA Is the publication to accompany the Exhibition of Photographs by Nathalie Latham Held at the national Portrait Gallery, Canberra May – July 2007 Below is Part Two of the Transcript of Interview Nathalie Latham (NL) with Denise Keele-bedford (DKB) at the Confucian Temple in Beijing China on 30th October 2005. NL This time you have rented a studio here. DK-B  Yes it is rented, it is not a residency.  I have a […]

LOVE IT AND LEAVE IT: Australia’s Creative Diaspora

LOVE IT AND LEAVE IT: AUSTRALIA’S CREATIVE DIASPORA Is the publication to accompany the Exhibition of Photographs by Nathalie Latham Held at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra May – July 2007 Below is the Transcript of Interview Nathalie Latham (NL) with Denise Keele-bedford (DKB) at the Confucian Temple in Beijing China on 30th October 2005. (DUE TO THE LENGTH OF THE INTERVIEW the Blog will be uploaded as two separate blogs.) NL What’s your title? DK-B Visual Artist NL Where […]

BUNDANON TRUST Artist in Residence

During this time of self-isolation OR home quarantine, when cleaning out cupboards and stored paraphernalia, I am coming across all manner of documents, articles, images and books from my history. The following article was published in The Bridge in September 2004 and the Victorian Artists Society Bi-monthly Newsletter in two parts, Oct/Nov 04 and Dec 04/Jan05. BUNDANON: artist in residence In 1993 the properties known as Riversdale, Bundanon and Eerie Park were officially given to the people of Australia.   These […]

Receiving and Giving Blessings through Art Making

I am a member of the Warrandyte Uniting Church and was asked to respond, in a presentation to the congregation, on the theme: Stepping out into the unknown and the Blessings this can lead to. Sharing and passing on of peoples’ gifts and how this benefits others. Below are the notes I wrote to support the presentation. I spent more than 17 years engaging with China. It became familiar to me almost like a second home, however, there was a […]

Pulling Apart the Fabric of Montsalvat

The following article in today’s Age by Carolyn Webb brought back my memories of the Residency that I undertook on site at Montsalvat in 2014. Whilst at the residency I wrote an article for Res Artis: Worldwide Network of Arts Residencies based on the question: What constitutes a great and satisfying residency? Website: https://resartis.org/ Here is an extract from that article: “My current residency is at a place that I am familiar with. I have been to the location many times. […]

36th Annual Warrandyte Art Show

TODAY I submitted my Entry for the Annual Warrandyte Art Show. The rotary club have undertaken to Fundraise through an annual art show in Warrandyte for 36 years. It is a fabulous achievement and well supported by local and broader living artists. Read the information for entries; and do come along to see the show 20 – 22 March 2020 Dear Artists,  The Rotary Club of Warrandyte Donvale extend an invitation to exhibit at the 36th Annual Warrandyte Art Show, […]


Denise was encouraged to submit an entry for the upcoming exhibition at Red Gallery. It was lovely to receive the below email from the Gallery Director Elle Rusch Drakos. Good Morning. With over 300 submissions for our popular annual group show; Rock, Paper, Scissors we are delighted to have selected you as one of our 30 innovative artists with work that we feel express the overall theme and narrative of the exhibition. POSTPONED UNTIL MARCH 2021 We invite all out […]

From SARS to nCoV-2019

My first journey to China was in September 2002. My friend Lesley invited me to go with a group to study Fengshui. At that time I was finishing my MFA at RMIT in Melbourne and said yes as the journey was to be in April 2003. Mid 2002 Lesley contacted me to say that the journey had to be brought forward as we could not travel in April 2003. She did not know why, however, spirit had told her to […]

Changing Direction: From Melbourne to Beijing and Beyond

  I was introduced to China through an old friend, who passed away about 10 years ago. Whilst living with June and Hugh Antonoff, in their very quaint cottage, June opened her heart and photo albums about her love of China. She had traveled to Middle Kingdom many times and often was accompanied by her daughter Lesley. Lesley who also became a long term friend had arranged to tour a small group of Fengshui Students into China and I was […]


For many years my art practice has been based on exploring belief systems including rituals, celebrations, icons and symbols associated with those systems. I have been intrigued with places of worship in the different places and cultures that I have interacted with and these influence much of my production, mixed with aspects of my culture. My journey to Inner Mongolia reopened an intrigue with a series of symbols that have interested me for several years, leading me to create a […]

Stave Churches in Norway

During my research for our recent Norway trip, I came across the Borgund Stave Church as a must-see sight. What is a Stave Church (stavkirke) in comparison to the great Cathedrals, like Nidaros Domkirke in Trondheim? The name derives from the building’s structure of post and lintel construction, a type of timber framing where the load-bearing ore-pine posts are called stafr in old Norse (stav in modern Norwegian). Stave churches belong to a particular period in Norwegian history. Built between […]