Open! – Post Industrial Design

The opening has arrived for Mary and Jos at Post Industrial Design. All the best with the shop and gallery guys!


Exhibition – Exchange

Amanda van Gils has been busy of late, being part of yet another Contemporary Visual Art Project. Check it out and well done Amanda! (again…)

Art Exchange

A big exhibition of small scale work. Taking the ‘artist swap’ concept one step further, Exchange features art works by approx 50 contemporary artists – each artist is contributing one piece to swap with another artist in the exhibition and another piece that will be available for purchase. Both artworks by each artist will be on display diuring the exhibition.

A diverse range of painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography and more, from artists in regional and metropolitan areas of Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Gatakers Artspace
331 Kent Street
Maryborough, QLD Australia
Dates to be announced

Exhibition – Dianne Tanzer

One of the first off the rank for this year. Unclassified, Co-curated by Gillian Brown


Exhibition – Fresh


Renewal – Post Industrial Design

Some of you may recall the team from Post Industrial Design and the great little shop they had a for a few years in Church St Richmond Vic. Back then they sold a stunning range of one off home wares, quirky design pieces and Artworks of all kinds.

Jos Van Hulsen setting up the new space

Jos, checking out the soon to be refurbished space.

Jos and Mary Van Hulsen have decided to bring back some of the old stores charm, eclectic and quirky artistic goods to entice a whole new range of arts and decorative craft devotees along the way, no doubt many of the older devotees will be there in force too.

Based in Barkly St West Footscray the intrepid duo are just starting to refurbish a 1 1/2  sized shop space to be a mecca for those wanting the artistic, well crafted and locally produced items. It will also boast a small exhibition space which at this stage will be a rental space.

Mary said, “It’s time to revive the shop, and now it’s closer to home we will have more time to create objects, source artefacts, encourage local artisans and the like to be a part of what is fast becoming an arts region on it’s own.”

Jos Van Hulsen is a contemporary artist of some repute with a number of exquiste exhibitions to his credit, a placing in the Helen Lempriere sculpture exhibition a few years back and an exhibitor as part of the Lorne Foreshore Sculpture show in 2009. His commissions for artistic gates and restaurant interiors can be seen far and wide.

One of Jos’s works from his recent Moth Series.

If you produce “Artefacts” in the western suburban region of Melbourne Victoria, then consider contacting them via their website and have a chat to see if they can take on your works (Hey you can only ask!)

We wish them well in their endeavour and hope the region boasts as many Art Buyers as it does Art Producers.

Alleyway arts… Geelong

If you are looking to exhibit in a group setting and live in and around Geelong then this could be for you. Alleyway Arts. Feb 19th in Lt Malop Street Geelong

Hannah Haworth – Contemporary Visual Artist

Hannah Haworth is a Contemporary Visual Artist from Queens, NYC She has agreed to share some of her art and ideas with us. So here are her responses to the questions I posed recently. Enjoy…


Hannah with “The hunt”

What are you currently working on

I am currently working on a life size (10ft) beluga whale constructed from a very basic armature on the interior and a hand knitted exterior using purely natural fibres. This will be shown at the Vogue knitting LIVE event in the Manhattan Hilton from January 21-23, and I am exhibiting it shortly after from February 5 along with a range of other works at my upcoming solo show in Gitana Rosa gallery, Williamsburg.


What or who inspires your art?

Folk art has had quite an influence. The first time I visited in the US I found out about folk or ‘outsider’ art and got into it in a big way I was completely intrigued by these off beat monuments such as The Corn Palace in South Dakota, the home of the real Rhinestone Cowboy, Grandma Prisby’s bottle village, etc. At the time, it really felt like I was discovering these almost spiritual hearts of America. I really admire the sheer passion that goes into these often-unintentional attractions, and the total honesty present in the work. I think it’s very pure, and that is such an inspiration to me.

Animals are clearly an inspiration too, they are also such a symbol of purity. They act solely on basic instinct, and that is a beautiful thing to consider.


What caused you to choose the medium you currently work in?

I think at the root of my choice to knit my work is from my childhood. I grew up in a minute tribal community on an island in the Philippines, craft was a real core to the culture, and so it became an important part of my life too. I did a lot of beadwork with the girls mainly as a social thing but also because I loved making wee bits and pieces.  After moving back to Scotland as a teen I lost interest in craft, but maintained my artistic side mostly with cringy drawings of rockstars!

I wound up in art school down in Edinburgh and my creative tendencies slowly veered back towards craft, I started doing a little weaving, casting textiles and some bronze work too. Towards my final year I met Ysolda (, who was (and still does) run her own knitwear business. She really got me interested in knitting and I liked that it was very traditional to Scotland, I did bits of knitting related work for her here and there then I really got the bug and wanted to do nothing but, so I spent the rest of my time at ECA trying to include knitting into my various briefs and make it look like sculpture as was necessary to complete my degree! This turned out to be more fun than I had expected and I haven’t looked back since.



Working towards an exhibition, is it a daunting task?

It’s horrible! When I first get the news that someone wants to show my work I feel fantastic, I really celebrate and start coming up with all kinds of insane things I want to make, then I get started and I often lose momentum here and there and then the deadline really gets its teeth into me and I find myself knitting in a cold sweat as fast as possible (often with techno on, this really makes my needles fly) right up to the moment before the opening. It really is not a pleasant feeling knowing that you can’t take any shortcuts and you have to submit a sled-full of larger than life dogs in 2 weeks, or else….


What sort of research and or reference material do you do for current works and has that changed over time?

I used to work a lot from sketching and painting and doing the kinds of things I thought I should be doing as artistic research. But eventually the boredom kind of got to me and I started being a little more intuitive with it. Now I play with/watch animals constantly, read a lot, take too many photographs, blog, travel and watch films. I really Google a lot too.


“The Sleep of Reason”

How important is it to you that your work communicates something to the viewer?

This I change my mind about a lot. Usually when I am making something I think a lot about the viewer, I want people to be able to get a kick out of my work, not in a deep or edgy way just in a simple appreciation, like you would feel trying on a perfect dress. Sometimes I like to try and make people laugh too. But once my work is finished and on display, I stop thinking about how people feel towards it so much, I think because I also disconnect from it once it’s away from my hands. And then, very occasionally I’m completely the other way around, and I spend my entire show chatting to people 24/7 about their thoughts on my work.



Is motivation to work an issue for you and how do you overcome it?

It can be, recently I had a bit of a slump, I just lost interest in knitting completely, I was bored with it. So with a looming deadline, I decided to knit the first thing I ever knitted, which was this fake fox stole. It made me remember why I took it up and enjoy it all over again.


Name a book or books, which may have inspired your work as an artist?

I recently read Leviathan by Phillip Hoare, it is a non-fiction text on whales, and I would really recommend it to anyone, even those that aren’t into whales. The information and the great use of illustration and photographs throughout really helped inspire my current beluga project.

Other than that, I really enjoy National Geographic magazine, it’s something I’ve read since I was a child, and how I learned about the arctic in the first place. I used to save all the cold animal pictures and make scrapbooks dedicated to specific species, full of notes I had picked up from the article. And technically, I think Alice Starmore’s ‘Fair Isle Knitting’ is one of the best texts out there on its subject.



Is your work process fast or slow?

So slow! There are really no valid shortcuts with knitting, and most of the time I knit something about 4 or 5 times over before I’m happy with it. This can get frustrating but most of the time I kind of appreciate the slowness and monotony, its something I enjoy about knitting as opposed to many other forms of sculpture. I can really let my mind wander while I’m doing it; I can watch films, listen to audio books, I often work on the subway too. It’s mostly relaxing, kind of therapeutic; except for when I have to rip back weeks of work.



Do the seasons affect your work or work habits?

Winter makes me knit more because it just feels right. Knitting is really a wintery hobby, and I love the cold, its so invigorating to me, it keeps my mind awake and ticking with ideas and subsequently my needles start clicking. Also, I think advertising has a lot to do with it. During the winter all these ads pop up all over the place packed with knitwear, snowy scenes, arctic animals, etc. These definitely seep in to my subconscious and make me want to be around yarn all day making my own snow-scapes and working on my responses to the cold.

What moves you most in life, either to inspire or upset you, which might be connected to your art?

Animals, always. Growing up I spent a lot of time following cats, exploring the lives they live parallel to us and examining their relationships with their environments. This encouraged me to examine my own also and the core of my work is based around my thoughts on what being a human is and my connections with other species and the land itself. When I build a large scale installation, I want it to feel similar (for the viewer) to following a cat in some ways. I try to encourage curiosity and also a little healthy introspection. Nowadays, I often go exploring with my dog Cocoa to stay in touch with that.

Do you work from life, or from photographs or from imagination or some other method?

Occasionally from life, but mostly from my imagination, I use photographs sometimes when I need to check out a certain detail of some animal or other. When I was building the Qamutiq (Inuit sled) for The Hunt, I wrote to a lot of mushers and sled makers to ask about how I should make it, everyone was so kind and some sent me plans and how-to’s I totally Frankensteined my favourite parts from each to make my final with my brother (he is a carpenter), I was pleased with how that one turned out.

I like to make miniatures too before I make the real thing too, this helps me visualise the final and make any adjustments early before it becomes a huge job to change anything.

What do you love/hate about being an artist?

The money: you have none then you have loads and then this repeats and repeats until you stop being an artist. You need to be able to deal with that. I cant, I am terrible with money, when I get it I spend it too fast and its gone again. Then of course it’s starvation until the next sale.

Have you ever made an artistic pilgrimage? If so, where did you go and why?

I visit places and travel a lot of the time for my work, but I wouldn’t necessarily describe those trips as pilgrimages. I’d say I have only had one true pilgrimage; it was a few years ago, I think 2007, I became really fascinated by the mythological Centaur. They started appearing in my dreams, then they began to pop up in my art too and as I tried to read more and more about these strange creatures it kind of grew into an obsession. After months of studying I decided I needed to go back to Greece and visit Mount Pelion, which according to mythology is the home of the centaur.

I was living in Scotland at the time so it wasn’t so far to go; it all seemed perfectly reasonable. I had a project lined up for when I was there I was planning to carve parts of fossilized centaur remains into the numerous rock faces on the mountain. So after 3 weeks (of many detours and stops) of travelling by train, bus, ferry, hitchhiking and walking I arrived at Mt Pelion with not much other than a set of chisels, my passport, a book called ‘A geological companion to the Agean’ and a tent. Of course the first day I spent on the beautiful beaches at the foot of the mountain and had a much-needed shower at a kind local farm. Then the second day I started to climb, I was there a week in total and I never did finish that project!

It just didn’t feel like the right thing to do while I was there, and when I did force myself to start carving I got bitten by a wee snake about 30 mins in. I took that as a sign to stop and instead I spent the time hiking, riding a mule (ha! pretending I was a centaur) taking photos and interviewing locals on centaurs (‘eh…? Why you care about such things? Lets go to bar’). That was the first and last artistic pilgrimage I went on, I think it might be difficult for me to top…

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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

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Dreaming Hazel Dooney

The Artist In Public, The Artist As Muse.

Latrobe Contemporary Gallery, is pleased to announce it is now inviting submissions for a group exhibition inspired by the online persona of controversial Australian artist and feminist provocateur, Hazel Dooney.
Those who follow the many interviews on this blog will probably know about the interview Hazel did with us way back at the start. Of course her own blog is something to wrestle with as well.

Provisionally titled Dreaming Hazel Dooney, the exhibition will open on Friday, 6th May, and run until Thursday, 19th May, 2011 at the LaTrobe Contemporary Gallery, 209 Commercial Road, Morwell, Vic. 3840.

Works can be in any medium, including sculpture, photography, video (of any length) and even performance art and fashion. The content has, simply to reflect, amplify, interpret, deconstruct, critique or objectify any aspect of Haze Dooney’s ideas, art, persona, public statements, or personal narrative as they are transmitted in her art, blog, social media presences and the press.

There are many sides to Hazel Dooney.

There is the Hazel Dooney who lives an hermetic, rigidly routine existence painting large works depicting sexy action-figure-like
über-women inspired by advertising and entertainment media.

There is the Hazel Dooney who exists as a character in an ongoing online narrative, at once intellectual and intimate, whose words and images limn, in discomforting detail, a complicated life in which art, art business, sexuality (and just plain sex), pscyhological trauma, social mobility, family, money and a measure of fame are always in stress.

There is the Hazel Dooney created, for better or worse, in others’ imaginations and whose art and persona inspire very strong reactions – and emotional relationships – among  a diverse group of individuals worldwide.

Whatever one thinks of the art or the artist, there can be little argument responses to either or both are often extreme.

In the first instance, a digital image/video of the submitted work – or works, as more than one will be considered, must be emailed along with biographiocal information to both Steph ( and Hazel Dooney ( before the 31st January 2011. The artists whose works are accepted will be advised within two weeks. They will then have to undertake to ship their works to the gallery in time for the works to be laid out and displayed on the 1st May 2011.

The logistics and cost of shipping works to and from the gallery is the responsibilty of each invited artist. The gallery will assume no liability for loss or damage. Unless the gallery is otherwise advised, the works will be offered for sale under the gallery’s usual terms, the details of which will be emailed in the form of an agreement as soon as the work is accepted for the exhibition.

For further information, please contact Steph Shields LaTrobe Contemporary Gallery on 0403341664

Hervey Bay Art classes – Creative Leap

Practicing Contemporary Visual Artist Amanda van gils and Vito Manfredi are running more art classes in 2011 for youngsters, what better way to encourage the creative genius in your child. If you live up that way take a look at their website and give your child a creative edge in life.



Have you ever wondered why your children (or even you for that matter…)  should study Art? Then here’s the answer!

The Benefits of Art Classes

Did you know that exposure to the visual arts helps children to develop sophisticated thinking skills as well as fine and gross motor skills?

They also:
Facilitate communication from the earliest ages through the child’s own graphic language
Encourage children to make their own decisions and choices, Promote vocabulary, symbolic representation and confidence in self expression, Support and extend formal learning

What does Art have to offer?
We believe the Visual Arts are a necessary part of the education of all children.
For some children, the visual realm will be their natural element and they will benefit from identifying and realising their skills and preferences early in life.
For other children, Art will provide necessary skills to balance the skills and knowledge gained through other subject areas like mathematics and english and physical activities.

We believe all children are capable of experiencing the joy of the Visual Arts regardless of age or ability.

We live in an image saturated society; Art education provides visual literacy to help children understand and analyse images and their visual messages.
Many current and future employment options will value visual literacy – from the more obvious Art related fields through to marketing, advertising, design, architecture, website development, teaching and many more. The employment field will continue to expand into the future.

Ongoing classes enable children to become comfortable and confident. In our classes they can think, explore, create, problem solve and express their ideas and feelings.

Melbourne Art Classes – Erika Gofton

When you want to be tutored by one of Melbourne’s premier Contemporary Realist Artists you need look no further than the classes on offer from Erika Gofton. Take a look at the site and the amazing work she has done with her students. Stunning outcomes for the short time the classes have been running!


Excellent work Erika the team here wish you every success!



“Erika’s gentle encouragement gave me the courage to step outside my comfort zone”

“Have learnt so much over the past weeks, am eager to continue”

“I’ve done art for many years but still managed to learn heaps”

“I found that each week built on previous weeks knowledge and provided a good basis for getting a real passion for art as well as opening my eyes up a little more to what was happening in art I admire”

“I didnt expect the class to be so thorough in such a short space of time. The teacher was very friendly, helpful and encouraging”

“Supportive and inspiring teacher”

These are just some of the positive comments students have made about the classes. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Exhibition – TLF Network

This is the culmination of many Artists work and a big event for the curator Amanda van gils it should be well worth the travel to see the show.

Join the team in Ballarat for the opening and share in the spoils of their toil.

Thanks to Ailey Ball for the photo.

Thanks to Ailey Ball for this photo..

Many of these Artists have been interviewed here, or soon will be! Go and check out what the Artists are saying, see their work and explore what makes them tick…


Exhibition – Christopher Langton


12 Criterion St, Hobart TAS 7000 Australia  |  T +61 3 6231 3151

What’s your Criterion?

Exhibition – Yaarl

For lovers of indigenous Visual Art in the Gippsland region of Australia.


Exhibition – Sue Ninham

Sue was interviewed here a while back, her new exhibition is entitled Orb


It is an exploration of what it is to be caught between.
Exhibition opens: 6-8pm
Exhibition closes: Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Location: Loft Gallery, Level 1, 253 Johnston Street, Abbotsford 3067
Contact: Amanda 0403 996 579 or Scott 0424 974 518

Exhibition – Vin Ryan

Vin was interviewed here and now has an exhibition at Anna Pappas Gallery in Prahran Vic All the best with the show Vin!

Endless Days – Vin Ryan


‘I’m sitting at the table one night after dinner, staring at the empty plate in front of me. All that’s left is a thin film of pesto and a series of expressionistic scrapings left by my fork. I was never one to leave food on my plate.

I’m fascinated by these simple gestures, these simple abstract impressions of modest, everyday gratification. For the last five years or so most of the work that I’ve made has concerned itself with these sorts of gestures. That is accidental, unintended or arbitrary gestures that are imbedded in our culture, imbedded in our everyday routine, imbedded in our environment; gestures that we usually never notice.

That empty plate and the residue, which was scraped, arranged and left behind on it, has been the starting point for this body of work. Every evening I document the residue left behind on plates, bowls and glasses by myself, my partner and my two year-old son.

On one level they reveal almost nothing. They don’t necessarily tell you much about what any of us might have been thinking or feeling whilst eating these meals. They reveal almost nothing about the conversations, which we might have had around the dinner table. All that is left is aesthetic formalism – Abstraction if you like.

I’m happy for people to view these works on an aesthetic, formalist level if they want to. But I suspect thinking abstractly about these individual plates and bowls inevitably leads the mind to thinking about the universal nature of the ritual, which has just taken place. The raw material for this work is inescapable. We all have a relationship with food, which is both personal and universal, cultural and political. I hope these works will create a space to reflect on this relationship.’

Vin Ryan, 2010

Dr Gillian Turner – Artist

When I walk into an exhibition, I fully expect to be there for a few minutes, have a glance and move on. When I walked in to Dr Turners exhibition I was captivated for much longer than usual. Perhaps because of the way it was presented, the connection I felt between my own work and hers, or the way the exhibition captured something special about her residency in Ireland.

Come to think of it it was probably all those things. It didn’t take long to track her down (Thanks to her business cards on a podium at the exhibition) and invite her to be interviewed.


Your exhibition is the result of an artist in residency you undertook in Ireland. How did that come about?
The Residencies happened by sheer chance! I met an Irish artist working in the local art supply shop and we got chatting. She mentioned the Burren College of Art and suggested I check the website. The college is affiliated to the Royal College of Art, London and Johns Hopkins University, USA.
I was delighted by what I saw and decided to apply online. The first response within 24 hours was favourable and I was asked to send a detailed proposal and CD of recent images. About 6 weeks later I received notification in the mail that I’d been offered a Residency for May/June 2009.

I had already completed two residencies in Australia at the Arthur Boyd Studios, Bundanon, NSW in 2001 and 2004, and I knew just how valuable the experience could be. This opportunity to take up a residency overseas was amazing. The residency at Burren College of Art this year was an absolute joy.


Is the work produced for that different to your usual works?
The work produced in Ireland is, in many ways, radically different from work I have done previously, but I can see connections with the body of work I did during the 2004 residency at Bundanon.
My approach to creating works is always to be open to what the landscape demands. For this reason, my ‘style’ or ‘usual work’ is more difficult to explain. The constant in my work is a response to landscape and ways in which the land offers itself as part of my image making.


Can you give us a brief history of your art career.
I have always had an interest in drawing and painting from a very young age, and most of my teenage works were about landscape, flowers, trees and the sea. I completed a Diploma of Fine Art before deciding to teach art at secondary level.

In 1986, I returned to study at Deakin University majoring in Visual Art and Literature. Post Graduate study moved me towards Literature and research into the realisation of landscape in written texts. In 1996, I graduated with a PhD., but I was never far from the visual arts because one part of my thesis discussed the connections between the visual and performing arts in our understanding of space and the realisation of landscape.

This research informs much of my current art practice and my interest in the use of text in my works.

My first major solo exhibition was held at the Geelong Gallery in 2006 as part of the Shell Regional Arts Program.
The current exhibition at Deakin is part of the Alumni exhibition program, and is the largest I have done. I have been offered two exhibitions in Ireland in 2011.


The works in the exhibition look very influenced by the environment, water and rocks especially, what can you tell us.
For me, the landscape is fundamental to every aspect of my work. I try to intervene as little as possible in such processes as rain works – where ink is applied to a surface and exposed to the elements for periods of time. Movement generated by wind creates the land’s marks, and my role is to decide the extent of that process.

Some works in the exhibition were created by the movement of a single wave over the paper surface. Other images emerged from the flow of ink on various surfaces in containers on the sea. The undulations of the swell and swaying clumps of seaweed create extraordinary imagery. My role is to select the location and the timing.

Exposing paper and ink to the weather for extended periods of time can create fascinating textures and ‘found’ marks such as snail attack or sea lice! The rain works are created by the action of drops on an inked surface place horizontally or vertically.

The ephemera of shadows is also part of my image making. Photographing a drawing in the location where it was created but adding shadows of grasses or other plants, generates a fleeting possibility for the land to offer its own marks to the final image.


In studying art, was there any one style of art which interested you?
There are two major influences in my work: Japanese brush drawing and the landscape works of Australian artist John Wolseley.

The simple yet immensely complex use of brush marks in Japanese calligraphy, and the sparse beauty of art forms such as the raked stone gardens, are powerful forces for me. I have been to Japan twice and connected with the place.

John Wolseley’s approach to landscape is as a journey that encompasses all aspects of the space through which he moves. My interest in rain works was inspired by one of his works in which is noted beside a mark on one of the sheets that comprise his large scale works, that it started to rain.

Performance arts are also an important influence for me: contemporary dance, improvisation and sound sculpture, the work of Philip Glass and pop singer Mika.


Interests you have other than art you believe are of value to mention.
Both writing and music are important to me and are part of my art practice.  In 2011,  I shall be taking up a residency at Cill Railaig in Co. Kerry. The focus of that residency will be writing as well as visual art.
Music has been part of my life since childhood and I am drawing on that now as another dimension in my response to landscapes. An experimental musical composition drawing is part of the showcase in the exhibition; it draws on fragments of overheard conversations and the structure of the traditional framed view.


Have you been on the Bellarine Peninsula long, and has it had an influence on your work?
I have been living on the Bellarine since 2003 and in Clifton Springs since 2007. Before that, I spent a number of years in the Geelong region and then Sydney for two years… I walk to The Dell beach each day and find it a source of quiet, a place to think and be near sea.  The Bellarine is a great place for photography, and there is a vibrant arts community. My involvement in Life Drawing at Springdale, Drysdale, is a very important aspect of my drawing practice.


In the exhibition you used a lot of ink, (which is stunning by the way…) is that your usual medium? if not why the choice?
I have always used inks as part of my practice, but in the exhibition works the technique is something new. It emerged from experimental drawing in Ireland last year. Applying, moving and layering the ink is a challenge. The entire process is extremely physical and takes longer than the results suggest! Most of the drawings have three to four layers or reworking of the ink surface.  The visual connection with the geological layering of the rocks in the Burren made it an exciting new process.


How important is art for you?
Vital! I have always been involved with art either as an educator or practising artist.
I still teach from time to time but have given up regular work to focus on my studio. Being involved with the arts is life giving and spiritually uplifting.

Was the residency a turning point in your career thus far or have there been others?
The residencies in Ireland have without doubt been a turning point in my career! Prior to my time in Ireland, the first residency at Bundanon was a hugely influential experience; it was the first time I had the opportunity to work in an intensive studio environment with other artists.  The connections made with artists and galleries in Ireland have opened up so many possibilities.

Do you keep a visual diary of some kind?
I draw everyday, which I guess is a visual diary. During each of my residencies I have kept a journal  (the two Ireland ones are in the exhibition showcase). When I am researching a particular project, I keep a journal that documents ideas and processes, comments and reflections on the works.

Do you have a personal philosophy which underpins your work?

My personal philosophy centres on the spiritual dimension of the environment. The presence of the past in the landscape is fragile but extremely powerful.

What can you say about your work, which might not be evident to the viewer?
The direct action of the environment can be seen in my work. The assumption that all marks in drawings are made by me, is best avoided!

Is motivation to work an issue for you and how do you overcome it?
Motivation is not really an issue for me now I’m no longer involved in full time teaching.  I love drawing and being in my studio. I am also highly motivated by working with other artists, so the Ireland residencies and the local drawing group are important to me.

Tell us about your studio environment?

My studio is a large upstairs room in my home; it is my first studio space and was the feature that sold the property. There is good light, a view across Corio Bay to the You Yangs and enough space for me to work.
Being within easy walking distance of a beach is important for me, and I have a growing collection of found rope fragments ready to inspire a series of drawings and an installation.
The walls are covered in drawings, notes and other items relating to whatever I’m working on. Right now it’s all about Ireland with photos of cattle, artist friends and a detailed map of the Burren region in County Clare.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your work, or the way it is executed?
The most important aspect of my work is the concept being explored, and for me that always comes back to realisation of landscape. Therefore, the techniques and materials employed are fundamental to exploring that concept.

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Exhibition – Kerrie Warren and Dragi Jankovic

In the West Gippsland art centre at Warragul Vic, two Contemporary Artists came together to produce a stunning show recently, I was fortunate enough to interview Kerrie Warren about the exhibition she shares with Dragi Jankovic. Enjoy…





Kerrie this exhibition is awesome… what was the inspiration for it?
A couple of things came together to create this opportunity, our Arts and Cultural Officer Karen Whitaker-Taylor moved into the West Gippsland Arts Centre to manage incoming exhibitions.  When I heard that she was calling for proposals, I quickly put one in as it has been a number of years since exhibiting major works in my own region.  Later in the year I’ll be busy with Art Sydney, so the timing worked beautifully!

Due to the open space, I asked ceramic artist Dragi Jankovic to exhibit with me in a joint show.  Dragi was just about to take off to Korea on a ceramic arts project and the timing worked well for him too.

You and Dragi go a long way back is this the first time you have exhibited together on this scale (or any scale for that matter.)
Many years ago (approx 17) Dragi was my teacher when I studied for my Diploma of Art in Ceramics but we connected again a few years ago when I invited Dragi to share a space at Art Melbourne with me.  We could clearly see a harmony between our pieces and so did the public.  We received so many positive comments about how it worked together.

Is the work interconnected in some obvious way the viewer will pick up?
No.  Dragi and myself didn’t sit down and plan the concept of the show.  We are both dedicated passionate artists however and I think it connects on that level.  When we installed the work it was truly an amazing experience and we had onlookers…. I would hang a painting and Dragi would place a plinth and a piece of his work…. it seemed every piece had been planned to sit beside my work and vice versa!

The pieces actually sing in ‘harmony’ and the staff at the Arts Centre stood back quite amazed.  To be honest I think we were too, it really appears to be carefully ‘thought out’!  It is a very powerful experience to walk into.

You have done Ceramics yourself, I hear you are getting back into it is that right?
Yes!  I’ve just finished renovating my studio and now I have another area where I’ve set up ceramics.  I wondered if after more than 10 years I could still ‘throw a pot’ and I can!  Years ago as a young artist I had to make a decision to go one way or the other as I had a lack of space and money.  I was becoming quite engrossed in my works on canvas and decided to sell my kiln and clear the space in order to expand my ideas.  I’ve missed ceramics and sculpture being a part of my life and now I am in a position where I can integrate them back into my practise.

Your style has altered a bit over the years from strict borders and masking taped lines to what I will call a “fully organic” open slather approach. Within that, have you seen an evolution of your style?
Yes, I had to grow to where I am now through experience.  I began life as a ‘traditional’ artist and therefore had many blocks to break through to ‘abstract expressionism’.  I followed instincts and felt the pull over time.  Thus there was my geometric period (approx 2001 – 2004) where I explored straight lines and ‘abstract expressionism’ contained within lines (blocks).  It was as if I would allow myself to play within a designated area only.

Well playing within the blocks became the most interesting and fascinating experience, originally seeded by my previous studies in Transpersonal Art Therapy where we would work on the floor.  In early 2005 I looked back at my work and vowed I would never put another straight line on my canvas again, I was ready to indulge myself completely!  It was only through other people referring to my work as ‘Pollock’ style did I then begin to study him myself.  I became intrigued because he had ‘grown’ to that place of abstract expressionism from his own roots, and I had experienced the same.

I have only seen your old studio, the new one you recently completed, does it make a difference to the way you work?
Oh yes!  My new studio is just amazing!  I have a separate ‘splatter studio’ which you can imagine is a necessity… I have a clean area where I stretch canvas, varnish, photograph etc… and a ceramic studio, kiln shed and carport for loading.  It is like a promotion really!  It allows me to operate in a more professional sense and is not connected to our home.  The studio has a separate driveway and parking area and we are now landscaping and building paths…  I think I have a fishpond on the way too!

Your energy and enthusiasm for your work and the promotion thereof is incredible, to me you are a shining light for very active marketing. Is there a reason for that? and does it come easily…

Steve, I’m really happy you feel that coming through.  I suppose I feel absolutely ‘driven’, I always have.  There is always so much to do and so little time…  The energy and excitement is initiated through my work and extends through all things.  While the paint is drying I’m busy with promotions because the energy is always there.  That is partly why I’ve brought ceramics back into my practice, I simply have so much energy for my work and I experience the same in various materials.  I don’t work with a preconceived idea and I think this creates an ongoing excitement for what I do.  Every day is like Christmas in the studio.  It must seem crazy I suppose but I’m always expecting the unexpected… and that is damn exciting!

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Exhibition – Net Work the TLF Exhibition

Net Work: the TLF Exhibition by Amanda van Gils –


Net Work: the TLF exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat December 2010 / January 2011 One forum. Thirty-eight artists. Over 100 pieces of art. A museum exhibition with big impact. An exhibition of the work of 38 artists who…

A big show folks, with so many contemporary Artists on show it will be well worth getting to!

Here’s more vital information…

1. Many of the Artists have been interviewed here, on Steve Gray’s blog Art Re-Source! Take a look!

2. Net Work: the TLF exhibition

I am so pleased to be able to finally share with you the details of a truly exciting project, which is nearing it’s public presentation.

For well over a year Amanda van gils been working on developing a large and diverse exhibition of contemporary art. This is the first major exhibition she has curated and she has been fortunate enough to attract a number of very talented artists for the exhibition. “I feel especially blessed to have been offered the premium space at Australia’s oldest and largest regional gallery, the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Amanda said.

The exhibition Net Work: the TLF exhibition will be the feature exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat over Summer, opening on December 11th and continuing to 30th January.

Net Work will be a BIG exhibition……38 artists from 4 States, over 120 meters of wall space (plus a vast amount of floor space), over 100 works of art, all in the biggest regional gallery in Australia. Oh yes and an expected audience of 5000 visitors…. so you can imagine how excited Amanda is!

Supporting this exhibition…
How can you support it?
  • Naturally if you are near Ballarat between the 11th December and 30th January it is hoped you can make time to visit the exhibition. We hope too you will pass the word along to your friends and colleagues who you think might be interested. Having the exhibition viewed and sharing the artwork is really what it’s all about.
But an exhibition like this also requires a lot of time, energy and finances. Currently we’re trying to raise the funds to cover freighting 100 art works from 4 States to Ballarat for the exhibition, and printing a full colour catalogue which will be available in December. We have put together a couple of fundraising options to ensure any supporters get back something for their assistance… other than our gratitude and a wonderful warm feeling.

Firstly, we are able to accept tax deductible donations via the Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) , so come tax time you can legally claim your support as a tax deduction and it costs you nothing. Donations over $2 are tax deductible (excluding family members of participating artists). More information is available from the abaf website.

Or if you’d like a more tangible reward, we are also listed on “Fundbreak” where you can choose an amount to donate and receive gifts in exchange for your support (not tax deductible). Our gifts include postcards, catalogue and even art works, depending on the level of support you choose. Fundbreak is fairly simple. We currently have 43 days to meet our goal. If we don’t achieve it, all money is returned to the donors.

If you are able to support us financially and/or by passing along information about this exhibition, The Curator and the Visual Artists in the exhibition, will be most grateful. Names of financial supporters can be added (with your permission) to a special Supporters page on our website.

You can find out all more about the exhibition on our website: The website includes a wonderful essay by writer and artist Robert Hollingworth. There is news, information about the show, our sponsors and opportunities for people to support the exhibition. And of course there is art. The website includes an artist page for each artist in the exhibition.

Kind Regards


Amanda van Gils
Net Work: The TLF Exhibition
0428 327 181

Exhibition – are you obsessed?

An exhibition by TAFE students in Gippsland Victoria.


Exhibition – Jennifer Goodman

A new exhibition at John Buckley Gallery – Albert Street Richmond Victoria


Brendon Taylor – New work/s

Currently at Red Gallery in North Fitzroy for a few weeks this month. Here is just one of the Artists on show, Brendon Taylor. This piece is an AMAZING trip through his history thus far, a long chunk of red gum cut into sections noting various points in the Artists life. The details are phenomenal, the craftsmanship divine and the concept very strong.








Michelle Lee

Your work seems to be from another era, similar to the work of Paul Outerbridge, is this deliberate or by chance?
Definitely by chance but I really appreciate how well he uses colors in his images. Colors are very important to me and I try to make full use of it in my work. I do believe that colors play a big role in expressing emotions and thoughts.

Have you explored other art mediums or was photography a simple choice for you?
When I was younger, I made handcrafts to be sold in school and was interested in graphic/ packaging design. I took a diploma course in interactive media, worked for 1 year and realized that it really wasn’t me at all. I didn’t like being stuck behind the computer the whole time. I left the company and worked in a commercial photography studio and that’s when I realized that photography was my true calling.

What highlights have you had in your artistic career so far?
I would say that winning an award during the graduation night was a big surprise. It was gratifying because I was so terrified during my first year of university. I didn’t know what aperture and shutter meant and thought I wasn’t going to make it through the first year.

Photography is a medium which has been slow to be accepted as an artistic medium by collectors in Australia, has that been the case for you?
To be honest, I have lived and grown up in Malaysia my whole life except for my studies at RMIT so I cannot answer this question but this is the case in my country. It’s an up and coming medium accepted by fine art collectors in Malaysia but it’s happening slowly. Over here, commercial photography is much bigger than fine art photography.

Is your work purely artistic or do you do more “commercial work” too?
At university, we had the opportunity to work on personal work so I took the chance to work on purely artistic work; work I felt was ‘me’. But at the same time, I tried to inject a little commercial finishing to my work. I like the finish of commercial work but I like the conceptual part of artistic work. So, it’s a little bit of both but I definitely lean more towards fine art work and would like to pursue it as a career.
You have a website, has this added to the interest in your work?
It definitely helps when I’m talking to people who want to take a look at my work there and then. I think having a website is very important even if you are just a student. It shows people you are very focused and passionate about what you do. When people see that, they have a stronger inclination to want to work with you. With the digital era now, a website is a very important marketing tool. It reaches places where the ‘physical you’ can’t and that could open up some windows of opportunity. You never know!

Do you have gallery representation in a number of galleries or just one?
I am going to be exhibiting at Obscura Gallery for a month but I would love to be represented by fine art galleries. I’m an Artist and I value other people who are experts in that area of art.

What can you tell us about your time as a student, were you an “arty” creative type or a “technical” type?
I think I was more technical than arty, but I was only technical when it came to lighting. I had no interest in fancy gear at the time. I majored in studio photography and it usually required a lot of concentration on technical lighting. I also majored in portraiture, which mainly evolves around a concept or a story. It was a good balance to have majored in both subjects because collectively, it taught me photography is about lighting but the essence of a photograph is in the concept. It’s very important to balance both art and technique.

Who have been the most influential artists or photographers for you?
I like artists/ photographers who use surrealism or have really strong aesthetics (composition and color) in their work. I also tend to get drawn to people who produce work, which is very ‘gentle’ and ‘quiet’. For photographers, these are a few of my favourites: Andre Kertesz, Sarah Moon, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Julie Blackmon, Helen Blomqvist and Namiko Kitaura. I like female illustrators who emphasise the female form and beauty like Audrey Kawasaki and Eriko Yamashiro. I absolutely love Mark Ryden’s use of colours.

Is there anything you would like to tell readers about your influences or environmental factors (like where you live) you believe are important to know?
I think my parents’ influences rubbed off on me from a very young age because unconsciously, I was probably absorbing the artwork they hung on the walls and the design-based objects they had at home. That kind of environment teaches one to appreciate art in all forms. Coming from an Asian country and being an Asian myself, we are taught it’s important to work hard. Also, it’s essential to remain inspired and positive; something,which is very important to new artists. It’s hard to create when the soul is broken.

What do you hope a viewer will “get” from looking at your work?
I want them to be attracted to the particular piece of work. ‘Attraction’ is just unexplainable but absolutely fantastic. You see something and you go, “oh” and then you get attracted and sometimes you don’t know why, then comes the “what, why, how, when, who” questions and it’s fine if they decide they don’t like it very much after all. I am hoping for them to experience this kind of process. Besides, my work is very much about how I feel so it’s always interesting to find out if the viewers are able to sense the particular emotions I felt through a piece of work because interpretation is often subjective.

What advice would you give to an Art Student starting out after University?
You must know what you want in life. Leaving university, a lot of us fall into this “what should I do now?” scenario because all of a sudden after 3 years in university, we don’t have time tabled classes and no assessment criteria to fulfil. From there, it’s all up to ourselves. We have to know what we want in life and work towards that goal with a short term and long term goal. Even if the plans don’t work out, it’s okay as long as you tried your best and remained focused.

Artists Statement
“My work explores the feelings of frustrations, conformity, eccentricity, dreams and ideals of everyday living by using allegorical narratives. Emotions and thoughts are very important. These two elements are the fundamentals of our everyday lives. Sometimes, they are over-consuming and complex, temporarily blinding the conscious state of mind. My work acts like a journal, projecting existing strong emotions I am feeling during the time of conceptualisation. I visually express myself with my work, unconsciously creating a contradictory state of complex emotions and simple aesthetics.”
Michelle Lee.

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Exhibition – Jos Van Hulsen – Sarah Watt – Jacqueline Flitcroft

An exhibition at Brightspace for Jos van Hulsen – Sarah Watt and Jacqueline Flitcrofts work.


Exhibition: 26 August – 5 September 2010

Once upon a time the extraordinary polymath and talented artist Leonardo da Vinci – a true ‘Renaissance man’ – was fascinated by the possibilities of human flight and spent many an hour researching, drawing and experimenting with ways to make it happen.

Hundreds of years later, with the notion of flight taken for granted by many in today’s world, and using various means – from aeroplane, helicopter, micro-light, glider and hang-glider to sky-diving and the more recent form of base-jumping in wingsuits – the three artists in this exhibition were, in a strangely synchronous way, and before any discussions of a having a group exhibition, each producing works derived from their own interests, concerns and/or interpretations regarding the same topic.

Though they found themselves sharing certain ideas about flight – such as metamorphosis, travel, adventure, freedom, the simultaneous experience of isolation and connectedness – as themes they are somewhat subdued in the works and in the exhibition as a whole. The highlight of the exhibition is, rather, the contrast in their individual responses to the notion of flight and the ideas each of them explore in their works, which differ quite substantially. This is not only reflected in the wide range of mediums they deploy but in their processes of production – from small scale, poetic and almost intimate works on paper to large, direct and sometimes daunting sculptures. Overall it makes for an interestingly diverse exhibition that presents a rich variety of perspectives of or relating to flight…

From the ground looking up, some of Watt’s hybrid photo-paintings depict ethereal birds flying elegantly across the vast, open and occasionally dramatic skies of Footscray or the quietude of a house sitting in the street in the half-light of dusk which is only experienced at certain times of the year.

From the sky looking down, Flitcroft’s works – made by binding and wrapping 3D-forms in Japanese hand-made paper that fit inside a frame like a delicate, poetic jigsaw puzzle – refer to the patterns of the acres of farm-land she sees when flying overhead in her micro-light near Bendigo.

And Van Hulsen’s sculptural forms and photo-collages present flight as an exploration of a variety of complex concepts as ‘forms that fly’ – for example, his camouflage insect-aeroplanes explore the idea that the transportation of some bacteria and viruses across the planet can be more deadly than a WWII bomb.

Not only is the widely interpreted notion of ‘flight’ a richly interesting topic to think about today, but the works, the ideas being explored, and those they elicit, will surely form the basis of some very interesting discussion.

Exhibition – Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee – Opening Thursday 2 September 6-8pm


Michelle Lee creates work with concepts that resemble her own intuitions towards the subjects in her life. Her images are considerably feminine, where female protagonists act as primarily manifestations of the self.

Frustrations, conformity, eccentricity, dreams and ideals are concepts Michelle often turns to in the creation of her allegorical narratives. She expresses that emotions and thoughts are fundamental to everyday life, where at times they are all consuming and temporarily blind the conscious state of mind. Like reading a diary out loud, her work imbues the sense of both vulnerability and pride.

Michelle keeps every aspect of her subjects in a highly controlled environment. She rarely works with wide angle lenses, as the designer in her finds it difficult to deal with distortion. She shies away from ambient light, preferring the effect of the flash. In addition to light, Michelle controls her characters in their environment, often building her own sets or miniature dollhouse rooms.

Michelle was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she completed a diploma in Multimedia Design. She began work as an Interactive Designer, which led her to become a producer in a commercial photography studio. In this role she stumbled across her own passion for photography and experimented with an old light box as her main source of light. She then traveled to Melbourne to complete a BA in Photography at RMIT. Her interests lay in portraiture, fine art and fashion photography. Upon graduation in 2009, she was awarded the Kallman Feital’s High Achievement in a Professional Sphere award for outstanding work.

Exhibition – xue mo

Interpreting Mona Lisa

Xue Mo


“SERENE and deliberate, the sitters in the portraits of Xue Mo have monumental presence, which is also strange and unnerving. The works are technically brilliant and imitate the Renaissance portrait, with mysterious desert landscapes echoing the ambiguities of the smile.” (Robert Nelson, “The Age”, 18 November 2009).


Xue has been working as a full-time practicing artist since 1998. Interpreting Mona Lisa continues Xue’s unique approach to the genre of portraiture, situating Asian subjects in a highly stylised manner that is reminiscent, both technically and compositionally, of the portraits of early Renaissance artists of the quattrocento period such as Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico and Andrea Mantegna.

To Xue, these great ‘masters’ epitomize painting in its purest form. Xue draws her subjects from her homeland of Mongolia and is singularly focused on the female subject, impressed by the ‘noble simplicity, natural beauty, and serene dispositions’ of the young fieldworkers. Well documented in the Australian press, Xue’s last exhibition in November 2009 was highly praised by The Age’s critic, Robert Nelson. As he noted:

What gives the works their monumental appearance is the visual clout of the forms inside them. It’s a function of composition and volume, and these formal qualities are reinforced by the statuesque body language of the figure.

More especially, Nelson was particularly impressed with Xue’s facility of line: It’s unusual in Australia to find this knowledge, which is the art of drawing classically defined. And concluded: the figures have a marvellous sense of composure, in which their place in the world is reinforced by the settled gaze that they return to it.

Xue lives and works in Beijing, China, and has had solo exhibitions in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and Canada.

Exhibition – Connie Noyes


Exhibition – Rosie Leventon

flooded  tunnels
the muse at 269
269 Portobello Road London W11 (just south of the Westway)  Tube: Ladbroke Grove  Bus: 52, 23, 7, 70
Wednesdays to Saturdays 12 – 10pm or by appointment. Tel: 0207 792 8588
Show continues until 4 September.

drawings  by  rosie  leventon
Best known for her large installations that have been made for museums, sculpture parks and galleries in many countries, Rosie Leventon is now showing her drawings for the first time in London.
“Leventon’s drawings combine expressive energy with a sculptor’s instinct for ground and depth. Surfaces are tactile, often evoking organic sculptural materials, or referencing the elemental aspects of landscape. Some of the drawings also contain Middle Eastern hand writing and calligraphy.”  Tom Flynn
Her work has recently been bought by the Henry Moore Institute, and recent shows include: The Workshop of Hereafter, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, Unfold, Nettie Horn Gallery, Concrete & Glass, Shoreditch Town Hall, Prospects & Interiors, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.
Video interview and four artworks on


Exhibition opportunity – Brain art exhibition and unconference

From Silvia Damiano…

Dear Readers,

I want to share with you a venture I am undertaking with my daughter Relmi (photographer and graphic designer), who is 21 years of age.

We are putting together the “First Annual Brain Art Exhibition & Unconference” at Global Gallery in Paddington march 2011. There will be a Brain Art Competition for 15 – 19 and 20 – 30 year olds. Take a look at the website and see what you think.

I am currently searching for more ways to connect with lots of people who want to get involved in a project like this so feel free to let people have the link.

Regards Silvia

The Tribe…

‘The Tribes’ mission is to allow creative people; Artists, Musicians and designers to share their ideas and creations and turn them into a commercial reality. The concept is to bringing together innovators, early adopters and investors to allow a unique opportunity for anybody to submit their ideas and gain guidance and security. Think of it as an online Dragons Den without the judgement and yelling! Everybody’s ideas are considered and can benefit from the advice of ‘The Tribe’ community.

‘The Tribe’ will be holding regular competitions to encourage talented individuals to generate new ideas, concepts and artistic projects. The first competition launching on the 22nd September 2010 will be a worldwide design competition. This will be a fantastic opportunity for designers, artists and creatives of all types to submit their ideas for; the first prize is an amazing £10,000!

We also have a website and facebook page if you’d like to check them out.!/pages/The-Trib-e/112221348828582?ref=ts

Many Thanks,


Exhibition – The Collective

The Collective have returned in 2010 with “Re_Collection”
In this, their second collaborative exhibition together, the group present their responses to time, permanence and memory.

Opening night Sept 1st 6-8pm

We would love to see you there.

Red Gallery

157 St. Georges Road,

Fitzroy North, Melbourne,


Exhibition – Cairns and Wolter

OPENING SOON – Mark Cairns + Joel Wolter: SCAPE-ISM: Recent paintings and etchings by two of the Geelong region’s most respected artists.

So escape the election and join us on Opening Night 5 -7 pm 21 August.

View images from this exhibition soon at
64 Ryrie Street Geelong Vic

The Creative Brain and How It Works – Applied Neuroscience

“The Creative Brain and How It Works – Applied Neuroscience” With Silvia Damiano and Ralph Kerle |

Date: Monday August 9, 2010

Venue: University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Jones Street, Ultimo corner Thomas Street. Room 5.580 Level 5, Building 10, Take the lift to level 5, cross the atrium foot bridge, walk straight ahead to room 580.

Time: From 5:30pm to 7:30pm sharp | No RSVP – Just turn up

There is a body of theories and papers starting to emerge in neuroscience around how our brain works creatively. This body of work suggests if you can be more aware of how your brain works in a context that calls upon creative endeavor, you will be able to alter your thinking or adjust your actions, in the process becoming more aware of your own creative praxis and how you can comfortably and confidently contribute your best to creative collaboration – an awareness that can be knowledgeably sustained and improved over time.

In this highly experiential session, participants will undertake a creative team challenge using a theoretical framework and an arts based process to test this hypothesis in practice. Through this process, you will observe and discern your own creative preferences and biases!!

Exhibition – Printmaking at Jenny Port Gallery

Jenny Port Gallery is very pleased to invite you to

PRESSING MATTERS – Melbourne Printmaking 2010

Featuring works by Jazmina Cininas, Gary (Spook) James, Ruth Johnstone, Tim Jones, Jules, Damon Kowarsky, Peter Lancaster, Simon Perry, Cat Poljski, Sophia Szilagyi, Andy Tetzlaff and Kim Wall.

Opening drinks Wednesday 11 August 6 to 8pm.

The exhibition continues until 4 September.

Jenny Port Gallery
Level 1, 7 Albert Street
Richmond VIC 3121

A book about death – Matthew Rose

We interviewed Matthew Rose recently and here is his latest contribution.

A Book About Death Omaha’s live stream for the opening on July 31, 2010.  Another chapter in this global exhibition:

Please follow this link for the live feed URL:
Matthew Rose

Exhibition – Not Fair

NOTFAIR is a satellite art fair curated by artists Sam Leach and Tony Lloyd with arts writer Ashley Crawford.
Timed to coincide with the Melbourne Art Fair, the purpose of NOTFAIR is to give artists who the curators believe are ‘undervalued’ greater exposure.

A segment about NOTFAIR will be screened on Art Nation this Sunday 1st August: 5.30pm on ABC1 and 7pm on ABC2, the exhibition is open to the public from the 5th August to the 8th August .


Kathryn Ryan – Artist

Are you currently represented by a gallery?

Yes I am currently represented by Tim Olsen Gallery in Sydney, since 2006, and by Flinders Lane Gallery in Melbourne since 2000.


What are you currently working on?

I am about to have a solo exhibition at Tim Olsen Gallery, so I have just completed all the work for this show. In this exhibition I have worked on a new series of large oil paintings inspired by the Scottish Highlands, Glencoe region in the snow. It is the first time I have attempted to paint landscapes in snow and also the first time I have diverged from painting the Australian landscape. Painting snow landscapes was a bit daunting at first and required some trial & error and change in the painting techniques that I have been used to. So currently I am in the pre exhibition phase of having the paintings photographed/ organising the invitations/ mailing list/artist statement, advertising and publicity with the gallery.

Once the exhibition opens, I will be starting another body of work for my next solo show in Melbourne in 11 months time.


Did the place where you grew up have an influence?

Absolutely. I grew up on a dairy farm in Western Victoria, constantly surrounded by the landscape. Huge skies, vast space and distances, directly affected by the changing seasons and weather conditions. Farm life, repetition and ritual, isolation, the space and light of always being surrounded by nature has had an enduring effect on me as a person and how I approach my artwork and its subject matter.


What can you tell us about your planning and making process for making art, and has that altered over the years?

In more recent years, my approach to my studio practice has become fairly structured. I have always been methodical in my approach, however in earlier years, there was probably a lot more searching and investigation of processes and ideas and exploring concerns. Over time, my ideas and knowledge of my painting process has been refined and focused on more concise ways of working.

I am always looking, thinking and photographing. I tend to work in a yearly cycle for my solo exhibitions, which means I usually focus on work for one exhibition at a time. This body of work may contain 12 – 20 paintings, depending on size, and will take most of the year to complete. I like to spend time brewing the ideas for this work in the beginning, often sifting back through my library of relevant photos, to consolidate ideas.

I work out the feel/concerns/ objectives of the work first, then decide on the imagery for the paintings and work out sizes & scale of the work, usually to fit the particular gallery space. So a lot is worked out before hand, the overall feel of the exhibition…. then it is a matter of organising my time and  planning the workload for the year in time for the exhibition.


Working towards an exhibition, is it a daunting task?

It is a very big task, but no longer daunting. I work on one solo exhibition each year, so I am usually planning my workload in a 12 month cycle. I usually spend time in the beginning working out how I see the paintings for the upcoming show. Once I have arrived at a ‘theme’ or visual idea/feel for the paintings I want to do, then I set about planning out the size and amount of paintings in relation to the gallery size. I then usually plan out my workload spread out over the year or time frame I have to complete the work, ie I may work on 5 paintings in a 3 month period. So really there is a lot of planning in the beginning, then it is just get on with the work!


Tell us about your connection to your subject matter, way of working, concepts etc

For some time now, I have been referencing the landscapes of Western Victoria. I decided it was crucial for me to go back to my source/ my personal background, of growing up on a dairy farm, to paint about something I knew so well. How it felt to be living on the land, surrounded by all that space and changing light and weather conditions. It was something I had an intimate personal knowledge of and connection to. Even though I am now living it the city, I feel my farm upbringing is instilled strongly in my memory source and with my family still on our farm, I have regular visits back there.

I am always photographing, carrying my camera everywhere, recording ideas and what I see, building a library of reference photos to draw upon. In the past I used to do more studies and exploring of ideas and processes on paper before I worked on large canvases. However, in recent years I tend to work only on my big canvases, straight to finished works for exhibition. This is mostly due to time constraints, I don’t seem to have the time to just ‘play’ or experiment in the studio, but I am also not sure I always want to anyway. I find when I work solely on big pieces for exhibitions, you are forced to resolve issues, technical and ideas, so that the painting works out, there is not a lot of room for error. This can be a pressure, but also a good pressure to bring out the best results.


Do you keep an Art Journal or Visual Diary of some kind?

Yes I have always kept an art journal since my first day at art school, so that is going back 26 years now! I have kept them all, and often refer  back to previous ones . Initially they were full of sketches and ideas and articles or pictures that had inspired me. Over the years they became more analytical, writing about the concerns in my work and investigating various themes. In recent years, they are more a practical diary of my studio days…listing what paintings I work on each day, their progress, sometimes which colours I mix, and planning my workload.


Is motivation to work an issue for you and how do you overcome it?

I do at times struggle with staying motivated. Often this is after working on a large body of work, and I am most likely very drained and tired. I am a big believer in taking breaks from the studio when possible. For many years, I worked without breaks, but now I try and schedule a break in after each exhibition to recharge before the next onslaught of yearly work on an exhibition. For the times that come up during the year when I feel less motivated, often it is a matter of needing a day off and do something different, or watch some art docos and browse through art books or art magazines, often to see how other artists work in their studios.

Tell us about your studio environment (too big, too small, enough storage or not, the light, the position, how you found it etc)?

I have had many studios over the years, from garages, spare rooms, stables, to open warehouses. My current studio is the best I have had. It is my own private space in an old building in the heart of the city. It is large with several windows of indirect light and a much needed sink. I have an area for painting, a desk/clean area and a large work table area. It could probably do with more storage area and natural light, but really it is a great space in the middle of the city. It is very quiet and private; I lock myself away there all day apart from my morning coffee in the bustling laneways below and sometimes out for lunch.


From your early beginnings at art school to now, how have things altered for you?

In the beginning there was a lot more struggle with the work, both with ideas and technically in exploring different ways of working. A lot of soul searching went into the concerns behind and in the work…. This has now given way to a more assured feeling of knowledge of both what I am trying to achieve in my work and also technically how I go about achieving it.

There was more isolation in the beginning, leaving art school, looking for studios, trying to find a gallery and entering art prizes. Not knowing a lot of artists in a new city, not being part of any ‘art scene’… It seemed a long way away to be an exhibiting artist, let alone painting full-time.

So a lot has changed, but it has been over a 24 year period of working in the studio… it took a long time for anything significant to happen. The first 14 years out of art school were very slow in terms of exhibiting or selling work. However, when it did start to fall in to place, it happened quickly and escalated at a good pace. Since then, I have had solo shows most years and have sold everything I do, which enabled me to paint fulltime.


What is your working routine? Do you listen to music while you work, or stay up late for instance?

I tend to work Mon-Fri business hours. Painting fulltime, I find it is crucial to have a structure and routine in place to help keep me motivated and also to monitor my energy levels. I find if I work back too late it only leaves me with less energy and exhausted the next day to paint. So I find it is better to leave the studio about 6pm or so… home to eat and rest for the next day!

After a morning coffee in a nearby cafe, I am upstairs to my own locked away studio. I tend to start painting almost immediately. After changing into my paint clothes, a quick check of emails, I make a quick decision on which painting to work on for the day… quick decisions on what needs to be done to the painting that day… then it is just painting time. Mostly I play music on my I-Pod speakers… depending on my mood what type of music, sometimes I just want it quiet. The odd cup of tea while I am working.. but I try and stay at the easel until I have achieved what I set out to do for the day.


Did you intend to become a professional artist?

Yes , from my late teen years I knew I was driven and inspired to be an artist. My intention was to strive to be an exhibiting artist. Although it was a long road to be represented by a commercial gallery, I always believed it would happen and that I just had to work hard and concentrate on making the best work I could and developing it to a higher standard.


Was there a point where you decided : Ok I can live off my art?

Yes. My 2003 solo exhibition had sold out and with the prices having gradually increased I took the plunge to live fulltime off my artwork. Prior to this I had already reduced my part time working hours, with the sales of my art work supplementing my income. My previous shows in the last few years had all sold out, so I felt more confident to take the risk. I hoped that by being able to give all my time to my studio practice I would also be able to produce more work and give it all my full attention and energy.


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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

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Check out our other Art Site Loaded with creativity boosters, professional development strategies, investing/collecting art and activities for Artists and Students…

Affordable Art? Where…

If your walls could talk they’d say, ‘I don’t care if there is a recession, I’m sick of being bare’.

Cover your white space, dispose of tattered college posters (puppies are not art, people) and spruce up your home with affordable art from our favourite places.

Textile designer Anna Hill uses nature as inspiration for her digitally printed wallpapers, which feature brightly coloured birds, tigers, cherry blossoms and other plants and animals. Her designs are intended to fit an entire wall with no repetitive patterns, so each piece is made to order (£40-£120/meter square).

For a more personal touch, turn your favourite photos into art with a Catkin Collection family tree. Add images of your family or friends to the branches to make art imitate life (£42).

Born from the owners’ love of typography and screen-printing, the quirky limited-edition prints at Keep Calm Gallery have amusing messages (‘The first mistake of art is to assume it’s serious’) and emoticons like <3 spelled out (‘less than three’). The recently launched original artwork section features a series of whimsical collages by up-and-comer Matthew Rose (£170).

Can’t afford a Banksy? Little Art Book offers the next best thing: a limited-edition collection of work by the freshest new names from the streets. If you haven’t heard of Oh Death or The Krah, you will soon. Watch this space (£60-£450).

Search The Few Gallery for prints by graphic artists and illustrators from around the world. We love Brit artist Sean Freeman’s striking peacock and Spaniard Gary Fernandez’s surreal portrayal of an ordinary day in the park (£176).

The team at New Blood Art scour art school shows to find undiscovered talent. There are thousands of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and prints to choose from, all sorted into price categories so you can easily find something for less than £50 or more than £3,000.

Can’t decide which to buy? Check out our ten favourite pieces of affordable art.

© Matthew Rose 2010

Exhibition – Lethbridge Gallery

Lethbridge Gallery ia holding an exhibition of Ai Shah’s work.


Exhibition – Kerrie Warren

Kerrie has an exhibition of works on at Jinks Gallery in July.


Exhibition – Sharon & Klaire Anderson

A show from a Mother and Daughter Team, should be an interesting combination! Well done to both, hope it goes really well for them!


Cnr Main St & Mc Donald St Foster Victoria Australia

Exhibition – John Alcock


Exhibition – Anthony Lister

Anthony Lister has been busy! Here’s some of what he’s up to.


– In 1 week I have an exhibition of all new paintings opening at Show and Tell Gallery in Toronto CANADA –July 9th -August 8th –

– My new sculpture work will be installed in the Standard Hotel in NEW YORK – July 13th –
– A new 145 page book of my paintings has been published by MACMILLAN PUBLICATIONS –
– And i am honored to be included in a new Gestalten publication – BEYOND THE STREET-THE 100 LEADING FIGURES IN URBAN ART –
hope all is super in your world.

Matthew Rose – Artist

Matthew Rose is in Paris France and is represented by

Janet Miller (Soma Art Gallery), Cape May, NJ;  – Keep Calm Gallery, London, UK; – Orange Dot Gallery, London, UK.

An active web person here are his web addresses


Matthew With Second Hand Clock Paris France.

Interests you have other than art you feel are important to mention?

I am an art and culture writer – The New York Times, Wall Street Journal,, entrée magazine, Art & Antiques magazine among many others; I’ve also written a black comic novel, PLAN B. And I occasionally write music.  My song, I HAVE A CAR, is currently on YouTube (arranged and performed by Hens Breet, Monosopace).


HOW TO FALL IN LOVE FOREVER, 2009. Collage on canvas, 50 x 50 cm.

What are the main medium/s you work in…

Collage, text, unusual objects. I slap paint around too.


BREATHLESS, 2010. Collage on canvas, 50 x 50 cm.

Artist’s statement…

I mainly spell with scissors. My installations, massive 1000-piece wall-to-wall displays of individual collage works attempt to reinvent the process of reading. The all-over exhibitions such as Planting Cut Flowers, Spelling With Scissors, The Whole Truth and Confessions – bring together the immense visual and textural vocabulary I find about me in what several critics cited as a “dadaist exploration of sense and nonsense.” While another critic added, my “works are secrets wrapped in riddles that are visually exhaustive and often French-fried.”  These installations and individual works are my theory of everything…a handbook for the 21st century.

I’ve launched a brand of surrealism and touches upon text works, needlepoints, altered objects, silkscreen and glicée prints and books. My next exhibition, Scared But Fresh, takes place at Orange Dot Gallery, London, from October 6 thru October 31. And the project I launched in early 2009, the ongoing global exhibition, A Book About Death, is in the collections of MoMA New York and LACMA. My prints, PAINTINGS, are on permanent exhibition at The Boca Raton Museum of Fine Art, Boca Raton, Florida


IMMACULATE PERCEPTION, 2009. 80 cm x 60 cm (31.5 x 23.75 in).
Giclée print; edition: 50.

How do you describe your work?

My work is often described as surreal, dada, strange, funny, expensive.


LES AFFAIRES, 2009. Collage on board, 1.3 x 1.5 meters.

Does your work have social, political, cultural and or personal messages?

My works concern the end of the world, which as one might imagine, includes all of the above. I’m mainly interested in consciousness and its aesthetic, ethical and moral dimensions, but also its innate abilities and weaknesses.


Je n’aime que toi, poster, 2009. Photo: Danielle Voirin

What are you currently working on?

For the last few weeks I’ve produced two series for Keep Calm Gallery’s ORIGINALS series.  Small collage works (9 x 12 inches).  One is called: A Strange Meeting and the other America.  I’ve also completed some larger collage works like Breathless and How To Fall In Love Forever and Null-Null You Can’t See (50 x 50 cm square on canvas) concern the impossibility of remembering everything that’s ever happened.


Spelling With Scissors, 2006, Installation, Capsule Gallery, Denver, Colorado.

What did your prices start off at?

I sold my first piece for $50; the last piece was sold for $5000. I’m relatively inexpensive considering today’s market.


A Book About Death, 2009, Installation,
Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery, New York City, NY .

How many artworks do you work on at the same time?

About a dozen at once, but sometimes more.


A Perfect Friend, 2003. Giclée print (after collage, from the book, A Perfect Friend).
76 x 56 cm. Edition: 3.

Do you have difficulties getting into galleries?

More and more galleries approach me to exhibit with them, but I find myself saying no to galleries that do not have a strong vision or worse, don’t even attempt to engage me or my work on an intellectual level. Communication is key to any collaboration with a dealer and if I find they are dishonest, lie, and/or don’t make an effort to get to know me, I’ll say no. I’m always working – 24 hours a day – and I expect dealers to be at least aware of this.  Better if they too are working like me.

What fascinates you?

The streets, walls, decay and printed paper blowing in the wind. People who drop things as they walk; radio programs from the 1940s.

One word or statement to describe your current works?

How everything and nothing often seem to be the same thing.

Why are you an artist?

I like the hours. Every since I studied semiotics at Brown University, I’ve taken advantage of my obsession with the visual in a larger more formal way as a way to organize and make sense out of my impossible life.

Is there any one thing that has given you a big buzz in your art career so far?

Several things, actually – books, publications, major purchases – but the launch of the global project, A Book About Death in New York at the Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery marked a distinct change in my orientation towards the world, art and art making.  See:  In addition, the inclusion of my work in MASTERS: COLLAGE, a large book recently published by Sterling Publishing/Lark Books has generated enormous interest in my work.

I’ve won an extremely big award at the MUFI stamp art museum in Mexico for my stamp art sheet Rubens Rounding Third.  Taking first prize and a large cash award enabled me to print up 1000 large format stamp sheets and, after signing and numbering the works, put them onto Keep Calm Gallery where we’ve been very successful in creating a buzz and finding an interesting market of stamp art folks, baseball fans and art collectors interested in this very sexually provocative work.  Winning the prize was a complete shock to me (and my father) but … I was pleased the folks down in Mexico liked it enough to give it top honors in the global competition.

Was there a big turning point in your art journey that caused you to think that “it’s all worthwhile”, or “oh yeah I get it…”?

I’ve always worked in collage and paint, but meeting (and writing about) Ray Johnson had a distinct effect on my work.  I “got” my own work. It made sense to me; I understood that making art was a highly focused way of thinking.  A kind of aesthetic breathing.

What caused you to choose the medium you currently work in?

I realized that with collage I could steal bits of the universe and make them my own; each tear or cut of a piece of paper became my signature.  The combinations, often surreal, became not just my way of seeing the world but seeing the world.  Plus, I’m very good with scissors and glue. And I’m able to work my vision rapidly, and this speed enables me to work more coherently with the incoherence of my own consciousness.  It’s truer, in a way.

You know you are successful in Visual Arts when…

People you’ve never met come over to your house and buy your art work for whatever price you say.  Or they try to steal little pieces of paper I’ve scribbled on.

Creative streaks do they come in waves for you?

I often make work in series of a dozen, 50, or 100 works at a time.  Once I sit down with a stack of paper or old magazines, I work like a  machine (with heart) until all the paper is consumed.  It’s more like a tornado than a tsunami (wave).  Then I sweep up and start again.

How important is the clarity of concept to you, prior to starting an artwork?

I don’t worry about clarity.  I trust myself. The whole point of making art is to see how I think; the process of making something is the process of thinking, reading, writing and understanding.

How important do you think craftsmanship is to artistic creation?

Craft is in the end, subjective.  Poorly crafted work is now a craft in-itself.  But you can tell what is conscious and what is not; editing is more important, in my opinion, than craft alone.

Does the sale of your work support you?

Now yes.  I sell my prints at Keep Calm Gallery in London, and collage works with a number of galleries as well as directly to collectors (even over the internet).  People e mail me all the time and come to visit my studio here in Paris to see and purchase my work.

Do you have much contact with other artists?

Through the global project, A Book About Death, and its subsequent restagings around the world, I’ve come in contact with artists in about 100 countries – about 2000 artists in the last year and a half.

Any upcoming or completely new projects you want to talk about?

As part of the recent book publication of MASTERS: COLLAGE (Sterling Publishing/Lark Books; 2010), Randel Plowman has organized a massive exhibition at Northern Kentucky University of the artists’ works.  I’m very happy to participate in the show that opens August 23 and runs thru September, 2010.

My solo show, SCARED BUT FRESH, at London’s Orange Dot Gallery is scheduled to open on October 6, 2010. My first one person exhibition in London.  I am preparing several prints for this show, including a hand pulled silkscreen print (edition: 100) of You-Me, with Michel Hosszù, and a large edition of my enormous collage work, Les Affaires; the latter will be a giclée print produced here in Paris through Burning Boy Press (

Working towards an exhibition, is it a daunting task?

Well, I’ve hung several exhibitions with more than 1000 pieces, so yes, it is daunting and time consuming – roughly three to four days to hang the entire exhibition – but almost as much a part of the works as making them in the first place.

Can you name a favourite artist or three… and why?

Ray Johnson, Jasper Johns and all the surrealists.  Not only did I gain a real understanding of materials and execution from both Johnson and Johns, but also a way to think about my work.  Clearly a sense of reading and writing impregnates my work, and these artists, as well as the surrealists, guided me by freeing me from classical perspective.

What about the role of titles with your work, some hate them others revel in them, what about you?

Titles are very important to me, regardless if I end up changing them over time. There is a distinct literary quality to my work and titles tend to indicate a direction to take in unpacking the visual puzzles. I’ve often taken long walks in the streets of Paris to find the right title for a piece; and those titles sometimes come from an overheard conversation, like “Les Affaires” which I plucked from two people discussing either business or their attire. Many titles are in German or in a kind of clipped English, because, for me words are images in and of themselves.  I just simply have to open myself up to this dimension of language to grasp the phrases that literally pour out of the sky.  Then once home, the titles and visual texts, are fused and cut and glued and applied in some way to the works, another aspect of the collage medium.

What is the most unexpected response you’ve received from a viewer of your work?

Early on my career, I showed a series of seven collage works combining Chinese-English flash cards at a friend’s apartment on Lafayette Street.  It was a large group show of sorts, and my friend Russell Steinert who was then working at Leo Castelli managed to co-opt a narrow wooden shelf, I believe from a Richard Serra installation.  The works, aligned on a wall, were simple word/image plays.  A card of a chicken and an an eye yielded : UNTITLED COCK EYE.  Well, that evening some intrepid art critic scribbled on the wall next to my works: C’est pas l’art! Ouch! It was curious that this was in French, and Russell said to me afterwards: Congratulations, Matthew, you had the best response to any of the works all night. From then on, I knew what I was doing was correct in each and every way.

Have you had much connection post sale with purchasers of your works?

Yes, collectors come back again and again and want to see new works, revisit older pieces I’ve sold them and discuss how I’m working.  It’s extremely rewarding because a sale isn’t just a monetary connection but one that’s both intellectual and social.  I’m grateful for those collectors who really have something to say and to teach me about what my work and methods mean to them. It’s a true gift.

Name a book or books, which may have inspired your work as an artist?

The art bio books like those about Pollock, de Kooning and Cornell (Utopia Parkway) are among those I’m always referencing.  But also criticism of all sorts interests me.  Some films like How To Draw A Bunny I’ve seen five – six times.  That film brought Ray Johnson’s work to a greater audience.  I think I learned how to remove surfaces from my work by thinking about these artists’ methods.  Sandpaper, knives, water, steel wool allowed me to scrape; subtraction rather than addition, is often a key way of working.

If someone says to you “Oh your work is decorative and lacks any meaning…” your response would be…?

Well, honey, then I guess it should be more expensive.

Some say a measure of an artwork is the ability for it to hold a persons attention or cause the viewer to come back after an initial glance and become captivated by the work, is that so for your works or an intention of yours?

I rarely find that people are bored by my work, and I think this is because I live full on in an aesthetic frame of mind.  I am intensely visual and creating things for me is a way to see what they look like. I believe that process is for others part of what they experience in my work. The eye reads the various passages – often again and again – and the mind consumes again and again if the pieces are successful. By looking at the piece, I’m trying to create a situation where the viewer “makes” the work and hears its strange song by singing it himself.

What is one thing you need to have in your studio before you work?

My mind. But a piece of paper and my No. 2 Big Ticonderoga pencil helps.

What or how do you respond to the term “Starving Artist”?

I actually get that a lot from people who don’t know me, hate my politics and hate my work without ever having experienced it. I don’t mind it.  If I weren’t starving, I don’t think I’d have much reason to make art.


Want to see more Artist Interviews the day they are posted? Subscribe and we automatically send you the latest post via email, it’s easy… click here to subscribe.

Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

Follow me on twitter!

Check out our other Art Site Loaded with creativity boosters, professional development strategies, investing/collecting art and activities for Artists and Students…

Art Buyers, who are they?

Ever thought about understanding buyers of art more, well now you can by checking out this article on them at Art Stuff.


Video – Del Kathryn Barton

The celebrated Australian Artist talks about her work.

Video – Diane Savona

Short sharp videos which give us a simple snapshot  into the life of an artist… I like that. This time it’s a textile artist, Diane Savona.

Exhibition – Obscura Gallery

Obscura Gallery presents…




Exhibition – Kona Howlett

A Photographer Chasing the Dream, This one’s in Geelong Victoria.



The students from Gipps tafe would love you to join them in celebrating the work they have done in their Art studies.



Including the wonderful abstract work of Paul Lorenz we interviewed him here…


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