Gillian Turner – Artist in Residence

I interviewed Gillian a while back and was amazed at her images while an artist in residence, she mentioned she would be doing another residency in Ireland so I invited her to write about the experience. Well here it is folks! Enjoy!

Gillian Turner

From 1 July to 1 August this year, I was an International Artist in Residence in the remote area of Ballinskelligs. Co.Kerry, Ireland. My home at Cill Rialaig was a restored famine cottage about 5km from the nearest village.

This remarkable artist retreat has six cottages, a Meeting House and laundry room. The view from my cottage door was astonishing: an uninterrupted vista across some remains of ancient cottages, over nearby fields to rugged a headland, then ocean and distant hills beyond the town of Waterville.

The changing colours were stunning and every morning was a delight – no matter what the weather – the light and colour were superb.

My cottage consisted of 4 rooms: kitchen, bathroom, loft bedroom and a large open area which is general living space and studio. The glass-ceiling studio is hidden from the road, and its modern design comes as a surprise after the rugged look of the stone exterior.

Light floods in and given the length of the summer days here, that amounts to a great deal even on days of continuous rain.  Experiencing the Irish landscape in such weather was great: the Atlantic Ocean pounding rocks, the sound of the sea all night and the cosiness of working inside while rain lashed down had its own special rewards. Apart anything else, I created some spectacular ‘rain works’  just outside my door!!

Over the four weeks there were  about 7 artists in residence plus me; most were from various parts of Ireland with one from Scotland, another from France, and myself being from somewhere impossibly distant! The atmosphere was welcoming and friendly but with understanding of the privacy that such an artists’ retreat needs. Some artists were there only for a week or ten days, others for two weeks. My four weeks residency was unusually long and an acknowledgement of the distance I’d travelled from Australia.

My other neighbours were sheep – flocks of them! These lovely animals provided me with some interesting wool to make brushes, and they are great characters as they wander with total freedom around the cottages and tracks. They will even try to visit the studio, and I was advised to keep the lower half of my door closed!

The peace of this place, the aloneness was comfortable, and one of the benefits of such a location where there is little distraction: no TV, no internet and no passing traffic. It allowed complete immersion in the process of creating art, of writing, and being at one with the land.

The wild flowers were superb in July, especially wild red fuchsia which was in abundance.

The walk to the beach cafe – the nearest  WIFI for internet, a decent coffee and chat with the locals – took nearly an hour. I could do it in about forty minutes, but the lure of photographing the landscape or writing about it was often more powerful than the desire for a coffee and reading emails!

Cill Rialaig is about being in the land, feeling its nearness and experiencing its many moods: silent shrouding fog that set my cottage in the clouds for two days, lashing rain and high winds from the Atlantic that occasionally rattled the roof and howled around all night, the breath-taking clarity of early morning light, and the stillness of the full moon on a warm evening. Yes, and even swimming on Ballinskelligs beach in the coldest sea on a very hot summer afternoon.

This residency also offered me time to write as well as continue my visual arts work. In the end, the two came together in what has become an ongoing project: The Wandering Skellig Monk – An Unexplained Journey.  Beginning as a poetic response to Skellig Michael (Great Skellig Rock), this developing fiction includes an extended poem, drawings, and the start of a ‘found artifacts’ collection that will, I hope, be part of an installed exhibition.

Cill Rialaig is a rare opportunity for artists and is in serious need of support. Artists pay only a nominal amount for electricity and water during their time in the cottage. Financially things are tight everywhere in Ireland, and this must necessarily impact on such a place as Cill Rialaig; it is located in one of the jewels of Ireland: the Ring of Kerry.

The landscape is stunning and the generosity of the locals is wonderful. I was offered the chance of a lifetime, and for that I am very grateful. The great news is that I’ll be returning to Ireland next year to work in the Burren, and then  returning to Cill Rialaig in 2014, which seems impossibly distant, but I look forward to immersing myself in the Kerry landscape again.

Gillian   November 2011



Gillian Turner Cill Rialaig














Exhibition – “Exchange”

The big Contemporary Visual Art project Amanda van gils has been working on. NOTE! many of these artists are interviewed right here! start searching!


Metro Award – Vincent Fantauzzo

Well Done to Vincent Fantauzzo


Brain Cohen makes Trax

An abandoned funeral parlour on Plenty Road in Preston first caught the eye of Brian Cohen from Trax while he was exploring the area for office space during a residency at the Preston Market in 2007-2009. After unsuccessful negotiations with owners of large office spaces, “they all wanted a lot for a little” says Brian, the disused and vandalised undertakers was an appealing prospect.

An online land title search cost just $15, presenting him with the owning company’s name. Further online research directed Brian to the address of a mall in Albury, which led him to the owner. He called immediately to learn that the owner hadn’t seen his property for some time and was shocked to hear it was vandalised. Brian proposed that for a low cost rental he would occupy the building as an arts and culture initiative, clean it up and establish a presence on the site.

The owner was in the process of securing a planning permit for the site, intending to build apartments, so while he agreed to the proposal he was hesitant to commit to any length of lease. Eventually he agreed to a six month minimum lease, which will continue month to month until he receives planning permission to redevelop. A number of locals have recently contacted Brian saying they have lodged objections, so the planned development is likely be 12 to 18 months away, meaning the tenants of the Parlour will have a home for longer.

Initially unsure how the artist population of the unique building (complete with chapel and mortuary) would develop, Brian put out a call for expressions of interest through several channels, including Creative Spaces, back in February. Within weeks the use of the building was fully mapped out with “the tenants that will launch and shape the work culture”, and a growing waiting list in place.

Brian will curate and manage The Parlour, joined by illustrators, bookmakers, textile makers, media artists, a recycled furniture designer and photographers (the mortuary will convert to a dark room). The building has needed a lot of cosmetic attention – painting, carpets, and windows – but the infrastructure is in healthy shape so refurbishment has mostly been undertaken by the tenants themselves.

Much of Brian’s work with Trax focuses on cultural development through creativity and collectivism, with collaborative digital, theatre and installation projects. He sees the Parlour as “an exciting curatorial challenge”. With such a short time in the space he hopes that he can still “encourage memories to be created” and that cross pollinations will occur with the collective creative network that has formed.

Brian also sees the Parlour and its tenants as “the seeds on the sock” on the much larger issue of encouraging cultural vitality with urban renewal and gentrification.

“There is a demonstrated need for affordable studio, office and gathering space for the creative class of the Inner North…without the opportunity for cultural activity to develop what will surround these grey five storey styro-crete constructions?” Asks Brian, who remarks that the character and colour of Preston reminds him of growing up around New York.

“Culture doesn’t just happen; it needs the right environments to flourish within. Long term, it’s mutually and economically beneficial for local government to implement considered cultural provisions around cultural activity. But by then our impending eviction would’ve impended, and we’ll be somewhere else, saying the same thing, again.”

The Chapel is now available for hire, read more.

Video – Maggie Brown

Check out this interview with Maggie on the tube… then go and do a search in here for the written one. 🙂

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Creative Spaces

More studio space than you can shake a stick at… Woo Hoo!


A delicious addition to the art scene

This is a rather neat addition to the art scene in Geelong Victoria, I like this sort of initiative and I think it’s worth a look!

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

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 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,


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

New work ideas – Steve Gray

Having moved house I am in the process of creating some new works, doing my bit to explore working in a new space and wanting to explore notions around landscape but with the intent of tackling surface and to some degree patina. I mixed a small batch of  acrylic and forged on.

I have been acutely aware of the surrounding landscape and skies, with the view over our back fence on to a simple but very interesting area. (Those who check out my Facebook images will see what I mean.) I have purposefully worked in a near black print look as a starting point, to get away from my recent “White on White” Pastel look which hit me strongly about the time of the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria.

It seems odd somehow, I would want to create some imagery which is more akin to obvious fire remains than the white works. but these are more like sketches to explore some possibilities and options

Here’s a link to earlier works this month.

Now the newer offerings, again Acrylic on A3 Heavy watercolour Paper.










A fresh set of works – Steve Gray

In this series of works I have worked with subtle acrylic colours and kept the palette to a minimum. It’s very hard doing white on white photo’s, so please forgive the colour cast/s

Size is A3 on heavy water colour paper.










June 2010 – Steve Gray – New works

I found myself tackling some new works the other day, I was torn as to which way to go… Follow an older line of work, create anew and head towards a more patina’d effect, both or.. no stuff it, it’s in a new work space so I thought. time to give some things a try. Older image but almost a reverse, more black than white, so here they are…

Works on paper, Acrylic wash and paint.

Are they figures dancing, trees burning, lost souls aching, me being me, darkness becoming light, knowledge being free, none of the above…





The interview Steve Gray

Street\Studio book launch

We’ve managed to keep this pretty quiet – now it’s finally ready.

STREET/STUDIO By Alison Young, Ghostpatrol, Miso & Timba Smits

Featuring work by Niels Oeltjen / Tom Civil / Tai Snaith / Ghostpatrol /
Ash Keating / Al Stark / Miso / Twoone / Mic Porter and the Everfresh Crew

“Through a series of intimate conversations, Street/Studio offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how street art has entered the mainstream and become one of the most collectable new art forms. It offers an unparalleled insight into the work of ten of Australiaís most influential, dynamic and creative artists living in Melbourne.”

Join us for the official launch of Street/Studio
4th of June at 7pm, No Vacancy Project Space, Federation Square Atrium, Melbourne
This will be the first chance to get your hands on this book and have it signed by the artists and authors. A handful of original Ghostpatrol watercolours have been randomly inserted into 10 of the books available on the opening night.

If you can’t make the opening night keep an eye out for:

6 June ::: Sunday 2pm :::
Screening of Exit through the Gift Shop
the new Bansky film at ACMI and panel with Miso and Alison Young, followed by book signing at 5pm

12 June ::: Saturday 1pm :::
Book signing with Miso, Ghostpatrol and Alison Young
Outre Gallery, 249 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
+ surprises

15 June ::: Tuesday 6.30pm :::
Book signing with Alison Young, Miso, Ghostpatrol, Niels and Meggs
Readings Carlton

For those outside Melbourne there will be additional signings around Austrlia annoucned soon on the offical website,
you can also preorder a copy here

– Miso and Ghostpatrol at the National Portrait Gallery
– Ghostpatrol Junior Talk online
– Keep up to with the ghostpatrol ‘deathtron mountain‘ blog
– New ghostpatrol pasteups
– Visit the new Nice Produce website

thanks for reading
-david ghostpatrol

Radio Interview – Kaye Green

Kaye Green will be interviewed on ABC radio National on Sunday morning between 10-11am if you’re near a radio. or if you want you can hear it here as the link is already up.

Kaye has been interviewed here and is currently in the midst of an exhibition based around her exploits at the Tamarind Institute in the USA. It’s at the Sidespace Gallery in Salamanca Place Hobart Tasmania. from Feb 25 – March 9 2010.

Open studios – Drouin and District Vic Australia

Dear Art Lovers,
We are very excited to announce that Drouin & District ‘Open Studios’ are on again this coming Sunday, the 14th of February from 10am – 5pm!
Myself and 10 other artists will open the doors to our studios and welcome you to discover more about our creative process and our practice as professional artists.
If you require more specific details please don’t hesitate to contact myself or the organizer, Helen Timbury on 56 251 999.
I really look forward to seeing you on the day if you can make it.
Warm Regards,
Kerrie Warren
KW Abstract Art

Burning Desire Creates Field of view…


2010 will see many Visual Art events emerge, some large others small… However this one event has already etched it’s place in the artists taking part.

Fields of View is an exhibition featuring 5 Visual Artists all affected by the Black Saturday fires of Feb 2009, from directly fighting fires to save their homes, to standing on the edge of the firezones watching and waiting… then in the aftermath all counted their blessings, conferred various stories and carried on.

Only now with a renewed interest in the way their now changed lives had instantly become more precious, Artworks evolved, giving them a chance to explore and communicate the issues all had experienced.

Couple this with the fact all are passionate about the environment and their role as Environmental Expressionists and you have a fantastic mix of impetus and context with which to present their works.

Over the next few weeks I will have the opportunity to share with you some aspects of the exhibition and the way the Artists express their environmental concerns and inspirations.

When artists get together the collective power to obtain media interest is tangible… They called it ‘Artists respond to tragedy’ take the link to hear the artists interviewed on the black saturday fires and see some of their work!

Here are some images from the first opening of the exhibition at Maffra Vic.







Update – Bruno Quinquet

Bruno Quinquet who I interviewed 12 months ago has had a great chunk of media attention with this feature article in the London Contemporary Photography magazine HotShoe, Some great photo’s!


The British publisher Thames & Hudson is preparing a book called “Street Photography Now” which will feature his “Salaryman” project, in the company of forty+ international photographers, including members of the renown Magnum agency.
In April, he will exhibit a new body of work at the Institut Franco Japonais in Tokyo, with 9 other french photographers.
Great work Bruno! Just remember dear readers, you probably read about him here first!

Start Looking – Art Videos online

I love it when I find another great Art Resource.

This one has all sorts of video interviews with artists. Enjoy!


Exhibition – Fields of View – opening dinner


Mr. Ted Baillieu, Shadow Minister for the Arts will be officially opening the presentation of ‘Fields of View‘ & launch of a new arts movement ‘Environmental Expressionism‘ in Queen’s Hall, Parliament House Melbourne on Friday night the 5th of February 2010.  Artists Leonie Ryan, Peter Biram, Ursula & Werner Theinert and Kerrie Warren would like to invite you to celebrate this occasion and join us for the very special dinner in Queen’s Hall.

‘Fields of View’ is a touring exhibition of works based on the Black Saturday Fires, which affected all artists involved to varying degrees.
Two artists in particular, Werner and Ursula Theinert were directly affected by the fire which ravaged their property in Callignee Victoria, destroying much of their property including their studio and artwork.  They have since rebuilt their lives and have found healing through their new works which will tour as part of the ‘Fields of View’ exhibition through selected State Galleries in Victoria to reach the wider community.

We do hope you can join us and support this project.  If you would like any additional information, please contact me (details below). or take this link to see the invite.

An RSVP is required before the 25th of January by contacting Gary Blackwood MLA Member for Narracan
Phone: 03 5623 1960 or Email:

Thanks for  your interest, please feel welcome to forward this information on to anyone else who may be interested.

Kerrie Warren

New year, new starts…

2010, the start to a new year brings lots of thoughts, trepidation, niggling doubts, annoyances and some what if moments meander though my head.

The galleries are soon to open again, will the year herald a few big hurrahs and some desperate wimpers this time round? Who knows, as often the wimpers can turn into roars and vice versa.

Of note, the Midsumma festival starts soon in Melbourne (go google your own links…) and Ricky Sweallow is on show and the Ian Potter gallery, although judging by the look on viewers faces yesterday it was all a bit blah, this coupled the $10ish entry made me say… hmmm nup.

It looks like a hot start to the year (temperature wise) and hopefully what’s on offer in the galleries will inspire and delight, we can only hope!

Have a great year, and let me know if you have a show on, an art event coming up etc…. 🙂

VIP Art Event 2010…

This is set to be a big event for the Artists involved, but also a great event for those with an interest in Art and the incredible chance to dine at Parliament house in Victoria. Book early so you don’t miss out… Note most of the artists have been interviewed right here, take a search and see their works and what’s driving them…

To find out more about the Environmental Expressionists art movement take the link and see more. The evening will also serve as a fundraiser to create scholarships for prospective Visual Art Students at TAFE level.

The event will also showcase works from each of the Artists in the Fields of View traveling exhibition.


Evolution series, the first images – Steve Gray


Here are a few images of the first stencil paintings I have done… results are okay so far. this comes from an earlier post about the idea check it out here.




I’m liking the texture and the colours are so far just three off whites.

Evolution of an art series – Steve Gray

Hi All this should be a short log of a new series I am about to launch into, drop by and see what happens as I work to produce a bunch of pieces. Cheers Steve Gray….


I’ve had an Art idea in my head for some time now, even while creating the last “Harm” series, which was a big part of the Regionalis group show I was part of earlier in 2009.  It will use similar colours, I still have a few containers of those colours from that series and will aim to use similar paint application. I will be doing it with acrylics on heavy cotton rag water colour paper about 5 x 7 size, so they should be quick and flow readily (I can only hope!)

The first of two cutout "stencils"

The first of two cutout "stencils"

From the Harm series (see the direct log I wrote on it.) you can see the colours and read about my approach to that bunch of images and the concepts etc. Mainly though check out the images around July in the log I wrote, which uses the word harm white on white on canvas, with heavy textures. The way the words went on (paint wise) and the subtlety grabed my attention, so this new series is an attempt to explore this.

It will almost be a study, but I err to see it purely as such and am thinking of it as an essence approach to the whole colour and texture devices used earlier. Some will be thinking I probably should have done this lot first before starting the harm series as a study into the colours and textures.

Both stencils ready to go.

Both stencils ready to go.

So with two stencil I am aiming to leave the edges as raw paper for ease of framing and the top one will create different textural arrangements on the page.

Concept… Probably looks to the average viewer as a simple exercise in colour but those who have checked out the harm series would be a little skeptical of such a simplistic view. So lets see what develops…

Me – Studio sort time….

I had the chance to do some sorting in the studio, major work has come to a halt post Regionalis exhibition, but some drawings and other media on paper are wanting to emerge. Those familiar with my Harm series will note the cutout effect I used for the text I want to use with symbols etc in future works, should lead to some interesting outcomes… But I digress.

Sorting the studio, ok it’s a garage, but the time had come and so I spent a chunk of time sorting the bits and pieces out… my other work and its various equipment is now vying for some serious space takeover options. Not good but hey it pays the bills!

I wonder how many other artists have to juggle their space with about four other sets of items jammed in their? Things of mine, my works, my equipment and my wife’s bits and pieces, the list is growing!

Sorting should give me the impetus to do the works on paper… draw paint, make it all happen, and save some storage space too!


Steve Gray

Golden Plains Art Trail

Today, Sunday the 25th Oct 09 I went to check out the Golden Plains Shire art trail, its in the western district of Victoria. Many farms and very small communities yet with a heap of Visual Artists and Craftspeople. It was a great weekend (I only got to the Sunday Part) and met a bunch of Artists from realistic to abstract, crafty to conceptual… All up I think I did about 270 klms! It would be fantastic to see other regions do this sort of thing as the turnout of viewers and artists was solid! Well done to the organisers, now to hassle my regional arts and culture people to do a similar thing! 🙂


For more info check out the website of the golden plains shire.

Black Saturday radio stories

ABC radio in Gippsland has been interviewing people about their experiences in the Black Saturday fires which devastated communities in the region, here three Contemporary Visual Artists chat about their work in the aftermath of the fires and their experiences on the day… HUGE!

Kerrie Warren

Werner and Ursula Theinert

Art in action

While an exhibition Steve Gray is part of (Regionalis), is set for mid August 09 at red gallery, it doesn’t stop him from working! Here you can see some of what Steve has been up to, as he logs a journal with pics of where he’s at now. Take a look. You may recall he was interviewed here earlier


Warren gets New York Magazine kudos

News flash, well not quite ,as it was from last month, but great news none the less! New York Magazine Gallery and Studio published this article on Kerrie Warren’s Exhibition and works… Well Kerry you must be very pleased to get these great comments, especially in the lead up to more exhibitions like Regionalis. Well done!

New York magazine Gallery and Studio and Kerrie Warren's NY Exhibition in June 09

New York magazine Gallery and Studio and Kerrie Warren's NY Exhibition in June 09

Meet the Red Bubble Guy!

You are invited to the next hive melbourne event with Peter Styles from on July 14th. go to the site and see the details, it’s free and usually a great event! bookings ESSENTIAL! (that’s for details and to RSVP on facebook)
Scroll down when you get to the site, to the melb event with Peter… Smile

Reko Rennie Gets Grant.

Reko Rennie, Paris Residency, well done!


Black Saturday – A Tale of Two Artists

Art provides us with many journeys, opportunities and challenges, however few would have been expecting the tragic situation which occurred in Victoria on Black Saturday and would be thinking of it as a driver or motivator for art works. Two Contemporary Australian Artists Ursula and Werner Theinert were caught in the fire and lived, and are now able to share their harrowing experience with us.

I am pleased to say they have seemingly come out with only a few “scars”, (For regular readers you will know Ursula as one of our interviewees and also her contribution of a story on her first solo exhibition.) Both Artists will be part of at least two exhibitions later in 2009 – 10, Regionalis and Fields of View, you can track those shows via each website over the coming months.

Now, their incredible the story…


ursula-at-callignee1  werner-at-callignee1

My name is Ursula Theinert and my husband Werner and I are artists who live in Callignee.  Callignee was one of the areas which suffered terribly in the Black Saturday Fires of 7th of February, 2009.

We stood and fought this dreadful fire and managed to save our home, though badly damaged, but lost our studio, workshop and garages and all that was stored within.  This meant of course all the tools and stored treasures, but most upsetting of all were the many paintings, etchings, sketches, photographs and sculptures and five years of art materials.

We love our little mud brick home way up in the hills south of Traralgon Victoria.  Our farmlet is surrounded by farms, quarries and plantations.  The area inspires our art and as Environmental Expressionists, we feel passionately about the environment and believe art is an important vehicle to encourage insights and discussions into the many complex issues which are confronting us all.  I mostly paint and Werner photographs.

As you can imagine we were deeply shocked by this frightening experience, but have managed to begin rebuilding our lives with the great help and support of many kind and generous people who have helped us emotionally, financially and psychologically deal with this trauma.

The sharing of this story is to help others understand the events of that day and even though we feel, and are incredibly lucky and fortunate to have survived it will also assist us in coming to terms with our experiences and loss.

Our day unfolded….. Everyone knows what a terribly hot day that Saturday was, and we were expecting Werner’s brother’s family from Tasmania and had the house in readiness for a fun weekend.  The temperature climbed and we asked  them  to stay in Melbourne because the heat was causing rail problems and there were dangerous fires in the Bunyip area (to the west).  Indeed, we were intently listening to the A.M. radio station 774, and watching the weather satellite and CFA websites because we were concerned for our friends near this ever growing fire.

Our hearts sank when we heard there was a new fire coming from Churchill and heading towards Mt. Tassie, which is only a few kilometres away from us.  When we heard there was a wind change coming, we knew we were in serious trouble.  We had always planned to stay and fight a fire, but we felt very tense and frightened when we realized all our fears were becoming a reality.  We silently went into setting our ‘Fire Plan’ into the final stages of readiness, preparing ourselves we started the pumps and began watering. 

The smoke turned the day into night and then we heard IT!!!  The sound of the fire approaching was like a 747 airliner coming into land.  The wind was gusting and we found it very hard to breathe.  We had torches in our pockets and had to use them because even though it was only about 5 o’clock, it became pitch black.  Well until we could see the glow off in the distance.  The power went off but we still had the petrol fire pump and kept on watering.  

Then we saw the glow grow brighter and started back towards the house.  The embers came for only a few minutes and then we had to make a desperate run for the house as the fire ball struck.  The flames were like a giant blow torch blowing past our house.  Embers came through the door gaps.  Smoke and flames crept into our study roof and we began the fight with wet towels and buckets.  We lost the fight at first with the smoke driving us out of the study.  We stood in the kitchen and witnessed the fire exploding all the surrounding trees.  Our workshop and studio and our neighbours house were all being devoured.  Night turned into a horrific searing daylight!

We were becoming quite frightened now, because the smoke was filling the house and it was too dangerous to go outside.  It was a dilemma, but we were choking and had to leave.  Luckily, we had a small alcove outside in our entrance area and it was that little space, which saved us during the continuing firestorm.

When the fire eased a little Werner ran to the fire pump, but it had been destroyed, as were all our fire hoses.  Our outside buckets had melted down to the water line, the bungalow was now on fire and the water inside the house and the bungalow could not be reached because of the acrid smoke.

We had felt again in terrible straits but then realized that our swim spa’s 6,00 litres of water was our only hope.  We gathered together some buckets and began the long and difficult task of putting out several fires with only the water from the spa.  We had many moments of fear that our efforts would fail because the fire was so stubborn and resisted our efforts.  We continued to bucket water and do continual checks around the house and bungalow until 3 a.m. we were physically and mentally exhausted! 

We will never forget watching the fires all around  in the early hours of Sunday, holding each other’s hands and realizing how lucky we were to have survived this harrowing  ‘Black Saturday’.

In the smoky dawn we saw the aftermath of that night and we fell into a kind of shock as our minds came to terms with this experience and the losses of most of our artwork, art materials and tools.


It takes quite some time to actually realize what has been lost and feel rather overwhelmed to think about beginning from scratch.  Of course, many things can be rebuilt and bought anew, but many other things cannot!

Werner was terribly upset because he was just about to retire and had been working extremely hard to prepare his workshop and finish all of the house projects.  He had lost his extensive collection of tools, and nearly all of his photographs. 

In the following weeks he had some good fortune and managed to retrieve his saved photographic files on his computer hard drive.  He was particularly fortunate because the fire had seriously damaged the study and destroyed all of his back-up drives.  It was a happy day when on newly bought computers he could save some of these files and have his photographs reprinted.

In the days following the fire good people overwhelmed us with their generosity and gave us the support and encouragement to start again.

We have rebuilt our garage and have begun gathering together tools to help us begin again.  Werner has reprinted most of his photographs, and we both have begun on a new series of work inspired by the devastation and regeneration of both nature and humankind.

Our artistic journey continues and has in some ways been strengthened by the Black Saturday Fires.  We were determined to carry on and exhibited in Art Melbourne in April.  I have completed my first painting after the fires called ‘Ashes to Ashes’, and I have just begun another painting.

Werner and I are only a small part of the whole of Victoria affected by the Black Saturday Fires.  We all felt under siege and suffered stresses and hardships, each to their own circumstances.  What was also shared was the bonding of that terrible summer and the soul searching caused by the events of that day.  Out of the darkness of the fires came the great spirit of the community and our country to help and heal each other.

The Black Saturday Fires were life changing events and Werner and I feel incredibly lucky and will never forget all the support and kindnesses, and will carry all of these incredible and touching experiences into our future.


Ursula Theinert 2009

Here is one of Ursula’s works, post Black Saturday called “Ashes to Ashes”.


Thanks Ursula, for the graphic account of a day many of us will struggle to forget, Steve Gray.

empty shop – space – gallery!

This is an interesting Visual Arts initiative… well worth a look

Artists & Makers


Great for places wanting to cut through the recession relics (empty shops!) and add cultural depth to the community.

The A5 show – “Right Here, Right Now…”



“Right Here, Right Now…” A show of contemporary art works created by you, and you! It’s easy, put your thinking caps on… consider the theme, “Right Here, Right Now…” It could mean so many things to so many people.

Here’s the page to view the works.


  1. Create a contemporary artwork (any medium) in an A5 size 148.5mm x 210 (half an A4).
  2. Scan it, digital photo etc. Make sure it’s a great quality jpg file please.
  3. Clearly label it, write a few lines to give us an idea of how you interpreted the theme, then Email it with the details, (Artist’s name, where from and medium, to )
  4. I will add it to a page of works people can view on line and you can link to.

Closing date: 23/5/09 Be quick!

Conditions of entry: 

Kerrie and Angela were first up. Thanks!

Hey I like the idea of online exhibitions,  you can write it up on your CV when you have contributed… Why not? So help me out here, and give me some ideas for a theme or three we can use. Jot it in a comment and I will put the ideas together and see what happens next.

Now it’s Dooney TV…

Self promotion? Yep, Hazels got something going on…

Now it’s Dooney TV!

Dooney in five or so questions…

Hazel Dooney is popping up all over the place lately, amazing what some social media, a few good interviews and some other bits can do (like media savvy).

Chances are though that  you read about her here first! 🙂


6pm – 11pm, Friday 29th MAY. One Night ONLY 
38 Hutchinson St, East Brunswick, Melbourne 

Pigeon Hole Artist collective announces its next Group event Featuring the art, performances and music of over 14 collaborators. 
Providing a context outside of the gallery circuit, the pigeon hole hosts art events where paintings share the space with performers, sculptures and people looking for a stimulating alternative to more conventional art experiences. 

Floating exhibition walls, flying performers, walk around sculptures – experience the visual, audio, artistic theme-park in between 6pm and 11pm, Friday 29th MAY. 


News from Carol

Carol Es who was interviewed here earlier  has some exhibitions on the boil and some new work… check out where and what she’s up to next… Carol’s news. Oh and an amazing review! Hey remember  you found out about here here first! 🙂

Fields of View

Artist’s Leonie Ryan, Peter Biram, and Kerrie Warren together with Ursula and Werner Theinert will share their individual visions, questions and raw emotion through their focus of the aftermath of their own experiences of the Black Saturday fires in Victoria.

Fields of View will be a thought provoking exhibition, which presents a variety of perspectives and perceptions about the environment we live in as seen through the eyes, hearts and minds of five passionate Australian artists.


The disastrous firestorms in the summer of 2009 were a reminder that environmental issues are in the forefront of the collective psyche of the entire country. This was made even more poignant with Ursula Theinert, whose work has for the last few years revolved around forest management issues and who along with Werner, lost years of work and research marterial whilst defending their home at Callignee from the fires.

The entire foundation group were involved within these fire-ravaged regions making them stronger and more determined to use the arts as a vehicle to promote environmental issues.

Each artist will explore and push boundaries through their own unique style and mediums.

The exhibition will be staged at various venues in Victoria and should be an amazing insight into an incredibly debilitating event from a Visual Arts perspective.

For more details check out the web site.

Regionalis – an Artistic insight

News just to hand, about an exhibition to be seen later in 2009 will showcase the works of six Artists and their response to “Artists on the Environment”.

The group show will feature emerging and mature Contemporary Artists from Victoria. Details of the exhibition to be shown at Docklands Gallery Dukes, are still being thrashed out. Details to follow…

have you been watching… reading?

Sometimes I just get a bit behind with lots of things happening, but we should check out that which jumps up and grabs us… for me it’s the odd blog or three, Hazel Dooney’s blog caught my eye today… What about you?

You know you want to…

Anthony Lister Video

Art classes

Sharon Anderson will be holding a photo screenprinting workshop on the Sat 4th and Sun 5th of April. 
Also a Basic drawing Still life & portraits using pencil, charcoal and my favourite medium pastel.
This is 5 sessions starting Sun afternoons, May 3rd until 31st May at ARC in Yinnar Vic.
There are a few other great workshops this semester including Blacksmithing with Bruce Beamish and Botanical Drawing with Laurie Andrews.

Check out the ARC website for more info and if you can please pass this info on to anyone you think may be interested.
contact ARC ph 51 631 310

Recent works – Steve Gray

These are recently done works on paper, I ran out of canvas so this is the next best thing! note the very light last image is mainly white on white, very hard to get  a photo to do justice to the image a lot of texture there to be seen in the flesh.









Life drawing with a twist…

This seems like an interesting idea I like a new twist on an old theme.

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