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.

Creative Spaces

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


Draw! – Classes with Erika Gofton, Melbourne

When you want to draw and live in the Melbourne area, who better to learn off than a Contemporary Visual Artist who really knows her stuff!

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.


Resale Royalty Scheme – Australia

The Australian Government’s Resale Royalty scheme is about to take effect on the 9th of June 2010.

The royalty will apply to works by living artists and lasts for 70 years after death – so currently to all artists who died after 1941.

Basically, all such works of art purchased after the 8th of June 2010 will be subject to a resale royalty of 5% when next sold.
Importantly, all works purchased before that date will be exempt on the next sale – but not subsequent sales.

For example
If you buy a work on the 1st of June 2010 and sell in 2013, the royalty will not apply. If you buy it on 15th of June 2010 and sell in 2013 it will apply. If the work is a Streeton, (who died in 1943) you pay; if you defer the sale to 2014 you won’t.
Royalties will apply to sales of $1,000 including GST and over.

Resale Royalty is triggered by a change of ownership – and this includes inheritance and gift. So, a painting bought in 2005 and then inherited or gifted in 2015 and then sold in 2020 will attract the 5%.

Demonstration of exemption for future sales will rely on providing evidence. The collection agency (CAL) is advising collectors to make an inventory of their current holdings as at 8th June 2010, and lodge it with their accountant.

I have asked, but received no answer, about the status of ‘internal’ sales eg between say John Smith’s personal collection, Smith Investments Pty Ltd, Smith Superannuation Fund, etc. I suggest that if you are contemplating any such move, that you take professional advice and act before the 8th of June 2010 if applicable.

The same will apply to any works of art you are currently contemplating buying. Any sale finalized before the starting date will at least be exempt on the next sale.

The above is essentially a matter of law, not art. I’m not a lawyer, and don’t fully understand the ramifications and complexity of the situation. This email is offered as a friendly suggestion and not as professional advice. It is made without liability.

Charles Nodrum

Director, Charles Nodrum Gallery

Recent Aussie Visual Art news

Recent Art Awards were announced and here are some of the winners..

Cairns-based painter Ian Waldron has won the $35,000 Glover Prize for landscape painting for his work Cockle CreekImants Tillers, one of this year’s judges, said Waldron was the first Indigenous Australian to win the Glover.

Danie Mellor has won the $15,000 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing for his diptych The Offerings (A Custom Ritual). The work was selected from a field of 407 entries by judge Cathy Leahy, senior curator of drawings and prints at the National Gallery of Victoria. ”These are impressive and memorable drawings. The enigmatic encounter represented in them, together with their impressive formal qualities and complexities of meaning, invite sustained contemplation,” she commented.
Also shortlisted for the award were Mostyn Bramley-MooreDagmar E CyrullaDavid Fairbairn and Sallie Moffatt.

Scott Bycroft has won the $25,000 National Photographic Portrait Prize for his portrait of teenager Zareth Long at a school swimming carnival. Bycroft won out over a field of 43 finalists, including Australian Art Collector photographer Stephen Oxenbury, who was shortlisted for his portrait of Owen Yalandja.

Gosia Wlodarczak has won the inaugural non-acquisitive $10,000 Stanthorpe Art Festival prize for her drawing Lawrence Armchair Graphite.

Kim Buck has won the $5,000 Limestone Coast Art Prize for her charcoal drawing Faithless (the weight of it all).

Carmen Reid has won the $10,000 Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize.

Tanmaya BinghamTitania HendersonJohn KellyMarco LuccioSaffron Newey and Julie Shiels are among the artists shortlisted for the open medium $15,000 Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize.

Among those named finalists in the Glover Prize, $30,000 landscape painting award are Rodney PopleStephanie TabramMegan WalchPhilip WolfhagenHelen WrightNicholas Blowers,Neil HaddonKristin Headlam and David Keeling. The winner will be announced on 5 March 2010.

William EicholtzKate RohdeJud WimhurstLouise ParamorCaroline Rothwell and Jonathan Leahey are among the artists shortlisted for the McClelland Sculpture Survey & Award, to be announced in November 2010.

Painter Michael Zavros has been selected by the Lismore Regional Gallery to judge the Northern Rivers Portrait Prize.

Gabrielle Jones has been awarded a residency at the Valparaiso Foundation, Mojacar, Spain. She intends travel in late 2010 or in 2011.

These results are from the Australian Art Collector Magazine.

Fields of view – Interview Peter Biram

Peter Biram


Tell us about the works you have created for this series of exhibitions.

My current body of work is exploring the recent 2009 Black Saturday bushfires this links into previous works exploring the theme of ‘land ownership’ and ‘usage’ within an environmental framework. This relationship includes traditional and non-traditional interaction with the land. This work reads on several layers-

  1. Mark making

On this level the viewer processes the work on a surface level, that is to say the paint texture and colour of the work. The work at this level can be read in decorative terms.

  1. Subject

At this level the viewer reads the work as a landscape, within this framework the observer can interpret the geometric forms as pure decoration.

  1. Conceptual Narrative

Within this theme of land ownership I am exploring the pressure that is placed on the land in an environmental sense both in a western/ European standpoint (In some works I use the ‘hard edged ’Motifs or symbols’ ) and the koorie perspective, (the dots).

I am also exploring the fine balance that exists in the natural environment, some of my past works explore this theme of ‘Balance.

This is to say “Order & Chaos” found within nature and the balance of power shifting between the two states.

Many of my compositions are deliberately broken into two sections symbolizing the two states of chaos & order, the fine balance of nature is placed under pressure re land “caretakership”.

Within this framework I have explored both contemporary ownership symbolized by various motifs which is usually  in the bottom half of the composition.(from a European standpoint)

The ‘hard edged’ nature of the chosen motifs or symbols’ also represents past civilizations, this presents a symbol of ‘land ownership’ in the sense of  ‘branding’ the land.

I also usually choose hard edge shapes because of its direct contrast to the soft organic nature of the bush motif. This also symbolizes human kind’s influence on the natural landscape.

How has the environment shaped the art you produce?

The concern for the natural environment has always plays a large part of my life. Art can be a powerful platform or a stage that one can express concepts or concerns. In this case I express the ever- growing concerns over the natural environment. In this form my focus is towards human kind and the relationship human kind has with the natural environment with special attention to ‘land usage’.


What does being an environmental expressionist mean to you?

I have major concerns over the future with regards over the natural environment, and art is an excellent vehicle for expressing these ideas. If we subscribe to these views one can take this to the next level, as collective voice in the form of an art movement, this is why I founded the new art movement – ‘Environmental Expressionism’ ,to more effectively pass on the message

Australian landscape is a well represented genre, what do you think Fields of View and your own work adds to the genre?

The paintings which have established a permanent place in the Australian heritage are usually those which depict the ‘typical’ Australian landscape or express an aspect of Australian character.

This is the common demoninator  which surpasses the changes in genre, style, and me  and links such paintings as Tom Roberts’ The Breakway, Arthur Boyd’s Wimmera Landscape and ShoalHaven series, Sir Hans Hysen’s Spring Early Morning, Russell Drysdale’s The Rabbiters and finally Fred Williams Upwey,Lysterfield and Pilbara series, to name a few.

Paintings themselves emerge as valuable, known and loved works but it would be impossible to present Great Australian Paintings on the basis of judgment of individual paintings. Rather, this book is a salute to the founders of Australian tradititions in art, artists whose successors are even now enriching that tradition in new ways.

The first great school of Australian painting is well represented in this volume. This was time of he ‘golden era’ of painting in the 1880’s and 1890’s, the time of artists like Roberts, Condor, Streeton and McCubbin. With the light of the French Impressionist movement, they were the first to capture the true vision of the country, to break away from the idealised interpretatons that went before.

It is my hope my work has followed, with no less distinction, by the paintings of this age – each new work I undertake will hopefully be discovering and illuminating a new element in Australian landscape or scene.

What sorts of messages are you communicating with your work?

I am an environmental expressionist painter. The paintings explore the theme of questionable land ownership and usage within an environmental framework. This relationship includes traditional and non-traditional interaction. I examine the pressure that is placed on the land in an environmental sense including the fine balance that exists in the natural environment. I usally break my paintings into two sections symbolizing the two states of chaos & order, with special attention to the effects of the Victorian bush fires of 2009.


What makes this exhibition so important people should go and see it?

Fields of View presents a variety of perspectives and perceptions about the environment, through the eyes, hearts and minds of five passionate Australian artists. Artists Leonie Ryan, Kerrie Warren, Peter Biram, together with Ursula and Werner Theinert share their individual visions, emotion’s and concepts about the environment including individual experiences of the Black Saturday bush fires.

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!


A site for emerging Visual Artists…

I like to think my Art sites are the only ones out there… but thankfully they aren’t and every now and then I get to check out others. Here’s one that came up today which has some great information for emerging artists!

Carolyn Edlund has an active blog with interviews and ideas to get the ball rolling, well done Carolyn.

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.


Art Shop for sale… You know you want it!

Leonie Barton from Art Depot wrote asking for a hand in mentioning her business is up for sale… Go on buy her out, you know you want an art store…  you can rummage to your hearts content, meet budding artists and enjoy the ambiance, and in a nice area too! 🙂

Dear Steve…

“I have an art supply store on Sydney’s northern beaches that houses my studio, is beautifully filled with natural light, 2 mins walk to the beach for lunch or afterwork dip and blessed with a wonderful customer base including Bruce Goold, Kerrie Lester and other award winning artists. Sadly (due to one of my childrens health) I am putting the shop up for sale. I realise that normally it would be innapropriate to ask you to include this information in one of your posts but “mothers love” and a need to be out of here by christmas sometimes pushes us to ask the necessary questions. For whomever comes into the shop it is a chance to cash in on the christmas surge. Can you help me ? I hope this note finds you well.”

Yours Sincerely

Leonie Barton

Studio 7 Chelsea Lane
48 Old Barrenjoey Road
Avalon Beach
NSW 2107
02-9918 2009
0414 963 332

Art Classes – Geelong Region

ARTWORX – 136 Ryrie Street, Geelong

Pastel Portrait and Landscape workshops

The Painting Portraits with Pastel workshop explains the basic principals in a step by step approach to building a likeness, while finding and growing a talent for portraiture. The Pastel Landscape and Flowers workshop explores an impressionistic approach to capturing the beauty of flowers using the pastel medium. Demonstrates the basics of colour, composition and technique. Artist: Faye Owen.

Dates: Painting Portraits with Pastel – 9 October 2009
Pastel Landscape and Flowers – 23 October 2009
Times: 10.00am to 3.00pm
Cost: $120 per adult

Illustration Workshop

Learn to draw with international writer and illustrator Conny Fechner in a day. Draw and paint with pen, ink wash, colour pencil and water colour paint. Harness the quirky artist within. Explore your creative skills and combine your favourite person, place and things in your own special piece.

Dates: 14 October and 17 October 2009
Times: 10.00am to 3.00pm
Cost: $120 per adult

Kids Art Classes

Inspire your children to be creative. Let them travel on an inspirational journey with art educator and artist Karen McGlynn. Classes are held in a friendly and caring environment. Classes include drawing and illustrating using pencils, inks and pastels as well as Manga drawing, painting, mixed media and scrapbooking. Ages range from 6 to 14 years. Please bring a snack and art smock.

Dates: To 17 November 2009
Times: Tuesday and Wednesday 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Cost: $120 for six weeks

Adult Art Classes

Artworx has adult workshops to reveal every person’s hidden artist. Come on your own or with a group of friends and enjoy the comfort of a creative environment with well-known art educator and artist Karen McGlynn. Learn to draw and illustrate in pen, acrylic paints and mixed media.

Dates: To 17 November 2009
Times: Tuesday 10.00am to 2.00pm, Wednesday 10.00am to 12.00pm
Venue: Artworx, 136 Ryrie Street, Geelong
Cost: $120 for six weeks
Contact: (03) 5229 4677

BROUGHAM SCHOOL OF ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY – Level 1, 73 Malop Street, Geelong

Drawing Skills Short Course

This course will commence with building confidence in foundational skills such as use of line, tone and linear perspective. Further drawing exercises will encourage experiments with a range of drawing media, approaches and techniques with the aim of empowering you as an artist.

Dates: To 26 November 2009
Times: 9.00am to 12.00pm

Art After School

Titled ‘Fruit & Flowers’ these classes will develop drawing and painting skills through a focus on contrasting approaches to Still Life. After studying works by famous Dutch and Japanese artists, the students will be guided in developing an individual approach to still life painting. The classes, taught by Jen Boyd, run for six weeks and are suitable for children aged 10 to 14 years.

Dates: 15 October to 19 November
Times: 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Venue: Brougham School of Art & Photography,
Level 1, 73 Malop Street, Geelong 3220
Cost: $240
Contact: (03) 5229 9984

Sotheby’s Australia sold

Reported in The Age Newspaper this morning 29/09/09

The Australian art auction world is in shock this morning as it wakes up to the news that Sotheby’s has sold its Australian arm to a rival company headed by Sydney businessman and auctioneer Tim Goodman. Sotheby’s Australian staff, who were told of the takeover only yesterday were shocked by the announcement. Mr Goodman, as chairman, chief executive and shareholder of First East Auction Holdings Limited (FEAL), the company that has bought the Sotheby’s licence, was instrumental to negotiations.      He would not reveal the amount paid for the licence, but The Age understands it could be as little as in the low millions. The transaction will be finalised later this year. Mr Goodman is also the current chairman and chief executive of Bonhams & Goodman auction house, but he will be breaking ties with British firm Bonhams, terminating the licence to use the Bonhams’ name on December 22.

Last night, Bonhams chairman Robert Brooks announced that Bonhams 1793 – a shareholder in FEAL, which has traded as Bonhams & Goodman for six years – would launch its own independent operation in Australia and was looking to expand its presence here.

Australian tax ruling benefits artists!

The Australian Tax Office has a ruling which could benefit many Artists…

The main points of the ruling mentioned in this article are:
1. Purchased (And Paid for) prior to the 31st Dec 2009
2. Write off 50 percent of the purchase Price
3. Artworks classify as depreciable Assets
4. An annual income of less than A$2m for 50% deduction
5. 10% deduction if the Annual income is greater than A$2m
6. The Artwork must be NEW – A work that has never been sold before.  (from an artist, primary Gallery, not the secondary market, eg Auctions etc)
7. Displayed for a Dominant Business Purpose (In Australia)
8. If a home office, then hung in that office and not the living room.
9. Artwork must be held for a minimum of 1 year…


Thanks fellow Arties!

One of the joys of running this site is seeing the donations people make to assist with the running of the site… 🙂 it gives me great satisfaction to see others like what happens in here! This month there have been two donations and in the past few months there was a few others.

Like Paul Kelly’s song says “From little things big things grow!”

Yay to everyone who has given so generously (hey, even $5 is generous to me most days!)

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Chinese Contemporary Art… a source…

Here is a link to a blog on the subject, interesting.

Make art and sell it? Then this could be for you…

Art Palaver, one of many art resources but Daryle’s seems to have a different edge to most… check it out…

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

Carols new studio – Moppet

Carol Es, who I interviewed a while back has just moved to a new studio in L.A. part of a vibrant arts community it seems. I like the picture of it but liked the google maps image more… 🙂

Now why would you call a studio “Moppet”?

She has been busy and will have a few shows on the cards… check out her news.

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

Interview survey

Dear valued Reader and or Viewer. We have managed to put up a number of Visual Artist interviews with lots more to come. Many of you have provided very positive feedback thus far which is great, however I am aware there may be others who take a “look but don’t touch” approach. They’re often the ones with thoughts on ways to improve things but glance by and keep on going.

So folks with all this in mind can we get some feedback please.

These are a few starting points to utilise when you respond (use the comment button below this post.

If you feel  you want to keep things more anonymous then drop me an email at

Thanks in advance Steve Gray.

Artists market

Substation Artists Market
The Newport Substation
Held on the first Saturday of every month from 10.00am – 4.00pm

Showcasing works of art which are both unique and of the highest quality. The Substation Artists’ Market is about to explode onto the local art scene. 

With the potential to host up to 120 stalls in this iconic local building. The Substation is ideally situated to become the home of the next big artists market in the west. Artists will be exhibiting, demonstrating and discussing their work with the visiting public. 

For more details and stallholder applications visit 

Newport Vic… Near the Train Station.

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.

New Art Space

Michael Despott has run and managed a previous art-space and numerous other art related projects. His Latest project in Launceston Tasmania will provide artist in residency spaces.He is interested in shaping the facility around the needs of others and their input, etc.

In a nutshell, it will be like a little home away from home for artists, somewhat of a little sanctuary, where Artists can hang out, make create and exchange ideas… emphasis on a working space though, mentoring, and producing work… Awaiting photo’s etc to explore the space and the concept a bit more.

We wish him well, for info on residencies etc, contact Michael on michaeldespott – at –

Now it’s Dooney TV…

Self promotion? Yep, Hazels got something going on…

Now it’s Dooney TV!

Art books for you…

Or is that art books about  you… Here is a great device to assist you in creating a slick profile.  Your own book, a full on coffee table book, about you and or your Art.

It’s easy, download some software, create the book, upload it and start selling it online, point your friends to it, your art consultant, your agent etc… and let them buy like crazy, start giving them away to collectors and more.

Here’s one I created earlier… and here’s the link.



Here’s one by Amanda Van Gils, thought you might like to check that out too, but also, lets not forget Kaye Green’s Art Books, hand made  gems, very different software used….


Art 09 Melbourne

Went, saw got caught up in the masses looking at masses of “art” oh yes there was some, but in amongst the decorator pieces… still lots sold and lots of discussion took place.

I came across a bunch of “emerging artists” in a section at the show, wow some great stuff (and here’s the rub!) lots of business cards with websites, I grab the ones that interested me for later contact… I go to the sites one by one, a number NOT working or STILL IN DEVELOPMENT… Oopsy! I want to see more I go and it “ain’t there” not good.

I have however contacted a bunch for interviews so I hope to see those really soon.

Such is the pace of “Modern technology” I could have looked them up on the iphone live at the opening and ditched the broken ones there and then… instead I did it this morning.

Of note:

Theinert Gallery – Pete Biram – Leonie Ryan, Werner and Ursula Theinert – First go for the new Gallery in Gippsland.

KW Abstract Art – Kerrie Warren and Dragi Jankovic – Dragi’s ceramic work is beautiful… website coming soon he says.

Metropolis Gallery Geelong – Hey I have to send a shout out for my local gallery.

And Emma Hack from Adelaide who painted wall paper and a lady to make the show a real show stopper for the media the Sunrise team was there to film her in the morning, heck she was up at 3am to get ready for a 7am shoot!

Hazel calls the shots…

I Won’t Be Your Give Man No More

Hazel Dooney has written a neat article on the gallery artist web interface, lots of food for thought as usual.

The value of art… another view

Shane from Outback Art penned this on the value of art.

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…

Video Interview Anthony Lister

Valuing Art… One viewpoint.

Pricing art can be tricky here’s Shane’s take on things….

Art Support

This came across the desktop this morning… Thanks Kerrie. Great idea to assist arts people in the community! Any in your area? Drop me a line and let me know… Steve G


Calling ALL young visual & performing artists living in Baw Baw Shire

aged between 18 years to 35 years

  • Would you like to meet up with like minded artists? 
  •  Get together social meetings held on a regular basis i.e. monthly.
  • Visit galleries, artist studios and performance venues.  
  • Exhibit your work at an exhibition for young artists only.
  • Hear first hand of any events coming up.

* Any suggestions?     * Preferred venues?    * Time/day of get togethers?


  If you are interested and have any other ideas please call or email your details to:

    Rhona Hendrick 5629 9780, Mail: PO Box 635, Drouin 3818



    Karen Whitaker-Taylor 5624 2407,




More Dooney paintings under the hammer

Menzies Art Brands has announced that three more of Hazel Dooney’s enamel paintings – a large work from the now hard-to-find Lake Eyre On Acid series and two smaller Sports Babes, Resized For Easy Consumption – have been submitted for Menzies’ major auction of Australian art scheduled for 25th March, in Sydney.

Last December, Dooney’s large enamel on board painting, Dangerous Career Babe: The Aviatrix, painted in 2008, was sold for $A32,701 at Christie’s auction Modern And Contemporary Australian And South African Art in London. This exceeded the low-end of Christie’s pre-sale estimate and represented a new record for Dooney’s work at auction – an extraordinary achievement during a global economic downturn, especially for a young artist who has yet to exhibit in Europe.

Just a week before, one of Dooney’s earliest works, a ten-year-old enamel painting, Drowned Ophelia, was sold in Sydney, at Deutscher-Menzies’ high profile auction of contemporary art, for over $A13,000. With buyers premium and taxes added, this exceeded the very ambitious pre-sale estimate of $A10,000 to $A14,000. The painting was first sold for around $A1,200.

Check out her interview with Steve Gray  here… Hazel Dooney 🙂


Hazel Dooney Self portrait

For further information, please visit and Hazel’s popular blog, Self Vs. Self, at

Bud, Pete and Archie…

One of our contributors, Artist and interviewee Peter Biram has again managed to get some PR exposure for his entry into this years Archibald prize, Well done Pete!

Time to say a few words

Dear Visual Arts people… (That means you!) In doing research on the Arts, websites, Artists and various other resources. I have come to the conclusion things are not as easy or simple as they seem.

Lets look at it this way, I have tried (and very carefully thought about) how I would set up my sites so the user could get the info they wanted in what I hope is reasonably effective ways. However in flipping about websites and searching, I find others seem to not have the same thought in mind with their sites.

Now I ask, what’s going on here, wouldn’t you want people to find your site or information on you (Artists especially) easily, and then be able to navigate it readily… Ok some are clearly not “offay” with the idea of being found, in fact many seem to want to bury themselves so deep no one can find them or their works.

Some sites have minimal contact details, some have an email login system that does not work “Type in the security code…” When that does not work, what then? (Simple I give up and go elsewhere…)

Many of the artists I have contacted regarding an interview are ones with websites, (I want to be able to send people somewhere and not just a gallery that represents the artist.) and what do I find, many don’t have one, but the USA artists (many with multiple gallery representation) have them, so guess what, they get contacted. and hey most are very accepting of my approach. On the other hand some of the Aussie artists seem somehow “Non-plussed” by the idea and don’t jump on the idea.

Commercial websites for various art organisations I have looked at, some of them have been woeful in being able to navigate and figure out their forums, send them info on linking to us etc…

In short in these times of “let’s be user friendly” I am left to wonder about the state of play…

Artists, get a web site, and make it simple, sharp and to the point, I want to see your work and find out what’s up.

Galleries, thanks to those that make it easy to get in contact with their artists, you are a blessing.

Art resource sites, please, if you offer contact details for an artist via a link, don’t give me an error page saying I need to be a member… I just take the artists name and google them directly so thanks for the barrier… (What were they thinking?) And while I’m at it, organisations handling taxpayer funded $$, cut the fat and the crap and give the money to artists in easily accessible ways, your admin costs are funds that could make a world of difference, instead the barriers and hassles in making application for funds are simply to hard to bother with (go check out some art forums to validate that!).

It comes down to good old customer service folks, sometimes you don’t know what the customer wants, how they want it and what they will do next… end of story.

Interesting resources

I came across a couple of resources which may be of value, can anyone tell me if they are? esp if you are a member…

I found things a little difficult to navigate but the potential seems to be there.

Ok when I sign up to something I expect it to be useable, hell I am reasonably web savvy… So when I get lost in a site trying to figure things out surely others might too, is that good? short answer… no.

Auction result in a down market

This just in from one of our early interviewees Hazel Dooney. A great result!

Dooney Painting Exceeds High Estimate At Deutscher-Menzies Contemporary Art Auction

Hazel Dooney’s ten-year-old enamel painting, Drowned Ophelia, was sold last night in Sydney, at Deutscher-Menzies’ high profile auction of contemporary art, for over $A13,000. It was an astonishing result during a deep economic downturn that has impacted heavily on the global art market. With buyers premium and taxes added, this far exceeds Deutscher-Menzies’ ambitious pre-sale estimate of $A10,000 to $A14,000 and represents a strong argument for the enduring investment value of Dooney’s work as one of Australia’s top young female artists. The painting was first sold for around $A1,200.

Of the 300 works by local and international artists that went under the hammer at Deutscher-Menzies, last night, 70 per cent found buyers. The Dooney work was offered for sale by a prominent Sydney collector.

“I have to admit, I was really nervous before the sale,” Dooney said. “There’s been very little good news coming out of auctions overseas, with work by modern masters being passed in or sold at prices well below what they might have been a year ago. I figured my work would also be revalued sharply downwards but as it turned out, this value has demonstrated remarkable robustness.”

The result is even more remarkable when it is considered that Dooney abandoned the traditional gallery system two years ago, quitting major galleries representing her work in Sydney and Melbourne, Instead, she took on the challenge of marketing and selling her work worldwide herself, as well as promoting her own art events, mainly using the web. She is widely acknowledged as the first Australian artist to manage her own career in this way and she has established a wide collector base in Australia, Asia, the USA and the UK.

The next test of Dooney’s success will be at Christie’s auction rooms in London, in less than a week, when her large (2.10m x 1.6m) enamel on board painting, Dangerous Career Babe: The Aviatrix, (below), is included in the sale of Modern And Contemporary Australian Art And South African Art on 16th December, 2008. The renowned auction house’s pre-sale estimate for what is the first of Dooney’s most recent paintings to be offered in the open market is between $A32,000 and $A37,500!


This just in… 17/12/08

“The Aviatrix Sets New Record At Auction For Hazel Dooney’s Work

Hazel Dooney’s large enamel on board painting, Dangerous Career Babe: The Aviatrix, commissioned earlier this year by a major Australian collector, was sold last night for $A32,701 at Christie’s sale of Modern And Contemporary Australian And South African Art in London. This exceeded the low-end of Christie’s pre-sale estimate and represents a new record for Dooney’s work at auction – an extraordinary achievement during a global economic downturn, especially for a 30-year-old artist who has yet to exhibit in Europe.

Last December, at another Christie’s sale in London, two of Dooney’s early enamel Sports Career Babes, set a new high for her work of over $A23,000.

This is Dooney’s second remarkable auction result in less than a week, this time in one of the world’s most important art market. However, it is an increasingly volatile market, in which the biggest names in Australian and international art are suffering significant revaluations downwards and many works are not selling at all.”

Great result!

An Archibald Journey

The following article is By Victorian Artist Peter Biram chronicling some of his “Archibald Journey” thanks Pete for your fascinating look at the Archibald Portrait Prize (An Australian Artistic Institution), this is a fantastic chance to see behind the scenes from an artists perspective… Take it away Pete…

Steve Gray

There is something special about the magic and frustration of the big prize known as the ‘Archibald Prize – My journey concerning entering the Prize over the past couple of years, has been a ‘double edged sword’. A story of joy and reward, and of disappointment. I feel with this statement I have just summed up the art world. But first let me take you back to the beginning, why enter the Archibald? Some say it’s “Nothing more than a chook raffle”, while other say “It’s the dunny of Australian art… attracting entries like odor attracts flies”.

I don’t share this view point, however a can see some strength in their argument. At the end of the day I feel the true strength of the argument lies in the fact we are opening up a wider avenue of dialogue, this in turn has to be good for Art.

Before I share my story with you it may be valuable to underpin this essay with a little background on the history of the Archibald…

The Archibald Prize originated with a charitable bequest endowed by Jules Francois Archibald in 1916. His will stipulates a portrait painted by any artist resident in Australasia, preferably of some one distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics.

Jules François Archibald (1856 – 1919),

The Archibald Prize has a litigious history with many of its defining moments in the Courtroom. The most significant of these was the 1943 Dobell case in which artists challenged the winner on the grounds the work by Dobell was a caricature rather than a portrait. Less famous but possibly more importantly, the Bloomfield case, in which the Art Gallery Trustees took an artist to court when they found he had not painted the portrait from life.

Their position appeared to be in the interests of fairness and their legal obligations under the terms of the bequest the matter required Court action. No award in history has caused so much controversy as the Dobell case in 1943 over the Joshua Smith portrait, since then a lot of brave attempts have been made to be controversial, the Brett Whiteley Portrait, Self – Portrait in Studio, I felt hits the mark.

Each year the entry form is headed by an invitation by the Art Gallery of New South Wales trust to artists to ‘submit paintings in competition for the Archibald Prize’. They then quote the words of Archibald in which he mentions ‘painted’ and then they quote from the Bloomfield case judgement and state that ‘For the purposes of this Prize, the Trustees apply the definition of a portrait as determined in the judgement of 1983: “a picture of a person painted from life”.’ So each year the hunt is on sitters of note wanted to be painted and artists searching for the sitter “of note” hoping that the choice of sitter will give the artist an edge and will catch the judges eye.

Many Archibald contenders go to a great deal of trouble to seek out their sitters; some subjects being closely guarded secrets. There is no doubt a famous and well-liked public figure may increase an artist’s chances of being hung. As a challenge to myself some years I selected a worthy yet generally unknown subject, In  2007 I painted a good friend I have known more than 20 years. We moved into our house about 20 years ago and that’s when I met Robyn who lived next door.

Portrait of Dr Robyn Arianrhod 2007 Oil on Canvas

The background of the portrait was born out of our long-term friendship and the professional respect I have for Robyn – this is my fourth year of entering the Archibald portrait competition, and being both a writer and a scientist, Robyn is a perfect subject under the Archibald rules.

Both Robyn and I have a love and concern for the environment and I’ve tried to convey this in the painting. Robyn is sitting in a ‘personal space’ (being in a private garden). The garden represents a ‘micro’ response to ‘land use’ and this is contrasted with the ‘macro’ response in the right hand panel.

The composition is broken into two halves, in order to symbolize “mathematical balance”. There is also contrast between strength and femininity and an interesting juxtaposition of sensuality and the stereotypically male-dominated environment of mathematics.

The right side of the portrait contains a landscape, on one level it is juxtaposed against the portrait offering an extension as a narrative to the portrait; on the other hand it operates as a ‘stand alone’ landscape in its own right, the landscape reads as on the following layers –

  1. Mark making – On this level the viewer processes the work on a surface level, that is to say the paint texture and colour of the work. The work at this level can be read in decorative terms.
  2. Subject – At this level the viewer reads the work as a landscape, within this framework the observer can interpret the geometric forms as pure decoration.
  3. Conceptual Narrative – The current  body of work exploring the theme of ‘land ownership’ and ‘usage’ within an environmental framework. This relationship includes traditional and non-traditional interaction with the land. For example, within this theme of land ownership I am exploring the pressure placed on the land in an environmental sense both in a western/ European standpoint (the ‘Triangle’) and the koorie perspective, (the dots).

Within this theme I am exploring the fine balance that exists in the natural environment. This is to say “Order & Chaos” found within nature and the balance of power shifting between the two states.
The composition is deliberately broken into two sections symbolizing the two states of  chaos & order, the fine balance of nature is placed under pressure re land “caretakership”.

Within this framework I have explored both contemporary ownership symbolized by the triangle in the bottom half of the composition.(from a European standpoint)

The ‘hard edged’ nature of the triangle also represents past civilizations (the pyramids of Egypt) this presents a symbol of ‘land ownership’ in the sense of ‘branding’ the land.
I choose the triangle/pyramid shape because of its direct contrast to the soft organic nature of the bush motif. This also symbolizes human kind’s influence on the natural landscape.

The two triangles “together” also read as a symbol for a ‘black hole’ within the context of a universe the top triangle is a symbol for Steve Hawking’s theory on the ‘Dual Universe’. I use this as a metaphor for “Order & Chaos” and how one juxtaposes one against another, that is to say, as human beings our nature is to explore, from a ‘micro’ level, our backyard, to a ‘macro’ level our universe.

Myself & Robyn in front of the Portrait in the studio Above: the 2007 Archibald entry

Part of entering the Archibald, I believe, is the opportunity to raise ones profile, this seems to be a sticking point for many artists, and the question of how many hours in the week do I devote to the quest of building ones profile. Some say 50/50, others put aside one day a week others two, at this point I am not going to explore this question as this topic would produce another essay to do it justice. However I have found on the question of raising ones profile, the Archibald gives quite an advantage, to date I have not been successful as being selected as a finalist for the Archibald, but I have been selected as a finalist (five times) for the Salon Des Refuses. (Melbourne)

The Artists who submit for the Archibald and are not hung, are invited to submit the rejected work for the Salon des Refuses, which is in the tradition of the French impressionists of the 1860’s who held a breakaway exhibition from the French Academy.

In 2007 I was very fortunate, as not only was my portrait of Robyn selected for the Salon Des Refuses but also a portrait of myself painted by one of my students and now dear friend and artist Ursula Theinert

Myself & Ursula at the opening of “The Hidden Faces of the Archibald” Exhibition 2007

This was indeed special as I was able to share good fortune with my friends and family returning to the question of increasing ones profile, such is the power of the Archibald as one can tap into publicity even by absence of success in being a finalist in the big prize. I suppose at the end of the day the Archibald enables the emerging Artist to “make it” within certain circles of the art world.

Opening night of ‘The hidden Faces of the Archibald’

In 2009 I wanted to draw an analogy between sport and art, so I picked a sports star who had reached the top of his profession but I also wanted to pick someone who experiences the same frustration as I do.

Nathan’s broken records but hardly anyone knows about him. Despite holding the world record for the 50km walk, Nathan has been starved of the lucrative sponsorship and advertising opportunities that so many Australian sports people are afforded. If he was a swimmer of a footballer he’d have no problem. But he’s gone into debt and had to sell his car to keep himself going. I just think it’s tragic.

Nathan has seemingly been blocked out of the Australian sporting mainstream, emerging artists face a similar battle to have their work taken seriously among a host of perennial Archibald finalists.

I think a lot of people have been locked out of the Archibald, because by the time you get all the leading portrait painters together, there might only be room for one or two wildcards (in the final exhibition).

2008 Archibald entry “Nathan Deakes, Race Walker”

Myself standing in front of my painting of Nathan at the Salon Des Refuses, (the hidden of the Archibald)
and in the studio.

In 2006 the entry contained a little political bite, I painted  Channel Ten newsreader Mal Walden, kicking back after a bit of gardening, still resplendent in gumboots and shorts, holding a shovel with his fluffy little dog Gypsy to the side. Down next to the dog, is a seemingly innocuous rabbit, painted by Jessica, my daughter. Well, that rabbit has extra political bite, it was a comment on – level playing field, it’s not.

I entered the Archibald Prize before, but my portrait of media personality Roland Rocchiccioli was rejected.
The rabbit was my comment on the Archibald Prize entry process, where seemingly artists outside a certain circle of regular entrants are often “locked out”. A few years ago an artist entered a painting of a rabbit into the Archibald Prize, which is for portraits of a man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics.

The Archibald is for paintings of distinguished people so how could a rabbit be in the Archibald? If the rabbit was used as a direct metaphor connected to the sitter I could understand, however at the time I thought the conceptual content regarding the choice of motif was a little ambiguous.

I think it’s the same every year, the same old names; Kerrie Lester, Jenny Sage, Robert Hannaford, Gary Shead. Their work is good but it’s the same artist’s every year.  What is this saying? That there’s no new talent in portrait painting in this country?  However I don’t want to be seen as having sour grapes about being rejected last year. It is simply saying “Try to open up a critical discourse and dialogue”. I like to describe the criticism as a “double edged sword”.

The Archibald is about controversy and I love the Archibald because we can criticise it. That’s what I love about being Australian, we like having a go at the establishment and while I worship the Archibald – and would worship it even more if I won it – it should be able to stand up to criticism. An artist’s job is to act as a commentator on what’s happening.

I think most artists probably feel the same way as I do (about the Archibald Prize) but if they feel they’re being gagged then they’re not doing their job. However my entry is not simply a criticism of the Archibald Prize, It’s multi-layered, it’s basically about Mal’s passion which is gardening.  Secondly, it’s about personal space and changing. The painting is about how nothing stays the same on a personal level, in a changing garden.

Then on a macro-level things are changing. In Australia there’s environmental change, pressure on land created by how we use it, as well as issues such as salinity and clear felling. And as for that little rabbit, the innocent little bunny that represents criticism of the Archibald Prize, there is another story behind it. When I knocked on Mal’s door, this cute little dog came bounding down the hallway. I straight away thought I wanted to paint the dog. The dog had a toy rabbit in its mouth.

An article from the Melbourne Age 2006 with the portrait of Mal Walden

At the end of the day I believe it’s about giving it a go, its like theatre, the stage, performing to an audience, putting all on the line and waiting for feedback, if any.

As you can see in the above article, Peter encourages his students to be involved in the Archibald prize, to see more evidence of this take a look at this link. Scroll down on that page to see the articles and learn more about artists and students at work. Particularly of interest is this from a Gippsland Victoria Regional TV station.

Going Solo… Ursula Theinert

It’s not every day you get a chance to explore the behind the scenes efforts of artists, as they do their “bit” to add to the cultural landscape and provide us with their unique insights into the world from their creative standpoint. So here is a “diary” of setting up a show by Ursula Theinert, who’s first solo show is at a public gallery in large country town, blessed with a great regional gallery. So lets follow part of her journey as events unfold, I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. Oh and see her own website by following her link in the artists links to the right below for more images of the show.

Steve Gray


This is an insight into the last few days of my first solo exhibition. I am going to include a short introduction and then a series of photographs and diary entries that show the sequence of events that lead to the attainment of one of the important goals, which artists set for themselves.

At the time of submitting my proposal to the gallery, on 25/4/07, I only had the concept, which was, to address the hidden problems of forest management. My focus was going to be on pine plantations to highlight the plantations of an alien species of trees which covers thousands of hectares of land, insidiously effecting the environment. I wanted to reveal that under the canopy of perceived green there is a veritable desert of pine needles affecting the habitat of our native flora and fauna.

I intended to express the landscape in human terms, as a living entity, in order to heighten passion and empathy.

The gallery took me on good faith and I worked very hard to complete the series of paintings. This personal journey culminated with the exhibition opening night on the 24th of October, 2008. It has been a very rewarding experience and one that I will to share with you through my diary.
Having created the works I was now in the final planning stages, on the weekend before the set up day 21/10/08, I made a list of the final jobs that needed to be done.


I typed up and printed my labels and then pasted them to the back of all my works on paper and canvas.

I then needed to find enough “D” rings to attach to the back of all the canvases. I also checked that all the edges of the canvases were clean, and painted them white. I also decided to measure and mark the distances for hanging just above the “D” rings so that the set up day would go smoothly. I used the formula :-
A divided by 2 +B – C = D
A = The height of the work.
B = The height from the floor to the centre line of the work, which is 1500mm.
C = The distance from the top of the work down to the top of the “D” ring.
D = The height from the floor to where you should place the hanging system.


I had an interesting wood sculpture that was a little unstable but I wanted to include it in the exhibition. So I went on a hunt around the back of our old workshop and found a beautiful rusty old piece of forged steel, which I think is part of an old railway line. It was used to go under the railway track which is then fixed onto the sleeper. It was perfect for the sculpture “Time Warp”, and after a great deal of wire brushing and hitting rust off with a hammer, and then oiling, it looked wonderful. Two holes were drilled through the steel and attached to the sculpture. All I needed to do then was to re-sand the sculpture and oil it. This was followed by a buff and polish and it was ready!


I had 16 paintings to pack into the van. Eight of them were framed and all were about 750 x 1000mm, so they were quite heavy. They went down first and then the four 1500 x 1200mm canvases, followed by the three 1000 x 2.200mm canvases. My handy commuter van has plenty of storage space. I could even put the small canvas at the end of the bay.
I almost forgot my sculpture. I wrapped it up and strapped it into the seat with the seat belt. Finally, all the packing was done along with a bag full of trifolds, business cards, and a visitor book. I also had an additional list of measurements, cleaning cloths and glass cleaner. I was a little nervous about the set up day and I wanted to be organized and look as professional as possible!

21/10/08 – SET UP DAY!
I didn’t sleep well that night. My husband, Werner, and I arrived at the Latrobe Regional Gallery at about 9.30 a.m. and had a coffee at the gallery coffee shop “So Swish”. We then got to work and were pleasantly surprised that some of the gallery staff helped us unload the van and get the work into the gallery space. They told us that there was a shared “set up day” with Monash University Gippsland Campus – Magistery Exhibition. I was also going to have a joint opening with this exhibition! This exhibition would have works from past and present art lecturers, and so they would not be able to help me set up that morning and would install my works either later that day or the next morning. All I had to do was to unwrap the works and decide on the placement along the walls. That job was easy especially when my friends and fellow artists were there to help me.

After the placement was decided all I had to do was to revise me list of works to help the gallery staff amend the copy that I had emailed them earlier. I also wrote down some additional instructions e.g. I needed two plinths – one for the sculpture and one for the trifolds, business cards and visitor’s book.

It was lovely to have Kerrie, Leonie (artists and dear friends) and Werner, my photographer, share this day with me. It was a great support and made the day a lot of fun. We all enjoyed a cup of coffee and a chat afterwards. I decided to come back the following day just to check that all was well. And of course the gallery staff did a super job!


It was very exciting to have the opening of the exhibition finally arrive. It was a joint opening and there was a large crowd and a wonderful atmosphere. Paul Holton welcomed everyone and then gave the opening speech for my exhibition – I had butterflies and a smile from ear to ear! Tony Hanning then gave his speech which was followed by the guest speaker for the Magistery exhibition Professor Helen Bartlett, who is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash University Gippsland Campus. It was a grand affair!! How fortunate for me to be part of this special opening night.

After the speeches people went up to Gallery 6 and my exhibition. I was very happy to see the many friends, family and fellow students coming along to support me. It was also pleasing to see so many unknown faces in the crowd too.

I felt so fortunate to have my teachers, Peter Biram and Chris Myers, who have always been so encouraging and inspiring, to be at the exhibition. And my son James, who flew down from Cairns to share that special night with me.

Just to show you the beautiful space at Latrobe Regional Gallery.

The whole experience of exhibiting at LRG was enriching, and one that I wouldn’t have missed for anything! The exhibition space is beautiful, and the staff were professional and helpful.

It is a challenging journey to strive to be an artist and it extremely important to be surrounded by talented, stimulating and encouraging people. I recognize that I have been extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful and kind people supporting me and they have all played a part in making one of my dreams come true.

Do you have questions for the Artist? Go to the comments section at the bottom of this post and ask away.

Compiled and edited by Steve Gray Contemporary Australian Artist

Royalties for Visual Artists

This has been brewing for a while and hopefully the final version will be of wide value all round. The Melb Age newspaper did this article to give an insight as to where it’s at. I know Charles Nodrum the director at Charles Nodrum Gallery has a lengthy email on the topic and if he gives me permission I will reproduce it in here for all to peruse.