Exhibition – Exchange

The latest project from the legendary Amanda van gils EXCHANGE – 55 Contemporary Visual Artists from around the Australia all exhibiting small scale work in November. NOTE! Many of these Contemporary Visual Artists have been interviewed here on the blog!


For the past four years I have organised ‘art swaps’ amongst friends, in the first year there were 12 of us. It is an initiative that has grown each year and this year is the first time the annual art swap will be exhibited. For the Exchange exhibition, each artist will make one work to swap and another one to be available for sale.
Art works range in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand and include paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, digital works and a whole host more.
If you can’t get to Maryborough Qld where the show will be you will be able to view (and purchase) works via our ArtWhatsOn site that will be launched in time for the November show. In the meantime you can follow the progress of the exhibition via Facebookand Twitter

Some of you might recall that I raised funds via FundBreak for the Net Work exhibition I curated at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Fundbreak has changed it’s name to Pozible and I am again raising money for a small catalogue for the Exchange exhibition.
I want you to know that on Pozible I am offering a small selection of my own art works at heavily reduced prices. Only available at these prices through Pozible and only for 30 days.
In addition to my own work there are ‘rewards’ available for even very small donations. To see the ‘rewards’ on offer please go to ‘Exchange’ on Pozible

Cheers Amanda van gils

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.


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!

Open! – Post Industrial Design

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


Exhibition – Exchange

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

Art Exchange

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

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

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

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.

Art Competition

Lethbridge gallery is running a “small scale” art competition for 2010.


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.

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 – Margaret Zox Brown

To Start 2010, You Are Invited
to an

Food  *  Drinks  *  Music  *  Art

Saturday, January 30th
12:00 – 4:00

315 West 39th Street
Studio 500
(Between 8th and 9th Ave’s)



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! http://www.artsyshark.com/

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.


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.

Whyalla Art Prize – Neil Haddon Winner

Well Done Neil! 2009 Whyalla Art Prize winner.


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
Email: sales@artworxgeelong.com.au
Website: www.artworxgeelong.com.au

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
Email: admin@broughamart.vic.edu.au
Website: www.broughamart.vic.edu.au

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…


Bowness Photography Prize, winners are grinners

This info just in from Dianne Tanzer’s gallery…


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. http://www.mlartsource.com/en/blog

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… http://www.artpalaver.com/

It’s coming…

The Regionalis exhibition is coming, not far to go now, Aug 19th it starts… Will you be checking 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 RedBubble.com on July 14th. go to the site and see the details, it’s free and usually a great event! bookings ESSENTIAL!

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=95134963722 (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 info@stevegray.biz

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 www.thesubstation.org.au 

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 – hotmail.com

Exhibition news

Hi all, 
A big thank you to everyone who came down to my recent exhibition at Breathing Colours Gallery in Sydney. We got some press coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald which was an unexpected surprise! 

If you missed the show, I’ve updated my website with all my recent paintings & a pic of the gallery: www.guyporter.org

There is also a new painting of a very special Australian cow on the home page (completed just after the show – she didn’t quite make it in time!).


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. http://outbackart.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/the-value-of-art/

Art Melbourne 09

The Weekend Australian Art Melbourne: Affordable & Collectable
16 – 19 April 2009, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton


The Weekend Australian Art Melbourne will return to the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton from 16 – 19 April 2009. Bringing together Melbourne’s vibrant art scene and showcasing an extensive range of art to buy, The Weekend Australian Art Melbourne includes hundreds of artworks by artists ranging from contemporary to traditional and emerging to investment.


The fair invites both first-time buyers and seasoned collectors to seek out exciting new artists and to browse the thousands of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography, indigenous works, new media art and works on paper, including limited edition prints, many accessibly priced.


No matter what your objective – be it investment or enjoyment, The Weekend Australian Art Melbourne 09 is the perfect place to keep up to date with the dynamic world of art and seek the advice of experts. 


The Weekend Australian Art Melbourne: an affordable & collectable art-buying opportunity not to be missed!


Will you be there? some of our very own interviewees will be!

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


Friday March 13th 6-10pm 
38 Hutchinson St, East Brunswick 

Following the success of its premiere exhibition, The Pigeon Hole is again opening its doors to the public. 
YOU, 1 gigantic warehouse and 14 artists will all meet on Friday the 13th of March in East Brunswick. Floating exhibition walls, flying performers, walk around sculptures – experience the visual, audio, artistic fun-park in between 6pm and 10pm. 

Pigeon Hole is a huge, formerly commercial warehouse which has been transformed into a dynamic, self organized artist collective. Responding to a need in the community for dynamic, non commercial establishments, it is a fertile ground for contemporary artists to collaborate, perform, exhibit and exchange new ideas. 
Pigeon Hole currently houses the bizarre and inspiring studios of over 14 artists ranging in practice from visual arts, experimental electronic composition and design, to acrobatic physical theatre. 

The artists are… Ben Howe, Corin Adams, Devika Bilimoria, Nicholas Cairns, Robert Jordan, Bonnie Lane, James Langer, Jody Lloyd, Carmen Reid, Wren Steiner, David Rellim, Robbie Rowlands, Ruth Schaldach, Luke O’conner, Christy Flaws, 

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

    Email   travhendrick@bigpond.com


    Karen Whitaker-Taylor 5624 2407,

    Email Karen.Whitaker-Taylor@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au



More Dooney paintings under the hammer

Menzies Art Brands http://www.menziesartbrands.com 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 http://www.hazeldooney.com and Hazel’s popular blog, Self Vs. Self, at http://hazeldooney.blogspot.com

Andrew Ensor – “Illustrations for the Ill”

Andrew is about to put on an Exhibition “Illustration for the Ill” Feb 12 – 24 at Gaffa Gallery 1/7 Randle Street Surry Hills NSW and is willingly writing about his journey… Brave Lad! Let’s check out what’s happening, as he adds information I will add it below…

21/01/09 – the story so far…

It is 3 weeks until the opening night of my 12th solo exhibition, entitled “Illustrations for the Ill”. It will be my third with Gaffa Gallery, an artist run space in Surry Hills. I had applied at the end of last year for a show in late 09, but another artist’s cancellation left a slot free for 2 weeks in February, which I was happy to take.  I’m writing this in an attempt to share the trials, tribulation and tantrums involved in putting on an exhibition.

So far the gallery has been paid for, the first half is paid upon the initial booking, the second half is paid 4 weeks prior to the opening night.  The invites have been decided on, and are being sent to the printers today. The artwork itself is mostly finished, I’m trying to limit the show to 24 pieces this time, of which about 20 have been chosen so far. Framing remains one of the bigger issues, having picked up about 10 frames so far I was informed that certain colours I liked were ‘discontinued lines’ which means a bit of a re-think.

This is probably the most prepared I’ve ever been at this stage before a show, usually my approach has been to work on paintings and drawings in these weeks leading up to the opening in an effort to explore every aspect of the theme and ideas in the show. This time I’ve taken a different approach, as I’m not sure how beneficial my previous method was. It’s certainly helps the nerves to have things prepared in advance.

I’ll try and expand and detail what’s been mentioned above in future posts.




27/01/09 – gallery matters…

The long weekend was unproductive in terms of preparations for the show. More thinking than doing was involved. I had some more ideas about how the art work should be arranged in the space as well as how things should be framed but instead of documenting some of these mundane choices (that will probably change half a dozen times in the next two weeks anyway) I thought I’d write a bit about one of the more important elements of an exhibition, the gallery.

Of the three galleries I have exhibited with Gaffa is the largest in terms of floor space, it is also the only gallery still operating. (An unfortunate nature of artist run spaces is their short lifespan). Although it is an artist run space, Gaffa Gallery does receive government funding which means unlike the other galleries I’ve shown at, someone is paid for to sit the space during opening hours and the invites are paid for too. This is a big help to me, as it means I don’t have to take 2 weeks off work in order to put on an exhibition all the time. They also handle the bar on opening night, invites, press and just make life easier in general.

I’ve been fortunate that each gallery I’ve shown with has been run by wonderful, inspiring, not to mention helpful and forgiving people. And in the case of both Side-on Gallery and Gallery Fourtyfour I’d still be having shows there today if they hadn’t closed down.

Of course it’s always a little bit easier the second time having a show with a gallery, at least you know where everything is, and how things work, hopefully more so by the third time. Anything that minimises the work load and lets me focus on the actual artwork and set up is a bonus, as there are always plenty of things to stress about if the inclination is there.





01/02/09 – framed…

As an illustrator that works on paper framing is an important and costly part of any exhibition, In the past I have tried most things, for a few years I used a professional framer, and this really is the best thing you can do for your work, but in order to have more than one show a year I had to find other ways to get work framed, including cheap store bought stuff from $2 stores, reusing frames, pinning work directly to the wall etc…

For this show I really wanted to put some money into frames to give the show a fresh feel. The ones I had been using in the past were getting a bit worn having been recycled for a number of exhibitions.

My local mini mall has a camera store that stock a shadow box frame in various pastel colours and after buying a couple to hang work at home I thought they would be an effective way to tie the show together.

In some ways I would have preferred to go back to a framer, but with very little time to prepare it just became easier to go with the photo frame option, they are of a high quality and re-usable plus I think they suit the drawings.

2/3rds of the drawings are good to go and I’ll finish putting them behind glass tonight which should give me a better idea of how to finish the last eight I think.


Thanks for reading



03/02/09 – invite delays …

The gallery emailed on the weekend to let me know the fliers had been delayed as the printers they use are Chinese and were closed a few days due to the Chinese new year (a great example of how regardless of your preparation, things can always come up you hadn’t counted on).  I received another email today saying they’d be ready for pick up tomorrow which is good. This is an exciting part of an exhibition, watching it all come together. The fliers are usually the first thing which makes it actually feel real for me.

There’s still a bit to do once the invites are picked up. I still have to distribute them, finish off framing, decide on the titles and prices of work, organise a way to transport the art to the gallery (I don’t have a licence or a car), install the work, and probably a few other things I always forget too.

In order to do all this I’ve taken a couple of days off work next week (I work full time in a university library and so generally I try to exhibit in the school holidays when it isn’t as busy). As mentioned in a previous post the gallery cover someone to sit the space, so at least I only have to take a few days instead of a couple of weeks.




08/02/09 – Just three more sleeps…

until I will be setting up the show. Exhaustion, doubt, paranoia, fear, derision, delirium, terror, tears, trauma, disaster, horror, headaches, frustration, back pains, nausea, nightmares, tooth aches, humiliation, panic, rage, regret, noose bleeds and heart breaks will all feature at some point in my week if they have not already.

I’ve been handing out fliers since getting them on Wednesday, putting some in cafes and bars, art schools, galleries and book stores, anywhere that has a display area for such things, at this point the focus is on trying to promote the show as much as possible. I’ve had a lot more school friends as well as extended family join facebook in the past year since so it will interesting to see if this helps get a few more people through the door. It is always easier to promote work I’m confident in, and I really feel this is some of my best drawing. The better the job done with promotion the more pressure there is to put on a good show.






12/02/09 – show time!

Yesterday was the ‘bump in’ and I’ll admit to being as nervous as I’ve ever been. Things were off to a bad start when I rang Dominos pizza instead of a taxi cab when trying to get 25 framed drawings to the gallery. But despite my failings as a human being that always rise to the surface when the pressure is on, I still managed to get it all done. It’s hard to tell yet if it works as an exhibition, at the moment I can only see the mistakes and what could have been – potential that was missed. That’s not to say I’m not happy with my artwork, because I am. It’s just that a good show can really be greater than the sum of its parts if done correctly.

The opening is tonight.

All there is to do now is turn up, get drunk and try to have a good time, hopefully sell something.



20/02/09 – back to reality…

It’s been over a week since the opening night, and I appologise for the lack of posting in that time. I would like to say that it’s due to all the illicit sex and drugs involved in being an exhibiting artist, but unfortunatley that isn’t the case. In fact I’ve been back at work since Monday getting ready for another semester of students. It gets harder to return to work after each show.

All went well, a good turn out of people and a few red dots by the end of the opening meant I slept a little better that night. Unfortunatley I forgot to take my camera, but I have taken some shots of the exhibition during the day and will hopefully get them up on the weekend. I was a little dissapointed in the way I hung the show, hopefully I’m just being my own worse critic but I like an exhibition to be greater than the sum of it’s parts. In this case the work was some of my best, but I’m not sure that the ideas came through or that it came together as well as it could have.

Although I’ve been doing this for a few years now, I am aware that these are still very early days, and it’s all a learning experience at this point. I had planned to book a couple more shows at a different gallery for later in the year, which I emailed after my opening. Saddley the intended gallery, another artist run space will be shutting it’s doors soon. This leaves me a bit up in the air for the rest of the year as I like to have something on the horizon to work towards. At least this will motivate me to start seeing more shows and checking out new gallerys.

The exhibition is still on for a few more days, I will take the work down next Tuesday evening. So for those Sydney people that would still like to see the show it will be on until the 24/02/09, it might be the last chance you have to see my work for another year or so.

Thanks again to Steve for the added online promotion, and for anyone that kept reading, or came along to the show. It is apprieciated.

Thanks again




Next Page →