Wednesday, June 20, 2018

COMPACT PRINTS International exhibition and exchange 2018

Since 2012, I have been participating in Compact Prints.

This is the North Queensland's Umbrella Studio's biennial printmaking exhibition and exchange, showcasing local, national, and international artists.

This year I am submitting three entries.

These 3 small linocuts (12 x12cm) are part of my ongoing series of works using images of train tracks. These are informed by my own life living with disability, and use the metaphor of train journeys, to investigate how we navigate life’s encounters, discover new meanings for life, find places to belong to, as well as propose ways that can celebrate what we have in the here and now. 

Here's images of this years entries.

Journeys and Crossings I, linocut, edition of 10, 12x12cm

Journeys and Crossings II, linocut, edition of 10, 12x12cm

Journeys and Crossings III, linocut, 12x12cm, edition of 10

If you would like to see my past entries to earlier Compact Prints exhibitions, please click on the relevant year.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Castlemaine Press International Print Exchange 2018

I am just finalising my edition of 10 linocut prints, to send off in the post,  for this year's 2018 Castlemaine Press International Print Exchange.

The theme is 'In My Backyard'...and this linocut is entitled 'Trucks in my backyard'.

Trucks in my backyard, linocut, edition of 10, 12x12cm

There's a lot of trucks where I live in Footscray in Victoria. And I have spent quite a bit of my life fighting to get trucks of our residential streets in the inner west of Melbourne's city. I have also spent a good deal of my life advocating for more sustainable transport options such as a better networked and more reliable public transport system, more freight on rail, as well as better and safer conditions for cyclists. Sometimes it feels like not much progress has been made over the 30 years that I have been active in such campaigning. While so much of the world is investing in alternative and sustainable transport, our governments in Australia continue to fund and build more multi billion dollar road based projects that prioritise cars and trucks. Which reminds me to go and pick up a new sign for my fence against the most recent new road tunnel/freeway cutting through my suburb.

Anyway, I participate a lot in print exchanges. I love the idea of creating artwork, sending it off in the post, sometimes to the other side of the world, and receiving back the work of other artists.

Much of this is organised on a volunteer basis by artist run print studios. Thank you to the good folk at Castlemaine Press.

I also participated in their print exchange last year and this was my entry entitled In my dream backyard.

In my dream backyard, reduction linocut, edition of 10, 12x12cm

I spend a lot of time in playgrounds as part of my pain management practice. In fact everyday. So I get to think about play equipment a lot. 

At the time, I was a little disappointed in how this linocut turned out, especially given the many layers and weeks that it took to make. The reduction linocut process can be very challenging. So I remade the artwork using a single block. I am not sure which one I like better, but I like them both.

In my dream backyard II, linocut, edition of 12, 12x12cm

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My new exhibition

My new exhibition!

Thirty new and recent artworks marking my relationship to place and time, as I turn 49 years young.

Sunday, October 1, 2017



I have a new exhibition opening this Thursday 5th October at the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

If you are in town, please come and join me.

This is also a gallery residency, so I will be working on some new art in the gallery over the next 2 months. So you are welcome to pop in, say hello, and help me celebrate my 18th year!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Seddon Snapshots Public Art Project

Many years ago, back in 2005, I cofounded a small community photo exhibition in my new home suburb of Seddon. I loved my new home, but I was struggling to feel like I belonged. I was 7 years post brain injury and although I had decided to break free of the disabling disability services mindset, and to live independently in the community, I didn't yet know how to create my new life. When I visited the local street shops or went to local community events, none of my disabled friends were there. The shops often weren't accessible, support wasn't available and many people didn't feel safe or included. And so in a possibly naive and idealistic way, we decided to create an event that would be inclusive of everyone, not just able bodied people. And we would put the project right in the middle of that community where we were invisible.

That first year in 2006, we met in the local park a few times, supported each other to take photos and the local council disability worker helped out. We found a shop willing to put in a temporary ramp that we had built and we invited all our disabled friends to come and put up or view our photo exhibition. 
And every year, the project grew, until in 2011, there was nearly 200 entries displayed in over 20 shop windows. 
I left that year, to focus on my own art studies. (The project has happened 3 times since, led by different locals, although sadly without much attention to being inclusive of people who are marginalised or with disability.)

Anyway, over the past 2 years, with my new art skills, I have been dreaming of undertaking a new local project, to take some of the photographic entries, blow them up really big and put them up on walls throughout Seddon.

And this year has finally seen my health improve enough to undertake this ambitious project. (Except that it turned out to be even more ambitious than I had imagined!) 

In the past 2 months, I have been working really hard to install 20 large artworks across public street walls across Seddon and beyond. I have had some great new and old friends help out.

These works are about 1.6 x 2m. Some of them are really high up. 

So far they have received very favourable attention and only minimal 'tagging'. 

I am exhausted but proud! And once again, I feel more connected to my community. And hopefully. others will too.

Thanks to all the owners of the brick walls who have granted me permission to use them. Thanks to all the people who helped choose the final 20 out of 800 past Snapshots of Seddon entries. And thanks to Maribyrnong Council for giving me a small grant to undertake this project.

Here's a few pics.

And here is a map so that you can find them all.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Marking the Anniversary with Vitruvius

Marking the Anniversary with Vitruvius, etching, 35 x 26cm

"Eighteen years ago, my life was turned upside down by a brain injury, requiring me to rebuild a life based on a person who thought, felt, saw and heard the world differently to the one I had known for 29 years. I also found myself with a new birth date, an anniversary that each year presents me with a confusing dilemma of celebratory survival and deeply felt loss. 
My 18th anniversary found me taking comfort in the studies of Vitruvius and Leonardo da Vinci: both scholars, separated by 14 centuries, and fascinated by the relationship of the body to the universe.
Taking my lead from Leonardo’s 1490 drawing, Vitruvian Man, using the same dimensions, body proportions and mirror writing that he used, I created my own manifesto to mark my entry into adulthood, using my extensive studies of the body in pain and exploring my 12 yearlong ritual of hand standing."

This artwork is currently winging its way to Queenscliff Gallery and Workshop. It was selected for the inaugural Peebles Print Prize, August 3 - September 10.

I began creating this work in October last year (2016) on the eve of the 18th anniversary of my brain injury. 18th birthdays are big, for everyone. I wanted to make something grand to recognise the time passed, and to acknowledge my skills, my survival and my suffering. I decided that it was the perfect time to hang out with greats such as Leonardo and Vitruvius. And in my little manifesto exploring the body and the Universe, written onto the copper plate, on 12 October 2016, I discovered that I have done over 20, 000 handstands! Quite an achievement.

The back to front writing is called mirror writing. It was a favoured technique of da Vinci, some say, because he considered his thoughts rather secret, and others say, because he was a left hander and it prevented the ink smudging. But it isn't really a secret. If you place my work or his, up to a mirror, it can be easily read, (or just reverse the image on a computer!). But it is important to me (and probably to da Vinci too),  that the text cannot be easily read, at least not straight away.

I am really enjoying being 18. It is still a challenging and emotionally turbulent time, maybe not unlike the experience of all other 18 year olds, but I finally feel like I am starting to grow into myself. I am growing up!

Here's a detail from this artwork.

And here is the same detail reversed so you can read some of the writing.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know that it is only two weeks until the Winter Solstice, but given I haven't posted in almost two years, it feels somewhat appropriate.

The past few years have been pretty tough with my health and although I have continued to make art,  had a fair few exhibitions, and even won some amazing art prize awards, I just wasn't in the right place to share that in this space.

But these past few months have finally brought me out of the darkness and into a better space with respect to my identity, with more acceptance about my life living with 'disability', as well as some much appreciated health improvements.

So happy new year to all and especially to me!
Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, Fire! Linocut, 12x12cm on Vietnamese Handmade Rice paper

This is a little linocut, only 12x12cm, that I created to mark my 48th year. I was born in the year of the Earth Rooster, and this year is the 4th time the Rooster year has cycled through my life.

I made a small edition which has been shared with the Animalia Print Exchange project. I am also gifting this linocut to all my Rooster friends (so let me know if you are also a Rooster and I will organise to gift you one too!)

Lots more news to follow, including catching up on some of the artworks that I have created over the past two years, as well as some current exciting projects that I am involved with.