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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 Flanagan Art Prize winner!!

Last Friday night was the opening of the 2015 Flanagan Art Prize. And much to my surprise, I was awarded the Emerging Artist Award!

That is a very nervous me with Dr Sam Henson, from Federation University, Ballarat, giving me the award. And just cut out of this photo is Euan Heng who was the judge of the Awards. He said some very nice things about my work, which you can read about here. It will also show photos of the other two winning works!

My art work that won, is an artist book, entitled Letter to the Landlord.

It includes 28 linocut prints alongside some found words, and was hand bound in a traditional manner. It was inspired by a piece of writing I discovered on the wall inside an abandoned house in Footscray in 2008. I have been working on and off with these words ever since. But last winter, exactly a year ago, I finally found a way to honour them with a fine artist book. These words share the often-unheard voice of the homeless and thus draws attention to the lack of adequate housing in our affluent society.

This book now enters the collection of the St Patrick's College in Ballarat.

Here's just a few of the pages of this book. Of course, these photos don't do justice to the actual experience of turning the pages and being immersed in this artwork.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Printbank Mackay International Postcard Swap 2015

 Earlier this year, I created an edition of 3 postcards, and posted them each to Queensland, to be part of the inaugural Printbank Mackay postcard swap.

I lined up part of the linoblock that I was carving for my solo show Urban Reveries and printed it onto some lovely paper that I had hand marbled a few weeks earlier.

The theme for the exchange was 'First'.

I have actually tried tightrope walking on a real tightrope wire a few times. I even took some classes. And it is harder than I imagined. Much harder! Every step feels like the first!

The exhibition of all the postcard entries is Friday July 17 at the Mackay Town Hall. (It is a very long way from me in Melbourne, so I sadly won't be there!)

So if like me, you can't get there, you can see the other postcard entries here , but only until August 2015.

I am really looking forward to seeing my return postcards in the mail soon!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Exhibition of the 2014 alumni of the onefourfour project!

Last weekend, saw the exhibition of the onefourfour 2014 alumni, at The Art Room in Footscray.

In 2014, 12 artists, including myself, created an artwork for each of the 12 months, to a monthly theme chosen by each artist. That makes 144 artworks in total!

It was a beautiful show. Thanks to Ilona Nelson for her great leadership.

You can see all of the images and find out more at the onefourfour website

The project continues in 2015 with a whole new set of 12 artists.

But here's the 12 images that I created for each month. Each is 6x6inches.

It was a great project, and gave me the opportunity to experiment and create work outside my usual practice. Some of these works even turned out to be the beginnings of bigger works. (But that is a story to tell for another time!)

Harold and Mary, linocut and ink on found map
theme- light

Portholes to beneath the surface, linocut on found map
Theme - Surface

Crossings, mixed media
Theme- collage

L-form bacteria, Collograph, edition 6
Theme - form

The Eureka SpaceStation, linocut
Theme - space

This place is marked for future great handstands, photograph
Theme - place

Once in the morning and then at night, everyday of the year, Linocut
Theme - repetition

Epic Misplaced Adventures #34W, linocut
Theme - winter

A moment of encounter with potential transformation, mixed media
Theme - fear

The colour of politics/The politics of colour, artist book
Theme - colour

The moth that is eating my carpet from underneath, mixed media
Theme - underneath

Reflecting once again, upon the evil weed, linocut
Theme - reflections