Upon resettling to Australia in 2018 I immediately began a residency at the historic mining town of Hill End in rural New Sew Wales. The Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) runs a wonderful residency program for artists who can live and work in several charming cottages- originally the homes of the important artists Donald Friend and Jean Bellette.
For the month of June last year I had the chance to create a small body of work which was exhibited at Lethbridge Gallery in Brisbane.
After several years overseas it was a lovely experience to be in such a quaint and isolated place, back in the Australian landscape and able to work directly from life. Long European winters had prepared me for a somewhat chilly month, so I could stay fairly productive.
Below are many of the studies and the final artwork which I created at that time.
Here are some photos from the opening event at our group exhibition on 25 May, which I unfortunately could not attend because I am currently in Australia.
To create this exhibition huge effort was made by Lea Lynn, Penny Monogiou, Anna-Louise Rolland and Laura Bierau. Also much thanks to our wonderful host Greskewitz Kleinitz Galerie
I had to great pleasure of exhibiting in Leipzig recently at the Spinnerei Rundgang with several artists from Croatia. Thanks to the wonderful Damir Sobota and Ana RatkoviÄ‡ for sharing your studio with me!
It is an important 10 year anniversary for the Leipzig International Art Program (LIA) which I attended from 2015-16.
We've just finished installing the work and setting up the space for the opening night on 8th March. The exhibition runs until 24 March.
My Painting Strolling Tapestry which was created in Aschersleben, Germany is exhibited in the Christmas Show Cheer-io at Hesier Gallery, Brisbane.
It is the final exhibition of the gallery, sadly they will be closing at the end 2017. It will be a poignant event which Im sorry to miss as I will still be in Europe bogged down in the snow.
Cheer-io opens Saturday 2 December from 1-3pm and runs until 20 December.
I have a drypoint etching in a new cassette of prints which were created by Atelier für Radierung at the Spinnerei.
The exhibition opens 13. October and runs until 11. November.
Flashback to my Cockaigne painting which was made for the inaugural Qld Figurative Award at the RQAS in 2014.
The theme motivating the imagery was the ancient myth of Cockaigne. An inspiration was the important painting titled the "Land of Cockaigne" by Pieter Bruegel, in Munich. His influential picture is one of my earliest art memories and has come back to my mind constantly throughout the years.
My painting is a soft interpretation of the themes in Cockagine and it was designed to be evocative and not explicit.
At the time I was looking a lot at the Berlin artist Ruprecht von Kaufmann, especially his works from 2008-10. Ruprecht was later to help me a lot and support my work as a mentor.
This post gives a sense of the process used for most pictures which I create.
This weekend will be interesting as I have work in and will attend the Autumn Rundgang at the Spinnerei in Leipzig. Its an epic public event and always really fun to see the Spinnerei come to life in this way, as it is usually a quiet set of buildings where artists work.
This year is an official relationship with German and Australian Governments, with a cultural program titled Australia Now. The LIA residency studios are exhibiting my work and many other residents from Australia.
The book project has a beautiful objective: engaging artists who honour the environment, connecting with the public and raising funds for environmental causes.
Contributing artists include:
Susan Abbott / Erik Linton / Denny Bales / Jeanne Dunn / Lesley Goren / Andrew James Mckay / Cassie Zhang / Cathy Weiss / Skye Amber Sweet / Vivian Shih / Michelle Rozic / Lark Pilinsky / Gregory Radionov / Fabian Lijtmaer / Cheryl Richey / Carolyn Lord / Toti O'Brien / Donna Leavitt / Philipa Bearle / Julian Perry / Jane Eaton / Tim Craven
Cover artwork by Miles Lewis
While Ive been developing the new work for upcoming exhibitions I took on the challenge of a small mural commission for a local performance group. The mastermind has a fascinating shop called Mikes Werkstatt which specialises in 1920's antiques and other strange paraphernalia.
Mike and Christian are the masterminds who are creating a touring music performance and puppetry show. Of course they need a stage to perform on during their travels around Austria. So I painted a mural of a basic stage for them, in my new studio. Additionally they are building and carving a gypsy travelling caravan which will be pulled by horses, of whom they have also learnt to rear and train.
They are also involved in a documentary production about the journey of their travelling troupe dreams. Ive already been filmed while painting the mural and may end up appearing in the final cut. HERE is the first of several videos on YouTube about the Figura Magica adventure.
Below is a small colour study mockup of the overall design as well as the individual panels which are painted in acrylic at full size.
The complete mural is more than 4 metres in height and 3.5 metres wide. Mike and Christian will add all kinds of other interesting additions to this basic mural set up including curtains, lanterns, puppets and moving parts as well fully developed real gold leaf elements.
Check out the video below, or follow this LINK to YouTube.
I hope the Ascherlebeners aren't too upset with my comments and first impressions of the locals!!
This opportunity was a lovely experience and looking back it was important to the development of my work. We were spoilt as residents and I greatly appreciate how rare this kind of support and situation was for my career. I am planning to spend more time in Aschersleben in the future as well as exploring other parts of East Germany, because this area has made an incredibly strong impression on me.
I am running a drawing workshop during April.
Contact me for more info, and ENROL to confirm your place
While on the LIA residency over 2015-2016 I was interviewed about Leipzig and its creative scene. The series runs over four episodes, split between the cities of Lisbon and Leipzig.
They even captured my bed-hair (thanks film crew!) while we chatted in my studio.