Saturday, August 29, 2009


I am still working on the painting I wrote about in my last blog post. It is evolving well methinks!
I thought I would show you some of my older works on paper. Some of them have been exhibited once and a couple not at all.

It is an interesting thing being an artist for all sorts of reasons. But, logistics is not something most people would think about an artist needing. By logistics I mean how to give our work a life beyond the studio, before it becomes too old for competitions and exhibitions...unless of course one has reached that stage where curated survey or retrospective exhibitions herald an arrival into the serious realms of art history.

Most competitons require an artist's entry to be no more than a year old. There are a few competitions which allow up to two years. When an artist has a solo exhibition it is expected that the work on show is recent...probably within the 2-3 years. Once an artist has exhibited a work of art in an exhibition, and it has not sold, it really cannot be exhibited again in that geographic area, unless it is a finalist in a competition. So, artists have to look interstate to exhibit their work again in order for it to have a life beyond storage in the studio.

So, it is with delight that I am showing these older works which have not really had an opportunity to strutt their stuff properly.

Spirited Mixed Media On Paper 56 x76 1993 $1600 AUD Unframed

I was thinking about and very interested in the force of atoms and the energy created. My tree-of-life is here! Readers of my blog will know that this motif is a favourite and recurrent motif of mine. In this case i was thinking abut the life force of atoms.

Super Mum Mixed Media on Paper 76 x 56 cm 1994 $1600 AUD Unframed

I painted this image when I had two small children and felt my energies stretched to the limits. This woman seems to have multiple arms! And again my tree-of-life motif is inside the womb-like ball under the woman's arm.

Earth's Spirits Gouache and Watercolour on paper 104 x 75 cm $3000 AUD Unframed

This painting was exhibited in an exhibition called Knitting Time at Whitebox Gallery in Brisbane. The paintings in this exhibition had been inspired by a friend's novel. Her name is Lesley Synge

See The Traces Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2001 $1600 AUD Unframed

I have palyed with perspective in this ambiguous landscape. I had been living in Brisbane for about a year after living in Goondiwindi in western Queensland for 18 years. I moved with my 3 children then aged 2,5 and 8 because I got divorced. Once in Brisbane my landscapes took on a searching within my memory. I was and still am interested in multi perspectives and the power developing skills in perspective gives to humanity. At this point in time, in the early 2000s, I was understandably considering my options, looking at my past and examining myself and my life from new and sometimes frightening perspectives.

Inside The Landscape Gouache on paper 2004 Sold
This painting is a continuation of my interests mentioned for the painting above.

In The Air Gouache on Paper 56 x 76 cm 2005 $1600 AUD Unframed
I have alwys loved the aerial view and this image is surely an aerial view highlightng again my interest in exploring different perspectives. I think of the old saying...The girl can leave the country but the country never leaves the girl!

At Close Distance Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2005 $1600 AUD Unframed

This is a really beautiful painting...if I say so myself! I have delved inside the landscape to reveal its intimate parts. Yet, at the same time the vastness of the landscape is evident. Hence the title 'At Close Distance' which plays with ideas of distance being far and close.

So, this is a brief online exhibition of some of my older paintings. I have chosen ones I really like!
* All prices exclude freight and framing. However, both can be organised. Prices may go up without notice, but these listed here will be maintained for 3 months from the date of this post.
In January 2010 I am having another exhibition at the Upfront Club in Maleny My Mum's exhibition 'Invisible Cities' opened there on Thursday night and is up until Septmeber 22. You must go and see it if you can!!!!
In March 2010 I am having a solo exhibition @ Joshua Levi Galleries 4 Ipswich Rd, Woolloongabba I am so looking forward to this as I have not had a solo exhibition of new works for two years.
My entry into the $15000 Manning Art Prize is a finalist! The winner is announced on September 19

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Detail of as yet untitled painting I am currently working on.

Detail of as yet untitled painting I am currently working on.

The two images above are close-up details of the painting I am currently working on. This painting is a further investigation of my ideas which I explored in 'In the Garden of Eden' which was the subject of my BLOG post of August 5 . Again the tree-of-life and the tree-of-knowledge are pivotal motifs, but like 'In the Garden Of Eden' I have included Adam and Eve ,who for me, simply represent humankind. The crossing over of the two trees creates and reclaims the feminine symbol of the sacred Yoni which meaningfully implies the feminine within all.

In the new painting I have painted Adam asleep. In the bible story he was put into a sleep state to allow for the extraction of his rib to form Eve. Following is a quote from my August 5 BLOG post...."She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him." [Jamieson-Fausset Brown Bible Commentary] Eve eternally shares a part of Adam just as Adam also experiences the feminine. The absent part of his rib represents Eve's presence within. Absentia does not mean lack of inclusion. With these thoughts in mind culpability for the Temptation ascribed soley to Eve seems rather lame or perhaps opportunistic.

It has been suggested that the Bible story actually does not record Adam ever waking up, thus posing a very interesting proposition. In fact, is life an illusion or a dream? Are we Adam's dream into which we are propelled in order to sort out the big questions posed by the battle between good and evil [error]? This proposition opens up a myriad of questions which go to the core of existence...and not just in this human dimension. This is the power of myth.

This brings me to a very interesting post on the Elightenment Next BLOG The post includes an article called TRUE JIHAD by Elizabeth Debold. She suggests that the true jihad is, in fact, the battle of the ego with the spiritual potential within us all. I quote, 'The truer, greater meaning of jihad refers to the battle for the utter liberation of the spirit from the tyrannical nafs—the unconscious motivation in the human psyche that insists on separation and division. The nafs—or ego—is the ultimate terrorist, changing disguises with shape-shifting ease, scurrying within the labyrinth of the mind, setting off explosions of fear and rage, never quite visible until war has been declared and a warrant for its capture, dead or alive, has been issued.'

I have previously written on the BLOG about the role of myth. As time goes on I have an even great sense that misplacement of myth ,which I believe is largely a result of post modernism's slippery decline into narcissism and glorified pastiche, is a far greater loss than we may have realised. For me, myth is a conduit to the inner sanctums of the spiritual potential within us all. Myth will take people places that are undreamed or unimagined until they are awakened. And, upon awakening there is the potential for more discovery. Post modernism forces a sense of sitting outside with enticements to enter, but upon entry it slips away. This, of course is its arrogant subtefuge, because it knows that if discovered there is nothing there. Myth, on the other hand, beckons with its depth and confident potency. I have written about post modernism @

Debold, in her article True Jihad admits to the role of post modernism when she says, 'In my postmodern arrogance, I assumed that the great traditions lacked the sophistication of our modern psychological understanding. But, increasingly, I am coming to understand that it is our contemporary view that lacks depth because, so often, it blunts the sharpness of distinctions that give dignity to the human struggle.'

I am particularly interested in Debold's arguments about ego. I won't go into a broad discussion about it, but I will make some comments with reference to art/artists and ego. Readers of my BLOG would know that I have previously written about ego with reference to my experiences exhibiting in the Middle East and the conversations I had with people who came to my exhibitions from all over the region, Africa and Eastern Europe. As a result of these conversations I realised I do not complete my paintings. They are, in fact, completed by every conversation they stimulate. These conversations can be internally with oneself or with others. Thus, my paintings have the potential to have multiple completions. When I realised this I had to consciously let go of my ego, because I recognised that a part of me wanted to hold onto the meaning of my work. Yet, when I thought about it, each person I had had a conversation with drew more from my work than I had initially ascribed. In fact, by holding on I was a limiting factor. By letting go, I feel free and I know my work is free to do whatever its potential is.

What struck me was that the tree-of-life motif was the element which drew people into conversation with me. This transcultural/religious motif needed no explanation, yet I had used it in non-traditional ways. The willingness of people to share their dreams, hopes, ideas and sometimes despair with me was very humbling. Yet, it was really the power of one motif which opened up the commuication. This motif is intrinsic to many stories from across religions and cultures. This motif has helped my understand the importance of myth.

So, for me myth is timeless and eternal. Through myth we can find rich pathways to the inner sactums of our spiritual potential. If this is the case, then time seems inconsequential. And, as I have written before, if time does not exist then neither does distance and space. Maybe myth is a way to distance-less-ness where axiomatically there are no limits to Myth's capacity.


PS: I should finish my new painting in the next week.

PPS: This painting has been preselected for the $15,000 Manning Art prize announced 19 Sept

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Moment

I am intensely interested in the idea that a frisson is a 'distance' which can be close and/or far and that the space between is replete with anticapatory energy. For instance the moment before a romantic kiss, when the distance between two people is physically close but not closed, is full of heightened anticipation and possibility. This brief moment ‘sees’ time and space dancing with each other causing a rich frisson where everything seems to stand still and the world seems distance-less.

This new painting above is called 'A Moment' and I wanted to give the impression that time and space dance intimately in a suspended frisson. I wanted to 'picture' a moment. I have used my much loved tree-of-life motif to represent past and future. I also deliberately used the circle to represent time as cyclical rather than linear. The circle also reminds us of the rungs of a cut tree. These rungs tell us how old a tree might have been, thus are indicators of earthly time passing.

Yet, time may not exist at all beyond this mortal existence. I am reminded of a few lines in a poem called 'Out There' written by my grandmother D.E Ross, [the entire poem is copied below my post]

Time is not negotiated
wasted or lost:
an hour rates high in our accounting here:
yet a thousand years
could be held as a breath on the wind
Out There.

If time does not exist except perhaps 'as a breath of wind', one then has to question the existence of distance and thus perspective, both being some kind of temporal and spatial measurement of perception. I wonder if both distance and perspective are necessary processes and/or processors we need to move towards a 'knowing' which goes beyond human perception. After all we must know who we are not before we can truly know who we really are. With reference to my last post 'In the Garden Of Eden' I am reminded that Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden to experience good and error [I prefer error to evil] in order to know who they are not so they can know who they are. The story is a parable to propel us in mind and soul beyond to 'Out There'.

The tree-of-life in 'A Moment' is like a gossamer creating a veil. This veil is time. Once the veil is lifted I can imagine distance, space and perspective collapsing into a non-existence which paradoxically remembers them. Thus they exist in absentia. In fact, my grandmother's poem in stanza two clearly irradicates boundaries created by compass points or positioning. My grandmother wrote this poem about death, but to my mind she wrote about a 'knowing' of another life...

Out There
By D. E Ross

I do not cringe before the opening door
to Outside,
but brace muscle and mind
to meet
the open horizon
its fresher winds
the brighter light
undreamed of in the chrysalis:
each cloud a carriage
each breeze a wing
each star a stepping stone
beyond Time
-before and after-
toward the secret
of its source
and mine.

There are no boundaries
Out There
but the original laws
that devised
neither north nor south
or east and west,
or here and there
No tides,
but streams of power forever flowing.
Time is not negotiated
wasted or lost:
an hour rates high in our accounting here:
yet a thousand years
could be held as a breath on the wind
Out There.

There is no waste in God’s economy.
New solar systems
gather grace in space
[along with waste
from our allotted span of influence].
In God’s eternal meld
of warp and woof,
of foul and fair,
we have each one of us a share
in a new heaven and a new earth
aiming for birth
Out There

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Garden of Eden

In The Garden of Eden Oil on linen 50 x 94 cm

For a while now, I have been wanting to visually delve into the story of Adam and Eve, a story shared by the three Abrahamaic religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It will not come as a surprise to regular readers of my BLOG that the tree of life and the tree of knowledge are pivotal symbols which have drawn me to the epic tale and all that it might mean. Apart from the details of the story, what intrigues me most are concepts of the sacred feminine, duality and 'The Fall'. The latter may not be a fall from Grace , but a fall to Grace [via a journey through life or maybe lives]. For to know who we are, we also need to know who we are not, hence we need to 'know' good and 'error'. I have previously written about duality on this BLOG

In the painting above Adam and Eve are crowned by the flowing branches of the tree of life representing eternal [divine] life and the tree of knowledge representing the knowledge of good and evil [I prefer error instead of evil]. These trees meet to create a Yoni symbol representing the sacred feminine. Reclaiming the sacredness and equality of the feminine is an age old quest which still persists today in many aspects of contemporary life, culture and religion. The sacred feminine does not exclude the masculine, but encompasses that feminine aspect of the masculine. The masculine can emotionally, physically and spiritually share in the experience. He is reminded of it in mortal life when he physically is one with a woman. The Yoni suggests that the Garden of Eden is to be found within and is not just meant to be some kind of external environment which is subject to the vagaries of mere human care and or manipulation.

In the story Eve is created from Adam's rib. "She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him." [Jamieson-Fausset Brown Bible Commentary] Eve eternally shares a part of Adam just as Adam also experiences the feminine. The absent part of his rib represents Eve's presence within. Absentia does not mean lack of inclusion. With these thoughts in mind culpability for the Temptation ascribed soley to Eve seems rather lame or perhaps opportunistic.
What also interests me is the conduit to the internal unseen parts of our psyche and spirit this story gifts to us. The imagined [by God] comes to life in Creation. How many unseen elements of our lives need to be explored? This is the potency of all art ie: its ability to bring some kind of perception to the imagined. The distance between what we call reality and the imagined is vast going beyond size, space or time. By this I mean that there can be a vastness within the nano as well as the universal.

I am not a biblical student, but I am intensly interested in stories which gift to us the chance for metaphysical interpretations and thus great insight. I am also interested in stories which are shared by those religions which in many parts of the world sit uncomfortably and often dangerously with each other. A previous post about a painting called 'Forever Connected' discusses this further.

The Garden Of Eden Oil on linen 50 x 95 cm 2009