Friday, March 26, 2010


Beyond The Dark Night Of The Soul Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm
Only 2 more days to go and my solo exhibition FRISSON comes down. It will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10 am - 6 pm. It is always a bit sad when a show comes to an end. I have had a great time chatting to all the people who have visited. In between visitors I have been reading 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'... and what a perfect book for reading between visitors! I can put it down and then pick it up again and become totally absorbed by it until the next visitor arrives.

The Presence Of Angels oil on linen 60 x 100 cm

Today, Friday 26 March, has been quite busy with a number of visitors to the a few long chats. 'The Brisbane News' published an image of one of my paintings this week. Yes...very happy about this! You can check it out @ pages 26-27 [you can 'flick' through the pages online]. This has brought a few people through the gallery doors, plus a number of phone calls.

So far, I have sold nearly a third of the exhibition! Now, this is very exciting!

Many people have asked me about what I am going to do next. Well...I will plan another exhibition for next year, enter a few competitions, keep writing my BLOG plus a couple of other things which, if they 'come off', I will reveal at that right time.

Yesterday, I had an elderly woman come to the door of the gallery. As she poked her head in I gave her my normal cheery, 'Hello! How are you?' She remained at the door and asked me, 'What kind of art it this?' I replied, 'I am the artist. It is contemporary art and I use the Tree-of-life as my guiding motif.' She then said, 'Oh. I don't think it is for me. I won't come in.' She then turned around and walked down the stairs and onto the foot path. As she left I did say, ' That's fine. Have a nice day.' Now, this was a rather strange interlude, but there was someone else in the gallery and this person was astonished and asked me if I was upset. I said I wasn't because 99.9% of the people who had seen the exhibition seemed genuinely moved by it and had articulated this to me. I was not going to let one person's comments derail me! And, I have to say this elderly lady was honest and I had to admire that. Each to their own is actually quite a wise old saying!

But, when an artist exhibits it actually is an emotional experience. We are showing the world our expression and all that it reveals. By publicly displaying our art, we are automatically open to comment, criticism and...praise. In fact, we do have to develop quite thick hides and a filtration system that is alert to constructive comments and criticism...and praise.

Seeping Into The Intmate Vastness Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm


Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr, New Farm, Brisbane. Until Sunday 28, 10 am - 6pm daily

Monday, March 22, 2010


LIFEBLOOD Oil on linen 90 x 200 cm

FRISSON, my solo exhibition, continues all of this week, until Sunday 28 March. AND, I am very happy to report that it is attracting a steady stream of visitors and sales. The opening night was fantastic, with around 100 people through the exhibition and a number of sales, plus very ego-building comments! I did say in a previous post that I would upload photos of the opeing night, but guess what? Even though my camera was in my hand bag, I forgot to even think about it.

LIFEBLOOD, is attracting quite a lot of attention. I watch people as they look at it from a distance and then they move closer. Once up close you can see the smile....even though I am looking at the back of their heads, I can see the smile in their bodies. The reason for the smiling bodies is that up close they see the small $ signs which I have used to create the strips of rain, and the foreground. I love the fact that people move back and forth from this painting examining it from close and far distance, because this is the movement we need as we live locally in an increasingly globalised world. I have written about LIFEBLOOD before. here's the link

AH HAs! Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm SOLD

I sold this painting on opening night! Here's the link to my previous post where I 'talk' about those instants where insights cause Ah Ha reactions.

LOVE oil on linen 100 x 100 cm SOLD

LOVE also sold on opening night and could have sold a few times more since then...from the comments I have received. Here's my previous post about LOVE

DISAPPEARING PERSPECTIVE Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm
This painting was the last one finished for the exhibition. I wrote a post about my thoughts, but did not upload an image, because the painting was not finished. My thoughts revolved around ideas that we may need rethink how traditional and western concepts of perspective influence our perception of a world which has changed to the point where new ideas of perspective or even a collaspe of perspective is required. Here's the previous post


One of the recurrent comments about my exhibition FRISSON is that it is beautiful. Also, Dr. Christine Dauber in her remarks when she opened the show, referred to concepts of beauty. She commented that in art theory there are statements about the death of beauty with contingent arguments, or suggestions that beauty cannot hold the potential for political agency. She then said that my work refuted this suggestion, because inherent in my work is a conscious compulsion to find connections between people, races, cultures and religions to make the world a better place.

This compulsion is not driven naively, but based in experience and thought with a salute, which is deliberately elided, to the existence of ugliness and all its attendant characteristics. I have often thought about beauty, and when I studied Art History at University, I literally felt at a loss when I read about theories relating to the death of beauty and the implied suggestion that anything beautiful could not contain the kind of agency that presumably something which was not beautiful could.
So, all I can say is that visitors to my exhibition seem to be engaged by the beauty. This engagement seems to infiltrate at an emotional level and induces a desire to engage with me. I know that when I see something which I think is beautiful it is not just about seeing it. It is also about feeling it, and this is where vacuous   prettiness collapses when positioned beside beauty. The distinction is felt in a truly sentient manner. Beauty, to me, is the kind of thing a person will remember, and when the memory surfaces they feel something delightful and reassuring in their bodies. The fact that it can feel reassuring tells me that beauty is something which possibly has a human race kind of memory imbedded in our that huge part of DNA which has not yet been explained.

So, whilst my eyes might tell me something looks beautiful, it is my emotional response and memory of that feeling that is truly an experience of beauty. To me, this is a state of being which has far more potential to act as an agent of change than a state which is driven soley or more predominantly by ugliness. Both beauty and ugliness are identifiable because duality provides us with an opportunity to know what something is, by knowing what it is not.
I will be thinking more about beauty!
GRAYDON GALLERY 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm , Brisbane 61 7 32542325
Open DAILY 10 am - 6 pm [or by appointment] until Sunday 28 March

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

FRISSON - Ready to go!

'Frisson' is hung! All the paintings are up on the walls of Graydon Gallery and I feel very happy with how it all looks. I did not have to leave out any paintings and I was not wishing I had extra.

The exhibition is not overhung and crowded, but neither is it sparse.

I am delighted that Art Historian Dr. Christine Dauber is opening the exhibition tomorrow night. The opening starts at around 5.30 and the official bit will happen around 6.30-6.45 pm.

Here's a blurb about Christine:

Christine Dauber

PhD, BA, BA Honours (Art History) University of Queensland

Christine Dauber has enjoyed a long involvement with the arts in Queensland. She has chaired a number of committees including that of the Queensland Art Gallery Society. Her formal training in the area includes an Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major and an Honours Degree in Art History. In 2007 she completed her Doctorate at the University of Queensland, for which she received a Dean’s Honours Commendation. Her thesis, “Highjacked Agenda: The National Museum of Australia and the Gallery of the First Australians” addresses how the inclusion of the Gallery of the First Australians inflects concepts of the national in Australian cultural life. This thesis also considered how the newly established museum became involved within the History Wars debate.

Christine’s articles have been published in a number of peer reviewed journals and books. She has had teaching experience at the University of Queensland, at the Queensland University of Technology and at Griffith University. She has acted as arts critic and editor for the e-journal M/COnline and as convenor of the Queensland Art Gallery’s journal Artlines. She has been involved in public programming and has had extensive fundraising experience.


Hanging an exhibition is not as easy as it may look. Firstly, placement of the paintings takes time, because they need to be hung to complement each other in theme, subject matter, colour and even shape. Once the placement is done...and this is after picking one painting up and puttting it somewhere, to then maybe moving it and other paintings numerous times until the whole exhibition makes your heart sing! Once placed, the paintings need to be hung. Now this can be either easy or difficult depending on the hanging system used at the gallery. Graydon Gallery's system is good. But, of course paintings need to be level and hung at a height which gives some unity. So, the tweeking here and there can take lots of time! Once this is done, then labels, didactics, artist's statements etc can be placed around the exhibtion, but not in a way that visually intrudes. Then once that is all done, you can print off the catalogue, which can be a simple list of the paintings with medium, date and price or it can be more elaborate with images also included. I opt for the former.

Then you wait for the invited visitors, passers by, return collectors to come! But, not before you've followed up on PR, sent gentle reminder emails to people, updated Facebook... and the list goes on!

An exhibition, particularly a solo show, is extremely important for an artist for many reasons. The primary one is that it showcases many months [sometimes years] of work, where the artist has buried him or herself in the studio immersed in creation, teasing out concepts and thoughts which are meaningful or engaging to them. Exhibiting is actually quite emotional, because it is a baring of your soul to the world with all that baring entails, but it is also an opportunity to sell! Artists' materials, PR, exhibition costs, photographic documentation, website maintenance and fees, insurances, freight, competition fees, framing, accountancy fees, commissions etc need to be paid! Like any business artists juggle all sorts of costs, but unlike many businesses there can be months between sales/income.

I will try to remember to take photos tomorrow night or get someone else to. I am really looking forward to the opening!

Unfortunately my opening clashes with the opening of the Brisbane Senses: Roatry Art Spectacular Art Award and Exhibition which is being held at the Riverside Centre here in Brisbane until March 27. I have three paintings which have been selected for inclusion. Here's a link to the post I wrote about the three paintings

And, I think I'll finish this post with a quote by Dr. Christine Dauber about my paintings.
It must first be understood that Brimblecombe–Fox is not so much concerned with landscape painting per se, but in a Warburgian sense, searches for the universal connections, or common ground between people, races and religions. Thus, she uses the “tree of life” or “tree of knowledge” as a repetitive motif and in so doing, deploys its spiritual associations as a global referent. Christine Dauber

Over the period of the exhibition I will write every few days about happenings, thoughts, reactions etc.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Frisson Oil on linen 85 x 147 cm

As I think about perspective [and regular readers will know I think about this a lot] I am beginning to 'see' something which both excites and frightens me. This sounds like a frisson feeling! Anyway, I am beginning to 'see' in my mind's eye the collapse of perspective as we have come to know it ie: as a linear and a point of reference to gauge space and distance, in both the literal and metaphoric contexts.
Our globalised world forces us to dance on a stage which exists between the multiple wings of the global and local. Before exploration of the globe, humankind's world view was physically limited to the immediate locale. The development of perspective from utilising simple size reduction on a spatial plane, to 1 point perspective in the 14 th and 15 th centuries, to 3 point perspective with the arrival of photography, mirrors the expanded knowledge and experience of the physical world via exploration and science.
However, is perspective, as we understand it, limiting our ability to negotiate the contemporary stage? As we live locally in an increasingly globalised world, we actually need to harness and embrace multiple perspectives simultaneously. It is in this experience that I 'see' the disappearance, the collapse, the annihilation of perspective. At the very least perspective, as we know it, becomes impotent when confronted with the need to immerse ourselves in the experience of simultaneous distances ie: from pico to universal.

As I wonder about this, I cannot but help to think about the global financial crisis. This experience very clearly illustrated, and continues to illustrate, that we are all connected. In November 2008 I wrote a post about the looming GFC. Here's the link In this post I commented on the insidiousness of post-modernsim's distortion into a propensity to slip and slide between creating seductive fantasy and playgrounds where rules are made to be broken.
The slippery slope into narcisistic tendencies helped create the 'house of cards' which collapsed when sub prime loans defaulted enmass and credit rating agencies scurried for cover.

However, I 'see' all of this as part of an evolutionary process. Post modernism had to happen, because, in a sense, it has allowed us to experience moving perspectives, fantasy perspectives, simulated perspectives and I am sure you can think of a whole lot more! Was post modernism's agenda to loosen our hold on perspective? But, is the experiment over? Do we now need to annihilate perspective and come up with an alternative, that allows us to experience simultaneous distances?

The pendulum of experience can take us to extremes. At the extreme end of each arc of the pendulum there exists an unhealthy point that compels and propels the pendulum to take the opposite move. One could say this movement back and forth creates energy, but I think we also need to imagine the pendulum on a 3D plane rather than a 2D plane, because the latter can very easily get stuck in a groove. Maybe postmodernism has tried to push us off the known groove by falling and imploding into an unhealthy state? Maybe it was, and is, imploring us to think more holistically and multi-dimensionally? Now isn't all of this both exciting and scarey? But, its worth it because I think compassion may well be the big winner!

Pendulum Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2007
Anyway, I have fun thinking about all these things. I have even more fun letting them errupt onto canvas and paper.

FRISSON Oil on linen 84 x 145 cm
The painting above registers the almost meeting of perspectives. There is a small space or gap between the two colours and the branches of the trees-of-life, but its size is no clue to its enormous capacity. It is like the moment before a romantic kiss...especially the first with someone new! The colliding of senses makes time seem to stand still, yet both excitement and fear couple in majestic anticipation. This is how I 'see' the the world today. This painting will be in my solo exhibition FRISSON opening next week. The DETAILS are:
FRISSON @ Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane
EXHIBITION DATES Tues 16- Sun 28 March Open Daily 10 am -6 pm [Tues 16 from 1 pm -6 pm]
OPENING Thurs 18 March 5.30-8pm

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


                                            Hope In The Distance Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2010 SOLD

This painting is the one I wrote about in a recent post. I was still working on the painting at the time, but I shared my inspiration, which travelled from rain in the distance, to hope, to literal and metaphoric horizons. Here's what I wrote:

I am working on a painting at the moment and my ideas have revolved around issues of water and rain, plus what they represent at emotional and even spiritual levels. Regular readers will know that water is of great interest to me and that it has been a sub theme within my broader interests in perspective, distance and the space between the micro/local and macro/global. Overarching all of this is my compulsion to explore the potential of archetypes to perhaps reveal universal connections that mean something to us in the 21st century.This new painting which I am currently working on, is essentially about hope. I am calling it 'Hope In The Distance' because it is, at first glance, a painting of strips of rain on the horizon.

When I lived in Western Queensland, strips of rain would appear on distant horizons, often cruelly tantalising us with the potential for much needed rain. But, horizons, as metaphors for our lives cascade into so much possibility, because as I have written before, horizons can be both close and far. Our eyes, of eye ball and pupil, see horizons as existing in the far distance, but our eyes trick us, because we are essentially always present upon horizons which exist at all universal and nano distances around us. Our mind's eye can 'see' these multitudinous horizons so much clearer than our eye of eye ball and pupil, especially if we discard one dimensional and simple notions of distance and perspective.

I am reminded of a quote I used in my artist's statement for my show 'Distance' in London in 2002. The quote is from Walter Benjamin's Illuminations where he describes aura as, the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be. The word 'aura' has new age connotations, but I think, whether we know it or not, we are all searching for an experience and an understanding of aura. Maybe this is the unviversal search and that at each era, the agelessness of archetypal symbols offer clues to a discovery or a depended understanding of aura. We just have to keep investigating their potential. I think the investigation may require us to rely more on our mind's eye rather than always relying on our eye of eye ball and pupil...the two need to work together questioning everything.

My thoughts about multitudinous horizons have given me glimpses of the phenomenon of aura! These glimpses slip away as I try to grasp an understanding, but my hope is that as I discard old ways of 'seeing' I might come to a fuller experience of aura. Indeed, as we live locally in an increasingly globalised world, we are all actually forced to collapse notions of distant horizons, as we experience contemporary life. I suppose the hope is that the experience is understood as being potentially transforming in a positive way for all humanity.
'Hope In The Distance' Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
The tree-of-life creates a land formation which seems like a mountain or a hill in the foreground. The branches of the tree suggest underground systems of water, minerals, roots, animal burrows etc. The five strips of rain fall from a potent sky of red and blue. These strips of rain represent hope, hope of sustenance. As an aside, the current floods 'out west' will provide deep subsoil sustenance and replenishment of underground aquifers for some time, but the devastation of homes, infrastucture and livestock is brutal.

Yet, this painting got me thinking about things beyond rain, drought and floods. It got me thinking about connections. The strips of rain are like conduits connecting earth and sky, body and soul, mind and God. The tree-of-life transcends the material, by imposing its true potential, which is the fullness of life...of humanity. In this way the immediate suggested horizon vanishes, because humanity encompasses past, present and future. All three of these time phases are horizons in a sense, but when experienced simultaneously horizons disappear, perspective evaporates and distance has no meaning.

FRISSON Solo exhibition
Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthry Rd, New Farm, Brisbane
EXHIBITION DATES: 16-28 March [***From 1pm-6pm Tuesday 16]
OPENING NIGHT: Thursday 18 March 5.30-8 pm
Gallery is open daily 10 am -6pm ***

I went to the inaugural TEDx Brisbane on Saturday 6 March It was really great and certainly generated some ideas worth spreading.

Friday, March 05, 2010

FRISSON - Works on paper

Together Gouache on paper 30 x 21 cm

Sharing The Spaces Gouache on paper 21 x 30 cm

Frisson Gouache on paper 21 x 30 cm

The above three works on paper will be in my exhibition FRISSON opening 18 March. I will have more works on paper including others of this 21 x 30 cm size and larger works 30 x 42 cm.

The larger works on paper will be from my series on water, which I have written about before on my BLOG. I will have some framed and some unframed works on paper. The above three will be framed with a very nice pale coloured square cut timber frame.

The bottom painting is called 'Frisson' and, whilst it is a small painting, it is an important one for me. It's important because it was one of the first paintings I did where I was fully conscious of wanting to paint something that 'spoke' of a frisson. I wanted to create something which purposefully expressed an instant...a nanosecond... akin to that instant just before a romantic kiss or just as an insight shifts your world view or just as an Ah Ha ripples through your body. All these examples of what I would call a frisson, are intimate and full of feeling. They are bigger than the actual instant, because time seems to stand still and when time stands still, distance collapses. I imagine travelling in a vortex where perspective is supended because the movement of the vortex's energy is in none and all possible directions at once. Isn't imagination wonderful!

As you can see, the three paintings above all depict my much loved transcultural/religious tree of life. So, what is the tree's history with me and my art.


I started using the tree-of-life in the early 1990s when I was having my babies. At that stage the tree-of-life was a very personal and understandable expression of the experience of creating and giving new life. My maternal grandmother died aged 92 only 6 weeks before my first daughter was born. These events get you thinking about life in all its glory. As time went on the tree-of-life expanded into expressions of extended familial links over time. This was still a personal reflection though. However, my experience exhibiting in Abu Dhabi in 2005 was an Ah Ha! The conversations I had with people from all over the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe revealed to me that my expression of the tree-of-life resonated across cultures and religions. The archetypal symbol had revealed its potency to transcend time and 'speak' to us in the twenty first century. I have come to believe that the agelessness of the archetype is the core of this potency.
noun: a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill.
GRAYDON GALLERY 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia
Ph: 61 7 32542325 [druing exhibition]
EXHIBITION DATES Tuesday 16- Sunday 28 March
OPEN DAILY 10 am - 6 pm [Tuesday 16 from 1-6 pm]
OPENING Thursday March 18 5.30-8pm
To be opened by Art Historian Dr. Christine Dauber.

Monday, March 01, 2010


Elemental Oil on linen 50 x 95 cm 2009


I have just spent the weekend in Stanthorpe and have had a really great time. On Friday night the opening of the Stanthorpe Art Festival and Award was the gig to be at! It was a fabulous night, but alas I cannot report that I won. Nevertheless, I am thrilled to be a finalist in the Award, because the exhibition is fantastic with a very strong selection of paintings and ceramic works. Apparently over 1000 entries from 400 artists were submitted for preselection by judge John McDonald, [Art Critic for the Sydney Monring Herald, and author of Art Of Australia Vol 1] and 145 paintings were chosen to be in the exhibiton/award. So, you can see why I am very pleased to have been one of the chosen 145. Here's the link to the Stanthorpe Regional Gallery where you can see the prizes plus download a copy of the catalogue

The painting above is the one selected for the Stanthorpe Art festival and Award. It is called 'Elemental'. I have previously written about this's the link The price of this painting is $2400.00 AUD. Regular readers will identify the tree-of-life motif which seems to create a landform. The strips of 'rain' falling from the 'clouds' are painted both red and blue. This painting reminds us of the important visceral qualities of water, not only within our individual bodies, but also in the 'body' of our planet Earth. The tree-of-life is not just a landform, but it is also an expression of the internal life forces within us all. This painting moves between the intimate and personal to the vast and universal.

Whilst I was in Stanthorpe I visited a winery owned by a friend of a friend. For readers from overseas, Stanthorpe is a 2 1/2 drive south west of Brisbane. It is in an area called the Granite Belt...and there is a huge amount of granite! Stanthorpe is a fruit growing area and has a flourishing wine industry. It is also becoming a favourite weekend holiday destination with a large selection of various kinds of accommodation. The winery I visited was KOMINOS WINES where I enjoyed the company of the very convivial owners Tony and Mary, as well as a selection of their fabulous, and award winning, red and white wines, including a delicious Nouvelle rose. And, yes, I bought some wine too!


Things are still continuing to move along really well with my solo exhibition FRISSON which opens on Thursday March 18 at Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane. The exhibition dates are 16-28 March, open daily 10 am -6 pm [Tues 16 from 1 pm -6pm].

I had a radio interview on Sunday with Richard Lancaster, and it was a great chatty interview where he asked me some interesting questions, ranging from a question about why I paint on linen to questions about my exhibition in Abu Dhabi in 2005. And, of course some discussion about FRISSON.

The question about what I paint on is actually a very good one to ask, because people often do not understand the significance. I paint on Belgian Linen because it is the best. This means it is expensive, but my brush glides over linen, whereas cotton canvases seems to grab at the brush interrupting the flow of my hand. Linen will last longer and respond to changes in climate better. I paint on linen because I enjoy it more and because I want collectors of my work to know they have purchased something where the material quality will be assured.