Friday, August 26, 2011


Paradise Oil on linen 62 x 82 cm
In two weeks my exhibition 'Paradise' opens. It is open to the public from Thursday 8 September! The opening night is Friday 9 September 6-8 pm. The exhibition dates are 8 September - 8 October, 11 am - 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday at PURGATORY ARTSPACE, 170 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne.


The paintings in ‘Paradise’ explore interweaving notions of paradise; the story of Adam and Eve, paradise lost through intercultural misunderstanding and environmental decay, and ideas of paradise in cosmological postulations of multiple universes ‘out there’ which imply the potential for vastness within.

These are visually woven together with the age-old transcutlural/religious tree-of-life motif which the artist un-tethers from traditional visual interpretations to explore its symbolic potency in the 21st century. The tree embraces the planet, our home, with beauty’s reminder of what we lose if relationships with each other and the planet are not nutured.
The exhibition reflects upon important contemporary considerations of perspective, as we live locally in an increasingly globalised world, where space research proposes the existence of other universes and spiritual explorations suggest vast inner manifestations, where environmental degradation strangles notions of both inner and outer paradise.
Thin networks of lines and dots render the age old trans-cultural ‘tree-of-life’ motif, weaving historical and spiritual threads through the works. These paintings express an innate human quest for a kind of paradise or utopia, whether a tangible existence or an internal longing. They at once conjure an infinite cosmos and an exploration of inner manifestations. Branches which seem to reach out and duplicate ad infinitum are mirrored below like an intricate root system reaching far into the earth.

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

Finding The Light Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm

My book 'For Everyone' will be out soon! I will keep everyone updated and hope to start a new BLOG desigated to my book... and hopefully bookS as time goes by! Here's a taster image for you.

Check out my Youtube far two short videos. Both segments from my recent talk at the C.J Jung Society of Queensland. One segment is where I talk about beauty and the other segment is where I talk about my 'quiet activism'...regular readers know about that! And, some of those paintings will be in 'Paradise' as suggestions that environmental degradation is a 'paradise lost'


Thursday, August 18, 2011


I Am A Tree Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

I have been watching the world I am sure you have too. So much seems to be happening, so much that causes concern, disquiet and worry. Yet, from what I can discern, questions we may not have previously thought to ask, or be game to ask, are now being asked. Finally questions about the world's economic situation are probing underlying and exhausted paradigms, rather than only external symptoms eg: the S&P downgrade of the US has forced the navel gazers to look up. The dreadful riots in the UK have seen newspaper commentators, politicians and others analyse the 'sacredness' of welfare and the contigent erosion of self respect and responsibility...for all involved parties. Environmental issues are now world issues, where questions of responsibility for the future, and not just the foreseeable one, are part of the dialogue. And, so on.

Underlying all of this, I sense, are very deep questions about our identity as human beings. We are, in a way, asking ourselves, who are we? We are astonished by the UK rioters' behaviour, aghast at the greed of those who create ponzi schemes, bewildered by the inability of politicians to make statesman-like decisions, incredulous about environmental destruction for profit without scientific assurance of sustainability and so on.

As structures erode it forces us to question. When events happen, seemingly out of the blue [eg: UK riots, GFC] posthumous questions reveal that many of these events were inevitable. But, the questions also infer an underlying scramble to understand the human condition and ask, 'Who are we and where is compassion?' I hope we have the attention span required to ponder these questions deeply! Maybe art can help!

I Am A Tree
This is a short paragraph I previously wrote about this painting:

This next painting 'I Am A Tree' places the female figure at the centre. She is the site of all growth. She is the land, the sea, the sky. She is connected to everything, the Universe or Multiverse. She folds duality so that it is no longer recognisable as such. She embraces the vastness with intimate strokes of love and compassion. She is the horizon, as well as being that which exists beyond it...and this horizon may be within us. She is the landscape in its universal entirity, as well as its co-existing metaphor, the landscape of soul.

She is me, she is you, she is the feminine power that exists within us all...male and female.

And, regular readers will know of my thoughts on beauty, and its agency as a generator and holder of hope. Here's a short video where I speak about beauty. It is a segment from my recent talk at the C.J Jung Society of Queensland.

Countdown to my exhibition Paradise @ Purgatory Artspace, Melbourne!
The show dates are 8 Sept- 8 Oct.
Opening night is Friday 9 Sept 6-8 pm.
First Floor, 170 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne.

Check out for more details and artist's statement.
Also check out my online gallery


Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Underground Currency [Great Artesian Basin] Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm

My presentation at the C.J Jung Society of Queensland last week went really well. I have had some great feedback. My topic was 'The Trans-Cultural/ Religious Tree of Life and Knowledge: An Artist’s Quest to Reinterpret Past Visual Representations to Revitalise Their Potency for the 21st Century'. I spoke for about an hour and a half with another half an hour of discussion during and after the presentation.

Check out which is a video of a segment of the talk. My daughter took the footage. Fortunately she 'got' me while I was talking about my 'quiet activism'. Regular readers will know of my intense interest in and concern for the environment, water and food security in the face of the burgeoning coal seam gas industry and increasing open cut coal mining in Australia...indeed the world. 

In this footage I am talking about my painting 'Underground Currency: Great Artesian Basin' [pictured above]. I discussed my 'quiet activism' towards the end of the talk. I had spent some time on various aspects of the transcultural/religious tree-of-life in my work...distance, beauty, perspective, conversation, identity, life, systems and so on. All of these are important aspects of my 'quiet activism' as well.
Here's a link to my previous post for 'Underground Currency' 

My daughter also took some footage of other bits of the presentation. I will upload them soon.
Compassion Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm

I learnt yesterday that my entry 'Compassion' for the Blake Prize [for religious and spirtual art], whilst not making it to being one of the finalists, actually did make it to the finalist consideration stage. Thus, it is now in the running to be included in what is called 'The Director's Cut' exhibition, which will be online at the Blake Society webpage from October 6. Time will tell if it is in the exhibition.

Wednesday 10 August I am being interviewed by Heather Price on her blogtalkradio show Connecting Consciously Radio with Heather Price. Here's the link for you to listen 9-10 am. 
Added after the interview: The link will take you to the recording too!

for two upcoming workshops I am co-presenting with Gabriele Engstrom. In troubled times creativity can helps us problem solve in ways we may not have thought about before. Both workshops are designed to ignite creativity by exploring symbols.

I am currently working on a large painting...a new 'quiet activist' one! It is the map of Australia with the Murray Darling Basin highlighted in small $ signs...well I have to paint them yet, but that's the plan. Here's a link to the work on paper which has inspired me to paint a larger oil painting.


PARADISE @ Purgatory Artspace
for all the details, including an artist's statement.
My forthcoming solo exhibition in Melbourne 8 Sept-8 Oct!

GFC and Current Events
In 2008 I wrote a blog post about some of my thoughts on the financial crisis which, at that time, was causing havoc across the world. Given recent events which have rocked fragile world economies again, I wonder if we've really heard the call to reality. In 'After The Implosion' I looked at the role a degenerative, unhealthy post modernism may have played in hijacking reality and arresting maturity.