Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Alone Gouache on paper 28 x 37.6 cm


It is one week until my book For Everyone: Words and Paintings is officially launched! Whilst it was published in Sept/Oct last year I decided not have a launch in the middle of Christmas mayhem and partying. So, next week it is! Thursday 23 rd February.

Please check HERE for all the details, plus testimonials and more.

The launch will take place at FireWorks Gallery one of Brisbane's best known art galleries. Check out the gallery's history HERE I am very grateful to the Director, Michael Eather, for allowing me to hold the launch and mini exhibiton at FireWorks.

The thirty original paintings inside For Everyone  will be exhibited from the 22 - 25 February at FireWorks Gallery. The paintings have not been exhibited before.

*The e-magazine The Culture Concept has written a short piece about the launch.

For Everyone
The thirty paintings inside For Everyone are each accompanied by some short, and sometimes, poetic prose which is neither didactic nor descriptive. The prose and paintings stir your inner child/essence so that the book becomes all about you, and the conversations you have with yourself and others. Whilst the paintings were initially inspired by observations of my children, particularly as they entered the educational system, over the years I have realised that they are more about the inner child/essence which lives within us all, influencing how we react to events in our lives, how we love and hate, how we cope with success and failure...and so on.

I have uploaded some of the paintings inside For Everyone. The paintings were created in 1997 when my children were very little. In fact, I was pregnant with my third child when I painted this series. She is a bit put out that she's not in one particular image, the one just below called Dare to Be. This painting depicts a family of four, Mum, Dad, and two children with a crowd of eyes staring at them. Yes, it is a painting of me, my then husband and our two children. I have tried to portray how we felt when we were lobbying for a differentiated educational program for our eldest child. We lived in a small country town and the issue became a point of discussion around the community!

Yet, whilst this painting was inspired by a particular series of events it actually, I believe, demonstrates how we all might feel when we step outside the norm. We feel all eyes are on us, we temper our behaviour not to be too noticeable, we gird ourselves to pursue what we think is right...and so on. We can feel anxious, fearful, questioning ourselves and others, angry, disappointed, excited, proud... These kinds of feelings wax and wane as we grow older. But as we get older we become gamer and braver. But, do we?

Dare To Be  Gouache on paper 28 x 37.6

Asleep Gouache on paper 28 x 37.6 cm

This is the prose I wrote for Asleep:

Why did the slow tortoise and the fast hare race each other?
Steady wins the race, so the moral goes.

But, do mismatched races benefit anyone?

Which One? Gouache on paper 37.6 x 28 cm

The initial inspiration for Which One? came from witnessing how my children changed their behaviour according to environments eg: home, educational etc. I watched as they conformed [or not] to perceived expectations from teachers and friends. How they negotiated the complexity of playground dynamics, performance expectations from teachers, parents, friends etc. Absolutely fascinating and I am sure very normal. Yet, sometimes I wondered if one particular child was really just too attuned to other's expectations and approval or disapproval!

As time passed and I re-looked at the paintings in this series, I realised that paintings such as Which One? 'speak' to all of those who are vulnerable toseeking approval and avoiding disapproval, often becoming angry with oneself when behaviours and decisions are based on everything but one's own desires and dreams. Ultimately the question asked is 'Who am I?'

This is the prose accompanying Which One? in For Everyone:

Who are you?
Self perceptions can morph wildly
from one situation to another,
especially if the approval of others is the master.

When you ponder the other paintings in this post, and in For Everyone, you will see how they all relate. Indeed, the painting below Disappearance takes on interesting connotations when considered with Which One? Do people 'disappear' as they morph to expectations or do they need to disappear to find themselves again? Think about Which One? in relation to Who Pulls The Strings?

Inner Child Gouache on paper 47.6 x 28 cm

Disappearance Gouache on paper 37.6 x 28 cm

There are many conversations you can have with yourself about Disappearance.

Let Them Fly Gouache on paper 37.6 x 28 cm

Who Pulls The Strings? Gouache on paper 37.6 x 28 cm

I'd like to think that people, who buy For Everyone will return to it time and time again, just to ponder and to let their imaginations 'go'. But, there are many possible scenarios where the book can be used to spark conversation and creativity. A primary school teacher has told me she will be using For Everyone as a stimulus for her gifted and talented creative writing class. I young consellor has seen possibilities where the book could be used as a stimulus for conversations with clients/patients, to draw out those secrets we hold within our psyches, within the inner child. I can see For Everyone being a tool to stimulate conversations with the elderly, where memories of their early lives may be stirred, revealing those details that are often missed in simply recalling facts about events.

The paintings will be exhibited from 22 - 25 February at FireWorks Gallery. They will be on display for the actual book launch on the 23rd. Details HERE

All, but one, will be exhibited unframed. I have framed the painting which is on the front cover of For Everyone so people can get an idea of what the paintings might look like when framed. The unframed price is $700 AUD and framed $920 AUD

My children have picked out one painting each to keep.

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