Tuesday, August 13, 2013


 Knitted Time Gouache on paper 75.5 x 56 cm 1995
In 1995 I painted a series of works on paper that were inspired by a manuscript an author friend, Lesley Synge, had written. I did not illustrate the manuscript, but used it as a stimulus...and it was marvellous. The collaboration has been ongoing...in fits and exciting starts since then. And, now there's an e-book [more about this below].
In 1996 I exhibited the works on paper in a solo exhibition called KNITTED TIME at a gallery in Brisbane called Whitebox. This gallery was the precursor to the innovative Soapbox Gallery which closed a few years ago. In both instances the driving force was artist Franz Ehmann. Franz was born in Austria and I have great gratitude for him, because he exhibited my paintings when I was still living in Goondiwindi, in Western Queensland. This was at a time when arts bureaucracies tagged artists living outside cities with 'regional artist'. It sounds quite innocuous, but it was loaded with agenda-driven expectations that were very limiting. Franz, however, was not interested in tags...indeed when you come from Europe, what indeed would 'regional artist' mean? A worldly view like Franz's was so refreshing! When I moved to Brisbane I continued to exhibit at Soapbox until it closed. Its closure was a loss for Brisbane.
Knitted Time was a terrific exhibition. I had the paintings hanging around the walls at different heights. I also had small shelves made to hold items which linked to Lesley's manuscript. These items included ripped knitting patterns and leaves. Lesley's story was set at Ma Ma Creek, which is an area at the bottom of the Great Dividing Range, below Toowoomba in Queensland. The characters in the story were linked to landscape in many and interesting ways. So, I spread eucalyptus leaves all over the gallery floor...and it was quite a large space. At the opening people walked on the leaves and a wonderful eucalypt aroma wafted through the space and into the surrounding areas. Over the period of the exhibition the leaves dried, but the aroma continued.
Blood Of Possibility Mixed media on paper 75.5 x 56 cm 1995
There have been a few other events that Lesley and I have been involved with since 1995. Indeed, for Lesley there was the exciting publication of her manuscript as a book called Cry Ma Ma To The Moon! It was published in 2002 by Interactive Press, Brisbane, as the winner of Best Fiction IP Picks 2002 [under the name Singh]. I'm delighted to say that a painting of mine is on the front cover. Here's a little about the book...taken from its back cover.
Autumn. The Earth shifts and Bess begins to knit a jumper for the man she loves. She obtains wool from Clare who lives in an alternative community at Ma Ma Creek, a woman knowledgeable in the art of using eucalyptus leaves to dye wool. But with Clare’s skeins, Bess gets more than she bargained for and, as she knits, her familiar world unravels.

Set in the forests of south-eastern Queensland, Australia, Cry Ma Ma to the Moon is a story of trees and poetry, blueberries and potions, and of men, women and passion.

NOW for even more exciting news:
Cry Ma Ma To The Moon
is now available as an e-book!
there are 23 paintings of mine, one at the beginning of each chapter.
And, my painting Magic Lady is on the front cover.

You can buy the e-book at AMAZON
You can also preview the book on the AMAZON page
Spirited Team Gouache on paper 102 x 75 cm 1995
Lesley Synge's website is:        ZING STORIES
Franz Ehmann's website is:     SOAPBOX GALLERY
The Seeing Stars exhibition and art prize opens tonight 13 August at the Yarra Gallery, Federation Square, Melbourne. My painting Where? is one of the finalists. The exhibition and prize is a celebration of the SKA [Square Kilometre Array] which will be the world's largest and most sensitive telescope, and proudly co-hosted by Australia. You can check out the Seeing Stars website HERE and see the finalists HERE
Where? Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm 2013
Is my next solo exhibition
in Brisbane
15-27 October
Please check out  my
for all the details!
In my last post I mentioned I had some paintings in the Brisbane Grammar School Art Show.
This painting Elemental Dance  SOLD!
Elemental Dance Oil on linen 55 x 80 cm 2012

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