After dance classes I would walk back through the city keeping an eye out for reflective surfaces in which I could record myself as part of the urban environment.
In the absence of a mirror, an ordinary selfie would do.
This small performative exercise developed into more involved photo sessions in chosen locations, which in turn became material for sketches and paintings.
It’s an ongoing (maybe life-long!) project, partly inspired by the whole-body self-portraits of US painter Joan Semmel, where the focus begins to shift away from the face to the expression of the body in response to place.
Images, top to bottom: Mirror Selfie, Wynyard (acrylic on watercolour paper); Martin Place (acrylic on watercolour paper); back arch with cranes, North Sydney (pen drawing in sketchbook); pen and watercolour sketch in art journal
Pocket notebook drawings from the rare display of this marvellous and mysterious medieval (c. 1500) suite of tapestries at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, on loan from the Museé de Cluny. I have never encountered such a soulful unicorn!
A woman stood on the back of a flatbed truck looking up at the sky, and the bush was all around her.
A scene, glimpsed through a bus window, that inspired the two paintings below. I will be donating the smaller, red work, Forest (Clare), to a fundraising auction in support of Alexi Keywan, a fellow artist suffering from terrible complications following surgery for endometriosis. There will be 150 works by different artists available.
Bids can be placed in person at the event in Sydney this Saturday from 5.00pm at Theodore Bruce Auctions, 6 Ralph St, Alexandria, or online via bit.do/reflexauctionbid, with more information available on Instagram and Facebook using the handle @ReFlexAuction.
In May this year, I travelled once again to chilly Hobart to cover the 2017 Stranger With My Face International Film Festival for Australian contemporary arts magazine RealTime. Stranger With My Face, now in its fifth year, is a highly respected event focusing on horror and other dark genre cinema directed by women. I stayed in Hobart’s historic quarter, the appropriately gothic Battery Point, just up the cliff from Salamanca Arts Centre, where the festival is hosted.
My festival overview can be read here.
Photographs of Battery Point, Hobart; festival guest, Gaylene Preston, New Zealand director of marvellous thrillers Mr Wrong (1984) and Perfect Strangers (2003); festival display window at Salamanca Arts Centre; festival director Briony Kidd (second from left) with festival award winners (L-R) Kaitlin Tinker, Elizabeth E. Schuch and Gaylene Preston
Some moody phone camera documentation (my DSLR camera had just died) of the Stranger With My Face exhibition, which ran from 14-17 April 2016 as an adjunct to Tasmania’s Stranger With My Face International Film Festival. I was in Hobart covering the festival for RealTime Arts and had also been invited by festival director Briony Kidd to participate in this group show. Curator Robyn Oh did a terrific job of assembling the various works in the Festival Club (aka the Founders Room at Salamanca Arts Centre).
The exhibition took its cue from the festival, which showcases and promotes the work of women who make horror and dark genre films.
Below: Stranger With My Face International Film Festival opening night party
Click here for my overview of the festival for RealTime.
In August this year I moved out of my studio of nine years, after the landlords had their development application approved. This three-storey warehouse opposite the Annandale Hotel in Stanmore, Sydney, was at different times home and work space to a number of artists including Elizabeth Day, Justin Trendall, Maria Cruz, Stephen Birch, Jacky Redgate, Brandt Lewis and India Zegan. Sculptor and painter Peter Hardy had been there for about 30 years. So we had a pretty good run, but it’s sad when these increasingly rare inner-city artists’ spaces go.