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studio la primitive arts zine

ssue 55 march 2024


Bypass, H30 x W60 cm. oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2023.

Greive page
ANKA WHAT page 70

A Day at Cruden Farm

Lorraine Fildes page : 190
Left : Machete of Tara , Lenton Parr 2003. Photo Lorraine Fildes.

Instagram link: Author and musician Nathan Bell . Photo courtesy of Bell.

MAGGIE HALL page 128

studio la primitive slp A


Geoffrey Breen

Marian Day

Anka What

George Gittoes

Hellen Rose

Maggie Hall

Bronwyn Greive

Nathan Bell


Lorraine Fildes

Phil Watts

Lisa Wiseman

Brad Evans

Peter J Brown

Reese North

ADFAS Newcastle

Eric Werkhoven

Robyn Werkhoven

Helene Leane

Art Systems Wickham

Timeless Textiles

Barbara Nanshe

Newcastle Potters Gallery

Straitjacket Gallery

Gresford Gallery

Dungog by Design

Studio La Primitive

Birch Forest, H1o2 x W78 cm.
Editorial ………… Robyn Werkhoven 14 Studio La Primitive …… E & R Werkhoven 15 Feature Artist Geoffrey Breen 16 - 43 Poetry ……………….. Brad Evans 44 - 45 Feature Artist ………… Marian Day 46 - 67 Poetry ……………………. Reese North 68 - 69 Feature Artist …………… Anka What 70 - 85 Poetry ………………….. Eric Werkhoven 86 - 87 Feature Artist …………… George Gittoes 88 - 113 Feature Artist …………. Hellen Rose 114 - 127 Poetry …………………. Maggie Hall 128 - 137 Feature Artist …………. Bronwyn Greive 138 - 159 Featured Article ……….. Nathan Bell 160 - 169 Featured Artist …………. SEIGAR 170 - 189 Featured Article ………….. Lorraine Fildes 190 - 207 ART NEWS………………. 208 - 241 FRONT COVER : Roadhouse, H60 x W120 cm. Oilon canvas, Geoffrey Breen, Finalist Newcastle Club Art Prize 2023. INDEX
Cicada, art leadlight panel by Marian Day.


Greetings to ARTS ZINE readers, this is our first issue for 2024.

March is our first issue for 2024, includes a selection of dynamic and talented artists, photographers and writers.

Geoffrey Breen accomplished artist and former architect. Breen writes about his life, career and his passion for painting.

Artist Marian Day has been designing and working with leadlight and stain glass for over thirty-five years. Day’s home and studio are in rural Dungog, NSW, and works under the name Leadlight of Day.

Australian contemporary artist Anka What presents her latest paintings and drawings.

The indomitable artist and award-winning film maker George Gittoes presents his intriguing latest dispatches from the Yellow House in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

Singer, performer and film maker Hellen Rose writes another great article Granny Que Riot Kabul and the Mask.

Bronwyn Greive lives and works in the beautiful rural area of Dungog NSW. Greive is an author and a dynamic multi-disciplinarian artist - drawing, painting, printmaker and textiles.

Nathan Bell is a multi-disciplinarian artist, musician and science fiction author living and working in Newcastle Australia.

Artist and poet Maggie Hall features a surreal work - The Bohemian Groove.

Artist and poet Maggie Hall features a surreal work - The Bohemian Groove.

International Spanish artist and photographer SEIGAR includes a series of photos – Tales of Morocco.

Lorraine Fildes, travel writer and art photographer presents A Day at Cruden Farm, Langwarrin Victoria.

Don’t miss out reading new works by resident poets Brad Evans, Reese North, and Eric Werkhoven.

ART NEWS and information on forthcoming art exhibitions.

Submissions welcomed, we would love to have your words and art works in future editions in 2024.

Deadline for articles 15th April for May 2024.


Regards - your editor Robyn Werkhoven

The publisher will not accept responsibility or any liability for the correctness of information or opinions expressed in the publication. Copyright © 2013 Studio La Primitive. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced , in whole or in part, without the prior permission of the publisher.

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S T U D I O Woman in a Hat Collaborative drawing E&R Werkhoven 2023. Issue 55 - March 2024 15


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Artist and former architect Geoffrey Breen lives and works in rural Pokolbin, Lower Hunter Valley NSW.

In the following article Breen writes about his life, career and his passion for painting.

An in depth look at the painting techniques of his many richly coloured landscapes, buildings and interiors.

Breen has been a Finalist in many major Australian art prizes.

Page 16 : Delivery of the Keys, H122 x W182 cm. diptych Oil on ply wood, Finalist Gosford Art Prize, Geoffrey Breen 2021. Right : Tea on the Terrace, H141 x W102 cm.
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Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2015.
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Background: Born in 1942 I’m a pre boomer and a still young 82. I live on a bush property in the isolation of Pokolbin. I continue to be active with painting and outside work around the property.

Education: An adolescence in Sydney’s western suburbs came with the automatic expectation I would take up a trade. I had a number of false starts - including a five year drafting apprenticeship in engineering - but by twenty I had resolved to become an Architect. With savings accumulated from annual vacation work, the help of my parents and the Government’s subsidising of University fees I completed a full time degree at the University of NSW - later completing post graduate degrees in Landscape design and Environmental Planning at the same institute. A subsequent abortive attempt at an MBA Degree at Macquarie University firmly established that my skills lay elsewhere.

Professional Career: I’ve had a successful forty year career in Architecture - largely from abilities to conceptualise, think laterally, and evolve ideas via continuous feedback loops. High points include working with Edwards Madigan and Torzillo the architects of the High Court and the National Gallery in the ACT - architecture at its most intellectual. Later with commercial firms on office and retail CBD projects in Australia and overseas - less intellectual but remunerative. I retired at 70 in 2012.

Beginnings of my interest in ART

Several memorable learning experiences - one layering upon the other and aggregating over time - most notably: - A take away memory from a 1950’s school excursion to the AGNSW was a curious ‘spotty’ little painting of a thatched cottage behind a hedge with a tiny indistinct person walking past. It was by Camile Pissarro (I had no idea who he was or what the spots meant) but it was presented as ‘A-R-T’. I questioned why would he paint it indistinctly with spots and not ‘readably’ like the Streeton and Roberts paintings we were also shown? I carried this puzzle for many years.

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Page 18 : Lunchtime in the Park, H122 Xh182 cm. diptych, oil on ply wood, Finalist Kilgour Art Prize, Geoffrey Breen 2017.

- Evening drafting classes at tech taught along with orthographic, axonometric and isometric projections - that perspective projection was constructed with straight lines emanating from one or more ‘vanishing points’ and to achieve a distortion free image the subject needed to be contained within a ‘cone of vision’. I just accepted the rule. But my apprenticeship also involved a 12-month practical experience redeployment in the firm’s steel fabrication shop - a big building - of similar size to Gonninians workshop at Waratah - multiple bays long tall and wide each with an overhead travelling crane. There I confronted another puzzle - the overhead crane rails converged to a far off single vanishing point to the left. Ditto to the right. How could they join if they were ‘straight’? It dawned on me that the ‘straight’ lines had to be a continuous curve - left to right - and this must also apply for views up to the roof and down to the factory floor. I had stumbled upon spherical perspective ! It’s now employed in most of my paintings - most notably ‘Lunchtime in the Park’ (where the foreground is actually upside down) and ‘Delivery of the Keys’

- Discovering that art could be a ‘made up’ idea. The discovery occurred at high school and the happenstance that our English teacher was Elwyn Lyn - who had just won the 1957 AGNSW Blake Prize for Religious Art with an odd ‘made up’ image that I couldn’t understand or identify with. Common sense held that you painted only realistic things that you could actually see in front of you - not an imaginary ‘idea’. Too young to know that my perceptions (and opinions) were artificially captive to suburban ignorance and a limited life experience. I also carried this as a puzzle for many years.

Two evening art class at East Sydney Tech. The first tutor turned out to be Elisabeth Cummings. Her evenings were informal and positiveher approach was you had made the effort to come and learn and she would make the effort to encourage you to whatever your skill level. She typically gave a brief introduction to colour/tonal theories followed by exercises exploring the limited principles. I gained a lot of confidence. I have just one painting from her class‘Still Life in Red and Green’ (1977) - using colour opposites.

A second evening class the following year with a different tutor was equally memorable in that it wasn’t memorable. But it did yield one painting undertaken on an evening the tutor didn’t show up and we were left to our own devices‘Studio Chair with blanket’ (1978) - an interesting composition but inexperienced colour choices.

Art Education :

Except these two evening classes, plus classes drafting and sketching, my painting skills, as they stand, are largely self taught - encouraged by my artist friends’ as reliable critics and valued mentors. I read widely and have accumulated a theoretical knowledge of conceptual principles/art history/artists/ /colour associations to develop my own style. (See also ‘The Future’ )

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Still Life in Red and Green, H40 x W60 cm. oil on Masonite board, Geoffrey Breen 1977.

Influential Artists :

David Hockney - Impossible to give a brief account of my admiration for the man and his work. So I won’t.

Edward Hopper - For the enigmas he embeds in his compositions (eg ‘Nighthawks’ 1942). I’ve attempted similar enigmas in my own work - eg ‘Street Entertainer’.

Brett Whiteley - Whiteley doesn’t get a good wrap up from the critics, nevertheless I’m in awe of his colour, image manipulation, and diversity of approaches to subject material. His influence is seen in my paintings ‘Tea on the Terrace’, ‘Fernleigh Track - Curving Across the Gulley’

John Brack - His compositional structure - particularly his use of expanded foregrounds (eg ‘Nude with Pink Gown’ 1954 ) and orthographic projection (eg ‘Collins Street 5pm’ 1956). Similar principles are at work in ‘Garden Chair’ and ‘Fernleigh Track - Crossing the Wetland’

Geoffrey Smart - His choice of urban subjects and compressed image space - a foreground immediately juxtaposed with a distant backgroundwithout a transitional middle ground - and, as with Edward Hopper, the enigmas embedded in the image (eg ‘Cahill Expressway ‘1962). His influence is found in ‘Silos’, ‘Grain Store’, ‘Bypass’, ‘Hay Shed’.

Francis Bacon - A morbid fascination with his choice of subject material and bravado execution.

Influential Authors :

Sydney born at the end of the 1930’s, both, upon reflection, almost my contemporaries. Robert Hughes. His book Nothing If Not Critical (Harvill 1990) is a collection of his Time Magazine Art reviews and public lectures. It has remained a constant read and re read over the past 20 odd years. His erudite text has expanded my knowledge of the art world and given me a grounding that has maintained my sense of reality.

Clive James AO He wrote many books and in his latter years produced TV documentaries. His collection of biographical essays titled ‘Cultural Amnesia’ (Picador 2006) remains my constant read. As with Robert Hughes it helps put life into perspective - through example after example he returns you to the bigger picture.

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Studio Chair with Blanket, H76 x W107 cm. oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 1978.

Preferred Subject Material :

My interests are eclectic. But subjects are generally chosen for ‘volumetric’ shapes and for opportunities to include dappled sunlight - such as room interiors, the volume within a tree canopy, the open structure of a chair, a cluster of still life objects, an open forest eg. ’Red Stool’,‘ Disk Plough’,‘ Painted Forest’, ‘Fig Tree - Centennial Park’

Format and composition Structure :

I prefer to use large rectangular formats eg. 90x120cm or 150cm - configured horizontally or vertically and able to contain an image large enough to extend beyond a comfortable cone of vision. In scanning the image the viewer is (hopefully) drawn into its’ ‘presence’. Whilst ok for competitions, these sizes however are not readily saleable - too big for most interiors and typically priced beyond a range that would attract an ‘impulse’ purchase.

Preferred Media :

I work in oils on canvas. I stretch my own canvasses and custom cut, profile and assemble my own stretchers to suit the composition. I usually tint the gesso primer coats in warm shades of pink so that I can sketch out the composition in white chalk - which can be overpainted or removed easily with a damp cloth - then block in the composition tonally with acrylics then overpaint in oils.

Methods of Working - Examples My work is now (almost all) conceptual - initiated by an idea that interests me. In the past I’ve worked from photographs but now - since I’m not interested in specifics - it’s mostly from memories eg ‘Hayshed’. For a complex subject involving a lot of foreshortened parts I’ve previously taken several overlapping photos to compress a wide view into a single compact 2D image eg. ‘Fig TreeCentennial Park’. Now these images are simply invented eg. ‘Tidal Inlet’ and ‘Urban Island’. Google satellite and street views are useful references. I work in series - several canvasses at once.

Colour choices are mostly ‘emotional’. The initial idea is put through a process of re thinking and analysis (sometimes to question if it’s worth the effort ) then reconstructed via a series of sketches at A4 size. These are photocopied and evolved further by tracing and retracing the successive images onto greaseproof paper, then, making more photocopies and going through the whole process again. Often I’ll expand the original sketch by attaching more A4 sheets around the sides to expand the image or allow options for other formats and images eg. ‘Roadhouse’ and ‘Bypass’ are brothers, ‘Colonnade’ has two similar ‘siblings’. When I’ve got an acceptable image (by then it could be A3 or even A2 size) it’s squared up then transferred onto the canvas. ‘Delivery of the Keys’ was generated in this way. The downside is that the evolutionary process is essentially ‘disposable’ - leaving only scrappy pieces of paper held together with sticky tape - so no sketchbook records.

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Fig Tree - Centennial Park, H71 x W101 cm. (frame), ink on arches paper, Geoffrey Breen 2013.

Competition Entries :

AGNSW PRIZES My first attempt at the Wynne Prize got me into the Salon des Refusés - a tall painting of a Moreton Bay fig tree spread over three separate panels spaced apart and arranged vertically - titled ‘Tree in Three Parts’. I’ve entered the Wynne and Sulman Prizes several times since but without making the final cut. To enter you have to submit the physical work - so, if you have entered before but been unsuccessful, you’ll also know the humbling experience of collecting your paintings from a densely stacked room of other rejects.

GOSFORD PRIZE For the past several years I’ve been a regular finalist in the annual Gosford art Prize - the last entry was ‘Delivery of the Keys’. Last year not so lucky.

MUSWELLBROOK PRIZE Until the annual prize money was raised to stratospheric levels - and attracted entries from all over the continent - I was a regular finalist in the Muswellbrook Art Prize. I’m now often outclassed. I’ve included an image of an earlier entry‘Hayshed’.

KILGOUR PRIZE I was a finalist in the Kilgour prize in 2017 (I think) with my diptych ‘Lunchtime in the Park’. Ever hopeful, I’m currently evaluating some preliminary concepts for entry to the next prize when the extended gallery re opens.

NEWCASTLE CLUB PRIZE First time lucky. I was shortlisted as a 2023 finalist with ‘Roadhouse’.

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Geoffrey Breen at Kilgour Prize 2017. Photo courtesy of artist.

Current Works :

2023 was a productive year for me completing 50 odd large and small paintings. The small paintings form a series derived from photographs of agricultural and industrial subjects I took on a camping trip around far western NSW in December 1967. Larger paintings cover a range of landscape, environmental and social/genre subjects including re imaginings of Newcastle’s Fernleigh Track (one small work was included in the Straightjacket Gallery 2023 Christmas show) as well as possible options for entry to the 2024 Wynne, Sulman and Muswellbrook Competitions.

The Future :

Discovering a recent library book ‘New Objectivity’ (Sergiusz Michalski- Taschen 1994), grouping German artists involved with the Neue Sachlichkeit art movement in the 1920’s, I found resonances with some of John Brack’s paintings (also Arthur Boyd) eg ‘Nude with Pink Gown’ (1954) with ‘The Tennis Player’ (1926) by Anton Raderscheidt and ‘Collins Street 5pm’ (1956) with ‘Knocking-off Time’ (1925) by Franz W Seiwert Given that Brack was Art Master at Melbourne Grammar school 1952-62 (Wikipedia) a familiarity with, and influence from, this German art movement would be unsurprising - possibly also associated with the arrival in Australia of German Jewish artists leaving before the Nazi take over in 1933. Arthur Boyd also gained from this migration. The experience of this book has encouraged a future move into the social/genre subjects that have always interested me but were limited by my skills in handling the figure. But at 82 I’m running out of time and regret that this significant gap in my art education gives me a lot catching up to do.

- Geoffrey Breen 2024.

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Silos, H60 x W30 cm. oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2023
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Page 28 : Hay Shed, H76 x W91 cm. oil on canvas, Finalist Muswellbrook Art Prize, Geoffrey Breen 2014.
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Above : Disk Plough, H59 x W100 cm. Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2023.
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Farmstead, H30 x W60 cm. Oil on canvas Geoffrey Breen 2023.
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Grain Store, H30 x W60 cm. Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2023.
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Painted Forest, H90 x W120 cm. Oil on canvas, Finalist Gosford Art Prize, Geoffrey Breen 2020.
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Fernleigh Track - Curving Across the Gulley, H90 x W158 cm. Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen (2023). Worker’s Cottages H30 x W30 cm.
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Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2023.
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Street Entertainer, H60 x W120 cm. Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2017.
Urban Island H121 x W105 cm. Oil on ply wood
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Geoffrey Breen 2015.

H60 x W60 cm.

Oil on canvas

Geoffrey Breen 2018.

Green Cane Chair
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Red Stool H35 x W30 cm. Oil on canvas
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Geoffrey Breen 2018. Garden Chair H75 x W84 cm. Oil on canvas
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Geoffrey Breen 2018
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Colonnade, H90 x W120 cm. Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2023.
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Tidal Inlet, H90 x W158 cm. Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2023.
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View Across Pittwater, H85 x W111cm. Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 1987.
on article and
© 2024.
All Rights Reserved
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Fernleigh Track - Crossing the Wetland, H60 x W240 cm. Diptych, Oil on canvas, Geoffrey Breen 2023.


the sacrifice

On that day he made no scene, he wished her all the best.

'This town's so small', she knew them all 'I'll quit it and get ahead'. She packed her bags & caught the train the platform slipped away, for to show his face may have changed her mind on that eventful day.

A thousand miles the rails stretched and so much time to think, for surely he would have been there had he chosen her over drink.

There was a time when she wondered whether what she did was right, as she looked up at the starry sky and watched one fall that night.

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in from the night

I remember your visits to Norfolk Avenue

I remember your cold, pale skin

And the hot, sultry air behind you

That brought all the lust back in.

I remember your sandalwood perfume

I remember your dark, curly hair

Those wild, wild eyes -

Your obsessed, manic stare…

When I heard you knock-a-knocking

I should not have let you in

Your seductive presence teasing

Those lips of limitless sin.

When I heard you knock-a-knocking

I should not have opened the door

I shouldn’t have ignored the warning,

My wanting for more! More! MORE!

I turned the door-knob quietly

The bolt made barely a click

In shadow you stood silently

Time slowed down to a tick

My eyes did all the talking

My mouth said barely a word

My desire rose full & unfaltering

A breath could barely be heard

To the west, where light grows tired

I did not make you take flight

With a will succumbed by desire

My former lover came in from the night

You sat on my tattered lounge

You drank my coffee and wine

You read me your poems & stories

Of bondage & foreplay with knives.

You talked like an old, old friend

The way an old, old friend might talk

And with your words so fresh you stirred me!

With your voice and your tongue and your lips

And I sat and I laughed and I listened

And I looked from your eyes to your hips,

The hot wax dribbled & glistened

While the flames sucked low on their wicks

And I sat and I laughed and I listened I drank my coffee and wine

Like a dog I sat and I listened

To a woman both wild and divine.

I unrolled an old mattress & made your bed on the floor, I went alone to my bedroom

We were not lovers anymore.

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Marian Day

Issue 55 - March 2024 46


Artist Marian Day has been designing and working with leadlight and stain glass for over thirty-five years. Day’s home and studio are in rural Dungog, NSW, and works under the name Leadlight of Day. Specialising in leadlight windows, door panels, transoms, Tiffany - Page 46 : Installation of glass/lead light window, Marian Day. Right : Pelican, glass/lead light art panel, Marian Day. Issue 55 - March 2024 47
style art pieces and unique one off designs. Her work is available at Dungog by Design, 224 Dowling St. Dungog. https://leadlight
Fairy Wren Glass/Lead light Art work piece
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Marian Day.


What attracted you to the world of Art?

When did you begin to practice glass art and why?

I started dabbling in glass work in 1983 when my sister and I attended an adult education class. I enjoyed it however I was always working fulltime and this was a hobby. I spent my younger years in South Australia and trained as a Registered Nurse at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital from 1979-1983.

I moved to Victoria a few years later and when the opportunity came up to learn from a well-experienced leadlighter, I attended classes at Geoff Butler in Ballarat. I needed a large window to create a privacy screen between us and the neighbours and this was my goal. I started with making lamp shades and smaller pieces, and as my skill grew, so did requests from friends for windows in their homes. With 3 children and full -time employment, glass work was only occasional until in 2020 when I saw a post from Dungog Wholefood Coop. They were seeking someone to create the leadlight windows for their shop front, keeping in line with the existing adjacent shops. I tentatively offered my rusty skills.

This has opened the door for me to a new and exciting time as I have subsequently retired from “work” and am now able to create with glass when I desire. Through word-of-mouth and social media I have been getting a steady stream of commissions for leadlight windows.

Some are new buildings, other restorations and repairs.

Why did you choose glass as your primary medium?

My initial love of glass and the challenges it creates always drew me back to this medium. I love that there are so many different perspectives with glass, plus that it requires a degree of skill, experience and patience.

Through joining Dungog by Design – an Artisans Collective last year I am being challenged to create new and exciting art pieces using copper foil technique, plus working with wire embellishments. I also like to incorporate items from my surrounds. I have created art pieces utilising pieces of wood, lichen attached to wood, fencing wire, snake skins and am always looking for what else I can use.

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Do you specialize in any particular area?

I think of my work as being architectural or art. Architectural being the installed panels such as windows.

My preference is making leadlight windows, based on a request. I love to re-purpose glass where possible so spend many hours seeking out good second-hand deals. It is also very satisfying bringing back to life a sad and damaged leadlight piece. The delight from the owners once done is so rewarding. Making art pieces is also great fun and I feel that I have a lot more freedom in design and style. I have not yet created a style that it distinctly mine.

Describe your work?

Do you have a set method / routine of working?

When starting out with a leadlight project or commission I start with determining the design. This will be influenced on the era of the property, the wishes of the client, size of the piece, availability of style of glass. I try to match glass where possible when doing a restoration, so this means seeking old glass and saving it from being tossed.

I work very much alone and am usually absorbed in an audiobook. Creating a window is very much like doing a large jigsaw puzzle, except that I also have to cut the pieces of the puzzle. I frame up the area where I will be making the window, and then cut and place the lead frame and each piece of glass directly onto the pattern as it evolves. Sometimes a piece breaks, as glass does not always do what you want it to do. Sometimes the design adapts to fit the glass.

Once the window is assembled, I solder each lead join, flip and solder the other side (depending on the size of the panel I may need an extra set of hands to flip it), and then apply the cement. This is pushed beneath the lead channel to provide stability and to weatherproof the panel. It is left for 24-46 hours to set, and then it is cleaned and polished.

This is a time-consuming process from beginning to end, and one that is often not fully recognised by people. It is also not very mobile so I have a workbench set-up that meets my needs. Although sometimes I take a panel outside for the final steps as this can be very messy.

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Glass/Lead light panel construction

Below : Collected glass sheeting.

Marian Day at work puttying glass/lead light panel on a sunny day outside.

Below: Fairy Wren under construction.

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What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most?

Most of all I love the finished product. However the full process is what is needed to reach that point and there are no shortcuts with glass. How important is drawing as an element to your artwork?

Drawing is required for the initial panel. To be able to visualise what the final piece will look like is important, and then to create a design which allows the pieces of glass to be cut. I hand cut each piece with a carbide cutter. I have not ventured into using a band saw which is used by some glass people. This means that each piece of glass must join to another with no right angle cuts inside another piece. Designs in my art pieces are often fluid once I have the basic idea, depending on what the glass does as I cut it, or if I find a piece of glass with a specific pattern which I want to incorporate.

What inspires your work / creations?

I love the older and more traditional style in leadlight windows, especially the Art Noveau era.

For art pieces I am inspired by nature. I love creating Australian birds and wildlife, and also insects and marine life. I have so many ideas and just not enough time to make them all.

Can you tell us about the role which light plays in your work?

What have been the major influences on your work?

What are some of your favourite glass artworks and artists?

Light is obviously one of the most important factors with glass as it brings out the beauty, texture and sparkle in glass. I am fortunate that mostly the work I do is installed into windows. For the art pieces the anticipation is that they will be placed on a windowsill or hung in front of a window. Quite a bit of my work is inspired by the Architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I also find inspiration through just seeking out art that I like and working out if I can make it into a glass piece. Bird photography is also a great source for ideas.

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Glass/Lead light work Cicada underway in Studio. Photograph courtesy of Marian Day.

What are the challenges in becoming an exhibiting glass artist?

Name your greatest achievement, exhibitions?

The biggest challenge with exhibiting is having a space in which to hang the work with light behind. I have exhibited in the Dungog Art Society Annual Exhibition in 2023 and won first prize in the category I entered, which was a great outcome. This was for a piece that I created using gum leaves that I collected on my morning walk, coming up with a glass design, finding glass that picked up the colours well, and then creating it inside a wire ring. I used a lot of negative space in this piece, which is something I really like doing.

What are you working on at present?

I am currently working on a large shopfront window commission, which will result in a top row of windows across the four adjacent shop fronts. At present there is just clear textured glass in the shops. The building is from the 1920’s and apparently following a motor vehicle crashing into the building, all the original leadlight windows were removed. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find photos to enable me to replicate them.

What do you hope viewers of your art works will feel and take with them?

I hope that my glass work makes people smile and gives them years of admiring the glass. We currently have a large cicada piece hanging at home and we see so many different colours and light refractions depending the time of day. It is especially beautiful when the morning sun is at the right angle to shine directly through the piece. Your future aspirations with your art?

I hope that I can continue to create with glass for many years as I had too many years away from it. I would love to create many beautiful windows for people’s homes, and my current goal is to create or restore (as needed) all the shop fronts in Dungog. I am very happy just working on projects without the pressure of this being my business. I absolutely love requests for specific designs for art pieces.

- Marian Day © 2024.

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Gum Leaves Glass/Lead light art piece.
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First Prize in section at Dungog Art Prize 2024. Marian Day.



N D A Y Issue 55 - March 2024 56
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Page 56 and left images of restoration of glass/lead light door windows. Marian Day.


Marian Day.

Fungus light panels
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Installation window

Glass/Lead light

Marian Day.

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Prancing Peacock Glass/Lead light art piece
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Marian Day.
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Fairy Wren, Glass/Lead light , Art work piece, Marian Day. Bee, Glass/lead light art piece, Marian Day.
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Left: Fungus, Right: Masked Lapwing, Glass/lead light art pieces, Marian Day. Whales, Glass/lead light art pieces, Marian Day.
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Masked Lapwing on Stump, Glass/lead light and wood art piece, Marian Day. Restoration : Glass/lead light door panels, Marian Day.
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Glass/lead light window panels, Ballarat. Marian Day.
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Ginkgo Design, Glass/lead light panels. Marian Day. Restoration door panels, Glass/lead light, Marian Day.
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Art Nouveau Design, Glass/lead light panel, Marian Day. All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Marian Day © 2024. Installation shop window, Glass/lead light, Dungog NSW.
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Marian Day.


Somewhere between towns a dark road meanders through rainforests and hills — across a valley

above the tops of trees, utter silence permeates a wilderness so vast, so unknowable — the pulse of eternity is everywhere — dawn glints a fledgling starts to sing, and deep within our world breaks open to begin again.

- Reese North

© 2024
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Winter — brown leaves swirl in the breeze, wilted flowers hang from dry stems, petals fall through the grey light of evening.

On Church Street a woman sits in the garden of the Cathedral to watch gulls glide above the rooftops of the city — on Laman Street an old homeless man with eyes full of wonder,

leans against the Library wall & stares intently at something across the distance of his years — while on the cliffs above the Bogey Hole a young mother folds a bouquet of roses drops it on cold stone then pushes a pram over the edge and jumps after her child. Only the moon and the wind witness their passing — and the cruel sea that swallows remains.

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Contemporary artist Anka What is presently based in Nelson Bay, Newcastle, NSW.

What was a feature artist in November 2020 Arts Zine. We are again delighted to present her latest works for an exhibition at Art Systems Wickham Gallery in May.

What has widely travelled the world and lived in many different countries over the years. From 1978 – 1980

What was involved with Stage Design for the experimental theatre group ‘Remont’, Warsaw Poland.

Later 1983 – 1988 she studied Painting and Printmaking at North Adelaide School of Art and in 2002 studied Animation and Multimedia in Sydney.

From 2015 to 2020 travelling extensively through Asia, where Japan became a focal destination. Her work has been represented in many exhibitions and galleries in Newcastle, Sydney and nationally in Australia.

Page 70 : Memories H41 x W31cm. Acrylic / pastel on canvas, Anka What.
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Right: Silence H41 x W31cm. Acrylic / pastel on canvas, Anka What.
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Atelier H21 x W30cm. Gouache / ink on paper, Anka What.


Everything is random.

I don't plan anything anymore, as I learned not to do so in the past.

My life dictates what I experience daily and my dreams advise me how to perceive reality.

Let's call it a Private Parallel Universe.

The style of my work changes accordingly.

I like diversity in the media I use as much as in the life I live.

My choice of techniques is always intuitive.

I call myself a Colourist.

However, my next exhibition may be monochromatic.

Or not.

Everything is random after all.

I am also an avid traveller.

My work is often influenced by the Folk Art of places I visit.

I always treat the local folklore with utmost respect.

My work is very personal and I would like it to speak for itself. I am not a person who likes to stand in front of my image explaining the meaning of it.

Sometimes people come up to me and say that they noticed something I did not create consciously. Those are the best moments.

Every image I create represents a page of my life.

It is my version of a personal journal. Currently, I am working mainly in acrylic on canvas and gouache/ink on paper.

It may change tomorrow.

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Two Mouthed Woman (Futakuchi Onna)

78 x 78cm

Acrylic/charcoal on canvas

Anka What

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Long Neck Woman Ready H31 x W21cm. Gouache/ink on paper, Anka What
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Sunset at Ueno Park H42 x W102 (2 panels), Acrylic / pastels on canvas, Anka What.
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Koi and Two Moons H40 x W81, Acrylic / pastels on canvas, Anka What.



The Door to Perception

H42 x W30cm.

Gouache / ink on paper

Anka What

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The Last Vernissage H21 x W30 cm. Gouache / ink on paper
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Anka What Scream, Acrylic/pastel on canvas, H41 x W31 cm. Anka What.
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Despair, Acrylic /pastel on canvas, H41 x W31cm. Anka What. Long Neck Woman (Rokurokubi) Gouache/ink on paper H21 x W31cm.
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Anka What.
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Weird City H61 x W76, Acrylic / pastels on canvas, Anka What.

Noface (Nopperabo)

H42 x W102, Acrylic / pastels on canvas Anka What.

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The Last Currawong H51 x W71, Acrylic / pastels on canvas, Anka What.

Opening celebration: Fri. 10 May 6pm.

Art Systems Wickham Gallery

40 Annie St Wickham, Newcastle NSW. All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Anka What© 2024.

ANKA WHAT 10 - 31 MAY 2024
Left : Solitude, H41 x W31 cm. Acrylic / pastel on canvas, Anka What.


Waiting as in listening to the worldly sounds.

Attributing to who we are in a bid for contrition to implicate change. With a margin of positive constraints whilst reading the report or indictment, played out to be more concise, and state where the error has been made.

How these crucial moments, are continually brought up again in our mind,

say there is a party at the end to celebrate handing over the script.

In a nonchalant gesture, dispersing leaflets.

To re-read the above is like throwing our thoughts around in a more happy convoluting way.

- Eric Werkhoven© 2024.

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I knew we would be in for a bit of a treat.

Half a song, to tag along with and serve as a built-in device for further exploration.

Where the hinter land is near enough to scare us into action, and then you say it’s a gentle persuasion.

It’s beer time, weekend, knock-off time.

It is a bit of a no brainer, for a soothsayer to have his best years yet,

throw the dice for a lucky break.

Open up the book of Parables anywhere, and feel it is applicable to our life,

purpose built humour, that is worth teasing out strand by strand.

It is what ties us, to the fundamental quest.

To the mother load cargo ship, off the coast waiting.

Once the papers are signed, to convince the war lords, and rage against the tide once more.

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GEORGE GITTOES - latest dispatches


George Gittoes January 2024

The biggest controversy in Australian Art History, during my lifetime, was the purchase by James Mollison of Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles painting for 1.3 Million dollars, which was a lot of money in 73. The public anger it caused contributed to the downfall of the Whitlam Government.

I have read a couple of biographies of Pollock and the man disgusts me. I have a huge collection of art books but never felt the desire to buy one with reproductions of Pollock’s paintings. He was someone I didn’t think I could learn anything from except that art is at its best when it is at its freest. Clement Greenberg, who came to Sydney in 1968 and was responsible for me deciding to go to New York at 18, was the champion of Pollock but by the time of Pollock’s death he had shifted his interest to other artists.

Jackson rammed his Oldsmobile convertible into a tree killing himself, a female passenger Edith Metzger seriously and disfiguring his girlfriend, Ruth Kligmann.

Doing this to himself is one thing but also doing it to the women is something unforgiveable.

But Jackson could really draw. He loved Picasso for his draftsman ship and his own, early figurative drawings and paintings are exceptional. The stories about pieces of broken whisky glass being embedded in paint as he splatted paint in a drunken frenzy are very misleading. Jackson was constantly and very consciously drawing every second as he worked over one of his canvases. The drip method simply enabled him to draw faster than with a brush or pencil. The speed allowed him to make decisions from his subconscious without the restriction of a time lag time taken by the relative slowness of hand driven brushstroke. He used the alcohol to loosen him up and achieve tunnel vision. The ‘high’ exclude the world outside the canvas.

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A four-page story in 1949 Life Magazine described Jackson as the greatest living painter in America and made ‘Jack the dripper’ famous overnight. It was at a time when those running the US wanted to be supreme in every sphere of endeavour including culture. To leave the Old World of Europe behind and be best in everything. Impressionism, Cubism and Surrealism were put in the dustbin of the past and Abstract Expressionism or Action Painting the present. Jackson was integral to the post war creation of the US as a superpower. No artist symbolises American art more than Jackson Pollock.

In Jalalabad I do not have the range of materials and paints that are available in Australia and have found myself experimenting with a combination of oils, clear varnishes, and the kind of liquid hardware enamel that Jackson used. My many years of studying and using Chinese brush techniques have led me to combine it with Pollock’s drip technique of drawing and interlacing it with the Divine Geometry of Islamic Mosques, reinforced by the imprints of ancient wooden textile stamps, collected from this region. The result is a marriage of the three: A) the uniquely American, Pollock approach B) the Islamic non-figurative tradition and C) Chinese discipline. These Jalalabad Yellow House paintings show how the three cultures can be intertwined and make something new and beautiful. I have felt mystically outside the realities of this world while painting them and no need for drugs or alcohol to get me there.


I always wonder how many other people have the same kind of double vision that I have. When I was very young, I asked my sister, Pam, if she saw the things I see and she said “No” and told my mother who was so worried she took me to the head doctors as she thought I might have a brain tumour like the one that killed my cousin, Eric. I did lots of EEGs with electrodes attached to my skull and while doing them I switched on techniques that I can do, to make the visions stronger. I hoped that the EEG’s would show up something special, but they showed nothing abnormal.

When I would get bored in primary school, I would watch the different coloured auras of the other students move and change as they reacted to the lesson.

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Crossing Over H40 x W30 ins.

Oil and enamel on course canvas .

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George Gittoes 2023

When in High School I was wandering through a bookstore at Roselands Shopping Mall and saw a book with the word MYSTICISM in large print on the cover. It was by Evalyn Underhill, and I purchased a copy. As I read it, I thought ‘Well that explains everything, I am a mystic.’ I studied everything I could find about the lives of the mystics and what they wrote.

The ones that appealed to me the most were the Sufi’s and reading their stories has affected the way I write, including these dispatches from Afghanistan. It is the same as the way the divine geometry of mosque tiles has influenced my art. As I sit here writing in the Yellow House meeting room it is early morning and the light is low between myself and the opposite wall and couch that faces me. The air is filled with small moving patterns. They are like a 3D animated version of the new paintings. These Yellow House canvases are multi layered with patterns and so is my everyday vision. At night I cannot experience the full blackness of dark because the absence of sun or electric light only makes the moving patterns become stronger and more luminous. They vary greatly. Sometimes they are like large Paisley-pattern shapes circling around in space like goldfish in a bowl.

In my Rainbow Way films I worked out a way of filming light phenomenon similar to what I see, and Hellen coined the name Lux Mysterium to describe this.

The new Jalalabad Yellow House paintings come close to duplicating this double vision. I wonder if Pollock had the same problem and was both inspired to express it and troubled by it and his paintings are landscapes of a mystical other reality. Not abstract as Greenberg would want them to be seen but representational, depicting what the majority of people do not see.

There is a duality in my art. Half my art attempts to share this mysterious doorway to ‘the other side’ and the other half is about the very real horrors I witness when exposed to the madness of war. That is why I called my book ‘Blood Mystic’. - George Gittoes © 2024.

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H40 x W30 ins.

Oil and enamel on course canvas . George Gittoes 2024.

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Doors H30 x W48 ins. Oil and enamel on course canvas George Gittoes 2023.


The Puppet Theatre room at the original Sydney Yellow House used William Blake’s 1793 book of poems ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ as its theme and inspiration. That is how I explained it to anyone who entered. On the wall of the backstage room, I painted the quote ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, until he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.’

In that time at the Yellow House ,1969-72 everyone was reading the same books and on the top of the list was Aldous Huxley’s ‘The Doors of Perception, Heaven and Hell’, also inspired by Blake’s ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’. And everyone, except me, was experimenting with drugs, especially LSD. They were all chain-smoking pot and would regularly sit in a circle passing a joint around. When I would pass it on, I would get bad ‘that-is-not-cool’ looks.

Huxley gave a very classy and well-reasoned reason for knocking down the doors of perception. To him it was necessary to experience what was on ‘the other side’, as a way to self-discovery.

As a mystic I found a lot of value in reading Huxley, especially his book ‘The Perennial Philosophy’ which connected the similarities in the revelations made by mystics through the ages, from different cultures. Huxley did not have the natural gifts of a mystic to access ‘the other side’ and resorted to using mescaline and later LSD. (In 1973, during the last hours of his life, suffering throat cancer, he wrote a note to his wife to inject him with LSD. Aldous went out tripping. His departure was the same day JFK was shot on the Dallas motorcade.)

The only other Yellow House artist is still living, my friend the photographer Greg Weight, saw a recent photo of me at the Jalalabad Yellow House and commented “You look like an old sage – and probably you always were one.” Greg was not suggesting I had the wisdom of a sage but that I was always different and made no secret that I was a mystic.

I was an oddity at the Yellow House because of my refusal to share drugs or see value in using them to ‘trip’. People would come off the street and enter my puppet theatre and immediately ask, “Shit man, what were you on?”

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It irritated the other artists that I could ‘get there’ without a tab of acid. Of all of them, Jumping Jack Flash (David Litvinov) who, I am told, introduced Brett Whitely to heroin at Luna Park, was the most troubled by me. David was older than the rest of us and had an encyclopaedic knowledge but like Huxley could not get outside ‘the narrow chinks of his cavern’ without drugs.

It is incredibly dangerous for artists and musicians to feel the need to use drugs and alcohol to get into that special ecstatic space where the subconscious is free, allowing brilliant performance and painting to flow. The need to take a drug to be ‘out of it’ and exit everyday reality quickly, becomes addictive.

My mother was very worried about me ever experimenting with drugs and warned, “Because of your strange mental condition the drugs could really mess you up.” I took her warning very seriously.

The other book everyone was reading was Carlos Castaneda’s ‘The Teachings of Don Juan’. Martin Sharp and Brett Whitley were obsessed by it and kept pressing me to read it, but I found reading, even a paragraph, to be repellent and shunned the book. I could not comprehend why they couldn’t tell it was fake.

We had all been conditioned to read Aldous Huxley at school with ‘Brave New World’ on our syllabus along with George Orwell’s ‘1984’.

But the Huxley family had influenced me from a much earlier age. I was slow to learn to read at Primary school as I am dyslexic. It was always an embarrassment when asked to read out loud in Primary School with the other children laughing at my fumbling difficulties with words and sentences. In the last year of Primary School, I caught glandular fever and had to stay at home quarantined for the last 3 months of term. At Rockdale library my mother found me a book on evolution. I had always been fascinated by dinosaurs. The book was illustrated and written by either Julian Huxley, (Aldus’s scientist brother) or his uncle the supporter of Darwin, Thomas Huxley. The book interested me so keenly I forced myself to learn to read in order to digest it.

The following school year I entered Kogarah High able to read fluently and an enthusiastic evolutionist. Our English teacher, Mr Night was a Christian Fundamentalist. One day he came into class hunching his back over and swinging his arms and grunting in the manner of an ape. He straightened up and asked the class if they believed that humans came from apes.

All the class of 13-year-olds laughed and yelled out “No!” but I stayed silent. Mr Night noticed this and singled me out, “Gittoes, do you agree with Mr Darwin that we evolved from apes?” and I replied “Yes”. I was taken away into the corridor and caned. Mr Night was, also, our history teacher and in the end of year exams I was failed in both English and History.

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Puppet Theatre room at the original Sydney Yellow House

There is something about mystics that ‘pisses people off’, especially people in authority. They sense the difference from the herd, and it irritates the shit out of them. In too many cases mystics are unaware of what they are and get classified as insane. They are usually diagnosed as schizophrenics and end up in mental asylums or on heavy medications. Intellectuals do not take them seriously and the media ridicule them as nut cases. Aldous Huxley deserves a gold star for being both a respected intellectual and an open supporter of mystics. To admit that I am a mystic has never been a plus. Discrimination against mystics is not discouraged by society. I hope that someday mystics will be given the same consideration as other minority groups victimised over colour, sexual preferences, and religion.

From 1968 to 72 I felt that I had been born for the psychedelic age even though I did not take the drugs that the hippies were into. Every bookshop had shelves full of publications encouraging the journey towards self-knowledge and mystics were hip. It was the golden age of rock and roll with Jim Morrison calling his band The Doors after the Huxley Book and writing ‘Break On Through to the Other Side.’ The Beatles went to India to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Yogi and Jim Hendrix found the sound to match. Books about the inner journey, like Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha were like guide maps to where everyone wanted to go. Unlike my school experience the quest to expand my knowledge of what Huxley called the Perennial Philosophy was share by all my friends.

No art Museums in the world, that I know of, show examples of the Psychedelic art of that period. They all exhibit good examples of every other phase of visual art culture – Classicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, Surrealism, Dadaism, Cubism, Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Conceptualism but never the Psychedelic. It is not seen as serious art and is shunned by curators and fine art historians. They are, universally allergic to it unlike the music of the period which is still celebrated as a golden age. No one finds John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ unplayable.

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Medieval Jalalabad

H30 x W48 ins.

Oil and enamel on course canvas

George Gittoes 2023.

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Salahuddin, George, Khyber and Zabi at the Yellow House. Below : George at work. Khyber and George, with Khyber’s paintings.
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Below : Khyber and George at the Yellow House.

Last week the local Jalalabad artist Khyber, who I collaborated with at the earlier Jalalabad Yellow House, arrived to paint Yellow House Jalalabad in Pashto Arabic on our entrance wall, next to the version I had painted in English with Zabi and Salahuddin. He brought with him a number of small packets of florescent pigment and a can of clear medium to mix it into. His idea was to ‘go psychedelic’ with the colours and style to match images he had seen of our 1969-72 Sydney Yellow House. I did not think this would impress the Taliban when they came through the gate. It took a while to convince Khyber as he made the argument that Afghanistan was once on the hippy trail. Khyber is right, many of my friends travelled to Europe via Afghanistan as part of their quest for enlightenment through the experience of exotic cultures. Their own Western culture was too strait and uncool.

Khyber and the other local Yellow House artists believe that Jalalabad will return to being a tourist magnet and our Yellow House will be an attraction.

I won and Khyber reluctantly went back to painting with standard blue, yellow and red enamel colours.

But I could not resist experimenting with Khyber’s fluor colours and have painted my first fully psychedelic canvas in over 53 years. I have called it ‘Doors of Perception- Marriage of Heaven and Hell’. It took days longer to complete than all my other recent paintings and there were moments when I could not stand looking at it and nearly destroyed it. But I wrestled with it to the point where I now love it. It hangs inside the entrance door of the Yellow House. A blast from the past and a reminder that the original Yellow House sprang from the psychedelic age. Khyber approved.

- George Gittoes © 2024.

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Watcher, W30 x H48 ins. Oil and enamel on course canvas George Gittoes 2024.
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Photo of the well worn hands of pottery craftsmen and George Gittoes. Photo courtesy of George Gittoes.


George Gittoes

The potters work long days in the mud with their hands and feet hardly ever going outside their ceramic world. The pottery compound reminds me of the set of Tatooine from first episode of Star Wars, where Luke Skywalker grew up. George Lukas imagined Tatooine as a place as ancient and as unchanged as this. Jesus or Mohammad could walk into the Pottery yard and feel they were still in the time they were born in. No sign of the modern world exists until someone takes out a pocket phone to answer a call or do a selfie.

We arrived early to see if our glazes had succeeded at the kiln firing. The kiln is the size of an adobe mud hut and the steps to the top are broken pots cemented together with clay. I perched over the circular pit still hot and smoking from the firing of the previous day. One of the younger potters, Aziz, sat beside on the flimsy bridge of two poles held together by wooden slats. We reached down and removed charred pieces of broken pots and passed them to one of the old grandfather potters to pile on the rim of the kiln. I was part of a hand-to-hand human chain that has been repeated over and over whenever the shards, that cover and insulate the pots, are cool enough to handle. My mother was a potter, so I know how every kiln firing is a game of chance and there is always surprise and disappointment at the opening. Potters expect to find precious pieces that their hands have made, cracked, or shattered and glazes that have failed. No matter how old and experienced the potter is the results from the fire are always unpredictable.

There is no lid or door on the kiln as there would be on a kiln in Australia. To get to see and remove the pots a layer of broken shards must be removed. They are very hot and burning ash remains stuck to them. Anywhere else leather gloves would be worn but these potters’ hands are hardened like leather and can handle the heat. I did not have a problem with it, and no one questioned that I would have. This process is done in silence and those doing it share a common mind.

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I am free to immerse myself in these activities, while also making a film, as Waqar takes over the responsibility of camera documentation, allowing me to be a participant.

The mangi, water amphora that I had painted and sprayed glaze onto was upside down in the centre top of the kiln. I could see its base was blackened and when Aziz lifted it out to pass to me, I could read disappointment on his face. The glaze had worked in a few small patches, especially the reds, but overall, it was a failed mess of black and burnt bubbling glaze. The cones which we had placed in the kiln to see if it reached the desired 1000 degrees, were still erect and had not bent over which they would have done if it had reached the temperature. I remained in the human chain as the rest of the kiln was unloaded. All our expectations for a successful glaze firing had been dashed and could be read in the faces.

I looked across to a small patch of lawn to where a cloth had been placed and a tea pot with cups and sweets to share with us as their welcome guests.

We sat together and decided the plan should be to build a smaller kiln at the Yellow House to experiment with the glazes and once we have succeeded, they will build a larger replica kiln at their place. Tomorrow they will all arrive at the Yellow House, and we will begin ordering what is needed for the kiln. We will design, together and it will combine their experience with my research. I want to use gas and will have to get burners made to go inside. I have joined their pottery family and have introduced a shared dream of providing the glazed and patterned tiles for the new mosque the Taliban want to build in Jalalabad. They teared up with expectation when I said, “Someday we will be able to pray together and look up with pride to what we have created.”

Today is Friday and I am going to pray with Waqar and Arshad in the big old mosque in the city. This will be the first time I have done this. I can’t be creating mosque tiles without showing respect to the culture they are for.

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Photos of George Gittoes and pottery craftsmen, Jalalabad. Photos courtesy of Gittoes.
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Above : The Pottery workshop, Jalalabad. Photos stills from video.
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Above : George Gittoes at the Pottery workshop, and Gittoes working on a large vase, Jalalabad. Photos stills from video.

Matisse was not a practicing Catholic but in the last years of his life he created stained glass, tiles and vestments for the priests of the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence. He started in 1947 worked on the Chapel for 4 years dying at 84, a year after it was completed. Sister Jacques Marie wrote a book about how she began the relationship as a nurse for Matisse, when he was recovering from cancer surgery and when she became a Dominican Nun, she persuaded him to do the Chapel. Matisse had remained in France through the Nazi occupation and the Chapel seems to have been his way of processing the war years. As a young artist the Chapel had as great an influence on my development as Picasso’s Guernica.

I learnt to make stained glass, placing a window I made of the Crucifixion above the stage of my puppet theatre. Inspired by Matisse’s black and white tiles of the stations of the cross I invented my own version of the stations. I painted them on a large canvas which I placed on the ground and gave performances moving from one station to the other in a mime. Both my parents and my grandparents were atheists and going to church was out of the question when growing up in Rockdale, but Matisse was the religion of art.

As an artist I have worked with my hands all my life. I manufacture objects and my hands are damaged as a result. When leaving the pottery yard I impulsively turned around to the two grandfather potters and put my seventy-four year old hands out as exhibits. They read my gesture and did the same. Our hands are equally worn. They laughed and got it. We belong to the same fraternity of manual creators.

- George Gittoes © 2024.

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Success with glazes at the pottery workshop, Jalalabad, February 2024. Photo courtesy of George Gittoes.
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Actor Arshad performing - Singing in the Rain. Photo courtesy of George Gittoes.


George Gittoes

We are singing in the rain. At the Yellow House is project the positive, but the situation for Afghans, especially for women and musicians, is grim.

We have been doing a Yellow House Tic Toc with Arshad every day and calling them Crazy Toons. Arshad is star on Tic Toc and it seems all the Taliban have been watching short performances for a long time. Wherever we go Taliban stop us to get selfie pictures with him. I thought it was because he was a comedy star in Pashtun movies, but they have not seen the movies, only the Tic Toc posts. The local film industry depended on DVD sales; streaming made the industry extinct. There is no paid work for professional actors in Pashtun films any longer. My film ‘Miscreants of Taliwood’ documented how the Taliban threatening actors and blew up video stores as they tried to put an end to the industry. Online entertainment has succeeded where the Taliban failed.

Hellen and I help to think up Tic Toc stunts for Arshad to perform. Today was the first time it has rained in 6 months. I showed Arshad Jene Kelly’s famous song and dance routine from his classic 1954 film ‘Singing in the Rain’. Arshad sang along with the tune as he watched and ‘got it’ instantly. Hellen recorded him performing on her phone while we both threw in directing suggestions. It is out, now, on Arshad’s Tic Toc and my Facebook.

The drought in Afghanistan has been so bad that everyone here will feel happy to watch Arshad dance between the raindrops unaware of any connection to Hollywood.

It is easy to be overwhelmed. Especially when we wake at 3am and our demons of doubt take control. Writing helps me and Hellen has her audio books and a guided meditation course she listens to. The more we learn about life under the Taliban the more challenging it is to keep ‘singing in the rain’, no matter how freezing the temperature is outside.

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Hellen has been creating a podcast. Before putting her first one out she asked Waqar to listen to it. He made a list of the dangerous parts. The things Hellen most wants to talk about and have others interviewed about would get us kicked out of the country or worse. We know we are under a lot of surveillance. Taliban intelligence have begun sending photos to Waqar’s phone of our activities outside the Yellow House. The photos are harmless, and it could be read as a friendly gesture, but the reality is, they are letting us know how intensely we are being watched.

Jean Kelly’s dance gets more and more uplifting until it is abruptly terminated. A burley cop has been in the background. He walks over and with his enormous back to the audience, ends the dance.

When Jean continues on his way, defiant and with a smile, he captures the nobility of an artist, when shadowed by authority, better any moment I can recall from any other film.

- George Gittoes © 2024.

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The Listener, which is one of the 99 names for Allah/God. W30 x H48 ins . Mixed media on canvas George Gittoes.


George Gittoes is a celebrated Australian artist, an internationally acclaimed film producer, director and writer.

Gittoes’ work has consistently expressed his social, political and humanitarian concern and the effects of injustice and conflict"I believe there is a role for contemporary art to challenge, rather than entertain. My work is confronting humanity with the darker side of itself."

As an artist Gittoes has received critical acclaim including the Blake Prize for Religious Art (Twice) and Wynn Prize. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of NSW. His films have won many International Awards and in 2015 he was bestowed the Sydney Peace Prize, in recognition of his life’s work in contributing to the peace-making process.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs George Gittoes © 2024. Issue 55 - March 2024 113
Left : George Gittoes Photo courtesy of artist.


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Granny Que Riot Kabul and the Mask

Hellen Rose

A very long trip saw me leave Werri at 4am in the morning to get a flight to Islamabad via Oman. I was bringing 17kg of glazes, 10kg of which was powdered over glaze, gloss. The glazes were for the potters of Jalalabad who have somehow lost the art of using quartz glazes and George was reviving the craft to also make highly prized, glazed tiles for the new Mosque in town. The Potters and the Taliban were all so excited about these prized glazes and anticipated my arrival with this precious cargo.

I was meeting our trusted Pashtun assistant and friend at the Benazir Bhutto Airport Islamabad as I had to get my visa for Afghanistan at the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Embassy there as the Australian Government is following US Policy, refusing to recognise the new Taliban Regime, making it impossible to get a visa from the Canberra Embassy as we normally would, we were also refused a ‘letter of Non Objection’ from Penny Wong’s office so we had to be interviewed by Taliban Intelligence before being welcomed back with open arms after over 14 years of running the Yellow House Jalalabad. Australia also freezes any funding to Afghanistan exacerbating poverty for mainly women and children ensuring that the difficulties they face regarding a halt to their education are exacerbated by the inability to even have enough funds to get to a short course which is allowed or to get online and study at home.

Now Dec 1st and I was manoeuvring myself along like a night of the living dead person from 3 days of non-stop planes and automobile travel, checking every minute that I hadn’t left my iPhone, passport, or wallet anywhere…baggage check at Islamabad Airport was strange, suddenly the bag for the glazes was open and an older woman dressed in civilian Pakistani clothes had the 10kg bag of powdered glaze open with her hand in the powder, running it through her fingers with her own very large bag of what looked like 5kg of cocaine or heroin and sieving it through her fingers and smelling it in comparison, she was smiling and chatting away as she totally ignored me and my surprise, shook her head to the side, smiled at the female security guard and picked up her 5kg bag and left mine, totally ok’d and left for me to close and re pack. The kind and chatty security woman and I laughed as I told her I knew that this bag of glaze was going to be trouble at airports. The back of my mind racing quietly as I perceived the journey before me into Taliban ruled Afghanistan, no Australian Embassy or in fact any Foreign Embassy to bail me out, no allied armed forces anywhere, I was trusting the new regime to protect me completely and of course George.

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Page 114 : Hellen Rose and Arshad performance at Yellow House, Jalalabad.

Kam Air,’ fly’s direct to Kabul from Islamabad and is a surprisingly modern and up to date Afghan Airline. Before we knew it, we were flying over the incredible Hindu Kush. The mountains were so high the plane wings seemed to almost scrape by them, as they appeared to suddenly loom colossal, like being in the ocean when giant whale breaches the waves. The silent mass of foreboding, treacherous nature, that only the Afghans know how to survive in their stoic and unyielding way, is scanned by the dwarfed plane in which we all sit like a tiny bee buzzing along-

side a bull elephant.

The very ‘graveyard of Empires’ itself, the seeming endless land sea of stark, barren, dizzying peaks. The trip is less than an hour and we are descending over the summit of Kabul before we know it. As we roll up the runway to a standstill I wonder if the Airport still has the same interior I know so well. As I stagger, travel weary, into the airport I see it is exactly the same. The old hall like, space with the wooden booths for the passport check and control are still there, reminiscent of East Berlin. The Russians created this place along with its tedious Kafkaesque bureaucratic systems and ‘citizen checkpoints’.

Ropes section lines for queuing and Waqar and I find ourselves in a queue with a fair few older woman, Grandma types who are tired and getting sick of standing while an old Russian style, trained ‘official’, pedantically and with a po-face, slowly checks each passport to the degree of the ridiculous, one Grandma starts bitching under her breath and looks at me winking, I smile back and nod my dead-tired head in agreement and say ‘za ma samlawam’ which means ‘I am sleepy’ in Pashto, she nods her head and gestures, ‘yes me also’ pointing to her chest.

The young couple Infront of us start to snigger as this older woman extends her displeasure further and is wittily entertaining as she starts lampooning the official, I laugh and respond with a gestural joke, I comically perform a pushing motion as if to suggest, let’s just push through, but stupid me doesn’t realise that this joke, absurd in my mind, was all that was needed, as a spark , to light a tinder box of unrest and like lightening there is a mini Grandma push and stampede towards the exit and the dour passport stamping man in the booth, who is now flustered but cannot really do anything! The moment is snow balling as other Grandmas start speaking loudly at the now red faced customs officer. “What are you doing you goose”? “I am tired”. I” have just had an operation, I need to get home!” “Do I look like a foreigner?” The companion ‘Maharam’ sons are now also involved in pushing and before Waqar and I realised what was going on we ourselves were unwillingly shunted along by this undertow, right up to the exit without having our passports checked!

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Hellen Rose - Performance Hubble Bubble, Yellow House, Jalalabad 2024.

These women were like a row of little dolls with strong, attractive life worn and weathered faces with glittering eyes and sharp little tongues, their amber nekrizi decorated hands, gesturing in tiny karate style chops in the air, punctuating their ejecting words as they marched righteously ahead. I boldly put my arm out to stop a solo young man displaying a tired tantrum look from, taking advantage of the Grandma uprising by getting Infront of me riding on the last of the Grannies coat tails, swanning through, surprisingly he acquiesced instantaneously politely and stepped back behind us in the que no further groans involved. Suddenly another official appeared and bellowed at the queue in a delayed response, as the final Grandmas passport was hurriedly stamped, and all watched in wonder and admiration as the triumphant grannies shuffled off, free and liberated towards their luggage.

The bolder irate officer started to target me, Waqar quickly stepped in and told him we had no part in the mini uprising but were simply just caught up. No one with guns appeared, most people laughed and agreed the grandmas should go first, “What can you do”, said Waqar chuckling along with the other younger people in the line. Such an event would have never occurred under US occupation, who sternly patrolled the airport with their 3-point luggage scan and passport scrutiny, in their specialised ‘Le Miserable extraordinaire’ manner. Out in the bagging area and still no guns or intimidation. I ignored a very tall young man waiving a piece of paper at me until we realised it was ‘foreigners form’ we were being instructed to fill. A small unsuspecting man came over with a pen for me kindly, and the young man whom I had probably rudely ignored exchanged a smile with me. As soon as you pass the check point a multitude of men with trolleys hoping to cart your luggage for a tip, swarm doggedly, I find if I waive them off without catching their eye that usually deters them, otherwise they can be tenacious.

In my tiredness I had assumed this tall guy was another one, now I could see he was dressed more like a clerk. Finally, forms filled, we dragged our bags towards the machine conveyer belt for a last luggage scan where the young, Taliban attendant sat like a giant bored, teenage school boy, long black hair framing his handsome face, he rankled in an uncomfortable chair openly bored as hell, my heart was pumping adrenalin as I expected a saga over the 10kg of powdered glaze … one thing I haven’t mentioned is that I also had with me a lovely little acoustic guitar I bought in Kyiv, its what you call ‘lounge size’, smaller and easier to travel with, I had wrapped a cloth from Peshawar over it, a kind of discreet chadouri for women’s guitars and slung it over my shoulder and carried it all the way in cabin luggage without a squawk or a raised eyebrow from anyone, the only mention was from a young security guard in Oman where I had been called from the boarding gate to airport security regarding the powdered glazes, when he asked, “What is this?” I replied in an ‘up’ tone, “A guitar”! “Oh guitar!” He repeated, clearly impressed, “Great”! he exclaimed also excitedly, playing air guitar as we waved goodbye smiling.

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Hellen Rose and students wearing performance masks in front of Ave Libertatemaveamor and George Gittoes Mural at the Yellow House, Jalalabad.
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Social media is changing this world I thought to myself. I had no trouble at all over it, however I was expecting if there was going to be trouble it would be right here and now and to add to it, the 10kg of white powder... I was prepared for my guitar to be confiscated or smashed before my very eyes, I bolstered myself for the moment, the arrival into the land where music was banned… I hefted my bags onto the scanning tread mill and placed my guitar carefully on top of them, holding my breath as the bags along with my swaddled guitar, trundled out the other side of the baggage X ray, passed the bored attendant as quietly as a fly buzzing passed the nose of a drowsy lion… tensed up and anticipating stern words and being carted off to some back room for interrogation… nothing?... not a snarl or a growl, not a word of change of attitude or expression from the bored Taliban, I could hardly believe it, Waqar and I exchanged careful ‘OMFG’ looks of relief and we carefully, casually walked free out into a new Kabul!

The old Kabul airport was streaming with the pugilist and nervous military faces of the ‘Allies’ and downtrodden locals scurrying past giant bomb defence walls, all those ugly walls now gone to reveal beautiful gardens! A wonderful neon sign saying Afghanistan with a giant red heart before the A. A 6ft 6’ Taliban with a machine gun, the first I saw patrolling the evening dusk, grinned from ear to ear as I stood like the very first tourist since the ‘Liberation’ or ‘Fall’ of Kabul, depending on whose side you’re on, while Waqar took my photo in front of it. I smiled and waved to the young soldier as we walked on to our waiting taxi, he continued to grin and nodded back. A cousin of Hitjerad, one of our Yellow House core group members, was to drive us down the familiar Flying Fish Road along the raging Kabul Sinn, Kabul River. Now happily ensconced back at the new Yellow House for over two months since my arrival, I have, with the permission of the local Taliban, resumed short courses with my YHJ Women’s Team! Most of my students were three terms into the first year of a Master’s degree before the Universities closed to women, they have been amazed and thrilled to see me return and have enjoyed being back at the Yellow House. We are doing many things but one of the great things is that my students have been getting involved with my performance work. I was surprised to see that they were happy and excited to participate, including being filmed, so we have been using masks which they find liberating, which is rather ironic considering they have to spend most of their outdoor life in masks not for theatrical effect and transformation but for ‘covering flesh’ and womanly curves. However, when I wear my hijab and mask I feel a transformation into another world. I can’t say I become faceless as people have ways of recognising others or ‘difference’ no matter how well I blend with the crowd.

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Page 122 : Hellen Rose at Kabul airport in front of large neon sign. Photo by Waqar.

The use of masks here for the locals goes back centuries and although restricting, the up side is that it also allows for advantageous anonymity. This society, is one where social behavior is watched by, sometimes, misinterpreting eyes, so not being recognised easily can have its advantages here.

During covid, little black surgical masks have now replaced the Burqa along with other more elaborate black sequined ones, my one from South Side Chicago with glittering black studs all over it fits in perfectly.

The wearing of a burqa or Chadoori as it is called here is a kind of ‘work a day’ ritual, going into town and covering up. Its really about not showing any glimpse or hint of flesh that may excite the stranger…it is clear that women whatever they wear can never hide their beauty, their soft presence even under a burqa, their way of walking is plainly feminine. The long gown like covering garments are now being worn out on the town, some to great effect. Most are black but not all and some are cinched in at the waist which is also new. My students tell me that they now feel safe, as when the US and Allied forces were here you could be killed at anytime, now there is peace.

I first thought of mask work for my students back in 2013 as a clever way for them to feel uninhibited and able to move and express themselves without their faces being shown. We were working with Norwegian Production company and while there on a trip I purchased an amazing array of beautiful masks that were very feminine, lace butterflies, Cats and birds faces etc. George loved the idea of using masks as well and decided to get a bunch of horror masks for the street boys, ugly heads with giant noses and horns. When I laid out all the masks for the women I decided to put out the ugly ones as well just to show them all the variety available but not expecting them to be interested, the opposite was the case in fact they shrieked with joy and laughter at the ugly masks and put them on, for the first time totally uninhibited and running around the garden having a ball laughing and playing monsters, not one of the pretty ones was worn by any of them on this first session, later they used them all.

For one of the Performances I involved some of the women in, George made masks from one of the figures in a very large wall mural that he and Ave Libertatevameamour have been collaborating on via email image exchanges, long distance. The work was created on a wall in the YH Garden and is 9 x 5 meters. Now it’s a collaboration with Ave from Ukraine and the women here in Jalalabad, Ave has been thrilled to see the mask performances extending the 2 dimensional.

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Performance photos with Evil Masks in front of Ave Libertatemaveamor and George Gittoes Mural at the Yellow House, Jalalabad.

We have also been working with the amazing Arshad Khan, our ‘petit person’ collaborator of many years, he is very well known to the women, and they feel comfortable around him. One of my female students is a very talented dancer, she also looks like a dancer and is incredibly flexible and lithe with a dancer’s intuition. She has had no training in modern western style dance but has taken strongly to my lessons in basic interpretive expressionist, surrealist style dance of Mary Wigman and Tatsumi Hijikata’s Bhuto styles, the women here are drawn to the ‘grotesque’ as a type of liberation from restricting stereotypes and purgative and cathartic way of shaking off and processing the chaos of the violence and fear that surrounds them. I have been introducing her to European styles of movement and she is totally drawn to it. The other girls are also thrilled to be exploring modern Performance Art and Dance and to my surprise grasp the concepts quite clearly and really love moving in unconventional expressive ways, they are on a real high at the end of each class and performance experience. Only one of the girls is bold enough and with the approval of her family to speak to camera, albeit wearing her face mask. For some reason the women wouldn’t be photographed in action, performing, but were happy to pose in front of the art work with their masks on.

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Hellen Rose and Arshad performing at Yellow House, Jalalabad 2024.

My own introduction to the professional world of Mask Acting was in a Mask class at Victorian College of the Arts, in 1983, I was accepted into the Actors course at the very young age of 17 .This was not only a cataclysmic revelation but a portal to another reality that was so powerful I recall my Lecturer David Lander grabbing me by the arm and demanding “take off the mask! Take off the Mask!” when I became totally consumed by a blue mask with a wing and kept trying to get out the second story window of the Acting Studio. This also happened to a huge guy in the Directors course, a beautiful human being who had put on a rather ugly mask and it had taken over him completely making him stomp around the space aggressively roaring. Two of the male students had to hold him back! We were all shocked at our ability to be taken over by the mask! The class involved a table display of a set of different masks of all types, hand made, more formal, commedia masks and the actor looks at the masks and goes immediately with the one they are drawn to most, they then put the mask on and then in the very next instant look into a mirror and ‘on impulse’ immediately ‘become’ the mask. If the ‘becoming ‘ doesn’t happen straight away you have to take off the mask and try another one. Costume for me is really a full body mask in this type of movement based performance an extension of spirit a close to that of dance. The weddings here are happening everyday and it seems everyone knows someone getting married. These occasions are loved and everyone gets dressed up to the extreme! The makeup women wear is caked on and the final outcome makes the women look completely doll like with giant eyes, hair too is coifed and ‘helmet head’ hairspray lacquered on to hold their prized and beautiful hair solid, weddings go for three days or more. They are not surprised or confused by my array of masks, they love them and really have a great time like most women around the world, getting dressed up and taking on another character away from the mundane from getting around under heavy veils, hijabs and chadooris and of course a chance for joy and celebration is welcome in every culture on earth.

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Hellen Rose performance Hubble Bubble, Yellow House, Jalalabad 2024. Photo courtesy of Hellen Rose.

Singer and performer. Awarded BVA Hons, M Teach, Grad Cert Arts and NSW Premier's Award 2014. Manager / Co founder The Yellow House Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Rose is Co Producer and Music Director at Gittoes Films Pty. Ltd. George Gittoes and Hellen Rose make documentary films, often in and about war zones. Their latest film White Light deals with the gun violence that's rampant in the Englewood neighbourhood of South Side Chicago, USA. Hellen Rose’s short film "Haunted Burqa," has been selected as a semi finalist for Best Short in the Berlin International Art Film Festival 2022 and the Indie Short Fest, Los Angeles International Film Festival 2022. All

on article and
Rose ©
Rights Reserved
photographs Hellen
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Left : Hellen Rose / The Mask. Photo courtesy of Hellen Rose.
V E Issue 55 - March 2024 128



Made immortal by extracting a nail death, spirits in the shape of molten lead. Slain deceptions found shut, I choose a new subject matter and it begins with the heart . . .

Roman poet Catullus once wrote for his beloved:

“You ask how many kissings of you are enough for me. As great as the number of the Libyan Sand that lies on silphiumbearing Cyrene”.

Nero was given the last Silphium, a herb favoured as an early form of birth control.

The form of a heart much like the wings of a butterfly, or Rorschach. Probable evolution from the shape of a seedpod.

Disney Club 33 and The Bohemian Groove trapped inside the Coca-Cola Vault next to Room 39.

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On the Light rail to Brontë Beach see Emily Play eugenics with divine down-underground belief. You. my life. my soul. sunshine of the Winter that chills each cheekbone. My guide. By my side. Bring me sunshine. Keep me warm.

Longing for an orgasm to speculate and seduce. Osmosis records the last hours of a fallacy. Tarantella dancing with space while sitting cross-legged between Stargates.

The last drops of memory stay at rest beneath the eyes of a strawberry mountain; consider the parasite as it flies to the moon, popping pills, drinking poison. Venus, the goddess of love, sets love on fire as her son Cupid aims darts at the heart; religious art and one of the four suits in playing cards is made immortal by extracting a nail death spirits in the shape of molten lead. Slain deceptions found shut, I've chosen a new subject matter. . . Nero was given the last Silphium seedpod as an early form of birth control. The form of a heart, much like the wings of a butterfly, or Rorschach; its probable evolution is from the shape of a Silphium seed.

Paradox dreaming organ of life, this heart beating in my mind, pattern making, making rhymes, lost inside the museum of time. Painting Scriptures with cleansed blood constellating flying machines, celestial objects while speculating Fury.

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A dare to fashion illustration into a poem the lost fibres systematically language a story to memory while organism’s poet fibres with Instruction.

Recording snow eggs play games to hypotheses the status of sound. Concept phenomena receipts of a lesson. Promoting time seduces an exercise of truth protecting fables with a scripture by the vivarium. Prosthetic faces scripture the next circuits prototype. Diagram cycling romantic ornamenting prime movements in a declaration of sound.

Aspiring currents transmitting flows to express past measurements. organising the next journey. A child wraps her gift as father plays his music in a gesture with the web of navigation. The dream in a body an invention of country a dance an action a silhouette a plea. In this longing description of thought my but an observation as this city exhibits the punishment of longing. They have goose on the menu scoring recipes to visualise synthesis, standardisation details the design and exercise of truth for scripture. Facet of a forgotten prototype. See the cycle diagram move in a declaration of expression transmitting flows to the journey of self.

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Lost and found; a market bin of reading books

Make-believe make-believe what shall I be / I think I’ll be a sailor sailing on the sea / I think I’ll be a princess in a pretty golden gown / I think I’ll be a cowboy I think I’ll be a clown / I think I’ll be a giant I think I’ll be an elf / and when I’m through with make-believe I think I’ll be myself.

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Mother, this house is too little for all of us, I want a house of my own. The difficulty in this is determining where to begin. Unmistakable pathways, reminders of our own dignity. Charisma is gifted to the lonely as the world prays for a common nurturing, the ninth millennium shines in our darkness.

You have placed upon this island the second rite; while holding the pipe in one hand you lead the dawn. Rubbing smoke

all over his body the new children are born, washing their hands and feet, they pray, walking alone. Generations pick up the pieces that were lost before, this sacred fire burns in six directions.

May I go and build one, now?

- Maggie Hall © 2024.

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on article and
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AI Artwork created through prompt engineer & creator, Maggie Hall. All Rights Reserved
photographs Maggie Hall © 2024.


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Bronwyn Greive lives and works in the beautiful rural area of Dungog NSW.

Greive is an author and a dynamic multi-disciplinarian artistdrawing, painting, printmaker and textiles.

Greive has a strong community focus and is a passionate environmentalist, recently publishing More Than Coal, the bookfocuses on twenty-four areas of amazing nature in the Lower Hunter.

“For me a personal life or a world without art is bereft, as creating and enjoying creations dips me in joy and takes my breath away”.

- Bronwyn Greive.

Greive’s artworks are available - Timeless Textiles, Newcastle, Dungog by Design, Dungog and at Art Bazaar: art markets run by Hunter Art Network.

Page 138 : Home is Where the Heart

is. Mixed media: charcoal, graphite, shellac, tissue on paper. 1.5 x 3m. (Featured in the book, 'More than Coal: Exploring places of Significant Natural History in the Lower Hunter Valley and Creative Ways to Love it.')
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Right : Grass Tree- Xanthorrhoea latifolia. Mixed media: Wire, wool, free machine stitching, vegetable net bag, hand coloured fabric and rattail, insulation foam, wood, acrylic paint, recycled pillow stuffing.
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Bronwyn Greive during the creation of 'Home is Where the Heart is'. Photo courtesy of Greive.


What attracted you to the world of Art? When did your artistic passion begin? I can't remember a time I didn't create: decorating my doll's house, making clothes for my dolls (I didn't really play with them otherwise.)

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

My background is in community work, including advocacy and development and giving myself permission to be an artist and call myself an artist has been hard won. Over the last fifteen years I have worked through a number of Julia Cameron's books, starting with 'The Artist's Way.' Even that was a struggle. The book sat on my desk for eighteen months before a musician friend, who didn't know I owned it, asked randomly: “Have you ever heard of the Artist's Way?” It changed my life and music!

Describe your work?

Nature and the environment has long been inspiration and I have often said: "I'd never run out of inspiration if all I ever had were leaves." It was the reason I went and studied Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle; to reference nature better.

What is the philosophy behind your work?

A few ideas underpin my work: artmaking is beneficial for all to do, everyone can create, nature is wonderful inspiration, creating artworks is an important role in society, and use any medium or technique to create the effect or message. I want to extol the beauty, wonder, and splendour of our environment, either through personal works or community ones. When I personally produce artworks responding to nature I am then drawn to the medium and technique I want to represent it and creativity echoes the hand of the Divine.

In my community works it's important to me to also enable others to create and discover their own creativity and their connection with nature. In this area I would use the term 'eco-social artist'.

My creative PhD used art-based methodology which purports that artmaking is good for all and has a social justice component; "It's not enough that three academics read your thesis, we owe it to the world to get it out in ways that others can understand" ( Sociologist Patricia Leavy, PhD).

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Do you have a set method / routine of working?

I need to be quite disciplined, first because I find it too easy to see other tasks as more pressing and secondly because I can't dip in and out of a work at the start, I need a long run into it. Once something is designed and planned I can then make use of smaller windows of time. I love a marathon, starting in the morning and going all day, even through the night, although I'm aware it's not best to do that too often.

When I began creating more regularly I used a time sheet to keep accountable to myself. Max my husband has been a huge encouragement in this area, often asking "How many hours did you do in the studio today?".

Why do you choose this material / medium to work with?

I have never met an art medium I don't like, this is both a blessing and a curse. However, textiles is a core love, as there are so many techniques that can be used with it: printmaking, painting on it; sculpting and/or sewing.

How important is drawing as an element to your artwork?

Drawing is the basis for much of my work, especially if I am painting or printmaking. Some works are all drawing. If I draw before a work I try not to do too many renditions as I can draw the life out of it. Also, if I am working with the community on a mural any design I only draw up a schematic, as I don't want to design the community participants out of it.

Tell us about your new book and exhibition ‘More than Coal’.

The book came out of my PhD research. The research looked at the idea of using Natural History Illustration (often seen as a specialist art form) to help people fall in love with their local and regional environment, i.e. endemophilia; from environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht. During my Natural History Illustration Degree at the University of Newcastle, (no longer available) I realised how many amazing places of environmental significance we have in the Lower Hunter Valley. As I spoke to people about this not many people knew about them all, even I only knew about most of them, but discovered others through my PhD research. So I used NHI skills to create for each area represented in the book (although every one is worthy of its own book). At the core of the research, and shown in the book, were the murals I co-created with Year 6 students at two local public schools in the Dungog Shire, both based on The Barrington Tops National Park - World Heritage Area. There is a little information and some anecdotes on each site, with more ways to care for the environment at the end, plus simple art exercises anyone can try for their own creative connection to these places.

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For Sale- Anthochaera phrygia. ( Featured in the book, 'More than Coal: Exploring places of Significant Natural History in the Lower Hunter Valley and Creative Ways to Love it.')
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Front cover of book ‘More than Coal’ by Bronwyn Greive.

What have been the major influences on your work?

Bring creative and nature are two expressions of being in the image of THE Creator. So these greatly influenced my drive and ideas, not necessarily in the genre of 'religious' art, but as currents running through it. Although, I have done some different types of nativity paintings referencing; Starry Night by Van Gogh, graffiti and Banksy, and another the surrealist Magritte.

Two important artistic influences are Van Gogh and Australian artist Annemieke Mein. It's not Van Gogh's well-known style alone which has influenced me, but many other things as well: his early works e.g. "The Potato Eaters," showing his passion for the underdog; commitment to art; love of nature; plus his spirituality, with an understanding of the connection between the Divine and nature.

Some quotes below express some of this.

Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more. - Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh (1959). “Complete Letters: With Reproductions of All the Drawings in the Correspondence”

One can never study nature too much and too hard. -Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh (1959). “Complete Letters: With Reproductions of All the Drawings in the Correspondence”

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality is more important than the feeling for pictures. - Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh, Mark Roskill (1997). “The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh”, p.156, Simon and Schuster.

Australian artist Annemieke Mein, best known for her textile artworks, expresses a passion for and attention to the detail of the environment. Annemieke worked in this medium despite the negative responses from gallery directors in the last few decades of the 1900s. Once her work was shown, the public response validated this work. Annemieke turns 80 this year and there is a retrospective exhibition of her works on in the Gippsland Gallery, Sale. In a few weeks I am heading off to see it.

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Side of the community mural Water- More Precious then Gold, Acrylic at Dungog Swimming Pool. NSW. Total mural 4 x 8.5m. Bronwyn Greive.

What are some of your favourite artworks and artists?

There are so many, including van Gogh and Annemieke Mein mentioned in question 10. Added to them are Andrea Mantegna, from the Renaissance (1400s). Not as well known as the big names, but I love his bold use of perspective in "St. James Led to His Execution" and "Lamentation of Christ."

While I don't paint in a surrealist way I love Salvador Dali, including, but not limited to: "The Persistence of Memory," " The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus." I cried when I had the chance to stand in front of the original "Christ of Saint John of the Cross."

Any particular style or period that appeals?

Many of the periods and styles speak to me but I particularly like how different periods have manifestos. Artists often got together and argued philosophy, committing to a written text and sometimes being quite hardline about who is in or out. While I don't like the hard boundaries, I do love the idea of manifestos formed from arguing philosophies and ideas.

What are the challenges in becoming an exhibiting artist?

Balancing the timeline: making enough time for creating, self-promotion (argh!), as well as working in the present while also planning ahead as galleries will have different application processes, time lines and lead up times.

Name your greatest achievement, exhibitions?

Both the book and exhibitions attached to "More than Coal: Exploring Significant Natural History of the Lower Hunter Valley and Creative Ways to Love it" are huge achievements, along with finishing my PhD and passing! A last stage to do before I get the hat and the title.

How has the COVID 19 Virus affected your art practice?

It made the PhD journey even more difficult as the university closed buildings and spaces. Since then they only provided artmaking spaces for digital processes, or smaller low mess areas. My work uses these as well as large areas, such as needed for the 5 meter long work "Home is Where the heart Is - Regent Honeyeater Habitat (Anthochaera phrygia)" Therefore I became inventive about where and how I created such a range.

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What are you working on at present?

I have commissions for two murals, within the yards of private homes and I'm incubating ideas for works to enter into competitions.

What do you hope viewers of your art works will feel and take with them?

If viewers see the environment in a new way, are enthused about nature, (especially in their own area) and drawn to it (I use the word love) that would be wonderful. Then if they are encouraged to give creating a go for themselves that would be an added bonus.

Your future aspirations with your art?

Trying to be true to my artmaking as well as making some kind of living from it is tricky, but that would be the ideal. I'd love to receive funding for community based art projects to encourage connection to people's local environment. I'd also love to be able to work with other artists to facilitate books on each of the bigger areas covered in "More than Coal."

Forthcoming exhibitions?

Currently I have some works in a group exhibition at Timeless Textiles will some great names in the textile art world: Abigail Brown, Nicola Henley. This exhibition will move over to the Hunter Wetlands Centre, Shortland.

Then mid-year there is an exhibition at Back to Back Gallery, 'Time" with a wonderful group of women, called Athena, all mixed media artists. And in September 2024 I have a one month artist in residency at Château d'Orquevaux in the Champagne region in France. I'm so excited about that opportunity. - Bronwyn Greive © 2024.

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: Rainforest Ascendant, Charcoal on plywood. 1200 x 3m. Above : Jumping Kangaroo. Coloured pencils on paper. H20 x W29 cm. Bronwyn Greive.

Mixed media: watercolour, gouache and coloured pencil. Bronwyn Greive.on

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird- Cracticus torquatus Emu - Dromaius novaehollandiae
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Pastels on paper. W25 x H40 cm. Bronwyn Greive.
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Eastern Yellow Robin-Eopsaltria australis I. Mixed media: watercolour, gouache and coloured pencil on paper. H15 x W20 cm. Bronwyn Greive. Rainforest Review, Decimation, front panel
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Rainforest Review, in situ


Mixed Media Sculptural Hangings: a variety of textiles, polystyrene, wire, cord.

Each panel: W1.5 x H2.2 m.

Bronwyn Greive.

Rainforest Review, Lush Life, middle panel Rainforest Review, Origins, back panel
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Royal Patrons- University of Newcastle. Mixed media; collage elements, gesso, ink. 21 x 30cm. ( Featured in the book, 'More than Coal: Exploring places of Significant Natural History in the Lower Hunter Valley and Creative Ways to Love it.')
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Habitat tri-folds. Ink on paper- artists' books. ( Featured in the book, 'More than Coal: Exploring places of Significant Natural History in the Lower Hunter Valley and Creative Ways to Love it.') Bronwyn Greive.
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Journey to the Heartland, Acrylic on canvas. 1500 x 900 cm. Bronwyn Greive. Gilt with Merit Textiles 1.50 x 2 m.
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Bronwyn Greive.
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Crimson Rosella- Platycercus elegans VI. Mixed media sculpture: wire, fabric, stuffing, polymer clay on wood. 30 x 15 cm. Bronwyn Greive.
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Section of community Mural - Once were wetlands Acrylic on brickwork. Total mural H2.5 x W55 m. Bronwyn Greive. All Rights Reserved on article and photographs
Greive © 2024.
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Left : Eastern Rosella -Platycercus eximius V Mixed media: painting and free machine stitching on fabric. Bronwyn Greive.


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Nathan Bell is a multi-disciplinarian artist, musician and science fiction author living and working in Newcastle Australia.

Bell’s debut novel Kings of the New Age: The Quest of the Balancing Stones, has taken three years to write, the theme is a post-apocalyptic, epic fantasy and political drama based in Newcastle. Available at Amazon Books website.

Bell is also a passionate visual artist, audio-visual content creator and a dedicated political activist. You can follow his Instagram page or Face Book page Modern Culture Network - including global affairs and conspiracies, besides other topics. Modern Culture Network clothing designs are available on Red Bubble website. Links at end of article.

Page 160 : Cover of Book Kings of the New Age.
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Right : Nathan Bell performing with His band. Photographs courtesy of Nathan Bell.
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Nathan Bell promoting his book and artwork in Hamilton, Newcastle NSW.


Where did you grow up?

I grew up all over the Hunter Valley. I have lived in Maitland, Kurri Kurri and Newcastle. My highest level of education is a year twelve equivalent through open foundation at Newcastle University.

What attracted you to the world of Literature?

We like reading in my family and I have always loved fantasy. It started with ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The lord of the rings’ when I was a child and since then I have loved fiction.

When did your passion for writing begin?

I’m thirty seven now. I tried to write books several times throughout my twenties but never got far because at the time I didn't have the maturity or skills.

What inspires you?

I am mostly inspired by world affairs and reality. I follow politics and like my stories to reflect life.

Describe your work?

My novel is an epic fantasy/ adventure and a political drama.

Tell me about Kings of the New Age.

Kings of the New Age blends New Age spiritual mysticism with hard political and social drama. In the story a nuclear war has happened, the Australian government has collapsed and Newcastle has been taken over by a criminal gang who have enslaved the city's population. The community come together and overthrow the gang then hold an election bringing back democracy. At the same time three heroes from Newcastle go on a quest to use ancient magic to heal the Earth from radiation poisoning.

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Why did you choose this theme?

I am very spiritual and also very political.

Is there a particular reason for your choice of style / genre?

Just my love of magic and mysticism and my passion for politics.

Do you have a set method / routine of working?

I do most of my writing in my weekly sessions with my creative writing mentors provided by Rely-Ability. I currently work with my mentor Tom Pahlow seven hours a week, we are working on my new novel ‘22nd Century Man’. I also like to write early in the morning before I start my activities for the day.

Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?

Creating exciting Characters and world building is easy because it's fun. The hard and complicated part is developing an engaging plot line.

When you're not writing, what do you like to read?

For the last eight years I have read and studied exclusively factual information. That is news, current affairs, science, philosophy and so on. I no longer watch any entertainment content or read any fiction. I feel this makes my writing more realistic.

What have been the major influences on your work?

I am heavily influenced by Tolkien's works and by the Game of Thrones series.

What are you working on at present?

I am currently writing a new novel set one hundred years in the future in the Hunter Valley called ‘22 Century Man’. The book is a family drama about a dying man from the Hunter Valley in our era who gets frozen then wakes up one hundred years in the future.

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Nathan Bell at work.
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Photo courtesy of Nathan Bell.

Tell me about your street art shop in Hamilton…… Art of Resistance. And your political aspirations?

I love operating my street shop in Newcastle. I have built a great relationship with people in the community. It’s not about the little bits of money I make, it’s about bringing art and culture to the community. I don't want to be a politician, I just want to comment on important issues through art and start an art and cultural movement in Australia.

Tell me about your interest in music and do you have a band?

I have written about thirty songs over the last few years which I have been recording at Rely-Ability’s creative centre in Newcastle. I also perform my songs live with the Rely-Ability client/staff band ‘Moving Shadows’. The band plays a variety of songs written by staff and clients of the service.

Tell me about your involvement with NDIS funded creative arts service called Rely- Ability. The government approved me for NDIS funding when I was in the psychiatric ward. They then recommended me to Rely-Ability because they knew I wanted to be involved in art and creativity which is Rely-Ability’s specialty. Since then I have been receiving mentoring from Rely-Ability in creative writing, digital media and music production.

Your future aspirations with your writing?

I have done the self publishing thing now and have achieved over 500 sales of Kings of the New Age. It’s been a lot of fun but also a lot of work to sell those books on the street. My next goal is to secure a traditional publisher for my new work ‘22 Century Man’. After that I really want to see my stories produced as movies and television series filmed in the Hunter Valley and Australia.

Forthcoming publications?

I will be continuing to write novels for the rest of my life. At the moment I am expecting to release ‘22 Century Man’ this year. - Nathan Bell © 2024.

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Nathan Bell singing with his band Moving Shadows. Phot courtesy of Nathan Bell.
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Nathan Bell with his book Kings of the New Age. Photograph courtesy of Bell.

BOOK : Kings of the New Age - link to buy at Amazon Books Instagram link: FACE BOOK : Modern Culture Network link: Red Bubble Clothing Designs Modern Culture Network link:

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Nathan Bell © 2024.

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Tales of Morocco by Seigar

Artist Statement: The series “Tales” is how I present all my travel and street photography work, and my main intention with these photo narratives is to express the Latin message of Carpe Diem. I think it’s related to waking up. “Enjoying life” is essential, and “taking care of ourselves” (eat, move, and rest the best you know) is part of waking up too. All these ideas work together.

Let me share another reflection: when artists discuss censorship and cancellation culture, I always think of Madonna as a role model to follow, with decisions and actions rather than words or moaning. The brave attitude she has shown her whole life inspires me. All this debate about censorship is like the metaphor of the bird inside the cage with the doors completely open it's there, fly! So let’s do it; let’s take action rather than complain about it. If only we all knew the power we have in our hands, it’s on us! We decide. We are free. Individually free, each of us! This metaphor works not just for censorship but for every single thing in life, for every goal that you have, and you may be crazily waiting for authorization from someone, or even worse, from “a system." Remember, the doors of the cage are completely open; do it!

Finally, let me tell you something else I have come up with in my trips. I have seen that, even though we are different, the most important things in life connect us. I have realized most human beings are beautiful souls with so many good things to share with the world (with so much potential!), and in fact, this picture I got from my experiences is quite far from the image I get from the media about the world and its citizens. It makes me question, "Why?" Now, I will give you time to reflect on that. Give it a thought and get to your conclusions.

Enjoy the Tales of Morocco. - Seigar.


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Seigar is a passionate visual artist based in Tenerife, Spain, specializing in travel, street, social documentary, conceptual, and pop art. He is deeply fascinated by pop culture. This fetishism is evident in his works exploring photography, video art, writing, and collage. A philologist by profession and a secondary school teacher, Seigar is a self-taught visual artist, having completed courses in advanced photography, cinema, and television.

He has been to 56 countries and has a long wish list! His artistic mission is to narrate tales through his camera, creating a continuous storyline from his travels and encounters.

He has participated in various international exhibitions, festivals, and cultural events, and his works have been featured in numerous publications worldwide. His recent focus includes documenting identity and spreading the message of the Latin phrase carpe diem. Seigar was honoured with the Rafael Ramos García International Photography Award. He shares his predilections on art and culture on Pop Sonality, his blog.

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Webpage: Instagram: Blog: All Rights Reserved on article and photographs SEIGAR © 2024. Issue 55 - March 2024 189
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Cruden Farmhouse main entrance

A Day at Cruden Farm, Langwarrin Victoria

Walking in this 8 hectares (20 acres) park/farm - with its paddocks, ornamental lakes and many large trees, rich gardens and an eclectic collection of sculptures - is to see the remarkable determination of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch to leave a magnificent present to the people of Australia.

At the heart of the estate is a modest home by modern standards, even if its columned entrance on one side looks like something out of Gone With The Wind movie.

The story begins in 1971, when Dame Elizabeth Murdoch decided she needed a gardener. Michael Morris was recommended by friends. He arrived for morning tea and began work soon after and stayed as gardener for the next forty years. They created a garden park full of peace, beauty and warmth. Beautiful garden parks take an incredible amount of money, time, passion, patience and creativity. Cruden Farm is one such garden park.

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100 lemon -scented gum trees (Corymbia citriodora), planted by Dame Elisabeth, line the entrance to Cruden Farm. Daedalus by Irwin Fabian (1989)
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Sculpture near the entrance to Cruden Farmhouse Side entrance to Cruden farmhouse Sculpture by Lenton Parr
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This sculpture is in the side entrance foyer Dancing Brolga by Leslie Bowles (1930)
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Entrance to the Walled Vegetable Garden Walled Vegetable Garden Pond
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Koala Birdbirth By Michael O’Connell (1930’s) Outside the stables area Beautiful wrought iron decoration
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Inside the stables Farm storage area and cottage (above)
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The main garden beds are found at the back of the Cruden Farmhouse
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Area at the rear of the farmhouse looking towards the lake
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The back of the farmhouse overlooks the main garden beds and the lake.
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Page 200 : 2 views - Bell Serene By Ken Blum 2005.
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Above : Pisces by Douglas Stephens 1981 (sculpture outside the walled garden)

Machete of Tara

Lenton Parr 2003 (sculpture outside the walled garden)

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Left : The Ibis - Phil Price 2009
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The lake which was constructed in 1987.
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The dam, which is not far from the farmhouse, was installed in 1995. It has a small island in the centre which has been ornamented with a sculpture.

Five Ways

Ken Blum and Dame Elizabeth Murdoch constructed by Andrew Gobel 2005.

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A Forest of gum trees near the dam and amidst them is the sculpture of a tree spirit. Dryad; tree spirit - Ken Blum 2004.

The paddocks are filled with flowers and a huge variety of trees.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Lorraine Fildes © 2024.
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Watts Wise duo - Phil Watts and Lisa Wiseman are multi-instrumentalist musos and visual artists based in the rural town of Dungog in the Hunter Valley NSW Australia.

“They play a mix of original and cover songs, based on themes of self-identity, relationships, nature and the joy of creativity. Their on-stage presence demands attention and keeps the audience engaged through the journey within their song.” - KC Campbell.

Phil Watts who was featured in Studio La Primitive Arts Zine, has been a solo artist for the past five years under the name pHilantHropic, with a

2,350 fan base on his You tube channel. Link:

He has been involved in the world of art and music for many years, graduating from Newcastle University with Fine Arts Degree.

Phil writes and sings and performs his own songs accompanied by his remarkable art videos.

Phil exhibits his artwork with Dungog By Design shop and Gallery, 224 Dowling St Dungog, NSW.

Lisa Wiseman will be featured in May Arts Zine with her artwork and music. Currently Lisa has been working on a huge project of painting wild, vividly coloured Emus on a water tank.

Beside her talent as a multi-instrumentalist“Lisa showcases her vocal harmonies that elevate Phil’s catchy songs. Lisa has a proven track record of delivering dynamic live performances, having been part of many popular bands in the Hunter Valley such as Magnum, Nightrix and Demografix.” - KC Campbell.

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Page 210 : Phil Watts and Lisa Wiseman. Photo courtesy of Watts Wise,

Watts Wise are coming off a great show at the PAD sunset session at the Royal Hotel Dungog where they showcased some new material, an original and a couple of new instrumentals pieces. We have been the recipients of some wonderful musical gifts with Lisa receiving a piano accordion and a flute for me. We are now incorporating these instruments into our show.

Watts Wise are the subjects of a podcast on Australian music by Crystal Ludzow.

The links:

Watts Wise are putting the finishing touches on their debut single and video: it’s a lament called “For everything we’ve lost” and hope to release in early March ‘24. Search for us on Face book.

Finally we are back at the home of original music the Beauford Hotel Maitland Rd. Mayfield, Newcastle - on the 7th March for a set of our original material.

Podcast is on 5th March checkout Watts Wise Face book page for links.

- Phil Watts 2024, Lisa Wiseman playing the Piano Accordion at Royal Hotel, Dungog.
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Photo - still from video, courtesy of Watts Wise.
All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Watts Wise © 2024.
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Above : Watts Wise. Photo courtesy of Phil Watts.


ADFAS newcastle

18 March 2024

Damien Hurst and Contemporary Art

presented by David Worthington

Damien Hirst is the most famous British artist since Henry Moore. Not even Francis Bacon had such a huge international presence. And yet in his home country he is often seen as a practical joker, pulling the wool over the eyes of the public, and not making proper art at all. This lecture aims to dispel this and show he is a deeply serious artist making work that is both significant and influential.

David Worthington, sculptor, curator and writer, is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Sculptors.

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22 April 2024

Ancient Southeast Asia: from Borobudur to Angkor

The ancient art of Southeast Asia took Hindu and Buddhist ideas from India and made them into something unique. Each of the major kingdoms evolved distinctive styles of temple building, sculpture and relief carving: from the vast cities of Pagan to monumental Angkor. The evolution of ancient Javanese art shows how styles developed from the Indian Gupta influences and transformed into the more Balinese-style temples of East Java.

Adrian Vickers holds a personal chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Sydney.

More information on lectures and speakers is found at

Both lectures take place at 6:30pm at the Hunter Theatre, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

Guests are invited to attend $30 – register on-line but if that’s not possible just show up on the night. 2024 memberships are still available –complete the membership form and make payment at the website.

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What The Land Had To Say

Reese North is a resident poet featured in Studio La Primitive Arts Zine. North's first book is now published and will be launched at the Uniting Church, Hamilton, Newcastle, 5 November, at 1pm. Profits donated to protect the health of disadvantaged Aboriginal children.

Direct link to purchase book:

The publisher is YARNSPINNERS Press Collective with Deluge Publishing.

Reese North. Photo courtesy of Reese North.

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Reese North was born 1951 in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. He began writing poetry at an early age and developed his distinctive voice through his adult years. North presently lives and works in Newcastle.

Reese finished his HSC in 1969 and began work as a trainee Psychiatric Nurse. He was very good in this role but his spirit was constrained and so he set up his own gardening business. Following the death of his father in 1974 Reese left Newcastle and began a fifteen-year odyssey around Australia.

Fourteen years were spent living his life with the Aboriginal community, initially with Canberra Tent Embassy (1976-79), leaving behind his former life and becoming completely immersed on Koori culture.

Reese returned home to Newcastle in 1990 and completed an Arts Degree at Newcastle University with majors in History and English Literature. He was awarded a Distinction for his paper on the case of Jimmy Governor and another for his broader consideration of the nature of Aboriginal resistance in the Frontier Wars. During his university years (1995 to 2000) Reese worked as a Literacy and Numeracy Tutor, employed by the Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme.

Reese represented the Hunter Region at the 1995 Sydney Writers’ Festival, held at the Sydney Opera House, and later his work was visually represented at the Opera House in 2003. He continues to evolve his style.

Excerpt from Introduction of his book ‘What the Land had to say’ “I wrote the following suite to communicate not only the terrible plight First Nation people of Australia have suffered as a consequence of European invasion, but also to inspire in the reader the understanding that none of us exist in isolation to one another. We each need to recognise our interconnectedness and the impact that our actions have on other people, and the necessity to cultivate the indispensable qualities of empathy and compassion in our relationships with each other. Or put simply, just put yourself in the other person’s shoes!

Through the use of metaphor, social realism, narrative poetry and all the other literary devices in my kit-bag as a writer, I invite you, dear readers, to contemplate your role in the community of humanity and to recognise the significance of our interwoven lives.’ - Reese North. © 2023.

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Gresford is a small rural village set in the lush country side of the Hunter Valley, 40 minutes north of Maitland NSW.

The Valley is home to many dynamic artists and craft persons.

Exciting news to announce - a group of local artists have been working to establish Gresford Community Art Gallery / shop in the Therese Doyle Community building next to the beautiful Arboretum gardens. The Gallery doors will open to the public hopefully in June when renovations are completed.

The Gallery will feature a variety of quality art and craft, highlighting the local arts creative community in the Hunter Valley.

Application Call Out – Gresford Community Gallery and Shop

Applicants may live locally or in the Hunter Valley

If you would like to exhibit or have work in our Gallery and Shop hopefully from June 2024?

If you are an artist or crafts person making quality: painting, drawing, glass, jewellery, textiles, photography or ceramics we’d love to hear from you!

Please send an email to with:

A brief outline of your artistic practice with links to your website and/or Facebook/Instagram OR 3-5 images of your work with a brief outline of your creative practice.

The Gallery now has a Face Book page which will give regular news updates of the Gallery’s progress and opening event date and sneak previews of what's to come!

Please Like and follow our page. Link:

Gallery committee: Fiona Wright, Christine Pike, Dawn Thompson, Misha Moon, Janet Steele, Judy Henry Robyn & Eric Werkhovenall looking forward to the opening of Gresford Community Gallery and meeting and working with other creative souls.

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Arts Zine is an online art and literary magazine, featuring artist’s interviews, exhibitions , art news, poetry and essays.

Arts Zine was established in 2013 by artists Eric and Robyn Werkhoven, now with a fast growing audience, nationally and internationally. Their extensive mailing list includes many galleries, art collectors and art lovers.

In 2017 it was selected by the NSW State Library to be preserved as a digital publication of lasting cultural value for long-term access by the Australian community

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The publication includes a collection of poems written over recent years, penetrating and profound observations on life. And a selection of Eric’s dynamic and prolific sculptures.

Enquiries contact:


Page 226 : Left - Front cover, The Fall, Autoclaved aerated cement / cement / lacquer, H32 x W46 x B38cm. Eric Werkhoven 2013. Right : Collaged photos of sculptures. Right : Eric Werkhoven working in outdoor studio.
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Photograph by Robyn Werkhoven.
ART SYSTEMS WICKHAM 40 ANNIE ST. WICKHAM, NEWCASTLE NSW. Phone: 0431 853 600 Director: Colin Lawson NEWCASTLE PRINTMAKERS Issue 55 - March 2024 228


16th FEBRUARY - 3rd MARCH 2024


8 – 24 MARCH



APR 5 – APR 14


19– 28 APRIL


P R I N T R U N NEWCASTLE PRINTMAKERS Issue 55 - March 2024 229

Till 3 March


Helen Jackson, Graeme Choat, Susan Eve

March 8 - 17


Karen Wells and Hide Kobayashi. March 22 - April 7


Artists take inspiration from the Writers Festival.

April 12 - 28


Marian Marcatili, Sharon Taylor, Heather Campbell, Susan Eve, Kate Belton and Kaylene Gayner.

May 3 - May 19


Nicki McCann, Theodosius Ng, Rosie Turner, Eddie Lou & Bridgette Beyer

57 Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm B A C K T O B A C K G A L L E R I E S E X H I B I T I O N C A L E N D A R
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Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm
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An online store featuring a variety of wearable artworks - bracelets, scarves and earrings as well as homewares. Issue 55 - March 2024 232
Gallery Gift Shop at Home

12 February - 17 March

The Gold series and the Poetry of Flowers- Susan Doherty

20 Mar - 21 April

Wandering with Intent: Fiona Duthie

22 April - 26 May

enmesh: Winsome Jobling

90 Hunter St. Newcastle, NSW. E
H I B I T I O N C A L E N D A R 2024
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Wallace Street, Islington, Newcastle, NSW. Issue 55 - March 2024 234
Barbara Nanshe Studio 2
Online Shop Handmade. Ethical. Bespoke. Unusual. Original. Individual 2 Wallace Street, Islington, Newcastle, NSW. Issue 55 - March 2024 235
Barbara Nanshe Studio

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2 - 24 March

Olivia Parsonage

Laterality -

Caelli-Jo Brooker, Alison Smith, Ahn Wells

Embedded - Lousia Magrics

30 March - 21 April

Deciduous Dream - Patrick Mavety

Butchers Block - Liam Power


27 April - 19 May

Dan Nelson

Lydia Miller

Wednesday Sutherland

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GALLERY ON DOWLING Helene Leane Jeanne Harrison 120 Dowling St. Dungog NSW. Red Mountain Glow, Dungog #1, Acrylic on board H39 x W59 cm. Helene Leane. Issue 55 - March 2024 238
DUNGOG BY DESIGN GALLERY / SHOP 224 Dowling St Dungog, NSW. P A M E L A P R I D A Y Issue 55 - March 2024 239
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Rhino Images - Art and the Rhinoceros

Art and the Rhinoceros - There are over three hundred Rhino images in this book.

Whether in the ancient past or in the present the rhinos are always represented as huge, powerful and solitary animals. The book includes paintings, drawings, woodcuts, etchings, rock carvings and sculptures of the rhino all depicting the power of the animal.

These images of the rhino range from early civilisations such as in China, Roman Empire, Indus civilisation in Pakistan/ India area and from Southern Africa down to current day images of paintings and sculptures produced by modern day artists.

The text indicates where you may find these wonderful images as well as the websites of the artists concerned, the caves where the rhino images have been found and the places where posters use the rhino image.

There are very few of these magnificent wild animals left in the world, so unless they are protected and managed, artistic images will soon be the only viewing option.

Rhino Images – Art and the Rhinoceros, First Edition, 2017, is available for download at The Rhino Resource Centre web site.

Direct Link :

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Page 240 : White Rhino crash at Whipsnade Zoo, England. Image: Robert Fildes © 2019.
Cat Looking at Life, mixed media on canvas H61 x W61 cm., Anka What.
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