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arts zine

issue 41 may 2021


ARTS CENTRE 1 Powerhouse Rd Casula NSW . Lil Dave - Death, Ink on paper 124 x 94 cm. George Gittoes © 2018.


OLDEN MILESTONE •••and the broken promise of a life of ease , Oil on Canvas, Cliff Grigg.


Endangered Endemic Extinct, Medium Collograph, Drypoint tetra pak, H35 x W10.5 cm. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.


S A L T E R Hornbill, mixed media, H58 x L60 x W23 cm. Greg Salter 2020.


Lummis 7 - 23 MAY 2021 Rainy Day Blues, Oil on marine ply. H60 x W60 cm.


Look Series: Alpine Eucalypt Forest, Mount Kaputar , Ken Rubeli.

PAGE : 102


The Silver Lining, Acrylic on canvas, H2 x W3 Ft. David McLeod.

Art Quill Studio Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Series Neu Kunst: Marilyn, H125 x W75 cm. Marie-Therese Wisniowski . Numerous silk screen methods, discharge, mono-prints, lino-blocked, stamped, stenciled, hand painted, hand stitched, and digitally collaged images employing pigments, dyes, thread, discharge agents, pastels, crayons, charcoal, metallic paints and heat reactive pigment on cotton.

slp studio la primitive CONTRIBUTORS

Goose, mixed media, H65 x L60 x W40cm. Greg Salter 2017.

Richard Tipping

Peter J. Brown

Chris Mansell

Shelagh Lummis

George Gittoes

John O’Brien

Hellen Rose

Eric Werkhoven

Shally Pais

Robyn Werkhoven

Greg Salter

Art Systems Wickham

Ken Rubeli

David McLeod

Therese Gabriel-Wilkin

Helene Leane

Bernadette Meyers

Barbara Nanshe

Lorraine Fildes

Art Quill Studio


Timeless Textiles

Maggie Hall

Newcastle Potters

Brad Evans

Gloucester Gallery

Reese North

Sculpture on the Farm

Andrew Shillam

Port Stephen’s Community Arts

INDEX Editorial …………

Robyn Werkhoven


Studio La Primitive ……

E & R Werkhoven


Feature Artist ………..

Richard Tipping

14 - 31

Feature Poet ………….

Chris Mansell

32 - 41

Feature Artist …………

George Gittoes

42 - 59

Feature Artist ………...

Hellen Rose

60 - 75

Poetry ………………….

Andrew Shillam

76 - 81

Feature Artist ………..

Greg Salter

82 - 97

Poetry ……………….

Eric Werkhoven

98 - 101

Feature Artist …………… Ken Rubeli

102 - 129

Poetry ……………………

Reese North

130 - 133

Featured Artist …………

Shally Pais

134 - 149

Feature Artist …………..

Therese Gabriel-Wilkin

150 - 167

Poetry ……..………….

Maggie Hall

168 - 173

Featured Artist ……….

Bernadette Meyers

174 - 185

Poetry ………………..

Peter J. Brown

186 - 187

Feature …....…………..

Lorraine Fildes

188 - 217

Feature Video …………..


222 - 225

ART NEWS……………….

226 - 267

FRONT COVER: Code Red, Pine timber, plywood, enamel auto paint. WINDSWEPT, oil, H51 x W41cm. Robyn Bailey 2020.

Dimensions: 130 x 130 x 14cm. Richard Tipping 2019.


Ken Rubeli , forester, nature photographer, freelance writer

Greetings to our May ARTS ZINE readers.

presents a collection of superb photographs.

and a passionate environmental educator writes about his life and

We wish to stress the importance of the Visual Arts , Music and Literature, in these demanding times with COVID 19, to keep creative and stay positive.

Sculptor Greg Salter writes about his love for the animal world. Animals the focal subject of his colourful and quirky sculpture. Lorraine

Fildes, our resident travel photographer and

The May Arts Zine includes an eclectic and dynamic group of contemporary

writer features

artists, photographers, writers and musicians.

Civilisations Museum Singapore 2020.

This month we present artist and poet Richard Tipping, who moves between poetry and art - making word art works - with worded images and textual

Living with Ink, an exhibition from Ancient

Bernadette Meyers returns this month with a delightful photographic essay - Inner World of Eucalyptus Blossoms. International Spanish photographer SEIGAR features a video and

sculpture. Chris Mansell, poet, publisher, short fiction writer and poetry in other

forms. Award winning painter and film maker George Gittoes features an article on Druid Mysticism Surviving in Art. The vivacious singer and performer Hellen Rose introduces us to her new band SOUL CRIME.

essay - Beach in the ice (Featuring Candy Porcelain). This video art piece explores the concepts of drag and identity. We are introducing two new poets Peter J. Brown and artist, poet Andrew Shillam. Don’t miss out reading new works by resident poets Maggie Hall, Brad Evans, Reese North and Eric Werkhoven. ART NEWS and information on forthcoming art exhibitions.

Sydney based multi - media artist Shally Pais writes about her art, music,

poetry and animation works. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins captures images and weaves a visual narrative through printmaking and sculpture. From the Hunter we feature two remarkable artists -

Submissions welcomed, we would love to have your words and art works in future editions in 2021. Deadline for articles 15th JUNE for JULY issue 42, 2021.

Email: 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 © 2021 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.

Issue 41 - May 2021



O Lizard Tickling,




Acrylic on canvas,

H40 x W 30cm. Robyn Werkhoven 2020.

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RICHARD TIPPING Richard Kelly Tipping was born in Adelaide and studied in humanities at Flinders University. He worked for the South Australian Film Corporation and co-founded the on-going Friendly Street poetry reading before moving to Sydney in 1980. He complete a masters degree and a doctorate at the University of Technology Sydney and taught for two decades in media arts at the University of Newcastle. He has published many books of poems and of concrete/ visual poems, and is included in over seventy anthologies of poetry. Tipping is internationally recognised for sign art, using templates of official signage to make edgy poetic shifts in

meaning, and is also known as a sculptor making word works including large-scale public art. He is represented in depth in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Tipping works in both Sydney and Newcastle, and lives in Maitland. Photograph of Richard Tipping by William Yang, 2020.

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M A G E . A R

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WORDXIMAGE: UNCERTAIN ART FOR CERTAIN PEOPLE WXI (pronounced WiXI) will explore cross-overs between imaged words and worded images. Richard Kelly Tipping has recently opened an art gallery in the main street of the historic town of Maitland, half an hour’s drive or train ride from the vibrant port city of Newcastle. WordXimage is small in size, being the front room of a 1920s terrace house which was used as the office of a land agent for eighty years until it fell into disrepair. After a full renovation, the front room is now a studio gallery showing art by Tipping and friends with an emphasis on relationships between written language and the visual arts. The first exhibition of Tipping’s Big Works, featuring six large word-art wall-sculptures made variously with steel, glass, wood, aluminium and LED lights. Opening on 1 May 2021 (Labour Day), the WXI studio will also be open on the following Saturday 8 May. Big Works will be followed by Chris Mansell’s exhibition Words Becoming, opening on Saturday 29 May in association with the Indy Festival; and then by Garry Shead’s Ern and Ethel Malley on 26 June.

WordXimage Studio 445 High Street Maitland NSW. Issue 41 - May 2021


C O D E R E D Issue 41 - May 2021


CODE RED On the iconic ‘stop’ of a red octagon, five symbols stand representing missile weaponry, humankind, political power, nuclear power, and the future >> Code Red means an emergency alert code. Code Red is a portrait of the social world in a time of anxiety and speaks to our uncertain future. On the iconic ‘stop’ of a red octagon, five symbols stand in raised blocks, representing (left to right) nuclear power, humankind, the future; and (top to bottom) missile weaponry, humankind, fear. When combined, these create a dynamic field where a complex of possible meanings self-generate.

These symbols were designed in 1984 during an artist residency near to Milan in Italy thanks to the Australia Council, and made as cut-outs in black card. At the time it felt like the world could end through nuclear war between the USSR and the USA at any time. Thirty five years later we live in a similar state of fear suppressed by hope, and now with the added fear of plaque and climate change and over-population. The three-dimensional symbol-shapes are black with silver edging, standing on a bright red background, which gives a

solid sculptural dimension. The finish using automotive enamel paint provides extra visual depth and resilience.

Page 18 : Code Red, 2019 Pine timber, plywood, enamel auto paint. Dimensions: 130 x 130 x 14cm. Richard Tipping.

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R E L A T I V E Issue 41 - May 2021


THE RELATIVE Albert Einstein’s famous equation “E=MC2” is now commonly repeated, to the point of cliché, although few of us who can say “Energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared” have more than the vaguest idea what this all means. We do know that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and this equation in particular, lead in some way - accelerated by the Second World War - to the splitting of the atom, and that the most obvious consequence of that was atomic bombs. We may know something about Einstein’s deep moral concerns about of technical application of discoveries in physics.

“E=MC2” became an iconic marker of the twentieth century, like something which you can hold and rub, even as you

understand that the equation which you are repeating could bring the entire planet to

nothingness. In this sculpture the equation has arrived as a human-like figure, an idol which may be both a totemic ancestor and a space traveler. The Relative is all of our relatives, both our ancestors and our descendants yet to be born, millennia into the future. Trying to understand the past, trying to work towards a better future, trying not just to survive but to thrive: this is our collective life.

Page 20 : Richard Tipping with The Relative, 2003. Photograph by Jasper Tipping. Exhibited as flat stainless steel in the main lift of the National Gallery of Australia in 1999, and as this plywood and stainless steel sculpture at Sculpture by the Sea in 2003. Shown in the solo exhibition Studio at Australian Galleries, Sydney, in 2012.

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The Relative is all of the small steps over millennia which brought the human species to this amazing point expressing relativity as a phenomenon of space and time. The subject of relativity leads from physics to philosophy. This sculpture is meant as a catalyst towards that.

I made the initial design for The Relative in 1984, when Mazie Turner and I were living for a few months at a studio at Besozzo, north of Milan, funded by the Australia Council. I dreamed up the arrangement, turning

the letters for the fundamental equation of relativity into a human-like figure, and drew it by hand. Then I found a supply of stick-on lettering in a local newsagent with this bold typeface, liking its style and proportions, and have stuck with it precisely through the various models over the years. This has included a flat stainless steel version installed in the main lift of the National Gallery of Australia as the project Art Lifts: Lifting Art in 1999. The photograph shows the scale of the sculpture, which is made of stainless steel on thick layers of marine-grade plywood, finished with many coats of shellac.

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Richard Tipping with The Relative, 2012, repainting the ply with shellac. Photograph by Jasper Tipping. Issue 41 - May 2021


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SUBMERGING ARTIST Diving into the unknown, diver down, with a buoy marking the spot to keep other boats at bay. A blue and white flag with a distinctive angled shape. On the dive buoy two builders pencils are ready, in red and green, each waterproof and ready for making marks and notes when needed. If sculpture is a thing, why not a floating thing? A point in an ocean of unknowns hiding beneath the surface, which the artist is diving to see and record. The artist is hidden, absent, but active, continuously seeking. The artist is on loan from the world of air and sky, perilously present in an underwater seascape where anything can happen.

Another reading of Submerging Artist springs from rejection, when things aren't going the way that the artist hoped. So many people emerging, and so many working hard but hardly acknowledged. As Anselm Keifer said (remembered, source unknown): "You can work for a lifetime and be forgotten at once".

Page 24 : Submerging Artist, 2017 dive buoy with diving flag, vinyl text, builders ’ pencils. Edition 3, 63 x 67 x 13 cm .

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EMPIRE – CHRISTMAS 1914 (MONUMENT TO BE UNVEILED) The ‘X’ in Xmas is known as a Christogram, added to ‘mass’. Mercy and compassion shine alongside our recurring inhumanity as a species. The First World War was going to be like a cricket game with ‘innings’, in the ‘beg/innings’ of the war in Europe. Empires collide, leaving wounded relics and the ‘scores’ of victory and defeat. History repeating. Roman war elephants shocking the Britons. The “elephant in the room” may be the super weapons of our century. In my family’s telling, this African elephant’s foot was sent from Kenya by my great uncle Llewellyn Tipping where he was a park ranger early in the twentieth century. A bull elephant had run amok and was damaging a village, with locals begging him to shoot it. My mother always found the footstool disturbing, but somehow it hung on through my childhood as a mysterious but compelling object. Issue 41 - May 2021


God’s mercy stands with and despite our recurring inhumanity to both humans and animals. Xmas – sealed with a kiss and plea to Jesus :“Return If Possible”. War as a game with ‘innings’ and scores dismissed. Empires collide, leaving wounded relics. A Roman war elephant shocking the Britons. History repeating us.

Left : Italian Grigio Carnico Limestone, polished and engraved, finished with gold leaf. Size 60 x 60 x 5 cm. Richard Tipping.

Page 26: Empire – Christmas 1914 (Monument to be Unveiled). African elephant foot, WW2 Australian Army steel helmet, silk brocade, aluminium stand. Entered in the Blake Prize for Religious Art, 2016. Goes alongside the poem-text on limestone as shown. Richard Tipping.

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Issue 41 - May 2021


JUMP START Jump start combines road-sign language and vernacular speech, with absence as a tangible presence. The ’roo has jumped away, leaving its iconic outline, along with the ‘see you later’ meaning of the traditional

phrase ‘ooroo’. The ’roo depiction has been carefully traced from the design of an Australian copper penny (1938–64). The word ‘kangaroo’ derives from the Guugu Yimithirr word gangurru, referring to grey kangaroos. It was first recorded as ‘Kangooroo or Kanguru’ in 1770 by Lieutenant James Cook on the banks of the

Endeavour River at the site of today’s Cooktown, when his ship the Endeavour was beached for almost seven weeks to repair damage sustained on the Great Barrier Reef. ‘Ooroo’ is a palindrome; however, kangooroos can’t walk backwards. This work is a small version of the public artwork Kangooroo, which stands five metres tall. Shown in

Sculpture by the Sea Bondi in 2016 and Sculpture at Barangaroo in Sydney in 2017. - Richard Tipping © 2021

Page 28 : Jump start – our ’roo shoots through Retro-reflective vinyl on aluminium. Dimensions : 170 x 170 cm. (sign), 75 x 114 cm. (kangaroo). Finalist in the Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, 2017 - Richard Tipping.

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Kangooroo installed in Sculpture at Barangaroo, Sydney, 2017. This huge sign sculpture is currently installed in Australian Galleries Sculpture Park at Daylesford in Victoria, and is looking for a permanent home. Thanks for reading - Richard Tipping . Issue 41 - May 2021


All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Richard Tipping © 2021.

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M A N S E L L Issue 41 - May 2021


POET CHRIS MANSELL - INTERVIEW I grew up with few books in the house but somehow a longing for language. I was good at it. I loved the way it worked. How the bits articulated – grammar in other words. Still do. For my eighth birthday I asked for a typewriter and was disappointed to receive a toy. I meant a real typewriter. I’d never met a writer, certainly not a poet, and I didn’t know a person like me could somehow write books, or produce real objects. I remember being asked to write a poem in primary school and it was supposed to rhyme. Even at 10 I was prejudiced against heavy end-stopped rhymes (it was couplets) and I remember getting into trouble for using sight rhymes instead. I had no idea there was a name for them, but I knew that I didn’t like the heavy thump of rhymes at the end of line.

How a kid developed such a prejudice I have no idea. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I never knew. When I got older, I said writer, and people assumed I meant journalist, and I let them. I wasn’t going to waste my breath explaining that I wanted to be a poet. By 14 I considered myself a poet and haven’t changed my mind. Whether this is good thing might be open to debate but it has shaped my life. At base, it is a desire to know and discover. I studied economics at university for the same reason.

What is good about poems is that you can walk around them – figuratively and actually. On the page the best poems are very dynamic. They are like machines for generating both meaning and emotion. They are not the flat list of informative prose, nor is their motive force narrative or character (usually). More than anything they are pure language. And language

is not a static thing. Issue 41 - May 2021


This has led to ‘experimentation’. This is a much-misused word. Often it means not much more than ‘odd’ or a bit weird. But experimentation is a more interesting thing than unusual shocking (‘shock jock art’).

Experimentation is to try to find out something. For me that something is how

language works. We think we know this of course, but we don’t. We’re excellent at using it, just as we’re excellent at driving cars the workings of which we are mostly ignorant. This has led me to experiment on the page first in terms of grammatical enjambments – where the grammar instead of finishing with the line or with the grammatical sense is conjoined with the next grammatical unit. Sounds complicated. It isn’t but it does trip up the reader who now has to cope with some ambiguity in the text. Later I made this physical with things like the small ‘spikies’. These poems fit into your hand like a spiked ball. You can move their ‘spikes’ around and so change the relationship to the rest of the words, not entirely freely. The experimental analogy here is grammar. Grammar is the way bits of language are held together. It’s dynamic and culturally bound. When you muck grammar about it becomes interesting and halts you for a bit. We’re very aware of this when we learn a new language. Which preconceptions ours fit not. So to speak. Poetry often discombobulates language, as it does image and thought. Like good art in any form, it makes you more alert to what is happening in front of you. It engages you and you become part of the process. What poetry is not, even when lying flat on the page, is still. To express that in physical form is a challenge worth taking

up. Issue 41 - May 2021





Spikies are experiments in structural grammar.

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The eight box series Needles uses pins pushed through the back of canvasses to create words/broken words. Because they’re 3D pins they look different from the front, ie as you walk past them they change from undecodable to decodable and then back again, mimicking the way perception breaks upon us sometimes: absent present gone. You have to pay attention to understand what is in front of you. I’ve played with this a lot – obscuring and revealing as in the clear plastic covered Rubrics which has text/ partial text on drafting paper. Each page is a poem which is augmented by the pages underneath. You can almost, but not quite, make out the emerging poem. It requires deliberate action to liberate the final poem, but the point is to liberate the embedded poems within a poem. One of the works of my own I hold dearest is very small: Wirds mainly hinges. This little book obscures and reveals parts of pages by the use of bound in black panels. As with Rubrics, the reader/manipulator is an active collaborator. Wirds unlikely subject is … prepositions. Why? because these little grammatical beasties hold together some important relations between elements of sense in a sentence. They are very idiosyncratic things across and within languages.

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RUBICS Issue 41 - May 2021


Quads is another example of obscuring/revealing. A quad is a strict form I invented which holds grammatical ambiguity, word play, puns, fragmented, and portmanteau words in addition to a (red) embedded sound poem. I wrote a hundred and one of them, and they are embodied in a book 101

Quads (Puncher & Wattmann/Thorny Devil Press) but also as a five metre long chiffon. This is meant to be hung with the last third or so pooling on a surface where the work then


asemic – ie very obscured but with the properties of language almost discernible. There are many definitions of asemic writing but the most interesting to me are where meaning is immanent, just beyond the horizon of understanding. This mirrors perception and is often where visual art and the art of words come closest to collision. The form of a letter, of type, of a font is a beautiful thing, or at least, a thing one can make an aesthetic decision about and this is often what asemic artists often like. What I like best however is that immanence, that fight for understanding. There is a big difference between the poetry world and the visual art world. Oddly, they are barely on speaking terms. Literally, they don’t understand each other. Poets don’t often understand the Thingness of visual art, though I am certainly not alone in thinking it’s a great ground to explore. And the visual artists…no idea. - Chris Mansell © 2021.

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101 QUADS Issue 41 - May 2021


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CHRIS MANSELL Chris Mansell is an Australian poet and publisher. Born in Sydney, presently lives in the beautiful Shoalhaven Coast in New South Wales. Mansell has made her living by performing her work, publishing and teaching writing at various institutions. Primarily a poet, she has published over a dozen books of poetry and a collection of short fiction and plays. Always interested in experimentation with form, she now also works in digital media and artist editions which are experimental in physical form as well as content. “She gives engaging readings which bring audiences into the sounds of the poems”. She was winner of the Queensland Premier's Literary Award (poetry) and has been shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literature Award, and the Banjo Award (Victoria). She won the Meanjin Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize in 2014. Chris Mansell’s exhibition Words Becoming, opening on


29 May in association with the Indy Festival, at -WordXimage Studio

Photo : Chris Mansell by Richard Tapping.

445 High Street Maitland NSW.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Chris Mansell © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



Issue 41 - May 2021



GEORGE GITTOES When I read the biographies of artists like Vincent Van Gogh, who were on fire with creativity, I always feel grateful for the short time they were with us. They make us feel how astonishingly beautiful the world is and how lucky we are as artists to be able to express our life experience.

After reading about the tragically short lives of Amedeo Modigliani and his wife Jean Hebuterne I wrote in one of my diaries “When the caring angels decide an artist has done enough they reach down and return them back to Heaven. The angels know how painful it is to sustain the burning beauty of truth within a physical body. People say how sad it is that they died at such a young age and how much more they could have created, with more time, but, perhaps, it is a kindness.” Page 42 : Vincent and Oblivion, oil on canvas, H150 x W80 cm. George Gittoes. Issue 41 - May 2021


The problem with artists using drugs and alcohol is that we have an excuse to use them. Too many artists and musicians, I have loved, have died from drug overdoses. The problem with artists and drugs and alcohol is that they have excuses and justifications for their use. I have never used drugs but sympathise with artists who have for three reasons. 1) The narcotics help to shut down the doubting part of the brain and making it easier to open the door to the zone where intuitive decisions can be made spontaneously. 2) They take the discomfort away – just like the song ‘Love Hurts’, ART HURTS ! When the brain is pushed to the level where real art is possible it hurts to get started. 3) They block out most of the everyday distractions like money and relationship worries. GREAT ART IS PAIN SQUARED ! For me, art is akin to Alchemy .When I have inner pain I know that if I can reach for a sketch book or a brush the pain will be transformed into the ecstatic feeling of giving birth , which is the opposite of pain.

To distract myself from the everyday world I play music while I create but it has taken years of discipline to make myself get into the ‘zone’ quickly and on a daily routine basis, with no added stimulants other than a cup of breakfast tea. As a mystic I have never found it hard to go ‘over to the other side’ where the imagination rules.

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Matisse mastered the making of light decorative art that he said should be experienced “ like sitting in a comfortable armchair”. I am a fan of Matisse and have read a couple of biographies. According to

those close to him, he could be very cruel and nasty . His temperament was not reflected by his paintings. Bacon, whose paintings can be violent and as disturbing as Edward Munch , often surprised

people by saying “I am an optimist , just to get up every day and paint requires tremendous optimism.” I can easily imagine Bacon standing back from one of his Screaming Pope paintings and feeling delight-

ed and supremely happy. What makes an artist feel great when successfully completing a new creation is seeing that it ‘works’ and has power and a life force. It does not have to be decorative and pleasant THE FALL, oil on canvas, H45 x W35 cm. George Gittoes 2021.

like a Matisse to bring joy to the heart of its artist. Issue 41 - May 2021




T U S MEMBRATUS, oil on canvas, H122 x W168cm. George Gittoes 2021.

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When I was about 13, I wrote a story titled ‘Membratus’ from the Latin ‘The Limb’. The idea was that everyone we know or have known are part of us. We carry them with us in our dreams and memories. We are like a tree and all other living things are part of us like leaves and branches. I often wake at 3am in the morning and people come back to me, my mother and father who died many years ago are as real in all

their detail as when they were when alive. We do not need camera photos of those we have known to draw them – they are there in all their detail in our own heads. The older I get the easier it is to draw from mental images without outside references. My parents liked my Membratus story so much they would ask me to read it to visitors, including dad’s boss, on the one time he and his wife visited our home. The first drawing I

did that made me think I could become an artist was of an imagined tree by a river in which I tried to show the interconnectedness of all things. That drawing is lost but I have remembered it enough to turn it into a 2021 painting titled, MEMBRATUS. It is so personal I have felt protective and vulnerable when showing it to people.

I was surprised when Mary Jean, a singer friend of Hellen’s, who has spent 10 years in Wales , said “That painting is so Welsh ! It is like your name Gittoes , do you realise you are a Druid!” I had a studio for a while in Wales and met many of the Gittoes clan. I felt like I had come home. My studio was on the coast of Wales and I could see why early settlers named the South East Coast, New South Wales – the visual

similarity between the two coastal landscapes is obvious. ( Note: On my mother’s ancestry is Irish and English). Issue 41 - May 2021


Very little is known of the beliefs of the Druids who were strong in Wales, as they did not have writing , so could not keep written records. The Roman invaders saw them as a leadership threat to be exterminated. The Roman conquest of the English Island was similar to the later invasion of Australia. What the Romans did to the indigenous people destroyed their culture as they replaced it with a Greco Roman system of laws,

religion and doctrine. Little is known of the ways of the Druids. Without written records their stories and beliefs have been lost with little left to study. Like all conquerors, the Romans tried to discredit those they oppressed by claiming they did horrible, uncivilised rites, like human sacrifice, but there is no clear evidence the Druids did any of this . At a mystical level the tradition of the Druids is still alive, passed down through

artists who share their genes. There is an invisible book our souls can read, without turning pages, and it has no need of an alphabet. Fortunately, the many of the stories of our Indigenous Australians have been recorded including those of the Rainbow Serpent and the Mimi spirits. These ancient oral tales are very similar to those of fairies, dragons and mermaids. When people ask me what I am currently painting and I reply “Mermaids and Fairies” it is fun to see the surprise on their faces. That an artist associated with images showing the realities of war and urban violence could be doing something so fanciful and childishly naïve. Of course, my mermaids are ‘pissed off’ about the way humans have polluted the sea with plastic and chemical waste. Page 49 : MERMAIDS, oil on canvas, H192 x W 214cm. George Gittoes 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021


M E R M A I D S Issue 41 - May 2021


There was a time when Mysticism was taught in Universities. I believe it should be brought back and I would be happy to share what I know in lectures. Back in 1972, I went to the Adelaide Arts Festival with my fellow, Yellow House performing group. I was just 22 and we ended up doing some supporting acts with the American Poet Alan Ginsberg. A lot of that first festival was organised out of Flinders University. I put signs

on campus advertising classes in Mysticism and attracted about 30 students. It was intimidating when Ginsberg joined them. As Alan and I walked back to the carpark we talked about our shared love of the Sufi poets and mystics , Rumi and Attar . In their time there were many courses at the great universities in Baghdad and what is now Turkey.

I have spent a lot of time with aboriginal elders when making films in the Northern Territory and Kimberly and feel a similar affinity with them as I do with the old Sufis I have known in Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is instant recognition between mystics but unlike the Aboriginal and Sufi mystics ,who belong to an

unbroken tradition, my Druidic , tradition was broken by the Roman conquerors. The little we know of it was written down by Roman Historians who saw it as primitive and alien. The Romans made the argument that they brought modern writing, law, science and technology to a primitive people and transformed their world for the better with it. A similar argument was made by British colonialists when they took Indigenous lands.

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I am sure if I spent time with indigenous people in the rain forests of the Amazon I would find that their beliefs are similar to the Druids and Australian Aboriginals. What unites all indigenous, mystical belief is a connection with the natural world. During the mid 80’s, I was asked to shoot a film with a group of aboriginals at Nutwood Downs, in the Northern Territory. An isolated group of families had been discovered that had not previously had contact with whites or the modern world. What impressed me most was the way they were able to read every tiny living thing in the landscape that surrounded them. They explained, through my friend and interpreter, Tony Mullingully , that they would not kill and eat the goanna lizards ,that were living around the waterhole, where they were camped, because they had hunted them in the past and they “needed to breed back before they could be hunted again.” Our consumer society has lost this ability to read the balance that keeps nature safe from disaster. The big

religions are as much to blame for this as unchecked greed. Wherever they have gone, as conquerors, colonialists have forced conversion to their own state religion and destroyed the more ancient way of recognising the spirit in everything. The One God idea has always opposed the belief that all things have spirit from trees to rocks, to the millions of non-human living creature that share this planet.

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My mother was a ceramic potter and sculptor. I am not from a religious family. The closest thing, to religious belief, that mum said to me was “George when you make something out of clay or paint you have to put some of your spirit into it or it will not come to life.” I first discovered the truth of this, when I was about 11 years old, making puppet heads for the puppet shows I did for other children in my neighbourhood. I would

struggle with these little paper-Mache heads for weeks before they would start to come to life, and be put on a glove to participate, as a character, in my puppet plays. My mother’s favourite film was ‘ Lilli’ staring Leslie Caron about a French girl who joins a travelling puppet theatre. My mother bought me the book it was based on ‘Love of Seven Dolls’ by Paul Gallico. In the last chapter a wonderful, supernatural element enters

the story when the girl discovers the puppets have an independent life of their own separate from the cruel and nasty puppeteer. Many of these old puppets are in the collection of the Powerhouse Museum along with many of my mother’s ceramic creatures. They can be found on the Powerhouse website.

When I ended my time at the Yellow House in 1972 I took all the fixtures out of the Puppet Theatre Room, like the stain glass window above the door, the ceramic fish door handle and the puppet stage. In 1990 the Art Gallery of NSW held a Yellow House Retrospective and I was asked to reconstruct the puppet room and put all the original fixtures back.

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At the end of the exhibition the whole room was deconstructed and is stored away somewhere deep in the Powerhouse Museum collection. I look forward to the day when it can be brought out and the public can enjoy it, again. If I am not too old by then, I will put the puppets back on my hands and do some shows for the children that visit the Museum.

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The idea that most of Druid knowledge has been lost because it was never written down is understandable but superficial.

William Blake is the proof of this. Blake tapped into the mystical electricity of the Druids. Both his poetry and painting are a struggle to visualise and find words for what they knew. Blake constructed a visionary world that ran parallel with rational materialism of his time in an England being changed irrevocably by the Industrial Revolution. The insecurities Blake had from not belonging to the upper and intellectual classes

made him feel the need to impress them with his knowledge of classical art. This led him to interpret the spirit figures of his visions in an unconvincing neo classical manner. The Romans and the Greeks messed with his Druid soul but the beauty of his desire to rejuvenate the old ways is unmistakable. Discovering Blake was enormously encouraging to me when growing up in post war, suburban, Rockdale. I still have the much-loved book of Blake’s art I purchased some time in High School. Its pages are worn from me pouring over the pictures, thinking – “I am one of these, a descendant of a Druid, I am like Blake.” From that point I sort information on every kind of mystic on the planet from the Sufi Poets, Christian Hermits, Buddhist and Hindu mystics to writers like Herman Hesse.

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Antaeus Setting Down Dante and Virgil in the Last Circle Beatrice Addressing Dante from the Car, water colour and etching painting 1824 - 1827. William Blake.

of Hell. Water colour by William Blake. An illustration from Dante’s Divine Comedy.

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There is a language of signs which we can all read that predates written language. I could not do my art if I did not take notice of those signs and act on them. When I am following my deepest intuitions, what needs to be added next to a painting or film ,is shown to me. The choices are as clear as an instruction booklet that comes with a new product purchase.

When I step out into a dangerous street in a war zone like I have in Iraq and Rwanda, it is the signs and not body armour or a gun that keeps me safe and alive. This reading of the signs goes back to the way

indigenous cultures like the Druids and Australian Aboriginals survived and flourished before big science and big religion went ‘all-out’ to discredited and destroy our natural mystical abilities.

I have a couple more months left at the Werri Beach studio to keep painting my Mermaids and Fairies

before heading back to Afghanistan, Iraq and Chicago to continue making films. This has been a wonderful time to look into my inner heart for imagined subjects before having to face harsh external realities, again. - George Gittoes © 2021.

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THE COUCH, oil on canvas, H80 x W150cm. George Gittoes 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021


“I have started making 'indigenous Druid Sacred Art’. The knowledge of how to carve them comes from deep inside

of me - like I am in communication with Pre Roman Conquest Druid wisdom. Perhaps one of the best ways to reach them is through carving. The Druid knowledge was not written down but it is still there - eternal and infinitely ancient. This is my 'Six eye Goddess of the Night only visible to Druids on the full moon. Her spiral body allows her to leap through the heavens and burrow into the stars. Carved up from a piece of drift wood that has been seasoned by the sea for a long, long time.” - George Gittoes 2021.

Photographs courtesy of George Gittoes.

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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 © 2021.

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C R I M E Issue 41 - May 2021


Soul Crime HELLEN ROSE In 2011 George Gittoes and I were invited to speak at the World Conference on Artistic Freedom of Expression in Oslo about the Yellow House Jalalabad. ‘All That is Banned is Desired’. A World Conference on Artistic Freedom of Expression. There I met the lawyer acting on behalf of Pussy Riot and one of the escaped women of the group. We became friends and I invited her to get a lift with us to an event and she became nervous and said “are you sure? I think that Russian Intelligence are trying to kill me”. Getting her into the car was tricky, we had a decoy car and a double getting into a car out the front, while we got into a car at the side of the hotel. While riding in the back of a car with her she

became terrified and hunkered down the back, hiding beside me covering her face, I put my arm around her to help her hide. Once our driver had zipped down every back lane we arrived at a venue where the whole group was gathered, armed Norwegian guards ushered us through the drive entrance, our Pussy Riot friend wasn’t the only artist in attendance who feared for their lives. One absolutely amazing Palestinian dancer performed one of the most powerful dances I have ever seen based on the oppression of Muslim women, her life is threatened as well. At the dinner my Pussy Riot friend finally felt relaxed and we laughed and joked, I told her that “Punk girls don’t get old they just go to war” we giggled and had a competition at the buffet seeing if we could stuff two meat balls into our mouths at once. Page 60 : Soul Crime photographs by Sylvia Liber, 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021


At the Surf Shack Show in 2020 we had groups come for a tour of the studio and chat with the Artists afterwards. In one group there were many young women who were very responsive to the stories of Afghanistan and the songs. I rarely ever allow people into my studio and people seldom ask as they might not realise I have one, however, on this occasion I decided to invite the women to visit my studio at the back which they really enjoyed. They were very excited about discovering my body of work reaching back decades. They were asking about the performance photos etc. and that got me

thinking about doing another 80/90s style music-based performance today. I started thinking about what kind of ‘Riot Girl’ band I would create in the current climate. With the Me Too campaign and the whole Weinstien, Epstein, Maxwell horror show, the world seemed full of what I term Soul Crime so utilising the beat and sample song creating style of Hip Hop and Drill that I had learned while composing the soundtrack for White Light I created backing tracks for a new 2021 Riot Girrl sound, in my mind that had to be a voice that made women formidable, bold, unflinching physically and psychologically – in the era of the new super heroine Soul Crime was born!

Strangely after a sound check I was wondering why I suddenly had a feeling of dread, I had everything to look forward to, some memories have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. Back in the 1980’s my best friend Sibylla Vassali was the lead singer for Matrimony a legendary underground riot girl band, I was at the time lead vocalist and guitarist in band called Peter Paul and Hellen as well as back up vocalist for the notorious Beasts of Bourbon and me Sibylla and Jo Claxton (also in Matrimony) also created a Performance Group which I named ‘ Big Mac Over Bite’, it involved music, art, performance – an absurdist ‘Punk’ vision - I decided that Soul Crime should have those elements as well and more! Sibylla committed suicide at age 21. Issue 41 - May 2021


Just being a girl in a band was bold and meant we were open to ridicule and harassment. Later I formed another ‘Art Band’ outrageously titled ‘Young Shaved Shaved Pissing Boys’, with the now CEO of Scarlet Alliance, Julie Kim, a dedicated woman’s rights advocate who represents women at the UN, this was around the time Justice Yeldham, a retired supreme court judge in New South Wales committed suicide when he was subpoenaed to appear before a Royal Commission inquiring into police corruption and the protection of paedophiles and the Lord Mayor of Wollongong, the town I grew up in, the longest serving Mayor in the country of 50 years, was up on 29 known counts of paedophilia and was not being charged when a young man called Mark Valera/Van Krevel killed him.

The Gunnery Years 1985 -91 also saw me join the popular group at the time called Butchered Babies as well as the many

other projects I had firing. We performed overseas as well as in Australia and although we performed with most of the bands like Thug, Hot Property, Beasts of Bourbon, Lubricated Goat etc, we were seldom paid. That was an ‘all girl’ group except for the wonderful dancer Peat Moss. I continued to work with one of the dancers Mia Mortal in many more performance and music events. Kat from famous ‘riot girrl’ US band ‘Babes in Toyland’ became a friend through her partner an old friend of mine Stu Spasm a Sydney musician now residing in New York. Fatha FuKKKa and Boyette was another early group (pre-dating Peaches same named album) where I wore meat gauntlets and Boyette wore an extreme spiked metal choker with meat hanging from the spikes. Band names that were ‘inappropriate’, vulgar and confronting was the only way to contain the rage. Cutting our hair and looking the total opposite to ‘good girls’ kept us safe and we were considered ‘ugly’ and therefore safer, some saw this as a challenge though and many girls were still assaulted.

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Butchered Babies Band, 1987. Photographs courtesy of Hellen Rose.

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These were pre-internet and iPhone days of the 80’s and 90’s when working as waitresses we were sexually harassed by the bosses and the clients at tables alike, men use to physically grab us, the bosses tried to assault us in the back rooms. When we walked past work sites gangs of men use to holler out ‘Slut’, or ‘I wanna F U!” freely. Many friends died or became addicted to drugs from ‘good’ homes where the abuse happened behind a façade of privilege. Homosexuality was a social crime

and AIDS had just arrived which saw many beloved friends virtually die overnight and were treated as pariahs by nurses and doctors- the psychological damage done to my generation was palpable. The recent revelations that women are being raped in the very houses of Parliament shocked many of us who have fought against this for years. I figure that those who might attack us for Soul Crime are

Hellen Rose singing with Tex Perkins (Beasts of Bourbon) Hopetoun Hotel circa 1989.

the ones who need the get message the most. Issue 41 - May 2021


In 2012 I created a theatrical one woman show called Dangerous Curves and Hairpin Bends accompanied on guitar by my heroic and highly talented cousin Richard Steele about my life growing up in Wollongong in the late 70’/80’s and the stories of those female friends close to me. This included a terrible time that saw me locked up in Keelong, a Juvenile Justice

Centre because I dared to stand up and speak up. I performed this show at my venue the Hellen Rose Schauersberger LabOratorium in Surry Hills. I ran this multipurpose venue solo from 2002 – 2016 and at one stage it was the last remaining venue in Surry Hills that saw the closure of the historic Excelsior Hotel and the Hopetoun Hotel. The Trade Union Club and the Strawberry Hills Hotel had also long gone or become ‘gentrified’. The HRSL as it became known gave many ‘all girl’ bands support and included gigs from groups such as Thaw and Vivian Girls from New York, No Age from LA, The Scare album launches, Marcus Whale and Kirin J Kallinan, Bed Wettin Bad Boys (hilarious hijinks behaviour permitted) played early shows there. Comedy festivals with Imperial Panda Festival, Suitcase Royale and the Edinburgh award winner for best comedy Dr Brown

As a trained vocalist I wanted to be able to combine the beauty of voice and song with the tough social political messages. When I was the first woman to sing in Afghanistan in 80 years to a mixed gender audience I discovered that the power to change and win hearts can be achieved in a variety of ways.

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Peter, Paul and Hellen PlayStation, The Gunnery circa 1999.

Hellen Rose as featured on Black Milk Beasts of Bourbon Image by Tony Mott

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During the Covid Lockdown I decided to add to my established repertoire of singing styles and concentrate on the development of classical and opera into my different techniques, traditional Pashto, jazz, blues, rock n roll, country. My coach over the years has been Arax Mansourian the famous Armenian Soprano, when I told her I wanted to learn classical she got excited and obliged. She is very strict and helped me get my voice placement by endless days of repeating exercises until she finally said the words, “you are ready Hellen” in her heavy Armenian accent. We often did our classes online during those days and one day she had another student there, a young woman with short blond hair who zipped past the screen at the end of my lesson and said- you have an amazing voice! Your voice is very rare, this encouragement meant a lot to me – I have to admit it wasn’t easy throwing myself into the realm of high opera! After meeting Mary Jean O’Doherty I discovered she is what is termed a Coloratura Soprano which means she can reach impossible heights note wise and as well as that is an internationally award-winning legitimate Opera Diva!! “I would die to work with you Hellen” were the words I was surprised to hear come from her impeccable eloquence!

I called on Michael Sheridan initially to do some ‘dark ambient’ music for White Light, he ended up being so inspired he extended the ambient into songs which we feature on the White Light Soundtrack. Michael has a long history and involvement in the Australian music scene, classically trained he worked many times with Martin Wesley Smith who also worked with George on his early Wattamolla Spectacle Shows. I knew Michael would be perfect for the group. There were always ‘boys’ who stood by us tough ‘punk girls’ who implicitly understood our concerns and who shared in copping the flack from ‘shocked’ and ‘offended’ by standers. Michael has always been one.

Page 69 :Hellen Breathing Fire ,Soul Crime. Photographs by Sylvia Liber, 2021.

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I knew I wanted a strong visual element involved and a staunch feminist one so contacted my old friend the Visual Artist Linda Dement. I feature in one of her very early works from the 80’s one of the first interactive CD Rom’s ever made a piece called ‘In My Gash’. I knew she would be perfect on this. She has created a powerful piece that will screen behind us as we perform.

Soul Crime is a revisit to the past but very much music of right now. It encompasses all the history and music I have created mixed with all the very new. Audiences often expect my work to be very serious and at times it definitely is but I always include humour and fun and so it is also included in Soul Crime. It is a joining under my direction of four established and amazing artists in their own right, it is a real privilege to captain this power group and we are only just getting started!!

I have always seen my Performance work entwined with the Music and Film work that I have done. George and I have always both been involved across disciplines and always pushed the boundaries adding to social change for the better as

best as we can .

Page 71 : Soul Crime photographs by Sylvia Liber, 2021.

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During Covid Sonia Bible’s documentary on Rosaleen Norton Premiered and as both George and I had participated in the development of the film we were invited! Arshad ‘Kit’ Khan from the Yellow House Jalalabad features alongside George being interviewed on his memories of his friendship with Rosaleen. On our way home from the screening we were staying in our favourite heritage hotel at the rocks, we saw leaning on an old sand stone wall near the hotel an amazing looking book! I ran over to it, it had gold embossing on black and antiquated paper- it was a book by Anatole France called The Well of St. Clare. It seemed like this book appeared in our path as a message from the ‘other side’! I felt that I needed to research and discover what this book was all about! The book is a rollicking Rabelaisian style depiction of fornication and a confused clergyman. France it turns out belonged to the Parnassians group, a French literary style that began during the positivist period of the 19th century, occurring after romanticism and prior to symbolism. Mount Parnassus of Ancient Greece was believed to be where the God Dionysus or Pan along with his Nymphs dwelt and was a place for Ancient Roman Poets to seek inspiration. It is outrageous that France could win the Nobel Peace Prize for literature in 1921, that Norman Lindsay be accepted in every social circle and revered for his exotic orgiastic depictions of nymphs and horned gods yet Rosaleen was persecuted and had her art destroyed by police in 1949.

I have always felt that Rosaleen’s most powerful work was simply just being herself, a woman who decided that life was a wonderful experiment and she was going to live it loud and proud in any way she liked, she was going to use her right to ‘freedom’ to the maximum. My elder brother, younger sister and I met Rosaleen when we were children by a strange little happenstance!

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My recently divorced young mother and her friend decided to take us on a first foray to Sydney and to visit China Town, we went restaurant hunting for an early dinner somewhere off Dixson St and in the corner of one where my mother and her friend made enquiries sat an amazing looking lady with a young male friend possibly Gavin Greenlees, as we dawdled wide eyed behind our eager mother and her friend the ‘strange lady’ called us over to her table “What beautiful children, she exclaimed, you, she pointed to me, tell me can you laugh like a witch?” “Of course, I can I exclaimed and did my best cackle” to wit her and companion laughed uproariously, this got my mother’s immediate attention and she turned swiftly and called us away, I distinctly remember mother’s friend exclaiming, “Oh my god that’s the witch of Kings Cross isn’t it!” I thought, wow that’s pretty cool and I turned and noticed she was looking straight at me and waved a cute little wave as we were ushered out of there. I have had a fascination with Rosaleen ever since not because she experimented with the realms of so called ‘witch craft’ and ‘magic’ but because she dared to live her life as she saw fit not caring for the ignorant

conformist world that

surrounded her. The ludicrous accusations of ‘devil worshipping’ are an embarrassment and belong back in the days of Witch burners and the like not in the 1940’s and beyond. I feel the tragic way that not only Rosaleen, but Gavin Greenlees and Sir Eugene Goossens were treated was a farcical disgrace and makes me embarrassed to be an Australian. Goossens was a great composer, conductor and head of the Conservatorium of Music and was so called ‘disgraced’ to be associated with Norton- the hypocrisy of this event sickens me still and I am starting a campaign to have a bronze statue of Rosaleen permanently in Kings Cross in her, Gavin’s and Eugene’s honour.

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I felt this level of personal and social liberation should be expressed in Soul Crime, so I have sampled excerpts from Goossens’ Apocalypse and used Rosaleen's mystical name Thorn to title one of the songs, Thorns Pet. The adventurous experiments of a sexually assertive woman were seen as a crime yet the horrors that have unfolded during the Covid period from Cardinal Pell, Weinstein, Epstein, Maxwell, the US Insurrection, the police shooting African Americans dead on the street… the list of Soul Crime’s goes on. Soul Crime was invited by George and Craig Donarski the Director of Casula Power House Arts Centre to perform as part of this truly wonderful exhibition as an extension of the work that I do involving working directly with the people in these highly at-risk societies alongside George. ‘On Being There’ is George Gittoes’ National Regional Touring Exhibition that also includes work we have both collaborated on mainly in Afghanistan and South Side Chicago.

Soul Crime premiered on April 24th, 4PM at the opening of George Gittoes’ On Being There exhibition and will also be on again at the Casula Power House May 28th at 8:30PM with support act of upcoming you Hip Hop Star emcee St. Bedlam in the theatre space. - Hellen Rose © 2021

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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. All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Hellen Rose © 2021.

Detail : Hellen Rose - Soul Crime Photograph Sylvia Liber, 2021.

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Andrew Shillam was born in Brisbane in 1974 and brought up in the Clarence Valley on the north coast of NSW.

Later he moved to Newcastle to study at the University, at


eighteen Andrew majored in ceramics. In 1996 he

completed the Graduate Diploma in Art . Since then his work is regularly exhibited in galleries. Andrew says "Alongside my visual arts practise I have been writing


poetry since the early 1990's. Then my poetry was all free verse but for the past fifteen years I have been writing in traditional forms. I am interested in the music of poetry its underlying structure of sounds.

Recently I have

concentrated on writing sonnets, using a variation on the French sonnet form as a vehicle to express myself."

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All night in the long room, moving towards Light, as reality slips its cages And swims the luminous sea of ages

And nurses are walking their rounds in wards On the edge of dawn. Giant staircases


Tower in fields. Waking to toss and turn Each hour. Forgotten details return In darkness; the staring eyes in faces Pale, of friends long gone, in the drag of night Caught, in the long room moving towards light, Plovers calling across the ancient field, Ear to board, on knees bent as if to pray, In the branch-scraping-beacon night, kneeled, And morning rolling endlessly away.

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Groping with blind words in the singing night, I have busted the shackles of this form, In the graveyard shift, when realisations swarm

And manifestations move towards light; Factory workers, nurses on their rounds,


Illuminated figures stacking shelves In supermarkets, acid-induced elves

Climbing from pot plants as a horn sounds On some distant highway, pale faced Goths Drawn to midnights flickering flame like moths, And loud drunken figures staggering home. Reality comes apart at the seams And shadows, climbing from the graveyard loam, Enter the private masquerade of dreams.

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Opaque words now transparent, I enter The singing night, where thought disintegrates In lacquered darkness, and the air vibrates

With hymn-like screams rising to dismember The mind. Here, across rooftops, lightning plays


And the earth, quickening to meet the sky, Expands, ancient dreams filling the mind’s eye; That black branch-scratched record of our days Stretching back into the primordial night. And now, in the street, dark rain falls. The bright Lightning flashes against the window panes. The eye returns, the page white with words black. After thunder breaks the stillness remains And the ebbing thoughts now are surging back.

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In wood ribbed rooms, where my pen scratches Night, stillness is permeated by dreams. Memory, long held in the ancient beams

Of this house, released and moonlight catches On wind shaken branches, scraping Time thin,


Singing like reeds. On the night wind bats fly And banana leaves, dark against the sky Flap slowly over chess board tiles and tin. The wind slides and, in waves, the room expands to Meet the night, where gardens writhe and cats mew. Here, where thought stops something else takes hold, The wind rolls and the mind reacts like skin Automatically tightening in the cold, The night expanding till the world falls in.

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There is a widening of the mind’s eye In these hours before dawn, dreams begin To seep, rising through gaps in the thin skin

Of walls. Now a passing train, sounding high, Grinds silver and blue metal on its rails,


And, out of their frames, the shapes of horses, A river of manes and hooves that forces Its way into the room, their swishing tails And breath smoking in the whinnying night. In the field of time, where patterned light Flickers on a turning globe, a ticking Metronome, used by artist and doctor, Is acting now on the blue night, seizing Our thoughts and leaving the mind in rapture.

- ANDREW SHILLAM © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



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GREG SALTER Hunter Valley artist and sculptor Greg Salter

creates a world of dynamic and quirky animals from recycled materials. From a young age he has been fascinated with animals, their shapes and behaviour. Salter regularly exhibits his work in galleries and has been selected as a finalist in many prestigious art prizes. In 2019 Sculpture on the Farm, Dungog, NSW, he was chosen as Winner of the Children’s Choice section.

Page 82 : Rickshaw, mixed media, H65 x L110 x W27cm. Greg Salter 2011. Right : Mimic , mixed media, H90 x L50 x W40cm. Greg Salter 2020.

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GREG SALTER - INTERVIEW What attracted you to the world of art? Initially it was drawing as a primary school student. Mum was a doodler and I admired the simplicity, so possibly the influence started from there. Dad was a practical hands on man, so that’s where I learnt the use of tools. I had a passion for animals since I was really young, so Mum started buying Encyclopedias of the Animal World fortnightly from

the Newsagent.

I used to trace all the pictures from them.

I didn’t really discover

sculpture until I started my Certificate in Fine Art and then Diploma in Fine Arts at TAFE. I studied Technical Drawing and woodwork at school…I didn’t like all the measurements, but enjoyed the drawing and shading. We had a replacement teacher for Tech drawing right near the end of Year 10. After seeing my work and discussing what I wanted to do,

on the last day of school he pointed me toward the Fine Arts course and that I should apply. I’m not sure why I didn’t do Art as an elective but, I think it came down to having to choose electives when we were in Year 7 and regretted not choosing Art at that stage. Page 84 : Wombat, mixed media, H35 x L50 x W27cm. Greg Salter 2019.

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When did your artistic passion begin? Once I started the Fine Arts course in 1990 and being with other creative people, my passion continued to grow.

Have you always wanted to be an artist? I don’t think I really thought about being an artist as a commercial possibility. I come from a family of tradies, but that was definitely not for me. As I was coming to the end of school, I was looking at jobs like signwriting as I spent a large chunk of my time creating title pages in books for myself and other class mates at school rather than doing class work. Starting the Fine Arts course wiped the slate clean and I knew I had three years to work out what I wanted to do.

Describe your work? Having such a strong curiosity and passion for animals, their shapes and characteristics are the creative

thought behind my work. The material I use is re-claimed steel. The use of scrap as a medium, it’s different shapes and structures allow me to manipulate the pieces further to create the specific shapes I need to make the animals come to life. Typically the original piece of steel is not recognizable once it’s been transformed. I also enjoy lots of colour, so will usually paint or colour my work in some way to finish the piece off. Issue 41 - May 2021


Fire Alarm, mixed media, H180 x L100 x W80cm. Greg Salter 2015

Terrance, mixed media, H24 x L22 x W14cm. Greg Salter 2016.

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Do you have a set method/routine of working? If I have the idea first, then I search for shapes to create the idea. If I just want to make or create, then I look at the pieces and let the shapes emerge from the scrap in front of me. This then allows my imagination to start putting the pieces together. Then the sculpture starts to evolve in front of me.

Why do you choose this material/medium to work with? I’m not a fan of waste. I grew up with my father and grandfather re-using material to create something new or to fix something. That was just a part of growing up, so this really developed in my childhood that you make use of what you have. The existing shapes is what drives my creativity.

How important is drawing as an element to your artwork? Drawing started my artistic path, but drawings play more of a role to explain to people or to fine tune the scale of the sculpture.

What inspires your work/creations? All the Animals as there are so many to choose from. I get so immersed designing them in my head and as I build, it becomes clearer and clearer. Time just seems to disappear while I’m creating my sculptures.

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Cow Mixed media H160 x L80 x W80 cm. Greg Salter 2015 .

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What have been the major influences on your work? The form of animals in general and from earlier on and now, has been sci-fi and cartoons of all different styles. My continuous journey of learning how to manipulate the steel, opens my ability and dictates how far I can push each piece and the detail I can achieve.

What are some of your favourite artworks and artists? Greg Simpkins (Crayola) – Graffiti & surreal style ETAMCrew – large Murals with aerosols

Beth Cavanaugh - Ceramic Harriet Mead – Sculpture with re-claimed steel Blaine Fontana – Painting and Illustration Jamie Hewlett-Packard – Tank Girl and Gorillaz

Hayao Miyazaki – Japanese Anime Kim Junggius – Korean artist that seems to draw perfect from scratch Nichola Theakston – Clay animals and the colours she uses (Love it) Elizabeth Hersey – Bronze animal Sculptor Issue 41 - May 2021


Pig Parading Possum, mixed media, H190 x L40 x W65 cm.

Featherfawn, mixed media, H188 x L40 x W38cm.

Greg Salter 2011.

Greg Salter 2012.

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Any particular style or period that appeals? I really liked and have been inspired by Cubism, Dada & Graffiti artists. What are the challenges in becoming an exhibiting artist? My inability to communicate my ideas how I see & envision them due to my Dyslexia. Expressing myself verbally or in written form has always been a barrier and a weak point. I’ve felt judged by my simplistic verbal or written expression as it never really feels like my explanations reflect my true ability or work. Name your greatest achievement, exhibitions?

I’ve been fortunate enough to consistently sell my creations. How has the COVID 19 Virus affected your art practise? Luckily I wasn’t really affected as my workshop is at home and the material I use is here too. I also screenprint from the other side of the workshop, so I was able to continue without issue. I wasn’t as productive as I could have been, but home schooling children took up a lot of my time. What are you working on at present? I have some commissions to work on this year but I also want to work on building up the number of pieces I have available to show & exhibit in sculpture competitions and at the Levee Gallery in Maitland. Issue 41 - May 2021


Kangaroo, mixed media, H140 x L60 x W77 cm. Greg Salter 2016.

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Ode to an Old Fish, mixed media, H200 x L120 x W70cm. Greg Salter 2013 .

Sticky Fleece, mixed media, H110 x L160 x W87 cm. Greg Salter 2019. Sculpture on the Farm 2019 (Winner - Children choice award).

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Rescue Dog Lane, mixed media, H24 x L29 x W18cm. Greg Salter 2014 .

Junk Sheep, mixed media, H60 x L75 x W55cm. Greg Salter 2019.

Issue 41 - May 2021


What do you hope viewers of your artwork will feel and take with them? Instead of me dictating the story to them, I like to give people a visual idea that they can then create their own narrative from my work. People’s own experiences, imaginations and interpretations are important to make their own conclusions and thoughts of what the storyline of the characters in front of them are. It’s fun bringing the not typically matched objects together, like the pig and possum or why would a creature be dragging or pulling a wheel or why would a sheep have a donut on it’s back. Things that normally wouldn’t be seen together surprises people. That’s my love of random and quirky thinking coming out.

Your future aspirations with your art? Improving on the ability to show more movement in the animals rather than a statue like pose. Continuing to make that movement more complex such as muscle structures and poses giving the character more life. Figuring out how best to finish my work with colour that compliments and balances the scrap used. Doing

more work like a dual character to encourage the “Why?” storyline. Working out how to find more hours in the day to dedicate to sculpture to continue to develop these ideas and skills.

Issue 41 - May 2021


G Forthcoming exhibitions?


I am grateful and fortunate for the ongoing


support of the Levee Gallery in Maitland that


allow me to continually place pieces for showing. I would like to work toward entering

some competitions like Sculpture on the Farm and Gosford Art Prize for 2021.

-Greg Salter (C)2021.


T E R All Rights Reserved on article

Blue Clutch with Greg Salter, mixed media, H70 x L50 x W35cm. 2019.

and photographs Greg Salter © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021





All these imagined and real differences, stay poised to take shape in the mind,


turn the world around. We are patient, we know how to pace the floor, how to bide our time,


till the measuring cup is full.


It is a hard slog living amongst people, at such close proximity,


we are just about ready to kill each other.


But it’s not allowed (niet toegestaan) utterly irresponsible.


Such torment, we can also dish out, and it is played out by the noise factor,


as if we were not aware of it, but have to put up with each other’s stupidity.



It is just too much, that we live so close, and bear the brunt and say our prayers, and hope and presume all is fine. Issue 41 - May 2021


The mornings are predominately quiet, we can shape our world, we can encourage each other to be kinder. More sensitive to each others personal space and needs. It doesn’t have to be complicated, to make a real difference and add to a little bit of happiness, a fusion of the dreaming. The culture of Alchuringa, to meet the dreaming heroes. Say it, connect with it, subscribe to it. These interests keep us buoyant, to look out for you, who represents these values, and suddenly it seems more prevalent, more ingeniously woven in our everyday life

and goings on. The rigour of self- discipline, the need to keep you updated. - Eric Werkhoven © 2021.

Issue 41 - May 2021




CAPRICE I can see the vast sadness, to be made into a gentle smile. In a long whisper, for breath to be renamed. based on these various returning facts, to place it squarely on the map,

quill, inkpot and paper.


We are so pushed for change, it isn’t so easy to fathom out.


It is as if the conflict has redoubled, reshaped itself, into a more monstrous double ganger.


Alive to take advantage, of something internally untapped.


Will it work, or need to be upstaged, wake up to the exhibitionist in thee, in us.



It is certainly not the worst of our fears, but it has the effect of disorientation. I should be sparing with my words, which seem to come out of themselves. So vast is this consciousness, in its rippling and distribution effect. In deed so fast, that it leaves us so quickly behind.


Because it does not need words nor sounds.


A show of commitment to stay the course. Issue 41 - May 2021




TO CLOSE FOR COMFORT Back to back as if standing, as in standing next to the devil. Grinning so smugly, to know us so well, that is a worry. What we have in common – limbs, stomach, penis. You name it, something is changing the whole damn story.


To become more simplified myself, all in the name of personification, in this grand incarceration of the senses.


Fences, doors, keep him out for ten years,


so that we may sort out our priorities from A to Z.


I agree it sounds odd, and yet we should rather listen to ourselves,




than the news. Music revs up the engines going up the hill and then sighs,

and for a moment this emptiness tries so hard to rush back to us. Then another obstinate sound ensues. Back to back to the mirrored images of ourselves, reflected in glass and marble and sun glasses.

- Eric Werkhoven© 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



R U B E L I Issue 41 - May 2021


KEN RUBELI Ken Rubeli is a passionate environmental educator, photographer, forester and freelance writer. Ken, has an extensive background in forestry and nature education. For over thirty years he has lived and worked at Wangat Lodge, a registered Wildlife

Refuge and environmental education centre, just out of Dungog, adjoining the Barrington Tops Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage Area. His primary aim - the design and implementation of environmental education programs.

Right : Helmet Orchids, Jerusalem Creek . Ken Rubeli. Page 102 : Lace Monitor Portrait . Ken Rubeli.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Forest Eye series : Giant strangling fig, Barrington Tops, National Park. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


KEN RUBELI - INTERVIEW When I was about eleven years old I was given a camera. It was a Ross Ensign Ful-Vue Super twin-lens box camera, the non-conformist’s version of the ubiquitous box Brownie. It produced 6cm x 6 cm negatives,

which produced cheap contact prints. Black and white of course. I still have few prints of images I took at that time - a rotting wooden boat on a breakwater, for instance, and a broken wagon wheel in a farmyard. A bit ‘arty’, perhaps? By the time I was eighteen I had a 35mm rangefinder camera, a Yashica J, about the cheapest on the market but equip-able with a flash, a cable release, a lens hood, a tripod. It was all an essential part of my kit on a hitch-hiking trip to Tasmania, the first of a lifelong engagement with solo journeys with a camera. Soon I had a projector and was launched into the dark realms of The Slide Show.

In the 1990s I was delighted to attend a slide show presented by William Yang in Sydney. I had been carefully crafting these story-telling events for thirty years, the whole thing being the art, not the individual image. William’s show pulled in a paying audience and I felt my love of this humble form of theatre was legitimised. In the digital-image world I can now create a PowerPoint presentation and communicate my message to a wider world. The desire to share one’s delight in the carefully crafted image never goes away. Issue 41 - May 2021


When in the 1970s I went to live in Malaysia my photography dug down to a deeper foundation. The tropical rainforest captivated me. I wrote stories for newspapers and magazines about my travels to remote wild places - some under threat from the advances of logging, oil palm estates, tourism development. I was simply showing, not campaigning, but my photographs much more than my words were crying out “How precious this is!”. Nature photography in Malaysia - I was there for thirteen years - was the enabler of my transition into environmental activism. Pictures move a politician far more readily than do words. If one dares to present a slide show to an audience it is the images on the screen that will move people to support the cause. I loved this motivation to carry camera gear on my back in the challenging environments of the tropics:

humidity, torrential rain, leeches. What is a quest for the best photography without sweat and blood? I can’t say my pictures saved a river, saved a rainforest, but I couldn’t have poured my heart into the campaign without them.

I saw virtually no photography in galleries until I lived in Scotland for a year, and then came back to Australia. When I was in the UK I first had an article published in a photography magazine. It was about traveling in Ireland, on a bicycle, with my battered old Olympus OM-1 camera and just a standard lens. I couldn’t carry any more. I used black-and-white film. I couldn’t afford to waste frames so I thought carefully about every release of the shutter. Six images were published. I felt I had ‘made the grade’. Issue 41 - May 2021


Lowland tropical rainforest, Taman Negara (National Park), Peninsular Malaysia. Ken Rubeli.

Issue 41 - May 2021


In 1987 and ’88 I reshaped myself back into Australian society, with difficulty, through a couple of years in Sydney, and learned a little of Max Dupain, Olive Cotton, and Frank Hurley, purveyors of the monochrome image. Also Olegas Truchanas and Lake Pedder. And Peter Dombrovskis and the Gordon and Franklin Rivers. I travelled to a lot of wild places and built a slide library of timeless record. Photography forced me to identify the plants I had crawled on my belly to picture from an appealing angle. I began to sense this was my country again, and I was coming to know its wildness intimately.

At the end of my time in Malaysia I had found a publisher for a ‘coffee table’ book of 400 images of SouthEast Asia’s tropical rainforest. In a tiny house in Balmain I found some dignity in the blessing of royalty cheques.

By 1989 I was involved in the running of environmental education programs for schools at Wangat Lodge, on the edge of the Barrington Tops wilderness. Through the 1990s, married and with a small child, I assembled a symphony of images that, through slide shows for Lodge guests, could convey my enthusiasm for the natural world. I even had a tiny exhibition of ‘Images in Threes’ in Dungog, triptychs that I felt better conveyed a feeling than could a single framed picture.

Page 109 : LOOK! Series: Alpine eucalypt forest, Mount Kaputar. Ken Rubeli.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Issue 41 - May 2021


I moved into digital photography in 2006 when it was announced that the Tillegra Dam would be built on the Williams River north of Dungog.

In the

tradition of Dombrovskis and Truchanas I set out to record the river, but elaborating to record also the

life of those farming in the valley that would be flooded. I was now drawn to those photobooks that could be assembled in software and then sent off for handsome printing and binding.

I built up a portfolio of enough evocative images to lay out a photo-essay - ‘At the Stroke of a Pen’ - for distribution to the politicians who would decree the valley’s fate. In the latter part of 2010 one was sent to the NSW Premier at the time, Kristina Keneally.

Its pictorial message really only took a few minutes to deliver itself, but did her copy ever land on her Lens Activist series : No Tillegra Dam Group, Darling Harbour. Ken Rubeli. Page 111 : Water gum, Precipice Bend, Williams River, Tunnybuc. Ken Rubeli.


In November 2010 the Premier came to

Newcastle to make an announcement: the Tillegra Dam project would not go ahead. Who knows what

tipped the scales. Issue 41 - May 2021


Issue 41 - May 2021


Whenever I travel it is with a camera and tripod, and generally there’s a precious image or two or three that emerges. Hinchinbrook Island. Western Victoria. The Daintree. Stradbroke Island. The back of Bourke. Or Central Station, Sydney. Some shots are carefully planned, some captured in a chance moment. Juliet Ackery at John Hunter Hospital’s Arts for Health program has been a great supporter of my

photographic work over several years now. The corridors of a big hospital are an excellent gallery space well lit and very well trafficked. Juliet provides the frames and one’s images are handsomely presented. Better still, they are there in the public eye for three or four months at a time. LOOK! was an exhibition that a few years ago spread twenty-eight panoramic images, monochrome, down a long corridor on the hospital’s ground floor. Thousands of people must have walked past and more than a few been drawn in. The ‘LOOK!’ was because every image of a wild landscape had secreted somewhere in there a single human being. For the photography I travelled as far west as Mount Kaputar and east to Smiths Lake, to Polblue on the Barrington Tops, and along the rivers and streams that flow off it, calling on the assistance of many different people along the way. It is time consuming to find precisely the right location to set up a tripod, and to pick the appropriate weather (I like overcast days) and sometimes the appropriate season. photographically, I am most proud.

LOOK! is the work of which,

It is the art of the self-indulgent, produced simply because I felt

compelled to do so.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Hinchinbrook Island Series : Rhizophora mangrove coastline. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


I have taken to writing stories for Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle magazine, an indication that words are as much a compulsion for me as photography. Cornelia Schulze is a compassionate editor and my images are granted the best of presentation. Generally there has been a nature-element in my stories about people of the Hunter, but Cornelia this year accepted a story about my small-town photographic project titled ‘Longstanding’. My aim, in 2019, armed with an ultra-wide-angle lens, was to record people at work in Dungog - people who had operated in the same business on the same premises for fifteen or more years. After my thirty years in the Dungog Shire I knew almost all these people, and they were delightfully willing and co-operative. At the Dungog Festival in 2019 big colour images were exhibited in the Festival Lounge. Then Juliet had them displayed on the hospital walls. And now, with a story of what has happened to these ‘Longstanding’ business-people a year down the track, they are in Cornelia’s Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle magazine. Here I choose to display them in monochrome.

Right from that rotting boat and wagon wheel to the latest assignment I’m tackling, I am immersed in

something I love, a sort of benign addiction. Now I’m walking the length of the upper Chichester River thirteen kilometres - picturing nature and human life in a remote and perhaps threatened valley. A solitary old man with a pack on his back, a hammock to sleep in, a tripod in his hand, and cold, wet feet. It feels really satisfying. All artists are a bit mad, aren’t they?

©2021 Ken Rubeli Issue 41 - May 2021


Forest Eye series : Casuarinas and Epiphytes, Upper Chichester River. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021





E L I Forest Eye series : Tree Fernery, Otway Ranges, Victoria. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


Forest Eye series: Canopy Palm Foliage, Daintree, Queensland. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


Forest Eye series : Dawn Mist, Dungog Common. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


Forest Eye series : Rainforest Callitris Pine, Jerusalem Creek Flora Reserve. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


Hinchinbrook Island Series : Bruguiera mangrove swamp. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


Hinchinbrook Island Series : Forest Stream, Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


LOOK! Series : Snowgrass Country, Mount Kaputar. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


Forest Eye series : Mid-canopy view, Otway Ranges, Victoria. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


Greenhood Orchid, Jerusalem Creek. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


Toadstool Assembly, Jerusalem Creek. Ken Rubeli. Issue 41 - May 2021


A R T A B S T R Flow pattern, Jerusalem Creek.


Coastal rock platform, Redhead.


E R I E S Leopardwood bark, east of Bourke.

Gnarled wood, Smiths Lake.

Issue 41 - May 2021




E R I E S Sludge pattern, Chichester Reservoir.

Issue 41 - May 2021


L O N G S T A N Dungog Post Office . Dungog, NSW.


Lovey’s IGA , Dungog, NSW.


S E R I E Hawley’s Funeral Directors, Dungog, NSW.


Turner’s Holden, Dungog, NSW.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Photographer Ken Rubeli. Photograph by Freya Rubeli.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Ken Rubeli © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



Broken Rosary

The meditation room fills with the scent of incense prayers

a piece of peeling paint crackles away from the ceiling


dangles by a thread


like an angel's feather


the musty wooden floor

(a triptych)

and twirls

bounces and shatters

dust cobwebs the still air. In the hollow corridors

a ruffled habit sways

head bowed in supplication

Reese North

moves in a procession of mourning passes in to The Confessional

and stares

into a stained-glass sunset then fades into the play of colours a broken rosary rests in her place: an unanswered prayer.

Issue 41 - May 2021




Stone Cradle

Mortal Promise

The night is old now down the road

Inside a marbled silence an old wayfarer

along the tar

lies crumpled

as an autumn leaf;

dry leaves scrape a newspaper springs

from the pavement it spreads open

an icy wind whistles

I catch it in mid-flight

and in the phosphors of the moon

reveals the photograph in the arms of a statue

of a young man lying cradled of the Virgin Mary

he'd sought his Saviour's promise found an empty shell

and sank

he'd clawed his way to die

into methylated dreams:

A raindrop slaps the paper

his face

onto the face of the youth

the wrinkled testament

of the seeker

who never found his chapel.

there with opium and stone.

runs down the cheek of the Madonna

the wind tears the photo from my grip. I hear it scratch its way up the dark road towards the abandoned nunnery. Reese North © 2004 Issue 41 - May 2021


Discarded scraps are food for Peter who wanders the streets of Georgetown


in the company of strays. Schoolboys taunt him with names like 'Creepin' Judas' and 'Aunty Jack.' He rolls his eyes at their mean intentions,

and yells back, 'I am Peter!' Rat-tails dance across his ruddy face as he swigs from a bottle of dignity, then takes over a bus shelter when black clouds burst.

The streets yawn at 4pm; it's too early for the shine

of Henny Penny, and The Golden Buddha, and the kid waitresses who sneak parcels of fries to Peter behind their bosses' backs.

4pm: a time to meet friends like Louie

who watches the birds, and declares: 'Sparrows are like us!' while they hop around in search of twigs and peck at crusts in the gutter. 'Not quite ..... ' replies Peter.

- Reese North © 2004 Issue 41 - May 2021



Late April. Plum red stains the horizon. The valley fills with grape purple shadow. Mount Sugarloaf cranes her peak to taste the last rays of evening. The neon city below flickers to life, cutting ribbons of moist light.

The Cathedral stands high above the city; gothic steeples spear towards the stars. The evening is metallic grey up here. The sun still bleeds over the distant hills.

I am a ghost. I pass within the shadow of the Cathedral and wander through an Ancient graveyard where gravestones dangle like broken teeth in the mouth of forgotten memories.

A Chinese Lantern weeps a yellow tear into the soil of a funeral night

in the Western sky the evening star rises and seems to sparkle with the promise of new life. What are these stars that fill our skies, and burn ... are they seed pods waiting to be born?

- Reese North © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



My journey of Ekphrasis

“What does your artwork mean?” – a question that the sixteen-year-old me dreaded to the point of not showing my work to anyone if it meant I could avoid being asked. I believed, as I still do today, that any

work of art begins to have meaning when the viewer’s perspective comes into play. There is no single “meaning”. I was, however, at that phase in life when my mind’s turbulent teenage sentiments were seething to the brim! I needed catharsis. Agape Mixed media on canvas. 36 x 48cm. Agape captures my first experience of drawing on canvas. It was created with whatever I could find lying around at home – colour pencils, gel pens, charcoal pencils, sketch

pens, etc. The piece developed spontaneously. It was a time when I was coming to terms with the fact that I couldn’t control what people thought about me. They would keep buzzing like bees. What should matter to me, is me. Issue 41 - May 2021


With lots of ideas and things to say, but barely the skill to be considered “good enough” by my own standards, I began to put words to my art. From a simple daily experience, to a profound thought I had in

the shower – I drew it, and I wrote about it.

27 June 2017 Digital drawing. It was an overwhelming day, filled with realisation





ambitious and it seemed like things were finally set into motion. At the time, I was so inspired by James Jean’s art. So, I grabbed my graphic tablet and let the lines flow.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Alone Ink on canvas paper. A5. Not every day was glittering with hope and fervour. Overworked, impatient and eager to escape the rut, I scribbled my feelings on a

little sketchbook. I was too tired to draw something





everyone go “Wow!” It did, however, give me respite.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Till death do us part? Pen on paper. A5. He was my first dog and losing him felt worse than I had imagined. I couldn’t pay attention in class the next day. I had to draw what I was feeling. With only my class notebook and





disposal (very untraditional indeed!), I let my unconstrained emotions paint this picture. .

One could say, I was journaling through my art and poetry. I was trying to let everyone know, “This is what my artwork means to me”. Despite not using premium quality supplies to materialise my vision, I found that it was a beautiful process of originality pouring out into everything I did. Until, one day, came the inevitable

counterpart to complete the cycle – the creative block. Issue 41 - May 2021


There were a few things that bothered me as an artist. Did I prefer traditional hand drawing, or did I want to jump on the digital art bandwagon? Was I always supposed to come up with something new or was it okay for me to draw inspiration from other art? Would people really get the story I’m trying to convey, or should I just make something aesthetically pleasing for no reason? Did the validation matter?

Letting go, Digital art.

Free falling,

Digital art.


Digital art.

Issue 41 - May 2021


I even tried my hand painting. I hated it; I had such little control over what I wanted the colours to do. Dealing with colours itself was exhausting. But doesn’t being an “artist” entail being good with paints? Anyway, this little escapade was terse.


Acrylic paints and pen on paper. A4.


Water colours, crayons and colour pencils on paper. A4.

Issue 41 - May 2021


This creative standstill pushed me to look for inspiration and references in other artists’ works. While mimicking their pieces did help me improve my drawing skills, I had begun to question my own stylistic identity as an artist. I wrote about it.

Identity Ink on canvas paper. A5. I couldn’t think of anything to draw. I looked for inspiration and came across Circa Survive’s album art for On Letting Go. Yes, this captured what I was feeling like. It wasn’t my idea; I was out of ideas. Guiltily,

I went ahead and

drew it.

Issue 41 - May 2021







Pens on canvas. 36 x 48cm.

Another step back to James Jean for inspiration. His 2014 sketch, Lion, looked like something I would have liked to have come up with on my own! I recreated it and was momentarily proud of the outcome. Everyone loved it. But this wasn’t my art. It wasn’t my art style. What was my art style?

Issue 41 - May 2021


Seven billion

Water colour pencils and pen on canvas paper. A4.

Often, I found myself wondering if I was the only one who felt this way. For some reason I believed that everything created by every other artist was 100% original. In every piece I created, the flaws stood out to me – glaring, obvious and screaming out my insecurities. There was so much I was yet to learn.

Issue 41 - May 2021


There comes a point when every artist wishes they could do something some other artist did. Kerby Rosanes was one such artist I wanted to be like. When I recreated his Goat mural, I understood my ability with detailed linework. I also realised; I’ve got a long way to go with finding my creativity. There is no standard which has to be met in order to be called an “artist”. The whole point is to create.

Don’t let the envy bite in on you, Pen on paper. A4.


Pens on canvas. 36 x 48cm.

Issue 41 - May 2021


The ponderous self-doubt did eventually lead to the realisation that I’d have to let go of my need for perfection and just make art for myself. Maybe it was my age or maybe my circumstances, but I kept flipping between being proud of myself and having an identity crisis. And so, without a care for the world’s opinions and squeezing the last few droplets of creative juices, I began doodling. No philosophy, no visual story and none of that “meaning” to explain what I’m drawing. I drew because I liked the feeling of pen on paper.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Mandalas Ink on canvas paper. A5.

Drawing symmetrical patterns gave me a sense of balance – there were equal amounts of freedom and consistency. And I thought they looked great! (Or rather, the mistakes were well-hidden). I made it a point to draw them freehand just to experience the thrill of possibly messing the whole thing up. Salvaging my works-inprogress was a valuable experience.

In time, I learnt to take the things that inspired me and make something new from them. Being an artist doesn’t mean you’re always going to have a fresh idea just waiting to burst onto your canvas ALL THE TIME. And that’s completely alright. Inspiration could come from anywhere and anything. For me, some of those things were visual arts, music, choreographies, films, novels, photography, theatre and even food. Why not use these experiences to create your own art?

Why not bring these media together? Issue 41 - May 2021


My first major music obsession was the Korean group BTS. There was something about their narrative and visual storytelling that really drew my attention. It inspired me to bring together different art forms like music composition, illustration and animation to express an idea. These pieces were inspired by the visual elements seen in the group’s albums.


Pen on canvas paper and digital. A5.


Pen on canvas paper. A5

Issue 41 - May 2021


Beyond the Seen,

Digital art, video and music. Issue 41 - May 2021


SHALLY PAIS My journey of Ekphrasis is a cycle – there’s phases of having too many ideas and then those of having none. What it primarily is, is an act reflecting and describing my artwork through means like music and poetry to augment and magnify the narrative. There’s no need to confine myself to a particular art style or medium. Ultimately, it is “meaning” that everyone’s looking for, and that’s just what they’re going to get!

Hailing from India, Shally is a 25-year-old artist, composer and animator living in Sydney. Her work aims towards blending her education in visual communication and music to create multi-media works. Her fascination for art and music began at a young age from simply following her siblings’ creative hobbies. Presently, some of her major artistic inspirations are James Jean, Kerby Rosanes, Hayao Miyazaki, Yuko Shimizu and Killian Eng. Shally’s artistic practice includes illustration, graphic art, 2D animation, song writing and composition. Occasionally, she dabbles in comic art and script writing. Her process is rather spontaneous and tends to use whatever media most aptly conveys the narrative at hand. Often, one will find written verses accompanying her artworks which serve as a means of

revealing fragments of her inner self to the world. By doing this, she hopes for her audience to be able to relate through personal experiences and self-realisation. Her goal is to blur the lines between media like visual art, music, poetry and animation, to make an artistic experience more wholistic and multi-sensory. - Shally Pais © 2021.

Issue 41 - May 2021




S Shally Pais, photograph courtesy of artist.

All Rights Reserved on article, art work and photographs Shally Pais © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



Issue 41 - May 2021


Therese Gabriel Wilkins Contemporary artist, Therese Gabriel Wilkins – ‘Trees’ was born in Annandale, Sydney in 1952. Wilkins is an award winning artist, print maker and sculptor.

Her works capture images of birds and the land which are an integral part of Wilkin’s life as she travels over Australia. “I am on an art road, a traveller who captures images and weaves a visual narrative through printmaking and

sculpture.” Page 150 : Barking Owl, Intaglio hand colour, H40 x W28 cm. Therese Gabriel Wilkins. Right : Detail - Masked Owl Banner, Cloth hand painted and printed, H 6.2 x W 2.3 metres, Therese Gabriel Wilkins.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Waders in the Pond Collage, watercolour, drypoint H15 x W15cm. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Therese Gabriel Wilkins - Interview

What attracted me to world of Art? Fortunate in spite of large family to have parents who loved music, performance and art and took us when they could to the gallery, performances and encouraged us to appreciate the arts in all forms. Although prints our home was full of Russell Drysdale, Albert Namatjira, Degas and Van Gogh and Toulouse Lautrec. I grew up being interested in performance and thought I would like to try art at some stage and see if I could develop skills in visual art. I also enjoyed writing and joined the writer’s association in the 70s. Throughout college years I helped with the college newspaper and also performances.

My artistic passion…. I think I have always been drawn to some form of art whether it be performance, singing, dancing, music, writing or visual art. In my 50s I was alerted to an add in the local paper for a certificate 111 course and thought I would apply.

I had been

attending some workshops in different media and had shown some work at the community gallery at Gosford Regional and thought I might be good enough to apply. I did and was ecstatic to receive news I was accepted and from there what I regarded as my apprenticeship in visual art started. Art History classes whet my appetite for this world of shape, tone, colour and the incredible people who captured the essence of the times.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Have you always wanted to be an artist? I always thought there might be a chance and signed up for art classes at 16 in Sydney. After one lesson only the art teacher said in front of the class that I was wasting his time and my money and I should go elsewhere. I did not continue at all but when the opportunity availed itself later in life, I went with it. So, my belief is if you dream it you can achieve it.

Describe your work -

My work consists of prints, painting, mixed media, drawing and some sculpture. It captures a place, a moment in time, the land, its people and fauna and flora. It tells the story of the places I have been and where I live influenced by the passing of time and what I have encountered.

What is the philosophy behind your work.? Create art that makes connections with the land, its people, fauna and flora. To weave visual narratives through art. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins in her Studio. Photograph courtesy of artist.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Lost Souls in the Bush Medium U.S., Monoprint, intaglio, hand coloured, H28 x W40 cm. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Do you have a set method routine of working? Depending on what the art I am creating is for, I usually will do research, then go to the area whatever and gather as much information as I can, materials, sketch, photograph, ask questions. When researching the owls e.g., went to the Museum to sketch them, Taronga Park Zoo to take photos of them in flight, also have an encounter with a Powerful owl, contacted Bird Life Australia, Wires, local bird authorities, CSIRO, Dr. Beth Mott, the Aboriginal community to gather a much wider appreciation and perspective of the owls and what they mean to different members of the community, the threats they face and what is being done to enhance their longevity. Then when the actual artistic idea has germinated work out what method I will use to express this whether that be printmaking, mixed media, painting, sculpture. Once that is decided or possibly a few of those then it is preparing the materials - working up an image /design and then in the case of printing decide what technique e.g., drypoint, woodblock, monoprint, Collograph, tetra or combination of those and transfer the image to the plate once size is decided, and then thoughts on colour composition and creation of art work. When dealing with printing there needs to be separate areas for working so that paper and ink only become connected when the plate is on the press. A clean studio to start, some music, and uninterrupted time are essential.

Why choose this medium method to work with? Printmaking is my main method although sometimes I create mixed media using printmaking – more layers. I love the process and journey and the excitement at the end when you finally lift that paper and the print has worked. (Printing, like a box of chocolates – until you lift that paper you don’t really know what you are going to get.) There are so many different techniques with printmaking and mixed media that you have so much to choose from and so much to continually learn and surprises and “Ah Ha”! moments. Issue 41 - May 2021


Wedgetail Eagle Acrylic on Board H28 x W30 cm.

Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Can you see me now?,

Dry point, hand coloured, H38 x W58 cm. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

Issue 41 - May 2021


How important is drawing as an element? Drawing is an important element in all facets of printmaking. It is that individual mark making which signifies you as the artist. Your DNA as it were is cast in the plate and then onto the print.

What inspires your work creations? I am inspired by nature, the land its shapes, colours and textures, its fauna, flora and the people who inhabit the land. A love and interest in birds has seen them over the years feature heavily in my work. Birds to me are winged messengers. They herald the morning, forecast the rain, their absence often a sign of impending danger. Combining science, historical research to create awareness or focus on issues of importance is inspirational as well.

Major influences on your work? The land, its people, fauna and flora, where I have lived and live now are major influences. The people I encounter on the art road, the stories, or the cause that can be focussed on through art. What are some of my favourite artists and artworks? Jim Dine, Ian Fairweather – Roy Soliel, Toulouse -Lautrec – Aristide Bruant., Moulin Rouge – La Goulue, Clifton Pugh – Wetlands with Blue Bird, Birds in Landscape, Albrecht Durer – The Hare, Emily Kame Kngwarreye – Dreamliner to name a few.

Any Particular style or period that appeals? Contemporary Art 1970s to now. Issue 41 - May 2021


Name your greatest achievement, exhibitions? Creating work that not only engages the viewer, tells a story but captures their imagination so that they wish to possess the work.

To my delight my work is now held in private collections throughout Australia and internationally. Works are also

held in public collection – Wyong Tafe, Central Coast Council, The Brooklyn Art Library archive, Newcastle Art Gallery archive and Holtermann Museum.

How has COVID 19 effected your arts practice? COVID19 effected my arts practice especially in 2020 with the closure of borders meaning art that would normally have travelled to the country was no longer able to do so. Endangered, Endemic, Extinct solo was postponed and my six boxes of art work arrived in King Island but I was unable to connect with it. Many other group exhibitions were cancelled and thus

the art work created did not get to a wider audience. Workshops were unable to be held as studio spaces closed to the public.

What are you working on at present? Experimenting with creating multilayered and hybrid prints.

What do you hope viewers of your art work will feel and take with them? I hope that viewers are engaged with the exhibitions and art work, that it evokes a reaction, response and they take with them a much better appreciation of the subject matter and what goes into creating a piece of art whether that be print, painting, mixed media or sculpture. Issue 41 - May 2021


Swift Fading Fast, Mixed Media, H30 x W42 cm. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Your Future aspirations with your art? To create art that will inspire, educate and contribute to a much better understanding of our land, its flora, fauna and people. That the narratives woven through the art will create a picture of the now for the future. To continue on the art road and to keep learning, experimenting, creating and watching the art evolve.

To travel a lot

further with my art thus sharing my art and arts practice with a much wider audience.

Left : Rhythm of the Land, Mixed Media, H55 x W46 cm . Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Summer's Myth Medium U.S., Woodblock, Intaglio, al la poupee', hand coloured, H44 x W56 cm. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Forthcoming Exhibitions Currently Nights Watch Parliament – Solo exhibition showcasing The Powerful, Grass, Masked, Sooty and Barking Owls is showing at The Rusty Owl in Mayne Street, Gulgong.

This exhibition has shown in The Art House Wyong, Cessnock

Regional Gallery, Newcastle Printmakers, Mary Cairncross Reserve, Maleny, Queensland, Warrumbungles Visitor Centre and Pilliga Nature Reserve.

This show will continue to the end of April.

It has a multisensory approach with a film on

owls, a Powerpoint on the art process and owl sounds.

Endangered Endemic Extinct Solo is to open at King Island Cultural Centre on the 16th April till the 10th May. It focuses on the birds of King Island. It comprises of paintings, mixed media, prints, sculpture and an artist’s book. A multisensory show with a Powerpoint providing information on the art process and also the birds accompanied by bird sounds.

Five Strings Collaborative – group exhibition five artists we have collaborated and exhibited together since 2015, this year we exhibit at The Shop Gallery Glebe, September 2021. There are also works entered in group exhibitions with The Makers Studio Inc- Central Coast, Newcastle Printmakers, Tuggerah Lakes Art Society. - Therese Gabriel Wilkins © 2021.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Our Demise, Water U.S., Photopolymer, Dry point, Tetra pak, H29 x W30 cm. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Therese Gabriel Wilkins © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021


Endangered Endemic Extinct Exhibition 2021. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins - TREES

King Island Scrubtit, Mixed media

H30 x W42cm. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins. Issue 41 - May 2021


Endangered Endemic Extinct Exhibition — King Island. Endangered Endemic Extinct – an exhibition of prints, paintings, sculpture and artists book deals with the Birds of King Island. This exhibition focuses on them in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of many of these birds that are either threatened or endangered. This exhibition has a Power point which outlines the journey of the creation

of the art and also vital information on the birds and how we can assist. This exhibition was supposed to open last year on the island however Covid intervened and the six boxes of art work have been sitting on the island closed for over a year now. So it will be really exciting to open them up and finally put the exhibition up for all to see. It was an outcome of my artist residency in 2019 February on the island interest in this area was sparked by research and time spent with ornithologist Kate Ravich and research at the museum into the maritime history of the island and the extinct Dwarf Emu. Contact with Alex Drew in Canberra has led to the location and permission for sounds of the birds to accompany the art work and exhibition adding a multisensory dimension. The exhibition was opened 16th April at King Island Cultural Centre , Currie.

An artists

talk on 18th April and a community workshop was held on 20th April 2021. As an artist I like to make connections with land, people their history, fauna and flora and create work that weaves visual narratives.

Dwarf Emu – Mixed Media Charcoal /Handcoloured 2019. Therese Gabriel-Wilkins.

- Therese Gabriel-Wilkins 2021.

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This is my interpretation of ‘Solomon and Saturn II’ from the ‘Beowulf’ manuscript.

E Threaded within, a verse taken


from Tolkien’s ‘THE HOBBIT’ Chapter 19: The Last Stage

A L L Issue 41 - May 2021


“The dragon is withered His bones are now crumbled His armour is shivered His splendour is humbled” Notes of creation A wolf with no tongue Scattered ashes from willowed bone A decipher for the dragon, formed of saintly stone. Saturn’s sheets lay waste by hand

A Covet of eminence, the silenced lamb “Though sword shall be rusted And throne crown perish With strength that men trusted And wealth that they cherish” “Here grass is still growing And leaves are yet swinging The white water flowing And elves are yet singing” The dance of seven veils, for an empty plate. A lost head, to question fate. Issue 41 - May 2021


Issue 41 - May 2021


The lost language of a dark night. Alit constellations of beating code, to punctuate the stars below To a land where lore scribes down the next verse “The stars are far brighter Than gems without measure The moon is far whiter Than silver and treasure” The Mother Son & her Dragon, transfigured by colour Scripted notes without rhythmic pleasure Lost in translation by scholarly reflections A Runic riddle to prose a line A feared leaders of the philistine “O where are you going So late in returning The river is flowing The stars are all burning”

Issue 41 - May 2021


The Will of a Wolf lost to righteous minds.

Through ashes to dust from the sand of the weary. Beneath a tower built of

ancient stone, Solomon bound a virgin to crone Where all life began, and death became the throne. “I wither so laden So sad and so dreary Here elf and elf maiden Now welcome the weary” Come down to the ferry . . .

“Come back to the valley”

- Maggie Hall © 2021.

Issue 41 - May 2021


All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Maggie Hall © 2021.

Issue 41 - May 2021


The Inner World of Eucalyptus Blossoms

BERNADETTE MEYERS Issue 41 - May 2021


Drawing out the secrets of beauty takes time. It’s easy to see and admire the surface of something, but to feel the depths of a flower,

one needs to pause and wait. Then visit again… ponder quietly and revisit. Issue 41 - May 2021


Life can feel busy and cluttered with ideas, stuff, jobs, endless responsibilities, devices, images, sounds and more. There are so many things vying for our time and attention. Yet richness and simplicity collide in stillness. When I make abstract pictures of flowers it is as though the bloom is speaking directly to my soul in another language. I can’t translate it, but I understand it on another level. It is simply God’s language of beauty. And doesn’t need any explanation. The camera allows me to slow down and sink right into a bloom. The busyness and noise of life are no longer a distraction. Time stands still and I’m embraced by a beautiful dream-like place.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Issue 41 - May 2021


The right words to describe the photographic process seem to elude me. People speak of capturing, taking and making photos. None of these descriptions feels appropriate. Capture has connotations of war and pillage, chains, ropes and force against one’s will. Taking implies snatching, grabbing or stealing something which may not be your own. Even making has a feeling of forcing rather than allowing or growing. I like to prepare my heart and soul with expectancy before I come to a moment of art creating; ready to receive whatever gift comes. To embrace moments, connect with nature, interact, feel, experience and somehow translate that emotion and moment onto the camera sensor so I can lightly and gently carry it with gratitude and reverence. Issue 41 - May 2021


Nature is divinely beautiful in and of itself. I would be completely ignorant to think that my pictures are beautiful because of me. Each one is a precious gift that I treasure, like a butterfly that has landed on my hand. Whatever you look for you will find. Look for beauty - you’ll see it everywhere. Wait for joy and it will arrive. Expect people to be kind and they will. Look for light and you will find it. I come to picture making with a quiet, contemplative and expectant spirit. Always hopeful that I’ll discover something fresh and magnificent. With childlike eyes and wonder, inquisitive and thinking about the mystery the subject holds, I long to at least a take a glimpse into another world. My imagination runs loose and I travel to a time and place far away. There is no hurry. I don’t have to spend hours on each shoot or picture, but the time I do spend is completely undistracted. I’m one hundred per cent present, in the moment. The rest

of the world is closed out and I’m in a bubble with the subject. Issue 41 - May 2021


For the images in this series, I used a macro lens. It’s like a kaleidoscope, as I slowly and carefully turn the focus ring, a neverbefore-seen territory appears before my eyes. There is a secret world in which dragonflies, ants, ladybugs and butterflies play. Most humans don’t linger there. We are too entrenched in our fast-paced world. Issue 41 - May 2021


If you look closely, you’ll see that the patterns of the universe are mirrored at an almost microscopic scale. Galaxies, mountains, trees, clouds, oceans - they are all there waiting to be wondered at.

Issue 41 - May 2021


At first glance, the blossoms are spectacular. But there is so much more to them than showiness! Spending five days with one branch of flowers gave me the privilege of an intimate encounter with their inner world. By the second day, some of the blossoms had already begun to wilt. I started to panic - until I realised that their beauty wasn’t diminished in the least as they wilted. Instead, the stamens curved and danced into the most elegant formations. They weren’t dying after all; they had taken on a new life, transforming themselves into endless, joyful confetti. Months later, I’m still finding pink stamen surprises in unexpected places. Issue 41 - May 2021


The world of eucalyptus blossoms is very busy, so for most of the images, I opened the lens’s aperture to the widest setting which allows me to focus on a small area of the frame and soften the other buds and blossoms. Issue 41 - May 2021


Nature is the greatest teacher, I feel so many things I can’t put into words. But I hope what I experience helps me to observe more, see deeply, feel intensely and understand with compassion and empathy. Knowledge about things is useless if it doesn’t cause me to care more deeply and hopefully reveal beauty and wonder for others to enjoy.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Bernadette Meyers


All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Bernadette Meyers © 2021.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Emerald Tree Snake With apologies to Coleridge

PETER J. BROWN Newcastle poet Peter Brown is a retired school

My son lies asleep, out on the deep on a bobbing barque

teacher with a Masters degrees in Australian and

in a somnolent dream of light within dark

American literature.

at the edge of the water on the ancient Myall Lakes,

Brown has travelled widely around large parts of

old as coal beds, fragile as paperbarks.

Australia, Bali and New Zealand. He enjoys painting and walking. Brown’s poetry was published extensively in

Up the trees the boys drove a Monitor,

Kangaroo and New England Review during the

terrified thing in galvanized flight,

eighties and in Poetry at the Pub (Newcastle)

ready to run with a sweep of leather wings,

anthologies during the last thirty years.

almost anything except to fight.

With over seventy poems in PATP publications. Work in Visions From the Valley, edited by Donald Moore, and in Brew, the PATP thirty-year

The clouds cold grey on the calm blue water,


rippling surface where stand some peaks which have stood here thirty million years or longer, if the truth be told, if the tongue can speak.

Issue 41 - May 2021


He lay sleeping, innocent, dreaming, while I sat in care and thought; what’s so new here, what confusing, on volcanic sand all slippery grey? The boys returned and we went walking, mammalian hunters made of clay.

Remy and I nearly stepped on the scaly eye of a hissing, slithering thing, which held me fast with its sheer beauty, like a pawn before a king, overborne with ideas of duty, brought to book and duly skinned. It lay emerald, shades of sapphire, some yellow scales from the mind of God, music with a sweet and subtle fire, right on the ground there where we stood.

His head was rising as we paced away from the ground there where he lay, and now we’re gone there’s nothing I can say except to wish him warm-fire day.

Peter J. Brown © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021




Issue 41 - May 2021


In February 2020 I saw the “Living with Ink” gallery exhibition at the Ancient Civilisations Museum in Singapore, which highlighted the collection of Singapore's Dr Tan Tsze Chor. The exhibition included paintings by Chinese masters as well as works made by artists living in Singapore in the 1930s - 1980s period. The information in this article has mainly been taken from the descriptive works plaques provided by the gallery. The goal of ink and wash painting is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its spirit. Painting transcended reality and soared into the realm of the spirit. To paint a horse the artist had to understand its temperament better than its muscles and bones. To paint a flower, there is no need to perfectly match its petals and colours, but it is essential to have empathy with the feel, aroma and liveliness of the bloom. Traditional Chinese ink painting aimed to convey feeling, mood and character. Because of this, it has now been compared to the later Western movement of Impressionism. Traditional Chinese painting is done on paper or silk, using a variety of brushes, inks and dyes. All subjects were tackled including portrait, landscape, flora, fauna and humans. The vertical hanging scroll was the classic format. Paintings were generally kept rolled up, and brought out for the owner to admire, often with a small group of friends. The handscroll format reveals an intimacy between word and image. Many handscrolls contain inscriptions preceding or following the image: poems composed by the painter or others that enhance the meaning of the image. Many handscrolls also contain colophons, or commentary written onto the scroll itself. These may be comments written by friends of the artist or the collector. These colophons may comment on the quality of the painting, express the rhapsody of the viewer or even give a biographical sketch of the artist. The artist and the collectors often “signed” the image or colophons with personal seals bearing their names. These red marks convey pride of authorship or ownership. Some old and famous paintings have become disfigured by this. A seal of a famous collector or connoisseur would become an integral part of a work of art and could substantially raise its value. Thus in the course of several centuries, some Chinese calligraphy works and paintings become covered by dozens of different seals. Compared to Western art, Traditional Chinese painting is done with water-based techniques, rather than oils or acrylics. Early Chinese painting is traditionally more stylized, more abstract and less realistic than earlier Western painting. Western painting only became more abstract and

less realistic in the late 19th century. Issue 41 - May 2021


Dr Tan Tsze Chor (1911-1983) was a Chinese/ Singaporean


businessman, art collector and calligrapher. He named his studio and collection the Xiang Xue Zhuang, alluding to the likeness between plum blossoms and fields of fresh, fragrant snow. Many Chinese artists give their studio and or collection a special name. This exhibition displays 130 works from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection, given since 2000 to the Asian Civilisations Museum by the Tan family in memory of their father. The exhibition also


has works by other Chinese/ Singaporean artists that were


In his leisure time Dr Tan practiced calligraphy and contemplated


Most of the art work in this exhibition was ink and colour on

friends of Dr Tan.

the paintings in his collection.

paper and attached to a scroll. I have cropped my photos to just


show the art work and not the whole scroll. This gives you a


This article concludes with a brief look at some Chinese


Tsze Chor’s.


more detailed study of the drawing/painting.

ceramics given to the Ancient Civilizations Museum by Dr Tan

Left : Portrait of Dr Tan Tsze Chor Li Lingjia 1963 Ink and colour on paper. Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection. Issue 41 - May 2021


W U Wu Changshuo (1844-1927)


Orchid and rocks





Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

Wu’s works were appreciated for their strong jinshi flavour, referring to a style of painting inspired by seal-carving techniques and epigraphy (the study of ancient inscriptions). In this painting, Wu conveys the spirit of the orchids and rocks through his expressive lines and complex layering of strokes and washes.

U O Issue 41 - May 2021




Wu Changshuo (1844-1927)


Prosperity and happiness




Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue

Ink and colour on paper. Zhuang Collection.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Left : Pomegranates Wu Changshuo 1925 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

In his colophon, an 82-year-old Wu calls this a painting for many children and a gift for a person named Zhonghao. Pomegranates symbolise fertility, lychees represent family closeness and the word for vase (ping) is a homophone for “peace”. Wu further inscribed: “The fruits are red; the ceramic jade green; singing and playing the sheng instrument; accumulating millet, fortune and


Right : Apricot Blossoms Wu Changshuo 1917 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang


Apricot blossoms allude to the beauty of a blushing bride. As a wedding gift, such a painting embodies wishes for fertility, and is appropriate for a wall hanging. Flowers like the apricot blossoms and wisteria symbolised the coming of spring and were subjects often requested by clients of Wu Changshuo. Issue 41 - May 2021


Qi Baishi


Part of Qi Baishi’s mythology was his peasant origins, to which he traced his unorthodox style. From the age of 14, he apprenticed with the local carpenter and wood carver in his Hunan village. It


was only in his thirties that he learned how to paint and write calligraphy. Qi developed his distinctive art style that brought him worldwide fame late in life, after he settled in Beijing in 1919. Art critics compared him with Wu Changshuo in the saying “Wu in the South and Qi in the North” due to their skill in seal carving and vigorous

brushwork. Qi’s paintings, which number in the thousands, usually have simple compositions and a strong graphic quality. He was known for his paintings of auspicious flowers, figures from popular mythology, genre scenes, and small creatures such as shrimps, frogs, rats and insects.

Left : Frogs



under lotus

Qi Baishi


1956 Ink and colour on paper. Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection. Issue 41 - May 2021


Qi Baishi Left : Lotus


and insects

Qi Baishi 20th century Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

Right : Wisteria Qi Baishi Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

It is uncertain if Qi met Wu in person in wisteria plant here is clearly influenced

by Wu’s his travels to Shanghai. Here the calligraphic manner with which he renders the twisted vines and tendrils of the style. By the 1920s, the two artist were often compared with each other.

Issue 41 - May 2021




Huang Pao Fang (1912-1989)

The stylistic debt that Huang Pao Fang owes to Wu and Qi is clear, with flowers in luminous colours, and the use of fluid brushstrokes in delineating branch and stem.


Huang studied at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts


painting at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

and when he came to Singapore in 1937, he taught ink




Left : Wisteria

Huang Pao Fang 1975 Ink and colour on paper. National Gallery, Singapore, gift of Chan Kok Hua of Qiu Zhai Collection.

Issue 41 - May 2021




Pan Tianshou (1897-1971)

Pan Tianshou was one of the great innovators in modern Chinese art. His compositions possess a bold graphic


effect with shapes delicately balanced by ample voids. In his brushwork, Pan experimented with linearity, modulating his lines with the brush or his own fingers.


Pan taught in art academies in Hangzhou and Shanghai.


and was appointed president of the National Hangzhou


abstract and individualistic in his art during the Cultural

He remained active after the Communist takeover in 1949 Academy in 1958. Sadly, he was accused of being too Revolution and died as a result of persecution.


Left : Lotus



Pan Tianshou Ink and colour on paper. Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

Issue 41 - May 2021




Zhao Shao’ang (1844-1927)

Peacock 1951 Ink and colour on paper.


Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.


This peacock is painted in a realist technique with fine

A O’


lines and carefully applied washes of colour. White paint is used as an undertone to bring out the brilliance of its eyes and turquoise feathers. The rock on which it perches, in contrast, is rendered in a freehand and expressive manner.


Issue 41 - May 2021



Appetite for Ren Yi (1840-1895)

Dr Tan Tsze Chor was best known for his collection of paintings by the famous Shanghai painter Ren Yi, also known as Ren Bonian. The artist Xu Beihong, a great admirer of Ren, helped Tan purchase these paintings from collections in Shanghai, including from Ren’s daughter. Xu saw the future of Chinese art not in the landscapes long favoured by the literati, but in Ren’s figure paintings.


Left : Zong

Kui on a mule

Ren Yi 1893 Ink and colour on paper. Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

Issue 41 - May 2021



Ren Yi


Zong Kui, the scholar 1881 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection. In this painting, the legendary Zong Kui assumes an


almost pensive air in his scholarly robes, with his back towards the viewer.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Ren Yi (1840-1895) Eight Immortals 1880 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

Groups of eight semi-divine figures called immortals emerged in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), in zaju operas and became popular in Ming novels (1368-1644). Their adventures often centred on the Tang poet, Lu Dongbin, journeying with the other seven immortals to the sacred Mt. Penglai. Amongst the most well-loved characters in Chinese mythology, the Eight Immortals were the ideal subject for Ren Yi. Here he paints them like homely figures from everyday life. This series of paintings, which Dr Tan purchased before 1953, was among his most treasured works.

Lu Dongbin and Cao Gojiu

Han Xiangzi and Han Zongli

Zhang Guolao and Lan Caihe

He Xiangu and Li Tiegual

Issue 41 - May 2021



20 Century Ink Xu Beihong and Pu Ru In 1919 a wave of student protests started in Beijing, that developed into an anti-imperialist and antitraditional revolution. This led to Chinese artists protesting and seeking to create a new Chinese painting for the 20th century. Some artists, like Pu Ru continued to paint landscapes in the traditional literati style. Xu Beihong, in

contrast, steered Chinese art towards neo-Classicism and European academic realism. As president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing under the Communist regime, the artist Xu Beihong was highly influential for Chinese painting in the 20th century. He made epic history paintings in the academic realist style of his teachers in Paris and Berlin, but with themes from

ancient Chinese texts. Following are a number of paintings by these two artists and this will enable you to see the different approaches they took.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Xu Beihong (1895-1953)


A pair of horses 1940 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection. This drawing was not on a scroll but under glass.


Horses, in the paintings of modern art pioneer Xu Beihong, symbolise China’s indomitable spirit in the face of war. Many were painted for fundraising exhibitions in southeast Asia organised in support of Chinese war relief efforts,






The Sin Chew Jit Poh newspaper


such horse paintings. Dr Tan told the





captured Shanghai and Nanjing in

reported in 1981 that Dr Tan had two reporter that to learn how to paint horses, Xu frequently visited horse ranches to film the horses.

Issue 41 - May 2021



Xu Beihong (1895-1953)



1939 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

These white-feathered geese are depicted in a naturalistic manner with white paint, which is not traditionally used in the Chinese palette. Dr Tan had personalised stationery printed with this image, which he used to write letters to his many friends.


Issue 41 - May 2021


Xu Beihong (1895-1953)

Deer under a pine tree 1932 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection. Xu painted this for LI Zongren (1860 -1969), a general in the Kuomintang and former military governor of the Guangxi region in China. The Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) founded and governed the Republic of China

after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Xu Beihong (1895-1953) Study for painting of Jiufang Gao, Connoisseur of Horses 1926 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

According to the Daoist text Liezi Jiufang Gao was a lumberjack (771-476 BC) with an uncanny ability to recognise good horses. His story is a parable of a wise ruler’s ability to spot talent amongst the common people – or, indeed, in a young artist. This painting of the legendary connoisseur was most likely made as a

study for a 3.5 metre-long work painted in 1931 (see below), with horses and all.

Xu Behong: juifang Gao, Connoisseur of Horses, 1931. Ink and colour on paper 139 x 351 cm .

Issue 41 - May 2021


Xu Beihong (1895-1953) Lion and snake 1938 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

Depictions of a lion and a snake in a deadly standoff, which Xu often painted for China

war relief fundraising exhibitions for the Sino -Japanese War of 1937-45. Xu’s interest in lions can be traced to the twenty months he spent in Berlin around 1922, after his scholarship money for study in Paris ran out. He spent his time there sketching lions in the Berlin Zoo.

Issue 41 - May 2021



Pu Ru (1896-1963) Figures in landscape 1937 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

The monumentality of northern China’s mountains is captured here using architectonic forms. Two


scholars gaze at a waterfall in the foreground, while the pavilion beckons the viewer’s gaze to travel upwards into the landscape.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Pu Ru (1896-1963) Left : Landscape with waterfall Early 20th century Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

Pu Ru displays here his mastery of cunfa (textured strokes) in defining the foliage, trees, rocks and boulders. In his colophon (inscription on the painting), he describes the mountain environment of the scholar recluse and his call for like-minded friends.

Pu Ru (1896-1963) Right : Waiting for rain on the lake Early 20th century Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

The composition of this painting echoes those made by the Cour Wangs of the Qing dynasty, whose works Pu Ru imitated and learned from at the start of his career. The poem at the top describes a picturesque scene of a waterfall on a faraway cliff and passers by on a stone bridge..

Issue 41 - May 2021


Hsu Chun-lin (born 1911)


Left : Ducks


Ink and colour on paper


1974 Liu Kang Family Collection

Hsu Chun-lin (born 1911) Right : Peaches 1979


Ink and colour on paper Liu Kang Family Collection

When Hsu Chun-lin returned to Chi-


na he kept up a correspondence


period of isolation. Both men were


in Shanghai. After China re-opened


Kang was finally able to visit his old


Hsu made these paintings for Liu


are symbols of marital love in Chi-

with Liu Kang throughout China’s alumini of the Xinhua Art Academy itself to the world in the 1970s, Liu friend. To commemorate two visits, Kang and his wife. Mandarin ducks na, while peaches symbolise longevity. Issue 41 - May 2021


Pan Tianshou (1897-1971), Shu Wenyun (1895-1939), Yu Jifan (1891-1968) Zhang Tianqi (born 1901), and Zhu Lesan (1902-1984) The Five Prosperities 1926 Ink and colour on paper Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

Pan believed firmly in the merits of traditional Chinese painting and advocated against the intrusion of Westernisation in Chinese paintings. In his years of teaching and practising art, he stressed the traditional approach of incorporating the art of seals, poetry and calligraphy into painting. This is a collaborative work of five close artist-friends who were active in both Hangzhou and Shanghai. The pipa fruit on the raised plate was painted by Zhu

Wenyun, with additions of calamus by Yu Jifan, garlic by Zhang Tianqi, mugwort leaves by his brother, Zhu Lesan and finally pomegranate flowers by Pan Tianshou. This group of artists were either students or admirers of the Shanghai master, Wu Changshuo.

Issue 41 - May 2021



M Lim Hak Tai (1893-1963) Loquat and rabbits 1942 Ink and colour on paper. National Gallery Singapore.

This painting was completed the year Singapore fell to the Japanese. The rabbits’ elusiveness is



particularly suggestive of Lim’s psychological state at the time – was he in hiding, vulnerable and shielded only by the lush loquats?


Issue 41 - May 2021



Wang Zhen (1867-1938)


Buttonquail and Chinese trumpet vines 1922 Ink and colour on paper. University of Kwakang Museum, Taipei, gift of Tan Tsze Chor.


Wang outlines the petals of chrysanthemum plants in quick, freehand stokes, then fills in with bright yellow and white washes. His teacher, Wu Changshuo inscribed a poem referencing the Six Dynasties poet Tao Yuanming (ca 365427), who famously wrote “I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge, then gaze long at the distant summer hills”. Wang was on the board of directors for the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts.

Issue 41 - May 2021





Chen Jen Hao (1908-1976), with calligraphy by Liu Haisu (1896-1994) Banana tree





Ink on paper. National Gallery Singapore, gift of Liu Hsien Mei.

The banana tree by Chen Jen Hao was painted in Shanghai, and possibly commemorates Chen’s imminent return to Malaya. Liu Haisu, prominent Chinese modern painter, inscribed two colophons on this painting. Although seemingly about the tree, they imply Liu’s admiration for the spontaneity captured in Chen’s brushwork.

O Issue 41 - May 2021


C H E N Chen Chong Swee (1910-1985) Kampong scene 1937 Ink and colour on paper. National Gallery Singapore, gift from the family of the late Chen Chong




This minimalist scene exemplifies Chen’s use of principles


of Chinese ink painting in depicting Singapore. Here, coconut trees link the attap thatched roof houses with a view of


the sky and the shores afar. (An attap dwelling is traditional housing found in the kampongs of Indonesia, Malaysia and

Singapore. Named after the attap palm, which provides the wattle for the house walls, and the leaves to thatch the roof.)


E Issue 41 - May 2021


Dr Tan’s blue-and-white ceramics Dr Tan’s blue-and-white ceramics Most of the Chinese ceramics from Dr Tan Tsze Chor’s collection given to the museum are blue-and-white “Transitional”



during the 16th or 17th century in the Jingdezhen kilns of Jiangxi province.

Rich city dwellers in late Ming China and the Japanese and Dutch in the export market, were the target clientele for these wares. Thus,




Chinese imperial power, like dragons and phoenixes, were abandoned in favour of foreign motifs like tulips and scenes from popular novels and operas.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Vase with scene of “Washing the Elephant” Transitional period (1620-83) Porcelain Asian Civilisations Museum, from the Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection.

The Chinese word for elephant is pronounced xiang and references the word for appearances. This scene can therefore be interpreted in a


sense as “washing away appearance to see things as they really are”.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Lorraine Fildes © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



the supermarket I look at them as they peer in silence at ghostly shelves. Numbed by such emptiness, they shuffle along turn into fresher aisles

which herald the same greeting…


something has failed them that has never failed them before,

So they linger in risk and await an awakening with an uneasy breath. Brad Evans © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021


I sit alone in a small garden

I sit alone in a small garden…

shadows lengthen and reach up walls while the sun makes for the West.

I sit alone in a small garden…

but I am not alone -

birds surround me in nearby trees and bluebells cluster in clumps beside my feet.

The skies cup a soft, egg-yolk haze as I look for the dark, darting shapes of swifts an early sign of summer, but apart from the stray wisps of high clouds, the skies remain empty.

I am brought to with an atish-oo as the flowers chide me with their sweet scents to forget such driftwood longings and consider the moment. Brad Evans © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



it was good to know you, Lucy

it was good to know you, Lucy, the way you handled that customer your aire of professionalism in that stare

of rage, you don’t have to tell me who earns ya wage when you have a customer a know-it-all wanting her egg hot in a salad


(an order so tall!) and you trying to explain it can’t be done in a microwave and her insisting so until the damn thing exploded.

And while you cleaned that whole thing up couldn’t you have stuck it on her plate just her and the egg for a date? Brad Evans © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021


the character oak A kiss away from St. Kilda I found the character oak. It’s wind-blasted trunk finally laid to rest by what came over the southern ocean. A feast of textures greeted me as my hungry sight fed on the character oak, those ripples of knotty bark like an old man’s wrinkled hands finally laid to rest. Brad Evans © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021


BEACH IN THE ICE Featuring Candy Porcelain by Seigar

Direct Link Video : Issue 41 - May 2021


Beach in the ice (Featuring Candy Porcelain) by Seigar. This video art piece explores the concepts of drag and identity. It focuses on communication and language as a way to be more inclusive. The work presents the drag queen Candy Porcelain in the Teide Mountain enjoying a day on the ice as if she were on the beach. She plays with the summer clichés in her chic outfit. The seasons’ twist reinforces the idea that drag is a form of art capable to transform reality and turn it into fantasy. This new video art is part of my focus on identity.

Team credits: Creative director: @jseigar Muse, actress, and inspiration: Candy Porcelain @iamcandyporcelain

Music: Sextium @davidofficialclub

Artist statement of the photo-narrative series: This series presents the drag queen Candy Porcelain in the Teide Mountain enjoying a day on the ice as if she were on the beach. She plays with the summer clichés in her chic outfit. The seasons’ twist reinforces the idea that drag is a form of art capable to transform reality and turn it into fantasy. This new photo-narrative is part of my focus on identity.

Team credits: Creative director and photographer: @jseigar Muse, model, and inspiration: Candy Porcelain @iamcandyporcelain

Issue 41 - May 2021


ABOUT SEIGAR Seigar is a passionate travel, street, social documentary, conceptual, and pop visual artist based in Tenerife. He feels obsessed with the pop culture that he shows in his works. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colours, curious finds, and religious icons. He also writes for some media and does video. His main inspirations are traveling and people. His aim as an artist is to tell tales with his camera, creating a continuous storyline from his trips, encounters, and experiences. His most ambitious projects so far are his Plastic People, a study on anthropology and sociology that focuses on the humanization of the mannequins he finds in the shop windows all over the world, and his Tales of a City, an ongoing urban photo-narrative project taken in London. He is a philologist and also works as a secondary school teacher. He is a self-taught visual artist, though he has done a two years course in advanced

photography and one in cinema and television. He has participated in several exhibitions and his works have been featured in many publications. He has collaborated with

different media such as VICE and WAG1. He writes for Dodho, The

Cultural, Red Hot Monde, Intra Mag, and Memoir Mixtapes about pop culture. Lately, he has experimented with video forms. His last interest is documenting identity. Recently, he received the Rafael Ramos García International Photography Award.

Webpage: Instagram: Galleries:

Issue 41 - May 2021


Still photographs from video featuring Candy Porcelain by SEIGAR.

All Rights Reserved on article, video and photographs SEIGAR © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021


NEWS Issue 41 - May 2021


NEWS Issue 41 - May 2021



Issue 41 - May 2021


CATHARSIS An exhibition of new paintings by Newcastle artist, Shelagh Lummis ‘Catharsis’, according to an online dictionary, is the ‘process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions’.


year 2020 has been a period which has invoked all manner of emotions for almost all those I know. Among my artist friends, collectively we

blessed our artistic leanings for giving us an ‘out’, a pond of creativity in which to dive and cleanse ourselves of the crap of sickness and loss of all kinds, whether it be human life or livelihood. For a long time there seemed no end in sight, though for us fortunate enough to live in the antipodes, the catchphrase has been ‘thank goodness we live here’.

And so, this exhibition is the result of that process of release, a period during which I have indulged myself in my favourite landscape imagery,

and playing with paint, my favourite pastime. Some of the paintings are of landscapes as they may appear if viewed through a wet window. While rain can be suggestive of purification and nourishment, as a subject it is intensely interesting to paint, endowing the work with elements of abstraction while suggestive of reality. When I prepare for an exhibition, I like there to be a narrative of some kind, so that the works on the wall may have some kind of conversation with each other. However, for this exhibition I found myself just wanting to wallow in the creative act, and in so doing return to the places I’ve loved best with no agenda.

As the works were completed and my studio filled with my imagined return journeys, I became concerned less about a ‘story’, remembering that paintings themselves are objects with potential for great power. While recognisable as landscape paintings, my process endeavours to suggest something intangible so that the art can exist in the mind of the viewer as their own experience, rather than mine. - Shelagh Lummis © 2021.

Page 288 : Rainy Day Blues, Oil on marine ply. (Series of 8), H60 x W60 cm. Shelagh Lummis. Issue 41 - May 2021



L A G H L U M M I S Morning Glory, Oil on canvas, H73 x W93 cm. Shelagh Lummis.

Issue 41 - May 2021


On any Given Day, Bar Beach, Oil on marine ply. (Series of 6) , H40 x W50 cm. Shelagh Lummis.

Issue 41 - May 2021



L A G H L U M M I S Lake Willows, Oil on canvas, H70 x W90 cm. Shelagh Lummis.

Issue 41 - May 2021


CATHARSIS Shelagh Lummis 7 - 23 MAY 2021 Opens at Art Systems Wickham, 40 Annie Street, Wickham, NSW. at 11 am on Friday 7 May 2021. The opening event will be from 3 pm on Saturday 8 May, 2021.

Cool Change 1, Oil on polyester, H83 x W63cms. Shelagh Lummis.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Issue 41 - May 2021



Here’s one way we’ve advertised Eclecticology, a live gig at the Royal Hotel Dungog on 16 May. It’s eclectic! It’s a rattlebag of performers in an afternoon of the engrossing and the peculiar. Donna Cavanough’s smoky voice and John O’Brien’s quitter voice performing as The De Factos (they ’re not married!) intends to resound through the room on sultry blues, arthouse and alternative sounds, self-accompanied on vibraphone, egg, SPDSX, and Pianica. Martyn Robinson plans to swing it out on the hurdy gurdy and whatever other instruments he remembers to bring. There’s a secret special guest lined up, nothing fancy – or IS IT?! And there will be both an educational and an audience participation component. And performance art. And gags. It’s Entertainment with a capital B! If you don’t enjoy yourselves, we’ll take our money back!

That sounds like great fun but Eclecticology has a serious side. Out of the entertainment we hope that people take pleasure in the unexpected, and discover music both fun full and thoughtful, grown from grass roots and crossing genres. (Inspired by Jacques Derrida’s famous article on The Law of Genre.) There will be songs about longing, art, nature and place. Unfamiliar instruments like the hurdy-gurdy and banjulele. Performance poetry, a lesson in song history, gags, dancing (Covid-safe) and a couple of extra musician’s fingers crossed. Our intention is to be a rich fruitcake of ideas comingling with miscegenated instrumentation. It’s all part of the Performing Artists of Dungog’s first season of gigs, so (on the following page) here’s an article about them now.

Page 234 : The De Factos - Donna Cavanough, John O’Brien with Martyn Robinson. Photo courtesy of John O’Brien.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Talent on Tap, just need a tap To some extent towns are defined by their potential for diversity within themselves. The resources, the assets, are often there. Then all that’s needed is the right energy for things to come to fruition. With that exploring attitude in mind, the Performing Artists of Dungog is a new performance community group whose aim is to nurture a culture of live performance in our district. We’re not reinventing the wheel – community groups and creative souls have long worked together – but we’re doing it in our own style, with what we have at hand. Luck, and maybe the current pandemic, have helped, and so has good timing and generosity of spirit. The PAD, as we call ourselves, are modelled on the success of another community group. We realised that secret of Dungog Artisans’ success was in no small part due to their ability to get an affordable venue for their arts and crafts work, plus a dedication to originality and local production. Well, there are singers, songwriters, jazz musicians, actors, dancers and more in the shire. Originality and talent weren’t an issue. And then the Royal Hotel in the main street gained new, community-minded owners, and suddenly we had a venue. A couple of small grants (from Arts Upper Hunter and the local council) gave us the impetus for a series of concerts, showcasing our range – funk, jazz, traditional folk, indy, and eclecticology – and the show was on the road!

Eclecticology is on Sunday 16 May 2021 at the Royal in Dowling St Dungog. Bookings essential. Book or learn more about upcoming PAD gigs here:

Page 237 : Top - COVID safe Sneaky Freakers performing. Bottom - Spellbinding show from Sally Corbett, Paul MacNamara and Craig Scott: Is This Jazz?

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs John O’Brien © 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021




Issue 41 - May 2021



PORT STEPHENS COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE : Shoal Bay Road, Nelson Bay, NSW. HRS: Mon - Sat Shoal Bay Road, 10am - 4 pm Sun 10 - 1pm. Issue 41 - May 2021


PORT STEPHEN’S COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER Port Stephens Community Arts Centre’s exhibition

from 21 Apr – 8 June our exhibition will be “Exploring Faces & Spaces as well as Spinners and Weavers”. Pop in to see our artists interpretation which could be - people, animals, clocks, urban landscapes – all these and more have faces just waiting

for your interpretation. This might be through paint, fabric, or 3D items. Spinners and Weavers have two years of creations to keep you warm this winter be quick!

The Feature Artists: 23 April Jeanette Robertson, 21 May Robyn Bailey. View pages 196 - 199. Detail: Papertole Kookaburras by Milja Phillipson.

PORT STEPHENS COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE : Shoal Bay Road, Nelson Bay, NSW. HRS: Mon - Sat Shoal Bay Road, 10am - 4 pm Sun 10 - 1pm. Issue 41 - May 2021





THE BAY, acrylic, H51 x W61cm. Jeanette Robertson .

Issue 41 - May 2021


FEATURED ARTIST : JEANETTE ROBERTSON I moved to Nelson Bay nearly eight years ago from the Northern Beaches. I have family living here and my sister introduced me to the Port Stephens Community Arts Centre as soon as I arrived. It was a great move! As I had always wanted to try my hand at painting but never had the opportunity to do so before moving to the Bay, I joined the Art Centre’s painting group and received a lot of help in learning to paint. My early attempts were pretty dismal, but I persisted as I was enjoying both learning a new skill, the excellent company and making new friends. I have since improved due to the advice and assistance I received at the weekly art sessions and some of the workshops conducted at the Centre by talented artists. Most of my work is acrylic, mainly land or seascapes, I particularly like depicting trees. I also work with pastels (mainly dogs) and charcoal. Lately I have tried experimenting with liquid art abstracts, messy but lots of fun. You never know what you will get. I remember my first sale, totally unexpected and the euphoria I experienced. I think I did a dance through the whole of the gallery. I still experience a great thrill whenever I sell one of my works. The Centre has a great many very talented artists and craftspeople and is a wonderful place to visit and buy art and gifts. Visitors are always impressed with the standard of work to be found. The Bay is also an interesting place to live with many varied activities. I have joined Probus and play croquet as well as paint. My days are filled. - Jeanette Robertson © 2021. HEADING HOME, acrylic, H60 x W50cm. Jeanette Robertson 2021. Issue 41 - May 2021



B Y N B A I L E Y CONTRAST, oil , H51 x W76cm. Robyn Bailey 2021.

Issue 41 - May 2021


FEATURED ARTIST : ROBYN BAILEY Art has always been one of Robyn’s passions. Robyn started her artistic career with a scholarship to East Sydney Technical College where she studied Commercial Art and Commercial Illustration. Robyn worked in art related roles in Sydney and Muswellbrook. Over about 30 years. Robyn has attended various technical courses and workshops in Ceramics, Water Colour, Lead Lighting and Silver Smithing. Robyn retired to Anna Bay in 1997 and joined the Port Stephens Community Arts Centre, The Newcastle Society of Artists and Maitland Regional Society of Artists. Robyn has won multiple awards in art competitions and her work is represented in many private collections as well as, The Newcastle Permanent Collection, The Max Watters


and featured in Australian Artist magazine. Robyn’s current painting direction presently lies in developing “Plein Air” skills and Portraiture and after a long association with life drawing groups she continues to enjoy the opportunity to enhance her drawing skills. - Robyn Bailey © 2021.

FREE FLIGHT, oil, H51 x W41cm. Robyn Bailey 2020.

Issue 41 - May 2021



Gallery hosts



program of quality monthly exhibitions presented by visiting and local artists and community groups. The gallery is a much loved and inviting space for artists and art lovers alike. Habitual bloodline tampering, Acrylic on Canvas H50 x H50cm. Jenna-Rose Orcher 2021.

GLOUCESTER GALLERY 25 Denison Street, Gloucester NSW. Issue 41 - May 2021




22 April - 20 May 2021 Larger than Life Ebony Bennett


17 June - 11 July 2021 Dots From My Heart


Jenna-Rose Orcher


THE SPEECH - another angry blak woman and the white audience. Acrylic on Canvas, H1.25m x W60cm.

Jenna-Rose Orcher 2021.

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April 16 – May 2


Athena Art Group




O May 28 – June 13


Of Magic and Myth Emilie Tseronis and David Matheson.

S Stewart, P Davidson, M McBride, V Hardy,


J Harrison, F Collier, M Dugan, J Kearns, L Carson & B Grieves.


I am …. (Newcastle)


May 7 – May 23






June 18 – July 4


Mike Moore & Jeff Lees.


M Marcatili, H Campbell, S Taylor, S Eve, K Gayner & K Bolton.


57 Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW


Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm

R Issue 41 - May 2021






57 Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW

Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm Issue 41 - May 2021

247 Shop 1-3 The City Arcade, 120 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300 Issue 41 - May 2021


Barbara Nanshe Studio Online Shop Handmade. Ethical. Bespoke. Unusual. Original. Individual Shop 1-3 The City Arcade, 120 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300 Issue 41 - May 2021


Gallery Gift Shop at Home An online store featuring a variety of wearable artworks - bracelets, scarves and earrings as well as homewares.

Issue 41 - May 2021





26 April - 09 May BROOCHING THE SUBJECT 5# 10 May - 20 June


Enveloping: Wilma Simmons


21 June - 01 August


Quiet Reflections: Amanda Charge


GALLERY - EXHIBITION OPEN - 90 Hunter St, Newcastle East . NSW. Issue 41 - May 2021




G RONDEZVOUS ...feet get dirty on the way, Oil on Canvas, Cliff Grigg.


Phone: 0431 853 600

Director: Colin Lawson Issue 41 - May 2021



APR 23 – MAY 2 ….



JUNE 11 – 27



JULY 2 – 11 ………………


JULY 16 – 25 ………………


ILLUSION him Mr Island, Oil on Canvas, Cliff Grigg.

40 ANNIE ST. WICKHAM, NEWCASTLE NSW. Issue 41 - May 2021







Arts Zine was established in 2013 by artists


Eric and Robyn Werkhoven. Now with a fast


Their mailing list includes many galleries, art



growing audience, nationally and internationally. collectors and art lovers. The Zine is free, with no advertising from sponsors. It is just something they wanted to do for the Arts, which has been their lifelong passion. Featuring artist’s interviews, exhibitions, art


news, poetry and essays. 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.

Click on cover image to view previous issue.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Click on cover to view the issue.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Click on cover to view the issue.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Click on cover to view the issue.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Click on cover to view the issue.

Issue 41 - May 2021





Interior Scene with Figures, acrylic on canvas H40x W30cm. Robyn Werkhoven 2020.

Issue 41 - May 2021


Issue 41 - May 2021


POETRY & SCULPTURE 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: E:

Page 260 : Left - Front cover, The Fall, Autoclaved aerated

cement / cement / lacquer, H32 x W46 x B38cm. Eric Werkhoven 2013. Page 260 : Right Organic Form, - Autoclaved aerated cement / adhesive cement / lacquer, H88 x W40 x B30cm. Eric Werkhoven 2012. Right : Eric Werkhoven at Studio La Primitive Photograph by Robyn Werkhoven.

Issue 41 - May 2021



D O N S N A P E 2 0 1







E Y 2 0 1 9 Issue 41 - May 2021


SCULPTURE ON THE FARM 2021 Sculpture on the Farm 2021 Dungog presents an extended 10 day exhibition of contemporary sculpture,

1 - 10 October. This year you will be able to explore the indoor works in the galleries of Dungog and then discover the wonderful treats that can be found in the many new shops and cafes in town. The outdoor garden and paddock works will again be displayed on the rural cattle property of ‘Fosterton’, only 8.24km from the main street of Dungog. Sculptors - Applications for entry will open mid March via the Sculpture on the Farm website Watch out for the Sculpture Dinners and Lunches which will be held in the wonderful Dungog restaurants

during the exhibition. Sculptors will be the guest speakers on these occasions, a wonderful opportunity to learn about the various sculpture styles and practices. Of course the James Theatre will be screening films and of course there will be a feature film on sculpture. Prizes again will be generous and Sculpture on the Farm will be acquiring a work to donate for public display in Dungog. Issue 41 - May 2021


Issue 41 - May 2021


Rhino Images - Art and the Rhinoceros Lorraine Fildes and Robert Fildes. 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 : Page 264 :

White Rhino crash at Whipsnade Zoo, England. Image: Robert Fildes © 2019. Issue 41 - May 2021


GALLERY ON DOWLING Helene Leane Jeanne Harrison

Emerging, Watercolour, W15 x H20cm. Jeanne Harrison.

120 Dowling St. Dungog NSW. Issue 41 - May 2021







224 Dowling St Dungog, NSW.

R I D A DungogbyDesign

Y Issue 41 - May 2021




















Shell Beach, Yarrangobilly, National Park. © Ken Rubeli.

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