ARTS ZINE MAY 2022

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s t u d i o

L A P R I M I T I V E

arts zine

issue 46 may 2022


S E I G A R seigar.wordpress.com


UKRAINE - LOVE IN WAR

GEORGE GITTOES

www.gittoes.com


Deborah Van Heekeren

https://www.instagram.com/debvanheekeren/?hl=en


CHERIDAN CHARD

https://www.flickr.com/photos/deco48/


www.studiolaprimitive.net


KIM LEUTWYLER

Jamaica Oil on canvas H18 x W24 in. Kim Leutwyler 2021

https://kimleutwyler.com/home.html


E D M

O N

Under her

skin #2

D T H O

M M https://youtu.be/23PqcGPJSmo www.thommenart.com.au

E

N


MARIKA OSMOTHERLY https://www.marikaosmotherly.com/

Load Bearer, Bronze, Styrofoam, wood, H34 x W9 x B8cm. Marika Osmotherly 2011.


slp studio la primitive CONTRIBUTORS Kim Leutwyler

Eric Werkhoven

George Gittoes

Robyn Werkhoven

Hellen Rose

Edmond Thommen

Cheridan Chard

Rod Pattenden

Deborah Van Heekeren

Athena Group

Marika Osmotherly

Helene Leane

Peter J Brown

Barbara Nanshe

Lorraine Fildes

Art Systems Wickham Gallery

Pamela Welsh

Timeless Textiles

SEIGAR

Newcastle Potters Gallery

Brad Evans

Dungog by Design

Reese North

Studio La Primitive

John O’Brien Bin Chicken, recycled mixed media, Margot Dugan 2022.


INDEX Editorial …………

Robyn Werkhoven

12

Studio La Primitive ……

E & R Werkhoven

13

Feature Artist ………..

Kim Leutwyler

14 - 37

Poetry ………………..

Eric Werkhoven

38 - 39

Feature Artist …………

George Gittoes

40 - 67

Poetry …………………

Reese North

68 - 71

Feature Artist ………..

Cheridan Chard

72 - 91

Poetry …………………

Peter J Brown

92 - 93

Feature Artist ……………

Deborah Van Heekeren

Featured Artist ………….

Marika Osmotherly

114 - 131

Poetry …………………

Peter J Brown

132 - 145

Feature Article …………… Lorraine Fildes

146 - 159

Feature Artist ……………. Pamela Welsh

160 - 169

Poetry ……………………. Brad Evans

170 - 173

Feature Artist ……………

174 - 187

ART NEWS……………….

SEIGAR

94 - 113

188 - 221

FRONT COVER : Tay, oil on canvas, W30 x H40 in. Kim Leutwyler 2020. Isolation Sheet, Oil on canvas, W51 x H76cm., Deborah Van Heekeren 2020.


EDITORIAL Greetings to ARTS ZINE readers.

Lorraine Fildes, our resident travel photographer and writer

May Arts Zine includes a collection of vibrant and fascinating Australian and international contemporary artists, photographers and writers.

features Colonnes Pascale (2012) - by Pascale Marthine Tayou. International Spanish artist and photographer SEIGAR includes a

Acclaimed contemporary artist Kim Leutwyler features dynamic portrait

paintings exploring notions of beauty, gender and queer identity. Internationally celebrated artists and film makers George Gittoes and Hellen

series of photos from Ksamil, Albania. Poet Peter J Brown presents a fascinating piece - Alienation: A Short Study of Leonard Cohen.

Rose include a selection of writing and excerpts from dispatches and Award winning Film and TV script writer John O’Brien presents

photographs direct from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Artist and photographer Cheridan Chard presents an article featuring her own distinctive style of photography, employing minimalist

compositions,

an April Fools’ Day Performance in Art News. Don’t miss out reading new works by resident poets Brad Evans, Reese North, Peter J Brown, and Eric Werkhoven.

and strong colours. Accomplished artist and author Deborah Van Heekeren is deeply inspired by Australian’s modern figurative painters and great literature.

ART NEWS and information on forthcoming art exhibitions.

Artist Marika Osmotherly - her practice initially consisted of figurative

Submissions welcomed, we would love to have your words

sculpture, later to develop an interest in philosophy, with particular focus on

and art works in future editions in 2022.

phenomenology and the sublime as elements of her expression of existential angst.

Deadline for articles 15th JUNE for JULY issue 47, 2022.

Artist and art educator Pamela Welsh is presenting a series of beautifully

Email: werkhovenr@bigpond.com

detailed sculptures based around the extraordinary life of Princess Alexandra of Bavaria.

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.

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Spanish Bull Early Collaborative drawing E & R Werkhoven 2008.

www.studiolaprimitive.net

S T U D I O

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KIM LEUTWYLER

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KIM LEUTWYLER Born in America, Sydney-based Kim Leutwyler migrated to Australia in 2012. She works in a variety of media including painting, installation, ceramics, printmedia and drawing. Leutwyler holds concurrent bachelor degrees in Studio and Art History from Arizona State University, and

additionally graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Painting and Drawing degree. Leutwyler's current body of work features paintings exploring notions of beauty, gender and queer identity. “Her sitters are people she admires and who are making a mark in the queer community. Using bold colour in a distinctive style, Kim involves her sitters in the process, depicting them with an exciting combination of realism and abstraction. Always innovating and moving forward, she is constantly pushing towards pure abstraction, exploring and experimenting along the way.” Her artwork has been exhibited in multiple galleries and museums throughout Australia and the United States. Some of Leutwyler's recent accolades include being selected as a finalist in the Archibald and Sulman Prizes, the Doug Moran Portrait Prize as well as the Portia Geach Memorial Award. Page14 : Agolley, oil on canvas, W40 x H40 in. Kim Leutwyler 2020. Right : Heyman, oil on canvas, W40 x H60 in. Archibald Finalist, Kim Leutwyler 2017.

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Cole Oil on canvas H40 x W40 in. Portia Geach Finalist Kim Leutwyler 2018.

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KIM LEUTWYLER - INTERVIEW When did your artistic passion begin? My immediate family is very artistic in their spare time, so I blame them for my interest in art! Mom often paints, Dad dabbles in ceramic sculpture and little sis does sculpture, painting, animation, printmaking, movie props and monster makeup. I dabbled in drawing and ceramics in high school, but after graduating I initially enrolled in Accounting for my University degree (I know...total nerd) and then made an impulse decision to switch to Art History. My parents were extremely supportive, especially when I layered in a degree for Studio Art focusing on Ceramics and Printmaking. They always believed in me, and I will never be able to thank them enough for that.

Have you always wanted to be an artist? Despite going to art school, I was never sure I wanted to ‘be an artist’. I just knew that I was passionate about creating work and sharing it with people. As time moved on and my work began to gain traction I decided that it was time to focus my efforts and give it a real try.

Describe your work? I create paintings of LGBTQ+ identified and allied people. My work toys with the concepts of glorification, objectification and modification. Throughout the work I push and pull the boundary between realism and abstraction, highlighting the layers and complexity of identity, gender and beauty.

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What is the philosophy behind your work? Gender roles are constantly evolving, and there are a multitude of societal and cultural permutations of LGBTQI identity

and feminism around the globe that make the concept of capturing the spirit of the Queer community seem like an impossible task to me. I paint those who are queer-identified and allied, primarily focusing on the people who have influenced my life or my community in some way. I am constantly seeking out opportunities to meet and paint an even larger and more diverse pool of the population. I can feel a shift coming, something to do with Queer storytelling. Not sure how that will play out just yet…stay tuned!

Why do you choose this material / medium to work with? To be perfectly candid, I came to painting out of necessity. I had studied printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, installation and several other mediums, and upon graduating I lost access to all of the facilities needed to create that kind of work. I began painting in my living room with my flatmate. She is an incredible artist and a wonderful teacher. From that moment on I was hooked. I decided to go back to University at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a degree in Painting and Drawing.

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Rhi Oil on canvas H40 x W30 in. Kim Leutwyler 2021

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What have been the major influences on your work?

My love of incorporating strong colour and patterns started with studying the Pre-Raphaelites, and grew with studying Kehinde Wiley. I was fascinated with textiles and patterns employed by the Pre-Raphaelites to contemplate moral issues of justice, beauty, piety and the struggle against corruption. When I began painting women in front of their favorite patterns I was quickly introduced to the work of Kehinde Wiley, who is best known for his realistically rendered portraits of heroic figures depicted in front of decorative patterns of various cultures. Upon realizing there was another artist exploring similar juxtapositions I looked to history for further inspiration. I was drawn to the paintings of Tenebrists like Caravaggio who worked on black gesso, painting only where the light hits a person or object. I began to incorporate bright patterned backgrounds with tenebrism, blending abstraction and pattern where the subjects shadows should be. The colours and patterns reflect the taste and personality of my Sitter.

It’s astonishing how male-dominated painting has been in the western art canon. It was exceptionally hard to find queeridentified women in mainstream art history books, so I turned to community articles and alternative texts. Two women immediately stood out to me during this pursuit. Romaine Brookes was a lesbian artist born in 1874 who painted her friends and lovers in all of their androgynous glory. Donna Evans presented ‘sexual deviants’ in such a way that 1990's popular culture viewed them as unfeminine, aggressive, and unattractive as a result of their body hair, age, muscles etc.

The list of influences could go on and on. There are so many artists to be inspired by!

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Faustina the Fuzz Oil on canvas H30 x W30 in. Archibald Finalist Kim Leutwyler 2019.

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What are the challenges in becoming an exhibiting artist? I have been so fortunate to be supported completely in the mainstream art world and academia. Many gallerists and teachers warned that no one would want to buy portraits of someone they don’t know, but I’ve found that to be quite the opposite. I’m so lucky to have a network of Collectors, Curators and reputable Artists who all encourage my exploration of representational art and portraiture. I’d like to see more diversity in the mainstream art world. Let’s honour our trailblazing predecessors by educating others on the accomplishments of our diverse community. We need to support curators who are working to improve gender and racial diversity in exhibits and museum collections, and gallerists who promote artists previously overlooked by a male-dominated art world of the past.

Name your greatest achievement, exhibitions? I was really pleased to receive a Sydney Mardi Gras Grant to put on my first solo exhibition. The show took place at Nanda/Hobbs Gallery in Sydney last year. I created 18 works of art that combined painting and augmented reality to represent the stories and experiences of a diverse range of LGBTQI+ people, including those who are trans, non-binary,

queer and gender diverse. It allowed diverse audiences to experience queer portraiture in a meaningful and engaging way using augmented reality on their smartphones and tablets. Imagery floated in the room around the paintings, including video interviews with the portrait sitters, still images of important moments from their lives, time-lapses of the portraits being painted and animations that bring the brushstrokes to life. I also hosted a Q&A with portrait sitters to stimulate debate, discussion and understanding about queer representation in the visual arts. It was a huge undertaking and I learned a lot through the process. Issue 46 - May 2022

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Sabrina and Newsha Oil on canvas W36 x H48 in. Kim Leutwyler 2020.

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Forthcoming exhibitions? I have several coming up over the next 12 months. Some of them are secret (for now), but here are the exhibitions I can share!

May 13 - "Interconnected” exhibition, New England Regional Art Museum [NERAM], AU 1-18 June - 'Mighty Real’ group queer exhibit by Clifford Chance + Glamazon, Sydney, AU 1 July - 3 Sep Grafton Regional Gallery Queer Art Show December - Dual solo exhibit with artist Blak Douglas, Nanda Hobbs, Sydney, AU April 2023 - Solo exhibit, Nanda Hobbs, Sydney, AU - Kim Leutwyler © 2022.

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Bec Oil & Acrylic on canvas H30 x W30 in. Kim Leutwyler 2016.

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Page 26 : A Nameless Song Oil on canvas H16 x W12 in. Kim Leutwyler 2021.

Left : Ben Oil on canvas W18 x H24 in. Kim Leutwyler 2021.

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Brian with pink, blue and yellow Oil on canvas W36 x H48 in. Kim Leutwyler 2020.

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Same, Same Oil on canvas W24 x H18 in. Kim Leutwyler 2021.

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Lucy Oil on canvas H40 x W30 in. Kim Leutwyler 2020.

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T Chick Oil on canvas W30 x H40 in. Kim Leutwyler 2017.

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Courtney and Shane Oil on canvas W30 x H40 in. Kim Leutwyler 2022.

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Giddyup Oil on canvas W40 x H30 in. Kim Leutwyler 2022.

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Conscious Uncoupling Oil on canvas H60 x W40 IN. Kim Leutwyler 2021.

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Christine and Michelle Oil on canvas W30 x H40 in. Kim Leutwyler 2021.

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Newsha Oil on canvas H28 x W20 in. Kim Leutwyler 2021.

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https://kimleutwyler.com/home.html

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs

Kim Leutwyler © 2022.

Left : Start the Riot, oil on canvas, W40 x H60 in. Archibald Finalist, Kim Leutwyler 2015.

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GENESIS - I Eric Werkhoven

Softly escaping back inside where all our comforts are ostentatiously described, to house the spirit of ourselves. Where we must know each thought in depth like an open or closed book, to reveal or not to give away too much of ourselves. The forbearers in whom we confide and whisper incantations of prayers, from the devout to the unscrupulous individuals. Thinking of what morsels we can devour, to expose some sharp crooked teeth to tighten a fish hook.

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GENESIS - II

I will probably softly produce a few drum beats, as if my whole being is repulsed by these rounded grating sounds. Native tribes that once again roam the land and in passing feast and dance,

mimicking the fire, warming the earth underneath its belly. While we once again pass through these waters in search for a piece of our own land, to see a house already built.

To divide and conquer death as our last citadel towers higher.

Eric Werkhoven © 2022. Issue 46 - May 2022

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GEORGE GITTOES

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George Gittoes - Ukraine 2022. 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. He produces poignant, rare images of the aftermath of terror, shock and death on the edge of human experience. Since 1986 he has travelled to many war torn areas, an eyewitness to the battles and killing-fields of including the Philippines, Somalia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Bougainville, and South Africa. In recent years his work has especially focused on the Middle East, with recurring visits to Israel and Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan and recently the violent areas of South Chicago USA., and at present the Ukraine.

It was 4am. in the morning at Werri Beach on the south coast of NSW. when George knew he must travel to the Ukraine to document and stand with Ukrainian people against the onslaught of Putin’s powerful and destructive Russian army and the brutal Wagner mercenaries. George’s partner Hellen Rose, an award winning film maker and performer will accompany him on this impassioned and dangerous mission to the Ukraine. They purchased their tickets and headed for Ukraine on Friday 18 March . Hellen and George had no idea what was ahead of them…. “ but the importance of artists and creators to stand up against the worst in human barbarity has never been more necessary.” In 2014 the Ukraine people fought for freedom and their human dignity at Maidan Square, Kyiv against their ruthless President Viktor Yanukovych. Protesters opposed widespread government corruption, abuse of power, the influence of oligarchs, police brutality, and violation

of human rights in Ukraine. Yanukovych was ousted, he fled to exile in south Russia.

Today again the Ukraine people fight for freedom!

The following pages include a selection of writing and excerpts from George Gittoes’ dispatches and photographs direct from the Ukraine. Russian invasion - Ukraine 2022. Photography : Kate Parunova, George Gittoes, Hellen Rose. Issue 46 - May 2022

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Maidan Square - Independent Square, Kyiv.

“We are in an old building - very solid and is situated in a maze of lanes which make it safe from missile strikes. We are on the third floor so a bomb could take out the top but we would be OK if in the bathroom. It is a miracle we are here. Our plan is to stay until the people come out on the streets to celebrate victory. I am not accredited yet as a media journalist , so could not film with the cameras until I have these clearances. I will get them in the next 48 hours. There are cops and soldiers everywhere checking people but all were nice to us and very happy to see Australians who describe themselves as Artists The multi award winning photographer , Sylvia Liber took this portrait shot of Hellen and George as they prepared to depart for Ukraine.

come to support.”

Below : George Gittoes in Maidan Square, Kyiv.

RUSSIAN ROULETTE – March When Hellen and I arrived here a week ago, today, every hour felt like we were literally playing Russian Roulette with our lives .Bombs and missiles were raining down all around Kyiv and the TV news was anything but heartening. The good news is that we have found our feet and begun to think this is survivable.

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‘LOVE IN WAR’

March 2022.

Hellen and I are calling our new film 'Love In War'. It will involve a similar process to the making of Soundtrack to War in Baghdad where I would go out onto the streets and ask Soldiers and Iraqis what music they were listening to but this time we will be asking to hear their love stories. Men have stayed behind to fight the Russians while many of their wives and lovers have sought safety as refugees . We will also ask what is their favourite love song. ………………………………………………………………. Earlier we had walked across Maidan Square to the main city road which has been heavily fortified and manned by a lot of jumpy soldiers – who bristle whenever I raise my camera. Obviously, they do not want Russians to see their anti-tank and other preparations. A young civilian guy who was caught doing a selfie on his phone with the defences in the background was surrounded by angry soldiers and being heavily chastised with threats to confiscate his phone. When Hellen began filming one of our regular social media posts on her phone the same group began to converge on us. I walked towards them unfolding our Media Accreditation papers. Once they read the papers and saw our Australian Passports they began to smile and apologised. The fact we have come all the way from Australia to support, goes down very well in Kyiv. I asked if any spoke English but non did. Unlike Poland and other European cities there are very few people in Ukraine who are bilingual and speak English. We are on a rapid learning curve to speak basic Ukraine. They beckoned a tall young soldier with his hair in a ponytail, Anton, over. I asked Anton if he was in the regular army and he said, almost shocked that I could think he was a professional soldier, “no I am an IT guy with computers, I’ve volunteered!” I told Anton that I wanted to make a film about love stories – about how lovers have been separated with the women leaving for safety and the men staying behind to fight and asked him if I could film his love story.” Then I got the bad news. There is an order than none of the soldiers can be filmed or speak to the media and never let their faces be recorded. This was the case in Baghdad

when I made Soundtrack to War. No US soldiers were allowed to be filmed without permission from their Media officers. I got around it then by finding soldiers who were prepared to break the rules and getting official permission through the Army Media Unit for others.

I am going to

have to do the same here. We are staying at Maidan Square, the most sensitive area of Kyiv city, and the guards near our apartment and at the end of our laneway have grown familiar with us. Today I will see if they are willing to bend and tell their love stories. - George Gittoes © 2022. Issue 46 - May 2022

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WAR IN EUROPE - VENUS AND MARS Gittoes is described simultaneously as a figurative painter, a modernist, a postmodernist, a social realist, a pop artist and an expressionist. Gittoes finished War in Europe -Venus & Mars just before leaving for the Ukraine. “War in Europe -Venus & Mars are working from Rubens two famous

paintings 'Peace' and 'Agony of War' . Rubens was a great diplomat and helped to end the war between Spain and England.”

War in Europe - Mars and Venus. Oil on canvas W 213 x H 184cm. George Gittoes 2022.

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INTO THE DRAGON’S LAIR “Into the Dragon's Lair is highly autobiographical with me taking Hellen under one arm as we go towards the Red Russian Dragon. Hellen's hair is black but in the painting it is yellow,

she is my Venus and the

background is in the yellow and blue of the Ukraine flag. Ukraine produces more sunflower oil than any other country in the world so we are going into Yellow House country with Vincent on our shoulders and

fields

and

fields

of

sunflowers.”

Into The Dragon’s Lair Oil on canvas H91 x W122cm. George Gittoes 2022.

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yellow


Saint Jon in Kyiv - George Gittoes April Fools Day in Kyiv Before I knew my friend Jon Lewis was dying from Dementia, I met up with him in Sydney and walked over to the Mitchell Library Gallery where he was proud to show me his exhibition of street portraits. I miss Jon deeply and wish he was here in

Kyiv. He would be out capturing the faces of this city under siege and bombardment, as he did when he travelled to the sinking Pacific Islands most threatened by Climate Change. The inspiring thing about great artist photographers, like Jon, is they teach us how to see one another with compassion.

There is an old lady who lives on the steps into the underground of Maidan Square, where we go to get our basic groceries.

Some days she fills the underground with the sound of her wailing – it is loud, endless and heart wrenching. Yesterday she was out in the sunshine, for the first time, sharing some of her crumbs with the pigeons. By now Jon would have zoomed in to her, engaged, bonded, and taken a series of portraits. I have not known how to approach her even though I know she is ‘The Scream’ of Ukraine.’

I have Jon’s photo of another old lady glued to my fridge, back at home, she is a swimmer, emerging from the surf at Bondi Beach, wearing flippers and an infectious smile.

Below it I have a polaroid, taken by Martin Sharp, of Jon and I at the

Yellow House in 1971. We both have cheeky looks on our faces because we had been up to mischief together. We were very young; I was 21 and Jon was a year younger. Jon has a stylish vertically striped jacket and bowler hat and I have the face makeup and a green cape from playing the Fox in our production of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s story of ‘The Little Prince’. Issue 46 - May 2022

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Drawings from sketch book - George Gittoes 2022.

Jon Lewis - (in Bowler hat) - Yellow House, Sydney 1971.

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I’ve outlived all my other closest friends from the Yellow House – Martin Sharp, Brett Whitely, Peter Wright, Albie Thoms and David Litvinoff ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’. I lost my youth at the Yellow House, when my girlfriend Marie Bribetaker took an overdose and died in our bed while I was away making a sculpture for our puppet theatre. Marie was proudly Ukrainian although she had spent much of her life in America as a refugee with her mother. We met in San Francisco and later she

followed me to the Yellow House in Sydney. Wherever I go in Kyiv I recognise places from the postcards and photos in her scrap book. Marie departed well beyond this world. I do not feel her spirit here, but I know she would be glad I came, and that Hellen is with me.

Yesterday Hellen and I walked to the Dante Park that looks down over the city. We watched playful squirrels in the trees

and Hellen felt inspired to film herself singing ‘Raining in my Heart for Ukraine’, on her cell phone. It is now posted on Twitter and Facebook.

I have not, yet, put on my frontline filmmakers’ hat, knowing that once I do, I will be fully absorbed and unable to pull myself back to safety. That starts tomorrow. For this April Fool’s Day in Kyiv, I am triggering the mechanics of getting

myself out with the Ukraine soldiers as they fight the Russians. I will be asking them for their love stories. - George Gittoes © 2022.

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Russian invasion - Ukraine 2022. Photography : Kate Parunova, George Gittoes, Hellen Rose.

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Russian invasion - Ukraine 2022. Photography : Kate Parunova, George Gittoes, Hellen Rose. Issue 46 - May 2022

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Russian invasion - Ukraine 2022. Photography : Kate Parunova, George Gittoes, Hellen Rose.

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THE ROCK - George Gittoes 3rd April There is a sense of possible victory in the air that is rising with the spring tulips that are beginning to push their way up from the soil. When we got on the train, with Kyiv as our destination, we did not know if we would ever get out and each day seemed like we were playing dice with our lives but that has changed to a deeper appreciation that we are lucky to be here.

Light snow is falling. I have decided to try not to wake Hellen, who is still sleeping and take my breakfast cup of tea

outside and write. I am

getting a bit of shelter from the awning over the front of the closed Victoria’s Secret store. From here I can see down into Maidan Square and have waved to the soldiers guarding our corner. I will bring them a hot drink once I’m finished.

Yesterday, lines from the ‘There was a Tavern’ song : ‘Those were the days my friend, We thought they would never end, We will sing and dance forever and a day’ fitted the mood in my head. Filming the Old City evokes that kind of nostalgia.

After 6 weeks of fighting the advancing Russian horde the people here have clicked into a new channel of feeling – the fear that ‘tomorrow we might die’ has morphed into ‘let’s live life to the max while we still have it and enjoy every moment – loving those around us more deeply than ever before’.

My appreciation of every minute I am still breathing has been moulded by the wars I’ve ‘been there’ in but what Hellen and I are experiencing ,now, with the people of Kyiv, is new. This is the first time I have felt my ‘way of being’ shared by all those around me. It must be what it was like to have volunteered for the Spanish Civil War, as Hemmingway and others did or as member of the French Resistance in WWll.

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Hard alcohol sales have been banned since our arrival. I told Hellen that our underground food store had begun selling it again, but she did not believe me until she went to check for herself. The shelves were emptying quickly as she stacked 3 bottles of Vodka in a plastic shopping basket. At the check-out Hellen found herself standing behind a beautiful, tall blond woman who wore army cams in a way that made them look arty and exotic. But what impressed Hellen the most was the casual way she had slung a shiny new black Kalashnikov rifle over her shoulder. Hellen asked if she could take a selfie with her. I could see Hellen envied the ‘look’. They made rapid friends as obvious kindred spirits.

Alyna introduced her partner and, of course, they were artists. The man’s name was George and he asked to shake hands when he heard my name was the same, taking his military hat off to show he had long hair, as well. He wore grey military gloves and had a crushing grip. In his other hand George carried a large 50 Cal weapon with ammolite, armour piercing shells. He was proud to tell us he was aged 52 while his wife, Alyna was much younger. Hellen dropped that I am 72 and George’s eyes popped open. He shook my hand again more firmly with a sense of amused disbelief. Alyna, who speaks good English, told us they are billeted ,with other bohemian and artist volunteers, at the large hotel on the other side of

Maidan Square. Their red shopping basket was full of booze and drinking snacks. We imagined a 24 X 7 party of the kind reminiscent of the early 20th Century, Paris Montparnasse scene, which the likes of Picasso, Soutine, Modigliani and Jean Hebuterne made legendary.

Inspired by her new friends, Hellen broke into singing ‘Raining in my heart for Ukraine’ to the delight of all the shoppers. George and Alyna clapped and invited her to come and perform on the large stage at their bohemian Hotel, explaining how good this will be for everyone’s morale. That is something we can look forward to.

I am accustomed to arriving at war zones to the stare of the ‘Great Leader’ following me from giant billboards – In Nicaragua it was Ortega, Iraq Saddam, Gaza Arafat, Syria Assad, Congo Kabila ,Kabul Karzai, but here there are no inflated images of Zelensky. If the Russians take this city, they will not have the satisfaction of pulling Zelensky’s statue down or plastering graffiti over his image. The Rock, Dwayne Johnson glares down from the single giant billboard that dominates central Kyiv. Across his broad chest, printed on his grey hoodie is: EARN GREATNESS. Issue 46 - May 2022

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Russian invasion - Ukraine 2022. Photography : Kate Parunova, George Gittoes, Hellen Rose.

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I was in Baghdad just prior to the American Forces entering the city. My closest exercise Gym was called ARNOLD

CLASSIC. Mr Sabba ,who

owned and ran the gym, like Saddam Hussain, was a huge fan of Arnold. So much so he named his only son Arnold and had a thick scrap book of Arnold clippings from his earliest success as a weight builder.. Mr Iraq, the National body building Champion, trained there and took me aside to whisper, confidentially, “When the

Americans arrive, they

should make Arnold President of Iraq. We need a strong man to lead us.” One day Mr Sabba came to me with a black and white photo of the young Arnold and pleaded with me to paint him on the side of the gym. I painted gigantic images of Arnold flexing his muscles on two walls facing the main road into Baghdad. When the American tanks rolled in they were greeted by my murals of Arnold. At the time Arnold was Governor of California. Mr Sabba wrote to him about the gym attaching photos of my mural. Arnold wrote back flattered. After a few months a container load of new gym equipment arrived complements of Arnold.

Ever since our arrival the prime Ukraine Television Station has shown very little of President Biden, but it has been playing Arnold’s message to Putin over and over again. The smartest intellectual friend I have in the US keeps telling me how worried he is that American Democracy is under threat. When I asked him who he thought could save democracy, he replied “It should be Arnold but that would never happen as they would have to change the Constitution.” Looking up to the Giant billboard of Dwayne Johnson presiding over Kyiv I wondered how long before we see Billboards asking Americans to ‘ Vote The Rock for President’, ‘Make America Strong Again’ or ‘Earn Greatness’. - George Gittoes © 2022.

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HOUSE OF ART - 13 April 2022 Russia wages war on art and culture.

We made the decision, back in Australia try to stay at Maidan – the square of the 2013-4 heroic Euromaidan protests where after months of protest through a freezing winter and many deaths and disappearances the pro Putin President Victor Yanukovych was forced to make a midnight flight to Russia. The Euromaidan protesters combined beautiful youths full of idealism with Orthodox Priests and older people including grandmothers and grandfathers. They were prepared to die for freedom from Russian control, and a lot did die. It was such a heroic stand that I continually wondered if we have a right to make a film here in the shadow of these heroes. People power that rose up and won but at a terrible price. We walk around the Maidan, feel the ghosts and are overcome with awe for those who stood up for right against power. Yanukovych won his election by promising to join the EU but did a secret deal with Putin to bind Ukraine back with Russia like Belarus. The protesters saw their future free of Russia and part members of the European community.

Few people outside Ukraine know the history of Maidan. The reason their soldiers, many volunteers, are so willing risk their lives is they intend to retain what the Maidan martyrs fought to gain. When I do interviews from Kyiv I am asked “What makes this different to all the other wars you have experienced?” I answer, “The passion of a whole population that is willing to fight the Russians to the end, even if it means losing everything.” So many have already lost everything. As we drive the back through blocks of Bucha and Irpin the house-by-house destruction begins to sink in. The media have been taken designated areas that show spectacular damage and loss of life, but it is possible these were

places of intense battle, and the surrounding areas could be intact. Our 33-year-old driver Kate knows Irpin well as it is where her grandmother has lived. Kate keeps repeating to herself but out loud, “I can’t adjust, I can’t believe any of this – I know it as it was and now it is gone.” We pass the University which has been gutted – the Russian V sign sprayed over bullet holed walls and then a colourful children’s playground beside a destroyed café, where mothers were able to have a coffee and chat while their kids played, the fence around the blackened structure is made up of short palings with pointed tips, painted like large, coloured pencils. Knowing I am an artist Kate wanted me to see the House of Art.

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The House of Art has been a made a target with every kind of ordinance in the Russian Arsenal fired at it. The roof is gone and the inside charred. There are two white soviet era statues between the front columns – a man on the right who could be a singer, a painter but definitely an artist and on the left a mother looking at us, as if into a bright future and holding an infant on her shoulder who has an outstretched arm in a gesture towards the sky. The child’s little fingers have been shot off and the man on the other side has a bullet hole over his heart.

Men like Trump and Putin surround themselves with gilded ornate furniture and expensive gaudiness. As true barbarians they hate what they do not understand, and art is at the top of their hate list. They like whatever is gold and glitters as affirmation of their wealth and power. Putin

would like to oversee the destruction of European and Russian culture.

I found a tin bucket, turned it upside down for a seat and drew the House of Art. I will develop it into a painting – a metaphor for this war on culture. As returning residents of Irpin passed, on the way back, to search through the rubble of their homes – they went out of their way to come and look over my shoulder, all saying how glad they were that art is happening again in this place of culture. As we drove out, we saw several of them beginning to make repairs to their bombed homes and we waved to them. - George Gittoes © April 2022.

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Russian invasion - Ukraine 2022. Photography : Kate Parunova, George Gittoes, Hellen Rose.

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REMAINS - Excerpt 8April

Borodyanka “The destruction in the town centre was the worst we have seen. High rise apartment buildings had been collapsed with the inhabitants buried in the rubble. We were ahead of the media and among the first to document this. Hellen almost picked up a fake baby wrapped tightly in swaddling clothes, a booby trap to deceive someone into thinking it was a real baby. Luckily, I was able to call a warning to her. The rubble and all around have been heavily mined. My years of experience with minefields meant I could negotiate the area and get footage without us being harmed. Europe has not seen this intensity of bombardment of civilian targets since Bosnia and WWll . Sarajevo all over again ……. will wars in Europe?” ever end?

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THE RUSSIAN BEAR – Excerpt 18 April “A fat, stuffed bear sits above a pile of rubble on the only remaining floor of a destroyed building, between two guttered apartment towers. This soft bear wears a smirk. A slit has been cut between its legs and a piece of masonry placed to cover it. At the bears foot there is the rotting skeleton of a cat.

The question is, who elevated this stuffed bear up onto a throne of rubble?

The Russians to symbolise their victory or Ukraine

Soldiers to ridicule them? Hanging from a 7th floor window in the building next to the bear someone had knotted sheets together to make an improvised escape rope from the apartments as they burned. I remember the

TV footage of people jumping from the windows of the Twin Towers . The destruction I have witnessed driving to Borodyanka , today, has been like a thousand 9/11s.”

Excerpt from The Punisher - 21 April “I had been at Borodyanka yesterday and found a beautifully illustrated children’s fairy tale book, opening to a page where a Prince aimed his bow and arrow at a six headed monster. There is still the sense of monsters outside. The Russians have gone but their after-evil aura dominates the atmosphere.”

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Base of the operations in Borodyanka, the former town administration centre. Russian soldiers have been doing tagging graffiti wherever they are.

“They have sprayed V signs and the Heavy Metal skulls everywhere. It is violently beautiful black and white - a primitive and sophisticated installation work of art and totally evil.”

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PUNISHER , Borodyanka, drawing from George Gittoes April 2022.

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Hellen Rose and George Gittoes in Irpin, Ukraine.

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25 April - Maidan, Kyiv. When we arrived in Kyiv Maidan the gardens were dark empty soil - very wintery and cold death. Over the last week Tulips have blossomed and yesterday , Easter Saturday , hundreds of families and lovers , old and young came to the square to take selfies in front of the Tulips . We have imagined that some day there will be dancing in the Maidan to celebrate the end of this war. For now the Russians have withdrawn from around Kyiv and people have come out from sheltering to embrace spring. The war has a long way to go but this was a special moment of joy for everyone.

EXCERPT - LATEST DISPATCH FROM UKRAINE - 29 April 2022. “We have settled into Odessa , arriving on an overnight train at 7am. We are in a very old rented city place with a balcony that you get to through a window. Odessa is like Kyiv was when we arrived 6 weeks ago , the city is deserted , like a ghost city. Sandbags over windows and at the front of businesses. Most businesses, apart from

food stores, are closed.

There is a sense of impending

doom. The air raid sirens have kept wailing all afternoon. We have heard a couple of explosions . We need to let the world know how wonderful Odessa is and how much of human culture will be lost if it is destroyed the way Mariupol has been . This place goes back to when it was a Greek Colony in the 5th Century BC. Putin is a big enough monster to destroy it.” - George Gittoes. Issue 46 - May 2022

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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. Hellen Rose’s short film "Haunted Burqa," has been selected as a semi finalist for Best Short in the Berlin International Art Film Festival 2022 and the Indie Short Fest, Los Angeles International Film Festival 2022.

www.hellenrose.com

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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.

www.gittoes.com All Rights Reserved on article and photographs George Gittoes © 2022.

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R

WINTER GLASS

E

E S E

After all those years on the road I never found who I was looking for. All those years of wandering yielded nothing but shades of memory,

who come to tap at my window

N O

R T

on cold autumn nights, depart with the shriek of the midnight curlew and leave their ghostly shapes on winter glass.

H Reese North © 2022 Issue 46 - May 2022

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ODE TO FISHERMEN (Newcastle 1958) Ferry bells ring at the mouth of the Hunter ripples of that ancient river lap against salt cracked timber. Midnight fishermen plop sinkers in the water where the silver fish of summer suck morsels in the tides ; these men who pray all year to the secrets of the river are weathered by the seasons and the sounds they hear: the chugging of the Stockton punt and the hooters calling men to work or telling them their day is done: and the ocean that cradles youthful dreams of half grown fishermen.

Reese North © 2022

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R

HODDLE STREET 1987

E

(A Clockwork Knight)

E

Warm tears in ravaged eyes … betray

S

inside a slum where the unrequited

E

a glimmer of incarcerated beauty,

guzzle their daylight to dusk.

In a cold brick room … a savage man

cocks his gun … then struts into the open.

N

You could strike a match on the static

O

He springs a killer’s trap.

R

Rituals of the mad … performed

T

where the homeless bed down despair

H

Love dies fast on streets with no pity.

in those streets.

on the footpaths and in the parks

with neon girls who trade their hearts.

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AT 24 They watch her but something in their eyes troubles her … they make her feel … hollow.

She leaves the bar … with its undertone of leather fantasies and barely concealed erections.

The streets always seem the same to her at this hour … the smokey neon faces, the wolf whistles of teenage boys and the cheap mascara of comely girls who pretend to resist their affections. She smiles at their simplicity .. & remembers the boy who kissed her against the factory wall at 16 … and left her … at 24. … She sighs and whispers ‘c’est la vie’ … her weary goodbye to innocence.

Reese North © 2022

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CHERIDAN CHARD

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CHERIDAN CHARD

Artist and photographer Cheridan Chard lives and works in Newcastle NSW. The following article features her own distinctive style of photography, employing minimalist compositions, rich strong colours. Many of the images have the quality of an abstract painting. Cheridan is inspired by artificial and natural forms that surround her in every day life, capturing a moment in time.

The following photographic gallery includes:

Architecture,

Abstraction,

Human

Element

and

Texture.

Photo on page 72 and left are Architecture.

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CHERIDAN CHARD - INTERVIEW I was born at Camperdown Childrens’ Hospital, Sydney, 1948. My schooling years were spent in Singleton - the mentality of behave yourself and watch your P's & Q's applied. My Stepfather was in the Police Force and Singleton being a small community at the time, all eyes were upon you. My Catholic education began at St Augustine’s, followed by St Xavier's, then St Catherine’s. I was surrounded by Nun's and city boarders. Art was never introduced to me in any shape or form, seeing the curriculum at St Catherine's was limited. The closest to art was in dress-making but drafting clothing designs didn't quite do it. Education came to a halt in 1963, and I was pushed into clerical work. Consequently, clerical was the familiar. This cloistered life proceeded until marriage. This union was spent at age fifty seven. The past decades came and went. The interest in design, colour, books & the human element has always been within me but I felt stifled in a way to express myself. Until i picked up a camera...

Fast forward to 2014, a friend suggested I had a keen eye, so I engaged with that notion. Another knowledgeable friend pushed me gently into Art School. I was terrified. Insecure about my lack of skills in drawing and painting. Being surrounded by much talent. Fortunately, I possessed 'mongrel' and 'intuitiveness'. I survived and proceeded into my second year with an Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts.

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I'm sure I took something away from School, but I felt painting especially was a lifelong practice. Being a 'lazy artist', it doesn't come so easy at times. I credit my former teacher Michelle Brodie in allowing me to express myself more loosely, and I still follow this approach to this day. Ironically, photography wasn't at the forefront, as I was happy with my spontaneous approach. It's a moment thing. My penchant for design continues to inspire me and is the driving force behind my work. Creators that excite are: Matisse, Whiteley, McLeod, Diebenkorn, Pochinski, Le Corbusier, Eames. Only to mention a few. I hover in between photography and painting (I especially love the 'invented face'). Currently, with the todays climate, I find myself struggling to paint however I feel inspiration is just around the corner.

Photography is always there. I feel good subject matter in abundance - such as reflective surfaces, light, movement, water, and narrative.

- Cheridan Chard © 2022. Issue 46 - May 2022

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P H

C

O

H

T O

E R I D

G A

A N

L

C

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H

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A

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Y

R D

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A R C H I T

E C T

U R A L Issue 46 - May 2022

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A B

S T R

A C T

I O N Issue 46 - May 2022

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H

C

U

H

M

E

A

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I D A

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L E

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T E X T U R E

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/ deco48/

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Cheridan Chard © 2022.

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P E

Learning the Fur Elise Often when I was a child, and my mother and I sat at the piano,

T

she would ask, would I have my life over, differently.

E

and reading Tillich’s theology, in which he asserts the Now of Eternity,

R

I return my mind to the other night, learning the Fur Elise,

This morning, listening to Saint Saens, which swells like roses in the snow,

under Megan’s tutelage, with the Flying Pickets roaring in the Summer breeze, and telling her I’ve wanted to learn this piece

J

since I was wayward seventeen, in search of the Golden Fleece. Emma played it too, the amazing elf-girl who seems so mature,

B

and expresses in her playing her spirit, which is wild and pure. Later I sat and stared at a painting of a country house

R

which has seen better days and lately fears the tread of mouse.

O

I saw the spirit of the genteel country, where the heart

W

and in the dreaming darkness I could see my mother,

N

is the sum of the matter, and the soul a mighty part, a girl who grew to age and pondered would she rather

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Have lived a life more filled with different things, and even now I see her as she sits and sings of happiness and love, the apple blossoms sweet and all the pain and pleasure that made the moment meet Eternity, as she sat there and played, and I, the child with the difficult moods, felt them all allayed. Then there is Emma, the dancing Elf-child, whose moods are young and so entrancing wild, And Megan, who is gifted with a feel for tune, who takes me fortune-telling under the bushfire moon, and there is me this morning, the sense of being stunned in a Summer’s dawning Which comes with roses and kisses, and children’s wishes, Roman triumphs and enchanted fishes, and always this sense of Eternity in the Now which is the gift of God, the Gospel Plough. - Peter J Brown © 2022.

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Deborah Van Heekeren

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Deborah Van Heekeren Accomplished artist and author Deborah Van Heekeren presently lives and works in Maitland NSW and has recently opened an art gallery TAR located at 6 Bridge

Street in Maitland, the city is fast becoming a mecca for the arts.

Heekeren is deeply inspired by Australian’s modern figurative painters and great literature. As a former University lecturer Heekeren’s passionate interest in the anthropology of

religion and myth is

absorbed into her paintings. Last year as an acclaimed writer she was awarded the 2021 Joanne Burns microlit by Newcastle Writers

Festival and literary journal, Spineless Wonders.

Page 94 : We Dance as One, oil on canvas, W 90 x H61cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2021. Right : Laura has a Brain Fever, oil on canvas, W 72 x H100cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2021.

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Deborah Van Heekeren - Interview I grew up in Sydney, the eldest in a large working-class family. Although I wanted to be an artist from the time I was old enough to hold a pencil, it wasn’t until I moved to the Central Coast with 3 young children that I had the opportunity for a

formal art education. I did my studio practice at Hornsby TAFE during the 1980s under the tutelage of some wonderful Sydney-based artists and eventually set up a studio at Woy Woy. In my early career I was a founding member of the Brisbane Water Art Group (BWAG) and the H-12 Group (of Hornsby graduates). I held my first solo exhibitions and participated in many group shows in Sydney and the Central Coast. Career highlights at that time included selection for the Edogawa Festival in Japan in 1995, and a number of prizes in competitive shows.

The economic climate of the early nineties took a heavy toll on the art market and I returned to paid employment. To improve my qualifications, I then enrolled part-time in an arts degree. I studied art history and philosophy before shifting to anthropology and gaining a PhD from Newcastle University in 2004. I joined the Anthropology Department at Macquarie University in 2009 as a specialist in Papua New Guinea and the anthropology of religion. I benefited from the opportunity for research and travel in the Pacific and Europe during that time and developed an interest in Medieval art. After moving to Maitland in 2013 and retiring from academia in 2017 I returned to what I love best. By 2018 I was deeply involved in Maitland’s burgeoning creative life.

Page 72 : Australian Soul, oil and paper on canvas, W92 x H76cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2020.

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For me there is a deep connection between visual art and poetry. To be an artist in the fullest sense is to live a creative life, and sometimes the lines between words, images, and domestic life intersect. My work is predominantly figurative, grounded in the modernist tradition of oil paint on canvas, with the occasional incorporation of collage and mixed media treatments and a leaning towards expressionism and the psychological. My early influences were the Australian figurative painters such as Nolan, Tucker and Boyd. I also admire the Russian artist, Marc Chagall (an influence also evident in much of Boyd’s and Nolan’s work). More recently I have been drawn to the religious art of the Flemish primitives and the Medieval period. While I mainly think of myself as a painter, I work across various media, often incorporating an element of drawing or collage into a painting as a way of setting up a theme or resonance. I enjoy having a home studio and believe it is important to allow for periods of play and experimentation in order to foster new ideas and techniques. In my painting I like to disrupt the surface of the canvas adding fabric or paper to create energy in the work.

When I first returned to my art practice after years of academic work, it was my garden and my grandchildren that inspired me. These themes are most evident in the 2017 paintings. In April of 2018, I curated (and exhibited in) a feminist group show, Lily Briscoe and Friends, in the gallery space at Brough House, a National Trust building in Church Street Maitland. The exhibition was named after a character in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, a woman artist working at a time when women’s art was not taken seriously. The show was conceived through the meeting of a group of local women artists who

were regularly coming to my home to draw. Subsequently I was invited to mount a solo show for Grossman House, a National Trust building adjacent to Brough House, in 2019. The collaboration called Disruption at Grossman House fell within the National Trust Heritage Festival. For the three-month duration of the show I replaced many of the period-style prints hung in the house with paintings that would challenge distinctions between modern and traditional. I wanted to emphasise that contemporary art belongs in homes (of all types) as well as galleries, and bring life and colour into Grossmann House to show that the past lives always with the present. Issue 46 - May 2022

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Dream House Oil and paper on canvas W76 x H92cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2020.

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The paintings for Disruption were carefully chosen from my existing body of work. They included some early feminist paintings as well as new work made in my Maitland studio. I aimed to transform every room of the large house. For example, rather than toasting Queen Victoria in the formal dining room, traditionally a men’s domain, viewers were challenged to reflect on the life of Marilyn Monroe depicted in a large painting I made for the 30 th anniversary of her death. In the nursery, my paintings reflected a more recent childhood, and the laundry provided an excellent location for a feminist installation. The show consolidated my desire to mount challenging exhibitions.

In 2020 (against the ravages of covid) I was fortunate that the timing of restrictions allowed me two major exhibitions. The first, Folding Not Ironing in the George Gallery at Hunter Artisan Café, East Maitland, was another feminist exhibition that focussed on the tension between making art and coping with the day-to-day tasks of domestic life. The Laundry, a painting from that show, was selected as a finalist in the inaugural Lake Art Prize exhibition at MAC, Lake Macquarie, bringing a very rewarding end to that period of work.

My second show that year, Beings at Humble House Gallery in the ACT, was conceptually very different. It was my first collaborative exhibition with friend, anthropologist and ceramicist A-K Hermkens. The oil paintings, ceramics, and mixed media works for Beings were largely a response to the recent drought. My own images were inspired by a road trip through the central west of NSW in 2018 and by the novels of Patrick White, whom I had read and admired for many years. I conjured images that expressed shared connections between the land and its human and animal inhabitants, whilst challenging the masculinist representation of life on the land.

Page 101 : Deborah Van Heekeren in her Studio. Photo by Eliza Bowles 2022.

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In my following show, Oz Mythology (June 2021) I further developed the themes in Beings. Both exhibitions showcased the developing influence of Patrick White’s novels on my current art practice. A Nobel Prize winner, and arguably Australia’s most renowned author, White’s biography is deeply rooted in the Hunter Valley region; his father owned a large sheep station, and his grandmother Mary Cobb was a grazier’s daughter from Maitland. And the magnificent Belltrees homestead near Scone has remained in the White family for more than a century and a half.

Painting Patrick White is the working title for my next show (from October 2022). The essence of the imagery comes mostly from two of White’s novels published in the 1950s, The Tree of Man and Voss. The human condition--understood as a struggle for life and meaning against the inevitability of death--dominates both epics. In the 1950s White was experiencing a religious awakening, and strong biblical themes permeated his writing. In fact, The Tree of Man was once described as an Australian Book of Genesis, and the character of Voss is often depicted as a messiah-like figure. The novels offer the opportunity to explore my interest in religious art. While my work is fundamentally a representation of White’s themes, the images are neither purely illustrative nor didactic. Rather they are expressive and open to broad interpretation, and like White’s characters and landscapes they are quintessentially Australian.

Although the past few years have been incredibly rewarding, re-emerging as an artist after such a long break has not been without its difficulties. For a woman to be taken seriously as a committed artist is always challenging. The idea that men are career artists and women are craft-makers or hobbyists is deeply entrenched in our institutions. We need studio space and exhibition space which is costly and scarce. As gallerists struggle through the aftermath of the pandemic, I have opened a small gallery in the quieter heritage streets of Maitland called The Art Rooms (TAR, or ART viewed a little differently).

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The gallery is an opportunity to show my own work, as well as that of local women artists who share my ideal of offering expressive, innovative, figurative work for new collectors. It is a space where visitors can feel welcome and relaxed and get to know some of the artists who work and exhibit in Maitland. I am currently looking forward to opening our first group show called PAPERWORKS, and year I will hang the

later in the

results of two years of

Painting Patrick White. - Deborah Van Heekeren © 2022.

The Calligrapher (Mudgee), oil on canvas, H 92 x7W6cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2020.

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D

G A L L E R Y

E B O R A H V A

N H E E K E R E N The Laundry, oil and paper on canvas, W 92 x H76cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2020.

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Laura's Gift Child (Holy Family), oil and fabric on canvas, W101 x H82cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2021.

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Voss is Decapitated Oil on canvas W72 x H100cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2021.

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Pin-up (Marilyn) Oil and found objects on canvas W102 x H129cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 1992.

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The Red Handbag Oil on canvas W76 x H92cm. Deborah Van Heekeren 2018.

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Laura Dancing in the Desert Oil and fabric (one of my old singlets) on canvas W61 x H61cm. Deborah Van Heekeren2022 .

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Childhood's Garden, oil on canvas, H 78 x W 122cms. Deborah Van Heekeren 2017. Issue 46 - May 2022 110


Childhood’s garden Outside the window

Still,

not far away

watching

a child’s silhouette hangs dark and flat

lazy acorns sprouting where they fall

black stillness longing

among mulberries,

for a past that lingers

mouldy tennis balls, and withered thongs

Still,

watching

The window rattles

as the seasons turn

disturbs the languor

as the garden grows and dies

childhood flaps its wings and scurries into the twilight

Still,

-Deborah Van Heekeren © 2017.

watching as fruit ripens and rots beneath the swings outgrown, as old chooks scratch and scratch

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Days Like These She maintains a barbie-doll body

Idols of masculine pleasure In landscapes composed Passively posed

Toned and taut beneath a frothy skirt

Come hither

Makeup masks a perfect face

(On days like these the barbie-doll

Gloves protect her hands

won’t look at you won’t see you

from the tasks she undertakes They make her fumble

only sees herself has internalised that gaze)

Slow her proud determination High fashion shoes flatter her ankles

but do nothing for her equilibrium

Perhaps they were the best of days

Carefully groomed from head to toe the weight of expectation makes her sway She must hang on or feint away Get through this worst of days Where have they gone? The reclining nudes The fleshy figures of Matisse and Rodin Women of leisure

Days Like These Oil on canvas H91 x W61cms. Deborah Van Heekeren 2020.

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TAR ( The Art

Rooms)

6 Bridge St. Maitland, NSW.

https://www.instagram.com/debvanheekeren/? hl=en

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Deborah Van Heekeren © 2022.

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MARIKA OSMOTHERLY

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Marika Osmotherly Artist Marika Osmotherly grew up in the Netherlands and came to Australia in 1994 presently based in Newcastle NSW. Her practice

initially consisted of figurative sculpture but during her

postgraduate studies she started to develop an interest in philosophy, with

particular focus on phenomenology and the expression of existential angst. in 2013 and was

sublime as elements of her

Marika finished her Master of Philosophy

employed as a casual academic at the University of

Newcastle in the discipline of sculpture from 2009 -2013. She exhibits both nationally and internationally.

Artist statement Based on intensely personal events that have influenced my life, my interest lies in the philosophical premise of the fragile human condition and the attempt for us as human beings to overcome feelings of fragility and insignificance. I consider the importance and relevance of existence on a personal level, not only from a migrants point of view in one place or another, but more so in an existential sense. The aim of my studio practice is to communicate the metaphysical notion of human existential significance or lack thereof and to translate this into three-dimensional form. Photography is regularly used as a supportive medium and to document work done in the field.

Page 114 : Unbearable Lightness I, Putty, sandstone, H40 x W15 x B8cm. Marika Osmotherly 2008. Right : The Carrier, Plaster, stone, wood, H52 x W18 x B12cm. Marika Osmotherly 2015.

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MARIKA OSMOTHERLY - INTERVIEW

I was born and grew up in the Netherlands, and moved to the U.K. in 1988, where I worked as a physiotherapist in and around London for 6 years. In 1994 I migrated to Australia with my family and settled in Newcastle, NSW. After taking time out to raise my two daughters, I commenced my undergraduate studies in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle in 2001. My art practice initially consisted of figurative sculpture but during my postgraduate studies I started to develop an interest in philosophy, with particular focus on phenomenology and the sublime as elements of my expression of existential angst. I finished my Master of Philosophy in 2013 and was employed as a casual academic at the University of Newcastle in the discipline of sculpture from 2009 -2013. I also taught drawing and sculpture classes at the Arts Emporium in New Lambton. I exhibit both nationally and internationally.

The choice to start a Fine Arts degree came when I realised that my Dutch Physiotherapy degree was not recognised in

Australia, and I was therefore not allowed to practice in this country. There has never been any regret about this change in career. From a very young age I enjoyed drawing and playing with clay but somehow it was never raised as an option to take this further and make it into a career path. A few years ago, I came across an old report card from kindergarten with the following comment from the teacher: "Marika is a dreamer but give her block of clay and she's in her element". The creative streak has apparently always been present. Page 92 : Marika Osmotherly in her studio. Photo courtesy of artist.

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Certain intensely personal events that have been of great influence on my life, have aroused my interest in the philosophical principle of the fragile human condition and how we try to overcome feelings of fragility and insignificance. I look at this on a personal level but also from a migrant's point of view. The aim of my studio practice is to communicate the metaphysical notion of human existential significance or lack thereof and translate this into three-dimensional form. From early in my art education, I have been particularly intrigued by the work of Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Other influences include Giuseppe Penone, Bill Viola, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker, Lee Ufan and the Milan Kundera novel ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’. The heavy burdens we carry in life have been given shape through the use of rocks in varying sizes, held up by increasingly fragile, small figures. The rocks gradually increased in size and the figures became smaller. This eventually culminated in delicate orange twigs that attempt to support those rocks or even whole rock formations. Orange is a recurring colour in my work as a reference to my Dutch heritage.

The winged figures that developed later can be interpreted as a lifting of the burden, as a lightness that allows the freedom of an unencumbered life. As birds are the ultimate winged creatures, I also explored the metaphor of the crow to make a statement on the deterioration of our world’s environment and the existential angst connected to this.

My work consists of mainly sculpture in a varying array of materials. From bronze to found objects, fiberglass and

ciment fondu. Plaster is a material that I have worked with a lot. It is very forgiving, and I like the flexibility and immediacy it provides. The surfaces are usually treated with varying paint applications. Photography is often used for inspiration, and to document work done in the field. I have used photos to convey concepts that would have been impossible to render in physical 3-D form, for instance the images of tiny orange sticks holding up an entire cliff face. To challenge myself and experiment with different media I have recently started to paint more. It was wonderful to put colour on the canvas and let my mind wander. Some interesting abstract paintings were the pleasing result of this effort. Issue 46 - May 2022 118


Lightness of Being, Sandstone, bronze, wood, H26 x W35 x B16cm. Marika Osmotherly 2009.

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My studio space is at home. I work best in peace and quiet without too many distractions. I like to work in silence so I can hear myself think. Recently COVID has affected my output of new work. The fact that I have not been able to travel, both for inspiration and for a family visit to Holland, has had a big impact. I fully expect that an upcoming trip overseas will have a positive effect on my art practice. To see my mother and brothers and some dear old friends after 4 long years will be food for the soul. The separation from my loved ones has brought to the fore migration issues that I would like to explore further. My DSLR camera will most likely play a major role in getting inspired again. I imagine the orange twig will make a return.

The challenge of being an exhibiting artist is the always underlying pressure to keep producing new and exciting work, for me recently exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Because of the isolation we have all experienced, I have started to realise how important the connection to my family and my homeland are to the core meaning of my art. I am very much looking forward to regaining focus and start exhibiting again in the near future. The opportunity of exhibiting internationally and being included in the Rotterdam Art Fair in 2008 were definite highlights in my career. What has aided my resolve to get busy again in the studio is my involvement in the upcoming group exhibition at the Owens Collective in June by the Bothy Wunderkammer. From Newcastle and beyond, the Bothy Wunderkammer Collective was formed in 2021 to foster a greater understanding of art and to present ‘glocal’ artists to the broader Newcastle public. As entrepreneurial creatives, the

collective is committed to cultivating active collaborations and partnerships with the local community and with each other through the delivery of stimulating works of art and art exhibitions, artist talks, educational programs and as independent art consultants.

- Marika Osmotherly © 2022.

The Bothy Wunderkammer exhibition will be held at The Owens Collective from Friday 17 June – Sunday 26 June 2022. Issue 46 - May 2022 120


Load Bearer Bronze, Styrofoam, wood H34 x W9 x B8cm. Marika Osmotherly 2011.

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G A L L E R Y

M A R I K A O

S M O T H E R L Y Issue 46 - May 2022 122


Page 122 : Unbearable Lightness Bronze, sandstone H41 x W13 x B10cm. Marika Osmotherly 2008. Right : Unbearable Lightness II Putty, sandstone H38 x W13 x B10cm. Marika Osmotherly 2008.

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Digital Photograph, Marika Osmotherly 2013.

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Digital Photograph Marika Osmotherly 2013.

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Digital Photograph, Marika Osmotherly 2013.

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Take these broken wings and learn to fly, Plaster, stone, wood,

H42 x W8 x B8cm. Marika Osmotherly 2015.

Take these broken wings and learn to fly, Plaster, stone, wood, metal

Marika Osmotherly 2015.

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Page 128 : Scavenger Crow Plaster, glass H27 x W18 x B15cm. Marika Osmotherly 2018. Left : Scavenger Crow I Plaster, wood H38 x W25 x B20cm. Marika Osmotherly 2018.

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Abstract I Oil on canvas H20 x H20cm. Marika Osmotherly 2021

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https://www.marikaosmotherly.com/

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Marika Osmotherly © 2022.

Left : Abstract II, Oil on canvas, H20 x W20cm. Marika Osmotherly 2021.

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Alienation: A Short Study of

Leonard Cohen

Peter J Brown

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Alienation: A Short Study of Leonard Cohen Peter J Brown I am as interested to study my moods at fifteen as I am to write of Leonard Cohen, therefore this essay covers only some songs from Songs of Leonard Cohen (CBS, 1970), as I understood them in 1970, aged fifteen. I first heard “Suzanne” on a CBS compilation of some influential stars and songs of rock, including “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane and “Stoned Soul Picnic” by Laura Nyro. All these songs had an influence on me, so I joined a record club and soon owned Songs of Leonard Cohen. I would like to start by looking at “Suzanne”, which I first heard with Wayne Darwen in the Autumn of 1970 on that compilation album. “Suzanne” is fairly straightforward and sincere, beautiful and easy to understand, albeit using very complex and subtle language”:

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river, You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night forever, And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind, And you think that you can trust her ‘cause she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

It was a world of natural wonder that I hardly knew: a woman by a river. I had swum in rivers, but never known any nest or bower of bliss that any woman had there; or of any woman who had one – a place near the river, that is. Not that I knew a lot of women either. I knew boats, though, more than most suburban boys my age, because my father had built one, a 25ft cabin cruiser, and we had often sailed in it, before the price if diesel became prohibitive. “You can spend the night” – is it “beside her” or “forever”? Either way, it suggested the exotic wonder of sea and Blake’s idea of Eternity in “Auguries of Innocence” – “to see Eternity in an hour”. It struck a responsive chord in that adolescent romanticism of mine – and of others like me. It was the birth of understanding in me. The idea of travelling with a woman. It hardly sunk in, but nearly fifty years later I understand it perfectly – visualize it vividly. Issue 46 - May 2022 133


But why would you travel blind? Had I a propensity for seeing and solving riddles that one would have been a beauty. I had no notion of why or why not to trust a woman, or anyone for that matter, but what struck me like lightning was the idea that she could “touch your perfect body with her mind”. My body was perfect, and I realized and I realized that I could love a woman who would love me with her mind. I loved the intellectual things. I loved Bacon and Kafka and Plato and so many others – Darwin and Sartre and especially Nietszche, who was no despiser of the body or mind. But then, Cohen insists that “you know that she’s half-crazy but that’s why you want to be there”. At fifteen I had no understanding of mental

illness. There was something exotic in the idea of wanting a woman because she is half-crazy. Since then I have known and loved crazy women, and there is nothing but tragedy in it. One went mad and was institutionalized for life. Another suicided. Another suffers the hostility of a small town and the ineptitude of small-town medicos and other sadists. Worst of all, I loved all three of them, and their pain is my own. I think what motivated me to fall in love with mad women is a feeling of innate pity for another’s suffering. I am attracted to suffering because I understand it. I am empathetic. Cohen continues: “ And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China”. Well, no one had ever done that for me but my

adoptive mother Dorrie, and there was no saying that these came from China. I had never seen Chinese tea, neither Lapsang Souchong nor Formosan green tea. I hardly knew anything about China, except that it was a long way away and very foreign. I entertained no aspirations to speak the language, though I was fluent in French and Latin. I knew that China was a Communist country, but it would have been a revelation to me to learn that Mao Zhe Dong had been responsible for the deaths of 70 million of his own people, if we accord with Jung Chang. Then:

And just when you mean to tell her That you have no love to give her, Then she gets you on her wavelength And she lets the river answer

That you’ve always been her lover. Issue 46 - May 2022 134


If I’d thought very deeply about those times, I’d have realized that what I responded to in this was the role of the tough guy, James Bondish, as much as a fifteen-year-old can be; an anti-hero. The root of this was the subtle emotional stunting that I had experienced, knowing from a young age that I was an adopted only child. Quite a combination. Yet I had really wondered what love is. I knew that I felt it for my adoptive father and mother. I had blocked out any concept of my natural mother then. If I had thought any more deeply I would have been very confused indeed. It was my experience in love at first that I did not indeed have a lot of love to give. Was it because of assimilating the idea of this song that predisposed me to never be able to fully commit to a woman? At any rate when I met Marianne Quick a few months later, a girl with a really beautiful mind, I knew love; but I had lied to her about my age, and a flourishing love affair came to nothing. I could well understand with Marianne that we had been lovers since the dawn of time, and my emotional education began to edge forward, slow ahead, and certain. With Marianne, it was as permanent as Eternal Recurrence. She was a Fifth Former at St. George Girls’ High, a selective school, and she was brilliant. She was doing First Level German and French, and I’m not sure what else, as it was all so long ago.

Cohen introduces a note of the religious, and the nautical:

And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water, And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower, And just when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him He said “All men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them”, But he himself was broken long before the sky would open, Forsaken, almost human He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone.

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Of course this appealed to my religiosity, and also to my sense of myself as “a man who sailed the sea” (to borrow from the Beatles), or more as the child who was cabin boy to his own father. I had a very religious upbringing, as an Anglican, and even today as a Recovering Christian (to use Richard Dawkins’ term), I see the Bible as at very least an important document in understanding Bronze Age culture, and Iron Age, of course, and the ideation of Prehistory, Roman Colonialism, human psychology, the nature of Western fiction, and God knows what else. Jesus as a watcher from a tower was very appealing. The idea that the historical Jesus was aware of the inadequacy of those who would follow him (“drowning men”) is perplexing even now. Back then it was simply richly symbolic. Is it a curse for men to be sailors? A merciful release to be freed from the sea? I scarcely internalized it, back then. It was simply something strange, and not even surreal, because I had no concept for that back then. Cohen contrasts Jesus’ being broken on the Cross with sinking beneath a fallible wisdom. It satisfied my taste for symbolism, back in 1970, but I could not have told you what it meant. Of course this appealed to my religiosity, and also to my sense of myself as “a man who sailed the sea” (to borrow from the Beatles), or more as the child who was cabin boy to his own father. I had a very religious upbringing, as an Anglican, and even today as a Recovering Christian (to use Richard Dawkins’ term), I see the Bible as at very least an important document in understanding Bronze Age culture, and Iron Age, of course, and the ideation of Prehistory, Roman Colonialism, human psychology, the nature of Western fiction, and God knows what else. Jesus as a watcher from a tower was very appealing. The idea that the historical Jesus

was aware of the inadequacy of those who would follow him (“drowning men”) is perplexing even now. Back then it was simply richly symbolic. Is it a curse for men to be sailors? A merciful release to be freed from the sea? I scarcely internalized it, back then. It was simply something strange, and not even surreal, because I had no concept for that back then. Cohen contrasts Jesus’ being broken on the Cross with sinking beneath a fallible wisdom. It satisfied my taste for symbolism, back in 1970, but I could not have told you what it meant. And:

There are heroes in the seaweed, There are children in the morning, They are leaning out for love And they will lean that way forever While Suzanne holds the mirror. Issue 46 - May 2022 136


Again these lines are quite enigmatic. They were mysterious then, and now nearly fifty years later I am confused by them, and hesitant to interpret them, but I will try. Maybe the heroes are those soldiers lost in seaborne invasions such as the Normandy landings on D-Day, 1944, in WWII. Of children in the morning, theirs is a beautiful and innocuous innocence which most of us remember well from our own childhood, and we all know what it is to lean toward love; and often to our bitter surprise we find that we will lean to the end of time, or at least our time on earth, and not find it. And what is this mirror that Suzanne holds? Vanity? Does she use it to reveal us to ourselves? Can we even know? Cohen’s invented formula “You’ve touched her perfect body with your mind” presumably refers to mental perfection, as much as to a half-crazy mind. Either way, the song is a revelation of spirit and the nature of love done with perfect symbolism and technical excellence that found at least one convert – me, in the Autumn of 1970. There is a song whose title I do not remember, but let us call it “Travelling Lady”, and back then I knew it to have some bearing on how I related to my adoptive mother. It goes

Travelling Lady, stay awhile, until the night is over. I’m just a station on your way, I Know I’m not your lover. Well I lived with a child of snow when I was a soldier, And I fought every man for her until the nights grew colder. She used to wear her hair like you except when she was sleeping, And then she’d weave it on a loom of smoke and gold and grieving. And why are you so quiet now standing there in the doorway? You chose your journey long before you came upon this highway.

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The night, of course, could just be a night, finite in duration, and perhaps lonely or difficult in some way, so that you would wish it to pass, or at least that you could have someone to pass it with. Back in 1970, I imagined the Travelling Lady as an aristocrat in furs like my adoptive mother’s, or my mother as her, either way. Dorrie had furs and jewelry, a fine mirror and crystal containers to put her ear-rings in, sitting on a walnut cabinet. It was comfortable. I recognized, of course, that I was in no way her lover, but rather a beloved son – and that was more than a way-station. In her own way she was “a child of snow”, fragile and evanescent as crystal and snowflakes. There was no man that I knew of to fight for her, yet I imagined myself a soldier, on the basis of having a plentiful collection of war toys when I was younger, but I wanted to be a soldier, if only to prove that I could be that to her. At the same time, the Vietnam War was raging (“the cruel war is raging, Johnny has to fight, I want to be with him from morning until night”), and having read and internalized Bertrand Russell, I wanted no part of war. Further, as to being “a child of snow”, I recognized her mortality (as in “Carrick Fergus” – “all my friends are gone like snow”) and her vulnerability, particularly in response to my father’s often intimidating attitudes, which worsened as the years passed. So he, at least, was one man I fought for her, if only by passive resistance and witnessing. For Cohen, the winter cold was the cold of Europe or Canada, when ice forms, but I had never seen snow in Australia. All the same, she was that subtle and transitory person that the Travelling Lady was for Cohen. I understood the pains she took to set her hair, a female habit on this patriarchal planet; but the loom that the Travelling Lady wove it on was the loom of malign Fate that Jewish women experienced in Europe during WWII. It is unmistakably that “smoke and gold and grieving”. The smoke of ovens in the concentration camps, the gold of their teeth, the grief. Cohen stills the mood for a moment, with the Travelling Lady standing in a doorway, representing in a Zen moment the conflict between free will and determinism, the choice and the highway. Understand that I loved Dorrie. She was always, and in a moment years ago in her room I had this understanding of her, that she was not only a lonely figure, but a tragic one. “Master Song” is another kettle of fish. I remember pondering the song on bright Autumn mornings in 1970, not unlike this one in 2013, which has turned rainy in a second. No wonder 62% of Americans believe in climate change. No wonder I feel like a scholar in Ancient Rome, trying to preserve something of our intellectual culture with the Barbarians at the gate or worse, the Weather. On those Autumn mornings in 1970 I listened to the emotive power of Jose Feliciano singing “Adios Amor”, and Tamla Motown doing “Love Child”, and I pondered Leonard Cohen.

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What could it mean, this “Master Song”. What could it mean to me? Was is a pun on Der Meistersinger I would ask now, though I had only just started listening to classical music back then. Andy Bankier was in hospital with a broken neck, so there was no friend to walk to school with. I reserved contemplation of his plight for Tuesday evenings, when I would drive to the hospital with his parents, Alec and Ruth. I suppose I was depressed. There is that in Cohen too – aspects of a depressive sensibility. “Master Song” tackles a kind of sado-masochism, which in those days I sort of understood, but it was a psychological thing rather than whips and chains. I realized with a sort of repressed understanding that I was a kind of slave myself, brought up to gratify the emotional needs of two old people, but at what cost to myself? At what cost to the natural mother of whom I had the barest glimmer of understanding? I had no concept of who she was, or what she was, or how she suffered, as I do today. The song was couched in indirect terms: “I believe that you heard you Master sing/ while I was sick in bed./ I suppose he told you everything that I keep locked away in my head”. Well, Cohen is incapacitated. He is vulnerable to the designs of the Master, powerless to stop the objectification (I was going to say degradation) of the slave. The Master can read Cohen’s mind, and humiliate him by revealing it to the Slave. This is a great deal more sophisticated than whips and chains. It is psychological servitude.

One of the most unpleasant things I ever saw on television was in an episode of Rome where a slave woman addressed her mistress as “Lady” and gave her an adoring look. It was disgusting how she had internalized her submission. Cohen skates on the edge of this. For me, there was something in it which I did not want to admit to. As Tom Petty asks, “Tell me why you would lay there and revel in your abandon?” (From “Refugee”). Petty’s song goes “We both know that you’ve been kicked around some/ But we don’t talk too much about it/ maybe you’ve been kidnapped tied up and held for ransom./ It don’t really matter to me , everybody has to fight to be free, you don’t have to live like a refugee”. Petty’s story is direct, frank, honest, compassionate, and personal. Cohen’s is not. It is obscure, suggestive, confused, even dishonest. With the benefit of hindsight, Petty’s has a kind of truth which in 1979, when I was a homeless hippie, was more than motivating. This is not to say that Cohen is wrong in what he says or how he says it. The relationship between the Master and the Slave is a “dirty little secret” and needs to be expressed in such terms. Cohen comments, “I suppose that he told you everything/ that I keep locked away in my head”. So the Master is a mind reader too. Even more, his capacity for aggressive and evil intimacy brings out the vulnerability in Cohen.

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Is it the Holocaust which he thinks of privately? Is it the sordid ugliness of The Doll’s House? Or like that scene in The Pawnbroker where the Germans smash a man’s head through a window so that he can see them copulating with his wife? This would surely explain the German Shepherd with the “collar of leather nails”. There is an implied compassion in this Beast, thanks to which “he never once made you explain or talk about all of the little details”. What the details are no one knows, but it is certain that they concern private things – though what the worm and the rock signify is beyond me, unless they are the product of some didactic automatism, or really just thrown in for weight. As for “who had you through the mails”, that appears to be something to do with blackmail; or a pathetic correspondence course in sleazy sex. As a corollary, Cohen is a prisoner to whom she brings some “wine and bread”, suggestive of peasant food or the Eucharist. To make the incarceration worse, the Master “touches your lips now so suddenly bare/ of all the kisses we put on some time before”. It is he who has a right to intimacy, and not the prisoner Cohen. It is a subtle imprisonment, not unlike the refinements of the torture of the adoptive situation. Another song of alienation and estrangement is “Stranger Song”, which begins “It’s true that all the men you knew were dealers who said they were through with dealing every time you gave them shelter”. This was 1970. A year later I’d have seen the dealer in a different light, but in 1970 I saw the dealer as a card dealer, through the lens of the cards I used to pay from childhood into adolescence. A few months earlier, a dozed of us had played cards until dawn on New Years’ Eve 1970. It cannot have escaped me back then that a dealer could be a person for whom, as Nietzsche said, “My virtue is a gambler’s virtue”. I take risks, I play well, I win big, I lose graciously, if at all. The dealers are men of the ignorant ‘60s – chauvinists, users, creeps who cannot see beyond a one night stand, alcoholics. To gain “her” sympathy, they pretend that they will give up the gambling; they buy their shelter with worthless and insincere promises which only serve to demean “her” still further. Cohen edges his way into her affection by confiding “I know that kind of man”, and indeed his understanding appears to go to a very deep level, a sort of Freudian level, or more so the insight of the pop psychology so respected in the ‘60s – “It’s hard to hold the hand of anyone who is reaching for the sky just to surrender”. He is self-destructive. There is a double entendre here – the reaching for the sky may well come from Paul Brickhills’s tale of the airman Douglas Bader, Reach For the Sky; or it could be the stuff of cowboy fiction. It is about insecurity. Cohen lays it on thick. “He wants to trade the game he knows for shelter. It is dramatic – it suggests on the one hand self-abnegation, by giving up a practice he is secure in; on the other a self-transcendence, where the essential things in life become more important than the excesses of gambling. “Then he leaves the platform for the sleeping car that’s warm, you realize he’s only advertising one more shelter”.

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Obviously, he goes from place to place, from game to game, from lover to lover, with no sense of loyalty, gratitude or affection (to borrow from Dylan’s “One More Cup of Coffee”). He is estranged from normal like and affection. Yet he is the kind of man the protagonist continually falls for, like the victim of violence going back to the perpetrator. She is attracted to robots without feeling, but what does that mean to her? What does it matter to her? “You’ve seen that kind of man before, his golden arm dispatching cards, but now it’s rusted from the elbow to the finger”. So at first he was an object of admiration, but later of pity. In my limited and estranged experience, pity is the birth of love. But why? I cannot really explain or understand it – perhaps I should read more pop psychology. Of course, The Man With the Golden Arm is a novel by Nelson Algren about Junkies. But this one does not inject heroin, he is “dispatching cards”. “Now another Stranger seems to want you, to ignore his dreams, as though they were the burden of some other”. Bear in mind this kind of person is “looking for the card that is so high and wild he’ll never need to deal another”. He is a Stranger. What on earth is this? Is he a victim or a product of existential estrangement? Is he like Camus’s L’Etranger (The Outsider)? He is outside of conventional society, and possibly outside the law. He wants to score big, and escape from the mundanities of conventional society. This, it would appear, is what she loves him for. This is why she more than tolerates him; she assents, she condones, she is willing. Therefore, “You say okay, the bridge or someplace later” – the bridge could be Munch’s bridge in “The Scream” It could be Nietzsche’s “Man is a bridge and a perilous crossing”; or Dylan’s bridge, across which “Country Doctors ramble” (Love Minus Zero). So Cohen leads into tales of female innocence, and indeed male innocence, and the innocence of real love. These are “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye” and “So Long, Marianne”. The former begins “I loved you in the morning/ Your kisses deep and warming/ Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm”. At fifteen this was something I had never experienced and madly wished to. To sleep with a woman would be “a consummation devoutly to be wished” (Shakespeare, Hamlet). To glimpse that beauty in post-orgasmic splendor would be really something, but mainly the love would have been what I really wanted. However, this is Cohen’s reality and not mine, and for Cohen there is always some barrier to perfect happiness. So “but now it’s come to distances and both of us must try, Your eyes are soft with sorrow, / Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye”. But why are her eyes soft with sorrow? Does she not want him to leave? Yet he pains her soft eyes in delicate colours. Her sorrow has a lilac shade, and it will not do. To borrow from Louis MacNeice, “It’s no go”.

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“Yes many loved before us/ I know we are not new/ in city and in forest/ they smiled like me and you”. When I bring these lines to mind now I am reminded of the longstanding alliance between male and female. It particularly reminds me of my son and his girlfriend Clare. He is strong and she is graceful – and it has been that way since the dawn of time. (I have been trying to find a way to say that for the last year). Thinking of years of living in the city and the country I realize I like the country better. Outside my door I hear a variety of birds singing. You do not get that in Sydney – only traffic noise.

I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time, Walk me to the corner our steps will always rhyme. You know my love goes with you as your love stays with me, It’s just the way it changes like the shoreline and the sea.

I vividly remember Christmas 1995/96, when I had Liam and Neri, two of my three children, on Christmas Day at Bundabah. It was to be the last time ever there, because the house was sold, and I had completed revising my MA. For about the first time ever I let them walk home without me from the water to our house. I quoted these lines to Neri, and she has quoted them back to me for years. After dinner I cried so hard

that we had to lie down. My eyes were not soft with sorrow, they were racked with rivers of sobs like rain, and pain.

I thought I could have said something better, yet a gentleman does not kiss and tell, though I must say there is nothing I like as much on earth as the look of female hair in bed in the morning. And the glimpse of an eye, of whatever colour.

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“So Long, Marianne” is another tale of tender, sensitive, and normal love, albeit in the context of a relationship passing. It begins, however, with the patronizing lines “Come over to the window my little darling,/ I’d like to try to read your palm”. I have only heard an adult woman referred to in the diminutive, as a “little friend”, once in my entire life. It is patronizing, and Cohen should have known better, but without wishing to make any special pleading, I would have to say that such sexist modes of address, and worse, were common in the ‘60s. If not then why the Feminist backlash against them? As for palm reading, it was the type of con that was fashionable back then – an excuse to touch a woman’s hand, leading who knows where. Yet it is also part of Cohen’s self-conceptualization: “I used to think I was some kind of Gypsy boy” . Whatever can that mean, except what it says? He renames himself as an alien child, living by his wits in a society which persecutes him, yet rising above it. But then, this was “before I let you take me home”. He lets her take him home. Back in the ‘60s, I never heard of a person reluctant to be taken home and presumably seduced. In the chorus, “so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began to laugh and cry…. About it all again”, it sounds pretentious, suggesting a worldly wisdom which is artificial in a young man, and more than a bit silly, something like the pronouncements of ageing liberals about having a drinking session and “solving the problems of the world”. Cohen again drifts into the obscure. “Now I need your hidden love”. What hidden love? What is hidden? Her hooded clitoris? Something occult in the love-making? Worse, “I’m cold as a new razor blade”. Not for nothing is his music referred to as razor blade music. Again it is that depressive sensibility. Cohen speaks of ennui too, something like the myth of Sisyphus – not an accidental reference to Camus. “Just when I climbed this whole mountainside, to wash my eyelids in the rain”. It is akin to Dylan’s river of tears, but with more of an outdoorsy feeling. Again he is patronizing. “Oh you’re really such a pretty one”, as with so many mystically-inclined people he is concerned with naming. In my experience as an adopted person, one of the things that hurt the most was being arbitrarily named by people who had no business naming me at all, with something Gnostic about it, deriving from my adoptive father’s interest in Masonry. There is nothing quite as abnegating as being given a random handle, which is anyway false and a forgery. It sound like the worst kind of betrayal, of people who loved and raised me, and whom I loved dearly too, but that is part of the adoptive experience that you could never understand unless you had lived it. Experience vecu, as Sartre wrote: lived experience. And one lives it for a lifetime. Being adopted is a lifetime sentence; a ticket to alienation and a mauvais foi which would have to be known to be understood. By mauvais foi I mean not merely bad faith, but bad faith in the Sartrean sense of being uncomfortable in your role in life, uneasy in your own shoes, like an actor badly miscast.

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One of the prettiest lines in all of Cohen is: “We met when we were almost young, deep in the green lilac park. You helloed to me like I was a crucifix/ as we went kneeling through the dark”. Here too is a sense of role-playing – the sage writer looks back on is youth. How else could one refer back to being almost young. Odd, but pretty, like “the green lilac park”, which successfully contrasts green grass with purple flowers. As for “helloed”, it is “ave” or “hail” to an icon of religious veneration, which in my life I have come to see as something like an instrument of torture. Richard Dawkins comments in The God Delusion that modern Christians would do well to hang an icon of a gas chamber around their necks. Having said that, and vented my own spleen, I am aware that for Cohen, as for a billion other people on this planet, standing ten deep in the shoes of their ancestors, to borrow from Robert Ardrey, the cross is a symbol of transcendence – of one man transcending a cruel death ordained by Roman conquerors, and giving a hint of the divine in existence, and that quality of life which has a certain eternality anyway. “Stories of the Street” is a bold attempt to describe the realities of what Jeff Nuttall called “Bomb Culture” (In Bomb Culture, 1971): the cultural response of the Western world to the fear of imminent annihilation by the rapidly increasing arsenal of nuclear weapons developed during the Cold War. It is in some ways a song about being “street-wise”, but it is more than that. Cohen introduces a note of masculine bravado in “the Spanish voices laugh”. He emphasizes the gulf between the rich and the poor where “the Cadillacs go creeping by through the night and poison gas.

I know you’ve heard it’s over now and war must surely come. The cities they are broke in half and the middle men are gone. It is world war, civil war and class war all rolled into one. And more, there are people broken on the wheel of Karma: Oh Lady with your legs so fine, oh stranger at your wheel,

You are locked into your suffering and your pleasures are the seal.

Here, Cohen represents the dichotomy between the Lady and the stranger, the fundamental dialectic of The Songs of Leonard Cohen. In conclusion, I hope I do not need to say much more than that. During parts of my life, Cohen has defined my world, particularly for me as a victim of lifelong alienation, with a love of women and a poetic soul.

- Peter J Brown © 2022. Issue 46 - May 2022 144


LEONARD COHEN Leonard Cohen was a Canadian who became a highly respected and influential singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, depression, sexuality, loss, death, and romantic relationships. Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist during the 1950s and early 1960s, and did not begin a music career until 1967 at the age of 33. His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen 1967. He died in Los Angeles USA in 2016.

PETER J. BROWN Newcastle poet Peter Brown is a retired school teacher with a Masters degrees in Australian and American literature. Brown has travelled widely around large parts of Australia, Bali and New Zealand. He enjoys painting and walking. Brown’s poetry was published extensively in Kangaroo and New England Review during the eighties and in Poetry at the Pub (Newcastle) anthologies during the last thirty years.

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

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Peter J Brown © 2022.

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COLONNES PASCALE L O R R A I N E F

I L D E

S Issue 46 - May 2022 146


Colonnes Pascale (2012) - by Pascale Marthine Tayou When in Sydney be sure to visit the NSW Art Gallery to view this wonderful ceramic installation which was purchased in 2021. These towering ceramic sculptures are currently displayed as a centrepiece in one of the Grand Court Galleries.

Pascale Marthine Tayou was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in 1967. He completed a law degree in Douala, Cameroon in the early 1990s but soon began practising as an autodidactic artist. A socially conscious visual

activist, Tayou emerged on the national and international scene with drawings, sculptures and installations that focused attention on the AIDS crisis in collaboration with the Douala-based Doual'art Association.

He now belongs to a group of African artists who redefine postcolonial and blend experiences of their

birthplace with those of Europe. His work combines various mediums and seeks to artistically raise questions about globalisation and modernity. A lot of his art is monumental; large-scale pieces built for maximum impact. Tayou does not see himself as an African artist, but his work is bound up with the cultures and communities of Africa and its identity within the rest of the world. He now spends his time between

Cameroon and Ghent, Belgium. Issue 46 - May 2022 147


Tayou prefers to work with materials that he comes across in his everyday life, and which take on new meanings in the context of his installations. His work is directly influenced by the scenes he witnesses in the countries he visits. He collects items such as; train and airline ticket stubs, restaurant and shop receipts and labels or wrappings for socks, razors, batteries and plastic bags, from his journeys. Tayou reuses and

recycles objects. Colonnes Pascale, Tayou’s five columns, are made from 140 ceramic vessels and lids found by the artist in Marrakech, Morocco. The ceramic designs are of North African origins, while occasional chips and imperfections, intentionally left by the artist, point to individual stories of use and exchange. From the photos you can see that these columns reach high into the vaulted ceiling of the Grand Court Gallery where they are displayed. Their abstracted form and rich colours may cause a reaction for the observer, something so modern to be found exhibited in an old style Victorian gallery with Victorian paintings.

On a number of occasions Tayou has visited Sydney and is familiar with the Art Gallery of NSW. In 1998 he participated in the 11th Biennale of Sydney. His works are held by major museums internationally including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, Denmark; Bandjoun Station, Cameroon; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, Abu Dhabi, United Arab

Emirates; and the Bass Museum, Miami, U.S.A. Issue 46 - May 2022 148


The exuberant art of Pascale Marthine Tayou is rich in symbolic and technical overlaps. The artist

him-

self says, ”Colour is the tool to make things talk”.

His works can be thought of as a cultural bridge between Africa and Europe. Above : Pascale Marthine Tayou. Photograph : Ela Bialkowska Courtesy : Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin. Left : Colonnes Pascale (2012), NSW Art Gallery. Issue 46 - May 2022 149


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All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Lorraine Fildes © 2022.

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PAMELA WELSH

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PAMELA WELSH Ceramic sculpture artist. Mudgee based artist and art educator Pamela Welsh is presenting a series of beautifully detailed

sculptures based around the extraordinary life of Princess

Alexandra

convinced she had piano as a child.

of

Bavaria,

swallowed a

who

was

glass grand

Pamela’s intricately detailed

sculptures portray a series of princesses who suffer from this rare psychological condition known as ‘glass delusion’. The exhibition invites us to explore

their

baroque, transcendental

worlds which captures the

hypnagogic state

between wakefulness and sleep or the dichotomy of reality and fantasy.

The Princess & the Piano Pamela Welsh Fri 8 April - Sun 26 June Mudgee Arts Precinct, 90 Market Street. Mudgee NSW.

Open 9am - 5pm, seven days a week.

Folie de luv (barefoot and pregnant) , 40 x 22 x 30cm. Multi-fired, hand painted, glazed earthenware. Pamela Welsh 2022. Page 160 : Falls Asleep (Hynagogic Princess - detail), Multi-fired, hand painted, glazed

earthenware. Pamela Welsh 2021- 2022.

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Bird Bath, earlier work.

Pamela Welsh in her studio . Photo by Christine Pike.

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PAMELA WELSH - INTERVIEW By Christine Pike Do you come from a creative family? Not especially but I understand that I had a grandmother who drew and I have one of her drawings. I went to a cartoon movie as a young child

and my Mother recalls how I came home and drew one of the characters out of my head. She was impressed with the likeness so I suppose she encouraged me after that and always gave me paper and things to draw with along with lots of encouragement.

Are you self taught or learnt through other means. Eg uni, art school or mentor? Combination. My parents would not let me do art at the beginning but I just was so interested that they gave up and let me. Then I got a scholarship and went on to do university with a BA Visual Arts Newcastle. I would look for people doing clay and learnt from them. I taught visual arts in high school for a long time and had a good time doing it, I really enjoyed teaching students making art.

How has your ceramicist sculpture evolved over the years?

“You once worked very large.”

Originally I wanted to make big figurative works, so I made birdbaths. Sculpture with a utilitarian purpose, they were popular and sold well. During a storm a tree fell down destroying my large kiln. At the time only smaller kilns were available so I shrugged my shoulders and thought I would work smaller and add pieces to achieve larger scaled works. The small works became more detailed, I changed my clay to a colour that I really liked so all those things combined has led me to where I am now.

I notice you have a strong female form presence in your work? I enjoy portraying the female form. There are more woman in my life than men. And I am a woman. It started when my daughter modelled for

me when she was about 18 years old . Issue 46 - May 2022 163


How do you characterised your work? What a hard question. I don’t try. Female, feminine, that horrible word whimsical that kind of drifting away.

Do you go for imperfections & mishaps? Are you after the rustic appeal? What challengers have you faced. When things go wrong but not very often, I will have a little cry. If the kiln goes wrong I shrug my shoulders and say oh well I’ll have to deal with this now and investigate what & how it went wrong and work out how can I fix it or what I can do with it. Sometimes I will look at a work to see if I can do something to keep it going because I liked it. Sometimes things totally unexpected happen that can be used that I would normally have never considered. Happy mistakes. Eg. I can use acrylic paint over a glaze then fire it and it makes a great surface. Who would have thought that. I would have assumed it would have burnt off and gone away but as it didn’t I have found a way that I can use it.

Do you start with sketches? Do you keep a journal? I don’t keep a journal but when I start a new work I sit down with a sketch book and draw. The drawings are not really drawing they are developments. I extend and draw onto them and rub things out until I come to something I suppose inspirational and you get to that point where you know yes I’ve got it now. Then I go onto the clay. It doesn’t always end up looking like the sketch but there is some element that

goes into the work.

What materials fascinate you? Clay. The plasticity it just about goes where ever you put it.

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Folie de Goldie 43 x 20 x 32cm Multi-fired, hand painted, gold leaf, glazed earthenware Pamela Welsh 2022.

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Falls Asleep (Hynagogic Princess) Three parts: 1. 41 x 32 x 38cm 2. 20 x 30 x 33cm 3. 3. 18 x 23 x 30cm., Multi-fired, hand painted, glazed earthenware , Pamela Welsh 2021 - 2022.

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What artists inspire you? Everybody. I couldn’t name one. I will look at a work that someone has done famous or not. It could be an abstract or eg. Emily Kame Kngwarreye landscapes. It could be Picasso and his brake down of forms - pieces that can be used. A renaissance artist such as Leonardo da Vinci. There is always something in a work that attracts your attention and is an element in itself a surprise and that you might be able to adapt to your work.

I know you currently have an exhibition at Mudgee The Princess & the Piano.. Did you do require any extra preparation for your current exhibition? I believe you hired a rabbit to study. Yes a lady called Jasmin rented me a rabbit for the weekend and I had it on a cage on the bench so I could just absorb (rabbitiness) and look at the way it moved about and how it’s legs went and I discovered when they are annoyed thump things with their legs which I found

fasci-

nating. It gave me a kind of feel for their skulls, where their eye sockets fit, where their legs fit. That you can’t get from looking at photos, you have to watch the creature move to do it. It was good. Hence your sketch book. Well yes it is like my - thinking book not a journal.

Tell us about your exhibition The Princess & The Piano. These sculptures can take weeks and months to complete. They start with sketch ideas, moulding, etched, and multiple firings in my kiln. Then they are finished with paint, gold leaf and varnish.

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The Princess & The Piano It’s about the real life story of Princess Alexandra Amalie of Bavaria (1826-1875) she had this disorder called ‘glass delusion’ she was convinced that as a child she had swallowed a glass piano & lived in extreme caution in case she should shatter. Her family found things were not quite right when she could not fit through doors. So she became obsessive with cleanliness, she apparently wore white a lot , she became an Abbess at the Royal Chapter for Ladies of Saint Anne in Munich; this was a religious community specifically for noble ladies. At some point the princess was institutionalised for madness over zealous religiosity, she recovered from all of those things, but I like from her that this grand piano was a metaphor for all of our peculi-

arity, hypocrisy and funny things we do. The contradictions all that.

So what’s next for The Princess & the Piano? The Princess will sail to the Antipodes next I think, it might be in her head or it might be real but she would like to take her rabbits with her.

- Pamela Welsh © 2022.

Poisson de Bian, Multi-fired, hand painted, gold leaf, glazed earthenware . Pamela Welsh 2021 - 2022.

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Piccola Principessa (detail), 112 x 25 x 25cm (including painted plinth), Multi-fired, hand painted, gold leaf, glazed earthenware, Pamela Welsh 2021 – 2022.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Pamela Welsh © 2022. Issue 46 - May 2022 169


B R A D

red hair

thinking Ovid while

cycling along a chalkpit causeway floodfilled for the benefit

E V A N S

of duck & reed & algaed crisp packets & dysfunctional shopping trolleys I get to work a little ahead of time,

lock bike & enter.

A cascade of red hair is all I can see and while I make my introductory approach they whirl around quickly and I register the hard, masculine face a stark contrast under all that wig. I wrestle back down an upsurge of laughter extend

Somebody is already shelving with their back facing me -

my hand & introduce myself. Brad Evans © 2022 Issue 46 - May 2022 170


a jigsaw puzzle it was there

At a glance you'll catch some of it,

or at least fragments of it.

while from another - small colours, haunting images & the curiously -

pieces separate - scattered across pavement

curled shapes of stress.

and road - where lay old grease & empty bottles

and where rain's rendering had made

To leave it there

parts soggy & unworkable. may be careless If you try to touch them,

to a good memory

they will fall apart between gentle fingers & the footfalls

or necessary

of the booted ignorant.

for a bad one.

Brad Evans © 2022 Issue 46 - May 2022 171


B R A D

beneath the calm water

Along the jetty, my formative feet carried me, until a gathering sight gave me pause; I looked down beneath the clear-calm water

E V A N S

where a shark lay belly-up on the bottom.

Suspended above that near-fresh wreck a knot of pale-pink phallus rose up nearer to the surface of the still clear-water where a gas-filled intestine had become unlaced. Brad Evans © 2022 Issue 46 - May 2022 172


the girl She flits

A recent act may as well

While the adults

from one state

have belonged to yesterday

around her

as she continues

to the next in

to run and play -

carefree abandonment -

retrace their steps her grin stretches

bearing little baggage

searching for an origin

horizon-wide

between the two worlds.

left undisclosed while sporting shamelessly -

in some location

a long, snaking trail I watch this little girl

of drying yellow

running about

amidst the carpet.

where discipline

down

and organisation for now

her shirt

hold no grip.

Brad Evans © 2022 Issue 46 - May 2022 173


TALES OF ALBANIA S E I G A R Issue 46 - May 2022 174


Tales of Albania by Seigar Last summer, I visited Albania with my sister, and I instantly fell in love with its immensity and rawness. There is an instinctive sense of living that is reflected in the beauty of its urban and natural landscapes. In this photo-narrative, I will show some impressions from Tirana, Berat, Cape of Rodon, Shkoder, Theth - Valbona, Grunasi Waterfall, Blue Eye, Komani Lake, Ksamil, Gjirokastra, and Blue Eye (Sarandë).

The images work as a testimony and also as a personal diary of this trip. Traveling is still my main inspiration to create, and I like to think that by sharing these tales with the world, I'm spreading the message of the Latin Phrase: Carpe Diem. The photos selected for Arts Zine, Studio La Primitive were all taken in Ksamil. I hope you enjoy their warmness. Never forget to breathe and enjoy life. Carpe diem darling. , carpe diem! Love from Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

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SEIGAR - BIOGRAPHY Seigar is a passionate travel, street, social-documentary, conceptual, and pop visual artist based in Tenerife, Spain. He feels obsessed with the pop culture that he shows in his works. He has explored photography, video art, writing, and collage. He writes for some media. 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 and encounters. He is a philologist and 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 international exhibitions, festivals, and cultural events. His works have been featured in numerous publications world-

wide. His last interests are documenting identity and spreading the message of the Latin phrase: Carpe Diem. Recently, he received the Rafael Ramos García International Photography Award. He shares art and culture in his blog: Pop Sonality. Issue 46 - May 2022 177


P H

O T O

G R A

P H Y

G A L L E R Y Issue 46 - May 2022 178


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Webpage: seigar.wordpress.com Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @jseigar

Galleries: flickr.com/photos/theblueheartbeat/ albums Blog: popsonality.blogspot.com

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Seigar © 2022.

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NEWS Issue 46 - May 2022 188


NEWS Issue 46 - May 2022 189


LAUGHTER AND VIOLENCE

Photograph by artist and performer Donna Cavanough.

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LAUGHTER AND VIOLENCE

On the 1st April – April Fool’s Day, the Arts Upper Hunter monthly newsletter included the following amazing satirical feature, it captured the attention of Arts Zine as being news worthy. The creator credit goes to John O’Brien, an award winning script writer for film and television and presently the Executive

Director of Arts Upper Hunter, NSW.

Arts Upper Hunter – Art Sparks newsletter 1April 2022.

My exciting participation in an unusual artwork. In other news, well-known local artist Rolo Pilfa persuaded me to take part in his latest performative artwork “Fresh Finger” this very morning, and snipped my ring finger off with a pair of bolt-cutters. Rolo’s partner is a nurse and a numbing solution was provided beforehand. And they were very quick to cauterize the wound. Almost a dozen arts admin professionals from across the region took part, though I was the only one to go for the ring finger. For the record, eight went for toes and two for pinkie fingers. For me it’s a commentary on the controlling nature of some relationships. I was thrilled to take part in “Fresh Finger” and I’m keen to see what he has in mind for next year. John "9 Fingers" O’Brien, Executive Director. Issue 46 - May 2022 191


Body Art Performance Body Art Performance where the artist is directly concerned with the body in the form of improvised or choreographed actions, happenings and staged events. The term "performance art" and "performance" became widely used in the 1970s, even though the history of performance

in visual arts dates back to futurist productions and cabarets from the 1910s. It became the most controversial art form of the second half of the 20th century. Performance works may explore the realm of human’s fascination with violence. The main pioneers of performance art include: Carolee Schneemann, Marina Abramović, Ana Mendieta, Chris Burden, Hermann Nitsch, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Yves Klein and Stelarc.

In Issue 39 November 2020, Arts Zine featured an in depth article by artist and author Neil Howe who published Parallel Realities,

The Development of Art Performance in Australia. https://issuu.com/robynwerkhoven/docs/arts_20zine_20november_202020

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STELARC Australian performance artist Stelarc is known for going to extremes, from aggressive voluntary surgeries and robotic third arms to flesh-hook suspensions and prosthetics. For more than four decades, he's used his body as a canvas for art on the very edge of human experience.

Left : Ear On Arm Suspension, 201

2014

HERMANN NITSCH Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch, famous for his paintings and performances using human blood and animal carcasses, Nitsch was part of the "Actionists", a radical 1960s avant-garde movement known for skinning animal carcasses, tying up human bodies and using blood, mud and urine in their works. Nitsch has two museums devoted to his work in Austria and one in Italy.

Left : Mixed media by Hermann Nitsch (Austria) at Parkview Museum during Disturbing Narratives exhibition, 2019

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Under her skin #2

EDMOND THOMMEN Issue 46 - May 2022 194


Photographic art has always been more than the image; it is a blending of a visual moment with the movement of the soul, the conveyance of emotion and the gentle awakening of the intent of the artist.

Under her skin #2 takes Edmonds mastery of colour and form to create works that intertwine the charisma of the human form with the organic urban experience. Subtle and thoughtful composition has resulted in works that have a unique playful personality. The use of blurred lines, soften edges and abstract concepts leave the viewer free to explore, imagine and form their own interpretation of the tones, textures and experience. Edmond perfected this unique method originally by combining composited black and white negatives; today his own unique process sees digital technology image and editing technology pushed to their artistic limits to produce expressions of Edmonds vision.

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Under her skin #2 Blended by Edmond Thommen exhibition 1-14 June 2022 M2 Galley. 4/450 Elizabeth St. Surry Hills, Sydney

Exhibition catalogue: https:// www.thommenart.com.au/under-her-skin-exhibition youtube link: https://youtu.be/23PqcGPJSmo www.thommenart.com.au Issue 46 - May 2022 197


BENDING THE RULES

Sue Stewart Pat Davidson Margaret McBride Janette Kearns Wilson Faye Collier Jeanne Harrison Margot Dugan Varelle Hardy “There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthrough happens. Go against the rules or ignore the

rules. That is what invention is about.”

- Helen Frankenthaler Issue 46 - May 2022 198


THE ATHENA GROUP OF ARTISTS.

The Athena group of artists based in Newcastle, NSW, has been making artworks for a long time with an enthusiasm for experimentation and innovation. As artists they use a variety of processes and media; ceramics, printmaking, fibre, collage, encaustic, painting, drawing, photography, sculpture. The group includes people who have been practicing artists for decades and some who came to the process in the last few years. On a personal level there are many differences as well but the process of making art has created a group of friends who support, encourage and nurture each other through their individual artmaking journeys as well as the planned excursions of group exhibitions. Recently Athena have been focused on learning from and working with each other. Innovation, bending the rules, is the

impetus for this exhibition because we have been working as a group for many years and are driven forward by the challenges of developing new ideas and forms. Experimentation and not restricting the artmaking practice to one form can throw up totally new directions to be worked through and embraced.

Athena exhibition : Bending the Rules Friday 17 June to Sunday 3 July 2022. Opening: Friday 17th June 5.30pm Back to Back Galleries,

57 Bull Street, Cooks Hill 2300. Phone 49293677

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B

E

A

X

C

H

K

I B

T

I

O

T B A C K G

L E R I E

S

O June 17 - July 3

May 6 – 22

N

Bending the Rules.

Emerge David Briskham, Caryl Bryars,

Sue Stewart, Pat Davidson

Riko Eguchi & Greg Howes

Margaret McBride

A L

I

2022 CALENDAR

C A

Janette Kearns Wilson May 27 - June 14 Artist and Therapist.

Faye Collier, Jeanne Harrison

Katishe Grudnoff, Miriam Saines

Margot Dugan & Varelle Hardy

L E N

& Nicole Lemaitre

D

57 Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW

Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm

www.newcastlepotters.org

A

R Issue 46 - May 2022 200


MARGOT DUGAN

57 Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW

SUE STEWART

Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm

www.newcastlepotters.org Issue 46 - May 2022 201


STUDIO LA PRIMITIVE ARTS ZINE PREVIOUS ISSUES Arts Zine was established in 2013 by artists

Eric and

Robyn Werkhoven, now with a fast growing audience, nationally and internationally. Their mailing list includes many galleries, art collectors and art lovers. In 2017 it was selected by the NSW State Library to be preserved as a digital publication of lasting cultural value

for long-term access by the Australian community.

CLICK ON COVER TO VIEW ISSUE.

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Click on cover to view the issue.

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Click on cover to view the issue.

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Click on cover to view the issue.

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Click on cover to view the issue.

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Detail: The Parade, Acrylic on board

P R I M I T I V E

H60 x W 120cm. E&R Werkhoven 2010.

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www.studiolaprimitive.net

S T U D I O

L A


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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: werkhovenr@bigpond.com

Page : Left - Front cover, The Fall, Autoclaved aerated cement / cement / lacquer, H32

x W46 x B38cm. Eric Werkhoven 2013. Right : The Offering, Autoclaved aerated cement / plaster, H70 x W30 x B20cm.

Eric

Werkhoven 2010.

Right : Eric Werkhoven at Studio La Primitive Photograph by Robyn Werkhoven.

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ART SYSTEMS WICKHAM

ROD PATTENDEN 40 ANNIE ST. WICKHAM, NEWCASTLE NSW.

www.art-systems-wickham.com/

Phone: 0431 853 600

Director: Colin Lawson Issue 46 - May 2022 210


ART SYSTEMS WICKHAM CALENDAR 2022

6 – 22 MAY COLOUR FIELDS – RECENT PAINTINGS ROD PATTENDEN

MAY 27 - JUNE 5 SARAH BOX & TIM NASH - RIDING THE WAVES

JUNE 10 – 19 JULY HWA - HUNTER WOMANS ARTISTS 20

JUNE 24 – JULY 3 GWENDOLINE LEWIS & PASTEL GROUP

JENNY GANDER 40 ANNIE ST. WICKHAM, NEWCASTLE NSW.

www.art-systems-wickham.com/ Issue 46 - May 2022 211


COLOUR FIELDS ROD PATTENDEN Recent Paintings

6 - 22 MAY Golden Gully Monolith, oil on canvas, Rod Pattenden 2022

40 ANNIE ST. WICKHAM, NEWCASTLE NSW.

www.art-systems-wickham.com/

Ph: 0431 853 600

Director: Colin Lawson

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ROD PATTENDEN Dr Rod Pattenden is an artist, art historian, and educational facilitator interested in the connection between spirituality and the arts. He has written and lectured widely on these aspects of the arts and creativity in Australia and overseas. He currently lives in Newcastle, NSW. He was for many years the chairperson of the Blake Prize for Religious Art and a founding Director of InterPlay Australia. He has written widely on the arts, contributing to key publications on the work of a number of leading Australian artists as curator developing a number of innovative exhibitions and installation projects. He has particular strengths in the areas of the visual arts, performance skills, movement and exploring the processes of creativity. Rod has a BA Visual Arts (arts practice),

M Phil (art history), M Theol (hons), PHD and a Dip Ed.

Opening celebration : Saturday 6 May, From 2pm. Merimbula Hillside 4, oil on canvas, Rod Pattenden 2021.

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

https://timelesstextiles.com.au/product-category/gallery-gift-shop/

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E X

2022

H I B

Brooching the Subject 6 Til 15 May Alternate view (Untethered)

I

17 May - 26 June

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Travelled: Anne Kelly and

I O N

Wednesday Maker’s group 28 June - 07 August

C A L E N D A R

ROBYN COHEN

GALLERY WILL RE-OPEN FROM 3 NOVEMBER - 90 Hunter St. Newcastle, NSW.

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Barbara Nanshe Studio

https://nanshejewellerystudio.com/ Shop 1-3 The City Arcade, 120 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300 Issue 46 - May 2022 216


Barbara Nanshe Studio Online Shop

https://nanshejewellerystudio.com/ Shop 1-3 The City Arcade, 120 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300 Issue 46 - May 2022 217


GALLERY ON DOWLING Helene Leane

Jeanne Harrison Escarpment in the Valley, Helene Leane.

120 Dowling St. Dungog NSW.

www.heleneleane.com Issue 46 - May 2022 218


DUNGOG BY DESIGN GALLERY 224 Dowling St Dungog, NSW.

https://www.facebook.com/ DungogbyDesign

SUZANNA JONES Issue 46 - May 2022 219


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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 :

http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/index.php?s=1&act=refs&CODE=ref_detail&id=1518479271

Page 221 : White Rhino crash at Whipsnade Zoo, England. Image: Robert Fildes © 2019. Issue 46 - May 2022 221


G E O R G E

H E L L E N

G I T T O E S

R O S E Hellen Rose and George Gittoes - Ukraine 2022. photo courtesy of Gittoes.