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arts zine issue 53 September 2023
s t u d i o



140 x 120 cm., Oil on Linen, Liam Barr 2015.

'Altern' speaks to the bi-polar persona in our character makeup. The positive and negative elements parallel the Eastern philosophies of Yin and Yang where the existence of both forces is required to create a whole, one cannot exist without the other. The Yin dwells in shadow and under hood, captive while the Yang looks on from the light, free. The horizon separates yet joins the two in perpetuity.

JOHN MORRIS Morning Light and Mist on the River, 66 x 200 cm., Oil on canvas, John Morris 2022.
Antonia Perricone Mrljak
MATTHEW TOME Left : Dripline #5, Acrylic on canvas 112 x 84 cm., Matthew Tome 2023.

Pierre Bonnard

Exhibition: Designed by India Mahdavi page 132

Lorraine Fildes

slp studio la primitive


Antonia Perricone Mrljak

Liam Barr

Matthew Tome

John Morris

George Gittoes

Dr Rod Pattenden

Janelle Gerrard

Ian Kingsford-Smith

Lorraine Fildes


Maggie Hall

Mark Elliot-Ranken

Stephen Hobbs

Elizabeth Lish Škec

Brad Evans

Peter J Brown

Reese North

Eric Werkhoven

Robyn Werkhoven

Helene Leane

Art Systems Wickham

ADFAS Newcastle

Timeless Textiles

Barbara Nanshe

Newcastle Potters Gallery

Straitjacket Gallery

Dungog by Design

Studio La Primitive

Ink drawing from Kiss of Death comic by Ave Libertatemaveamor 2023.
INDEX Editorial ………… Robyn Werkhoven 12 Studio La Primitive …… E & R Werkhoven 13 Feature Artist ……….. Antonia Perricone Mrljak 14 - 23 Poetry ……………….. Reese North 24 - 27 Feature Artist ………… Liam Barr 28 - 53 Poetry …………………. Eric Werkhoven 54 - 55 Feature Artist ……….. Matthew Tome 56 - 75 Poetry …………………….. Elizabeth Lish Škec 76 - 77 Feature Artist …………… George Gittoes 78 - 85 Review …………………… Dr Rod Pattenden 86 - 103 Featured poet ………….. Maggie Hall 104 - 109 Feature Artist …………… John Morris 110 - 129 Poetry …………………… Peter J Brown 130 - 131 Featured Article ……….. Lorraine Fildes 132 - 151 Poetry …………………… Brad Evans 152 - 155 Feature Artist …………… Janelle Gerrard 156 - 177 Featured Poet ………… Mark Elliot-Ranken 178 - 179 Featured Artist …………. SEIGAR 180 - 201 Featured Artist …………. Ian Kingsford-Smith 202 - 207 ART NEWS………………. 208 - 241 FRONT COVER : Fixed Possessions - 120 x 87cm, Oil on Linen, Liam Barr 2020.
Ink drawings from Kiss of Death comic by George Gittoes 2023.


The September issue introduces a notable and vibrant selection of artists and writers.

Sydney based contemporary artist Antonia Perricone-Mrljak, describes her dynamic abstract works as raw, honest and direct. - my work is primarily concerned with engendering an emotive response from its audience.

Arts Zine presents New Zealand, surreal/realist artist Liam Barr. Barr’s art“questions how humans fit within the spaces they inhabit and examines themes of culture, identity, belonging, and environmental issues”.

From Sydney contemporary artist Matthew Tome works in painting, drawing, printmaking and installation. His practice is multidisciplined, centered on drawing but using many forms, methods and scales.

Internationally acclaimed artist and film maker George Gittoes this month presents an article Mr Tambourine Man, and his latest venture with Ukrainian artist Ave Libertatemaveamor the comic Kiss Of Death, featuring a selection of ink drawings by both artists. Dr. Rod Pattenden presents a review of Kiss of Death.

Contemporary artist John Morris presently live and works in Newcastle, NSW. Morris is predominately a landscape painter, interested in atmospheric events.

Newcastle Jewellery designer Janelle Gerrard is the creator of Skitty Kitty label, - featuring unique, avant-garde handmade jewellery.

Artist and poet Maggie Hall features this month, a surreal workThe Nightingale. Words by artist with images - AI Artwork created through prompt engineer & creator Maggie Hall.

Lorraine Fildes, travel writer and art photographer presentsPierre Bonnard: Exhibition Designed by India Mahdavi.

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

Sydney artist Ian Kingsford-Smith, who sees himself as a visual storyteller features his latest exhibition – Deities.

Don’t miss out reading new works by resident poets : Mark ElliotRanken Brad Evans, Reese North, Elizabeth Lish Skec, Peter J Brown and Eric Werkhoven.

ART NEWS and information on forthcoming art exhibitions. Submissions welcomed, we would love to have your words and art works in future editions in 2023.

Deadline for articles 15th OCTOBER for NOVEMBER issue 54 2023. Email:

The publisher will not accept responsibility or any liability for the correctness of information or opinions expressed in the publication. Copyright
Studio La Primitive. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced , in whole or in part, without the prior permission of the publisher. Issue 53 - September 2023 12
© 2013


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Summer Nude, H40 x W30 cm. Acrylic on canvas, Robyn Werkhoven 2023.

Antonia Perricone Mrljak

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Antonia Perricone Mrljak

Sydney based contemporary artist Antonia Perricone-Mrljak describes her dynamic abstract works as raw, honest and direct.

Perricone-Mrljak’s paintings are created by the layering of colour and form, and the repetition of mark-making –“I will draw then paint over, draw and layer”.

“My work is primarily concerned with engendering an emotive response from its audience”.

Most recently, in 2023 published in the “Australian Abstract” book. In 2021,2022 the artist was named a finalist in both the Paddington Art Prize and the Waverly Art Prize. In 2019 she undertook a major performance-based painting installation at Sydney Contemporary. Her work is widely collected in corporate and private collections across Australia.

Next solo exhibition, Femare Lutto (Stop, Mourning)

19th October at Nanda/Hobbs Gallery, Sydney.

Page 14 : Antonia Perricone Mrljak in the Studio. Photo courtesy of artist. Right : Untitled, 250 x 200 cm., Acrylic on cotton duck canvas
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Antonia Perricone Mrljak

She is one of a kind

124 x 137 cm.

Oil acrylic and oil stick on Belgium line

Antonia Perricone Mrljak

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Antonia Perricone Mrljak- Interview

When did your artistic passion begin?

My earliest experience was in second class. I was a very quiet and timid child. I clearly remember being praised, for a drawing that I had made, by the principal who often scolded me. I hated her acknowledgement so as a demonstration of defiance I painted over that drawing. That was my first experience of abstract expressionism and rebellion. Have you always wanted to be an artist?

When I was young I was completely intoxicated by my upbringing. I was raised in a strong willed Sicilian family that idolized labour. I suppressed that desire to be an artist for early part of my life. Later in life when I had matured, I decided to work against that philosophy by utilising education as a means for change. I remembered my love of art and learning to practice art was a means of change. It took a lifetime of personal growth and breaking from my traditional upbringing to start pursuing my artistic dream.

Describe your work?

My paintings are often abstract expressionism, which seek to display emotions and feelings rather than depict objects or figures. You will be able to see the movement and intention in my brushwork that so many other painters will often mask. The bold placement of colours and hues on canvas are where I wrestle between chaos and control. Each stroke becomes an extension of my feelings and experiences. It’s hard to describe my work in an objective way because it is such a subjective experience for both myself and audiences.

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Do you have a set method / routine of working?

I arrive early to the studio every day. I often think of my practice as a sport, because I work alone there is a lot of self motivation. You have to have a strict idea of what you want to achieve, making notes, preparing yourself for the day. The discipline of just painting and not stopping to doubt yourself is all part of the mental game. During the early morning I start planning my day, including planning my paintings. I plan my entire day around long periods of uninterrupted painting. Younger artists have an expectation that every piece they produce will be the best thing and they get disappointed when it doesn’t work out for them. Repetition and dedication are the keys to improving your crafts. For every magnum opus there are hundreds of failures in which the artists practices and learns from. But it’s those failures that separate a good ARTIST from a great ARTIST.

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

I think it deeply responds to who I am as a person and the experiences I've had in life. It allows my rebellious nature to flourish and artistically experiment. The immediacy that an indelible mark or gesture can have in the canvas carry the weight of the emotion. It can transcend above the conventions of traditional art and allow myself and other artists to visualise and explore uncharted territories. Abstract expressionism is definitely not for the faint of heart.

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Page 19 : Antonia Perricone Mrljak at work in her studio. Photo courtesy of artist.
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Day, it makes such an almighty sound 80 x 60 cm.

Oil acrylic and oil stick

Belgium linen

Antonia Perricone Mrljak

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Acres of Happiness, Mountains of Tenderness

153 x183 cm.

Acrylic and crayon on Belgium linen

Antonia Perricone Mrljak

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What are you working on at present?

I have an upcoming exhibition that I’ve been working quite hard on. It will be a solo show at the Nanda Hobbs gallery, 19th October called ‘FEMARE’, which means stop it in Italian, as an allusion to my heritage. The artwork in this show is a delicate but positive interplay between mourning and life, stillness, capturing the essence of Sicilian culture and tradition in that space, through the medium of painting, I have so much to share with. At this stage I'm developing more than 20 works for the show, paintings, drawings, also new surprise work. It's a much greater range of works than I'm used to but I'm always trying to improve as an artist. It’s been challenging to work in a wider variety of mediums especially for a solo show. I’m looking forward to my viewers seeing the more fluid approach and looser intent in this body of work. There is more risk the way these pieces were made which is equally exciting and terrifying, but I think it's paid off.

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Antonia Perricone Mrljak at work in her studio. Photo courtesy of artist.

Your future aspirations with your art?

As an artist, my future aspirations revolve around pushing my own limits of artistic expressions. I want to create works that transcend what I have done in the past. Evoking new emotions in viewers or working in new mediums or with new techniques are just some of the short-term goals that will help me get there. Of course, eventually using all of these new tools to refine my already established unique visual language. Upon first glance, it may seem that an abstract expressionist’s work is improvised or random, but the contrary is true. So, when I do learn new techniques and implement them it often takes many failed attempts to integrate it into my unique stylisation. I plan on giving myself the needed time to work on myself as an artist.

© 2023. Right : Antonia Perricone Mrljak at work in her studio.
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Photo courtesy of artist.

About God and Mothers



I remember you that day I looked into your wrinkled smile and your warm brown eyes –

I knew I’d grown inside and out of you –you were so kind and you made me feel safe and alive.

I remember you when I was four –

I lay in your arms upon a carpet of grass surrounded by hills –we told each other stories about faces in the clouds –our world was so simple then and your smile was the heartbeat of my life.

I remember you the day before you changed –we walked through the bush together –when night came, we watched the stars

and when I finally slept I couldn’t find you in my dreams. I remember you that day your strong hand held mine when you walked me to my first day at Kindergarten and left me in that cold dank place that stank of the chewed leather straps of school bags –of mouldy sandwiches and crayons and stale piss –and you left me with that woman with the pinched mouth and cold stare –something changed in you that day –your eyes grew hard when you looked at me and I knew my journey into the world outside the safety of our home had begun and I’d have to travel that road on my own.

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I remember you the day I realised all who live are bound to die –I looked at you knowing every moment is precious –you saw my pain and told me God is always with us in our darkest hours –it was then you taught me how to pray and I said to God that I wanted to know Everything about Him. I remember you when I was twelve and I’d finished my first day at the big school –I came home to find you in a dark room

where you watched our new TV –I saw anguish in your face –you pulled me onto your lap and pointed at the screen where tractors pushed dead people towards a mass grave. A body stood up as if it were a puppet on invisible strings –its arms flailed around as if to protest the cruel denial of its right to meaning –the corpse fell forward into the pit where it bounced on the bloated bellies and backs of a rising mound of anonymous dead.

that one day if the war was lost they would come for you and that the children you’d dreamed of having would never be. I remember you when I asked you why God didn’t protect all those harmless people? –your silence told me everything I needed to know about God –and Mothers.

I remember you when I realised how frail you would have been –and how terrified you must have been knowing

- Reese North © 2023.

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Sorry Business

I saw you do it –in the rain when the lightening hit the tin roof. There was love here once before you left. Now in the shadows a child – cries alone.

the blue lights flashing – and the still silent breeze listened –I saw you crying in the rain and the child heard you.

I saw you do it –the cut was deep.

Later – when the sirens stopped – in the rain

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- Reese North © 2023.

The Beauty

Downstairs a baby

coos to its mother –outside in the night the eyes of an owl dream in the silver of a Milky Way moon.

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- Reese North © 2023.


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Liam Barr presently lives and works in New Zealand. The exploration of people and their peculiarities lies at the essence of Barr's work, and he continues to define this experience expressed through meticulous attention to form and structure within the development of his paintings. Marked variations in subject matter are explored between series from his early magic surrealist and tiki inspired works through to historical narrative themed works. More recent series reflect a subtle surreal/realism crossover and contemporary image set. Images draw reference from fiction to subjective fact, weaving stories punctuated with symbolism, iconography, humour and pathos.

Barr exhibits in New Zealand, Australia and internationally.

"I love the rain tonight, I want the feeling of it on my face"

Said to be the last words Mansfield spoke as she made her way back to her quarters at Georges Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, Fontainebleau, (9/1/1923). Tuberculosis brought about her untimely death at age 34 and closed the chapter but opened the book of a woman who struggled relentlessly against the social parameters of the day. Her journals, letters and short stories charter that indelible struggle and we are the richer for it.

Page 28 : Postscript - 61 x 50.5 cm., Oil on Linen, Liam Barr 2013.
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Right : Two Tūī - 60 x 45 cm., Oil on Linen, Liam Barr 2016.

This thing I do, brings me joy, a thing I’ve always done, were I to stop my head would drop, a flower void of sun. I won't be swayed, nor set apart, my place to sit is here. And I for one will carry on, will carry on, no fear.

Turning Tide - 81 x 122 cm., Oil on Linen bonded ACM, Liam Barr 2022.
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When did your artistic passion begin?

I presume as with all artists, the passion for art begins as a child. I’m not one for expounding the virtues of gifted children, but if there was, it would be the gift of seeing beauty and being sensitive enough to stop, acknowledge and hold onto that beauty or feeling of it for later recall in the ‘mind’s eye’.

Around seven, I became aware of reference books of ancient art, mythology, animals of the world, National Geographic, Popular Mechanics etc. I started to copy from them, and they hours flew by.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Yes, I think so, although at times I thought I wanted to be other things. I was a graphic designer for a number of years, but fine art was the thing I kept coming back to, it gave me a calmness and joy I couldn’t attain in design. I never thought it would be something I could make a living from, but when the opportunity knocked, I closed the office and opened the studio. And while I’ve never looked back, I wouldn’t say It’s been an easy path to take.

Describe your work?

I don’t want to be pigeonholed into one particular style, and so will adapt to suit what I’m wanting to say and who I want to say it to. There’s a risk of confusing your collector base but also freedom in that I am still in control. Over the years I’ve explored many styles, yet, at the heart of my work, lies the exploration of soul, a place of being and standing and how we as individuals conduct ourselves in relation to the environment and one another. Much of my subject matter is derived through observation and the idiosyncratic nature of people. Within these observations, readings or assumptions, I try to draw out a narrative layered with emotion to offer some substance to my work and myself.

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What is the philosophy behind your work?

I’m not sure I have a philosophy as such, as I feel that the question changes with each body of work. But if I might say that I attempt to exhibit impactful works which form a connection with the viewer in a way that triggers either emotion, nostalgia, humour or poses a question to ponder.

Do you have a set method / routine of working?

Baroque music plays as I draw concepts, this allows me to doze off and capture ideas. I tend to paint one piece at a time, in that way, I can indulge wholly into the work at hand. The method I employ is to develop the painting in monotone before tackling colour. At this stage, other artists might apply transparent glazes, but I find that I end up painting it again with opaque colour. It probably takes longer but I’m not counting hours. All this usually happens with an audiobook narrating away in the background. These days, it’s a Monday to Friday 9 to 5 routine. There’s also plenty of dog walking and mountain biking to fit around.

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

My paintings are always in oils as I believe there’s a lifetimes worth in learning how to use them expertly, which funnily enough is exactly how long I have. In recent years I’ve taken to bonding linen to ACM panels, which provides an excellent, rigid support and gets around slackening of stretched canvas due to climactic variation. At other times I’ve made birch ply panels and layered them up with multiple layers of gesso. This was to great effect but a lot of prep work. The ACM panels are a happy medium.

How important is drawing as an element to your artwork?

Nothing happens in my process without the drawing. The drawing is the genesis, the snapshot of the imaginary image. The drawings aren’t fancy or hugely detailed, they only need to convey enough of the idea to get me started. Nothing is set in stone and alterations do happen, so even when I’m painting, I’m still drawing. I couldn’t imagine in my current practice going directly to painting on a blank canvas.

What inspires your work / creations?

Currently, I’m inspired by issues surrounding and impacting our environment. Climate change is real and also a real threat to our existence as we know it. I find it hard to not acknowledge that in my work. It’s a fine line to make environment focussed work which holds on to beauty without being too preachy or doomsday.

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120 x 87 cm.,

Oil on Belgian Linen bonded Russian Birch Ply Liam Barr 2020.

Salinity is a painting which leaves little to interpretation. It is a painting of multiple stories entwined together to form a narrative of an ever widening global problem of mankind’s impact upon once pristine environments. It is a painting of loss and a reflection of dire consequence in the face of ambivalence and lack of action. My aim with this work is to draw attention to the problem of ocean rise within the South Pacific. While environmental issues often arise within my work, the direction to place this work toward the Pacific is new territory. Both of these semi surrealist works started from a plastic refuse necklace foraged from the beach and inspired the idea ‘Once we wore garlands'.

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What have been the major influences on your work?

I’m not really looking for influences these days as I want to know what comes from me as I am. But when I was starting out, I’d have to say that the magic realism of Michael Parkes and then later, the pop-surrealist work of Mark Ryden probably had the most prominent effects on my practice. What are some of your favourite artworks and artists?

Always a tough question to answer as it changes from year to year. I love the art of Mitch Griffiths for his technical ability and commentary on contemporary USA, Edward Povey for his compositions, Alessandro Sicioldr for his other-worldly narratives, Dino Valls for his raw ability to illicit discomfort and Jeremy Geddes for his mind-blowing technical ability and juxtaposition. There are of course multitudes of others I admire. One of my favourite paintings is titled Anguish 1878 by August Friedrich Schenck, it depicts a sheep standing over the dead body of her lamb, surrounded by a murder of crows, very powerful.

Any particular style or period that appeals?

In the 80’s I enjoyed the surrealists. In the 90’s it was lowbrow and pop surrealism. From the nineties until now I’m probably most interested in contemporary realism toward surrealism but in fact, it’s less about movements and more about the individual artist and how they capture my imagination.

What are the challenges in becoming an exhibiting artist?

Geographic location, - If you’re not in a place where there are multiple galleries and the population to support them, then that can prove difficult to find a suitable space. Not all gallerists are going to be into your work, so you need to find the right fit. As an artist in New Zealand, I find this a challenge, it’s a small, expensive, and provincial country with relatively few people. Exhibiting work internationally can also be cost prohibitive so my advice is to locate yourself close to where it’s at. As costs to exhibit in white wall galleries ever increase, you may need to ask yourself if you can even afford to exhibit through the gallery system. You may find that you’re supporting them more than they’re supporting you.

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David 140 x 120 cm., Oil on Linen Liam Barr 2016.

This contemporary realist painting employs a political statement commenting on commercial gain to the detriment of the environment, international standing and common good for the people as a whole. Greed is the common term. I painted this work specifically for the Auckland Art Fair 2016.

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Name your greatest achievement, exhibitions?

I don’t know about greatest achievement, but in 2020, The Urban Art Foundation had a retrospective of my work which was exhibited nationally via digital billboards. In 2021, among other NZ artists through the International Urban Art Exchange in conjunction with the city of Turku, Finland, exhibited work in super large scale digital screens mounted to the side of buildings. This digital presentation appealed to me. It exposed my work publicly and free to an audience who would otherwise have no inkling of the art being made on this side of the planet.

How has the COVID 19 Virus affected your art practice?

My show ‘Still Lives’ 2020 could only open its’ doors to the public for one of the three weeks, but it still sold quite well. No one could go on overseas trips, so they spent on art and cars. My 2022 show ‘Out of Kilter’ was well received but didn’t sell well. ‘I’m not sure if you can judge a show by its sales’ but there you go. Since then, the cost of living has continued to rise and the discretionary spend has continued to shrink. It’s a tough time to be an artist in NZ and probably everywhere.

What are you working on at present?

At the time of writing this, I am varnishing and framing works, writing the poems that go with the new work, designing the promo advertising and preparing my website to upload the new work for when the ‘Overflow’ show opens.

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

If I consider that my job as an artist is to have something to say and deliver it visually, then surely my goal is to connect not just visually with technical ability but somewhere deeper in the feels. So, if there is something I want for my viewers to have experienced something and to leave with a feeling that my work has triggered something in them and perhaps even added to their day.

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Liam Barr in his studio
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Photo by Andy Spain.

Your future aspirations with your art?

Apart from a gallery or two in Australia to expand my market, my wants for my future are simple. If I can continue to be authentic and explore my thoughts and interests in this format without getting caught up in the money-go-round or desperate through lack of it, then I’ll be quite satisfied. Currently I produce limited edition giclēe prints from selected paintings and while they are fabulously democratic, I’d like to get to the point where I could survive from the painting alone.

Forthcoming exhibitions?

In September 2023, I will have concluded my 10th solo show titled Overflow.

Overflow - Artist Statement

“Caught up in the overflow, I kick out, scrambling. With eyes wide open I search for meaning and paint about it.”

Overflow is a pressure release valve, a warning signal, an omen and an invitation. It emerges from years of observation, witnessing the destruction of flora and fauna through farming and forestry practices, genetic engineering and in more recent times the impact of excessive water on our environment, revealing the unmistakable, interconnectedness of it all.

Overflow is a series of personally charged environment themed works with contemplative reflection at its heart. Solitary figures are locked in dialogue with the viewer in an intimate exchange, inviting us to meditate on the imbalances reflected in our climate-changed world. While this collection of work spans several years, a common thread unites them. These figures exist alone with their thoughts, grappling with the unfamiliarity of change, questioning, and seeking connection and clarity.

- Liam Barr © 2023.

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Swan Song

81 x 61cm.

Oil on Linen bonded ACM Liam Barr 2023.

Inexplicable events are commonplace, move on. We pick up the shattered scrambled mess, move on. I knew them once before, moved on. They came to stay, were in the way, wishing them to move on. A candid slice of someone’s life, a bitter exposē, like sentimental hangers on with nothing left to say, move on, move on, move on.

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Page 40 : Salvation - 61 x 50.5 cm. Oil on Linen, Liam Barr 2014.

"Christianity is salvation by the conversion of the will; humanism by the enlightenment of the mind". Amiel.

Maraea Morete's (Maria Morris's) young husband was murdered by Te Kooti's associates. Maraea nearly came to the same fate but narrowly escaped. Her story was one of revenge (falcon) of Te Koooti (kaka) and she roamed the land in his pursuit. Impoverished, she walked into Gisborne and joined the Salvationists, this led to her own salvation and ultimate forgiveness of Te Kooti (inverted hand gesture). The claddagh broach ref: Maraea's Irish parentage, Maori iwi - Ngati Porou & Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki.

Left : The Sheriff - 76 x 65.5 cm. Oil on Linen, Liam Barr 2015.

Take no nonsense women are a recurring theme in my work and 'The Sheriff' is no exception. As she prepares herself for a soak she checks herself and verifies that indeed, she still has what it takes. There are a couple of nice details in this painting namely the skull and crossbones tap-ware and the bullet fingernail. This was a fun piece in the lowbrow/ pop surrealist style.

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Between the devil & the deep 76 x 60 cm.

Oil on Canvas

Liam Barr 2009.

John Rutherford b.1796 - A blemished story of an English sailor and sole survivor of the captured American brig Agnes which put in at Tokomaru, Bay of Islands. Surviving for 10 years with local Maori, the 'White New Zealander' finally makes his escape. The ta moko given him is an apt addition to the ink stained map of his life and stands testament to his experience, connecting him forever more to Aotearoa.

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Sweetie Pai

60 x 45 cm.

Oil on Linen

Liam Barr 2017.

This tribute to David Bowie spans an age. Bowie explored his identity and intellect through song thus sealing his place within popular culture. We wear marks of identification to communicate to others in our tribe. Here, the Wahine presents her culture like a time traveler, informing the multi layered influence of her experience. The horse acts as a symbol of freedom, instinct, intuition and status.

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Buller's Birds (Avaritia non habet legem)

80 x 60 cm.

Oil on Wood

Liam Barr 2009.

Buller o' Buller, what corrupted you so, you killed our poor birds for what I don't know. Was money the drive for the thousands you killed or the kick you received from the blood that you spilled. In one way we thank you for the books that you made, but the price was too high and for that, we have paid.

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121 x 101 cm.

Oil on Linen

Liam Barr 2013.

Appearances can be deceiving and don't always tell the story of ones true personality. Here the lothario relaxes in his simple abode reminiscing somewhat bitterly on more lavish times. He regretfully acknowledges his best years, now behind him are as much comfort as a cold cut.

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140 x 120 cm.

Oil on Linen

Liam Barr 2015, re-worked 2017.

Tūī are synonymous with the Wellington region, and its inclusion in this series had to be acknowledged as their playful aerobatics and cheerful song can be heard from dawn till dusk. 'Tūī' being the fourth in the Avian series has me searching for a playful yet refined image continuing the repetitive circular motif and dramatic sky.


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Blind Faith

140 x 120 cm.

Oil on Linen

Liam Barr 2015. Re-worked 2017.

I started this painting in conjunction with Huia. A dark space envelopes me and I reach into the black to draw out images of dominance, captivation and the blind faith of a pet in pursuit of love and acceptance.

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Night Owl 90 x 90 cm., Oil on Linen Liam Barr 2021.

Stolen as the night, dancing shoes on ice, left on this marble shelf, my buds will need suffice.

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Subsonic 140 x 120 cm., Oil on Linen Liam Barr 2016. Genus 60 x 60 x 4.5 cm. Oil on Russian Birch
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Liam Barr 2018. Aubrey 79 x 60 x 4 cm. Oil on Russian Birch
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Liam Barr 2018.


120 x 140 cm.

Oil on Linen

Liam Barr 2021.

Omens can be perceived as instincts, being able to read the signs and take the necessary precautions. With the atmospheric Bethells Beach (Te Henga) as the backdrop, the boy looks toward the oncoming storm and weighs his options.

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All Rights Reserved on article and photographs

Liam Barr © 2023.

Right : Wed to the Wheel - 83.5 x 71 cm., Oil on Linen, Liam Barr 2014.

This image symbolises our relationship to the wheel. From go to whoa we traverse the planet using one transport system or another and invariably we develop favourites.

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To have to rely on snippets of information, that isn’t necessarily correct or even worth mentioning.

I don’t know, I feel something has to happen, but we are loathe to take any steps to even get the ball rolling.

We have been meandering in this alcove for too long, always coming up with ultimatums, what ifs?

I will need another tea for this morning’s session.

Since my singing sounds morbid, caught in a vice of its own.

Lack of proper tuition, a wider base to draw from, a deeper resonance.

Like man, it’s flat lining, like a death wish to put you out of your misery.

And combined how does that congeal? Butter you up, to make peace a mandatory instrument.

Basically, we need to plan our life, don’t expect it just to happen, as if every conceivable idea is already there, bursting forth out of each new day.

You are a dreamer you know; it is a wonder you got this far.

There is not a structural bone left to pick an argument with.

A Corella came down from its regal height to have a nibble at a few seeds, nervously lifting its head for any unforeseen interruptus.

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Threatening expulsion from the garden at Eden

Fired up to elbow through the milling crowd

Hands jabbing to get a piece of your soul

Be my idol for more that I can fork out

This blue paradise, unanswered quests

To fly out in a scream, that ushers forth out of our throat

Black feathers zigzag to the ground


A blaze in a cloudless free sky, to spur us on to look within

To crash head on with a mighty opponent, in who god reflects wrath

To slice a path, the tears will fall

For all who are yet to tread the same pavement, obliterated from view by corners that mark the beginning and end

Keeper of the void where we divide the spoils and work load

Until we are free to think of nothing particularly

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- Eric Werkhoven © 2023.


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From Sydney artist Matthew Tome works in painting, drawing, printmaking and installation. His practice is multidisciplined, centred on drawing but using many forms, methods and scales. He has a deep interest in history and has an MA in Ancient History. His work however deals with a wide range of subjects and cultural references. He has exhibited extensively since 1986 in numerous solo and group exhibitions and has worked on a number of collaborative projects resulting in major exhibitions, installations and performances.

Matthew was until recently Head Teacher, Fine Arts at Newcastle Art School, Hunter St TAFE. Before moving to Newcastle in 2003, he taught painting and drawing at the Sydney Gallery SchoolMeadowbank TAFE in Sydney.

Matthew's work has been acquired by numerous private and public collectors including; Artbank, Art Gallery of South Australia, Newcastle Art Gallery, Old Parliament House Collection-Canberra, Queensland State Library-James Hardy Collection, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum and the State Library of Victoria.

Page 56 : Untitled drawing, Gouache, ink, acrylic on paper, 28 x 30 cm. Matthew Tome 2023.
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Right : Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 168 x 112 cm., 2022 Matthew Tome. Beneath Trees #2 Acrylic on canvas 154 x 137 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2022.


Lockdown found me drawing trees. I would meet a friend within a five kilometre limit at a desirable tree. We determined that en plain air drawing was a picnic, as per the rules. At first we attended to the figs, small leaf figs, Port Jackson figs, those that populate Sydney and create immense canopies, full of twisting, sinuous fleshy limbs. The limbs that ascend and descend, falling threads of aerial roots that contact the ground and become props and eventually fully rounded limbs, striking down and up.

Each tree spirals. Twists. Turns in on itself, like all plants reaching for light.

The drawings were a pleasant meditation, both a release from the tension of lockdown and a slow, dedicated focus on the form that is the tree, constructing a portion of it in drawing, line over line, tracing the growth, the tension of forms revealed in the surface, the fall of indirect, shadowy light.

It was also a confirmation of what we are meant to do in those troubled times. We are artists, we draw.

As restriction relented, from five kilometres to ten, we entered Centennial Park. While my city studio was a haven throughout, despite the hollow quiet weirdness of the times, having the park as a studio was glorious. We sheltered beneath and beside the trees and drew.

It is common to turn to nature for making art. It defines us and reinforces the weird artificiality we have built in the cities. For me it is a fascination with the forms, how they are, what they look like, the ideas that they contain, the evidence of their evolution, growth, death.

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The trees are difficult to convey as whole without having to move away from them and view at a distance at which point it turns it into landscape. Doing so I find I lose contact with the tree as a subject and prefer to remain under, or at least near, and accept that I am drawing fragments, like gazing at a torso. I remain sure of what I am near and unsure of the reach of the form, just guessing it, the range of it. I found myself drawn to the pine forest. This is a weird place, considering it is like a European forest, a fragment of the Borghese gardens on Gadigal ground. It acts as a theatre, the needles flattening the ground and the trees are regularly spaced and tracks are made through them by joggers, dog walkers and wedding photographers.

The trees are stone pines, much like those of Rome that I drew on my trips there and again I feel that strange tug of a European descendent. I immediately listen for the tone poems of Respighi, glorious haunting music.

The tree forms themselves are tessellated, clusters of bark, geometric and modernistic. Cubists made these trees. They are exciting to draw and bring out something modern in form and Cretaceous in spirit.

I started to move from the trunk portraits to the clusters of trees, the ground plane and the rhythm of trees, their trunks, and occasionally their tops. Sheltered in the forest the strongest light comes from beyond, to the side or the distance. It seemed to demand colour which is when I scaled the drawings down and used pastels, chalk or oil, on coloured grounds. A step towards painting.

Doing these compositions I found that when I moved position they still looked the same, such was the regularity of the place. It became less about observation and more about construction. Reaching that point, I realised that I didn’t need to be there any more and could move the whole process back to the studio.

Page 61 : 1:Fig drawing, Pencil on BFK Rives, 56 x 76 cm., Matthew Tome 2021. 2 : Pine forest study #6, Conte on laid paper, 24 x 28 cm., Matthew Tome 2022. 3: Pine tree drawing, Pencil on BFK Rives, 56 x76 cm., Matthew Tome 2022. 4 : Fig drawing en plain air, Centennial Park, Pencil on BFK Rives 56 x 76 cm., Matthew Tome 2022.
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5 : Treeform #9, Acrylic on canvas, 154 x 137 cm., Matthew Tome 2023. 6 : Pine forest study #10, Oil pastel on prepared paper, 28 x 24 cm., Matthew Tome 2022.
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If I recount many hours of my teenage life I picture evenings spent listening to and playing music and drawing, or looking at books of pictures. It describes my preferred state, I found it then. My family travelled Europe for several months when I was 10. I was immersed in art, history, ancient ruins and a deep aesthetic culture. It was like a christening, being plunged into a deep pool of art and history and it never washed away. When I arrived at art school I realised I was in the right place. As a teacher, I have never left. I consider teaching art as being in the studio. While it is not primary production I am always thinking about making art, talking about art, showing how to make art, interrogating practice. Art school was the best thing that happened to me as a young adult and I can’t stop returning the favour.

Teaching has in many ways grounded my practice. I return to the studio to teach having to consider the essential things, what is it to draw, to paint, to make pictures and how to communicate that? I constantly look through art history and the language of art. It has also meant that I have tried many things in my practice to understand these ideas, used many materials and methods, learnt all I can about how art is made and why.

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Dripline #4, Acrylic on canvas, 112 x 84 cm. Matthew Tome 2023.

My recent paintings are in acrylics which is a change for me. Sharing the airspace in a studio in Sydney with two other artists who also painted with acrylics confirmed if for me. I like changing mediums. Each offers its own possibilities and I react to them with my own actions. The oils tend to be visceral, dense. My acrylic painting is much like my work on paper in ink, gouache, watercolour. I treat the canvas as a big sheet of paper. I use transparency and layering, linear marks, washing and scrubbing. I use a lot of matt medium, which is a weird form of nominative determinism.

In the studio my ideas evolve into abstractions. It is a way of getting to an essential kind of form, not away from those that I have observed but to get under them. It seems they are much more about the experience, what is felt and observed in memory than a reproduction of the refined optical vision. It allows me to work with colour, and develop layers, traces, and somehow capture aspects of time in the painting. I have learnt how important is for paintings to reveal themselves over time. You in fact reward a viewer who stays, they get more from the looking.

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Dripline #2, acrylic on canvas, 112 x 84 cm., Matthew Tome 2023.

Each work is a result of a series of actions, a response to a series of marks, a layer of colour, an erasure. It is also a matter of how you use your body, the movement of body and arm and hand but searching for something new. The most creative work is usually because of a mistake of some kind that you react to.

I work ideas out on paper in the studio. These may be drawings, wet media on paper (ink, gouache) or collage. These are developed in multiples, repeated versions and variations largely to interrogate the idea but also to exhaust it. The repetition forces me to invent, to continue to find other ways to state ideas and then really create something new, something I hadn’t expected. These active works on paper become the language that is scaled up for the canvases. Along with this I will draw onto cut sheets of ply that I will later cut and use as plates for printing.

Mary Gabriel’s fabulous book Ninth Street Women clarified a lot for me. The origins of Lee Kranser’s powerful collages, Joan Mitchell’s glorious evocations of colour and space and memory woven into the complex history is just a couple of examples. The connection with music, particularly bebop. It reinforced the notion that abstraction was the language of freedom. At the time, sandwiched between colonialism, provincialism and fascism, abstraction in its various guises offered pure human freedom of expression. Essential freedom of expression from oppression and stultification, not the nastiness and bigotry that currently claims its name. Our job as artists is to be as honest as we can. The more we work, the more we reveal ourselves, to ourselves and to each other. I would not be the first artist to say that I am often at a loss as to why I made a certain work in a particular way. I can explain it, after, probably. All the learning, the thinking and acting somehow melts away when you are working to ask questions, to find something and surprise yourself with the results. All the work, the thinking, the testing is to build your intuition so that you don’t think at all when it counts.

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- Matthew Tome © 2023. Matthew Tome in studio
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Photo courtesy of the artist.



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Page 66 : Untitled drawing gouache, ink, acrylic on paper, 28 x 30 cm. Matthew Tome 2023. Left : Energy Field #12 Oil on canvas 112 x112 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2020. Treeform #6 Acrylic on canvas 154 x 137 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2023. Beneath trees #4 Acrylic on canvas 154 x 137 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2022. Untitled Acrylic on canvas 112 x112 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2022.
Energy Field #11 Oil on canvas 112 x112 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2020. Treeform #8 Acrylic on canvas 154 x 137 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2023. Lattice Acrylic on canvas 154 x 137 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2022. Treeform #9 Acrylic on canvas 154 x 137 cm.
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Matthew Tome 2023.

Whisperer, exhibition of paintings and works on paper will be at Straitjacket Artspace, Newcastle in November 2023.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs

Matthew Tome © 2023.

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Right : Artist Matthew Tome with Dino Consalvo (Director at Straitjacket Gallery, Newcastle) in studio. Photo courtesy of artist.

A special occasion.

For Komninos Zervos

Halva was exotic. A sweet from the delicatessen. Sometimes mum would take me there to pick out a piece. Not too bighalva was expensive.

I imagined women making enormous bricks of it on a remote hill in Greece overlooking a valley of grape vine with fig and olive trees. The sun always shining. Halva was happiness. I loved the way the word sounded H a l v a

how my tongue moved saying it.

H a l v a

We only ate it at extra special occasions. Like forbidden fruits.

Last night, I ate a piece of Baklava the first in more than ten years.

Sweet rich syrup set my mouth to a smile, made me laugh.

It wasn’t even a special occasion and all could think was H a l v a.

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- Elizabeth Lish Škec © 2023.

Poetry Invasion

Can’t lift a cup without a thought enjoy nature without the maraud of words and metaphor.

Poetry lives in my core drifts off into space returning all the more glorious. An intoxicating intrusion but still an invasion.

Can’t read a book without finding lines that inspire verse or call out to be edited.

My heart-brain is saturated existing in a state of poetry addiction. I edit my mouth.

Can’t focus when a stranger smiles or speaks to me. The poet comes out gushing with a million stories about that one smile or conversation and I’m off daydreaming.

Jumbled words in a mad womans notebook, never knowing when the next episode will strike. Poems live in people, politics, music, animals, buildings, even public transport, the language of shrieking metal. Poems spark other poems, connect all things, from the toaster to a tree. Sometimes I hate it. Try to imagine an off switch, a moment of quiet, sweet relief but poetry sings so much to me I hook it adding lines to the invisible file in my cortex but if poetry did not exist, I know, I would still be this.

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- Elizabeth Lish Škec © 2023.

Mr Tambourine Man

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Whenever I hear the Bob Dylan song Mr Tambourine Man I think of Richard Neville. In the early phase of dementia Richard knew he would only have a year before he died and asked Hellen to sing Mr Tambourine Man to his gathered friends at his funeral memorial. When he died his wife Julie Clark asked me to ask Julian Assange to write something that I could read. Decades earlier than Julian’s imprisonment, Richard spent time in the same cell at the notorious Belmarsh Prison for publishing an OZ magazine, that was judged as obscene.

Most of the faces that listened to Hellen sing Mr Tamborine Man are now, also dead. We were a generation that believed we could help bring about the Age of Aquarius where humans would stop destroying the planet and end war. We lost that war 50 years ago. The leadership, which we called the “Establishment” saw to it that we could never win, and they had the money, the greed and the weapons of the state. Our prophet was Bob Dylan. I have all his recordings and I have taken them to all the conflict places my art in place of war projects have taken me. I’ve played ‘Blowing in the Wind’ and ‘The Times are Changing’ in Nicaragua, Somalia, Rwanda, Iraq ,Afghanistan and now Ukraine. Like Richard Neville, Bob is a hero of our war.

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Hellen and I continue fighting and I have a new Ukrainian collaborator, Ave Libertateamour. The release of our 120 page comic KISS OF DEATH has many of the characteristics of OZ magazine. Often, while doing the drawings, I have felt the presence of Martin Sharp whose illustrations , collages and hand scrawled text gave OZ its defining look. One night in 1971 Martin wandered into the Puppet Room while I was painting the walls and advised me to keep my line clear and precise “like it was cut out with scissors or a sharp blade”. Martin had the surname of Sharp which was appropriate, because he disliked fuzziness and always wanted his drawing to be read with total clarity of line.

I explained to my new friend, the great American Abstract Painter, Bill Jenson that in the past I would finish a period of work by summarising it in a suite of 12 or 24 etchings, but I have now discovered that making drawings for a comic is better. Bill replied saying “Etching is a severe way of drawing. The way you draw is severe, keep drawing.” Severe black and white is the language that worked for Goya, Otto Dix and Kath Kollwitz and the comics of Art Spiegelman’s MAUS and Gary Panter’s JIMBO.

My Australian ‘Age of Aquarius’ friends are all dead, but I have a handful of friends in New York who lived through the same era and share my disappointment with the way human evolution has stagnated. As with Oppenheimer and the development of the Atomic bomb Technology is playing dice with our future as it rushes towards the Artificial Intelligence of Terminator. Putin is threatening to trigger Nuclear Apocalypse while the art world in general puts its head in the sand believing the lie that art should only be about art. I often wonder if that idea was invented by the CIA. It has been more effective in making art impotent than Hitler’s attempt to wipe out what he defined as degenerate and Starlin and Mao’s banning all but ‘social realism’.

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Above : Two covers OZ Magazines 1963. Link :

Below: Cover and page from Martin Sharp’s Catalog 1971. Link:

Above : Cover of Kiss of Death comic, 2023.

Below : Ink drawing by Ave Libertateaveamor from Kiss of Death comic.

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In 2023 the war we are fighting for human enlightenment runs parallel with the physical war the Ukrainians are fighting against the Russian invasion. Working with Ave on the Comic has brought the urgency we felt to protest Vietnam, back. Our artist war has been a very long war and there are no signs of victory.

KISS OF DEATH can easily be downloaded and read on phones and laptops. My friends in Ukraine are sending it out to soldiers in their trenches as they fight the Russians. Soon, I plan to be sharing one of those trenches and hearing what our comic has meant to them.

KISS OF DEATH was printed in time to be released at MIFF in Melbourne alongside our Documentary ‘Ukraine Guernica –ART NOT WAR.’ It will be on sale at all future screenings including the Sydney Underground Film Festival on 7th September 2023.

When Richard and his friends Anderson and Dennis were found guilty and sentenced. John and Yoko joined protestors and recorded the song ‘God Save OZ’ (Later ‘God Save Us All’) to raise money for their appeal. Julian Assange is still a prisoner in Belmarsh Prison awaiting extradition to the US.

Hellen and I are about to head back to our Yellow House in Jalalabad Afghanistan. Back in the time of the original Yellow House Sydney 1970-1 we wanted to end the war in Vietnam and make that the last war humanity was led into. When the Yellow House ended, Martin Sharp and I went to a café to ponder where we had gone wrong. Martin, turned to me and said “George, we should have done it in Vietnam.” He was right but, back then, we did not know how that could be possible. If we can keep the doors of the Jalalabad Yellow house open, we will be proving that art can win where war has failed. Fifty three years on from painting the walls of the Yellow House Puppet theatre in Kings Cross Sydney I will be creating a similar magical space in the heart of Taliban Afghanistan.

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- George Gittoes © 2023.
Yellow House 70s, Sydney, Australia. Below : Puppet Room, Yellow House, Sydney. Yellow House, Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
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George Gittoes, Hellen Rose & Arshad Khan, Yellow House, Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
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Portrait of Julian Assange, Media: gesso, acrylic paint and mirrored glass on canvas, H210 x W310 cm. George Gittoes painted the portrait at the Ecuadorian embassy in 2017.


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.

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Left : George Gittoes in studio, Ukraine 2022. Photo courtesy of artist.
Rights Reserved on article and photographs George Gittoes © 2023.
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Kiss off Death, Ave Libertatemaveamor and George Gittoes

REVIEW - Dr. Rod Pattenden 2023.

This is an extraordinary book. Every stark black and white page cracks open with a flash of sustained and ecstatic energy. These ink drawings traverse a geography marked by dread and fear, and yet they also provoke protest, and even stir hope. This is a unique documentation of the capacity of art, and the human imagination, to dismantle the artifice of war.

This book presents a unique collaboration between Ukrainian artist Ave Libertatemaveamor and Australian artist George Gittoes as they respond to the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which began in February 2022. This collection shows the work of two artists clearly at the height of their powers. The background to this surprising set of connections is explored in George Gittoes most recent film, UKRAINE GUERNICA, which featured recently at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Working with his collaborator, musician Hellen Rose, who produced the sound track to the film, they travelled to Ukraine in early 2022 taking one of the last trains into the largely empty city of Kyiv. Gittoes narrates through confronting footage the scenes of destruction and its impact on civilian lives. During this process they make contact with local creatives, actors, poets, and artists. The documentary format of the film shifts to incorporate a heightened theatrical space which then explores the role for artists as those who conjure resistance, protest, hope, acts of the imagination that serve to dismantle despair.

Page 86 : Cover of Kiss of Death comic.

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In this context Gittoes met and began to collaborate with the young artist Ave Libertatemaveamor, through sharing their drawing practice and producing murals together. This included the ‘Kiss Of Death’, a mural rendered on the walls of the devastated House of Culture in Irpin, which is featured in the film. Since that time, the two artists have been sharing their drawing practice using small format ink drawings, together facing the incredible challenge of creating in the face of destruction of war. This book is testament to the rich vocabulary that they have developed in giving visual expression to the conditions of living under the threat of annihilation and despair. This includes the dismantling of the power of Putin’s image through exploring both his frailty and pomposity. This in turn creates the conditions for renewal and hope, and the active imagining of the future, with a liberated and free Ukraine. Both artists stand in a long tradition where art has been produced to visualise freedom in the face of oppression. Artists like Goya, Kathe Kollwitz, Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Picasso all sought to make art in the face of war. Characteristic of many of their works, either through drawing or printmaking, was the use of strong black and white forms to heighten the emotional impact. As this book unfolds you can see the evidence of their collaboration around this distilled interest in strong graphic works. While they maintain their distinctive approaches there are characteristic gestures or devices that migrate across the pages, especially around the embrace and kiss of death imagery. This is a fascinating narrative where each of them is pushing the other to expand their capacity to draw and to imagine in the face of their shared experience of standing in the ruins of a culture under duress and the constant fear and destruction.

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Ave Libertateaveamor & George Gittoes infront of Kiss of Death Mural, Irpin. House of Art, Irpin, Ukraine. Ave Libertateaveamor & George Gittoes drawing in ruins of House of Art, Irpin.
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Poster for Ukraine Guernica Art Not War film.

Ave Libertatemaveamor creates architectural spaces where the black ink is used to create depth and drama. The viewer falls into these imagined spaces and is held by the intricate details of the rendered marks. Here she portrays a range of scenarios populated by creatures that express the experience of fear and horror endured by the people of the Ukraine, These images are inventions that distill the experience of being a victim, of enduring the conditions of utter disruption, where war re-orders the very horizon of daily life around survival. These are inventive, original and extraordinary images that disturb the imagination. They include parodies of Putin and his gymnast girl friend, who become contorted figures in a bizarre and tortured world. These works look like they are freshly minted in some alien world where normal forms of conduct are absent. For Ukraine, this is the new normal, to live in the presence of malevolent forces that pick over the bones of the living. These are powerful and evocative images that give witness to the human impact of war, and express the artist’s deep sense of protest at its inhumanity and injustice. There are many points of cross over with both the imagery and dynamism of Gittoes’ drawings. Gittoes black is sticky and visceral like the spider webs and flowing body parts that populate many of the works. The focus here is on the skin of the creatures that populate his world who are part human and part insect. This is a device he has used since his early days to express the sense of human experience under pressure and transformation. Putin and his girl friend writhe in some death battle as their beautiful flesh peels away revealing contorted bones that are taking on the encrusted forms of insect like appendages. Gittoes spidery lines reveal his command of the medium of drawing. His lines flow over a surface that itself seems on the move, like a tattoo over the skin of a moving muscle. Gittoes’ drawing is alive with a pulse of human touch and visceral engagement. Here terror appears as flesh opening up into gaping holes and empty spaces that anticipate the human or creaturely form exploding with expressive emotion or transforming into an apparition of horror.

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Gittoes is one of Australia’s most gifted and expressive artists using drawing as a contemporary medium. Gittoes uses a pencil or pen as if he has a knife in his hands. He slices open the surface of the work in a manner that opens up the depth of expression and activates the viewer’s own anxiety about apprehending a space of firm edges and safe parameters.

Gittoes stands in a tradition of artists like Goya, and Otto Dix, but is also alive to the expressive power of photography and graphic novels. The everyday media and the historical footnotes of his imagination spill out on to the page in these sharply rendered drawings. This is where the two artists seem to be most in dialogue as similar forms bleed between their works. They seem to be pushing each other to more daring compositions, and to populate them with increasingly dynamic and disturbing characterisations. They rightly disturb the viewer, and get under the skin of the safe distance we use in considering art works. They raise fundamental issues of a moral and ethical nature. They represent war in a manner that we, as viewers, can no longer ignore, or look away.

This is not a collection of images that offer an escapist fantasy, but rather they demonstrate the capacity of the imagination to generate hopeful futures by directly confronting a geography based in fear and dread. This world clearly reimagines the future based on ethical and just alternatives, even where this is scant evidence of their power and effect. This book presents a text of the imagination that spills out with mythic shock and prophetic zeal. It offers dreams and visions that describe the horror and injustice of war, but also keeps alive the capacity for the freedom of expression, protest and an alternative vision found in the imagination of hope. - Dr Rod Pattenden © 2023.

Dr Rod Pattenden is a Newcastle based artist, curator and art historian. He developed the exhibition ‘George Gittoes: On Being There’ for Newcastle Art Gallery in February 2020.

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She kept an owl in her pocket to chase photons. Temples of Eugenia inside her head reach out in a painted grand mal seizure metaphor. Compartmentalised sketches of that trip to Ruapehu, New Zealand. In the background of a room you can hear the record player’s needle scratching over recorded memories in a collected landscape, each image married to a colour in shapes best defined as a storyboard.

The ghost of a black and white roll of film lays clumsily across the eye of a laptop. This image is burnt into my mind like a well-read mystery romance. How do you capture frankincense trapped behind stained glass by the faraway church?

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In a labyrinth commissioned by King Minos, designed by Daedalus, and executed by Ariadne. The scent of cut grass masquerading as the riddle of a carved song.

Early in the morning an old, weathered lady sits in her favourite wooden chair rocking to the beat of a leaking tap. The scent of peppered spice in collusion with the grumble and groan of a pot belly stove waiting for its next feed.

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There is the faint sound of scratching as an old woman etches into her ceramic bowl. Lines of concentration field upon her forehead as she works with the wheel to shape wet clay that once kilned will be sold at market for a coin to keep the family fed and the belly of the stove full.

She is a handsome woman with silvery white hair clipped back into a combed bun that sits comfortably by the nape of her neck. Her face contoured, skin sun kissed and sallow, blushed cheeks slightly sunken by time. Her eyes are a dark jade specked with onyx spots.

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This is the beginning of a chapter that has no story. The beginning of a book with no title. This is the first thought at the end of a silent day when all that remains is the scent of a blessed congregation and the evergreen ferns of a redwood forest that is patiently waiting for a writer to finish the next page.

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- Maggie Hall © 2023.
AI Artwork created through prompt engineer &
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creator, Maggie Hall. All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Maggie Hall © 2023


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Born in Newcastle, NSW, John Morris attended art school from the age of seventeen. Morris spent years in New York and London, working as a landscape garden designer. The great European and North American fine arts collections always beckoned. Returning to Australia, Morris devoted over twenty years to teaching at the Newcastle Art School, TAFE, for which he has an outstanding reputation.

Morris is predominately a landscape painter, interested in atmospheric events. Atmosphere, both as a natural phenomenon and an emotional response, fill the space created in each of his paintings. He is represented in public collections including : the Newcastle Art Gallery, Macquarie Bank, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. His work is also held in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK. Morris’s work has regularly been short-listed for local and national awards, most recently Finalist in 2022 Muswellbrook Art Prize and the 2019 Moran Portrait Prize.

Page 110 : Dancing Mist and Morning Light, 103 x103 cm. Oil on linen, John Morris 2022.

Right : In Living Memory, 170 x140 cm. Oil on canvas, John Morris 2002.

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Farm Gate 60 x 60 cm. Oil on linen John Morris 2023. Issue 53 - September 2023 112


I was born in Merewether and grew up on The Hill, Newcastle. As soon as I could I went to the Art School in Hunter Street. It was a wonderful haven for those who didn’t quite fit in anywhere else.

I wanted to be an artist before I really knew what one was. From an early age I have always drawn and painted. It has preoccupied me ever since.

I don’t have a philosophy behind my work. I have an ongoing compulsion to be making or considering making art works. It has always been there. There is a lens through which I see the world to where I think beauty lies. Certainly not all but other people have a similar lens. I try to work on the painting until it reveals what I originally thought it was capable of. Hopefully not destroying it in the process. Paintings have a way of taking the painter for a journey, where chance and the unexpected can be capitalised on. My work is primarily landscape paintings, although I will surrender to subjects if they persist in my memory, and views of the sea, at various times and weather. Road trips are a wonderful way of gathering ideas and images. Assessing the possibilities of what has been gathered, takes time in the studio. Remembering why I had stopped to look, helps with the search for the original premise of the image.

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Christmas Passed 2 50x50cm.
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Oil on board John Morris 2016.

Oil paint suites me. I enjoy the mediums’ richness. It allows time to work the painting. You can trust oil paint, more than other paints, to dry true to the colour applied. I enjoy the richness and dexterity of it. Often I will work in layers, each layer as direct as possible. Each layer of the painting, using as few layers as possible, uses or takes out, depending on the paints’ opacity, the layer underneath. I watch and work the painting until it happily engages with me and not demand more change. It is a silent conversation between the painting and myself until we are both happy enough with the outcome. Often the paintings tend to be remembered atmospheric events. Exquisite moments. I like to keep the paint thin for these paintings and work quickly, moving wet colour through wet surfaces. Travelling, seeking out architecture, paintings, sculpture in international collections, broadened my view of what humans are capable of. Painting and it’s ability to reflect on changing times is my primary fascination but all art forms interest me. I was given an art book of famous paintings when quite young. Early primary school. It was the first time I could take time to view a series of paintings. It was a private viewing of a series of paintings, varied, magical and wonderful. There are many painters I admire. To write a list off the top of my head, in no chronological or order of importance would be:

Bruce Nauman, J.M.W Turner, Casper David Friedrich, Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Marc Rothko, Kevin Lincoln, Albert Marquet, Jude Rae, Georgio Marini, Philip Guston, Alex Katz, Diago Velezquez, Roger van der Weyden (Descent from the Cross), Frans Hal, Jean Arp, Sam Fulbrook, Francisco Goya, Jean Arp. Many more.

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Leaving Australia for a good length of time, and travelling, afforded me time to reflect on my homeland and to see exhibitions and collections not available to me in Australia. To assess the works scale, technique, presence and changes of mind.

Sometimes a viewer will say to me, when describing an exhibited work, what went through my head when painting it months before. The paintings are minimal and subtle works, playing with abstraction and suggested figuration. Any narrative in the picture is usually what the viewer brings to it. My paintings are not topographic renderings of landscape, they are not necessarily about place, more landscapes of the psyche.

My greatest achievement is yet to come. I would consider still painting and enjoying the thrill and challenge of it in 10 years time, as an achievement.

Covid19 didn’t really affect my practice since it is done in isolation. Exhibiting became very difficult. I am not young and still harbour an existential fear of the virus and tend to isolate myself more as a result.

Last year I had a cycling accident which left my right shoulder needing surgery. It was followed by extensive and lengthy rehabilitation. It is good to be painting again. I am happy to let the paintings accumulate before considering an exhibition.

- John Morris © 2023.

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100 x 100 cm.

Oil on canvas

John Morris 2003.

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Page 98 : Along Mullet Creek 60x60cm. Oil on linen John Morris 2021-22. Left : Above and Below 100 x 95.5 cm. Oil on canvas
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John Morris 2016.
near an Ocean 60 x 60 cm.
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Oil on linen John Morris 2021.

Across the Earth

120 x 120 cm. Oil on canvas
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John Morris.
Rooftop Lap Pool 61 x 61cm. Oil on canvas
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John Morris 2016. Hawkesbury Light and Morning Mist 60 x 60 cm. Oil on linen
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John Morris 2021. Dancing Mist and Morning Light 103 x 103 cm. Oil on linen
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John Morris 2022. Hawkesbury
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John Morris Morning on the River 60 x 60 cm. Oil on linen
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John Morris 2021.
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Mountain Lake, Mist Descending 103 x 103 cm. Oil on canvas John Morris 2016.
Afternoon Coastal Storm 76 x 76 cm.
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Oil on canvas John Morris 2020.
Hawkesbury Reaches, 19 x 40 cm., Oil on wood panel, John Morris 2020. All Rights Reserved on article and photographs John Morris © 2023. Issue 53 - September 2023 129

Six Things Akin to Men

There came six things from the Middle East, creatures akin to men, and these things swore at a black blood feast that bold Pete Brown would bend.

Six things from Hell made much like men, may you return to your stinking den, tortured by your blinding sin, Anubis beneath your skin.

They bashed him, kicked him, broke his mouth, pursued him hunting to the south, deadened one arm to a piece of meat then mocked his grief and broken teeth; his aged mother died in sorrow and tremulous fear of no tomorrow while the six slack things went whoring round the women they in bondage bound. There came six things from the Middle East, murderers cursed with blood, and these six things from Hell were cast to brutalize the bard.

There came six things from the Middle East where the aconite is foul, creatures cursed with the mark of the beast upon their wretched souls, to corrupt a culture, milk it black, burn it, beat it, set it back, store up advantage from its meekness and batter down all trace of weakness.

Like a willow was bold Pete Brown, and hardy like an oak. He bent a bit and struck them down with a mortal stroke.

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The aconite is drifting still in plumes of rugged smoke and too the things who learned to kill must have their little joke. on corrupt police forces and convict stock, madmen in a state of shock, sheep all gathered to a flock tackled with mockery to a killing block. There came six things from the Middle East, creatures akin to men, shaggy and muscular with brains deceased and brows inbred in a pig pen. These six things were mighty sure that on the poet they could depend to hang for a while at old death’s door and later to meet his end. I curse them with what they cannot understand and cure them of their wrath,

that they may stand beneath the hand of Mars in a fit of mirth, and be set in chains on the road to ruin, flogged on a beaten path, later to meet with their own false doin’ out near the ends of the earth, and after to fall prey to the ancient Furies who’ll set on them with a laugh, and hand them on to sterner juries who’ll send them out to death.

There came six things from the Middle East, bard murderers they were, and where they’ve gone or vanished from, or how they came to waste no man alive is really sure and no woman seems to care.

There came six things from the Middle East to lay the bard Pete Brown to waste.

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- Peter J Brown © 2023.

Pierre Bonnard: Exhibition


Designed by India Mahdavi
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Pierre Bonnard: Exhibition Designed by India Mahdavi

There have been many exhibitions of Bonnard’s paintings in the past, one even in Australia. What makes this exhibition different to all the other Bonnard exhibitions is that it is a collaboration of Iranian-French architect and designer, India Mahdavi with Bonnard’s paintings. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to experience Bonnard’s work within a vivid setting designed by India Mahdavi. In this article my photos are of her work, her designs and how these have influenced the exhibition.

Both the artist and the designer are celebrated for their ingenious use of colour, so it is easy to understand why the curators asked a 21st century designer to work out how an exhibition of Pierre Bonnard’s work could be enhanced, and the viewing made more enjoyable. Rather than the usual masterpiece exhibition in a ‘white cube’ gallery setting Mahdavi has shaped the galleries into interiors for Bonnard’s art, with furniture, lighting and wallpapers based on elements of her favourite paintings.

The exhibition features more than 100 works by French Post-Impressionist artist Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) and works from his contemporaries including Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Félix Vallotton and cinematic pioneers the Lumière brothers. The exhibition covers the full scope of Bonnard’s work but with the unexpectedness of the wonderful creative designs and colours of Mahdavi’s work you are given another dimension of Bonnard’s work.

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In combining art and design, the first room of the exhibition opens with a room that gives everything – shapes, colours and patterns and a selection of fine artworks. One is dazzled and has to come to terms with the presentation. Mahdavi said, the first room represents “a landscape of time” that aims to capture how Bonnard and his peers were exploring new painting elements. Moving forward, it becomes clear what the show really gets right is colour theory and using this to pair with and capture the essence of Bonnard’s paintings. Mahdavi has selected hues and tones to delicately bring out details that may have otherwise not been picked up.

Mahdavi loves bold colours that almost shouldn’t work together – or, as she once put it, “when colours swear at each other”.

“Colours are a form of expression for me – it comes from my inner self. And I think Bonnard sees colours in the same way,” she says. Bonnard was also obsessive about colour: when he mixed a new hue that was just right, he’d retouch old paintings – including those already hanging in museums, roping his friend and fellow artist Édouard Vuillard into distracting the guards.

Personally, I loved Mahdavi’s inclusion of windows, which allowed you to glimpse the treasures ahead. Also, you could look back at the rooms you had visited and reflect on what you had observed. Where museums can sometimes be austere, Mahdavi’s space is a joyous explosion of colour; you just merge into the wonderful new experiences that are presented. Mahdavi has created an exhibition that encourages you to spend more time exploring every area and hence enjoying the art of Bonnard for longer.

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The opening room of the exhibition is overwhelming in paintings, colour and design – it prepares you for the unexpected –you know that Mahdavi has create a spectacular exhibition for you - a feast for the eyes.

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Mahdavi’s furniture and lighting fixtures gave the exhibition a relaxed and homely feel.

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In a Boat was certainly highlighted by Mahdavi’s brightest cinnamon orange painted wall.

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Windows allow you to get glimpses of the paintings, furniture and lighting that were coming up in the rooms ahead.

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The carpets had exquisitely coloured designs and were plush and rich to walk upon. They blended beautifully with the decorative wall designs, and here again a window to peep into the next room to find out what you were going to be presented with in this amazing exhibition space.

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This was the largest exhibition area - the photo gives you a vision of the incredible wall designs that Mahdavi had created to highlight Bonnard’s paintings.

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One of the large, plush decorative designed carpets that covered some of the exhibition floors.

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One of India’s wonderful chairs where you could sit and contemplate Bonnard’s painting on a muted beige wall.

Dining Room Overlooking the Garden.

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Mahdavi’s favourite Bonnard work is a suitably bright, late work: Studio with Mimosa, painted in Le Cannet between 1939 and 1946. Mahdavi once lived in the south of France too. “I just recognise so much in it – the bold colours, the light, the vibration. That’s the one I would take with me, if I had to steal one,” she laughs.

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Looking back. Looking back further back. Issue 53 - September 2023 148

Some of Bonnard’s paintings were hung on coloured walls who tones Mahdavi had created in her studio to especially highlight the paintings.

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Other paintings were hung on walls splashed with bright Mahdavi patterns inspired by Bonnard’s work.

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The last room of the exhibition had a beautifully curved bench where you could sit and watch scenes of Cannes where Bonnard had gained inspiration for some of his paintings. The walls of the room were decorated in horizontal stripes of greens, lemons, oranges and browns.

All Rights
on article and
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photographs Lorraine Fildes © 2023.

the wrong scale

we went to that place made infamous by Spike Milligan where nothing seemed to happen. I sensed the rot had already set in and asked dad to take us away from the boredomby car we drove down to the town centre where we could play "Frontline".

to drive a colourful, chunky tank. We escaped in other ways, walked down to the beach & combed the foreshorefinding dead things, dried weed, rubbish and gulls crying with contentment. Before we left,

I remembered collecting some dried weedit looked perfect for my 1/72 diorama, but when I took it home it was the wrong scale.

20 cents a pop would take us away momentarily - gave us a uniform, a pixellated gun & a chance


- Brad Evans © 2023.
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Links to poems by Brad Evans: a COVID valedictory the wrong scale little, green calling card

a COVID valedictory

I walked the return into the store and awaited service. A sales assistant called me over.

I made my approach and rested the torn, paper bag carefully onto the service counter. Lifting out the rectangular box, I placed it in front of her.

Removing the cardboard lid, I folded back the yellowed wax paper before removing a pair of sandals.

I held one of them up, flipping it over to reveal its underside.

"Can you explain this?" I asked her.

She examined it. Do you have any pets?"

"No", I said.

After looking at the sandal, she then peered at the box and shook her head.

"I don't think we've ever sold this brand here before."

She reached in and lifted out the receipt.

Sure enough, the store's name was on there, but the thermal print had faded considerably.

She looked at the date of purchase. "Thirteen oh eight two thousand and eleven. These were bought eleven years ago!"

"Yes", I said. "Can you explain it?"

She shrugged her shoulders. "Nothing lasts forever!"

Using her tablet, she began to search the online catalogue to locate a brand new pair of sandals.

After a short while, she showed me the tablet's screen.

"I think I've found you a new pair but they're not the same brand."

"I'll take the tan coloured pair."

"What size are you?"

I lifted up one end of the box and she noted the details on the label. "We might have this out back. I'll take a look."

She returned a short while later. "We don't stock this at the moment, but I can order you a pair from the warehouse."

I nodded. Once the order was in the trolley, she handed me the tablet. I entered my card details and confirmed the payment.

I put the worn sandals back into the box, wrapped them in the wax paper and fitted the lid, before sliding the box back into the torn, paper bag.

"Can you dispose of this?" I asked her.

"Sure", she said.

I picked up the receipt from the counter and looked at it one last time.

The last 4 digits of my late mother's card were still there, but very faint.

"Did you want to keep that as a souvenir?" she smiled.

"No", I replied. I dropped the receipt into the torn, paper bag and walked out of the store.

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- Brad Evans © 2023.


He told me that you were now over and before I could muster an utter the soft, ancient cries of my father come ebbing down through the jolly phone line from boy hibernation into my late-night, dark room.

I’ve heard that cry myself - in quiet solitude, but that was the first time I’d heard him cry and it reminded me of an older me.


before work, drinking what you drank attempting to salvage some spectral-space of you.

And of that dream, the night after your death, of me in the ceiling, finding it crawling with spiders – ice-white, luminescent, steel-soft; creeping in near – silence ‘midst the chill air eddies…

They say that a dying man’s mind will flash the lived past before his eyes, but what flashed before mine from the death of you, dear mother?

That chest-full of memories, I already have; the small troop of photographs, I already have; and a fading postwar picture of you with your sister both teenagers - tongues trotting out pig Latin, your square-trimmed, uniformed fringes reminding me of Hitler youth.

What took me by surprise?:

A sudden, surging appetite for late night discussions with my brother, blanket-wrapped in musical laments from Cash to Grieg to dudukmother-root soothed in sorrows; a nostalgic hunger for comforts of the past, of me imitating how you lay on the sofa

I take out the bulge from my fat, empty wallet and read the faint number etched on the little green calling card you’d given me just before I stepped onto the plane:


you said.

Knowing that you worried a lot and were a light sleeper a lot I held onto it for 20 years from a distant part of the world without making a call, saving it for an emergency. Mum, I miss your voice. Should I call you now?

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ittle, green calling card

I miss your smiles, humour and mischief, I miss your ‘white lies’ and promises of both the ones that flowered and the ones that remained deep in bud. I miss asking you questions, like that time I came home from primary school with a new word, freshly plucked from the playground finding you in the kitchen, asking you what ‘a mut’ was? And you laughing and answering me directly dampening my word curiosity, for a bit.

I miss your culinary delights, those stroganoffs and schnitzels and spring rollsspring rolls that didn’t quite taste the same as those featured on the Jumbo Palace menu.

And I miss your stories

Like the afternoon you’d baked the perfect, tempting shortbread. and found it so nice you pigged out on it before my brother and I returned from school and found that you’d made yourself sick. Or that time you bought the wrong coloured hair dye and turned yourself into ‘Beaker’.

I miss those other stories, the older ones, of you still young and your dadwho you refused to speak to one rationing Christmas, when you asked him where your favourite pet rooster was and he pointed at your plate.

Your dad - Catalina crewman and his brothers who fought in the war, of Uncle Pict and the hungry prisoners who ate the Kommandant’s donkey leaving behind the hide and the neatly arranged teeth and shoes, showing you the scar where he’d been shot trying to get away and that final escape made on his 13th attempt.

Mum, I miss your hugs a phone call could never deliver. Mum, my warm portal to earth-life, with your home full of old photographs, full of the purple pasta colour I can only find in skies long after the sun has gone down.

The company logo on that little green calling card you gave me has faded now, with a number I can’t reach. What may be a useless gift to many is a treasure I will keep.

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- Brad Evans © 2023.


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Janelle Gerrard

Jewellery designer Janelle Gerrard presently lives and works in Newcastle, NSW. The creator of Skitty Kitty Jewellery, Gerrard had a career spanning several decades in graphic design.

Creating interesting unique designs is what Skitty Kitty love to do. The jewellery is all hand made by artisan designer Janelle Gerrard.

Skitty Kitty jewellery is described as - Feisty, bold, unconventional, brave and fun brand. Feminine yet Strong. Bold and Daring. And a little bit mad.

Page 156 : Timber Circles Necklace - Black Etch

Right : Black Tree earrings.

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Centipede Necklace, etched.


When did your passion for jewellery design begin?

I have always loved jewellery and collected for many years. From time to time I would tinker about with some designs. What led to making jewellery?

I worked as a graphic designer, mainly in the area of developing brands for approximately 40 years. In recent times there was a trend to DIY rather than hiring professionals. Very quickly after having a successful graphic design business, work had almost ground to a halt. This meant I had to look at an alternative way to bring in some income. I’d come up with the idea of doing creative weekends getaways for women. This was late 2019 but I had to scrap that when covid hit. Travel was out of the question. In February 2020 I was diagnosed with breast cancer which fortunately was caught early. While recovering from surgery I had time on my hands so was sketching more jewellery designs. Some of my designs I’d had made up as I was curious to see what they would look like. When I wore these earrings I was continually getting asked where I got them. My favourite jewellery shop even wanted to buy some. Girlfriends visiting me after my surgery with gifts of toilet paper… remember that crazy time. I showed them my earrings and they said why don’t you make this your business. So it happened, thanks to COVID really. As we were approaching lock down I decided to get a cat. I’d always had Burmese cats and my last one had passed away 12 months prior so I thought it was the right time to get another Burmese. She was a little crazy and hence the business name Skitty Kitty. Naturally she became the brand ambassador. Clients adore her. It was a win win. A memorable brand name and a sweet kitty cat for company.

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Describe your work?

Predominately I create unusual shapes that are quite unique. Playing with interesting colour groupings is also an integral part of the look. This combination appears to be my signature. Perhaps that is the graphic designer in me. Currently I have created around 150 earring designs. I make them in limited numbers. As well I design necklaces with most being one off pieces. They have quite a distinctive look.

Last year I was involved in an exhibition at a gallery in Bowral with 2 others. The theme was nature so it made me stretch the look to meet the criteria. My inspiration came from so many areas of nature. Centipedes to termite nests… the nest interiors are fantastic. They are quite the architects.

As a graphic designer I was always very focused on providing a look that was unique and not getting caught up with trends. That is still my ethos, I endeavour to create designs that are different. I read a great post recently from Mary Portas and it articulated exactly what I believe.

“The look, the feel of so much has become a blur of similar in this visually overloaded world of ours.”

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

Mainly I work with acrylics as I adore the bright colours. Even though acrylic is not sustainable, the upside is that it is both reusable and recyclable. However lately I have been using more wood and loving the results. Often I paint the wood with a mix of colours and also have been screen printing patterns on the wood. Currently I am reviewing working with some anodised aluminium.

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Sprout earrings

Aqua & orange

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Do you have a set method / routine of working?

My work routine I have to admit is somewhat unorthodox. Designing is something I enjoy the most and I am continually sketching up designs when I see things that inspire me. My sketch book is always at hand. The business admin stuff is not the fun side so I try to put aside a block of time to get it over and done with. With social media I try to do daily posts… is it essential these days to market your yourself and the jewellery. My website is always a work in progress having so many designs I have kind of made a rod for my own back.

How important is drawing as an element to your artwork?

Very important - as mentioned previously my sketch book is always being used as I am constantly inspired by so many things. I then draw up what has potential on the computer.

What inspires your work / creations?

I take a lot of photos of all sorts of things from the natural world to the man-made world. It could be seaside rock erosion, trees, tribal art, architecture, sculpture, fashion…inspiration is everywhere.

What have been the major influences on your work?

There is a wide number…. fashion from the sixties designers like Pierre Cardin and Mary Quant. Art of Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Henri Matisse, John Olsen and James Coburn.

What are some of your favourite jewellery designers?

I actually rarely look at other current jewellery designers work. That is deliberate as I don’t want to be distracted.

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Branch NeckpieceSilver Ripple

Any particular style or period that appeals?

Mid-century modern.

What are the challenges in becoming a jewellery design business?

I find pricing is the biggest challenge.

What are you working on at present?

Creating an exclusive range for a retailer.

Your future aspirations with your jewellery?

I am always exploring new ideas and want to continue maintaining an element of uniqueness. Be unpredictable.

Also to be in more art gallery shops. My jewellery appeals to art lovers. They appreciate good design and aren’t afraid to wear statement jewellery. It sells well in that environment.

- Janelle Gerrard © 2023.
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Left : Wooden Rocco earrings. Page 155 : Janelle Gerrard wearing Nature necklace and standing in gallery. Photos courtesy of artist.
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Page 166 : Bojangles Espresso earrings.
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Left : Fossil Spiral necklace, copper etched.

Convivial Necklace, orange.

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Left : Woods Necklace, copper acrylic.
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Page 160 : Left - Yellow, Orange, Hot Pink & Black White Striped Long Necklace. Right - Hot Pink, Green & Black White Striped Long Necklace.
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Left : Wooden hand painted Bambam Earrings.
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Left - Wooden, red, Screen printed earrings. Left : Pebbly Dangles
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Necklace - Bottle Green
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Page 164 : Left - Black & white etched necklace. Right : Double Black & white etched earrings.
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Right : Blue Rosette earrings.
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Wooden screen printed Fishy earrings.

All Rights Reserved on article and photographs Janelle Gerrard © 2023.

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Right : Janelle Gerrard wearing Roots earrings. Photo courtesy of artist.
M A R K E L L I O T -
Portrait of the unknown soldier 1.8 x 1.5 m. Acrylic on canvas
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Mark Elliot-Ranken


A smile, cheeky

Under that hat

None other like it, The daggy uniform, khaki and green, Drab For concealment, Didn’t save him.

Of production.

Someone, a class

Still profited, Filled with wealth, power, privilege, Wanting even more.

Generations lost.

Others, family and lovers

Mourning for life.

Demanded a repeat of the horrors, Over the bones

And rising sun hat badges

Of the lost, now forever Unknown.

The cost of industrial warfare

Life reduced to… Lost carbon units

- Mark Elliot-Ranken © 2023.

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a l e s o f c u b a


Where am I as an artist? This is a question I like to ask myself every now and then. These days, I’m significantly influenced by ideas I need to expose about current issues. I’m into questions, and defending what I consider are valuable human rights we should not lose. I feel collage and video art are the art forms that can convey this concern. And I would like to start exploring installation too for these matters. I’m also into transmitting the message of the Latin phrase Carpe Diem. How? Showing my travel and street photo narrative! I have been to 41 countries, and I have a long wish list! Visiting new places opens so many possibilities. And it enriches my views as a person and as an artist. The main lesson that I have learned during these trips is that there is no unique way, there are so many different lifestyles and options to live your life. However, at the same time, I have also realized we have more things connecting us than what makes us different. First, the best path to live life can be something for someone and a totally different one for another person. Every day I value more and more the local, the regional, and the differences between what I find new or exotic in these trips and what I’m used to or what I know back home. I feel the Western vision of happiness is a closed concept that we should reconsider. During my trips, I have also seen that even though we are different the most important things in life connect us. I have realized most human beings are beautiful souls with so many good things to share with the world, and in fact, this picture I got through experiences is quite far from the image I get from the media about the world and its citizens.

It makes me question


So this is where I am as a person and as an artist right now.

Itinerary: La Habana. Viñales National Park. Playa Larga.

Ciénaga de Zapata National Park. Cienfuegos. Trinidad. Camagüey.

Santiago de Cuba. Sancti Spiritus. Varadero.

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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, encounters, and experiences. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colors, curious finds, and religious icons. His most ambitious projects so far are his Plastic People, a study on anthropology and sociology that focuses on the humanization of the mannequins he finds in shop windows all over the world, and his Tales of a City, an ongoing urban photo-narrative project taken in the UK, mostly in London. 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 various festivals, exhibitions, and events, both individually and collectively: FotoNovember TEA, TenDíez, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Phe Gallery, Institute of Hispanic Studies, Castillo de San Felipe Cultural Space, ULL Rafael Ramos García International Photography Awards, Tank Festival, Sala Fleming Art Gallery, The English Library (Puerto de la Cruz), San Rafael en Corto (Gran Canaria), Cohete (Toledo), Poetry Café (London), Loosen Art Gallery (Rome), Haze Gallery (Berlin), International Forum of Performance Art (Drama, Greece), Satellite Art Show (New York), Immemory Online Exhibition (New York), Lodger Gallery Online Exhibition: The Uninvited Guest (Kansas), Can you hear me? Online Exhibition (Turkey), Art City Bologna presented by Mock Jungle (Bologna), Doré Art Collective Culture Virtual Group Exhibition (Atlanta, Georgia), 3D Fashion Gallery: Be There in the Morning (California) among others.

His work has been featured in numerous national and international publications: PhotoVogue, VICE Spain, WAG1 Mag, Blanc Magazine, Mordant Magazine, Feroce Magazine, Art of Portrait, Mob Journal, Prolific Quarterly, Dodho Magazine, Pepper Magazine, Shuba Magazine, Rey Magazine, Style Cruze Magazine, Arts Zine, Creativ Magazine, Marika Magazine, Top Posters Magazine, Gerbera Magazine, Red Hot Monde Magazine, Sguardo Art Magazine, Horizont Magazine, DNA Australia Magazine, Art About Magazine, Knack Magazine, Bloom Magazine, and others.

He writes for Dodho Magazine and The Cultural Magazine about pop culture, among others.

Lately, he has experimented deeply with video art forms and collages.

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 also shares art and culture in his new blog: Pop Sonality: Webpage :

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All Rights Reserved on article and photographs

SEIGAR © 2023.





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Exhibition 2023


Ian Kingsford-Smith is a fulltime artist working in Sydney. He has studied painting with a number of leading New Zealand painters including Colin McCahon, Michael Smither and Toss Woollaston.

Kingsford-Smith sees himself as a visual storyteller. “In my art practice,” he says, “history, personal history, memory, family records, ambitions, fantasy, dreams, mythology and spirituality” all combine to create enigmatic narratives. They are detailed but do not tell one explicit story, rather they tap into the viewer’s imagination and evoke a multitude of possible storylines. Each of Kingsford-Smith’s images evokes a larger story and meaning through his ability to play subtly with colour, line and scale. Working in a variety of media, from etchings, to acrylics and oils on wood, to linocuts and wood engravings, KingsfordSmith says that employing such a range of materials gives him the opportunity to realise his vision and bring it vividly to life for the viewer.

Kingsford – Smith exhibits nationally and internationally. His work was accepted in the permanent collection of the Spazio Tadini Museum, Milan, Italy in 2018 and in private and corporate collections in USA, Italy, Sweden, France, Germany, Wales, England, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

Represented by Monteoliveto Gallery, Nice, France:

Ian Kingsford-Smith :
Page 202 : Being in a circus came to mind, mixed media, Ian Kingsford-Smith.
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Above : Meditating on Life’s Journey, mixed media, Ian Kingsford-Smith.

2023 Deities: Exhibition Statement

Ian Kingsford-Smith has been working with three dimensional artworks from 2015, applying painted images to the surfaces of life size fibreglass mannequins, pottery, wood fragments, pottery, resin, porcelain and papier mache.

In the current exhibition Deities, the artist has hand-carved wooden sculptures from Jelutong wood. Kingsford-Smith has researched diverse sources of three dimensional objects, including those from pre-Columbian, ancient Egypt, Polynesia, Olmac and Aztec cultures. These cultures produced pre-historic fertility and funeral idols, medieval votives and deities to represent their spiritual and symbolic values.

The worship of deities is not a religion in and of itself, but a facet of religious expression which recognizes the existence of elements beyond human control. This form of worship has been traced to the ancient Egyptians and Romans, and is at the core of some religious practices such as those in China, tropical Africa, Malaysia, and Polynesia..

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Left : Group of Sculptures, mixed media, Ian Kingsford-Smith.

The objects in the current exhibition are drawn from and juxtaposed with mythology, ancestral worship, and contemporary narratives as a way to connect the past, present, and future. By combining the historical with the new, it allows the audience to play an active role in contemplating their own life and spirituality. The series of framed aquatint etchings illustrate the relationship between the living and the dead and the diverse dimensions of human experience. Kingsford-Smith has referenced compositional practices and narrative styles of medieval and renaissance work which were used to combat feelings of existential anguish and doubt.

The prints represent the uncertainty of mortal life. Images of death and turmoil are combined with nature motifs to suggest the intersection of earthly and sacred realms within the imagination. Natural motifs mirror the spiritual and psychological states of people with themes ranging through family life, relationships, fragility of life, personal memories, judgment, loss and funereal practice.

Right : She always thought of him as her golden haired boy, mixed media, Ian Kingsford-Smith.

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It's hard to know the consequences till the deed is done.

Aquatint etching, Ian Kingsford-Smith.

She always felt someone was watching her wherever she was.

Aquatint etching, Ian Kingsford-Smith.

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Judgement is difficult when you don't know the facts on breeding humans

Aquatint etching, Ian Kingsford-Smith.

All Rights Reserved on article and
Ian Kingsford - Smith © 2023.
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9 August to 6 September 2023

Stephen Hobbs: SQUARE
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Fresh Juicy Mandarins, Acrylic and metallics, mixed media on canvas, 50 x 50 cm. Stephen Hobbs 2023.

Stephen Hobbs: SQUARE abstract paintings.

Saturday 19 August until 6 September 2023. Opening 2 to 4pm on Saturday 19 August.

WordXimage Gallery, 445 High Street, Maitland, New South Wales.

ARTIST STATEMENT I like to use grids to stack blocks of colour, to explore the way you can give a painting depth by letting the edges do their own thing. In a return to painterliness I have abandoned immaculate surfaces and hard edges, losing some control of the painting during the process and embracing that. Allowing the composition to breathe. I use colour as my subject matter. Placing a colour with a metallic and a black pushes the colour off the canvas and out to the viewer, elevating it. The colours underneath the gilding, visible in the edges give a buzzing effect to the eye. The titles of my work are about the colour on that particular canvas, and come from everyday life and memories associated with colour. In a world of constant bombardment by digital media, our lives have become governed by news and current events. Eschewing any social or political commentary, these are comfortable paintings to enjoy, rather like putting a favourite piece of music on. I enjoy being amongst old buildings, peeling colour and layers of history wherever I am in the world. I guess I am referencing that aesthetic in my painting.

- Stephen Hobbs 2023.
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The Blue Pools, Acrylic and metallics on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., Stephen Hobbs 2023.
57 Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm NEWCASTLE STUDIO POTTERS INC. 1973 2023 Issue 53 - September 2023 212

A Ceramic Group for Newcastle. History 1968 – 2023 Early History.

On 14 September 1968, the President of the Sydney Ceramic Study Group (Mrs Janet Mansfield) addressed a meeting at the home of Mrs Barbara Blaxland (now Pengelly). This was the beginning of the Newcastle Ceramic Group.

With the purchase of the butchery shop at Cooks Hill in 1973, the group had somewhere to meet, and potters from Sydney were invited to give demonstrations.

The first newsletter was published in 1973 and still connects with the members each month. Newcastle Studio Potters Inc.

The present name Newcastle Studio Potters was introduced in 1983 and the group registered with the Department of Fair Trading as an Incorporated Body in 1987.

In the early 1990s a large workshop was built with the help of the Hunter Development Board Apprentice Scheme and a grant from the Ministry of Arts.

After fundraising and loans from the membership the dedicated group began major renovations of the original building, exposing the internal beams, renewing the unique barrel style metal roof and replacing the pressed tin decorative panelling on the awning as well as replacing the underlying supports at the front of the building.

A gallery was created and opened on March 1, 1992. The constitution was amended in 1992 to include the Back to Back Galleries, an exhibition space.

It is with gratitude that we think back on the efforts of our founding members as the present members continue to safeguard the legacy. This butchery shop at Cooks Hill still stands today. The history of the family of butchers, the Back family, has been included in the name of the current business, Back to Back Galleries.

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55 Years in 2023

The group, Newcastle Studio Potters Inc, held several events in 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary culminating with a formal dinner and recognition of the Life Members and all committee members who had served the group.

This year the group is celebrating 55 Years and an exhibition is planned 29 Sept -15 October with the theme of Emerald – a colour that will be included in each artwork.

With a membership of 86, the group is strong, and supporting the membership is our first priority. Members are offered the gallery space for exhibition experience, the Gallery Shop for selling their work and regular educational workshops and discussions to expand their ceramic knowledge.

Local artists are invited and encouraged to begin their professional journey at our gallery. While exhibitions in various media are welcomed our focus remains on highlighting traditional and contemporary ceramics.

Article first published in ARTEMIS Volume 54 Number 1 July 2023 Pp 14-15 © Newcastle Art Gallery Society 2023.

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Life Members recognised at 50th Celebration –

John Cliff (representing Joyce Cliff)

Sue Stewart

Barbara Pengelly

Denise Spalding

Pippa Robinson

Member activity – pit firing.

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August 18 - September 3


Sharon Taylor, Sandra Burgess, Stephanie

Berick Jill Campbell, Clare Felton, Jackie

Maundrell-Hall, Judith Hill, Cath McCarthy

September 29 - October 15



Newcastle Studio Potters Inc.

September 8 - 24


Debra Ansell & Heather Campbell

October 20 - November 5


Hilda Botha & Wendy Thompson

57 Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm

B A C K T O B A C K G A L L E R I E S E X H I B I T I O N C A L E N D A R Issue 53 - September 2023 216
57 Bull Street Cooks Hill NSW Hours: Fri Sat Sun 11am - 5pm JUDITH HILL SHARON TAYLOR Issue 53 - September 2023 217


6:30 pm Monday 25 September Kathy McLauchlan presents: Peder Severin Krøyer: A Painter of Northern Light “Krøyer worked in Skagen, Denmark’s most northern town, and became one of Europe's most celebrated artists.

ADFAS Newcastle connects people with the arts, and with each other. Annually ADFAS Newcastle offers nine evening lectures on the arts. Become a member or attend as a guest.

6:30pm Monday 30 October Gillian Hovell presents: A Mediterranean Tour: Not Just a Load of Old Stones.

Cost: $25 per guest includes reception after the lecture.

2024 memberships will soon be available.

Venue: The Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of Performing Arts, Cameron St. Broadmeadow, Newcastle.

For more information:

“After a lecture by Gillian Hovell, the muddy archaeologist, you’ll look at ancient sites in new ways.”

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Phil Watts, born in Melbourne is a multi-instrumentalist musician and visual artist currently based in the Hunter Valley NSW Australia. He has been involved in the world of art and music for many years, graduating from Newcastle University with Fine Arts Degree in

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

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

Available for viewing on YouTube as pHil antHropic -


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Phil Watts performing. Modified Video still, courtesy of artist.


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

The Zine is free, with no advertising from sponsors. “It is just something we want to do for the Arts, which has been our lifelong passion.”

We have featured many national and international artists, photographers and writers includingWendy Sharpe, George Gittoes, Matthew Couper, Kathrin Longhurst, Nigel Milsom, James Drinkwater and Kim Leutwyler, Blak Douglas and many more.

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

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

Enquiries contact:


Page 226 : Left - Front cover, The Fall, Autoclaved aerated cement / cement / lacquer, H32 x W46 x B38cm. Eric Werkhoven 2013. Right : Organic Form, Autoclaved aerated cement / cement. Photograph by Robyn Werkhoven.
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Right : Eric Werkhoven. Photograph by Robyn Werkhoven.
ART SYSTEMS WICKHAM 40 ANNIE ST. WICKHAM, NEWCASTLE NSW. Phone: 0431 853 600 Director: Colin Lawson J O N W I L K S Issue 53 - September 2023 228
BOX Issue 53 - September 2023 229
An online store featuring a variety of wearable artworks - bracelets, scarves and earrings as well as homewares. Issue 53 - September 2023 230
Gallery Gift Shop at Home



30 August - 01 October

Scraping by: Nicole De Mestre

04 October - 12 November

Alternative Conversations –Untethered Fibre Artists

14th November – 22 December

Brooching the Subject”

#7 Exhibition Nature

08 Jan 2024 - 11 Feb 2024

Sounds, Sights and Textures: connecting the Hunter Wetlands to music and fibres- group exhibition


Brooching the Subject 2023

90 Hunter St. Newcastle, NSW.

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Barbara Nanshe
2 Wallace Street, Islington, Newcastle, NSW.
Barbara Nanshe Studio Online Shop Handmade. Ethical. Bespoke. Unusual. Original. Individual 2 Wallace Street, Islington, Newcastle, NSW. Issue 53 - September 2023 233
S T R A I T J A C K E T A N T H O N Y C A H I L L Issue 53 - September 2023 234



Daniela Cristallo

Lezlie Tilley

SCULPTURE by Kara Wood & Ron Royes


Anthony Cahill

Brett Piva


Gillian Adamson

Malcolm Sands

Rachel Milne 11 NOVEMBER - 3 DECEMBER

Michelle Brodie Matthew Tome 9 DECEMBER - 18 FEBRUARY 2024


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"Gallery on Dowling is excited to hang a new exhibition in conjunction with Sculpture on the Farm. This is a huge cultural weekend in Dungog and to celebrate we have recent landscape paintings by Helene Leane and abstract works by Jeanne Harrison. Also invited are Newcastle artists Ros Elkin (ceramics) and Adam Kelly (sculptures).

The opening is at 12 noon Saturday

30th September, 2023 and on exhibition until 4th November.

Sculpture on the Farm is on for the long weekend making it a special time to travel to Dungog. All are welcome.

Gallery on Dowling

120 Dowling Street, Dungog

Contact : Helene 0403 733 776

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GALLERY ON DOWLING Helene Leane Jeanne Harrison 120 Dowling St. Dungog NSW. Chichester River Life 1, monotype, Helene Leane Issue 53 - September 2023 238
DUNGOG BY DESIGN GALLERY / SHOP 224 Dowling St Dungog, NSW. M A R I A N D A Y Issue 53 - September 2023 239
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Rhino Images - Art and the Rhinoceros

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

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

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

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

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

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

Direct Link :

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Page 240 : White Rhino crash at Whipsnade Zoo, England. Image: Robert Fildes © 2019.
Untitled drawing, Gouache, ink, Acrylic on paper, 28 x 30 cm., Matthew Tome 2023.
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