Sunday, April 29, 2012

Meet the Artists - Megan Yeo

Megan Yeo works in varied medium including embroidery, painting, works on paper and photography.
For Jehanne's Alchemists, she decided on a Fuji camera that takes little instant photographs the same as the Polaroid Instamatic of days past to keep in theme of the early 1970s when the book was written and set.

Hello Sausage by Megan Yeo 2012 (edition 1/1 Lambda print 27x42cm from original Polaroid-type photograph)
Pumpkin by Megan Yeo 2012 (SOLD edition 1/1 Lambda print 27x42cm from original Polaroid-type photograph)
C-Harmony by Megan Yeo 2012 (edition 1/1 Lambda print 27x42cm from original Polaroid-type photograph)
 Out to Pasture by Megan Yeo 2012 (edition 1/1 Lambda print 27x42cm from original Polaroid-type photograph)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Launch - Tom and his Alchemists

Visitors (head count stopped after 120) and artists had a wonderful Saturday afternoon launch of Jehanne's Alchemists and our VIP  - Thomas Keneally, spent generous time with all the artists talking about their works and signing copies of his "old mad book".  
 (from left to right: Edwina Wrobel, Linda Brescia, Dorota Bona, Megan Yeo, Tom Keneally, Penny Burnett, Lucinda Clutterbuck & Anne Bentley - not present are artists Jakob Adler & Priscilla Bourne)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meet the Artists - Linda Brescia

Linda Brescia has been creating and exhibiting her work for the last 12 years.  She has created a series of photographed models that depict striking  imagined scenes from A Dutiful Daughter:
You little bitch...we know you made it happen... (Lambda print - Linda Brescia 2012)
A different man's desire triggered your own (Lambda print - Linda Brescia 2012)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Meet the Artists - Penny Burnett

Currently sitting her BFA(Hons) at University of Tasmania (UTAS), Penny Burnett has been exhibiting her work for the last 10 years after studying fine arts in 1999.

Penny's work for the show:

‘There are questions you dreaded to have answered – your mother’s lactation, your father’s bovine lusts’
(Keneally 1971, p. 48)

Oil on masonite
60 x60 cm
© 2012 Penny Burnett

‘...they were abstracted, and it had been apparently so natural for them to turn into cows, or semi-cows, or rather a semi bull and a semi-heifer, that they hadn’t suffered a second’s dizziness or nausea.’ (Keneally 1971, p. 49)

Oil on masonite
60 x60 cm
© 2012 Penny Burnett

‘It is the duty of a good child to let his parents know the second they turn into animals’
(Keneally 1971, p. 49)

Oil on masonite
60 x60 cm
© 2012 Penny Burnett

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meet the Artists - Lucinda Clutterbuck

I was thrilled when Lucinda Clutterbuck said yes to participating in this show last September.  She was just about to head off to  Toulouse, France, on invitation, to create a show based on some earlier work, Smith
The serendipity of meeting her & discussing Jehanne's Alchemists couldn't be stranger - in A Dutiful Daughter, Barbara Glover appropriates aspects Joan of Arc's life (Barbara calls her Jehanne) and relates it to her own life and thoughts.  In Toulouse, Lucinda told me, everything is Joan - including Jeanne d'Arc metro station and the Jeanne d'Arc car park - all in their own district called Jeanne d'Arc. After speaking with a number of people, it seems that one has to be careful of what is said about Joan in France.  Some very conservative French politicians battled recently over their own appropriation of the image and meaning of Joan on the 600th anniversary of her birth.
Lucinda is a fluent French speaker, studied in France and has had "a thing" about Jeanne d'Arc since she was a child.
As an animator and filmmaker, Lucinda took the opportunity while in France to interview people on camera (including a stage actress who played Jeanne d'Arc) about how they see Joan and discussed appropriation.
While working on her short film, she took time out to create works on paper for the show:


Images copyright Lucinda Clutterbuck 2012

Read more about Lucinda here
View some of her work here

Monday, February 27, 2012

You are invited to a group exhibition

Opening Saturday 21 April 2012

Front images clockwise from left:
How could they fruitfully relate by Linda Brescia  
Mrs Glover will be here in a moment (detail) by Anne Bentley
Ciggie  by Megan Yeo

I've just put together a postcard invite (above) & sent it off the the printer.  
Artists are in touch and sending work samples and I'm getting excited.
19-29 April 2012 @ Sheffer Gallery 38 Lander Street Darlington NSW

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Book (beware spoilers likely)

Published in 1971, A Dutiful Daughter was Thomas Keneally's 6th book.

Inside the dust jacket: 
"Shocked at the onset of puberty and the catastrophe she believes it brought on her parents, Barbara has since been a most dutiful daughter. Bound in dominance over them, she tends her afflicted parents, managing the beasts and the land single-handed on the isolated marshlands of Campbell's Reach.
"It is her brother Damian who reveals the secrets that the family has shared for the past thirteen years. As the destructive forces within each of them move towards a climax, Barbara is impelled to make the ultimate sacrifice."

The story is set in the modern day (40 years ago now) in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, Australia on a not very successful farm run by the Glover family called Campbell's Reach.
Mr & Mrs Glover have 2 children, Barbara and her younger brother, Damian.
The book opens with an adult Barbara preparing a syringe of antibiotic for her affected mother, whose affectation (sic) is now infected.  
Mother, Father and Barbara are all waiting for Damian, on a holiday break from university, to arrive.  Parents and daughter are all tense with anticipation - Damian is their only link with the normal world - he is out in the world but like his family he carries the burden of their secret.
(if you haven't read the book and intend to, you may choose not to read on, or you may, read on...)
So, what is the burden, what happened?  
The Glover family is experiencing their first winter at Campbell's Reach.  The reader is told that the Glover cows are not good enough for entry into the Dairy Farmers Cooperative as they are deemed inferior due to deficiency in butter fat and subject nasty cow afflictions.   Seen through the eyes of Damian as a child, when Barbara starts to menstruate neither of them know what is happening.  The siblings find out via a confrontation with their parents over the disposal of her nightdress in the fire of the kitchen stove.
Barbara gets angry when her parents try to explain; tearing at her clothes and runs into the forest with her parents in pursuit.  Damian stays in the kitchen, gorging himself on toast and syrup.
Eventually the three return and everything has changed; Barbara is gentler but firmly in charge.  Mr and Mrs Glover have found their bovine selves* - they are a cow version of Centaurs and Mrs Glover has particularly ugly udders.  Mr Glover asks for gun cartridges, "They'd shoot a bloody this condition"*  but Barbara refuses and so we are taken through the next 13 years via a delightful (others have described it as 'grim' and 'bleak') layered story, which one can read purely for its surface story or delve into further if you seek deeper meaning.

(* from A Dutiful Daughter)

if you want to know more, the book can be tricky to find as it had its last printing in 1985 but I've found a number of copies online at good prices.  I may have some copies at the exhibition to pass on at cost.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

setting up a group show

Toward the end of 2010, I attended a group show in Balmain, Sydney Australia to have a look at Edwina Wrobel's work.  Of the more than a dozen works she presented, a number featured images influenced by Thomas Keneally's story, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith.

Such a brutal story, I thought and it occurred to me that I'd like to see what she would come up with another of Thomas Keneally's books called A Dutiful Daughter.  This novel, published in 1971 I'd read over 25 years ago & liked it so much that I've kept it in my library, ready to lend it to anyone I thought would find it as good as I did.

Maybe, I thought, Edwina would be interested in creating some paintings to do with A Dutiful Daughter.  I mentioned the novel it but she hadn't read it and seemed a little distracted; it was, after all, her group show opening and her birthday.  So I put the thought to one side.
I then thought of another good friend, Megan Yeo, an artist who works across a number of mediums and when I lent her some DVDs to watch, I included the book as well.  She gave it back, saying she couldn't get into it.  This is often the case when someone foists a book on you so I was a little disappointed but didn't mind.
Still thinking about the marvelous & perverse images an artist could come up with, I decided I would do something myself.
At the beginning of May 2011 I attended "Showdown" - a group show curated by Peter Fay at Sheffer Gallery and I think it was here that I experienced a subconscious notion to organise a group show myself and that way I could get both Edwina and Megan to participate (knowing they would find it hard to say no to me if asked).

That was it then, I visited Andrew Purvis at Sheffer Galelry one Friday afternoon and discussed my idea - I had already put idea to Edwina & Megan and had their verbal support along with a friendly okay from Mr Keneally himself.
I couldn't ask for a better incentive than that!

Edwina Wrobel:
Megan Yeo:
Peter Fay:
Sheffer Gallery:
Thomas Keneally:
A Dutiful Daughter:

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