Saturday, December 4, 2010

Admiration - Rosalie Gascoigne

I've long been an admirer of artist Rosalie Gascoigne. I find her work, and her story, really inspirational. Born in New Zealand, she worked in Australia from 1974 to 1999. She established a reputation as one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists, yet had her first serious exhibition at the age of 57.

Gascoigne worked mostly with found materials: drinks crates, road signs, floral lino, enamelware, galvanised tin, corrugated iron and masonite. Some of her most iconic works are abstract grids of letters and word fragments - black text on yellow backgrounds, found on wooden Schweppes soft-drink crates and reflective road signs.

Rosalie Gascoigne exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, Melbourne 2009:

Source: aliasfreq at

Source: aliasfreq at

Photo: Justin Fox

More information about Rosalie Gascoigne:

Recently I read on Indesignlive about a Melbourne artist, Brett Coelho, who has also been inspired by Gascoigne. Brett Coelho worked as a graphic designer for 10 years, before becoming a full time artist working with found materials and exploring nature as a theme in his art. His work celebrates the ordinary, finding beauty in the most unlikely of places. He has recently collaborated with Bleux Design who have produced prints for architectural use.

Image: Brett Coelho / Bleux Design Source:

Image: Brett Coelho / Bleux Design Source:

Read more about Brett Coelho and Bleux Design at


Awe-inspiring indigenous art

A highlight of my trip to the Northern Territory in September was the Desert Mob 2010 exhibition at the Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs. It's an annual exhibition of art from Aboriginal communities across the Western Desert region spanning the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

We only had a short time there, but as I hurried from room to room, I felt exhilarated by the explosion of colour and the diversity of painting styles plus weaving, pottery and sculpture.

Here's a few pics of the exhibition catalogue:

Front cover of the catalogue: Harry Tjutjuna. Wati Ngintaka, Wati Nyiru, Wanka and Kungka Tjuta, 2009. Acrylic on linen 202 x 264 cm. Araluen Art Collection. Purchased from Desert Mob 2009.

Left: Sadie Singer. Old trucks, 2010. Acrylic on canvas 100 x 120 cm. Iwantja Arts.
Right: Nyarrapyi Giles. Warmurrungu, 2010. Acrylic on canvas 182 x 179 cm. Tjarlirli Art.

Left: Tommy Mitchell. Wakalpuka, 2010. Acrylic on canvas 101 x 76 cm. Warakurna Artists.
Right: Tiger Palpatja. Piltati ka Wati Tjakura, 2010. Acrylic on canvas 199 x 122 cm. Tjungu Palya.


Back in Sydney, I went to the open weekend at Art Gallery of NSW for the Art + Soul exhibition, and also loved the associated ABC tv series presented by curator Hetti Perkins and directed by Warwick Thornton.

Hetti Perkins, Art + Soul, ABC tv series 2010. Source:

One of the most astounding moments in the series, for me, was watching Aboriginal artist Mr Giles 'sing' a painting by another artist. Although he had never seen the artwork before, he immediately recognised and understood its story. It gave me goosebumps to realise the depth of meaning contained in these abstract works.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Marrickville Women's Salon

The Marrickville Women's Salon is a group exhibition which is showcasing the work of over 40 female artists living or working in the Marrickville area. It was officially launched by the Marrickville Mayor on the day of the federal election.

Here are a few photos of the opening and the gallery:

Huge thanks to local artist Ellena Rados for putting together the show!

The exhibition is on until this Sunday 5 September 2010 at ESP Gallery, 228 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cardboard love

I find cardboard such an inspiring material, it's sturdy, versatile, and either recycled or recyclable.

Design boom featured a couple of cool new cardboard designs this week:

move-it cardboard cart is intended for users without transport who need to move large boxes from a shop to their home. The cart is composed of a handle and a set of wheels which stick onto any size box. Designed by David Warwick Graham.

'my space' is a cardboard folding/pop-up play area for children developed specifically for small apartments which lack the space for a play room. It can be folded up and stored behind a door or under a single bed. Designed by Liya Mairson.

When I was young, my older sister won a cardboard spaceship. Man, I loved that thing!


Monday, July 19, 2010

New design store in Newtown - Lilypad Designs

A new Lilypad Designs store has 'popped up' inside the newsagency at 267 King Street, Newtown. Kirsten has curated an impressive line-up of design, illustration, handmade goods, craft and art.
First off, there are Lilypad Designs cushions, zippered pouches, tote bags, cufflinks, buttons, badges, magnets and cards. Then, there are offerings from local and international designers including softies, brooches, wrapping paper and Shinzi Katoh stationery and gorgeous tea sets.
Oh, and you can also find my artworks there :)

Update: 22 September 2010

The pop-up store has now finished, but it may pop up again in the future! In the meantime, you can find Lilypad stockists at

New works - storybook characters

Have been busy (and having fun) creating a dozen new framed collages ready for a new store on King Street, Newtown.

Here are a few, plus you'll find them all in the gallery.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Now available at Poliform!

I'm delighted to have some of my artwork on display (and available for sale) in Poliform's Sydney showroom.

Poliform produces contemporary high-end furniture and embodies the best of Italian design, with uncompromising quality and luxury.

Here are a few pics:


There are also some beautiful pieces by artist Tanya Stubbles, who is based on the NSW south coast. Tanya was a 2008 Wynne prize finalist at the Art Gallery of NSW. View some of Tanya's mixed media works at

Thanks Leonie and Poliform for supporting local artists!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New works - collages on wooden panels

Have just finished another set of cardboard collages on wooden panels, all 15cm x 15cm. I've experimented with some new colours - vivid pinks and yellows, silver, and plain brown cardboard with black text - staying true to its origins as a humble packing box.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Inspiration: beauty in decay

I'm trying to understand why I find rust, decay and peeling paint beautiful. From seeing other people's photos and artworks, I know I'm not the only one. I'm sure there are whole artistic movements based on this. But I'm untrained in art theory or history, so I struggle to find the words to explain myself.

I really relate to this quote from UK artist, Fiona Long "As I walk around the streets of London, on my way to college or work and when I’m out and about, going to galleries I see art everywhere. It may not be art to anyone else as it isn’t obviously beautiful, it isn’t made by an artist and it isn’t in a gallery, but I keep seeing elements of aesthetic quality and beauty wherever I look. I intend to explore the beauty of what many see as ugly, imperfect elements of our urban environment."

Life seems so rich when you find beauty everywhere!

A while ago, I heard about the Japanese aesthetic called Wabi-sabi. "Wabi-sabi acknowledges three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect... Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (harshness, roughness), simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and the suggestion of natural processes."

I would love to learn more about this...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Time lapse on the loose without a tripod

I really don't have a lot of technical knowledge about photography, I'm happy just to 'play' (for now) and luckily, I'm a fan of accidental images.

This is what happened when I tried to take some photos of the Sydney Opera House at night, using a slow shutter speed and no tripod...

The last one, especially, reminds me of a fluffy feathered nest!

Local graffiti

This abandoned shopfront sign on King Street was a perfect canvas for a stencil artist.

Took these photos a while ago, so not sure if it's still there, I guess street art is always changing.

The peeling vinyl sign has different shades of blue and white, faded lettering, splatters of paint, lots of imperfections and details.

Maybe it doesn't look like much at first glance, but once you start zooming in on something like this, you 'find' so many different compositions.

Here are some of my faves...

Does anyone know this artist's name?

Friday, February 12, 2010

New work, new characters

I've been making these ones for a while, but have added 5 more to the collection.

The characters are taken from old children's books, and the background is a mix of painted and unpainted cardboard fruit box tiles.

They're mounted on boxes salvaged from an art store, that used to hold paint tubes. They make a great base, giving the work a bit more depth on the wall, and they're so light too. They're ready to hang, with a red hemp loop on the back.