Friday, September 25, 2015

As If: 40 Years and Beyond Celebrating Womens Art Register

I have been the convenor of Women's Art Register for the last fifteen years, we are very excited to be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year with a fabulous festival that includes several exhibitions throughout Melbourne along with some workshops and artist walks. We will be hanging the member show on Monday and will really brighten up the space at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. The image we are using for all of our publicity is this piece by one of our founders Erica Mc Gilchrist.

Image: Erica McGilchrist, Trio, 1970, from the series Enigmas,
synthetic polymer paint on canvas,152.5 x 122 cm © Estate of Erica McGilchrist.
AS IF: 40 Years and Beyond

Celebrating the Women's Art Register

11 August to 7 November 2015

An arts festival with 13 free events across Melbourne

In 2015, the Women’s Art Register celebrates 40 years of persisting and insisting that women’s art matters. To honour this remarkable achievement, we are hosting a curated mini-festival of women’s artmaking, showcasing a dazzling array of women’s artistic contributions to the cultural landscape.
This one-off program is bold, diverse and exciting. Enmeshing the old and new, here and there, now and then, the project responds to the notion of AS IF (as if we’d still be here, I will continue to make art as if it is vital).              The series of events, zig-zagging across the City of Melbourne and the City of Yarra, will include up to 100 emerging, mid-career and established artists across all art forms. The program engages artist and audience, actively presenting a re-envisaging of Melbourne’s cultural life by women artists.
Please join us to Celebrate!
For further event information and bookings visit

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Contemporary Art Society and Jelly Prints

I started writing this about two weeks ago but life and commitments got in the way. I have two works in the Contemporary Art Society annual members show that is on at the moment at Gallery 341 that is at 341 Church Street Richmond. I will be there on Thursday 24 September after 11 am until 2-3 pm. Here is one of the pieces I entered.
Untitled Collage 42 x 30 cm

I have been having a lot of fun lately with gelatine prints. A few weeks ago we had a weekend away in Anglesea for the Surf Coast Arts Trail and saw a demonstration of gelatine printing in the Anglesea Art Shed. I had to try it out on the spot and I was hooked. I came home and made myself a couple of gelatine plates and have made lots of beautiful pages. It works particularly well on smooth handmade paper. Here are just a few of the pieces I made. 

I have had so much fun with this that I have offered to run a workshop for Papermakers of Victoria next year.
Shadow print of leaves and string

Double print of leaves and string

several over prints with plastic shapes and orange bag

Plastic shapes again

Indian wood block

Printed directly onto card, leaves and string

Collage using the pieces I made in Anglesea along with some silk and handmade papers

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Workshop results and As If Women's Art Register members show

Since I got back from teaching in Ballarat I have made a bit of paper and done some batik dyeing. Women's Art Register is turning 40 this year and we have funding to put on a women's art festival in Melbourne this October. The theme for the Festival is As If : 40 Years and Beyond and it promises to be a great boost to the Register and to the women artists represented.

I am one of the curators and have made a couple of pieces for the show. Years ago, probably 1975, I made some batik Tshirts, several had the women's Liberation symbol and some had 'Shame, Frazer, Shame'. My sister still has one of the shame ones and is going to lend it to me but I was inspired to make another WL one for the members show but instead of using commercial dyes I went with indigo and rust. I also did some batik on a sheet of recycled paper and dyed that with indigo too.

I came back from the workshop with quite a lot of pulp even though I sent the participants home with some. I made some landscape concertinas and had a bit of a play with red and black pulp.

Here is a picture of my class on the final day with all the work produced on display, you can see that I had a very talented group.

Late in June the exhibition 'Pulp and Fiction' opened in Negev, Israel. Here are a couple of pictures of my work hanging in what looks like a fabulous space.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

More workshop prep

These books are some examples I have put together for my forthcoming workshop in Ballarat, all the paper has been made using the mould and deckle that will be made in class. We will have a theme for the artist book that we will produce and I am thinking along the lines of flight but we will do some brainstorming once the class is underway. There are still a few spots available but it starts in less than three weeks so I had better get back to making pulp!

Rainbow Wings
recycled abaca and mount board, shaped, embossed sheets Coptic binding

Mixed plant fibre with cotton paper and ginger-lily, nature printing, W binding

Recycled mount board and abaca, shaped sheets and hand written text, toji binding
Snappish were having a sale on photo books so I made one of my artist books, I will be selling these in Ballarat along with the more expensive Blurb books that I put together that include my binding instructions. 
The new books, 20 pages hard cover (will be $15 each)

The other book, soft cover 32 pages ($40 each) with instructions for ornament, 2 needle Coptic,  oriental,  W,  piano hinge and long stitch bindings as well as notes on paste and scraper papers.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

CAS brooch show and some nature printing experiments

The Contemporary Art Society of Victoria has a brooch show opening on the 1st of June and since members get to enter for no charge I thought I should participate. I made three brooches from paper pulp pressed into carved plaster that I coated with shellac and graphite then acrylic paint then scraped back some of the paint.

Fossil 15#3

Fossil 15#2

Fossil 15#1
The fourth brooch was one of my experiments with nature printing and embossing. I inked up a parsley seed head with waterless block printing ink then made a small sheet of paper from recycled abaca and pressed the inked seed head into the paper and dried it on a sheet of fibro cement. I then gave it a few coats of shellac then sewed seed beads on. 
I tried a few different ferns as well as the seed heads and then I also printed onto some mixed fibre sheets I had made as samples for the workshop I am running in early July, Journey; an Artist Book from Go to Whoa.

Fishbone fern on recycled abaca