Archive for May 2014

Facing the mountain at Sydney Writers’ Festival

I spent some time this week up at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, along with thousands of others. This fortnight of activity is hugely popular now, and with good reason. There are many speakers from overseas as well as plenty of home-grown talent.

There was a huge preponderance of middle-aged women, which was disappointing – where are the blokes?

I was entranced by a talk given by Huw Lewis-Jones. In 60 minutes he took us right to the top of Everest, following in the footsteps of George Lowe, photographer to the famous 1953 Hillary expedition. Admittedly, the man had good material to work with, but what a speaker he is. I was in tears several times. We were there. Lewis-Jones is an historian of adventure, and also serves as  a Polar Guide annually. He knows what it’s like to get very cold feet, let us say.








Huw Lewis-Jones


Lewis-Jones has written a book using Lowe’s photographs: The Conquest of Everest, which is now added to my wish list. Lowe’s son was in the audience, and lent the speaker Lowe’s wrist-watch for the session. This simple act of connection with the subject of the talk, who died last year, brought him into the room with us in a surprisingly moving way. What an incredible generation of climbers they truly were. ..


Enchanted arena: Cassandra Kavanagh’s ‘Flights of Imagination’













Friday night was the Opening Event of Cassandra Kavanagh’s latest solo show at Art Arena Gallery. Cassandra has been a quiet  and prolific practitioner for many years, finally ‘outing’ herself as an artist last year at a highly successful Solo show at Project.

Summer of angels








Summer of angels, 2014

Art Arena is a more intimate space and in fact, suits her work much better. All her work is of modest size but her intentions are large-scale. She is a dyed-in-the wool Romantic. She uses a combination of photography, hand-drawing and collage to produce printed works which are whimsical and fetching, with good archival values.











Deer adorned with Autumn leaves, 2014


A person with intense sensibilities, she is always out in Nature. Her  images reflect this strong connection with all things natural, in particular the animal world. Some of her trademark images include human/cat hybrids,which are  fun images but lovely to look at as well.

Miss Kitty












Miss Kitty, 2014

Many of the pieces are deliberately uncertain around the edges or over-pixelated . It is a fantasy world where we are constantly reminded of the illusions. So in other words, we are left under no illusion about the fact of an illusion…so it often reads as tongue in cheek. This somehow works, and viewers on Opening Night were responding well to these pieces. At present they are priced very modestly indeed…There, I warned you!


Exhibition runs  till May 24

‘Fruits of Uncertainty’ – Artists Talk @ Gallery Red










Martin Ison, Stone surf, 2014, fineliner pen on paper. POA


On Saturday May 17,  all five artists turn up for a discussion of our work. What makes an artist tick? A peek inside another creative person’s process can often be enlightening.

Talks kick off at 2pm, Sat May 17.

Refreshments provided; all welcome

Gallery Red is at 131- 145 Glebe Point Road Glebe. This is 500 metres up from Broadway.

With the Fruits at Gallery Red

Last night I attended the opening night of my latest show Fruits of Uncertainty at Gallery Red, Glebe.  The show also features my besties  Martin Ison, Susan Dalziel, Tom Gillan and Tracy Johnston.




 Installation shot of my pieces.

I”ve been doing this for 14 years, which I guess is adding up, but I still freak out before a show. I know I’m not alone there, although I certainly feel like I am at the time. Terrors about no-one showing up, and then those that do finding my work to be total crap, are the general visions crowding my head. Sigh. Of course that’s not what happened. People were positive and there were many kind comments. The curation of the show, courtesy of Liz McCrystal of Gallery Red, was thoughtful and lyrical.


Installation shot of Tracy Johnston’s lucious triptych, ‘Rain-goose.’

Next thing will be the Artists’ Talk event, on Saturday May 17 @ 2pm. We’ll all be cool as cucumbers, pretending we can talk eloquently about our process. Haha! We’ll see about that.


Installation shot of Martin Ison’s pieces – an absurdist blend of Ancient Egypt meets contemporary Surf Culture.