Jan Allen and Christopher Grant at Peter Kingston Opening night. 16th July 2013

Sydney Modern: Frank Hinder's cute assemblage. Push the knob on the side of the frame and the whole thing turn sideways. Push again and it's upside down. Be patient, this is old technology, not Vivid. Or Rapid. (For more of Sydney Modern scroll down main view to the right)


Curator Djon Mundine with friend at opening of Cold Eels and Distant Thoughts July 2013 NAIDOC week

Marnye Rothe with one of her Women in Uniform photographs from her beautiful exhibition at Sandy Edward's ArtHere in Regent Street Redfern - (until 23rdMay 2013)
Scroll down  main column for brief but amusing commentary.
Gilbert Bel Bachir at Alliance Francaise exhibition Looking Through Glass.

Below: (December2012)
Louise Ferri
eLouiseLaraer and LaraThoms, wearing a dress of her late mother, Linda Slutzskin. Seated is Jan Chapman, film producer.

Lissa Coote, Bronwyn Stevens-Jones, Luke Sciberras, Maggie from Palm Island...

Jan Allen, designer, of Auroville fame, Peter Kingston, painter, involved with the Yellow House, not to mention a life long interest in painting Sydney Harbour.

Tommy Thoms and Nicola

Carol Ruff, painter, Greg Weight, photographer of renown, the Sydney scene from  the Yellow House to lately, the studio of Margaret Olley.
Below, Adrienne Levinson in dancing mood, sporting what has to be called a party dress.

James Rickettson documentary video man, David Humphries of Public Art Squad

Richard Brennan, film producer, Jill Steele, Tina Kaufman and others, lost in the crowd.

Tina Kaufman once of the Baby Push, Film News and still associated with the Sydney Film Festival, puts it to Ace Bourke, curator, collector, historian, lion tamer and first fleeter.

Keith Hansen's recent take on Francis Bacon's gilded gutter life (as his friend Daniel Farson typified it in his bio) of which Hansen got a taste when he met him in  London in the seventies. Does the glass of wine symbolise the gilt or the gutter ? Where's the heavy make-up, Keith, that Bacon wore all his life? The carmine lippy?
As for Dave Brubeck, I was never the greatest fan but he gets full marks for longevity and creative continuance, Keith Hansen who was a fan talked me into putting up his recent Brubeck painting, seen in the main right hand column.

Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Collective celebrated 25 years of existence and solidarity, 24 November 2012. Gary Foley activist and benefactor opened
the exhibition. It runs until 20th January 2013 Flood Street Leichhardt. Image from early days by Avril Quaill, Fernanda Martins and Jeffrey Samuels

Lottie Consalvo and her performance day in bed. I was there at 11am for fifteen minutes. She would be there until 6pm. Not too much tossing and turning I hope as the castors of her cast iron bed were perilously close to the edge of her plinth.eLottieAnotherAngle

Nick and Nica of Jon Frum Art Foundation at 2020 Exhibition,
Damien Minton Annex. Behind are Nick's beautiful paintings on paper of psychedelic mushrooms, a sort of cross between Blue Meanies and Byron Bay Gold Tops. Well, that's what they looked like to me.

eAdamCullenKeith Hansen tries his fluid hand at another tribute to Adam Cullen.
Charles Waterstreet gave the eulogy to Adam Cullen and an edited transcript appearead as his regular column 5th August 2012 in the Sun Herald. A heart felt piece, clearly channelling, appropriately enough I guess, Hunter Thompson, not to mention William Burroughs. Gonzo Journalism rises again.
Goulburn's South Hill Gallery's 
Wilde in the Country
a Mardi Gras Festival outreach event, concluded 11th March with stellar performances  as Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland  by female impersonator Gaynor Tension.
Wilde in the Country will continue in 2013
For other Jim Anderson Wildean imagery scroll down main page.
LAMPOON  catalogues  are still available. 68 full colour hi-gloss
pages, a steal at $25 + $3 postage

Gaynor Tension sings Judy at South Hill
Gaynor does Shirley Bassey

Linda and Roland Gumbert of South Hill Gallery will once more be hosting the successful and innovative Wilde in the Country as part of Mardi Gras Festival 2013. Steve McLaren will once more be curating. Details to be announced in due course.



Jim Anderson's Fine Art Prints of any of the photographs and collages you see here, as well as other works done over the years, are available by contacting him at 

jim@jimanderson.com.au   or   jamesanderson1937@gmail.com


This exhibiton is an updated re-imagining of the initial showing  six years ago at the University of Sydney's Tin Sheds Gallery. It has been splendidly presented  by curator Kim  Blunt of the MAITLAND REGIONAL ART GALLERY. Copies of my novels, Billarooby and Chipman's African Adventure, together with my LAMPOON an historical art trajectory (which also doubles as a catalogue) are already available at the Gallery's shop. The exhibition has been open to the public since 8th April 2017 and will continue after the official launch on 6th May,  until 18th June 2017.

My first novel, BILLAROOBY (HarperCollins 1989) is being republished by Valentine Press and will make its first appearance at the Bellingen Writers Festival 9-12 June 2016. I have designed a new cover.


BILLAROOBY is a very different novel to last years's CHIPMAN'S AFRICAN ADVENTURE (see below) also published by Valentine Press, 27 years later. And thereby hangs a tale of detour, back alleys and the road less travelled, partly explained by LAMPOON an historical art trajectory 1971-2011 (Dennis Publishing). (see below)  Chipman's African Adventure  is an entertainment and a provocaton. Annette Manfording of the Writers Festival has described it as 'satirical burlesque'

Billarooby is a wartime family drama and the title comes from the name of a small rural settlement on the Lachlan River in NSW Australia. It is a wartime story told from the viewpoint of Lindsay, a 12 year old boy who has a difficult relationship with his father Jack, with whom he shares a horrific family secret from their English past. Lindsay forges a friendship with Tadao, an 18 year old  Japanese soldier who has escaped from a POW camp across the river from his father's farm. Lindsay witnesses the brutal recapture of the young man by the camp commandant, and he comes to believe that the prisoners are noble samurai warriors who follow the Code of Bushido.

As the great forties drought claims Jack's's farm and his mind, the troubled family's conflicts are resolved in the context of a mass break-out by the Japanese from the camp.



I am speaking in couple of panels next week at the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, (9th -  12th June) about my seventies novel, Chipman's African Adventure (see below). In the first, Annette Marfording will lead a discussion on truth and authenticity in the novel. In the second. (both are on the Sunday) Irina Dunn, the Festival director will lead a discussion on the Creative Process and how difficult it is to write.  It is difficult, but fun.   Chipman's African Adventure  began long ago as a serious commissioned work of non-fiction and 20 years later has been described as a 'satirical burlesque'  I call it an entertainment and a provocation.  There follow two trial covers based on Peter Kingston's illustrations for the novel. Ultimately we went for the 'larrikin' witchdoctor one which you see in poster form below.



CHIPMAN'S AFRICAN ADVENTURE was published in 2015, by Valentine Press.

10 line illustrations by Sydney artist, Peter Kingston. Available at The Bookshop, Darlinghurst, Gleebooks and good bookstores. Also online as an ebook for your Kindle or preferred device through Amazon. Hard copy also available thru Amazon.  Go to link below.



The book was launched  by Charles Waterstreet,  Sydney barrister, writer, columnist, bon vivant and charismatic gentleman about town, on Friday 27th March 2015. Not to mention that Charles is the subject of this year's Archibald Prize, painted by Newcastle  artist, Nigel Milsom. A couple of years ago Milsom won the Moran Portrait Prize while in prison.  Barrister Waterstreet formed a close relationship with Milsom over his shabby treatment at the hands of  the justice system and it is enrobed in his bib and gown that he has been painted. I find the eyes of the portrait the telling feature. Not something from  a horror  film, like the skeletal hands, but the eyes of one of Madagascar's unique lemurs, the aye-aye. I hope I have got that name right.  No matter, and what if it does, as the saying goes.





A Modest Ascension into a starry starry night - one of my more ambitious collages and the one I used for the cover of LAMPOON, an historical art trajectory 1970-2011 (Dennis Publishing) the lavishly illustrated story of the triumphs and travails of a working would-be artist and writer.  A galaxy of images on every page, all orchestrated by Quetzalcoatal's mordant Cupidal.


THE DISTANT JOURNALISTIC PAST -  for those who might prefer it to a gift of the present...


The last Friday of every month there is an Art Party at  the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Destiny Deacon, aboriginal artist and art star, curated the evening, a rambunctious one as it turned out, with cabaret (Clinton Nain in drag) and dancing in the roof top cafe as well as serious lectures on political matters. There was also Daniel Boyd's new mural for the wall as you ascend the entrance steps. Pictured are provocateur Michael Bell and Destiny herself who did an impromptu stand-up comedy act before Michael launched into Proppa Contact, obervations on recent TV series First Contact from which he showed excerpts. The lady in the centre (whose name escapes me) became part of the Deacon/Bell double comedy act.







Martin Sharp (21 January 1942- 1 December 2013) has passed away after a long illness. His emphysema finally got him. Australias's greatest pop artist, long deserving of his iconic status

Last Laugh

Martin designated Christ Church St Laurence as the venue for his funeral service. Far too small for the numbers that turned up. It became something of an ordeal what with the length, the heat and the overflowing multitude. The Order of Service quickly became used as a fan.  Last Laugh indeed was on Martin, (well known for his mordant wit) but following the writings of Eternity on the George Street pavement, things turned to celebration of a famous life under the trees outside National Art School's Cell Block Theatre where 'everybody' turned up and there was comfort, converse, ukelele playing and plenty to eat and drink. Maartin's original Australian Oz mates Richard Neville and Richard Walsh were  there.  If Martin had not inspired me at London Oz to become a collage artist, I might never have come up with  Last Laugh, and Martin looking more like his own Old Testamental vengeful God than Martin himself. I took the photograph I made use of in 2011 at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery when Martin launched Roger Foley-Fogg's Lumino Kinetica.


It's Funny how times slips away ...my best wishes card for Xmas and New Year has taken a lightly melancholy tone after the death of Martin. He made it into his seventies but went too soon to fully enjoy (I use that word because it is the festive season after all) the challenges of an eighth decade which is what is facing his contemporaries  -  like me who is already well into it.


The renowned Ann Thomson's exhibition Touch opened at Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney  Saturday 23rd November 2013 - prints and original works on paper plus collage and acrylic on tarred paper. An abstract artist all her long  life, she has given us this time a delightfully happy and assured selection of work done in places as diverse as Paris and Magnetic Island from which comes the watercolour below. Cloud break done back in her Sydney studio was my favourite of several vibrant series presented, with intense and rich colourations which I thought had to be oil stick but turned out to be acrylic. Much to enjoy and revisit. The lithograph, Warrior, for example, (2013) was really something.


Darlinghurst Road's BlackEye Gallery launched Gary Heery's career retrospective book 1973-2013 on 22nd November 2013. Edmund Capon wrote a foreword. Heery returned to live and work in Sydney (1987) after many years in the States where  his images appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Interview, Esquire and Life. In New York and LA, he moved easily in the worlds of advertising, fashion and celebrity. He did album covers for Madonna and Paul Simon, advertising campaigns for Karl Lagerfeld, Sony and Swatch. His black and white images of animals have to be seen to be believed.  The squatting horse and the soulful look in the eye of that chimpanzee ? Brilliant.

Gary Heery and Christopher Grant. That's a young Robin Williams in the background of the photograph of the unnamed nude model.


Meg Hewitt, (who runs the 10x8 Gallery with Paul McDonald) James Brickwood, with photographer Dean Sewell opening Brickwood's exhibition  Tempelhof at 10x8's new premises at Central Square on Broadway. Tempelhof is the old Nazi airport on the outskirts of Berlin, now used as a sometime park by joggers, walkers, bicyclists, picnickers in the long abandoned lonely looking space.  Prints so large they were the wallpaper for the main room. Excitement provided by the soundscape of a plane roaring low overhead every few minutes.  (22nd November 2013)


Umbrellas for Climate Change. Prince Alfred Park in Sydney was awash but it was a Gene Kelly Day of Singing in the Rain with the mood upbeat and determined.  Abbott the Antedeluvian was roundly derided as a man who doesn't heed the signs and in Biblical terms, he, his wife and his big shouldered daughters would have missed Noah's Ark,  with his vengeful God consigning him to the bottom of the deep blue sea or at least to the outer reaches of the cosmos.










Terry Ingram and I took a   trip to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat in north west Cambodia returning on the 24th October 2013. While Sydney was experiencing massive fires Cambodia suffered extensive flooding. Tonle Sap the vast inland sea was never so vast, spreading more  than  five times its size over the flat central plain, flooding areas of Phnom Ponh and Battembang (the best preserved French colonial city) never flooded before.


Terry Ingram. Residues of a typhoon that hit Phnom Penh further south,  made it a day of light rain. Buddha pictured was situated on  the Terrace of the Leper King just north of the Bayon.

Bayon - ruin at the centre of  the moated city, Angkor Thom.  Photo taken late afternoon from  our passing tuktuk  - best way to see  the temples and the vast forest in which the temples are situated. In the heat, the little open vehicle was our travelling fan.







Back in Sydney, Sydney Ball has an 80th birthday opening of an exhibition at Sullivan + Strumpf - his famous  Stains series from the seventies, created after after a decade spent in New York in the company of the abstract expressionist painters of the day.





String Theory, (interesting  title, something usually associated with origins of the universe and cosmology but appropriate enough) an exhibition curated by Glen Barkley at the Museum of Modern Art for the next month or so (from August 2013) is well worth a look. Expansive, mostly textile based, it features contemporary work from a wide ranging cast of aboriginal artists  - collective tribal groups from the interior and urban individual artists like Tony Albert and Laurie Nilsen. Even charming examples of the formerly racist golliwog doll make a reappearance, recontextualised, of course.


Laurie Nilsen's junk sculptures (Bait) speak about degradation of the environment and hostility towards aboriginal people. His work is 'broadly ironic in a way that bespeaks an acute conceptual awareness." (John McDonald in his incisive but not necessarily entirely sympathetic review of the exhibition in SM Herald 31August2013)


Minyala Puna Kungkarangkalpa.

Metamorphic spirits, life size figurines. woven and sculpted by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers. These spooky, mesmeric, objets d'art bring to mind  Greek and Roman myths, universal myths in fact. I was also reminded of the work recently at the MCA, of Kenyan/New York artist Wegechi Mutu with her collages, sculptures, installations and videos often with political content as well as being decorative and spiritual often with recycled trashy material translated into spectacular high art. Of the many rooms my favourite was the one that featured old kitchen chairs elevated in spidery fashion towards the ceiling in her Room of Thrones, a comment on the precarious nature of power.


We last saw Helen Eager's signature triangles gracing the entrance of the Museum of Modern Art. Now (7th September onwards 2013) she has an exhibition of her acutely placed and subtly colouredtriangles, large and small,  at Danks Street Utopia Gallery and its worth a look. Those rhododendrons are from Libby (I did not get her full name) from the Southern Higlands and the first of the season.  This prematurely warm season, I note that last spring's jacarandas have not (in the light of our scarcely existent Sydney winter) bothered to drop their old leaves. Still there, just a bit yellowed.


My collage has taken the liberty of  triangulating Helen Eager



Helen Eager (not cornered or triangulated)



Currently at Sydney's  renowned Still's Gallery are Petrina Hicks' large and softly beautiful photographs. Often subtly erotic, these two show something different. Opening 4th September 2013, the exhibition continues for three weeks.



Bill and Anne Gregory's Annandale Gallery is showing (September 3rd 2013 for three weeks) etchings and unique prints by 87 year old master Leon Kossof based on famous Rembrandts, Valesquez, Reubens and others. He was also influenced by Breughel which leads into the main  exhibiting room  to Kim Spooner whose rural paintings are also referring in an oblique way to Breughel. Also below, you will see how I became fascinated by reflections downstairs of Israeli sculptor, David Zadok's tiny metal cutouts in their glass case.  Zadok showed these and much larger works at Annandale earlier this year.


Kim Spooner with two of her smaller works. My photographs of her larger paintings were out of focus - think surreal sheep and garlanded lambs, painted in tempera. Her translucent and domesticated version of Breughel's Tower of Babel is painted in her other preferred medium, encaustic.


David Zadok reflections



Dale Frank, one of Australia's leading abstract painters, and of international acclaim (his happy Hong Kong dealer Dominique Perregaux was there and I think he has represented Australia at the Venice Biennale) has an exhibition at Roslyn Oxley Gallery in Sydney this month (August thru 7th September 2013. His varnish on canvas works are, as in previous exhibition, typically huge (214 x 274cm for example) monumental, magisterial, very shiny and very beautiful. How he does it with his rare colourations and his varnish pouring methods, (no brush work in sight)  is all something of a secret. In the centre of the gallery there were two stuffed hyenas snarling from a tray entitled Culture. Next to the hyenas was another tray with pet dogs like say a Jack Russell, entitled Australian Culture. Australia as a nanny state he is suggesting ?  I asked him about the hyenas. He's fond of hyenas. "The most intelligent of the dog family."  "Yes," I said,"but they have a reputation for being very savage. But who are we to criticise. In our worst moments we as a species get down there with the hyenas."  Dale said, "You mean get up there with the hyenas."


 Dale Frank in front of He best remembered the methylated spirit of his times.View over Lake Glenbawn from his verandah after a midnight swim (2013) His titles are famously as mysterious as he is. A shy man, he is not easy to either photograph or get an autograph from. He spent a lot of time at the opening of his Roslyn Oxley exhibition outside on the terrace in  the dark,  with the pariahs - the smokers.




Anthony Lister has an exhibition (7-25 August 2013) at OlsenIrwin Gallery Paddington) with  beautiful, sometimes sinister, imagery utilising a high technique with control of a variety of mediums  (ink,charcoal,spray paint,acrylic and oil on canvas) birds, flowers, blood, disjointed female bodies not to mention his black and white light boxes, an exhibition with the encompassing title The Beautiful Misery



Lister's Mona Lennon Jesus


Anthony Lister's Mortality


Anthony Lister at the opening of his exhibition  his little blue parrots at home on his shoulder, and his head crowned by the mohawk to end all mohawks. The t-shirt reads 96%LOVE.  Something oriental about the eyes which somehow suits the beauty and philosophical themes of the paintings.




Innovative sculptor Ricky Swallow was back in town from the States and is exhibiting (from 3/8/13) at Darren Knight Gallery in Elizabeth Street near Green Square. Eleven exquisite  (could anything less be expected ?) small works, they originated as cardboard structures which were then cast in bronze and patinated in various colours.  For two of them, including my favourite Reclining Guitar with Dials, Swallow chose the colour beige. Almost exactly the colour of the American cardboard, but he insists that was not the intention.


I noticed Sydney Morning Herald art critic John McDonald in serious conversation with Ricky Swallow. That's Reclining Guitar with Dials on the plinth. Not the best angle for recognizing what it consists of.  McDonald writing in Spectrum (10/8/13) of Swallow's mesmeric surfaces and patinas: "...there is no trace of satire in Swallow's bronzes. He is not making fun of Picasso and his peers, but extending their ideas into new dimensions." Go see.


Outside in the dark of Elizabeth Street Christopher Grant gets an autograph from the artist, for his collection. Elegant tan shoes.


Twin pots/malachite (after P.S) I should have asked what that meant.



I went to the last day (3rdAugust 2013) of the brilliant ( & successful) Luke Sciberras and Paul Ryan exhibition with Luke back in Hill End but Paul giving a talk about his beautiful, powerful, and I have to say sexy works. One or  two of them deliberately so. All those macho (early colonial) uniformed naval men. Bushrangers and cannibals. What's not to like. Paul, a gentle poetic soul is  from Wollongong, a tough town. Paul's toughness is reflected the faces and stances of the men, the poetry is in the Illawarra Escarpment which forms the background of several of the exquisitely and fluidly scalpelled oil paintings, all  reflecting Ryan's interest in early white Australian history.  Paul is regularly selected for the Archibald, Wynn  or Sulman exhibitions


The character on the top left painting is listed as a 'cannibal." That red mouth with the two protruding teeth possibly. Maybe the Priscilla Presley bouffant. Paul Ryan, seated with members of  his Indonesian family, chats with Christopher Grant.


Paul Ryan is introduced by Rex Irwin one of the directors of the Olsen Irwin Gallery




Martin Sharp and other illuminati from the golden days of the Yellow House in the early seventies turned up to have lunch  (28th July 2013)and say farewell to Ben and Jamie who have been running the restaurant in the old yellow painted building which still has a few (regrettably few) features to remind us of its place in the history of pop art and group creative  endeavour in Sydney. Martin distributed his handmade Diplomas from the Ginger Meggs School of Arts to people like alumni  Peter Kingston, George Gittoes, Peter Royles, and Antoinette Starkowicz. Roslyn Sharp photographed the event and I memorialised it with the collage below. Martin also wrote on a brick This IS a brick (a la Magritte) and signed it. William Yang photographed the signing. At the request of Martin, Peter Kingston (of the Yellow House Stone Room fame) painted several rectangular recesses in the outside wall with Luna Park "Reckitts blue'. Similar to Yves Klein  blue I have to say.

Martin held court at a window table throughout the afternoon. Peter Royles sang Bob Dylan, George Gittoes girlfriend sang a show biz tune acapella in spectacular fashion, and my photograph of her somewhat misfired. Too bad.


George Gittoes and Antoinette Starkiewicz on Yellow House patio, Macleay Street Potts Point.


George Gittoes (now of Jalalabad in Afghanistan where he has a film studio) and Peter Kingston at the Yellow House lunch.

Peter Royles sings It's All Over Now Baby Blue, Reckitts Blue that is. Martin continues to write his Diplomas, Antoinette and Roslyn look on.



Jessica Mais Wright painter and sculptural constructionist has been exhibiting at William Wright's Gallery in East Sydneyfor the past few weeks. I caught up with her on closing day (27th July 2013) and persuaded her Mum, renowned artist Hilary Mais to pose with her daughter in front of one of Jessica's 'black' paintings. Together, they look the serious artists they are, but great. I liked the contrast of the flowing pale hair  on black beside the flowing dark on black.


Hilary and Jessica


Jessica Mais Wright captured, even cornered between two beautiful, contrasting works. The construction on the left is many layered  and exquisite, deserving of the closest attention.




Bill Gregory's Annandale Galleries has 'Found' an exhibition featuring Gunybi Ganambarr (pictured below), Djirrirra Wunungmurra and others from the east coast of Arnhem Land. Gunybi paints in the traditional way on bark and on massive boled tree trunks and elegant curved poles but more often uses an innovative technique of incising the bark or other surfaces with a Stanley knife and filling in the incisions with the paint.  There is also Gudurrku (2013) his magnificent bronze sculpture of two duelling/dancing brolgas to be seen. . Not quite your sedate Darling Harbour brolgas.  There's also a delicate life size dugong made out of interlocking wire . The wall construction pictured below is a woodcut - natural earth pigments on MDF. The exhibition features work of the most intricate kind imaginable and well worth a look.

Gunybi Ganambarr who was an engaging presence, here only for 24 hours. He played the didgeridoo and gave a talk. It was also   Bill Gregory's 60th birthday that warm July evening. Also showing there in the same exhibition,




Anna Schwartz Gallery at Carriageworks until the end of September 2013 is worth experiencing, Candice Breitz has brought her 2006 video work,  WORKINGCLASS HERO (A PORTRAIT OF JOHN LENNON) to Sydney. More than 20 men and women (mostly men) all fans of John Lennon sing his songs from Plastic Ono Band, focussing mostly it seemed to me on the best known ones Working Class Hero and  Mother.  John Lennon  was in  a highly emotional state at this time, undergoing Primal Scream therapy and the high emotions are reflected in the intimacy of the songs. All the singers are photographed  in vertical frame separately, singing along to the record they are listening to. All have earphones on, all are in bright close up, warts and all. You get a lot of teeth and nostrils. The result around the lofty gallery is a reverberating chorus in the dark,  a resounding highly energised vocal portrait of  Northern England - actually all the singers are from Newcastle upon Tyne, now a post industrial city where the 'Geordies' come from.  Breitz has done similar portraits of Bob Marley, Madonna and Michael Jackson.

Christopher Grant  talks with Candice Breitz,  gets her autograph for his collection.


Earlier this month (July 2013) Roslyn Oxley Gallery presented we go out inside by leading (and controversial) conceptual artist Hany Armanious. Undeniably high concept and clever. Nothing is what it at first seems. The kitchen  plastic ware, the light bulbs, other unexceptional bric-a-brac, ordinary items, ( even the plinths on which everything,  all carefully and perhaps poetically arranged), are in fact  exquisitely recreated out of polyurethane resin, silver or bronze. Hany is playing with bathos here; someone said that Hany's 'gone for a  low aesthetic this time' Olivia Sophia in her essay says its all about transformation "of the commonplace into items of wonder and beauty." Hany's more than enigmatic half smile tells us that he's well aware of the creative authority that has had him getting away with this kind of artifice all his many years of international acclaim.

Behind Hany and his smile, we see   'Ejaculate and dick' 2013 ($37.000)  A prime conversation piece and not to be sneezed at.

If you want more of Hany, one of his sculptures is on permanent display on the Cafe terrace  high up in the Museum of Modern Art. Marble block and resin;  watch  for the supporting table and the anatomy of the inner ear.




Peter Kingston had an opening 16th July 2013 Australia Galleries with some truly beautiful paintings, many of them large and many of them featuring the Sydney Opera House and the ferries of the Harbour, but this time painted like he has never done before.  Different colourations and I was reminded of Turner sometimes, lots of soft colours, almost pastel;  Kingo has really got his skies and his water down. I thought of icebergs and  cathedrals in the foggy morning dew. Wondrous stuff. And they sold too..



Kingo speaks with a client




It's NAIDOC Week in Australia. I call it WMDAFMTR (World's most difficult acronym for me to remember)  In fact, it stands for something close to the following - National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee. In early celebration of the week I went to the Djon Mundine curated exhibition Cold Eels and Distant Thoughts at COFA'S Kudos Gallery - an exhibition by 9 aboriginal male photographers of other aboriginal men. Photographers are : Michael Aird, Darren Bell, Mervyn Bishop, Adam Hill, Gary Lee, Ricky Maynard, Peter McKenzie, Michael Riley and Jason Wing. I have focussed mainly on Mervyn Bishop's images; a most engaging presence at the opening.


Jason Wing in front of his evocative image. Mundine's idea was to show aboriginal men as just regular blokes, not criminals, alcoholics, serial pedophiles etc. as often and misleadingly stereotyped.  That is, normal  males "with varying attitudes, attributes,  fears, and  hopes and dreams for a better future."  All the images are black and white because of the medium's association with truth and veracity.


Seated man by photographer Jason Lee


Boys Rowing. Great shot rrom Mervyn Bishop. The two boys are cousins.

Here's Mervyn Bishop himself, having some fun with an earlier Cold Eels poster.


Christopher Grant get's Glen Mackie's autograph. This was at Surry Hill's Library down the road from  Kudos Gallery on the same evening, also part of NAIDOC.  Glen is a Torres Straits Islander, one of a group of artists famous for their amazingly detailed linocuts or  recently, vinylcuts, a more stable medium for the tropics:  beautiful black and white images usually related to local history, family traditions, fauna and flora, not to  mention the sea around.


Mervyn Bishop portraits:  From his series My Father My Brother. Stories of Campbelltown's Aboriginal Men 2007

Various entertainers - more photos from Mervyn Bishop. I think that is Jimmy Little on the left. More research I tell myself.



Sydney Moderns - Art for a New World opened last Friday (July 5th 2013) at Art Gallery of NSW. After World War 1, Sydney rapidly began to look more like an international city and its 'modern' artists embraced the latest rhythms of life, applying new theories of colour and composition to the changing urban environment around them. Lotso f pastel, lots of art deco, interiors, still lives, many women artists, the majority by far in this current exhibition.

The image that greets you as you venture downstairs. I have what they call in the world of black and white cinema, somewhat 'colourised' it.

Roy de Maistre. One of his many synaesthetic colour/music experiments. He and Ronald Wakelin first exhibited their musical colour harmonies  in their Colour in Art in the 20s. The beginning of abstract art in Australia perhaps. I just love the colours without all the theorising..

Grace Cossington-Smith getting out and about. . Definitely one of my favourites from her. She revealed herself to me as an  painter with a broad vision.  Her "Black Mountain" noted by critic John McDonald was extraordinary.


Thoroughly modern woman Gina Fairley renowned art journalist, in thoroughly unmodern jodhpurs. Maybe I am looking at an instant updating, something to complement the Waterhouse hats and fascinators at Randwick trackside.

Max Dupain on a subtly erotic and elegant high

Lost track of this one, but one of my favourites.  Thoroughly modern man, love the blue cummerbund.


Sydney photographer Michael Gormley  has been out in the countryside near Sofala, an old gold mining town, taking stock of natural and timeless natural wonders out there and from that has come an exhibition of landscapes in which he has re-interpreted and updated some of those timeless wonders. A dozen or more photos focussing on mandala like symmetry and the longings for the discovery of the spiritual in landscape. Yoorin Magic he calls it - rock rainbow and the silver ribbon in the sky. Last time I saw Michael's work it was in  Kings Cross and the world of street bohemiana.               21st June 2013, it opened on the Winter Solstice.


William Yang's My Generation  played on June 8th at Opera Quays Dendy as part of the Sydney Film Festival. Afterwards we walked around the Quay to the Museum  of Contemporary Art where as part of  the Vivid Festival theatre director Jim Sharman interviewed William about My Generation and its genesis - from slide show many years ago to lauded doco.  All those famous names - Patrick White, Manoly Lascari, Jennie Kee, Kate Fitzpatrick, Linda Jackson,  Stephen Little, Nell Campbell et al. William giving his verbal commentary was focussed close up with a camera held low. A bit strange but as William revealed , he needed to be reshot  in a theatrical manner to escape a certain boredom for the viewer when they at first filmed it more conventionally. The after party was fun, way up there at the very top of the MCA. Governor Marie Bashir was present as was painter and activist George Gittoes whose doco set in Jalalabad - Taliban territory in Afghanistan -  was shown at the Film Festival the day before. To great acclaim.  He now runs a film studio in that  city. One of the stars of his film was Ashad Khan a 'small' person, an actor in his twenties. In old parlance this charming, perfectly proportioned man would have been called a 'midget'. Language is always moving on.

Jim Sharman and William  Yang converse at the MCA after the interview.



Photographer Ros Sharp talks with Marie Bashir, NSW Govern


Cool customer Ashad Khan from Afghanistan, showing some moves


Opening night of Vivid Festival was an excitement, partly because of the  weather. Cloudbursts which were quickly over, followed by periods of clear skies and a full LED moon hanging over the harbour. Reflections on wet pavings of the lighting installations made it all two for the price of one. Crowds were festive movable mood and not in Kumba Mela proportions. (I should check that spelling) which made for comfort and enchantment..

Bus was a great way to come and go, but once you were there, it was a magical walking feast all the way from the Opera House to the wilds of Walsh Bay


Roller skaters outside the MCA right after one of those cloudbursts. Guan Wei's brand new refugees falling out of boats mural, replacing Helen Eager's orange triangles.

Another excellent use of excellent use of milk crates last seen in elevation mode at Mardi Gras Parade

Saturday 1st of June was an occasion totally different to the opening night. Word had got around that this was the best Vivid yet. Again there was rain, this time constant drizzle, thousands of umbrellas and hoodies, countless thousands of people, not necessarily in the jolliest of moods. It was quite difficult to get from the Opera House to Circular Quay for example. The crowd waiting to enjoy the Dr Who projections on the Customs House facade could not have gotten any denser. Or damper. This photograph was taken from train platform 1 as I fled the chaos.



Head On Photo Festival is ubiquitous & on-going thru May/June 2013. Here's another exhibition I managed to find time for, only slightly because I happen to be in it, carrying a red cotton shopping bag, looking vacantly to the sky or at least to one of the new highrises in Redfern which will soon look like Bondi Junction at the current rate of construction. I am in  the middle of a crossing, (it is one that cars hate to stop at, bicycles never do) perhaps about to be hit by a moving wheeled object for my inattention to survival. Handsomely bearded Gilbert Bel-Bachir took the photo from a passing bus and captured  a revealing moment. His exhibition at Alliance Francaise Looking Through Glass is well worth a visit. Nice cafe at street level there at 257 Clarence Street.


Below: Gilbert being introduced and well-feted at the Alliance gallery up on the 13th Level. In the column to the left, another photograph of Gilbert.  Looking through glass mostly means looking thru a passing bus window. Good stuff.

Below: Diane Larter of Watters Gallery at Gilbert's opening


It's the Head On Photography Festival once more in an autumn suddenly over-stuffed with almost simultaneous Festivals - Writers Festival, Vivid Festival, Film Festival. There's also something called the Reportage Festival. What does that leave for the rest of the winter. Are July and August the months we are festivalled-out and head for the tropics  or hibernate?

Moshe Rosenzweig, and friend, Moshe being the genius behind Head-On Festival and its original component, the Portrait Prize, the latter being first held ten years ago in a small Balmain Gallery, definitely at that time  an alternative to the more established CitiGroup Portrait Prize at the Art Gallery.  Now of course, being held in places like Turner Hall, in the State Library and the glittering Customs House last year, it is seemingly part of the establishment itself, but it does not yet look ripe to be replaced by those who like their photography to be a little more radical. The ones that make to the coveted 'wall' get to be more serious, more pathos oriented, not  necessarily any better, and as usual I prefer the freedom and fun to be seen on the Short  List, the ones that did not quite make it. The judges don't know who has taken what so that is good but ...if it is found later that a fantastic photograph they have selected has been taken by an assassin on the run, a serial  killer awaiting trail or some one who has keep women kidnapped as sex slaves for many years, do they quietly remove it from view ? 

PORTRAIT PRIZE  night continued. Life after the podium. A hard working genius (and longest speaker by far)  gets a second stance on the red carpet


Head On Portrait Prize - speeches spoken, prizes announced, minor confusions abounding, all in the carpetted and vast Turner Hall at Sydney's UTS. Pictured are Christopher Grant, avid collector of signatures in the worlds of art and literature, Jon Lewis and Ian Dodd, both renowned photographers in their respective fields. There's that carpetting. Perhaps to soften the blow delivered to all those hundreds of photographers who did not make it to the wall or even the Short List. The wall and videoed short list were not even there this year, but at the Sydney Library to be seen at leisure rather than during the hurly burly of the opening. The tentacles of the Festival are everywhere this year.  It is said that it is the second largest Photography Festival in the world. That's definitely a step up from the second largest in the Southern Hemisphere.


Opening the same night as Head On Portrait Prize, photographs of another kind at the close-by Mclemoi Gallery, Chippendale where Glen McGrath and his wife. Sara Leonardi and Krista Moises hold sway - hence the unusual gallery name.  The photographs are by Hollywood wunderkind Tyler Shields;  his first exhibition in Australia, "Suspense" is full of visual trickery. Moments of high action, frozen in time and space at impossible angles his models, sometimes celebrities photographed in safe situations but transferred into most unsafe even  impossible situations always for maximum effect. Flash stuff.


I really liked the look of the glamorous lady in the Yves Klein blue gown. Here she is preparing to pose in front of one of Tyler's photographs with Frazer (? forgive my lack of research here. Typical) who has something to do with the management of Tyler or of his exhibition as Tyler could not make it out as intended because of an injury. 


The blue lady walks. The men admire.


Glenn McGrath, ace Australian Test cricketer and a tall, familiar figure on the art circuits, converses with guests at opening of 'Suspense' or even 'Suspended' as it could have been called. The McGrath Foundation is a breast cancer support and education charity founded by Glenn and Jane, his first wife who succumbed to breast cancer in 2008


Head On Photo Festival - Exhibition at Maunsell Wickes


Mark Trevorrow (Bob Downe) looking very sharp as always, he does a lot with naff, and William Yang at Maunsell Wickes Gallery Paddington. Saturday  evening May 16th


Andrew Quilty in profile talking  with Tony Jones of the ABC's QandA at Maunsell Wickes Head On exhibition of  photography with William Yang and Ingemar Kenne each showing prints of people more than places, current and historical (like many of William Yang's. That's a recent one of William's on  the far left - Martin Sharp and an ETERNITY sign. Photos taken this day with my IPhone.



Women in Uniform at Sandy Edward's ArtHere 126 Regent Street Redfern, Head On Festival  - photographs by Marnye Rothe are well worth a look. Women in professions not usually associated with glamour, are here wonderfully captured by Marnye, glamourous herself with her peekaboo shoulders. Until 23 May2013



AUTUMN ART WALK under blue skies, refreshed by a cool breeze:

Peter Maloney is showing new work at Christopher Hodges' UTOPIA Gallery in Danks Street. That's Peter in white shirt next to Christopher and the girl in the gilded boots, winged like those of Perseus.



A Sam Leach TARGET painting earlier this month (May 2013) at Sullivan + Strumpf (see below for my commentary)

Andrew Frost talks with Sam Leach whose rack of smaller works begins to the right...


Yes, ARTWALKING in three suburbs - from ArtHere in Regent St Redfern to Dank Street in Waterloo and eventually to Sullivan+Strumpf in Zetland, where we came upon Andrew Frost interviewing Sam Leach. Here Sam  is pictured with Suellen Symons who has an exhibition of photographs (Head On Festival) coming up this weekend (25th May 2-5pm) at ArtHere in Redfern. The Sam Leach exhibition was surprising in some aspects. His beautiful gloss surfaces were to be expected but the large works mostly featured targets in combination with beasts (apes, monkeys, vultures for example) and in the largest work, a hint of his notorious 'Dutch' landscapes. Smaller pieces were displayed on a kind of trellis as you can glimpse behind hirsute Sam and spectacular Suellen. Andrew Frost was somewhat mystified by the targets as I was. Did Sam mention some kind of corporate commission as their inspiration ?


John Ogden, photojournalist, cinematographer, writer and publisher has an exhibition of his work at Manly Gallery and Museum, a short ferry ride from Sydney's Circular Quay. I also had the privilege of launching (in association with the show) his spectacular book Slightly Dangerous which is a gonzo and Cyclopean  (John lost an eye in a surfing accident) look back at an adventurous life on the planet from locations as culturally diverse as the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan to the back and black blocks of the Australian desert interior.  (May 2013)


Slightly Dangerous - a double spread from an explosive package of a book.


Vanya (2010) with John Ogden


More from Slightly Dangerous - Dykes on Bikes & Rio's Mardi Gras.  John has been around.


So has John Kaldor. His 13 Rooms at Sydney's Walsh Bay Pier2/3 in April 2013 was an international hymn to Performance Art, the modern version of which has been with us since the Happenings of the Sixties. Versions of Kaldor's ambitious,  brilliantly constructed and organised project here, have been mounted in Manchester and Cologne by curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Beisenbach who have been brought out  by Kaldor.  After his remarks about Kaldor recently, it is not expected  that conservative critic Christopher Allen will be present unlike Marina Abramovic, (a pioneer of Performance Art , and particularly the endurance aspect of it ), who is certainly present  in the form of her Luminosity (1997) acted out on a wall in her Room by a duo of nude young women in a crucificial pose. Each woman lasts for half an hour before the other takes over. I hope I have got that right. It's not the only nude room. Marina says of her work: "It's about lonliness, pain and spiritual elevation." No photographs. But here is one of Simon Fujiwara's Room Future/Perfect (2012) which is of an actor lying on a tanning bed and learning a foreign language. Transformative words and phrases keep coming out. I don't know how long this guy's  shifts were  over the week or so that the exhibition lasted. Old hat and new hat, it was well worth a visit.  Damien Hirst's room was all about dot paintings and twins. No sharks in tanks. Xavier Le Roy's room with two clothed and writhing bodies was  entirely in darkness, but tactile. I went for it with gusto One of critic John McDonald's favourites. 


Simon Fujiwara's Future/Perfect at John Kaldor's 13 Rooms


Three urban cartoons February 2013 as Sydney's Mardi Gras Festival gets going with its ever winning annual FAIR DAY in Victoria Park, and such theatrical comic wonders  as Milk, Milk Lemonade at Newtown's New Theatre, a Dada delight which among many things explores  the 'devastation of growing up gay in middle America with a smile instead of a scream." It's set on a chicken farm in Alabama (I think) and I need say little more. Lots of doomed poultry and laughs, the amazing Chicken Dance in which the whole cast shines, particularly Mark Dessaix as Emory a boy who is different, in a Dorothyesque performance, full of 'charm and physical grace,' (to quote Jason Blake in the Sydney Morning Herald to-day). How he and his troubled friend Elliot work it out in song, dance and comic whatever, is poignant and sexy. Set those chickens free!

Sydney's Queen Victoria Building contains Victoria's Basement, a shopping destination for those who want to buy such things as homewares, of which the store has an incredible selection, but their BASEMENT sign reminded me yesterday of the Independent Committee Against Corruption hearings currently creating headlines in Australia and so comes my somewhat ponderous cut and paste cartoon. Right wing State Labour party factional leaders like former Labour power broker like Eddie Obeid and former Labour minister Sir Lunchalot, should be bowing their heads in  shame. So thank you Victoria's Basement for the ABASEMENT joke.


DAVID JONES department store has not been doing so well of late and it's not just the competition from the internet. There is a simple solution - a name change. Yes, David Jones, just join the crowd in Castlereagh Street and it's boom time.


KNOW NO BOUNDARIES. Another cut and paste job, the idea coming from waiting for a train at Redfern and noticing two contrasting signs across the tracks - Sydney Morning Herald advocating unlimited FREEDOM and the Railways advising  CROSSING THE TRACKS MAY SAVE YOU TIME BUT IT MAY COST YOU A LOT MORE.  So, heed the Nanny State or listen for that Duquesne Whistle (for those of you familiar with the opening train song track on Bob Dylan's memorable new album Tempest with its savage songs of doom and tragedy set to beautiful melodies, it's rasty, raspy Bob getting away with paying  in blood (but not his own)I liked his tribute to John Lennon which closes the album, a coda after the titanic Tempest of the title. All those cute couplets.

Cathy Wilcox's take (Sydney Morning Herald). No doubt approved by the National Rifle Association.  Taking their thinking to its logical conclusion, why stop with just arming the teachers.


Albie Thoms book My Generation was launched at Paddington Town Hall 17th December 2016 before a crowd of 500 people. "Everyone (as they say) was there"

Jan Chapman, film producer, delivers the keynote address at the launch of Albie Thom's monumental (500 pages, that's one for every person at the event) history of the decade 'when Australia shed the cultural cringe. The Sydney Push (and the Baby Push), the iconic Yellow House, UBU Films, Oz Magazine (and the radical artists, film and video creators and writers and personalities of the time) all come in for detailed discussion...spearheads for a new generation, bent on challenging the stultified Menzies monoculture. "The historical context includes not only the sexual revolution generally, but Women's and Gay Liberation, Aboriginal Rights struggles, the anti-Vietnam War movement, hippies, drugs, psychedelic parties and Happenings...." 250 copies of the book ($40)  were sold om the night. Canapes were plentiful, the wine flowed. When the speeches were over, the retro band had everyone still on their feet, and still feeling youthful, dancing. Old hippies don't die, the just Fay Dunaway. As the old Hollywood joke goes.

Gillian Armstrong, film director, speaks of Albie as a major influence on the renaissance of Australian mainstream movies in the early seventies

David Perry, artist and filmmaker, life long friend and collaborator with Albie, is the first to speak.

Judith Arthy (one time 'blonde bombshell' of the London stage) and married to the late Aggy Read of UBU fame, dances at the celebration of Albie's life and work.


Richard Neville (centre) one time futurist now 'retired' to Happy Daze his home at Blackheath, overlooking the Grose Valley. John Merson, academic and  long time friend, clutches his hat.  As for the genial gentleman on  the left, I will do some research.


Jon Lewis, acclaimed documentary photographer (East Timor, Kiribati, Bondi Beach iconics etc. speaks of a lifelong friendship and association with Albie



Albie Thoms, longtime friend, film maker and historian, died 28th November 2012 after a short illness. I met him in London in the late sixties, early 70s when he contributed articles to Oz Magazine on the underground movie scene in Europe and radical, outrageous events like the Amsterdam Wet Dream Festival. He will be remembered on 17th December (5 30 pm)  at Paddington Town Hall at the launch of My Generation, his book on his life and times - from the days of Ubu Films in the 60s to the present day, including such events as Macquarie University's recent Sixties Explosion at which one of Albie's early films was featured.

Albie, glass of champagne in hand (as usual) on his 70th Birthday 2011.
 Little did he know what was to overwhelm him in the following year. Vale Albie.

Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Collective celebrates 25 years of  solidarity, success and existence. 

Ripple Effect was  the title of the exhibition.  Tracey Moffatt, along with other founding members, speaks at the Flood Street Leichhardt November opening. Exhibition runs until 20th January 2013


Fiona Foley resplendent in a golden yellow gown, takes the microphone at the Boomalli opening. With her is Euphemia Bostock, resplendent in  turquoise. Each surviving artist took a turn to briefly speak. Back to the drawing board for me who has lost my list of who is who. Euphemia led a minute's silence for the late Michael Riley. 

India, mostly Rajasthan but via Delhi and Agra.

I have been away for a month or more in India, mostly formerly 'regal' Rajasthan, (first image above taken in Jaipur Palace Museum, October 2012, second is from a series From The Car)

Billionaire's air conditioned  lotus mansion plonked down cheek by jowl with old India in the heart of Jaipur. Taken for my series From the Car. Raju Singh, my driver would give me hours for the temples, the palaces and forts of days gone by but not pause at all  for the sights of the new.

Francis Bacon Five Decades.

I did not make it to the opening's glitter and glamour (not so much of that this time I hear, what with budgetary problems, George Souris's lack lustre delivery following the non-show of Premier Barry O'Farrell, (his fear of demonstrations outside the Gallery against his art funding cuts) but with Jim Sharman taking the plaudits for a brilliant speech)  but I made it earlier to the media preview where Tony Bond, the curator, spoke warmly and at just the right length, of genius bad boy Bacon and his amazing body of work. The exhibition was a mindblower for me who scarcely knew anything of Bacon's paintings apart from seeing prints of a few iconic ones. These were all huge, presented in lush gilt frames and behind glass under the brightest of lights, the better to see the matter of the unique way he applied his brushes and to enjoy what he wanted people to enjoy, the raw sensation of his transformation of brute flesh into luminous paint, his turning the violence of life itself into a terrible beauty.  The state of his studio made Margaret Olley's mess look positively anal. Like Margaret's, the whole rabid accumulation was quickly snapped up for permanent display by a prescient gallery, Tweed River for Olley, a Dublin gallery for Bacon's


Terry Ingram, (of art and the business and collectibility of art, not to mention the Australian Financial Review on Thursdays) at the media preview of the Francis Bacon.


Richard Tipping exhibits at Art & About's new gallery space Regent Street Redfern, opposite the long closed and much missed Legge Gallery. I hear it will shortly open as yet another of the chic bars opening up in the ongoing revitalisation of the suburb. 


Sandy Edwards of Art & About listens intently to SMH Thursday architectural columunist Elizabeth Farralley who opened the exhibition

Farralley and Tipping, closer


Lottie Consalvo exhibition  opens at Damien Minton Gallery Redfern, 2nd October 2012. 

Damien ponders the mysterious re-formatting of the walls of his gallery. The Consalvo works are worth a look both for their subject matter  and their influences. The time Lottie has spent in the creative orgasmatron that is Berlin has had its effect. On a Saturday in early October she spends 7 hours  in a cast iron bed set up in the centre of the gallery. Steer a Steady Ship    "For 7 hours I lay beneath the boat suspended in midair....black liquid will drip upon my head. This is based on Chinese water torture which can cause psychosis."


Lottie  and her father, Signor Dino Consalvo

In the Minton Project Room, Di Holdsworth's miniature assemblages combine circus characters with those from myths. fairytales and popular culture. I think that's Love and the Fall of Icarus behind Bruce Fasher, Di herself and art afficionado Jeff Loughlin.  Work of great charm.




Chippendale Art Fair (Beams)  Saturday 22 September 2012, a summery evening, was one of the best nights out I have had for ages. Music, dancing, theatre, history, sculptural illuminations, balloon forest, food, it was fun from start to finish. Chippendale's narrow streets and lanes are well suited to this carnivalesque sort of event. Roll on next year.

NG Gallery and White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese art are all here or around  the corner but al fresco dining set up in Little Queen Street was a spectacle all of its own.

Lights, twisted wire, cast iron balcony , terrace house were typical combo at the Chippendale art fair


I think it reads If you believe in me I will believe in you. Jack and Shawn in front of another of many vibrant  illuminations on the walls of Chippendale  


Sydney artist, Toby Zoates gave a free performance at the Damien Minton Annex, Redfern, Saturday September  22nd 2012, surrounded by enthusiastic well wishers and his own posters and paintings, all with a somewhat Dystopian theme. Unsurprisingly his rivetting hour-long performance was entitled My Sad Story and touched bathetic lows as well as transcendental highs. Toby's influences range widely to say  the least.  Caravaggio and Robert Crumb and the seventies Underground comic scene in San Francisco, came easily to hjis lips. So too brilliant drag queen, the late Doris Fish who performed with The Cockettes, and the holy pantheon that is the wonder of Hinduism with which he became acquainted during a long sojourn in hippie trails India.


After a prolific, against all odds painting career which began in the seventies, Toby displays the only art magazine which ever published one of his works. Sob! He slammed it down in a fit of anger.  The accompanying Peter Urquhart violin soared to the rescue, Toby dried his tears with his ever handy prop, a large red handkerchief. The crowd ate it up, and Toby, moving fast like the knowing street smart imp that he is,  launched into another anecdote before we became trapped in bathos. Perfect timing.


Peter Urquhart plays second fiddle to Toby Zoates sad story the sadness of which began with his birth in Melbourne instead of Sydney. It was downhill all the way from there. His Dad despised him as soon as it was obvious he was gay, as a teenager he underwent aversion therapy, treatment including the use of LSD. One hellish trip after another until he had a heavenly trip (as one does) and discovered the god Pan, at which point he ran away from the clinic and never looked back. He achieved his goal of life in Sydney but wound up for 21 years  in the vast public housing complex, Northcott, also know in past days as Suicide Towers, pictured behind him in one of his pieces de resistance.


Things have improved since NO FUTURE (1980) but note the bandage on right hand. Toby Zoates is not giving up Dystopia without a struggle. He is still not revealing his real name.



Robert Lake and Jon Frum Art Foundation's  innovative 2020 had its closing night on 24th August. 2020 featured 20 artists, two a night, over 10 continuous days at Damien Minton Annex 583 Elizabeth Street Sydney.

Micha Nussinov with his hanging sculpture at 2020, Minton Annex, Redfern

Micha Nussinov whom I photographed in front of his paintings at 2020. His own Gallery is not that far away in Cope Street Redfern


William Robinson at Australia Galleries August 14, 2012


Christopher Grant with William Robinson at the Tuesday night opening

Beautiful paintings. mostly still life but interspersed with large landscapes at $490,000 a pop. The still life interiors were unbelievably pretty ("Nothing wrong with pretty," replied Mr Robinson at one point and I had to agree) and perhaps a little too studied, over arranged, but what made them exceptionable  for me, was that they were also exteriors. Robinson had me  looking out  past the  vases and jugs of tulips, sunflowers, the wicker chairs, the bowls of fruit, thru windows to a verandah and beyond that to a bush garden with jacaranda, frangipani, native flowers and shrubs. All very sunlit and happified. The big landscapes were more sombre, dark rain forest ridges, very detailed vegetative workings with the ridges dipping down on each side to dark sometimes misty gullies and up to pale blue sky and the ethereal. Now in his mid seventies Robinson says he is not bushwalking so much any more (in Carnarvon Gorge for example) but turning his attention to domestic life. The still life paintings have a fine elegance, no Sunday painter stuff about them.


Ace Bourke A Collector's Journey, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery



Bronwyn and Louise at the Ace Bourke Exhibition


Early Peter Kingston at Ace's show.


Robert Hughes, giant among art critics has died aged 74 after a long illness.


Keith Hansen provides us with a watercolour of Robert Hughes from his rapid fire sketch book.

Malcolm Turnbull a long time friend of Bob Hughes was eloquent and moving last night (7th August 2012) on ABC's Lateline, on the subject of Bob. A remarkable art critic, even from his earliest days. A great communicator, something which got him his job at Time Magazine at a time when he was down and out in London in the late sixties - bankrupt, dropping acid, wearing leathers, running wild, riding motorcycles and looking for focus. Time recognized that he was a writer who could make art understandable to everyone. Bob got himself out of London, settled in New York and was soon into a highly productive and brilliant life. Turnbull said that Bob was always filled with self doubt despite his wit and great intelligence, and this drove him on to do better all his life. In quality and importance he was equalled as a critic  in the modern era only by art historian Sir Kenneth Clarke whose book and TV Series Civilisation A Personal View (1969) changed mind sets about art in the way Hughes The Shock of the New did later. Bob regarded Shock of the New as one of his finest achievements  along with The Fatal Shore, and his tomes on Barcelona and Goya. He had a special affinity with Catalonians, and also with Goya. Like Goya,  had a mainline into the horrors of what human beings can do when given a chance to do their worst. The Fatal Shore for the first time made Australians fully aware of the bestiality of the treatment meted out to the convicts.There is still a street in Sydney named after one of the most sadistic of the monsters plying the whips and tortures of the early colonial penal system. Foveaux Street. Malcolm Turnbull said Bob had a big booming voice, was generous  and flamboyant in his speech and attitudes. He was however, very critical of certain elements in modern art, disliking Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons for example. He did not however, like being criticised himself. After his son Danton committed suicide, Hughes admitted that  his greatest emotional failure in life was with  Danton. The son  managed to reconcile with his father in a Perth hospital after Hughes horrific accident in the Kimberley and Bob came back here for Danton's funeral in the Blue Mountains.  Turnbull said finally that Robert Hughes was a formidable force of nature, a great conversationalist (both before and after the accident) and a very good friend. Vale Bob.


Fifi L'Amour's life was celebrated 24th July 2012 at the Piccolo Cafe at Kings Cross


Latest discovery Keith Hanson, prolific painter and man about Sydney galleries, comes up with a tribute to Fifi.

Boom Boom la Bern (Bernadette Ludwig) in her full operatic mode belts, out a brilliant and highly emotional street aria, in tribute to Fifi.The world of international cabaret has lost a star.  "Fifi: chanteuse, entertainer, cabaret artiste extraordinaire. Outrageous, funny, warm, humane and loved  by many fans and friends around the globe from mid 70s to 2012, a 35 year career of making people laugh and feel; great"  Dennis Aubrey, blues singer Jeannie Lewis and other performers contributed to the afternoon cabaret. A champagne toast was drunk.



Margaret Olley, much celebrated Australian painter and art benefactor, who found her true genius painting her ever changing arrangements of the contents of her house and studio, has gone, but her remarkable studio has found a home, recreated in the beautiful Tweed River Gallery in northern New South Wales. What we had last Sunday afternoon  (31 July 2012) at Australian Galleries in the Paddington 'gully' was the opening of Greg Weight's superb photographs of her studio, taken virtually and lovingly at the time of her death.


Carol Ruff, playing her ukelele, sings a song for Margaret Olley. Stuart Purves, Australia Galleries  director sports his trademark red shoes. Next to him is Greg Weight himself, Carol's partner, hoping she does not hit any bum notes. She did not. Sustained applause. William Yang, celebrated photographer and  documenter for many years of the Sydney scene in its many divergent aspects, captures the moment.


At the opening, art afficionado Christopher Grant and painter Janet Venn-Brown, back from a long sojourn in Italy and shortly to have an exhibition of her work at Sydney's unique TAP Gallery. In Italy, Janet was close friends of fellow painters, Jeffrey Smart and the late Justin O'Brien both Australian expatriates  of supreme achievement.


Vale Adam Cullen

Keith Hansen's tribute to the late artist Adam Cullen who has died (in his sleep) aged 47. Wild colonial boy indeed. His subjects were invariably Australian, often sharply satirical and certainly savage. There was rarely anything nice about his paintings although his portrait of thoroughly nice actor David Wenham which won  the Archibald Prize in 2000, was a blue-eyed exception. And a recognizable  likeness.  He had a bad boy image which he played upon but day to day he was 'the real deal' and 'straight forward'. I liked his tangled  portrait of his friend Charles Waterstreet, barrister and columnist, another wild colonial boy, which was featured in this year's Archibald.  It is said  that his images of such things as dead cats, bloodied kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, headless women, punks and other fractured men such as ex-crim  'Chopper' Read, are 'highly collectible." Last November  Cullen got a 10 month sentence, suspended, for drink driving and weapons offences. He suffered from  a bipolar condition and lived an extreme life. "Full volume" said Waterstreet  He had been ill for some time. (Report: July 29 2012)


18th Sydney Biennale, Cockatoo Island

July 2012


Philip Beesley installation in one of the great industrial halls. From his Hylozoic Series. With only a few allowed in at one time, there was a long queue on account of the delicate nature of the piece. Philip was there to answer questions. I like crowds, but next time I will go during the week, get in amongst the delicacy and not have to use a telephoto lens. There's a free express ferry to the island or the usual public one which includes a tour to other parts of the Harbour jetties like the ones at Greenwich and Woolwich


It was a fabulous  sunny day at the island, albeit cold which seems to be the default for this year's winter.  That's not fog, its a dry ice machine creating a beautiful effect , a little t ouch of the arctic for those seated in the cafe'restaurant there.


Anzac Day (April 25th)

 The real national day it is now being called, a day when  the higher spiritual values of the Australian people are called into play. Be afraid, be very afraid.


         Desperadoes or With every passing year, Anzac Day assumes a larger significance for Australian people.

                   Pictured is a reimagined Cenotaph in Sydney's Martin Place. Those 'desperadoes' are army deserters (for whatever reason) from the trials and tribulations of World War 1.


Featured below is Geoff Ostling one of the world's most heavily tattooed men, (his mostly floral skin is going to a museum when he passes on), gets a little heavier. A back of the hand waratah in progress. See also below for earlier picture of Geoff.

Geoff and the expert needle man at an upstairs tattoo parlour with a beautiful polished floor, and mucho tattoo memorabilia,  off Cleveland Street in Sydney's Surry Hills. No pain no gain.


Gaynor Tension at South Hill

Gaynor Tension takes the floor beneath William Yang's signature alter ego  and I am a Camera photograph and  belts out Swannee dedicated to Julia Gillard and her Deputy and Treasurer as he struggles needlessly to bring in a budget surplus.But maybe the cuts if well chosen, will be one in the eye for Tony Abbott who is blathering on about the cuts cuts cuts he is going to make.

Gaynor does Shirley Bassey's Hey Big Spender and Diamonds are Forever to bring South Hill's Mardi Gras 2012 Outreach exhibition  to a rousing close. Desperate trash queen and low level whore (as she describes herself) Lady Jo Jo provided hit and miss back-alley backup, the likes of which Goulburn had never seen before.


This full page ad on back page of Sydney Morning Herald's GoodWeekend  (17March 2012) and Circular Quay billboards,was sexy but also a little silly, deserving of a send-up, if for nothing but the way that big hand  is grasping the neck of the bottle.


OUTLOUD, a Mardi Gras Festival  annual event at TAP GALLERY,  (Burton & Palmer Streets, Darlinghurst Sydney) opens Tuesday 28th February 2012  6-8pm.  Your host: Lesley Dimmick.




Cora Eora, a man ahead of his time   - one of eight new collages for OUTLOUD and Mardi Gras Festival 2012


My OUTLOUD portrait of Geoff Ostling, world famous 'heavily tattooed man' being subsumed into a painting by X de Medici, who also created many of Geoff's beautiful floral tattoos.


Wilde in the Country

South Hill Gallery, Goulburn - every weekend (including Fridays) until Saturday 11th March 2012 when there will be a closing celebration with directors Linda and Roland Gumbert and all the artists - William Yang, Jim Anderson, Jeffrey Hamilton, John Douglas, Robert Knapman, Mizz Corrie Ancone, Kathy Sport, James Blackwell, Ursula Dutkiewics and Simon Alexander CookImages which follow are some of my own.



The Garden Genome. Something to do with DNA. Sinister figurine from Gary Simes collection of erotica



Hope Springs Eternal in the Human Breast, (shattered or not), when help is available from Michaelangelo's David  and Tom of Finland.


Picasso (the bouquet), Thurber (reoriented gently towards the homoerotic) & Cocteau brought together for the first time in a confection by Jim Anderson


Manet's Dead Toreador brought to life with a helping thumbs up from Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel hand. Another in my Quick and the Dead series.

The Long History of Eve & the Apple. Inspired by South Hill's former nunnery. Bottle is Chanel No. 5, Old Testament from Moses, Cigar from Fidel.





The Opening Night of the 2012 Sydney Festival was a magical mystery tour for me, Richard and Chris (Bookmen) - beginning with a French movie at the Art Gallery (1982)  showing Picasso at work, thrilling indeed, then a trawl thru the Domain, the Brook Andrews teardrop Caravan (the complete set of them can be seen at Carriageworks) and his huge black and white expressionistic phalluses in Macquarie Street,  the bands in Elizabeth Street relayed to Martin Place, (a detour for dinner  to The Hero of Waterloo) and so on all the way to Hyde Park, the zigzag light show illuminating St Marys Cathedral as never before, the truly beautiful flashing lights of the avenue of trees from the Archibald Fountain to the Park Street haha and finally the wonderful gypsy reggae music of MANU CHAO relayed from the Domain, which had me dancing with one hand waving free, the light fantastic.



Archibald Fountain - two guys, soaked to the skin after larking in the fountain. One of them had lost his glasses in the water and they had been unable to find them in the dark. I snapped them in mid-discussion as to what to do next. I liked the Churchillian V sign of reassurance that they were OK. More or less.  There was a chill breeze beginning to blow.

For those doing it tough as the summer solstice recedes, leaving us wreathed in cloud and rain and cool temperature, and 2012 approaches with rising seas, sun flares, and renegade scientists like poor Mr. Plimer and his fellow deniers John and Janette Howard, 

Frida Kahlo is here to help

Frida's Night Out.


St Francis was no sissy and other slogans for 2012.

An image for those benighted and beleagured ones who still have faith in the full fairy tale but also for those who would like to enlist St Francis of Assisi's posthumous help in the  long-term bid to end the factory farming of our fellow living creatures. We can certainly work towards amelioration of current conditions in abbatoirs and other nodes on the industrialisation of the killing of animals.  As J.M.Coetzee says, the transformation of animals into production units is relatively new, dating back only to the late 19th century. Hitler adapted the methods of the 'industrial stockyard' to the slaughter of human beings. That horrifying experience should have told us that,  "There is something deeply, even cosmically wrong , about using  industrial methods to kill fellow creatures on an industrial scale." 


Sculpture In The Sea (as opposed to Sculpture By The Sea, which is of course the inspiration. Good this year, its 15th, now a Sydney institution like the Archibald, and worthy of a small lampoon. What Sydney needs is a permanent movable feast of outdoor sculpture, known in many other countries as a Sculpture Park.

Sculpture in the Sea (and other signs of Global Warming)


South Hill Gallery - LAMPOON an historical art trajectory has its opening day

South Hill Gallery, Goulburn - opening afternoon. Celebrated photographer and performer,William Yang's  photos were the basis for my preliminary photomontage shown above. William also opened the exhibition in his inimitable fashion. Hosts: Linda and Roland Gumbert, who also introduced. A sunlit occasion with splendid views from my verandah stage, alpacas, peacocks and landscaping. Peter Royle provided the sound system for the dance and speeches. Robert Crumb's Hot Women - Music from the Torrid Zone was the source of  the track to which I danced "La Papa Araucana" by Las Quatros Huasas early thirties cabaret music from Chile. 18 peopled stayed afterwards for dinner seated around the  banquet table in the gallery's front room. Torres Straits Islands dancing from Adam Hill and Mitch Chatfield (stars of The Didgerido's and Don'ts of Urban Aboriginal Arts) followed by contributions from just about everyone there. More photographs and notes to follow at some future time.


An afternoon in association with my exhibition organised by a group I affectionately label the GGB( Goulburn Gay Blades) A chance to show a variation on some of t he covers for Oz Magazine I had a lot to do with way back in 1969, with embellishments bottom left by Martin Sharp, re-contextualised, but from the same 'Homosexual' issue which appeared in the wake of the Stonewall Revolution in New York.



Festival of Dangerous Ideas October 1 2011


Michael Kirby kicks off the Festival with a serious but amusingly presented (much flagging and flogging of his recently published Memoirs) with a three parter masterly speech focusssing on (1) the importance of Public School education, (2) Animal Rights (he's now a vegetarian although his long time partner is not) and (3) Gay Equality including Marriage of course. As for being gay, he is saying to all those homophobes out there, get over it. Pictured in the Concert Hall are two friends Richard and Michael.


Lunaflowers - I did not make it into Hyde Park's Sydney Life (part of Art and About Festival this October 2011) with this montage featuring Mr Sun and resident Luna Park artist, AshleyTaylor. The slightly sinister flowers represent the forces of property development always threatening to one day overwhelm the Park.



As I walk between Newtown and Redfern along Lawson and Abercrombie Streets, I see this sign rapidly being worn away by thousands of Sydney University student feet (they all seem to walk on the same side of the two streets, is that because the cafes of Darlington  are all on that same side ? A herd instinct, enjoying being packed so closely together ? More sunshine ? Less sunshine ? One less awkward crossing to make ?  Anyway, the signs seem to be disappearing long before WARP SPEED has actually arrived.


Tom Carment   - Places I've Been

Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney August-September 24 2011


Sally McInerney, photographer, with Tom at the opening. Tom Carment is an en plein air painter, like no other, of landscapes. He does portraits too.Since the seventies he has shown his works in numerous group and solo exhibitions. "...en plein air painting is sometimes a bit like doing an extended jazz solo. You need to practice, you need to be well prepared and you need to be relaxed. The balance between observation and making a picture should feel natural. Above all, you should know the right time to stop.

Yes, and in the words (paraphrased) of Aldous Huxley Time itself must have a stop ...

You'll get a much better idea of that beautiful painting behind Tom if you go take a look at the Damien Minton Gallery. I have pretty much wrecked it with green and yellow, not to mention blown up and now OUT OF FOCUS. Sorry about that Tom.


South Hill Gallery Goulburn

August 28th 2011


While alpacas grazed, a Symposium was being held in one of the grand rooms of Linda and Roland Gumbert's South Hill Gallery. Much was discussed, future plans were envisaged. Chaired by Graeme Jones, (Media Access Australia), the meeting produced high level creative discussions, with invaluable input from Jon Lewis (photographer) Cherry Hood (painter), Nigel Featherstone (writer and journalist), Kon Gouriotis (Director Visual Arts Board, Australia Council for the Arts) Brian Hill (community activist and actor) Roger Foley  (aka Ellis D. Fogg) Leigh Bottrell (writer, journalist Goulburn Post). Bill Dorman (sculptor in metal, industrial arts teacher  Mulwaree High School)  Elizabeth Brown (STARTS),  the Gumberts of course, and others like David Rowe, Mia Ching and Elizabeth Charles whom in my usual fashion I have lost track of. Gallery Patron Martin Sharp sent his regrets. I participated to some extent but was also there checking out the Gallery once more for my Tin Sheds exhibition LAMPOON an historical art trajectory which will be re-presented and somewhat rejigged, given a second life, at South Hill  - opening on Saturday 22nd October 2011.



OUTBACK QUEENSLAND (on, below and above the Tropic of Capricorn)


Sign in Longreach which is right ON the Tropic. Late July 2011, I stayed in Longreach with my cousin Howard Raven  before joining an old folks (more or less) circular tour to Birdsville, Bedourie Boulia and Winton and other points west south and north. Lots of history out there and each of these little towns has a well run museum. Longreach itself has the famous Stockman's Hall of Fame, and the Qantas Museum, both state of the art.  For those who like the flat gibber plains, the ancient Waddi trees, the mesas, the artesian oases, easy access to Lake Eyre by small plane, the parallel sand ridges and dunes and  the timeless endless desert, there is continuous fascination. Right now it is at its best because of the great Queensland rains of the past few seasons. The ranchers are happy, the cattle are fat, and no doubt, soon on  their way to Indonesia, hopefully humanely treated.

Big Yellow sand dune outside of Birdsville which is BELOW the Tropic. The more famous Big Red dune on the next ridge, was inaccessible to our 'tank' with picture windows on account of residue waters on the flood plain below.

    We had lunch at Tattersalls Hotel in Winton  which is ABOVE the Tropic.  Note the guy in  the Death Valley cap. It was my birthday and at my relatively advanced age, it had me thinking about MORTALITY and the ever more precarious perch on life that one inevitably has. Winton was the last town (famous for its extensive dinosaur diggings) I visited with Aussie Outback Tours before returning to Longreach which is right ON the Tropic of Capricorn. In winter, way out there in the western desert of Queensland, that means balmy days and cold nights. High season in  fact. In summer its way too hot.


Not only BELOW the Tropic, but in South Australia. Lake Eyre, Australia's fabled inland sea (the size of Wales) which three times in the past decade has filled, exchanging salt flats for a film of water. In the south of the lake, it actually gets a metre or two deep in places. In all the years since European occupation, the lake has filled only once or twice before this decade.  View from a small plane. not so high but too high to be amid the bird life which has flocked to the lake to feast and breed.  We saw hundreds of pelicans but far below. Water is still coming in from the north and the flooding rains earlier this year but evaporation is rapid. The waters of Coopers Creek, the slowest flowing of the rivers, is the only one whose water has yet to empty into the lake.


Lake Eyre another view showing the Warburton Channel which takes water down to South Lake Eyre,  and extent of evaporation in the north.


Lake Eyre, heading back to Birdsville  through the channel country. Rarely is it so green.


Bill Morley, a well loved and regarded Sydney artist (and DJ) died in 2007. A tribute exhibition was held for him in 2008. This past week (July 2011) curator Robert Lake organised a final exhibition and 'fire sale' of his work, (everything must go) mostly of what is known as his 'black light' period - fluorescent and enamel paints on black paper. Truly mesmeric to stand amongst it.


Jeffrey Stewart (agent for Greentrees resort, Lord Howe Island ) and Robert Lake view one of the several well covered walls, TAP Gallery. Sydney.


Bill's 77 Sunset Strip. He loved painting Cadillacs.

Bill's Judy Garland (with commentaries)


It's PRIDE WEEK in Sydney which more or less coincides with the anniversary of the Stonewall Revolution.


Town and Country Matters

which I completed for the annual TAP GALLERY Pride Exhibition this week (June 22).   PRIDE and MARDI GRAS exhibitions at Sydney's unique community gallery, TAP, are about the only time I cook up some erotic (if that is the word) imagery. TAP'S Amnesty International  and  Environmental Prize exhibitions also objects of artistic intention.


This particular Hitler was featured in my LAMPOON show but is included here in honour of the current Luke Roberts exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography which features some delightfully transgressive photographic imagery. For example, a young Roberts as Nazissus,  an older Roberts as a Seig Heiling Andy Warhol juxtaposed with himself as Adolf with a prayerful paint brush where his moustache would be. Luke reminds us that the swastika was around long before the frightful Adolf hijacked it for his nefarious purposes. There's more, much more in this great retrospective show - Pope Alice, perhaps Robert's most famous creation, most recently down here for Catholic Youth Day, is featured in pristine white robes in an immensely flat and wide Alpha(ville) landscape; a photo essay with Richard Bell and in the innermost room, the Virgin Mary (I thnk it's her) getting into some big sexy trouble. What's it all about ? Luke can tell you at length. Perhaps it's all because he's a Raelian and fond of the von Daniken belief that the ancient Nazca Lines in Peru were part of an airstrip used by extraterrestials whom the locals believed to be their gods.




Luke Roberts (Pope Alice) departs from Alice Springs with Vanessa Christ Wagner. One of my Catholic Youth Day series which can be viewed somewhat inadequately in  my Gallery.


Frank's Flat

An aptly exhibition which opened at Maitland Regional Art Gallery Saturday May 22 2011 and will run until 17th July while the walls of Frank's flat (where the paintings in the exhibition normally live their crowded and brilliant lives)  are being repainted. Joe Eisenberg the cultural director ofMaitland Regional got it all together, and Geoffrey Legge and Sonia Legge did the huge curating job.


Frank in contemplative mood.


John Peart opens. The Peart painting behind him is from Frank's vast collection. Joe Eisenberg checks the sound.



Wedding as Performance Art

Roger Foley, (aka LSD Fogg, the iconic sixties and beyond lighting guru) and Francesca Emerson (first black Playboy bunny in the New York Bunny House) get married in a very civil (and beautiful) ceremony in the presence of an elephant and with the assistance of a most entertaining celebrant who was a dead ringer for Newman, Jerry's 'enemy' in Seinfeld.  (22nd May 2011 at Adrienne's home on New Beach Road Darling Point )

Francesca and Roger sign the until death do us part (or until we realise we have made a terrible mistake) book, in the presence of a wedding bouquet created by Tracey Deep, and also that of their offspring from previous marriages.

Festive scenes took place in Adrienne's exquisite garden after the formalities. Robyn, Roger, Gretel (also known in a previous incarnation as Madame Lash - check out her recent biography) and Francesca, about to eat one of the delicious canapes circulating. Francesca's previous long time abode was in Selma Alabama of the Civil Rights Bridge Walk and Martin Luther King fame. She also spent a lot of time in the Hollywood world as a film editor.

Roger who has been back and forth from India in recent years, exhibiting his Light Sculptures, attended the  Peats Ridge Folk Festival near Sydney this past summer and  was enchanted by a walking talking singing elephant duo he saw performing there. He invited them to add an exotic element to the nuptials and they duly did so, charming everyone. I was taken back to the days of the Floating Sun Festival in wonderful Bolinas, northern California, the alternative town where I spent almost twenty years.


LAMPOON - an historical art trajectory Tin Sheds Gallery this past February/March


 Tin Sheds Gallery Display Window City Road. Reflections in the afternoon



My exhibition is over. Yesterday 12th March 2011 the final hour on the final day, I gave a floor talk for the crowd - rather a large one for a floor talk - about what was up on the wall - 130 images ranging from Tangier (1965) and Djerba (Tunisia 1967) through London Oz Magazine and Obscenity Conspiracy Trial days (1968-1971) to Bolinas, an alternative town in Northern California (1975-1993) where I developed the art of collage and of ceremonial mask making, thence to Sydney (1993-2011) where the idea for the amusing, satirical and cartoonish LAMPOONS was developed. Also showing are prints with a Mardi Gras (read GAY) theme including the David Hockney lithograph of we three naked editors way back in 1971. Portraits of Sydney celebrities/identities/personalities from the art world take up the long back wall along with a cut and paste panoramic FRIEZE, the result of a short period (2000-2003) as a paparazzo taking photos at art openings, mostly those of artist friends of mine. The floor talk came from an approach from Art Month a newish magazine in the art world which places an emphasis on artist's talks.My friend Electra Foley works there and suggested me as a likely subject.  I ended the floor talk with a truncated version, gestures only really, of masked dancing I did for the Floating Sun Festival in Bolinas in the Year of the Monkey,way back in 1980. I had not worn the mask since. Back then I wore it on the beach at the ceremonies, running and dancing about, defining the 'sacred circle' for example, then all the way up to the Festival site thru the town.  A very elaborate and grimly beautiful mask with fringes and flowers, but uncomfortable to wear. Hard to believe now I wore it for such a length of time back in those golden neo-pagan, peyote laced days when nothing seemed too difficult or arduous. Now I was a much older sober man recreating in a way, a young man's dance. I was glad not to break an ankle or put my back out. At the gallery even after a  few minutes, I just wanted to get the mask off. The Bolinas Museum had kindly shipped it out for the exhibition.


Proof of the cover of a book never published. Copyright problems - it was a compilation of every headline, image and article published in the western world press we could get our hands on. Our carnivalesque approach to the big trail had us dressing as school girls, school boys in short pants and caps, London business men  in striped pants and bowler hats, policemen in helmets, and convicts in broad arrow suits.


                                                              VietNamatjira (2006)


My variation on the original Oz cover 1971.


Wendy Whiteley at Garry Shead's in Bundeena - one of the many portraits in the exhibition


Looks like I am lecturing and maybe I was, but image captures  a gestural and explanatory moment in my dance, performed on the last day of my Tin Sheds exhibition as a surprise climax to my floor talk. As a much younger man, I first performed this dance in 1981,Year of the Monkey, Bolinas California for the annual Floating Sun Festival. Photo: Louis Plegas.


Good Morning 2011


More happy landings


and another one. It's obviously going to a fun packed  2011.


Good Bye to 2010


Late last year my apartment block was repainted in exactly the same colours  it was painted before. Stranded all and every day preparing for my  retrospective (LAMPOON an historical art trajectory)  in February which will be part of the Mardi Gras Festival, I took a series of photographs from my design table. Here are a couple of  them for whatever amusement  they might bring.




Leonard Cohen  at Acer Arena November 9th 2010



I had a great seat at the concert, courtesy of my brother Lindsay who said it was an early Xmas present. Fantastic present indeed. Leonard's Lullabies (for adults) lulled everyone into a state of bliss. His late period voice is low and growley still much better than Mr Dylan's which is  really shot. He skips on and off the stage like a fey sprite, goes down on his knees all  the time like swooping bird  and gets up again with no apparent effort. At 76 that's quite something. Those mid life eyars in the ashram have set him up for his current mode- prayerful and grateful. The once incendiary lyrics are now part of the wallpaper but they still stirr if not shake and bake. Charles Waterstreet, rakish barrister, noted in his Sunday column that Oliver Stone made use of Cohen's The Future in his chiller masterpiece Natural Born Killers. Yes folks, the future it is murder. And yes again, everybody knows.


Leonard slides to his knees in duet with consumate Barcelona guitarist whose name again escapes me.


Leonard bows, acknowledges genius, his partner and collaborator, one of the back up singers whose name escapes me. I only had my little compact camera with me but i don't mind the soft focus when it is inevitable. Love the one you're with sort of attitude. Remember that old line from the sixties ?  Nice.


Everybody nose. One of my favourite Cohen songs. I had forgotten the great Cohen

Sculpture by  the Sea, 2010


Sir Anthony Caro's Erl King - a powerful piece of work, making excellent and scary use of a ship's anchor. Robert Klippell (much as I admire you) eat your heart out. An introduction to my night time or rather gloaming tour of this year's show, the best for some time. As critic John McDonald recently noted in Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald.


South Korean Tae-Guen Yang's Sitting Hen  By the time I reached Tamarama Beach at the conclusion of the cliff top sculpture walk it was completely dark with cloud cover above. Still plenty of people around , but the excessive day time crowds were gone. This was an awesome (as my favourite niece would say) piece of work, even more so at night. Are those two eggs I can see in the body of the hen ? Or chook as one would say here if we like to hang on to that now disappearing piece of vernacular.


NZedder Hannah Kidd's the sky is falling. Sort of trashy but fun. Right outside the cafe (well and  truly closed) at Tamarama



On a more serious note Japan's Haruyuki Uchida's Intersection. The Japanese are as usual well represented this year with their elegant wo


Girrakool National Park to Wondabyne, a Central Coast bush walk in the rain. More climate change. Bring it on.   24th October 2010

"The laws of nature have priority over the forces of economics" (David Suzuki)



High above the steep section of the trail on the sandstone plateau with its beautiful rock gardens



Shelter from the pervasive rain  -  above spectacular and deep ravined Piles Creek



Islands in the stream -  natural rock gardens with flowering mosses and low chaparral amidst the flat sandstone platforms


On the fire trail above Wondabyne (flag the train down) platform - the drizzle is getting to us


Japanese landscape gardeners are perhaps inspired by islands in the rocks like this.

I was reminded of formal gardens in Buddhist temples in places like Kyoto


Jon Lewis, photojournalist, had an October 2010 exhibition PORTRAITS FROM THE EDGE, KIRIBATI: PUTTING A FACE TO CLIMATE CHANGE; 


It's a long time since I have spent time in Goulburn apart from the occasional lunch (at the fabled Paragon Cafe and Restaurant in the main street) on the way thru to Canberra, but the opening of Jon's timely and not to be missed exhibition was also a reunion of artists prominent in the days of the Yellow House way back in the seventies. I was in London back then and the fabled Yellow House days are long  gone, but I felt I just had to go.  Think Martin Sharp (who is also a patron of  Roland and Linda Gumbert's expansive and superbly sited South Hill Gallery) Peter Kingston, Ellis D. Fogg (aka Roger Foley), Mike Molloy,  Peter Royal...

In the photograph below, that's Jon Lewis on the left. I'll leave you to guess the others. The iconic Martin is splendidly silver bearded, and Peter Kingston wears the green pants. Mr Fogg sports his signature black brimmed hat, black overcoat, Mike is strung with appropriate cameras and Peter Royal in maroon shirt is contemplating the video he is about to make of folksinger Gary Shearston's concert to follow in The Barn, one of the many beautiful old buildings in the South Hill Gallery and Cafe complex which has over arching views of the undulating landscape surrounding Goulburn.



The Yellow House Gang



Martin Sharp and Jon Lewis



The sands of Kiribati - Boy with Pup - Beru. Kiribati is only 3 metres above the sea even at its highest level and its widely scattered islands are now being much affected  by rising sea levels. Current Climate Change is almost certainly our fault; we know what we have done. That's good  in the sense that we understand specifically what we have to do to rectify the problems we have created.  It's always possible we will go the way of the dinosaurs but that's no  excuse not to take care of environmental business



Gary Shearston, legendary 'Aussie Blue' folksinger sings in The Barn at South Hill. It was a cold and drizzly night (too bad for Goulburn's Lilac Festival and Parade next day) but there was a good fire and the audience was well  rugged up. We encouraged Gary to sing his heart out. Not only the best of, but new material as well, "I'm breaking the Leadbelly rule - don't sing a new song for an audience unless you have sung it 40 times to yourself." It  mattered not. The new songs were terrific. Gary has been a preacherman for much of his life and has always been of a  political and philosophical bent. We were not disappointed by his choice of songs. He knows how to fly the Australian character flag too.  We could even call him a national treasure. He may have left  the church but has not abandoned his spiritual roots. He is in prolific creative mode at the moment.


I went to an August winter wedding at Winmalee - Adam and Julie



Julie McGregor and her Wedding Singer after the official ceremonies at Hartfield. Adam and Julie pulled a perfect blue skied summery day out of the hat.



Early plum blossoms at Hartfield wedding. Hill End painter and bon vivant Luke Sciberras shows how it can be done. I didn't get the name of the happy lady.


A timely reminder.





Barangaroo Protest against Lend Lease, (the blue rat pennants) Paul Keating, Richard Rogers' red cantilevered over the harbour hotel, lack of transparency in the process, pro Cruise Ship Terminal... I rather like the Lord Roger's 'monstrosity' Yes say many, but not at Bangaroo.



Ladies in red, the colour of the day. I said it was Nancy Reagan red only to be corrected.



I think that's Jack Munday under the rat, the last of a distinguished array of speakers, including the Mayor of Leichhardt who made an impassioned plea for the Cruise Ship Terminal be kept at Barangaroo, not at boring White Bay where the local residents don't want it.






NG Gallery Chippendale 1st June 2010. Roger Foley aka Ellis D. Fogg, reveals his Lumino Kinetica in the restaurant below the main showroom.


Late night torch and cabaret singer Edwina Blush serenades the diners acapella with Elemental her joyous ode to life which gets to the heart and bottom of things. And I forgot the soul


Gretel Pinniger (Madam Lash) did not make it to her bio book launch at The Kirk (see below) but she made it here the following night. Fogg and Professor Ross Steel  eat up with her


Nicky Ginsberg, Roger Foley and guest towards the end of a rambunctious evening of the very best kind. The food and wine were much to be savoured. Highly recommended  9/10


Madam Lash blinked and will be affectionately known hereafter as Madam Eyelash

The legendary Madam Lash was a last second no-show (she had her chauffeur read out her Miss Otis regrets) at the launch of Sam Everingham's book about her illustrious and I suppose, sometimes scandalous life at The Kirk, her art and culture venue on Cleveland on Monday night May 31 2010. Richard Walsh on behalf of Allen & Unwin, launched in most witty fashion the very entertaining - it just rolls along  - unauthorised bio to a diverse crowd well lashed with champagne wine and beer, not to mention chicken sandwiches. Gretel Pinniger was there in spirit if not presence in the form of some signature cabaret - an aerialist, two beautifully bare torsoed, (who do they think they are, men ?) gymnastic, balletic and lip locking contemporary dancers, and BoomBoom late of Dharmsala, neighbour of the Dalai Lama who delivered acapella, a sensational and highly emotional I'm just a gigolo. It was one of those nights. On the walls around the carousing crowd were well lit examples of Gretel's  paintings in her current 4th dimensional mode.  Whatever one thinks of them they looked good and  white  carat golden under  their spotlights.






Below: The engaging Sam Everingham who wrote the book (he also wrote one on Gordon Barton who is well featured in this one too. On his right is the legendary lighting guru Ellis D. Fogg, also known as Roger Foley who had an entertaining affair with Gretel way back in the seventies, and was responsible for the picturesque fog that the girls danced through, but which I have not particularly captured in my photos.



Below: Richard Walsh, one of the wittiest men in town, gave us a perfectly nuanced, off the cuff speech that befitted the carnivalesque atmosphere.


Below: Boom Boom sings I'm just a gigolo



19-22 May 2010

WRITERS FESTIVAL not that I saw much of it. Saturday it was Allan Bennett's most  entertaining The Habit of Art rebroadcast from England's National Theatre at the Chauvel which took up most of my day, and Sunday I wimped out because of the big wet.   Richard Griffith's take on  mega poet and peacenik W H Auden's slovenly habits was hilarious as well as illuminating. I have never taken to Auden much myself for some reason, despite his eminence. Four Weddings and a Funeral is about it for me as far as Auden's poetry  is concerned. Inspired by Bennett's scabrous gayish play, I might take a look at the definitive bio of Auden which is around. At least for more of the chain smoking, the martinis and the state of the underwear.

William Dalrymple at the Concert Hall  got off to a slow start with his overly long intro and with the Bauls of Bengal much too reduced in numbers and sanitised to really electrify, as they certainly can, and Dalrymple's following talk  tended to be too chit chatty for total engagement. The Fakirs were sensationally intense however and sent us out at intermission on a high. After that it was total fun, Hari Das the trance dancer looked like nothing so much as a brightly caparisoned insect trapped on a dinner plate as he wandered around the  stage in his mesmerising costume in a  vaguely circular trajectory. He had trouble  -  immersed as he was in his dalit (Untouchable) to God like trajectory  - avoiding William Dalrymple's awkwardly placed podium. Someone should have removed that for the dance. William's story of the dignified and high class whore fallen upon harder  times who contracted  AIDS was rivetting  and the crowd forgave him for earlier populist waffle.   As for the magnificent singer whom he then introduced as someone who was going to sing songs based on ancient Tamil prayer  texts, she brought the house  down in her thoroughly modern manner, coming close to rap and recitative, nothing ancient about her. When she brought  back the Bauls they delivered the goods this time, as did one of the singers from the Fakirs. It was almost midnight before the show was over. The crowd clapped along and Mr Fogg had to rush away to get the last train home to to the Hazelbrook home. I caught William Dalrymple again  on Friday morning at the Sydney Theatre and he was in best form, mostly reading choice excerpts from his many works. It made me want to go to India.




Tony Bilson's Bar One at Circular Quay hosted three nights of poetry. I managed Friday night, which featured first of all eminence grise John Tranter and some tough metaphors, verging on the bitter, which kept me on my toes as well as reaching for my wine; Michael Palmer, honoured guest from the States, was more enigmatic but in total command, knew all about a punch line: Robert Adamson finished it off with prosody and water, hawk, fish and oyster images of the Hawkesbury delivered with Australian gusto.  It was hot night in more ways than one.


Bow-tied Master chef Tony Bilson wandered around his many diners with a newly conceived DRIED FISH fan.



It's close to midnight and Robert Adamson brings alive the Hawkesbury with  a spirited reading from his New and selected poems THE GOLDEN BIRD



The Ongoing Controversy. An image reversal shows more clearly to what extent Sam Leach meticulously copied the best bits of the Pynacker.  Maybe in the reversal that's Cape York and the east coast of Australia revealed.





Watters Gallery Opening Wednesday May 5 2010

Downstairs it was a sculpture show, a marriage between Leo Loomans with all his quirks and loose curves and James Rogers, much more vertical and solid, both making use of beautifully waxed black steel.  I even thought the huge spidery Rogers sculpture which dominated the gallery was one by Loomans, so it was a successful marriage. It is said that sculptors are hypercritical of their rival sculptors but that was not entirely in evidence at Watters where fellow artisans in three dimension, Ron Robertson-Swann, Michael Buzzacott, Michael Snape and Paul Selwood (and maybe others) were present. Selwood had the best work (a trompe l'oeil 3 dimensional) in the poorly judged Sulman this year.







Moshe Rosenzweig's Head On Photographic Portrait Prize had its opening on Friday night (April 31) at the Australian Centre for Photography in Paddington. It was a zoo, as they say, so crowded they had to relegate the bar to a parking lot under the stars out back. A good move really despite the nasty little plastic stemmed glasses. It was the only relief out there from the overwhelming. Peter Garrett the Minister for the Arts did  the launch with a rousing if overlong speech. At art openings you have about five minutes before the drinkers' conversation rises and drowns you out. The 40 finalists were probably  the best selection ever even tho there was a tinge of commercial magaziney looking stuff along with the truly deserving. I was in awe. The 150 'semi finalists' were featured on  a video screen in the second room and provided fascinating viewing also. Took quite a while to get thru those 150. What a lottery it all is. As the judges must know. Invidious job. William Yang took photographs of the crowd viewing the video.  "Too good an opportunity to miss," he said before fleeing the crush. The only names I recognized on the video screen were Suellen Symons and Luke Hardy. Maybe Jon Lewis as well. Needless to say my 3 excellent entries including my glamour acrylic mirrored LED framed shot of Francesca, the first black Playboy bunny in Hugh Hefner's stable, a landmark occurrence in the African Americans' inexorable march towards racial equality, that took place many years ago now, did not make any kind of cut. Francesca spends several months out here each year, visiting with her son. She is still hot. The Portrait Prize, the flagship exhibition of the Moshe and team's Photography Festival, will be on show for some weeks as will the Festival which is taking place all over town at galleries and even private homes. Check out the website for details.  Oculi, over at Manly Regional is part of the Festival and well worth checking out - ten years of the best of documentary photography by some of the best known names in town. Curated  by Sandy Edwards of Stills Gallery (and generally a curating and organising whizkid)

I had a second look at the exhibition on May 4. Brilliant as the selection up on the walls is, the selection is also a bit solemn, even revealing a bit of self importance  - with welcome exceptions of course. (the cabaret scene, one of the winners - how did that escape from the video screen ?) Yes, much more fun and revealing to look at was the small video screen in  the second room, HeadOn's very own Salon de Refuses.  I (and a couple of other people avidly watching), thought one could  take any 40 from the video screen, replace the ones now on the wall, and you would have a much more interesting, less grim show. Life is hard but the dead baby winner? I saw very little of the emotion that the father must have been feeling evident in the photo. How did the judges not notice that? Blinded by the sorrowful situation? Robert McFarlane gave it the Critics Award as well. Maybe it's just that I don't have an eye for the subtle. Anyway, in the Peoples Choice, I certainly voted for one of the few cheerier ones.

Below: Moshe and Peter Garrett.



One of 3 winning portraits, obviously this one by a nose. The lucky photographer is being interviewed. I will be back this week to have a good look at everything, impossible on the Friday night with all that bullocking to get from A to B..


A second Photography  Festival event I attended was at Connie Dietzschold's Dank Street Gallery on Saturday May 1st an excellent way to celebrate May Day as Connie had a performance or HAPPENING (as Performance Art was first known way back when)  taking place, a renowned European audial performer, the audio being provided by the Gladwrap he was unspooling as he came down the stairs and then all around the Gallery to the bemusement of the crowd. I wondered if the angst on the performer's face had to do with Angela Merkel's agony as she unwillingly decides she has to bail out Greece , the mega under-performing country in the European Union at the moment with Portugal and Spain not to to mention Ireland about to follow.


Below: Claudia Terstappen  and Connie.  That's 'Mr. Gladwrap' in the background. He is also performing at the Conservatorium of Music. No mean feat.   Claudia's exhibition Fire is part of the Festival. Lots of trees burning, not  Black Saturday but poetic moody look at a controlled burn up in the Northern Territory. Photographs of  Catherine Cloran and Anthony Amos in the adjoining room are also part of the ubiquitous Photo Festival. All worth a look.



Closer. That's one of Claudia Terstappen's photographs in the background.



Stephen Wiltshire, the renowned autistic savant signs the drawing he did over 3 days at the Customs House after viewing the scene for 40 minutes atopSydney Tower. He travels the world now with his sister as minder and has his own gallery in central London. He was brought here for Autism Month.Recently he has started to add colour and has also become fascinated by yellow cars.

(31st April 2010)



Stephen carefully reads prepared answers to some questions



Stephen turns to young autistic school children having a day out with Stephen at the Customs House.





"All our generation has been sacrificed...at the beginning we were deceived by the tinsel of war. Romance dies hard. But we know now.

We've done with fairy tales. There is nothing glorious in war; no good can come of it. It's bloody, utterly bloody."

Alec Waugh, The Loom of Youth, published  1917



Gria Shead  does Degas at Tim Olson Annexe Gallery   March/April 2010



Mardi Gras 2010

Associated with the Gay Sydney Nudists float, (minimally attired) I roamed freely, taking

pictures of Parade preparations in  Wentworth Avenue section. A small sample follows.










Roger Foley-Fogg's Lumino Kinetics, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea


The exhibition fills the gardens and is more than well worth a visit. The lights go on around 6. Even in daylight these

7 Light Sculptures are spectacular.After dark they are pure LED magic. 6th - 28th February 2010  Web: www.fogg.com.au



Gretel Pinniger (Madame Lash, currently working on her biography) and Bob Green.  If you are visiting the  Blue Mountains

check out Bob's bric-a brac-shop, Salon d'Ordure.  No shit. And you can check out Bob's paintings while you are there.


Summer Solstice

The Old Man Of the Trees





New Year brought rare, juxtapositions suggested by circumstance. Avatar, Brett Whiteley's re-imagined wall of crucifixions at Lavender Bay,

Nicola and Perry 'realtor to the stars' Press, visiting from London,  pressed into artistic service.


Decade's END

I did a series of HAPPY XMAS cards for various members of my extended family as I do every year in fact, but this time inspired by a viewing of AVATAR and being reminded of  acid trips I took back in the sixties (and seventies), I indulged myself in Photoshop more than usual. Actual trips to the Botanical Gardens and to Darling Harbour (with its glittering LED tree - see below - ) were also inspiring.


 Peter Kingston's Boofhead figurine on the Lavender Bay/Luna Park walkway provided the stem,

an Illawarra Flame Tree petals provided the tutu and Botanical Gdns provided the bamboo temple.  eCardDragonsBloodTree2


The Dragon's Blood Tree has suffered a misfortune since I took the photograph upon which this Xmas montage had been created.Soaking rains destabilised  the roots and it fell on its side. I was once assured it will be restored to fully functional verticality at some time. In the lengthy meantime and lately in particular it seems to be having a hard time maintaining full moisture uplift through it's malaligned root system.  Even horizontal, still worth a look.




Inspiration ? The Darwin installation in Botanical Gardens. See below. Also the fact that my brother,

my sisters and even me, are not getting any younger. I am very glad to be around the vibrant younger generations at Xmas time.

As we oldies eat less and less and more circumspectly (perforce) they eat more and more.There is some sort of rich bloodline immortality provided there.



















Climate Change Gathering and March, 12th December 2009

eCilmateChangePanoramaSpeeches, singing, boisterous good times as we urge Wonderful Copenhagen to do the right thing and save the world from Ian Plimer. The 15,00 or so then made their way to the Botanical Gardens . I got  there in response to GET UP and AVAAZ







While in the Gardens I took a look at the monolithic Charles Darwin installation in the form of his surname
sculpted into perspex block letters accompanied by key words and quotes.Worth a look
Rupert 'Bugs' Bunny at Art Gallery December 09 onwards


The Rupert 'Bugs' Bunny retrospective at the NSW ART GALLERY  well worth a look, particularly when Bunny hopped beyond the pale and languid Belle Epoque ladies who lunched (& ladies in bed) to less pale and more colourful paintings influenced by the Fauves and Gauguin. All quite decadent and la vie boheme really. All that Greek mythology and Orientalism probably hid quite a multitude of 'sins.' Check out his dancing Salome.  This was painted at the time of Salomania, with the famous siren and dancer Maud Allan delighting Parisiens, but scandalising the righteous in London with her performances in Oscar Wilde's Salome. She gave private performances for Royalty, the aristocracy and high society. Pemberton Billing a fascistic right wing politician publisher and aviator, wrote in his magazine Vigilante,  that she had created a CULT OF THE CLITORIS. She sued  him for criminal libel and after a celebrity packed  trial, during which the 'moral majority' (who had no idea until the  trial what a clitoris was), had a field day, she lost.

All his long life, Rupert was very conscious about the size of his ears.  I couldn't resist the joke. 


A new production of CABARET until December 17


Jason Blake in the Sydney Morning Herald  said this production lacks chills and thrills but I did not find that so.I went to the 5pm Sunday show with the theatre packed with what seemed to be Asian school kids having a riotous time when invited to interact with the boys and girls of the Kit Kat Club where a lot of the action takes place. I agree with Benita De Wit (quoted in The Week) that Colleen Cook  and Barry French were pitch perfect  as landlady Fraulein Schneider and her Jewish paramour Herr Schultz.Their portrayal of love in the twilight of life (and the Weimar Republic in fact)  "captivated the audience and their songs met with rapturous applause"








Collection, via Centennial Park, of a rejected manuscript - my new novel, set in Africa,

Escape from Leisure Beach, a black and comic 'sexoir'.































Roger Foley (AKA Ellis D. Fogg, the 60s - and beyond - lighting guru) has once again created Sydney's

most beautiful Xmas Tree. View it close up next time you visit Darling Harbour at night.






































Along with China, India is at the forefront of development of LEDs, (light emitting diodes)

enabling environmentally friendly ever brighter, lighting systems and  Roger Foley has been back and forth several times this

year to New Delhi exploring the many possibilities.This year's result is  possibly his prettiest and most airily luminous tree yet.







James Waites, theatre critic, throws a PARTY at Quirkz,
Marrickville, Monday November 16th 2009

Quirkz is two warehouse floors of theatrical props posters and insanely over the top decor, a cabaret venue run by Monsieur Camembert, (Yaron Hallis) and the perfect place for James Waites 'survivors' party, a celebration of, and thanks for, having survived a 15 metre fall over a Coogee cliff twenty or was it thirty years ago. Paul Capsis, Crista Hughes and others (Trash, the Hoop Dancer for example) provided scintillating entertainment and it was a dancing drinking talking eating event like no other for a hundred or so of James's closest friends. 

Paul Capsis sang in his usual brilliant fashion, managing at one point to channel Janis Joplin and then to duet with Crista Hughes in Honky Tonk Women.


























Museum of Sydney: Martin Sharp Sydney Artist, opening night

(October 30th 2009)



Garry Shead, Richard Neville, Adrienne Leiberman



































Adam Hill in the salon upstairs, along with hundreds of  others on opening night. Museum threateneed to let in only the first four hundred. Everyone got in.













Jenny Kee Exhibition October 2009


Richard Neville opened the Blackheath  Hat Hill  Gallery exhibition Heart of the Waratah, on 24th October with re-born fashionista Jenny Kee presenting herself as a 'Waratah Woman'. Oil Stick drawings, 24 of them as richly coloured as Jenny's outfit.. A good year for waratahs. I took a walk  the next morning and was able to photograph dozens of them in bush which had been ravaged by fire a couple of years ago. Waratahs like so much of Australia's flora are come-back kids and make use of fire and  the ash residues for regeneration purposes. If only the fauna were as quick to recover.













Capertee Valley


For some unknown reason, unfixable at the moment, images seem to be ranged to the left.







I spent the Long October Weekend camping in the Capertee Valley at Red Rock Ridge. Graeme, the ranch manager

had made this dashing effigy since my last visit in January. My favourite place to sleep was in the dilapidated gazebo.



 Family Gathering












Clodagh, my grand niece, had a 2nd birthday on Sunday 11th October 2009. For a moment, the lights were out except for the candles on her cake and this is the picture I too with my little compact. I rather like the effect.





NG Gallery, Little Queen St Chippendale 15 September 2009


Speakers: Luke Sciberras, Gria Shead.  Moderator,  Richard Morecroft.

Another of Nicky Ginsberg's successful cultural evenings combining art and fine dining. Mmm. Loved that Provencal seafood stew.



Gria Shead listening intently to Electra Foley



Luke Sciberras and Nicky Ginsberg 



Gria Shead confides with Professor Ross Steele



Roger Foley, Luke Sciberras share a laugh. Musician for the night whose name escapes me,sorry about that,looks on.


Southern Cross Outdoors Group, (SCOG)takes a walk from Lawson Station

Blue Mountains National Park.


We stopped for lunch at Fredericka Falls.










Mid September, a warm day and spring flowers were everywhere


Looking back to sandy beach, Fredericka Falls. Despite the dry winter, there was still plenty of water flow in the creeks


A topographic rock sculpture of AUSTRALIA. We agreed with Ranger Bob, our walk leader, that it was unusual and

worth the small detour. The pond in which it is set and the surrounding parklands are in the process of restoration.



Steven, Sydney photographer, carrying  his very useful  monpod, (as opposed to a tripod) on the trail heading for Fairy Falls



A ghostly gum, and below, the blue rocks at Fairy Falls, our last stop before returning to Lawson.

Particularly in sunlight and under falling water, the rocks assume a very distinct blue colour.






Joseph and Roland (in background) St Michaels Falls




Legendary Sydney painter Johnny Bell's trousers featured at the Tim Olson opening  September 1st 2009, of an exhibition More Than the Desert Reveals

by Hill End artist, Luke Sciberras. Luke has been out and about a bit lately with scenes from Glen Helen, Arttunga from the MacDonnells  NT and Flinders Ranges

South Australia. All worth a look or two.


Julie McGregor on the left, introduced me to Adam, her sculptor partner and to a woman whose name escapes me now but who was

wearing an utterly beautiful dress which I just had to photograph, like Johnny Bell's trousers.



Outside afterwards  I spoke briefly with Martin Sharp and long time friend and sometime collaborator, Tim Lewis,

before heading off to the London Hotel on William Street Paddington for late night pizza. Luke was there upstairs as host and a lot of thin crust pizza,

elegantly served, was consumed. There was also dancing for those who dared.



Mick Glasheen  in centre looking a bit like Santa Claus these days instead of merely angelic (it's the beard)

with Luke on the way to the London. The name of the guy on the left, as so often happen s these days, escapes me.

I will do some research and correct  one day soon.


                                                            Tim Lewis with Luke and the beautiful Gria Shead - outside the Olson Gallery in Jersey Road -
                                                                                                                  on that warm September evening.



The de-robing ceremony for Michelle after a big night out at the Roundhouse, University of NSW earlier in July.

My first time at a Polly's event except for that fabulous old time waltz Xmas party many years ago now




  Vivid Sydney Festival, opening night Tuesday May 26. OK if you were up close."Electric Canvas" Of no interest if across the other side of the Quay.


Not far from the MCA elegant in an ungainly unlit vase, are these FLOWERS.     Hard to find out from the  poorly designed, hard to read, blue type, very small out of black. Really!  SMART LIGHT catalogue, but it might be Ghosts of the  Rocks by Jon Voss in Cadman Park.


Rainbow Wall outside Billich Gallery near Cadman Park. So hard  to read the Catalogue, but work of Mark Hammer

and Andre Kecskes."Not that bloody unicycle guy again,"  said a spectator of the posing unicyclist.



Bright enough said 60s lighting guru Ellis D. Fogg (he is currently creating best, by far, the yearly Xmas Tree in Sydney,all LED, in Darling Harbour )but

why only two dimensional images on a three dimensional building. It can be custom fitted these days. Brian Eno responsible.







Bat Control(2009)


Pixillated Man with Duck  - Fair Day (2009)


A little amusement at GEOFFREY ROBERTSON'S  expense. I was told he had Vivian Berger's Rupert Bear up on the wall of his chambers
somewhere, so this is intended as a companion piece.


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