Monday, July 31, 2006


The photo above is of some baby ducks that were floating about the bay on a Winter's day. They huddle to keep warm and to give each other protection, just as you imagine those family groups were doing in Qana.
I feel at a loss as to what to write and yet I want to write. This latest atrocity in Qana is beyond the words of a woman sitting typing from her peaceful home in Melbourne. My heart is crying for all those children and all the parents and relatives. I completely do not understand how these actions would secure anything except more suffering and pain. How could anyone conceive that the brutal action of war would help this region, make Irael more secure or as the Americans see it, aid the "War on Terror".
Here are some words from an Australian poet, Judith Wright, which seem somehow apt-

To look at landscapes loved by the newly dead
is to move into the dark and out again.
Every brilliant leaf that lives by light
dies by its hold at last and desires earth's bed:
men and trees and grasses daily falling
made that veil of beauty for her. Slight
aeons of soil on rock, of grass on soil, of men
standing on the grass, can't hide her outcrops. Stone-
stone our mother locks in, tongueless, without feeling,
our far blind brothers, future and past who had no luck
and never was born. And now the newly dead
is lowered there. Now we weep for eyes whose look
is closed on landscapes loved, and at last known.

This poem probably resonates more with the reality of natural death but I will leave it up all the same.

Finally here is a link a recent article by Robert Fisk, - who would have to be one of my favourite journalists. The website is also a very good news resource.
* If anyone out there in blogging land could give me advice as to how to put live links into text I would be very grateful!

Friday, July 28, 2006

anyone remember the gulf war?

Kuwait 1990
Back in 1990 I was living in Dusseldorf in Germany (that reminds me of a Randy Newman song, but that might be another blog). As Desert Storm brewed, my German friends began to feel very anxious, as their country was about to be involved militarily for the first time since the end of the 2nd WW. They were very sceptical of the reasons for the war and worried about the military precedent for post war germany.
It inspired about 12 of us to form a group called the Montags Gruppe to meet once a week to talk about world events, share our anxieties ( a forerunner of blogging I suppose) and look at one anothers' work. We were a motely group of artists, artisans and film workers but it was a deeply formative time for me. Looking back it has influenced a lot of the approach I now have for gathering people to work together on a common goal.
The painting above was from a series I did at the time, where I was working a lot from newspaper images. The sight of all those oil fields burning seems to be a harbinger of the present day ongoing violence in the Gulf.
Interesting history link if you follow the title link....

Monday, July 17, 2006

calm corner..

I have a soft spot for the unlovely corners that you come across in daily life. While the Middle East explodes with long held hatreds, these unnoticed spaces exist in every corner of the world. Maybe it will eventually be a mutual desire for calm, domestic spacces that will slowly pour water on the flames. Or more probably it will be the people that inhabit these spaces that will suffer violence inflicted by the powers that be.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


...finally , after weeks of being stuck in the big smoke due to our ailing oldies, we are actually in the real Wild Dog Road. We even ventured further afield on a wintry day to explore some of the walk that can be done along the stretch of coast known as the Great Ocean Road. Above is a sign encountered describing the pitfalls to be avoided along the way. One day we hope to do a longer walk but we just went a little way on our first exploration.

Cliffs shearing down into a wild sea, wonderful rock formations reminding one of the immensity of tectonic movements long ago. Relations of our Australian marsupials live in South America harking back to Gondwana land which was the huge southern land that started breaking up about 150 million years ago. A very cute dinasaur about 60 cm high used to leap around this area as his fossils have been found near this area at a place called Castle Cove.

Leaping from the wilds of coastal speculation to domestic ideas, I had to share this novel lawn mower which we came across in the back streets of Apollo Bay. The cage is slowly moved forward and the rabbits make short work of the grass. seems an environmentally friendly version of the mower to me!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Two quotes"


" not a just image, just an image: A "just image" is an image that exactly corresponds to what it is taken to represent, but if we see images as " just images", we see them precisely as images, rather than correct or incorrect represetations of things"

Godard Notes- Negotiations

" The complete critique is perhaps not one that aims at totality (as does le regard surplomant) nor that which aims at intimacy (as does identiying intuition); it is the look which knows how to demand, in their turn, distance and intimacy, knowing in advance that the truth lies not in one or the other attempt but in the movement that passes indefatigably from one to the other. One must refuse neither the vertigo of distance nor that of proximity: one must desire that double excess where the look is always near to losing all it's powers."

Jean Starbobinski L'oeil vivant: Essais

Flying Ducks

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Bad Photography, continued....

Man in a market. Watercolour.
What happens when a painter is told that someone likes their pics. They put up more!
Here is another one from the same series.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Bad Photography

Amber. B.Y.O
A long time ago, in a time when I had time to worry about images.....I had an idea to paint any photograph that I had taken that I thought was "bad". I decided to format the painting in the same size as the photo and paint in watercolour. The above is one of that series. It was a matter of penance as well as giving me energy to explore what made a "good" picture. All the painted images looked a lot better than the original photograph. Whether the act of painting them imbued them with something considered or whether I just find the world inherently interesting and could consider its nuances in the most ordinary of moments- I don't know. Or we are just trained to find a painting "interesting"?

The next two pictures are from photos I took of Port Phillip Bay. Playing around with photoshop I was toying with the same ideas but just not spending hours working in paint.