The Modern Art Of Flower Arranging.  text trial 1 Arial Bold
The Modern Art Of Flower Arranging.
text trial 1 Arial Bold
The Modern Art Of Flower Arranging.  text trial 2 Britannic Bold
The Modern Art Of Flower Arranging.
text trial 2 Britannic Bold
The Modern Art Of Flower Arranging.  text trial 3 Arial Bold 3D
The Modern Art Of Flower Arranging.
text trial 3 Arial Bold 3D
The Modern Art Of Flower Arranging.  text trial 4 Arial Bold 3D pink
The Modern Art Of Flower Arranging.
text trial 4 Arial Bold 3D pink


I am making a text wall work for Put Up Your Dukes! Part Two. It is a caption from The Modern Art of Flower Arranging by Elisabeth de Lestrieux, originally published 1982, (published in English 1986 Hamlyn).  A rather fantastic book that I found at an op shop which has sat in my studio tempting me with its slightly faded photos and sincere enthusiasm, but has up til now evaded all attempts to be put to work as art. Maybe it is too good already. But still, I am going to try.

The two part Put Up Your Dukes! project uses the dubious construct of ‘nature’ as a foil for contesting our (Gabrielle Amodeo and my) inversely relational practices. I want this work to play to both the reconstruction of nature (wood vinyl and flower arranging) and to undermining the gravitas implicit in a large-scale text work. Gabrielle is making a immaculately drawn text work on paper, in addition to her immaculately made books from Part One of the project, so I want my text work to be large and somewhat crudely made. Which probably means that I have to hand cut it (as best I can, which is crudely). It would be much, much easier to get it vinyl cut, but I suspect that to really work it has to fall blindingly short of digital perfection.


The question is, do I go with the hand-drawn 3D shadow? Is the pink a step too far? Can I buy another pink pen once that one runs out? Is it too try-hard slacker? Or is it trying to be slacker cool but ending up embarrassingly contrived?

The quote has exactly 150 letters – that is a lot of pink-pen and blade knife.




My One Day Wonder

These are some studio trials for my one-day exhibition this Friday, 18 May. It is part of the One Day Wonder project, a series of 24-hour shows at the Pearce Gallery, Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.

My exhibition is an experimental installation developing some of the ideas I have discussed in previous posts on the relationship between humans, domestic animals and the flower power movement.

Opening Friday night 4.30pm – 7pm. Saturday 10am – 1pm Discussion forum 5- 5.30pm

Pearce Gallery, 130 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell


The One Day Wonder project

The Pearce Gallery at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design presents the inaugural season of One Day Wonders, a series of one-day exhibitions discussing and developing new, emerging and experimental aspects of contemporary art practice.

Season one: 2012 Paper Bag Research Forum

A research based project investigating the dynamic between research practice, exhibition practice and the educational institution. Five member of faculty from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design present their own take on this relationship as they address aspects of their own practice via exhibition and discussion

May 18                Jill Sorensen

June 1                  Emma Johnson

July 27                Christina Read

August 3             Noel Ivanoff

August 10            Jacquie Ure

Friday night openings 4.30pm – 7pm. Saturday 10am – 1pm Discussion forum 5- 5.30pm

Pearce Gallery, 130 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell


Look they’ve got necks

I have been on holiday and not thinking about art for at least two weeks. To help me warm up my brain I have been looking back over various projects and piles of paper. In so doing I re-found a couple of childhood drawings my sister gave me last year. To put these drawings in perspective, they are the only two drawings saved from my prolific childhood of drawing. (at least the only two with my name on them, there were a number of unnamed ones that could have been the cultural production of me or any of my siblings) My mother kept a draw of things that seemed precious at the time, drawings, letters, cards etc. As is usually the case, there are more things from the first children in the family, but as youngest i did ok with two identifiable drawings from my childhood and one letter from when I was at artschool (complete with pencil-held-by-foot drawing of my boyfriend on envelope)

This drawing is of Hansel and Gretel, I was five years old according to my mother’s note on the back. I recall making it quite clearly, it was done with those waxy crayons they used in school. I used orange for the faces as it seemed a closer skin tone than the bright pink. The teacher held it up for the class and said “look they have got necks” i was so proud.

later, as an adult I made another version of Hansel and Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel

This second drawing I don’t remember so well, i have a foggy recollection of sticking on the orange wool. I quite like the fact that it is a bird but it has hands rather than wings, and it is scary looking.

Supreme: Failure teaches success


I found this book in a Japanese shop on Dominion Road. I think it is intended to be inspirational, though it seems a different notion of inspiration than the American version.

the text reads:

Trouble brings experience and experience brings wisdom.

Failure teaches success


If present unhappiness is compared with big unhappiness, feelings become easy a little. Moreover, present unhappiness will bring happiness in the future.


In lieu of making any new years resolutions, or even bothering to stay up and drink too much I have started drawing in it, inspired by its notion of failure as the path to success.

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new drawings

After a lengthy silence I have returned with some drawings developed from the Flower Power/ animals debate I have been having with myself.  These are A3 sized ink and water colour drawings made for a group show at Kobo Chika, my gallery in Tokyo.

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I’m dreaming of Flower Power

Animals and their relationship to humans is still on my mind. I have also been thinking a bit about the flower power movement of the late sixties/ early seventies. This was sparked by a very brief aside in Barry Schwabsky’s introductory essay to Vitamin P: New Perspectives In Painting. In defining the advent of post modernism and its repercussions for painting Schwabsky posits the flower power movement as one of a number of responses to emerge from the crisis of the failure of the modernism. He mentions it in passing, as a possible movement passed over in favour of the self-conscious rigor of what became known as postmodernity.

It has got me thinking that maybe we have missed something that we could well do with in the materialistic twenty-first century. Of course the environmental movement that was part of flower power continued and has finally forced its way into the mainstream, but it is a capitalistic environmental model, to suit the capitalistic times.

It is an ideological loss that I am concerned with. And I am not even sure that it was quite a brave new world(view). Maybe it was just a bunch of kids from the newly emerged leisure class discovering drugs. But still, the hope that we can be more than consumers who own stuff is worth looking back at.

If I understand it correctly, at its most basic, the flower power movement was an attempt to deliberately reposition humanity both in relation the natural world, in both in terms of environmental awareness and in relation to the constructs of culture such as gender imbalance, wealth disparity and the cultural violence of war.  This moment of self-awareness of our role in relation to human and  non-human others seems to me to have everything to do with the predicament of the domestic animal that I was discussing previously.

Art is maybe a reasonably fang-less way to address such concerns, but it seems to me relevant to bring these two things together and see what sort of post pop moment they can find together. I am feeling my way here, these are my first studio experiments. (or at least some of the more successful ones – there have been a few where, unlike my earlier post, bad has not been good)

flower pony trial 1
watercolour pony 2
ink and acrylic, 295 x 390mm

Some days I am a rabbit, other days I am a pig or a cat or just stranger with pointed fangs.

For the most part the relationship I have with my drawings is one of interested distance. The drawings emerge doing their own thing and I attend to them with care and respect for their autonomy. Strangely, sometimes they turn out to be drawings of me. Self-portraits if you like. It is always sightly disconcerting to realise I have just drawn myself, usually in the guise of some sort of creature involved in some sort of psychologically revealing activity.

It is not that often that I draw myself; I am not so narcissistic as all that. These were drawn over a period of a few years.

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