Thursday, 30 December 2010

bubbly time

Not me, I'm just too superficial realise the time of year - I'm leaving that to the real people:

Window shopping, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney Australia

Friday, 10 December 2010

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Group Show - Brunswick Street Gallery opening Friday 10 December

I've put a couple of small works into the small works show being staged by the Brunswick Street Gallery in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, The World.

My works are of a couple of flowers I photographed years ago & cut out to make a collage but only thought to pick up again and actually put together in the last couple of months.
Called Celebrity Eyes & Celebrity Smile, they feature flowers, a bit of writing & in the middle of each flower there is an anus.  
Originally I had written a note with a small drawing of cats bums in the middle of each flower for that sour taste look that snobs who look down on people take on but didn't want to use cat anatomy in such a crude way because I like cats.

 I don’t think I need to write an essay on the images on show or the notion of “celebrity”.
The works are in an edition of 10 printed on 300gsm matte cotton rag, nicely framed with their own magnifying glass attached (found some good bug spyglasses at the Australian Museum of course!).

middle of flower in detail as one would see using the magnifying glass attached to the lovely framed pieces at the gallery:

I've had a fine old giggle putting these together interspersed by slight nauseousness researching images - the anuses (ani?? hah hah) are all in the public domain and do not breach copyright. 
Imagine being contacted by someone saying, "that's my arsehole, you arsehole!"
too fun

Along with over 500 other artists and 1787 works (wow!), the show opens this Friday 10th December 6-9pm and continues until 16th January 2011
BSG: 322 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 3065 Hours 10am-10pm 7 Days a Week

Should be a lively exhibition - so much to see, wish I was there.  So, get on over to Fitzroy you Melbourney people - I've had a look through the list and all the art is very affordable and there are some excellent bargains to be had.

© 2010 Anne Bentley

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Niamh Sharkey wins Irish Children's Book of the Year

Congratulations to the very hard working, lovely, talented and always generous Niamh Sharkey on her win for:

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Edwina Wrobel - Artist in Group Show

Opening this coming Friday

From the Balmain Watch House Site:
Seven artists are ‘doing time’ this weekend. These ‘prisoners of artmaking’, 3 female and 4 male, however, are hoping for clemency by presenting a very colourful array of their artworks. The inmates are all from Sydney but each with a different cultural background. Brought together by a passion for art and ‘crime’ this is their first collective initiative.

Opening Fri, 29, 6-8.30pm  - runs: Sat 30, Sun 31 October 2010 10am - 5pm 179 Darling Street Balmain NSW
I first came by Edwina Wrobel's (1) work in September 2004 via Irene Schroder who ran Mura Clay Gallery in King Street Newtown for almost 20 years.
The invite card for an exhibition featuring Edwina's work that arrived in the post had a picture of Joy's Birth: for Joy Hester (2), which I liked a lot & kept on display so as not to miss the show.  During the afternoon before the exhibition opening, I chanced by the gallery for what was becoming a regular chat with Irene - we would save the world, change politics or talk about artists & this time was no different except there was an opening that night so we talked about the art - I couldn't talk about much else and Irene agreed the work was wonderful and, with a wink said that they take layby.  I kept coming back to the invitation card work and it was settled.  Laybying "Joy's Birth" cost me more than the rent and more than my weekly wage but I was totally seduced and it hasn't stopped since. 

Five years and one month later, I was sitting in Edwina's home listening to her story about really wanting to own a piece of art by a particular artist held in the stockroom of an upmarket gallery and talking them into letting her layby it.

I see Edwina's work as being personal thought that turns a corner only to hit a wall being the intrusion of a sometimes nasty world.  Using her own symbols along with an illustrative attraction to
Día de los Muertos after spending time in Mexico as well as the Heide Circle of Australian artists - the later most obvious in Joy's Birth: for Joy Hester. The daughter of avid Australian art collectors, Edwina grew up around Woolloomooloo and was one of The Gunnery group; a squat & artists community that began around 1985 until 1991when they were all booted out so the State Government could refurbish it to become an arts administration building & gallery. 
Objects and art Edwina collects are as interesting as the art she creates including the remains of the famous Kings Cross sign (3) questioning the (suspected) murder of Juanita Nielsen rescued from questionable storage in an outhouse.
It was a treat to visit her & see some of her other works I hadn't seen (image #4).

Edwina often has me in stitches with her anecdotes about people in the workplace, family, past & present adventures and this mixing bowl of feeling: humour, frustration and irony can be seen in her work and for me, Being in the Office (5) says it all.
In her previous group show at the Balmain Watch House her works included disturbing paintings depicting scenes from Thomas Keneally's The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith along with contrasting &, I think, stronger paintings to do with travelling to Broken Hill and relationships (image #6) - needless to say, all the paintings sold out that weekend.

Art makes me happy and feeds my mind - the original Wrobel's in our house delight both me and my partner (AH) daily.
I haven't seen any of Edwina's new work for this coming weekend's group show but I've held off on completely paying AH back my half of electricity bill, just in case I need a layby deposit...

Images as numbered:
1. Ed & Ted (4th October 2009 - photograph © Anne Bentley)
2. Joy's Birth: for Joy Hester 2004 Edwina Wrobel
(oil on tin © the artist - collection of Anne Bentley)
3. Whatever Happened to... Juanita Nielsen (circa late 1970s artist unknown - paint on chipboard - custodial collection of Edwina Wrobel - photograph Anne Bentley)
4. titleTBA - Edwina Wrobel
(oilpaint on canvas © the artist- collection of the artist)
5. Being in the Office 2008 - Edwina Wrobel
(Gouache © the artist - collection of Anne Bentley)
6. I Don't Want a Boy Who Won't Hoe Corn 2008 - Edwina Wrobel
(Gouache © the artist - collection of Anne Bentley)
7. Scarred - Edwina Wrobel
(© the artist- collection unknown - I found it on the net)

All photography except image#7 by Anne Bentley.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Rebecca Clarke: Belongings

In June, AH and I were asked to attend a reading of playwright and actor Rebecca Clarke’s new work Belongings. I felt both honoured and flattered to participate and so, on the wintery Wednesday evening of June 23rd, we and umbrellas battled tiny footpaths full of trees and home-time workers to get to the rehearsal rooms in Surry Hills.
I asked the lovely Rebecca if I could write some notes about her work for my blog & got the ‘go for it’ reply. It was a bit tricky to write about, I didn’t want to give away any secrets but I don’t think
there’s any need for a “spoilers warning” so read on:

In Belongings Rebecca layers themes of family, loss, belonging, sexual tension and desire against a backdrop of rural Queensland.The first protagonist we meet is a young woman preparing for the funeral of her grandfather who is also the man who raised her.  Seemingly world weary and cynical but also naive and uncertain, she’s been shaped by her upbringing, by the land, loneliness and the need to want to belong somewhere – preferably somewhere else.

Enter young jaded city male, wound tight & also lonely, he wants to think he knows the girl;  feeling a connection and the need to protect mostly due to his connection with dead granddad and the big company that wants the land.   To me, he seeks out where he belongs not to place but to people.  He is not a grunting cocky, nor is he a slick big business exploiter.  He is out of place in his job and out of place way out nowhere. He’s a bit of an ordinary, modern man with heart and some well scripted vices.

We then meet middle-aged (& wonderfully played by a guest actor), woman who runs the bar and… has secrets – well, she may have some answers.

There are 3 featured humans but another protagonist is an abandoned house on the property belonging to the young woman’s family.  It’s ghostly but the interior has life and material belongings from an era only just past.  Humans did live here but they are so obviously absent that the possessions scattered through it belong to the house itself rather than humans.

Without any theatrical extras, we sat through the whole reading totally involved the story and walked out of the building with an enthusiasm to see the full production.  Belongings has grit, drama and some very nice humour.  Rebecca’s writing is instinctive and intelligent.  She won awards and critical acclaim for her 2005 play Unspoken, which was also adapted and broadcast on ABC Radio National.   It is my good fortune to have met Rebecca Clarke and call her a friend and it is Australia’s luck to have her in its creative realm.  Onya Bec!

Shortly after that evening her work was shortlisted for the
Queensland Premier’s Drama Award along with Marcel Dorney & Philip Dean.

Thanks to this, all three artists have the opportunity to focus completely on fine-tuning their work with expert advice and one of the three will have their work produced by the Queensland Theatre Company as part of the 2011 season.

- Gosh, how exciting!
The Queensland site tells us this about Rebecca’s play:

Belongings is a poetic three-hander play set on a remote Australian rural property, and also at the Hotel at the nearest small township. It's inspired by the land around Many Peaks and Kalpower, outside of Gladstone, combined with an old family property near Banana in the Callide Valley. The story explores isolation, heritage, community, and the change that results from the death of a powerful patriarch and an 'old way'; the rising up of ghosts and secrets. How does a person find themselves again when all that has been seemingly 'known' and solid has shifted irrevocably? To what do we 'belong' to when so much has been stripped away?

Cool synopsis & I hope she does well. I haven’t named any of the protagonists as now Belongings is a work in progress, things can change and I really, really hope it ends up on stage for you, dear reader to come along with us one evening.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

the photo that broke my lomo camera

creepy big entrance to Luna Park Sydney from a couple of years ago - film ripped up in my little camera & this is the shot that did it as you can see through the top 3rd of the image. The camera has been untrustworthy ever since; often only exposing half a roll.  It's expensive and frustrating so I've put it in the bulk lot to sell.

And I've been a slacker blogger - doing a new day job that ate into art feeding time but I've settled a bit now and will be blog happy once more.
to come: art notes on Rebecca Clarke's new play shortlisted for the Qld Premier's Award / Edwina Wrobel & her art / Love on the Left Bank by Ed Van Der Elsken: thoughts on a classic.

image © Anne Bentley 

Monday, 16 August 2010

Hey - you and me - drive away for just 3mil

Bargain! sold this weekend -  1949 Delahaye Type 175 S Roadster by Saoutchik for US $3,300,000 that once belonged to Diana Dors (when she was 17yrs old) - baby!

Way more fun than Lady Penelope's ride:

but! was Lady Penelope more fun than Diana Dors?
I may never know

Saturday, 7 August 2010


from 2001 negative - scanned 2010
post script: to answer a couple of questions - the dragonfly has landed on mangrove roots - the photo was taken in Sydney NSW Australia

oh those dolly girls

looking down at you
they're probably on drugs

© 2005-2010 Anne Bentley 

Thursday, 29 July 2010

No surprises are the best birthday presents

Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to buy art - for the pleasure it gives you - first by seeing, then choosing, then buying, and when you bring it home, the pleasure begins again...
if your loved one doesn't know what to get you for your birthday - the usual at our place - suggest something, buy it & get reimbursed.  For one of my gifts, I chose Hosang Park's image of a park in Seoul from the friendly people at 20x200 - a one stop online gallery where art is cleverly priced and the only way we were going to afford one of his photographs.  The one pictured below we purchased in early June but because it was a birthday present, I had to wait until Tuesday this week to make it mine.

Howon (© Hosang Park)
There's more to see with the real thing (heh heh) than the online view.  The print quality is stunning - heavy cotton paper with sharp & crisp definition.
Hosang Park is a Korean artist who has made a series of bird's-eye view park shots -his website has the set (click on "A Square") - totally cool.

THEN!, in the mail a money note from my parents... gosh...and how excellent that 20x200 also has some Beth Dow work available - not quite sold out yet but I got a move on just in case I miss out as I did for a previous edition of hers. 
Check out her website too - she has a large series of formal English & Italian gardens -  including Sissinghurst where the people in the picture could be mistaken for Vita & Harold themselves, taking a morning stroll.

Passage - Levens Hall (© Beth Dow)

This image originates from a platinum-palladium print - hence the excellent tones but it's the way Beth has framed her shot that is also outstanding for me. 
I'm not going to write a film vs digital rave - each has it's place and Beth Dow's work, along with Gordon Undy, Lauren E Simonutti & Filip Przewozny, to name a few diverse artists on my want list, proves that traditional photographic film & hand printing is alive and well (and being drooled over).

As an initiative, the Jen Bekman project; 20x200 is inspired - it makes art accessible and really good fun to be a part of & art lasts a lot longer than chocolate & flowers.

Images here are reproduced with permission - copyright remains with each artist.

Monday, 26 July 2010


semi-industrial Alexandria, Sydney Australia

© 2010 Anne Bentley

Thursday, 15 July 2010

old mobile phone photo

the phone is a 2006 model - old by today standards
Glebe (Sydney) NSW Nov 2009

Friday, 9 July 2010

Cori Harkness 1959-2010

Cori Harkness 12 June 1959 - July 2010

Cori just after the International Women's Day March Adelaide March 1992

I first met Cori Harkness 20 years ago in Adelaide.
The "women's scene" such as it was (& likely still is) was a small set up: annoying, incestuous, fun, emancipating and ridiculously dramatic - and all at the same time.

Cori, newly arrived from Sydney, appeared reserved and totally cool - everyone wanted to be acquainted with her - like some of the coolness would rub off.  Scene status by association.  The library class soon stepped in with their own claim but Cori, ever thoughtful if you looked closely and noticed (but don't tell her that!) was more inclusive and observant.  She was kind, clever, totally eccentric, funny with a sharp and cynically dry wit, reserved and shy.  Did I say she was pretty cool? yeah, she was pretty cool.
When I first met my parther, AH early in 1993, she was there with her own humour - oh, don't bother, she said as I headed off to the dance floor with the latest cool arrival from interstate on the scene, masturbation is easier.  Sometimes I never knew if she was teasing & being sarcastic or she really meant what she said.  Cori didn't let even those closest to her too close.  But she has left a trail of seemingly small actions that have made significant differences in peoples lives.
When AH moved to Sydney without me in 1994 to find us a house to live in, she ran into Cori at a pub & it was like a friendly welcome light.  Years later at small party Cori was hosting, AH was stressing over a dreadful, soul-destroying job & Cori simply said, "It's Saturday night.  On Monday just go in and resign.  If you don't I may have to kill you."
AH resigned and never looked back.  AH later also knew Cori when they both worked at the RPA hospital where Cori was a member of the MATT team of the mental health unit - the Mobile Assertive Treatment Team that case manage people seriously affected by mental illness - working as a psych nurse for many years, I think, contributed to her clever cynicism.
Early in 2001, I was showing Cori some photos I'd taken & she said, "I like how you see things" and suggested I do a course to learn the tools so I could just take the shot without having to worry about getting it right.  So I did a weekend black & white photography workshop (at the prestigious Point Light Gallery) along with a pile of self-education and, as I write, my 5th solo show is in a gallery.  Her kindness gave me confidence to do something.
I saw a lot of her during her last relationship, which introduced me to one of my now closest friends (MG) -  one of her great loves Cori never truly let go of her feelings for MG and even though they split around 6 years ago, they remained friends.
Then one day, Cori got cancer.  The side effects of treatments changed the woman I would see now and then were significant.  Many kilos heavier and a shade of sallow grey, I wondered if she'd ever recover some of whom she once was.  When she sold her lovely 1/2 coach house in Camperdown around 3 years ago & moved to Milthorpe in rural NSW, she sent me photos of her house & animals and then communication stopped.  A friend told me there was a secondary cancer sometime last year and I knew then, even if Cori wasn't totally conscious of it, that she'd taken herself off to the country to begin again or to die.  Her body chose death.
The last months of her life was her dying of cancer - horribly sick and in pain with just that little more morphine to help her along this week - so to speak.
Sad and final, I know that she would have just fobbed me off with an embarrassed wave if I said to her face the difference she made in our lives and I am sorry for me that I didn't get to say so anyway.
Funeral was today in Milthorpe as I write this in Sydney.
so, cheers Cori, check you later

Monday, 21 June 2010

Last minute addition to the exhibition - poor Hamlet

"Does not thou see?", cried Hamlet - but noone was listening
(Lambda print 47x36cm)
...poor old Hamlet - seemingly unhinged again...this is the latest picture with a little more to it than first meets the eye - yes there could even be a deep double meaning in it (I finished it at around midnight last night) for SANE - opening this Friday night details in the post below.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Counting down

"Animal Farm meets modern politics in quirky collage-style prints." Time Out Sydney
"crisp and engaging" editor Art Monthly Australia
"contemporary art with nerve and humour" Birthe Havmøller - editor Feminist Moments
The gallery chap put this open invitation together - if you are around, drop by - it's a nice small space just up the hill from Central Station.  I did a reconnaissance today and found a good walk that doesn't require a pick axe to get up the hill: Elizabeth, right into Foveaux, third on your left into Belmore & right into Albion.  The show is at #105 on the corner of Albion & Waterloo - easy peasy and there will be chocolate.

I hope to see you there - in the meanwhile, I'll be the frazzled looking one wondering how I can fit everything in but I am very happy with the prints - they look a treat - you can check out just about all collages from the SANE series on my website.

Friday, 4 June 2010

A spot of rain

filmed by a local - this is Mallet Street Camperdown - the next street down from where I live
we had a spot of rain today with some warning of flash flooding

a friend of mine used to live in that grey block of flats and I'm glad he moved but what about the brick building - it has a basement carpark - I wonder how full it got
I was in the main streets of Newtown at the time of this flooding - it wasn't the rain coming down that got me wet but the 6 foot walls of water splashing the footpaths from buses & cars

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Esteemed Company: Anne in a group show - Transferring The Image (in Newtown)

Two of my works are to be included in Transferring The Image at Kerrie Lowe Gallery 49-51 King Street Newtown (Sydney) 2042 opening Friday 6-8PM 18th June & extending until 6th July.

Laurie Anderson at the Opera House last night

we sat in the second row
Laurie Anderson live


Saturday, 29 May 2010

Perfect day for a ferry ride with a bit of art on the side

Friday afternoon was perfect weather to catch a ferry to Cockatoo Island and have a look at art on show for the Sydney Biennale.
I'm glad we chose to go this early in the season (the Biennale runs until August 1st) as I reckon word will get out about the scenic free ride to an island in the harbour and it will get very busy.

Above - from the ferry on the way to Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour - a very pretty day.

When we arrived and walked up the hill to the west side, I took a couple more photos (one below) before zipping it all away to take in some of the installations scattered throughout buildings all over the island.

In the past I had taken a dislike to video art - to me it was often contrived and boring but now I feel it has come of age and artists using this medium are less self-conscious and, of course there are more people making electronic works so there is more choice.
AH & I only got through a third to half of the Cockatoo Island artists.  Of note was Yayoi Kusama's Song of Manhattan Suicide Addict (2010) - she is always a reliably good artist.  NZ photographic artist Yvonne Todd's work was a smidge creepy - for all the right reasons and displayed in a small partly dilapidated building, which added to the unsettling of the viewer.
Amal Kenawy's video installation, My lord is eating his tail (2010) - man in wheelchair, other man dancing, birdcage, dancer swaps with wheelchair and wheelchair man dances - man in wheelchair writhes - sounds obvious but is executed extremly well and I stayed the whole loop through.  As a note, I was glad to have watched her work before reading the write up - I got to think my own version of the story before being told what it means.
Althea Thauberger's video, La mort e la miseria, is a allegorical tale in the ancient Ladin people's (a minority living in the Dolomites) Rhaeto-Romance language.  Death gets stuck in the apple tree belonging to poverty and people stop dying (even when poverty lets death out of the tree, there is still poverty) - it's a delight and 'death' had a humour about her that reminded me straight away of a video I saw in March by Jo Cuzzi, Scary D & Emma Pressman that was completely different but left me with the same satisfied feeling.

Oh and we really liked Tarryn Gill & Pilar Mata Dupont's big Lament of the Argentine Military - even though I felt the performer was more Frida Kahlo than patron saint - fabulous stuff despite the parents allowing their offspring to run around and shout in the dark, disrupting its impact.

Cockatoo Island itself is a treat - a heritage uban park with a maze of buildings, stairs up the side of a steep rock cliff still dripping with the recent deluge and a fun tunnel that takes you back where you started from.

Images 2010 ©Anne Bentley

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Day out at the MCA - Sydney Biennale

AH has a little time off this week so we took out our brollies & visited the MCA at Circular Quay to check out some of the art on show for the Sydney Biennale.
It can be a challenge to show diverse artists next to each other but so far the 17th Biennale is keeping it interesting and well organised.

After walking 3 floors of the MCA highlights for me were the memorial poles by 41 Yolngu artists and 2 video works: John Bock's Fischgrätenmelkstand kippt ins Höhlengleichnis Refugium, 2008 - a true modern surrealist - and Mark Wallinger's 1997 film, Hymn - I am looking forward to more work by this artist when we take the ferry to Cockatoo Island in a couple of days.

Roxy Paine's Neuron (2010), that I have partly pictured below, out the front is best viewed from a little window on the first floor (rats - my pocket camera was cloaked) - just after the room containing Jake & Dinos Chapman's "Shitrospective" - a display of humour & cleverness but which gets lost if viewers are unaware of the brothers often horrid but pristine & grotesquely realistic works.

I think the next highlight on Friday will be the free ferry ride (to Cockatoo Island)- that's a nice touch - clever too - yaye - free ferry! such fun.

Of course there's a lot going on that isn't part of the Biennale but due to good promotion of this event I think people will also check out what's going on locally.
We've had a look at some of the Head On photography including the ACP and Anne Zahalka's work showing in a selection of Newtown pubs.
Friday evening will have me first in line to check out the latest from Bev Hogg at the Kerrie Lowe Gallery, Newtown - a hooded bunny with barbed wire on the invite has me intrigued.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Exhibition is go

Greetings from a cold, wet Sunday afternoon.  In our old, leaking house it's just as cold inside as it is outside but that's not breaking news about the quality of rental properties in the inner west of Sydney.

News is the gallery showing my latest stuff has revamped their website, which also includes a press release for my show 

(invite card - using detail from GarageWorks* © 2010 Anne Bentley)
SANE - an exhibition opening Friday 25 June 2010 - extends until 23 July
Albion Street Gallery 105 Albion Street Surry Hills NSW Tues-Sat 11AM - 5PM or by appointment.

*just a note - the image is a paper collage, cut & glued then scanned. The pictures span 100yrs - from a 1905 encyclopaedia style book, a 1950s Women's Weekly supplement, the always reliable National Geographic (for their 1960s Kodachrome look) to a nature magazine from about 2006.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Nicolas Collerson - Artist

I’ve wanted to write something this artist & his works that I cohabit with, for a over a year now but it’s not as easy an exercise as I thought. I am not an arts essay scholar but on the other hand, I am an arts fan so on that basis I will tell a condensed, personal story with pictures on how I came to enjoy living with some of the wonderful work of Nicolas Collerson.

At the end of November 2008 on a weekend, my partner was away interstate so I was frolicking about and decided to visit a friend in her shop on Enmore Road, Newtown (Sydney Australia). While waiting for the friend to finish serving a customer, I went next door to have a look at a small group art show closing that night in a walk through room an enterprising fringe dweller has made into a gallery.

The first thing I saw, and I don’t even recall the other artists, was a small set of iconoclastic works by Nicolas Collerson. I knew one or more of them would have to come home with me.

On exhibition of Collerson’s works were 2 paintings, 2 wall sculptures and a standing piece on a plinth that looked to me, like a Jesuit but had an octopus for a head & was holding a black bunny:

Octopope by Nicolas Collerson (2008 - approx 32cm tall. ceramic statue, rubber octopus toy & random little plastic rabbit, acrylic & spraypaint enamel.  photography by Anne Bentley)

His The Glorious Tentacled Host Rinse Out was the one that had appealed to me immediately – finally someone who isn’t only having a go at humans and their Christianity but also Buddhism. It seems so sacred to white Westerners, even non-believers - ya can’t dump on the Buddha. Well, I do! Stupid prayer flags in the wind, probably made by exploited workers using toxic dyes… but they were a bargain… Lazy praying, I reckon – hang a set of coloured flags and you’ll be right for the next life. And, by the way, do you know the Dali Lama, the latest rock star of religion, does not believe in sex for anything other than procreation and does not agree with homosexuality. At a press conference in June 1997, he commented: "From a Buddhist point of view [lesbian and gay sex] generally considered sexual misconduct" 1 ).
Gee, he’s a lot of fun...
Nicolas’s work belies my stroppiness – it is delightful and has a clever fun play about it.

The Glorious Tentacled Host Rinse Out by Nicolas Collerson 2008 (photograph by Anne Bentley)

Child rearing with an organised religious aspect can have profound effects on a creative and original thinking mind – especially when the child’s thoughts are contrary to elder’s beliefs. Personally, I am often baffled by people having blind belief in a book written generations after its suggested time and interpreted by ego and (mostly) male power circles.

I don’t have to present any further essay on religion & war until my soapbox crumples under me as I can see a fine illustrative rendition of human-made Christianity on the wall:

Saint Sophia The Blessed Selecta (& detail) by Nicolas Collerson 2008 (Mary statue, cardboard, plastic glow in the dark star, felt tip markers, plastic fly & various plastic army soldiers on MDF board)

Being the art junkie I am and knowing that weekend the only cash on hand was our house rent, I pondered calling the artist to make an offer for some of his work for, oh about 10 minutes, raced home, got the cash & organized to meet Nicolas back at the gallery a couple of hours later that evening.

When I arrived at the designated time, the only person there was a man who didn’t look much like the artist I’d spoken over the phone. It turned out he was another buyer and he’s spoken with the woman who ran the place & said he wanted to buy the works…

Really? I asked, when did you speak with her?


Oh – and this is where a true art junkie shows her worth, But, I said, I’ve already spoken with the artist about some of his works.

Which ones?, he asked

All of them.

This man upon whom I’d already made unfavourable judgment went on to say how he could easily make exactly the same works and probably better. I expected him to finish his spiel with a flourishing flick of hair or his scarf.
The tosser left.


When Nicolas delivered his works - yes, he came by & hand delivered his work to our place on a really hot day, I asked him if he created his work instinctively rather than with a totally mapped out idea as this is how I am seeing his work. He agreed then and recently re-confirmed this saying he is “a bit hesitant in declaring what a work is supposed to be about, I’d rather (the works) be approached like the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)2 in psychology.”

In other words, the viewer tells his or her own story as they see it from before the event of what the image depicts, through to the outcome using only what they see in front of them with no written explanation.

The Warhol as Chthonic Incubus by Nicolas Collerson 2007 (acrylic, felt tip pen, spraypaint on MDF board.  photography by Anne Bentley - hanging in our lounge)

Nicolas Collerson is not only a visual artist, he is also well known and respected in Breakcore music circles, having created his own hybrid of Breakcore and Mashup3

Going by the name Maladroit, he is anything but – he’s been creating his own sounds for close to 10 years, starting out in 2001 producing for the now defunct System:Corrupt Collective and has toured numerous times as Maladroit including an extensive tour of Europe including Russia, the Ukraine, Scotland, the UK, Spain and Czech Republic in 2009.

Currently living in Melbourne, Nicolas is considering showing some of his current work in Sydney sometime in the future. I’m hoping for the near future.

3 Experimental Music: Audio Explorations in Australia – Gail Priest - UNSW Press December 2008

all images and text are copyright

Saturday, 1 May 2010

archeological find - Hey! what's for dinner?

definitely not potatoes

I've been cleaning up
oh, I KNOW! I'm not studying so there is no essay due but I was still cleaning... with no other deadline (well, maybe a bloody press release hanging over my head)- mostly I was saving all my books from the invasion of neighbouring renovator's dust & it took ages because I had to look at all my lovely books too..
This little treat was all alone, legs in the air... and I'm not sure how it got where it was.  There were some odd little bugs appearing now and then and the flesh turned into a fine sand, so now it's hollow.
I'm contemplating putting it in a setting with some other objects for a lovely home still life photo... well, no life now, hey?

here are some (only some, there's another bookcase in the next room) of the dusted & tided books that were near found potato - lovely

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

I really thought it was Monday

that's what long weekends and going to the cinema on Monday afternoon will do to a person's head. 
I thought I might try a different lotto ticket, one that is drawn on Tuesdays.  "Oh," I thought today as I walked up the main road, "I can get that tomorrow"
no you can't. tomorrow is Wednesday.
I was going to write and post a long blog about how we are attending the German Film Festival (hence the going to the cinema in the daytime) but I visited a good friend for a cuppa & it went into cup 3, as it would when the conversation is so interesting - good thing I remembered it was Tuesday and looked in my diary.
So, instead of images, links and a youtube clip, here's another Still Life at Midnight shot from a little series I'm doing:

la la ladels at midnight

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Sunday walk

Autumn is a good time to take a walk down the road a bit to Black Wattle Bay.  I like a working harbour rather than a plastic marina for expensive floaties (those flash yachts were there, just to the right of this photo but there's no need to spoil the view)

© 2010 Anne Bentley

Monday, 12 April 2010

the new plastic surgery

I had a dream last night that you could change your appearence by using the clone tool in Photoshop - or any other computer program that does the same thing.
In my dream I had images of a profile & drew in a big nose - like Nicole Kidman's over-done prosthetic nose playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours (I am yet to get the nerve to watch this film due to all the carryon about her being 'brave' & a 'fabulous actor' to take on a role that made her 'look plain' - kind of detracts from the exceptional mind of V Woolf, don't you think - so for the moment I would only be seeing a prosthetic nose).
I heard voices - there were more people around in my dream as this new body image morph tool got big in discussion circles, as it would. 
Then a voice said, "but you know, if you move on from the area you've been altering, the step back button (undo) doesn't work."
so maybe Nicole Kidman could end up with a big nose!  And, I thought in my dream, maybe there's a heap of people walking around with blemish-free but with strange skin & brush-stroked blurred expressions on their faces... 

or worse:

(image I've doctored is part of Ivan Albright's painting commissioned for the 1945 movie, The Picture of Dorian Gray starring Hurt Hatfield, Angela Lansbury and George Sanders - the later, GS, I thought spoilt the film by over-acting & speaking his lines way to fast and messing up all that lovely banter Oscar Willde wrote so well).

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Get out of the house... get out

I'm saying it aloud this last hour in a poor impersonation of the voice from The Amityville Horror (the original film that is, I just noticed there's a 2005 remake - think my brain was elsewhere that year) but I still seem to be stuck in this chair...

Above: OUT - Leichhardt (Sydney) March 2010 © Anne Bentley

I'd been looking at this sign for years telling myself I really should grab a shot of it before they clean it or its illumination goes and I finally remembered to a couple of weeks ago.

If you look at it long enough, the writing appears to be back to front - except it's not

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Long Weekend in your headspace

couch on an awning above a shop, King Street, Newtown

AH & I haven't been total couch potatoes this weekend... We are yet to view the end of Sunday Bloody Sunday that I hired for Thursday night (someone who worked hard all week fell asleep with 15 minutes to go & it wasn't me - I fall into night owl mode often - I stayed up after 2am last night watching an only OK film because it had Isabella Rosselini in it...)
It's been weekend of local arts - AH & I have checked out both visual art group shows for Sheilafest - the first we saw was in Newtown - a mixed lot with a really cool video work by Hanna Buck
Yesterday we met* (*AH needs to ride her bicycle or she goes feral - I meandered over on foot) at Kudos gallery for Women In Piracy photography by the Kingpins, Penelope Benton and Tina Fiveash - all excellent & we really enjoyed the short films by Vicki Papageorgopoulos & Elizabeth Reidy and the doco/performance of Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris is very funny indeed. 
It's running until 10th April so drop by: Kudos Gallery 6 Napier St. Paddington 11am – 6pm Wed to Fri,  11am – 4pm Sat.
And, while in Paddington, it was a short walk to the Australian Centre for Photography to take in the excellent Amy Stein's latest works and the added surprise in the back gallery was Zed Nelson's Love Me - "a collection of images documenting how far people will go for the quest for physical perfection. Negotiating the boundaries of art and documentary photography, this series reflects a world we have created where enormous social, psychological and economic rewards and penalties are attached to the way we look..."  Everything from a jar of the results of liposuction to a beauty contest amongst inmates at a Brazilian women's prison - along with some carefully chosen quotes, presents a careful and provocative show.
Sadly, we ran out of time (and the sky fell in) to get to Blender Gallery.

Then it was art for dinner - fresh asparagus cooked in olive oil with fresh chilli, garlic, zucchini & rocket over organic wholemeal pasta with grana padano - yumarama

Today a photo collective show down the road and tomorrow we will be taking in the MCA's latest - I'm looking forward to The Gift of Ann Lewis

Between all this, I am slowly working on 2 new collage images: A Spanish Interior & The Scottsmen - tells you nothing I know but I am enjoying seeing the images in my head, which will probably look nothing like the finished picture - stay tuned.
Oh, and I have also just updated my 2 other blogs (links just to the right of this page)
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