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Jade Pegler

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Aside from everything else, I love this work.


That being said. I know this amazing person. Well, I did in another life. You know that one where you are small and dirty and you hang out with another small dirty for 5 minutes and you are blood brothers for life? Yeah well, when I was a kid, and she was a kid, we went camping together. And although I have zero stake in this amazing person, or her life, I feel proud that someone I met a few times, has become such a successful artist.

Proscenium Machinium
Solo exhibition at Gallery 9,

I knew that Jade had been studying Art and was thrilled to find her work in the Wollongong Gallery. Even more so when I found that she was artist in residence! An amazing artist who started young, she has now completed 3 residencies and bucket-loads of exhibitions all over the country. How to make a person feel slack!

paper, fabric, wood, mixed media, installation of 28 sculptures 1-2m high.
Exhibited in IT’S PAINTING SO IT MUST BE GERMAN at Silvershot, Flinders Lane, Melbourne, curated by Peter Fay.
The Ergas Collection, Sydney.

The first time I saw Jade’s work, it was a small exhibit of a miniature cityscape made from reused books and newspaper. It was elegant and sweet and cute and delicate and a little eerie. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find any images of it. Plenty of others though, so no need to fret.

The Lacunary Cabinet (detail).
Paper, beeswax, coffee, ink, various adhesives, textiles, plant materials, wire, mixed media, 2007.
Part of Open For Inspection, a ‘derelict house converted to a work of art.’
Produced over two weeks as ‘The Long Now’ resident artist in Nowa Nowa, East Gippsland, with the assistance of the local community and Rhiannon Pegler.

I always love an artist who can use what they find rather than the traditional artistic media. It shows a level of invention and creation which I admire and envy. It also fits in with the current conscience of our society, reuse, reduce, recycle. At least, that’s what I hope our societal conscience looks like.

Exhibition at completion of a one year residency at Wollongong City Gallery

Perhaps Jade’s work reflects my own penchant for all things bizarre and weird creepy little guys, but I feel like this is the work I would love to have made. The colours are all the earthy simple colours which I love to work with. It allows the personality of the paper to come through. Especially when you use old books. I have ethical issues chopping up old books, but I love it when other people do it. One of my favourite things about old books is the inside front cover. People write the most interesting things. Often it’s pretty standard, ‘to blah, from blah’, but occasionally you get a real idea of the person who owned the book before.

Exhibition at completion of a one year residency at Wollongong City Gallery


I think that I love Jade’s work because I could own a piece. I don’t have the room or the type of pets which would allow me to own big pieces of sculpture. I can, however, find smaller, intimate things which reflect my lifestyle (and budget)  and which aren’t pretentious- I do hark on about my hatred of the shark in a tank, but, well, it’s ridiculous.

Proscenium Machinium
Solo exhibition at Gallery 9,

She has an amazing Flikr stream which I can’t share here but I urge you to go look, it is inspiring stuff.

She also has an old Blog – is not up to date but the images are still magnificent!

As far as I can tell she is between websites at the moment so there is an old address and a new- . Just don’t ask me which is which.


Helle Jorgenson

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Helle Jorgensen
Entropy 2012
preloved wool
installation, dimensions variable

Ms Jorgenson is an artist local to the area in which I live. I first saw her work at the Tweed Gallery, an amazingly forward thinking and popular public regional gallery. I do appreciate textile art, but… There are many textile ‘artists’ who are just little old ladies who do pleasant knitting. Which can be amazing and beautiful. But a textile artist who uses the medium to express an artistic idea is fantastic! Helle Jorgenson is one such artist. From the beginning of her process it’s about the idea. Her work seems to be conceptually sound and follows through the entire work from medium to creation and finished product.

The Osedax Collection, 2012
cotton and glass vials
10 x 2.5 x 2.5cm (x30)

“Before becoming an artist I was a biologist, which allowed me to observe and understand the extraordinary structural beauty of the forms in the natural world on a microscopic level. Creating and assembling the collections mimics the basic process behind the study of animal and plant morphology. In this way I attempt to understand form and create order out of chaos.”

 Helle Jorgensen, February 2012

The Diatom Collection 2012
75 x 135 x 5cm
discarded plastic shopping bags and stainless steel pins

Born in Denmark, Helle Jorgenson moved to Australia when she was 13. More recently she migrated again from the Northern Beaches of Sydney to the Northern Rivers of NSW,  more specifically the Tweed Valley. After working in the science arena for a decade, she moved onto horticultralism and Art. Along with crochet, Jorgenson is a collector, weaver and embroiderer.

The Retail Reef,
Discarded Plastic shopping bags.

Helle Jorgenson is a contributing artist in the IFF ( Institute For Figuring)project, Crochet Coral Reef,

“… a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft,and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world.”

Her process of using discarded plastic bags was taken up by the group (which now only takes contributions created from reused plastics) which ‘validated’ her art making. She had been creating sea creatures in this way for a while before she discovered the work of Dr. Daina Taimina. Dr. Taimina is a Mathematician who decided to create physical models of hyperbolic space with crochet, her work has influenced a new generation of textile artists including the creators of the Crochet Coral Reef, Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim.

Discarded Plastic Bags
20 x 12 x 6 cm.

I love everything about Jorgenson’s work. It is so well thought out. And contagious. I have friends who jumped on the plastic-bag-crocheted-reef  bandwagon. But I think it is the way that she exhibits that I find most inspiring. There are so many ways that you could display tiny little crocheted sea creatures, Jorgenson pins them to a wall with plenty of space around each. Or places them in small glass vials. This approach was extremely popular, every piece in the collection was sold, apart from one. Which was stolen. I loved them when I saw them and desperately wanted to buy one. But how could you choose just one?


Helle Jorgenson also creates ‘softwear’. Textile jewellery. Predominatly made from recycled wool, her beautiful wearable art was available in her Etsy Shop, which seems to be currently unmanned. She had a collection for sale in the Powerhouse Museum shop which I can’t find any extra info on, but if anyone can tell me if they know where to find some, please msg me!

Helle Jorgenson Interview No.1

Helle Jorgenson Interview No.2


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Today I printed my first Intaglio-collograph-thingy-print-thing!

I love it!

I’ve been working on the series for a couple of weeks now, so seeing on panel printed is fantastic. And was quite nerve wracking during the final stages! This one is “Porcini Brined Turkey with Rosemary”. The series is a comment (or whatever) on the lack of native foods, particularly mushrooms, which we use in everyday cooking. In fact, the only native edible mushrooms I have found so far are called ‘blackfellas bread’, a name which leaves much to be desired for many reasons. Apparently, many aboriginal tribes consider the fungus family as a whole to be bad, so they steer clear. So, we don’t eat native mushrooms. Or native anything else really. I will continue to hunt down the Aussie mushie, I am quite happy to be wrong, in the meantime I will work on my second panel – ” Fiddleheads with Braised Rabbit and Morels”.SAMSUNG

Alex Gillies

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I have just ventured into the field of printmaking. Who knows how long it will last? I might be absolutely shit at it!

As is my usual process, I have begun the laborious job of research. I have read books, looked at pictures and trawled the web. What I have found is that there are a bucket load of abysmal printmakers out there. Some are skilled but boring, some are interesting but sloppy, many are old fashioned or just old. Two of the women in my ‘group’ have explained that printmaking is considered a craft by many people. Particularly collagraphy, which is where I’m headed.

Anyway, I digress.

Title: Permanence
Year: 2013
Size: 29 x 39cm
Edition: Open

In my trawling I happened upon a young man who’s work I rather like. Bizarrely he lives only a couple of hours drive from me. It’s a small world.

Alex Gillies is a woodcut artist who creates single pieces, woodcuts as the art themselves, artist books and he is the drummer for the band ‘No Anchor’.

Title: Balancing Act
Year: 2013
Size: 58cm x 61cm
Edition: Open

A self taught artist, he learned from books and experimentation. A man after my own heart. He has created album art for his own and other bands, t-shirts, skateboard decks and images for tattoos. He started exhibiting in 2009 and has already outstripped many established artists in number of exhibitions and quantity of work.

Harmony Singles
Cover Art Alex Gillies

I really like his choice of subject matter.There is something quite tedious about the subject matter of many printmakers – trees and fauna and bugs and flowers and trees and landscapes and trees and to be fair Mr Gillies does venture into the ‘birds and sunsets’ cadre a little, but mostly he carves what he wants.

Title: This Is How Memories Are Made
Released: May 2013
Details: 16 Page hand bound, hardcover book. Includes an exclusive woodcut.
Edition: 20

I love the framing of his work and the focus of the image. And his colour! I find that printmaking is such a purist art form that mixing colours is frowned upon. Bollocks. Rules are meant to be broken. And it’s art for fucks sake, there shouldn’t be any rules anyway.

Title: Death Rides A Horse
Year: 2008
Size: 40cm x 35cm
Edition: 2

Did I mention the artist books?

Title: Luddite (Woodcuts By Alex Gillies 2009 – 2010)
Released: June 2010
Details: 16 Page double concertina book.
Handbound plus exclusive woodcut
Edition: 20 (sold out)

I think that I might have a small crush. Seriously. And he likes Durer! I’m definitely going to hang out in Brisbane more often.

Performance Art

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Whether masturbating under the floorcracking paint filled eggs on your vulva, killing yourself with barbiturates or simply staring at the person opposite. Performance art has a long history of being weird, pointless, revolting and many other things besides.

Mike Parr
Integration 3 (Leg spiral)

I love it. Well, some of it.

My first experience with performance art was an exhibition my mother took me to see when I was still in high school. It was very reasonable. No nudity, no swearing, no masturbation or even mutilation. In hindsight, it must have been the most banal performance art ever performed. Mind you, Australia is not well known for this particular genre. At the recent GOMA exhibition ‘Trace: Performance and its Documents’, I was saddened to find few Australian artists involved. Mike Parr and The Brown Council was pretty much it. Which is not a nothing, by any stretch of the imagination. Mike Parr (b1945) is a prolific and quite well known artist. One of the first performance artists I was interested in after my attention was caught by my mothers foray into the field.

Mike Parr at Midnight.
Malevich A Political Arm. (2003)

His work goes for the shock value, using self mutilation and extreme physical feats as a (sometimes political) art-form. He often uses his work to protest injustice.

performance, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne
photograph: Felizitas Parr
courtesy the artist and Sherman Galleries, Sydney

The Brown Council is a younger collaborative group of four Sydney women, Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore, Kelly Doley and Diana Smith. I saw the 2012 residual installation of their work ‘Performance Fee’ at the GOMA in Brisbane.

The Brown Council
Performance Fee
Performance Installation

As opposite to Mike Parr as a performance artist/s can get, The Brown Council tends to keep their clothes on and their body parts intact. They seem to be a more evolved style of the art form, avoiding the shock value to focus more on the fundamental purpose of performance art in itself.

Live Performance
30 mins


I haven’t left out Stelarc. No need to worry.









I was simply trying to move on to newer artists.

However, trying to find young Australian Performance Artists is like trying to find someone who honestly like performance art.

Alex Murray-Leslie is part of the multi-disciplinary group ‘Chicks on Speed’. Which started in 1997 as a performance art group but has slowly morphed into more of a music group.


Jodie Whalen is from Sydney where she lives and practices performance art. She explores physical endurance and stamina in her work.

Jodie Whalen, I Love You. I Do. 2011, performance, Damien Minton Annex, Sydney, 2011, image courtesy and © the artist, photograph: David Capra

With exhibitions in the MCA and other such notable galleries, she is obviously a brilliant artist. Yet I can find less on her than I can about the grumpy cat meme. I can find bucketloads of international performance artists, is it unacceptable in this country? Maybe I need to go out and cut some limbs off, garner a little more interest in the genre.

Performance art can be wacky, and grotesque but it can also be inspiring and amazing. I will never forget the image of Yoko Ono(performing Shigeko Kubota’s work)  painting with her vagina, nor the concept of Warhol getting friends to piss on a canvas. Maybe the world thinks that since the crazy 60’s are done, then so are the crazy ideas? Guess what world, you are just better at hiding things.

I want my kids to know that there are artists/kooks out there who will eat a human foetus, or sit around with a paper bag on their head. I want my kids to know that they don’t have to limit themselves to the normal and banal. I also want them to know that someone else has already done this crazy shit so they don’t have to!

And, yes, I have taken my kids to see performance art. They loved it!

Kasa Vinay Kumar

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self Overlapping (my Father ), 2010



Born in Chennai 1979, Kasa Vinay Kumar is  modern artist from India whose work is like a collage graffiti. Using Mixed Media, he captures urban landscapes with all their grit and glamour.

Self overlapping B

To be completely honest, with an artist such as this, with very little internet presence, it is near impossible to find out anything of interest! Or even if the artist is an actual artist or just some guy who glues random stuff on a bit of paper and tries to flog it over the net.$98

Self Overlapping 36

Having said that, I did find info that this particular artist has participated in several exhibitions with other notable artists of the region. So we must assume that he takes himself seriously.

Other peoples opinions aside, I like this guys art.

It’s clunky, scrappy and his colour use is brilliant. I love the cats. Love. And I don’t even like cats that much.

I wouldn’t put it on my wall, but I know people who would.

Self overlapping T & J–746422.html

My Problem With Lowbrow Art

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Lowbrow, or lowbrow art,[1] describes an underground visual art movement that arose in the Los Angeles, California, area in the late 1970s. It is a populist art movement with its cultural roots in underground comix, punk music, and hot-rod cultures of the street. It is also often known by the name pop surrealism. Lowbrow art often has a sense of humor – sometimes the humor is gleeful, sometimes impish, and sometimes it is a sarcastic comment.[2]

Audrey Kawasaki
graphite and colored pencil on hand cut paper 12″x12″
Thinkspace Gallery “In the Wake of Dreams”

I have a list of artists on my wall, artists who inspire me, who’s work I find invigorating or memorable. Most of these artists are from the ‘Lowbrow’ section of the art community. Artists who are not taken seriously, who’s work is somehow not considered to be ‘high’ art. Artists who have the skill, the imagination, the sales and the brilliance and yet somehow lack the kudos. I don’t get it. Never have. It’s no shark in formaldehyde, but then, maybe that’s the problem.

Seonna Hong
Alone With You Mixed
Media on Wood, 60″ x 48″

Maybe the simplicity of ‘lowbrow’ art makes it too easy too understand. It’s a beautiful picture of a woman with a bird, or a scene from a zoo or a rabbit or a cartoon tiger. Nothing as ‘in depth’ as neon lights spelling out obtuse ideas. Why does our art have to be important or ground breaking or political? Why can it not be simple, entertaining and beautiful?

Tim Biskup
Cel-Vinyl Acrylic On Watercolor Paper3″ x 2.5″

Maybe it’s accessibility. A ‘serious’ artist would never stoop to adorn a shirt or screensaver with their art. The entire ‘lowbrow’ movement, however, found itself in exactly this manner. Magazines, skateboard decks, comics and album covers were/are the staple diet.

Mark Ryden
Oil on Canvas,
Painting Size: 10″ x 14″

What is the difference between this and Andy Warhol? Yayoi Kusama? Salvador Dali? Roy Lichtenstein? Is it simply that the ‘style’ has been done before? If an artist were to start painting the Holy trinity with cherubs and Rubenesque women, would they be considered ‘lowbrow’? Are landscapes ‘lowbrow’? What of tribal art?

James Jean
Graphite & Digital, 11 x 15″,

William Morris made wallpaper ‘Art’. Marcel Duchamp made a urinal ‘Art’. The Bauhaus movement made furniture ‘Art’. Marina Abramovic made sitting still ‘Art’.  Why can’t a comic book be art? I do understand that there is a line that should maybe be drawn somewhere. Maybe. But do you draw it above the mass prints from IKEA or below? What about kitsch? Those repulsive ‘crying clown’paintings? Macrame? Scrimshaw? I think that if Mark Rothko is ‘Art’, then so is Hentai. If Piero Manzoni’s shit is ‘Art’, then so is the mass print t’shirt I just bought from a chain store. The next time someone calls my art ‘lowbrow’ I might just punch them.

Gary Baseman
Signed and numbered 5-color silkscreen print. Edition of 300. Measures 12.5″ x 12.5″.

James Jean –

Gary Baseman -

Mark Ryden –

Tim Biskup –

Seonna Hong –

Audrey Kawasaki –

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