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Emma Walker

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Selected images from The Dawn Language,
Tweed River Gallery, 2010

This work has been one of my all time favourites since I first set eyes on it. And I have no idea why. There is just something about it, the colours, the darkness, the dreamlike cloudiness, I don’t know. I love it.

The odd thing is, when I researched the artist, Emma Walker, her work is nothing like this. I love her other stuff too, but it holds little similarity to this.

Walk The Line
Oil on linen

I love the chunkiness of this, overlaid with the finer lines it seems almost sculptural. There are colours I would never choose and a haphazard brushstroke which I will never have the dedication to master, but I find it absolutely mesmerising.

Selected images from Finding Form,
Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney

“Her work explores the connections between landscape, memory and the subconscious”

Emma Walker is currently based on the NSW North Coast, but she started as a Sydney girl and has moved outward from there, exhibiting solo around Australia and in many group exhibitions both within Australia and internationally.

from Outliving The Night, 2008

As a child, Emma Walker managed to scoop Brett Whitely as a mentor and spent many hours in his Sydney studio, how can a person not become Australia’s favourite contemporary artist with that behind you? But her work is all her own, she brings so much depth to her painting, her skill is not to be doubted. And as a bonus here are some artists books she has done!

On the Wing
Paper, timber, ink, paint



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

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 –

Happiness is

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happiness is


Ogden Nash, American poet popular writer of light verse (1902-1971).

The second of  my typographical Christmas gifts.

I really enjoy this style of work, it is simple yet exacting.

Love is Being Stupid Together

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beingStupidTogether   Paul Valery, French poet and philosopher and might I add humorist? A Christmas present for family, the finished product. When finding a quote to turn into a typographical gift, I wade through baskets and barrels of options. This quote was perfect for it’s recipient!

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