Thursday, June 9, 2022

Residency at Geelong Grammar School

From 23 May - 3 June 2022 I was artist-in-residence at the Corio campus of Geelong Grammar School, a richly rewarding experience I’ll long remember. 


During my residency I developed designs for three linocuts that will be included in a forthcoming artist book. My protagonists’ body decorations are based on compositional elements from the works of prolific British Arts and Crafts designer May Morris.



 
The two works below will also be part of The Artist’s Garden, a Goldfield Printmakers exhibition travelling to Bristol, UK in September 2022 for IMPACT 12, a biennial international printmaking conference. The tattoos on these figures are based on motifs in The heavens declare…, a panel designed and embroidered by May Morris in the 1910s (reproduced third from top).



Click on images for a clearer view. For more about the Geelong Grammar School residency, visit my Art Blog HERE, HERE and HERE

Friday, April 1, 2022

BOOKISH Artist Talk at Melbourne Athenaeum Library

Pictured above and below are selected highlights from the artist talk Bronwyn Rees and I gave on Wednesday evening, March 23, in celebration of all things BOOKISH, the Print Council of Australia artist book exhibition at Melbourne Athenaeum Library. Additional photographs are on my Art Blog HERE.





Thanks a million to the library for having us and to each and everyone who came to the talk, including the numerous BOOKISH artists who attended. 

BOOKISH concluded its run on Saturday March 26. In her opening address, the library’s General Manager Sue Westwood (pictured right in the first and last photos above) said she hoped this would be the first of other collaborations with the Print Council of Australia. I certainly echo those sentiments.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Reminder: BOOKISH Artist Talk at Melbourne Athenaeum Library

From the Melbourne Athenaeum Library’s latest newsletter, a gentle reminder of the talk Bronwyn Rees and I are presenting in conjunction with the artist book exhibition, BOOKISH:

ARTIST TALK, THIS WEDNESDAY 23 MARCH AT 6PM

To gain a deeper understanding of the art of artist book making, former artist-in-residence Deborah Klein and printmaker Bronwyn Rees will speak about the art form's rich history and their own practice on Wednesday 23rd March from 6pm


It's a free event, but RSVPs are required.  Phone the library on 9650 3100 or email library@melbourneathenaeum.org.au to book your seats.


Bronwyn and Deborah's talk, and the Bookish Exhibition are part of the 8th Melbourne Art Book Fair.  Bookish is an exhibition of contemporary artists' book by members of the Print Council of Australia and is being held in the library from 17 - 26 during normal opening hours.


BOOKISH:  March 17 - 26 in the library

Proudly presented by the Print Council of Australia 

and the Melbourne Athenaeum Incorporated


To illuminate our presentation, Bronwyn and I will bring along some examples of our own book art. In my case, this will include Progeny, 2018, the unique concertina book I made during my residency at the library for Melbourne Rare Book Week 2018 (pictured top).


My artist book, Leaves of Absence, 2017, launched at the library in 2017 and subsequently acquired for its permanent collection, will also be on display. I’m pictured below at the 2017 book launch with Marguerite Brown, Manager, Print Council of Australia, who officially launched the book. (Click on images to enlarge).


The talk will be followed by celebratory drinks. We look forward to seeing you this coming Wednesday evening, 6 - 8 pm. 


For further information about the BOOKISH talk and exhibition, scroll down to Blog Post Friday February 18. 




Monday, February 28, 2022

PLAYING IN THE ATTIC relocates to Talbot

This coming Friday, 4 March, Playing in the Attic, a longtime stockist of Moth Woman Press publications, reopens in the Victorian Goldfields town of Talbot. The shop was formerly based in Sturt Street, Ballarat, in the space now occupied by the Ballarat Imaginarium. (See previous post). 

The Facebook Page for Playing in the Attic is HERE.

We can’t wait to revisit when the doors are officially open, and wish its Proprietor Trudy McLaughlin continued success. 

Some previews of Playing in the Attic’s new premises are below. Click on images to enlarge. 

Playing in the Attic 
13 Ballaarat Street
Talbot VIC Australia 3371

Phone: 0428580309

Email: trudymac@bigpond.com.au


Opening hours:  Friday - Monday, 10 - 4pm.





 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

MWP publications at THE BALLARAT IMAGINARIUM

As of this week, MWP books There was once…The collected fairy tales and Fallen Women are available at the splendid Ballarat Imaginarium. 

Adjacent to historic Ballarat Mechanic’s Institute Library in centrally located Sturt Street, Ballarat (pictured top), this new kid on the block is set to be the go-to gallery and retail outlet for locals and visitors alike. What sets it aside from the rest is that it’s the only retailer in Ballarat that exclusively carries works by local makers, including visual artists, sculptors, ceramicists, jewellers, clothing designers, musicians, writers and more. 

The Ballarat Imaginarium is the result of the remarkable vision of local artist, Melinda Muscat, pictured above. 

The previous occupant of the shop was another notable MWP stockist, Playing in the Attic, which still carries our books and zines, but has relocated to nearby Talbot. It is due to reopen in March. (More about this in a future post). 

Click on images to enlarge. 

For regular updates, visit the Ballarat Imaginarium’s Instagram page HERE and on Facebook HERE.


The Ballarat Imaginarium

119A Sturt Street, BALLARAT, VIC 3550

Open Tuesday to Friday 10 am - 5 pm

Saturday 10 am - 5 pm

Sunday by appointment 


For further information about The Ballarat Imaginarium and views of its luscious interior, visit my Art Blog HERE.

Friday, February 18, 2022

BOOKISH Exhibition and Artist Talk


From March 17Melbourne Athenaeum Library will play host to Bookish, an extensive exhibition of contemporary artist books by members of the Print Council of Australia. Among them are my one-of-a-kind book, Cat’s Cradle. 


The library’s collaboration with the Print Council of Australia is part of the 8th Melbourne Art Book Fair at the National Gallery of Victoria. 




From the Melbourne Athenaeum Library website:


As part of Bookish, the library will also host an artist talk with former artist-in-residence Deborah Klein, and printmaker Bronwyn Rees. Deborah and Bronwyn will speak about the art of making artist books on Wednesday 23rd March at 6pmThe event is FREE but RSVPs are required on 96503100 or 

library@melbourneathenaeum.org.au.


The exhibition is open from March 17 - 19 and March 22 - 26 during the library's 

opening hours. 


Melbourne Athenaeum Library 

Level 1

188 Collins Street

Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Australia


Pictured top: Deborah Klein, front and back covers of Cat’s Cradle, 2019, hand-painted and lettered in acrylic on MDF. 

Pictured second: Artist book on PCA invitation: Bridget Hillebrand, Ascent ll, 2020 (detail).

Click on images for enlarged views. 

Monday, February 14, 2022

Foreign Flora - a work in progress

  


Presenting Foreign Flora, 15 x 11.5 cm, a newly carved lino block intended for Illustrated Women, an artist book that’s slowly, but surely, in the making. 

The subject’s floral tattoo is a motif from Australia, circa 1888, an embroidered table cover designed in Britain by the remarkable May Morris (1862 - 1938). In fact, none of the flowers depicted in her textile are native to Australia. The table cover, reproduced (not to scale) in the first developmental  view below, was commissioned by a Scottish-born couple residing in Adelaide, South Australia, which I assume is how it acquired its title. Australia is now held in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Following are four sequential progress views of Foreign Flora.




Monday, February 7, 2022

May Flowers


Pictured top: the competed lino block for May Flowers, another work that will eventually take its place in the forthcoming artist book, Illustrated Women. The block measures 15 x 11.5 cm.

Below are a couple of progress views. Lately I’ve been further prepping my drawn up blocks with a coating of transparent drawing ink in order to see the areas I’ve cut away with greater clarity. It works a treat. As you can see, no pink areas remain in the final image.  

My protagonist’s tattoo is loosely based on a detail from Maids of Honour, a needlework design by May Morris

Click on images for considerably enlarged views. 



 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Yuletide Greetings

As demonstrated by the climbing molluscs in the lino block pictured belowthis year has certainly had its ups and downs. That’s life, I guess - and even more so than usual over the past couple of years. 

The block, which measures 15 x 11.5 cm, is a work in progress for a forthcoming linocut, Snail Trails. The linocut will be part of an artist book, Illustrated Women, which I’ll be working on during 2022. (See also Blog Post Saturday, December 11, 2021). Click on images for a clearer view.

Enjoy the holidays, everyone, and here’s hoping for a safer, healthier, happier year ahead. 


Monday, December 13, 2021

Stocking Fillers

Like it or not, the Festive Season is well and truly upon us and if, like me, you’re determined to remain in denial for as long as is humanly possible, here is a modest suggestion for some last minute stocking fillers.

Today I delivered extra copies of my books, There was once… and Fallen Women, together with a selection  of limited edition Moth Woman Press mini-zines, to Playing in the Attic, Ballarat (see above and below, in situ). Click on images for an enlarged view. 


Helmed by the lovely Trudy McLaughlin, this “curious extraordinarium of papery delights”  is currently open every day until Christmas. 


Playing in the Attic

119a Sturt Street

Ballarat

Victoria 3350

Australia 

Christmas hours: 10 am - 4pm daily 

Phone: 0428580309

Email: trudymac@bigpond.com.au

Saturday, December 11, 2021

In development: ILLUSTRATED WOMEN, a new artist book

Currently I’m working on several small blocks that, once completed, will provide the content for Illustrated Women, a forthcoming artist book. 

Illustrated Women will be a book without words, enabling the viewer to make up her or his own stories about the subjects within. Directly below are two lino blocks, Sunflower and Morris Dancer, that are fairly near completion. Each block measures 15 x 11.5cm. 

Further information about Illustrated Women will follow in future posts.

Monday, August 16, 2021

BOOKISH

It’s been a long time coming, but here is the promised update on Cat’s Cradle, the artist book featured in our last post. It has been included in BOOKISH, an online exhibition of 94 artist books celebrating 55 years of the Print Council of Australia

Click on individual images for an enlarged view.

Originally, BOOKISH was also intended to be part of the art fair, Sydney Contemporary. However due to extensive rescheduling following the current COVID-19 outbreak, this will no longer be possible. The Print Council of Australia is currently seeking an alternative Melbourne venue in October 2021. I will keep you updated.

Meanwhile, you can visit the online exhibition of BOOKISH HERE.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

An Important Message for Followers of MOTH WOMAN PRESS

From July 1, for reasons best known to themselves, Google will remove the ‘Follow by Email’ option on all blogs, so followers of this blog will no longer receive email notifications of my new posts. 

At present, I’m not clear about whether Google intends to substitute an alternative. I can’t see any way around this, except to provide links to future posts via my Instagram and Facebook accounts. These can also be accessed under YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE in the right hand column of this blog.


I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the loyal followers of this blog. Your support means a great deal. I do hope you will still drop by from time to time. 


Pictured top: my one-of-a-kind artist book, Cat’s Cradle. An update on the book will follow shortly. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

GATHER with Minerva’s Books & Ideas

   


In recent years I’ve become an inveterate devourer of podcasts, and one of my favourites is a relatively new kid on the block, GATHER with Minerva’s Books & Ideas. The series was conceived and created on traditional Wadawurrung land here in Ballarat by its presenter, Amy Tsilemanis (https://www.instagram.com/amytinderbox/?hl=en).


Amy describes GATHER as: “Audio adventures exploring the lives of books, and the ideas they ignite and illuminate. Each episode is themed and unfurls from a book or books, and features the work of artists, writers, musicians and thinkers”. 


Fairy Tales Continued, the most recent episode, includes my fairy tale, The Moth and the Butterflies. (The link is here: https://gather.buzzsprout.com/1474177). The story is superbly read by Ballarat-based artist and musician, Ellen Sorensen (http://www.ellensorensen.com/). Over the years, I’ve been gratified and delighted by other aural presentations of my stories, including a wonderful reading by Amy herself (see her Instagram post of August 20, 2020) and am slowly coming to the realisation that, like fairy tales of old, they are best savoured when read out loud.  


The Moth and the Butterflies is part of my illustrated anthology, There was once…The collected fairy tales, currently available at that “curious extraordinarium of papery delights”, Playing in the Attic (https://www.instagram.com/playing_in_the_attic/), which you’ll find nestled in the historic Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute building in Sturt Street, Ballarat. 


A link to all episodes of GATHER is here: https://gather.buzzsprout.com/1474177


The website for Miverva’s Books is here: https://minervasbooks.com


The Minerva Books Facebook and Instagram pages are here: https://www.facebook.com/minervasbooks/ and here: https://www.instagram.com/minervasbooksandideas/?hl=en

Friday, February 26, 2021

Feature article in P.T. Peregrin’s Morse Code for Beginners


Late last year I was invited by Trudy McLauchlan, proprietor of the diminutive, delightful store Playing in the Attic in Sturt Street, Ballarat, to contribute to the summer edition of the zine P. T. Peregrin’s Morse Code for Beginners, which Trudy co-edits with Prudence McBeth. I was already a huge fan of the zine, a quarterly publication that was first launched in 2020, so was honoured to accept. 

The informal Q&A hello, who are you? is a regular feature of the zine. Interviewees are presented with a set list of questions, several of them deceptively playful. The questions were not only fun to answer, but potentially reveal far more facets of the subject than those that form the basis for many scholarly articles - not to mention the tediously dry, standardised information found in the average artist’s biography.

The summer edition of  P. T. Peregrin’s Morse Code for Beginners was recently published. It retails for $15.00 plus postage and is available exclusively from Playing in the Attic. Incidentally, the shop is also a stockist of selected Moth Woman Press publications. If distance is an issue, you can visit Playing in the Attic on Facebook HERE and on Instagram HERE.

Pictured top are the front cover of the zine (with artwork by Trudy McLauchlan), followed by the illustrated pages of my responses to hello, who are you? Click on the image for a considerably enlarged view. 

Full text of the Q&A is directly below.

hello, who are you?


Deborah Klein 


Tell us a bit about yourself

I grew up in St. Kilda, not far from the beach and Luna Park. My childhood memories are bittersweet, but there’s no denying that my home town had an enduring influence on my later work. Travel was always in my blood, however, and in 1973 I flew to London, where I lived for the remainder of the decade. London was an ideal base for further travel, to Europe and other parts of the UK. It was a tremendously formative period. I was able to view artworks I had only ever seen in books and discovered artists whose works weren’t widely known in Australia, at least, not then. Film has also had a significant influence on my work - I’ve been a cineaste since my early teens - and the British Film Institute was one of my favourite haunts.


At that stage of my life, I was largely self-taught as an artist. After my return to Australia I enrolled in art school at Chisholm Institute (now Monash University). Initially I majored in painting, but switched to a printmaking major. Subsequently I gained a couple of higher degrees and for several years, starting in 2003, was a sessional lecturer in the drawing and printmaking departments at RMIT


I’ve been exhibiting since 1987. Nowadays I’m a full-time artist, working between painting, drawing, printmaking and book art.


For 20 years, my partner and I lived in inner city Melbourne. In 2011 we began dividing our time between Melbourne and Ballarat before moving permanently to the latter at the end of last year. It’s the best move we ever made.


What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d advise myself to have greater self-confidence and repeat often.


Who or what inspires you?

My partner, Shane Jones, who is also a painter. We have similar taste in film, music, theatre and the visual arts, all of which enrich our lives. I’ve learned a great deal from him, both as an artist and individual. His work is technically astonishing, he’s patient, kind, generous, dedicated, disciplined, enthusiastic, endlessly curious and not afraid to follow his own path.


What puts you in the mood to create?

A subject that engages me, something that often originates from travel. Women’s absence from history is the thread connecting much of my work and intricately coiffed human hair is its dominant motif. In British museums I first discovered Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits, including portrait miniatures, and the finely wrought hair work found in sentimental and mourning jewellery that set my work on its current path.


Which six people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’m blessed to have some wonderful friends and couldn’t possibly narrow the guest list down to six. Instead, I’ll take the fantasy route, although I could still have added twice the number. Orson Welles, Dorothy Parker, Gloria Steinem, Elaine Stritch, Mary Shelley and Tennessee Williams should ensure some lively conversations.


Who would you dress as to attend a costume ball?

The Bride of Frankenstein, as portrayed in the 1935 film by the great Elsa Lanchester.


When did you know you were a creative little beast?

I can’t remember the exact year. I was still in primary school, possibly even kindergarten!


What is your current favourite medium to create with?

There are two - acrylic on linen and pigmented drawing inks on Khadi, a handmade rag paper from India.


What does your artistic future hold?

More work - it’s what keeps me going. Beyond that, I can only speak for the immediate future. I’m fortunate that most of last year’s projects, including three exhibitions and a residency, have been rescheduled for 2021.


What is your favourite possession?

It would be impossible to single just one of them out. Instead, I nominate an object that is technically none of those things - the digital projector my partner and I purchased at the start of the first lockdown. Our Art Deco house came with a cinema room on the first floor. We have a huge collection of films and throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns our projector opened a magic portal through which we could travel to other worlds.


What are you reading at the moment?

The Door and Other Uncanny Tales by Dmetri Kakmi. Dmetri is a marvellous writer, as well as being a close friend. The compelling novella-length title story was inspired by Shane’s full-scale painting of a door that now hangs next to the screen in our home cinema. It’s so convincing that Dmetri once tried to open it. The Door is a ghost story with an autobiographical core, but Dmetri has also drawn from elements of my life and Shane’s so it holds great personal significance for us both.


From P.T. Peregrin’s Morse Code for Beginners (Quarterly zine, summer edition) 

Edited by Trudy McLauchlan and Prudence McBeth, a Teepee Publication, 2021


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New Year wishes and a new bookplate

The last Moth Woman Press project for 2020 continues our current focus on bookplates.


Intended for the Australian Bookplate Design Award 2020, it was a pleasure to work on from start to finish. Our cat Alice, a delightful companion during this year’s lockdowns, was my model for the feline figure. She’s pictured below closely examining the newly carved lino block. After printing, the block was hand-coloured with watercolour (see final photo). Measurements are 15 x 12.5 cm (image) on A4 sized paper.

For more about this bookplate, including additional progress views, visit my art blog HERE.

Due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the Award has been postponed until 2021, although I’ve posted my entry ahead of time. 

Revised dates for the Australian Bookplate Design Award are still TBA. Meanwhile, warmest wishes to you all for a bright, happy, healthy and creative New Year.