Hi Everyone! How are you? I hope good things have shown promise for you so far this year. I’ve already been quite busy starting up my new series for end of year exhibition. The series is titled ‘ Everyday Matriarchal Heroines’, and basically, it’s to present the audience with a series of pastel drawings on canvas, and titillate feelings embracing compassion, empathy, admiration, and hope.
So far, (and I’m now going to soon start the 5th drawing in the series), I have found this a very unusual and unique experience doing these drawings. Some of the women are so private that it has been important to change certain aspects to their drawings because of the story being attached to their identity. Other changes I have made are because I know that some of the women are rather self conscious about certain aspects of their appearance. Others have proven to be indifferent. Whatever the changes, Hyper- realism is not of consequence here, but a representation of each woman stands the narrative, and respects the wishes of the women. Some stories are left to be shortened, again, due to the the sensitive nature of the narrative. To have a portrait of a reminder of a bad experience is such a personal brave act on the part of the sitter.
These portraits are celebrating clear reward and acknowledgement to the courage and honesty these women have had to use to overcome these great adversities.
I have noticed that none of these women so far, do not want reminders of these portraits in their homes… and who could blame them?
The women that are being drawn are very special. They are a few of many women who walk silently within our midst who should be recognised for their heroism and courage through coming out victorious (though often not unscathed) from some sort of every day life adversity.
I would like to sincerely thank the contributing women that have bared their soul to me in honest sincerity and trust. It takes courage to tell another their story of the adverse encounters that we all must learn from, either be eaten and beaten down, or fight through the experience and still fight long after the barrage of unseen nightmarish ghosts that come to haunt us long after the incidence. Do we ever come out of something unscarred? I think not.
These women have provided me with their experiences that they have bravely encountered and overcame. Most of these women have had other tumultuous experiences in their life, but have chosen these specific adversities for this exhibition project.
Thankyou ladies. These are the wonderful ‘ Everyday Matriarchal Heroines’.
I Wish Thee Well. Completed 19th December 2017
The first completed example(depicted above) , the self portrait “I Wish Thee Well’ that is the first completed pastel drawing , is about a child or children leaving home. This is such an ordinary experience usually , but it can become so much more complex when the mother has been a single mum for many years, so protection number one is on HIGH MONITOR, and it can also become even more complex when you have lost 2 other children before this that are no longer in your life. This is heavy soul and heart bearing, and it can even be gut wrenching if it’s not analysed logically in the first place. The adding of extra emotional crises on top of an ordinary life experience can be a heavy cross to bear.
Being used to looking out for each and even one child can be a pain in the proverbial ass for the child who is reached young adulthood. The child is usually quite eager for the new lifestyle, which is so needed for them to prove themselves for further emotional development.
Within the mother, there’s the heart pulling the child in for protection and there’s the mind in the heart that says’ Go Forth And Multiply… and, ‘May God Be With You Always’…type of thing. No denying. It can be quite emotionally complex.
Sensibly, we know what is the right, and what standard to follow. Banners are held high for the exiting of a Mother’s child who has proved independence many times over already. That love and training over the years has proved worth all those extra hard yards!. I did say complex. Is anything ever that easy? Dr. Doolittle surely had his hands tied when he had to try to heal a ‘push-me-pull-you’ beast. And that certainly can be a beast! Those inner struggles within to cater for abandonment issues perhaps?
Abaddon’s Locusts- Completed 12th February 2018
The 2nd recent work that I have done since, for this series is ‘Abaddon’s Locusts’. This is a drawing of a woman who went to a local church, trusting that the people in the hierarchy could be deemed as trustworthy, dependable, reliable, knowledgeable and confident – all the things necessary to a reverend and his helpers in the church. Her experience tells of deceit, subterfuge, sexual advances, single and group bullying, manipulation, dishonesty, brainwashing, gas lighting, and lies.
When I heard her story, it was saddening because this type of mistreatment unfortunately is an everyday occurrence and can even end fatally. Straightaway, I felt genuinely moved for this woman who not only was put to ‘working task ‘ for this church but also monetarily contributed as well.
She told me that by the time she had managed to leave, she was a mental and emotional wreck. Having several people gang up on her telling her cruel things that were going to happen to her, and that she should take under advisement that to counteract all this ‘bad karma’ she should do these rituals and such, or do this work for the church.
Do you see through all this beeswax? Sadly, a lot of people don’t and can get bamboozled into these sorts of situations.
This is just one of life’s lessons- learning about trust, who to trust, what sort of people can be identified as bullies, or charlatans and such.
When you get kicked hard enough…you learn the lesson.
She has come out richer for it. She can identify the fakes and magicians from the genuine carers, and she has learned to steer clear and avoid life’s ‘sideshow alleys’. Sometimes this lesson is learnt when you are not young anymore, and harder the lesson learned, and perhaps, though not always, harder the lesson to get away from.
Jewel Of Denial- Completed 1st March 2018
Being titled ‘Jewel Of Denial’ this 3rd work is now completed.
It is about a woman- (a mother’s daughter), who found herself in a situation one would never think they would be in. Beside herself, three family members were involved in this story. Mother, brother and sister all had at the time varying degrees of mental illness which greatly contributed to a disastrous outcome.
A verbal financial agreement was made with the daughter and her mother, that she could build a house and live on the same land with her. The mother promised to pay her back once the house was done. The deal was made and the house was eventually built. All was steady until it came for the mother to pay her daughter back. Thousands of dollars were put into building the house, and the mother refused to pay the daughter back.
Court ended up to coming to a decision that the daughter pay the mother monies outstanding instead. It was after all the court finalisation that the daughter realised that the mother was actually showing signs of dementia. Had she known earlier on, it could have benefited her outcome in the courts more favourably and perhaps a congenial plan be set up. The problem was that the daughter was not living on the property at the time, and was working in Sydney. When she could, she had to keep travelling up on the weekends to the house to check things out. She also found out that her siblings both being adults could not relay any of the signs of dementia or information regarding her mother, as both siblings suffered from Schizophrenia. The daughter finds out much later that often people suffering from Schizophrenia do not understand or find it very difficult to see facial inflections, thus not having the ability to relay important information .
At the time of the court hearings, the mother was not yet recognised as getting dementia, though the daughter sees in hindsight that it was a certain possibly already occurring.
I guess the moral of the story is not to make verbal contracts with people you suspect of getting dementia?
Thoughts arise as to the question, that if you can’t trust your own family, who can you trust?
I must say that speaking with this lovely woman, I can see that she has learnt a big learning curve in trust, and is very careful in signing any sort of documents. It is very much a story she can tell, but makes sure she has no artifacts around her, or in her home, or even her friend’s homes that could be reminders of this painful yet heroic experience. To sally forth regardless of such a disaster and still choose to be happy over grief is courageous to say the least. It takes heroic effort to keep that chin up and carry on after all you believed in was tested to be false…
Not- too-pleasant grand effects can occur when things are left in the hands of novices rather than skilled lawyers. Belief systems can shatter and cut your idyll when a family member chooses to go to war and chooses bloody greed over familial love . Such a disappointment, and unfortunately happens a lot.
Anastasis- Completed 12th March 2018
4th drawing in the ‘Everyday Matriarchal Heroines’ Series.
Anastasis means ‘to rise up’, ‘to rise up again’, ‘to be reborn again’, ‘resurrection’, to be ‘resurrected from a debilitating illness’.
I have chosen this title as a way of perceiving this very traumatic event as to see it from the point of view where the ending proved to be nothing short of a miracle through Specialists, Doctors, friends, family, and prayer. The title is certainly not to negate the fact of its intimate severity either, but to be given credit and just reward in acknowledgement at the memory of the outcome’s success.
This narrative involved the woman to watch helplessly while her little girl’s life was in the balance . It is any parent’s nightmare.
To have faith in something that is believed that cannot be seen, to be there for her when all else could fail, and all to be finally rescued (through what seems like everyone’s personal eternity), is now seen as a past memory that makes one shudder at the recall of this memory which is still so vivid and lucid, to have already arrived at it now being a few years later.
Amour-Propre. Completed 21st March 2018
5th Drawing in the ‘Every day Matriarchal Heroines’ Series.
Amour-Propre means ‘sensitive self love, self esteem, loving oneself as in the kind of taking good care of oneself.
I have chosen this title because it is apt to the story of this remarkable previous breast cancer patient who overcame her breast cancer through listening out for her body, and did what her body was saying to her. If that sounds strange to you, it really isn’t when it comes to putting the language of your body first before doctors, before others and actually having a quiet time to actually listen, then take important immediate action. This action actually saved her life. Her interview stated that she believes that if she had actually listened to her doctor instead of her body, she would not have survived. Her sister in law took the doctor path head on and sadly did not survive. Survivors guilt is dreadful to have to be feeling, but that’s what life is really all about- surviving. It has now been ten years since those days, and an emotionally mature and sensible woman has become of this. Spiritual and open minded to the wants and needs of her precious body.
Manumission. Completed 23 March 2018.
This is the 6th pastel drawing work in the series for ‘Everyday Matriarchal Heroines’ which will be part of a series of 12 drawings of heroic women. Manumission is about a story of a woman who was being violated by her previous husband and was rescued from a pathetic fate by the man she is married to today. The intricacies to the story go much deeper, as this beautiful woman also suffers from MS. She works full time and takes a lot of life in her stride. She is grateful that every day is away from her former dreadful past. Having MS is a hard slog, and to know her is to but admire her.
Valerie. Completed 26 March 2018
This is the 7th pastel drawing work in the series for ‘Everyday Matriarchal Heroines’series that I am currently making.
Valerie is about a very valiant and courageous women who runs an art gallery in Sydney. In the last very few years she has had to move the gallery to different locations to keep this gallery running. The importance of this gallery is to help beginning artists find a place that is affordable for them to exhibit their work. On the other side of the coin, many artists that are now very well established also exhibit their work there too. Humble beginnings by the now established artists return to exhibit there time and time again, never forgetting the warmth and dedication she has always had for them. This remarkable woman is the true philanthropist in caring for and helping artists of all kinds making a place for themselves. From painters, to film makers, singers , thespians and acrobats, she supports them all. She advocates for the Gay , Transgender and Lesbian communities, and is often helping out everyone that needs venues for artistic practice and space.
Her life has been so dedicated to this gallery for over 25 years now, and she has literally been thrown out of places with extremely short notice when the council has decided to take over the rental property for more fiscal generating interests.
Art and artists are the most important things in her life, and she will do anything to keep what she believes in alive. This sedulous woman is a credit to her bravery and valiance in very hard times of adversity, when bureaucrats do not see the arts as a necessary part in people’s lives, she does. She lives and breathes what she believes in.
Saeva Buella Completed 9th April 2018
This is the 8th pastel drawing for the series ‘Everyday Matriarchal Heroines’.
The name Saeva Buella is Latin for cruel brute…and ‘brute’ in Latin means beast, or monstrous or monster like animal. ‘Saeva’ means cruel.
Events surrounding this gentle, but intelligent woman are many, from a life of being adopted, but banished, being violently abused by the father of her beautiful, sweet baby daughter, being set upon to be sabotaged by previous husband and previous father of the child being in cahoots to try to take the daughter away from her. Needless to say, it didn’t work…this time. But the previous husband set a situation up where a young child listened to a father keep her from her own mother. I won’t go into this too deeply, but it was a very immoral, unfair, selfish, disgusting act by the ex husband. “Such a tangled web we weave when one does practice to deceive.”
Troublemakers like whom she has been tangled up with can only do wrong and lead gentle people down many a dangerous alley.
At interview, this lovely lady had bruises, cuts and large sores on her body where the father of her tiny tot, threw this tiny petite woman into a brick wall. This woman is a very spiritual woman, and she does believe that justice will inevitably occur. When? She does not know, but she will wait and see it happen. She is in the list of Heroines because she just keeps on keeping on. She has the marks on her shield showing true courage in the face of fear and despair.
Her love for her daughter and life keep her going. Honestly, standing up to one brute is one thing but two? She weighs no more than 42 kilograms!
No more is needed to be said.
Addiction Affliction Completed 10th April 2018
A caring and loving woman, this woman can not seem to say no to the family situation.
Thinking objectively, one would like to say to her to ‘Just drop the little creeps and get them to grow up by taking charge of their own responsibilities and consequences”! … or… thinking along moral and ethical grounds, you would probably like to say “How could she ever desert them when they need someone to look out for them, especially the grandchildren”!
This woman has a lot of serious health issues on top of trying to cope with the crap that her grown up children cause her. It’s like a ‘damned if you do, and a damned if you don’t situation’. Whatever the case may be, and whatever side you may opt for, this woman, through her own martyred conscience, and her love for all life, be it young or old, impaired or ridiculous, this heroine works hard. Very hard, to try to do the right thing for love.
In Memorandum- Artist Coleen Shaliapin . February 2018
Recently, I visited an Opening titled ‘ Escaping Into The Open’. It was a Memorial Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings by Colleen Shaliapin who passed away last year. The Opening and Memorial Service started 7.30pm on Friday the 16th February 2018. Guest speakers were Greg Frawley and Lorraine Maggs. It was held by the Fairfield Art Society Gallery, Mezzanine Level, Club Marconi, 121-133 Prairie Vale Road, Bossley Park NSW 2176.
Her work spanned several decades, was very Australian styled with trees and bushland settings, still life, and country property buildings. She had a beautiful eye for detail and an aesthete for her surroundings and location sites. Her brush-stroked colours reminded us of misty mornings and streams of sunlight on flora, fauna and objects. She will be missed by her love of life and art.
I also recently joined up with (again after all these years!), the Nepean Art Society
I’ve entered Fairy Iris Charm into Nepean Art Show Exhibition on the 24th-25th March 2018. I’m looking forward to it . Bump in is on Thursday the 20th March 2018.
See Tap Gallery Website if your’e interested to go in exhibitions, or just seeing them. They also have a lot of classes and fun and excitement there going on all the time. See www.tapgallery.org.au for details.
- Nepean Art Society 2018 Autumn Exhibition and Sale
Saturday the 24th March 2018 9am-5pm, and Sunday 25th March 2018 10am to 4pm
- Members Prize Exhibition conducted by Fairfield Art Society
Opening Friday the 25th of May 2018 to Sunday,3rd June 2018′ (Times inserted when known).
Gallery, Mezzanine Level, Club Marconi, 121-133 Prairie Vale Road, Bossley Park NSW 2176.
See http://www.fairfieldcityart.org/ for more information.