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.
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 .
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.