Geoff Farquhar-Still has a blast in Melbourne

16 08 2007


Another of our extended-art-school-foundation-group buddies is sculptor Geoff Farquhar-Still who has an upcoming show, My private arsenal, opening in Melbourne on the 1st September. Geoff makes great work – who could possibly forget the mad metal missile he made last year for Domain, and drove around and around New Parliament House for a photo op!?!  Anybody planning a trip, or in the vicinity, really ought to beat a track to Gallery DireTribe and give it the eyeball.

Exhibition opens 6.30 Saturday 1st Sept at Gallery DireTribe, 1/81 Bouverie St, Carlton (and runs until 29th Sept)

Gallery contact:

Artist contact:

Happy 50th birthday to me little bro…

15 08 2007


My little bro (below centre) turns the big 5-oh oh


Oh dear, oh dear – well, you know your salad days are truly done and dusted when your youngest sibling hits the golden milestone. It’s gunna be nothing but the twighlight zone full steam ahead from now on in, we reckon. Above is a postcard he sent from the Icehotel in Lapland – somewhere that the Gang really ought to go before we kick the (ice)bucket…

Meanwhile, lotsa big love and kisses Phil. Make ours a voddy….

Postcard from The Glass Furnace in Turkey

14 08 2007


(above) James demo-ing, Cappodocia, the Blue Mosque.

The Gang’s received a lovely picture postcard from our Seattle correspondent, the ever adorable James Minson, who’s only just returned home from his teaching gig at the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, via a stint at Penland, North Carolina.

(Note to self – simply must take a course in Istanbul sometime in the not too distant future.) What a great place to go and do glass…although he didn’t tell us if there was any water in the bleedin’ pool yet (apologies to Monty Python!)

The snaps make one want to jump on a plane immediately – and, of course, are a reminder that many of us do just that, as the pic of Melbournian/glassie Ede Horton attests…

And we’re really intrigued by the photo of James lampworking to the dervish – hope he got an image of the piece he was making at the time; a whirling dervish of the dervish, he reckons. We wanna see that.

More snaps at

and for anybody bitten by the travel/glass bug, check the Glass Furnace website at

Painter’s Corner

12 08 2007


Nicola Dickson, Rococo Parrot series, 2007.

Arguably the best thing about going to art school is the opportunity to meet  some extraordinarily talented, and remarkably wonderful, people. And not only those in one’s chosen medium.

The 1st semester of the first year at the ANU School of Art is spent in ‘Core’; a foundation period that throws you into a mixed bag of folk who literally straddle the gamut of workshops (you don’t actually go into your designated discipline, proper, until 2nd semester.)

This system is primarily designed to inculcate students with the multi-dextrous visual literacy essential for an ongoing ‘career’ in the (f)Arts. But of course it naturally also delivers the added advantage of kick-starting a nascent networking mechanism that cannot but help stand one in probable good stead, both philosophically and practically (if consciously genuine), for many years to come.

This is further progressed by ensuing complementary (sub-major) electives – which broaden the skill set and incrementally expose the wanna-be-Vincent/Leonardo/Andy to countless like-minded others in the extended arts community. And then some. 

At the very least this circumvents unattractive creative imbreeding. It also -obviously -paves the way for all manner of collaborative possibilities. But most importantly it forges firm and enriching friendships. One of which is…

Our mate Nicky; who will henceforth be known, to you, as Nicola Dickson: Painter.

Nicky and the gang first met when we were both doing printmedia as a sub-major. She was, from the outset, seriously good (while we were merely me).

These days she’s doing her PhD.  And her painting has become increasingly sophisticated and infinitely more desirable (hah! as if that’s at all possible – after all, how more desirable can desirable be?). We love it, dead set. We always have.

So she’s the first in our series of our-fave-contemporary-artists-who-don’t-do-glass.


And keep a weather-eye out. If we did have a suggestion it would be this – buy while you can still afford her.

Winner of the City of Hobart Art Prize 2007

8 08 2007


Itzell Tazzyman’s winning piece Revealing our First Nature (Trancendence) II. Photography, Rob Little.

Heartfelt congrats to Itzell Tazzyman who picked up this year’s coveted City of Hobart Art Prize for Glass at a gala event held last Friday night at the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery [TMAG].  (The winning entry for photography/digital media was Ruth Maddison’s Kiah River.) 

In addition to pocketing a tidy cheque for the princely sum of $7,500, Itzell and her mum were treated to some very swish hospitality courtesy of the Prize sponsor, Moorilla Winery;  the Pinot was exemplary and the accommodation plush, by all accounts. 

For further information regarding the prize (Jess Loughlin received a commendation from the judges) go to…

Meanwhile, for those intrigued by the winning piece, we’re posting the following ‘sketch’ of the work, direct to you from Itzell’s own quill: 

 Revealing Our First Nature (TRANSCENDENCE)  


Organic and free growing

Pine, once the great conifer, son of the Araucaria tree

The first tree

Habitat for dinosaurs, plant of my first country (Chile)

Basic and elemental;

Now, tamed, cultivated, managed

last of the cheap ‘real’ woods.

Is there still the beauty of the great tree in this wood? 


A place of rest.

Not a rock by the side of the road, a random shape

Basic in form the chair, fits the human body. Its anatomy defined by our shape. Seating height governed by the legs.

The base, a flat surface for the buttocks.

Is there any trace of the tree in this chair? Perhaps the wood grain?

Resting place,

refuge from the jungle, the forests, the roadside,

a harbor not just for the body, but also the  mind.

a silence.

a dark.

a meditation.

a pause.

a nothing, which is also a something.  


 Liquid contained in suspension

stillness becoming motion

Glass, the result of human efforts but foreign to Nature

Intense, heat forms, melts and shapes it

Its existence has given us eyes into the universe and into ourselves

(we and glass) have become more known to ourselves

and yet….. are you more than this?

a shape to the shapeless?

A presence.

A representation of ourselves? 


Is presence,

when there is no air

there is no life 


A gasp was the first breath,

when forced out of water,

air fills the space inside. 

The bubble is breath solidified.

AIR, expanded by heat, made you

but you would have formed a natural shape anyway.

You represent the edgeless


A moment in the being

it is not the air that is trapped inside

it is us trapped outside.

Inside you the world is magnitude, space and light


together, air and bubble are one….

And one day,




The chair is a link from daily life, the present. The bubble is undergoing a transformation, squeezing thought the junction of the chair, each bubble filling or emptying. Moving from the chair’s inner space to the outer space. As it does, a remnant memory of its last shape remains. But in all this the air is unchanged, it is the constant. 

We don’t expect the static object to breath. (sometimes we treat ourselves like static objects).

We see, but there is so much that is not perceived. What is perception if not another sense? A wonder, locked in the guts of our knowing, the child of intuition and wisdom. At birth, we come into being through our mother’s passage, this is not the only time we change. This experience leaves a trace. Our belly button is that point of junction. Architectural remnant of birth, a visible trace revealed only when naked. A link between outer and inner self. A portal – bodiless, shapeless, endless space. Known by many names in many cultures. This space inside us has no edges. From here we find our First Nature. From here happiness emerges, is cultivated. This work is about material and experience:

Wood, Glass, Air – Inside, Outside, Presence.

In our lives we sense this spatial connections as many things. It can be an absence we sense in our depths we may try and fill. An indefinable abstract element sometime called ‘a soul’ which we grow to know.

In any case it is a presence, an experience of being human.

Life’s journey is about stretching and changing shape, inside. Transformation is not effortless, most times it is driven by our hardships; loss, sickness, grief, death, fear, desires. Sometimes by deep meditation, the cultivation of love even happiness. The experience of time passing also changes us. Throughout our lives we feel and listen to learn – our own way.

There is nothing more than change and being. What we experience is transformation.

 This is what I’m representing in this work. 

Itzell Tazzyman29th January 2007   

Title of work – Revealing Our First Nature (TRANCENDENCE)Dimensions – H 950 x D 430 x W 400mm

Description – production chair, glue, metal, glass and air.

Date – January 2007

Artist – Itzell Tazzyman

Collaborators – Brian Corr, Janice Vitkovsky and Patricia Roan

Photography – Rob Little

Brenden’s big Procter adventure

5 08 2007


This year’s recipient of the Stephen Procter Fellowship, Brenden Scott French, put the lucre to fine use with an eight week residency at Northlands Creative Glass (situated in the small fishing village of Lybster on the North East coast of Scotland), followed by a brief recce of Norway and Italy (Rome and Florence in particular).

The sojourn in Scotland afforded him plenty of physical and mental space to further develop his artistic practice, while the remainder of the journey provided an additional buffet of visual stimuli (he checked out all the usual cultural haunts – like the V&A, etcetera – and then some.) We’ve managed to get hold of a slice of his photo-journal of the trip – it’s always interesting to cadge some insight into those odd, inconsequential things that arrest an artist’s eye (and which go on to feed the work, however indirectly.) He had a very eventful journey by all accounts, and even got tumbled and pick-pocketed in Rome! We’re a little bit disappointed he didn’t have his camera at the ready then (…just to add an extra dramatic accent to the trip.)

While in the wilds of Scotland he continued to work on his Predator series, and we’ve included some work-in-progress shots but none of the finished pieces, sorry. This was quite deliberate, we must confess. We thought we’d just give you a little tease before the public unveiling proper…one of the pieces has already been selected into this year’s Ranamok (and consequently will be on show at the Canberra Glassworks later this month), while others will be featured in his upcoming solo exhibition (also at the Canberra Glassworks, opening immediately after the Ranamok.) in late-Sept, early October.

And then, of course, he’ll be making even more new work for his group exhibition (Hunks of Glass, with Tevita Havea and Masahiro Asaka) at ANCA Gallery in Dickson next January (presented in concert with the Ausglass conference.) Now that will be a show not to be missed…..

Brenden’s (partial) visual diary can be seen at

Anybody interested in Northlands Creative Glass, go to

Postcard from New Mexico

3 08 2007


Timothy Horn’s Medusa

The Kelly Gang  just received a splendiferous post-card from our dearly missed Timmy Horn, who’s presently residing in Chimayo, New Mexico.

Knowing that many of you will be keen to know what he’s up to, we thought we’d share excerpts from the email –  so that you can get it straight from the horse’s mouth.  Don’t worry about the poo talk – we’d just sent him images from Megsie’s up coming group show at Craft ACT (more of that in good time)….

Those are the most PRIMA faeces I’ve seen in a long time – keep squeezing them out. You are the baddest girl… but didn’t I know that already.

You came very close to Chimayo on your desert princess trek. Española is halfway from Santa Fe to Taos, you the turn off there, and head 8 miles, the terrain changing from dry desert plain to something almost apline in valleys, and rugged canyons leading to soaring mountains. 400 years of hispanic culture (a handful of families keep up the weaving tradition – fabulous stuff and worth every cent – got our eye on a magnificent rug, 18th century Vallero pattern), and before that the Chimayan indians who left the pueblo at Bandelier, and set up camp around 1200. It’s a little bit lawless, has that bandito feeling, but nothing threatening.

Our neighbors Tom (a beautiful landscape painter) and his wife Michelle (a poet who teaches at the local high school in Santa Cruz) took me out on one of their horses today – being a cowboy from wayback (need to get my chaps sent over). We went out into the canyon that backs their property, following an arroyo (dry river that floods with rainfall from the mountains). Headed up along a trail towards the town of Truchas (means Trout) and Trampas (Traps), to the remains of an old Anastasi pueblo, found some remaining shards of pottery. Glorious looking  back over the valley, and across the Los Alamos.

New Mexico, Land of Enchantment. It sure is. The whole Santa Fe style thing – eclectic mishmash of Portugese tiles, exotic fabrics, raw timber furniture, Moroccan lamps – I completely get it and feel right at home. We are renting a really nice place – 4 acres of apple, pear, apricot and cherry orchard. Lovely old adobe house with 70’s additions, greenhouse attached for growing things and acts as eco-heating in winter. Studio for Art (he has a book of short stories coming out in October called Blood Pudding, and is in New York hocking the next manuscript), and one for me. So for as long as we’re here, just going to lap it up.

We had some of gringo neighbors over for dinner the other night, a sort of house warming – Tom and Michelle, Sue (who’s lived here since the 60’s, and built several adobe houses, and currently making a gorgeous little casita out facing the canyon), and Jim, woodworker, and gardener, who rocked on up with a mighty fine cluster of garlic. The hispanic community here isn’t exactly “closed” but we’ve been told you do need a “social broker”. That said, we have a compañero in Carlos, the unofficial Mayor of Chimayo, who sometimes grazes his horses in the orchard, and his son, Pete, an electrician, who I got to wire up the old adobe I’m using as a studio. Spent a couple of weeks painting and putting in a new floor – now all set to settle into some new work. The work I started down in Roswell – some large shell forms, I’m putting aside for a little while. Want to get on with some other things.

Have a few projects on the boil. One is a show at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco next year. Heading there on Monday for a meeting about it. More immediate is a show organized by Deborah Hart, curator at the National Gallery in Canberra, at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. They’re shipping over the glass slipper, and trucking down the Jellyfish. That happens in October. It’s a group show with work by 7 artists, including Juan Davila, Tracy Moffat and Fiona Hall. If you’re headed to Sydney, the amber colored Medusa is in a show at the Maritime Museum, opening next week. Would love to get to NY to see Hils show – but not able to at this point. In any case her new work looks soft and sensual, and very beautiful.

Anyway, enough for now.  Love reading your regular updates.

–  forgot to mention – the daily thunderstorms that rolls down from Golgotha every afternoon, with violet and sometimes violent lightning, and occasionally rain.  AND, the hummingbirds. They are hilarious. Different varieties swing by, coming up from Central America, staying for a couple of weeks at a time. They get very territorial over the nectar feeders we’ve put out, and make swooping, dive bombing raids, whirring away on helicoptering wings. Just love’em.

We’ve uploaded Timmy’s sneps and some images of his jellyfush work from last year (…for the benefit our New Zealand friends). Enjoy

Crafty Arts SPOTTO!!!

1 08 2007


Time for a little light-hearted fun, we reckon. We’re going to start a WHERE WERE THEY THEN? segment on the blog; to which end we’ve dug deep into the pre-digital scrapbook for some ancient snaps of a couple of current movers-and-shakers on the local arts scene…

Can you spot ’em?  There’s rumours of a prize in the offing.