Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reuben Smith

Another postcard from my collection, sent to J Turner in Port Pirie, South Australia but not postmarked.
The handwriting is a little unclear but here is the closest transcript I can get, spelling mistakes and all:
'You will no doubt be surprised to hear from me again. I had a look at the photos next door where this card took my eye. Old Reuben Smith does not look too bad on skates Eh? This place is dead slow tonight, no buiseness whatever, wish it was last Saturday night. The giantess is down this parts now. Hope we shall have fine weather for the show. Showed Vera and Laurel your photos today. They think it's most lovely. Hurry up and write back. I am anxiously waiting for letter'

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chris Knox

One of my favourite Chris Knox songs, and it really is only one of many. I've been a fan for a long time. I interviewed him for a fanzine way back in time using some sort of arcane recording system on my phone that made it hard to hear him. He was really great... funny, interesting and very generous towards someone who really didn't know what the hell they were doing. When I saw him in Sydney later he inadvertently got me very drunk on some sort of evil alcohol at a last-minute gig at someone's house. I don't even remember getting home. He's got charm and charisma to burn. I've been reading the stroke-recovery blog at his website and once again marveling at the force of nature that he is. Send all good thoughts his way, he deserves them.

Chris Knox

Monday, November 9, 2009

Amanda Marburg

Ah, Burgs...what a gal! We are both obsessed with football and barrack for Carlton. We usually go to games together. When she was in Italy for a residency I'd text her the score during games if she couldn't get to a computer. She is to blame for my addiction to Bega Stringers. And she's a really great painter. These images are all from her excellent show at Uplands earlier this year.


She also shows at Rex Irwin You can see more recent work there.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meyers Lexikon

When I lived in Sydney I was always curious about the house at the end of the street. It was one of those piece-of-pie houses made to fit on a wedge of land and I could glimpse a nice garden through the fence. I went to a garage sale there partly just to take a sticky beak. The mood was very somber though and as I looked at some beautiful old German encyclopedias the woman told me that her partner had died and she was selling some of his things. She sounded distracted, like she was still in shock. I always think of that day when I look at them and I hope I've given them a good home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Joseph Parker

Images courtesy of Carl Hammer Gallery:

what's in a name?

Self taught/Outsider/Marginal/Visionary/Naive/Art Brut etc 

These terms are going to be my constant companions throughout my PhD. Some links I am filing under the basic 'Outsider Art' heading but they could well go under the more general 'People who write about art...' one.

Filing systems are so subjective and, ultimately, flawed. That's what I like about them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Susan King


I first saw the work of Susan King at Peter Fay's house. He had been sent a CD of images and was super excited about them. When I got back to Melbourne I couldn't get the other-worldly Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck drawings out of my head.
Luckily my recent trip to Sydney coincided with the exhibition of Susan's work at Callan Park that Peter curated. The ABC did a piece about it on Sunday Arts. I'm not sure if that will be available online but here's a link:

These images have been downloaded from Susan's website. Go and explore...

You can also buy her comic on ebay but get in quick, it's a limited edition.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gladys Peto

Shoddy snapshots of an old book I loved as a child. This story 'The Mer-girls Magic' was my favourite. It told of a mermaid who charmed her way onto land but ended up being so mean and nasty that she was unceremoniously dropped back into the sea. The book is filled with stories of children being taken over by tree sprites, girls who find flowers spring up at their every step or cruising on a miniature ship after being shrunk down by an unknown gentleman sitting by the pond. It is not all that sweet or nice, there is something uneasy about the lives these children lead. I've always loved the illustrations but have never known who the artist was. Until now.

All the awkwardness of adolescence can be seen in this one pose...I need to know more about Gladys Peto so it looks like I may well be lost at this blog for a while: