Home-page-banner-v2.jpg

The artworks in this exhibition have all been created in the past few years - some prior to Covid, some in lockdown, some in isolation and others in anticipation of a more beautiful tomorrow. Figurative and saturated in colour, on the surface they are an eclectic bunch of works, but all exploring something soulful and human. They are my take on the bittersweet stuff of life, the magic, the mundane, the joys, the pains, the loves, the losses, desires and hopes, that make for a beautiful, painful and ordinary life.

With my other great love being music, I've found a way to include music in this exhibition by pairing each artwork with a music track that befits the theme or feel of the artwork and offers to take the viewer on a 2-4 minute journey of both sight and sound.

You're invited to bring your best-quality headphones and use your mobile device with a music subscription service (Spotify or Itunes) to access the music while you look into the art. The music ranges from Blues, Soul, and Indi-grooves to a classic Edith Piaff and an original piano composition by Sean Costello.

You can either take the entire journey, viewing every piece with its matched song (which takes about 1 hour 20mins), or just choose the pieces you'd like a deeper look into. Of course there's always the old-fashioned way (without music). If you do intend to listen to some of the music, I recommend bringing your best-quality headphones (over-ear are recommended).

If you can't make it to the exhibition you can view the artwork here and access the playlist on iTunes (Apple Music) or Spotify by clicking the buttons below. 


 

SPOTIFY.jpg
ITUNES.jpg
The Climb_close up.jpg

The Climb

This artwork featured in my Stories of Strangers Exhibition in 2020 and has some wonderful stories written about it (you can still read them on the Stories tab here on my website). For me, this piece is about hope, taking risks and having faith in yourself. It was inspired after watching an adult version of Jack and the Beanstalk one night, but messing up the plot so the protagonist was Jack's mum, who climbs the magic beanstalk for a chance at a better life (duck in hand). It seemed the perfect piece to open the exhibition with. 

MUSIC TRACK:
Beautiful Tomorrow by Beth Rowley

I paired The Climb with this incredible blues song by British singer/songwriter Beth Rowley that I came upon by accident a and It's been my go-to, uplifting song for about 5 years now...and I love it so much I even named the exhibition after it. 
 

The Acrobats

I sketched up The Acrobats during one of the first years of Covid. I'd been trying to focus on drawing groups of people together, and interconnecting, which may have had something to do with spending so much time alone during the lockdown. I like the circus theme, the playfulness, and the fun it conjures up in my head, plus there's a little bit of me that likes the idea of a bunch of misfits running away from normal life 

MUSIC TRACK:
La Foule by Edith Piaf
I have paired The Acrobats with a classic Edith Piaf ballad which translates to The Crowd.  With a carousel-style intro which takes you straight to a Carnival in Paris it makes you feel giddy from the start. She sings of being thrust upon a man in the crowd, entangled and moving with the push and pull of the crowd they become one body... then as quickly as it began, they are wrpped apart by the same crowd that drew them together. Love is lost forever. 

Two Sides.jpg

Two Sides

If you haven't noticed already, Two Sides is a spin-off from The Acrobats and features the Strongman and The Clown facing off. It's a break-up story, and like any relationship breakup, there are two sides to the story and therefore needed two different music tracks.

MUSIC TRACK HIM:
Heartbreaker by Nik Lowe
Its a classic Dion Warwick/ BeeGees tune from 1982 reimagined in the best possible way by Nik Lowe (my new love). The beginning of the track reminded me of a stand-off scene from a western movie which seemed particularly apt for the scene in this picture where the man is the one tearing up.

MUSIC TRACK HER:
A Long Time Ago by First Aid Kit

I just adore this song. I feel like i'm reading a breakup letter and I it could be mine. First Aid Kit are a Swedish duo known for their Indie/Pop/Country music and the sweetest harmonies you'll every hear, and they are the most played band on my iTunes.

The Strongman

Another spin-off piece, The Strongman features in both The Acrobats and Two Sides - in this piece he's been dumped by the Clown (for good reason) and is back at work trying to survive his broken heart. Sadly, he thinks he's been dumped because of someone else and just couldn't consider that she left him because he wasn't very nice to her. 

MUSIC TRACK:
Sleeping By Myself by Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge
Originally written and performed by Eddie Vedder, there is no going back after you hear this version...it's so divine, I even taught myself how to play it on the guitar.  I had three different songs in mind for this picture, and they all took it to a slightly different place... In the end, I think he looked appropriately sad and broken for this song. 

If you like acoustic guitar, Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge have an incredible repertoire of original instrumental music which is great to work to.

The-Strongman.jpg
Valentines-Day.jpg

Unrequited Love

Unrequited love. It sucks.


MUSIC TRACK:
What Becomes of The Broken Hearted by Jimmy Ruffin
There were so many songs I could have used for this piece -  because there are more songs written about heartbreak than anything else. I love the simplicity of this song, it's honest, but has an element of hope that love will return sometime in the future - and as if to reassure himself he sings, "I'll be looking every day, I know I'm gonna find a way, Nothings gonna stop me know, I'll find a way somehow."

The Lovers

This piece was originally designed for an exhibition in 2021 themed Seven Deadly Sins and this was my ode to Lust. I think there is something more caring and less lustful about their embrace, something about the way they are looking into each others eyes that makes it more about love than lust.


MUSIC TRACK:
Tell My by Mia Dyson
This song makes me feel drunk on love vibes - The first time I heard it I played it over and over agin till I could remember every word and sing along.'Tell me the things you never speak of' is probably one the most beautiful thing any lover could say and this song is intoxicating to me. 

Mia Dyson is an Australian singer, songwriter and guitarist with a beautiful voice that's equal parts honey and gravel. What's not to love! 

The-Lovers-LR.jpg
Sea Of Tears - Close Up

Sea of Tears


MUSIC TRACK:
Time Machine by Turin Brakes
This is one of the many bittersweet tunes that I adore to listen to and that will always make me cry. 'Please, please, please, take me back to the place' - during times of grief in my life, it's exactly what I have wanted. Such a beautifully poignant song.
Turin Brakes are an English Indi band that are not nearly as famous as they should be. I went to see them at a a tiny gig in Newtown in 2017 and was blown away by how incredible they were live. Beautiful harmonies, into

Surrender

surrender---Close-up.jpg
BitterSwee-full-shot.jpg

The Beautiful Melancholy


MUSIC TRACK:
Grey by Ani Difranco
At any time, in any place, if I hear this song, I am very likely to start sobbing. It's the most melancholy song I can think of  but I adore it - it makes me feel deeply human and while it's kind of sad, its also incredibly beautiful. In the same way that intense beauty can take your breath away, a song like this can strangely make you feel alive and human. 

 

Ani Difranco is an American folk/rock/ funk singer songwriter who has written more than 20 albums. I have loved her music since I was in my early 20s when I saw her play at the Enmore Theatre with a bunch of my girlfriends. She is still writing and performing incredibly important social and political music today.   

Acceptance

This is my homage to mid-life, and peri-menopause and it very roar.  When I showed it to my mum (who's always the first person I show my work to) she asked me what colour I was going to do the hair. "Ummm... It's staying grey," I replied, but it felt like a bit of a cop out given I've been slowly greying and dying my hair since my mid 20's. In Acceptance i'm reflecting on mortality and pondering the years behind and ahead.


MUSIC TRACK:
Another Man's Done Gone - Billy Bragg & Wilco (W

This incredible song is from the 1998 album 'Mermaid Avenue' of previously unheard lyrics written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie, put to music written and performed by British singer Billy Bragg and the American band Wilco. I imagine the person in the song is contemplating their mortality and  finding a way to accept it by imaging someone will read his words after they're gone. 

Reflections Close up.jpg
HEAR-ME-ROAR.jpg

Hear Me Roar

In early 2021 I was shocked to hear a woman had been raped in our Parliament House. In the days and weeks proceeding, I became more and more disgusted and furious by our P.Ms and his cabinet's denial of knowing it had ever happened, their treatment of the victim and their general attitude toward women's issues. This piece is a picture of me and my outrage.

MUSIC TRACK:
Limp by Fiona Apple
Of all the artworks in this exhibition, Hear Me Roar was the hardest to match to a music track. There a so many great, angry feminist anthems that could match the artwork, but not many that would be palatable to most people. Limp was released in 1999 - I particularly love the line 'When I think of it, my fingers turn to fists' which reminds me of my rage and frustration.

Fiona Apple is a singer-songwriter and classical trained pianist from New York perhaps best known for her 1996. She's described online as having a 'dusky alto bursting with wisdom, drama and pathos' - which is a way better description that I could conjure. 

The Bus Stop

In early 2021 I was shocked to hear a woman had been raped in our Parliament House. In the days and weeks proceeding, I became more and more disgusted and furious by our P.Ms and his cabinet's denial of knowing it had ever happened, their treatment of the victim and their general attitude toward women's issues. This piece is a picture of me and my outrage.

MUSIC TRACK:
Limp by Fiona Apple
Of all the artworks in this exhibition, Hear Me Roar was the hardest to match to a music track. There a so many great, angry feminist anthems that could match the artwork, but not many that would be palatable to most people. Limp was released in 1999 - I particularly love the line 'When I think of it, my fingers turn to fists' which reminds me of my rage and frustration.

Fiona Apple is a singer-songwriter and classical trained pianist from New York perhaps best known for her 1996. She's described online as having a 'dusky alto bursting with wisdom, drama and pathos' - which is a way better description that I could conjure. 

Bus-Stop.jpg
UNDIES-ON-THE-BEACH.jpg

Undies on The Beach

Is it ever OK to wear undies on the beach? This guy is rocking his Y-fronts with absolute conviction. Where does his confidence come from? Is it confidence or is it something else? Im fascinated and wish I had some of it.

MUSIC TRACK:
Ladies of The World by Flight of The Conchords
I love everything about this track by Kiwi comedy duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. They sing with such conviction - This song was released in around 1998 and from my memory the video clip which is set on a beachfront promenade on roller-skates is very funny...This song makes me want to sing, dance, giggle, smile, and LOL - a perfect pairing for Undies on The Beach and some good light relief for this part of the exhibition.
 

No-Religion.jpg

Join The Jesus Army

In 2020 I asked the Catholic Church how I could be de-baptized or removed from the baptismal register. I'm not against religion per se, just against religious organisations run by pedophiles and functioning like a business, but not paying tax like the rest of us. I was informed I couldn't be de-baptized but could instead tick NO RELIGION on the next census to have it counted.  This piece is a statement about the immutability of baptism and  This piece was a finalist in the 66th Blake Prize and was exhibited at Casula Powerhouse in early 2021. 

MUSIC TRACK:
Dear God by XTC
I vaguely remember this song which came out when I was about 14. I came upon it when I was looking for songs about god or questioning religion... which was a minefield of actual songs devoted to god. Apparently, this song was inspired by a series of books with the same title, that contained letters from children to God. Andy Partridge, the lead singer of XTC who was already wrestling with his belief, saw the books as exploitation of children which is why the song starts and ends with a child reading a letter to God. 

Reflecting-Light-LR.jpg

Redemption

This piece is about giving yourself permission to be feel the beauty of the world -There are some Aroura style Northern Lights in the sky above which symbolise good fortune and the blessings of the souls of our ancestors. loved drawing this artwork and it came quite intuitively. While many of my works take hours and hours of sketching and perfecting in sketch format before I take them to paper, this one just seemed to roll out of me very quickly.

MUSIC TRACK:
Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips
I was only introduced to this song formally when I started planning for this exhibition and asked my friends on FB what songs or artists made them cry or feel something special. Apparently this song was in the movie Crazy Heart (great movie BTW) about a washed up country music star (Jeff Bridges) who after several broken marriages tries to rebuild his life... however, it seems like its more famous for being in the TV series Gilmore Girls which I have never seen. Either way, Its a beautiful song and Sam Phillips is now a regular on my music playlists.

Music is my Religion

MUSIC TRACK:
Time (You and I) by Khruangbin
I wanted a funky cool track for this piece 
 

Praise-Beats-Clos-Up.jpg

Transcendence

I sketched this piece on my iPad after I learned of the death of someone I didnt know that well, but who I liked very much.  

MUSIC TRACK:
Transcendence by Sean Costello
The first time I heard this piece of music I cried. For me it's the ultimate bittersweet song - It's sad, but its honest and it fills me with with sorrow and joy together. It makes me appreciate being alive and the 

Transendence-LR.jpg
The-simple-things.jpg

The Good Life

The Good life had another life called Distraction, and was actually commissioned for an exhibition called Human On The Wire about how technology is becoming part of humans. It was animated using Augmented Reality and showed how the mobile device can distract you from th

MUSIC TRACK:
How Good is Life by Tex, Don & Charlie
I knew I wanted to end the exhibition where I started, with an artwork that spoke of hope and of the a beautiful tomorrow, and somehow I found this incredibly poignant song by Tex Perkins , Don Walker and Charlie Owen. How Good Is Life is beautifully simple - its not full of instruments, or special effects or back up vocals - it just three voices and a keyboard reminding you how lucky we are to be alive. 

Ahhh .... How good is life!