Wednesday, 28 January 2009


It's been almost a week, but that doesn't mean there's no treasure being found. That happens EVERYday! I've been nursing a cold, getting out and about if I'm not making my art, and participating in others' art projects, such as this one yesterday evening... I love collaboration!!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

and on women...

Some things I like on women are:

1. a vintage, perhaps 40s dress, cinched in at waist
2. desert boots with such an elegant dress - shoes that dress it down
3. and then divinely elegant shoes, that make it a period look almost
4. a man's hat
5. a pair of higher waist tailored pants
6. an ethnic style coat - the real deal...
7. a lovely relaxed chignon to reveal the neck
8. a sharp bob cut
9. a man style suit or even just the jacket (possibly shared with a male companion)
10. a delicate, feminine shirt with pinstripe pants
11. an elegantly, nonchalantly worn silk scarf
12. a folky smock
13. black stockings with seam down the back
14. a heavily tattooed girl with a pretty dress on, despite what my grandma says
15. a dress or shirt that buttons down the back
16. a knitted dress
17. a big cosy mansize sweater

there will be others...

The Sartorialist

Note: For copyright reasons, the images in this post are my own!
My beautiful friend Krisana told me tonight about this wonderful blog for those interested in style on the street, and I'm in heaven browsing this site...

On a related note, after the class Krisana gave tonight, one of my fellow pupils was wearing a pink shirt under his many winter layers and a glimpe of it stuck out from his black overcoat, which immediately caught my attention! It's a nostalgic thing for me as my dad looked great in a pink shirt.

So, for starters... some of my favourite things on men are:
1. pink shirts
2. leather shoes (old fashioned style)
3. leather moccasin style shoes with no socks - not sure if only Italian men can wear this...
4. men riding a bicycle in a complete suit
5. the flourish of a hanky in the pocket of their jacket
6. 'dandy' texture or pattern combinations
7. a splash of colour in an otherwise monochrome outfit, say the socks or that hanky or a belt - a little sign of fun!
8. jumpers, or sweaters as others call them
9. desert boots
10. a man who's not afraid of colour, fullstop
11. a stripey t-shirt

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Beats in Space

Thanks to the previous (Aussie) shop manager where I was working here last summer at Bless (pic of me in the fur hammock on my last day!) I discovered this funky dj Tim Sweeney in New York... Excellent for bedroom dancing!!! Just download a mix and get down!

now for the men...

One hero of mine in contemporary documentary photography is Jamel Shabazz. For the past 30 years his focus has been on the African American neighbourhoods he lives in in New York, looking at the fashion and the culture, and now mentoring and exposing young people to the arts and specifically photography. There is such joy, style and pride in the people in his work!

A favourite film of mine, David Lachapelle's Rize, comes to mind also as another example of how the arts, whether it's photography, dance or music (among many), have an important role to play in helping express peacefully the tough issues in life that we find hard to deal with otherwise. These artforms can be a way out of great hardship, and Jamel Shabazz is a case in point.

Francesca Woodman

For some reason, I feel the urge to gather together influences at the moment and here seems like as good a place as any... I'm certainly not the only one who finds the accomplished work of Francesca Woodman inspiring... perhaps it's something that appeals to the female in me, who was once a girl and who is still navigating her identity as a woman. I find her work so hauntingly beautiful, as if she knew all along her fate (early death by suicide at age 23). She seems to somehow inhabit two worlds in her photos to me, that of the one she lived in and that of the spirit realm, a fleeting presence on earth, and so photography was a perfect vehicle to express and capture these brief moments in time. During her short life (1958-1981) she was prolific but only a small selection of her output has been shown.

I have noticed how many of the women photographers I admire have used or do use their own bodies to explore their identity/sexuality/inner world, and they have silently given me 'permission' to do so too, at various times... Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Nan Goldin, Sophie Calle, to name a few that come to mind now...

Hannah Höch

I'm staring at the postcard I have above my desk of one of Hannah Höch's collages... My friend Ida does the most beautiful collage work and so she sparked the renewed interest in this Dada artist's work...

David Malouf

For Christmas my mother, an avid reader, gave me David Malouf's latest release The Complete Stories and I've been delving into it when the urge for a bedtime story takes me... I'm being reminded how much I love his writing! An Imaginary Life is still one of my favourite pieces of writing, and one which warrants a re-read soon actually!

I discovered Malouf, one of my all time favourite writers, back at school when we studied his first novel Johnno. One of my good friend's parents were writers and knew him personally and so I had the honour to shake his hand as he presented me with a prize I'd won in my final year at school.

Monday, 19 January 2009

anonymous photo

I love this anonymous photo from 1968... it's on my door in my room, along with other inspiration images...

Saturday, 17 January 2009


I was talking to my friend Ida today about the ideal wardrobe, and I remembered a picture I'd always kept of the garment called Tuta that Italian born artist and designer Ernesto Michahelles (known by the palindrome pseudonym THAYAHT ) of the Futurist movement designed in 1919-1920. It was intended as a garment accessible to all, with the pattern being published in the newspaper, and yet became a style statement amongst the Florentine cognoscenti. It still seems a perfectly elegant, functional garment to me, which in our day could be unisex. One thing I discovered tonight about Thayaht is that he designed the logo for the legendary house of Madeleine Vionnet.

Maria Kontis

What is it with the ladies tonight? I'm planning to see the latest show of Australian artist Maria Kontis' beautiful drawings tomorrow at Gitte Weise Gallery, formerly of Sydney. (Gitte and Chris represent a couple of friends of mine, Cherine Fahd and Sarah Ryan, and are warm and wonderful people).

Ever since I first set eyes on Maria's work I loved it. She lovingly (it seems to me) and exquisitely reproduces photographs in pastel on paper, as they sit on a table or a surface, and the poignancy of the chosen pictures speaks to the adolescent in all of us, in this current show.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Joke Robaard

Oooh, just got me thinking about another chance book discovery back in 2004 of the Dutch artist Joke Robaard's work. The book called Folders, Suits, Pockets, Files, Stock, which even made the big move from Sydney to Berlin with me, is one of my bibles of inspiration. She finds a way to bring together all the things I love - fashion, photography, people, gestures, performance, and almost a kind of static dance.


Tonight in conversation with my friend Marco I was reminded of work I love, which I discovered by chance a few years ago when I bought the book of this title. The photographic oeuvre of Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek from Rotterdam utterly speaks to me about why I love fashion and perhaps more specifically clothing worn in everyday life, and then documentary photography. Clothing, whether consciously or unconsciously, communicates a lot about us - how we define ourselves, or wish to be seen/perceived, or with whom we wish to belong... Whether we make any effort or not in the morning when we dress, we always have some kind of relationship with clothing... and this thought motivates me to keep going in my moments of doubt about fashion!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Sang Bleu

Thanks to my photographer friend Liz in Sydney I discovered this gorgeous magazine, based in Lausanne Switzerland, focusing on the wonderful world of tattoos... Being a fan of tattooing, as my friends know, I was thrilled to learn about such a classy publication on tattoos, and Liz suggested I contact the editor about my series of tattoo portraits. So I did, and Maxime liked the shots enough to include them on his fantastic blog. I could spend hours browsing all the treasure on the Sang Bleu blog!!! Obviously the SB team is a fascinating bunch of people... I look forward hopefully to a visit to Lausanne this year to make contact in person, and perhaps get a new tattoo... For all those interested in tattooing, try to get your hands on the latest issue III/IV, a huge double issue which is stunning.

Ursula Rucker

She's not new treasure to me... I discovered her listening to the radio in Sydney back in 2005 - her song words "Can I live up to my own potential?" screamed out to me and I pricked up my ears and listened to what this beautiful woman had to say. And then magically a couple of weeks later I found that she was due to give a concert in Sydney at the Opera House (my favourite building!!!) in the Studio and so I raced to get tickets for the show which was 2 days after my birthday that year, and went with 2 gorgeous friends Nicolle and Céline. That night ended up being very special - I met my dear friend Csaba who shares the same birthdate as me! Ursula was superb - she's a poet and musician from Philadelphia, and her silky smooth voice purrs the most powerful lyrics. Definitely one to check out, and I'm dying to buy her new album!!!! I'm listening to her at myspace below and still getting goose bumps...

Sunday, 11 January 2009

angel's shoes

I found this afternoon, at the wonderful Berliner Antik und Flohmarkt, a beautiful pair of what I'm calling angel's shoes for the show I'm working on... I love these little moments of discovery, pure chance and yet as if these little shoes have been there all along waiting for me to find them... so, on I go with the work!