In recent weeks, I’ve been reorganizing my art collection to accommodate all the new items that I’ve acquired through various means in the past year. (Many of these are by local, Las Cruces artists, but I’ll post something separate to introduce you to some of them.) More directly tied to WBHD, this reshuffling provided an opportunity to relocate or strengthen my Aussie-related holdings. (Some of what follows may be familiar to old-timers from WBHD1, but bear with me.)
My bedroom is the focus of my Australian art. In addition to various Aboriginal works (not shown here), I restructured the main display wall. My early (1976) watercolor of “Ghost Gum After the Fire” is now at upper left. Below it is the latest Aussie artwork, “Wobbegong Shark” by Jennie Truman, which I just received for my 60th birthday from best mate, Murray Davis, who accompanied me around Oz in a Kombi van in 1975. Jennie is better known as the “Whale Watcher of Straddie” (N. Stradbroke Island, off Brisbane), but has taken up painting in recent years. Some years back, Murray also gave me a small gouache painting by another Jennie, our very own WBHD founding mother, Jennie Gilbertson. It is the smallest of the two “Fallen Leaves” series paintings at lower right. This painting is what directly led me to move to Las Cruces, after discussing New Mexico locales with Jen in 2011, and ultimately also connected me to Catherine and WBHD1. I was able to trade for and/or acquire various other artworks by Jen during my Artist-in-Residence. Shown here is another of the “Fallen Leaf” series, above Jennie’s ceramic “Banksia Lantern 3”. Above the TV is her powerful oil, “Bungle Bungles.” To the right hang two gouache landscapes by Adrienne Williams, “Bottle Trees and Bales” and “Fire on the Mt. Perry Road.” Both came off Adrienne’s studio wall in trade exchange for my WBHD1 watercolor “Fallen Crystals, Pena Blanca” during my residency. Also acquired during my time in Bundy was the trading card painting “Voodoo” by Sonya Holt, which hangs at upper left above the mask. Sonya worked with Marlies Oakley in Marlies’ frame shop and was part of the “Four Artists 1000 Ideas” trading card exhibition conceived by Marlies. This show took place during my time in Bundy and I got numerous paintings from it as you will see. Completing the shuffle, I moved the Aussie print of a Gravilia blossom to the upper right corner of this set. My daughter’s painted shoes with Aboriginal theme design are on the floor.
Sonya Holt’s pair of trading card paintings, “The Sperm Guys” and “Space Relay Team”, bracket Marlies’ “Kunst (Art) Revolution” hanging just right of the closet door in my guest room. This room is now mostly devoted to local artists, which shall be addressed in a separate blog.
Another of Sonya’s cards, “Heavenly Breasted,” hangs to the upper right of the large digital photograph “Sonya Immersed” by WBHD artist Christine Turner, on the wall of nudes in my living room. Sonya is the model, and Chris also used Sonya’s daughter for the model in her WBHD1 artworks. (I’ve not yet framed a smaller version of one of these that Chris gave me.) To the upper left of Chris’ photo is “After the Plunge into Cold Water Creek” by Sue Hutton. I traded my “Shadow of the Bow” painting from WBHD1 to Sue for this painting and a large oil “The Watcher in the Landscape,” which dominates the end wall of my studio (see below).
Two of my watercolors, the local “Onion Field, Mesilla” and the Aussie seascape “Sunrise, Honeymoon Bay, Moreton Island,” hang on the right side of the front wall of my living room. Some of you may remember seeing “Sunrise” unframed during my stay in Bundy. On the left hangs Carey Crane’s map of NM from WBHD1: “Waiting for Sir Richard.” Above it hangs “Sheep” by Robin Wiener Labe. I got this recently from Robin’s exhibition at Unsettled Gallery.
(Catherine and Robin de-installing at Unsettled)
At the same time, I spotted Jean Reece Wilkey’s “Morning Light” hanging in another room at Unsettled. Jean and Robin first caught my attention in 2012 when I saw them both as part of the PRAXIS/Indra’s Net exhibition at the Las Cruces Museum of Art. “Morning Light” was in that show and I always admired it. So it was time to listen to the art gods whispering in my ear and add it to the collection as well. It hangs above my kitchen sink where the jade plant subject can get the morning light. Also in the kitchen are two more gouache paintings by Jenny Gilbertson, of Native American baskets she painted during a stay in New Mexico. They hang below the real thing.
Nolan Winkler’s “Two Palms” monotype print still hangs in its place of honor in my bathroom, where all guests are sure to see it. Facing it across the room is the limited edition signed poster “A Mixed Bunch” by the Grammy’d Australian musician/producer Fiona Joy Hawkins. I met this talented friend at a home concert here in Las Cruces, of all places. She is a painter as well as musician, and has several of my paintings in her own collection in New South Wales. Above is a photo from a joint high school fine arts project that helped cement my initial friendship with Murray Davis when he was an exchange student. And to the left of Fiona’s print is a self-portrait from my 1975 Oz-tour sketchbook.
Last but not least, I was finally able to bring Trevor’s bowl from WBHD1 to Las Cruces (below). I had to leave it behind in 2013 because the exhibition was still ongoing at ChArtS. It made it as far as Murray in Brisbane (Thanks BRAGers!), who then brought it to my mum’s in New York on a visit. From there I collected it a few months ago on my East Coast travels and drove it home to it’s new location in my dining room. It fits in well with the Ming and Delft blues (ahh, to have such cultcha!)
I’ve other Aussie related stuff scattered about, but this recent reshuffling should give a feel for the wonderful relationships I’ve been able to establish though my WBHD connections in art. I’m looking forward to extending that in the coming months as WBHD kicks off and I can share the live collection with Adrienne and Marlies. Can’t wait to see what everyone has produced!