29 December 2011

the great coffee plunge - printing tea towels

Just before Christmas, I signed up for a one day intensive, tea towel screen printing course at the sensational Harvest Workshop in Brunswick. Absolutely love what these guys do - alongside creating their own wonderful products, Harvest Textiles (the umbrella business) organises textile and screen printing classes, design markets, pop up shops & exhibitions.

I had screen printed before, but quite some time ago. The lovely Elissa Sadgrove & I had an exhibition at West Space many moons ago, where we used tshirts to represent a kind of storyboard for a little obtuse narrative we created with stylised graphics - about wombats, weather gods & forces going horribly wrong!

Creating smaller one off prints at one's leisure is a helluva lot easier than setting up a mini production line in a really small window of time. I looked as though I had run a marathon by the end of the course, but was super pleased with the end result. I could unfortunately only print four, so three have found new homes with family (chrissy presents), and one remains with me. Definitely would like to pursue more printing on fabric in the the not too distant future. But due to lack of space, I'm thinking of playing around with smaller stencils and the good ol potato. I do like the idea of a vegetable being a piece of image making equipment!

25 December 2011

silly season

Thank you for your wonderful support throughout the year, especially since posts have been rather sparse! May you all have a lovely Chrissy (if it's something you celebrate/acknowledge) and a truly fantabulous year ahead.

17 December 2011

an evening of quirky love = etsy front page

1. Jevgenia Masks / Yevgeniya Kilupe 2. mck254 / Mimi Kirchner 3. Little Peche Jewellery / Maxine Turnock 4. ninon 5. Recultivation 6. DearDeerDesigns / Dan Leanio 7. AustinModern (US) 8. AnimalFancy / Donna Sanna 9. Foxglove Pearly / Kitty Valentine 10. Paris Couture Antiques11. David Met Grace / Marina Sheridan 12. Sandra Eterovic 13. Herman Marie 14. Karenscottage 15. dadadreams 16. lascosasdibujadas / Mariela Pessah

I'm a just little excited. I recently arrived home from spending a lovely lunch with old friends, jumped online to check my email, and found a whole lot of new people on Etsy had included me in their circle (ie, they can now follow my favourites list - of objects, shops and treasuries/galleries). It was really quite out of character to get so many at once, so I logged into Etsy, and lo & behold, my most recent treasury (where you create a 'gallery' of things you like from other shops) had suddenly received over 400 views. Reading down the comments, it seems the above collection of quirky goodness (meant to be a bit of fun, but I would seriously be elated to receive any of these as a gift - {hint!}) made it to the front page of Etsy. I'm really rather superbly chuffed - especially since I haven't even got around to getting my own shop up and running yet!

So pleased all the wonderful artists and vintage shops in this profile were able to receive the glory they deserve. Noice. Very very very noice indeedy! (The last image of the plate has been added in, because the plate I actually chose from this shop has disappeared from the listing - it's still a great one though). I do receive a lot of pleasure trawling through Etsy to curate a treasury - although sometimes it can take a rediculously long time! You can head here to view more of my favourites unearthed in this sensational handmade/vintage universe.

30 November 2011

in search of inaudible quarters...

Climbing out from underneath it all, he found a surprising amount had changed. You had to know, of course, what it was like before he went under there in the first place which is, it has to be admitted, not easy from this angle. But there was snow, a marauding army had emptied his larder, his 12 sons were all practising their brass instruments under fruit ladened trees, a small carousel was turning to a merry jingle and there had been windows – many windows. Change is a difficult animal to muster and master. The views would be missed but it definitely seems quieter.

... written in response to this drawing - by Malcolm Turner

> @ lowrise projects

29 November 2011

the blue path - lost & found

If ever there were a tale of a treacherous journey across the seas, then this is it! And how very apt, considering the imagined stories that have inspired these works.

Let's back track a bit... Renilde De Peuter
of AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS is a wonderfully talented gal who makes all sorts of things, and is probably most well known, particularly through the blogosphere, for her delectably poetic needlework. I fell in love with her practice a little while ago, posting a small example from her worm hole series here, and have continued to follow her career. So it was to my absolute delight to discover that Mr Kitly, a super fine shop and gallery space on Sydney Rd in Brunswick (beautiful wares by the way... driven by a strong Japanese aesthetic), has also taken a fancy to "our" Renilde, and now carries a range of her mobiles, pin cushions, cushions & pot holders. It's no surprise that I was even MORE delighted to hear that Renilde had been invited to participate in the exhibition 'Denim' at Mr Kitly, a material investigation into the use of denim in craft, art and design curated by Dell Stewart. All the planets seemed to be aligning!

But alas, disaster struck. Renilde's contribution 'The Blue Path' didn't arrive from Belgium, and infact became officially 'lost'. Terrible stuff.

Fast forward... two and a half months after the exhibition opening, lo and behold, Renilde's package finally arrives! Fortunately, the exhibition that was scheduled only occupied the floor and the middle of the room, leaving the back wall available to hold a kind of satellite exhibition dedicated solely to her 'The Blue Path' series. The lovely folk at Mr Kitly even held a scumptious afternoon tea of homemade goodies to celebrate.

I popped in the following week, and it was sensational to see her thread & fabric pieces in the flesh. A couple had already sold, including the large cross stitch (which was so great), but fortunately one of my faves was still available
- one of the 'St Elmo's Fire' squares - check out the top image. There was no doubt that the right thing to do (despite of course a questionable bank balance!) was to purchase it without delay! It is beautiful and delicate to handle and such a well considered size (kinda large denim pocket scale) - with two tiny little hoops made from cotton to hang it. How lucky am I.

> Renilde's beautiful blog
> Renilde's flickr

> Mr Kitly
> Maker's profile @ Mr Kitly

> 'Denim' exhibition blog

20 November 2011

kids & art & appreciation

from left to right:
1. Seating for rehearsed aeronautics | 2. Advancing in familiar light
3. Birds ascending at c minor | 4. Outing for uncertain pursuits
5. Lessons in landscaping with music | 6. A league of shadows

An enormously warm thank you to everyone who came to the exhibition (in the rain!) on Saturday at Lowrise Projects. Not only did you all make my opening a super special one, you also bought half my drawings!! I'm so very very chuffed & honoured. The feedback was incredible, and the book with Malcolm's writing (& little b/w snippets of the drawings) received really fabulous praise. He's an uber talented lad & it's such a shame he wasn't there to enjoy it - but Estonia & animation goodness were-a-calling. I'll do a bit of formatting in photoshop and post the book in its entirety soon. Here's a pretty bad photo of the cover to inspire curiosity in the meantime.

The images posted above are the six that sold on the day. And the most interesting thing was that the first three were chosen by kids and bought by their wonderful parents. I love this outcome. I don't consider my drawings targeted at kids at all, but the fact that they have sparked their imaginations and engaged them in conversation is about as good as it gets.

Many thanks to Melanie & Jeremy for being such gracious hosts and for getting all the drawings up onto the Lowrise Projects website - I'll aim to get them onto my own website el pronto.

17 November 2011

a gentler approach

It's funny seeing all the drawings on the wall together for the first time. This lot lack an edginess that has been evident in earlier work - heck, there's no axes, or guns, or decapitations, or burnings, or volcanic heads, or missiles, or nudity. They're all... well, kinda 'nice'. Maybe the gorgeous (but devious) cream Stonehenge paper I used, subliminally directed the whole thing!

a little example from the last exhibition at Chapman & Bailey
...ok, it was one of the sillier works!

it's a good day for a hanging (of art that is!)

Well, it's finally here! Soon I'll be heading over to Lowrise Projects in Richmond to hang a suite of 14 drawings - all doneski. Somehow I've managed to pull this off whilst working full time. The image above is another little sneak peek, inspired by time spent in my current place of work.

I still have to finish making pocket size booklets with wonderful fictitious passages by Malcolm Turner (Director of Melbourne International animation Festival & my partner in crime) that have been penned from planes, hotels & animation festivals in Germany, Poland, Portugal, Estonia & London, in response to images of my works emailed by moi from afar! Unfortunately they won't be available until the opening on Saturday, so if you pop in before then, don't forget to come back to grab one. If you're in Melbourne, please say hi on Saturday between 4pm & 6pm, otherwise the exhibition runs until 17 December - full details are in the last post.

24 October 2011

score for forming chords & crossbars

I thought it was time to post a sneak peek from work being developed for my upcoming solo exhibition at Lowrise Projects in Richmond - a wonderfully intimate, light-filled, converted warehouse space recently set up by the lovely Melanie Flynn, former gallery manager at Karen Woodbury Gallery, and her partner Jeremy Smart. They are also the folk behind Artsphere, which provides a very fine website service for artists.

I popped into the gallery on Saturday and absolutely loved the current show - delicate black & white photographic and graphite works by
Genevieve Swifte, conceived from her residencies at the Upernavik Museum, Northwest Greenland and the Photomedia Workshop, The Australian National University School of Art. These stark, minimally rendered landscapes, although small, still managed to expound such a strong sense of place - it would be truly brilliant to head to this part of the world.

There’s no doubt that my quirky, colourful drawings which will follow this show, will present a somewhat blaring contrast!

… and here are the all important details!

helen gibbins
a scenario for perfect placement: score for forming chords & crossbars
18 november - 17 december 2011
opening: saturday 19 november 4-6pm
lowrise projects
level 1, 32 wangaratta street, richmond, victoria
gallery hours: thursday-saturday 11am-5pm

11 August 2011

careful... plated love is addictive

Since I can't seem to get my act together to make some work for my Etsy shop (ho hum), I decided to push the ol' inspiration button by creating my first Treasury. I definitely have developed a love of hand painted, hand drawn & stencilled plates, and grouping this little collection was an absolute delight, although far more difficult than I anticipated! And of course... I found myself buying a couple... oops.
But hope is on the horizon! I'm very excited to be having an exhibition in November, so during the next couple of months the creative juices will be flowing to develop a new body of work. Already I'm dramatically overthinking ideas and fastidiously bookmarking images of inspiration. Good lawd I know how to over do this stuff... I've never thought of myself as an obsessive compulsive, but alas!

17 July 2011

work / life

My copy of Uppercase's 'Work/Life 2' Directory of Illustration has finally arrived from Canada and as predicted, its chocoblock full of visual and written wonderfulness (check out the little flick through video they've created here on Vimeo). I can't help but love these kind of publications... carefully considered little windows into creative lives... and Uppercase knows how to do it exceptionally well. Not only are their magazines a delight to behold, their other self published projects are so obviously made with great care and passion. Two other books I've purchased from them include the Camilla Engman edition from the Suitcase Series and The Elegant Cockroach written by Deidre Anne Martin and beautifully illustrated by the talented Stefanie Augustine.

1.The Elegant Cockroach 2. Sandra's image as featured in WL2
(angle match of antennae and fishing rod, & seated positions are purely coincidental!!)

Stephanie's profile is one of many included in Work/Life 2 alongside Melbourne's very own Queen of quirkiness Sandra Eterovic (remember I bought her delicious sailor!) - and many of my other faves including Mia Christopher, Christiane Engel, Camilla Engman and Sandra Juto. And I was delighted to be introduced to new artists such as Lesley Barnes and Caroline List.

04 June 2011


Goodness, did I really think I could keep posting in the lead up to the festival... silly me! Looking forward to the beginning of July when I can get back on track here and get some drawing done. In the meantime I've been busy designing programs, passes (see below), posters, marketing, compiling, updating the website... and everything else in between. I did manage to dart away to enjoy bday celebrations with a dear friend today, and above is the collaged card I made this morning when I should've been working!! Super enjoyable getting glue encrusted finger tips when days have been so computer based.

08 April 2011

sneaky critters

When I was away, I took the time to seek out some air drying modelling clay and actually allow myself to have an unadulterated play. No sketches, no preconceptions, no over thinking... it was just a matter of grabbing a chunk of goo and seeing what happened (although somehow, I think I may have been channelling 'The Lost Thing', or maybe Benconservato!). I haven't done this for such a long time, and it was so damn enjoyable. They were made quite quickly, detailed with a bit of yellow water colour, and then placed out in public (in corners, on stairs, on shelves). To my delight, they all disappeared. I saw one guy pick one up, check to see no-one was looking, then pop it in his pocket. A perfect outcome!

03 April 2011

liz hobbs

Most splendid greetings! It has been such a long time, so it’s great to be back. I’ve recently returned from a trip overseas where I presented two Australian animation programs at OFAFA in Krakow, Poland. The festival principally screens Polish animation, but has slowly been branching out to include a number of highlight sessions from different countries/festivals in its programming. Contemporary Polish animation is absolutely flourishing after what has been difficult times, so we’re thrilled to be screening 2-3 focus programs in MIAF this year.

On my way back to Australia, I spent a few days in London. Due to exceptional timing, my colleague from LIAF invited me to attend a Women in Film and TV panel discussion with three uber talented animators/directors currently working in the UK – Suzanne Deakin, Elizabeth Hobbs and Magdalena Osinska (now working at Aardman). The session made me realise how irregularly these type of events are held - straight forward Q&As with creatives simply chatting about their processes, influences, techniques, work spaces, families, beginnings etc. Wonderfully honest and enlightening stuff. It reminded me of being back in uni, and got me thinking about what could be organised here in Melbourne.

A screening of everyone’s work preceded the talks, and it was just so good to be reminded how brilliant they all are. But for me personally, it was the joy of seeing Elizabeth’s outstanding work, one after another on a big screen – a pure treat.
Lithe brush strokes and dobs, rich in pigment, bead and ensue – while intelligent writing and stunning narration – most often by Liz herself - draw us deep into her watery world. It’s unfortunately just not possible to appreciate her fluid textures on the internet.

She described her studio - a spare bathroom where she works over the bath itself – the image was so compelling in my mind that it’s made me seriously review the excuses I make regarding the shortcomings of my own work space! Time to make better use of what I have.

> Liz's website, her YouTube page, her fabulous blog: news from the bog
> Suzanne's work profiled on Slinky Pic's website
> Magdalena's work on Vimeo

12 February 2011

card for misinformed birthday

It's great when at the last moment you can whip up a birthday card for a friend so as not turn up empty handed, but not so great when you write 'happy 40th' when they are only turning 37. Apologies dear Andy! It's just that I've been waiting so loooong for some of my friends to turn 40 - I thought this was her year! Doh!

It's been such a long time since I made coloured paper collage cards, and I have to question why, as this was an absolute joy to create in the 30 minute window of time I had - I get the feeling deadlines are a good thing for me!

09 February 2011

a view from above - circles

Since my fingers seem to be incapable of drawing, I found myself in an impromtu moment (15 minutes before leaving for the Yarra Valley wine region for our anniversary!!) capturing a few circles. It was uber fun, despite terrible lighting. Here's a list of what you're looking at (left to right).
1. My absolute fave, the kitchen door knob. Looks like a paper mache planet!
2. A good ol vegemite lid. For those you unaware of Australia's favourite spread (certainly not mine, can't stand the stuff!), it's a thick dark brown gooey smelly yeasty sludge that folk slather on their toast, on crackers or in sandwiches. Yuk!
3. This type of wafer with cracked pepper or herbs has taken off here in a big way recently. They were always available in good delicatessens, but every single company out there seems to be producing them. Very fabulous with Tasmanian smoked salmon, Maggie Beer pear paste (South Australian) and King Island (a brilliant foodie island between Victoria & Tasmania) blue vein cheese.
4. Just to add a bit of colour. We do all love a container of coloured paper clips!
5. One of three beautifully crafted hand held wooden percussion objects brought home from the Bauhaus Museum in Berlin many years ago. Wish I had remembered to write down who made them. The ball in the middle rotates, and the whole thing is kinda representative of a wooden flying saucer. Nice.
6. Died paper twine left over from Xmas. Perfect for all matter of things.
7. The top of the head of a set of babushka dolls of Russian presidents. Guess who this one might be?!
8. An inside peek of a glass candle holder. I do like a captured bubble in the sun.
9. Jelly! Mango & pears.
10. One of those castor cups to put under your chair/couch to avoid scratching the floor. Never used because they were too big. This one comes complete with a hair.
11. Candle in a glass. Lucky you can't see the charred pantry moths in the bottom. Silly bastards, do they not know that flame & wax = impending horrid death?
12. There's not a lot of these left around the neighbourhood. A metal garbage bin survives the wheely bins. Goes exceptionally well with a Hills Hoist.
13. An Aerogard lid. Yet another Australian iconic product, to help keep the mozzies (mosquitoes) from sucking your blood dry! More than happy to spray myself with this stuff and reduce my life span, than to be bitten by these opportunistic little critters (just like pantry moths) - as they come from far & wide for my blood.
14. M's new plunger juicer - fresh orange juice for brekky.
15. A rather disgusting (now that I look at it this closely) kitchen sink plug. The texture here looks a little like a mushroom - though definitely more rubbery and devoid of flavour.