Thursday 31 December 2009


scanned images from sand works I created in
the early days of the 90s
into the last day of 09 (I just made it)

These works were made for the Adelaide Festival of Arts
and depict various architectural aspects of the city

In order of appearance an aspect of:
the art gallery
the museum
the parliament

Happy creative new year

"Make your work movements as unhurried as caresses"

Saturday 26 December 2009


Dear Bloggers, blogFollowers and Blogenthusiasts

A BarryBarryXmas and a veggy new year

May 2010 be filled with loveliness
and many surprises of the positive kind

May it also be filled with blogging good words
plus encouraging and cheerful ideas

"If you have a good idea, act upon it"

image from my 'Real Irish' selection

Tuesday 22 December 2009


I have bought a scanner
and I am resurrecting the past into the present.
the past which was documented on slide
into the present of the digital age.

since I have got some 10.000 slides
there is more to come
watch out for it

this image is from the time I worked with sand
as an artist in the street

a commissions for the Food and Wine Festival
in Brunswick Street, Melbourne
titled: 'A Piece of Cake'

'Industry without art is Brutality'

Tuesday 15 December 2009


whenever I visit the Grampians, or Gariwerd, its aboriginal name,
a sculptural mountain rock formation in Victoria, Australia
I am sure to call in at Brambuk,
the Aaboriginal cultural centre

The architect, Greg Burgess, in consultation with the local aboriginal communities,
designed and built it in the 1980s
It withstood the test of time and is a building of great inspiration
filled with symbolic detail.

for instance:
it is shaped in the form of a cockatoo with outstretched wings
as if sheltering its eggs or young
It is made up of five circles which represent the five aboriginal communities
The stonework in the building represents the stone houses and the fish-traps of the area
The poles which hold up the building represent the Framlingham forest nearby
the spiral ramp leading up to the second floor represents the eel dreaming

It excited and inspired me the first time I saw it and it continues to do so

"When a good idea gets out things begin to happen"

Thursday 26 November 2009


I came across this circle just outside
the Aboriginal Brambuk Cultural Centre in the Grampians
(of which more in the next posting)
With its opening in the left hand side, it reminded me
of the spirit line I came across when I studied pottery
with the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico.

There I was told that the opening in the spirit-line,
painted on the lip of their bowls
was there to allow the spirit of the potter to get out
and the spirit of the bowl to get in.
This, I was told, was important, because if your spirit gets caught up in anything
you cannot move/grow anymore
Important advice for the rest of my life......

'Always choose Life'

Monday 23 November 2009


Found Art Compositions

I love these accidental compositions
of the strong 3 dimensional rolled hay bales
placed in large 2 dimensional fields

There is an harmonious order which is the result
of the volume of the crop
in relation to the skill of the harvester

The outcome always holds a certain mystery for me
and hence an annual fascination

'Industry without art is brutality'

Monday 16 November 2009


As an artist I make one painting per year.

I do not use conventional paints for this work.

I use earth colours.

The painting is not exhibited, although anyone can come and look at it,

nor is the painting for sale.

This painting is for eating. Some of the colours taste delicious.....

Early summer.........

All of a sudden the garden is filled with colour.

It seems as if the colours have been waiting underground for the energising rain,

followed by the warming sun.

Not unlike a water-colour painting where pigments wait for water

to manifest in all their glory on the surface of the paper.

The various pigments in the garden come

from the seeds and seedlings which I have sown and planted at the end of winter.

I am working on this huge painting for pleasures of

the aesthetic, working and relaxation kind.

Occasionally I eat a bit from one of the corners of my painting.

Some of the colours taste delicious.

The orange of a freshly pulled carrot.

The red of a ripe tomato dropped into my hand.

The purple of a richly filled aubergine.

The bright yellow of a capsicum.

The various viridians of lettuces, spinach and other leafy greens.

all enhanced by the blue of the sky, as reflected in the bird bath.

Magic and loveliness abounds.

"The poet and the gardener, both nourish the world"

Friday 13 November 2009

a Gang-Gang gang

The other day
when enjoying a quiet cup of tea on my veranda
I was alerted to a new sound in my space
and there, not far away, I spotted a Gang Gang.
The first such bird to ever visit my garden
(or the first one I have ever seen there)

this discovery made my day
coloured it in the tone of happiness

"for man is by nature an artist"

Monday 2 November 2009


If I were a woman
(which I am not)
If I were considering marriage
(which I am not)
I would definitely use this as a wedding dress

"honour the playfulness of spirit that lets everyone win"

Tuesday 27 October 2009


the other evening I walked into the garden
and, using a knife, I cut a bunch of silverbeet stalks
took them inside, cut them up and washed them
leaving them in the water for a while
I returned to find this beautiful
and intense colour experience

I am grateful for all I receive,
especially small mercies
and visual surprises

'The Poet and the cook, both nourish the world'

Saturday 24 October 2009


Ian Jowett: 'Fly', metal

Ian Holton: 'Cedar Trunk', Recycled wood

Lynn Ashton: 'The Ark', Found wood

Images from the Art from Recycled Materials Exhibition
plus, below, opening remarks delivered by me 24 - 10 - 2009
exhibition runs from 25th Oct. - 1st Nov. 2009
Creswick Victoria, at various venues

Each work in this exhibition is like a book, written in two chapters. The first chapter is the story of what the work used to be and the second chapter the story of what it has become.

You can start to read these works by realizing that the beauty of this kind of art-making lies in the magic act of transforming the material. An act of love, involving both the artists’ hands and heart.

You can start to read these works by realizing that the beauty of this kind of art- making lies in the fact that we can enter and enjoy the process on any level. That recyclable material, as we can see all around us, is capable of true magic.

Each of the works in this exhibition started from what most makers would call a disadvantage, the artists brief, asked to use recyclable materials and useless stuff, fit mostly for landfill. In all cases, this turned out to be the defining feature of the work.

Thanks to the nature of art there are no rules, and thus it was easy to start from the premise of ‘anything is possible’.

In addition, the works in this exhibition also explore the makers’ skills. Wonderful skills. Most works seemed to have arrived at the understanding that the magic of the artist’s work does not lie in the expense of the tools and materials, but in the knowledge of the hands. And that, in the main, it is the limitations of the materials that have created the art.

Recycled materials, as we can see, do not necessarily mean less sophisticated work. Most of the true magic, of that on display, came from working with that which was available, and finding that inspiring and invigorating. This gives the work its potency, while at the same time, allowing the audience a whole new point of view into the process of art making.

This exhibition contains many stories but, besides the story of re-cycling, it is basically just the one story. The story about the true wonder of everything.

Sunday 18 October 2009


a view of spring

With the blue grey greens of the winter forest, for a background,

Spring's palette is emerging with wonderful brilliance in the garden.

As bright as the colours squeezed straight from the artist's tube:

Dobs of Yellow in the cups of the daffodils,

Splashes of Red around the tulips,

A hush of Blue of reflected sky in the bird bath

Shades of Purple in the Dutch Irish,

A Flush of Orange in the wall flower display

While a fresh sea of Green fills in the remaining space.

Spring's rainbow springing about.

'Trust The Day You Get Into'

Wednesday 30 September 2009


beak made bowl, clay/earth and bird spittle
The nest filled with down feathers
Detail of nest, coloured feather enhanced

Each September the swallows return to the safety of the veranda
they fly around and find a place for their annual nest building
this year they rebuilt an old nest
which a few days later, fell onto my day bed.
They started all over again
as if nothing happened
their aim, a nest, whatever the cirumstance

"To be made visible by the sight of another" anne michaels

Monday 28 September 2009


this image greeted us at the car park of
'the Garden of St. Erth'
where we viewed a garden about to explode
into spring extravagance
Everything was restrained,
held back,
but ready to bloom into a myriad of colours
mid October should be a good time to visit

thought: they are great gardeners, but lousy coffee makers

"every flower is a watercolour" anne michaels

Tuesday 22 September 2009


On the way home from a journey to the coast
the evening before the Spring Equinox
I noted the moon in the sky
a golden bowl drifting slowly down to the horizon
while contemplating the absolute beauty of that
I remembered my time with the Pueblo Indians
who called this manifestation of the moon
'The Receiver'
(which set me off on the path to making bowls)

The next morning I noted the evidence
of the bowl spilling its gold into the landscape

"The Best Is Yet To Come........"

Monday 7 September 2009


Yesterday, on a different way home,
from elsewhere and otherness,
I came across this wonderful, and surprisingly poetic, image.
A copse of willow trees.
It inspired the artist in me
with its soft pencil drawing like quality.
A minor moment of beauty awe

"Get outside everyday. Miracles are waiting everywhere"

Sunday 30 August 2009


when nature's summer garments
have been removed
one by one
by autumn
and autumn herself
stripped bare
by winter
I find
in the early exposures
the inner drawings
of tree life

patterns and structures

into the domain
sacred geometry

"Without vision, people perish"

Friday 28 August 2009


this is a small daffodils garden bouquet
around here it heralds spring
then, in many places in the forest
similar bouquets spring up
showing us where houses used to be
(around hundred years ago during the gold rush)
and if you investigate you usually find evidence of a fireplace
the hearth, the last remaining remnants of previous occupiers

"The Best Is Yet To Come"

Tuesday 25 August 2009


It started innocently last week
I had in mind to start my vegetable garden
but an hour into the project it started to rain
I came in and decided to make a cup of tea
and noticed how grubby the enamel pot was
when I washed it I also noticed all my enamel collection
on the top shelf had years of dirt accumulated
I washed each item
which led to cleaning each item in the whole of the kitchen
I then washed down the shelves, that done
went to the hardware shop and bought a tin of warm ochre paint
and painted the whole of the kitchen

"when a good idea gets out, things begin to happen"

Monday 10 August 2009


This morning I fed 'the Supremes', my three black chooks,
some left over food in a white bowl.
When, some time later I came in the collect the bowl
I was rewarded with an intriguing, and very beautiful, pattern
left in the bowl after picking it empty

'Getting lost and finding your way again'

Monday 3 August 2009


This is an image of the entrance, plus the first sign which greets you,
to an exhibition by Len Lye

An inspirational exhibition at ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne,
featuring two aspects of Len Lye's creative career.

Part one: many examples of his work with film
where he manipulates the actual film
draws on it with colour
scratches it with various tools
all accompanied by jazz music of the era (the thirties)

Part two: Kinetic sculptures which with their strong lighting
and precise movements
created not only the most astounding shapes as a result of the movements
but also a joy in the audience which was palpable

The exhibition is on till 11th October
it is free and well worth a visit

"you must give birth to your images, they are the future waiting to be born"

Wednesday 29 July 2009


Fungi, Lichen and moss
delights of a winter forest
discoveries on my daily walks
same walk, different scenery
today it was wet, dripping, misty
which made for an introspective kind of walk
walking from and to the warmth of a wood fire
simple pleasures

"If you observe well, your own heart will answer"

Friday 24 July 2009


"Mirror on the forest floor
what's revealed behind this door"

After last week's winter showers,
every where I walk I find rain-mirrors
scattered in the forest,
pulling clouds from the sky
and light into dark forest places.

'The Man who never in his mind traveled to heaven is no artist'

Wednesday 22 July 2009


The other day I found myself parked in front of a Freedom store.
Liking the name, I wandered in.
Inside I found a wonderful metal salad/mixing/storing bowl
I took it from the shelf and held it. It felt good.
then I looked inside.
Behold, the world as a 'bend' entity

I took home the bowl plus its ever changing contents

"watch what you are doing you maybe making a memory"

Saturday 11 July 2009


This is an image of Mt Franklin
a magical park inthe bowl of an old vulcano
somewhere near Daylesford

It is poetically inspiring anytime and any season of the year
recently I made a visit, well before this welcome rain
there I was in the magic of the trees' geometry
standing ankle deep in a wonderful autumn leaf carpet.
the nutty fragrance was delightful
you get the picture
there was, however, one discord
two workers (and I have no idea who employs people to do these wasted tasks)
were using a leaf blower, moving leaves away from certain areas.
the sense of which was completely lost to me
Think of the sound
and the breeze which returned the leaves
and completely wasted the effort
Crazy world

"reality is the invention of unimaginative people"

Wednesday 8 July 2009


Another magical moment in the home garden,
there for the taking.

It had just rained and the skeletal branches
of the birch trees
supported numerous raindrops.
Each one reflecting the world around it

all of the draped tingling veil
suspended in front of the colourful foliage of the oak,
the last tree to shed its leaves
autumn in winter
leaves waiting for the new growth to push them off
'time to go colour, green is here'

"The mysterious is not how the world is, but that it is."


some images which did not make it with the stories.
This is the last you hear of my SA journey

"The things we see but don't marvel at anymore"

Tuesday 7 July 2009


In the beginning
The I-Ching I threw before building the house
neglected clay house under boat-like roof
Greek Icon

Strong memories of building my own nest/house from clay
(Not unlike the swallows under my eaves now)
clay made into bricks from the earth the house stood on
and so started the house around the concept of a sunken floor
A whole house build without electric power
But basically with the use of a hand saw, drill and hammer.
All this under a roof like an upturned boat
The prow facing the north, cutting the strong winds which buffeted the house

Strong memories of building my first studio
And creating my first exhibition in it
The result of an 8 year travel experience
The one which set off my ceramic career proper

Strong memories of living with Sophia, a Greek Icon Painter
And sensing her feeling of isolation while creating her exquisite religious icons
All this and much, much more came to the surface during my visit
to Nelshaby and the family Pearce, who made the depth of the experience possible

all the while realising

“that one’s ignorance grows at the same rate as one’s experience”