Sunday, 28 December 2014

Promenade With My Parapluie I - "David Malouf and Friends"

Promenade with my parapluie to
David Malouf and Friends
David Malouf is a man of many talents.  A highly regarded writer, his talents span poetry, novels, short stories, non-fiction books, highly regarded essays, one play and operatic libretti.  A man for all seasons!

A Brisbane man, whose appreciation and insight into our city, has also enhanced the way we look at our hometown, Brisbane.

I remember when I first visited Brisbane as a child…my family referred to it as "The Big Smoke".We would rattle in from Ipswich full of expectation and wonder every Christmas to do "the Christmas shopping".

I remember the big bold trees, the dark shadows cast by them, the beautiful bright light, the wrought ironwork and the white lattice wrapping around many of the grander homes.  Well, Brisbane still has all that of course, but now much more.

David's writing has often been based in and around Brisbane…and his keen eye has helped to open our eyes too.  

This exhibition is a celebration for David, who recently turned 80 grand years.  Here, 5 artists, interpret his writings.


The City Hall…venue for the exhibition.
Come this way, past the lush foliage and into the exhibition.
Anna Carey
I love these works….exactly like the little concrete 'flats'
we would holiday in at the Gold Coast each Christmas!
No bigger than a matchbox…but what fun we had in these flats…rise early,
swim, eat, play, swim, eat, play, sleep.
One of my very favourite artists…..Noel McKenna.
I adore his quiet, his stillness and his simplicity.
The title says it all….yes we're all on
the Crematorium Bus….this ain't a dress rehearsal folks!
Can you see that little man
in the river?  Is he waving to say "hi"
or is he calling "help me".
Depends on your state of being I guess.
Bruce Reynolds
I thought these works were very clever.
The old formica kitchen table as the background for each piece
and a beauiful plaster relief depicting
Brisbane/Queensland things…bats, crayfish.
Do you see the bat hanging upside down?
Many moons ago we had a red formica kitchen table
just like this….and it was edged in chrome!  Extremely 'flash' we thought.
There's the Brisbane River meandering down and across that urn.
Old lino collages….brilliant!
We all had this stuff on our floors in the 1950s…and it was
thought incredibly chic.  Well it is, isn't it?
Love the texture.
Karla Marchesi
My brother kept a lush tropical garden just like this in Brisbane.
Not this colour though!
His was a deep, intense forest GREEN!
Camille Cerise
And here are those grand Brisbane houses wrapped with ironwork
and white lattice, bordered by white picket fences
and shaded by big bold trees.

And now for my interpretations of Brisbane…the series, "A Place in the Sun" completed rather quickly yesterday morning just for fun.  

Lots of big, bold, shadowy trees, white lattice, green and gold….and bright light seeping through. Graphite rubbings of tree trunks form the background to each collage.

Materials used: graphite, ink, charcoal, vintage papers, water colour, coloured pencil, aerosol paint, gouache.

I like working in a series…and sometimes quite fast.  I was on a mission!

A Place in the Sun I
A Place in the Sun II
A Place in the Sun III
A Place in the Sun IV
A Place in the Sun V
A Place in the Sun VI
Congratulations to all….loved the exhibition.




  1. O my goodness, Robyn, so much that resonates here! When I used to travel to the City from the coast in the early 80s I would make sure I really 'dressed up'. Love City Hall and the Exhibition looks great. I haven't read David Malouf. I should. Your collage pieces are beautiful. Xxxx

    1. Yes, we did dress up didn't we. In the 1960s women were known to wear 'gloves' and a 'hat' to the city (or the top of town) as it was known then. Anyway FF try to see the's great. And next door is the Hollywood Costumes Exhibition...totally mindblowing...but unfortunately the owner of the costumes wouldn't allow photographs of the exhibition. Such a pity. See you tomorrow. Ciao, Robyn

  2. You make me so want to come up to Brisbane Robyn. What a great post, thank you so much for taking the time to document while attending the exhibition. Were the works by Noel McKenna on glas? They are amazing and I love the vase collage AND YOUR work. Love that inspiration that takes over you. I completely understand, you have to get it out.
    Thanks again, hopefully see you in Brisband some time...

    1. Thanks for that lovely Soula. Yes, Noel's work was on glass...his work really stopped me in my tracks. Bruce Reynolds' lino collages were magnificent...beautiful in all their faded something one could view in ancient Rome. Now that's something...does Brisbane have a past as glorious as ancient Rome!! And thank you for your comment about my work Soula. I'm going to develop this series....I still have a lot more to pour out I think! Take care. Robyn

  3. What amazing artists! A wonderful insight into the exhibition, thanks Robyn......your collages are fantastic......hate to think you were just relaxing after the Xmas rush!!!! Jude

    1. Hi Jude...well, a girl has to do what a girl has to do! No stopping that creative urge I guess! Look forward to relaxing with you both tomorrow...will be early to bed tonight! Ciao, Robyn

  4. I hadn't realised David Malouf was from Brisbane. Even though I am a pomme girl I love those Queenslanders.

    1. Oh yes, so do I MV.

      Those Queenslanders were wondrous when we were growing up.

      David talks about his days of exploring his home in "12 Edmonstone Street". As he quietly relays his explorations and adventures I can almost see myself crawling under our house at Ipswich...playing in my little cubby hole which mum had lined with old lino sheets. It was my enchanted castle where I reigned supreme. Sometimes I would allow my brother in....but never when his friends were visiting. Because the minute his friends arrived, he would snap from one personna to another and he and they would make fun of my little cubby and tease me relentlessly. Oh the different roles we all play MV.
      I would always have let you in MV....can you just imagine what we would have 'cooked' up!!