Blossoming in NY

The Australian Botanical Aleph-Bet (Hebrew alphabet) is my latest surge in creativity - a year in development, this series of lino-block prints explores the parallels between the mystic Hebrew letters and the Australian Bush Flower Essences - each image depicts a specific healing quality, reflecting the corresponding letter and the matching flower. One series has been printed on hand-dyed paper using materials from the native bush around the south west of Western Australia, the other series is simply striking in black and white. It is my hope that these images can be used to inspire meditation, contemplation and healing.

Please contact me for prices.

New York, New York

New York City has been everything that I dreamt of and more! Connecting to Jewish Spirituality, the world of fine art and exploring the networks of the New York Jewish Art scene. I was astonished at the warmth, kindness and friendliness of New Yorkers – so overwhelmingly welcoming and helpful in all aspects of life – in the subways, on the streets, in the stores and shopping labyrinths, gardens, public institutions – EVERYWHERE – the generosity of spirit was abounding!

Once again, like in Israel, I managed to catch up with some old friends from Australia and some distant relatives living and settled in New York, as well as making new friends and developing very special connections with a diverse range of like-minded people.

So I got of to a great start - from the soft and ever-so-comfortable landing at Brett Solomon’s spacious brownstone apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn …

On to Sag Harbour, Long Island where I did a printmaking workshop with Dan Weldon (at the Long Island Art League). Dan was the most patient, generous and inspiring teacher and host. With a very full class of women, he managed to get us all doing a range of exploratory prints with some very successful outcomes. I experimented with solar plate etching techniques and consolidated some of the ideas inspired by my pilgrimage from Israel and Turkey.

From fine art to Jewish spirituality, I was blessed with a weeklong emersion into Jewish creative community collaboration at the Isabella Freedman Centre in Falls Village, Connecticut – the Mikvah Retreat. This was an amazing experience, where all participants facilitated their own creative workshops – some of which included, cooking, yoga, meditation, prayer, Talmud, hiking, authentic body movement, textiles and the Midrash, mysticism of the Hebrew letters, Jewish Tarot – I needn’t mention the extent to which I found myself in my element! It was all that our little town of Denmark offers under a Jewish umbrella! I met some incredibly talented women – coined as my New York soul sisters - laughing, crying, caring and sharing life stories. It felt like such an abundance of love. Three of these special women have hosted me throughout the duration of my stay in NYC. With a couple of nights at Eszter Margit’s in Riverdale (NY) and Suzi Finkelstein’s in Albany (NY), and a month long sojourn at Jamie Askin’s apartment in upper Westside Manhattan, where she welcomed me as a virtual room-mate for the entire month!

Jamie’s apartment was a couple of blocks away from the expansive Central Park, as well as what is know as the ‘Museum Mile’ (5th Avenue), where one comes across the Jewish Museum, the Solomon Gugenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) and, not too far away is MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art)…speaking of expansive! These institutions need at least a week EACH to really absorb what they have to offer! Nevertheless, it was a feast for my senses and I was completely green with envy of locals who can experience these collections whenever the inclination arises…

Whilst staying with Jamie, I had the opportunity to attend several Shabbat services at Romemu - a Jewish Renewal service led by Rabbi David Ingber who is a most dynamic and inspiring leader. The services and activities that I attended with the Romemu community have been some of the most spiritually engaging and heartfelt connections that I have experienced so far on my journey. Meeting Jamie's friends and community and getting a taste and insight into her lifestyle allowed me the opportunity once again to feel embraced with acceptance, love and connection and deepened my own feeling of being a Manhattan local for a brief moment in time....not to say that it won't happen in another time and space!

Throughout the month, I did manage to escape the city for a few days’ respite at an old friend of my mum’s in New Jersey. I spent a few days here feeling very run down with a chest infection, so it was a timely and much needed space for recuperation from the incessant and all-consuming pulse of NYC. Lena cared for me as if I were her own daughter – her love and healing were truly appreciated - yummy!


Back to the buzz, I returned to Jamie’s 16th floor, Upper Westside apartment and rented a studio space to print for a week at the Lower Eastside Print Workshop (located midtown Manhattan in the garment district, contrary to what the name suggests). This was yet another brief, but exhilarating and satisfying ‘global’ printing experience! Remarkably, I had a lot of the space to myself - spreading out on every possible surface of bench tops - apparently very rare, in fact reports have it that it is usually a very hectic place with limited space to work. I met a few very inspiring printmakers, one of whom was also visiting (on a regular basis) from Turkey and preparing for a big exhibition in November. I worked on my ongoing exploration of sacred geometry, playing with the repetition and organisation of squares, circles and triangles, to develop ornamental patterns, incorporating the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (also known, as the ten Sefirot in Jewish Mysticism). I also managed to introduce COLOUR into my work - looking at the vibrations and dialogue of colour and non-colour compatibility…something which I am looking forward to developing whilst travelling through New England during the FALL.

Jerusalem: Crossroads of Faith and Culture

Here I stayed with Servas host, Michal Schonbrun, in Beit Hakerem – a quiet and comfortable apartment, centrally located about 10 minutes on the light rail from the city centre. Jerusalem was an informative experience, visiting the Israel Museum - captivated by the Shrine of the Book – a collection of vessels and texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in Qumran in 1947, with works dating back to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.

Continuing my attraction for ancient cobble stoned streets, I was awe-struck walking in Jesus’ footsteps along the Via Dolorosa, from the Western Wall of the Jewish Quarter, through the Moslem quarter and up to the roof top of the Austrian Hospice to watch the sun setting – illuminating the rooftops amid the iconic Jerusalem stone with the golden dome of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. It was an auspicious day to be visiting the Old City, being Tisha b’Av – the day that Jewish people mourn the destruction of the Second Temple amongst other things. I shuffled my way through the throng of Jewish mourners, tourists and locals, and couldn’t help but notice the intensity of theheightened emotions present all around me.

The highlight was the opportunity to print at the Jerusalem Print Workshop. Here, I was blessed with the space to play with some of the ideas and artworks done to date using lino as a medium to print from, not to mention the excitement of connecting with fellow printmakers, mostly local and some visiting like myself. The Jerusalem Print Workshop is an art centre dedicated to the advancement of printmaking – established in 1974 by Arik Kilemnik, the building houses 2 galleries as well as a collection of rare old presses from middle of the 19th century. Its quite something to travel to the other end of the world and meet people who are equally as passionate about the process of printmaking. – it really makes the world a smaller place!

Prints from the Jerusalem Print Workshop

The three of these are lino block prints. The red print spells the Hebrew word 'Bereishit', meaning 'In the beginning' - this is also the 1st word of Genesis. The 2nd print (the black and white in the centre) is a square pattern formed from a grid that appears to be a re-occurring theme in my journey. the third print (red, black and white) is a combination of both the lino blocks - with the red 'Bereishit' printed over the black dots. Another recurring theme in my work is playing with the hidden and the revealed - that which is obvious, literal and 'readable' and that which invites curiosity, mystery and an element of inquiry.

More Highlights from Israel

The Grungrass Family

Call me nostalgic, but I was incredibly honoured and moved to spend time with my dad’s 94 year old 1st cousin, Henek Grungrass, who happens to have an active facebook page, still drives and attends gym classes regularly! I stayed with his daughter Ilana and her partner Yankele in Givataim for several nights. They were very welcoming and really made me feel at home. I enjoyed briefly meeting their son, Eitan –connecting immediately with his warm and friendly disposition.

Visiting the Nencel Family at Beit Lechem Haglilit:

It was wonderful to spend a Shabbat with some old friends who I used to live with in Australia – Jon Robinson and Rani Nencel. Rani lives with his wife, Ella and kids, Guy and Ittai in Beit Lechem Haglilit – a very green moshav near Tivon, just south of Haifa. We had a very restful Shabbat, relaxing at home, meeting some of their friends, playing music and keeping cool. Ella is an artist painting native Israeli flowers – we shared our artworks and a common passion for the native flora of our respective countries!

Tzfat - The Centre of Jewish Mysticism

Its difficult to express in words the inspiration, stimulation and elation sensed in Tzfat this week. the pulsing heart of Jewish mysticism. I've just spent a week in the Artist Quarter of the Old City, wandering the cobbble-stoned streets, sitting in outdoor cafes, sketching, visiting the many galleries, listening to lectures on the Kabbala, listening to the chant of Jewish prayer, meeting very interesting people and learning much about the joy and the oneness of life. Here are some pictures to tell the story.... Chapter 1: On the Streets...

Chapter 2: From the Studio...

Turkish Delights

Nothing like beginning a journey tracing the cultural crossroads of antiquity at the very heart of this intersection - the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Turkey. I rustled through the crowd clicking cameras and found some solace in a quiet corner where I was focussing my attention capturing some graphic details atop an ornate capitol, whilst the local cat found some solace on me.

These are some of my quick sketches responding to the symmetrical patterns and ornamentation around the mosques.

Welcome to my Pilgrimage...

Hi! I have recently embarked on what I am coining as a 'sabbatical' so to speak - an emersion into Jewish culture and creativity. A journey through time, from today to antiquity I shall be crossing cultures from the centre of civilisation in Istanbul Turkey, Israel and the Middle East, then on to New York and beyond. A dream-come-true to invigorate and inspire the senses; to exchange ideas; network with others who share my interests in creative cultural exchange; and to produce artworks in response to these experiences. Please join me on my journey as I share my inspirations, ideas and creativity...feel free to comment or contact me if you are interested in connecting. Enjoy!


  The Eagle and the Boab (Job 39:27 -30)

“Is it by your wisdom that the hawk hovers, spreads its wings toward the south? Is it by your command that the eagle soars, or makes his nest on high, dwelling and lodging in the clefts of the rocks, upon rocky cliff and tower, from there he searches for food, his eyes look out to the distance? His eaglets gulp up blood, and where there are corpses, there he can be found.”