Friday, March 30, 2007

Altered States II

It is happening again, after almost 3 years of inactivity I am about to have another exhibition.

I had my last exhibition, Altered States with my good friend and mosaic artist Diane Schnarr in November of 2004. Since then she has moved to New Zealand and I have become a resident of the Philippines.

In the intervening 18 months I have been working on a way to represent, through my art, the experience of living in Asia. This period of soul searching has not been in vain. The Photospace Gallery at the Australian National University has offered me an exhibition for my latest works in September.

If your in the Australian capital in spring time you will have the opportunity to view my latest work in the flesh, so to speak. Fourteen images printed as canvas giclee prints will be on display from the September 17 to 28.

This Aussie's view of living in the Philippines will be on display. To get a sneak preview of what may be included go to and follow the links to the abstract section of the site and look at the 2006 & 2007 work.

Drop me an email or add a comment here on which works you think should be included in the exhibition.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Another Roadside Attraction

David Franck is an American photographer who has been traveling the byways of his country capturing the street signs of a bygone era.

His images are from an on-going series of road trips documenting America's disappearing commercial landscape from the mid 20th century. They capture a time when free enterprise was more innocent and the 'American Dream' was fully alive. Mom and pop motels, restaurants and liquor stores peppered the old highways and byways, before major interstates were built bypassing small town America.

A selection of David's images can been in his guest gallery 'Another Roadside Attraction' at just click on the link and then follow the links to his gallery.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Shrine VI

This is another Kalbaryo (shrine) from last year's Holy week. As I walk round the Barangay I see all the activity surrounding the building of this years. I can't wait until they are finished. It is Folk Art of the first order. Only 7 sleeps to go. Art all over the suburb, street parades, Easter was never like this in OZ, never this much fun.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shrine III

Another of the 2006 Easter shrines or Kalbaryos as they are known locally. Easter is just around the corner and here in the Makati barangay of Poblacion shrines are popping up on a variety of street corners. Next Wednesday is the deadline for their completion in time for the evening street parade that heralds the start of Holy Week.

Friday, March 23, 2007

As Dreams Go By

A new guest gallery has been added at pissedpoet pics featuring the work of American photographer Mark Velasquez.

Mark's quirky, almost eccentric view of the world comes to life in this series of photographs. Although presented with a goodly amount of humour they portray an underlying truth that can’t be denied.

Click on this link to go to pissedpoet pics and then follow the links to the guest galleries and Mark Velasquez’s As Dreams Go By.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Is Nothing Sacred

The second round of the Saatchi Gallery online art competition “Showdown” is in full swing. The winner of the first of the 12 rounds that make up the competition has been chosen and can be seen at .

In essence Showdown is a popularity contest. The artist who can rally the most troops is sure to be in a more favoured position regardless of the quality of their work. Whether this is a fairer judging criterion than appealing to the prejudices of one judge or showing a horse that looks like a camel to a committee is, for me, an open question. Lets face it, all competitions to a certain regard are a lottery.

I entered the first round of Showdown and received 171 votes, mostly friends and rellies I suspect and perhaps the odd reader from here (see “vote for me” post below). But it was another 171 pairs of eyes on one of my works, which isn’t a bad thing. I will enter again, part of being an artist is being the eternal optimist.

Though there does seem to be something amiss with the voting system. Not being an entrant in the second round I popped in to have a look and express my unbiased (Ü) opinion. Whilst looking at the works I was told that I had voted for several of them, which was news to me. I have a pretty damn good visual memory and although being my second visit for this round they were all works I had never seen before, let alone voted for. It is something the organizers should look at, like yesterday, because someone is voting on my behalf.

If some technowizard has cracked the code and is able to vote multiple times under the guise of being someone else or a lot of someone elses Showdown will fast become a farce. This would be doing Charles Saatchi a great injustice, a man who through his patronage has done so much for art in general and British art in particular.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Electioneering Filipino Style

1. Hire yourself a tricycle and driver
2. Attach a loud speaker to the roof
3. Drive round the streets in first gear
4. Repeat the same short message over and over and over
Repeat steps 1 to 4 each day until election day.
Politicians you just gotta love 'em.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dollars to Pesos

Sending money to the Philippines is an international pastime. The greatest export industry of the PI is Filipinos working o/seas and the countries best source of foreign income is the remittances from the OFWs.
For those working in Australia and for any others in the wide brown land wanting to send some cash to the family in the Pearl of the Orient you would be hard pressed to find a better firm than Phil-Austral to handle it for you.
I have used them some 20 odd times in the last couple of years and have found them to be fast efficient and most importantly honest. All but one of the transfers went through without a hitch and the one that did hiccup was quickly sorted when the best beloved visited their Manila office. Yes they have a physical presence in the archipelago.
They charge $AU8 to transfer any amount up to $9,999.00 and their exchange rate is about a peso less per $ than the going rate, which is better than either of my banks will give me.
So if you want to send some $ to the family check them out at

2014 update
As of October 2014 Phil-Austral closed their doors and are no more.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Five to Go

For the last 4 years artist Fred Siwak from Ipswich in the USA has been sending his art around the world in an attempt to have it photographed in every country. Fred suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, which affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness and atrophy. He is confined to a wheel chair and as he says, has “progressed” to 24-hour breathing equipment and 24-hour personal care.

During the early stages of his disease he used his computer to create lino cut prints which he emailed to people he found on the internet who would photograph his work in their country and email him the result. He has over 2000 photos of his work from 189 countries with the latest being from the Philippines.

Fred's work hangs above the escalators
leading from Makati Ave up to the shopping area
of The Greenbelt in down town Makati.

The project recognizes 194 countries world wide with those missing from Fred’s travels being Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo and Suriname.

If you are in one of those countries and would like to help this courageous guy achieve his goal get in touch with him at and become a part of World Art for ALS Awareness.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The many faces of .......

Another guest gallery has been added at pissedpoet pics.
“The many faces of …….”
It is a photographic essay of a portrait by Dutch artist Dominique Landau. One model, one camera, one photographer, one digital editing suite, one imagination and you get
“The many faces of …….”

You can see this exploration of the portrait at .

Monday, March 05, 2007

Vote for me

I have entered one of my pieces in the Saatchi Gallery's Showdown Competition. It is a rated, popularity contest. It would be greatly appreciated if you would go vote for my piece which can do at . (BTW a 10 would be nice, but I know your are an honest lot and will give it what you think it deserves.)
I wonder if any other readers of this blog are among the 3041 (as at 10.48am GMT 5/3/7) entries? With that many as you can guess their are some stunners and some real howlers, but that is what makes it fun.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Votes are in the Air

The ride home in a tricycle from doing the weekly shop was even more challenging than usual today. Not only did we weave our way through pedestrians, play chicken with jeepneys and other motorized road users, but we took on road repair crews as well.

In the 4 kilometers, as the crow flies, 6 kilometers as the tricycle goes, between the house and the supermarket it seemed that every other road had a “do not enter” sign erected to protect gangs of workmen hell bent on replacing great swathes of tarmac. Not that our tricycle driver paid the signs any heed. Dodging the bobcat loading a lorry with freshly broken slabs of road surface took cool nerves and acute timing.

This surge in activity, according to the best beloved, is due to the forthcoming election. In May Filipinos get to cast their vote for Senators, Congress persons, Mayors and city councilors. The only ones not standing are Gloria and her vice president. As with elections everywhere, the airwaves are awash with politician’s promises and bill boards proudly display glowing sets of hopefuls’ teeth. Whilst also here in the Philippines, the incumbents, to show just how much they care, come and dig up your street.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


This image was captured at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, it started life as a shot of smokers out side indulging their habit. And as it came to life on my computer it transformed into something a lot more general & historical. I can't help but wonder if the current rules we have in place to protect us from ourselves are any more effective than the carved icons under the eves of yesterday.

It is the latest image to be posted in my Imagekind Gallery.
Click the link below to go there.
It is available on a range of high quality art papers and canvas and printed on the state of the art Epson 8 pigment ink printers.
It is truely Gallery quality without the Gallery price tag

Print & frame my art at Imagekind...