Art of Woman

One Year of ‘Life with Endometriosis’

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It's over a year since the launch of ‘Life with Endometriosis’. A good time to think about what has been achieved. I have hear the stories and feelings from 20 women with endometriosis. Twenty lives disrupted. Twenty careers impacted. Twenty families struggling with consequences of living with chronic illness. Every story makes me more determined to raise awareness of endometriosis.

Endometriosis affects women worldwide, so I’m showing my photos at talks and entering exhibitions worldwide.

Photos from ‘Life with Endometriosis’ have been show:


Repeating themes I have photographed include:
  • illness disrupting commitments,
  • attitudes of managers and colleagues to time taken off work,
  • the hidden nature of this disease,
  • difficulty and painful moving the body,
  • internal organs stuck together,
  • major surgery such as bowel resection,
  • depression and self harm,
  • fighting the disease,
  • painful sex,
  • help from friends,
  • the need for carers,
  • infertility,
  • miscarriage,
  • IVF,
  • motherhood,
  • resilience and positive attitude.

‘Life with Endometriosis’ is raising awareness by making endometriosis visible


Life with Endometriosis is a simple 3 stage project:
1.
Tell me your story. It is totally up to you what parts of your life you tell me about - by email or phone.
2.
Make photos. I think about how to translate into photos and email or phone to discuss suggestions. We plan photo sessions and have fun taking photos. You may like to make art too.
3.
Display photos. I prepare the photos for display. They can be used in talks about endometriosis, in art exhibitions and in an art photo book.

I’ll continue to listening to women’s stories and experiences with endometriosis until May 2016.
Like and Follow on Facebook.com/lifewithendometriosis
Contact me if you would like your story to help raise awareness:
lifewithendo@artofwoman.com.au.

Life with Endometriosis



Endometriosis? What is THAT!!

Watch a YouTube video invitation to joint me and become part of “Life with Endometriosis”:
'Life with Endometriosis' invitation by Margaret Kalms (YouTube)

Life with Endometriosis - invitation YouTube by Margaret Kalms

Endometriosis is a debilitating and painful women’s reproductive disease. It is surprisingly common. It affects 10 - 15% of menstruating women. This rate is similar to women with breast cancer. While many people have heard about breast cancer, few have heard about endometriosis, even fewer understand the impact of endometriosis on women's lives.

There is still prejudice in talking about pelvic pain. Many people believe that menstrual pain is somehow normal! This results in delays in diagnosis that can extend pain and suffering unnecessarily. I decided to use my art, my photographic skills to challenge these ideas and prejudices, and to raise awareness of this insidious disease.

I’m dedicating an exhibition and an accompanying art book to this cause. "Life with Endometriosis", I call it. I imagine a gallery filled with art - several photos about each story from a dozen or so women and possibly including art created by some of the women. The accompanying book will be a lasting record of “Life with Endometriosis”.

Since August 2014, I have been meeting with women who live with endometriosis and have made recordings of their experiences. Progress with photography has been slower than I hoped because of delays and postponements due to ill health - which is all part of the endometriosis story. I am committed to this project. This will be a journey over many months, maybe years, as we visually explore the impacts of endometriosis on women’s lives.

I’m excited about the visual and photographic challenges this project will bring. It is a privilege to learn about other women’s lives and tell their stories.

Contact me: lifewithendo@artofwoman.com.au

Follow and Like - Facebook.com/lifewithendometriosis

Touch - the best art installation you will never see!

Touch is an intimate sense we largely ignore in public. It can be dangerous to touch because of the risk being misunderstood. Watch a crowd in public and you’ll see that we very carefully avoid each other.

It is pushing boundaries to have an art exhibition that relays on touch - we may bump into another person unexpectedly, or trip and hurt ourselves, or break something. Welcome to the world of vision impaired people who have to deal with these issues every day!

On Wednesday evening, 2 July, I was invited by my friend, Leonie Pye, to the opening of Touch - an installation exhibition held at the Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre, Canberra. Touch is an initiative of Canberra Blind Society and Tuggeranong Arts Centre as part of Community Cultural Inclusion Project (CCIP) and facilitated by artist Tony Steel.

After the formalities of speeches and the usual mingling with friends, we were allotted into groups to go into the installation. What an exciting experience! We had to take our shoes off and put on hospital ‘booties’! We placed our belongings on a shelf (which was watched by a staff member), then we were blindfolded! Each group is allocated guides to aid us as we go through the installation. To find our way around, there is a rope on the floor that we feel with our feet. Each artwork is marked by a piece of carpet which we can feel with our feet, so we know to put out our hands to feel for the artwork.

It is quite disorienting to be blindfolded in a public place and to try to touch things. Experiencing the art by touch is new to me. So many galleries and exhibitions explicitly state ‘Do not touch’.

There were artworks on the walls, on the floor and suspended from the ceiling. Sometimes I walked into the art; slats of wood, strings of beads and pieces of textured cloth draped over me as I moved through the exhibit. Other times I had to reach out to touch the artworks or my feet crunched on autumn leaves, or sand or pebbles.

In my lack of experience with this type of ’seeing’, I found it hard to understand the ’story’ behind some of the pieces. Leonie’s artwork was an exception. She had a shell shape with a sand texture and a shell sculpture inside. When I put my head inside, I heard the sound of the ocean and I listened to Leonie reading from her children’s story, “The Little Shell”, complete with a blessing at the end. It was a beautiful immersive experience.

A little further on, I felt a shoe. Logically, as my hand traced over it, there was a foot inside and slacks. Further up there was a knee. At that point I wondered, “How far do I put my hand?” Do I reach up further? “Is this a man or a woman?” Then laughed to myself, I don’t really want to know! Although it was not a real person it was funny.

The exhibition had an amazing range of textures, shapes and contrasts including: soft and hard, hot and cold, wet and dry, stable and moveable. I could have explored for longer, but time didn’t permit. I’ll go again with another friend. The exhibition is on until 12 July 2014.

Leonie Pye and friends going into Touch exhibition_9914 sm

Last days of "Eye of The Beholder"

Leonie Pye opened the Eye of The Beholder exhibition of Belconnen Artists Network, at Belconnen Community Centre Gallery on 26 March 2014. Some people commented that it is an irony that a blind woman would open a visual arts exhibition. Artistic expression is a way of beholding that goes way beyond the visual and includes experience, emotions and ideas. Eye of The Beholder exhibition showcases many different viewpoints and ways of beholding highlight some of the diversity of human expression such as;

  • A portrait of Leonie Pye’s experience of beholding from her guide dog’s point of view, negotiating the hazards of life,
  • Viewing Lake Eyre from a bird’s eye view,
  • the camera becoming the beholden,
  • the repeating images from the eye of a bee,
  • owl’s eyes delicately drawn yet piercing,
  • a multi-facetted sunset to sooth the soul,
  • an modernist geometric reminiscent of Escher,
  • questioning the stereotype of artist and model.

The artists represented in this exhibition have a wide range of skills including photography, sculpture, painting, drawing and textiles. They have exhibited in Canberra, interstate and internationally.

Go and see the exhibition quickly, it closes on Friday, 4 April.

Margaret looking into Richards eye_8489 sm

Looking into a glass orb created by Richard Lamond. Inside the iris are many facets of mirror so when I looked in, I saw dozens of eyes flashing back at me. Looking inside to look at myself! Stunning.

Australia's Governor General visited TIME art exhibition

On Tuesday 19 March 2013, the Governor General Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO attended “Your Community Our Community Seniors Expo” a celebration of Seniors’ Week in Belconnen Community Centre. She included viewing TIME art exhibition as part of this Expo.

TIME art exhibition is Belconnen Artists’ Network contribution to Canberra’s 100th birthday. We all count our birthdays from a babyhood to maturity, but time is a lot more than counting. Several artists have articulated how time affects our lives including the ageing process and death. Time does not stop with our death and the generations grow and continue and life evolves into new forms. Artists have a role in articulating abstract or difficult concepts. Many aspects of time are explored in this exhibition, revealing nuances beyond our normal everyday experience.

One notable artist is our oldest member, Rena McCawley, who is a skilled photographer and regularly exhibits with our group. She is nearly 97 and is a great example of active older age fully engaging with the community.

Ms Quentin Bryce met Rena McCawley. They spoke together for several minutes about a range of topics related to art, photography and becoming a senior. It was clear that Ms Bryce enjoyed seeing such an active and lucid senior artist.

Rena’s work, “Generations of Time” is an exploration of four generations. She has captured the joy and cheekiness of the child, the grace and joy of motherhood, the relaxed pace of grand parenting and the sense of triumph in ageing well. A family likeness flows through the composition like mirrors reflecting successively into the distance.

Other artists that met Ms Quentin Bryce were Diana Davidson, Pauline Mager and me, Margaret Kalms.

TIME art exhibition is being held at the Belconnen Community Centre Gallery until 28 March and will be opened by Dr Eva Papp from the Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences at 6:00pm on Wednesday 20 March 2013.

Ms Quetin Bryce talking with Rena McCawley talking about her photograph Generations of Time
Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Rena McCawley visit TIME art exhibition

Ms Quetin Bryce talking with Margaret Kalms talking about her photograph Once in a Blue Moon
Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Margaret Kalms visit TIME art exhibition crop

Ms Quetin Bryce talking with Rena McCawley and Margaret Kalms
Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Rena McCawley, Margaret Kalms visit TIME art exhibition crop

TIME

Time-Once in a Blue Moon-Margaret Kalms ©
Once in a Blue Moon

Belconnen Artists’ Network is excited to announce—TIME—an exhibition at the Belconnen Community Centre Gallery from 18-28 March 2013 (26 Chandler St, Belconnen).

TIME exhibition will be opened by Dr Eva Papp from the Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences at 6:00pm on Wednesday 20 March 2013.

The Belconnen Community Centre Gallery is open from 9–5 on week days from 18-28 March 2013.

This exhibition’s theme of time is most appropriate as Belconnen Artists’ Network’s contribution to the centenary of Canberra.

The artists have explored multiple facets of time in extraordinary ways through physical changes, analogy, symbology and philosophy; using a wide range of media such as photography, sculpture, painting, digital media and textiles. The meanings and impacts of time are expressed in personal ways reflecting how each artist responds to and interacts with time.

Some of the ways the artists describe their work are:
• Natural peaceful contemplation
• Direction
• Lost time
• A moment
• DNA
• Aging process
• Life is finite
• Extinction/creation
• Geological earth time

Artists represented in this exhibition have a wide range of experiences and have exhibited in Canberra, interstate and internationally.

TIME builds on their successful exhibition in the Belconnen Arts Centre last year and positions Belconnen Artists’ Network as a significant artist’s group in Canberra.

The opening speaker, Dr Eva Papp has experience interpreting visual imagery with remote sensing, multispectral imagery and mapping. Her deep knowledge of geological time gives her experiences of time on an expansive scale. It is a great honour to welcome Dr Eva Papp to the Belconnen Community Gallery to open the Time exhibition.

TIME - review by Margaret Kalms

Download an invitation for the exhibition and opening on 20 March at 6:00pm.

Map showing the location of Belconnen Community Centre Gallery. Note: it is near the library and ACT government shopfront.

Map of Belconnen Community Centre Gallery

First Ladies - Significant Australian Women 1913 - 2013

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia. There is a wonderful exhibition of women who have achieved firsts during their lives. The exhibition is open until 16 March.

It is alway humbling seeing great people and this exhibition is no exception. These women have achieved so much, overcoming significant opposition and even antagonism. Although a small exhibition, there are only 26 portraits, it is very memorable in the variety of fields that are represented. I thoroughly recommend a visit. You will be inspired.

I have written a short review focusing on several women whose interests and achievements compliment this blog.

Download the review:
First Ladies - Significant Australian Women 1913 - 2013: A review by Margaret Kalms

Period Piece 2012

Unleash Your Creativity workshop was a complete success. There was a full attendance and the women were engaged and enjoyed themselves. A lot was learnt and many anecdotal stories were told. It was a venue where personal experience was valued and added to the discussion. My art generated animateds debate and gave the attendees ideas that they had not thought about before. I thoroughly recommend any future workshops presented by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer. Together they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to give to women.

My photos are on display at the Awareness Centre, 41 Abbeville Rd, in Clapham, London, until 2 December 2012. They are printed on A3+ 310gsm Canson rag archival art paper. These photos are a part of my Period Piece collection and are not the ones as on My Woman Art Gallery page.

You can buy prints from Period Piece 2012.
Simply make your selection from the Gallery Shop page. Find the image you want, set the number of copies you want to buy (multiple copies are available), chose the paper style (either inkjet glossy or Canson rag paper) and click ‘Add to Cart’. Your payment will be managed by PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account; major credit cards are accepted.

Prints ordered will be printed and posted as soon as possible. Allow 10–15 days for me to arrange printing and shipping. Prints will be posted in a tube by registered post; shipping times are determined by the postal agencies involved.

If you wish, you may buy art print/s from ‘off the wall’ at the Awareness Centre in Clapham, London. Email me to get a coupon to waive shipping costs. Then make your payment through PayPal from the Gallery Shop page. Email the exhibition organiser, Chrissy Thirlaway to let her know which print/s you are buying. You can collect your print/s from the Awareness Centre at the end of the exhibition on 3 December.

Copyright in all images is owned by Margaret Kalms. Purchased prints may not be copied, photographed or reproduced.
If you are not happy with your purchase contact me within 30 days of delivery to arrange a refund and to return the print. Costs associated with returning any prints are born by the buyer.

Download Period Piece 2012 - catalogue

Alexandria and Sjanie at the workshop
Alexandria and Sjanie at the exhibition

Unleash Your Creativity

It is with great excitement that I invite my followers in London to an exciting workshop hosted by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, at the Awareness Centre in Clapham. Alexandra Pope is a co-author of the well known book, The Pill: Are You Sure It’s For You? (Allen and Unwin, 2008) and author of The Wild Genie: The Healing Power of Menstruation, (Sally Milner 2001). This workshop is designed to tap into women’s deep creativity through intimate body awareness. Women’s Quest describe the innovative workshop as follows:

you will learn about the 4 key stages of the creative process and how they are intimately linked with the inner seasons of your cycle.With this understanding, you can: • Discover your secret time for accessing ideas, inspirations and visions • Find a natural motivation and finally give procrastination the boot • And learn about the vital role of the inner critic, and how to harness its power to serve rather than destroy what you are doing

I fully support my photos being used to enhance this workshop for women's creativity. My photos explore different meanings and symbolism associated with menstruation. I have used my own experience, the experiences of friends and relatives and learnt from myths and the images generated by the language women use for the body and slang euphemisms. My photography suits this workshop very well.

Unleash Your Creativity Workshop: 10am-6pm, Sat 29th Sept 2012
Where: The Awareness Centre, 41 Abbeville Rd, Clapham, SW4 9JX www.theawarenesscentre.com
Cost: £85/£50 (students) For concession please apply
For more info: Phone: 07974388973 or info@womensquest.org
The photos will be hanging in the Awareness Centre after the workshop until the end of November.
Women's Quest News 2012 Unleashing Your Creativity

Ginninderra Journeys

Another exciting exhibition!

Ginninderra Journeys explores the varied responses of the artists of Belconnen Artists Network. I had a sneak preview on the weekend and there is some stunning work...
  • Several wall hanging style textile arts combine fabric, thread, dying techniques, fabric painting and collage.
  • A representation of Ginninderra Falls painted in relief positively shimmers. The volcanic rocks emerge like children’s blocks from the canvas, offsetting a forest background with a twisted tree featured.
  • A peaceful poem, inspired by a visit to a prominent park in the region, is surrounded by graphite and charcoal palm fronds.
  • A woollen cloak billows in the breeze that wafts by as someone walks past. The cloak is embellished with embroidered spring flowers and a lavish felt flower clasp.
  • A suitcase, covered in the dust and stickers of many travels, is marked by the hand and footprint of its owner as if she is about to arrive at any moment and continue on her journey.
  • A tourist town is featured in bright colours in axiomatic projection like a Chinese map. All the landmarks are immediately recognisable and brightly coloured.
  • A fun night panorama with model cars driving to to enjoy the lady of the night.
  • A hospital facade with windows filled with the journey of life starting with birth and ending with death and many body dramas in between.
  • Four lizards expressing different aspects of the river’s personality.
  • A parliament of frogmouth owls chicks sit together on a log ready for their maiden flight.
  • Travellers with horses explore the National Bicentennial Trail.

I invite all my followers to the opening on Friday 7 September, 6:00pm at the Belconnen Arts Centre.

Download invitation

Illuminated Musings - Review

I’m excited by a review written by Rosemary Blemings, assistant secretary and conservation officer for Field Naturalists Association of Canberra. She is an active member of Park Care groups and participates in many environmental activities around Canberra. Her review will give you an insight into my work in Illuminated Musings. She has captured the passion and meaning I aim to convey with my art. I have communicated!!

Illuminated Musings

After a period of quiet, thoughtful contemplation and practical focused work, I have created a new body of work which I am calling Ecology, Theology, Photography. It is Easter time and many people think more about God and theological things at this time of the year. I'm excited to let you know about an unusual and thought provoking exhibition.

Science, Art, Theology, Ecology - these are usually very different realms with the specialists in each field having little connections with other fields. Illuminated Musings merges these disparate realms into an enjoyable and educational experience. The exhibition is inspirational and breaks new ground.

Illuminated Musings, two local artists joining together to explore the art of abundance with encaustic paintings and Bible ecology theology with photography and montage. 

Susan Hey's encaustic paintings highlight the small delights of life in a traditional style of art using layers of wax, paint, collage and objects. Her work invites the viewer to notice everyday blessings and joys. Her work has a depth and beauty that engages the viewer and invites contemplation.

Margaret Kalms' art brings the Bible into the modern world merging science, theology and art. She brings a fresh interpretation to nature based Bible verses, using photography embellished with three dimensional objects including real ants on pins which are on loan from CSIRO entomology. This merging of ideas articulates difficult topics such as, extinct species, sustainable harvesting, weed management and the origins of language.

See Illuminated Musings at Strathnairn Homestead Gallery, 90 Stockdill Dr, Holt. The exhibition is open on Saturday 7 April, Sunday 8 April (Easter) and Friday 13, Saturday 14, Sunday 15 April 2012. Artists' talks on Saturday 14 April 2012 at 3:00pm.

Strathnairn Homestead Gallery has a pleasant cafe which serves lunch, coffee, tea and cakes and it is set amongst rural gardens and artists’ studios.

The exhibition is free to visit so bring a friend and come and have a pleasant outing in the countryside in west Belconnen, Canberra.

Abundance is watching a dragonfly_2160sm
“Abundance is watching a dragonfly” encaustic painting by Susan Hey
Life is a blessing. The simple things in life can delight us and inspire us. This dragon fly is fragile and has a short life, but the joy it gave will live on in this exquisite painting.


Not one sparrow falls to the ground without your father knowing_2152sm
“Not One Sparrow Falls to the Ground without your Father knowing” digital photograph and bird by Margaret Kalms
Matthew 10:29
The sparrow and crested pigeon are dead. Life and death happens around us all the time. Most of us, living our busy lives, do not notice when other species die unless it is a farm animal or a pet. God cares about the lives of all of his creation. Humans have a huge impact on other species, individuals die and whole species die. They die because of human actions. God knows when each bird (or mammal, or frog, or flower or tree) falls to the ground. There is an arrogance in the human enterprise when we think we can destroy so many living things without any consequences - as if God does not notice!

Illuminated Musings Poster

IGAD - International Gynaecological Awareness Day

I’m so excited to announce the inaugural celebration of IGAD (International Gynaecological Awareness Day) in Canberra!! This is a day to build awareness of women’s intimate health.

There is still embarrassment and reluctance by many people to frankly discuss diseases and problems with our sexual organs, even with health professionals. Some women find that problems with their vulva or periods are not investigated thoroughly because they are not visible. Some women suffer for years in silence as a result.

SHFPACT (Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT) are hosting an event celebrating women’s intimate health. Tim Bavinton, the executive director was so impressed with my art, he suggested that I exhibit my work in the SHFACT Training Room as part of the IGAD celebrations. This is a great honour.

IGAD will be opened by Professor Frank Bowden at 7:30pm, 10th September and the exhibition will run from 12-23rd September. Prof Bowden is the professor of medicine at ANU and has recently published a book, Gone Viral -The Germs That Share Our Lives.

My art photos will be for sale as signed limited edition (25) prints, on archival rag paper. When I exhibited at PhotoAccess last year, I donated to endometriosis research and this year when I exhibited in Sydney in March, I donated to UN women Australia. During this exhibition at SHFPACT, I will donate 5% of sales to SHFPACT and 5% to endometriosis research.

International Gynaecological Awareness Day, a day to realise how intricately and wonderfully God made women - and God made all parts of women good.

Download the invitation.

"Period Piece" exhibition in Sydney - bigger and better

I’m very excited to announce that my solo exhibition, “Period Piece” will be exhibited in Sydney, opening on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2011 at Polymorph Art Gallery, Level 1, 7/82 Enmore Rd, Newtown, NSW.

There will be 20 photographs on display! Since my solo exhibition last year at PhotoAccess, I have done more photography and added 10 new photographs. All are original art photographic prints and are available for sale. This is a limited edition of 25, signed by me and printed on archival rag Canson paper.

It is my great honour to introduce Dr Sue Beautum, MBBS FAMAC who will open this exhibition. Dr Sue Beautum has had a life-long passion to be a doctor with a special interest in women and children’s health. Since the 90s she has been fascinated by acupuncture as a therapy and has incorporated this into her practice. She received the John Woodley Memorial Prize for her academic achievement, being top in Australia in her acupuncture studies.

Dr Sue Beautum often combines western medicine with acupuncture, using acupuncture as an adjunct to or alternative to drugs, many of which have unpleasant side effects. Like traditional chinese medicine, she sees women as part of their environment. She takes a holistic view of healing. In many cases, painful, heavy periods can be managed by acupuncture. Regulation of the menstrual cycle can be achieved in many women with the use of acupuncture. Later in life, acupuncture can ameliorate the symptoms of menopause reducing reliance on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

Dr Sue Beautum agrees with my aims of giving women’s intimate health issues a voice. She sees that good communication and good imagery can open the dialogue between women and health professionals.

I will be raising money for UN Women Australia during this exhibition.

Here is the invitation to the opening. Invite your friends and join with me for a drink and nibbles at Polymorph Art Gallery,

7:30pm on Tuesday, 8th March, 2011, International Women’s Day.

Where: Polymorph Art Gallery
Level 1, 7/82 Enmore Road, Newtown, NSW, Australia
9519 8923
www.polymorphbodypiercing.com.au

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 11am - 7pm, Sat 10am - 7pm, Sun 11am - 6pm

"Reconciled Rejections" by Cheralyn Darcy

On the weekend, I was excited to be able to visit an exhibition by Cheralyn Darcy, “Reconciled Rejections”. She has an amazing range of skills which she uses to express her talent and vision. Her work is varied including sculptured bird figures, assemblage, collage and a human sized bower! This body of work was themed on birds and their interaction with humanity. The birds were made from found objects and were a combination of natural and human made materials. Most of the natural world has to adapt to human influences and incorporate human materials into their existence. Using found objects is good for the environment and brings new spiritual life to discarded objects. Our culture discards things too easily, without thinking of other uses and possibilities.

Cheralyn does not criticise our waste. Instead she transforms it and creates beauty.

The birds are appealing to us to think of them within all our clutter. The Galah is holding it’s egg, but it was broken, exposing the inside. Unexpectedly, there was no downy chick inside, instead there were clockwork cogs and mechanisms almost like the egg was a ticking time bomb! Is this how we have treated birds? Is this the consequence of modern living?

These sculptures provoke different thinking about bird and human relationships.



I am greatly honoured that Cheralyn will be exhibiting with me next year from 8-20 March at Polymorph gallery, Newtown.

Opening of "Belconnen Ways" exhibition

On Sunday, BeAN (Belconnen Artists’ Network) proudly opened its annual art exhibition, “Belconnen Ways”. It is held at the Church Gallery at Gold Creek in Canberra. Thirty works of 13 artists are on display, articulating their unique experiences of living in Belconnen. BeAN always produces a show with varied works and this year is no exception.

The Church Gallery is a small heritage cottage behind the George Harcourt Inn. It is surrounded by mature trees and lawns which create a peaceful setting.

As you come in the door, you are greeted by a mannequin wearing unique chic clothing made from a textile called Ozifelt, a blend of merino wool and silk. This fabric is soft to touch, light to wear and warm, yet does not feel too hot in summer. A perfect fabric to wear during changing seasons. These clothes are designed by Sue Berger.

Along the walls are photos by Jimalyn Lawless, Margaret Kalms, Pauline Mager and Nancy Hamilton. These photos show aspects of Belconnen in unexpected ways, some showing themes that are often overlooked. Paul Haslam and John Hamilton have thought provoking collages. Also included are painting digital art, drawing and work with fire.

I have four photos in this exhibition.

Overall the exhibition is an experience to treasure.



Download the catalogue.

"Period Piece" a success

My recent solo exhibition, “Period Piece” was a success. Many people came to the Huw Davies Gallery to see it. The photos generated some animated discussions about women’s bodies and about menstrual health. Many women were deeply touched to see images that articulate how they feel on the inside. There were even some men who had discussions with me and developed some understanding of the deep impact menstruation can have on a woman’s life. It was very encouraging to realise that my art photos had communicated sensitive issues so effectively.

During my research for this exhibition, I was alarmed and shocked by the extent of suffering that women with Endometriosis experience. Endometriosis can be an extremely debilitating disease and it is not well understood. Many women suffer in silence because this disease is so unseen. One of my aims is to articulate this pain in a way that affirms the dignity of the suffering women and promotes further research into treatments.

I pledged a portion of the sale proceeds to be donated to Endometriosis research. Several images sold permitting me to donate $186 to Endometriosis research.


The opening night of “Period Piece”

"Period Piece" - 20 May to 6 June 2010

Exciting news!

My solo exhibition, “Period Piece” will be held in the Huw Davies Gallery, Manuka Circle, Griffith, ACT.

Period Piece is a statement of respect for women’s bodies, not a response to men’s fantasies. The subtle eroticism and sexuality are used to express what being a woman feels like, with a focus on what menstruation means and feels like in emotional and philosophically symbolic terms.

Because all clothing is a product of a particular culture and time in history, many of the women in “Period Piece” are naked. Nude bodies reduce the distracting influences and are therefore timeless. I use black and white to represent any woman regardless of ethnicity. These images express experiences common to all women.

In many cultures and in the past women have been taught to feel shame about menstruation. There are many rituals and exclusions that frame the menstruating woman as dirty, polluting and someone to avoid. My photographs challenge these prejudices and tabus. My images are confronting, dramatic and surprising, but they are also beautiful and designed to enhance women’s perception of themselves.

Secrecy, prejudice and lack of knowledge can have health implications for vulnerable women. It is difficult for some women to candidly discuss their menstrual problems even with doctors. This body of work helps to open that dialogue. To support women’s health I am donating 10% of sales towards endometriosis research.

I am thrilled that Dr Anne Sneddon, specialist from Canberra Endometriosis Centre will open this exhibition.

The exhibition features 14 original digital photographs printed on archival rag (Canson) in a limited edition of 25 signed prints.
“Period Piece” images are not shown on this website. Ten of the images have not been exhibited before.

You are invited to the opening at 6:00pm on Thursday 20th May.

PlanEx10 Art and Craft Show

Every year, for the last ten years, Canberra Friends of Plan have hosted an Art and Craft Show to raise funds for a development project. This year the money raised by PlanEx10 is going to projects to improve access to clean water and sanitation for schools and the community the Kisarawe District, Tanzania.

Canberra Friends of Plan wish to thank Bob McMullan MP for opening the PlanEx10 Art and Craft Show in Canberra on Friday 27th November. I took some photos of Bob McMullan, one is posted on his website.

Bob McMullan MP is the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance and Member for Fraser. He is also a long term supporter of Plan International. He opened the first Plan show ten years ago and has maintained an active interest over the years. His opening address covered many issues including access to clean water and sanitation. These issues affect girls and women more directly than boys and men. In many parts of the world, including Tanzania, girls and women have the responsibility of obtaining the daily water for the household. This may require walking many kilometres or queuing for hours at a village well or pump. Improving access to clean water and sanitation has obvious health benefits. It also frees women from hours of drudgery, giving them time to learn skills, improve farming or develop businesses.

Bob McMullan also promoted the book "Because I am a Girl" which you can download from Plan's website:
http://www.becauseiamagirl.com.au/the_evidence.html.

He described how his own daughter’s life has been influenced by sponsoring a girl of similar age. His daughter noticed some similar interests and she saw the common humanity of girls the world over. His daughter also noticed the extra work load and pressures that poverty places on girls in developing countries.

This year was the best show ever with the most number of paintings sold, the highest value of craft sold and a great number of visitors.

Over the years, the Plan Art and Craft Show has supported local and emerging artists some of whom now exhibit regularly. The quality and professionalism of the artists was impressive. I exhibited three images; "Angel of Life and Death", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Red Riding Hood".

Below are photos I took at the opening.

Bob McMullan and Tricia Frake


PlanEx10 Art and Craft Show 2009


I exhibited three images; "Angel of Life and Death", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Red Riding Hood"

Naked Flames - Escape ArtFest 2009

This spring has been unusually cold. It was clear that the number of visitors to Escape ArtFest were down on previous years. Even some of the hotels had “Vacancy” signs. Despite this, Naked Flames was well received and the opening was well attended.

Again there was an interesting variety of arts - textiles, sculpture, paintings and photographs.

The theme of Naked Flames was articulated in various ways. Jodi Stewart had passionate lovers embracing in private to contrast with Barbie Robinson's public kiss in Paris. Pauline Mager's photographs of women were imaginative fantasies that contrasted with Malcolm Smith's more direct, sharply articulated and carefully constructed style. Ian Baird had a candid photograph of a group of revellers enjoying an evening show. Richard Lamond and Paul Haslam created amazing flame sculpture with wood and metal that reminded me of the destruction of forests, yet it had a symmetry and grace that reminded me of a Lotus blossom. Alan Baptist's skill with drawing was a delight to behold. His work is amazingly detailed. Marie Lund showed the secret love of bees deep within flowers.

There were many other interesting artists at this well received show.

Here I am with two of my images at the opening.

The Century Project

Recently, during research for my art, I saw the very powerful photography of Frank Cordelle.

Frank Cordelle has created a photography exhibition called “The Century Project”. He has photographed girls and women from birth to 98 years of age. These are women who have faced struggles and problems with their bodies. Their stories, in their own words, accompany the photographs. Some of the stories are confronting, some are angry, some are sad, some are joyful, some are a triumph. All of the stories are intimate person experiences.

Frank has photographed the women in the nude to express their vulnerability and their humanity. Cloths can enhance some parts of the body and hide parts of the body we find difficult for various reasons. Cloths express culture, social status, occupation and wealth. These nude images cut through much cultural clutter and gets past assumptions and prejudices to see the real woman underneath. Sometimes clothes hide things so well that health issues are not address properly and the woman does not even know what is within the normal range for a female for her age.

This project is extremely important. Even healthy women struggle with body image because the media display so many ‘perfect’ images of women’s bodies all around us. When women have health and other body image problems, they can feel that they are inferior somehow. The shame some women feel about their bodies can restrict and limit their lives. For example, many women limit their participation in sports, especially swimming. These limitations are unnecessary, often inconvenient and in some cases even harmful.

The Century Project gives women dignity and a voice. It has changed the lives of some women who have felt alone, disregarded, afraid and ashamed of their struggles. This project has given many women the courage to treat their bodies with respect and inspired some women to get the medical care they deserve.

The Century Project is beautiful and has been shown in 63 colleges around the USA and has been viewed by thousands of people.

You can obtain your own personal copy of the exhibition in a book called “Bodies and Souls”.

Naked Flames

You are all welcome to come to the opening of “Naked Flames” as part of Escape ArtFest 2009. This is a group art show held from Saturday 3rd to Sunday 11th October 2009.

Hibiscus Gallery
15 Wallaroy Drive
Burrill Lake NSW

Opening celebration, 4:00-6:00pm Saturday 3rd October, Hibiscus Gallery.

I have been working on a few photographs that show my interpretation of Naked Flames. These are new photographs, not seen before, cheeky, unusual and a bit provocative. One of my images has been chosen to publicise the show on the official ArtFest website. Just click on the Naked Flames tab.

Heavenly Bodies opening

What an amazing feast of artistic expression! Heavenly Bodies exhibition opened to a full house. Artists and guests enjoyed a stunning array of interpretation of Heavenly Bodies. Included were figure studies by Marie Lund, mythic bold sculptures by Terry Fuller, life's meaning explored by Lyndy Delain, delicate paintings on emu eggs and original fashion by Marlene Greenwood and fragile carvings in cuttlefish bone by Kylie Douglass. Helen Nugent had bright playful mythic images which contrasted with soft drawings by Allan Baptist. Kaoru Rauter explored diverse styles with great skill and stunning effect. Kerry Shepherdson demonstrated skill in cubist style and Wanda Bridgland made a social statement. Barbie Robinson told a story in digital photography and I continued my theme of women's symbolism with three digitally blended photographs.

A big THANK YOU to Hibiscus Gallery hosts, Chris and Wanda Bridgland.

The exhibition runs until 12 October.


A real angel and devil came to the opening of Heavenly Bodies - Photo Richard Robinson


A drink at the opening - Photo Bryan Kalms


Two of my photos, 'Angel of Life and Death' and 'Cosmic Woman' - Photo Margaret Kalms

Heavenly Bodies at Escape ArtFest 2008

Yesterday, I entered three photographs in the 'Heavenly Bodies' exhibition as part of Escape ArtFest 2008;
- Monthly
- Cosmic Woman
- Angel of Life and Death

The exhibition opens 20th September 4-6pm and continues until 12th October.

Body Language

What a wonderful weekend! The opening of Body Language exhibition, part of Escape ArtFest 2007, was attended by many of the participating artists along with friends and supporters. An exciting atmosphere developed as artists discussed their various works and interpretations of 'Body Language'.

Photo copyright Margaret Kalms

The works were varied in size, media and style from the exquisite cuttlefish bone carvings of Kylie Douglass to a large bold collage by Thea Wooten. Faith traditions were represented including Julie Williams' reclining Buddah and Lindy Delain's blending of the human elements with symbols of the land. Emotions were shown by Marjo Jones' detailed figurines and Ken Ball's soft focus photographs.

The variety of styles was inspiring. Together they made a very powerful statement about the diversity of our bodies and how we give them meaning. Some of the works were confronting and bold in addressing difficult issues such as bondage and menstruation. All of the works were beautiful.

It was an honour to be a part of the celebrations. A big THANK YOU to our hosts Chris and Wanda Bridgland whose work preparing and promoting the exhibition was rewarded with a stunning opening.

The exhibition runs until October 6th 2007 at Hibiscus Gallery, 16 Wallaroy Drive, Burrill Lake, NSW.

Escape ArtFest "Body Language" exhibition

Escape ArtFest 2007 is an exciting festival of events being hosted in the Ulludulla region of NSW south coast, Australia. For 16 days a celebration of artistic talent will flourish in this normally quiet region. There will be a range of events, workshops, music, film and video, literature, art walks, sculpture and exhibitions and even prizes! Check the Artfest calendar.

I am excited about entering an exhibition called "Body Language" being held at the Hibiscus Gallery, 15 Wallaroy Drive Burrill Lake, from 22 September to 6 October 2007, open daily 10am to 5pm. There many very talented artists participating in this exhibition. Their varied contributions will make "Body Language" an exciting event.

Currently I am preparing six photos for this exhibition. Five of these photos are new and have not been shown anywhere else. They are not posted on this site.

Three of my photos are the sub-theme of "country girl", a light-hearted view of women in country life. The other three photos are the sub-theme of "veil", a look at how a woman shows or hides her body and how that covering affects her identity.

I invite you all to come to the Hibiscus Gallery to see this exhibition and meet me at the opening. Spend the weekend, or a week or more, and enjoy the exciting events happening during ArtFest .

Sculptor, Tanya Menzies


"Beaded Nude"

Introducing Tanya Menzies, a sculptor who grew up in country Australia. She has a degree in Graphic Arts from Charles Sturt University. She has worked in the photographic industry and edited and designed the newsletter for Wagga Wagga Art Society.

She has created shimmering sculptures out of wire mesh, decorated with beads that sparkle like jewels. She is inspired by the female form and ideas of motherhood. Tanya was raised on a farm near Ardlethan. Born an artist, she was often in trouble for stealing pieces out of her father's shed to make fanciful mobiles, wind chimes, sculptures and anything else artistic she could dream up. After finishing school Tanya completed a BA in Graphic Design at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. In the course of her studies she worked on the student newspaper and as a freelance graphic designer. After graduating Tanya worked for a number of years in the photographic industry, restoring and manipulating photographic images. She also worked with the Wagga Wagga Art Society as their newsletter editor and in-house designer.

Along with her husband, Tanya has now returned to the land and the life she loves most. With a son and daughter aged five and three respectively, and a revitalising place to call home, life has come full circle. Tanya is looking forward to the next phase with all the creativity, passion and love she can muster.

She describes her work:

Although my interest ebbs and flows from one artistic venture to the next, I have been held for some time by the endless aesthetic qualities and possibilities of wire and wire mesh. More recently, the magic of beads has come into play. My preference for these materials has combined with my recent life experiences in the current body of work.



Essentially, the work is an exploration of womanly creation - what it is to create a new life, give birth and become a mother. There is no doubt that the experience can be emotionally and physically overwhelming, but it is also magic in its purest form. The work is intended to reflect this. It is unapologetically feminine and celebrates an experience that lives with a woman forever.

Phoenix Prize for Spiritual Art 2007

Last night was the opening of the Phoenix Prize for Spiritual Art. There were 170 entries and the short listed ones are on exhibition at ANU School of Art Gallery from 5-28 April. It was my honour to photograph my friend, Pete Smith's entry. Gordon Bull, head ANU School of Art, announced last night that Pete Smith has won first prize!!

Pete Smith (left) with Gordon Bull (right) and "Transfiguration"
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