Light Grey Art Lab: Pandora’s Box and The Tomb

Every year I try to get into at least one Light Grey Art Lab exhibition, and this year it’s also an art swap!

Pandora's Box / The Tomb gallery banner

In fact, there are two: Pandora’s Box, which I am in, and The Tomb. Everyone did an edition of 100 little artworks (stickers, postcards, pins, sculptures). These are being distributed between the participating artists, and will also be exhibited in the gallery in Minneapolis.

Open Pandora’s Box at your own risk, for inside you may find secrets, creepy crawlies, magical talismans, baubles, spells, spirits, poisons, potions, amulets, demons, dark and deadly items.

The caverns are dark and dusty– it’s difficult to find your footing and to see the path forward. But then, you find it; the ancient tomb. The Tomb is filled with treasures, artifacts, maps, codes, ancient relics, weapons, items for the afterlife, lore, and relics from days gone by.

I contributed a sticker, with a tiny piece of fiction printed on the back (all, I hope, having gone well with the production!). I’ll post about that once the parcels start arriving with the artists. Here is a section of it, however, as a sneak-peek — it is called “A Spell for Returning.”

Section of an ink and digital colour illustration of a skull with a coin in its eye, and crowned with strawberries.
Section of “A Spell for Returning”

You can find the collections on the Light Grey website, and throughout the show, works will be available on the online shop as special mystery packs. You can check out the first mystery packs here! And select pieces will only be available at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis. 

Wanderlust – the Iceland art show


Wanderlust is Light Grey Art Lab’s exhibition of art from their 2016 Iceland residencies (which I attended). The exhibition is full of gorgeous art which, if you cannot get to Minneapolis, you can also see online – and buy in the art shop (including the originals of my paintings).

I sent in a set of four watercolour illustrations for a story I have been working on, which rose from the process of learning to filter stories through different landscapes.

I had been wanting to use more watercolour instead of digital colour over my line work.

Art in progress

I started researching a particular school of ink-and-wash illustration, and then went sideways into pencil and watercolour.

Art in progress

Here Our Heroine is set a task by three unusual ladies.

One of several dresses of unconventional material.

This is a rock we stood on when looking for puffins.

They are at a pretty typical scale for my work – and the originals are available from Light Grey Art Lab.


Scarlet – a history


A wandering and selective history of the colour scarlet.

This is my contribution to Light Grey Art Lab’s current exhibition “Color Anthropology“. The original is a scratchboard piece, with the colour added digitally.


Many thanks to my patrons, who helped me decide on colour placement when I lost the ability to decide!


There is some stunning art in the exhibition (Lincoln Green, Orange and Saffron are my favourites), which you can check out online if Minneapolis isn’t on your itinerary. The art is also available as prints through the Light Grey shop. Edit: The print is now available on Redbubble: Scarlet.

Exhibition header.jpeg


Into the Woods: TOBEYOU exhibition

Into the Woods - TOBEYOU exhibition

This is a cut paper piece (c 8×8 inches) that I made for Light Grey Art Lab‘s exhibition TOBEYOU: personal narratives, tales and memory.


It is called “Into the Woods”, and is about growing up reading fairytales when you live in the Australian bush. The protagonist of the illustration is far more willowy and on-trend than I ever was when I did this.

The original is for sale at Light Grey Art Lab (in Minneapolis, and on their website), along with many, many other beautiful works of art.

I also made a few cyanotype prints (sunprints) of the illustration.

Into the Woods - TOBEYOU exhibition

September Short Reviews of Everything Except Books

Tropic Thunder. (Last month’s, but I missed including it). One of those movies I can’t enjoy for a few reasons, but much of which I enjoyed. Most of that enjoyment centred around Robert Downey Jr – I love seeing actors playing “serious” characters mocking themselves (Extras has redeemed a few in my eyes), and it cracked me up watching him overdo the facial tics and movements I had noticed over several watchings of Iron Man.

Not Quite Hollywood. Well. The first fifth was sex scenes from ’70s movies and I didn’t actually look at the screen much. I am glad I stayed though, because the rest was brilliant, one of those generous, outrageous documentaries rich with clips and anecdotes and glimpses of pulp Australian movies I would really like to see (especially The Howling III: The Marsupials heheh), and “Quentin Tarantino: Fan” waxing lyrical over them. I can’t recommend the documentary, thanks to the first part, but I wouldn’t mind having a movie night based on some of the contents.

In Bruge. My sister said the language in this one didn’t count because of the accents. And it was a beautiful, bizarre, hilarious little movie – like Lock, Stock etc, but pretty.

Son of Rambow. A lovely, funny movie about two primary school boys, one raised strictly and without television (Plymouth Brethren) and one a delinquent who decide to film a sequel to Rambo. It was full of adventure, strange French exchange students and flying guide dogs, and felt in some respects like remembered children’s novels, but never like a children’s movie. It was set in the ’80s, too, and the best scene takes place in the senior common-room: it is shot just like all those parties to which previously uncool kids get invited and initiated into drugs and alcohol and tattoos, except the drugs were popping gum and scented erasers and the tattoos were temporary, and the dancing was to Michael Jackson. I would watch the movie again anyway, but also for this scene.

Picasso and His Collection. I went to see this on its last day, and am glad I did. I am less of a Picasso fan than an appreciator, but seeing influences and cross-references and sketches and exchanges between dozens of artists was fabulous. My favourite was the Bakst costume sketch (top left):

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The Mummy 3. One good thing: Michelle Yeoh. Awesome, awesome fighting clothes. I want to have greying hair and take on zombie hordes and wear green silk culottes. The rest was dreadful. Oh, except the Yetis. They were unexpectedly kind of cool.

Wall-E. Really, really frustrating movie because I keep wanting to quote it and can’t. There was barely any dialogue! But intelligent (if occasionally problematic) and sweet and lovingly detailed: my favourite feature of Pixar films are the tiny surprises, Wall-E’s collections, the details of mechanisation, the beauty in small and ugly things.

Tattersalls Landscape Art Exhibition. This is on annually in the foyer of our  building and RachelT came over to spend a lunch hour wandering around with me, critiquing and admiring and getting lost in paintings and speculating what we would buy if we had a spare $10k, and what sort of architecture you would need to carry them off.

Holly Throsby Concert. Here are Deb and I – I was not quite as awake as I may seem in this picture. I do not have the constitution for concerts, and it was very nice that Holly Throsby told everyone to sit back down on the floor once she finally got on stage, so we could stay on our sofa and watch and I could try to stay awake by only closing one eye at a time, because it was very enjoyable and I like her music and it was a good concert.