The Finkelstein Files: In My Room

“Mother says there are locked rooms inside all women; kitchen of lust, bedroom of grief, bathroom of apathy.”

– from ‘The House’ by Warsan Shire

In My Room is the telling title of Helen Gory’s newest body of works – at once an invitation and a provocation. Strongly symbolist in nature and style, she has created a blueprint that challenges the viewer to encroach on her personal space; both as audience and interrogator.

Gilt-laden images are scratched into the paper, challenging its singular appearance. I am reminded of Austrian-born artist Gustav Klimt, who once said something like ‘art is a line around your thoughts’. This idea resonates throughout Gory’s works, which are at once deeply personal and universal. Draw a line; make a point; take a stand; risk something.

Gory’s oil-stick women delve backwards into unrevealed pockets of spaces, memories compartmentalised into separate ‘rooms’. Her challenge – and ours – is to slowly, carefully unpack these subtle chimeras; expose their interior to the outer world. Woman with Leaf speaks loudest without uttering a word. Verging on naïve, these night-shade women hover between darkness and illumination. Their talisman tools may well be props; striking a pose that both regales and invites us inside.

Helen Gory opened her own contemporary commercial art gallery in 1995. Helen Gory Galerie was a pioneer in supporting emerging practitioners, many of whom have gone on to become Australia’s leading visual artists. In 2008, Gory closed her gallery to pursue a long-unfulfilled desire to make art.

Golden Bars, 2018

Paper Collage and Oil Stick on Art Paper, 140 x 110cm.

It’s a Challenge, 2018

Paper Collage and Oil Stick on Art Paper, 140 x 110cm.

Walking Back To Happiness, 2018

Paper Collage and Oil Stick on Art Paper, 140 x 110cm.

Gory’s work is best described as visual stories where humour and joy sit side-by-side with the shadows that they cast. She is concerned with uncovering what is hidden, with the act of revelation. Through the repeated motifs of fragmented body parts, women, and elements of the natural world, her often-surreal images speak of desire, longing, angst and the power of transformation.

(det.) The Leaf, 2018, Oil Paint on Paper, 109 x 67cm

The Leaf, 2018

Oil Paint on Paper, 109 x 67cm

Gory works across various medium to construct these visual narratives. Her first primary medium, collage, allows her to deconstruct, fragment, (dis)connect and reassemble, the process of creation a metaphor for the complexity and layering of human experience.

More recently, Gory has segued from collage to painting and drawing. Using oil stick, graphite and charcoal in scribbling and scratching-like motions, she adds/removes layers in a repetitive act of mark-making that is intrinsic to the interior world she is revealing.

The Pods, 2018

Oil Paint on Paper, 109 x 67cm

(det.) The Pods, 2018

Oil Paint on Paper, 109 x 67cm

The Scarf, 2018

Oil Paint on Paper, 109 x 67cm

The Scarf, 2018

Oil Paint on Paper, 109 x 67cm

Last weekend to see In My Room!

Head to: Backwoods Gallery, 25 Easey Street, Collingwood, VIC, Australia (map)

The Finkelstein Files: Who is Yosl Bergner?


This (above) bronze maquette Unchained, 2015, references earlier works which translate across various mediums and also includes a limited edition screen print which is currently available for purchase. As detailed in my earlier postYosl Bergner revealed that art was not merely a ref­lection of Australian society – rather it is an instrument in its very shap­ing. In the mere decade that he resided in Melbourne, this modern master became  more  politically involved in the area of sharp social criticism. Its well known that the rest is history. Or rather, the artists insertion into the history of post Modernism in Melbourne post WW2.




Yosl Berger’s attraction is not just as a great humanist, this near centurion artist believes in the constancy of work which produces a continual evolution of a full and prolific artistic practice. Berger also lends service to each day when he opens up his Tel Aviv studio to create – even at 95 years of age he still considers himself as a student of the world. The above portraits examine Walter Freddy and Mick who are three “Abos” that were tragically chained to the tree, and are a representative of Australia’s dark past.  From a 1946 newspaper article seen here below. Painted in March this year, the triptych portraits are intended as Christian saints in parallel to a reference to Saint Veronica.

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This incredible exhibition ends this Sunday and can be seen at The Attic, 297 Glenhuntly Rd, Elsternwick by appointment with Bergner’s Australian dealer and master printer, Israeli-Born Mr. Shaike Snir. For further information on artworks and viewing times please contact Shaike on: 0417 383 994.

Signing off from TFF headquarters,



The Finkelstein Files gets freaky with Rona Green

The Finkelstein Files takes a flight of fancy down the slippery slope into artist Rona Green’s world. She is a fancier of Egyptian art, historical figures, science fiction, B-grade movies, secret societies, tattooing traditions, subcultures and the animal kingdom. These eclectic interests fuel the creation of artwork in a variety of media including printmaking, painting, sculpture and drawing.


The Abbotsford Convent is a thriving cultural hub of artists, practitioners and creative organisations. Long been called home to the many creative practitioners, there are several studios that are open each week throughout the year where you are welcome to drop in, meet the artists and view them at work.





“She has created her own personalised bestiary which could be termed “teddies with attitude”. She employs most of the printmaking mediums – relief prints, etchings, screenprints, lithographs and digital printmaking. She loves the stark clarity of the linocut or screenprint as well as the creative freedom of the digital print or monotype to create these very emphatic and expressive images. Her beasties frequently bear tattoos, wear specific costumes and carry the scars of their rites of passage. She has codified an artistic language which draws on cartoons, stencils and street graffiti, but which has become exclusively her own.

Her prints are incredibly seductive images, funky in their aesthetic and slightly menacing and confronting in their presence. Yet for all their light heartedness, they do hint at a secondary role as social commentary with a generous dose of satire and the absurd. I suspect that each of us will bring to Rona Green’s images our own emotional and cultural baggage.”

Sasha Grishin, Australian Art Collector, Issue 37 July – September 2006



“Rona Green displays a certain flippancy with the truth. Like the best storytellers, they’re inclined to wink at the facts, stretching their tales to make them just that little bit taller and exaggerating their exploits to make them just a little more daring. Green’s conspiracy theories and comic book preoccupations celebrate outcasts and hooligans.”

Jazmina Cininas, Melbourne based artist, writer, curator & lecturer in Printmaking at RMIT.





Warning: Rona Green’s work is prolific and highly addictive.  She will be seen here and there:

Australian Galleries Smith Street in Melbourne will present a solo exhibition of new prints, paintings and other things by Rona from 27 August – 15 September 2013.

Monstrous, a print exchange folio of works by 13 Victorian artists curated and including work by Rona, will be exhibited at Neospace in September.

Wonder Room, an exhibition of work by Paul Compton, Filomena Coppola, Rona Green, Deborah Klein and Heather Shimmen, will run during October and November at Maroondah Art Gallery.

During November Rona will have work in Wellspring a collaborative exhibition by visual artists and WellBeing practitioners from the Abbotsford Convent at St Heliers Street Gallery.





“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950).


Neon Night @ [MARS] Gallery


Ok, so as somewhat of an old-hand as a behind-the-scenes gallery manager, I can personally attest to the rather unglamorous side of the  job which pays in hard work, tireless enthusiasm and endless attention to detail both miniscule & herculean.

Behind the sliding door, the ‘office’ is always jammed full with important items, not the least, slip on patent pink ballet flats, back up tops ready to slip on, amongst the debris demanding constant attention. Just so you know!


[MARS] Bar staff, Greta & Fi expertly whip up punch bowls of  Neon-esque cocktails, garnished & swilled inside the end of a long, balmy evening. Catering by Tommy Collins added to the atmosphere of enjoyment as patrons and peeps partied til long after the drinks ran dry.


Social media mistress, Shelli Whitehurst, recently returned from New York whirlwind junket, replete with neon talons, regaled us with tales of the big apple, which had all in stitches & green with envy at her adventures and sheer stamina uncovering all that her whistle-stop tour encompassed.

As I have recently covered the exhibition opening by Bill Sampson, entitled Chance Upon Nothing, I was wowed by the multitude of footwear on display and was inspired to snap downwards. The artist, donned his fave pair of pointed patent pick-wicks here for the occasion. Alongside neon totes, accessories and attitude, the party unfurled with the arrival of hula-hoop diva, geared up to do her thang!


The cadence of colour king, Dr.Bill Sampson, waxed lyrical & intimately about his carefully constructed iridescent compositions exhibited throughout the cavernous space. He delighted his audience with his candour about his creative processes, armed with a batallion like approach to the rigours of scholarship which equally inform his work.

It’s not too often you can enjoy listening to an artist speak as eloquently as he purposefully places his paint on paper.To read the earlier post with critical discourse by several reknowned art writers, click here.


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Ms.Dinan’s oh-so neon wedges performing double duty – functional & fabulous! Fi, bedecked in glowy green skull earring talisman.  Old friends and some new ones too.

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Perfectly painted piggies here, & the naturally neon, Greta Nicholls. Girls on film & some sparkle complete the scene.

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Kate & William Macdonald totally gorgeous siblings – so nice chatting! It’s all in the detail darl, leopard print leggin’ look preys on the outskirts. Lots to see & much to say.


Beautiful body art, decorative dresses, barramundi-inspired sandals, & bangles of colour.


So these feet were made for talking, apparently. It takes all kinds to make up a community. Dandies, dollies, darlings, doyennes and die-hard art admirers. All here, & having a great neon night. Thanks Andy Dinan & the [MARS] team for creating a fab night!

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