Dec 31, 2010

New Years Resolution

My New Years resolution is to re imagine the anti Christian philosophy of Nietzsche as tho that religion had never become the official State religion of Imperial Rome. Wish me luck!

... and Happy New Year.

Nov 19, 2010


I've been inspired by the vibrant street art culture in Melbourne to experiment with my vengeful insect ladies and try to turn them into stencils.


Oct 25, 2010


The White Raven

It was summer; early evening.
A voice: Save me.
I looked around. No one.
Again the voice: give me water!
Who is speaking? A scratchy voice, deep, husky.
Of course! A tree.
Save me it says again. So I did. I am a Melbournian; I carry my water.
I pour a whole bottle of Mount Autumn spring water onto the roots of the tree. The water sinks into the ground with a sound not unlike gulping.
Thank you, says the tree.
I say; now what is my reward, talking tree? Riches beyond the dreams of Oil Barons? Beauty like the sun?
No, says the voice.
Oh well, I say.
…But, says the tree, if you take a jewel I have hidden in my roots you could undo a great wrong…
Better than nothing, I say.
… And save a beautiful princess, it finishes.
That’s more like it!
So I did as the talking tree advised. I found the jewel hidden in its roots. The tree explained where I should go and what I should do when I got there.

She is being kept in a cage like a beast.
The circus is closed. I have watched her for 3 hours, she neither moves nor speaks. When I try to address her she will not even look in my direction.
In a glass case next to her cage I see a sword. The hilt is of ivory carved in the shape of a raven. The eye is missing. The stone given to me by the tree begins to hum in my pocket.
I don’t know what came over me. The sound of breaking glass, of men running from all directions. I fit the jewel into its socket, and finally I seem to have her attention.
Give me the sword she says in a hoarse voice, unused to speaking. I pass it through the bars… and she passes the blade through the bars, melting them like butter.

Before I can say ‘enchanted sword’ three men are dead. I put my hand on her cold, scaly arm, and suggest we flee.
She agrees, we run, we hide.
Under a bridge, or perhaps it was a storm drain, she tells me she an exile from another world. Because she was born paler than most of her race she was hidden by her shamed parents until she was 13. Then, at play in the Royal gardens she was seen by some urchins and mocked. She flew at them and for the first time in her life found herself outside the Castle walls.

As she stood amazed, those who lived clustered about the foot of the castle crowded around her, touching her pale hair, staring into her pale eyes. She retreated, terrified. But word of the royal freak spread.
They called her Alva Corvea: the White Raven.
A palace coup. They came for her at night; too many of them.
She escaped, with her mother’s enchanted sword, and her life, and ended up here.
She says; I have lost my parents, my people, my world. Many years have passed, and all of them hard years.

What will you do now? I ask. Return to your land and claim your lost throne, your inheritance?

No, she says.

I think I’ll open a bookshop in Carlton.

Oct 12, 2010

The White Raven

This is a rough sketch of a character that will be appearing in something called "Paper Theatre" tonight at Kids In Berlin shop in North Melbourne. Bernard Caleo will be performing my short story and there will be accompanying illustrations. This will appear in this format after the exhibition is finished... and when I get a chance to scan them in. Today, for a short time, my work will be appearing in 4 (count them) four exhibitions.

Paper Theatre at KIB (

Tiny Peeks at the Paramount Arcade (

Sweet Streets at Brunswick Street Gallery (

and a student exhibition at my school: NMIT.

... I would say 'woo' except I can barely croak.

Sep 13, 2010

Aug 31, 2010


I just had a perfectly nice cup of tea in a vegetarian restaurant in Smith Street. Not much of a range, but a porcelain pot and leaf tea, saggy couches and reasonable music. No Darjeeling or Irish Breakfast, and something called Melbourne Breakfast, which was described as fruity and flowery... ugh. Still, convivial, and not too pretentious.

The White Raven

In less than a month, this character will be featuring in an exhibition for the Melbourne Fringe festival. Soon you will learn her incredible history, as drawn by me and performed by my dear friend and comic colleague Bernard Caleo.

Jun 26, 2010

Lousy Tea in the Home of Coffee

In late breaking news it is still possible in Melbourne to be served a lousy cup of tea in an establishment that prides itself on the purveyance of fine caffeinated beverages.
On Friday I was in North Melbourne at Coffee Roasting Warehouse (yes I should have been warned) and was given a pot of warm water and a coffee cup with a tea bag in it. That it was raining, the place was full of children, noise and the sort of people who can afford to buy a house in inner Melbourne only added to my black mood.

A thousand years ago I lived on Victoria Street North Melbourne, just where the trams turn the corner into Errol St. The huge crack in the front window has been spakfilled and the back alley seems far too clean, but the trams are the same.

Also I am saddened to report the falling standards of Degraves Espresso Bar. When I first drank tea in the window and drew in the year 2000 the range of teas was staggering and all kept in stacks of recycled plastic containers. Now they are like every other temple to the roasted Bean and carry Earl Grey and English Breakfast. One still is served with extra hot water in a battered tin pot, but the English Breakfast is not a patch on the Irish, or a nice Darjeeling of a rainy Melbourne afternoon among the junkies and the rotting garbage.

May 29, 2010


I think this is my favourite season. I am occasionally overcome by melancholy, but in Autumn this seems natural and right. In Summer sadness can seem so wholly out of place in this city where a celebratory, even giddy mood can predominate; even while the trees die. In Winter a gentle sadness can turn into a hopeless despair. Spring is such a contrary season; balmy breezes precede icy rain, and we must look to the skies and the dams so that there is no time for reflection.
In Autumn I walk the streets and alleys of my town, and dream.

Mar 22, 2010


The Owl and The Pussycat

Has anyone ever noticed that The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear has no gender pronouns? I have done a few drawings for perhaps a version of the poem in which Owl is an older woman and Pusscat a younger man. They will meet in a container on the SS Verdigris and begin a torrid affair.