Am I Crooked?

4 March 2021

Exactly a year ago, my daughter flew back from overseas to help me with an exhibition of new work, called Our Beastly Friends.

That exhibition opened for one day – one day! And then we went into lockdown.

We moved the beastly friends out of the studio and into the long corridor of my home, so that we could all get better acquainted during the long dark winter.

But now, the bi-annual Castlemaine State Festival is almost upon us; and Our Beastly Friends are coming out of hiding, and are headed back for the studio walls.

Only this time, there’s a book to go with them!

Lockdown wasn’t entirely wasted time. In fact, for me, it provided the perfect pretext to escape into a fantasy land, and I wrote 16 playful interconnected stories to go with the paintings in the series.

Right now as I type, the book is being printed in Bendigo.

I had it typeset by a man locally. He giggled and guffawed as he worked. His verdict? “It has real quirk.”

When I went to check the colour proofs at the printer’s in Bendigo, the staff were chuckling. And now the printer insists on finishing the job early and delivering the boxes himself!

Meantime my daughter, Cat, added some visual flourishes to the cover art. Including the author photo.



She seems to think there’s something skew whiff in the way I see the world.

I say to her, “life doesn’t make sense without nonsense!”

Our Beastly Friends, the book and the exhibition, in one neat package, will be available for your perusal every day through the Castlemaine State Festival, March 20 to April 4, 11am to 4pm.

If you’re in a beastly mood and in need of cheering up, come meet all the colourful characters – all 16 of them – and join the larks.