Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sneak Peek: New zines for Clunes Booktown

As we announced in our previous post, Moth Woman Press has been invited to exhibit our books at the renowned Clunes Booktown on 3-4 May. We will join a group of distinguished book artists including Gracia and Louise, Nicholas Jones, Angela Cavalieri and David Frazer. It’s the first time that a section of Booktown will be devoted entirely to artist books.

MWP will chiefly be exhibiting a selection of one-of-a-kind books from the Tall Tales series. But we also wanted to take the opportunity to make some new zines especially for Booktown.

Awhile back I began some experiments with folded zines using iPad apps for the layout and design. They never came to fruition, partly because other projects intervened. These unresolved tests became the basis for the new work.

I began with a grid constructed on Strip Designer. Images of my artwork, variously altered in the Etchings, Face on Coins, Pic Collage and Phoster apps, were downloaded into the grid. The zines were laser printed, then cut and folded.

The four zines I've made using this new method are: The Shadow Women, Parts 1-3 and Republic of Mothstralia - Coins of the Realm, featuring the infamous Moth Woman Vigilantes.

Pictured above:

Top, from left: Shadowomen 3, Shadow Women 2 and The Shadow Women, 2014, zines, laser printed, 10.5 x 7.5 cm (closed). Edition: 100

Bottom: Republic of Mothstralia - Coins of the Realm2014, zine, laser printed, 10.5 x 7.5 cm (closed). Edition: 100

More Tall Tales to tell

A selection of Tall Tales, unique concertina books, 2013,
ink and acrylic on Khadi paper, 80 x 15 cm (open)

It's been an eventful few weeks at Moth Woman Press, Recently we were invited to participate in Biblio, the inaugural artist books section of Clunes Booktown, which will take place over the weekend of 3-4 May. Biblio is curated by book artist Nicholas Jones and its special advisor is Robert Heather. I've been preparing well in advance, as I'm shortly heading off for a month in London and will return only days before the event. (More about Booktown in my next post).

Meanwhile, an article by Scott Rothstein that predominantly focuses on the Tall Tales artist books, a selection of which I'll be showing at Booktown, has just been published in the online arts journal Hand/Eye. You can read the article, In Silhouette - Deborah Klein's diverse and eclectic paper art, HERE.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Craft Arts International - Profiles in Print

The current edition of Craft Arts International includes an essay by Professor Sasha Grishin that focuses entirely on my printmaking practice; the most detailed and comprehensive to date. It is lavishly illustrated, as the images below will testify. My grateful thanks to Professor Grishin for approaching me with his idea for the article and of course for the article itself. It is one of a series he has undertaken profiling Australian printmakers and I'm proud to be included in their number.

Pictured below:
Profiles in Print - DEBORAH KLEIN by Prof. Sasha Grishin, pages 50-55, Craft Arts International No. 90, 2014.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Nature in Print

The Nature in Print linocut workshop, part of the Australian Print Workshop's Summer School finished yesterday (see also previous post). At the end of each day I came home very tired but always extremely happy. I had a marvellous time working with class instructor Simon White and printmaking students Marie, Thea, Linda, Chris, Margaret, Bronwyn, Jini, Tristana, Gaele and Richarda. It would be difficult to find a more delightful group.

There was much hard work, but somehow we found time for some great chats and sharing of information and ideas. There were some writers in the group, who recognised the considerable potential for incorporating printmaking with their writing practices.

I was awed by the quality - and quantity - of what was achieved in just three days.

Pictured directly below is my own linocut in progress, Jewel Beetle Woman, which was made especially for this workshop, followed by some snapshots taken during what was an extraordinarily productive three days. To see more highlights from the workshop, visit my art blog HERE.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Special guest artist, 2014 APW Summer School

The Australian Print Workshop has invited me to be a special guest artist of the 2014 APW Summer School, along with Vicki Couzens, Juan Ford, Tim Jones, Roslyn Kean and Lisa Roet.

My workshop will begin with a field trip to the Natural History section of Melbourne Museum. I have researched much of my own work there, particularly in the brilliant Bugs Alive! section.

During the three-day workshop I will produce a limited edition print in collaboration with Master Printer Simon White.

Full details of the APW Summer School workshops can be accessed via the links below:

Linocut and the Melbourne Museum
Instructor: APW Printer Simon White

Tuesday 28 January – Thursday 30 January
10 am – 4 pm each day

Australian Print Workshop
219 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy Vic 3065
03 9419 546

Download the enrolment form here:

Illustrations from top:
Louise Weaver, le tigre, photo-lithograph (cover art, APW brochure)
Heterodontonyx bicolour wasps, Melbourne Museum
Deborah Klein, Spider-hunting Wasp Woman 
2013, from Homo-insecta Portfolio, 2013, linocut, hand coloured 29.5 x 21 cm

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year

As Moth Woman Press returns for another year, here is our wish for all of you:

Pictured above: Bluebird and Castles in the Hair, each 2013, unique concertina books, ink and acrylic on Khadi paper, 80 x 15 cm (open). Published by Moth Woman Press, Melbourne and Ballarat.

We are delighted to announce that these and other works from the Tall Tales series of artist books will be exhibited at Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy during September - October. Further details will be posted closer to the time.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmoth Greetings

As a particularly hectic year draws to a close, we pause to reflect upon its highs and lows - at least we would if all-consuming Yuletide had not descended upon us just as our final project for 2013 came to an end. (See previous post). Like Ebenezer Scrooge, we could cry "Bah, Humbug!" Indeed, there have been times that we actually have (or words to that effect). But ultimately, we follow the adage "If you can't beat them, join them".

Shane and I are not into the rampant consumerism that dominates this time of year. But we love our little Christmas tree and over the years have collected many decorations from our travels. Now that we have another home in Ballarat, we have acquired a second, much larger tree, so our decoration collecting knows no bounds. Each one has a special memory, often connected to a distant friend. See the Ballarat tree HERE. Pictured below is our original, much loved Melbourne tree.

We wish you all nothing but the best for Christmastime and the year ahead and hope that you will continue to drop into Moth Woman Press whenever it pleases you.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wonder Room: Last days

As the end of Wonder Room fast approaches, I hereby present some edited highlights. I hope they will bring back some pleasant memories for those who have seen the show, and galvanize those who haven't to get along to Maroondah Art Gallery by the final day: Saturday, November 30. The photograph directly below was taken by Shane Jones at last Saturday's Artist Talk.
Artist talk: DK (standing left) with Curator Lisa Byrne
We had a warm, lively audience, who asked some great questions. Thanks very much indeed to everyone who came along, to fellow artist and speaker Paul Compton and to the wonderful gallery folk, particularly Curator Lisa Byrne and Assistant Curator Clinton Greenwood.

One of our audience members was artist and blogger Penny Peckham, who has since reviewed our exhibition on her art blog Word and Image. You can read it HERE.

The remaining installation views, which were taken by the inimitable Tim Gresham, focus primarily on the artist books I made for the show. For further installation views, and more snapshots of the Artist Talk, visit my Art Blog HERE

Wonder Room installation view, Gallery 1. Left-right: works by Paul
Compton, Deborah Klein, Heather Shimmen and Rona Green

Homo Insecta Portfolio installation view

Homo-insecta Portfolio (detail) 

Installation view, Gallery 2. Left-right: works by Deborah Klein, Heather
Shimmen, Rona Green and Heather Shimmen

Tall Tales, unique artist books: installation view

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wonder Room Artist Talk

Saturday, 23 November is the end of the penultimate week of Wonder Room. To mark the occasion, Paul Compton and I are giving an informal floor talk at 2pm; we hope to see some of you there.

If you can't make it tomorrow and still plan a visit, Wonder Room concludes on the following Saturday, November 30 at 4pm. 

For full details, click on image directly below:

Installation view, featuring work by Paul Compton, Rona Green, Deborah
Klein, Heather Shimmen and Filomena Coppola. Photo: Tim Gresham

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Sketchbook Project comes to Melbourne

For several years I've wanted to participate in the Sketchbook Project, an initiative of Brooklyn Art Library in New York. But every year other projects intervened. Early in 2013 I finally managed to put some time aside. Even though I had other deadlines, somehow I also made this one and actually got my sketchbook posted to Brooklyn with time to spare (although admittedly not a lot). Since then it's toured parts of Canada and the US. But now, like a boomerang, it's come back, if only fleetingly. Last week sketchbooks from Australia and New Zealand, plus others from more far-flung parts of the world, were on view at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.

My sketchbook, The Secret Sites of the Shadow Women, was an early experiment with silhouette forms. The Shadow Women were drawn onto pages cropped from a 1980s Gregory's Melbourne Street Directory. Each year potential sketchbook artists are given a broad range of themes from which to choose. Mine was More Mysterious Maps; my partner Shane Jones chose 1,703 Miles and Back for his sketchbook.

On Friday afternoon we called into the VCA and viewed a number sketchbooks. Some were randomly chosen, whilst others were by people with whom one or the other of us is acquainted, namely Helen Gory, Rebecca Mayo, Sally Darlinson and Soula Mantalvanos. We also revisited our own volumes, which, outside of a trip to Brooklyn, we never really expected to see again.

The two librarians were extraordinarily obliging, flexible, knowledgeable, cheerful and patient, even when the internet connection repeatedly crashed. I hope they took heart from the overwhelmingly positive responses to the books that emanated from a constant stream of excited visitors – there was a real buzz in the air. If only some of that energy could have been channeled into the VCA’s wonky internet connection.

The Sketchbook Project
VCA - University of Melbourne
234 St. Kilda Road
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Building
Melbourne, VIC 3006
November 1st - 9th, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Homo-insecta Portfolio, 2013

Following directly from my previous post, here is a preview of selected works from the completed Homo-insecta portfolio, which this time next week will be encased in a cabinet as part of the exhibition Wonder Room at Maroondah Art Gallery. *

At the initial meeting of artists and curators at Maroondah Art Gallery last Monday, the consensus was that the work would be too vulnerable on an open plinth; I was advised that it be placed in a display case. Admitting that this would make it impossible to view the entire contents of the folio, curator Lisa Byrne suggested that a different page be turned over every day. Because it is unlikely that even the keenest gallery visitor will return on several consecutive days, I have come up with what I hope will be an acceptable compromise. Over the last couple of days I've constructed a unique facsimile edition, reproducing the linocuts as inkjet prints. They are printed on Somerset enhanced mould-made paper made from 100% cotton and the quality of the reproductions is excellent. Gallery visitors will now have something akin to the experience of interacting directly with the original work.

Pictured above are selected highlights from the original.

Homo-insecta Portfolio, 2013
From top:
Front cover (detail) with Frog Hopper Woman
Portfolio: 33H x 24W x 1.5 D cm; cover art: 22.5 x 12.5 cm
Title page
Selected illustrations:
Shield Bug Woman
Spider-hunting Wasp Woman
Shield-backed Katydid Woman
Gold Beetle Woman
Linocuts, hand coloured, 29.5 x 21 cm
The Homo-insecta Portfolio is limited to an edition of 10

My fellow Wonder Room artists are Rona Green, Heather Shimmen, Filomena Coppola and Paul Compton. To see the invitation, which features Paul's superb ink drawing Pickled, 2013, click HERE.

The exhibition will be launched at 6.30 pm, Thursday 17 October. Our opening night speaker is Dr Petra Kayser, Curator, Department of Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Victoria.

*Wonder Room
Maroondah Art Gallery
32 Greenwood Avenue
Ringwood, Vic
Phone 03 9298 4542
Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday 10 - 4; Saturday 12 - 4

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Homo-insecta Portfolio: an update

Work for the Wonder Room exhibition is at last nearing completion. Every piece I’ve made for the show is multi-faceted, essentially a series of small collections, which will sit alongside contrasting works created by fellow Wonder Room artists Rona Green, Heather Shimmen, Paul Compton and Filomena Coppola. 

Last Tuesday I proofed the remaining linocuts for the Homo-insecta portfolio, my final work for the exhibition.

As objects the lino blocks are almost worthy of their own place in a Cabinet of Curiosities. They won't be making an appearance in our show, however. But I've singled out a small selection and grouped them together as if in a display cabinet (see above, top).

Immediately following this is a studio view, taken earlier this week at Ballarat, showing proofs of the complete set of eight Homo-insecta prints, plus cover art.

The next step is to hand colour the prints, finalise the text and finish assembling the portfolio.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Books for a Wonder Room Library: 'Quicksand' and 'Tall Poppies'

Quicksand and Tall Poppies, 2013, unique 
artist books, ink and acrylic on Khadi paper, each
80 x 15 cm (open). Photograph by Tim Gresham.

Pictured above are two of six newly completed vertical concertina books. They will be part of the group exhibition Wonder Room at Maroondah Art Gallery that opens on 17 October.

Two years in the making (and with much making still under way) the exhibition is a unique take on the notion of the Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosities. My fellow Wonder Room artists are Rona Green, Heather Shimmen, Paul Compton and Filomena Coppola.

Meanwhile, before Quicksand and Tall Poppies join forces with their sister books, they will be making a trip to the bookbinders.

To see the miniature paintings that were the basis for these books, click HERE.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Camellias and Poppies at Ballarat

In chilly Ballarat it's always a hopeful sign that Spring is finally on its way when our gigantic Camellia tree begins to bud. Now it's in full, spectacular bloom: Spring is here at last.

Still on the subject of things floral, this week I've been working on the unique artist book Tall Poppies. Pictured above is the book in progress.

Like several earlier Tall TalesTall Poppies had its genesis in a miniature painting which can be glimpsed in the top photograph. To see the painting in more detail, click HERE.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Linocut in progress #3: What the Katydid did

Destined for the Homo-insecta PortfolioShield-backed Katydid homo-insecta (ORTHOPTERA: TETTIGONIIDAE, Siliquofera sp.)

Katydids are related to crickets, and this one reaches 13 cm, making it one of the world’s largest. It’s common in New Guinea and has been collected twice at Iron Range on Cape York Peninsula. The shield-backed katydid closely resembles the rainforest leaves of its habitat. (1) 

(1) Australian Geographic, Giant Insects, pages 54-61, July-September, 2006.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Spider Hunting Wasp Woman: work in progress #2

Pictured above is a lino block in progress, also intended for the forthcoming Homo-Insecta portfolio: Spider Hunting Wasp Woman.

The Spider Wasp (HYMENOPTERA: POMPILIDAE Hemipepis australasiae) is Australia’s largest wasp, with a wingspan of up to 6.8 cm. It hunts spiders, paralysing them with a sting and then storing them in underground burrows as food for its grubs. (1)

The Homo-Insecta portfolio will make its debut in the group exhibition Wonder Room at Maroondah City Gallery in October 2013.

(1) Australian Geographic, Giant Insects, pages 54-61, July-September, 2006.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hover Fly Winged Woman: work in progress #1

Another insect woman currently in development for the burgeoning Homo-insecta (formerly known as Unnatural Histories) Portfolio. Hover Fly Winged Woman has just been transferred onto a lino block and is now ready for cutting.

Monday, July 29, 2013

International Moth Week - a new hatching

To mark International Moth Week, I present Xenogenes gloriosa Moth Woman. True to her name, she has just burst from her dull grey lino block into glorious colour. The work is part of the Unnatural Histories portfolio, which is currently in development (see also Blog Post July 14).

International Moth Week is celebrated during the last week of July. To learn more, you can visit National Moth Week's excellent website, but their Facebook page is also highly recommended. The photographs of moths that they regularly post are simply dazzling.


Xenogenes gloriosa Moth Woman, 2013,
 linocut, hand coloured, 22 x 18.5 cm

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hand Held Gallery Update

Although Hand Held Gallery has officially closed its doors, the gallery will remain in place until further notice. It is currently open by appointment on Fridays and Saturdays. To make a time to call in, contact Megan Herring by email on

Megan has just done a re-hang of Hand Held's extensive zine collection, including a display devoted entirely to my books and those of zinester extraordinaire Paul Compton.

Hand Held Gallery zines: installation view

Klein/Compton book art

A recent visitor to the gallery was Helen Cole from the State Library of Queensland. She called in on Friday afternoon and acquired a number of zines for the library's permanent collection, including my mini-zines Secret Hairstories, Hairlooms, Poker Faces and Moth Woman Vigilantes - a Menace to Society.

Above (clockwise): Secret Hairstories, Hairlooms, 
The Moth Woman Vigilantes – A Menace to Society, all 2011 
and Poker Faces, 2012, each 10.5 x 7.5 cm (closed)