Sunday, May 29, 2011

Loading Out

"All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves."
Amelia Barr, novelist

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Final Curtain

After almost five years and 830 posts, this will be the last post to Self Vs. Self.
I began writing this blog with the simple intent of documenting my daily life as an artist. It quickly evolved into something a little more complicated: a forensic examination of my mental illness, a workbook for creative ideas, an extended polemic (incited by the iniquities of the commercial gallery system), a sporadic dialogue with others interested in the creative process, and yes, a marketing and communications tool (one which effected a number of significant 'firsts' for an Australian artist).
Inevitably, it has also documented a series of transformative events in my life, not just the exhibitions, media controversies and auctions that markedly increased my reputation (and prices for my work) but also emotional and financial crises, from prolonged bouts of depression, confinement in a mental hospital and bankruptcy to the sudden, agonising decline and death of my father. Never less than completely candid, even the darker intimacies of my uncertain sexual identity have been exposed.
The trouble is, I feel that this blog now presses me too tightly to a past – and, as it were, a self – from which the time has come to move on.
Of course, this is not the end of my writing online. Think of it as the end of a chapter, the conclusion of a first act. While I figure out what comes next, I will post daily to Facebook and Twitter, as well as, less often, to my archival web site. My monthly newsletter, Studio Notes, will also continue. However, this blog will soon be removed from public view.
To everyone who has joined me for all or part of this unusual story, thank you. Even those of you who made plain their distaste for it – and me – have contributed to its unlikely achievements.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Get It While It's Hot

As prices for my work have risen sharply over the past decade, I have tried to ensure that a small portion of my output was affordable to as many people as possible.
Every year, for the past five years, I have offered free, downloadable, unlimited edition prints based on pastel, watercolour, or ink drawings, which can be printed out at home and which I've been happy to sign if they're sent to my studio. I have also sold smaller, one-off watercolors and drawings at prices between $A250 and $1,000.
More recently, I have released three photographic prints, including a 'miniature' version of one of my Lake Eyre studies – a signed and numbered edition of 500 was offered free to readers of this blog – and Banned, an image
of another female artist and me in a sexual clinch that provoked Facebook to remove my original presence there. Banned was printed 4" x 2.66" on 6" x 4" matt paper, and each of the edition of 750 was sold for just $A20, including postage. At the end of 2010, friends, collectors, press and fellow artists were sent New Year, another free edition of 1,000 signed but numberless prints of similar dimensions to Banned.
I am offering one more edition of small photographic prints, this time in monochrome. Cocksure will be limited to just 100 matt, digital R-prints, 4" x 2.66" on 6" x 4". Each will be signed and numbered and because of the relatively small edition, will be priced at $A100, including postage. Payment will be accepted via PayPal or bank transfer.
To order, simply email your name and address, and quantity to my studio and an assistant will respond with an invoice and payment instructions:

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Don't Burst My Bubble

On May 19th, one of my earliest large paintings, Rave Doll with Bubble Gun, in high gloss enamel on canvas, 150cm x 300cm, is to to go under the hammer at Lawson-Menzies' fine art auction in Sydney. The work was first sold at my first solo exhibition in a commercial gallery, Hazed, at Agent 029 Gallery, in Brisbane, 14 years ago – for less than a tenth of Lawson-Menzies' current pre-sale estimate of $A15,000 to $A20,000.
An image of the work appears in the auction catalogue alongside works by some of Australia's most highly regarded masters, including William Dobell, Lloyd Rees, Charles Blackman and Albert Tucker. There is also a brief essay on the work itself:
"Dooney has made several clever transformations with
Rave Doll with Bubble Gun, 1997. Many of the known conventions associated with billboard advertising, pop art and street graffiti have been distilled into this one work. With the stock in trade of street art being enamel paint and strongly outlined figures, Dooney appropriates their ‘baggage’ in creating her distinctive images. An image that we might be expected to see on an abandoned wall or in a comic strip has been elevated from ‘low’ art into ‘high’ art, to use terms which are antiquated, since artists like Dooney made their mark in commercial gallery settings.
"Without doubt, Dooney has adopted some of the visual strategies of artists like Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), who in turn, mimicked the inventions of comic strip artists in the 1960s. While standing on the shoulders of giants, Dooney’s work is nevertheless immediately identifiable as her own. A fiercely independent artist, Dooney appears to epitomise solitary, powerful and sometimes weapon-wielding females who hold their ground firmly against some perceived threat. Dooney’s characteristic high-keyed colours underpin the physical strength and sense of drama exuding from the work."

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Pausing For Breath

"I sleep completely naked to make me believe you are here, but when I wake up it is not the same thing."
Camille Claudel