Elephant in the room remained silent

Greetings, salutations et al especially to SALAtarians,

It’s beginning to feel like survivor guilt. Today the sun is shining, children frolic and laugh; they are chortling and playing outside next door. I had breakfast of blueberry pancakes with friends and later rummaged in fabric bins at a sale and all the while the elephant in the room remained silent.




Then, the Daniel Andrews conference interrupted the netball and suddenly the virus is almost upon our doorstep and Victorians will not be able to enjoy anything that I did today for 6 weeks or maybe longer. So, now the elephant is full size, in full throttle and making itself heard loud and clear. Australia is back in the world: we are not in the land of Oz after all.


I feel like there is something I should do to help but there is nothing within my power that will achieve very much.


Back in SA, for 2020, SALA is reduced but still happening city/state-wide. Gallery One has a small offering. There was much confusion from the central organisation as to whether SALA should or would happen in 2020 and then later, about how it could happen. Your Gallery’s solution is to show the works on-line and also to exhibit in the Gallery space as usual.

Gerard Mignot’s Timology theme is an inspired concept and we are disappointed for him that the COVID restrictions have taken place during his showing and, due to the confusion, entries are down – maybe again next year Gerard? Please visit and see Gerard’s wonderful women portraits holding centre stage on the main exhibition wall…..where all the wonderful women belong (you know I had to say that!)


Click on the image to zoom. For the full SALA 2020 exhibition click here.



Because of the TV airing of life drawing sessions I thought you might be interested to know what happens during Gallery One life drawing sessions: for now, our life models are still appearing and, for the sake of hygiene, bring their own props and drapes with them.



The East Wing floor space is marked out at 1.5m intervals to indicate where easels and supports can be positioned as per the COVID regulations. The model is always more than 2m from the class as under normal circumstances. Sanya has changed her Gallery day from Tuesdays to Monday so that she can collect the fees, make sure we have all sanitised our hands, ensure that we have adequate contact details from attendees and to serve coffee: coffee/tea is ordered from her and she distributes it during the break. Numbers have been restricted until recently but now it is no longer  necessary to book – although if you arrive late it may be necessary to position yourself behind other participants because of the social distancing requirements. First in, first serve! Syd moves for no-one!!! This situation is dynamic – government regulations/requirements are changing all the time so if in doubt please do ring the Gallery if you are intending to attend the class.

If you are interested in drawing from life, the real figure is so much better to draw than looking at a flat screen with a nude model image. Live people are altogether a different and more challenging proposition: there is tone and shadow and we often seem (in my opinion) to have models who suddenly acquire 3 legs or several extra fingers. I don’t know where the extras come from!  The 2 sessions last an hour with session no 1. comprising warm-up 3×5 mins; 2×10 mins and 1×15 mins poses and then we break….and recover! After the break the model does 2 longer 25min sittings so that participants can work for longer on their images. Some people like to show their work but there is never any pressure to do this. Each person perceives the model and pose differently, sometimes radically differently, and then there is that intangible energy which emanates from each model and which is their presence in the room. You may never be able to capture that essence in your work but the sense of it will still change the way you draw the person. Try getting that from a TV screen. Huh!  Oh, and I play simply fabulous music…



After SALA we hope to go ahead with the POP UP shop which will last for 30 days. We intend to open on the weekends as well as keep stalls open and in situ during the week. Come in. Buy up. Buy big!! Remember:




The Book Worm

A Philosophical Investigation by Philip Kerr


I pounced on this publication with some relish: a reissue of an early Philip Kerr novel, A Philosophical Investigation, billed as a cult classic. Kerr died in 2018 at quite a young age and I have always enjoyed reading his series of Bernie Gunther books which feature Bernie Gunther as a young, unattached police detective working during the Nazi years in Berlin. As you can imagine this setting raises quite a few social and philosophical issues for a policeman who is disillusioned by the Nazis and increasingly, his fellow Germans. Bernie is a good character to read, a great challenge as anti-hero. So, I was interested to come across this new/old character, one Jake Jacowicz, a policewoman operating in a futuristic setting from the perspective of 1992, in London.

My opinion: Jake is not a patch on Bernie. It’s not the failure of Kerr to accurately predict policing in the 21st century – some ‘toys’ come across as a bit kitsch and fun in 2020 – or the plot,  it’s rather that Jake is a female character written from a male perspective and, in the  end, it’s hard not to be aware of this. Kerr was a terrific writer and a thinker as a novelist. I highly recommend his Bernie Gunther Berlin series but wait until you are truly in love with Kerr’s writing to read A Philosophical Investigation.

Stay warm. Stay safe. Stay socially distanced. Love Victorians doing the right thing.


Video of the Week

Diana Bradshaw - Artist, Gallery One Merchandiser + Life Drawing Coordinator


Play the video or watch it on YouTube

Photo Credits

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels –Life Drawing

Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash-Elephant in the room

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash- Child laughing

Photo by Thiébaud Faix on Unsplash-Market

Gerard Mignot-Paradise Lost and Paradise Found

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