An interview with Alexi Keywan


Alexi Keywan, Until Tonight, etching

Alexi Keywan, Until Tonight, etching


Alexi Keywan is a Sydney born artist who currently resides in Lismore, Australia.

Her work depicts familiar environments that she deftly instils with an intriguing eeriness.

Recently Alexi took the time to provide me with an insight into her practice and other interests.


Alexi Keywan, The Passenger No. 11, pencil on paper

Alexi Keywan, The Passenger No. 11, pen on paper


Rona: Your art practice includes printmaking, painting and drawing. What do you like about working with a variety of different materials and techniques?

Alexi: The ability to make marks and create images from each medium that are unique to themselves – they all have different ‘atmospheres’. Each medium affords me a different kind of headspace.


Alexi Keywan, Sometime, Someplace, etching

Alexi Keywan, Sometime, Someplace, etching


R: Who has influenced and inspired your art?

A: Initially my father, sculptor Orest Keywan.

Off the top of my head… Euan Mcleod, John Beard, Karla Dickens, Aida Tomescu, William Kentridge, John Virtue, Vija Celmins, Kiki Smith, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Ed Ruscha, Edward Hopper, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, James McNeil Whistler and Francisco de Goya.

Also lecturers and staff from National Art School, Sydney, particularly from the Print department (where I became a part of the furniture after seven consecutive years).


R: When you are making art do you prefer to work in silence or be listening to something?

A: Ever since I can remember, making any kind of art has enabled me to retreat from the world and create my own. I can’t imagine not having a ‘soundtrack’ to this. I think in art school I garnered a reputation as being busy and unapproachable due to the music driven print frenzies I’d get in to. At the moment it’s Frank Sinatra on the way to the studio and then something like Dirty Three or Godspeed You! Black Emperor.


Alexi Keywan, The Passenger No. 12, pencil on paper

Alexi Keywan, The Passenger No. 12, pen on paper


R: What are a few of your favourite things?

A: Solo road trips, travelling, boxing, tattooing and being tattooed, taking photos of concrete and steel.


R: Do you have a favourite gallery or museum?

A: I pretty much grew up in The Australian Museum (Orest worked there), and gallery wise it really depends on what is on.


R: What about your favourite art making material?

A: Etching copper because of the variables involved, but then on another day it could be drawing… or painting.


R: And your favourite food to eat after a big day in the studio?

A: Chocolate.

R: Snap!

Finally, congratulations Alexi on recently winning the 13th CPM National Print Award with your etching, You Are Here.


Alexi Keywan, You Are Here, etching

Alexi Keywan, You Are Here, etching


Alexi will be exhibiting prints and drawings at Australian Galleries, 35 Derby Street, Collingwood, VIC, 3066, from 27 August to 15 September 2013.


You can also view Alexi in conversation with Michel Lawrence from The Stock Rooms on YouTube:



Work in progress


“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


The entrance to my studio

The entrance to my studio


Studio view

Inside the studio


Ideas collecting on a pin board

Ideas collecting on a pin board


Linocut in progress

A linocut in the making


One of my printing presses

Printing press


A lino block and prints on the drying rack

A lino block and prints on the drying rack


Brushes and inks used to hand colour my prints

Brushes and inks used to hand colour my prints


Another view of the studio space

Another view of the studio space


Books and UFC figurines

Books and UFC figurines


Preparatory work for a painting

Preparatory work for a painting


A painting in progress

A painting in progress


Bucky, a completed acrylic on canvas painting

Bucky, a completed acrylic on canvas painting


I will be exhibiting these works (as well as other prints, paintings and drawings) at Australian Galleries in Melbourne, from 27 August – 15 September 2013.

If you would like to receive an invitation to the exhibition opening click here to join my mailing list.


A discussion with Deborah Williams

Deborah Williams is an artist who is based in Melbourne, Australia.

Working with intaglio printmaking, she lovingly explores the world of the canine.

Please enjoy my dialogue with Deborah about her art and interests.

Deborah Williams, Looking in from the outside, 2012, etching, engraving and roulette intaglio, 58 x 77.5 cm, edition 20

Rona: Please describe your art for us.

Deborah: When I look at dogs in and around me, I question whether dogs are seen for what they are, as separate beings. I observe that while we do not objectify our dogs per se, our feelings are frequently filtered through human perspectives; these dogs are therefore anthropomorphized, brought unwittingly into our worlds.

I strive to challenge the anthropomorphizing of dogs even though I acknowledge that my work, in common with historical and contemporary contexts of the representation of dogs, is none the less filtered through my own perspectives and brought into our world.

I aim to depict the dog not as a breed above, apart or beyond, but of its own, captured in a moment.

Deborah Williams, Alternative view, 2012, etching, engraving and roulette intaglio, 36 x 89 cm, edition 20

R: Why is the dog as subject matter so special to you?

D: I did not consciously set out to make images of dogs. It just seemed to evolve organically. In 1992 I adopted a Blue Heeler x from the pound. Ruby accompanied me often to the studio and I drew her in those moments when I felt at a complete loss or creatively uninspired. This seemed to happen often.

I began to look at the dog as a potent marker for the fragility of the world we live in. And they represent the qualities we advocate but cannot sustain – unquestioning love, inner peace, inexhaustible spirit. They educate, intrigue and amuse me.

Deborah Williams, A point of view II, 2012, etching, roulette and engraving intaglio, 69 x 43 cm, edition 20

R: Who has been an inspiration to you art wise?

D: Noel Counihan. I was fortunate to grow up with his linocut print The Hunger, 1959. Counihan believed printmaking was a Socialist art form, easier to disseminate to the masses. This philosophy had a direct impact on my decision to study Printmaking and has continually inspired me. His images keep me grounded. They challenge me to keep reflecting and I believe, always will.

R: Which of your art making tools is the favourite?

D: Roulette wheels.

Deborah Williams, Projection, 2011, engraving and roulette, 21 x 19 cm, edition 20

R: When you are working what do you listen to?

D: RRR or music ranging from Joan as Policewoman, Gil Scott-Heron and Beethoven.

R: What is your all time favourite book, and are you currently reading anything interesting?

D: All time favourite book would have to be The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger and I’m currently reading Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean.

R: Where do you like to visit for relaxation when not making art?

D: Somewhere warm with an amazing beach and great food. If that’s not possible, walking the parks around the Merri Creek or Yarra with my dog Kish.

R: Thanks for chatting with me Deb!

If you would like to see Deborah’s work in the flesh run along to her exhibition Sense of Self at Australian Galleries, 50 Smith Street, Collingwood, VIC, 3066. The show is on now and continues until Sunday 16 September 2012.

You can also check out more of Deb’s delightful work by clicking here to visit her website.

Nosing around – part 1


James Rouse on the cover of Time Magazine


‘Cities must be fun.’

James Rouse (1914-1996)


Marvellous Melbourne, Australia, c. 1995


Melbourne, Australia.

Judged the world’s most livable city in 2011.

Contentiously referred to as the cultural capital of the country.

The place I have called home since 1995.


Mercator Studios at the Abbotsford Convent


I’ve previously featured my studio at the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne.

It is very close to the inner city suburbs of Collingwood and Fitzroy, which I frequent for various reasons.

I thought it might be fun to take you on a tour of a few of my haunts.

Firstly, here is Collingwood through my (somewhat blurry, black and white) eyes!


Australian Galleries Smith Street entry


Australian Galleries in Collingwood represent my work and I exhibit at the 50 Smith Street gallery space.


Nick and Kate at Australian Galleries Smith Street


The Smith Street gallery is managed by the most excellent Nicholas Thompson and Kattie Bugeja.

As well as the main gallery space that presents an exciting range of exhibitions, the Smith Street location also houses an intimate print room.


Australian Galleries Smith Street print room


In the print room you can view work by a plethora of awesome artists including Deborah Williams, Graeme Drendel, Alexi Keywan… and me!


Street view of Fluff Hair


Located a few doors along from Australian Galleries at 46 Smith Street, Collingwood is the fantastic Fluff Hair.


The phenomenal Mario of Fluff Hair


This funky salon is where I have my coiffure styled by scissor genius, Mario Italiano.

Relaxing follicle conditioning and hot beverages are ably provided by the enigmatic Brendon.


Brendon manning the desk at Fluff Hair


Amble on down the road a little further and you will come across the astounding St Luke Artist Colourmen, purveyors of quality art supplies, at 32 Smith Street, Collingwood.


St Luke Artist Colourmen shop front


What a sweet shop is to a kid, St Luke Artist Colourmen is to artists!


St Lukette Kez ready to assist you at the St Luke counter


Kez Hughes and Paul Williams of St Luke are fabulous fonts of information regarding anything and everything art related.


St Luke staffer Paul stocking the shelves with goodies


Round the way at 9 Campbell Street, Collingwood you will find the inimitable Neo Frames.


Entrance to Neo Frames


These guys are who I trust to frame all my art – drawings, prints and paintings.

The customer service and workmanship at Neo are beyond compare.


The wonderful Neo Frames workshop


Give Bob and the crew a visit if you have any framing needs.

If you’re lucky dashing shop dog Neko may be around to give you a friendly greeting!


The lovely Bob and Neko at Neo Frames


In a fortnight i’ll scoot you all over Fitzroy in Nosing around – part 2.

Until next time!


Strokin’ is open


Australian Galleries Glenmore Road, Sydney, Australia


Strokin’ – an exhibition of prints, paintings and drawings by me – is now open at Australian Galleries Glenmore Road, Sydney, Australia and runs until Sunday 11 March.


Here are a few pics I snapped of the show installed at the gallery for your viewing pleasure.






My favourite work in the show is The Surgeon as it pays homage to my cat Googie.


Rona Green, The Surgeon, 2010, linocut, ink and watercolour


Googie Abwy (1992-2010)


If you are keen to see more work you can check out my artists page on the Australian Galleries website.


Rona is Strokin’