‘Sleeping with knives’ series 2009 ink jet on Canson Canvas 60 x 89cm

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Julie Shiels: sleeper

Exhibition dates: 1 April – 10 May 2009
Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road
Wheelers Hill

Sleeper, Julie Shiels’ new exhibition at Monash Gallery of Art is the culmination of a four-year project in which she has used discarded mattresses found on the streets of Melbourne as source material for her art.

The mattresses are used in a range of ways. Shiels fashions pyjamas from the upholstery, documents the array of weapons found secreted in the stuffing and in the series Bedtime stories binds their ornate fabrics into artist’s books.

In his catalogue essay Jason Smith, Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art states: Sleeper reminds us why artists undertake the mysterious, compulsive acts they do to externalise their visions and contemplations of the world we inhabit: they tell us it is necessary to look again, to not deny some of the terrors of the everyday, and to see strange beauty and seek solace in some simple (and not so simple) things.

Tues to Fri: 10am-5pm, Sat & Sun: 12-5pm
Closed: Mondays and public holidays

The trees of Rome





There was something immediately recognisable in the shape of the trees, they were rangy but with perfect canopies.They had been the backdrop of Rome’s famous sites for centuries, the traveller had seen them before in postcards and paintings. Grand, majestic and emblematic of the city, they were of humble origin – the common pine tree shaped through time by judicious pruning.

I must be in Naples because….


… there is a coin machine in the lift.

“I’ll show you to your room”, the concierge said as they entered the lift.
The traveller followed hoping that politeness would overide claustrophobia.
“Now,” the concierge instructed “to make it go up you need to put a coin in the meter”, as she rolled 5 cents into the slot.
The traveller was so incredulous she had to suppress a laugh, “I’ve never seen that before” she offered coyly, hoping not to sound like a smart arse.
The tone must have worked because the concierge respectfullly informed her,
“Most lifts in Naples are coin operated so make sure you keep your small change handy otherwise you will have to use the stairs.”