Preserved Stories

Agnes Richter's Jacket

In a Victorian-era German asylum, seamstress Agnes Richter painstakingly stitched a mysterious autobiographical text into every inch of the jacket she created from her institutional uniform. 
                                                                                                      - gailhornstein.com

Throughout my life I have been fascinated by objects which have survived past the time in which they were created. I feel as if these articles can in some way take us back through their histories and reveal something of their owners and the society that shaped them. I like to collect items which hold a special significance to me and one of these is a pair of tiny gloves given to my by my husband shortly after we first met. These are very special articles to me because of the inscription from 1935 written on the faded envelope containing the gloves - 'A mitten of mothers your grandma that she wore when young in England many years ago approximately (1840)'. This link to the history of the gloves is quite touching and when I tried them on they were far too small for my hands. Grandma must have been a petite lady when she first donned them and their sentimental value to her daughter is apparent. I feel honored to posses such a special piece of this families history. Like the gloves and their envelope, Agnes Richter's jacket provides a window into another life, it is an object left behind that speaks of her life and is lovingly cared for to preserve her story.

A Mitten of Mothers


Peacock Feather Wedding Dress

'It may not be the longest, but surely is one of the most impressive wedding dresses. With its 2,009 peacock feathers taking 8 months to finish, this peacock sensation costs $1,5 Million.'
                                                                                                                                                                                   - Stylefrizz.com


Mrs. Maxwell

I am so excited, I've just purchased this amazing 1860s stereoview of taxidermist Mrs. Maxwell posing with a bunch of taxidermy mounts at Colorado museum. This will be the basis of a large painting in the future, I am hard at work on paintings for 'Cabinet of Curiosities' my next exhibition at Murano & Gullotti Gallery in November but as I have all the images I need for that exhibition I will keep this for my next show.


The Poetry Lesson

The Poetry Lesson

In 2010 I painted this piece for the exhibition 'The Velvet Album'. It was inspired by a photo of a Victorian couple and I loved the idea that these two were so close but convention kept them apart, for the moment. They share their inner feelings through the sheets of poetry laid out before them and the gentleman is holding 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost. I like to wonder which road they will take, will it be together or will they wander down a path of quiet reflection, contemplating what might have been.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost

Antoinettes Atelier

Rococo 1770s Historical Wig -De Lamballe- Marie Antoinette Wig, by Kathleen Marie

Ever since I was young and my parents threw elaborate Halloween parties I have enjoyed an intense love of theatrical costumes. This piece inspired by Marie Antoinette is the epitome of fantastic head wear and its creator should be applauded for her elegance and taste. I'm so glad there are such inspired people out there making every day a little brighter with their love of theatricality and their sense of style.


Jessica Joslin

Jessica Joslin is my favorite living artist and has such a wonderfully enigmatic style. I have the greatest respect for her sculptural fantasies. Her little creatures are so clean and beautifully made they astound me with their delicacy and their beauty. I have followed Joslin's career for years now and I would dearly love to see these creations in the flesh and hope one day to have a little friend of my own.

Below are my two favorite pieces from her recent 2010 exhibitions and you can find more about her art here:http://jessicajoslin.com/jessica/




A Vase and a Hand

This fantastic necklace comprises a Victorian sterling brooch hung from labradorites, moonstones, pyrites and moss aquamarines and was a recent birthday present. I think it is just magnificent. I have an intense love of old discarded things which have been given a new life. This piece was created by the very skilled Kathy Barrick of French Sentiments. You can find more of her creations on etsy;

My necklaces feel like pieces of art to me and so to do them justice I've just finished making a matching pair of hanging jewelry display cases to tidy them up and get them out of the jewelry box.

Norman Lindsay Museum, Blue Mountains, Sydney.

I was looking through some photos the other day and I thought that my first post should be about something which has touched me deeply and inspired me for years. Two years ago my husband and I were lucky enough to spend a night in the little cottage which sits nestled behind Norman Lindsay’s Blue Mountain home. In 1912 Lindsay and his wife Rose first set eyes on this house and it became a love affair over many decades for him as he put his own stamp on the house and grounds. He cherished solitude and the colonial style sandstone country house sits nestled amongst gum trees with outcrops of rock pushing out of the landscape. His house has now become a fantastic gallery and being in the presence of so many original pieces was very special. What I didn't anticipate was the effect the gardens produced in me. Sculptures of nymphs and satyrs people Lindsay’s extensive garden and anyone with romantic sensibilities would no doubt lose themselves in the delight of roaming and discovering. Later that evening I found myself drawn over the moonlit lawn, past cavorting figures and fountains full of silver water to sit and appreciate this night scene as Lindsay must have done almost a hundred years earlier. The photo below was taken at dawn as the laughing kookaburra woke. This little lovers seat was my favorite place and I sat sketching while the world still dreamed.

'Siren' sculpture and lovers bench under the Bull Bay Magnolias