artist statement


Safdar Ahmed is a Sydney based artist, academic and educator. He is
a founding member of not-for-profit community art organisation
Refugee Art Project, for which he conducts regular art workshops with
people of an asylum seekers and refugee background in their studio
at Thirning Villa in Ashfield. He is also a member of eleven: a
collective of contemporary Muslim Australian artists, curators and


I regarded myself as a writer rather than a visual artist until I joined Richard Neville’s OZ Magazine in London in 1968. I soon realised I was more interested in the OZ artists than the writers, who were Richard’s main passion. We became a good double act, with Felix Dennis already the businessman, handling advertising and design. We survived the six week seminal Conspiracy and Obscenity Trial of 1971 at the Old Bailey, but two
years later, we closed OZ down and went our separate ways.

In 1975, I settled in Bolinas, an alternative town in northern California and became the Monday editor of the local newspaper, the Hearsay News. As well as writing a weekly column about local affairs - plenty of those, Bolinas at that
time being a renowned political and creative hothouse - I had to come up with a weekly front cover. Thus began my life as a collage artist.

My work has been exhibited frequently in both northern California and back here in Sydney after I returned to Australia in 1993. LAMPOON, AN HISTORICAL ART TRAJECTORY 1971-2011 an exhibition at the University of Sydney’s Tin Sheds Gallery summed up my career in both image and word.

Lampoon was also the title of an illustrated book accompanying the exhibition, which was under the aegis of that year’s Mardi Gras Festival. My new series, Landscapes of Survival and Reconciliation will be part of the HeadOn Photo Festival 2020, now rescheduled for November after a successful run online (courtesy of Covid-19) in May.


The art practice of Gabrielle Bates has evolved over 30 years into an immersive investigation of how we occupy, understand and enchant place.

In 2007 Gabrielle undertook a year long residency in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which led to subsequent residencies in Penang, Manila and Australia. These experiences introduced her to more community-inclusive approaches to cultural production, as well as prompting her masters research into Witchcraft, ritual and creative activation.

In Australia, Gabrielle’s art works have been selected for highly regarded award exhibitions, she has received numerous commissions, and produced 13 solo exhibitions. Gabrielle also runs Cloudbough Residency in Kandos, regional NSW for creative and cultural producers.


Karen Bloomfield is represented in several east coast galleries and has created a brand for herself through two distinctive mediums: Industrial oil paintings on canvas; and Australian Wildlife in charcoal & inkon plywood. Her recent melding of the styles has been termed, ‘Reductionist Pop’. Bloomfield’s work is in collections throughout Australia, Amsterdam, the U.K., Hong Kon, China, Ireland and Afghanistan.


Staci Crutchfield is an itinerant potter who has pursued a self-directed study of wheel and sculptural pottery techniques since 2005.

Her interest in clay, seeded while living in Japan during high school in 1982, continued through her tertiary education in Asian Studies at the Australian National University and work in the tourism and hospitality sector to then provide a creative antidote to the challenges of delivering social services to those who need them the most while working in the Public Housing sector in New South Wales between 2011 - 2021.

In 2014, Staci built a portable wood-fired kiln to further her understanding of high temperature wood-firing and the use of ash glazes. In conjunction with attending ceramic workshops and conferences in Australia, Italy and Hungary, she has travelled to Mali, West Africa and Malekula, Vanuatu to experience the traditional clay arts and handicrafts of these cultures. Her current practice is based around carved functional vessels where the form directs the decorative surface treatment and sculptural work using found and altered clay bodies, which combine textured surfaces from the natural environment with small clay origami cranes.

A founding member of Claypool in Sydney, she has also been a member of the Bribie Island and Shorncliffe Pottery Clubs and is thrilled to have been invited to fire kilns with many of the wood-firing community.

Staci is interested in collaborating with makers in other media such as fibre, wood, glass and metal whereby her clay cranes or abstract forms could be incorporated into works with shared themes.
Staci has exhibited at Pine Street Creative Arts Centre and Yuga Cafe Gallery in Sydney.


Sandy Edwards started out her long career with photography in the 70’s, as a freelancer specialising in portraiture, social issues and the arts. Her passion for all things photographic led her to become a Photography Curator and Creative producer in 1991 when she joined Stills Gallery and then in 2008 founded Arthere, a new gallery model that provides services for photographers to succeed in the art world.

She has exhibited along the way with examples being Welcome to Brewarrina (Tin Sheds Gallery 1990), Paradise is a Place (Stills Gallery/Royal Botanic Gardens 1996) and Indelible (Stills Gallery 2004).

Recently she showed her work from ten years of photographing for The Age Newspaper, Melbourne. Showing My Age (TAP Gallery, Head On Photo Festival, 2020). Now she selects more work drawn from her archive – Indelible, 2004.


Nicole Eggers was born in Kiel, Germany and immigrated to Sydney at 10 yo and has lived in Sydney since then. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the National Arts School and a Master of Fine Arts from COFA.

Nicole has continued her primary practices of etching, photography and painting, regularly exhibiting her work. She also works to facilitate community art workshops.


Fiona is a Sydney based photographer born in Scotland. She has exhibited her photographs at Federation Square. She has holds a passionate interest for wild and lonely places and has been to Antarctica eleven times. A remarkable achievement when considering she has multiple sclerosis.

MS affects the lives of over 22,000 young Australian’s. This has not stopped Fiona maintaining a sense of adventure while travelling and living in countries as diverse as Bermuda and Chile. She continues to see the world with a photographer’s eye and in her words, her condition, “has added a new dimension to the term ‘camera shake’.”


Originally from Detroit Phil Hammial migrated to Australia in 1972. He spent a total of 11 years travelling in 85 countries, has had 34 solo sculpture exhibitions and participated in 80 group exhibitions including two in Paris. Director of The Australian Collection of Outsider Art – 24 exhibitions in five countries.

Also a poet: 33 published collections; included in 31 poetry
anthologies (in 7 countries); 132 journals (in 17 countries); twice short-listed for the Kenneth Slessor Prize, once for the ACT Poetry Book Award; poet in-residence for 6 months at the Cité International des Arts, Paris: represented Australia at 15 major international poetry festivals. Editor of Island Press, 1970-2017, 60 published titles. Hammial is an active member
of the Blue Mountains Extinction Rebellion group and for 8 years was a volunteer firefighter with the Woodford Bushfire Brigade.


Sydney Australian born and based, Dirk Kruithof studied a Fine Arts Diploma at Meadowbank and Kogarah Tafe, 1999 - 2001 Majoring in Painting. His subjects are language and information, the urban environment, words signs and symbols, beauty and decay.

Dirk uses photographs, sketches, the net, loud music, newspapers, the big bad city, coffee and the radio as inspiration. He has recently branched out into making digital artwork with the 'Procreate' App under alias 'Digital Decay.' These works are available as prints. He has sold his challenging and thought provoking work worldwide. Dirk has been exhibiting regularly since 2005.


Glenn Lockitch holds a Masters in Visual Arts (Photojournalism) and is an independent human rights and environmental photojournalist. He has photographed in Australia and overseas for 27 years and does not photograph nor allow his photos to be used in anything that contradicts with his values and conscience, including for unethical media, environmentally destructive or anti-human rights businesses. South African born, Glenn grew up during the apartheid period and had family who opposed and were targeted by the legalised racist system – this early experience profoundly influenced Glenn developing a deep sense of justice, expressed through his photojournalism.

His photos have been widely exhibited and published in Australian and global media and won Reportage Photojournalism Festival (2005). He has been a finalist in other
awards including the New York Photo Festival Book Category (2009); coproduced Cross Projections and was a Walkley Awards jurist (2016). Since 2010, he has also taught photojournalism and photography at the Australian Centre for Photography, the National Art School and Sydney Photographic Workshops.


Niki McDonald uses the tools and techniques of domesticity for urban sass and sustained self- expression. She has explored all things textiles and has a Bachelor of Creative Arts with a major in Textiles.

Her needlepoint tapestries and stitched pegboards capture urban faces, spaces and attitudes and the wool and stitches make the ephemeral permanent.