Friday the 19th June: Welcome to the Flat Platform. Art Zoom Bus live tour to Billy Gruner in Katoomba, The Blue Mountains, Australia. Sydney time 22:00, Amsterdam 14:00, Boston 08:00, London 13:00. #kulturama #LINDI2020 #goetheinstitut

I ‘met’ Billy Gruner and Sara Keighery online through a friend. No doubt we have rubbed shoulders unawares, when one could rub shoulders that is, at some exhibition of art or installation back in Sydney, or possibly in Europe or the United States. I love abstract art for its clarity, precision, courage, community and for the exciting ideas it points me towards when I engage. Billy and Sarah have travelled extensively bringers art and artists together in curated shows across the world for many years. I have followed their rovings on social media with delight as they explained abstraction to campers in European camp sites, facilitated group exhibitions from Sydney and Melbourne to Grenoble and Amsterdam, took abstraction and nonobjective art on gathering road in North America. They also toured us remotely to many wonderful, some obscure and many hard to access, architect built houses on their tours , a great pleasure. The RNOP ( brought together young and emerging artists and those in “full flight” as Billy describes the well known artists who he often cold calls to ask if they would like to be in a group show with people from around the world in a unique space on a collaborative or “flat platform”. Billy and Sarah are both contemporary artists who are delighted by ideas, passionate about architecture and Modernism.

If you have ever glanced sideways at an abstraction, non-figurative artwork, installation and just wondered what the hell it was all about then this AZB tour is for you. If you are curious about humanity, art, architecture, ideas, society and history this tour is for you. If you have an interest in Concrete Art, De Stijl, Reductive thought and the Non-Objective, Post-Formalism, process based art you should really meet Billy. This is your chance!

Bring your breakfast, lunch, tea, coffee, wine or nightcap to Zoom with us. Just get in touch with me via FBM message or this site and I will send you a Zoom link. You click once, I admit you to the Zoom, you sit back and enjoy and can also ask questions if you wish! Please tap or click to enable video and disable audio to reduce background noise. If you wish to speak you can tap and talk or you can wave or type to chat using the buttons. Feel free to come in a little early should you wish to practice or even just say hello and join the warm up!

29th or 30th May NL to Au, Zoom Bus to Dr. Peter Hill, Sydney

It was late here, almost the witching hour and the crack of dawn in Sydney, when we went live to visit with Scottish Australian artist and writer, Dr. Peter Hill in Balmain, Sydney. Our audience came in from Paris, and Puglia, Italy (clearly night owls like me), Connecticut, Massachusetts and The Hague. We were a small group of seven but from diverse locations.

There are some things I’m learning about these online, live, lockdown outings which I need to work with. It is quite hard to bring everyone in at a suitable time. Inevitably there is a time zone which we just can’t allow for so my response has been to try and vary the times so everyone who has contacted me can join some tours. We have had audience members from Portugal, France, Spain, Denmark, The Netherlands, the east, central and west of the US, Australia (east and west coast), Singapore and the UK. If you have an urge to join us please contact me and tell me what days and times will work for you and I will do my utmost to accommodate you!

Another factor is that everyone we visit has a preferred time as the work around their job, family, online learning, hours available, internet strength and access to their studio or gallery space. Lockdown factors have also meant that guests who want to join can’t always make it with one even being called up by the NHS as an essential worker just before the call!

A couple of things I loved about visiting Peter at my midnight and his dawn were that the beautiful readings from Stargazer that he honoured us with were a bedtime story for those of us in the EU. It was very special to see the sun rising over the trees from the Balmain balcony not so long after it had set here (after 10pm in the Northern summer). Perhaps a look outside may be something we endeavour to do in every future tour.

I’ve decided to just post some of the phrases and associations to the live book reading, Peter’s art, and the conversation that we enjoyed. It seems too rich as it is for me to then compose it in a prose reflection, a too reductive process. I’ll add at the end links so you can enjoy some of Peter’s work, the fascinating work of artists and writers that were mentioned and additional published and unpublished writing and images. There will be links to online resources to listen, look and/or read.

Peter’s ruminations on lighthouse keeping and lockdown, and the links in his works and writing to the times in which we live are fascinating.

“A friendly rock in an ever changing ocean…the film ‘The Lighthouse’ with Willem Dafoe…mad bastards on islands…The crack where the light gets in…the separation between fiction and art…Karl Popper and Falsification- advance though doubt. Lighthouse keeper’s night shifts were called Rembrandts…The Night Watch men. Slowed down, listened to natural sounds, pondering on Blake’s Universe in a grain of sand. Keepers would refuse shore leave. Shore leave=loneliness. The sounds and people would be overwhelming, too many choices, cravings. Living with trauma and how it shapes you…Paddy Armstrong, The Guildford Four, Wrongful imprisonment, Gerry Conlan multimedia installation, the original voice, the media voice, the filmic voice (Daniel Day Lewis, The Name of The Father. Social superfictions, falsified documents. And finally from Beckett, “Fail better”

Order the book!

Listen, Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Watch, Lighthouse,

Learn, Karl Popper,

Deep dive, This amazing link to the project at the Rijksmuseum that allows you to zoom in on Rembrandt’s most famous work in a way never before possible.

Listen, Augeries of Innocence read by Roy Macready.

History, (Trigger warning: includes video of the bombing embedded in the article).

A page from Peter’s diaries,

A film to watch or rewatch,

Listen, Samuel Beckett, extract from The Unameable, …the sounds of beasts

And finally…Peter’s homepage!

29th May 2020 John Bokor’s studio, Australia

Today our audience joined us from the UK, The Netherlands, Singapore and Australia to chat with Australian artist John Bokor. It was early morning, coffee time, here in The Hague. With John, in Bulli a beautiful area south of Sydney and close to Wollongong, it was late afternoon.

John Bokor

I came across John’s work while living here in The Netherlands because I follow online a Sydney Gallery called King Street on William. The First King Street Gallery was set up by Randi Linnegar, the Director, when I lived in Sydney. i visited it regularly in the nineties. Since then Randi has continued to be a champion for emerging and established artists and is always a passionate advocate for artists. We have one of John’s paintings from about six years ago. It depicts a living room interior in a beautiful filtered light. It was after I enquired about the work that I discovered it depicted the living room of a Sydney artist called Sallie Moffatt. Sallie’s drawings are delicate, honest and beautiful. Sallie now lives and works on the coast south of Sydney not far from John’s studio. The painting, depicting Australia light filtering in through the windows, looks beautiful here in the Dutch light.

John generously spoke to us from his studio and showed us around. As he carried his device around the room it was sometimes delightfully difficult to tell the interior depicted on the stacked canvases from the interior of the studio. The paintings depict many objects from his house and imagination including, bottles, brushes, books, soft furnishings. John has moved over the years from painting the literal interiors that he encounters to imaginary ones that he constructs on the surface in line and colour and then adds (and removes) objects and colour and texture. The colour in the works is playful and vibrant. John explained to us that it may be a single colour relationship in a work, perhaps a red and a blue, and the dynamic play between them, that he starts to explore and which leads to the more complex and subtle colour composition within the work. In recent years John has introduced more haphazard chance into the works, even using an airbrush with both oil and acrylic. This takes technical mastery, as some of you would know, as paint must be used from thin to fat if the work is not to crack while drying. The final works are a dance of gesture, line, light and colour.

There is a great podcast I follow called Talking with Painters. You can’t listen to the episode where they interview John here:

The great thing about studio visits is you hear an artist’s thoughts on current works in process and past works complete. We heard about works that John returned to after thinking they were finished, about the surprising prevalence os a shade of purple that he saw in a series only when it was finally hanging in a gallery, of hoe the work “…rolls and moves until it gels.”

Inspirations for John’s art works include Kevin Connor and Elizabeth Cumming. Both Sydney artists whose works I also adore.

I’ll conclude with the advice that Kevin Connor once gave John as it seems so apt for the times we are living in, “:Let your imagination out now and then.”

Thanks for coming! Lisa

Links to tomorrow’s zooms! There are two!

Tomorrow, Friday here in The Hague (the second one will be Saturday morning if you are in Australia or that region), we will Zoom to Sydney for two AZ-B tours.

The first in the morning (8am FridayAmsterdam/4pm Sydney) will be to painter John Bokor where we will see his current work and talk about the painter’s process.

The second will be 11pm FridayAmsterdam/7am Saturday in Sydney and at a respectable time in Houston/Boston/NYC! In this one we will visit Scottish Australian artist and writer Dr. Peter Hill. Peter will read from his memoir Stargazer that meditates on his experiences as a young art student who dropped out to become a lighthouse keeper in the Outer Hebrides. We will also discuss lighthouse keeping and isolating in the time of Covid19 and look at Peter’s new paintings.

I have sent links to join in by private message and by email. If you haven’t received one it is also below. You click on the link and it takes you to the Zoom. You can click or tap on your screen to activate/deactivate your audio and camera. Come in a little early if you’d like to practice because you haven’t tried this before.

Bring your wine, coffee, tea and settle in for the ride. You can just sit back and watch, listen or even activate your audio and ask a question or contribute a comment.

Lisa M is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: AZ-B John Bokor Sydney
Time: May 29, 2020 08:00 AM Amsterdam

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 841 4325 6267
Password: 729732

Lisa M is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: AZ-B Dr Peter Hill
Time: May 29, 2020 11:00 PM Amsterdam

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 820 3476 3815
Password: 680975

Tomorrow, tomorrow…!

Hey folks can you handle another one tomorrow? More UK/EU/OZ friendly?
We could take the Zoom Bus to Australian painter John Bokor tomorrow. You’ll love his work if you don’t know it already! We could go tomorrow morning Amsterdam time/afternoon Sydney time. Could do it next week as well. Let me know your availability and desires! Who knows where we will be next week… in lockdown? At 50% school? Watching a space launch?

NEW TOUR! 7am SAT 30TH MAY (Sydney) Friday US/EU/UK

I’m taking AZ-B for a live visit to Dr. Peter Hill, artist and author, in Sydney,
Saturday 30th May.

Peter has been in lockdown in Balmain working on his art and writing. Having temporarily shelved his plans for his book on Australian art and a second publication of interviews with prominent artists, he has been creating a mini-museum of objects in the house, working on new paintings and writing about art, corona and light house keeping. Peter is an early riser in Sydney and it will be late Friday here in Holland and throughout the EU/UK but we hope if you are in these zones that you can still join us. If in the US (Mid to late afternoon Friday) or Australia (early morning) please also jump aboard whether for coffee, tea, wine, a night cap or a bedtime herbal brew!

We will enjoy a reading from Peter’s award wining book Stargazer, have a chat and take audience questions!
7:00 Sydney/23:00 Amsterdam/17:00 Boston/:00 Houston
Contact me for Zoom link

13th May 2020

Michael Reid Gallery, Berlin with Laura Thompson.

Reflections on catching the Art Zoom Bus to Berlin for a Virtual Gallery tour.

I had fun today. Thanks to the generosity of Laura, curator at Michel Reid Gallery, Berlin, I facilitated a virtual visit to the gallery with guests from the UK, Australia, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands and the US.

Laura took us on a virtual tour (mobile device in hand, seeing the work hanging in the gallery space, walking around, talking to camera, taking questions and even giving us the treat of a trip to the stockroom! The latter is always something of a privilege and I have always enjoyed seeing the current exhibition in the context of other works and artist who the gallery chooses to represent. It often adds depth and perspective to seeing the work on the walls. Thank you, Laura, for your time!

Thank you to the guests who joined us. Verity (Athens) and Megan (Boston) I would normally enjoy catching up with about this time of year at a global conference. Sadly the 2020 event in Lisbon was cancelled for obvious reasons. The conference often includes gallery and museum visits as a social balance to the busy days. The conference guests include people from all around the globe, most are in lockdown in some way. Some are very constrained from social life and, like many of my friends and colleagues are sharing the grief, anger, sadness and frustrations of the pandemic’s impact with each other online. The Corona virus is certainly the elephant in the room at the moment. Quite a few who were going to join us on the Zoom Bus today were sending their last-minute apologies because of the impact of unexpected child care, pick-ups, internet losses etc. associated with the lifting of lockdown. I hope they can join us next time.

I have been feeling sad for friends and colleagues who have had their exhibitions shut down by the pandemic. The impact on the arts in all of its forms has been devastating and complex. Artists have been constrained from working in their studios, had work stranded internationally, had exhibitions hung with no audience or opening or had events cancelled. I really miss just getting out and seeing the works and exhibitions. I know from my work in the arts that rent, expenses, studio rent, materials, framing, presentation, commissions, advertising and freight costs all have to be met and sometimes artists will even be operating at a loss, often subsidising their practice with other jobs. If they are lucky enough to make an income it is usually sporadic and often directed at paying the costs for the next body of works.

Art making is usually a solitary practice. Have you seen that meme?

Pin on Funny Pictures

But the solitude is only part of the job.  Most artists like to present their work and discuss their work, and if they don’t we have curators, like Laura, who can help with that!

It was wonderful to see the exhibition in Berlin with Laura, Every Painting has Tjukurpa (story): Contemporary paintings by women of the desertI have been thinking of the remote First Nations communities in Australia and hoping they remain safe. They are geographically very isolated communities but while that has advantages in this time it also has always been a problem for provision of health services and supplies such as fresh food. It was good to hear they were safe and doing well.

Below is the link to the exhibition and also you can use the link to read more about the works and navigate to Michael Reid Sydney and Murrurundi (rural NSW) to see more, including the additional works that failed to make it to Berlin because of the pandemic.

As I mentioned, a rummage through the stockroom is a bit of a gallery treat. I would like to take our Zoom Bus to visit artist’s studios, which may be the ultimate treat for art lovers, and also we will see more exhibitions if we continue to have (and grow) this audience. I’ll try and vary the times so that different timezones can access the visits. Sometimes access is dictated by who has ‘feet on the ground’ and their ability to access a studio space or gallery.

This Friday 13th May at 10am San Franciso, 7pm Amsterdam/Berlin we will visit Belinda Fox’s solo exhibition at Maybaum, Gallery in San Francisco guided by the director, Christina Maybaum.

Sorry, Australia, it is an awkward time for you…. But if you can’t sleep?

Contact me by message/email or social media if you would like to join and invite your friends!

Belinda Fox is an Australia artist currently living and working in The Hague, exhibiting in Australia, Singapore, Germany and San Francisco. Belinda’s glass work was recently acquired by the prominent Gemeente Museum in The Hague. I saw it in situ last year, gorgeous.

During these strange days I have also been musing on what the arts may look like in the future. There has been a shift for many years for galleries towards international audiences (online) and international, regional and national art fairs as the primary place for offline promotion and sales to occur. Foot traffic through the door into exhibitions was once a source of sales but increasingly that happens less, even opening events have been changed to closing parties or private appointment viewings. Not a bad thing in some ways. Online sales help galleries keep costs down as they don’t have to have premium street frontage if they have a strong online presence. Galleries are great at getting art safely moved to buyers and the best galleries operate strongly on a trust relationship with their audience, their clients, their artists. Art fairs are expensive though and often that forum discriminates against less populist, emerging or minority artists. What will happen to the Art Fair in times of Covid19? Already many large art events and exhibitions are closed or cancelled. If anyone can innovate in times of crisis it is often the artist. Keep an eye out for new movements and new approaches to art and art finding its audience!

Artists have been increasingly isolated for many years, not by a virus but by the cost of living in cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Paris, New York, London. Twenty years ago many artists strived to live in urban city environments and made and taught and contributed to a thriving creative city community. Not many do now but the diaspora of arts practitioners to remote country towns and rural areas has added new life to many a country town or community and resulted in some fantastic regional festivals and events springing up around the world. Knowing so many artists with a remote studio planted the idea in my mind years ago to connect them up with an audience via digital technology. It has been with a student who needs tutoring or a friend who has an interest in their work but what do you say we now take the Zoom Bus to some of these studios?

Thanks for coming today and making my lockdown a little less isolating.

If you would like to receive the digital catalogue from Laura and/or add you name to the mailing list for today’s gallery please contact the gallery directly via their website or confirm with me and message me your email address. I have to have positive confirmation by EU law to share your contact details. Below you can view online professional profiles (from the public domain) for some of our participants. I think you will really enjoy browsing these links!

Best wishes,


The Hague

With us today were:

Laura Thompson, Michael Reid Gallery, Berlin.

John (UK/Australia).

Peter (UK/Australia)

Megan (Boston)

Verity (Athens)

Carol (Berlin/Australia)

Laurens (China/US/Australia)

Belinda Fox (The Netherlands/Australia)

John (Australia) 

Phillip and Jane (Australia)

Did I forget anyone? (:

Friday May 15th 2020

Belinda Fox in her studio, The Hague, 2020.

Reflection on catching the Zoom Bus to Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco for a Virtual Gallery tour.

It seems ‘we’ have a name now, AZ-B or Art Zoom Bus. A good friend of mine thinks the name kind of lame. But that’s kind of how I like it. The Zoom-Bus name originated early in lockdown when I arranged a Zoom social event (read wine or coffee) with people who I usually only see annually at a conference. We were checking in online with each other and my thumbs were fatigued from texting so I set up a call. That conference was meant to be in Lisbon, in May. Each year there are some wonderful excursions at the end of a long day to wind down and it is often to a gallery or museum with dining and wine. Everyone dresses up but there are no limousines or taxis, there are usually a few chartered buses. It always sets an informal and fun tone to pile into a bus together whilst relatively formally dressed.

Our conference friends are from many countries and time zones so we decided to repeat the social event at various times to bring in people in lockdown from all over the world. I thought it might be fun to replicate online what we would usually do as the social element of a conference and arranged a curated tour of Michael Reid Gallery in Berlin with the lovely Laura Thompson. Some couldn’t make it and asked for more so I arranged a second gallery event!

I’ve always liked gallery openings not to see the art. They are the worst time to see the art. Noise, people, distraction, the comings and goings (the drunks, what, me? Never!). They are a great time to learn about the art and then you go and have a longer look at your leisure online or in the gallery…. later! At openings you are likely to meet the artist, their friends and family, people who are passionate about or interested in the work and have a deep well of knowledge and insight into the work and art generally. You may think I am overusing the word ‘work’. Making art is work. It requires skill, isolation, dedication, sacrifice, passion and stubbornness.

On our second Zoom-bus tour we were invited to Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco by the Director, Christina Maybaum,   to see the work of Belinda Fox, an Australian artist, who resides in The Hague.

Belinda Fox has a studio in The Hague where we met some years ago. Knowing that her exhibition opening in San Francisco was likely shut down by the Pandemic I asked if we could perhaps tour it virtually. At first it was somewhat complicated but when Christina, the Director, was able to access the works, the gallery and get across town we were invited to visit! Belinda was able to come onto the call to answer questions and tell us about her work. Christina was a champion, it is not easy to walk around a gallery holding up an iPad for an hour while talking (I do hope your arms have recovered)!

It was a total pleasure to have the artist and the gallery on the same call from The Hague and San Francisco. Our audience participants joined from The Hague, Los Angeles, Denmark, NYC, Paris, Sydney, Athens, England and Scotland.

The scope of the call really didn’t seem like enough time to explore Belinda’s work with the depth I think it deserves. Her ability to commit herself one hundred percent to each location she lives in, and to every medium she encounters, is impressive. The wall hung works blend technique acquired from training as a printmaker, painting, drawing, textile elements and collage. This artist is not easily intimidated by a new challenge. While living in The Netherlands she worked in glass, a completely new medium, with a contemporary Dutch glass studio. Into the glass Belinda channelled. Work produced was exhibited, and then acquired, for the prestigious collection of the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag. Printmaking at the level Belinda Fox has mastered is something I never quite had the patience and precision to achieve. To take it beyond the technical mastery of working as a master printer and be able to experiment and break new ground in your own work is another level again.

I’ll attach a few links to works, articles and information I know you will enjoy. Perhaps have a look and feel free to share it before we take the Art Zoom Bus to Belinda’s studio in The Netherlands which we are planning for a future excursion!

If you’d like to enquire with Maybaum Gallery about the catalogue or the works or perhaps join the mailing list please contact Christina:

 or call 415-658-7669 

49 Geary Street, Suite 416, San Francisco, CA 94108

You are also welcome to contact me with questions, or suggestions for AZ-B tours.

Thanks for coming!

Lisa x