Following the opening of My First Ballet: Swan Lake in London last week, hear from one of its stars, English National Ballet School student Chloe Keneally. She performs the iconic role of Odette in this version of the classic ballet for young children.
What or who inspired you to take up ballet? Can you remember the first lesson or performance you attended?
My older sister danced which made me want to. I started aged 4 and loved it, I enjoyed the freedom. I saw Sleeping Beauty first and loved it, it became my favourite ballet.
What did it mean to you to get a place at English National Ballet School?
It is a sacrifice being away from my family back home in Australia, but being here is a dream come true. Everything I’d been working for paid off. I loved the school, it was the only one I auditioned for.
What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to dance in My First Ballet: Swan Lake?
Amazing. It feels like the first steps into the rest of our lives, it shows us what we can do in the future. The artistic team are very supportive which is great.
Tell us about the role you have been rehearsing – what are the best bits and the challenges?
I’m rehearsing Odette – it’s my dream role. It’s hard to remember it all but I’m embracing the challenge. I’m loving doing an entire ballet and building the character. I feel like I can relate to this character – falling in love, learning about trust and vulnerability.
She appears to be flying through her studies having been awarded the First Year Female Student Progression Award/Most Progressed. Well done to Chloe and we look forward to hearing more about your progression into Second Year.
To learn more about the Leanne Benjamin Awards please go to our website here (Photos: Victor Gonzalez)
Chloe Keneally, Biography
Australian ballerina, Chloe Jane Keneally completed her first year at the English National Ballet School and is about to start her second in September.
With the English National Ballet School, Chloe is currently studying around 50 hours per week and is working towards a Diploma in Professional Dance at Level 5. She has had many performance opportunities such as being chosen to dance for the Slaughter and May performance, perform her own choreography solo in the Christmas Show and perform in the finals of the Choreography Competition. Prior to this she trained at the Debra Whitten School of Dance completing her RAD Advanced 2 exam achieving 96%, Advanced Foundation 98% and Advanced 1 95%.
In April 2016, Chloe competed in the 2016 Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York and was offered a scholarship to The New Zealand School of Dance.
Some recent achievements include:
In 2015 Chloe was selected to participate in the Royal Ballet (Upper School) Summer School in London.
Participated in the City of Sydney Eisteddfod and was a Finalist in the Robert and Elizabeth Albert Scholarship (top 8%) and then placed 2nd (out of 80) for the 15 years’ classical section.
Received the encouragement award for the 2015 RAD Jacqueline Morland Awards and was awarded the most outstanding classical dancer of Brisbane Eisteddfod
Was part of the Australian Ballet School Interstate training program from level 1 through to “Invitee”, and also continued to train weekly with the Queensland Ballet Junior training program (since 2012).
Danced the lead role of the Sugarplum fairy in 2015 in my ballet school end of year concert, dancing the challenging Grand Pas de Deux and variation with a professional male ballet dancer as guest artist.
Jakab Kaufmann is a successful bassoonist from Sydney now based in Europe. He trained as an orchestral musician and a conductor in Sydney before moving to Basel where he studied early music at the renowned Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
Now living in Bern, he has established himself as a freelance musician working with ensembles and orchestras in Switzerland, Germany and the UK, playing on both modern and historical instruments. One of his upcoming ventures is a new, innovative production of Rameau’s Pygmalion with his colleagues in the London-based Ensemble Molière. Speaking to Jakab, I asked him about his work and this exciting new project:
How does an orchestral musician make the leap to specialising in early music, particularly after studying to be a conductor?
While I was studying conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium, I was asked to play baroque bassoon for the early music ensemble’s performance of Gluck’s “The Pilgrims to Mecca.” I’d never played this instrument before and I thought it sounded horrible but once I braved the potential embarrassment of playing in front of other people, I discovered the incredible resonance within an ensemble. I started playing more and more and learned to love the difficulties of playing such a different instrument. There seemed to be so much to learn and enjoy from playing music on an instrument so distantly related to the one I’d previously dedicated my life to.
Like so many Australian musicians you decided to move overseas. I am interested to know why you chose Switzerland? Was it your first choice?
I decided a long time ago that I wanted to move to the German speaking world and in 2011, I attended a summer school at the Humboldt University in Berlin. I spent a month there improving my German and I still have a soft spot for that city. My path changed however and whilst I still entertain the idea of returning to conducting someday, my goal quickly re-focussed on being a well-rounded musician in whatever form it took. I flew to Europe in 2013 and travelled around, doing masterclasses on both modern and baroque bassoons, and visiting different teachers until I decided on Basel and its famous Schola were perfect for me. It’s a very international school with a great balance of academic research and performance-based projects. The community is very positive and creative, which lead to some great friendships and fantastic opportunities.
The UK can be quite a distant world to the continent without the right connections. How did you began to work here?
I attended the Dartington International Summer School’s Baroque Orchestra Programme with a scholarship in 2013. The environment there is so open and relaxed that it’s conducive to amazing opportunities. I made friends with many different musicians there, including established professional musicians who have been able to organise projects with me. In addition to various audition processes, I’ve also reconnected with a lot of friends from Sydney who have moved to the UK. The life of a freelance musician is very much dependant on who you know and luckily, some lovely people have helped me get my name out there.
As a founding member of the young early music group, Ensemble Molière could you tell me about your work and the repertoire you play?
We first played together in this combination in 2014 at the Dartington International Summer School and the first piece we played was the “Deuxième récréation de musique” by Jean-Marie Leclair. That experience made us realise that we worked well as an ensemble and that we all wanted to play more French music. Since then we’ve gone on to perform concerts in Brighton, Graz, Bruges and Utrecht, as well as more regular concerts in London.
We were lucky enough to participate in the Brighton Early Music Festival’s Early Music Live! Scheme in 2015 and we were invited to return for our own concert in the 2016 Festival. We’ve expanded our repertoire and recorded our music and we’re always looking for opportunities to push the boundaries of the modern-concert programme.
French music retains an element of mystery today and I was curious as to why you think we don’t see enough of it on today’s concert programmes:
When you study music in English and German-speaking schools, French music before Debussy rarely gets a look in. The truth is, Paris has played a more important role in music than Vienna or London at various points throughout history. For example, in the Middle Ages, the French-speaking world was essentially the musical centre of Europe. That changed with the printing press, the migration of Netherlandish musicians to Italy, and of course, the reformation.
However, the French court at Versailles was an incredible force for artistic support and the “French Baroque” led to some of the most unique music this world has ever known. Because of the rivalry with the Italians and the influence of kings like Louis XIV, French musicians played very different instruments in a very different way. The wind instruments were built in another way, the string players used different bows, and the keyboard instruments had their own designs. The performers would also use very individual ornaments, which some composers like Couperin took the time to write down with full explanations. The music itself is sometimes harmonically dissimilar to the German high-baroque masters that people tend to think of and it can also feel more static than the repetitive patterns of the Venetians like Vivaldi. I think this is why performers have, in the past, neglected the nuanced and delicate sounds of France. The good news is that French music is constantly being rediscovered!
Your upcoming project at festivals in London and Brighton will see a new take on French Opera.Could you tell me a bit about the project’s background?
As our first large-scale project, we wanted to explore a genre that is not commonly addressed by chamber groups but is incredibly important to the French Baroque: Opera. Rameau’s greatest contributions to music include his solo keyboard works, his theoretical writings and his many operas. The forces required to perform them are so large that most opera companies don’t stage his works too often. As a result, his music doesn’t get heard often enough. We thought we would bring one of his shorter operas, at 45 minutes, to the people with a more accessible medium with a smaller ensemble on stage.
Rameau’s Pygmalion is based on the original Greek legend of a sculptor who falls in love with his own creation. Most people today would be more familiar with the George Bernard Shaw version which came much later, and led to the even-more popular “My Fair Lady.” We’ve teamed up with artist Kate Anderson and director Karolina Sofulak to present a live performance of the opera with animation and simplified surtitles, so as to make it accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
I would be interested to know about what stage the project is in? What are your plans for such an ambitious undertaking, how are they progressing and how can audiences can help?
We’re still at the funding stage which is looking very promising. We will be applying to the Arts Council for a grant to make the project happen once we’ve secured enough funding from other sources. We’ve started a crowdfunder to collect an initial investment of £3000 by 9th January. This would show the Arts Council that we have support from both the artistic and wider community for this project. We’ve been offering rewards ranging from Thank-You tweets right up to private concerts in peoples’ homes. If you’d like to contribute, the crowdfunder site with a video explaining the project can be found here: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ensemble-moliere. Any help is always appreciated as we’re very passionate about getting this project off the ground and onto the stage.
As you can see, Jakab is dedicated to expanding the confines of the contemporary musical experience. We wish him and his ensemble all the best for this exciting project. We are thrilled to see Australian musicians like himself pushing the boundaries and we can’t wait to see where his career takes him next.
Please click hereif you would like to be a part of Rameau’s, Pygmalion, with Ensemble Molière
We are delighted to report that our Patron, Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, has been asked to join the jury of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne 2017. This is a great honour and acknowledges Leanne’s stature in the world of classical ballet.
Lauren Songberg, ballet – English National Ballet School
Chloe Keneally, ballet – English National Ballet School
Rebecca Blenkinsop, ballet – Royal Ballet School
The article below was published by gramilano.comon the 30th November.
Jury members announced for the Prix de Lausanne 45th edition
The jury of Prix de Lausanne 2017 is composed of nine major personalities from the dance world, presided over by the Royal Ballet’s Director, Kevin O’Hare.
The Prix de Lausanne is a wonderful opportunity for me to see the talented dancers of tomorrow. I see it as more than a competition; it is a place where our young dancers are encouraged, cared for and given the feedback that provides the foundation for their future careers.
Each of the jurors has a link with one of the competition’s partner schools and companies, or is a former prize winner. Other aspects taken into consideration in forming the panel are having a wide geographical representation, a mix of experiences, and a representation of different styles of dance.
The jury of this edition is made up of the following members:
Kevin O’Hare: Director, Royal Ballet London – President of the jury (England)
Leanne Benjamin: Prix de Lausanne Laureate 1981 (England)
Paola Cantalupo: Artistic and Educational Director, Ecole Supérieure de Danse Cannes-Mougins Rosella Hightower and Prix de Lausanne Laureate 1977 (France)
Gigi Hyatt: Director of Education and Deputy Director, Hamburg Ballet (Germany)
Sue Jin Kang: Artistic Director, Korean National Ballet (Korea)
Goyo Montero: Ballet Director and Choreographer, Staatstheater Nürnberg and Prix de Lausanne Laureate 1994 (Germany)
Aki Saito: Prix de Lausanne Laureate 1991 (Japan)
Christian Spuck: Artistic Director, Zurich Ballet (Switzerland)
Shelly Power, who is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer for the 2017 Prix de Lausanne, said,
I am honored to present the 2017 jury who collectively bring years of experience ranging from teaching, performing, directing and choreographing worldwide. Kevin O’Hare as President and his team of jury members will open doors and make dreams come true for the talented few who are about to embark on the next and perhaps most important step of their careers.
Tickets for all Prix de Lausanne 2017 events go on sale 15 December 2016 on prixdelausanne.org
Former Tait Awardee Claudia Dean graduated from The Royal Ballet School in August 2011, having moved to London aged 16 to train at the Upper School in Covent Garden. She was the recipient of the Tait Memorial Trust, Dance Arches Award in 2011, and went on to be offered a contract by The Royal Ballet. In 2014 Claudia made the difficult decision to return home to Australia, we are delighted to see that this very talented young dancer is passing the baton to the next generation of aspiring dancers in her homeland. We wish her all the very best and look forward to hearing more about her work in Australia.
The article below was published by Ballet News, May 2015.
Claudia Dean | Ballet Dancer to Business Owner
Sprezzatura is the Italian word for nonchalance; the effortless art of making something difficult look easy. The sustained hard work needed to conceal the effort has been a hallmark of Claudia Dean’s training and professional ballet career.
Claudia Dean graduated from The Royal Ballet School in August 2011, having moved to London aged 16 to train at the Upper School in Covent Garden. In her native Australia she had been dancing since the age of four, and had won a number of prestigious competitions including the Gold Medal plus the Audience Choice Award at the Genée International Ballet Competition in 2009.
I interviewed Dean for my Student to Star series at the time of her graduation, a few weeks before she started work in the Company, and I asked her what she anticipated the differences might be between school and company life. She told me, “I think it’s going to be a bit of a change for me. I will be my own person having to be responsible for myself. At school, you have teachers guiding you, although we work for ourselves, there is still a lot of extra support. Also, no uniform! I will have to decide what to wear each day which will be very different !”
We are very grateful to Australian star ballet dancer, Steve McRae, who has kindly, once again, given us 2 tickets in the Grand Tier for The Royal Ballet’s, production of The Nutcracker8th December – 7.30pm, starring Lauren Cuthbertson & Federico Bonelli.
These highly coveted tickets to a sold-out performance of a Christmas favourite will be one of our prizes in our lucky programme draw at our Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square Wednesday 30 November.
More prizes will be announced in the coming days. Please come and support our talented young Australian performing artists.
Tait Awardee, Lachlan Monaghan, performed the role of Neptune in The Tempest, a part that was created for him in the new Birmingham Royal Ballet production which is currently on tour in London (October 14/15), Sunderland (October 20/21/22), Plymouth (October 27/28/29).
Choreography – David Bintley Music – Sally Beamish
Design – Rae Smith
A personal note to Lachlan from our Chairman, Isla Baring OAM.
What a performance! You are a star, so proud of you!! I enjoyed the ballet so much, but even more when you appeared! I wish I could capture this on video. I met your mother as she was sitting behind us.
Lady Anya Sainsbury is one of the greatest supporters of ballet, and I am overjoyed that we have this picture together. Bravo, I liked the music and the charming story.
Hope to see you soon maybe for a Gala performance for the Tait Trust!!!
Exciting things are happening with our ballet awards.
Love Isla x
More about the production
David Bintley’s new ballet conjures Prospero’s magical isle from Shakespeare’s late masterpiece into a spellbinding new work of ballet theatre.
At once enchanting and elemental The Tempest is a powerful story of a man determined to right past wrongs by all means in his power. This creative collaboration with acclaimed composer Sally Beamish, and designer Rae Smith (The Prince of the Pagodas, War Horse) intertwines themes of love, loyalty, and loss, punctuated by a comic duo, more than one dastardly conspiracy and a spectacular danced masque featuring gods and spirits.
Read more here
Three young Australian ballet dancers are the lucky recipients of funding from the Tait Memorial Trust, Leanne Benjamin Awards in 2016. Created in 2014, to honour the career of Australian principal ballerina, Leanne Benjamin AM OBE to assist with the costs that young Australians face when they come to study in the United Kingdom. Carefully selected by Leanne Benjamin personally we are delighted to announce our support of these talented young artists.
The Leanne Benjamin Awards
selected by Leanne Benjamin AM OBE
Financial assistance for young Australian dancers studying at major UK ballet schools
John Frost – Leanne Benjamin Award
Funded by Australian theatrical producer and Tait Patron, John Frost AM
The Royal Ballet School
Rebecca is 17 years old and is from Melbourne, Australia. She started dancing at the age of 10 years and at the age of 11 was accepted into the dance programme at the Victoria College of the Arts Secondary School in Melbourne. At the age of 13 Rebecca began to develop a passion for ballet and
for the last three years has studied Cecchetti. She completed her final examination of ‘Advanced 2’ with a score of 100%.
At the age of 14 Rebecca won the State Silver Medal Award section, and also the National Lucie Saranova Silver section for her Cecchetti. Later that year Rebecca won a bursary to compete in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in the United States of America. Whilst one of the youngest
competitors, Rebecca received the second prize and was recognized as ‘The Most Promising Dancer’.
Rebecca’s Cecchetti success continued this year when she won the National Lucie Saranova Gold Medal section. In January 2015, she was also delighted to be a finalist in the prestigious Prix De Lausanne in Switzerland where Mr Powney first saw her.
Rebecca had the opportunity to perform the role of a child ballerina with Victoria Opera, in their production of ‘La Traviata’. She was also cast in several lead roles in her school productions, her most memorable being a ballet work of Opus 47 choreographed by English-born dancer Jonathan Taylor. Rebecca has received her ballet training from some amazing ballet teachers over the last few years, three of whom trained at The Royal Ballet School. Rebecca feels honoured to have been selected to attend The Royal Ballet School and looks forward to receiving what she considers is the best available teaching and the opportunity to train with exceptionally talented students.
This is Rebecca’s second year with The Royal Ballet School and as a LBA recipient.
Leanne Benjamin Award
The English National Ballet School
Chloe Keneally studied at the Debra Whitten School of Dance, Australia. In January 2016 she auditioned for the English National Ballet School and was accepted immediately for commencement in September.
In April 2016, Chloe competed in the 2016 Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York following a successful video audition in December 2015. In 2015 she was selected to participate in The Royal Ballet (Upper School) Summer School in London as one of five Australians. Chloe participated in the City of Sydney Eisteddfod and was a Finalist in the Robert and Elizabeth Albert Scholarship (top 8%) and then placed 2nd (out of 80) for the 15 years classical section.
Other successes include the encouragement award for the 2015 RAD Jacqueline Morland Awards (youngest and only non-full time student in finals) and was awarded the most outstanding classical dancer of Brisbane Eisteddfod that same year. Chloe has been part of the Australian Ballet School Interstate training program from level 1 through to Invitee, and continued to train weekly with the Queensland Ballet Junior training program (since 2012). A career highlight was to dance the lead role of the Sugarplum fairy in 2015 in the Debra Whitten Ballet School end of year concert, dancing the challenging Grand Pas de Deux and variation with a professional male ballet dancer as guest artist
Leanne Benjamin Award
The English National Ballet School
Lauren has been dancing since the age of 4 at a local dance school, under the guidance of Kim Traynor. Through the encouragement of her teachers, her love of ballet was fostered. After performing with the Australian Ballet, in The Nutcracker, her dream was set. Shortly after, she became an associate of the Australian Ballet School, maintaining this position for 4 years.
In 2012, Lauren decided to focus on ballet and moved to The McDonald College and was taught by various teachers including Jane Kesby, Josephine Jason and Allan Cross. to continue her training. Moreover, Lauren performed various roles for the Premier State Ballet.
This year, Lauren was offered numerous places at various schools across Europe, but has decided upon attending the English National Ballet School, commencing this September.
Along with performing choreographed dances, Lauren has taken a passion to choreographing her own dances including; a contemporary piece she performed at the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship Finals and a classical solo which won the Classical Ballet 17/o section at Sydney Eisteddfod.
In 2014 The Tait Memorial Trust in collaboration with Tait Patron Leanne Benjamin AM OBE launched new ballet awards for young Australian dancers studying in the UK.
The first recipient, Josephine Frick, was presented with her award at a Tait Friends event at Australia House on Tuesday 14th October 2014 as a contribution to her fees at The Royal Ballet School.
Now in its second year the Trust are delighted to announce the 2015 recipients of The Leanne Benjamin Awards
Rebecca Blenkinsop – The Royal Ballet School, John Frost Award
Rebecca is 16 years old and is from Melbourne, Australia. She started dancing at the age of 10 years and at the age of 11 was accepted into the dance programme at the Victoria College of the Arts Secondary School in Melbourne. At the age of 13 Rebecca began to develop a passion for ballet and
for the last three years has studied Cecchetti. She recently completed her final examination of ‘Advanced 2’ with a score of 100%.
At the age of 14 Rebecca won the State Silver Medal Award section, and also the National Lucie Saranova Silver section for her Cecchetti. Later that year Rebecca won a bursary to compete in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in United States of America. Whilst one of the youngest
competitors, Rebecca received second prize and was recognized as ‘The Most Promising Dancer’.
Rebecca’s Cecchetti success continued this year when she won the National Lucie Saranova Gold Medal section. In January she was also delighted to be a finalist in the prestigious Prix De Lausanne in Switzerland where Mr Powney first saw her.
Rebecca had the opportunity to perform the role of a child ballerina with Victoria Opera, in their production of ‘La Traviata’. She was also cast in several lead roles in her school productions, her most memorable being a ballet work of Opus 47 choreographed by English born dancer Jonathan Taylor. Rebecca has received her ballet training from some amazing ballet teachers over the last few years, three of whom trained at The Royal Ballet School. Rebecca feels honoured to have been selected to attend The Royal Ballet School and looks forward to receiving what she considers to be the best available teaching and the opportunity to train with exceptionally talented students.
Chloe Hollow – The English National ballet School, Peggy Haim Award
Chloe started training at the age of four she studied all types of dance. She has been studying full time ballet since 2013 with Janine McGrath Classical Coaching Australia and has been studying both Cecchetti and RAD ballet syllabus over the past 10 years.
Chloe has been a member of Byron Ballet since she was seven years old where she has been in many productions leading up to become a leading artist. She also has been a full company member of Brisbane City Youth Ballet where she has been selected as a soloist and principle dancer.
Some recent highlights include:
2014 Australian Bursary winner, selected to represent Australia in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition held in Richmond Virginia USA held in August, selected as a finalist and awarded a scholarship to Boston Ballet six week summer program for 2015.
Selected for The Queensland Ballet Junior Program 3 for 2015.
2014 Runner-up in the Australian Institute of Classical Dance International Ballet Competition (performed La Bayadere 1st Shade)
Selected soloist for the Youth America Grand Prix Finals held in New York in April 2015. Offered various places.
2015 Alana Haines Australasian Awards awarded a scholarship to Queensland Ballet Senior Program for two weeks.
2015 Auditioned for schools in the UK and Europe receiving acceptance in various schools.
Offered a half scholarship from English National Ballet School which she has proudly accepted. Starting with ENBS in September 2015.
Chloe is now studying at English National Ballet School in Level One.
This blog post was published on the Pikitia Press Blog on Thursday January 23rd, 2014 written by Matt Emery. As June Mendoza is a patron of the Tait Memorial Trust we wanted to share this fascinating article about a great Australian. We are very grateful to Matt Emery for sharing these illustrations and his interview with June on his blog.
June Mendoza was born in Melbourne, Australia,1927, to an artistic family, pianist, composer Dot (née) Mendoza and musician John Morton. June focused on an art career from twelve years of age, taking life drawing at fourteen. By seventeen June was illustrating book jackets, magazine illustrations, town-planning exhibition artwork, record sleeves, some portraits and the adventure comic strip Devil Doone.
Mendoza immigrated to England in the early 1950s and worked for Hulton Press producing illustrations and comics for Eagle’s companion title Girl. After five years June transitioned into full time portraiture with subjects including Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Sammy Davis Junior, Sean Connery, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II (twice), HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Sir William McMahon, Prince Edward, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Sir John Major, Sir John Gorton 1972 (official Parliamentary portrait acquired 1972 – the first and only official portrait of a Prime Minister by a woman artist).
In mid 2013 June answered a few questions for Matt Emery via email.
Do you recall what your first professional illustration job was and how old you were at the time?
Hopeless with dates, But discounting portraits, which I was already doing by the time I was 12, I remember a big job on a Town Planning exhibition for some architects when I was about 17, which involved humourous, but relevant, illustrations accompanying text, on about ten large panels.
How did you get the job of illustrating the first episodes of Devil Doone?
Can’t remember, But I had this ability to repeat likenesses of the characters in different situations and with different expressions.
Do you recall any other cartoonists that were active during the time you drew comics in Australia?
No. Except the beloved Les Tanner, of course; but he was something else.
What brought you to England and what were the first comics you worked on there?
The world was on the other side, and we all wanted to be there. I took over from a splendid comic artist on the already running and popular ‘Belle of the Ballet” for Hulton Press. Alan Stranks, who was doing ‘PC 49’ for them recommended me— again, because of this likeness thing. Then I ended up doing all sorts of things for them.
Why did you use the pseudonym Chris Garvey for some of your work for Girl?
I think it was just to keep my portrait work separate from the commercial stuff, and I kept it ambiguous plus the surname of an amazing human being in my life, who died very young.
Did you read or have a familiarity with comics before you started drawing them in Australia?
As a kid I had my weekly, eagerly awaited comic to devour; can’t remember its’ name, but I do remember another I loved called Film Fun which featured mostly British actors,entertainers etc, amongst which was a regular strip featuring Lupino Lane. Amazingly, by pure chance, I ended up, in my actressing days, working with him in the West End and on tour, in his famous show ‘ Me and My Girl ‘ Lovely man. News of my first portrait to be accepted by the Royal Soc. of Portrait Painters was on tour with him in Cambridge: we all went to the pub after the show and celebrated.
Were there any particular differences or demands you encountered upon entering the English comics industry?
Only that I was now working in full colour, and needed to learn how to apply this to deal with the vagaries of the printed result.
Are there any particular standout memories from your time in comics?
Matt, too long winded. I did about five years of it inc. years of ‘ Belle of the Ballet’ ; serial on Joan of Arc [ fascinating ] ; ‘ Petruschka, ‘the ballet; a cooking series; and misc. illustrations, covers etc.
But portraiture was the prime, constant accompaniment throughout ——– from the age of 12.
George Blackler provided ‘Moko’ for Maori actors in the film production of John Guthries novel, The Seekers.
Sources: Special thanks to Phil Rushton, Devil Doone scan courtesy Ausreprints, Devil Doone history at Comicsdownunder , Artist June Mendoza with [her] portrait of Sammy Davis Junior courtesy June Mendoza, http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/167570547 , June Mendoza seated with her arms around two of her children, Ashley and Lee; Elliet is standing in left foreground. A portrait of all four children is in the background courtesy June Mendoza, http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/167570548
Originally posted by Matt Emery at 9:53 PM, 23rd January 2014
Pikitia Press is a small press publishing operation run from my spare room in St Kilda, Melbourne. I founded Pikitia Press in 2012 to publish works by and about Australia and New Zealand cartoonists. The Pikitia Press blog is an ongoing effort to record contemporary cartooning/comics and cartooning history in New Zealand and Australia.