Beyond Hellfire and Pestilence…

After a long, drawn out 15 months that morphed from terror (aka Black Summer’s Mother of All Conflagrations) into a pervasive and enervating state of uncertainty (aka Covid-19), we are finally…cautiously…re-emerging.

What a peculiar ‘new normal’ now faces us all, with tectonic shifts on the geopolitical stage, socio-economic injustice and vulnerability more starkly exposed than ever before and the integrity and decency of the political class (once again) in absolute tatters. The perfect storm of climate change and pandemic has toppled the precarious house of cards that was the latest version of the Patriarchy’s New World Order. Has capitalism finally corrupted The System beyond repair and sent us all to the dogs? Very possibly. All of the above notwithstanding, we’re just going to bury ourselves in the studio and attempt to ride it out.

So, back to business…

We’re kicking the year off with our perennial obsession, Ned.

Megan Bottari, Trophy (from the Kelly series My Baby He Wrote Me A Letter) 2021, lost wax cast Australian lead crystal, mixed media
(click image to enlarge)

Deep in the nether regions of The Melbourne Club, hidden behind fortified baize doors in the inner sanctum of the cohort’s secret Trophy Room, hangs the club’s most hallowed prize; the death mask of Edward (Ned) Kelly. Indeed, it’s a barely acknowledged fact that the very campaign to outlaw and hunt the notorious bushranger was conceived within, and directed from, this most august establishment; key players in the affair – Sir Redmond Barry, Frederick Charles Standish, et al – being not only eminent members of the club but also high ranking brethren of the Masonry.

Bridie Bottari, Random Perplexitas

Open Studio 2019…

Our Annual Open Studio Day 2019 was preceded by a week or so of peculiar and destructive weather and wind events, so we ended up spending more time on garden reparation than on workshop prep…but hey. Big love to Bevie who came up from Toora to give us a hand.

The day itself turned into a gently paced affair with genuine interest from a mix of both first and repeat offenders. As always, there was an element of conscientious avoidance in the perp/mugshot parade – but because this meant disqualification from the draw of the Mugshot Prize, nobody else was complaining! The prize this year being a pair of Ginger’s Crownie earrings, interest was accordingly keen…


…and the lucky winner of the draw was…


Macca (package coming your way!!)

In the evening the Gang, joined by some of our fave miscreants, did Neddie proud with a Wake that lasted well into the wee hours. So here’s to our glorious obsession, Ned; another anniversary observed and we’re already looking forward to the next one! For those who couldn’t make it, never mind – it all happens again on 8th November 2020.

Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse of Open Studio 2019…







Our Open Studio Day is nigh upon us…

Happy days are here again, we’re two-thirds of the way through Spring (though you’d hardly credit it given the arctic blasts) which means, of course, that we’re fast approaching the Sunday closest to the anniversary of our dear Neddie’s hanging day and, ergo, our annual Open Studio Day.

This year it falls on Sunday 10th November…a mere 11 sleeps hence, eek!! But never fear, we’re rattling our dags and prioritising the fundamentals. Top of the list, naturally, is the Lucky Mugshot Prize (drawn at the end of the day) – this year’s winner will pocket a pair of Ginger’s cast silver Crownie earrings. Fabulous, darling!

You can expect a relaxed mooch around both the studios (contemporary jewellery and glass) and our little in-house Courtroom gallery. The day is, essentially, a show-and-tell scenario for us. All peeps welcome; the doors open at 10.30 and slam shut (…just to spread a little goal house vibe!) at 3.30pm.



For those of you who haven’t stumbled across us before and have no idea what the Mugshot Prize refers to, take a peek at our previous open days for a general headzup…here and here and here.

Where? In the village of Wyndham, a 20 minute scenic drive inland from Pambula, in the Bega Valley, on the Far South Coast of NSW. We’re easy to find, just keep an eye out for Maurice de Ute…


Maurice de Ute



Let’s dance…

Jerusalem: Hava Nagila, is Megsie’s response to Trump and (subsequently) Morrison’s decision to move their respective Embassies to Jerusalem; a provocation that will inevitably trigger dire repercussions in the perpetually fraught Middle East…


Megan Bottari, 'Jerusalem Hava Nagila', lost wax cast uranium glass, mixed media

Megan Bottari, Jerusalem: Hava Nagila, lost wax cast uranium glass, mixed media


Megan Bottari, 'Jerusalem: Hava Nagila' (blue light detail)

Let’s dance: Jerusalem: Hava Nagila (black light detail)

Megan Bottari, 'Jerusalem: Hava Nagila' (blue light disco)

Megan Bottari, 'Jerusalem: Hava Nagila' (uranium glow)


Historically the political wounds are dark and duodenum deep; the Wars of the Crusades, and every military offensive and unwelcome interference since, are now overlaid with clear and present danger and increasing affront. In this piece the celebratory dance of the Hava Nagila evokes strains of whirling dervishes, and the ammo is an intemperate live-fire exercise underscored by the unholy spectre of nuclear ‘treaty’.

The horse trading over such a universally emotive site as Jerusalem is unbelievably outrageous in itself. To Donald and Scomo: a pox on both your houses.

[And now Golan Heights! This is what happens when a fool is handed the keys of high office. And as for Pompeo’s gormless remarks about Trump being sent by God….!!! Come on America – time to dig out your moral compass. Please. (n)Ed]


Megan Bottari, 'Jerusalem: Hava Nagila', lost wax cast uranium glass, mixed media




Darker matters (as both series evolve)…


Romance, a cautionary tale…


Megan Bottari, Lost at Sea (from the Owl and the Pussycat series), lost wax cast Australian lead crystal


Meanwhile, on the good ship bismillah…


Megan Bottari, Asylum (the emigre), lost wax cast Australian lead crystal, found object

Megan Bottari, Asylum (the emigre), lost wax cast Australian lead crystal, found object

Megan Bottari, Asylum (the emigre), lost wax cast Australian lead crystal, found object

Megan Bottari, Live export: not a cruise, lost wax cast Australian lead crystal, found object


And that omnipresent concern….


Megan Bottari, Asylum (the émigré), lost wax cast Australian lead crystal, found object




Open Studio Day 2018



What a gloriously still and sunny day it was yesterday; perfect for a Sunday drive to Wyndham!




And we met lots of new peeps, which was fabulous (it’s always nice to introduce curious and appreciative contemporary/decorative art lovers to our practice.)

So this year we decided to include the element of a lucky door prize (or in our case, a lucky mugshot prize) to add a little zing to the day. Not everybody subjected themselves to the light hearted ignominy (on the lam from the law, perhaps!) but those who did went into the draw for one of Megsie’s lost wax lead crystal oyster shells.




In the end, because it’s our inaugural Mugshot Prize, we decided to extend the odds to three draws – and the winners, in order, are…drum roll, maestro…




But then of course, while editing the snaps this morning, we were struck by the unutterable charm of those who fully embraced the concept and morphed into ‘beyond disreputable’ mode. So we’ve bunged on an additional “I didn’t do nuffink” prize. Notwithstanding that our recidivists Jen and Penny always go the extra yard, on this particular occasion the loaf of bread was stolen by Leonie…




We’d like to thank every one for being such good sports. The oyster shells will be on their way, toot sweet.

And that’s a rap (in the judicial sense), y’all. Thanks for making it a fun day. Our next annual open studio day falls on Sunday 10th November 2019. Mark your dance cards!



Face to face…

Pink bits Neddie


The anniversary of Neddy’s hanging day is nigh (11th November), ergo preparation is underway for our annual open studio day. This year we’re joining the Festival of the Face program, celebrating artists and communities in towns and villages across the shire.

Those of you who have already attended previous open days will know that there’s a facet of the visit that fits in particularly well with the Festival of the Face thematic; our Mugshot Files, which feature art loving perps from across the shire and beyond.

Here’s a glimpse of past parades (by way of example!)…





This year, to up the ante, we’re introducing the Mugshot Prize (our version of a lucky door prize); kicking off with one of Megsie’s lost wax cast Australian lead crystal oyster shells…


Megan Bottari, lost wax cast Australian lead crystal oyster shells


What could be more appropriately representative of our gloriously pristine champion oyster farming environment!

And there’s a further nod to our beautiful region on show this year; Megsie’s newest body of work, the Surf and Turf series. We think of these cast glass pieces as a metaphoric face of the Shire – ostensibly Surf and Turf is an ode to the Far South Coast of NSW, a visual aggregate of our agrarian coastal culture (not least being the local bloke’s fave meal of choice!)


Megan Bottari, Surf and Turf #2 (Westernport)

Megan Bottari, Surf and Turf rear

Megan Bottari, It's blue

Megan Bottari Surf and Turf Fleet Review

Megan Bottari, from the Surf and Turf series, lost wax cast Australian lead crystal.

At Prisoners of the Crown we’ve long had an enduring interest in portraiture (particularly those of our fave bushrangers)…


Ginger Bottari, Ned Kelly cameo from the Prisoners of the Crown series, saw pierced titanium

Ginger Bottari, Dan Kelly cameo (from the Prisoners of the Crown series), saw pierced titanium

Ginger Bottari, Captain Moonlight cameo (from the Prisoners of the Crown series),  saw pierced titanium

Ginger Bottari, Ben Hall cameo (from the Prisoners of the Crown series), saw pierced titanium

Ginger Bottari, Bushranger Cameos (Ned, Dan, Captain Midnight, Ben), saw pierced brushed titanium

…with Ned, of course, being our magnificent (and principle) obsession.

Our Annual Open Studio day (Sunday 11th November 2018) includes a viewing of the studio workshops (in the old stables) and our gallery (in the old Courtroom) and runs from 10.30am to 3.30pm. We are at the Old Police Station and Courthouse in the Village of Wyndham – just keep an eye out for Maurice de Ute…


Maurice de Ute

Hope to see you then.


                  Ginger                     Megsie

Heritage contemporised…




When everything old is new again. The charm of contemporary jewellery is that marriage of the craft, the art historic and the zeitgeist of the present day (with mutual respect for all three) – particularly in the case of cultural artefacts. Because tradition is a beautiful thing, all the more so in an au courant context. Which brings us to Giuseppe Jack Alexander Murray’s Christening present: what to gift a wee bairn of Scottish-Australian/Sicilian heritage to fittingly celebrate his entree to the heterogeneous tribe…


Ginger Bottari, Murray clan pin, saw pierced brushed titanium, opal and gemstone.

It’s his kilt pin (sans dagger, in the spirit of universal pacifism.)

Over 100 hours in the making (63 saw blades!), 8 layers, the opal to mirror his Antipodean roots – here’s hoping he’ll be a Wild Colonial Boy! – and a bucket of unadulterated Sicilian sentimentality.

A labour of love. Priceless.