5 Minutes With | Loene Furler

Date: 18 Sep 2017

We are excited to launch a new series here on the Well Made blog. 5 minutes with will be a monthly feature providing an insight into the lives of locals working in the creative sector. With FRAN FEST currently in full swing we thought artist and FRAN FEST Curatorial Committee member, Loene Furler, would be the perfect person to launch the series.

Loene had her first solo show in 1966 and exhibited in The Women’s Show in 1977. She has been active in the women’s movement, an art industry activist and educator for 50 years along with maintaining a significant painting practice.

FRAN stands for Feminist Renewal Art Network and FRAN FEST is a month long state-wide open-access festival commemorating 40 years since The Women’s Show (Adelaide 1977), celebrating women’s artistic achievements then and now. Be sure to pick up a program and get along to one of the many exhibitions and events before it finishes up on Sunday 24 September.

Why do you do what you do?

I love creating, whether it is working with clay or oils, painting objects, landscapes, portraits or anything else but I particularly enjoy making or painting ideas. The challenge of the idea pushes me into new territory and I enjoy aiming to not repeat myself too often. For this reason, I tend to work in series such as The Tourist series, Slippage series, and more recently the Disappearing symbols - disappearing meaning series.

Currently I have ceramics on exhibition at ACE Open in Remembering the Women’s Show and paintings in an exhibition at Uni SA’s SASA Gallery (South Australian Art School) called From there to here, celebrating five women artists from 1977 who are all mothers, teachers and practising artists and have been for over forty years; Margaret Dodd, Kay Lawrence, Ann Newmarch, Olga Sankey.

Exhibiting in galleries is rewarding and at the moment I am also exhibiting at Hill Smith Gallery along with five other artists, Laura Wills, Deb Sleeman, Eleanor Zecchin, Sylvana Angelakis and Talia Wignall, and at Worth Gallery with two artists, Yasmin Grass and Judy Summers, with whom I worked at AC ARTS.

When do you get your best work done?

I do my best work in my studio in the country where I am alone and I can work uninterrupted or not be distracted for days on end. I move into the zone.

Where do you go for the good stuff?

I listen to ABC Radio National a lot and I like to develop ideas relevant to contemporary issues. I also watch ABC TV news and some programs like Landline. I try to keep up with artists and galleries but not always successfully. Mostly I explore my own ideas and imagination.

Who are you currently reading/listening/watching?

I am re-reading Proust to see if it is as good as I remember. I try to keep up with reading but when I am working towards an exhibition I fall asleep when I try to read after a days painting. I read the papers every morning at the coffee shop if I am in the city and discuss the issues with friends. We disagree quite a lot!

What are you looking forward to?

I am always looking forward to the next creative challenge. It makes me feel alive!

Right now, I am looking forward to the rest of FRAN FEST. FRAN FEST has been rewarding and being on the committee with three others, so four of us altogether, has been stimulating. We have managed to include over 60 galleries showing women artists throughout the state in August and September 2017. It is a 40-year celebration since The Women’s Show which was held at the old Experimental Art Foundation in the basement of the JamFactory when it was located on Payneham Road in 1977.

Which South Australian creative are you following at the moment?

The artists exhibiting as part of FRAN FEST.


FRAN FEST is a month long state-wide open-access festival featuring exhibitions, events and symposia to value and reflect both the history and contemporary practice of Australian feminism and art. Running until 24 September, for program and further details visit FRAN FEST.


Images (banner): FRAN FEST Curatorial Committee (from L to R) Loene Furler, Brigid Noone, Mia van den Bos and Jude Adams. Photographer Sia Duff. Images (top to bottom): Disappearing symbols - disappearing meaning, 2017, oil on Belgian linen, 76 x 76cm; Disappearing vision, 2017, oil on Belgian linen, 76 x 76cm; Farm Garden, 2015, oil on Belgian linen sized with rabbit skin glue, 61 x 61 cm.



Keywords: painting