‘Just a Minute’ exhibition – opening speech by Damian Walshe-Howling

In October 2014 Mary Schepisi’s successful ‘Just a Minute’ exhibition at Mossgreen in Melbourne was opened with these words by Damian Walshe-Howling…


Exhibition by Mary Schepisi

Good afternoon Ladies and Gents. WELCOME to MOSS GREEN GALLERY and the opening of Mary Schepisi’s current exhibition..

“Just a minute..”

Shit.. Just a minute.. Hang on.. SORRY!?

AHHHH.. This is what I’m looking for… (Taking out iphone)

This seemingly innocuous little device that has, perhaps more than anything.. CO-ERCED us into believing that abandoning ourselves to fleeting distractions is OK at anytime.

That we can comfortably give ourselves over to ANYTHING that takes our fancy..

ANYTHING that takes our focus away from the present moment..

That it is absolutely acceptable to WITHDRAW our attention AWAY from whatever PARTICULAR incarnation of the present moment we are engaged in..

and play with our phone.. or ipod or iPad..


AS IF we were ANDROIDS ourselves…


“JUST A MINUTE” as if it were a magic STOPPER of time..

A somehow acceptable CORK in the FLOW of current interaction..



“JUST A MINUTE, I have to text my girlfriend and remind her to tape the footy.”

BUT WHAT IF we were to CLAIM that minute back????


60 SECONDS of time!!!??

What MIGHT we do with that minute!??

If you look around you on these walls you will see what one INNOVATIVE and CORAGEOUS artist, MARY SCHEPISI does with her minutes.


We are here to EXPERIENCE a snapshot of what MARY chooses to do with MANY of the minutes of her life.

Since she was 10 years old – MARY told me when I went to visit her in her Collingwood STUDIO SPACE…

Since she was 10 years old, in NEW YORK CITY – and her parents enrolled her in the infamous ART STUDENT’s LEAGUE all she wanted to do was DRAW and paint Nudes..

WOMEN… Big.. Small.. curvaceous.. linear..

FIGURATIVE ART – The movement in the shape of the FEMALE FORM..

What is it you get out of it??? I asked.

“I get into a rhythm” she told me.. “It calms me down.. takes a lot of the ANGST out of it.”

“FRED – he sees LAYERS..”

“ME – What ya SEE is what ya GET.”

“I want to POP you in the HEAD and JUST…”

“I want to POP you in the HEAD and JUST…”


I LOVE that MARY’s sentence ends there.

“I want to POP you in the HEAD and JUST…


“JUST A MINUTE of our time in her beautiful hands…”

Although her and FRED see things DIFFERENTLY.. (Mary told me)

“Neither of us makes concessions.”

Two ARTISTS in the same marriage, FULLY APPRECIATIVE of each others individual CREATIVE MINUTES.

Some would say this is a true TANTRIC Relationship!!

In fact it was FRED who suggested MARY call this exhibition JUST A MINUTE in honour of all the Minutes MARY has sat in COMMUNION with each of these life models, both here and NEW YORK CITY.

Speaking of TANTRA.. The ancient TANTRIC MEDITATION MASTERS apparently advocated what they called MICRO PRACTICES.

10 second 20 second 30second..

MINUTE LONG PRACTICES to bring FULL AWARENESS to the breath and the PRESENT LIVING ENVIRONMENT. A simple practice to break the habit of constant distraction and MARRY the MIND back to the MOMENT.

Here is what the very highly respected MASTER.. POET and ARTIST..

“DR SUESS” (whom MARY loves) has to say on the subject..


This is actually what I originally got the phone out for.

Here we go!!! (Reading From iphone)

DR SUESS. “How did it get so late so soon?

It’s night before it’s afternoon.

December is here before it’s June.

My goodness how the time has FLEWN.

How did it get so late so soon?”

SO before it gets SO LATE SO SOON,

I encourage each and every one of you to use your following minutes to VIEW each work…

FEEL INTO them.. APPRECIATE, these, MARY’s Minutes..

AND of course..

IF you are KIND.. and so INCLINED..

Take JUST A MINUTE to dig into your pockets,

pull out your cash AND BUY ONE OF THESE little SUCKERS…

BECAUSE.. they are EACH..


a GENUINE NEW YORK “POP IN THE HEAD” from the beautiful, generous and eternally INDELIBLE… MARY SCHEPISI.

CONGRATULATIONS MARY. It is my great pleasure to officially announce, your current Exhibition…




Damian Walshe-Howling..

Speech – APCR Art Auction “The Giving Tree” January 23, 2014

Mary SchepisiI need to give my thanks and appreciation to the many people who helped Professor Tony Costello and me realize this event.

  1. all the artists who agreed to make work and to donate it to the APCR auction Artists are being asked all the time to give work to various worthy charities. They are notoriously generous and it is because of this that we have agreed to give them a small portion of the price their artwork sells for – back to them. And again I thank them for giving us their time and commitment.
  2. I wish to thank Alex Stitt for not only donating a work of art but for designing the cover of the catalogue and the reminder email. He is always surprising, generous and inspiring.
  3. My favorite Red Hill Wineries, Paringa Estate and Foxy’s Hangout for donating the wine for this event. And Splitrock for always supporting our charity work.
  4. This event would not have happened if it had not been for the support and friendship that I share with Paul Sumner and Mossgreen. Paul is totally committed and generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise in doing an event like this, plus, his faith that we will get the work done to bring it to this stage has been unwavering. Paul and Mossgreen do not take a penny for putting on this exhibition and auction. They are fabulously generous.
  5. Sorry almost finished. James Garland from APCR has been sensational. He arranged the collection of all the art works and managed to get Craig to work on the catalogue and actually get it completed and printed – all during the Christmas break. He never said no it can’t be done – he has just gone ahead and done whatever was necessary …including last minute details.
  6. I have to thank Karl from Mossgreen for his attention to detail.
  7. And Penny Costello. The cheerleader. Penny and Tony had unwavering faith that not only was this a good idea but that we could succeed in raising funds in the hope of finding a cure for Prostate cancer.
  8. And lastly I thank my husband, Fred, for his courage and honesty in dealing with his own fight with Prostate cancer and for being open in helping others deal with it. And his total support and love.

Mary Schepisi

Results of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Art Auction

it was a wonderful night with great results. The work made and donated for the night was of the highest caliber and looked fantastic. We raised $90,000. with our inaugural auction and that allowed Tony Costello to buy a ‘Tissue Fridge’ (which he really needed) and much more.
The aritsts received 40% of the selling price of their work and many have donated that sum back to the prostate cancer research.
I look forward to planning the next auction which will be in 2015.
thank you everyone for all your support and generosity.

Artists, Schepisis join fight

The Giving Tree[from: The Weekly Review] Mary and Fred Schepisi will host an auction of unique works of art on Thursday to raise funds for prostate cancer research. The inspiration for Mary Schepisi, who is the driving force behind the event, is both her relationships with friends and family experiencing prostate cancer and her long-standing friendship with leading Australian urologist and researcher Professor Tony Costello… read more