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Bohemian Negligence - Bertie Blackman

Bohemian Negligence

By: Bertie Blackman

Paperback | 18 October 2022

At a Glance


RRP $29.99


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The celebrated musician's evocative and intimate memoir of the magic and vulnerability of her bohemian childhood growing up as the daughter of iconic artist Charles Blackman.

If you could touch your memories, how would they feel?

My first memory of life is blurry. A blurry red dot. A strawberry in a thicket of dark green vines and tall grass.

A chalky red pastel. A cadmium paint splash. A cardinal's feather. A lipstick smear . . . a strawberry kiss. All things red in one. I reach out to pluck the fruit but it's made of smoke and it vanishes as I touch it. It felt cool. Dewy. Tingly on the skin as if it were pressed there briefly and then it disappeared...

I can hear cicadas chirping and birds swallowing their words and scratching for their breakfast. It's the first time I feel alone.

Bertie Blackman grew up too fast. Bohemian Negligence tells that story with the breathtaking innocence of a child's point of view: close and vivid and utterly in the moment. As memories refract and elide with the images, sounds and impressions of Bertie's child's world, we experience both her wonder and confusion with astonishing intimacy.

A renowned musician and artist, Bertie is also a formidable and lyrical writer, and brings those gifts to recreate the world she grew up in. As the daughter of iconic artist Charles Blackman, that world celebrated freedom and creativity but also contained darkness and contradictions. Bertie has captured the magic and vulnerability of childhood in words and images both joyful and haunting: 'My childhood world was full of cracks. Full of light and full of dark. But it was full of love.' This book will stay with you forever.

About the Author

Bertie Blackman's multidisciplinary practice weaves between the real and unreal. Her work is highly imaginative and playfully figurative by nature. Bertie's graphic and confident line work and strong sense of storytelling illuminates the characters and place of her unique universe, inviting the viewer to explore worlds within worlds.

In addition to her visual art practice Bertie Blackman is an ARIA winning musician and recently curated 'Sonic Canvases' at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Bertie is the daughter of iconic Australian artist Charles Blackman. She is the author of Mica the Star Sailor, a children's book published in 2020.

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