C. 1988: a selection of drawings by the Rosebud group
03 Feb 2024 —03 Mar 2024
Saturday 3rd February, 5 - 7 PM
“1. Take a risk. Act now, judge later.
2. Aim to be honest when giving feedback.
3. Aim to be open and trusting. Openness and trust beget openness and trust.
4. Aim to begin sessions on time.
5. Aim to give personal space to work on objectives.
6. Aim to respect the other.
7. Aim to actually encounter personal concerns rather than talk about them.
8. No physical violence without consent.” 1
Beginning in 1983 and concluding in 1995, a group of people variously involved in humanistic or
‘third force’ psychology met in Melbourne with the intention of “improving and exploring their lives.”2
The group employed a wide range of experimental psychotherapeutic methods to work-through
their interpersonal, emotional, and professional concerns. They met three to four times per year,
each meeting would run for three consecutive days over two consecutive weekends. On occasion,
the group—who were otherwise not involved in art—would work with photography, theatre,
painting, dance and drawing. They called themselves ‘Rosebud.’ At times they also used the
names ‘Regard & Draw,’ ‘Helios,’ and ‘Sunnyside Up.’
Sessions were convened by psychologist and organisational consultant Sid Forsey in partnership
with artist Geoff Lowe—now of the Paris-based collaborative project A Constructed World,
established in Melbourne in 1993 with artist Jacqueline Riva.
This exhibition presents a small selection of drawings made over the course of these sessions. In
the earliest sessions, the group drew from life and from reference but it quickly became a core
principle of the group to instead draw ‘from the mind.’ The majority of drawings on view were made
in the later half of the 1980s as associative responses to prompts, others are of miscellaneous
objects or events, one is an approximation of André Masson’s many Massacre works of the early
After drawings were made, the group would engage each other in exhaustive discussion about
both the content of the drawings and their experiences of making them. The resulting visual and
spoken material would make available—for theorisation—a collection of images, projections,
narratives and phantasies that, in more or less specific ways, represented something in and of the
group. Together they would hypothesise on potential meanings and offer psychotherapeutic
consultation and support to one another.
A detailed history Rosebud is the subject of a forthcoming publication by Ragnar Thomas for
Surpllus. Drawings are on view courtesy of Monash University Museum of Art and a single copy of
Kerb Your Dog, issue no. 7 Notes on Art Practice III, edited by John Young and John Nixon (1990),
is on view courtesy of artist Tony Clark. In conjunction with this exhibition, in the evening of February 29, Composite Moving Image Agency & Media Bank will screen a selection of early video
works by A Constructed World.
1 Transcription of a notebook from a personal development group led by Sid Forsey in 1986.
2 Tony Andreatta, “A Short History of Rosebud” Artfan November, 1998, 29.
Image Courtesy of Ragnar Thomas.