As the daughter of iconic Australian artist Charles Blackman, not many musicians can articulate emotional expression like Bertie Blackman.  Following a recent tour of the UK, Bertie has returned to Melbourne to write her fourth album, while in residence at The Blackman.

Drawing from the many inspirations of the Art Series Hotel, Bertie will spend 11 weeks in residence where she will not only write her next masterpiece, but will also keep us updated on her progress via her self titled blog Bertie @ The Blackman.  Stay tuned for a unique experience where you can sojourn the creative hideaway of one of Australia's most talented musicians.

"taking you on a journey, where you not only have a good time, but are moved, exhilarated, inspired" Bertie Blackman


Bertie shares her final thoughts on her stay with [The Blackman]



A message from the faceless:  What an honor to have been the Robin to Bertie's Batman in a fantastic and luxurious 2 and a half month journey with  [The Blackman].....

To Bertie's fans:  as the mastermind behind the blog, I especially hope that you enjoyed it's content.... hahha I kidd I kid.  joint effort.  stay with us as we'll be continuing berties writing adventure wherever she ends up.

Many thanks to the incredible staff with the Art Series Hotel group for your kindness, patience, hospitality and support of our wild imaginations and ridiculous requests (?).  I hope we weren't too much trouble for you.

Word to future Artists in Residence: The Blackman is an absolute must.  Dreamy experience... 5 star in every regard.  p.s. we've set the benchmark high in bloggageland as not for you to challenge our standards :P

Future guest recommendations:  rent the bikes. rent a smart car.  catch thei r shuttles.  s ink into their unparalleled beds.   gorge on depot de pain's french toast and chase that with a soy chai tea latte.   gorge again latertime on classico's pesto gnocci & killer coctails/wine.  break in the gym.  order many lemon tarts via room service. soak up the beautiful melbourne skyline from your private balcony. on every other trip to reception, choose to take the stairs ;) ...treat the staff well as they will treat you lose yourself in the imaginary works of the brilliant, legendary mr charles blackman....  enjoy. enjoy. enjoy.

oh and one more thing, ask for lee and give him hell..


Katie, the camera darling signing off from [The Blackman]


Bertie performs Peek-a-boo live from Acer Arena


bertie kindly agrees to share intimate footage from rehearsal of an intimate song by the name of "come to bed"

 spoiled I've been by the Blackman's accommodation standards..  Everywhere pales in comparison.  BOOOO I miss those dreamy beds!  "Nothing compares.... nothing compares... to you..."


awwwe  harsh reality that by next week wednesday, The Blackman will be my home no more... I still have friends home hunting for me all the while.

En route to rehearsals, the boys and I swung by Billy Hyde's to hire additional gear.  I spotted washington's gear heading to the sydney opera house for aria rehearsals and planted a ransom note inside.  make sure you tune in.  she's got a mega performance in store.

rehearsals were even tighter today, yay!  the owner of the rehearsal studio is called sven.  metal, much? I sink so.

tonight I've had Clem, Tim, Steve, Manny and Katie for some very casual wine and dumplings.  within 30 minutes of our guests arrival, I was shocked with a phone call and a knock on the door from the hotel threatening to evict us over a low chatter and barely audible music.  9:30 pm mind you.  a lovely gathering cut short by an uptight night shift... again.... how I miss the blackman.

final rehearsals tomorrrrow.. seepy time.


whiskers via rehearsal



ello lovelies,

No time for internet this week so expect mostly text based entries via ipad!

Today, my band and I migrated to sydney for rehearsals for powderfinger support gig on saturday.  Left my damn hat at security under pressure to catch our flight.   We struggle without Mirko on board (the ultimate tm)... we're scheduled to head straight into rehearsals. Shit rain weather thus far here in sydney.   our rehearsal studio is fine, though I'd prefer room #2... why can't we have room #2?  because INXS is occupying it... hah!  then maybe #5?  why do i get 6?  josh pike in 5.  bummer.

The very talented guitarist/vocalist Steve Veale (of Hello Morning) will be joining us for this special final performance for Secrets & Lies.  So today we'll stretch his comfort zone.  he's adapting well thus far.. 30 minute set for this gig.  in no particular order, will be rocking heart, thump, peekaboo, shout out, byrds, black cats, come to bed.  mustang is my weapon of choice this time around... we're expecting an interesting response from a powderfinger crowd.

my darling mother and step father are jet setting from launceston to catch the gig..very sweet.  I'm eager to catch up with some of my glorious family in whatever spare time I can find here..

today I got a rad hair did by my friend and favorite stylist, Kim of Valonz Sydney.  Always give your stylist free reign as you'll turn out with some fantastic surprises... i.e. shaven arcs in the undercut.  *thumbs up*

when was the last time you listened to peter and the wolf, by the way?



ritualistic whisker application via 1st day rehearsals sydney...



Saturday welcomed competition winner Emma Fagan and her guest Alyssa to The Blackman.  They entered Bertie's Lair and the rest is depicted here.




throwback to the one that got away..

I have a special attachment to the Black Cats video clip because i was able to draw and work with animators rather than seer evilly down a camera and frighten viewers--- and while i do enjoy that very much...this was a nice change.





BB displays tourettes at it's best whilst mastering the only video game she can stomach...


bb demonstrates the art of multitasking - breakfast vocal conditioning




tis beatrice clocking in from the Blackman.

To my delight, I've nested in a beautiful room two levels above the OG midweek.  Different layout, larger balcony, (an even more) incredible view of this uber rad city which I call home. *stretch   What a shame that I've only 3 weeks until my residency with the Black-men concludes (hint hint).  Luckily, I have an experienced clan of dwelling hunters on my side to find my futurehome/homestudio post blackman eviction!

My vinyl collection is in full rotation...cocteau twins (ltd pressing box set arrived!  still waiting on DCD... 4AD=best), joy division, smiths, stevie nicks, dead weather, bat for lashes, radiohead, etcetcetcetceteyceahfjkshf.. the knife make my soul music... I saw the opera they composed 'tomorrow in a year' and collapsed in a heap of overwhelmce.

marky mark (my brilliant manager) surprised me with a mystery trip to heidi for a bit of creative inspiration/conversation. Then mum generously restocked my pantry with legit spanish treats from casa iberica.  Beyond the lack of fresh produce, I managed a glorious saffron infused spanish rice.

most magical find all week: original 2nd hand copy of "the dark crystal" in storybook form. italian publisher 82'. *thumbs up...

mamasita, glitzern, paperback bookshop, cumulus x2, third drawer down raid, hanging with manny, david, my melbourne family..proper tour of the olsen = gorgeous.

can anyone loan me a bath?




Otherwise, furiously writing in my head all the while juggling a week of socializing and condensed experiences.

... ahhhh this view... ahhh this record..til next time





Introducing the unstoppable EB on the skinzzzzzz.


Drink + drink + drink + friends+ family + instruments + lack of rhythm = freestyle jam by Blackman & Sons...


The story of an unlikely reunion.



Contest begins NOW!!  Enter at



Check out our Bertie at The Blackman guitar picks - used by the master herself. Want one? Send us an email to guesswho @ with your address and we'll pop one in the post. - The Art Series Hotel Group




Allo' friends..

*exhale… what an intensive week of writing this has been.  today boys from Wim (sydney) have arrived at [The Blackman] to mesh brains and talent with myself.

the very talented, very humble and very generous mr. david bromley has arranged for us to witness the legend that is John Cale… yes yes…… Cale of the Velvet Underground..  the arts center is hosting his performance for the melbourne arts festival.  All expectations have been kissed to the wind… eager eager.  there are a lot of interesting things going on through the maf… TOMORROW IN A YEAR is creeping upon me sooner than I realized!  if you're not familiar with this performance, look into it.. you won't be disappointed.

brom has also kindly offered to loan me his beautiful vintage blue bmw 2002!!  rad rad vehicle adorned with hand painted pirates on the rear windows… who better than I to roll round melbourne in it??? yeah! no more rental car!

my beautiful mother will be in melbourne monday-thursday of this upcoming week.  i'm excited to introduce her to this place I call home.

ah the boys have arrived, I'm off to write.   Til next time!




Bertie briefly yet intimately discusses both the inspirations and challenges of writing/rewriting a particular track from her upcoming record.


....but it's not it's fault.  A lesson in a Beatricy breakfasty treat.


Bertie displays her breakfast & latest acquisition atop her suite's private balcony overlooking Melbourne via [The Blackman] hotel


Amongst the fishes and fogs and popular sprogs, we went in head first to Tim Burton's final day in Melbourne.  p-p-p-p-p I'm noticing a trend here....


dum dum dummmmm......



The evening star in a farthingwood car..f f f...



BB's magical shadow puppeteering / story telling on the fly...



dearest dear,

today is one of those days. im in the writing dark head place.... where all these stories are swirling around and im looking up and wondering what they are about. kite stories. shadow chasing... like when you are small and everything is all out of proportion. the way ink likes to move around sometimes. lurking.

sometimes it feels like im writing to myself... like the letter is conversing me.... trying to figure out what im going on about....and  like im doing the same thing to the letter. so letters are mirror like i guess... unless you a liar. but then... it your a liar... the mirror would be reflecting the truth. so in essence, its about how honest you are with yourself... whether you even know your a liar. delusional. if the doctors say you are then you have an excuse because your brain is actually zapping things the wrong way... otherwise, well, your simply scared of the truth... whatever that is.

one day id ike to get another tattoo... but my fathers words are too profound to top.

ill ponder that for the next 20 years then.

until tomorrow!




..............typical family affair


Anything can happen beneath the hide of a cow... even this.


BB approaches Lesson 2 of entry level drawing with a very special guest instructor...


Ut oh. The plague continues... while still unwell and still beneath the sheets, Bertie reaches for the will to perform poetry of dark humor to onlookers. Doctor




An unwell Bertie greets viewers from below the sheets of a her mother's beach house in the Bay of Fires - St Helens, Tasmania. Feel better, BB!





Hello creatures of the world -


A day in the life of me can be very unpredictable.  So here is how today went:


I woke up not feeling too well actually.  I was excited about going into Alpha60 who have radly partnered with The Blackman to dress me during my stay here but I was fevery and ill.  So hopefully I will make it in tomorrow in better health.  I drank tea.  I made an omelette with herbs.  For the lack of more entertaining early morning weekend television, I watched sport on this very rare occasion!  I ranted. I raved (as much as one can when fluy).  I damned St. Kilda for losing the second consecutive year by the same margin.   My achy body and exhausted mind lulled themselves to sleep to the beautiful score of "Goodbye, Lenin" by mastermind, Yann Tiersen.   I was woken by a check in phone call from a family friend inviting me to watch the football final.  Football final?  But it started at 11am and St. Kilda got their asses handed to them?  *think.think*  Rut roh.  I've mistakenly watched a 2009 finals replay. Typical me.  Everyone in the hotel must have heard my hoarse voice screaming for St. Kilda thinking I was completely insane.  Oi vey.


Tomorrow Alpha60?


More tea.  Now time to pull myself together to support my little label sister, Kimbra at her single release show.  rescue remedy!  Then seepy?  No more sicky?



p.s. I should have actually titled this blog "tales from the crypt."  But what are you gonna do?  Genius too late.  If I knew you, I would probably say that I loved you but I would like to say a proper goodbye….farewell  unknown guests of my letter.




Bertie teaches viewers how to draw a straight line without a ruler.  Not much else to be said really.




hello mighty blog page lookers!

i thought it might be time to write you all a letter... to let the world know how the life of bertie is going ... inside and out.... mind and body....of the blackman hotel.

dear world,

today my hair colour is the colour of a large blueberry. dont get me wrong, i love berries... but when you dye your hair black, you expect it to be...well black. NOT BLUE! so now i hide away from the sun as to shy from exposing my hairs true identity. and as a result...i have to pick out the dried blue fruits from my mornings cereal, because the milk goes blue... and it reminds me of my blue hair...and that makes me upset.

its wierd, that everytime i have tried to write a blog, i go from writing in the first person... to the third person in two sentences. i just noticed that. and then i remembered that my darling clementine niece who once told me that loonies refer to themselves in the third person because they have lost the ability to connect inside. im not ready for that yet... though, i am freaking out at blue milk.

i love things that are a little absurd. it makes you think... for example... like why the cassowary is such a wierd creature... perhaps the wierdest of our wilderness, but she goes fairly un acknowdeged, compared with our everyday koalas and kangaroos.  they are what they are... the the cassowary is blue(ahhhhh!!), red, with a big hoof as a helmet and a large black toupe as a body and then veloceraptor toes. ill ride one of those to school instead of a bus thanks. but only if we can swap and she can sit on my shoulders like a back pack and see the world from a different perspective.

i wish i had a real harpsichord.

sometimes i wish my hair was longer... (and not fucking blue..)

i have small hands and big eyes and im glad its not the other way around.. (sorry to anyone that does)

i love tea out of a fine lipped cup.

all day i gaze at my wonderful fathers paintings that hang on my walls. and i never wish i was anywhere else...(except i dream i am everywhere else)

till next time creatures of our world.



The Doctor of Triple J is away from his mic for the week!  In his absence, Stav & Jake of Bluejuice have a cheeky chat to Bertie via ABC studio, Melbourne about what she's been getting up to at [ The Blackman ] and otherwise.  Take your time here as you'll be listening to a very entertaining 4 minutes of the 10 minute interview. Visit to listen in it's entirety.


A very cold and quiet afternoon of writing then onward to the discovery of a fine novel, "Light Boxes" by Shane Jones. A lovely excerpt recited by Bertie.


Teehee...need we say more? Just watch...



Enjoy this otherwise rare opportunity to explore Bertie's private moments and the birth of a new creative spark.


Blacky and crew conquer NSW from Sydney Airport to Funk N' Grooves festival of the Hunter Valley. Crew amps the crowd in preparation for BB's iconic performance you are about to witness.


BB kicked off the 300 million dollar renevation grand re-opening of Myer Basement - Melbourne. Blackman and the boys closed their set with a very exclusive, very custom tailored version of Peek-a-Boo as witnessed in this clip.


Bertie welcomes viewers and fans alike by touring her creative domain within the Blackman Hotel.