• Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Justine Varga | Kate Just

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Justine Varga’s ‘Areola’ and Kate Just’s ‘From China with Love’.

    Justine Varga’s artistic practice demonstrates a sustained interrogation of what we assume photographs to be, and what we expect them to do. Utilising physical manipulations of the material surfaces she works with, Varga touches, smears and inverts negatives, she layers and overlaps exposures, she retains the visual residue of their processes of becoming.

    Etymologically speaking, the word areola has its roots in Latin, originally referring to a small, open space. Areola also refers to those ‘small spaces between lines or cracks on a leaf or an insect’s wing’.

    Made without a camera to act as intermediary, these images are manifestations of physical contact, visual traces of skin on skin. As she presses the pigment-smeared flesh of her hand onto the negative’s surface, Varga repudiates the lens’s definitive frame. Exploiting the tension between negative and positive, Varga’s tactile manipulations of her materials make evident the physicality of her process…Stripping the mechanistic reproductive power of the camera from the process of making a photographic object, Varga posits instead a method of bodily creation. The spatial and conceptual distance between maker and object is collapsed. Particles of skin and saliva mark the photographic skin, the body of the artist pervading the body of work. Stretching the picture’s frame beyond its conventional limits, these works complicate the certitude of the border which they both occupy and expand.
    —Kirsty Baker

    Kate Just is an established artist who works with sculpture, installation, neon, textiles, and photography to produce artworks that promote feminist representations of the body and experience. Just is well-known for using textile crafts including knitting as both narrative devices and unwitting political tools. In addition to her highly-crafted solo artworks, Just often works socially and collaboratively within communities to tackle significant social issues including sexual harassment and violence against women.

    ‘From China With Love’ is a series of hand-sewn textile hangings and a photograph produced during a residency at Red Gate in Beijing in 2018. ‘From China With Love’ is inspired by images and ideas of love, relationships, and feminism in China.

    Please join us in celebrating these two incredible exhibitions and the launch of our 2019 exhibition program!

    Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

    Image: Justine Varga, Lattice, 2017-18, c type photograph, 112 x 127 cm, edition of 5

    Image: Kate Just, Double Happiness (Queer Love), 2019, hand- and machine-stitched brocade fabric and timber, 187 x 145 cm, installation dimensions variable.

  • Happy Holidays

    Hugo Michell Gallery would like to thank you for your support throughout the year. Wishing you good health, prosperity and a fun-filled summer!

    Save the date: Thursday 7 February 2019

    Justine Varga | Areola
    Kate Just | From China with Love

    Gallery Closure dates:
    Closed: 12 December – Available by appointment until 21 December
    Open: 7 February – Available by appointment from 15 January

    Image: Trent Parke, Scream, 2008, from The Christmas Tree Bucket, pigment print, 72 x 90 or 32 x 40 cm, edition of 8

  • Hugo Michell Gallery Celebrates 10 years

    Established in 2008, Hugo Michell Gallery is celebrating its tenth year of operation in 2018. To celebrate this anniversary, Gallery Director Hugo Michell has invited represented artists to exhibit in the final exhibition of the year, DECADE. 

    Of the significant milestone, Hugo states:

    I am incredibly humbled to be celebrating the tenth year of Hugo Michell Gallery. In a tough climate we have been lucky to grow each year, building our client base and our relationships with artists. I feel extremely lucky to work with the group of artists we do, and am in awe of all of their achievements. I am so grateful for the support of our wonderful clients. We are so fortunate to have great relationships with the talented curators at state galleries and institutions throughout Australia. The team at Hugo Michell Gallery love what we do, are passionate about the Australian contemporary art scene, and look to the future with enthusiasm.

    Featuring works by Narelle Autio, David Booth [Ghostpatrol], Sally Bourke, Nadine Christensen, James Dodd, Tony Garifalakis, Lucas Grogan, Ildiko Kovacs, Janet Laurence, Richard Lewer, William Mackinnon, Fiona McMonagle, Nana Ohnesorge, Trent Parke, Elvis Richardson, Lisa Roet, Paul Sloan, Tim Sterling, Justine Varga, Sera Waters, Amy Joy Watson, and Paul Yore.

    Please join us in attending DECADE which will open to the public from Tuesday November 20 til December 12.

    Press Coverage
    The Adelaide Review
    ABC Adelaide
    Art Guide

  • Janet Laurence Survey Exhibition Announced at MCA

    The Museum of Contemporary Art has announced their 2019 program which includes the first major survey of esteemed artist Janet Laurence title After Nature. Presenting work from Laurence’s expansive career, the exhibition will feature a range of work from sculpture, installation, photography and video.

    For over 30 years, Laurence has explored the interconnection of all living things – animal, plant, mineral – through a multi-disciplinary approach. She has employed diverse materials to explore the natural world in all its beauty and complexity, and to highlight the environmental challenges it faces today: the era of the Anthropocene.

    Janet Laurence: After Nature includes key works from the artist’s career, with loans from public institutions around Australia and the MCA Collection work Cellular Gardens (where breathing begins) (2005). They encompass her alchemical works of the early 1990s that use metal plates, minerals, organic substances and lightboxes, through to her installations of the 2000s and beyond, incorporating plant and animal specimens within transparent vitrines and ‘wunderkammer’ environments. Laurence’s works reflect on the fragility of the natural world, its plight and potential restoration.

    Central to the exhibition is a major new MCA commission, entitled Theatre of Trees, which brings together the last decade of Laurence’s research into plants, their medicinal and healing powers, and trees.

    This exhibition has evolved from two decades of collaboration between Janet Laurence and MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent, who curated Laurence’s exhibition Muses at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne in 2000.

    Janet Laurence 
    After Nature
    1 March – 10 June 2019

    MCA: Gallery Level 1

    Press Coverage:
    UNSW Newsroom
    Sydney Morning Herald

  • Hugo Michell Gallery Open: William Mackinnon | Min Wong

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of William Mackinnon’s ‘The Lucky Country?’ and Min Wong’s ‘Born to give not to get’.

    Spending two years between 2008 and 2010 in the Kimberley and Central Australia, William Mackinnon states that the timing of this experience helped him to ‘find his own voice as an artist’.

    Having previously spent over a decade within an educational and institutional setting, studying at the University of Melbourne (2000), Chelsea School of Art and Design (2006) and completing his Masters at the Victorian College of the Arts (2008). It was the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship (2008), which afforded him the opportunity to spend time away from formal education.

    Mackinnon began the two-year Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, by spending twelve months in the Kimberley region of Western Australia firstly as artist in residence at Mangkaja Arts, Fitzroy Crossing. In 2010 he moved to Central Australia working as a field officer for Papunya Tula Artists. Before this time, Mackinnon was working, learning, collecting, growing up, building an extensive language and refining his skill. Keen to explore and experience a wider Australia, Mackinnon began this self-directed time with senior Indigenous artists to further an understanding and appreciation of Country and culture.

    In his latest series ‘The Lucky Country?’ Mackinnon revisits this significant period of time after a number of years living abroad. An extended period of absence has allowed him an interval to reflect and reconnect with lessons lived with for a decade.

    Min Wong appropriates material culture from 1970’s to revisit this significant era of spiritual countercultures and the mash up of Eastern and Western mysticism. Writer Eric Davis describes this phenomena as the ‘modern esoteric’, a combination of anthropology and mystical pulp, between cultural criticism and extraordinary experience. More recent tendencies of contemporary spirituality is the self-help and therapeutic culture spawned from the ideology of the ‘New Age’ and its dogma practice that spiritual enlightenment comes from the self rather than the radical collective. By looking back to investigate utopian elements of previous eras, Min’s practice seeks to explore ways of understanding the contemporary esoteric and examine the illusory hopes, desire, failure and authentic search for meaning in the contemporary dystopic.

    ‘Born to give not to get’ examines the commodification of the spiritual self through high performing branding and prescriptive spiritual accessories such as yoga, activewear and affirmative phrases. The installation sits inside an ‘interior’, referencing gym equipment and athletic apparatus’ appropriating tropes of the self care industry. In its genuine state, self-care can be a defiant act for social justice, a holistic approach that includes emotional, mental and spiritual fulfillment that also supports the utopian collective. This exhibition examines this contemporary dilemma.

    Please join us on Thursday the 18th in celebrating these two incredible exhibitions!

    See the Facebook event here.

    Image: William Mackinnon, The Lucky Country?, 2018, acrylic, oil and enamel on linen, 201 x 300 cm

    Image: Min Wong, Dont lose the grip, 2018, digital print on mirror stainless steel, 100 x 100 cm

  • Tony Garifalakis in ‘The National 2019: New Australian Art’

    The National 2019: New Australian Art will be launching the second of three ambitions survey exhibitions across multiple sites on March 29, 2019. The 2019 exhibition is curated by each venue comprising of AGNSW Curator of Photographs, Isobel Parker Philip; Carriageworks Senior Curator of Visual Arts, Daniel Mudie Cunningham; and MCA Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions, Clothilde Bullen alongside MCA Curator, Anna Davis.

    As in its first year, the exhibition showcases new and commissioned work by contemporary Australian artists encompassing a diverse range of media including painting, video, photography, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance. The National 2019 will continue the project’s curatorial ambitions as a large-scale survey of contemporary Australian art in the form of three distinct exhibitions that explore overlapping themes including hierarchy and power, dystopic futures, and ritual and improvisation.

    Tony Garifalakis will exhibit at the Art Gallery of New South Wales alongside 23 other artists in an presentation that Isobel Parker Philip describes to “reveal how Australian artists are responding with subtlety and intensity to the times they live in, through artworks that are intricate, complex and often charged with a sense of precariousness.”

    Art Gallery of New South Wales: 29 March – 21 July 2019
    Carriageworks: 29 March – 23 June 2019
    Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: 29 March – 23 June 2019

    For full details about The National visit here.

    Image: Tony Garifalakis, Untitled #1, 2014, from Mob Rule (Family), enamel on type C print, 60 x 40 cm, unique ed. of 2

  • Hugo Michell Gallery Open: WORD | A group exhibition featuring text-based work.

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of WORD, an ambitious group exhibition presenting text-based work from nearly 30 artists.

    Featuring: Abdul Abdullah, Roy Ananda, Brook Andrew, Narelle Autio, David Booth [Ghostpatrol], Jon Campbell, James Dodd, Will French, Tony Garifalakis, Lucas Grogan, Kate Just, Anastasia Klose, Sue Kneebone, Alice Lang, Richard Lewer, Sophia Nuske, Nana Ohnesorge, Trent Parke, Philjames, Kenny Pittock, Toby Pola, Tom Polo, Elvis Richardson, Derek Sargent, Paul Sloan, Sera Waters, Gerry Wedd, Min Wong, and Paul Yore.

    From raw mark-making to a choreographed line, text allows us to transfer ideas and connect universally. It is a coded form of communication that negotiates language and dialect. WORD presents a library of pithy phrases and sensitive secrets that span the entire gallery.

    Please join us on Thursday the 30th of August to celebrate.

    See the Facebook event here.

    Richard Lewer, Why do we have to clean before the cleaner comes, 2018, acrylic on pegboard, 38 x 79 cm, for WORD at Hugo Michell Gallery

    Image: Richard Lewer, Why do we have to clean before the cleaner comes, 2018, acrylic on pegboard, 38 x 79 cm

    Sue Kneebone, Way too Tough, 2018, Giclée Print, 84 x 119 cm, Edition of 5 + 2APs, for WORD at Hugo Michell Gallery

    Image: Sue Kneebone, Way too Tough, 2018, Giclée Print, 84 x 119 cm, Edition of 5 + 2APs

  • Justine Varga in TarraWarra Biennial 2018

    Justine Varga has been selected alongside nearly 30 artists for the TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form. Varga will exhibit six photographic pieces including three from her most recent series Photogenic Drawing. From Will to Form is accompanied by a range of performances, artist talks and a comprehensive catalogue, providing audiences with a variety of contemporary art experiences.

    From throwing liquid bronze to whistling for three days straight, the TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form considers how the wild, intangible forces that animate behaviour might be present within an artwork.

    For the sixth TarraWarra Biennial, 23 artists and one artist group from across Australia will present anarchic and persistent energies in a range of sculpture, painting, performance and film works. For some artists, will is drawn from a relationship to country and earth, while for others it is channeled through the psyche. Other artists highlight the role of the body as either a conduit for, or a concealer of, wilful forces.

    The Biennial includes 19 new commissions, performance events and works that refigure the spaces of TarraWarra Museum of Art itself, including Bidjara, Ghangalu and Garingbal artist Dale Harding’s site-specific 30m-long painting on the renowned Vista Walk wall as well as new works from Vicki Couzens, Claire Lambe, Michelle Ussher, Mike Parr and Rob McLeish among many others.

    TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form artists:

    Belle Bassin (VIC); Vicki Couzens (VIC); Naomi Eller (VIC); Artists from Erub Arts (Torres Strait); Starlie Geikie (VIC); Agatha Gothe-Snape (NSW); Julie Gough (TAS); Dale Harding (QLD); Claire Lambe (VIC); Lindy Lee (NSW); Bridie Lunney (VIC); Rob McLeish (VIC); John Meade (VIC); Sanné Mestrom (VIC); Alison Murray (QLD); Michelle Nikou (SA); Kusum Normoyle (NSW); Mike Parr (NSW); Michael Snape (NSW); Hiromi Tango (NSW); Fairy Turner (WA); Michelle Ussher (NSW); Justine Varga (NSW); Isadora Vaughan (VIC).

    For more information, visit, TarraWarra Biennial until November 6.

    Image: Justine Varga, Post Impression, 2017, c type photograph, 158.5 x 122 cm, edition of 5

  • Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Tim Sterling | Yarrenyty Arltere Artists

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Tim Sterling’s ‘Tactile Site’ and the Yarrenyty Arltere Artists’ ‘We use our Kapurta (heads) for looking after things’. From July 19 until August 25.

    In ‘Tactile Site’, Tim Sterling’s intricate drawings and sculptures of architectural forms are used as analogies for agoraphobia. Sterling’s work invites audiences to examine intrinsic patterns within mass representation.

    Sterling received The Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship in 2004, attending the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Sterling has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art.

    In their second exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery, the Yarrenyty Arltere Artists present ‘We use our Kapurta (heads) for looking after things’, featuring new work by Marlene Rubuntja, Trudy Inkamala, Louise Robertson, Rosabella Ryder, Rhonda Sharpe, Roxanne Petrick, and Dulcie Sharpe.

    “Sometimes you see on TV those people on safari in Africa, their heads just popping out over those cut-out cars, looking out to what’s going on all around them: Looking out for animals. Well we thought that’s what we do with our Kapurta, we look out for everyone here at Yarrenyty Arltere. When we are working at the art centre, when we are sitting at home, and when we are driving around: We use our heads for looking out for each other, for thinking, for ideas, and for watching with our eyes making sure everyone is safe.

    So we made these 6 big Kapurta and we thought they can watch all the other soft sculptures when they go to Adelaide, the people, and the animals. Like on safari, but from our country, from our own Town Camp, from our own ideas.”

    Please join us on Thursday the 19th in celebrating these two incredible exhibitions!

    Image: Tim Sterling, Besser Brick 3, 2018, cable ties and paper clips, 17.5 x 24 x 44 cm


    Image: Marlene Rubuntja, Dog 1, 2018, mixed media, 25 x 37 x 9 cm

  • Hugo Michell Gallery Open: James Darling & Lesley Forwood | Sue Kneebone

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of James Darling & Lesley Forwood’s ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ and Sue Kneebone’s ‘Spurious Natures’.

    ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ is a transportive and exceptionally ambitious installation, achieved in collaboration with Jumpgate VR and the Australian String Quartet.

    On a trip to the Limestone Coast, an ecologist informed Darling and Forwood they would find thrombolites; rare rock-like microbial structures which, when emerged from beneath water, photosynthesize. Thrombolites and stromatolites are both microbialites whose structures colonise lake floors and which, over billions of years, supplied the first large quantities of oxygen to the atmosphere of our planet.

    Darling and Forwood have responded to the extraordinary natural structures with an expansive and evolutionary installation, which includes flooding two-thirds of the seventeen-metre-long gallery. In collaboration with Jumpgate VR, the artists have generated a landscape spanning 3 billion years. ‘Living Rocks’ also features an original score composed by Paul Stanhope, recorded by the Australian String Quartet at UKARIA Cultural Centre.

    Sue Kneebone’s interdisciplinary practice seeks to draw the viewer in to consider insidious subtexts such as disturbed ecologies and dispossession from colonial incursions. A combination of field trips and archival research into her family past have fostered a deeper understanding of the inherited and ongoing legacies of colonial settler culture. This landscape of contrasting brutality and gentrification has inspired a broader personal investigation of this colonising period. Her works seek to reflect the duplicitous nature of colonial settler culture entangled in the shadowy undercurrents of the past that still resonate today.

    ‘Spurious Natures’ taps into the current state of eco-anxiety by exploring the relational disconnect between the colonial-settler body and its environment. Through these works, Sue Kneebone explores the affective nature of her colonial ancestors, already afflicted by chronic illness before emigrating to South Australia in the 1850s. This was a time when nineteenth-century British doctors held the underlying assumption that disease developed if one’s bodily constitution was irritated, imbalanced, or out of harmony with its environment. The temperate climate in the southern parts of Australia developed a reputation as a potential restorative haven for those with consumption and other delicacies of the chest. Despite this hope, many colonial emigrants succumbed to their illness within a few years of arriving in Adelaide (Kaurna Country). In ‘Spurious Natures’, a tide of colonial pathos left over from failed self-cures and anthropogenic neglect has been expressed through the tremulous tensions held within these mixed media tableaux.

    Please join us on June 14 to celebrate these incredible South Australian artists.

    Image: James Darling & Lesley Forwood’s Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe at Hugo Michell Gallery 2018


    Image: Sue Kneebone, Carrier Class, 2018, cement, grey rock pigeon wings & metal platters, 90 x 120 cm approximately