• HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Low Pressure System | Specks

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the exhibitions ‘Low Pressure System’, a collaborative exhibition by James Dodd & Henry Jock Walker, and ‘Specks’ by Sera Waters. These exhibitions are presented as part of the 2021 SALA Festival.

    *Please note*
    -Due to the current government restrictions we are unable to serve refreshments at this exhibition opening and you are required to wear a mask.
    -If you wish to join us for the opening of these exhibitions, RSVP is essential to

    ‘Low Pressure System’ by James Dodd & Henry Jock Walker brings together a collection of ongoing investigations and will include a new teamwork exploration.  Whilst having shared many art adventures together, this will be the first duo exhibition for the pair. This exhibition plays out the affinitive connection that both Dodd and Walker have for painting, colour and abstraction.

    Whilst the works of each artist show strong visual correlations; their individual approaches, processes and materials are embedded with varied content.  Dodd continues his investigations into the use of mechanical devices such as painting tools and industrial processes and Walker continues his sew collage of pre-loved wetsuits.

    ‘Specks’, by Sera Waters presents a body of work that were made during a time of the pandemic, lockdowns, grief, and grappling with growing climactic disasters. Sera has sensitively communicated these themes through laboured methods allowing time for her own and audience reflection.

    “I imagine the atmosphere of now is full of specks; specks of the past, specks of data, specks of living matter, specks of stuff. Specks link to others to make threads, then tangles, then whole interconnected networks, that are the basis of the stories and material worlds we inherit and continue to create for the next generations. These artworks were made during the time of the pandemic, lockdowns, my own grief, and my grappling with growing climatic disasters. They transform specks of data, family histories, found materials, and textile traditions into tales, reminders, and laborious reckonings. These stories of stumps, drought-ridden land, extreme heat, and invasive species all arise from past entangles; from a want for wood, from a stowaway pest, from traditions introduced ill-fittingly to another’s faraway land. Tracing these tangles, following their threads, is a way of learning from them, redirecting their accumulated specks into new stories for the future.”

    Exhibition runs from: 3 August – 28 August
    Official Exhibition opening: Thursday 5 August 6-8 pm
    Exhibition Finissage: Saturday 28th August

    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.

  • Justine Varga announced as finalist in Bowness Photography Prize

    Congratulations to Justine Varga who has been selected as a finalist in the 2021 Bowness Photography Prize for her chromogenic photographic work Shiaparelli. This work will be featured as part of Justine Varga’s upcoming exhibition ‘Masque’ to be presented at Hugo Michell Gallery in November 2021. 

    About the work, Varga says:

    “When we look at photographs, we are generally asked to view them as a window onto another place and time. Echoing a famously shocking hue, Schiaparelli ruptures this convention by asking the viewer to simultaneously look through and at its photographicness, and from its centre to its edge. The matrix from which this photograph is derived is a negative on which I have inscribed saliva, urine, bath water, ink and paint, mingled materials of genealogical and historical remembering. This photograph also deliberately draws our attention to its margins, an area of the photograph created during the printing process itself. Refusing to give up any easy meaning, Schiaparelli stages an encounter with the viewer, an experience as much as a document.”

    Over the last 16 years, the Bowness Photography Prize has emerged as an important annual survey of contemporary photographic practice in Australia and one of the most prestigious prizes in the country. The winning work will be awarded $30,000 and will be acquired into Monash Gallery of Art’s nationally significant collection of Australian photographs.

    The exhibition will be on display from Thursday 9th of September until 7th November at the Monash Gallery of Art.


  • Temporary Gallery Closure

    In line with the SA government direction, our gallery spaces are now temporarily closed. As always, we are accessible online and you can contact the gallery directly to receive digital materials regarding exhibitions and available works.

    It is important for our cultural sector that we continue to support artists and creative outcomes. We extend our support and sympathy to all impacted in our community.

    All orders through the Hugo Michell Gallery online shop will be processed once we are able to return to the gallery.

    Look forward to seeing you in person soon!


    Pictured: Richard Lewer, ‘Home Time’, 2013, from ‘The Ten Commandments’, acrylic on foam, 50 x 50 cm
  • Sera Waters is ‘Telling Tales’ | Bordertown Chronicle Article

    Sera Waters speaks with the Bordertown Chronicle about the unveiling of the project Telling Tales, a joint venture between Ms Waters, artist Jo Fife, the Riddoch Art and Cultural Centre, Country Arts SA and Walkway Gallery. This announcement was made at the launch of Waters’ touring exhibition Domestic Arts at Walkway Gallery, Bordertown, on July 9th.

    “It’s about domestic tales, family histories and how they haven’t always had a spot in Australia’s official history, so I am trying to bring those back into the narrative,” she said.

    “I think there are so many fascinating tales that come out of people’s family histories and also the material stuff in there as well – It’s the materials that are at hand, we are so familiar with them, and we know them, and they are powerful materials.

    “These are all family stories in one way or another – my mum was a great family historian, but they speak to other people’s families.“It’s all kind of knotty and tangled – we’re all entangled with each other in some way or another.” – Sera Waters

    Click here to read the full article.

    The exhibition Domestic Arts on showing at Walkway Gallery until August 29th, 2021. The collaborative Telling Tales work can be viewed at the Tatiara Civic Centre until September 5th.

    Sera Waters, Sternum: containing, 2017, found bedspread, hand-dyed bed sheets, cotton, stuffing, rope, found handles, 300 x 150 cm approx. Photography by Grant Hancock.

  • Kate Just on ABC Art Works with Namila Benson

    Kate Just’s ‘Anonymous was a woman’, is an ongoing work that involves the repetitive production of hand knitted panels (16 x 16 inch) bearing the text ‘Anonymous was a woman.’ Stretched around canvas, each uniquely coloured work resembles a textile plaque. The muted tones of the work refer to a palette of jewels or minerals, natural or long buried treasures. Assembled on the wall in a grid, the works conjure a columbarium or monument to past lives or lost artworks.

    The work is inspired by a quotation in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1928). In this feminist polemic, Woolf questions the ways women’s authorship has been judged as inferior to that of men, and systematically made invisible. Woolf says, “I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” Over time this quote has been rephrased as “Throughout most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Just states, “Through the making of the work, I meditate upon the immeasurable contributions that women have made to culture and society, and mourn the losses sustained by the erasure or exclusion of many of these gifts from the canon of art history.”

    Pictured: Kate Just, ‘Anonymous was a woman (installation detail, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia)’, 2019-21, knitted wool, 41 x 41 cm each panel.


    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of ‘Going Home’ a group exhibition featuring works from Kate Ballis, Paul Davies, Eliza Gosse, Katherine Hattam, Elvis Richardson and Noel McKenna.
    ‘Stay home. Work from home. Isolate at home. Over the past 18 months, our homes have assumed greater importance than ever before, not only as a space in which to play, rest and (at times) work, but also as a place of safety and security amid the unpredictability of a global pandemic.
    Artists have spent extended periods at home lately, too, an experience which has led some to cast a fresh eye on the domestic sphere. Others have been making work in this vein for longer, yet in the context of recent events, their paintings, photographs and sculpture are especially pertinent.’ – Tony Magnusson
    Please join us in celebrating the launch of this exhibition!
    Exhibition Opening Thursday 24 June 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 24 June – 24 July
    Paul Davies courtesy of Sophie Gannon Gallery, Noel McKenna courtesy of GAGPROJECTS.
    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.
    Pictured: Kate Ballis, ‘Sands’, 2017, archival print on cotton rag, 153 x 103 cm
    Pictured: Katherine Hattam, ‘At home in this strange country’, 2021, oil on linen, 154 x 154 cm 

  • FINALISTS in the 2021 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize

    The 2021 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Art Prize finalists have been announced! 

    Richard Lewer has been announced as a finalist for the Archibald Prize; William Mackinnon has been announced as finalist in both the Archibald Prize and Wynne Prize; and Clara Adolphs and Ildiko Kovacs are both finalists in the Sir John Sulman Prize.

    Presented by Art Gallery of New South Wales, the exhibition will run from 5th of June to 26th September 2021.

    The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favourite art award, and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.

    Richard Lewer, Liz Laverty, oil on canvas, 153.5 x 153 cm.

    Of the work, Lewer says: “‘I met Liz not long after Colin died in 2013. Naturally our conversations then were mostly about loss and love. But over the years I’ve been painting Liz, I’ve seen steep changes in her energy, positivity and zest for life as she redefines herself,’ says Lewer.

    “The women I know of Liz’s generation have an inner strength. It may be a generalisation, but after the loss of a partner they often seem to live more productive, happier lives than their male counterparts.

    I have painted Liz wearing one of her signature polka-dot blouses. The highly vibrant colour palette reflects Liz’s warmth and liveliness, the yellow ochre enriching her red hair, pale complexion and blue eyes.”

    William Mackinnon, Dark dad / extremis, acrylic, oil and enamel on linen, 200 x 150 cm.

    Of the work, Mackinnon says: “Parenthood has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. However, at times, I have felt pushed to the edge,’ says Mackinnon.

    ‘There is no doubt that it’s harder for the mother who gives birth, breastfeeds and undergoes physiological and hormonal changes. That said, the father has to cope with the aforementioned and is in shock at the change to life as previously known!

    While attempting a night feed, feeling completely frayed, I glimpsed myself in the mirror. In a near-hallucinatory state from interrupted sleep, I looked deranged. Then Lucky took the bottle and stopped crying, and I experienced peace and a delicious intimacy – a small moment of grace.

    I wanted to convey how I felt in the handling of the paint – raw emotion and raw linen, my stained pyjamas stuck on, evoking the sharp shift in reality. My hair was painted straight from the tube, while the linen is indelibly stained with deep Prussian blue.”

    The Wynne Prize was established following a bequest by Richard Wynne, who died in 1895, and first awarded in 1897, in honour of the official opening of the Gallery at its present site.

    About the work, Mackinnon says: “In 2019, I made a large triptych about the Australian explorers Burke and Wills. This opened up a new territory for me. Adventure and folly (ii) references time spent in the powerful Kimberley region, but it is an invented landscape. For me, landscape painting is more about what is going on inside me.

    Adventure and folly (ii) follows Australia’s ever-hotter summers and increasingly frequent, devastating fires. However, the black represents any unforeseen negative force, be it COVID-19 or any event that devastates one’s personal landscape. In 1983, when I was five, our family house burnt down in the Ash Wednesday bushfires, just two weeks after we moved in. Importantly, fire creates regeneration and opportunities for growth and change.”

    William Mackinnon, Adventure and folly (ii), acrylic, oil and automotive enamel on linen, 258 x 200 cm.

    The Sulman Prize was established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936. Each year the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW invite a guest artist to judge this open competition.

    Clara Adolphs, Spectators, oil on linen, left panel: 132.6 x 188.7 cm; right panel: 132.6 x 188.3 cm.

    About the work, Clara Adolphs says: “My work explores the notion of time and memory. Fascinated by the question of what remains after a moment has passed, I often use abandoned anonymous photographs as the starting point for my paintings. Disconnecting from the subjects’ identities allows a focus on the indefinable, yet timeless, collective nature of the human experience.

    Spectators began as three photographs. I was drawn to these images by their shared sense of suspense and anticipation. By weaving them together to make this diptych – a process of choosing what will remain and what I will omit – I have created a new context, while giving these figures a new life.”

    Ildiko Kovacs, Aquine, oil on board, 240 x 120 cm.

    About the work, Kovacs says: “Over the last few years, I have been looking more at sculpture, which has influenced my paintings. I paint using a foam roller, which lends itself to making a more solid line. As part of my process, I rework the line intuitively, finding form and rhythm simultaneously with colour. I remould the line, weave it, stack it and reconstruct it until I reach a wholeness in the making, attaining a feeling that sits comfortably in my physicality as well as in what I see.”

     Exhibition runs 5th June to 26th September 2021.

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Tony Garifalakis | David Booth [Ghostpatrol]

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Tony Garifalakis’ ‘Scum Suite’ and David Booth’s [Ghostpatrol] ‘Time Feeling Slippy’.
    Through his ongoing examination of culturally ascribed forms, Tony Garifalakis knowingly engages image and text – the twin-towers of print design methodology – to shift the semantic register of ‘common’ imagery (pop culture, music, cults, fashion, craft etc) and its components. These signs and symbols present themselves as units of meaning or complicated knots of reference, and are gradually transformed via their dispersal through the frameworks of cultural production. These signs also belong to a discourse between art and design, and they both, as language, are equally destabilised by Garifalakis’ détournement, which challenges the self-mythology so critical to these social structures and the legibility of their announcements. – Damiano Bertoli
    For David Booth’s [Ghostpatrol] exhibition ‘Time Feeling Slippy’, Booth states: “I’ve been building a world in my mind for a long time now. Playing around… Some curious drifting. Sometimes I feel like a well-resourced professional child when it comes to play.
    I like to zoom right out and think about the world from a safe distance. I like looking at images that show the scale of our sun alongside the Rigel or Antares stars. It feels like scale and time travel.
    This space is where I save my memories, it’s like a big visual catalogue.”
    Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two exhibitions!
    Exhibition Opening Thursday 20 May 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 20 May – 19 June
    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.
    Pictured: Tony Garifalakis, Scum #1, 2017-21, low viscosity screen print ink on cotton/linen blend, edition of 3, 200 x 145 cm.
    David Booth, Time Feeling Slippy Thought Cloud, 2021, framed watercolour, 50 x 50 cm approx. 

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Jan Murphy Gallery at Hugo Michell Gallery

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of ‘Jan Murphy Gallery at Hugo Michell Gallery’.

    A collaborative exhibition, presenting new works from six leading contemporary artists, represented by Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane.

    Lottie Consalvo
    Celia Gullett
    Guy Maestri
    Lara Merrett
    Ben Quilty
    A.J. Taylor

    Please join us in celebrating the launch of this cross-gallery exhibition!

    Exhibition Opening Thursday 15 April 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 15 April – 15 May
    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.
    Pictured: A.J. Taylor, Pink Ash Forest, 2021, oil on board, 122 x 153 cm

  • Easter Long Weekend Closure

    Wishing you all a safe and fun-filled Easter long weekend!

    Please note, Hugo Michell Gallery will be closed across the long weekend and we will respond to your requests Tuesday 6 April.

    Save the date: Thursday 15 April 2021
    ‘Jan Murphy Gallery at Hugo Michell Gallery’

    A collaborative exhibition, presenting new works from six leading contemporary artists, represented by Jan Murphy Gallery.

    Pictured: Lara Merrett, Alot can happen in a day, 2021, acrylic and ink on linen, 183 x 174 cm.