• Clara Adolphs and Fiona McMonagle announced as finalists in the 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize

    We are thrilled to share that Clara Adolphs and Fiona McMonagle have been shortlisted for the 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize.

    The 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize is a signature event that showcases the diversity and excellence of Australian contemporary painting practice. Through these prizes, staged since 1938, the Gallery has amassed an exceptional representation of Australian paintings whilst supporting contemporary practitioners. Showcasing the best of contemporary Australian painting practice, this $30,000 acquisitive award and biennial exhibition will feature 28 works by leading and emerging Australian artists. Collectively, the stylistic approaches and thematic range of these works reflect the currency and relevance of painting today.

    The 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize finalist exhibition will be on show at Geelong Gallery in Victoria from 25 June to 11 September 2022, with the recipient of the $30,000 acquisitive 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize to be announced on Friday 15 July at 6pm.


  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN SOON: Paul Davies + Tony Garifalakis

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of ’12 Frames’ by Paul Davies and ‘Future History’ by Tony Garifalakis.
    Paul Davies
    12 Frames
    Paul Davies work is driven by friction between opposing forces of built and natural environments, design and art, abstraction, and figuration. In his works, featuring modernist architectural homes set in idyllic landscapes devoid of human form, viewers are encouraged to inhabit the space and generate their own narrative.
    Tony Garifalakis
    Future History
    The works in this series, first begun in 2017, take their starting point in pre-existing, printed imagery that is sourced from contemporary interior design manuals and hotel brochures, Garifalakis digitally manipulates the originals to create beguiling and seductive new images, ones that retain a hint of their origin, such as surface textures like aluminium, wood and carpet, whilst at the same time transforming them into something new and unrecognisable.
    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.
  • FINALISTS in the 2022 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize

    The 2022 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Art Prize finalists have been announced! 

    Richard Lewer  has been announced as a finalist for the Archibald Prize; and Clara Adolphs is a finalist in the Wynne Prize. Congratulations to Richard and Clara!

    Presented by Art Gallery of New South Wales, the exhibition will run from 14 May – 28 August 2022.

    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.

    This is the fourth time that Richard Lewer has been represented in the Archibald Prize with a portrait of Elizabeth Laverty. “And I will keep painting her for as long as she’ll let me, or until we win!” says Lewer, whose practice has long explored the endurance, consistency and discipline that is required as an artist.

    Laverty and her late husband, Sydney pathologist Colin Laverty, built one of Australia’s most significant collections of contemporary art, while supporting the Indigenous communities they visited.

    “Liz is not just involved in the arts; she has many facets to her life. It is an honour to deepen my understanding of her past, present and future with each passing year. Nowadays, Liz is more vulnerable in many ways than when I first met her, yet she remains vibrant and open. She is well-informed on contemporary issues, socially adept and outward-looking. Liz continues to give back,” says Lewer.

    “I have painted her daily morning ritual, sitting at the breakfast table surrounded by newspapers, planning her day in her heavily inscribed diary.”

    As part of a major commissioning program to celebrate the opening of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new building in late 2022, Lewer has created portraits of the many people involved in the construction of the Sydney Modern Project.

    About this work Clara Adolphs shares: “I began painting clouds as a kind of backdrop for my figurative works, although they soon revealed themselves as the centrepiece. They are figurative beings, towering and monumental. Their formations are in a state of constant flux. The painting is one moment in their time of continuous change.

    This particular cloud, a Cumulus congestus, was painted from a formation accumulating on the afternoon of Christmas Day, 2021. These clouds bring rain and unsettled weather, but from afar it was a perfect day.”

    The exhibition will run from 14 May – 28 August 2022 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.


  • Ukraine Fundraiser | Kate Just

    As part of Kate Just’s exhibition PROTEST SIGNS featuring hand knitted homages to protest signs around the world, Just has created a piece to raise funds for charities working on the current Ukrainian humanitarian crisis.

    This unique artwork is a hand knitted Ukrainian flag mounted on a plywood board with a Tasmanian oak picket stick. The words PEACE – in black – are knitted into the flag design.

    To raise money and go into a draw to win this work, Just is inviting individual members of the public to donate $50 or more to one of three charities: 

    Care Australia – a Australian charity raising funds to end global poverty. They have an ongoing focus on women and girls and a specific focus on the Ukraine right now:
    Click here to donate!

    Go Fund me to support Vulnerable Black people in the Ukraine: Diaspora and Students – Many Black people are facing racism in Ukraine. At the borders trying to escape, they are facing abuse and refused access to trains, busses and support. Members of this Black coalition are working with partner orgs and will be travelling to bordering countries to help bring people home and ensure that this process is done smoothly.
    Click here to donate!

    Voices of Children – a Ukraine based charity providing psychological assistance and practical evacuation assistance to women, children and families affected by armed conflict.
    Click here to donate!

    You can donate to any of the three charities. $50 minimum donation, but more is encouraged and welcome.

    Provide your name and receipt evidence of your donation to

    You will go into a draw to win the artwork. The draw will be done live on Instagram stories on morning of the 6th of May and the winner will be also notified by email. The more people who enter, the more impact we will have!

    Basic rules:
    – One entry per person regardless of amount donated
    – Individuals only
    – Shipping costs covered within Australia only
    – Freight will be arranged after the show concludes in mid May


    Pictured: Kate Just, Peace (Ukraine), 2022, knitted wool as placard with plywood stand, 56 x 50 cm


    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of PROTEST SIGNS by Kate Just and Purple haze by Min Wong. Please note that due to the current government restrictions visitors are required to wear a mask and check-in upon arrival.
    Kate Just
    PROTEST SIGNS are a series of intensively produced, hand-knitted pictures of protest signs mounted on canvas and wooden boards. Each picture or sign forms a knitted homage to a real image of protest the artist has collected on and offline including from social media, news media or real protests. This suite of knitted protest signs addresses a broad range of significant social and political issues of our time including feminism, sexual harassment and assault, reproductive freedom, LGBTQIA+ pride and discrimination, racism, sexism, transphobia, and ecological crisis.
    The intimate, complex translation of these hand-made signs into knitted form invites a close tactile engagement with the value of protest signs – which are usually ephemeral, dynamic, funny, made by everyday people with at hand material, and discarded after use. This body of work about the ‘signs of our times’ continues Just’s engagement with urgent social change movements and heralds the potential we all have to change the world with our own two hands.
    Min Wong
    Purple haze is an ongoing investigation into acts of ritual, spiritual intent and mediated spaces within domestic settings. Purple haze adopts interior design strategies to sculptural forms to make them into functional objects in which the viewer can participate in ritual. These work can be viewed as spiritual décor, a reimagined visual language for contemporary esoterica.
    The work hybridises iconography to combine symbols of consumerism and spirituality. It borrows visual symbols from energy medicines such as crystal healing, chakra balancing, and astrology. Practices that are largely transactional, commodifying human interactions with the natural world and its elements. Such mixing and reconfiguration prompt viewers to re-examine their assumptions about holistic practices, interconnected consciousness, and their relationship with nature. Purple hues represent Sahasrara, the seventh primary chakra in Tantric yoga. This colour is associated with pure consciousness and other attributes including wealth, extravagance, grandeur, and devotion.
    Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two exhibitions!
    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.
  • James Darling & Lesley Forwood’s ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ presented at ZKM: Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

    We are thrilled to share that James Darling & Lesley Forwood’s collaborative installation ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ will be presented at ZKM: Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe in Germany as part of the exhibition ‘The Beauty of Early Life. Traces of Early Life’. This exhibition invites us to look at the emergence of life through artistic works from modern times to the present, complemented by scientific exhibits from the early days of life, right now, at this crossroads of a global climate and biodiversity crisis.

    First exhibited at Hugo Michell Gallery in 2018 ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ was selected as an Official Collateral Event of the 58th International Art exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2019, curated by Dr Lisa Slade and supported by The Art Gallery of South Australia.

    ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ is a South Australian collaboration between Darling & Forwood, Jumpgate VR, composer Paul Stanhope, and the Australian String Quartet. ‘Living Rocks’ addresses the question: what was our planet three billion years ago? It celebrates the cosmic imperative of microbes in action through the universe, most notably their survival by way of the great events of extinction that have happened or are still to come on our planet. From an extensive pool emerge thrombolites that have been crafted, not by unimaginable time and the force of nature, but by the artists who employ the distinctive roots of an arid land eucalypt to create living rocks.

    “The installation connects the present day to the beginning of life. It is a memory of our origin and a prophesy of our future.” – James Darling

    ‘The Beauty of Early Life. Traces of Early Life’ will be on display at ZKM: Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe from 26 March to 10 July 2022.

    See ZKM: Centre for Art and Media website for full details.


    Pictured: James Darling & Lesley Forwood’s ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’, installation view at La Biennale di Venezia 2019

  • Kate Just announced as finalist in Beechworth Contemporary Art Award

    We are very excited to share that Kate Just has been selected as one of 10 finalists in the Beechworth Contemporary Art Award (BCAA)!

    The Beechworth Contemporary Art Award is a $10,000 non-acquisitive prize, and an opportunity for artists on the national stage, regional and remote artists to exhibit in a unique historic and culturally significant village setting.

    The first art award of its kind, this national award is to be held within the streets, alleyways, parks and buildings of the small Victorian community of Beechworth. Audiences will have opportunities to engage directly or incidentally with the ideas, techniques and entertaining ways of Australia’s contemporary artists.

    The award offers a new platform for creative opportunity. The town’s granite boulders, numerous waterways and heritage preserved facades allow a unique dialogue between artists and the community. In creative ways, contemporary artists will connect the past with the present, inviting audiences to be entertained and experience new interpretations of the world around them and their place within it.

    As an artist primarily focused on the deployment of craft forms including knitting, sewing, textiles, and photo media in contemporary art works that question histories of female and queer representation through the lens of subjective experience, for the BCAA Kate Just plans to activate familiar spaces in new ways and invite audiences to participate in a unique and powerful art event.

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Sally Bourke + Jess Taylor

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of ‘Tempest’ by Sally Bourke and ‘Primordial’ by Jess Taylor
    *Please note*
    – If you wish to join us for a staggered opening at either 6pm or 7pm, RSVP IS ESSENTIAL to
    – Due to the current government restrictions visitors are required to wear a mask
    Sally Bourke
    “A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.”
    – Act 1, Scene 1, The Tempest, William Shakespeare, 1607-1611
    Sally Bourke’s ‘Tempest’ is about love, loss and weathering the storm. In the same way that Shakespeare plunged his audiences into the tempestuous eye of the storm in his 17th Century play, Bourke draws viewers into a deep storm of her own making. Torrential rain falls across sullen faces and mingles with tears; Bourke’s paintings evoke emotions that are as mercurial as the stormy weather her figures are situated within. Through the alchemy of painting, Bourke emulates water’s seemingly magical power of transmutation and invites us to enter the tempest and emerge transformed.
    Jess Taylor
         Primordial /prʌɪˈmɔːdɪəl/
    1. existing at or from the beginning of time; primeval.
    2. basic; fundamental.
    Jess Taylor’s ‘Primordial’ is borne out of a mining of personal experience. About the work Jess shares: “It’s human nature to want to see ourselves in the experiences of others, just as its human nature to offer others the chance to see themselves within us. At our core we become great excavators, digging with eager fingers to pull out fragments of ourselves, polishing their surfaces until others might see themselves reflected in their facets”. This body of work unravels deep but innately human fears and experiences, shrouded by the symbolism and myth of Jess’s oeuvre.
    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.
  • Sera Waters in 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State

    We are excited to share that Sera Waters is currently exhibiting in the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State at the Art Gallery of South Australia, curated by Sebastian Goldspink.
    “Free/State assembles a group of artists who are fearless; the provocateurs, vanguards and outsiders – challenging histories and art forms, and in the process, offering reflections on an era of multi-faceted global upheaval. The exhibition explores ideas of transcending states, from the spiritual and artistic to the psychological, and embraces notions of freedom in expression, creation and collaboration.”
    Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State
    4 March – 5 June 2022

    Sera Waters is an Adelaide based artist, arts writer and academic. Since being awarded a Ruth Tuck Scholarship in 2006 to study hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework (UK), Waters’ art practice has been characterised by a darkly stitched meticulousness. Her embroideries and hand-crafted sculptures dwell within the gaps of Australian histories to examine settler-colonial home-making patterns and practices, especially her own genealogical ghostscapes. More recently Waters has been exploring how textile traditions can help navigate a future affected by climate change.

    Waters is currently undertaking research and developing her ‘Future Traditions’ project, enabled by being awarded the 2020 Guildhouse Fellowship (with Art Gallery of South Australia, supported by the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation). Her solo exhibition, Domestic Arts, is currently touring South Australian regional galleries with Country Arts SA presented in partnership with ACE Open. This exhibition was developed from being the 2017 recipient of the inaugural ACE Open South Australian artist commission. Other major exhibitions include Dark Portals, at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia (2013), Sappers and Shrapnel at Art Gallery of South Australia (2016) and Going Round in Squares at Ararat Gallery TAMA (2019).

    Her works are held by the Cruthers collection of Women’s art, Ararat Regional Gallery, the Art Gallery of South Australia and private collections nationwide. Waters is a studio member of Central Studios, lecturer at Adelaide Central School of Art, and is represented by Hugo Michell Gallery.

  • Garawan Wanambi Joins Hugo Michell Gallery as a Represented Artist

    Hugo Michell Gallery welcomes the addition of Garawan Wanambi to our represented artists!

    Born in 1965, Garawan Wanambi belongs to Marrakulu clan and works out of the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre in Northern Arhem Land.

    After his father’s death in 1973, Garawan was brought up by Wayuŋga Wanambi of the Marraŋu clan. Through this connection, Garawan paints Marraŋu designs, the counterpart of Marrakulu from the other side of Arnhem Bay. Garawan and his family continue to live and work at Gängan, to the south of Yirrkala, and he has emerged as one of the most gifted of the new generation of artists based there.

    Garawan extends the history and practice of Yolŋu painting. Whilst continuing to use natural pigments and miny’tji (sacred clan designs), he extends the possibilities of these methods through the mixing of natural pigments to form unique colours and deliberate tonal variations. His precise geometry and complex layering of designs create a depth of field on an otherwise flattened surface and a mesmerising optical effect. In doing this, Wanambi explores the Yolŋu concept of Buwayak ‒ simultaneously making elements both visible and invisible.

    He was a finalist in the Telstra Art Prize in 2009, 2014, 2020, and a finalist in the Kate Challis RAKA Award in 2013. In 2014 he was awarded the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Best Bark painting prize.

    Garawan has works held in a number of significant collections; Kerry Stokes Larrakitj Collection, The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection (USA), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Charles Darwin University Art Collection, Artbank, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Museum of Australia, Monash University Art Museum Collection. His works are also held in private collection both nationally and internationally.