News

  • Janet Laurence’s ‘The Palm at the End of the Mind’ at The Johnston Collection

    Janet Laurence explores the Johnston Collection within the context of her own practice – saving, collecting and preserving the natural environment, as written in the Sydney Morning Herald,

    Laurence wants her site-specific art installation – the latest instalment in the museum’s “house of ideas” series, opening this Monday – to reflect how gardening “was a big thing in William Johnston’s life and in his mind”. “He had a garden here and another elsewhere. A garden becomes very important to a person. You create it and it grows with your help and, while I was in this house, I thought about that.”

    Read the full article online.

    Exhibition runs July 8 – Sept 17 at the Johnston Collection, East Melbourne.

    Installation images at The Johnston Collection. Photo credit Luts Photography and The Johnston Collection.
  • James Dodd FINALIST in Sunshine Coast Art Prize

    Congratulations to James Dodd who has been announced as a FINALIST in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize! Presented by Sunshine Coast Council, the award is open to any artist who is an Australian resident, working in a 2D medium. The recipient of the $25,000 Art Prize will have their work acquired by Sunshine Coast Art Collection.

    Finalist exhibition opens July 25 at Caloundra Regional Gallery, with the winner announced August 29.

    To read full details, click here.

    Image: James Dodd, Mill Painting (Orange and Purple), 2018, acrylic on canvas, 96 x 96 cm
  • Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Sally Bourke| Narelle Autio

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Sally Bourke’s ‘The Quick Brown Fox’ and Narelle Autio’s ‘around a golden sun’.

    Sally Bourke is a Newcastle-based artist with a firm footing in painting. An obsessive maker, Bourke has a rigorous approach to her day-to-day studio practice. These habitual processes are evident in her paintings, which often depict an image archive reconciling experiences from the past. Though abstract, Bourke’s paintings are curiously recognisable, a celebration of personal encounter and memory.

    Of ‘The Quick Brown Fox’, Bourke states: “Travelling in remote areas as a child taught me to look carefully. The places I went felt isolating and, at times, dangerous. I used to tag along on hunting trips with my dad in order to be closer to him. Experiences in the Australian bush had a profound effect on my visual language and mark-making. The landscape in Western NSW is brutal and beautiful, soaked in deep human cultures that are precariously perched on top, at times not understanding the depth of what they are in.

    I wanted to be in my dad’s company, but I knew the deal: It meant being captive to the environment, while simultaneously up against death. It’s one of the places that keeps drawing me back, to blind faith, and the human condition – the dark bargain of intimacy.

    The portraits are different versions of the same protagonist. The huntress and her counterparts, a domestic interior, a room of one’s own.”

    Narelle Autio’s vibrant and award-winning images of Australian outback and coastal life have won her impressive national and international acclaim and captured the hearts and imaginations of viewers. One beauty of Autio’s work is its ability to speak to so many people about their own experience of being coastal dwellers. Another is the play of colour and light in the photographs, giving them a magic and painterly quality that transcends the usual depictions of the beach. Autio’s images give back to the coastline the complexity, drama, and beauty that are eroded by postcards and clichés.

    “I love those hot, windless summer evenings. There is a quiet stillness to the world that seems magnified by the mirrored surface of the sea. The last fingers of sun loiter over the beach, reaching out hanging on to the day.

    Warmed by the inferno that was the day, the water is busy. A melting pot of humanity. Families and dog walkers, sun worshippers, teenagers and lovers come to sit and play in this big beautiful pond of water that hugs Adelaide’s coast. The ocean is calm and embracing, restoring us but perhaps it is an illusion. Maybe the magic hour is hiding a truth.

    There is an old story I’ve heard, a myth probably… a frog in a pot of cold water. If you turn the temperature up slowly it won’t feel it. The frog will not try and save itself. Sitting quietly, comfortably. Slowly boiling itself to death. The change in temperature so gradual it won’t realise till it is too late.”

    Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two incredible 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.

    Image: Sally Bourke, The Stand, 2019, oil and acrylic on canvas, 183 x 153 cm

    Image: Narelle Autio, Beyond, 2019, from ‘around a golden sun’, pigment print, 80 x 80 cm, edition of 6

  • Fiona McMonagle WINNER of the ‘Local Art Prize’ in Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize

    Congratulations to Fiona McMonagle who has been announced as the WINNER of the $3,000 Local Art Prize in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize for her painting Toast with jam.

    Fiona has strong ties to Bayside having spent her formative years as an artist living in Brighton East. Curator, Joanna Bosse said Toast with jam was imbued with a heavy nostalgia akin to a forgotten family photograph.

    “McMonagle’s painterly treatment of the figure is delicate and nuanced and she manages to capture the self-satisfaction of the quiet pleasure of eating toast with jam,”

    Joanna Bosse

    The 2019 art prize was judged by Jane Devery, Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Anthony Fitzpatrick, Curator, TarraWarra Museum of Art and Joanna Bosse, Curator, Bayside Gallery.

    Finalist exhibition at Bayside Gallery will run 24 May–21 July, 2019

    Read more here.

    Image: Fiona McMonagle, Toast with jam, 2018, oil on linen, 77 x 72.5 cm

  • Fiona McMonagle FINALIST in Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize

    Congratulations to Fiona McMonagle who has been announced as a FINALIST in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize!

    Established in 2015, the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize is a celebration of contemporary Australian painting. The finalist exhibition brings together a broad range of artists, both established and lesser known, whose varied approaches to the painted medium conveys the breadth and diversity of painting in Australia today.

    The annual prize valued at $15,000, is an important opportunity for Bayside City Council to add exceptional works of art to its collection and to promote art and artists as a valuable part of the Bayside community. The three categories of the prize are judged by a panel of industry experts.

    2019 BAAP judging panel is Jane Devery, Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Anthony Fitzpatrick Curator, TarraWarra Museum of Art, and Joanna Bosse Curator, Bayside Gallery.

    Finalist exhibition at Bayside Gallery will run 24 May–21 July, with the winner announced on 23 May.

    Image: Fiona McMonagle, Toast with jam, 2018, oil on linen, 77 x 72.5 cm


  • Elvis Richardson and Tim Sterling FINALISTS in Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art

    Congratulations to Elvis Richardson and Tim Sterling who have been announced as FINALISTS in the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art! Presented by the Nillumbik Shire Council this biannual acquisitive art prize is open to emerging and established artists working in any medium across Australia.

    The recipient of the $20,000 Open Prize and the $10,000 Local Prize will be announced at the opening of the finalist exhibition on 30 May. The judges for the prize are Godwin Bradbeer Artist, Charlotte Day Director, Monash University Museum of Art and Danny Lacy Senior Curator, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery.

    Exhibition launches May 30 at Barn Gallery Montsalvat.

    Image: Tim Sterling, Page 15 (detail), 2012, archival marker on paper, 164 x 224 cm
    Image: Elvis Richardson, Settlement, 2018, modified found wrought iron gate & concrete bricks, 180 x 110 cm
  • Sera Waters in May issue of the Adelaide Review

    Sera Waters is featured in the May issue of the Adelaide Review in the lead up to her exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery, ‘Dazzleland’.

    Dazzleland is Waters’ first major exhibition of completely new work since she finished her PhD last year and it is marked by a more experimental approach with the inclusion of textile techniques, including colonial knots and cross-stitch. The exhibition is the next iteration of Domestic Acts, exhibited at ACE Open in 2017, where Waters delved into her family history in order to interrogate the ongoing legacies of colonial homemaking. Dazzleland, which plays on Adelaide’s history with a cheeky reference to the Myer Centre’s infamous amusement attraction of the early 1990s, mostly refers to the Australian mineral booms, which attracted many migrants over many generations, including the artist’s ancestors.

    “We have family history in copper mining with family members also heading over to the gold rush,” Waters says. “At the time it was a dazzling new place and I’m interested in the after effects of what it means to take all the resources out without due care.”

    Read the full article online.

    Image: Sera Waters, (H)armless, 2019, found woollen needlework, wool, cotton, stuffing, pine scent, 100 cm diameter

  • Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Sera Waters | Kenny Pittock

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Sera Waters’ ‘Dazzleland’ and Kenny Pittock’s ‘Every Kind of Shape’.

    Sera Waters is a South Australia-based artist, arts writer, and academic. Waters’ art practice is characterised by a darkly-stitched meticulousness. In particular, she specialises in blackwork, and revels in repetitiveness, pattern, and crafting. Waters’ embroideries and hand-crafted sculptures dwell within the gaps of Australian settler colonial histories, examining the home-making practices of women and her own genealogical ghostscapes.

    In ‘Dazzleland’, Waters further examines her ancestral past: “My ancestors arrived in waves upon Australian shores attracted by the dazzle of this land: its sunshine, mineral booms, grassed open spaces, and new opportunities to build rich lives. In making their homes and living across Australia, particularly upon Kaurna and Bunganditj Country, many were implementers of colonising change, such as planning widespread drainage, laying bitumen, marking boundaries, mining, purveying merchandise, farming livestock, and clearing and covering land with non-native species. Evidence from their lives show they gave little consideration to the knowledge and carefully-balanced ecologies which had been operating in Australia for centuries. This exhibition looks at the repercussions upon regions which have been exploited, altered, and had the ‘dazzle’ removed without due care, and without knowledge of the specificities of Country. Through the works of ‘Dazzleland’ I am asking what it means to inherit this intergenerational blindness, as well how we go forward living in this dazzling aftermath, when today what shimmers most is the scorching heat beating upon a dry and damaged land.”

    This exhibition has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

    Kenny Pittock is a Melbourne-based artist who employs humour and sentimentality to playfully respond to contemporary Australian culture, exploring the overlaps and boundaries between the public and the personal. Pittock works across a large range of mediums, including ceramics, drawing, text, and photography.

    Kenny has exhibited across Australia and internationally, including at the Museum of Old and New Art, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, the Monash University Museum of Art, Artspace in Sydney, and Galleria 291 in Rome, Italy. Pittock’s work is held in collections including the City of Melbourne State Collection and the Melbourne University Union Collection.

    Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two incredible 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.

    Image: Sera Waters, Blindspot, 2019, Found frame, cotton, gold thread, 35 x 38 cm

    Image: Kenny Pittock, Every Kind of Shape, 2019, acrylic on ceramic, dimensions variable (16 pieces, each approximately 4 x 4 x 0.4 cm)

  • NOW SHOWING: ‘Living Rocks’ at La Biennale di Venezia​ 2019

    James Darling and Lesley Forwood’s installation, Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe, is now showing as an Official Collateral Event at La Biennale di Venezia, presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia.

    Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe is grounded in the artists’ minimalist tradition; simple, strong, and with a magnetic power to engage the viewer. But ‘Living Rocks’ is a bold departure and a fundamentally ambitious project, achieved in collaboration with Jumpgate VR, Paul Stanhope, and the Australian String Quartet. Significant in both its investigation and presentation, the installation is an inspiring and immersive experience that connects the present day to the beginning of life on earth. Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe addresses the question: what was our planet three billion years ago?

    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

    Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe has been selected as one of only 21 official collateral events of the Biennale Arte 2019 in Venice.

    Curated by Dr Lisa Slade.

    Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe
    Magazzino del Sale (n. 5, Dorsoduro 262)
    Exhibition runs until 24 November
    Closed on Tuesday

  • Kovacs and Lewer, FINALISTS in the Sulman Art Prize

    Congratulations to Ildiko Kovacs and Richard Lewer, who have been selected as finalists in the 2019 Sir John Sulman Prize!

    The Prize is presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936. The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist.

    Image: Ildiko Kovacs, Menthol, 2019 oil paint, graphite and wax pencil on plywood, 160 x 122 cm

    Of the work, Kovacs says: “This painting comprises plywood covered with oil paint. I often use my hands to apply several layers of colour. I then draw into it with graphite and wax pencil. I work on the floor so I can press down onto the surface. This allows me to manoeuvre around the board as I improvise the form. The lines are webbed in the way they are drawn or scratched, appearing to have a primal quality that reminds me of scarification or Riji shell engravings.”

    Image: Richard Lewer, We have grave concerns for your father’s health, 2019 oil on epoxy coated steel, 80.5 x 141 cm

    Of the work, Lewer says: “Last year was not a good year; I spent a lot of time in hospital with Dad who was very ill. One day I remember more vividly than the others. I’d returned to the ward for the afternoon and was watching Dad from the doorway when the doctor stood beside me and said, ‘We have grave concerns for your father’s health’. I made this work to process my reality and feelings, as deep and raw as they were.”

    The winner will be announced May 10. Exhibition runs until June 30.