• Lewer and Mackinnon, FINALISTS in the Archibald Prize

    Congratulations to Richard Lewer and William Mackinnon who have been announced as finalists in the 2020 Archibald Prize, presented by Art Gallery of New South Wales!

    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.

    Pictured: Richard Lewer, Liz Laverty, 2020, acrylic on rusted steel (sealed), 140.5 x 80.5 cm

    Of the work, Lewer says: “It is easy to feel an instant rapport with Elizabeth Laverty (a fellow red-head) because she is a warm, passionate, humble woman. I will always remember her response when I first asked if I could paint her portrait, “Why would you want to paint me, what have I done?”  

    Liz and her late husband Colin were among the first collectors to travel the country and stay in remote Aboriginal communities to visit the art centres and meet the artists of the work they were falling in love with. Over several decades, they built one of Australia’s best collections of indigenous Australian contemporary art whilst championing the artists and art centres and working tirelessly to raise money to provide dialysis centres on country and swimming pools for the communities they visited. 

    The portrait’s rugged materials allegorise Australia’s beautiful yet harsh outback landscape and required a physical painting process involving scrubbing and scraping of the paint and working with the mercurial rusting process until the final portrait revealed itself.”

    Pictured: William Mackinnon, Sunshine and Lucky (life), 2019, acrylic and oil on linen, 220 x 160 cm

    Of the work, Mackinnon says: “Birth is such an overwhelming and emotional moment. The image of one’s newborn suckling his mother’s breast is just incredible. I thought it would make a great painting, so simple but so powerful; however my emotional register was so overflowing, I was finding beauty and meaning everywhere. I let the idea and initial drawings percolate then last year revisited the subject, working in quite a realistic way, which didn’t capture the intensity. I began using collage and included pieces of fabric from the gown Sunshine wore at the birth and a kimono from a memorable holiday when we were falling in love.

    ‘I made seven successive paintings, continually simplifying the composition and managed to make the mother/son interconnection more powerful and sensual. The final painting came out in a week or so, the speed and familiarity with the subject giving the painting a freshness and intimacy.”

     Exhibition runs 26 September until 10 January 2021.

  • Kate Just Joins Hugo Michell Gallery as a Represented Artist

    Hugo Michell Gallery welcomes the addition of Kate Just to our represented artists!

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

    Just holds a PhD in Sculpture from Monash University, a Master of Arts from RMIT University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Victorian College of the Arts. Just has exhibited her artwork extensively across Australia an internationally including the National Gallery of Australia, ACCA, Artspace, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Craft Victoria, Gertrude Contemporary, RMIT Project Space, the Margaret Lawrence Gallery, CCP, CAST, PICA, CCAS, AIR Gallery and the AC Institute in New York, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Richmond Virginia, the Rijswijk Museum in the Netherlands, Kunsthalle Krems in Austria, Sanskriti Gallery in New Delhi, Youkobo Artspace in Tokyo and Titanik Galleria in Turku, Finland.

    Just’s work is held in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, Ergas Collection, the City of Port Phillip, Wangaratta Art Gallery, Ararat Regional Art Gallery and Proclaim Management Collection.

    We congratulate Kate on all of her achievements and are thrilled to be working together in the future.

    Art Collector


  • Janet Laurence | 2020 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellow

    Congratulations to Janet Laurence who has been announced as the recipient of the 2020 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship. 

    “Janet will spend time at Australia’s Casey research station to develop an immersive installation. The proposed installation will be based on extensive on-site research, including photographs, video works, drawings, watercolours, and collected writings on the Antarctic landscape and Casey station. “My aim for the project is to bring back a captivating experience of Antarctica’s preciousness and power to those that have never been,” said Ms Laurence. “I have expectations, and yet I know that the actual experience of Antarctica will open up unknown and far-reaching possibilities.”

    The Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship has been running since 1984 and is supported by the Australian Antarctic Division with additional support provided by ANAT since 2017.”

    Janet Laurence will undertake the residency in the 2021-22 season. 

    More details here.

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: William Mackinnon | Pip Ryan

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of William Mackinnon’s ‘Learning to Love the Wind’ and Pip Ryan’s ‘Flesh Creepers’.

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

    In 2018 Mackinnon was injured in a surfing accident, which meant he had to change the way he painted in order to produce his large-scale canvases. This injury, followed by pandemic-induced lockdown, may have tested his mettle, however he has come to appreciate that such obstacles can trigger breakthroughs, thus the title of this show, ‘Learning to love the wind’…
    As a mid-career artist who’s exhibited in Australia and overseas for close to two decades, Mackinnon is increasingly alert to “the delicate thread” that connects one painting – and body of work – to the next. “Something is revealed as the way forward. Battling through difficulty towards something beautiful is what it means to be human, to be conscious and to have potential. Ultimately, I’m trying to convey what it feels like to be alive in the world.” – text by Tony Magnusson

    ‘Flesh Creepers’ is a new series of works by Pip Ryan that began whilst on residency at Bundanon Trust in November 2019 and has continued throughout the pandemic. Both Bundanon and the lockdown are spaces that are isolated, one in the landscape and one in the domestic setting, lending themselves to a world where the things around you can morph and mutate.
    This body of work draws heavily from an ongoing series of darkly comical beasts and playful surreal imagery. Banal objects are reconfigured and anthropomorphised, absurdly transforming the familiar into the uncanny as they slip further from their domestic space.
    Exhibition Opening Thursday 3 September 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 3 September – 3 October

    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: William Mackinnon, In my secret life, 2020, acrylic, oil and enamel on linen, 150 x 200 cm
    Pictured: Pip Ryan, Pink Banksia, 2020, watercolour, gouache, 22k gold leaf, pencil on paper, 76 x 56 cm

  • SERA WATERS Guildhouse Fellowship

    Congratulations to Sera Waters who has been announced as the 2020 Guildhouse Fellowship recipient!

    The Guildhouse Fellowship, valued at over $50,000, was inaugurated in 2019 with the generous support of South Australian philanthropists, The James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, to recognise and elevate South Australian artistic ambition.

    The selection panel for the 2020 Guildhouse Fellowship comprised AGSA Director Rhana Devenport ONZM, Guildhouse CEO Emma Fey and Sebastian Goldspink, the recently announced curator of the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.

    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 ghost escapes.

    The Adelaide Review
    Art Collector
    Pictured: Sera Waters in front of her work Falling: Line by Line in the 2019 Ramsay Art Prize. Photo: Nat Rogers

  • Richard Lewer at Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki

    Richard Lewer is now exhibiting at Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki.

    Richard Lewer’s art frequently explores how specific locations become repositories or emotional signposts of shared events. In his New Zealand Disasters sequence of paintings, Lewer re-works the panoramic format of landscape paintings to envisage unforgettable traces left within New Zealand’s landscape and traumatic events in its history.  In doing so, Lewer explores how our relationships and responses to specific places become shaped by the ‘imaginative geographies’ formed by life-changing and unexpected occurrences.

    Read from left to right the seven panels chronologically chart a series of New Zealand disasters: the Napier earthquake (1931); the Tangiwai train derailing (1953); the sinking of the Wahine (1968); the Air New Zealand Flight 901 crash at Mt Erebus (1979), the Christchurch earthquake; and the Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption (2019).

    Painted as a series of fragments, the sequence relies upon, and is activated by, the subjective and personal responses which local audiences bring to the artwork’s revisioning and remembering of place and event.

    The suburban love story of Herbert Erickson, a Perth-based pensioner, who survived a suicide pact with his wife only to die soon after by drowning himself, prompted Richard Lewer to draw, colour and narrate this animation which addresses a real-life tragedy. Tender and troubling, the video raises issues about love and euthanasia. The title quotes Erikson, who told reporters outside court: ‘I want to be with my partner really, but I’m still here, worst luck.’

    Using an overhead projector to create the visuals, Lewer narrates the senior citizen’s tragic story which gives the video animation a tender and personal reality. Reflecting on the work, he commented: ‘Tragic everyday storytelling is something that I have always gravitated towards.’

    Exhibition runs: 29 July to 13 Sep 2020
    Full details here.
    Pictured: Richard Lewer, New Zealand Disasters, 2020, oil and epoxy coated steel, copper, and brass

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Lucas Grogan | Paul Sloan

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Lucas Grogan’s ‘Late Last Night’ and Paul Sloan’s ‘Animal Kingdom’.

    Of ‘Late Last Night’, Lucas Grogan states:
    “It all feels like a bad dream.
    I began making this exhibition towards the end of 2019. And I didn’t want to make a body of work about the descending dark age of nationalism, the nightmare of environmental destruction and an ever expanding pandemic. But I kind of did.
    Liars, thieves and scumbags globally rose to power. They operate from the same play book of instilling fear, manipulating information and performing to their crowd.
    Morrison played a ukulele whilst Australia burnt. The scale of the bushfires were unbelievable – day turned to night and endless scenes of destruction rolled out across our screens. Our studio was turned into a wildlife resource depot with mountains of medical supplies arriving that took up every nook and cranny.
    A virus swamped us and will permanently change our way of life. An overnight forced hibernation suddenly became our new norm.
    But out of all this I’ve seen people actively reach out to each other; supporting and reconnecting with friends, neighbours and strangers alike. Old modes of cultural and economic connection have rapidly evolved. Social and environmental revolutions are at a tipping point. Though we’re still in the thick of it- I wanted to offer some sort of reprieve. I’m optimistic a new enlightened dawn is inevitable and not far off.”

    Paul Sloan’s Animal Kingdom (2020) measures the beauty, absurdity and looming threat of the animal world using the slide rules of grayscale, hermeticism, and anthropomorphic projection. A cat emerges from inky darkness. A long-tailed tit stares at the viewer, poised and knowing. A falcon takes down a surveillance glider. A guard dog bites a well-known gloved hand. A celebrity leaves a vast fortune to his pet, rather than his family or humanitarian organisations. In this new series of paintings, Sloan selects surprising snapshots from our modern world for closer inspection. Using a restrained grayscale palette and his characteristic, wry wit Sloan addresses the addictive nature of modern media as well as what we trust and fear in ourselves and our surroundings.

    Paul Sloan’s ‘Animal Kingdom’ will be exhibited as part of SALA Festival 2020.

    Exhibition Opening Thursday 30 July 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 30 July – 29 August
    *Please note if you wish to join us for the opening of these exhibitions, RSVP is essential.*

    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: Lucas Grogan, The Ascension, 2020, Ink, acrylic & enamel on archival mount board, 102 x 82 cm

    Pictured: Paul Sloan, When Thoughts Turn to Praxis, 2020, Oil on canvas, 80 x 74.5 cm

  • Trent Parke – Magnum Photos

    Magnum Photos speak with Trent Parke about his series ‘The Crimson Line’ exhibited at Hugo Michell Gallery in 2019.

    “At the beginning of the Covid-19 shut down, Trent Parke and his creative collaborator and partner Narelle Autio, were concerned about what it would mean for their livelihoods. A number of exhibitions were planned for Australia, including one at the Michael Reid Gallery in Sydney of Parke’s most recent work “The Crimson Line”. This project is his first since stepping away from photography in 2015, after seven years working intensively on his meditation on Home, The Black Rose. Exhausted, Parke sought to reinvigorate his creativity by exploring film making with Autio. This led to critical success with A Summation of Force, their resulting film and VR production, taking them to film festivals all over the world and ending up at Sundance.”

    Read the full article here.

    Pictured: Trent Parke, Untitled #01, 2019, from The Crimson Line, pigment print, 108 x 162 cm, ed. of 8; 36.5 x 55 cm, ed. of 4

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Fiona McMonagle | Jahnne Pasco-White

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Fiona McMonagle’s ‘Titled’ and Jahnne Pasco-White’s ‘becoming-with (reconfigured)’.

    Fiona McMonagle’s recent body of work ‘Titled’ speaks to the complexity and conflict via the portrayal of women in pop culture. The paintings in this series challenge us to question how we feel about powerful independent women, as well as exploring the way in which these portrayals may be viewed as either strengthening or marginalising.

    The portraits in ‘Titled’ are of women who are variously considered Queens and Princesses – Crowned by the people. Traditional views of Queens and Princesses evoke images of greatness, divinity, fame and power. Images of Divas in particular are often idealised, figures of perfection, of almost divine beauty and radiance.

    In ‘Titled’, McMonagle provokes the limitations and potential oppression of female empowerment by examining the compelling legacies and narratives of such popular icons across both the 20th and 21st centuries. Through these portrayals of pop icons who are: fragile and powerful; feminine and strong and independent, ‘Titled’ questions the role(s) of the empowered female. What sacrifices have these women made for their celebrity and what accolades have they been afforded? Finally, ‘Titled’ is a celebration of women – their struggles, complexities and their strengths.

    Jahnne Pasco-White’s expanded painting practice considers the intersections between materiality and temporality. Her work is characterised by the labouring of delicate supports. Specifically, she is interested in the layers of authorship that are variously evidenced and concealed by the artist’s mark-making, as well as their continual processes of decay and renewal.

    ‘becoming-with (reconfigured)’ draws upon works made whilst a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary in Melbourne, and later shown at Gertrude Glasshouse in November 2019.

    For the artist, to think and act ecologically implies an interconnectedness, in one form or another. Donna Haraway maps the implications of such interconnectedness as ‘becoming-with’, such that human-nature separation is refashioned as a myriad of bodily connections. Timothy Morton prefers ‘the mesh’. More concretely, the late Deborah Bird Rose emphasised instead ’embodied knots of multispecies time’, which usefully gets us closer to ecological processes of decay and renewal.

    Jahnne Pasco-White is represented by STATION Gallery. ‘becoming-with (reconfigured)’ has been generously supported by the Marten Bequest and the Australia Council for the Arts.

    Exhibition Opening Thursday 25 June 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 25 June – 25 July
    *Please note if you wish to join us for the opening of these exhibitions, RSVP is essential.*

    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: Fiona McMonagle, Punk, 2020, Watercolour, gouache and ink on paper, 157 x 115 cm

    Pictured: Jahnne Pasco-White, becoming-with 31, 2019, Lilly pilly berries, oil stick, crayon, acrylic, pencil, fabric dye, cotton, paper, linen on canvas, 220 x 180 cm

  • Elvis Richardson – Art Collector

    Elvis Richardson speaks with Daniel Mudie Cunningham about her ‘Settlement’ series which will be exhibited later this year at Hugo Michell Gallery! Thanks to Art Collector for the feature in their ‘Pull Focus’ video series.

    “In her ongoing interrogation of domestic settings and the notion of ‘home’, Richardson’s work communicates a certain precarity and anxiety. The sculptural forms in ‘Settlement’ explore ideas around how we settle in domestic spaces, the relationship of our homes with the earth beneath them, as well as what we ‘settle for’.”

    View the full article here.

    Pictured: Elvis Richardson, Settlement, 2018, Mild steel, powder coated pink, 180 x 80 x 45 cm