• Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Lucas Grogan | ‘South, North to Indented Head’

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Lucas Grogan’s Thoughts & Prayers, and South, North to Indented Head featuring Tia Ansell, Matt Arbuckle, and Gabriel Curtin, curated by Richard Lewer, on Wednesday, May 24 from 6pm!

    Lucas Grogan manipulates a controlled palette, pairing an expert use of line and pattern with an acerbic wit. His pithy phrases and vignettes of everyday life make acute observations and connections across a broad spectrum of experiences.

    Grogan’s work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, Deutsche Bank, Wesfarmers, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Ararat Regional Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ballarat, and private collections nationally and internationally. He has been widely commissioned for public murals both nationally and internationally.

    South, North to Indented Head, curated by Richard Lewer features three Melbourne-based painters, all born internationally (NZ & UK). Working predominantly in painting and weaving, Tia Ansell’s practice is bound to the idealised nature of techniques of a craftsman and focuses on knowledge gained through touch and movement – the intimate connection between hand and head. For Matt Arbuckle the qualities of a found object present stimulus for creative expansion; a textured ground, a scuffed scrawl or a folded spine elicits a responsive gesture. Presenting a medley of imagery and textures, Gabriel Curtin constructs an arena where new and familiar thoughts coexist.

    Please join us in celebrating these the launch of these two exhibitions on Wednesday, May 24!

    Image: Lucas Grogan, Ask the universe #1, 2017, from Thoughts & Prayers, ink and acrylic on archival matt board, 60 x 50 cm.

    Image: Tia Ansell, Energy, 2017, oil on canvas, ply with carpet, 72 x 62 cm.

  • Paul Yore Joins Hugo Michell Gallery as a Represented Artist

    Hugo Michell Gallery welcomes the addition of Paul Yore to our represented artists!

    Paul Yore completed his studies in painting, archaeology, and anthropology at Monash University in 2010, and has since taken up full-time work as an art practitioner. His multidisciplinary practice involves installations, painting, sculpture, sound, drawing and textiles. Yore draws on the traditions of classical Greek art, decorative Flemish and French tapestries, trashy pop-culture, gay porn, cartoons, psychedelia, and the frenzied excesses of rococo style.

    Yore has undertaken residencies nationally and internationally at Artspace, Sydney (2014), Seoul Artspace Geumcheon, South Korea (2013-14), and Gertrude Contemporary Artspaces, Melbourne (2011-2013).

    Selected group and solo exhibitions include: mad love, A3 Arnt Art Agency, Berlin (2017); Paul Yore  NADA, Miami (2016); The Public Body .01, Artspace, Sydney (2016); Soft Core, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Casula (2016); Primavera Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2014); Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); Here There and Everywhere, Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, (2013), and Poetry, Dream and the Cosmos: The Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2013).

    Yore’s work is represented in both private and public collections internationally and throughout Australia including Artbank, The Heide Museum of Modern Art, Si Shang Art Museum Beijing, and the Art Gallery of Ballarat, amongst others. Yore has been awarded several awards and grants, including an Australia Council Arts Project Grant (2015), a Marten Bequest Travelling scholarship (2015-2016), and the Wangarratta Acquisitive Textile Prize (2013).

    We congratulate Paul on all of his achievements, and are thrilled to be working together in the future!

    Image: Paul Yore, Art Is Fun, 2016, mixed media textile, beads, sequins, and buttons, 105 x 108 cm irreg.

  • Sera Waters in the Australian Tapestry Workshop Exhibition

    The Australian Tapestry Workshop presents its Artist-in-Residence exhibition, featuring the work of 15 artists who participated in residencies in 2016, including Sera Waters!

    Of the piece, Waters says:

    This towel, Fashioning Locals, is from a larger series of towels, each telling passed along tales from Australia’s settler colonial and domestic histories. Though towels are often dismissed as innocuous, they have intimate relationships with their owners. They dry bodies, offer warmth and protection, wipe away dirt and soak up spills, and are subject to regimes of homely repetitive care … often for decades. They witness all kinds of goings on, and sometimes even get passed along family lines. The towels of this series are all pre-loved, have somewhat faded patterns, and are marked and worn from such exposure.

    Home-based textiles, including towels and embroidery, have often had a penchant for translating nature (from outside) into comforting, decorative and idealised versions to live with inside. The embroidery and textile collage upon this towel weaves a not-so-comforting story around the part my ancestor played in domesticating her surroundings, in a specific time and region in our history. In a plethora of palm pattern she stands proudly, not wearing a fashionable fox fur, but sporting a Toolache wallaby, a now extinct species which inhabited the south east of South Australia. I use needlework to recognise and question intergenerational legacies and I push traditions into discomfiting territories with an aim of shifting trajectories.

    Exhibition opens Tuesday, May 16 from 6 to 8pm, and runs from May 17 to July 7.

    For more information head here.

    Image: Sera Waters, Telling Tales on Terry Towelling: Fashioning Locals, 2016-2017, from Domestic Arts, towel, wool, cotton, bedsheet, velvet, and trim, 90 x 50 cm.


  • Justine Varga, Finalist in the 2017 Ramsay Art Prize

    Congratulations to Justine Varga, who has been announced as a Finalist in the inaugural Ramsay Art Prize! The $100,000 acquisitive prize will be held biannually, and will be awarded to an artist under the age of 40.

    The Ramsay Art Prize invites submissions from Australian contemporary artists under 40 working in any medium. Held every two years and presented by the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, the Ramsay Art Prize is an ongoing acquisitive prize. Finalists are selected by an international judging panel.

    Made without a camera over extended periods of time, the photographs of Justine Varga offer an autobiographical witnessing of the world; a memoire rather than merely an act of representation.

    In Varga’s practice, film registers performative gestures, or in some instances, the film is drawn upon, handled, scratched, spat on and weathered, among other things. Exposed to light for periods of months and even years, the film is processed and then printed at large scale in the darkroom – itself a process of transformation. Functioning as ‘ravaged memorials to lived experience’, the works appear to be abstractions, but are, in fact, rigorous distillations of the real.

    See Varga’s work at The Art Gallery of South Australia from May 27 to August 27.

    For more information and a full list of finalists, click here.

    Justine VargaImage: Justine Varga’s Memoire at Hugo Michell Gallery, 2016.

  • Janet Laurence in ‘Troubled Waters’ and at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg

    Troubled Waters at the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art

    Janet Laurence is featured in Troubled Waters at the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art. Troubled Waters is a UNSW Art & Design exhibition curated by Dr Felicity Fenner. Originally exhibited at the University of New South Wales, the exhibition will travel to Adelaide in late April.

    A major collaborative project between UNSW Science and UNSW Art & Design, Troubled Waters illustrates the complex ecosystem of rivers and oceans by tracing the Murray from its source at Corryong in Victoria to its mouth in South Australia’s Coorong region. Works by multimedia artists, in close collaboration with leading environmental scientist Richard Kingsford, bring environmental research into the gallery to poetically interpret information not easily accessed by non-scientific audiences. The exhibition features work by Nici Cumpston, Tamara Dean, Bonita Ely, Georgia Wallace-Crabbe, Richard Kingsford, Andrew Belletty, and Janet Laurence.

    Exhibition runs from April 28 to June 9.

    For more details head here.

    Janet Laurence Hugo Michell Gallery

    Image: Janet Laurence and Andrew Belletty, River Journey, 2016, multimedia installation based on the audio and visual research archive of Professor Richard Kingsford.

    Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK)

    Janet Laurence will also undertake a six-week residency at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst, Germany. As an international Fellow, Laurence will continue work on her research project Blood and Chlorophyll. My Heart Wears Flowers and Fruits in the Night, commenced late last year.

    The HWK promotes the disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration of internationally-renowned scientists and young investigators by offering guest scholars (Fellows) the opportunity to concentrate on research projects for a certain space of time without the distractions of their regular academic responsibilities.

    Laurence will undertake the residency from April to June this year.

    For more information head here.

  • James Dodd, Finalist in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize

    Congratulations to James Dodd, who has been selected as a Finalist in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize!

    The Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (BAAP) is an annual prize and exhibition that aims to increase opportunities for participation in Bayside’s arts and cultural program, foster a sense of identity, pride, and place in Bayside through a community event, and enable the acquisition of suitable artworks for the Bayside City Council Art & Heritage Collection. This year the major prize of $15,000 will be awarded to a painting.

    Dodd will exhibit a piece from his ongoing Painting Mill series. The Painting Mill prototype was exhibited during CACSA Contemporary 2015, and Painting Mill V.2 was exhibited at Bus Projects in 2016. The exhibition will be held at the Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre Gallery from May 6 until June 18, with the winner announced on May 11.

    James Dodd

  • Hugo Michell Gallery Open: ‘The Sunshine Suite’ | Yarrenyty Arltere Artists

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of The Sunshine Suite featuring Jon Campbell, Nadine Christensen, Tony Garifalakis, Richard Lewer, Rob McHaffie, and Fiona McMonagle, and Creature Collection, featuring Yarrenyty Arltere artists, on Thursday, April 5 from 6pm!

    Six Melbourne artists show new lithographs in The Sunshine Suite exhibiting concurrently at Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide, and Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney. Organiser Jon Campbell has brought together fellow artists and friends Nadine Christensen, Tony Garifalakis, Richard Lewer, Rob McHaffie, and Fiona McMonagle for this project.

    This is the first time any of the artists have worked in the medium of lithography. Their practices are diverse, but usually involve drawing, painting, or making three-dimensional objects in individual studios. The printmaking process is different in that it is often collaborative. Artists use lithographic crayon to make an original image on a metal plate or slab of limestone, which is then chemically fixed, inked, printed, and editioned by an experienced or ‘master’ printmaker – in this instance, Adrian Kellett of Sunshine Editions.  Kellet also encouraged the artists to experiment with spray paint on acetate, acrylic paint, and ink on acetate, paper stencils, and transparent inks that further extended the possibilities of lithography, and produced new and exciting outcomes.

    Rob McHaffie reflects on the process:

    Drawing directly on the lithograph plate was a refreshing experience. You can’t rub out mistakes so once a line is down there’s no turning back. The texture of the plate means that the litho crayons move slow and steady across the plate so for me it was an awakening experience. After completing the drawing I wanted to add colour, which meant separating the image into 3 suitable colours, and blocking in those areas on separate plastic sheets that could then be transferred and printed on top of one another. The whole process of transferring the drawing and colours is still a complete mystery that I cannot fathom and is a credit to Adrian Kellett. The final prints pick up every tiny mark that I made during the production of the images.

    Kellett has worked as a technician in the printmaking department of the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne since 1999. In 2012, he undertook a twelve-month training program at the renowned Tamarind Institute at the University New Mexico. During this period of intensive study he decided to focus on collaborative lithographic projects, and to set up a dedicated studio. The result is his newly-established workshop located in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine.

    The exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery will run from April 6 until May 20, and at Darren Knight Gallery from April 8 until May 13.


    Hugo Michell Gallery presents Creature Collection, featuring Yarrenyty Arltere artists.

    When we came back from that long summer break we were so happy to see each other. Some of us had been a long way away, maybe all the way across the ocean. And some of us were lucky to sit down out bush watching the desert turn green, the rivers flow and the air drip thick with humidity. Some of us sat down at home in Alice Springs in our Town Camp, Yarrenyty Arltere. It was quiet some days and noisy other times. It was good but then we got started in our heads to want to have the art room open. We were thinking in our minds of all the things we could make. We were thinking we are ready now to start sewing. To get all those stories and all those ideas from our heads and make them come alive into our hands with the wool and the needles and the blankets. So when we opened the door first for 2017 and switched on that air con and flicked on that kettle and said hello and started making, well everything seemed to just settle down in the right way. We all felt happy and strong welcoming each other back and so all these creatures, this whole collection just came rushing out of us because we had us all back together, in our room, doing what we love so much, sewing up our stories, together.

    Please join us in celebrating these two fantastic group exhibitions on April 6!

    The Sunshine Suite

    Image: Richard Lewer, Richard’s Disasters (Sam), 2017, from Richard’s Disasters, lithograph, 56.5 x 46 cm, ed. of 10.

    Image: Rhonda Sharpe, Warrior, 2017, from Creature Collection, mixed media of woolen blankets embellished with wool, found objects, 74 x 33 x 9 cm.

  • Richard Lewer in ‘The National 2017: New Australian Art’

    The National 2017: New Australian Art will be launching across multiple sites on March 30. Featuring 48 artists working across a range of mediums, the 2017 exhibition is the first in a series of exhibitions to continue biannually over a six-year period, and spanning across three Sydney locations: the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

    A six-year initiative over three editions in 2017, 2019 and 2021, the curatorial vision for the exhibition represents a mix of emerging, mid-career and established artists drawn from around the country and Australian artists practicing overseas. New and commissioned works encompass a diverse range of mediums including painting, video, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance.

    Richard Lewer will present a newly commissioned video piece examining the 1983 death in custody of a 16-year-old Yindjibarndi boy, John Pat. Never Shall Be Forgotten – A Mother’s Story presents the work from (John’s mother) Mavis Pat’s perspective. Lewers commitment to research and story-telling is evident in his earnest presentation of drawing, animation, and photography.

    Richard Lewer says of the piece:

    “My practice deals with contemporary social realism; exploring sub-cultures, fraternity, alienation, and as part of this, I’m interested in experimenting with notions of the artist’s role as commentator or interpreter, which sometimes involves discussing awkward or taboo issues. A key component of my practice is exploring the relationship between studio activity and life outside the studio, and I’m often creatively motivated by my personal response to and active engagement with my subject matter through research and participation. Recent examples of this are bodies of work made during and after immersion in Aboriginal communities in Gumbalimba in the Northern Territory and Parnngurr in the Western Desert, WA; and the Fly-In-Fly-Out mining community in Karratha, WA. Participation in endurance-based performances (such as large-scale wall drawings, boxing and wood-chopping) and the participation of others in the creation of my work is also an integral part of my practice.

    The work I proposed to make for the National is a 10-min video animation which continues my examination of extreme behaviour and the resilience of the human condition. I started to look into the subject and wider issues when I was in Karratha researching the impact of FIFO culture on the region. My research led me to look into John Pat’s death in police custody in 1983, and I painted a work called Remembering John Pat (2013).”

    Richard Lewer’s work for the exhibition is on display at Carriageworks. The National 2017: New Australian Art is not to be missed!

    Exhibition locations and dates are as follows:

    • Art Gallery of New South Wales, from March 30 to July 16
    • Carriageworks, from March 30 to June 25
    • Museum of Contemporary Art, from March 30 to June 18

    The National 2017: New Australian Art

    For more information, click here.

  • Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Paul Yore | Will French

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Paul Yore’s Obscene, and Will French’s Au Wop Bop A Loo Bop A Wop Bam Boom! on Thursday, March 2 from 6pm!

    Obscene brings together over two years of textile works by Melbourne-born artist Paul Yore, in his Adelaide debut. Ranging from intimate textual needlepoints to wall-sized collaged appliqué works, Yore excavates the bedrock of our neurotic globalised civilisation, questioning the foundational myths of Western culture, and the slippery position language plays in structuring our perception of selfhood, time, reality, and sense of place in history. Yore draws on the traditions of classical Greek art, decorative Flemish and French tapestries, trashy pop-culture, gay porn, cartoons, psychedelia, and the frenzied excesses of Rococo style to build up immersive portals abounding in deconstructive linguistic riddle and iconoclastic patchworks of unabashed animalistic carnality.

    On the surface, layers of hand-sewn beads, buttons, and sequins exude a sense of queer frivolity. But this glitzy skin belies darkness beneath the surface, where themes of colonial brutality, debased capitalistic vice, and the collapse of the symbolic order mingle with images of homoerotic fantasy in some kind of grandiose psychosexual melodrama.

    Sampling lyrics from Little Richard’s 1955 breakthrough hit, Tutti Frutti, this work places them in the unlikely context of a national park timber sign. Commonly recognised as a signifier for directions, this beacon instead appears to offer gibberish. ‘Tutti Frutti’ translates to ‘all the fruits’ in Italian; ‘Aw Rooty’ is Louisianan cadence for ‘alright’ (but in truth just sounds like ‘wanna rooty’); and ‘A wop bop a loo bop a wop bam boom’ is onomatopoeic nonsense that emulates a drum beat (but does it have far more suggestive undertones?).

    Undeniably sexy and irreverent, this song shaped the evolution of early Rock ‘n’ Roll. Capturing a wild and untamed departure from the mainstream, Rock ‘n’ Roll became a soundtrack for counterculture and defiance, a search for self-awareness and authenticity.

    This work presents these three phrases as alternative paths to consider.

    Please join us in celebrating these two brilliant exhibitions on March 2!

    Image: Paul Yore, See You In Hell, 2017, wool needlepoint, 30 x 48 cm irreg.

    Image: Will French, Untitled (Documentation of an ‘L’ Plate intervention on Post Box), 2016, mixed media installation, dimensions variable.

  • Janet Laurence commission at Australian Tapestry Workshop

    Janet Laurence is working with the Australian Tapestry Workshop to produce a new commission Listen, to the Sound of Plants. The commission is expected to be completed in late February.

    …The original artwork is comprised of images from Laurence’s extensive archive of images of plants. These have been digitally collaged photos of paint poured across glass, to create a layered transparency effect.

    ATW weavers Chris Cochius, Pamela Joyce and Cheryl Thornton have selected a wide pallet of green’s to create this tapestry, including cotton yarns – which can be used to highlight areas in tapestry. ATW yarn dyer Tong Stefanovski dyed a new range of green cottons to achieve specific tones for the weaver’s requirements.

    In Listen, to the Sound of Plants, the weavers are trying to capture the layers and use of transparencies and glass that are the hallmarks of Laurence’s work. The translation into tapestry is quite challenging for the weavers as they navigate the reflective surface elements of the design. They are working to achieve a soft watery effect by using very subtle colour mixing techniques and using many tones that are close together in the colour range.

    For full statement, click here.

    Australian Tapestry Workshop

    Listen, to the Sound of Plants in progress.


    Australian Tapestry Workshop

    Laurence gives artist talk to ATW weavers.