Margaret Olley Art Centre – a very crowded house!

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by The Guardian Australia to write a preview on the soon-to-open Margaret Olley Art Centre. The Centre provides a home for the studio of the late Australian artist Margaret Olley (1923 – 2011) – a space that’s incredibly been recreated at Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah.

I also spoke to Australian artist, Ben Quilty, a friend of the late artist about her life in art. Read the full story in The Guardian.

The photograph below was taken of Margaret Olley’s original home in Paddington by another of her friends, Steven Alderton.

Steven Alderton, Early Morning at Margaret Olley's Home 2011 [digital print on archival paper 158.85cm x 67.5cm] Copyright: Steven Alderton
Steven Alderton, Early Morning at Margaret Olley’s Home 2011 [digital print on archival paper 158.85cm x 67.5cm] Copyright: Steven Alderton

Danie Mellor: Exotic Lies Sacred Ties – a Review.

“Exotic Lies Sacred Ties, a 12-year survey of artist Danie Mellor’s practice at the University of Queensland Art Museum, deals with the ongoing legacies of colonialism. More charmer than pretender, Mellor’s art disarms the viewer with glamour and beauty while probing the flaws in our accepted view of history.”

Official opening Saturday 1 February. Read my full review for Guardian Australia.

Danie Mellor 'Piccaninny paradise' 2010 pastel, pencil, glitter, Swarovski crystal and wash on Saunders Waterford paper 143.0 x 171.0 cm Private collection, Sydney
Danie Mellor ‘Piccaninny paradise’ 2010
pastel, pencil, glitter, Swarovski crystal and wash on Saunders Waterford paper
143.0 x 171.0 cm
Private collection, Sydney

‘My Country: I Still Call Australia Home’ – Contemporary art from black Australia | A review

“The ‘My Country’ title of the exhibition is derived from the subject matter of much Indigenous art – and perhaps the most common concern for the artists in this show. Curator Bruce McLean has conceived the exhibition over three general areas – My History, My Life, My Country. Despite the thematic approach, the majority of these 300-plus works represent an amalgam of all three themes in one. From the outset the use of ‘My’ in the titles is a political and contextual term. The art displayed is both a reflection and a reinforcement of the social values and beliefs of numerous Indigenous cultures, each with a unique history. We [the non-Indigenous] might call this place ‘Australia’ but it’s worth noting that many Indigenous people consider it a constructed version of nation.”

Read the full review at The Art Life. 

Warwick Thornton, Stranded (still) 2011. 3D digital video: 11:06 minutes, colour, sound.
Warwick Thornton, Stranded (still) 2011. 3D digital video: 11:06 minutes, colour, sound.

[Image courtesy of the artist and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane].


Inward & Outward: A review of the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial [APT7]

The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial runs until 14 April 2013 at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia.

“APT7 feels more like the future than the past … The exhibition illustrates the way Australia grapples with its sense of belonging in the Asia Pacific microworld. The denseness of this show, however, suggests that the question of how we resolve our place has become even more complex. The weaving together of work by so many artists means national borders become blurred and what emerges are our similarities and not our differences. APT7 recommends we turn our gaze both inward and outward. If you’ve never been to QAGOMA then maybe it’s time you went”.

Read the full review at The Art Life.

Sangdon Kim (South Korea) b.1973 Bulwang-dong Totem [blue] 2012 Giclee prints on premium lustre paper, ed. 2/5
[Courtesy the artist and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art].

An Interview with Tamara Dean…

To coincide with Sydney’s Head On Photo Festival, this week I’ve interviewed artist (and Sydney Morning Herald photographer) Tamara Dean who is currently exhibiting her show ‘Only Human‘ at Tim Olsen Gallery in Sydney:

“I am [also] interested in the relationship between humans and nature, or more specifically the Australian bush. How we interact and engage with the natural world and with each other…”

Read the full interview at The Art Life.

'Upstream' 2011. Tamara Dean. Photographic print on archival cotton rag.

[Image courtesy the artist, Tim Olsen Gallery and James Makin Gallery].


To Pin & grin or copy right?

If you’re into social media you’re probably already heard about the new platform called ‘Pinterest’. ‘Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web’. But there’s a proviso …and it’s called copyright.

Read my article about Pinterest, art, artists and copyright (and Italian Vanity Fair!) at The Art Life.

Italian 'Vanity Fair' cover with Victoria Reichelt's 'Self Portrait' oil on linen

[Image courtesy of the artist].

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox ‘For Everyone: Words & Paintings’ Book Launch & Exhibition.

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox launches her new book ‘For Everyone: Words & Paintings’ at FireWorks Gallery in Brisbane this Thursday 23 February. An exhibition of 30 original paintings from the book will also be on show at the Gallery. ‘Asleep’, one of the images from the book, together with the accompanying prose appears below.

Full details of the launch and the book can be found on Kathryn’s blog.


[Image courtesy of the artist].

Why did the slow tortoise and the fast hare race each other?
Steady wins the race, so the moral goes.
But, do mismatched races benefit anyone?

[From ‘For Everyone: Words and Paintings’ K. Brimblecombe-Fox]



What’s new in art for 2012? Australian commercial galleries respond…

Australian commercial galleries will slowly return from their long summer hiatus over the next week or two. What are we going to see this year, and how positive are they about what lies ahead? 

We tracked down a few gallerists to ask three short questions about their plans…read the full story on ‘The Art Life’.


Danie Mellor, 'The Reality of Myth (in the presence of History)' Pastel, pencil & wash with glitter & Swarovski crystal on Saunders Waterford paper 192 x 145 cm

[Image courtesy of the artist and Michael Reid Art]

Debut solo exhibition for Tiwi Islander Natalie Puantulura in Hobart.

Last week in Hobart we caught the opening night of Natalie Puantulura’s first solo show entitled Puwangari (‘Lots of Dots’) at Art Mob – Aboriginal Fine Art .

Natalie was taught to paint by her grandfather, Declan Apuatimi (Senior) the late husband of renowned Tiwi artist Jean Baptiste. As Jean’s grandaughter, Natalie was also taught about Tiwi culture and painting by her grandmother.
Natalie painted with Tiwi Design art centre up until 2004, after which she and her partner, Edward Malati Yunupingu, moved to Pirlangimpi and began working with Munupi Arts and Crafts.

Natalie’s paintings tell the ‘Pwoja Story’:

“During ceremony on the Tiwi Islands a series of ‘yoi’ (dances), are performed; some are totemic (inherited from the person’s Mother) and some serve to act out the narrative of newly composed songs. Participants in these ceremonies are painted with turtiyanginari (the different natural ochre colours) in varying designs, transforming the dancers and, in some cases, providing protection.

Natalie Puantulura 'Jilamara 2010' Ochre on linen 1200 x 800mm.


The word ‘Jilamara’ is the Tiwi term for the natural ochre design applied to the body face of participants during important ceremonies.

[Image courtesy Art Mob and the artist].

Artist Kathy Mackey’s ‘Equine Collection’ features in ‘The Magic of Racing’ exhibition.

Now showing at Retrospect Galleries Broadbeach (Queensland) until 25 January 2012 is ‘The Magic of Racing’ exhibition.


Kathy Mackey 'Equine Collection 2' 48 x 55cm Media: Digital photograph on photo rag paper.

Queensland artist Kathy Mackey is exhibiting her photograph ‘Equine Collection 2‘.

The artist says:

“The sport of horse racing has had a long tradition of celebration by nobility. A gentleman was noted for his possessions that included racehorse and personalised dinner ware that marked wealth and status in the community. Racing carnivals historically and in the present also represent the opportunity for people to gather in social groups and celebrate , not only the sport itself ,but the social expectations real or imagined that accompany it.”

For more information and other artists exhibiting in this show see Retrospect Galleries Queensland.