CURRENT Exhibitions

Ruth Ju-Shih Li at Yingge Ceramics Museum, 2019

- Florilegium, 2019

8 November to 29 December 2019

Florilegium, a Solo exhibition by Ruth Ju-Shih Li at Yingee Ceramics Museum, Taiwan.

Link to Yingee Ceramics Museum

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Janet Tavener

- Seedless, 2019

27 November to 21 December 2019

Seedless, looks at the threat climate change poses to the humble seed and the catastrophic cascading effect it will have on our complex food chain. In the previous body of work, The Last Seed, frozen fruit and vegetables floated alongside tiny seeds encased in balls of ice. In the new chapter, the primary subjects are the seeds, whose ice cocoons are melting away. Now golden, to denote their preciousness, the seeds, hemmed in by air bubbles, appear suspended in gently effervescing poolssuggestive of both the petri dish and the cosmos – microbiology and the lunar surface. These connections between macro and micro worlds highlights just how precious and precarious life on earth is.

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Helen Mueller

- nowhere to go, 2019

27 November to 21 December 2019

Mangrove ecosystems are critical to our shorelines. They form a buffer between land and water, providing protection from erosion, filtering runoff, and are primary sea life nurseries. They are highly efficient carbon sinks. Chronic pressures on these environments from land clearing, the use of herbicides and pesticides, global warming and associated drought and severe storms are endangering them with potentially catastrophic consequences for the health of land and sea.

I spent a week working with a citizens’ science project that monitors the mangrove forests of the Daintree in far North Queensland. I had the privilege of venturing into a terrain where humans do not routinely go and to viscerally experience an environment of gritty beauty and intricate interrelationships. The work in this exhibition is my response to the mystery, majesty and fragility I was exposed to in this environment, one tragically and fatally often written off as a ‘swamp’.

- Helen Mueller, 2019

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BLACK BOX PROJECTS - Nicole Welch

- In conjunction with Shoalhaven Regional Gallery 'Altered States'

27 November to 21 December 2019

BLACK BOX PROJECT presents Nicole Welch's works Transformation: Journey (2018) and Transformation: Arrival (2018). To coincide with the opening of the exhibition 'Altered States' at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery with Nicole Welch and Tamara Dean.

Nicole Welch is a Bathurst-based media artist who continually produces stunning images of picturesque landscapes that have a loaded symbol implanted into each painstakingly-composed scene. In 2016 she completed a Masters of Fine Arts at UNSW Art & Design in the mediums of photography and video. As a feature artist at ArtState Bathurst 2018, Welch developed two new bodies of work, Transformation and Mementos. While the Memento series saw the introduction of infrared technology into her practice, Transformation is a continuation of her Self series. First started in 2012, the Self artworks are a documentation of Welch’s performative actions within the landscape. In Transformation, Welch records her journey through a rainforest creek bed towards a waterfall, a universal symbol of renewal and transformation.

'The exhibition will explore Australian identity and our changing relationship with our natural environment through landscape photographs which have been modified by the hand of the artist. By adjusting the expected vista, with the addition of foreign objects, figures or projections, the artists cause us to look twice at their works and question the land we inhabit and how we relate to it, now and throughout history.'

- Bridget Macleod, Curator, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, 2019

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Catherine O'Donnell at KAAF Art Prize 2019

- Highly Commended, Korea Australia Art Foundation Art Prize

29 November 2019 to 24 January 2020

Represented artist, Catherine O'Donnell has been named a finalist in the Korea-Australia Arts Foundation (KAAF) Art Prize for 2019. The Art Prize is run annually in cooperation with the Korean Cultural Centre and the Korean government to bring together artists and enhance cultural communities. 

Catherine O'Donnell_KAAF 2019

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Nicole Welch at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, 2019-2020

- Altered States - curated group show with Tamara Dean

30 November 2019 to 8 February 2020

The exhibition will explore Australian identity and our changing relationship with our natural environment through landscape photographs which have been modified by the hand of the artist. By adjusting the expected vista, with the addition of foreign objects, figures or projections, the artists cause us to look twice at their works and question the land we inhabit and how we relate to it, now and throughout history.

- Bridget Macleod, Curator, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, 2019

Link to Shoalhaven Regional Gallery

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Nicole Welch at Manly Art Gallery & Museum

- Manly Dam Project

6 December 2019 to 23 February 2020

Represented artist, Nicole Welch will be in a group exhibition at Manly Art Gallery & Museum for the Manly Dam Project.


'The Manly Dam area is a unique landscape rich in natural biodiversity, shaped by the interventions of engineering and science. Once the source of drinking water in Sydney's north, freshwater continues to flow from the catchment to the sea.


Along with a rich Aboriginal cultural significance, the area's European history is layered with stories of social and recreational activity.


Adjacent to this area, now known as the Manly Warringah War Memorial Park, is a hub of international research through the work of the Water Research Laboratory (WRL), a facility of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Sydney.


Eight contemporary artists from a variety of practices have created new work inspired by place, history, water management and engineering.'

- Curated by Katherine Roberts and Ian Turner

Click here for Manly Dam Project

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Ruth Ju-Shih Li at CC Gallery, Taiwan

- Solo Exhibition, 2020

14 January to 29 February 2020

A Solo exhibition by Ruth Ju-Shih Li at CC Gallery, Taiwan.

Hendrik Kolenberg & Evan Salmon

- Urbanscapes, 2020

29 January to 16 February 2020

Evan Salmon and Hendrik Kolenberg share an interest in making paintings of their suburban environment – streets & traffic, houses & rooftops, cranes, telegraph poles & wheelie bins, domestic and industrial settings, the working harbour, parkland & waterways. They find their subjects in the familiar everyday or commonplace, the city & suburbs as well as further afield. For Evan that includes landscape near at hand; for Hendrik, Rotterdam, his birthplace. It isn’t place that matters to them as much as the power of light to transform, intensify or surprise them.

This selection of recent paintings  features subjects close to home for each of them, around Warrawong, south of Sydney and Eastwood in Sydney’s north west, each typical of modern urbanism and its unencumbered spread north, south and west of metropolitan Sydney. Painting En Plein Air has preoccupied Evan for some years now, while Hendrik constructs his paintings from drawings and studies in pen & ink, charcoal and oil on paper.

Evan and Hendrik draw together (which is how their friendship developed) and with others but painting is a private occupation for them. This is their first exhibition together.

(images on the previous page)
Top: Evan Salmon, Truck depot, Port Kembla 1, 2019, oil on linen, 51.5 x 61cm
Bottom: Hendrik Kolenberg, House fronts, First Avenue, Eastwood, 2019, oil on gesso on linen on plywood, 63 x 72cm

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Kevin McKay

- Eastern Suburbs Streetscapes, 2020

29 January to 16 February 2020

This suite of paintings explores the back streets of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs where a gritty working class history and village charm lingers despite the gloss of gentrification and the encroachment of high-rise development. Kevin enjoys finding ready-made compositions in urban environments and applies the formal concerns of compositional design with the particularity of place as he seeks a theatrical intensity in the ordinary.  Stillness and transience compliment each other in his road-based paintings where architectural forms provide a fixed point in contrast with the flux of light; a momentarily parked car; or randomly placed 'street furniture' (wheelie bin, witches hat, road sign etc); or indeed the conduit of the road itself, a constant in the ever changing city.

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Catherine O'Donnell, at Tweed Regional Gallery, 2020

- 'Fibro Façade', An installation by Catherine O'Donnell

31 January to 28 June 2020

> Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, 31 January to 28 June 2020.

     “Catherine O’Donnell’s draughtsmanship skills are some of the finest this country has even seen. Rather than create static replications of sites, she imbues her houses with a pathos and resonance which reveals her talents as a storyteller. It is this strength that draws audiences beyond the awe of her life-like drawings, evoking the shared experience of home...” - Lizzy Marshall, curator of 2168: Estate of Tomorrow
     Fibro Façade
is an installation comprising eleven meticulous charcoal drawings of elements from common fibro housing and an architectural tape outline connecting them. O’Donnell’s installation was commissioned by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and was on display there in 2018 in the solo exhibition 2168: Estate of Tomorrow.
     O’Donnell leaves the screen door ajar, pulls back the curtain, opens the window and shows the uneven lines of the venetian blinds to reveal that her renderings are equally about the occupants as they are about the structures that they call home.

Images by Silversalt Photography, courtesy of the Artist and MAY SPACE Sydney

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Sybil Curtis at Childers Art Space

- Bundaberg Regional Galleries, 2020

8 February to 30 March, 2020

Sybil Curtis has been invited to exhibit a solo show with Bundaberg Regional Galleries, exhibiting at Childers Art Space, Queensland.

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Julian Laffan

- Voyages, 2020

19 February to 8 March 2020

'My work is a voyage through rooms, selecting moments upon which to reflect as hand-carved meditations.  These images depict remnants and mementos of significance, alongside objects that are ordinary or everyday. The process of selecting, carving and hand-rendering is a means of remembering, gathered and arranged as new understandings. Both the momental and the seemingly insignificant are united in a single frame. A red snuff bottle evokes recollections of conversations in a Mongolian ger beside the red matchbox for the evening's fire. A can from a wharf in Mapua, New Zealand sits alongside a sweets container from Verona, Italy.  Each work exists as an unintentional relationship, as reflections of multiple places in a single captured moment, suspended as a carved and painted image in timber.
    

These works connect to the historic period when illuminated manuscripts were replaced by that of the printed image. Each work is a return to the notion of hand-coloured individual pieces, working in direct opposition to their potential as a replicated image in the digital age, signifying the importance of knowledge. This journey through an interior is an investigation into daily spaces, a new voyage of discovery for both the artist and the viewer.'

-Julian Laffan, 2019

Catherine O'Donnell

- Suspended Narratives

19 February to 8 March 2020

'My art practice gives emphasis to the suburban landscape by abstracting and reinterpreting its overlooked dwellings. Using minimalism, I isolate these modest buildings from their contexts and represent only their structures to explore their compositional potential and underlying symmetry, striving to offer a renewed vision of these often-bleak landscapes.

Through my drawings, I aim both to present the formal aesthetics of the buildings and to extract the sense of humanity that emanates from lived-in spaces. I employ realism to ignite the imagination of the viewer and invite them to look beyond the mundane and banal. My work intends to reinterpret and reinvigorate inhabited environments by accentuating attributes of life and longevity, beyond physicality.

While my work displays a high level of realism, my interests do not lie in simple reproduction. Rather, I delete extraneous information and reveal signs of life, both historical and contemporary. Small moments of suspended narrative enter my images through detail; an open window or drawn curtain suggests habitation and bears witness to lived experience. These moments maintain an element of the personal within the impersonal, and as such, my drawings become active reminders of human existence. The viewer is called to delve into their own memories of home and to contemplate the individual narratives embedded in these common-place structures.

At the heart of my artistic practice are my interests in minimalist architectural structures, the pictorial power of illusion, scale and perspective and the pursuit of a shared narrative. My works seek to combine these elements to illuminate narrative within structure and to find life within the minimal.'

- Catherine O'Donnell, 2019

Image: Catherine O'Donnell, Delphi's Screen Door (Delphi's House Panel 2) 2019, charcoal on paper.

Todd Fuller in the Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture 2020

- Juniper Hall, Paddington

6 - 22 March 2020

Todd Fuller has been named a Finalist in the Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture 2020 with his work Harry 2 (2019).
The exhibition is open from the 6th to 22nd March, with prizes announced on the 5th March.

Click here for more information on the Tom Bass Prize

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Merrick Belyea

- Anthropocene Landscapes, 2020

11 to 29 March 2020

Merrick Belyea’s paintings are deeply focused on the curious human appetite for destruction. Environmental concerns are central to his recent paintings, referring to a potential for devastation, pointing to a future of mechanical scarification of the landscape. Paring back the veneer of previously prepared paint layers reveal the detritus of process and the fragility of surface.

Merrick will have his inaugural solo exhibition with MAY SPACE in 2020.

SYDNEY PRINT 2020

- A curated exhibition selected from members of Sydney Printmakers

1 to 26 April 2020

Sydney Printmakers is a self funded, self directed, independent organization successfully spanning nearly 60 years. Members are practicing artists and art professionals who have a specific focus on print, however continue to work across all media including digital and more experimental approaches. The group shows regularly in NSW, across Australia and overseas.

The following is an except from the intro essay for the 50th Anniversary Exhibition catalogue, by Professor Sasha Grishin AM, FAHA, The Sir William Dobell Professor of Art History Australian National University

"Sydney Printmakers is a unique phenomenon in Australian art with few parallels anywhere in the world.  Although numerous exhibiting associations of printmakers have cropped up from time to time in Australia, what distinguishes Sydney Printmakers is three things.  Firstly, no other exhibiting organisation of printmakers has so effectively represented the best printmakers of a city and has done this so comprehensively.  Secondly, no other organisation of printmakers in Australia has managed to sustain itself independently over such a prolonged period of time without becoming a de facto filial of an institution, such as an art school.  In other words, Sydney Printmakers have remained truly independent.  While thirdly, no organisation of printmakers has managed to survive for fifty years without extensive periods of dormancy".

Ruth Ju-Shih Li at Kyoto Ceramics Centre, Japan

- Australian Flowers Exhibition, 2020

17 to 29 April 2020

Australian Flowers Exhibition, a group exhibition with Ruth Ju-Shih Li at the Kyoto Ceramic Centre, Japan.

Sybil Curtis

- When Rivers Die

20 May to 7 June 2020

'Along the western shore of Lake Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) is a line of springs where one of the edges of the Great Artesian Basin comes to the surface and discharges freshwater. This has made it possible for people, wildlife and plants to live there. As a nation building project in the late 1800s, a railway line was built from Adelaide to Alice Springs, with steam trains dependent on this good supply of freshwater. Ironically the line suffered continuous damage mostly from flooding and the arrival of diesel locomotives saw it abandoned in the 1960s.

Early European explorers expected the inland flowing rivers would be filling a vast sea and were dismayed to find they disappeared into a network of dry channels or bitter salt lakes. It is a rare occasion that any rivers actually ‘flow’ into Lake Kati Thanda and it fills with water. I have only seen it as a glittering white surface of salt that stretched to the horizon with a shore of sand, gravel and sparse vegetation. Into this stark landscape intrude the remains and ruins of water towers and train stations as reminders of our hubris.'

- Sybil Curtis, 2019

Image: Sybil Curtis, Curdimurka, Kati Thanda 2019, oil on linen, 125 x 125cm

Catherine O'Donnell and Waratah Lahy at Canberra Museum + Gallery (CMAG) 2020

- A group exhibition curated by Mark Bayly

1 August to 7 November 2020

Communities are formed by people and the built environments they construct and reside in. This exhibition examines imagery derived from, or alluding to, the built environment and ways of living in specific locations with particular identities. These material and social constructs take multiple forms - from high-rise, high-end apartments to prosaic suburban divisions, to locations where people have endured the collapse of their communities.

The focus of this project is how contemporary artists and designers translate their responses to the built environment. In doing so, the exhibition tells individual stories of the resilience and imagination of the human spirit.

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Ruth Ju-Shih Li - Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, 2020

- Featuring represented artist, Ruth Ju-Shih Li, 2020

9 October 2020 to 11 April 2021

Represented artist Ruth Ju-Shih Li has been selected to participate in the Taiwan Ceramic Biennale and International Competition for 2020.

Established in 2004, the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale is organised by the New Taipei City Government and hosted at the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum.