CURRENT Exhibitions

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.

Visit Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

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

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BLACK BOX PROJECTS Presents, Nicole Welch

- Yarrahapinni, 2020

11 March to 24 April 2020

'The Yarrahapinni time-lapse film records tidal flow into an estuary, symbolically referencing the rejuvenation and reawakening of a wetland environment. Recorded on location in the Yarrahapinni Wetlands National Park it is an affirmative work that celebrates our capacity to rebuild fragile ecosystems. The Yarrahapinni Wetland Restoration Project undertaken by the Water Research Laboratory team in collaboration with the NSW National Parks, has successfully rebalanced the hydrological and water quality conditions to naturally encourage the regeneration of what was a highly acidic wetland. It is now a thriving estuarine wetland with greatly improved bird and fish habitat and with regenerating mangrove and saltmarsh endangered ecological communities.
The scientists use of remote and on ground monitoring and sensing techniques, including satellite and infrared mapping was of particular interest to me, as they are technologies that I have used in my arts practice to record landscape, and to extend and collapse time. For wetland restoration projects this visual data is collected to analyse changes in wetland distribution, vegetation, tidal inundation and health of the estuary over time. Constructed from 4800 high resolution photographs captured over several hours the Yarrahapinni infrared time-lapse film mirrors the use of these scientific methodologies to speak to the potential of environmental restoration and rejuvenation. 
The area is in the country of the Dunghutti and Gumbayaggir nations (a sharing place). I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging and give thanks for the opportunity to make work at this significant location.'

- Nicole Welch, 2020

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Catherine O'Donnell in the 47th Muswellbrook Art Prize 2020

- Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre

15 March - 10 May 2020

Catherine O'Donnell has been selected as a finalist in the 47th Muswellbrook Art Prize 2020.

The exhibition runs from 15 March until 10 May - winners to be announced on 14 March.

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Sydney Printmakers 2020

- A curated exhibition selected from members of Sydney Printmakers

1 to 24 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".

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Miriam Innes

- Unequivocally New York

29 April to 17 May 2020

'For two decades I have executed my drawing with charcoal. Charcoal, a medium which derives from nature; essentially a charred, burnt wood used to create mark makings and tones in drawings. While creating with charcoal, its physical presence reminds me of my childhood picture making, with a piece of bog oak. The bog oak, thousands of years old, was taken from beneath the layers of peat lands in the west of Ireland, where rural families, like my own, spent long summers ‘saving the turf’.

The process of using a natural simple medium to recreate man-made architectural structures, has essentially, being a core value in the work and its execution. Fascinated with urban environments from an early age, captivated by pictures, movies, stories and eventually experiencing cities; it was New York City, that left a lasting imprint and a desire to investigate and convey it, as a subject in my practice.

Capturing the city, its unique urban characteristics and beauty, whilst sharing the lasting impact I felt when there, together with a strong awareness of contrast and perspective within the work, was a crucial part of this investigation. The medium, subject-matter and scale of the drawing depend and rely on contrast and perspective for an inclusive audience and an immersive experience.

Showcasing it through charcoal, merging both passions to deliver NY Rambling, a simple, gray-scale, soundless environment, unlike a regular New York sensory experience. It offered an opportunity to view the city in urban details, to view it through the eyes of the artist.

Finally, inviting viewers to share an experience strolling along sidewalks, crossing streets, sharing a coffee perhaps, grabbing a bargain in Chinatown or hanging on the edge of a rooftop. Taking in the expansive area congested with gritty details, bricks, shadows, taking care to avoid that smoke stack!'

- Miriam Innes

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Catherine O'Donnell at Blue Mountains City Art Gallery

- Occupied, 2020

16 May to 28 June 2020

Represented artist, Catherine O'Donnell has been invited to participate in an exhibition at the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, curated by Rilka Oakley.

Charlie Sheard

- Paintings on Paper, 2020

20 May to 6 June 2020

'Painting is the original meditation, bodily and spiritual in nature. Self expression is unimportant; the artist’s job is to allow the work of art to have its own Being. Such art is about itself, it is not about the artist, but if the work of art fails to speak for itself, it is the artist who has failed. Abstraction is the most extreme form of painting, pure and like music. “Beauty is difficult” said Yeats.'

- Charlie Sheard, 2020

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Sybil Curtis

- When Rivers Die, 2020

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

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Janet Tavener in the Percival Photographic Portrait Prize

- Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

22 May to 19 July 2020

Represented artist, Janet Tavener has been selected as a finalist in the Percival Photographic Portrait Prize 2020. As the fourth installment of the biennial prize, it is held in conjunction with the North Australian Festival of Arts to be displayed at the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville, Queensland. Winners to be announced in the duration of the exhibition from 22 May 2020.

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Vivienne Ferguson

- Illumine, 2020

10 to 28 June 2020

'Vivienne Ferguson cultivates her art practice from a studio in the Blue Mountains, where she relocated from Sydney a decade ago. There she works as a gardener for a small number of clients who share a love of art and an appreciation for her unique sensibility.  Over the last ten years Ferguson has presented five solo exhibitions in Sydney and Auckland, accumulating an impressive body of work consisting of a distinctive and highly personal visual language.

In the studio, Ferguson guides her hand across the canvas in gestures corresponding to her familiarity with working with the earth.  At times these marks are small and floral.  At other times, the artist’s expression is as strong and sweeping as the winds which blow hard through the mountains’ bending eucalypts.  Each mark has a descriptive purpose and produces its visual impact through the artist’s continuing immersion in the unique environment of the Blue Mountains.'

- Mark Bayly, 2020

Ruth Ju-Shih Li

- Inflorescence, 2020

10 to 28 June 2020

During a recent residency at the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan, Ruth Ju-Shih Li was struck by the ability of colour to trigger memories from her childhood living in Taiwan. By experimenting with texture, colour, composition and symbols, Li attempts to give form to these memories; transforming a fleeting reminiscence into a tangible object. The delicacy of her porcelain forms reflect the fragile and transient nature of memory, while bursts of colour interrupt the intricately sculpted white porcelain, reminiscent of an unexpected memory intruding on the everyday.

The works for Inflorscence act as both personal reminders for Li, continuing her fascination with the autobiographical, as well as triggers for the audience, seeking to conjure a vast array of emotions and experiences.

Dianna Wells

- Geomorphology, 2020

1 to 18 July 2020

Geomorphology explores the immense forces of nature that shape the ancient rock formations of the MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia. This region is part of the traditional lands of the Arrernte people and the indelible legacy of Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira is still evident when walking through this landscape. Thousands of years of intermittent floods have carved canyons through the quartzite, creating waterholes and creeks. Alongside these grow River Red Gums that have adapted over time, taking over dry riverbeds and sending their roots deep underground to find water.

My practice centres on immersing myself within these environments, alongside avenues of scientific, historical and cultural research. Conversations with my geologist father, Allan Wells, have given me a deep understanding of how these natural landscapes formed over thousands of years. Throughout my childhood, I accompanied my father on geological expeditions, camping for long periods in the Central Australian deserts. As an adult, I have returned a number of times, camping in riverbeds and taking photographs of the Larapinta Trail in Tjoritja (West MacDonnell National Park).

The works for Geomorphology continue my experimentation with the materiality of the photographic medium through darkroom and digital photographic printing processes. I have reflected on questions regarding endless time and the role of water in the creation of these landscapes, and used a medium-format Hasselblad camera to distil these compositions. Black-and-white film extracts the essential information and enhances the tension expressed in the rock face and the surrounding landscape, accentuating millions of years of exposure and erosion.

- Dianna Wells, 2020

Peta Minnici

- Looking In; Seeing Out — Bundanon, 2020

1 to 19 July 2020

My current body of work was inspired by my month long residency at Bundanon, estate of the late artists’, Arthur and Yvonne Boyd. My proposal was to continue my exploration of perception through a series of paintings and drawings, based on its interiors and landscapes.  Arriving late in the afternoon and unable to gain access to the locked homestead, I began peering through windows and photographing all I could see, eager for inspiration.

As a result, I experienced a paradigm shift.  I inadvertently discovered that the glass allowed me to capture both the interior and the surrounding landscape in the one frame, as a play on reflections, with the mountains and trees fusing seamlessly with the architectural features of the interior. My drawings, based on window reflections, are formed intuitively over time using a technique of mark making, creating a blurring of focus and a slowing of viewing time, whilst in my paintings I aim to undo photographic representation by reducing the image into a series of shapes combined with the use of small brush strokes of tone and colour.

- Peta Minnici, 2020

Jane Grealy

- Dog Park and Other Things, 2020

22 July to 9 August 2020

‘This series of paintings and watercolours are based on both real and imagined observations of people, their dogs, and the surrounding landscape. Most days begin in the early hours of the morning at the dog park with my own companion, Zozo, as people begin to trickle in with their dogs and the scenes from which I conceive my works come to life. This series exposes the half-seen glimpses of life at the dog park — as breeding and behaviour are scrutinized, friendships endure, intense rivalries form, unrequited love lingers, new life and death occur in the life of these dogs and their owners. I am fascinated by the change in environment, from the highly urbanised inner-city suburbs of Brisbane, to a dog park hidden and framed by tall trees and softened by birdsong.

I love the dogs, the people, and the trees -  equally I think.’

- Jane Grealy

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Agnes Tyson

- Where Architecture Meets the Land, 2020

22 July to 9 August 2020

MAY SPACE is proud to present a new series of work by Agnes Tyson, Where Architecture Meets the Land.

This show examines the relationship between our built environment and the land on which it sits. These paintings depict buildings set in the natural surroundings of Australia. They portray various views from within and without built structures on the Australian bush landscape, investigating the interplay of organic forms, colours, and textures in the landscape with the geometric, angular shapes in architecture.

These paintings explore space, light, and sensation through their relationships with tone, colour, line, shape and composition. They seek to capture the kinaesthetic experience of being in the space they represent.

- Agnes Tyson, 2020

Image: Agnes Tyson, Winter Mornings at Bundanon Trust  2019, acrylic on linen, 88 x 60 cm.

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

HABITAT: Ways of living - 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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Loribelle Spirovski

- Memory Palace, 2020

2 - 20 September

So there

ekphrastic certainty

the plastic space
where my child-mind
once made snowmen
from candle-wax

until the pink fingers––

but, no

somewhere, a monkey's paw;
concave vessel
for bar-holding,
black as a

and at last
there –– where
the gumamela grows
in thick thatches

fleshy petals
opening wide

opening wide

until the trunk bends
and the corner breaks
leaving only the

- Loribelle Spirovski, 2020

Ruth Ju-Shih Li - Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, 2020

- Represented artist, Ruth Ju-Shih Li, Special Prize Winner 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.

Ruth Ju-Shih Li's entry Florilegium has been selected as a Special Prize winner for the Biennale. 

View the list of winners