Brenda May - Twenty Years
13 to 17 December
An exhibition celebrating the twenty-year anniversary of the Gallery.
Artists include Robert Boynes, Julie Byrnes, John Cottrell, Melinda Le Guay, Barbara Licha, Angela Macdougall, Carol Murphy, Leslie Oliver, Carla Priivald, Jimmy Rix, Anne Ross, Rodney Simmons, Liz Stops, Lezlie Tilley and Peter Tilley.
Works on Paper
- Andrew Best, Al Munro and Patsy Payne, 2005
15 November to 10 December
Lost, both literally and metaphorically, my first trip to Paris resulted in an emotional and intuitive response to an ageing beauty. The magic of strolling down the streets, discovering exceptional museums and dreaming in numerous parks, has inspired my drawings. -Andrew Best, 2004
These prints are from a series developed out of the experience of living for three months in Sri Lanka at the beginning of 2004. The pattern of the three months was marked by three full moon 'poya' days. Many mornings I awoke to the sound of chanting from the village temple. In a state of half wakefulness I sensed the possibilities in different modes of detachment and dislocation. - Patsy Payne, 2005
My work investigates the visual patterns and codes with which we represent and "construct" the natural world. I am particularly interested in how the versions of nature produced and reproduced via printed materials - from the conventions and codes of scientific illustrations and prints, to the printed media of popular culture - have mediated and controlled our understandings of the natural world. - Al Munro, 2005
- Left Handed Girl with a Blunt Saw, 2005
15 November to 10 December
Carol Murphy's latest exhibition is characterised by a sense of play featuring diminutive, free-standing figurative works sculpted in ceramic.
The themes explored are slightly autobiographical, referencing Murphy's childhood memories and present day experiences of life as a left handed girl. She has awkwardly made her way in the world despite feeling completely hopeless at doing so many things! There is a self-depreciating sense of humour evident in these works with Murphy's ability to look at life?s absurdities and laugh along with a sense of fun.
These works are the embodiment of ideas first presented in the form of comic pen and ink drawings by the artist in the late '70s and early '80s and will form the basis of more new works in the future.
- Wall, 2005
18 October to 12 November
Wall is an exhibition based on street art found in Ljubljana, Berlin, Prague and Tallinn. The paintings are sourced from my photographs and worked in layers of glazes, stencils, airbrush, collage and text. The variety of art materials used to make the work has produced an exhibition that contains fragmented chaotic arrangements, where any logic to the graffiti art is lost in the process of painting and layering.
- cursive, 2005
18 October to 12 November
The inspiration for the etchings in this show comes from the script offered up by the surface of water. In observing it, I see a primordial cursive which writes out an endless story in a language I can barely fathom. Movement, shifts, rhythm and repetition guide the recording of this language.
The story and its script seem logically expressed by means of the printing process. This technique brings with it its own flow and rhythm, grounded as it is in repetition.
- Electricity, 2005
20 September to 15 October
Robert Boynes?s solo show at Brenda May Gallery has been scheduled to coincide with his selection in the Museum of Contemporary Art?s exhibition Interesting Times: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art curated by Russell Storer with the assistance of Keith Munro.
?Boynes?s subjects are found in the urban environment; railway stations, bus interchanges and airports; locations to witness the detached or highly charged ways in which people relate. Against this background, other works reveal moments of intimacy, seduction and erotic desire as his subjects attempt to engage with each other across this social divide.
The canvases are arranged in triptych and diptych formats that evoke the figure in motion, as well as detailing other snippets of urban culture, such as the scrawl of graffiti, a metal grate or neon sign. Further repeated motifs include the shielding device of the louvre window or venetian blind, which creates the allusion of something secret or mysterious beyond our view.
The nature of these multi-panelled works, and their subject matter, suggest ?fictional documentaries? that draw upon the artist?s observation of contemporary life. It is the open-ended suggestion of people coming and going in these urban spaces that implies life beyond a particular ?frame?.?
- Warning Colours, 2005
23 August to 17 September
Sybil Curtis questions the very nature of transgression by focusing on safety barriers in her latest exhibition Warning Colours. These barriers are depicted guarding industrial landscapes around the Newcastle Steelworks and Sydney Wharves.
In her paintings, safety barriers are dwarfed by the industrial structures that surround them, yet even at this insubstantial scale they effectively prohibit access. This, Curtis argues, is because of their recognisable colours which in nature, as well as in the constructed world, represent danger. These colours invoke an awareness of impending danger which provides their strongest deterrent against trespass.
It is also as a result of their strong colour that these barriers become aesthetic elements in Curtis?s work, breaking up the repetitive forms of the constructions themselves and standing in opposition to the ?sombre industrial? landscape that characterises her oeuvre.
- The Passage of Time, 2005
23 August to 17 September
In his latest series of work Peter Tilley invites us along as he continues his maritime journey aboard listless vessels floating through unlikely compositions.
His works combine highly tactile carved objects with found objects in what he describes as three dimensional still lifes. Like the still life painter Tilley is a master craftsman; his exquisitely carved objects are mostly devoid of any evidence of his own hand. Unlike the still life painter however, Tilley has the advantage of dictating the scale that each of his objects will take. As a result his work combines life sized found objects with extremely scaled down figures and boats to form a striking visual tableau.
Each of these combined elements contains their own symbolism for Tilley but they also speak to a broader audience. A sole contemplative figure is juxtaposed against the freedom of a bird perched high above and ready for flight. It is these small elements - the possibility of escape represented by the bird - which hints at the positive completion of this particular journey that Tilley has undertaken.
- Sculpture/Drawing, 2005
26 July to 20 August
In his sculptural works Jim Croke bends, twists, manipulates and assembles discarded metal to create beautiful reliefs and three dimensional pieces. These reliefs are transformed into animated objects changing with the movement of light across their surface. They cast intricate shadows that dance upon the wall incorporating it within the overall aesthetic quality of the work.
In the same way that Croke builds his reliefs, adding layers and complexity, his drawings also demonstrate a layering that is comprised of small marks which combine to form a complex matrix in which the illusion of depth is a primary concern. Croke plays off his drawings and sculptures against each other ? in one the illusion of depth is created on a flat surface and in the other the three dimensional object is treated as if it is two dimensional; hung on the wall. The interplay between drawing and sculpture invites the viewer to consider their preconceptions about both.
- Sunrise Boulevard, 2005
26 July to 20 August
In his latest series of paintings, Archibald finalist James Guppy takes us on a very different journey from his previous works exploring the darker sides of sexuality. Here he plants us firmly in the ordered world of suburbia. Yet within these banal vistas of double garages and rendered porticos, his figures float through the streetscapes with a fantastical grace.
Guppy depicts houses on Sunrise Boulevard, a street near his own home, worlds away from that other place of dreams, Hollywood?s Sunset Boulevard. He delves into our backyards and invites us to consider how we relate to our environment. This is the world of Australian egalitarianism which values modest possessions over individual fame and fortune.
Never one to simply paint a serene ?reality?, Guppy provides us with a twist. There is a darker side here. The humble dream of a quarter acre block insulates its residents against the evils of the outside world. This ?cultural cotton wool? as Guppy terms it, enables his subjects to float through their lives happily oblivious to the outside world ?wrapped in a sunny blanket of security?. Or is it perhaps that they are keen to escape the deadening silence which is the price of this safety?
- New Paintings, 2005
28 June to 23 July
Amongst the busy, thick, gestural surfaces of Rodney Simmons? paintings the viewer finds a contemplative stillness. This stillness comes from the fact that Simmons ?wrestles with painting over many months alternating between furious unthinking hits, hours of contemplation and time apart.? The viewer can visibly discern this long process in the very surface of his works. Simmons layers paint, works back into it, waits for it to dry, works over it again. This drawn out process results in a great introspection signalled by titles such as 'I?ve Been to Surfer?s Paradise But I?ve Never Been Too Me'.
His new, small-scale works, represent a challenge for the artist ? how to contain the broad emotional marks of the larger works within the bounds of a tiny board. By way of meeting this challenge he has reduced the complexity of his marks without compromising the seductive laying of paint that characterises his larger works.
From the sublime to the meticulous, Simmons paintings are an adventure in both emotion and abstraction.
Couples/Collaborators + Other Partnerships
- curated group exhibition, 2005
28 June to 23 July
For this exhibition we have invited a number of artists who have extensive experience in collaboration along with other artists who will be collaborating for the first time. Some of the partnerships include those of mentor and student, partners or married couples, and some who are just good friends; all who have warmed to the task of putting egos aside and combining ideas.
- Point of View, 2005
3 to 28 May
The camera offers up an image of the landscape which becomes some kind of surrogate possession of that inspirational moment. Subsequent art practice then becomes a process of give-and- take where the fragments of landscape are altered by the precedence of art history.
I rarely see a fragment of landscape anywhere without seeing other landscapes in other art. It is difficult to view a landscape without visions of places I either desire or despise. In the linear patterns of aerial views are the hypnotic works of Kathleen Petyarre or Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula. The salt plains of Lake Eyre become the broad expressive brush strokes of Franz Kline. Aerial landscapes of the Central Desert are now the still lifes of ribbons and froufrou in the rhinestone of chalcedony. In the colours of Alice Springs lie the palettes of the spiritual resonances of Lascaux and Kata Juta where red mounds protect blue/green and violet. At Uluru the rusting stones and sand become ancient fragments set in red and the complex rural patchwork of the Western Plains merge with Amish Quilts soaked in the richness of simplicity. Somewhere in all these narratives of infinite possibilities I attempt to find my own poetry.
Art + Humour
- curated group exhibition, 2005
5 to 30 April
Making art is serious business, however this show is dedicated to the more effervescent side of the visual arts.
In conjunction with some of Australia?s leading commercial galleries, we are pleased to exhibit a group of talented artists who work within a whimsical genre.
Artists include - John Kelly, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne; Wendy Sharpe and John Turier, King Street Gallery on Burton; Noel McKenna, courtesy of Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, and Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide; Anne Ross; James Guppy; Carol Murphy and Barbara Licha.
Please join us for a little light hearted humour.
Melinda Le Guay
- Marking Time, 2005
8 March to 2 April
In a culture where continuous change, speed and efficiency signify progress and success, slowness has become synonymous with time wasted. Tenuously based on the grid ? a system imposing order - my work is an ongoing attempt to document the passing of time. Whether drawn, stitched, folded, wound or unravelled, the constructed lines continually threaten to defy order, requiring constant correction and adjustment. As if the hand had a memory, the slow repetitive and often tedious processes of creating lines finally becomes meditative.
Using a pared back vocabulary of lines, common materials and skills often associated with domesticity and home crafts, my art making has become less about the finished object and more about the process, the act of ?getting there? rather than ?arriving?.
- Inside/Outside, 2005
8 march to 2 April
Within the context of these works the porcelain acts as a metaphorical skin for constructed representations of plants, the wall that divides the internal and external biology of these contrivances.
The skin performs several functions. Initially it contains and secures; it functions as a protective barrier; and is the supporting structure for the internal mass.
Similarly, the porcelain skin acts as a division and a bridge between the hidden inside and the exposed outside. It is the vehicle of both connection and separation. Lastly the external surface is a medium for display and exposure and while acting as a protective mechanism it is also a means of communication.
Utilising imagery adapted from microscopic observations, this body of work deals with breaching the protective wall or skin and examining the inner workings. It looks at the effects of removing the support and the means of containment.
- Juliana Bartulin, Rhonda Charles, Claudia Chaseling, Melissa Hirsch, Therese Howard, Anna Schulz, Morgan Shimeld, 2005
8 February to 5 March
Juliana Bartulin?s sculptural installations reference an aesthetic and the idea of devotion in art. The work results from assiduous and meditative processes that trace the time and experience of artistic creation. Therese Howard?s sculptures are cast in bronze and draw attention to the small and seemingly insignificant occurrences of the everyday. Howard?s work exhibits modernist nuances of the Duchampian ready-made and extrapolates on and re-works compositions by Kasimir Malevich; in particular his seminal Suprematist series, ?White on White?. Rhonda Charles has an ongoing interest in various aspects of perception and visuality, with light and shadow continually informing the work. Claudia Chaseling draws inspiration from romantic landscape painting as well as the harsh view of urban man-made environments; Melissa Hirsch?s multi media creations grow from an interest in basketry and objects from the natural environment; Morgan Shimeld explores form and texture with cast bronze and glass; whereas Anna Schulz?s delicate hand-built ceramic objects show the intricacies and patterns of marine life.
- Kinetic Art, 2005
11 January to 5 February
Our theme for the 2005 exhibition is Kinetic Art - work that utilises motion and energy. The Gallery will feature a group show titled "Ohm Sweet Ohm" - a playful exploration of the artistic possibilities of kinetic energy created by a loose collective of artists drawn together by their common interest in all things electrical. This diverse group met through a short-course electronic workshop conducted by sculptor Alan Giddy (at COFA).
The diversity of the aesthetic and conceptual interest of the participating artists and the resulting artworks created by them, provide a glimpse into the range of creative potential in working with energy.
Works in the exhibition will incorporate recycled materials, domestic objects and mechanical devices given new life and meaning through the addition of electronically operated functions, as well as installations that employ the use of light, sound and digital/projected imagery.