WANDA GILLESPIE

Seeker 2 (Kai) 2016, Woodcarving (ash), fur, fabric 160 x 70 x 50cm

At first glance the carefully carved wooden sculptures, wrapped in fur seem to be artefacts that hark back to a time of cavemen. They are a type of artefact, however Gillespie has imagined them to be artefacts of the future.  Pulling on your imagination and your grip of time is exactly what Gillespie
intends to do. Playing with fiction, in her artist statement she outlines, “a visual representation of mystical practices, Levitation Practice uses wood carved figurative sculptures to instruct ‘seekers’ on a possible path for transcendence from the physical to spirit worlds. The exact historical creation of these figures is uncertain. Many speculations point to their being from around the 2160s, a time of great spiritual enquiry and reflection, when survivors commemorated 80 years since the colossal environmental disaster of 2083 that saw most of the earth’s human, animal and plant life extinct.”
Whilst grounded in time by their material nature, and situated in the Asia Pacific regions due to
the specific plant life from Australia and New Zealand, the use of wood and fur imbues the objects
with great spiritual significance. Levitation Practice is the artist’s own ritual that she invites you to.
In presenting artefacts from a future time, Gillespie invites the viewer to explore the possibility
of alternate realities where all exists simultaneously and time is mere illusion. 

The Seeker

It had always been there, casually tucked away in the living room. Nobody took much notice of it. A relic of more simple minds and simple times. As a child I had always been drawn to it as though it held some kind of magic aura in its craftsmanship. Of stories within the rings of its wood; of summers and winters, and determination, resilience to grow during the difficult times of regeneration after the major environmental disaster of 2083. It had been carved by my great great grandmother apparently in the late 2150’s during the time of the Great Regeneration. She had been chosen along with several other artists from (what was left of) the Australasia pacific region, to create this body of work for the ‘High Commission for Human Awakening’, (a group of spirits working on raising the level of human consciousness on the earthly plain). Their assignment was to create figurative wood carved sculptures illustrating methods for levitation practice. Instructing seekers on a path to transcendence from the purely physical dimensions to an integrated existence within the spirit and earthly worlds. It came to be known that through regular mediation and levitation practice, humans would make the necessary evolutionary leaps needed for long term survival. 

My grandmother recalls late nights in the artist’s studio, watching her mother using archaic chisels and mallets to slowly tap away at the wood, peeling back layers of time and memories. At times she seemed to talk to herself, as she communed with the spirits, or would seem to think deeply while in telepathic communication with the fellow artists working on the project. She was instructed to create the faces of the primary guiding spirits who would assist the changes in the souls then living. The spirits markings and knowledge were strange for people at that time, but slowly the collective conscious took hold, and our earthly ancestors began to understand the many layers of space, time, reality, and the various subtle realms. Higher Consciousness Integrating Calculators were used to assist the seekers in their daily practice, ascending one level, one bead at a time, until like bicycle training wheels, they were no longer needed. 

The figure lays there almost asleep, balancing between two logs. The wood and fur had been so rare at that time it was a marvel, indeed painstakingly created as a precious object of great spiritual importance. As I touched the smoothed wood surface, I felt the messages encoded in the material. Hope and fear for the future, a deep sorrow for the past and regret for the earths’ destruction at the hands of human kind. As the sensations became more intense, my whole body remembered, and in my mind’s eye, I saw the sculptures appear in an earlier period, sent in hope of planting the seed of evolution in previous generations. 

In my mind’s eye I see the sculptures appear in an earlier period, sent in hope of planting the seed of evolution in previous generations. 

- Wanda Gillespie

Artist Bio
Wanda Gillespie is an Auckland/Melbourne-based contemporary artist. She uses sculpture,
photography and video to explore fictions and ideas around history, culture, ritual and ceremony. In
2000 she migrated to Australia returning to New Zealand briefly to complete her BFA at the Elam
School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. In 2009, Wanda completed a Masters of Fine Arts at
the Victorian College of the Arts and was the recipient of the VCA’s Vulcan Steel tutorship award.
Her work has been exhibited widely in Melbourne as well as internationally in Indonesia, France,
Italy, and the USA. Career highlights include exhibiting in the National Sculpture Prize, a residency
to Indonesia through Asialink, and project funding through Arts Victoria, Australia Council and the
City of Melbourne She was the recipient of the Art and Australia Credit Suisse Private Banking
Contemporary Art Award for 2014.
For further information go to: MARS Gallery www.marsgallery.com.au
Tel: 03 9521 7517 Email: andy@marsgallery.com.au

KATE HENDRY

Ben and Helena – forward and backwards 2006 - 2015

Kate Hendry is a Melbourne based sculptor who has been working across a broad range of mediums and
styles for the past 15 years. Her practice has been predominantly focused around process based methods working in mild steel. Hendry has maintained her interest and practice in sculptural construction, modelling and reduction carving; and since taking on her teaching role at Melbourne Grammar School has returned to some of these processes
in her own work. These two sculptures exhibited demonstrate a varied approach to direct modelling in clay. Both are modelled from life and one is then cast into plaster. The second is a hand built
ceramic bust – a working example for students when engaged in the current figurative
sculpture project as part of the MGS Core Creative Arts Program.
Artist Biography
2000 Bachelor of Asian Studies – Japanese and Asian Literature Majors, ANU
2002 Bachelor of Fine Arts – Sculpture,Victorian College of the Arts
2012 Graduate Diploma of Teaching – Visual Arts 2000 Deakin University
2015 Masters of Teaching Deakin University
For further information go to: www.anitatraversogallery.com.au/Artists/KATEHENDRY.
aspx

GUAN WEI

Land of the Dreaming No.6, 2014, ceramic, 41 x 30 cm

“...I have discovered the wonderful medium of ceramics, a form that has a very deep and long history, in itself holding the password to all culture and historical legends. The name
‘Archaeology’ inspires within me ideas that are mysterious, sensual, and distant, ideas that are all linked to our memory of culture.” Guan Wei, 2014

GUAN WEI was born in 1957, Beijing, China. In 1989, three years after graduating from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University, Guan Wei came to Australia to take up an artist-in-residence at the Tasmanian School of Art. He was invited to undertake two further residencies: at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (1992), and at the Canberra School of Art, ANU (1993). Since then he obtained many grants, including Australia Council’s grant for Greene St New York studio in 2003, Cite International des Arts Paris in 2007 & Fellowship in 2008-2009. In 2008 he set up a studio in Beijing. He now lives and works in both Beijing and Sydney.

As a Chinese national who emigrated to Australia, Guan Wei’s artistic practice draws on his personal experience of both Chinese and Australian culture, as well as a profound connection with Australia’s indigenous peoples and ancestry. Famous internationally for his paintings and site-specific installations, in Archaeology Guan Wei extends his distinctive visual language to the classic form of ceramics, crossing civilisations and histories to tell potent stories of immigration, colonisation, identity and cultural tolerance. In the three groups of work, entitled Land of the Dreaming, Wonderland and Extraordinary World, his allegories coil around the bellies of each form, conveying an iconic blend of Guan Wei motifs, humour and wisdom, steeped in the ceramic tradition and painted in the beautiful cobalt blue.

For further details, contact ARC ONE GALLERY 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne T: 9650 0589 mail@arc1gallery.com arcone.com.au

KATE ROHDE

Rabbit Urn, 2015, Resin

“I’ve always loved really crazy, excessive detailing in
art and design, which in some ways has always seemed at odds with what we now consider good taste.” 

Kate Rohde's artwork and functional pieces are jointly inspired by an intersecting love of natural history and the ornate decorative arts spanning several eras, most notably the Rococo era.
“These vessels form part of a collection I titled ‘Ornament Crimes’ in cheeky reference to the Adolf Loos Bauhaus’ essay ‘Ornament as Crime’, that was written at the advent of the modernist era and rallied against excessive decoration, believing it had a degenerative effect on society”. With their ornate detailing and brave colours, Kate’s vessels command attention, and teeter on the borderline of fine art and functional design. After creating simple drawings outlining the basic design for each piece, Kate models each one in intricate detail in clay – this is where much of the design is resolved. Once the clay model is completed, she makes a silicone mould, and casts each piece in resin.
Since completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2001, Rohde has held several solo exhibitions and been involved in numerous group shows around Australia and internationally, including the 2013-2014 survey of art and design at 'Melbourne Now' at the National Gallery of Victoria. Kate's artwork is held in a number of public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, University of Queensland Art Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Kate Rohde is represented by Karen Woodbury Gallery, Level 1, 167 Flinders Lane, Melbourne www.karenwoodburygallery.com www.katerohde.com

RICHARD STRINGER

Replica sculptures 2016 – Unlimited Editions. Cultured alabaster

Replica Museum #5 is part of an expanding project to create miniatures of my own
past sculptures. These range from small-scale works to public artworks such as Queen Bee at
Eureka Tower or Monument for a Public Building at the St Kilda Town Hall. These replicas are
made in unlimited edition and are produced in a material misleadingly known as ‘alabaster’, in the
manner of the ‘Athena’ and ‘David’ statues one finds in the souvenir stalls of Athens and Florence.
BIOGRAPHY Richard Stringer is a Melbourne based artist. He has held ten solo exhibitions in
Australia and has participated in exhibitions in New Zealand and Singapore. He has received
project funding from Australia Council, Arts Victoria and City of Melbourne and has also taken up
residencies in Italy, New Zealand, Burkina Faso and Germany. His work is represented in the
National Gallery of Victoria and private collections in N.Z, Europe and North America. His public
sculptures in Melbourne include ‘Queen Bee’ at Eureka Tower and ‘Monument for a Public Building’
at the St Kilda Town Hall. Richard is currently a PhD candidate at Monash University and a
member of the University of Queensland archaeological team in Cyprus.
For further details of Richard’s practice, go to: www.richardstringer.com.au
or contact Richard Stringer Tel: 0401293012 email: richardstringer@netspace.net.au

LOUSJE SKALA

Chrome plated Necklace & Bracelet's CNC milled in ABS

My Jewellery practice, is concerned with language, communication, interpersonal engagement, social connection and disconnection. I use CAD / CAM to produce my work.

I create wearable objects in order to start a conversation, an interpersonal dialogue between the wearer, viewer and, less overtly, with me as maker.

I want my objects to act as mediators so that in their own small way they can counterbalance the disconnection, which I assert digital-social-media is having on interpersonal relationships today. This disconnection arises out of a modern cultural tension that is generated by interpersonal detachment resulting from the ubiquity of personal digital devices used for virtual connections, rather than tools to facilitate face-to-face interpersonal relationships.

Objects utilise a potent language, they speak to us and my large wearable objects, made with cutting edge digital techniques evoke provocative dialogue between the wearer and viewer.

Lousje holds a Masters Degree in Visual Art and a Masters Degree in Fine Art, both from Monash University. She has an undergraduate qualification in Art and Design from RMIT University.

She exhibits both nationally and internationally, has been acquired by important art institutions and private collectors both locally and abroad; currently she has works on show at the Power House Museum Sydney; in 2013 she was selected by the NGV to exhibit in Melbourne NOW.

For further information please contact Lousje Skala on lousje@bigpond.net.au

JUD WIMHURST 

Big Mouth Helmet, 2014

One of Australia’s most exciting young talents, Jud Wimhurst is pushing sculpture in a refreshing and dynamic new direction. Wimhurst describes his work as ‘spoilt children’. After their conception he allows them to tell him exactly what they need or want and he sees it as his job to do these things for them.
Wimhurst experiments and finetunes his technique in his studio, he even makes his own tools in order to make his work. Wimhurst utilizes such materials as wood, clear acrylic sheet, inks, resins and heavy lacquers.

Wimhurst was born in 1974 and completed a Bachelor Of Fine Art at RMIT in 1997. His most recent Solo Exhibition was Safe/Secure 2014 at MARS Gallery, Windsor, Melbourne.He has been a featured artist at both the Tarrawarra Museum of Art and McClelland Sculpture Park and it is clear that he is moving well into the lime-light.

He might be best known for his series of luxe, ornamental skateboards but Safe/Secure focuses his ongoing interest in consumerism, pop culture and design on the head and its physical and psychological vulnerability, represented by a series of elaborately adorned helmets.

For further information please go to: http://judwimhurst.com, or MARS Gallery, 7 James Street,  Windsor. 9521 7517. http://marsgallery.com.au

 

YHONNIE SCARCE

Blue Danube, 2015, Blown glass, 60 (l) x 21 (w) x 22 (h) cm

This arresting body of work focuses on the issues surrounding British bomb tests carried out at Maralinga, South Australia. The installation includes individual hand-blown glass bombs which mimic the model dropped over land still used by Indigenous groups in the area. Scarce is one of few Australian artists to explore the political and aesthetic power of glass, and her new body of work hones in on the issues surrounding Maralinga, demonstrating their wider impact and unearthing the ignorance of the time. 

The installation includes individual hand-blown glass bombs mimicking the ‘Blue Danube’, a model identified by its four fins, which were designed to create a stable ballistic trajectory. Each glass bomb houses a collection of Scarce ́s iconic hand-blown glass bush yams. 

Yhonnie Scarce was born in Woomera, South Australia and belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. Using contemporary glass techniques, Yhonnie ́s work is both politically motivated and personally driven. 

Yhonnie ́s recent exhibitions include Saying No: Reconciling Spirituality and Resistance in Indigenous Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, New York, 2011; Deadly: In-between Heaven and Hell, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide, 2012; and Personal Structures, Time Space Existence, Palazzo Bembo, 55th Venice Biennale 2015. 

Yhonnie Scarce is represented by This is No Fantasy and Dianne Tanzer Gallery, 108-110 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy Tel 9417 7172 www.thisisnofantasy.com 

JANE BURTON

The work is by Melbourne artist
Jane Burton from her recent series
In other bodies

It is the experience of living in this world, in flesh and in spirit, which absorbs me, whether it is my own tangible experience of the present, or of others before us. My photographs are an attempt to channel sensations, perceptions and imaginings as a means to inhabit other histories, other landscapes, unfamiliar rooms, and other bodies.“ Jane Burton

In Other Bodies is a new series by Melbourne based photographer Jane Burton. The photographs were made using a pinhole camera – a primitive tool: essentially a box with a small hole in it, which has no lens whereby the artist has little control over focus or framing.
Burton chose to work with this camera precisely for its peculiarities and limitations, employing them to create images that were captured ‘sightless’; relying instead on second-sight: that of intuition, the subconscious, and the imagination. Taking this technique further using the camera’s propensity for multiple-exposure to create composite, layered images in-camera.
In this series Burton continues to explore themes that have been recurrent in her work– the naked female figure – her sexuality and psychology, and the landscape as the locus of her corporeal experience, as well as symbolic expression of her psyche. 

For further information please contact: Sarah Ritson at Karen Woodbury Gallery: 03 9639 5855 E: info@kwgallery.com Level 1, 167 Flinders Lane Melbourne www.karenwoodburygallery.com

LISA ROET

CHIMPANZEE THUMB

85CM H X 50CM,  HONEY ONYX, 2014

For the past 25 Years Lisa Roet has have been working with the image of the ape and monkey within her visual art practice. Environmental issues, genetic discoveries and the evolving place of humanity in nature are themes addressed. Through an interdisciplinary approach to Roet’s practice she has worked consistently with primatologists, environmentalists and scientists to gather the information forming the conceptual basis of her work.   
The image of the ape finger/thumb has reoccurred in Roet’s practice for over 15 years with the chimpanzee digit separated form the hand as an ambiguous gestural symbol. The finger is seen as a vehicle for communication and as the scientific link to mankind’s use of tools as the axis of humanities achievements. 
Chimpanzee Thumb/Honey Onyx forms part of a recent exhibition held at Karen Woodbury Gallery,2013 titled “When I laugh, He Laughs with me” 
www.lisaroet.com

 

PETER D COLE

INDIA SONG SERIES #3’, 2013, PAINTED AND PATINATED BRASS AND ALUMINIUM

A RESPONSE TO A VISIT TO RAJASTHAN

Peter D Cole was born in Gawler SA, moved to Adelaide and studied Sculpture at the South Australian School of Art where he was awarded the H.P. Gill Medal in 1968. Since the 1970’s Cole has been based in Kyneton, Victoria, where he has established himself as one of Australia’s senior and most renowned contemporary sculptors. Cole has largely lived and worked in rural areas of Australia, drawing on the landscape as a source of inspiration and recent research trips to Japan and India have added to his rich source material.

As public artist, Cole has made a significant contribution to the urban landscape and public spaces of Australia receiving the Australian National Trust Heritage Award and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture Award of Merit for Foundation Park, a permanent work at The Rocks, Sydney. He is highly sought for commissions and his work is prominent in many public and corporate collections throughout Australia, including Parliament House, Canberra, the National Gallery of Australia, and Brisbane International Airport. Jessica Bridgefoot, 2014

For more information on Peter D Coles work, go to http://peterdcole.com.au/ 

 

DANIEL AGDAG

‘THE SOUTHERLY’, 2014, CARDBOARD, TRACE PAPER, WITH HAND-BLOWN GLASS DOME MOUNTED ON WOODEN BASE,  58 X 30 CM

The Principles of Aerodynamics is a physical solution to the manifestation of a psychological problem.

The pieces collectively form an ongoing pursuit of ‘escape’ through the metaphor of flight, where some may be successful and others may not.

Artist Daniel Agdag will tell you that he makes things out of cardboard. He’s modest. This declaration in no way illuminates the delicate form and eccentric narrative of his work. His pieces are created entirely from the unassuming medium of cardboard and glue. To say he pushes the medium to its limits is an understatement. A Melbourne based artist and filmmaker, Agdag has been toiling away in his tiny studio in Melbourne’s South Yarra creating intricate, alluring and often hypnotically complex sculptures.

Agdag is a creator of meticulously executed, industrial machinery of his own imagining. His work examines the often unheeded underlying mechanisms that provide function to the world as we know it. In many ways his creations are of symbolic self-analysis, reconstructed and preserved under glass cloches, as if to be studied. 

Agdag describes his process as ‘sketching with cardboard’, as he makes no detailed plans or drawings of the pieces he creates. His work has been described as architectural in form, whimsical in nature and inconceivably intricate. 

Agdag completed a first class honours degree at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2007. His cardboard practice has lent itself to his award winning short films screening worldwide, garnering a ‘Dendy Award’ and AFI nomination. Agdag’s first solo exhibition staged at MARS Gallery, ‘The Principles of Aerodynamic’ was a sell-out show.

To view Daniel’s past works please visit MARS Gallery www.marsgallery.com
To enquire about upcoming exhibitions by Daniel please contact Andy Dinan, andy@marsgallery.com.au

 

Clare Rae

A video installation by Clare Rae

In this suite of video works Clare Rae explores her immediate environment through a repetitive physical act; either climbing up and around a storage rack in the NGV store rooms, climbing on a set of monkey bars, or swinging around a pole at a suburban train station. Often the activity undertaken becomes fatiguing as the movement is repeated, to the point of exhaustion. Made up of individual photographic stills that are placed together to create motion, these video works explore the space between the still and moving image and continue Clare’s interests in the possibilities of photography to capture subjectivity.   Clare Rae engages photography, stop motion animation and performance to navigate and defy the limitations of the everyday environments she inhabits. 

Recent solo exhibitions include Interact at Sydney Contemporary (2013), VIDEOS at Beam Contemporary (2012) and Climbing the Walls and Other Actions (2009) at the Centre for Contemporary Photography. Recent group exhibitions include Melbourne Now (2013) at the National Gallery of Victoria, and Stages (2014) at Boxcopy in Brisbane. In 2011 Rae was awarded a New Work Grant by the Australia Council for the Arts, and in 2009 she was the recipient of the CCP/Colour Factory Award. In 2010, 2012 and 2014 she was a finalist in the William and Winifred Bowness Prize at the Monash Gallery of Art. In 2014 Clare completed the Master of Fine Art degree by research at Monash University, where she teaches in Photomedia. 

For further details of Clare’s practice, go to: www.clarerae.com

 

Heather B Swann

Heather B Swann, Talking Heads 2014, wood, paper, glue, pigment, marble dust

Heather B. Swann's work is at once figurative and abstract, its animal and human imagery expressed in refined formal organisation and sensual curvature. Swann's practice is informed by a strong ethic of making, of the hand, and she draws inspiration and example from the artisanal traditions of prehistoric, classical, medieval and folk art. In her sculptures there is a clear sense of cultural continuity, even of deja -vu, as the works' weirdness, eroticism, anger or whimsy adheres to the familiar forms of practical things: furniture, tools, utensils, vessels. More significantly, Swann's commitment to the material and technical disciplines of carving, modelling and tailoring produces sculptures which are original, singular, solid, irreducible 'things-in-the-world'. Previously unimagined, once made and seen they become an integral, unforgettable part of the visible, tangible universe.

Heather B. Swann currently lives and works in Melbourne. In 1993 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours at the University of Tasmania & in 2003 she completed her Master of Fine Arts also at the University of Tasmania. Swann has held several major solo exhibitions around Australia. Heather has received many important awards & commissions that include the prestigious Goddard Sapin-Jaloustre Scholarship, France & the Rosamund McCulloch Scholarship, University of Tasmania, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France. Heather B. Swann's work is held in numerous prominent private & public collections such as: the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Artbank, Latrobe University, Melbourne and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria. If you are interested in more work by Heather B Swann go to: Karen Woodbury Gallery www.kwgallery.com or heatherbswann.com

 

Rosa Tato

An installation by Rosa TatoMetal Tu Don Series, mild steel, 6 pieces

Rosa is inspired by impressions, experiences and conversations. The present work was created following a residency in Shanghai in 2006 and 2007 where the artist discovered the ‘Tu Don’ (a traditional piece of Chinese lingerie) a unique, rare, traditional Chinese object symbolised by another fragment of time. The 'Tu Don' series touches on the idea of its current silent preservation in a constantly changing environment. A cultural collision conceptually underpinned the development of this work.

Artist Biography

Rosa is currently based in Melbourne, Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Arts - Sculpture and Honours at RMIT University in 2007. She produces artworks that are richly embedded in memory, stories, history and a sense of place.  Her work seamlessly crosses between the platforms of public art and personal professional practice. She consistently explores the tensions between material form and ephemeral light/shadow interplay. In 2006 Rosa was the recipient of an artist-in-residence research grant to work in Shanghai. The research culminated in a body of work that has since been exhibited at RMIT University Gallery & NEM Art Summit, Barcelona, Spain in 2010. A few of these works are currently on show at Gear Box Gallery. In 2010 she installed a permanent work for Crown Casino in Melbourne commissioned by BatesSmart and was also the recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts’ ArtStart Grant. In 2011, City of Melbourne funded an exciting collaborative project where she has been working with newly arrived refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia & other culturally diverse community groups at North Melbourne Housing Commission.  The work plays on the idea of working with the past, and giving back something rich in history to the environment at the housing tower – a visual outcome in a public space. 

Recent exhibitions & projects include Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Conduit Arts (2013) NGV Studio (2012); Toyota Community Spirit Sculpture Exhibition (2011); Toyota Community Spirit Travel Award Finalist (2011).Rosa specializes in Private & Commercial site specific commissions/projects, Public Art, Community Arts/Collaboration, & VIP interpreting in the Arts (Spanish).

 

Penny Byrne

An installation by Penny Byrne, iPROTEST Houla Syria (1) 2013 & iPROTEST Houla Syria (2) 2013, vintage porcelain figurines, epoxy resin, enamel paints 24 x 64.5cm

Penny Byrne is a visual artist who uses materials such as vintage porcelain figurines and other found objects to create artworks that wield a powerful political message. These manipulated, mutilated and painted figurines explore issues concerning the environment, pop culture and global politics, all presented through Byrne’s inimitable mix of wry satire and playful humour. Byrne’s reputation as a respected ceramics conservator informs her practice, rendering her works as meticulous and studied subversions.

Penny Byrne’s recent solo exhibitions include Political Porcelain, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra (2011/12), Life is a Riot, Albury LibraryMuseum, Albury, NSW (2012), Plausible Deniability, Sullivan+Strumpf Fine Art, Sydney (2011), and Penny Byrne: Commentariat, a Deakin University touring show (2011/12). Recent group exhibitions include Haunts and Follies, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2012), Made to Last, A NETS touring exhibition (2012/13), Clash: Contemporary Sculptural Ceramics, Newcastle Region Gallery, Newcastle (2011), and Thing: Beware of the Material World, Art Gallery of Western Australia (2009). In 2010, Byrne was featured as the subject of a documentary for the ABC TV program Artscape.

If you are interested in more work by this artist, Penny Byrne is represented by Fehily Contemporary, 3a Glasshouse Road, Collingwood, www.fehilycontemporary.com.au

 

John Waller

An installation by John Waller, Study for Terres 2013

“In the tradition of New York Abstract Expressionist art, Waller explores the infinite gestural and expressive possibilities of his chosen medium. Layer upon layer his works evolve and transform, almost organically in response to the primal qualities of paint and process.” Dr Alana O’Brien, La Trobe University Art Museum, 2006.

John Waller’s paintings are derived from the landscape he has an emotional empathy with. Like most professional artists of his generation, Waller is visibly concerned with the craft of painting: the immediate quality we are aware of when viewing his works is the brushwork, his tasty handling of oil pigment, the way it has been trowelled and scraped and smeared into most evocative textures. Yet a landscape subject is always insistently there in his geometric forms, shapes that speak directly of the experience of rural Australia, the way that the land is cris-crossed by razor-straight roads and fences of immense length so that, from a raised viewpoint, it resembles an arrangement of huge irregular rectangles. Indeed, thinking beyond the adroitly worked paint, we might start to perceive that some of Waller’s oblongs appear filled with dried grass, some with traces of struggling crops, some with the sun-pounded red earth. What we are looking upon is not any landscape; it repeatedly echoes the painter’s childhood home that bleached expanse sitting between by the Murray River and the desert in southwestern New South Wales. The artist, who as a child discovered Aboriginal remains of great antiquity there, looks on this as the scene not just of his own youth. Framed by the bustling modern town of Mildura in the south, and the ancient archeological site of Lake Mungo to the north, this plain has witnessed the cycle of human toil for fifty thousand years. Hence, packed with emptiness, the wheat and ochre-coloured world of Waller’s painting often contains the blurry spectral form of passing humanity in mid-field.

John Waller is represented by Mossgreen, 926 High Street, Armadale, www.mossgreen.com.au

 

George Tzakis

The Earth sings: Listen through the silence and you will hear the Earth’s longing to create, and her deathly detachment towards the destruction of her own creations.

If you can enter into the Earth’s presence you have entered into a state of Prayer. Within this silence you sense her immortal longing for life and death.

Within this space of Presence, you can feel the vulnerability and fragility of life. There is nothing more beautiful, or terrifying, than to be in this state of Prayer with the Earth: a simple sweet tenderness that offers no consolation to the knowing of our own mortality – just an invitation to embrace her mystery and to lose ourselves in her immortal essence.

George Tzikas has a Masters of Fine Art from RMIT University and has exhibited at various galleries throughout Melbourne in the past few years.  He explores religious and existential issues through painting and draws inspiration from early 20th Century Western Abstraction, Western Romanticism, Chinese Taoism, Christian Esoteric and Yogic practices.

 

Troy Emery

An installation by Troy Emery

Black Fox II  2013, high density taxidermy foam and rayon tassels , 52 x 24 x 37 cm, 

Pure Evil  2013, High density taxidermy foam, polyester pompoms, plastic teeth and glass eyes

41 x 27 x 32 cm 

Emery uses high-density foam moulds more commonly utiilsed by Taxidermists, substituting thepelt for brightly colored polyester pom poms and tassels. He refers to these sculptures as ‘fake taxidermy’ because they mimic the process of taxidermy without actually producing a real result. The particular animals he chooses to work with fall between being exotic and easily recognisable. The taxidermy mannequins used represent species including mountain lions, wolves, and foxes but with the addition of their colourful pelts they can sometimes become harder to classify. Like nature itself, some of the animal’s poses and statures seem aggressive, contradicting their soft, colourful costumes - as in the menagerie of the zoo, the primary concern is with appearances. A tension between decoration and representation is present when looking at animals. They are not only living creatures: Animals can be seen as decorative objects. Pets decorate living spaces, furs decorate the body, animal patterns decorate furniture, taxidermy decorates the museum diorama, and hunting trophies decorate the hunter. 

Troy Emery grew up in Toowoomba Queensland but relocated to Hobart where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (hons) at the Hobart School of Art, University of Tasmania (2005) and then completed a Masters of Fine Art at Sydney College of the Arts (2010). His practice is now based in Melbourne where he continues to enjoy his fascination with pom poms. 

Troy Emery is represented by Gould Galleries, 270 Toorak Road, South Yarra. www.gouldgalleries.com

 

Cat Poljski

Site-Specific-Space for LSM 12

Cat Poljski’s work reflects on city fragments where these cities are elaborated in a visual language of disjointed perspectives and viewpoints, multi-layered and mutated in the prints to suggest a sense of space. The images draw on the experiences of ‘stepping out’ of a familiar environment. She is interested in cityscapes as a subject for recording and observing particular cities. The spirit of a city and its transient nature are also an influence. Equally significant in the images is the laborious process in which she makes the work. 

The printmaking techniques are made up of many layers and changing visual effects. This develops into a visual language in dealing with the construction of buildings. Irregular line work and the actual inking of the plates can vary each time she prints the copper plates. Different characteristics that then emerge from the plates are assembled to create an ambiguous sense of space. 

The sensation of a viewer’s experience of space as they engage with the work is an important factor. In this site specific installation the laser cut steel plates are made as separate layers revealing a buildings’ structure initially captured through a camera lens and then reconfigured in printmaking and digital processes. The paper cut façade reinforces the shadows that are cast from light to project the illusion of space within a contained frame. The process of collecting and assembling images for the installation marks an important stage in the production of the final image. The starting point is the centre of a city. 

Cat completed a Diploma of Fine Arts at RMIT in 1986, Diploma of Education in 1990 at Hawthorn Institute (University of Melbourne), and MFA at Monash Uni in 2011. She has taught art at Melbourne Grammar Motorworks since 1999, while continuing to develop her own practice. She has  exhibited widely, with solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and her work is held in public and private collections. Cat Poljski is represented by Jenny Port Gallery, www.jennyportgallery.com.au. Or go to www.catpoljski.com

 

DEAN BOWEN

AN INSTALLATION

Small Echidna, 2013, Bronze. 9.5 x 3.5 x17 cm, Edition of 9

Echidna on my head, 2009, Bronze, 38 x 12.5 x 10 cm Edition of 9

Bird Lover, 2012, Bronze, 19.5 x 70.5 x 6.5 cm Edition of 9

Australian artist Dean Bowen is based in Melbourne.  He has been exhibiting paintings, bronze sculpture and prints for over twenty years and his works are represented in major public and private collections. He has held solo exhibitions in Australia, France, Japan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. www.deanbowen.com

 

Hu Genghua

Satisfied  2009, coloured resin, 45 x 45 x 52cm

Hu Genghua was born in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China in 1984. He gradated from the sculpture faculty of China’s most renowned creative arts school, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. Hu continues to live and produce work in bustling Beijing. 

Under a calm exterior works a mind of sharp intellect and wit. Hu’s latest sculptural works are full of humour and exaggerated absurdity however they contain a potent message. In today’s rapidly evolving Chinese society consumerism is at an all time high. When Deng Xiaoping, the most powerful figure in the Peoples Republic of China from the late 70’s till his death in 1997, declared that ‘to get rich is glorious’ he introduced Capitalist ideals into the strict communist regime of the day. China has since become the centre of bulk production which both stimulates and appeases the appetite of the masses. Consumption is the new religion of modern society. 

Hu critiques a culture where he believes individuals mindlessly indulge in gluttony and avarice. His comical imagery borders on grotesque as enormous, unrestrained figures fulfil their hedonistic desires. Hu notes that the blissful ignorant state that most of society operates under must be altered. Self-recognition is needed in order for changes to be made and for China and indeed the rest of the world to find a more healthy and harmonious way forward. 

Hu Genghua is represented by Ausin Tang Gallery, 164 High Street, Prahran. info@ausintanggallery.com

 

Kylie Stillman

The Opposite of Wild (Lavender, Basil and Rosemary) 2011

Book carving.

Filtering modern art and craft traditions through her own inventive sensibility, Melbourne-based artist, Kylie Stillman transforms common materials into divine works of art. Her sculptures reveal a dexterous ability to work with a range of materials, including paper stacks and timber constructs to outdated book volumes, plastic bottles, and Venetian blinds. 

Dating from 1999 her work has explored aspects of the natural world and ways in which it can be captured, represented and cultivated in tamed environments. In this way her work can be seen as representing the opposite of wild.

For Gearbox Gallery Kylie Stillman has created an installation of three book sculptures. The books are hand altered with a scalpel, the earthy coloured hues of the page edges frame the life-sized silhouette and contour, depicting three aromatic plants (Lavender, Basil and Rosemary). This enchanting and skilfully crafted work creates an intriguing sense of narrative through its careful interplay of presence and absence.

Kylie Stillman (born 1975, Melbourne) completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at RMIT in 1999. She has since exhibited widely, with several solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and overseas.Stillman was awarded the Australia Council studio residency in New York (2009) and Milan (2006) and in 2007 the City of Melbourne studio residency. Stillman has been commissioned to create large-scale artworks for Hermés Australia (2011) and Westpac Private Bank (2010) and her work is held in the collections of Artbank, and public and private collections.

Kylie Stillman is represented by Utopia Art Sydney. If you are interested in more works by this artist, go to: www.kyliestillman.com

 

Michael Needham

Journey of Articulation (Subsection) 2012-2013

Dental plaster, lead, prosthetic teeth, acid, 56 x 52 x 14cm.

Michael Needham is a Melbourne based visual artist and lecturer in Fine Art at Monash and Australian Catholic Universities. His practice primarily incorporates sculptural installation, drawing and architectural intervention. Among other things, Needham’s work explores myth, belief and residual melancholia in the contemporary psyche. Recent exhibitions have probed a relationship between representation and death through a visual and spatial exploration of body-space and trace.

Michael has recently returned from a three month Studio Residency in Rome at The British School at Rome, awarded by Australia Council. 

Needham has a PhD in fine art from Australian Catholic University and a BFA (Hons) from Monash University. He has held solo exhibitions at La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, Daine Singer, Death Be Kind, Stockroom Kyneton, Light Projects, Conical, Bus and Kings ARI. He has been the winner of the Stockroom Kyneton Prize (2011), Rookwood Necropolis Sculpture Award (2011) and Montalto Sculpture Prize (2004) and a finalist in the McClelland Sculpture Survey (2007). 

He will be speaking to the Senior School boys about his practice, and about the residency in Rome, at an informal lunch time session at Motorworks in the coming weeks.

Michael Needham is represented by Daine Singer, 325 Flinders Lane Melbourne. If you are interested in more work by this artist go to www.dainesinger.com

 

Stephen Benwell

Statue, athlete 2011 ceramic, height 46cm 

Stephen Benwell’s body of work, now spanning four decades, comprises ceramics, drawings, works on paper and paintings. He attended art school in the mid 1970's at the VCA. While not having any formal training in ceramics he made this medium the basis of his art practice. His work marries studio ceramics with the painterly and sculptural concerns of contemporary art. 

For the last decade Benwell has focused on a series of ceramic statues. First approached through 18th century figurines these works now look to Greco-Roman statuary. Always having a figurative style, this recent work continues to be informed by drawing and sculpting the nude, especially the male nude, adapting this form for an individual take on images of masculinity.

In 2009 Benwell was awarded the Inaugural Deakin University Small Sculpture Award and an Australia Council Visual Arts Board New Work Grant. On four occasions, he has been the recipient of the Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. In 2013 Heide Museum of Modern Art will present a retrospective of the artist's work.

Stephen Benwell is represented by Niagara Galleries, 245 Punt Road, Richmond.  If you are interested in more works by this artist, go to: www.niagara-galleries.com.au, or stephenbenwell.com

 

Tom Moore

Everything matters; if you think about it, less is actually less.  

Tom Moore, more than any other contemporary glass artist in Australia, has given full reign to his imagination to craft a menagerie of bizarre and wonderful creations. By adapting traditional glass-working techniques with contemporary media, Moore is able to create new and extraordinary visions alive with delight, wonder, humour and humility. And yet a steadfast seriousness underpins Moore’s work. His unconventional amalgams and imaginative narratives pose moral conundrums, foreshadowing ongoing environmental challenges and posing the possibility of enticing alternate paradigms. Could it be that these bold and busy creatures are a harbinger of a promising new order. 

Moore is represented by Helen Gory Galerie, 25 St Edmonds Road, Prahran. If you are interested in more works by this artist go to www.helengory.com or mooreismore.com. 

Moore’s work is in major public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Powerhouse Museum, the South Australian Museum. His work has been shown at institutions throughout Australia and overseas, including in ‘Making it New: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art’ at the MCA, 2009 and ‘Optimism’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2008. Moore was the subject of an ABC TV Artscape feature, ‘Glassorama’, which aired in 2009.

 

Julie Shiels

Placeholders 1-6, bronze, dimensions variable.

Artist Statement: The objects and the text in this work might be familiar but not recognisable. The bronze sculptures are cast from the empty spaces in clear plastic packaging, but bear little physical resemblance to the toys and implements originally enclosed in those transparent casings. Their origins are obscured and abstracted, just as we are distanced from the industrial processes used to produce the original goods. These sculptures are a metaphoric exploration of 21st century consumer culture.

Julie Shiels has been a practicing artist for over twenty years. Her most recent solo exhibitions have been Monash Gallery of Art (2009), RMIT Project Space (2010) and Linden Centre for Contemporary Art (2012). She has received arts development grants through City of Melbourne (2007 and 2010), Arts Victoria (2004) and the Australia Council for the Arts (2009), including a two-year Fellowship (Community Partnerships 2004–05). She has undertaken residencies in Hanoi, Vietnam (Australia Council,1997) and Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, China (2010 Toyota Travel Prize).

Her work is held in both public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, and the Australian Embassy, Vietnam.   Julie is currently undertaking a PHD at the Victorian College of the Arts and teaches in the post-graduate program in Art in Public Space at RMIT University.

Julie Shiels makes work for the gallery, public space including the web. Her practice includes installation and photography but she also stencils abandoned furniture in the street with quotes, truisms and stories. She is interested in exploring the way discarded objects can be reworked to capture narratives of contemporary life. Julie’s work re-values the abandoned or the overlooked to suggest a future archaeology a way of preserving the remnants of mass production in a post-industrial society.

To learn more about Julie’s practice, go to - Julieshiels.com.au    Writinginpublicspace.com

 

Ewen Coates

Multiverse

Artist statement: The title ‘Multiverse’ refers to the idea of multiple universes. Whether as a cosmological concept or an abstract set of verses played out in one’s mind, it is my aim to contain this theory in one abstract form and place it in the realm of ‘Satori’: depicting form as a negative space and splicing it into any environment, like an after image that evokes an emptying of mind. Satori is seen as the first stage to enlightenment or Nirvana-the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished. Sculpture in this sense shimmers between the object and the environment, bringing the surrounding landscape to the fore, much the same way ‘dark matter’ is perceived as the unseen fabric of the universe.

Ewen Coates is a graduate of VCA and has participated in a number of group exhibitions internationally, presenting his work at the NGA, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and nationally at the McClelland Sculpture Survey and Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Prize. Coates was awarded 1st Prize for 2009 Montalto Sculpture Prize and 1st Prize Central Goldfields Regional Art Gallery, Maryborough. His last solo exhibition ‘Post Velcro’ was presented at Deakin University Art Gallery in 2010 and ‘Overground’ at Gippsland Regional Art Gallery in 2007. Coates’ works are held in various public galleries in Australia including Heide Museum of Modern Art, Werribee Park Sculpture Walk and the Deakin University collection as well as private collections in Australia, US and UK. Ewen Coates is represented by Anna Pappas Gallery, 2-4 Carlton Street Prahran 3181. www.annapappasgallery.com

 

Roh Singh  .  Dianne Tanzer Gallery

Marty Bell  .  Previous Art Department Teacher 

Michael Doolan  .  Karen Woodbury Gallery

Daniel Dorell  .  Dianne Tanzer Gallery

Vera Moller  .  Sophie Gannon Gallery

Lorraine Connelly-Northey  .  Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi

Carl Scrase  .  John Buckley Gallery