Join Byron Arts Magazine and acclaimed Australian artist Michael Zavros for an exclusive evening of conversation, food and wine at the new gallery space of Elements I love… Byron Bay, on Saturday November 30. Guests will hear about Zavros’s practice first-hand in conversation with writer and independent curator Alison Kubler (Zavros’s partner) and his muse, his daughter Phoebe Zavros.

“Michael Zavros is well-known for his supreme fluency with paint. His visual vernacular of brushless trompe l'oeil rendering festished objects is unmistakable. Using his paintbrush like a wand, Zavros constructs contemporary mythologies surrounding materialism, consumerism and narcissism.” - Elli Walsh

In keeping with Zavros’s Greek heritage, guests will enjoy a Mediterranean banquet from the team at Kouzina, Byron Bay. The warmth of the local taverna and shared banquet menu will add to the conviviality of the dinner. The authentic Greek menu will include three courses using locally produced, seasonal ingredients served on handmade plates by Villa Rustica Ceramics. 

The gallery space will be styled by the team of Elements I love… and will include an assemblage of artworks, objects and furniture that will give us a unique insight into Michael’s own world. Elements I love… is a new purpose-built gallery space which will house Brooke Crowle and Tim McGuigan’s curated collection of antiques, architectural and decorated pieces. “We are extremely fortunate to be hosting Michael’s dinner in this amazing new gallery space” says Lisa Cowan, The Art Connector.

Byron Arts Magazine are  thrilled to announce a partnership with Audi Centre Gold Coast, who will continue the global brands support of arts and innovation in the Northern Rivers. “We are delighted to be supporting the BAM Art Series Dinner and look forward to supporting creative endeavours in the Byron region,” adds Frizelle Sunshine Automotive General Manager, Tania Meli.

The cost for the dinner and talk, including wines & Brookies gin cocktail is $140.

About Elements I love…

Elements I love… is a little bit obsessive about collecting and curating — for more than 20 years they have been scouring the world, bringing back antique elements that make interior spaces a little less ordinary. Now change has brought owners Brooke Crowle and Tim McGuigan to Byron Bay. Stitching another layer of history to an old warehouse in the Arts & Industrial Estate in Byron Bay and using mostly second-hand materials, they have created a purpose-built gallery space to house their curated collection of antiques, architectural and decorated pieces. This beautiful space will be open to the public in a multitude of ways — showroom, gallery, events, and more. Located at 6 Acacia St, Byron Bay.

About Kouzina, Byron Bay

Open for lunch and dinner, Kouzina Byron Bay provides a place for the community to gather, feast, rejoice and relax in an authentic Greek village setting. Inspired by the humble family owned Tavernas and Kafenios, visiting Kouzina, Byron Bay will invoke a strong sense of home, belonging, connection and celebration as everyone is welcomed by the warm hospitality, aromas and flavours of a traditional Greek village kitchen. 

Artist Bio

Michael Zavros (b.1974) is a leading Australian artist. His work has been exhibited in major museums throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. Michael Zavros graduated from Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1996. In 2012 Michael Zavros was awarded the inaugural Bulgari Art Award through the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 2010 he was awarded the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the world’s richest prize for portraiture. He has won three major Australian drawing prizes: the 2002 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, the 2005 Robert Jacks Drawing Prize, and the 2007 Kedumba Drawing Award, and has been a multiple Archibald Prize finalist. He was the recipient of the 2004 MCA Primavera Collex Art Award.

In 2016 Zavros showed a solo exhibition at Art Los Angeles Contemporary and in 2015 a solo at Art Basel Hong Kong. Other shows include Selectively Revealed, an Asialink and Experimenta Media Arts exhibition that toured to Korea, Indonesia and Thailand in 2012, New Nature at Govett Brewster Gallery, New Zealand in 2007 and Uncanny (the unnaturally strange), Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand.

Zavros’s selected Australian group exhibitions include Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 2016 at Art Gallery of South Australia, GOMAQ at Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2015, Wilderness at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2010, Scott Redford Vs Michael Zavros at the Institute of Modern Art, 2010, Contemporary Australia: Optimism at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2008, and Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2000.

Solo exhibitions include Bad Dad at Starkwhite, Auckland, 2014, A Private Collection: Artist Choice, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, The Prince, Rockhampton Art Gallery and Griffith University Art Gallery, The Good Son: Works on Paper, a survey exhibition in 2009 at Gold Coast City Art Gallery and Everything I wanted at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane in 2003/2004.

Zavros has been the recipient of several international residencies including the Australia Council Greene Street Studio, New York, 2014 Milan studio residency in 2001, and the Barcelona studio in both 2005 and 2010. In 2003 he was awarded a Cite International des Arts Residency in Paris through the Power Institute, University of Sydney. In 2004 he was awarded a studio residency at the Gunnery Studios, Sydney, from the NSW Ministry for the Arts.

In 2013 he was commissioned by the Australian War Memorial to paint a portrait of Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith and in 2016 he will paint Dame Quentin Bryce for the National Portrait Gallery. He served on the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts between 2007 and 2011 and currently sits on the Queensland College of Art Advisory Board.

His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including The National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, University of Queensland Art Museum, Artbank, National Portrait Gallery,  Griffith University Art Collection, Newcastle Region Art Gallery and Tasmanian Museum and Gallery.

Zavros is represented by Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane and STARKWHITE, Auckland.

Alison Kubler has a double major in Art History from the University of Queensland, Australia, and a Masters in Post-war and Contemporary Art History from Manchester University, England. Alison has over 20 years of experience working as a curator in museums and galleries in Australia. She worked as Arts Adviser to Senator the Hon George Brandis, SC, the Federal Minister for the Arts and Sport in 2007. She has held full-time curatorial positions at QUT Art Museum and Gold Coast City Art Gallery, and in a freelance capacity developed programs for Art Gallery of South Australia amongst other institutions. 

Alison is a Member of the Council of The National Gallery of Australia, an Ambassador for the Institute of Modern Art, and an Ambassador for the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. Alison is a regular contributor to art journals and magazines on the subjects of art and fashion. She took on the role of Editor of VAULT in May 2018. In November 2013 a book she co-authored with Mitchell Oakley-Smith entitled Art and Fashion in the Twentieth Century was published by Thames and Hudson UK and has subsequently been translated into German and Japanese. 

As art curator Alison has worked as Associate Curator, the University of Queensland Art Museum and on major public art commissions such as the refurbishment of the Brisbane International Airport. At present she is a curatorial advisor to Urban Art Projects on the public art for the major Queens Wharf Brisbane Redevelopment. She has been a regular external assessor for the Australia Council Visual Arts Board. Alison also sits on the Advisory Panel for the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI). She is married to artist Michael Zavros and they have 3 children, Phoebe (14), Olympia (12) and Leonidas (8). 



Janet Laurence

Artist Talk & Botanic Elixir Bar  

 Join Byron Arts Magazine and renowned Australian artist Janet Laurence for an exclusive evening of conversation and art at Pack Gallery, Bangalow on Saturday, April 27. Guests will enjoy a botanical experience with the recreation of Janet’s Elixir Bar curated by TOWN restaurant, Bangalow. 

Image courtesy Jacquie Manning

Image courtesy Jacquie Manning

A highlight of the evening will be a talk hosted by Lee Mathers from Northern Rivers Community Gallery who will discuss Janet’s passion for nature and her art. Lee was awarded an Australia Council and Object Design mentorship with Janet and worked on ‘A Medicinal Garden for Ailing Plants’, part of the 2010 Biennale of Sydney.

The Sydney artist’s work is currently the subject of a major survey show, Janet Laurence: After Naturerecently opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and curated by MCA Chief Curator, Rachel Kent.

“For those that can’t make it to Sydney we are recreating a taste of what audiences will experience with the reimagining of the botanical Elixir Bar,” says Lisa Cowan, The Art Connector who initiated the BAM Art Series Dinners.

A veteran art activist, Laurence was an advocate for the importance of nurturing nature and the need to address climate change long before it became the dominant narrative of our age.  She says she is unable to distinguish between her passion for nature and art, “I am really fortunate that I can use my art to speak about my passion for the environment. I feel a greater imperative to speak. In a way I am an activist. But the traditional idea of an activist is someone aggressively shouting something. I do the opposite. I try to entice you in to see the details. That’s my interest.”

Guests will enjoy a Brookie's gin cocktail on arrival followed by a delicious botanic tasting menu with matching wines curated by celebrated culinary team Katrina and Karl Kanetani. “It’s really exciting collaborating with Katrina and Karl from TOWN, they totally get the narrative behind the botanic theme and sensory elements of the Elixir Bar,” says Lisa Cowan.

For over 30 years, Janet Laurence has explored the interconnection of all living things – animal, plant, mineral – through her multi-disciplinary practice. Working across painting, sculpture, installation, photography and video, she has employed diverse materials to explore the natural world in all its beauty and complexity, as well as the environmental challenges it faces today: the epoch of the Anthropocene.

Laurence’s practice has encompassed small objects through to vast installations. Increasingly, in recent years, she has worked beyond the museum’s walls to transform public sites through her immersive installations and environments that use evocative natural materials such as ash, minerals and oxides, living plant matter, corals, taxidermy birds, and more. Researching historical collections and drawing on the rich holdings of natural history museums, her practice has, over time, brought together various conceptual threads, from an exploration of threatened creatures and environments to notions of healing and physical, as well as cultural, restoration.



Byron Arts Magazine is excited to announce the launch of  BAM Art Series Dinners. The first dinner hosted at BARRIO, Byron Bay on October 18, 2018 featured works by artist Michael Cook. Cook is considered to be one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary indigenous artists.  


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At the inaugural Byron Arts Magazine Artist Dinner, guests were invited to an evening of great food and conversation with artist Michael Cook.

The Art Series dinners are an opportunity for people to engage with contemporary art and artists in a relaxed and convivial setting.

Guests were captivated by the works exhibited at BARRIO from Cook’s series Mother, Invasion and Broken Dreams. Cook’s photographs colonial-focused histories and re-image the contemporary reality of indigenous populations. His powerfully staged narratives have featured at both the Sydney and Venice Biennale.

Guests were served a Brookies Gin cocktail on arrival and a surprise Welcome to Country performance by Joey, a Butchulla man, childhood friend and model for Cook’s work. Joey entertained guests with a traditional dance and didgeridoo performance — he performed later in the week for Prince Harry, no less!

Art writer and critic Louise Martin-Chew hosted a lively conversation with Michael as he opened up about work, the influence of identity, and how life has shaped his artistic trajectory since his first exhibition in 2010. Joey and Michael’s camaraderie resonated throughout the conversation, with humorous anecdotes from their childhood.

The journey for Michael while staging the Mother series was quite personal, particularly given he was adopted by a white mother (who was politically active when it came to Aboriginal rights), and only met his biological mother later in life. The Hitchcockesque works from the Invasion series were a departure for Michael in terms of subject matter, but were the most demanding in terms of production. Cook said it was like producing a short film with a cast of actors.

The Argentinian-influenced, ethically-sourced table menu — designed by head chef Francisco Smoje — included matching organic wines and a delicate moscato jelly and custard dessert.

This was a great event, with culture, conversation with the artist, and fun! There will be more, with this new initiative from Lisa Cowan (The Art Connector) to continue in 2019.

Photography by Kate Holmes and Brian Hodges

Artist BIO

Michael Cook is a Brisbane-based photomedia artist of Bidjara heritage. Cook’s photographs restage colonial-focused histories and re-image the contemporary reality of indigenous populations. Touching on the discriminatory nature of society, his images muddle racial and social roles ‘painting’ a picture of a societal structure reversed. Cook invites viewers to speculate Indigenous cultures living at the forefront, even a majority, rather than manipulated to live within the confines of a white man’s world. Cook’s images challenge our ingrained belief systems yet do not offer judgement – they are observational, asking questions without proffering neat prescriptive conclusions.

Considered to be one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary Indigenous artists, 2016 saw Cook present a solo exhibition at the global art fair, Art Basel Hong Kong. His work has most recently been curated into Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation at the British Museum, London; Taba Naba, Oceanographic Musuem of Monaco; Saltwater Country at AAMU Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art, The Netherlands; and Personal Structures at Palazzo Mora, Venice during the 56th Venice Biennale. Cook’s photographs have also been exhibited in the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, 2014; the 2nd National Indigenous Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia, 2012; and the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at Queensland Art Gallery/ Gallery of Modern Art, 2013. A number of Cook’s works are currently being exhibited in the group show Colony – Frontier Wars at the NGV.

Cook’s work has been acquired by institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Museum of Australia and Parliament House, Canberra.

The Art Series Dinners are bought to you with the support of Byron Arts Magazine, McGrath & Brookies Gin and produced by

For further information and hi-res images, contact
or 0413 453320