Tweed Regional Gallery to host free Artist Talks this weekend

Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre will host talks by three diverse Indigenous artists this Sunday, 2 September 2018. 

Multi-media artist Judy Watson, along with regional artists Digby Moran and Michael Philp, will be discussing their artworks currently on exhibition at the Gallery.

Digby Moran with his painting Bundjalung Stone Axe Gift of Margot Anthony AM, through the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation Ltd., 2018 © The artist

Digby Moran with his painting Bundjalung Stone Axe Gift of Margot Anthony AM, through the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation Ltd., 2018 © The artist

Judy Watson will speak to her work The Names of Places, currently on display in the touring exhibition Experimenta Make Sense,  as well as her artist prints held in the Gallery's permanent collection, a selection of which are currently on display as part of the Gallery's 30th anniversary exhibition Three Decades: celebrating the Tweed Regional Gallery collection.

Digby Moran and Michael Philp, also featured in Three Decades, will give insight into their works Bundjalung Stone Axe and Spotting for Sea Mullet, respectively.


EVENT DETAILS:

What:  Artist Talks

Where:  Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

When:  Sunday 2 September at 2pm

Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm

Cost:    Free

IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOK ARTIST DINNER AT BARRIO, BYRON BAY

Byron Arts Magazine is excited to announce the launch of BAM Art Series Dinners. The first dinner hosted at BARRIO, Byron Bay on Wednesday, October 17 will feature works by artist Michael Cook. Cook is considered to be one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary indigenous artists.  

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A highlight of the evening will be a conversation hosted by art writer and author Louise Martin Chew, who will discuss the narrative behind Cook’s ethereal contemporary works.

Cook’s photographs restage 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. A selection of 15 works from the series Mother, Broken Dreams and Invasion will be displayed onsite at BARRIO. 


Guests will enjoy a Brookies gin cocktail on arrival and a delicious grazing table with matching wines curated by head chef Francisco Smoje.  The shared table menu includes pulled chicken, braised fennel & purple onion, herb roasted whole salmon side, rare roasted beef, gribiche sauce, potatoes, green beans, preserved lemons, chives & dill, brown rice, pecans, cranberries, feta & herbs and a delicious seasonal dessert.


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

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 exihibited in a 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 www.theartconnector.com.au

For further information and hi res images contact lisa@theartconnector.com.au
or 0413 453320

 

Artist Interview: Gatya Kelly

BAM visited Gatya Kelly in 2016 - just prior to her leaving for an artist residency at the prestigious Hill End, whose first wave of artists included Margaret Olley and Russell Drysdale. While her paintings may seem redolent of Old Master still lifes, she asserts the similarities are limited. The reality is far more delicious.

Interview by Alana Wilson

Cherry Amour , 2014, 91 x 91 cm, oil on canvas

Cherry Amour, 2014, 91 x 91 cm, oil on canvas

Alana.  What draws you to your subject matter?

Gatya.  In 2009 we went to Tuscany. We were there for winter, for five months. And I wanted to paint there. I didn’t normally paint very much when we were travelling, because we were in a van, and it wasn’t really conducive to working with oil paint. But there, we were staying in this one amazing house for five months, and so I set up a studio in the house. And I didn’t have a lot of equipment, or really anything there — I had a very, very basic set up. And I just thought, well, what can I do here that works, that relates to where I am, but practically is going to work for me? Most people in that situation will paint the landscape, because it’s truly phenomenal. But I’m not drawn to that. I’m not a landscape painter … I mean I love it, and I appreciate it, and I walk in it … but I’m not drawn to it as an artist. So I started to look around me … it was winter so there was a lot of dried up leaves and crunchy things, and these fruits like pomegranates and persimmons, walnuts and chestnuts … So it ended up being 14 paintings that I painted over that five-month period, in a particular still life style. A bit more contemporary looking than this series, actually — lighter backgrounds and so on. And so really it was not so much that I’d said that I wanted to do still life, it was because I was in this certain circumstance and that’s what I could paint in that situation. It was a wonderful old Tuscan farmhouse, so there were all sorts of vessels and things there, so that I was able to arrange all these compositions. I like the authenticity of working with things that are real and are actually in my environment. It’s not so much coming from my imagination, or derivative, but it really relates to my circumstances … I’m directly relating to these things right in front of me … It’s authentic to me. That matters a lot.

Alana.  Do you find that you are drawn to details?

Gatya.  I am. I enjoy figurative painting, because I guess I get a kick out of seeing something come to life on the canvas. I actually really get a kick out of that, personally.

Alana.  And an object that you relate to …

Gatya. Yes. So I like to see that metamorphosis. Again, that’s a personal thing. People often refer to the detail … there’s careful painting, but it’s not meticulous in a hyperrealist sense. It’s actually quite rough. If you get close up … somebody used the word contemporary recently. It’s quite loose — even though the overall effect is of something that’s quite tightly controlled and designed. So that’s also something that I enjoy, to have a certain lack of tightness in a painting, while it has this three-dimensional, realistic quality.

Alana.  What is it that you aim to portray in your paintings?

Red Chilli, Rose Garlic. 2014. Oil on canvas, 91cmx91cm.

Gatya.  What I aim to do with the paintings is to get a response from people. What I love is when somebody looks at a painting of mine and they go, wow That exhibition was titled Luscious because it was all this luscious, yummy, succulent stuff, and people respond to it that way … there was one woman who was looking at the strawberries, and I felt like I was going to have to stop her from licking the painting. You know, when they’re engaging with it so much that they’re actually experiencing it as the real thing. A lot of people say, “I want to eat it, I want to smell it, I want to touch it” … I love that that’s the response to the work, that they’re seeing it beyond a painting, that it’s actually doing something … really connecting very deeply inside at that level where they’re just reaching out for it. That’s very pleasing to me.

Alana.  The detail, depth and perspectives in your paintings are incredible. Do you incorporate photography as part of your process?

Gatya.  I do. I use photography. I go to quite a lot of trouble at that stage. I guess because of my design background, I think of paintings as designed — they’re not spontaneous. They’re put together in a very deliberate way. So they’re designed, they’re composed, they’re constructed. And when I’m sure that I’m happy with what I have, then I start to paint it.

Maganolia Raphaella, 2015. Oil on canvas, 45x45cm.

Alana.  How do you arrive at your compositions?

Gatya.  Often it’s what’s in season. These magnolias that I’m painting come from a tree at Brunswick Heads that I drive past when I go to the beach. So if I see that tree and think, I have to paint that, it’s almost like an obligation to paint it … and then it’s like, that means I’ve got to do it now, because it’s not going to be there in a week’s time. So it’s generally driven by the subject matter itself, in the case of these paintings. I’ll see a pomegranate somewhere, or somebody will lend me a beautiful bowl … that’s usually the initial inspiration. And from that I build what I feel goes with that first key element.

Alana.  So it’s not about symbolism?

Gatya.  It’s not, but this one — which is called Magnolia Vanitas Vanitas paintings were something that were done, I think, in the 16th and 17th centuries … Flemish and Dutch master painters … the whole still life tradition is very interesting and meaningful — it’s not really about just painting what I’m doing, painting things in front of you. Originally it was very symbolic, and the Dutch had this Calvinist Christian thing going on, so they had a lot to say about money, and wealth. So paintings were allegorical — they meant something to the people who were viewing them then. They didn’t have photography, and so on. So they served that function, that they don’t today. So vanitas paintings were to do with the vanity of life, the inevitability of death, that vanity is futile, basically … So those paintings — you would have seen it — they often have a skull in them, or a flickering candle. There are certain elements that occur in these paintings, so there is something dead, something that represents knowledge or the arts, something that represents wealth … So, I put this painting together, and I’m painting it and thinking, somebody is going to ask me, what does this mean? And I thought, maybe I can concoct a story retrospectively, because actually I didn’t have one. And I was looking at it and I thought, it’s a vanitas painting! And I checked it out, and all the elements were there … I liked that about it, that it was an allegory for life and death. But generally they’re not. Generally, they’re just bowls of fruit.

Fig Paradiso , 2015. Oil on linen, 122x122 cm.

Fig Paradiso, 2015. Oil on linen, 122x122 cm.

In The Studio: Nikky Morgan-Smith

Gallerist Nadine Abensur visited painter Nikky Morgan-Smith in her Eureka studio for a glimpse into her artistic process. Nikky Morgan-Smith will be featured in the Art 4 Art's Sake gallery and exhibition at the Federal School of Arts from 29-30 September, 2018.

Photography by Natalie Grono.

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Nadine.  Where were you brought up? And how do you think this affected your artistic career?

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Nikky.  I was brought up in Eureka. The space, the hills, the weather, the mess, the damp — it all has an effect. For example, working on paper always seemed hard to manage because of the weather and lack of control over the environment. I would wake up and my paper would have muddy cat footprints, or the damp made it behave differently. I never liked the fragility of paper and canvas. Early on I chose wood as my mount because it’s solid and forgiving, it doesn’t rip or stretch out of shape. I could paint on it and know that the next morning it would still be there, unaffected by external forces.

Nadine.  Did you always want to be an artist?

Nikky.  I never wanted to be an artist, but having both parents as artists and art lecturers, art was inherent in our family — part of the air we breathed — not necessarily a career choice, but just part of day-to-day life. It wasn’t until I was about 18 and in between school and jobs and a bit bored that my mum said I should do some painting. She showed me how to use dioxazine purple over yellow to create shadows. She talked about being able to tell a story through painting. I will never forget the way the purple affected the yellow, the depth it created. It was like I had experienced alchemy for the first time. My painting came alive in front of me and I was in love. It was like finding words for the first time. I could communicate without having to worry about spelling and grammar! I painted obsessively in the following weeks and produced my first body of work. I was hooked. After that I decided to study art.

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Nadine.  Where do you think your ideas come from?

Nikky.  I feel like my practice is one big body of work that leads on from the last painting; it is evolving and growing, but still connected to that original work. My ideas mostly come from my painting practice, I will see the way a certain colour looks next to a texture, or an image that feels like it has more to say. I just listen to my practice and let it lead me.

Nadine.  Describe a typical day. Do you have a routine?

Nikky.  A typical day would be get up, wish I was more organised, find food, ignore mess, find clean school uniform/socks for child, get child to school without a tantrum. Go to studio. Paint. Get distracted by carpet snake shedding its skin at my studio door. Paint. Have array of emotions about my practice that swing from inflated ego to extreme self doubt, question everything from why I am painting to why am I wasting my time questioning why I am painting and not just painting. Paint. Decide I can’t paint any more unless I have a new paint brush, realise I can’t afford a new brush unless I finish painting and sell it. Paint.

Nadine.  What inspires you to keep painting?

Nikky.  I am inspired by life and people and the accidental beauty of it all. I keep painting because I have to. Without it I would have no language.

Nadine.  Tell us about your process from the start to completion of a painting.

Nikky.  I work on plywood, so I start by sourcing the best quality ply I can find, then I have it framed, backed. I don’t prime or underpaint because I like the texture of the wood. I will have an idea but nothing solid, I don’t keep journals or have any working drawings. It all happens as I am painting. I draw from memory. I don’t use projectors or images. At the beginning I just have my charcoal pencil and white paint and I start to draw. When I’m happy with it I start to use colour, and build layers. There is a lot of layering in my process because of the lack of planning. I will do something, paint it out, then work over the top. But I always leave a trace of what came before, even if it is just a tiny fleck of colour or a pencil mark … it is all just as important as the more contrived stuff, it makes up a whole that speaks of a past.

Nadine.  What’s the most exciting thing about being an artist?

Nikky.  The most exciting part of being an artist is that no day is ever the same. I go into my studio and am excited about what I might discover in my practice. Also, the opportunities like artist-in-residence programs that become available.

Nadine.  And the hardest thing?

Nikky.  The hardest thing is being broke.

Nadine.  What would you do if you weren’t an artist?

Nikky.  If I wasn’t a painter I would be an art therapist or dead.

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Artists explore Australia as an exotic land

Australian exotica, a new travelling exhibition from Monash Gallery of Art (MGA), opens at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre on Friday 20 July.

Drawing on MGA's nationally significant collection of Australian photographs, the exhibition showcases the works of some of Australia's most celebrated artists, engaging with the theme of the exotic antipodes.

Peter Dombrovskis, Lake Oberon, Western Arthur Range, south-west Tasmania 1988, pigment inkjet print, 74.5 x 94.2cm

Peter Dombrovskis, Lake Oberon, Western Arthur Range, south-west Tasmania 1988, pigment inkjet print, 74.5 x 94.2cm

Joseph McGlennon, Florilegium #1 2014 from the series Florileigum, pigment ink-jet print, 127 x 100cm

Joseph McGlennon, Florilegium #1 2014 from the series Florileigum, pigment ink-jet print, 127 x 100cm

Since the 15th century, when European cartographers began including the contour of Terra Australis Incognita ('the unknown land of the south') in their speculative maps of the globe, the continent of Australia has been thought of as an exotic place. And when European explorers finally reached the southern continent, reports of unfamiliar flora, fauna and indigenous people only perpetuated this striking vision.

The characterisation of Australia as a land down under, where things are out of the ordinary and colourfully unconventional, remains a key feature of this country's national identity. No longer just a projection of a European imagination, Australians themselves have come to celebrate the topsy-turvy nature of life in the land of Oz, where marsupials lay eggs, Christmas celebrations take place at the height of summer, and water supposedly goes down the drain in an anticlockwise direction.


MGA Curator, Stella Loftus-Hills, said of the exhibition: "Our aim is to provide people with the opportunity to achieve a deeper appreciation of photography. This exhibition includes prominent Australian photographs that relate to what it means to be an Australian, or at least what someone looking in might think about this country."

"I hope people would leave the exhibition feeling as though they had experienced something new about photography and Australia, something  that perhaps they hadn't realised before," she said.

Australian exotica features the work of 11 prominent Australian photographers, including Brook Andrew, Michael Cook, Destiny Deacon, Peter Dombrovskis, Marian Drew, Leah King-Smith, Joseph McGlennon, Tracey Moffatt, Darren Siwes, Robyn Stacey and Christian Bumbarra Thompson.

All are welcome to attend the opening celebrations at Tweed Regional Gallery on Friday 27 July at 6pm with guest speaker Craig Tuffin, Photographic Artist.

The exhibition will be opened in conjunction with Experimenta Make Sense and Alison Allcock: Exchange. The exhibition runs from 20 July to 23 September 2018.

TextaQueen turns nudes upside down at TRG

TextaQueen, Save Yourself (self-love self-portrait) 2013, from the series Unknown Artist, fibre-tipped markers, acrylic paint and coloured pencil on paper, Corrigan Collection

TextaQueen, Save Yourself (self-love self-portrait) 2013, from the series Unknown Artist, fibre-tipped markers, acrylic paint and coloured pencil on paper, Corrigan Collection

TextaQueen's humorous and subversive works upend the traditions of the salon nude and narrative portraiture.

Armed with a felt-tipped pen, she playfully tackles complex issues of race, exoticism, gender, sexuality and identity.

TextaQueen's engaging portraits are showcased in Between You and Me, the first survey exhibition of this contemporary artist, on display at Tweed Regional Gallery from 8 December 2017 - 25 February 2018.

The survey exhibition brings together more than 30 works, highlighting TextaQueen's compelling marker works on paper, as well as a new suite of photos created during a recent placement at Mornington Shire's Police Point Artist in Residency Program.

Tweed Regional Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said: "In 2011, the Gallery acquired a wonderful etching of The true history of the Kelly Gang by TextaQueen, which is currently on display in our collection show, Go Figure.

"This new touring exhibition, Between You and Me, is a fantastic opportunity for our audiences to witness the full extent of TextaQueen's unique practice and experience the colour and vibrancy of her work."

Everyone is invited to an official opening of Between You and Me on Friday 8 December 2017 at 6pm (DST), by Joanna Strumpf, Co-Founder & Co-Director Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney & Singapore.

TextaQueen: Between You and Me is a Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery travelling exhibition and is supported by Mornington Peninsula Shire.

TextaQueen, Where we will go when the world implodes? (Taylor Mac) 2006, fibre-tipped markers on paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria, Purchased from National Works on Paper, 2008

TextaQueen, Where we will go when the world implodes? (Taylor Mac) 2006, fibre-tipped markers on paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria, Purchased from National Works on Paper, 2008

The Art of Mathematics: Murri the Prime Ingredient of a Pi

Frank Murri, The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi (π) - Panel # 43 (12,288 - 12,586 digits) 2017, timber, acrylic and ink on board, 94x58cm, ©Frank Murri, 2017

Frank Murri, The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi (π) - Panel # 43 (12,288 - 12,586 digits) 2017, timber, acrylic and ink on board, 94x58cm, ©Frank Murri, 2017

Newcastle-based artist Frank Murri integrates art and math in his exhibition The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi (π),  featured at Tweed Regional Gallery from 24 November to 22 April 2018.

Mathematics and art share a long historical relationship. Philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell encapsulated the synergy between the two disciplines, stating: "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture".
 
In his ambitious exhibition, Murri has encoded and carved 31 timber relief sculptural panels with the first 9014 digits of the Pi number (an irrational number with no end or repeating pattern). Within this sequence, the artist has highlighted the first four single digit prime numbers using primary colours, in an exploration of the aesthetic in number theory.
 
Murri said: "By looking into the realm of pure mathematics, there lies within a beauty which transcends its usual form. The pieces I've created are formulated to capture this beauty."
 
The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi (π) will officially open at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre on Friday 24 November at 6pm (NSW time).
 
On Sunday 10 December at noon to 2pm, Frank Murri will facilitate a fun, engaging free drop-in activity for children aged 3 years and over. Working with paper and pens, LEGO® bricks, or a drawing app on smartphones, children will explore how probability can shape an artwork with repeated throws of a dice.  

 

Judy Oakenfull | Nature Portraits

Based in Murwillumbah, Judy Oakenfull sensitively interprets the unique natural beauty of her surroundings in her calm and organic acrylic paintings.

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The wonderfully figurative but humble botanical forms she fashions, express a semblance to the mountains, subtropical flora and lush natural abundance of the Northern Rivers. Her current exhibition Nature Portraits runs until November 12 at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina.

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"I moved from inner city Melbourne to the Northern Rivers about 10 years ago. My artwork is heavily influenced by my immediate environment so it underwent quite a transformation. Moving away from worn and weathered concrete, architectural surfaces and corners, it has slowly opened up to the wilderness of subtropical Northern Rivers. Lately my work seems to find its way into singular organic forms, sometimes islands, sometimes landscape, flora or other natural forms. It can also border on the figurative, purposely blurring boundaries, challenging dualities and hopefully emphasising connection and unity. The relationship between humans and nature has always been the most prominent theme in my work."
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For more on Judy and her work, visit judyoakenfull.com or @judyoakenfullart

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