Denese OatesNew Sculpture
29 January - 15 February
DENESE OATES is a sculptor of considerable skill who transforms ordinary copper wire into inspired objects that range from the biological to the botanical. OATES studied at the Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education in Sydney (now College of Fine Arts, UNSW). Since 1976 she has exhibited in over eighty group exhibitions and twenty-five solo exhibitions.
Mary MacQueenWorks on paper
18 February - 15 March
Liz Shreeve & Denese OatesGroup Sculpture Show
4 March - 15 March
Liz ShreeveThe Sense of Light
18 March - 15 April
Rod HoldawayWhen Paths Cross
15 April - 17 May
Trevor WeekesSmall Machines for Big Minds
20 May - 14 June
WEEKES posits whether machines are harmonious aids to animals and nature or devices that complicate their lives unnecessarily. There is a tension between the aspirations of invention and its ultimate outcome. In works that speak through a visual language of construction and design, the natural, organic forms of animal life are interposed with machines and gadgetry in a way that questions both their logic and necessity. Through nonsensical contraptions birds' wings are constrained and replaced with redundant mechanism for enabling an artifice of flight. Lost in the layers intricate draftsmen ship and detail, it is easy to overlook the ultimate fault in the design.
WEEKES' pseudo technologies mimic the mechanisms of nature yet have incongruous effects. By imagining a relationship between animals and possible machines created to assist them WEEKES contemplates the role of machines in all our lives.
Judy HoldingBonded Worlds
17 June - 12 July
With works titled Snow Geese Over the Mallee HOLDING attempts to invoke the ridiculous and impossible demands and stresses we place on the natural world, and its ultimate struggle in the way nature attempts to evolve and regain balance. HOLDING reflects that "Snow geese flying over the Mallee in Australia may seem like a ludicrous concept, but we must cast our minds to the future when who knows how birds may need to adapt and migrate in order to survive the changes we humans are making to the planet." The mix of natural and human-made materials in HOLDING's sculptures also draws attention to the impact that industrial scale agriculture, mining and water exaction is having on the ultimate fate of Australian land and its inhabitants.
Tanya Chaitow, Janet Dawson, Merran Esson, David Fairbairn, Rachel Fairfax, Ashley Frost & Mary MacQueenGallery Artists
15 July - 16 August
19 August - 6 September
LOPES demonstrates a skilled, thoughtful approach to landscape. He is interested in the potential for landscapes to set a particular tone and atmosphere to enable a psychological setting in an image. Outsider not only speaks to LOPES' plein air approach, but also to the artist's role as an outsider stepping into a setting that seems otherworldly and almost void of human existence. It is as if LOPES is the first person this land has played host to in a long time. In some paintings, an empty, abandoned boat, old ruinous buildings and man-made constructions hint towards some level of human engagement in the land. There is a haunted beauty in the rugged, windswept, coastal wilderness captured by the artist.
LOPES exhibits a vitality and confidence to the paint handling in this latest series of works, which reflects the busy and energetic approach that LOPES is fast gaining a reputation for in the Australian art scene.
Viola DominelloRecent Work
9 September - 4 October
Her watercolours of Italy, particularly Venice and the Aeolian Islands, reflect DOMINELLO's continued connection with her Italiao-Australian heritage, and its influence on her practice.
These oil and watercolours have a delicate sensibility that is both evocative and refined. DOMINELLO explores the immediacy of her mediums. She cuts into oil paint, moving and scraping it over the surfaced of the canvas, using the same evocative, but refined, dextrous gestures attributed to her watercolours. Responding to nature, DOMINELLO's dappled colour and brush strokes are masterful: translating light through bodies of water in a way that is evocative of the trembling beauty of a mirage.
DOMINELLO captures the shifting light and liquescent air of coastal vistas. Through painterly gestures she reveals moments that describe the intricate and transient beauty of the landscape.
David FairbairnDrawing on the Past
7 October - 1 November
FAIRBAIRN's research extends across a great spectrum of artists, beginning with Italian Medieval artists such as Giotto and Piero Della Francesca, through to studies of Goya, Velaquez, Rembrandt, Delacroix, and Poussin and into the Modernist era with studies of Paul Cezanne. Poussin has been the primary focus throughout FAIRBAIRN's studies. Attracted to the complex, rhythmic and compositional dynamics of Poussin's paintings, FAIRBAIRN endeavours to explore the underlying structures of his original works. FAIRBAIRN's studies demonstrate his own distinct style as he translates and reinterprets the narrative workings of Poussin's epic paintings through bold lines and colour.
Aware that English artist Leon Kossoff had made drawings and etchings in front of the Poussins in the National Gallery Collection in London, FAIRBAIRN contends that his engagement would not only encompass Poussin, but also Kossoff's interpretation of the great 16th Century painter. FAIRBAIRN approaches these studies with the hope they might lead to both an interesting transformation and interpretation of the subject matter and a richer and more profound understanding of his own practice.
Tanya ChaitowMoonlighting with Ai WeiWei
11 November - 29 November
While travelling through Myanmar at the beginning of the year CHAITOW noticed that at the entrance to every temple there were vendors with crowded birdcages. It is the tradition in Myanmar that birds are caught and placed into cages for sale so that they may be released as 'luck birds'. The release of these birds is accompanied with the following prayer:
Today I give you your life; someday you will give me my life.
For CHAITOW, the deprivation of freedom placed on these birds was highly symbolic and led her to examine the work of Chinese artist and political activist Ai WeiWei. In recent times Ai Weiwei has served time in jail for criticizing the Chinese government's stance on democracy, the abuse of human rights and the lack of freedom of expression within China.
CHAITOW's own work draws on the 2013 Moon Project launched by Ai WeiWei and Olafur Eliasson in order to emphasize the global reach and interconnectivity of ideas beyond the limitation of political and geographic boundaries. It used the Internet to travel beyond the physical restrictions placed on him by the current Chinese regime. CHAITOW's paintings and works on paper embrace Ai WeiWei's motif of the moon as representing the universal connectivity of ideas and humanity. She contends that "wherever or whoever we are in the world we look at the same moon [it symbolises] our connectivity beyond the geographic and political limitations". CHAITOW draws upon the moons association with the owl as ruler of the night and seer of souls. The owl has been emblematic through history as a wise, intuitive and mystical creature that keeps the spirits who had passed from one plane to another. It has been connected to humans blurring the distinction between the real and the imagined and bridging the gap between day and night and the conscious and unconscious.
CHAITOW's imagination and emotional resonance ignites these psychological connections. She intuitively captures mental states through poetic works that contemplate the human condition.
Ashley FrostHarbour Studies
2 December - 20 December
Harbour Studies is very much a process driven exhibition. FROST builds up thick, luscious layers of paint to give his works a highly appealing tactile quality. Many of these works are early morning paintings produced through the winter and spring of 2014. Typically arriving onsite from 5.30 am, FROST paints until about 10 am, capturing the sublime transition of early morning light. Other works captures these coastal vistas through twilight. Frost's paintings play on the relationship between bodies of water and vast skies through a communication of colour, light and reflective qualities.
FROST addresses the significant art history of these Sydney locations that resonate with his own practice. Many early Australian artists, including Lloyd Rees, Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton have frequented these specific local scenes with similar intent. For FROST, plein air painting is very much about a shared vision of a time in a place. Thus the first light for these works is paramount, enabling FROST to explore a lush spectrum of colour on palette and in the works. There is also an immediacy and honestly in the works, due to a narrow window of gentle and yet dramatic light.