First up!


First up!

It’s already February! And although I haven’t blogged about art I have been out there watching despite the relative lethargy in the art scene at this time of year. Making the major galleries a destination of choice is favourable during the summer season. Blockbusters and air conditioning make a winning combination. Having said that I still struggled to get to Sydney, so missed the “art from the Tate” exhibition. Hmmm so much art and so little time.

Gosford Regional Gallery exhibited The National Portrait Gallery travelling exhibition, “Bare: Degrees of undress”. I came away from the exhibition relatively unmoved. Of course there were some great images but nothing stimulating. “Behind the Lines” offered 2016’s best of political cartoons which encouraged a chuckle from me, in particular an  Abbott/Trump skit. Both exhibitions finished end of January.

Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia 1978 (printed 2010)                                                       by Rennie Ellis                                                                                                                                                     gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned.  



Cartoonist: Matt Golding                                                                                                                                 Trump                                                                                                                                                                     The Sunday Age 11 December 2015


I’m familiar with Tanya Matas’s work and her latest exhibition at Timeless Textiles doesn’t disappoint. I particularly liked the images of children where with minimum stitches she describes their innocence and vulnerability perfectly. Also the exhibtion of mother and daughters Me, myself and I  by Kelcie Bryant-Duguid and  Keziah and Mckenzie Duguid is wonderful. I particularly enjoyed Kelcie’s work where there was a freedom to explore materials that appealed to me. Both exhibitions close 12th Feb.



I managed to duck into The Lock-Up also and saw Andrew Styan’s installation titled Life Support System. In that moment where I sat and contemplated the rhythmic inflation of the giant balloons I was made aware of my own breathing. The analogy of the three great forces being nature, humanity and economics is intriguing. All chaotic and overwhelming and ferocious. It’s a comparison that is curious to contemplate. This exhibition has ended.


The cluttered wall of art on the ground floor of The Newcastle Art Gallery has a number of gems. This is an exhibition of their acquisitions and it’s great to see we have a quality collection. Shame we can’t get a bigger gallery.


I’m off to Sydney on the weekend (exactly one week too late to see the Tate exhibition but one cannot plan these things) and looking forward to what’s on offer. Have a great week. Cheers!

John Olsen: The City’s Son.


When I think of John Olsen’s art I immediately see brazen yellows and meandering line dominating large canvases with obscure titles. Recently I ventured to the Newcastle Art Gallery where he has a showcase of his work until 19th Feb 2017 and wandered about happily discovering his many talents. Although there were a large selection of his playful landscapes, there was also a collection of his etchings and they are wonderful, lively and spontaneous. Obviously this work does not share the limelight of his bold paintings but they offer so much more. Below is a selection that appealed to me. As this is probably my last blog post for 2016 I’m wishing you all a happy new year and hope next year is full of arty endeavours. Cheers!


‘I had a room’  demonstrates his lively line. The sense of quiet can be felt. It’s a work that describes a haven of ones own perfectly.


‘Seaport of desire’ . The abstract Sydney harbour. His sketches are quick without too much detail. But it is recognisable. I see a kinship with that other great Australian artist Brett Whitely.


Apologies for the poor quality photograph but what an intense art work. The contrast of vibrant youth at the beach with the elderly and frail perfectly describes the swiftness of time. Wonderful!


‘Myself, eminent philosopher and scientist viewing sea objects, 1973.’

The Newcastle Prize.

Hmmm! Well this was an interesting one. Perhaps they should have been a little more honest and called it Newcastle’s All Star Art Prize. Because on the whole you were not going to get picked unless you had a major prize to your name or had exhibited in a major gallery and therefore are a relatively safe bet for those that are going to participate in the art auction at the Newcastle club. Having said that I agree on the most part with the judges. A few hoary ones with a rather large name attached were given the thumbs up but as I’ve said before, it’s only one woman’s opinion. Anyway here’s my choice.


The winner according to me. Love it love it love it. I’d buy it if I could and it wasn’t going to cost an arm and a leg. But the important bit is it is by the artist Lottie Consalvo. Titled: I’ve found where I belong. This was chosen as one of the finalists.


The colour palette, the abstracted shapes and the texture all work so well. Each portion of the painting could be an artwork in itself. The artist is Paul Maher. Title: Retreat and sortie. This was not chosen as a finalist. 


Perfectly painted, perfectly composed and perfectly hilarious. This painting by Dallas Bray demonstrates the reason why this artist has won the Kilgour twice. Title: Top o’ the hill. Hilarious because more than likely it will end up being housed on top of The Hill. This was chosen as a finalist.

Be quick to check it out. There’s some quality paintings for sale that didn’t make the finals at Newcastle Art Space. Finishes tomorrow 6th November..


Gosford Art Prize

The Gosford Art Prize 2016

To begin with I have to comment on the surprise I had when I visited Gosford Regional Gallery and saw a dedicated space for a shop on my left and to my right a bustling cafe. Oh and then you walk out into the gardens and it is an oasis. Yes it’s been a while since I’ve been there but my reaction was immediate and targeted. What is happening in Newcastle? Our gallery struggles to do anything with a hostile community and obvious disinterest at the government level. When the past week has seen funds handed out to hockey and basketball associations in the local area you have to start noticing where the money is being funnelled to. Sport is the obsession and there’s nothing wrong with that (though it is a tad boring).  But we’re a wealthy nation so surely we can have both…

Anyway to the art. There is an abundance. And the standard is terrific. Stand outs were aplenty and of course my choices don’t generally line up with the judges when it comes to these prizes and this one is no exception. There were many familiar names floating about with present and past teachers and students of the Newcastle Art School amongst them. To choose only a few works for this post was difficult and I’ve concentrated on paintings which seems to be my inclination.

However I will be posting more to my Facebook page in the coming week. Click the link below to check  it out.

Gosford Art Prize closes 4th December.


Artist: Wendy Bills

Title: The natural History Illustrator… A Portrait of Rita Kurpiewski

Medium: oil on canvas

Price: $1500




Artist: Peter Smeeth

Title: Little Miss NO!

Medium: oil on canvas

Price: NFS



Artist: Dana Dion

Title: Early Evening Walk

Medium: drawing medium and acrylic on paper

Price: $4200

Merewether ~ a transition


If you only get to see one exhibition over the next few days make it Dino Consalvo’s at Gallery 139 Hamilton. It’s simple to fall into these images and feel the atmosphere. The muted tones appeal and I rather like the scratching into wet paint to identify line. It closes Saturday.


So much movement. You can sense the moment and know it’s only fleeting.


It’s the composition that captures my attention. Also I love the familiarity. Any Novocastrian knows where this is. Memories of sport days back at high school come to mind.