Tag Archives: #painting

Making Modernism.

Making Modernism is on exhibit at the Art Gallery of NSW. Click the link below to read the review. I must say I had a lovely 3 or so hours in the gallery on Monday looking about. More to come later about what’s happening in the rest of the gallery. A great Captain Cook sculpture is just one huge highlight.



A review in pictures

Hi all. Today I am going to inundate you with many pictures of art because I just want to. There have been a few exhibitions I’ve been to recently around town and as has happened all too often, many of these exhibitions have finished but for those who can’t always get to the galleries here is a snapshot from the past couple of weeks. I’ll begin with those exhibitions that are still open. Cheers!

Click the link to read more.



The Phantom Show

Who is a fan of The Phantom? If you are than you must go and see The Phantom Show  at Newcastle Art Gallery. Now I admit that I’m not a die-hard having never picked up a comic (well I have though it was an Archie) but it’s not a problem. This  travelling exhibition is all about fun and appreciating some great capabilities with medium. Apparently 40 years ago when our gallery was a spring chicken it was host to the first Phantom show and Peter Kingston, one of the original artists has come back to curate alongside Dietmar Lederwasch.

Plenty of locals have managed to squeeze onto the walls of the gallery and their work is often a highlight of the exhibition. Michael Bell is always a favourite of mine. He’s the artist that always harnesses the fun spirit alongside great painting techniques. MB’s canvases truly suit the soul of the event. Tony Abbott as The Phantom had me chuckling. This sculpture by John Turier captures the political times to perfection. I also found the humour of Dino Consalvo’s Phantom appealing. Both Turier and Consalvo have exhibitions at ASW this year Turier’s opening 1st July and Consalvo’s  in September.



I was pleasantly surprised to find an interpretation by Elisabeth Cummings.  The portrait is intense, the sitter (which is the curator himself Peter Kingston) seeming to study the artist with resignation almost. Her use of the paint would make it seem the work was rapidly executed and it works well. I particularly like the background.  This artist is a living treasure.




I also have to include the work of Euan Macleod whose layered painting is heavy with texture and storytelling. His capacity to incorporate what would appear to be a comic strip into a painting and also create a stand out composition is considerable.


I might add here that the exhibition is dominated by the male of the artist species with only a smattering of female’s gracing the walls. With the lower floor of the gallery dedicated to the female abstraction exhibition it is a balancing act of sorts. We’re a spoilt city at present with the gallery bursting with history and brilliant art. It’s just a shame those funds for its extension seem to be as evasive as ever.

Anyway get in to see The Phantom before 20th August.

Yours in art for the time being…


Newcastle art seen


I’m in the market for a new piece of art. Shh don’t tell the family. My house is cluttered with art though mainly my own. So it doesn’t count really. Anyway I like the idea of having a collection of works by local artists. So on Saturday when I read in the Newcastle Herald that there was an exhibition for a charity at Newcastle Grammar School it gave me the inspiration to trek into the big smoke and take a peek. Nexus Art Show is an annual event attracting many local artists and raising money for the Nexus Paediatric and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at the John Hunter Hospital. So it’s a good cause. One that I would not hesitate to support. Unfortunately though I am still in the market for my next piece to add to my collection. But that doesn’t mean that there was not great art to be had. I particularly liked the sculptures of Braddon Snape who I have spoken about in a previous review. The $2000 odd price tag though was a little out of my reach. I could also do with a piece by the artist Linda Greedy. Her paintings are superb. One day hopefully but this weekend wasn’t my time. Lisa Pollard’s ink and gouache paintings were serene and cosy. And Jo O’Toole’s abstracts always show a self-assured technique.


One of Linda Greedy’s oil on timber paintings. I just love her way with paint and one day I’d like to add one to my collection. Just not a doggy.


The abstract painting by Jo O’Toole. 

While I was out and about I took the chance to pop in to a few more galleries. I had another look at Magic Mike: Michael Zavros. Still not convinced but I could be missing some irony in there somewhere. Then on to cstudios where there was a very busy opening happening for the artists’ Peter Ermon Smith and Kay McFarlane Smith. I had a quick look but it was a tad too crowded for a decent squiz. I always enjoy looking about the smaller gallery and the shop so I spent some time in there and found some treasures.


This work by Gillie and Marc is at cstudios for $2800. Rather “funky” I think.

Then a quick stop at ASW  where Shelagh Lummis has new work in her exhibition titled Wet. If you get a chance this is worth making the effort to see. Her work is beautiful and timeless. Certainly a name to remember about the Newcastle art seen. This exhibition concludes on the 14th May.


New work by Shelagh Lummis. 

Helene Leane’s exhibition at Gallery 139  is a comprehensive look at the Australian Red Cedar Tree. Although I only had a quick glimpse before the gallery closed for the day it struck me as a cohesive and well executed show flowing smoothly from one work to the next. It’s funny how some exhibitions just work seamlessly. And for me this is one of them. Red Gold: The Cedar Story closes the 14th May also.


Remember to pop in to The Emporium whenever you get a chance. It’s still a haven for creatives in the Newcastle CBD.

That’s if for this weeks tour of the Newcastle art seen. 

Magic Mike: Mike Zavros

Straight up I’ll say that while I can absolutely acknowledge the skill and technical expertise that goes into creating these wonderfully perfect pieces of art, it’s a style that I don’t generally regard as a favourite. Mike Zavros is precise and perfect in his work and I would imagine this is an extension of his interest in beauty and vanity. The beauty he projects onto the canvas is the manufactured variety. The type you purchase at the big brand store, that’s painstakingly produced at the gym, that lacks any style and originality. All that is required is the large wallet with loads of cash and lots of time. But while I am not inspired by works of art such as these I know his message is all the more pertinent because of his flawless execution. What’s disturbing though is the video that is on constant rotation in the gallery of himself and his daughter. I would think that having acknowledged the ridiculousness (but perhaps he hasn’t and is an advertising bill board for the capitalist mantra “economy, economy, economy”) of devoting time to the empty pursuit of fashion and contrived beauty it would be discouraged as a creative outlet. But there is his daughter maybe 4 or 5 years old totally cute and totally ensconced in all that will encourage a lifetime of feeding an appetite for expensive stuff that will not be sated. All while Dad walks about the studio wonderfully buff and I doubt that is because he’s putting time in at the local community garden. Hmm…

The message I went away with was “shun consumerism:embrace imperfection, because perfection looks just so uptight”.

Anyway take a peek. I’ve selected the most vain pieces but there is so much more on display that is worthy of a visit. His compositions are unique and besides his painting prowess it was this I found intriguing.

Magic Mike: Mike Zavros . It’s on exhibit at Newcastle Art Gallery until May 28th.

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Just thought I’d add that I have tried over the past 5-10 years to hold the consumer instinct at bay and it’s hard. A fashion fast for a year (not buying any item of clothing for a year and at the same time gradually discarding) helped me but I’m unashamed to say I regularly have relapses. As the song goes “I’m a weapon of massive consumption, it’s not my fault it’s how I’m programmed to function

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..


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.