We pay tribute to Charles Blackman (1928 – 2018) who passed away Monday 20 August, aged 90. Represented in the National Gallery of Australia and in all public State Galleries, in addition to numerous private and corporate collections, his work is celebrated and widely recognised throughout Australia and internationally. Blackman was a self-taught artist and found inspiration for his art in personal references. His Schoolgirl and Alice in Wonderland series of artworks are particularly renowned. Drawing has always been an integral and essential part of Blackman’s artwork and the intimacy of his drawings are of great appeal. Although depictions of the world around him, they are often a personal reflection or response, felt rather than seen, and so evoke grander themes of the human experience.
Lauraine Diggins has fond memories of working with Charles for the exhibition A Line Around a Dream: Charles Blackman (1994) in particular his quick wit, generosity, and wonderful sense of humour. She recalls his great knowledge of music and literature, which shaped his art. “The innocence, humour and sometimes childlike naiveté, which comes through in his art, was a reflection of his own ‘larger than life’ personality. It was a privilege to know him and to be able to show his work. He had a truly wonderful capacity to create great art imbued with real emotion, which enable viewers to really share the experience and feel a connection. His contribution has made the world a richer place and his legacy will live through his art.”
“It is with deep sadness that we announce this morning that our beloved father Charles Blackman OBE passed away just one week after his 90th birthday celebrations.
Charles Blackman is regarded as one of the most important figurative painters in Australia. Best known for his Schoolgirl and Alice in Wonderland series, Blackman’s artistic practice spanned painting, drawing, sculpture and tapestry, using his multidisciplinary approach to explore the female psyche, poetry, music and aesthetic philosophies.”
To read further biographical details please click here
Utopia, a former cattle station in central Australia (around 240kms north east of Alice Springs) was handed back to the Anmatyerr and Alyawarr people as Aboriginal freehold land in 1979. The women at Utopia were instrumental in the land rights claim, as they presented evidence of their ownership of the land through Awelye (women’s ceremonies) including body paint designs. Sales from batiks created by the women in the late 1970s enabled funds to be available to support the successful land claim.
The paintings by artists from Utopia are a contemporary expression of the cultural knowledge an artist holds about country, formed through the medium of acrylic paint. Although often superficially depicting the food and flora of their landscape, such paintings reveal an artist’s inextricable link to country and the deeper intimate knowledge of cultural heritage and ceremony.
Zhou Xiaoping Our Country 2017 ink, oil on rice paper laid down on canvas 130 x 95 cm
Eugene Yang reports in the ABC news that this year marks 200 years since the first arrival of Chinese migrants to Australia in an article exploring the connections between Chinese and Indigenous Australians – including the work of Zhou Xiaoping andhis collaborations with indigenous artists over the past thirty years, the focus of our exhibition earlier this year. Yang reports on the tendency towards wariness rather than celebration of cross-cultural experiences, something with which Zhou is familiar:
“From the 1990s to today, he has faced suspicion from white Australians claiming his work is exploitative of Aboriginal art, yet does not recall receiving any such criticism from Aboriginal people.
Professor Langton labelled this criticism as the result of problematic conceptions of Aboriginal people lacking autonomy and needing white protectors.”
To read the article Chinese and Indigenous Australians share a long, ‘untold history’, that’s been captured through art (Eugene Yang, ABC News, Sat 23 June 2018 ) please click here
Please click here to view the exhibition Zhou Xiaoping: The Cross-Cultural Influences of Chinese and Indigenous Art where you can also view the exhibition opening by The Hon Senator Mitch Fifield and hear Zhou Xiaoping speak about his art.
Canberra Museum and Art Gallery are celebrating 20 years of collecting visual art with an exhibition showing until 17 June 2018, featuring Room with a View by Andrew Sayers from the CMAG collection which curator Deborah Clark describes as “like haiku” with its simplicity of line and form capturing a sense of light, space and atmosphere through the depiction of Sayers’ favourite subject, the landscape. We welcome you to read the article from the Weekend Australian focussing on Andrew’s gouaches and to view the current works available at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art by selecting Andrew Sayers from the artist list on our site.
ZHOU Xiaoping’s referencing of indigenous culture has come from his own experience and immersion in the Australian indigenous landscape, through his relationships with Aboriginal people, and his genuine interest in indigenous culture and art – it is a celebration of his own experiences and journeys, the friendships he has made and his desire to share his understanding of this culture with an audience through his own art.
Earlier this year we unveiled the Goggomobil D’art Project, a commissioned project by Jeff Brown which saw Robert Clinch’s signature paper darts painted across the entire surface of a classic Goggomobil Dart sportscar. If you missed seeing this amazing car at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, it will be a part of Motorclassica this weekend at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton (13 – 15 October 2017).
We would also like to congratulate Robert Clinch who has been selected as a finalist in a series of works on paper art awards including :
A series of ‘Dart’ artworks are currently available at LDFA. Whilst inspired by the Goggomobil D’art Project the paintings and drawings of darts encompass their own narratives, with characteristic whimsical titles.
To view Robert’s paintings and lithographs please click here.
Congratulations to Genevieve Kemarr Loy who is a finalist in the Paddington Art Prize for 2017. This is the 14th year the prize for paintings inspired by the Australian landscape will be shown. Genevieve’s painting Akwerlkerrmwerlkerr 2017 (synthetic polymer on linen, 200 x 122 cm) depicts a particular plant which grows in her country which has small white flowers and seeds which the bush turkey likes to eat. Genevieve’s painting is inspired by the culture, stories, flora and fauna of her country, Utopia, N.T.
Following our recent exhibition The Next Generationfeaturing the paintings of two young indigenous women, Lorraine Kabbindi White and Genevieve Kemarr Loy, a selection of Genevieve’s paintings are currently on show at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art.
Listen to a video of Genevieve discussing her work by clicking here.
The work of ceramicist Stephen Bowers has been in the papers lately, firstly an article in The Wall Street Journal about the inspiration of the history and tradition of ceramic tableware on contemporary artists.
Stephen Bowers is featured in the exhibition Alice in Wonderland showing at Officine Saffi in Milan until 14 July in a group exhibition organised by Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre, Denmark and including Stephen Bowers, Jim Cooper, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Sergei Isupov, Sten Lykke Madsen, Kadri Pärnaments, Mara Superior and Lileng Wong.
Alice in Wonderland was first published in 1865, in a period in which reflections on art had begun to erode the concepts of realistic depiction and narrative, in other words the references to a coherent, ordinary world. The apparently light-hearted and non-committal game presented in the exhibition “Alice in Wonderland”, which originated at the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark and that was later shown at Officine Saffi, has a dual role. The first was to invite eight different artists, born on dates varying from 1937 to 1973 in different locations including Denmark, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States, to work on Carroll’s text, developing various reflections on it, from iconographical to conceptual. The second objective was to use this provocative approach, which at first sight seems merely skin deep, to stimulate them to declare their degree of agreement with Carroll’s statement “we’re all mad here.” It can be applied to the whole of art, which after all is a precious form of madness, in which you can escape from the tired forms of the ordinary. The participants were thus invited to produce a reflection and a declaration on their own status as artists, and more specifically their identity as ceramists.
For details about available works by Stephen Bowers, please view our stockroom
We are pleased to provide the opportunity to hear Robert speak about this unique project, the Goggomobil D’art Project, resulting in a remarkable painted art car, peppered with the artist’s signature paper darts.
Listen to the Artist Talk by clicking on the video below.