John Dent: Between Two Countries featuring 50 paintings from the earlier years of his ongoing career, painted in both Australia and France. A rare opportunity to view the collection together on a scale not seen since Dent’s retrospective at Castlemaine Art Gallery in 1994. Subjects range from intriguing and elegant still lifes; atmospheric interiors and figurative works; and streetscapes of Paris, with its everyday realities and unexpected surprises. A range of subjects and scales but unmistakably Dent’s lyrical and complex compositions and multifaceted muted colour palette.
The exhibition is showing until 11 June and a colour illustrated catalogue can be downloaded from our website.
Join us in the exhibitions final week, where you have a rare opportunity to view and purchase a selection of artworks from Churcher’s impressive first decade of his career, which examines the beginning and following the growth and establishment of his career as an artist. Churcher’s artistic concern from the outset was the human figure and the human condition. Churcher’s paintings are a faithful representation of their subject. There is an element of truth-seeking and honesty. A rawness in using people he simply met in the street rather than professional models strengthened this element and appealed to an artist schooled in the European masters in the tradition of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Velazquez and Van Gogh who also elevated ordinary people and objects as art.
In 2005, Creative Cowboy filmed Peter Churcher in his studio. Spend 15 minutes with the artist as he places his models and concentrates on capturing them in paint An intimate view of the studio and a fascinating insight into the artist at work.
This striking lifesize figure by Dianne Coulter was awarded the inaugural Blake Prize for Human Justice in 2009 where it was acclaimed as follows: “Cousin Elizabeth NT, is a powerful work amongst many outstanding creations, all helping us to understand our humanity with greater clarity.”
Of her winning entry, Dianne said “I have dressed her immaculately in natural fibre: wool for the lamb, cotton for Egypt that gave sanctuary, pregnant for hope, carrying a loaf of white bread for nourishment – alluding to Christ. Or is she just a frightened, disenfranchised young girl with a lousy loaf of dubious quality bread caught drinking at the wrong watering hole?”
ZHOU XIAOPING 1960 – Untitled ink, oil and synthetic polymer on rice paper laid on canvas 94.5 x 154 cm
One of the most intriguing contemporary artists to explore the complex yet rich creative and conceptual possibilities of cross-cultural collaboration is the Chinese Australian artist, Zhou Xiaoping.Having lived in Aboriginal communities over a sustained period of time and forged important working relationships with various senior artists, Zhou has developed an original art practice that brings together elements from Chinese, Western and Australian Aboriginal cultural traditions.
John Glover achieved great success as a painter in London, both as a watercolourist and oil painter, prior to emigrating to Australia in 1830 where his naturalistic depictions of the Australian light and landscape continue to be revered. His landscapes tend towards the romantic and classical, and it is his close observation of nature, based on his wide travels, which elevates his work beyond the picturesque.
Glover arguably became the most important landscape artist outside Europe, maintaining his reputation in England and forging a new following and great success in Australia. Glover’s influence continues to this day, with the John Glover Art Prize one of Australia’s most significant awards for landscape painting.
A special screening of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival entrant, D’Art is being held at Cinema Nova, Carlton this Sunday 7th February at 11am, including a post-screening Q&A session with filmmaker Karl von Moller, along with Robert Clinch and Jeff Brown.
Intertwining exhaustive technical investigation and countless hours of fastidious hand-painting, the goal is to produce a truly unique objet d’art. The D’Art project is an amusing, uplifting and engaging film.
Listen to Zhou Xiaoping talking about his unique artistic practice on The Art Show as aired this morning on Radio National, explaining how he draws on his experience of Chinese inks and rice paper, combined with with western art concepts, including the use of oils and canvas, as well as drawing on the influence of his travels in the north of Australia, particularly Arnhem Land and his connection with Aboriginal people and culture, including the use of ochres. As Xiaoping states, his career demonstrates “cross-cultural artistic practice and brought together the influence of Chinese, Western and Aboriginal culture and art concepts. In this practical process, I realised how important cultural reconciliation and civilisational exchange are. … Looking back at my artistic creation process in Australia, I feel that I followed the path of “learning from nature” from the traditional Chinese culture that I accepted when I was young, then followed that path from China to the world of the Australian Aborigines.” The discussion starts about 1/2 hour into the program (30:36).
Sheila Hawkins is recognised for her contribution to children’s literature, particularly as an illustrator, and her strong sense of design and layout is evident in her painting. Gyspy Mother embodies an atmosphere of calm, despite the tangle of limbs and foreboding clouds, in a tightly controlled and complimentary colour palette. The monumental maternal figure is a picture of stability and dependence against the writhing child, her vertical presence contrasted against the limbs, rolling hills and clouds.
Largely self-taught, Hawkins moved to England in the early 1930s and travels in Spain inspired her first illustrated story, Pepito (1938), as well as a series of paintings depicting Catalan market scenes. Gypsy Mother was included in her 1939 exhibition at Goupil Gallery, London.
A photograph in the collection of The Australian War Memorial shows Sheila Hawkins in her Hampstead studio around 1944 with the painting Gypsy Mother on the wall behind her.
Her work is represented in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.