Ambrose Patterson 1877 – 1967 (On the Beach) oil on wood panel 21.5 x 26.5 cm
What a contrast to welcome summer for 2019 – snow in Victoria and Tasmania but bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland! So here are a few artworks to bathe in the warm glow of sunshine; feel calmed by the lapping of water or rest under shady trees and enjoy the long days of summer, at least in our minds…
Blackman captures the sunburnt outline of a beach bather, contrasted against the golden sand depicted in squares of burnished metal leaf. The simplicity of the figure’s graceful lines highlight Blackman’s skill as a draughtsman.
Boyd lived with his family at The Grange, Harkaway where the Berwick landscape was populated by hills and fields and pastoral farms as well as more wild areas of thick undergrowth and fallen gums.
In 1920-21 Bunny completed a series of richly coloured monotypes (painted on glass so only one unique impression is taken). Many of the works drew their subjects from mythology or orientalist interest, often featuring nudes completed in a decorative manner utilising complex and harmonious colour and pattern.
Andrew Sayers painted the landscape around the south coast of New South Wales over a number of years, including the picturesque wooden bridges. All painted en plein air, the works range from sunny depictions with lush vegetation and golden sands, to windy waves washing under the bridge, to minimalist imagery of the bridge pared back so the white posts seem to float in the air.
Merric Boyd 1888 – 1959 Jug with Landscape and Grape Design Vine Form Handle 1916 ceramic, height: 18.5 cm
The Glen Eira council Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition featuring ceramics from the Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery in Murrumbeena. The AMB Pottery was established in the 1940s by Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd (son of ceramicist Merric Boyd and grandson of artist Arthur Boyd) along with John Perceval and Peter Herbst. Other artists who contributed included Neil Douglas, Yvonne Boyd and Betty Burchell. Designs ranged from the functional – cups, plates, bowls – to the more decorative – vases, platters, jugs – often with beautiful details of native flora and fauna.
Lauraine Diggins Fine Art has a small selection of sought after ceramic works by members of the Boyd family. We welcome your inquiries.
We extend our congratulations to William Eicholtz whose graceful and joyous large-scale sculpture At the Altar of Terpsichore has been selected for this year’s Sculpture by the Sea, with 100 sculptures along the spectacular coastline between Bondi and Tamarama Beach, NSW.
Eicholtz’s decorative Harvest Doormen welcome you to Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, as guardians either side of our front door.
Sculpture in an outdoors setting, especially on a large-scale is certainly eye-catching and a number of sculptural works are situated in our Gallery gardens including Peter Schipperheyn’s sensuous marble, My Wife.
Sculpture of a more domestic scale provides wonderful opportunities to display works in your home, such as the juxtaposition of assembled shapes, colours and materials in the work of Gus Dall’Ava, in the playful and intimate conversation of Twenty-Fifth Dialogue.
Augustine Dall’Ava Twenty-Fifth Dialogue 2008 painted and natural stones, painted wood, marble, stainless steel, 43.5 x 52 x 14.5 cm (click on artist name link to view other works)
The lyrical, delicately coloured paintings by the artists of Utopia speak of a strong connection with landscape and country, as well as integral and significant ancestral and ceremonial links.
On another level, we pay tribute to the personal connection Lauraine Diggins had with the artists and landscape of Utopia. A strong supporter of the artists from this beautiful area, Lauraine would travel often to spend time working with the Ngal sisters (Kathleen, Poly and Angelina – and extended family) from Camel Camp; Cowboy Loy Pwerl, Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray and Genevieve Kemarr Loy from Iylenty (Mosquito Bore); and with the Morton sisters from Rocket Range.
Lauraine promoted the artists of Utopia, not only through her own Gallery but internationally through art fairs in Paris and Moscow; collaborative exhibitions both in Australia and around the world; and through art competitions including Angelina, Kathleen and Elizabeth in the Wynne; Cowboy and Genevieve in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize; Elizabeth and Genevieve in the Churchie; Angelina, Cowboy, Elizabeth and Genevieve in the Blake; Elizabeth and Genevieve in the Alice Prize; Genevieve in the Fleurieu, among others. Lauraine was instrumental in the international fashion house Hermes commissioning Gloria Petyarr to create a design for their famous scarves.
The iconic Goggomobil Dart car painted with distinctive painted paper darts by artist Robert Clinch created a unique objet d’art. Classic car collector Jeff Brown, son of renowned art dealer Joseph Brown, whose collection is a highlight of the National Gallery of Victoria, collaborated with Clinch to conceive the project. The paper dart has become a recognised feature throughout Robert’s hyper-real paintings and works on paper depicting urban Melbourne. No two darts on the car are the same, and narratives present themselves through the various groupings, telling a multitude of stories over the surface of the car.
The Goggomobil was named and designed by Bill Buckle in the 1960s who thought ‘Dart’ summed up the streamlined little sports car. The sense of flight and fun implied by paper darts is a perfect fit for the Dart car.
The Goggomobil – spelt G-O-G-G-O – became a household name through a memorable advertising campaign featuring Tommy Dysart.
These key figures in the history of the Dart and the realisation of the remarkable art project, feature in the movie.
Featuring: Robert Clinch, Jeff Brown, Bill Buckle, Tommy Dysart, Joan Brockenshire, David Thomas, Lauraine Diggins, Gerard Vaughan, Annie Brown, Bill Hemming, Paul Faulkner, Michael Schoenfeld and Beverley Clinch.
Finding shards of blue and white china as a child shaped Stephen Bowers’ successful career as an internationally acclaimed ceramic artist . Read of his influences in “Potters on Pots” in the Ceramic Review.
Stephen’s work is also currently the feature of an installation at the Roche Foundation in Adelaide – his opulent pieces distributed throughout the Roche collection of antiques and decorative arts, providing an opportunity for dialogue, juxtaposition and surprise.
We are pleased to again participate in The Melbourne Fair at the Caulfield Racecourse with a preview Gala Opening on Thursday 8th August.
Featuring a selection of Arts, Antiques, Jewellery, Books, Vintage Fashion and more.
Lauraine Diggins Fine Art will showcase Australian painting, sculpture, decorative arts and works on paper, with artists including Yvonne Audette, Stephen Bowers, Rupert Bunny, Gus Dall’Ava, Max Dupain, Emanuel Phillips Fox, John Glover, Janet Green, Mike Green, Hans Heysen, Percy Lindsay, Michael McWilliams, Ambrose Patterson, Andrew Sayers, Roland Wakelin, Zhou Xiaoping a selection of indigenous painting from Utopia.
We have a limited number of complimentary tickets for both the Gala and general entry, so please do contact us to secure your tickets for The Melbourne Fair 2019. Telephone 03 9509 9855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 8th August 6pm – 9pm Gala Opening
Friday 9th August 11am – 6pm
Saturday 10th August 10am – 6pm
Sunday 11th August 10am – 5pm
It is with great sorrow and sadness Lauraine Diggins Fine Art advises of the death of our Gallery Founder and Director Lauraine Diggins OAM on 19thof April 2019. It has been a long cherished hope of Lauraine’s that the Gallery she created continues to provide into the future the same knowledge, passion and integrity for which Lauraine herself has been for so long admired and respected. This is a task to which Ruth Lovell, Gallery Manager, and Nerida Blanche, daughter and Assistant Gallery Manager and Michael Blanche, husband and Gallery Director, look to all the Gallery’s friends and supporters to help us to achieve.
We pay tribute to Lauraine and recognise and celebrate her dedication to the arts in Australia, most recently acknowledged by her award of the OAM in the Australia Day Honours, 26 January 2019 for her service to the museums and galleries sector.
Michael Blanche, Lauraine Diggins and Nerida Blanche
at Lauraine’s investiture for her OAM 2019
The life of Gallery founder and Director, Lauraine Diggins OAM
will be honoured with a public memorial service on
Lauraine’s professional involvement in Australian art commenced in 1974, with her acquisition, almost on a whim, of Bartoni Gallery in South Yarra. It was obviously the right calling as she flourished and developed into the highly respected dealer of today. The early 1980s saw Lauraine compiling expansive exhibitions of Australian art showing from her home in North Caulfield before establishing a purpose-built gallery for Lauraine Diggins Fine Art in 1988 designed with architect Graeme Gunn, providing an environment of discretion, contemplation and warmth, opening with the exhibition The Antipodeans: Another Chapter.
Lauraine’s confident, engaging manner, matched with an extraordinary work ethic, paved her success in securing and placing a great number of significant artworks in both private and public collections, including all the major Australian public institutions: National Gallery of Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Queensland Art Gallery; National Gallery of Victoria; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Art Gallery of South Australia; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery; Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; Museums and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory; National Library of Australia; State Library of Victoria; as well as many regional & university collections Australia-wide, and private collections internationally and throughout Australia.
Her support of artists encompassed relationships and exhibitions from those just starting their career to others firmly established in the canons of Australian art history.
Her concern for providing a rounded experience for clients, from the private, corporate and institutional spheres, led many to becoming lifelong friends.
Gallery exhibitions have highlighted individual artists including: Nora Heysen, Constance Stokes, Emily Kngwarray, Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester, Arthur Boyd, Tom Gleghorn, Lawrence Daws, Ronald Millar, Fred Williams, Charles Blackman, Mark Strizic, Kathleen, Poly and Angelina Ngal, Nancy Kunoth Petyarr, Richard Crichton, Cowboy Loy Pwerl, Mike Green, Janet Green, Jeff Makin, Gloria Petyarr, Dianne Coulter, Andrew Rogers, Ivan Durrant, Fraser Fair, Helmut Lueckenhausen, Katherine Hattam, John Dent, Andrea Hylands, Stephen Bowers, Deborah Walker, Michael McWilliams, Andrew Sayers, Robert Clinch, Peter Walsh, Grant Donaldson, Xiaoping Zhou, Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray, Peter Churcher, Genevieve Kemarr Loy and Lorraine White.
However, perhaps the highest acclaim came for her carefully curated Collectors’survey shows featuring Australian art encompassing colonial, impressionist, modern, contemporary and Indigenous painting, sculpture, works on paper and decorative arts featuring works by revered masters including John Glover, Henry Burn, Eugene von Guerard, Abram Louis Buvelot, Thomas Clark, Isaac Whitehead, Haughton Forrest, Nicholas Chevalier, Charles Douglas Richardson, Walter Withers, Frederick McCubbin, Tom Roberts, Emma Minnie Boyd, Jane Price, Clara Southern, Arthur Boyd Snr, Rupert Bunny, David Davies, Emanuel Phillips Fox, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, Leon Pole, George Lambert, Ethel Carrick Fox, Margaret Preston, Hans Heysen, Bessie Davidson, Elioth Gruner, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Clarice Beckett, Roland Wakelin, Dorrit Black, Ian Fairweather, Grace Cossington Smith, Lloyd Rees, Danila Vassilieff, Horace Trenerry, Albert Namatjira, Emily Kngwarray, Paddy Bedford, Russell Drysdale, Robert Dickerson, Albert Tucker, James Gleeson, Donald Friend, Sidney Nolan, John Brack, Arthur Boyd, Ray Crooke, John Perceval, David Boyd, Margaret Olley, Rover Thomas, Fred Williams, John Olsen, Charles Blackman, Marea Gazzard, George Baldessin, Brett Whiteley, Robert Jacks, Lin Onus, Augustus Dall’Ava, Robert Baines, Terry Yumbulul, Susan Wraight, Peter Schipperheyn, William Eicholtz.
With her expertise and knowledge, Lauraine has assisted to bring a greater appreciation of Australian art to international attention with two exhibitions at the China Club, Hong Kong; SOFA Chicago; Australian Modern in Milan (2002); Memory as Landscape October Gallery, London (2005); ArtParis (2004-05-06) and the Moscow World Fine Art Fair (2008). Lauraine curated the milestone exhibition Myriad of Dreaming in 1989, which was accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue. This seminal publication does much to explain the visual language of indigenous art and was used by the Melbourne Olympic bid for presentation to each of the Olympic delegates.
This passion for scholarship was partly out of respect for the integrity of each artwork but also her desire to provide an educative focus, an element emphasised through the Gallery website and publications, in particular the Collectors’ Exhibitions. Almost in spite of being a commercial gallery, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art hosts exhibitions which aim to not only promote Australian art but grow our understanding, with important and varied artworks and engaging expert writers and speakers. Her desire to share her expertise and knowledge in this educational way saw her write and speak in numerous forums, as well as developing the first private comprehensive course on the study of Australian art in 1992.
From 2000 – 2004, Lauraine represented the Aboriginal community, the Artists of Ampilatwatja and the Gallery continues to work with select artists from Utopia in central Australia, the area where the internationally celebrated artist Emily Kngwarray hailed from and an area of personal passion for Lauraine. The Gallery’s promotion of artists from Utopia through exhibitions both in Australia and internationally has brought their work to greater attention of collectors worldwide and led to the commission of Gloria Petyarr’s design for a scarf by the famous fashion house Hermes, the only Australian artist to be honoured in this way. Lauraine wore one of these scarves to her OAM investiture.
Lauraine was instrumental in establishing a partnership arrangement with Australian Unity to provide a food care and garden program in Utopia. Her love of indigenous art was the focus of an exhibition at Deakin University, An Individual Perspective, highlighting works from her personal collection (2009).
Her involvement in the arts extended beyond her Gallery walls, being an expert assessor for the government’s Protection of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act and the Cultural Gifts Program. Memberships included the Australian Antique and Art Dealers’ Association; the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia; the Art Consulting Association of Australia; signatory to the Indigenous Art Code; Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation; Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation; founder benefactor National Gallery of Victoria Foundation; foundation Member of the Queensland Art Gallery and National Gallery of Australia’s Foundations; Life Member, Shepparton Art Gallery and a member of all Australian state galleries. Lauraine was a board member of the National Gallery of Victoria Foundation from 1990 – 94. She was invited to be a patron of Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in 2002, having previously been a member of their art advisory board. She was an Industry Partner with The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Strategic Partnerships with Industry – Research and Training Scheme “Authentication of Australian Art – Artists’ Supports”, 2000 and a member of I-Leap, the Indigenous Leadership, Excellence and Achievement Program. She supported universities, in particular Deakin and Melbourne, through guest lecture series and board positions.
Outside of the arts, Lauraine’s interests and passions were never mere hobbies but integral to her life, and, never one to do things by halves, led to her involvement in a diverse range of pursuits: from skiing (coordinating St Catherine’s ski team) to opera (board member of Melbourne Opera) to dance (especially the Australian Ballet) to health and fitness (committee member for Women@TheAlfred) to wine (part owner of Scotchmans Hill) to horses (an avid equestrian from childhood), and unquestionably, dogs, which she was never without and which brought her such joy. She was an active member of the Lyceum Club and her adventurous spirit and passion for travel inspired experiences in numerous countries. However, her most treasured spot was the south coast of NSW, spending time with family and friends.
Lauraine inherited an interest in football from her father, Brighton Diggins, who was the first captain and playing coach to win a premiership at Carlton in 1938, as well as being a member of the South Melbourne Swans 1933 premiership team. Lauraine was the first female elected to the Carlton board in 2002 and remained a Director of the Carlton Football Club and Director of the Carlton Cricket and Football Social Club, including a year as Vice President, until early 2007.
Prior to becoming an art dealer Lauraine graduated as an Occupational Therapist, working for a period in this field and maintaining lifelong friendships within the group she studied with. She also worked for a time for the Australian Tourist Commission.
Of course the most influential and important aspect of her life was family and we acknowledge the profound loss to her husband Michael, daughter Nerida, son-in-law Aidan and grandchildren Luca and Camille. Our heartfelt thoughts are with them.
Lauraine was a generous, inspiring and formidable woman and very much the embodiment of ‘Lauraine Diggins Fine Art.’ We look forward to your continued support of the Gallery as her vital legacy. Lauraine Diggins Fine Art will continue to present stimulating exhibitions and source artworks for our clients, not only looking to Australian artists but also work with an international focus.
Included in our current exhibition Andrew Sayers: Defining the Artist is a series of gouaches created over a five year period focussing on the picturesque wooden bridges of the south coast of New South Wales. The bridges attracted Sayers as subject matter on a number of levels; from their natural appeal, to a curiosity about their structure and the opportunity to contrast elements of time and history. All painted en plein air, the works range from sunny depictions with lush vegetation and golden sands, to minimalist white posts seeming to float in the air. To take A Closer Look At… the Bridges of Andrew Sayers and read the illustrated essay, please click here.
The gouaches of Andrew Sayers are evocative and atmospheric, encapsulating a real sense of space and of place. Painted en plein air, they speak of the challenges of depicting the scene in front of you as it changes depending on natural conditions, such as light and weather. Sayers’s work contrasts these fleeting moments of the elements against ancient features of the land, revealing his passion for rocks, seas and skies; as well as opening a conversation between the landscape and human elements, such as bridge constructions. In his opening remarks, Doug Hall described the works as exhibiting “poise, quiet monumentalism and clarity.”