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.
“The old King Billy pine cupboard has been decorated by Tasmanian contemporary painter, Michael McWilliams, who began his career painting on old furniture from his family’s antique business. The painting above the cupboard is a watercolour of Nile Farm as it was in 1962, painted by a Launceston local.”
A recent article celebrates the heritage restoration project of John Glover’s Patterdale Farm in Tasmania, featuring a beautiful antique cupboard painted by Michael McWilliams. McWilliams has of course been a previous winner, and finalist on numerous occasions, of the John Glover art prize and has his own historic home and garden in Tasmania, so it is a real delight to see this connection with McWilliams’ artwork in Glover’s home.
Homestolove.com.au : Inside artist John Glover’s restored Patterdale home in Tasmania. The surrounding bushland continue to inspire more than 180 years after John Glover’s paintings made them famous. 5 December 2018
In conjunction with the current exhibition of John Peter Russell at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, a documentary about this fascinating artist will be screened on ABC television Tuesday 30th October at 9.30pm. Australia’s Lost Impressionist examines the relationships and influence of John Peter Russell within the French avant-garde in the late 1880s.
Part of the French avant-garde of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, John Russell was a close friend of Vincent van Gogh and Auguste Rodin, taught impressionist colour theory to Henri Matisse and dined with Claude Monet. Yet history has largely forgotten Russell, who was a key member of this ground-breaking group of artists during one of the most exhilarating periods in art history.
For further details about the AGNSW exhibition which is showing until 11 November please click here.
For details about the documentary please click here and for a preview click here.
An exhibition featuring the work of Australian indigenous women is currently on show at The Phililps Collection in Washington, USA. The nine artists are from a variety of areas highlighting a diversity of artistic practices and include Nonggirrnga Marawili, Wintjiya Napaltjarri, Yukultji Napangati, Angelina Pwerle, Carlene West, Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Lena Yarinkura, Gulumbu Yunupingu, and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu. Angelina Ngal from Utopia is sometimes incorrectly known by her late husband’s surname.
“In recent years, women have been at the forefront of contemporary Aboriginal Australian art. The innovative pictorial and conceptual tapestries included in Marking the Infinite demonstrate why. Through a weave of intimate marks, the nine artists map their knowledge of sacred Country, but such is the generous expansiveness of their works that they are not curtailed by these bounds. It is energising to think that women from one of the world’s oldest cultures, working in remote parts of Australia, are making some of the most globally relevant art today.” Sally Grant, Australian Book Review, 28 August 2018
Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia is on display until 9 September.
Bella d’Abrera, granddaughter of Constance Stokes was a recent guest on the Sky News program Outsiders (Monday 25th June) where she spoke about the importance of Stokes’ rigorous academic training and the impact of travelling and seeing important artworks in London and Paris and how that shaped her art.
“She was able to use one line to capture the solidity and weight of the figure and this was entirely based on her training, really rigorous training as a younger artist and that western tradition.”
“Stokes was once mentioned in the same breath as Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, Arthur Boyd, as a great Australian artist. She exhibited during the 30s, 40s, 50s and then again after the war in the 60s and 70s.”
“In London in the 1930s, she directly inherited that Renaissance idea of looking at the form.”
“Sir Kenneth Clark, who came to Australia in the 1940s and he met all the artists and he saw her work and he said, Constance Stokes is one of the world’s greatest draughtsman.”
“…she came back to Australia and she became the most sought after portraitist in Victoria at the time, so she had people queueing to get their portraits done by her…”
For an edited transcript please click here or to listen to the podcast click here
Click here to view artworks by CONSTANCE STOKES available at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art
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.
The outstanding works by ceramicist Stephen Bowers continue to gain the interest by international collections. Ming Meets Morris Meets Macropod is a recent acquisition by the Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, USA.
Ming Meets Morris Meets Macropod 2018 jigger jolley, white earthenware, underglaze color, clear glaze, on-glaze, ‘distressed’ burnished antique gold, 2.5 x 35.7 cm.
Against a back ground of lobed reserves, a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo ( Cacatua galleria) perches, holding in its beak a length of blue twisted string from which the bird is dangling a decorative bow arrangement The cockatoo references classic natural history (bird) illustration, being derived from, and paying homage to, the work of W T Cooper . The decorative yellow bow is sourced from Meyer’s Hand book of Ornament.
The reserve above the bird’s raised crest is filled with Honeysuckle, a wallpaper design first registered by William Morris in 1883. The bird perches on another reserve depicting a fragment of fabric design (also called Honeysuckle) by William Morris 1874 (sample in the Birmingham Museum). Behind the chest of the cockatoo is a reserve decorated with Eucalyptus corymbosa (Bloodwood) from botanical illustrations in A Research on The Eucalyptus and their Essential Oils by Richard T Baker and Henry G Smith, Technological Museum of New South Wales, Sydney 1920.
Finally, the large lobed circular fragment to the left of the cockatoo comprises a blue and white paneled border with elements in a central circular in-fill. The border and foliage details are based closely on Ming kraakwares held in the collection of the PEM Salem, in particular a porcelain Charger, 1573 – 1619, 3.3 ins (8.4 cms) X 20.7 ins (52.6 cms) dia. Museum purchase 1994. E84059. The paneled sections of the outer border contain motifs typical of the period including auspicious Buddhist regalia and symbols. The central circular reserve incorporates a rendering of the 1773 George Stubb’s Kangaroo – the first clear depiction of this Australian marsupial macropod.
For details about available works by Stephen Bowers, please view our stockroom or contact the Gallery.