Congratulations Genevieve Loy – Ravenswood finalist

We are really excited that indigenous artist Genevieve Kemarr Loy has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize, an annual prize that was launched in 2017 to advance art and opportunity for emerging and established female artists in Australia. It is the highest value professional artist prize for women in Australia.

The current global situation has meant a delay in the exhibition which is now scheduled to open 27 November, showing until 12 December at the Ravenswood School for Girls, Gordon, NSW. As their website mentions, although up to 70% of art school graduates are female, women artists make up less than half of represented artists in exhibitions and prizes around Australia, with State museums showing 34% of female artists amongst their collections. This is something many galleries are continuing to address. The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize provides a platform to promote female visual artists, assisting in career development, providing opportunities for greater connections and inspiring current students.

Genevieve follows the tradition of her grandmother, Nancy Kunoth Petyarr and was taught to paint by her father, Cowboy Loy Pwerl, an indigenous elder in Utopia and custodian of the Bush Turkey Dreaming. On a superficial level Genevieve’s often paintings depict the tracks the Bush Turkey makes as it searches for seeds and other ‘tucker’ and makes its way to the waterhole. Genevieve’s complex and detailed paintings are characterised by a beautiful and careful handling of paint; a harmonious sense of colour; and great control of the delicate spidery marks that make their way across her canvas. Her meticulous lines can be difficult to read in a digital reproduction and are best understood and appreciated in person.

Read more about Genevieve on our site or view available works in the Stockroom. Please contact the Gallery for any further details. Lauraine Diggins Fine Art is currently open by appointment.

Genevieve Kemarr Loy Bush Turkey Tracks 2020 synthetic polymer on linen 150 x 121.5 cm

D’art documentary – film festival viewing 2020

Congratulations to all involved in making the D’art movie, a rollicking ride resulting in a vintage Goggomobil Dart car painted in artist Robert Clinch’s signature paper darts. Filmmaker Karl von Möller is deservedly recognised with the work’s inclusion in the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival for 2020, opening 30 June. Enjoy watching from the comfort of your own home, as the Festival will be online this year, with possible screenings scheduled for December.

Things are already off to a great start with US site Documentary Drive exclaiming:

“From its opening sequence, “D’art” commands your attention with its zappy swing music and montage of fine artist Robert Clinch launching paper darts into the air as collector Jeff Brown puts on a fire retardant suit and whooshes down a racetrack. 

You know their two worlds are about to meet. You don’t know how or why but you know it’s going to be a sensational adventure and you want to come along for the ride.

Directed by Karl von Möller, “D’art” raises the bar on what a film about art can be.”

For now, we hope you enjoy watching the film online; explore more about the D’art exhibition or peruse Robert’s paintings and works on paper.

The Gallery is currently open by appointment and we look forward to showing you Robert’s work.

Robert Clinch D'art exhibition
Robert Clinch D’art exhibition, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art

Congratulations to Yvonne Audette AM

219023 Yvonne Audette Cantata Giubilante

We are delighted that the recent Queen’s Birthday honours saw Yvonne Audette awarded the AM (Member of the Order of Australia) for her significant services as one of Australia’s leading abstract artists.

Audette undertook early studies in Sydney at the Julian Ashton School with Henry Gibbons and then from 1951 with John Passmore, who was to inspire her with his grater emphasis on colour and building a composition through geometric building blocks, influenced by Cezanne. She furthered her academic learning at the East Sydney Technical School with Lyndon Dadswell, as well as drawing sessions with Godfrey Miller, his abstract focus entwined with a personal mysticism. On the completion of her studies, Audette travelled and, unlike the traditional European tour, she started in America, living in New York at a time when abstract expressionism was just coming to the fore through the work of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky and Mark Tobey, among others. In 1955, Audette travelled to Europe, settling in Italy where she remained for more than a decade, taking in the influence of European abstraction and developing her own unique language based on a wide variety of experiences, including encounters of contemporary art as well as diverse periods from both east and western art history through her extensive travels.

A dedicated artist, Audette actively sought to surround and expose herself to contemporary art sources, experiences and teachers in order to absorb and redefine her own unique oeuvre. Her creative output undergoes rigorous examination, with later work referring to and reenergised by earlier constructions. Her abstraction is complex, deliberate and carefully constructed, although there is an element of intuition, with the formal construct often based on capturing the essence of a sensation, season or place. Much of her drawing and painting relates to music, a natural fit being a synthesis of discipline and creativity. Yvonne continues to paint, draw and teach, inspiring students with her experience and enthusiasm.

The 2014 monograph about Audette’s work summarises her artistic development as a “peripatetic journey that began with an ambitious young student going between her distinctively different, somewhat misanthropic but always inspiring teachers. Then there was her shift from Sydney to New York, and the maturation of her work in Italy, a cultural environment beautifully encrusted by the past yet enlivened by modern panache. In mid-career she uprooted herself from all this to return to her city of birth, only to abandon it again for the high pocket of forest growth that became the private space that nurtured her later work.” (Heathcote & Bruce, 2014, p. 173)

Lauraine Diggins Fine Art is proud to include Yvonne’s artwork in our current exhibition of Innovative Australian Women and looks forward to showcasing an exhibition of her work planned for later this year.

Australian ceramic artist Stephen Bowers discusses influences on his art in Ceramic Review.

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.

StephenBowers Ceramic Review Issue 298 July/August 2019

Ceramic Review Issue 298 July/August 2019

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.

Bijou – an installation by Stephen Bowers as part of the South Australian Living Artists Festival 2019 is on show until 5 October 2019.

To view artworks by Stephen Bowers currently available please visit our website.

Andrew Sayers: Defining the Artist in The Good Weekend magazine

Bogola Head (2015) by Andrew Sayers, gouache on paper, 57cm x 76.5cm.

Good Weekend readers will have spotted John McDonald’s review of our current exhibition of gouaches by Andrew Sayers as reproduced below. The evocative landscapes, with a beautiful sense of space and place are on show until 27 April.

 

Art: Andrew Sayers

By John McDonald   March 15, 2019

Lived: Richmond, Melbourne. Age: 1957-2015. Represented by: Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne; no Sydney gallery

His thing: Gouache on paper landscapes, painted in a range of locations.

Our take: After establishing his reputation as a curator at the National Gallery of Australia, Andrew Sayers went on to become the founding director of the National Portrait Gallery and, later, director of the National Museum of Australia. Only a few close friends knew that Sayers was also a secret artist who took every opportunity to go painting “en plein air”. Sayers had long intended to give up museum work and devote himself to artistic activities, but when diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he began to value every moment he could spend with a brush in his hand.

He held a first solo exhibition with Lauraine Diggins Fine Art in May 2015, and died in October that year. Andrew Sayers: Defining the Artist is his second solo show with the gallery, featuring goauche landscapes drawn from the estate. The quick-drying nature of gouache encourages a rapid response, and many of these works on paper might be described as sketches in which the artist has spontaneously jotted down his impressions. Other pictures are more considered, but it’s obvious that Sayers relished the challenge of painting at high speed, relying on eye and instinct. Like all dedicated landscape artists, he would return to the same motif again and again, investigating it from different angles under varying qualities of light.

Can I afford it? 

The works in this show range from $1500 to $5000, depending on size. The smallest, such as On the Spot Sketch, Wallaga Lake Bridge (2012), are 23cm/24cm x 32cm. The largest, such as the diptych Wooden Bridge (2010), are 57cm x 76cm and priced at $4950. Another large work is Bogola Head (pictured).

Where can I have a squiz?

Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, 5 Malakoff Street, North Caulfield, Melbourne, until April 27

diggins.com.au

Vale Kathleen Petyarre

We were saddened to learn of the death of celebrated Utopia artist Kathleen Petyarre on 24 November 2018. Recognised as one of the premier contemporary painters of the central and western desert art movement, Kathleen’s work was executed in the finest detail, depicting the travels of Arnkerrth, the Mountain Devil Lizard. Since her prize winning entry at the 1996 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, she found new representations bordering between cultural histories and abstractions and was celebrated through many exhibitions; on the international stage and through the survey exhibition Genius of Place at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2001). Her compositions often focussed on diagonal tensions; illustrating travels and sacred sites. Kathleen’s abilities as a painter were matched by her seniority in cultural knowledge and matriarchal duties of custodianship.

Read the personal tribute from Christine Nicholls, Flinders University as published in The Conversation.

“The thorny devil is unable to cover country in a straight line – she always takes a semi-circular route across her vast, arid country. This seems an apt metaphor for Kweyetemp Petyarre’s life, which hasn’t followed the trajectory that her younger self had foreseen, perforce veering off and rounding corners that she had never dreamed of in her childhood. That life, so rudely interrupted by the colonisers, was largely held together by her love of her family, and their love for her.

Petyarre also enjoyed being feted as a successful artist, and the travel that involved – arnkerrth is a great traveller.”

Christine Nicholls, Kathleen Petyarre: a brilliant artist whose life was rudely interrupted by colonisers. The Conversation, 26 November 2018

McWilliams on show at John Glover’s Patterdale Farm

“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.

Read the article here

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

Janet and Mike Green Exhibition Opening and Artist Talks

Missed the pleasure of our most recent exhibition opening? Eager to hear an insider’s view about the artworks? Videos of the exhibition opening for Alice and Beyond: Recent work by Janet and Mike Green, with opening remarks by Rod James, along with individual conversations with both Mike and Janet, are now all available for viewing – enjoy!

 

Vale Charles Blackman OBE

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.”

The Charles Blackman Foundation released the following statement which can be read in full on the artsreview:

“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

NAIDOC WEEK 2018

Lauraine Diggins Fine Art recognises the celebration of Naidoc Week (8 – 15 July 2018) which this year focuses on the important role women have played and continue to play as influential role models.

We see this in the community of Utopia where the women artists in particular have forged a presence on the international art stage – particularly, Emily Kam Kngwarray; Gloria Petyarr; Kathleen Petyerre – and continue to build on this legacy with younger artists including Genevieve Kemarr Loy.

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.

Currently on view at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art are paintings by Nancy Kunoth Petyarr and her daughter Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray.  Click here to read more about Utopia and the artists from this region.

ELIZABETH KUNOTH KNGWARRAY 212070 (detail)
ELIZABETH KUNOTH KNGWARRAY Yam Seeds and Flowers in my Grandmother’s Country 2012