Michael McWilliams – Finalist in the Glover Prize & Winner of Children’s Choice 2016

Michael McWilliams, Potrait Of A Landscape, 150cm x 120cm_Glover Prize 2016 copy 2We congratulate Michael McWilliams who has again been named a finalist in the Glover Prize and awarded the Children’s Choice Award 2016. It is the tenth time Michael has been selected in the competition to judge the best  contemporary Tasmanian landscape painting, which he won back in 2004, the inaugural year of the prize. Michael has also been awarded the People’s Choice in 2015, 2014, 2012 and the Children’s Choice in 2013 and an Honourable Mention in 2008 and 2006.

This year Michael has painted Portrait of a Landscape in the tradition of the witty and scientific fluency of the renaissance artist Guiseppe Arcimboldo. As ever with Michael’s oeuvre, the viewer is rewarded by looking closely to discover the serious environmental message beyond the gentle humour.


We look forward to working with Michael towards an exhibition in 2018.

Vale Andrew Sayers

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Andrew Sayers who died peacefully at home on Sunday 11 October after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Andrew established his career as Curator (drawings) and Assistant Director (Collections) at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (1985 – 1998) and his extensive knowledge and passion for drawing can be seen at the opening speech he gave for our DRAWN exhibition last year.

He was the author of several significant publications, principally Drawing in Australia, 1989; Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century, 1994; Sidney Nolan; The Ned Kelly Story, 1994 and Australian Art in The Oxford History of Art, 2001.

Andrew’s leadership as the inaugural director of the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (1998 – 2010) overseeing the growth and development of both the collection and the building project of this much-loved and visited institution, is testament to his perseverance, skill and friendly charm.

More recently, Andrew was Director of the National Museum of Australia, Canberra (2010 -2013). In 2010 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to arts administration.

Throughout his academic and professional life in the arts industry, he continued his own artistic interests and it was with great pleasure and pride that we presented Andrew’s exhibition earlier this year. His first major solo exhibition, Nature Through the Glass of Time revealed Andrew’s great talent, with earlier paintings informing the more recent landscape gouaches, which quite joyfully expressed space and sea and sky, and the oil paintings with their greater level of complexity informed by Andrew’s extensive art historical knowledge.

We were delighted with the exhibition and the opportunity it provided for a wide audience to see the numerous works hanging together. Ted Baillieu opened the exhibition with an entertaining and engaging speech which can be viewed on our website. Andrew’s presence at the Gallery was one of grace and quiet pride matched with the determination and self-belief that is required of good artists. We hope the experience provided both excitement and fulfilment.

We are sure Andrew’s inclusion in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize in 2014 and this year’s Archibald Prize gave him great satisfaction, especially considering his immense professional relationship with portraiture.

Andrew’s influence as someone who shaped the arts in Australia, from both sides, will be a lasting tribute.

Our thoughts are with Andrew’s wife Perry and their three daughters.

An exhibition of Andrew’s new work is scheduled at Beaver Galleries, Canberra in November.

Stephen Bowers in Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery exhibition


The oversized Caucus Race Cup and Saucer by Stephen Bowers is included in the current exhibition, Storm in a Teacup, on show until 27 September at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery.

Storm in a Teacup reflects upon tea drinking in Australia. Introduced by the British colonials, the afternoon tea party was an attempt to ‘civilise’ the land.

Beginning with elegant paintings of the afternoon tea table from E. Phillips Fox and Arthur Streeton, the exhibition goes on to explore the darker side of tea drinking and the social and environmental impacts of the humble cup of tea.

Storm in a Teacup features paintings, works on paper, photographs, ceramics, sculpture and installation.

For further details:  http://mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au/EXHIBITIONS/Storm_in_a_Teacup

Farewell Matilda

It is with great sadness that yesterday we farewelled our Matilda (Tilly).

Hopefully she has found her friend Marlo and they are chasing birds & balls on the beach.
The Gallery won’t be the same without her.
Rest in peace Matilda 2000-2015.

Andrew Sayers – Reviews

Christopher Allen reviews our exhibition Andrew Sayers: Nature Through the Glass of Time in The Australian Sat 13 June 2015. Please read the review Andrew Sayers Review The Australian 2015.


The exhibition has also been reviewed by Ramon Martinez Mendosa for ArtsHub on 2nd June 2015. Please read the review here.

Tax Breaks for Artworks

The Federal Government announced in the recent Budget that all small business will get an immediate deduction for any individual assets they but costing less than $20,000. Artwork is eligible and purchases of artwork qualify for the immediate tax deduction measure.

There are also possible implications for artworks in self-managed super funds.

For further details, please click here or contact the Gallery.

The Object Divine as featured in Craft Arts no 93

The Object Divine exhibition in current edition of Craft Arts magazine 2015

The current edition of Craft Arts magazine (no. 93) features our past exhibition The Object Divine with is focus on sculpture and with text by Christopher Menz. A selection of works from the exhibition are still available and on view at the Gallery. The catalogue is available to download from our Past Exhibitions section.