Wilpena Pound is an amphitheatre of mountains in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges National Park.
Nicholas Harding describes his response to working from this landscape:
‘Reflected sky pooling in stream water. Wattle blooms amongst bark and bough. Bleaching light refracted through twigs and leaves. Birdsong and insect buzz. Wilpena in the spring.’ – Nicholas Harding, 2017
‘John’s irrepressible joie de vivre, in both his personality and work, was something I wanted to paint. This request was politely denied,’ says Harding.
‘Last year, however, after painting Tim for a National Portrait Gallery exhibition, he asked if I’d like to paint John. Then a sitting became impossible with the worsening of John’s wife’s illness. Sadly, just before Christmas, Katherine died.’
‘In January, John had his 89th birthday. He had been involved with his major retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria, then its imminent opening at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He was also painting new work for an exhibition in March. It was a time of mortal loss, emotional exhaustion and great achievement. At this profoundly complex moment of his life, with great generosity, John sat for me in his studio.’
The winners of the Wynne Prize and the Archibald will be announced on the 28th of July 2017.
Olsen artists Nicholas Harding and Fiona McMonagle feature in ‘The Popular Pets’ show at The National Portrait Gallery, hanging from Friday 4 November 2016 until Monday 13 March 2017
Night Owl, 2013 by Fiona McMonagle
Private Collection, NSW
From The National Portrait Gallery website:
‘The Popular Pet Show will express the joy and warmth that many of us derive from our animal companions, and will celebrate their trusting, unpretentious ways.
Comprising exuberant recent Australian paintings, many on a large scale, it will include portraits of famous and obscure Australians and their pets by contemporary artists Nicholas Harding, Lucy Culliton, Darren McDonald, Anna Culliton, Fiona McMonagle, Ken Done, Noel McKenna, Graeme Drendel, Robyn Sweaney, Kristin Headlam, Shen Jiawei, Jude Rae, William Robinson, Janet Dawson and Davida Allen. Many works have been created especially for the exhibition.
The Pet Show curator is Sarah Engledow, whose recent popular National Portrait Gallery exhibitions include Arcadia: Sound of the sea; Paris to Monaro: Pleasures from the studio of Hilda Rix Nicholas; and Idle Hours. A fully-illustrated catalogue, written by Dr. Engledow, will accompany the high-spirited exhibition – pre-order your copy here!’
Nicholas Harding and Paul Ryan are finalists this year in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. Nicholas’ painting of actor Richard Roxburgh and Paul’s of fellow artist Noah Taylor make up a group of thirty works to be exhibited at Juniper Hall in Paddington.
The Doug Moran National portrait prize is an initiative of the Moran Arts Foundation, a philanthropic organisation whose objective is to support the arts in Australia.
The winner of the prize will receive $150, 000 and their portrait will be acquired as part of the collection of the Moran Foundation.
The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize
29 October 2014 – 15 February 2015
Juniper Hall, 250 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW, 2021
Nicholas Harding, Julian Meagher and Paul Ryan have all been named as semi-finalists in the 2014 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. The annual prize, in its 26 year, awards $150,000 to an outstanding work of portraiture. The winning work is acquired by the Moran Arts Foundation.
“Established by Doug and Greta Moran and Family in 1988 in celebration of Australia’s bicentennial, the Moran Arts Foundation fosters portraiture skills and excellence in photography.” – Moran Arts Foundation
2014 judges are Edmund Capon AM OBE, director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1978 to 2011 and artist, Lewis Miller. From the semi-finalists, 30 finalists will be named and exhibited at Juniper Hall in Paddington, Sydney from 29 October 2014 to 15 February 2015. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 28 October 2014. Best of luck to all!
Nicholas Harding has been featured in Art Collector’s Under 5K, an annual presentation of works by established artists that are available for less than $5,000. Included in the mix are Nicholas Harding’s watercolour works completed during a residency in Paris and etchings produced for his recent exhibition at Olsen Irwin Drawing Godot.
Olsen Irwin director Rex Irwin talks of Hardings etchings of the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Waiting for Godot as, ‘Far more exciting than a photo, they capture the immediacy of the drama and sit comfortably in the pantheon of great artists such as Degas, Lautrec and Hockney who worked from life studying performers both on and off stage.’
Click ‘continue reading’ below to see more works by Nicholas Harding for under $5,000 after the jump.
Originating in 1992, the Salon des Refuses presents an alternative selection of works from the entries to the Archibald and Wynne Prizes. The judges for 2014 are Gina Fairley – arts writer, curator and director of Slot Gallery; Andrew Frost – art commentator, lecturer and presenter of The Art Life; and Jane Watters – director of the S.H. Ervin Gallery.
Nicholas Harding was selected for his entry for the Archibald Prize featuring the cast of the Sydney Theatre Company’s Waiting for Godot production, Playing for Godot (Mullins, Weaving, Roxburgh and Quast). Sophie Cape and Paul Ryan were selected for their entries to the Wynne Prize. The Wynne Prize accepts entries of landscape painting of Australian scenery or figure sculpture.
The exhibition opens today, Saturday 19 July, and run until 14 September at the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney.
2014 Salon des Refuses
19 July to 14 September 2014
S.H. Ervin Gallery
The Rocks NSW 2000
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Bellinda Kontominas spoke with Guy Maestri about his work for the charity auction event, Art of Music. ‘Are you Leaving for the Country’ by Australian band The Drones is both the inspiration and the title of Maestri’s work to be auctioned for the event. Money raised will go to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, ‘founded in 1984 to promote and develop the understanding, training and practice of creative music therapy.’ – Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. For the auction 11 artists were asked to create a work based on an iconic Australian song. Olsen Irwin artists Nicholas Harding, Luke Sciberras and Amanda Marburg are also contributing works to the auction.
Watch Maestri discuss his work and song choice and read the article here on the Sydney Morning Herald website.
Art of Music
Saturday 14 June 2014
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
Performances by Don Walker, Missy Higgins and Sunny Amoreena
Images from our friends at Handpicked Wines from the opening of Nicholas Harding’s exhibition ‘Drawing Godot‘. The exhibition documents the Sydney Theatre Company’s 2013 production of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’. With Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving as leads in the production, the exhibition was kindly opened by Richard Roxburgh on Saturday 10 May. This week is the final opportunity to view the exhibition, closing Sunday 25 May.
Olsen Irwin would also like to thank their partner Handpicked Wines for providing the Handpicked Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and Handpicked Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon for the exhibition opening.
7 – 25 May 2014
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra NSW 2025
MB: In search of Nicholas Harding’s studio I hurry along a Camperdown street of identical terrace houses. I spot a paint splattered curtain peeking through a door, the familiar smell of oil paint fills the air and I know I’ve arrived. Like the curtain, the clear plastic lining the studio walls is covered in brush marks and the colours of previous works, protecting the bright white walls beyond. I am greeted by Harding’s wife Lynne and given a quick tour of the modern loft terrace as Harding works vigorously on a large canvas. Although most recognised for his textural layers of oil paint, I am here to view the artist’s etchings and works on paper, hoping to fill the Olsen Irwin drawers with some new finds and familiar favourites.
Harding flips through large gouache works on paper. We come across portraits of friends and family, including Australian actor Hugo Weaving, Olsen Irwin artist Paul Davies and Harding’s wife Lynne. In the upstairs loft space we find small sketches from his 2013 residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and peruse the carefully organised drawers of etchings. I take with me some gouache studies of Parisian dogs and a bunch of etchings, including the 2001 etching of Harding’s Archibald Prize winning work ‘John Bell as King Lear‘.
Harding then riffles through the mountains of sketch books littering the studio floor – notebooks of exquisite handmade paper filled entirely with studies drawn of the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of the famed Samuel Beckett play ‘Waiting for Godot’. Harding will exhibit works from the ‘Waiting for Godot’ series at Olsen Irwin in May 2014.
MB: Do you view your sketches and drawings as a part of your overall process or as works in themselves?
NH: They’re largely part of the overall process, of working things out but the ones that really hit the mark can exist as independent works.
MB: You are currently making a series of etchings from the ‘Waiting for Godot’ sketchbooks – how relevant are etchings to your artistic practice?
NH: These are my first since I did some etchings back in 2001-05 with Duckprint and Cicada Press. Working this time with Laura Jones at Legs Press. Etching is another way of drawing and with the Godot etchings it’s a way of developing some of the images from the sketchbooks. The first ones are faithful to the initial sketches but others were developed further. It’s exciting to see how the drawn mark in the soft ground will bite. Most of the plates had a few states of development but one plate came out of the first bite and was done.
MB: How did you get involved in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of ‘Waiting for Godot’?
NH: While I was artist-in-residence at the Cité des Internationales in Paris last year there was a ‘pop-up’ Globe theatre outside my studio window and I drew the actors while they waited for their cues and paced around outside. Hugo Weaving saw some of these drawings on Instagram and invited me to draw during STC’s rehearsals for ‘Waiting for Godot’ later in the year.
MB: What do you hope to achieve from your exhibition of works from the ‘Waiting for Godot’ series?
NH: With any series the hope is to create some exciting and engaging work, to communicate my response to something which excites me. I just feel compelled to draw with something, with ink, paint, on an etching plate. It’s how I attempt to make sense of things. The arts are a way of entering into life and to collaborate with another art form, another means of expression, gets me out of my comfort zone and opens up other possibilities for my work.
MB: The theatre has been a reoccurring theme in your work, will we see more joint ventures with the Sydney Theatre Company in the future?
NH: There are a couple of productions later on this year I’d love to be able to attend and draw but it does depend very much upon our mutual schedules.
7 – 25 May 2014
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra NSW 2025