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When Michael Johnson isn’t painting, he likes to go fishing at night, says Joyce Morgan in The Sydney Morning Herald. At night, “you have to feel what’s going on – it’s all communication by touch,” he says. Asking his students to paint blindfold gave them that same sense. Despite the shimmering bands of jewel like colour: “After a while you get a grasp on it, like the body movements of a dancer.”_continue reading
Despite contrasting views of the world, two artists find common ground by putting emotion before technique, writes John McDonald.
The conundrum of how to express one’s thoughts and feelings in a way that doesn’t become illustrative or didactic lies at the heart of abstract art. Many artists consider abstraction to be a logical progression, believing that once they have crossed the lines that separates them from strictly representational art there is no turning back. This made it doubly startling last week to see Michael Johnson’s extraordinary drawing of a snow leopard completes as part of last year’s artist’s project at Taronga Park Zoo.
With its darkly poetic title, Ballads of the Dead and Dreaming, Ben Ali Ong’s latest series will not disappoint those familiar with his ominous, seductive and moody photographs. The exhibition which is being shown at Tim Olsen Gallery, as part of Art Month Sydney, chronicles Ong’s ongoing fascination with ideas of mortality, spirituality and the subconscious._continue reading
As floods follows droughts, the art dealers are hoping a new year will bring clients rushing back through their doors. The previous 12 months were so quiet and visitation so poor that 2011 simply has to be better. This may be an optimistic view, but only an optimist would ever open a commercial gallery. The problem has not been the quality of the shows but the dogged reluctance of buyers to succumb to their acquisitive impulses. The money was there but self-denial was practices with a rigour that is rarely seen in Sydney. As usual there are many shows crying out for attention, but at the risk of making an arbitrary connection, I’ll look at three exhibitions by three young painters working in completely different styles.. Sophie Cape, at the Tim Olsen Gallery is making her debut… Cape, who is the youngest of these three artists but perhaps, the most confidant..._continue reading
Cross a paintbrush with an adrenalin rush and you get artist Sophie Cape, pictured. A champion downhill skier until injuries forced a change of career, Cape describes her violent way with a brush as "a cathartic expulsion of energy". Her pyschological self portraits,_continue reading
Somewhere within Sophie Cape’s violent and visceral paintings is her biography. As the dirt and paint intersect on huge pieces of paper, the results tell the story of an elite athlete distraught after injures took away her goals. Cape was a champion skier who changed careers after serious knee and muscle injuries._continue reading
In casting around for a theme for this year’s Australia Day special, we hoped to choose one that would give the artists scope to explore and celebrate what it means to be Australian. The brief was that the work should be a personal response to our country’s diversity, landscape and culture. Each artist has brought a distinct vision of how they understand and picture our national character, reflecting the wide rang of reactions to the idea of Australia Day._continue reading
Photographer Rex Dupain was in a town in Western NSW and the locals were warning him not to go near the local Aboriginal reserve. Your car will be damaged, they said; you’ll be robbed or beaten up. But then Dupain met an Aboriginal man in the street who offered to take him there and show him around. “Don’t worry bro,” the man said. “If you’re with me you’ll be OK.”
It has taken Cherry Hood six years to overcome her fear of the landscape at her farm near Goulburn. “It’s been a difficult thing,” she said. “We have this big black range of hills near us and they’re quite spooky and we’re surrounded by these white trees that are quite eerie.” Years of drought had taken a toll, but Hood said rains had brought life to the district’s parched farms: “Its very green and lush._continue reading
26-27 June 2010
Emdur's seascapes featuring floating women have always been singularly beautiful with their weightless, Ophelia-like overtones but in this show her work takes on a more provocative edge with multiple, occasionally intertwined naked bodies. "Martine's paintings celebrate aquatic liberation," says gallerist Tim Olsen. Detail from Sage pictured below._continue reading
Sculpture 2010 is a showcase of works by Robert Hague, Camie Lyons (Wings in the Big Blue, pictured) and Peter Vandermark in a variety of media.
26-27 September 2009
David Larwill, New Paintings
In the 1980's, David Larwill was a member of Roar, a group of young, anti-establishmentarian artists who ran their own exhibitions and occupied themselves with a provocative, new-fangled style of painting known as figurative expressionism._continue reading