Lorne Sculpture Biennale: Cocktail Party & Fine Art Auction

Image above: Terry Matassoni  What took you so long  2001  lithograph  16 x 21 cm

In late January 2021, Lorne Sculpture Biennale will be hosting a silent auction and live auction, featuring a number of Australian Galleries represented artists, including David Frazer, Nick Howson, Terry Matassoni, Lewis Miller and Peter Neilson.

The silent auction will include works from the collection of Dr Graeme Williams OAM collection, who is downsizing his art collection accumulated over nearly 50 years. The live auction will include works from both Paul Auckett and Graeme Williams. All proceeds will go to support the 2021 Lorne Sculpture exhibition.

The event will take place on Sunday 24 January, from 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm, at the Mantra Heritage Ballroom and Precinct in Lorne. Bookings are required, for more information click here.

Image above: David Frazer  Self portrait with fish  1999  wood engraving  15 x 4.5 cm

Image above: Nick Howson  Horse  1999  lithograph  13 x 21 cm



Belynda Henry – Arts-Matter Interview

Arts-Matter recently hosted an evening at Australian Galleries to celebrate the opening of Belynda Henry’s current solo exhibition, “To Paint is to Love.”

Following the event, Arts-Matter connected with Belynda and floral sculptor, Tracey Deep, for an interview about the show, their creative processes, and the role of artists in today’s troubling times.

The idea for the exhibition was born from a conversation with a creative partner and the writer for my upcoming book, “To Paint Is to Love.” It was suggested as a parallel to Henry Miller’s book, “To Paint Is to Love Again.” It is something that is going on for me at the moment on a deeply personal level. Miller wrote, “to paint is to love again, live again, see again.” I feel like I’m seeing my work and path into more abstract work in a new light. And of course, I have always loved to paint.‘ – Belynda Henry, 2020.

To read the full interview, click here.


Photography courtesy of Manolo Campion

Artwork above: Belynda Henry  Golden summer with yellow and pink  2020  oil and wax on canvas  197 x 183 cm
Belynda Henry  Ordinance 1  2020  oil and wax on canvas  182 x 152 cm


Nick Howson – Melbourne bollards

Nick Howson, renowned for his murals on the streets of Richmond, has recently taken to spray painting the bollards in Melbourne’s CBD.

Whilst on a tram during Melbourne’s lockdown, Nick noticed the bare and unsightly bollards when passing the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets. In that very moment, he decided to paint the bollards, so the next day he made a start.

Not long into the project Nick hit a roadblock. He was stopped by Police when he was merely seconds away from completing a portrait of a bird – he only had to spray a single dot for the eye. He urged the Police for “just one more spray” but they refused and ceased his spray paint cans and issued Nick a fine for not having a permit to paint the bollards and supposedly breaching lockdown restrictions, although he was within 5kms of his home and was “at work”.

Nick returned home finding the situation to be “comical and frustrating”. Later that day, he received a second visit by the Police. This time they revoked the fine and returned his cans of spray paint after realising his prolific artistic career.

To legitimise the project, Nick then wrote to Lord Major, Sally Capp, requesting permission to complete his bollards. He subsequently received a response giving him the go ahead.

Below excerpts from Nick’s letter to Sally Capp.

The Outcome

‘First Light: the art of Peter Kingston’ – S.H Ervin Gallery

Image: Peter Kingston, Lady Herron II (2014), oil on canvas, 111 x 141cm

First Light: the art of Peter Kingston

5 December 2020 – 14 February 2021

S.H Ervin Gallery

This exhibition is in some respects based on an epiphany experienced by Sydney artist Peter Kingston (born 1943) following the death of his close friend and Lavender Bay neighbour Brett Whiteley in 1992. It seemed that at last Kingston was released from an enormous shadow of talent, skill and success of his mentor to embark with his own sense of poetic language conveying an abiding passion for a subject he had had grown up with from childhood: Sydney Harbour.

Versatile and multi-talented in his own right, with a natural ability for drawing, Kingston was inspired from an early age by films and comics to create quirky cartoons and illustrations, later contributing to university magazines and eventually the infamous Oz magazine of the 1960s, becoming part of Martin Sharp’s Yellow House collective in Potts Point, where he would also experiment with film-making.

But it was after he moved into and purchased the house next door to Whiteley, within view of another of his Sydney icons Luna Park, Kingston would go on to create some of his most impressive works. These are the revelatory crux of this exhibition, draughtsman and painter recording a natural, spectacular synergy between nature and civilisation. Through the great fluid energy and character of the Emerald City, its changing moods, the perpetual ebb and flow of ferries, Kingston has frequently featured its iconic Opera House, an epicentre of grand spaces of surrounding waterways framed by skylines of human activity. Night or day, he has responded to its evanescent beauty through his pictorial symphonies:

I have seen countless nights watching the moon reflect upon the water and the shadow of this great building creating colours and unique impressions each passing day.

A small group of display cases will include selections of Kingston’s artist books, prints, sketchbooks and memorabilia, and a wunderkabinet containing nostalgic relics of his earlier incarnation as pop-illustrator-satirist, precursor to the main body of post-1990 celebrations of his most beloved subject.

Curated by Barry Pearce, Emeritus Curator of Australian Art, AGNSW.

New monograph published by The Beagle Press – Peter Kingston: Paintings and Drawings available at the gallery for $120.

About the artist

Celebrated Australian landscape painter, Peter Kingston, received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales in 1965 and tutored in architecture at the University of Sydney. He has held over 35 solo exhibitions since 1978 in Sydney and New York. A survey exhibition of his work titled ‘Habourlights’ was toured by the Manly Regional Gallery in 2004, and coincided with the release of his first monograph. Kingston has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the Dobell Drawing Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales between 1993 and 2000, the Wynne Prize between 1995 and 2003, and the Sulman Prize between 1998 and 2001. In 2019, he was a part of a significant exhibition titled ‘Bohemian Harbour: Artists of Lavender Bay’ alongside the work of fellow artist and friend Brett Whiteley at the Museum of Sydney.

Exhibiting with Australian Galleries since 1993, Peter Kingston is highly celebrated for his sensitive and evocative works portraying a lifelong connection to Sydney Harbour and deep rooted desire to preserve its character and charm. Kingston conveys with great reverence life on and around the water, from the iconic old ferries and the moon rising over the majestic Sydney Opera House to the endless colours, tones and textures observed throughout the changing seasons.

Kingston’s work is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney; the Museum of Sydney, several regional galleries and internationally by the Biblioteque de la ville, Belgium; Costen Library, Los Angeles and the National Film Library in Tokyo. In 2019, The Beagle Press published the artist’s second monograph titled ‘Peter Kingston’, written by Barry Pearce.

To view available drawings, etchings and paintings by Peter Kingston, view the gallery stockroom online or contact sydney@australiangalleries.com.au

National Gallery of Australia – Mandy Martin acquisition

Congratulations to Mandy Martin’s whose powerful and large-scale painting Wanderers in the Desert of the Real: Wallerawang Powerstation has recently been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia. This vivid, panoramic landscape incorporates the industrial and natural desert landscape, capturing the intensity of the scorched, fragile landscape teetering on the precipice.

Mandy Martin is a deeply subversive artist, as are all serious, as are all serious romantic painters, which is to say her work is all about individual hope posited against collective despair, beauty against terror, and making you feel something first in the pit of your stomach before you have time to think about it. The results are painting that often make people weak at the knees, which is exactly the correct response when confronted by the sublime. – William L. Fox

Excerpt from Wanderers in the Desert of the Real catalogue essay from exhibition at Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 17 November – 6 December 2009

Image: Mandy Martin  Wanderers in the Desert of the Real: Wallerawang Powerstation  2009  ochre, pigment and oil on linen  180 x 410 cm

Peter Wegner – Before Hand – The private life of a portrait

This wonderful portrait of Professor Graeme Clark by Peter Wegner is now showing in the exhibition Before Hand – The private life of a portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

The exhibition reveals the backstories behind iconic works from the NPG collection and the creative and social process of making a portrait. Before hand features interviews with artists and sitters as well as rarely seen working drawings, scrapbooks, sketches and footage taken in artists’ studios and out on location.

‘Peter Wegner loves the act of painting portraits; its highly charged character. He always paints from life. With his oil painted portraits, often taking six to eight sittings, there is much physical movement and conversational exchange. His method is to go straight in with the paint. Wegner does no preparatory drawing or sketches. The image is built up entirely with tone and colour. He makes a judgement, he makes a mark. As Robert Nelson perceptively writes: [t]he rhythms of observation and construction are not just rough but anti-smooth, as if the searching and grabbing of eye and hand want to celebrate mottled things, objects or beings with episodic surfaces and eventful histories’. – Katherine Russell, 2017

Exhibition current until Sunday 14 February 2021. For more information click here.

Jimmy Rix – Parliament House Art Collection acquisition

Jimmy Rix  A Symbiotic Relationship  2018  cast bronze with steel base  47 x 62 x 26 cm  edition 9/9

Congratulations Jimmy Rix whose eloquent bronze sculpture A Symbiotic Relationship has recently been acquired by Parliament House and will become part of the Parliament House Art Collection (PHAC).

Jimmy Rix’s sculptures often relate to personal experiences and familiar objects. Having lived within both natural and farmed Australian landscapes throughout his life, rebellious kangaroos, machine-horse hybrids, playful sheep and utilitarian objects have inevitably been cast as the actors of his narrative-based works. In these sculptures a sense of humour, an engagement with Australiana, an interest in scale and a concern for the environment are often the underlying themes and inspiration.


Jennifer Keeler-Milne – Finalist in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, SAM

Images: Beetles, bugs and butterflies, charcoal, paper, timber, glass, 7 domes, dimensions variable

Jennifer Keeler-Milne’s beautiful work comprised of double sided charcoal drawings in glass specimen jars titled ‘Beetles, bugs and butterflies’ has been selected for the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize biennial exhibition at the South Australian Museum which will run from Friday 11 December to Sunday 7 February.

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize commemorates the birth of the South Australian Museum’s first curator, Frederick George Waterhouse. The biennial prize is an opportunity for artists to investigate the world around them and present their perspectives on natural science. It encourages artists to make a statement about the scientific issues facing our planet, and offers a valuable platform for them to contribute to the environmental debate. Over the years the competition has become a much loved fixture on the arts calendar, allowing artists and audiences to explore natural science through a range of creative outlets.

“I am a Sydney artist and for over a decade my principal subject has been nature, with a strong emphasis on drawing using charcoal. My underlying concerns are to reflect the beauty and mystery of nature. Beetles, bugs and butterflies is a small cabinet of curiosities featuring drawings of a variety of insects. It seeks to celebrate insects who are largely unseen and their incalculable importance to our lives, through the food web and the pollination of plants. This work also pays homage to the wunderkammer and the rich history of collecting natural objects.”

– Jennifer Keeler-Milne, 2020

About the artist

Born in Melbourne, Jennifer Keeler-Milne lives and works in Sydney as a practicing artist and holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Master of Art Administration. A former museum educator with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and lecturer at Sydney University, UTS and the National Art School, Jennifer also runs her own drawing school, Dare to Draw, teaching the principles and techniques of drawing.

Jennifer has had several solo exhibitions in Sydney, as well as group shows in Hong Kong and Paris, where she completed a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts. Jennifer was a finalist several times in the Dobell Prize for Drawing, as well as the Kedumba Drawing Award, Fleurieu Peninsula Art Prize, Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize, and was also awarded the Fred Williams Family Prize in 1991.

Jennifer has exhibited in many public and regional institutions including the Art Gallery of NSW (Sydney), Hazelhurst Regional Gallery (NSW), The Museum of Economic Botany (Adelaide), The Glasshouse Regional Gallery (Port Macquarie), Grafton Regional Gallery (NSW), Orange Regional Art Gallery (NSW), Tweed River Art Gallery (NSW), Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery (NSW), New England Regional Art Gallery (NSW), Casula Powerhouse (NSW), as well as several universities such as the University of Sydney, University of Technology and University of Western Sydney (Sydney), Australian National University (Canberra) and the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne).

In 2019, Newcastle Art Gallery acquired Keeler-Milne’s Desert Rocks – a suite of 18 charcoal drawings. Her work is also held in the collection of the Art Gallery of NSW, Artbank and the Victorian College of the Arts, as well as private collections in London, New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco, Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne.

Art in the Vines at Hanging Rock Winery

Image above: Jimmy Rix  St George and the Dragon II  Corten steel

Following on from two hugely successful Art in the Vines sculpture exhibitions in 2018/19 and 2019/20, Hanging Rock Winery is pleased to present a new exhibition for the 2020/21 season, Art in the Vines – The Renaissance including sculpture by Australian Galleries represented artists Jock Clutterbuck, Tim Jones, James Parrett, Geoffrey Ricardo and Jimmy Rix.

Renowned Exhibition Curator, Malcolm Thomson – who for the third consecutive year has been engaged to deliver Art in the Vines, has worked with 25 artists on the exhibition. These are predominantly highly acclaimed artists – leaders in their field, a strong contingent of which reside in the Macedon Ranges and Central Victoria.

The timing of the exhibition aligns with our re-emergence as a society from the challenging times we currently find ourselves in. It was indeed these unprecedented times that inspired us to shift the focus of this year’s exhibition from what was originally intended.

So, in determining our theme for 2020/21, with COVID-19, self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing currently dominating our day-to-day lives, Malcolm invited the artists to create sculptures that either reflect and capture these challenging times or alternatively focus on the future direction of their work – in essence, their renaissance.

Exhibition dates: 21 November 2020 – 21 March 2021. Click here for more information

Jock Clutterbuck

Landscape with Passing Clouds is an abstract sculpture inside a formal motif of balance, harmony and tension, with an allegorical relationship to the notion of landscape.jock-clutterbuck-2-wftowjoqwdvnJock Clutterbuck  Landscape with Passing Clouds  fabricated and cast aluminum, burnished and lacquered

Tim Jones

The origins of Jones’ motif of leafless storm-blown tree lie in his deep study of William Blake’s minute wood engraving ‘Blasted Tree and Flattened crops’ 1820-21. Blasted Blue Tree 2020 is an enlarged version of a studio work that comprised part of a series of small bronzes made over fifteen years ago, entitled The Blasted Trees.

This is the maquette. If you wish to purchase this sculpture it will be cast in bronze.JonesTim Jones  Blasted blue tree (maquette)  fibreglass and pigment

James Parrett

M-twentythree as always was initially inspired by the aesthetic potential of the circular form and what can be achieved through the dissection and reconfiguration of radial arcs. James strives to challenge and defy a viewer’s expectation, creating visual intrigue with shapes and the points of intersection between lines, shapes and curves. Being able to create a ridged form that conveys a fluid movement is his ultimate goal.james-parret-wfnyrvptmedfJames Parrett M-twentythree  mild steel and automotive paint


Geoffrey Ricardo

A storied structure of a skeletal tree reaching upwards to the sky, a questioning of our part in nature.geoffrey-ricardo-wfyikcqvtmmeGeoffrey Ricardo  The Articulations  resin, fibreglass and stainless steel

Jimmy Rix

The medieval story of St George and the Dragon has been depicted by artists throughout the ages. A story about a hero coming to the rescue of a fair maiden and the townspeople who were terrorised by an evil force.Screenshot 2020-11-25 at 2.15.16 pmJimmy Rix  St George and the Dragon II  Corten steel

Marina Strocchi ‘New York New Work’ at Araluen Arts Centre

Image above: Marina Strocchi  Manhattan III  2019  gouache and acrylic on paper


New York New Work is the outcome of Marina Strocchi’s time in the United States and most notably an extended stay in Brooklyn where she undertook a studio practice for three months through the Arts NT Fellowship program.

Renowned for working from surrounding natural environments, her home and still life, in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Strocchi was faced with the built environment on an incredible scale. The sheer mass and density of life and hope, the walls of repetitive windows, which sometimes reflect and sometimes recede, towering over the humans who made them, is reflected in these new images, as is a joy in the intensity of New York and the positivity from the people that Strocchi found inspiring.

Exhibition dates: 21 November 2020 – 07 March 2021. Click here for more information.

Australian Galleries Melbourne is thrilled to announce that Marina Strocchi will be exhibiting in our Stock Rooms gallery in February 2021.


new_york_taxi_-_battery_pointMarina Strocchi  New York Taxi – Battery Point  2020  acrylic on paper  36 x 28 cm