Thread III





It’s great to be exhibiting with these four powerful women again. Thread III will be a varied and interesting show. Get on down and join us!


Red Point Gallery, 100 Wentworth Street Port Kembla

Opening event: Sunday 22 April @ 2pm. Artists will discuss their work.

Refreshments provided, free entry.

Show runs Wed 18 April till Sun 29 April

Gallery open Wed till Sun 10 till 4

Gallery is wheelchair accessible. Refreshments provided, all welcome.


Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing 2018

Ever heard that cliche ‘I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like’ ? Yep, me too. But rule number 1 in art criticism is to put your personal taste to the side, and try to really analyse what you’re looking at.  OK, I’m not an art critic but I do try to approach a show critically and make some kind of reasonable judgement about things.

A friend and I had a great time at this year’s Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing and by the time we approached  Ceara Metlikovec’s winning piece, Indigo 5, we were maybe a bit over-excited. Certainly I didn’t give it the time it deserved.


Ceara Metlikovec, Indigo 5, 2018, graphite on Fabriano paper, 140 x 94.5cm

The piece is quiet; contemplative. It’s a closely positioned set of ruled verticals of various tones, carefully built up,  reminiscent of a barcode or a DNA read-out.  It’s also apparent how labour intensive the piece must have been, which makes it a reflection on mortality. After a while it reminded me of the transparent curtains separating the congregation from the deceased, prior to a cremation.

What I didn’t understand till later was the acres of white paper that the work didn’t cover. The drawing is reasonably substantial in size but is drawn on a huge piece of paper, and offset in the right top corner of the paper. There is more white paper than drawing. I found it unsettling, and only belatedly recognised this as a ‘masking off’ of the total reality of someone. The drawing is a kind of portrait, but as with any portrait you are seeing a mediated image; an incomplete reading of someone through the perception of the artist.  I ended up deciding this was a thoughtful and worthwhile piece.

It didn’t get my Peoples’ Choice vote though! That went to another problematic work, by  Robert Ewing:


Robert Ewing,  Fractured Landscape number 3

coloured pencil on cotton paper, 56 x 76cm

It’s a real testament to the power of a work when you don’t exactly enjoy it, but you can’t take your eyes off it and it makes you feel unsettled.  Ewing’s bioforms (I can’t really call them trees) are phallic and otherworldly. His colour choices are intriguing and shouldn’t add up but somehow they do.  He’s onto something.

Of course we both loved Tom Carment’s economical drawings of family around the table at Christmas time. He has a light touch and wonderful observation of the quotidian. I don’t know how often Carment actually wins awards but every exhibition he’s in is the richer for his inclusion. There will always be more spectacular works as he’s the master of understatement, but I love his quiet virtuosity.

Tom Carment, Family in Perth

dip pen and ink on paper, three sheets each 30 x 42cm


I’ve been head down, tail up working on this solo show for the past year and suddenly, here we are….




For reasons best known only to my genius (see Elizabeth Gilbert’s marvellous TED talk ) I’ve become preoccupied with the tapering shape of a ceiling-fan blade. Very approximately. The fascination stems purely from the interesting shape – there is nothing deeper or more philosophical at play.

The result is that most of the works in this show incorporate the fan shape.  The works are reminiscent of way stations in a narrative – film stills, if you like –  thanks to the titles I’ve chosen for them. Waddya do? In the spirit of whimsy, I’ve serenely just run with it. Come and check them out…


The way things go together II

– new works by Moira Kirkwood

Red Point Gallery, 100 Wentworth Street Port Kembla NSW

OPENING EVENT: Saturday 3 Feb @ 2pm. To be opened by artist and educator Tony Hull.

Show runs Fri 2 Feb till Sun 11 Feb

Gallery open Tues – Sun 10am till 4pm

Admission free, all welcome. Gallery is accessible.




Making landfall: beautiful things from the Illawarra


Seatree by Lara Seresin


Delighted to be part of Making Landfall, an IAVA group show with Jane Bennett, Lara Seresin, Jennifer Jackson, Sky Zaracostas, Karen Hook, Diana Wood Conroy, Arja Valimaki, Libby Bloxham, Alena Kennedy, Susan McAlister, Paula Gowans and Judy Bourke.


Making Landfall

Waverley Library Galleries

32-48 Denison Street Bondi NSW

Artists Talks and drinks with the artists: Saturday 9 December, 12 – 3pm

Show runs till Jan 22.


Archibald organisers lick their chops….

Everyone loves a controversy, and especially so if you’re trying to promote the Archibald prize. John Olsen’s mean-spirited rant against this year’s winner Mitch Cairns filled the bill in that department.

Cairns_Mitch_Agatha Gothe Snape_oil on linen_140.5 x 125cm

Mitch Cairns, Agatha Goth-Snape, oil on linen, 140.5 x 125cm

There was a crowd of schoolkids pressing in around the Cairns work when I visited, and I didn’t give it the attention it deserved. I do enjoy the playful and honest approach of it and the tension inherent in the opposing forces of her arms and legs and how she obligingly has positioned  her own face to ‘suit’ the viewer (or more likely, the demands of her artist partner, for the portrait.) I enjoy how she is placed there on a floor echoing the modernist grid. There’s no escaping Modernism – we are bound to respond to it.  Read more about Mitch Cairns.

There were other works that interested me far more than Mitch’s work, good though it undoubtedly was. My personal favourite was the intimate and respectful work of Janet Dawson by Illawarra artist Ashley Frost:

Frost_Ashley_Janet Dawson at the door of her studio_oil on board_30 x 32cm

Ashley Frost, Janet Dawson at the door of her studio, oil on board, 30 x 32cm

It’s physically interesting, with Frost’s trademark impasto on a very small format, but it’s not laboured.  Frost often uses a lot of pink (we have that in common) and his landscapes sometimes end up too sweet for my taste, but this human landscape has a warmth about it that works well. More on Ashley Frost here. 

I also loved Nicholas Harding’s portrait of John Olsen, and it was amusing to note that the shape of his feet and legs and his body in relation to the chair – all those various areas, shapes and sections, as well as the colour – was where my interest lay. The least interesting part was his head and face! Maybe Harding doesn’t actually like Olsen that much?

Harding_N)John Olsen AO, OBE

Nicholas Harding, John Olsen AO, OBE, oil on linen, 198 x 138cm

More about Nicholas Harding here. 


Fresh like a Southerly: IAVA at Parliament House





For the second time IAVA artists are exhibiting their latest works at Fountain Court, in NSW Parliament House. It’s an airy and elegant space with a central light-well and fountain. 27 of us are showing our art there and it promises to be a strong show. Janine Sager is Guest Curator and Diana Wood Conroy is not only participating as an artist, but has also written a thoughtful and erudite essay for our catalogue. Fresh….


Out of the Illawarra

Fountain Court, NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street Sydney

Opening Event Thursday 3 August, 2.30-4.30pm

Exhibition runs 1 – 25 August

Gallery hours Mon-Fri 9am till 5pm


Wynne Prize and art from APY Lands

Pondering this week on the annual Wynne Prize. I try to submit a work every year if I can. Feeling pretty good about this year’s effort, Coastal Scape Elements, acrylic on board, 76 x 108cm:


Coastal scape elements


There are so many stunning works that get exhibited every year. My chances are hilariously tiny, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a kind of professional obligation, in a way, to enter these important shows – to somehow feel like you’re part of the whole endeavour, even if your works don’t get to be hung in those hallowed halls. This is the electric and gorgeous winner from last year, Seven sisters  from the Ken Family, acrylic on 2 canvases, overall 244 x 305cm:



The various styles of work from the APY lands (top left corner of SA) are mind-blowing. Check out this little clip from ABC Arts…gorgeous stuff.

Tasty treats at Belconnen Arts Centre


Invitation-Feast-IAVA-BAC-opening- (1)


Eleven of us from IAVA have been working towards  Feast – a major group show at the beautiful Belconnen Arts Centre. It’s a lovely space right by Lake Ginninderra in Canberra.

Participating artists are: Melissa Ritchie, Arja Valimaki, Mary Wingrave, Paula Gowans, Libby Bloxham, Deb Redwood, Jennifer Jackson, Liz Jeneid, Susan Macalister, Virginia Settre and myself.

Apart from the exhibition itself, we’re running a Workshop on Sunday July 2. ‘Tastes Great!’ is a workshop  that examines the ingredients for making powerful artworks.  $90, bookings contact the Arts Centre 02 6173 3300 or

An artists’ talk on Sunday July 9  from 11am lets you hear from the artists themselves, who’ll discuss aspects of their practice.

Opening Event Friday June 30 @ 5.30pm

Show runs July 1-23

Gallery hours Tues – Sun,  10 – 4

All welcome. Wheelchair accessible. 




Oooooh this is exciting!  I don’t mind talking about my own work if I have some interested folks – but the real delight of this event will be talking to Jane Bennett. Jane is a very well regarded award-winning Industrial Heritage artist, who’s made her name over several decades by faithfully recording the disappearing industrial scape of Sydney. She has some marvellous stories and some fabulous art. If you’re in town, come on down and hear Jane speak. Oh. And me, I guess….;)

Artists’ Talks: Moira Kirkwood in conversation with Jane Bennett

Saturday 15 April, 2 – 3pm

Wollongong Art Gallery

cnr. Kembla & Burelli Streets Wollongong.

Admission free, all welcome.

The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

How things go together: solo show at Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival



Ooooooh I’m excited about this one. I haven’t had a solo show for ages, and now this is it. An Artist Grant from the Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival enabled me to put together a small body of work. They also provided a wall of my own (not the whole room, Virginia, but it suits me fine…)

If you’re in town, come on down.

How things go together

New works by Moira Kirkwood

Thirroul Community Centre and Library, (within the Main Art Exhibition)

352-360 Lawrence Hargrave Drive Thirroul

Opening Friday 31 March @ 7pm ($20 entry, over 18 only)

Sat 10am-4pm and Sun 10am-3pm (gold coin entry)

All welcome | Wheelchair accessible