Archive for September 2011

Rick Amor’s interesting shapes

We visited the Rick Amor exhibition at Liverpool Street Gallery today.  On show were oils, watercolours and gouaches.










His work is so faithfully observed, and yet  is not tight nor rigid.  I can almost see him keeping his shoulders quite loose as he creates these keenly seen industrial and urban scapes.  He’s untroubled by retaining his pencilled-in grid and sketching lines, too.

His oils have  a more finished aesthetic. Although his technicial virtuosity is not in doubt, his Romantic cloudscapes don’t quite do it for me. It’s the visual interest he maintains with his interesting shapes that I love. He is a great abstractionist…he just chooses to paint representationally, is all.



Wealth of art in the Greater West

Attended the Blacktown Art Prize opening last night.  The Arts Centre at Blacktown is a good-looking, well-lit  and accessible venue  and hosts a varied and dynamic program throughout the year.

These days the Art Prize exhibition has a high profile attracts people from all over the state. There was some cracking art there last night, and I was very pleased to have our collaborative piece hung this year. (See the piece here.)

Personal favourites included Gary Foye (one of his pieces heads this entry.)  His palette and texture is satisfying to view. ..I could live with one of his works. (More on the talented Mr Foye here.)

Liz Shreeve is another consistent performer. Her hard-edged abstract pieces appear to breathe colour… always quietly arresting.














I also enjoyed Vrej Matossian’s sculpture, Retiarius. Had to google that one…a retiarius was an ancient Greek fighter, who uses a weighted net to fight with.

Ok so the sculpture looked like a guy in a boat, and the net below him really reminded me not of a net, but of the depth and movement of the sea beneath him. There is precious little online about this interesting sculptor, and no image of his beautiful piece.

As always it is an honour to be  hung with such great artists.





Humble observation of our urban scape

Went to the Tom Carment exhibition at Damien Minton Gallery last night.

Angel, Waverley Cemetery











This guy is great.  His works have a certain humility about them. Part of that is the small scale, and the quotidian nature of his subject matter – places around Sydney.


Also, the fact that they are all created en plein aire means they generally have  a lightness of touch and an unfussy presentation. I don’t know if he works on the pieces later in the studio or not, but either way they are in no way overworked.

Generally I thought the watercolours work better than the oils, although there were some terrific oils as well (see the Angel, above.) He often uses pen and ink with the watercolour works and I do think the added structure helps…such as the image below:

Detail of picnickers at Neilsen Park triptych









Not all his pieces were great,  mind you…I thought some lacked a necessary ‘bass  note’ of dark tones. Overall though, I was inspired by his faithful observation. Thanks Tom.

A reminder of how we know nothing











Saw a great play this week at the New Theatre, Newtown:  Quiet Night in Rangoon.

It is a really thought-provoking play by Katie Pollock.  It particularised the suffering of people in Burma, specifically at the time of the ‘Saffron Revolution’ in 2007. Well acted and thoughtfully scripted, it served to remind me just how easy it is to theorize and judge, when you’re well fed and safe.

The reality of torture and abuse is such a (mercifully) distant concept to most of us here in Australia. Who knows what any one of us would do – who we would betray – should we find ourselves a victim of torture?

The play also highlighted our ignorant position in regard to  Buddhism, which as become increasingly popular in the West over the past couple of decades. Again, how easy it is to ‘cherry-pick’ the palatable aspects of a religion from our  position.

Thank you Katie, and thanks to Paul and Daniela of subtlenuance productions, who put the play on.