Archive for October 2011

Energy, structure and experience at Danks Street

Went with a buddy to Stella Downer Gallery today to see the new solo show by Paul Higgs. It’s been interesting to see Paul’s work over the past decade or so… he has always impressed me with his energy and his passion for his craft.










Rigging, 103 x 108.5cm, 2011


Now, however I’m enjoying his work at a new level, thanks to a developing coherence, and some lovely quiet areas amongst the tumult and intensity of colour and collage layers. I can perceive the underlying structure much more clearly now and I believe his works are the better for it.










Trojan, 106 x 127cm, 2011


We also checked out the newly relocated Wilson Street Gallery (formerly at Newtown, now at the Danks St complex.) Currently showing is a solo show by Wendy Stavrianos. This powerful  figurative artist, based in Victoria, has been around for some decades and has a sense of mastery and strength. There were some thought provoking, complex pieces though I must admit I have enjoyed some of her earlier work more readily. There was a real mood created by these atmospheric works though.

Shaft is a mighty work, all the better for its restricted palette in a room full of  intense, rich colouration.






Shaft, oil on canvas, 187 x 420cm.


Luscious paint- scapes in leafy Paddington

I went to the beautiful Harrison Galleries in Paddington this week. What a simply delightful walk down from Edgecliff Railway station, along Glenmore Road.

The gallery space itself is beautiful, but the solo show by Sue Smalkowski,  Stratums of Change, is a knockout. Sue is an old TAFE buddie of mine and it’s been a treat to see her mastery develop over the past decade.











Eastern Sky, 45cm x 45cm












Drifting Sands, 45cm x 45cm


Sue is really in love with paint; with colour, and with surface. It is extravagant and lush. Love…









Stratums of Change, 128 x 180cm

Seriously good (fun) art at John Buckley Gallery

Finally found ourselves at John Buckley Gallery this week. Gareth Sansom has a solo show there at present. His works are  dynamic, detailed and multi-layered. They read as a little bit Basquiat; a little bit Bacon…. and like them, well resolved. They are very satisfying to be with. There are all kinds of puns and mischief embedded in each piece; I felt like I was not in on even half of the jokes (though the Gallery Manager  Lucas was giving us all kinds of clues)…








Diogenes of Sinope, 2011









Mr art meets Mr god, 2011

We love Melbourne….

It’s a visual feast,   this great city.  And it REALLY says something about the Melbourne Anglican Archdiocese, that they agreed to install AES+F’s Angels -Demons.Parade in their grounds…right next to the 19th century bronze of Matthew Flinders!!!!  This little darling is about 20 feet high and there are many such infants scattered around the CBD, as part of Melbourne’s Arts Festival for this year.









Ways of seeing landscape

The Paddington Art Prize opened at the Menzies Art Brands Gallery in Kensington this week.  I enjoyed the overall winning entry,Margaret Loy Pula’s Anatye (Bush Potato) –









Margaret Loy Pula’s Anatye (Bush Potato)


A large, darkish work…very earthy, really.  There was a good variety of sizes represented, which I’ve enjoyed about the Paddington hang before. It’s not all great, grand, commanding pieces.

Tanya Stubbles’ piece, Lovers in the Grass, was beautiful (if stretching the entry regulations just a wee bit…)












Tom Carment,  Jo Bertini, Brigiat Maltese all produced excellent work which they consistently do.

Brigiat Maltese Folded Valley







Interestingly, my companion and I independently picked the same favourite for the night – a very understated, tonal work, quite small. She nailed it though: Christina Budden’s Meander.












If you can hold your own in a room crowded with solid works, with such an understated piece…well, that really says something about the quality of the piece. The judges did give Budden a Highly Commended, so they almost got it right.