Archive for June 2015

Works on Paper that truly work.

It was great to see this year’s Hazelhurst Works on Paper Award. Every time I don’t get selected, I have to swallow my disappointment and with good grace go and spend time with the show. And every time I walk away humbled and reminded what truly excellent work looks like. Back to the drawing board for me, eh?

The good folks at Hazelhurst always put on a good show but the array of works this year emphasised the spectacular. It wasn’t all just bells and whistles though; not by a long shot.

Helen Mueller’s work was one of my favourites. A beautiful reflection on mortality, with the little vessels shaped out of cast paper, from the darkest tones to the lightest, and lit from above so every slightly different vessel had 3 shadows.  I could have stayed with that work all day.



Helen Mueller, Earthen Wear, cast Hsien paper, intaglio printed from seawater etched plates – 80 pieces
148.5 x 127 x 6cm variable


I enjoyed the simple ink drawings by Helen Eager too. Most understated, and drawn on A4 paper which was pinned to the wall. Funny how simple and apparently humble works like this can be so refreshing in a large show where there are many  intricate and technically marvellous works on display. They can get very wearying. There, I’ve said it.

Helen-Eager-Untitled3_inkjet print on paper 21 x 29.7cm

It was very similar work to this – Helen Eager, Untitled, this piece 2015, inkjet print on A4 paper.

There were many works that showed wonderful observational skills and attention to detail. These always make for popular viewing, but never quite do it for me. Give me some expression, ok? Like Tom Polo’s quirky head portraits. Half abstract, half monsters; wonderful shapes and visually arresting colours.

Polo, Tom_head theatre


Tom Polo, Head Theatre, 5 small format paintings.