Friday, August 26, 2011

Tim Olsen Gallery - Luke Sciberras

Like most of us I read that article in Saturdays Spectrum and found it all a little bit too personal and best left for his biography when he’s in his 90’s. If I had been approached by that journalist I would have demanded another.

‘Highways and Other Recipes’, I really enjoyed this new work it’s showing Luke is growing up. I first met Luke when I was living down the road from the National Art School back in the mid 90’s, we became firm friends and he gave me 2 works which have since disintegrated. I don’t hold that against him, but this show shows he has grown with a better understanding of archival materials.

I met up with him a week after his opening and filmed him talking about his work and he showed me his serious painter side. The video turned out brilliantly, both of us were very happy with it.

His colour palette is changing and his approach has more vigor, it’s evolving and I told him that it was better than his last show. I believe that whatever emotional state you are in, it show’s through your work, it shows Luke has become more relaxed and allowing himself to become closer in finding a better understanding with his landscape and more in tune with himself.

One of my favourites would have to be ‘East MacDonnell Ranges’, makes me want to go there and check it out for myself, love the sky, love the jagged edges, love the colours, well I love all of it, think it might be my #1.

My next fav has to be ‘Cloudshadows, Ilford’, Mt Misery in all it’s glory. It’s dark and delicious. ‘A Murder of Currawongs’, shot by a mutual friend of both Luke and I, just for waking them up is a delight, the birds look more like they are in shock at being just shot.

‘Just Near Here’, show us the diversity of the landscape before him, how it changes constantly in colour and form, I can see his other mentor in this one, Elisabeth Cummings, which is a damn good thing. ‘Still Life (One for the Cook)’, reminds me of that delicious meal he prepared when he came to visit me while I was at Amanda Penrose Hart’s property at Sofala, the meal he prepared was a red meat dish but I do remember lashings of red wine was consumed so I am yet to sample what he can do with fowl. The glass of red in this painting is just perfect, a perfect balance to a delicious Luke dish.

‘Up and Over Lake Eyre’, just like Luke says in the video, you ‘Go into the desert’ not go out to the desert. This painting has everything you want on your journey inland, a pale sky, scorched land and the darkest shadows.

Being only 36 years old at the time of this show, he still has a long way to go but ahead will be a wonderful life...

Fleur MacDonald

10th August - 28th August 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sheffer Gallery - Monica Epstein

I looked at the first work ‘Dr Ron Dreyer’ and then I look at this older gentleman standing next to the work then I look back at the painting and look at this man again and realize it’s him the real Dr Ron Dreyer, Monica’s husband and it’s a wonderful likeness.

Monica Epstein has worked exceptionally hard this year creating this extensive body of work, this ongoing series of portraits of people both living and deceased that have inspired her throughout her career. I first met Monica back in the mid 90’s at another opening, we lost contact but managed to find each other about 10 years later and have remained in contact since. Monica has a very strong work ethic and is a prolific painter and you can see that with this show.

“ ‘Official’ Old Fransisco Goya” is one of favourites from the deceased portraits, Monica has caught him as if she has known him personally. The ‘Francis Bacon’ one with the red background, for some unknown reason this 1 works better than the other, must be the strong red as it shows us the strength of character of the subject. ‘Lucian Freud Study’, gives us a look back in time of the then young painter heading for greatness, particularly like the furrowed brow and the choice of colours.

‘Rosalie Gascoigne’, Monica has painted with transferred calmness, this one is a beauty, I’m calm just looking at it. ‘Young John Olsen’ is another beauty, the colours are so vibrant, the eyes stand out like, in fact when you look at all the works it’s the ‘Eyes’ that look like pools of precious jewels, really quite amazing. Some have almost startled looks, just like a rabbit does in car head lights and some look lovingly at you in a strange but endearing way.

Just loved ‘Jane MacGowan’, from now on when I see Jane I will see Monica’s brilliant painting of her.

I’m not being bias but I really loved this show, I loved her painting style, her technique, her attention to detail and her ability to bring so much out of each character in each of these portraits... Well done!!!

written by fleur

10th August - 27th August 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tight - Eric Ng

If you haven’t seen this show yet then get your skates on, it closes on the 26th August and it’s the last show for Tight Projects in this space.

I first saw Eric Ng’s work in the group show at Tight earlier this year and almost bought 1 but missed out, he does Penguin’s well and the mascot for Sixtoeight happens to be a Penguin and these works in this show are so hard to resist. It’s his first ever Solo and I’m so happy I got to see it and hope and pray he doesn’t stop.

Eric’s background is Architecture and with that he’s painted and drawn detailed drawings of birds directly onto polished wood, there is only 7 works in this show but each and everyone is a masterpiece. The strips of painted colour is giving the affect of dripping onto the finished drawing as if to provoke a response from the subjects, the colours he has used are intense and bring the birds to life.

So I implore you to see these works in real life if you are in Sydney...

written by fleur

9th August - 26th August 2011

Tortuga Studios - Rather Be Naked 2011

My very first visit to the Tortuga Studios in St Peters where I finally got to meet for the first time after only dealing with her directly through cyberspace, the lovely Kathy Leung who is the founder of Pen & Paper, an online Art magazine, which Sixtoeight has a column. I delivered my 3 little paintings to be included in this exhibition and not just because of the column but also to meet other young and emerging Artists and visit new places.

These I think are the stand out works, ‘Portrait: Jim II’ by Nicholas Wright, the 1 eyed defender, hanging quietly on a wall by itself like the welcoming committee, it’s a striking piece and I found it standing out but softly speaking. There is 3 large photographs by Szymek Dorabialski titled ‘Babka’, ‘Ptak’ and ‘Husarz’ with a painted overlay telling a story of a snowy winters day somewhere very cold, I liked them and found them appropriately moody and they balance nicely next to Sarah Korte’s, ‘Man and his cock’ and ‘Man and his dog’, and Sarah has a lot to answer for as these 2 works are very beautiful, her application and her attempt to deceive made me snigger.

Celine Roberts with her ‘His and Hers’ are 2 masterful pieces and thankfully I was hanging right next to 1 of them, really loved them and shows her attention to detail and her obvious skill, including also is ‘In Loving Memory’, I think all grave stones should have knitted covers as it offers them the loving warm attachment to family and friends, well done!!!

Hanging on the other side of my 3 little paintings is 2 beautiful works by Kathy Leung, ‘Miho’ and ‘The trust walk’ are just gorgeous, I’m a sucker for works on wood and especially the wood Kathy has chosen to work on, Maple. These 2 works tell a tale about her children but not human children. The choice of colours bring out the wood grain and her masterful technique will hopefully propel her to greatness.

The opening was a hoot and I had lots of fun and met some wonderful people, it’s always great to have somewhere nice to sit down and share drink and talk about Art.

Thank you to all involved including the lovely people at Tortuga Studios...

written by fleur

13th August - 20th August 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brenda May Gallery - Todd Fuller

Todd Fuller has gone from strength to strength since I last saw his work at the National Art School Graduation show, was it only last year, yes it was. So I found myself a little (happily) overwhelmed by his sculptured friends and still wanted to pick them up and give them all a bit of a cuddle and I’m sure Todd would have let me.

I have picked out 4 of my favourites, ‘Voyeur’, ink and pigment on terracotta and white earthenware, acrylic on timber, iPod showing ‘Face Morph’, is a strong beautiful contemplative piece with it’s chunky bulk texture, is it expressing a longing? and it could actually be my totally favourite as it reminds me that I am watching far too much television.

‘Grey Squirrel’, flocked terracotta, pigment, acrylic on timber, astro turf, this chap looks like he knows what your thinking and would be the perfect aid in losing weight.

‘The Mascot’, flocked terracotta, pigment, ink, acrylic on timber, astro turf. This fellow has his racing bunny suit on without the headwear, is he taking a breather from the hectic race, he could well be, it’s a hard life working as a bunny.

‘If Found Do Not Resuscitate’, flocked terracotta and pigment.. I am torn, this 1 is ‘too cool for school’, this is just how I feel when I walk behind slow walkers, I just want to hit them in the back of the head and let them fall to the ground, and the guy in the pink is directing traffic... Love it!!!

I love his sense of humour and I also love the fact that you get 3 Artist’s in 1, Sculptor, Painter and Film Maker and most of these works are very masculine and some have sprinklings of femininity blazingly imprinted in them. It’s like he’s bringing a drawing of his own life to life, through the animation, the drawings and the sculptures..

Tense is a fabulous show and Todd Fuller you are an amazing and entertaining chap and I look forward to your blustering long career..

written by fleur

2nd August - 27th August 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Damien Minton Gallery - Brooke Stevens & Peter Gardiner

Every single one of the ‘Self’, oil on paper series are a sheer delight to look at, almost like looking into one’s soul and seeing the lightness of being. Young Artist Brooke Stevens will be going a long way if she keeps going like this. I loved ‘Empire’, ‘Solitary’, ‘Wake’ and ‘Beginning’, all oil on canvas, the subtle powder like colours and the loose boldness in her brushstrokes. Attention to the reflection of light on the faces brings the images out from under the shadows.

Which offers a nice balance to Peter Gardiner’s work. What do I say, when I gushed so much in the post for his last show, he goes from strength to strength, increasing the ‘Wow’ factor by ten times. Every painting tells a different story, rich in colour and imagery and every painting is to die for.

Can’t pick a favourite as I love each and every one of them, from ‘Ravensworth III’ oil on canvas with it’s full moon light and eerie scene to ‘Ravensworth Tondo’ oil on wood offering us a tunnel view of a once serene landscape now ravaged by time.
This is another show not to be missed, it closes on the 27th August, if you live in Sydney then I urge you to make the effort.

As I will be a fan till the day I die...

2nd August - 27th August 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

King Street Gallery on William - Idris Murphy

Skipping the light fantastic...

Everyone knows that the light changes where ever you may be, the light I grew up with back in Central Queensland was almost eerie at different times of the year and blinding the rest of the time.. Idris has harnessed the suns rays to paint some amazing paintings, amazingly beautiful and true to the light witnessed.

Capturing the landscape in the frenzy as it is, as the light changes so rapidly, remembering and visualizing it and frantically getting it down on paper. Some of us have a photographic memory but the rest of us have to rely on then and there.

‘Strange Light on Barrier Ranges’, acrylic on board, I really really love this painting, the colour’s Idris has used really bring the landscape out, creating a sumptuous glorious effect. It has the light dancing on the vegetation with brooding dark green lurking in the background. ‘Quiet Pink Shadows Fowlers Gap’ and ‘Still Light’ both acrylic on board are beautiful sensitive works, it looks like Idris has used the early morning light when everything looks so different, but I could be wrong.

‘On the Way to Turkey Creek’, acrylic on board is an absolutely fantastic painting expressing the exuberance of a painter not afraid to use bright colour’s, the orange, the pinks, I swear those Turkey’s have got it made. ‘Brithy Inlet South Coast’, acrylic on board, is perfectly balanced in the greens he’s used to a calming affect and I couldn’t finish this post without mentioning ‘Memory from Cooee Bay Qld’, acrylic on board, as this one reminds me of a place I visited a lot while growing up in Rockhampton.

If you miss this show then kick yourself as I see this show as a highlight of the year and if you get a chance to see it watch the photo slideshow as they explain everything and also if you manage to turn up at the Gallery when Idris is there, talk to him as he is just as fabulous as his work and a very charming fellow...

written by fleur

26th July - 20th August 2011