Sunday, April 22, 2012

Martin Browne Contemporary - Tim Maguire

A garden of luscious delights, Poppies and lot’s of Poppies, a big bunch of fresh Poppies in all their lovely colours, looking through the bunch you can see the delicate undersides and centers, the colours are gloriously sumptuous. So I will try hard not to sound to flowery in my review.

‘Untitled 20120302’ oil on canvas has this most beautiful blue in the background as if the bunch is being held up against this bluest of blue skies, it caresses the outline of the flowers bringing their vividness to the forefront. The same applies to ‘Untitled 20120301’ oil on canvas which has more of the stems and undersides showing.

‘Untitled 20120103’ oil on canvas has a darker background but still produces a strong representation of the inner workings of these flowers, droopy buds that will eventually stand upright and aging flowers slowly loosing it’s petals. Poppies work so much better in large groups all huddled together, they work well like that as they seem a bit lost all by themselves.

I have always loved Tim’s work even from the first time I saw it, probably way back in the 80’s, then I was fortunate to be in a group show with him at Mori Gallery and got to know him a little. I still drool when I see his work, well maybe not literally but close as he is in my top 5 favourite Artist’s of all time.

Fleur MacDonald

29th March - 22nd April 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Alaska Projects - Reflect Deflect

For some unknown reason I missed my deadline for the last Alaska show, so this time I thought I’d pay a little more attention to the dates so I wouldn’t be to late.

‘Bad Blood’ acrylic on board by Scott Donovan is hanging in the corner of the room, hanging on an angle where the two walls meet, and commanding an audience. This monochrome portrait of someone with bad blood, sorry I have no idea who the subject is but it’s a really great painting and well executed. It definitely has a presence and I swear those eyes followed me as I walked around the room.

‘Erebus’ mixed media by Vincent O’Connor is I think quite a beautiful piece, not entirely sure what it is but I like how it sits on the shelf with the light reflecting on it’s surface, a little something from Dr Who maybe.

Have always loved holographic paper and ‘Gold Mind Map’ drawing on reflective contact by Ollie McKenzie is a fun work at that and the little bit stuck to the window too. You cant miss the bright ‘Pink Scissor Lift’ spray paint on wood and bolts by Bonita Bub if you did then open your eyes, it has the effect of holding the roof up and it works for me. ‘Electric Dreams’ mixed media by Jonny Niesche on top of the Biljana Jancic work ‘Above and Below’ aluminium tape is a match made in heaven.

I think it takes guts to whip off your knickers and urinate while standing, well walking over a large piece of paper in a busy parking station. ‘Untitled (Flung Piss Experiments) urine and ink on Hahnemuhle paper certainly wasn’t a ‘piss take’ especially since the finished product is a beautiful blue pigment painting.

Fleur MacDonald

11th April - 22nd April 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

James Dorahy Project Space - Matt Coyle & Gabrielle Courtenay

I first saw Matt Coyle’s work in a show at the Damien Minton Gallery a good couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised to see his work in this gallery.

These drawings are immaculate, beautifully crafted in pen, shadow’s that define the image and help tell the story in all their magnificent glory.

Love them all and especially the only one in the show that doesn’t have a figure or face in it, ‘Landing’ pen and ink on paper is really something to behold.

On the Project Wall is ‘Wunderkammer Series ‘Journey to ‘no man’s land’’, acrylic on canvas board, 3m x 3m by Gabrielle Courtenay. It’s a mammoth story about the arrival to a new land, new settlers discovering the native flora and fauna, of uncovering lost relics from the past, remembering moments from a childhood and engaging the viewer in it’s many tales.

I kinda like how it’s painted in monochrome as it’s almost like when you discover a shoebox full of old black and white photographs from your families past and you hold each photograph and study it’s every detail.

This work is a wondrous installation full of the future and the past and one that should not be missed.

Fleur MacDonald

27th March - 22nd April 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Gallery 9 - Simon Blau

An extraordinary show of precise beauty, of refined colour and textures. The work is made and then pulled apart to reconstruct into another work. ‘Cut painting with rail’, enamel on board with rail is my favourite piece in the show. It has this fragile sense about it, but at the same time letting you know that you can grab hold of it’s rail if you think you are going to fall. Wonder what would happen if you did.

Love the use of perspex in most of the other works, letting the viewer be a reflection as well as an observer and there is no beating about the bush with the titles as they are so cut and dry, a spade is a spade.

This new series of works gives us more of an insight to the ever changing relationship between Simon and his work, his love of the geometric and of minimal abstraction. The constant changing of the shape of the works keeps our eyes open and in awe.

Fleur MacDonald

21st March - 14th April 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Drawing Room - Orbit

The Drawing Room has to be one of the smallest Art spaces in Sydney and one of the nicest. Originally it was the Cross Art Projects which has since moved up to Llankelly Place and then it became Tight Projects which has since moved on and now as The Drawing Room run by the one of my favourite painter’s Jelle van der Berg.

It shares the space with The Cross Books which takes up half of the space, so two walls are covered in books with a small courtyard at one end and the gallery space at the other end.

Orbit had nine artist’s hanging on these walls, all works on paper. All very quiet works hanging in this quiet space, including Anne Judell, William Wright, Debra Dawes, Peter Jones, Juan Den Pourg, Zen, Mehmet Adil, Eldred Wisdom and Jelle van der Berg.

I loved each one but I think my real favourites were ‘Untitled’ watercolour on paper by William Wright with it’s sensitive duck egg blue wash, ‘Gingham Study’ watercolour on paper by Debra Dawes was intensely beautiful. ‘Still Life Landscape’, acrylic on paper by Peter Jones with it’s loud shock of red disturbing the quiet reflection of the other works.

And ‘Pacific’, gouache on paper by Jelle van der Berg, which was hanging in the front room of the bookshop above the fireplace, and I found mesmerizing.

The Drawing Room looks like staying here for a while with shows booked for the next six months, for artists to create within a community to discuss their work either by word or through their Art.

Fleur MacDonald

1st March - 30th March 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sheffer Gallery - Louisa Chircop

It wasn’t until the last day of Louisa Chircop’s show that I could actually make time to go and see it and the first time that I had been up close to her work as I only really saw snippets of it via facebook.

‘Trigger’, oil on canvas is a beauty, it has a dream like figure that looks like it’s falling, it’s luscious in colour and beautifully balanced with light and dark greens, lovely greens. This one is my favourite. ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ both oil on canvas are two deeply affected works in relation to her own parents and her ability as a parent herself. I love how in ‘Mother’ the figure is tethered to a wall, haphazardly climbing through life and ‘Father’ with it’s figure bent over constantly collecting memories.

‘Bell’, oil on canvas and another favourite of mine is a joyful work that shows two headless figures dancing, are they dancing to the tune of their own beat or just dancing to celebrate their own life together. It’s an expressive piece and a lengthy read. ‘The Family’, oil on canvas shows us a small family of 3 on one fast moving bike, the mother and child balanced precariously on the back and the father keeping the bike speedily upright, is that ‘Rissole’ the family dog appearing out of nowhere in the background, could be. Louisa paints the affects of speed well, representing it in all it’s blurry.

Another headless figure appears in ‘When you think you are taller than the trees’, oil on canvas is yet another favourite, I love how the figure is standing on a chair and then your eyes dart to the trees and then you think about it and we all do at some time think we are all taller than trees. Love it!

And finally ‘Shades of a Woman’, six works all oil on canvas showing us images of faces from history including the Mona Lisa with their eyes revealing their true inner beauty and the windows to their worlds.

All of these paintings are dark in there nature, dark as finding reason within a dream or about a dream, discovering the truth behind reality, giving us an insight in the mind of Louisa Chircop, revealing a little more telling us what’s happened, explaining the struggle of falling ill, having children, dealing with depression and life it’self.

Fleur MacDonald

15th February - 25th February 2012