A Commanding Presence

All together, it took nine hours. Nine hours spent in the shuddering, claustrophobic hull of a WWI-era submarine. Cautiously travelling beneath an underwater minefield to then torpedo a battleship, only able to return to the safety of the open ocean via the same treacherous stretch of water. What type of person is capable of such […]

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Shapes and Colours

Art, and especially great art, is not made in isolation. Societal needs, environmental input, and personal experience all combine to create an expression of emotion that is uniquely human, and therefore relatable to all. Artist John Coburn (1925-2006) spent his early years around Ingham, Queensland, before joining the Australian Navy at seventeen. During this time, […]

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Serenity, Now

The time is now, declares Nell’s painting. Time to awaken to the present moment, time to awaken to enlightenment. Nell (1975-), an artist who is known only by her first name, invokes the spiritual traditions of Buddhism in her multi-disciplinary works. She works across immersive installations, paintings, ceramics, mosaics, neon light works and music videos […]

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The Yellow Brick Road

Suzanne Archer (1945-) has been painting the Australian landscape since she arrived here from England in 1965. She won the Wynne Prize in 1994 for her work Waratahs – Wedderburn. Her large, abstract works interpret country through collaged and layered elements that retain some aspects of figuration, such as the trees and horizon lines in […]

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An Ingenious and Elegant Artist

Alfred William Eustace (1820-1907) was born in England and came to Australia with his wife Sarah and children in 1851. Among his paintings he recorded the first paddle steamer to arrive at Albury in 1855, as well as a painting of the Woolshed gold rush, one of only two known paintings of this gold field. […]

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The Flow of Time

Judith White’s (1951-) view of the Hunter River at Maitland is painted in a most appropriate medium – watercolour. White has used the transparent washes of paint to suggest the smoothly gliding waters of the river and its reflection of the stormy sky above. The massing, dense clouds threaten to burst at any minute with […]

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The Paradox of Spontaneity

In On the bank John R Walker paints the banks of the Hunter River at Maitland. The rooftops and spires of the city fill the top quarter of the canvas while the expanse of the river dominates the painting’s middle section, painted in swipes of earthy olive to convey the muddy water and its reflection […]

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The Painted River

Perhaps Leo Robba’s (1962-) view of the Hunter River at Maitland was a presage of his future research. Since painting this view in 2006 for the exhibition View of Maitland from the riverbank (with apologies to Jan Vermeer and View of Delft) at Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG), Robba has gone on to complete a […]

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A Different Perspective

In his avowedly ‘selective’ view of Maitland from the riverbank, Peter Pinson (1943-2017) has created an abstract rendering of the natural and built forms of the city that simplifies them to their essence. Using acrylic paint, Pinson divides his composition into black-rimmed horizontals of river and bank, balanced by the vertical blocks of buildings. A […]

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From the Inside Out

Music, storytelling, ugliness, and love. These are the things Newcastle-based artist Sally Bourke (1973-) notes among her largest influences.  In the portraits The Quiet Light and I am a ghost of you, you are the ghost of me, Bourke avoids her subjects’ external features or appearance. Painted ‘from the inside out’ as one curator puts it, ‘her […]

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