CURRENT Exhibitions

Straight Outta Canberra

- curated by Alexander Boynes, 2018

21 March to 14 April

It was once said that the best thing to come out of Canberra was the Hume Highway, yet in the space of a decade the national capital has gone from being a place where residents said 'Don't tell anyone I'm from Canberra' to now saying 'Don't tell anyone ABOUT Canberra'. More than anything this has to do with the city finally developing a personality independent of what happens up at Parliament House, and the recognition of the rich cultural sector bubbling below the surface.

Once upon a time the rite of passage for ANU School of Art graduates was to leave Canberra as soon as possible in order to 'make it'. The irony is that internationally recognised artists who have called Canberra home (including Alison Alder, Vivienne Binns, Robert Boynes, eX de Medici, Rosalie Gascoigne, Richard Larter, Mandy Martin, Jorg Schmeisser, Ruth Waller etc. etc.) in part made it because they stayed.

Following in these footsteps, "Straight Outta Canberra" presents a group of ambitious emerging artists who have realised the benefits of an easygoing city that is host to every national institution under the sun. Artists include Tom Buckland, Tony Curran, Sanne Koelemij, Julian Laffan, Cat Mueller, Dionisia Salas, Rebecca Selleck and Rosalind Lemoh.

... view exhibition

Peter Tilley at The University of Newcastle Gallery

- Seeing the Shadow, 2018

21 March to 14 April

The elusive, insubstantial nature of the shadow lends itself to metaphor, myth and legend, with its signi cance contemplated by human consciousness throughout history. Shadows appear as essences of the soul - the externalisation of the inner self - as guides or advisors. In Jungian psychology, shadows contain parts of ourselves that are suppressed, denied, or unfavourable.

For his PhD research, Peter Tilley examines the theory and philosophy of shadow, developing and utilising an array of materials, found objects, symbols and methods that enable the construction of shadows to visually or symbolically disclose fundamental traits and mnemonics of the ‘casting’ figure.

The resulting sculptures become complex representations that explore illusions of certainty, memory and imagination - the mysteries of the unknown - and the fundamental identity and attributes of the figure/self.

... view exhibition

Robert Boynes and Waratah Lahy at Canberra Museum and Gallery

- Celebration: 20 years of collecting visual art at CMAG, 2018

24 March to 17 June

Canberra Museum and Gallery website:
This exhibition showcases the rich collections of visual art at the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG). In its 20-year history CMAG has built a collection of objects with a unique focus, which reflects both the creative breadth of its artists and the historical context of art in the Canberra region – this corner of south-eastern Australia that includes the nation’s capital, the southern tablelands, the Monaro plains and a number of towns and hamlets.

The exhibition includes historical and contemporary Canberra region art by more than 100 established and emerging artists, representing CMAG’s holdings of painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing, digital art, ceramics, glass, textiles, metalware and jewellery.

Tania Smith, Untitled (walking)

- Black Box Projects, 2018

18 April to 12 May

Untitled (walking) shows a woman in high heels navigating back and forth over a range of surfaces - rocky cliffs, sand dunes, or man-made spaces such as offices and bathrooms. Each surface creates its own set of challenges for the faceless woman, who persists onwards in a continual march across the terrain and back and forth across the screen.

Untitled (walking) conveys my interest in mimetic gestures (as detailed by theorist and psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray). I perform in feminine accoutrements such as dresses and heels to signify female experience. In the performances I employ a slightly exaggerated manner that points to the comedic language of slapstick. The video is tinted blue and screened without sound to reference silent cinema, a continuing interest for me and my work (my work has been strongly informed by the cinematic slapstick of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, reframed through a feminist lens). The video is shown looped, trapping the woman in an endless pursuit, back and forth, ever onwards, again and again....

... view exhibition

Peter Tilley

- Seeing the Shadow, 2018

18 April to 12 May

A shadow that gives an insight into the human figure’s character and situation is the aim of this body of work. Not so much the figure or object, but the shadow it casts, a shadow that in some way reveals more about the figure than would normally be revealed, the inner self. The psychological aspects that can be associated with the shadow form a relatively important component. The focus is on how, through materiality and form, the shadow as a three-dimensional medium may be capable of revealing the nature of the individual.

... view exhibition

Helen Mueller

- Roots, 2018

18 April to 12 May

I have taken my cue for this project from the remnants of root architecture that I found at the base of upturned trees. On this occasion, it is the meanderings, rhythm and poetry of root systems that interest me more than biology or metaphor. In their fully functional form, roots reside in the shadows of the seen and known. It is only in their lifeless state, once the tree has been uprooted, that we get a glimpse of what might have been.

Through the woodblock carving and printing process, I have imagined something of the depth, complexity and mystery of a system elemental to a life. As a starting point for my matrix, I have used industrial grade and discarded timbers, ones that struggle to still show traces of the miracles of their origin. It is in searching out those traces that I find hidden and unexpected form.

... view exhibition

Paul White

- Dirty Diesel & Dusty Deeds, 2018

16 May to 2 June

'Dirty Diesel & Dusty Deeds' conflates the relationship between human and land through snapshot style drawings of the Australian outback.

While at first glance they may seem reminiscent of holiday snaps, these drawings depict the effect of human intervention on the landscape.

From the seemingly insignificant to the devastating and daunting 'Dirty Diesel & Dusty Deeds' brings the viewer face to face with the ways in which their hand has cracked and moulded this red earth.

... view exhibition

Todd Fuller, Idaho - they're only words

- Black Box Projects, 2018

16 May to 2 June

Starting in 2004, Idaho Day (17 May) has established itself as the most important international day for LGBTIQA+ communities and as a monumental International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. In recognition of this important day, MAY SPACE is screening 'they're only words' an early film by Todd Fuller and collaborator Amy Hill. Created in 2010, the young artists animate slurs and other verbal assaults they endured on the bodies of their peers to manifest the physical scars created by discriminatory words. 'They're only words' was recently included in "The Unflinching Gaze" a groundbreaking exhibition of male representation in the photographic medium presented by Bathurst Regional Gallery.

... view exhibition

Daniel Shipp

- Botanical Inquiry, 2018

16 May to 2 June

Botanical Inquiry is a series of photographic studies that depict familiar but fictional environments.

In these compositions the physical characteristics of the unremarkable plants I have collected from suburban streets become narrative elements which, when staged against the backdrop of common urban environments, question the contentious relationship between humans and nature. This relationship is reflected in the real / unreal qualities of the images, achieved in some part by manipulating the optical and staging properties of photography with a device that I have constructed that allows me to create the images “in camera” without relying on digital compositing techniques.

The ambiguous point of view conjured by the images is designed to be as unsettling as it is seductive.


- group exhibition, 2018

6 to 23 June

To add some warmth to our gallery this June, we have invited artists to make a selection of unique mugs. Each Saturday we will fill purchased mugs with a different complementary hot beverage, so that gallery-goers can escape the cold and enjoy the shows with a warm drink in hand.

MUGGED! will include specially made pieces by emerging, mid-career and established artists with varying approaches to making, allowing for diverse interpretations of this ubiquitous object.

Alex Karaconji, The Flaneur

- Black Box Projects, 2018

6 to 23 June

"The Flaneur" is an animation that I began in 2015 and finished towards the end of 2016. It depicts a loosely autobiographical walk from Taylor Square to Circular Quay. At the time, I was studying my Masters degree at the National Art School and I was walking around Darlinghurst on a daily basis. The flaneur was a concept that I discovered during my research and which I found, to my delight, provided an honest conceptual framework for my art practice. The term ‘flaneur’ originated in Paris during the 19th century and it refers to a solitary person (at the time, male) who aimlessly strolls around the city. The concept of the flaneur helped to facilitate my pursuit of what Charles Baudelaire once described as “the epic side of actual life”. The Flaneur is my attempt to capture the epic side of urban life as seen through the slightly distorted lens of a city-wandering artist.

... view exhibition

Matt Chun

- Still, 2018

6 to 23 June

A series of recent memento mori and plein air travelogues in watercolour, pencil and mixed media. These introspective observational drawings represent the current phase of my ongoing creative engagement with the landscape, material and community of the far south coast of NSW (Yuin country); an astonishingly beautiful yet inherently troubling and culturally dissonant stretch of regional Australia.

Janet Tavener

- The Last Seed, 2018

27 June to 21 July

The series titled "The Last Seed" draws its content from Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, that houses 5,000 species of essential food crops deep within the Arctic permafrost. The vault was supposed to be an impenetrable, modern-day Noah's ark for plants, a life raft against climate change and catastrophe. But a recent flood threatened its security - heavy rain occurred at a time of year when the temperature was usually well below freezing.

Scientists are building repositories of everything from seeds to mammal milk in a race to preserve a natural order. Creating cabinets of curiosity serving to remind us of our own mortality, of our mistakes and failures – a modern day Memento Mori.

Daniel O'Toole

- The Long Tomorrow, 2018

27 June to 21 July

In late 2016, I travelled to Lyon, France to embark on a studio residency with Taverne Gutenberg that transformed the way I approach abstraction. In the first few days of arriving my sketches of local architecture became an obvious choice of focus for the paintings to come. I was enthralled by the geometry of gothic churches, Roman ruins, and classic French design. The colour palette of the city’s landscape and fashion influenced my work as soon as I started painting.


- curated by Megan Fizell

25 July to 11 August

reminiSCENT surveys contemporary artists initiating multisensory experiences through olfactory encounters. Smelling is classified as a “bodily sense” in that along with touch and taste, in order to be ‘known’ or perceived, they need to be experienced with the body. Scent receptors are located in the olfactory cortex, a zone of the brain that overlaps with the limbic system, the area responsible for some memories and emotion. As a result, scents are often linked to memories and form associations that are highly individualised and subjective. The artworks in this exhibition privilege the sense of smell over that of vision and emphasises language and memory as understood through bodily engagement.

Tyler Payne, Womanhours

- Black Box Projects, 2018

15 August to 1 September

My series, Womanhours, investigates how women's body-correcting practices have transformed the social construction of women’s gender. The body-correcting practices studied include body-contour wear, Brazilian waxing, anal bleaching, salt water cleansing and fake tanning. This group of practices has become part of women’s everyday experience. Their normalisation has established a strong cultural expectation toward their performance. Self-portraiture is an effective way to critique and undermine the normative regime of media's body-correcting practices. My artwork confronts the lens' male gaze with the awkward, comic labour of body-correcting practices. The 'natural' camera image present in media is hence denaturalised.

... view exhibition

Bridget Dolan

- Reach, 2018

15 August to 1 September

I want to make work that communicates the complicated nature of human relationship. What civility means in contemporary life and how we reach each other across cultural and ideological divides. I draw on my experience in the performing arts as a dancer and theatre maker to paint work that holds tension between brave vulnerability, tenderness and fear.

Charlie Sheard

- DIGONOS, 2018

5 to 22 September

Dionysos, ancient Greek God of nature, ecstacy and transformation, is DIGONOS, the “twice-born”. In his Canto XLVIII, the poet Ezra Pound relates the transformative powers of Dionysos to Dante’s journey in The Divine Comedy. Pound uses the ancient Greek word Δίγονος [DIGONOS] to denote a transformation that will only manifest out of being lost in the forest for three years. I have worked on this group of paintings for the last three years.

Sydney Contemporary

- Carriageworks, 2018

13 to 16 September

The Gallery will be presenting Charlie Sheard's new body of work in the fourth edition of Sydney Contemporary, Australasia's international contemporary art fair.

Julie Brooke

- A Skewed Hypotenuse, 2018

26 September to 20 October

I'm fascinated by how abstract shapes and contrasting colours can create illusory optical effects. In this series of new paintings I use skewed grids and repeating geometric forms to explore how carefully orchestrated colour combinations can conjure fugitive colours and shifting illusions of three-dimensional space. These abstract gouache paintings encourage the viewer to discover the tipping point at which illusions of colour and space appear and disappear.

Catherine O'Donnell

- Urban Abstraction, 2018

14 November to 1 December

Urban abstraction is, in part, the result of a three month residency spent in Paris after being awarded the 2017 Terrence and Lynette Fern Cité Internationale des Arts Residency Fellowship thanks to the Power Institute, USYD. During the residency, I visited a number of housing estates across Paris built in the middle of the 20th century.

In my drawings, I aim highlight the building’s function as homes, as well as their modernist forms and lines, in order to reveal their origins as simultaneously altruistic, beautiful, impractical, and cold. An exercise in idealistic social engineering, and now a cultural signifier of lower socioeconomic communities, these estates are ultimately often deemed to be an urban planning disaster. Ironically, while these estates may be problematic on many social levels, the modernist aesthetic of what is now commonplace housing, embodies abstract geometric qualities that relate intimately to so called 'high art' concerns of modernist and minimalist abstraction.


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We are accepting proposals from professional artists from Australia and NZ for exhibitions and group shows ... learn more