CURRENT Exhibitions

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 acrylic paintings encourage the viewer to discover the tipping point at which illusions of colour and space appear and disappear.

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Claire Anna Watson, Fractured Splendour

- Black Box Projects, 2018

26 September to 20 October

Claire Anna Watson explores the uncanny and the absurd in her recent videos. Staging interventions on common fruits and vegetables, she transforms the inherent life-giving properties of foodstuffs into humorous and psychological reveries. For the artist, the inspiration and splendour of ephemeral matter is perpetual and constant. At its core, this work considers the nature of life and the value of knowing that which sustains us.

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Kevin McKay

- OVERPASS: Paintings from the urban commute, 2018

26 September to 20 October

My work responds to features that serve as orientating landmarks in my journeys across the city. These are typically bridges, overpasses and imposing man-made structures which, despite their utilitarian function and as signifiers of modernity, also provide primal geometries that rise as icons of human endeavour. Concrete and steel beams frame a space beneath, whilst raising a passage to the sky above, with surfaces and forms that make evident the invisible qualities of light and space in a vision of classical stillness, interrupting the commuting ennui that in a flash is gone.

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Robert Boynes in Contour 556

- Canberra, 2018

5 to 28 October

Contour 556 is a free public art event over three weeks presenting artworks and performances by 60 artists in the world famous public realm and national cultural icons around Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra. It is unique in the field of public sculpture and performance events as it takes place in a consciously designed and culturally layered landscape, in one of only three designed capital cities.

The event reinforces the beauty of the designed landscape, and recognises landscapes hidden from view through design.  It presents stories of Australia political, cultural and physical history. It includes stories from all Australians, from our past and our future.

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Nicole Welch at Glasshouse Regional Gallery

- Silence & Solitude: select works from Eastern Interiors, 2018

12 October to 2 December

Peter Tilley at Sculpture by the Sea

- The Undiscovered, 2018

18 October to 4 November

Al Munro

- Disturbing the grid, 2018

24 October to 10 November

Drawing on my interest in the intersections of textile patterning and mathematics, this exhibition focusses on the systems and logic of woven textiles and how these might relate to painted abstraction. The ubiquitous grid of Modernism existed as the form and structure of woven textiles long before it was claimed by art, architecture and science. This work explores the relationship of simple weave structures – warp and weft – and patterns – ginghams, plaids, checks – to abstraction, and to locate an ongoing relevance for textile histories and practices to be seen as part of the expanded field of painting. The work also draws on my recent residency at Chiang Mai University, Thailand, where I researched the local vernacular of woven textiles called pa kao ma.

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Leslie Oliver

- Things from Other Places, 2018

24 October to 10 November

These ‘things’ are resolutely abstract. I want a reaction to arise from rhythms, structures, space and form. Necessarily, they are engineered constructions that obey rules of matter. Most of my time by far, goes into the construction process, aiming to fulfil the instinctive gesture that comes to me. I hope to bring life to ‘stuff’. I like to think people will notice what keeps ‘the thing’ balanced, upright, while at the same time recognising some of materials from other uses and lost histories, but most importantly feeling some physical empathy with the inferred gestures.

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Nicole Welch

- Black Box Projects, 2018

24 October to 10 November

To coincide with Nicole Welch's presentation of the moving image work Transformation and photographic series Mementos at Artstate Bathurst (1 to 4 November 2018), as well as her solo exhibition Silence & Solitude: select works from Eastern Interiors at Glasshouse Regional Gallery (12 October to 2 December 2018), MAY SPACE is presenting a selection of Welch's video artworks in Black Box Projects.

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Nicole Welch at Artstate Bathurst

- Mementos + Transformation, 2018

1 to 4 November

As a part of the Artstate Bathurst Arts Program, Central West artist Nicole Welch is exhibiting two new works; Transformation and Mementos.

Mementos is a series of photographs of sceneries packaged as a set of small keepsakes, reminiscent of souvenirs. The miniature scenes captured reveal the unseen landscapes of the Central West New South Wales. The localities documented are lessor known natural environments of the region, the places passing tourists may be unaware of, the concealed treasures.Photographed using infrared cameras and technology with minimal post production, the light and colour spectrum captured and revealed is undetectable and unseen by the human eye, resulting in an unnatural hyperreal landscapes.

The moving image work Transformation is the latest installment in Nicole Welch’s ongoing Self series, which was initiated as part of her Illumination works in 2012. In this sequence Welch uses her body as a apparatus for exploring the symbiotic relationship humans have with the natural world and the fragility and strength of both. As a continuation of these themes the Transformation footage sees the artist engage directly with the natural world through a waterfall; a universal symbol of renewal, healing and ultimately, transformation.
The artist acknowledges and gives thanks to the Wiradjuri, the traditional custodians of the land of the Central West of New South Wales and pays her respects to Elders both past and present.

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Alexander Boynes

- As Above, So Below, 2018

14 November to 1 December

As Above, So Below reflects on the loss of the Australian landscape in the drive to extract what is beneath it by the fossil fuel industry; land that before anything else is held in the custody of Traditional Indigenous owners.

This melding of landscape and industry speaks of our failure to invest in a renewable future, as coal, oil and gas extraction dominate the power industry without consequence. Meanwhile standing in a rapidly changing environment, the figure represents both the catalyst and the casualty of these actions. 

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Catherine O'Donnell

- Urban Abstraction, 2018

14 November to 1 December

Urban Abstraction is a suite of drawings based on the Brutalist architecture of social housing in Paris and Sydney developed in the mid 1900s. In these geometric constructions I see simplicity of form, and it is this that captures my imagination. I draw what I regard as beautiful or interesting in order to highlight the power of the ordinary, commonplace architecture of the urban landscape. At first glance these qualities may not be evident, as these housing developments are not always given the same value as other housing. But to me, these buildings are so much more than the physical embodiment of the post-war utopian ideals and principles of European modernism. They have been and still are home for many people. 

I use the representational forms of these places in a minimal, abstracted way. This allows me to explore the compositional potential and underlying symmetry of these dwellings. My drawings display order, abstraction, and geometry, as to elevate these structures through aesthetic contemplation, contradicting the ordinariness of their existence and allowing for the possibility of transcendence.

Catherine O'Donnell at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest

- The Ideal Home, 2018-2019

1 December to 24 March

The Ideal Home presents a history of the 20th century Australian home told through household objects, furniture and design classics from the MAAS Collection.

Todd Fuller

- Convicts and Queens: a passionate history of Australia, 2018

5 to 22 December

"My dying wish is to be buried beside my beloved James Nesbitt, the man with whom I was united by every tie which could bind human friendship, we were one in hopes, in heart and soul and this unity lasted until he died in my arms"

-Andrew George Scott, aka Captain Moonlight, 20 January, 1880

On the 6th of December 2017, as debate raged in the House of Representatives regarding Same Sex Marriage in Australia, independent member for Kennedy Bob Katter suggested that the gay community and its advocates have "oh maybe, sixty years on their side" while he claimed to have "three and a half million years of genetic programming" on his side. His argument went on to discuss aids, safe schools, gay hate crimes and his best selling book, but it failed to acknowledge the rich and often concealed contribution of LGBTIQA+ individuals in the grand Australian narrative. Convicts and Queens reimagines a selection of Queer Australian stories, both historical and contemporary, to explore how notions of masculinity in Australia may not be innate, enduring or eternal.

Continuing their collaboration, the opening will include a performance by Todd Fuller and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir.

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Carol Murphy

- Colour my world, 2018

5 to 22 December

A mixed media exhibition featuring a range of disciplines including ceramics, painting, drawing, and collage.

A celebration of my life up until now.

Colour my world is a flashback of music, life, death, love, loss, colour, darkness, and sadness.

Shelf Life

- curated group exhibition, 2019

6 to 23 February

Shelf Life will consider the still life genre, with a particular focus on representations of bottles and containers, ubiquitous items that we use to carry, preserve and contain. An artistic linchpin since the 16th Century, the lush bouquets, glistening silver vessels, ripe fruit and lifeless game animals of early still life paintings became more humble as Realism, Impressionism and then Cubism watched artistic subjects and techniques change. The genre took on a three dimensional form through Dada, and as shopping carts began to fill with more packaged produce in the 1950s and 1960s, many Pop Artists let consumer goods take centre stage. Shelf Life will display paintings, photographs, sculptures and video artworks that aesthetically speak to different moments in the history of the still life. Hoarded, forgotten and expiring on shelves and in sheds, the vessels we use to store liquids, medications, toxic chemicals, food and other substances will be the central subject matter of these traditional and contemporary takes on an art historical genre.  (Image: Jude Rae, SLL001, lithograph, ed of 10)


Ruth Li

- Florilegium, 2019

27 February to 16 March

In my work, I explore different ways of narrating both traditional and multicultural concepts of beauty, transcendence and the sublime as a cross-cultural language in to the spiritual. Building on this fascination, I draw inspiration from the myriad influences of my diverse cultural heritage, both philosophically and aesthetically; while utilizing the collective language of dreams, myths and of utopia to further nourish the awareness of the continual evolution of life, death and time itself. This layering of imagery becomes a metaphorical representation of the self extending onwards to consider the transitory nature of human existence.

Peta Minnici

- Light on Nostalgia, 2019

20 March to 6 April

My current body of work explores recollection, depicting still life objects, people and places evoking and also preserving a memory of a time in the past. By painting from personal objects and photographs I aim to undo the photographic representation of each subject into small brush strokes of tone and colour, imbuing each image with a sensation associated with recollection of a memory and also symbolic in that each mark creates a recording of what I have seen, heard and felt.

My subject matter was inspired by the recent loss of someone who figured prominently in my life and the narrative that jointly connected us with each object. I would like to think that my paintings capture nostalgia with wistful affection and sometimes cynical humour without being too melancholy.

Our Common Bond

- curated by Olivia Welch, 2019

10 April to 4 May

Our Common Bond takes its title from the Australian Citizenship Test booklet, which outlines what it means to be an Australian: the responsibilities and opportunities it affords you, the history you are inheriting, the culture you will be welcomed into, and the rules and regulations you must abide by. “Australia successfully combines ethnic and cultural diversity with national unity. Citizenship is the bond that unites us all.”- p.3 

The language of this booklet contributes to Australia’s cultural amnesia when referring to the treatment of Indigenous Australians and migrants, and the effects of colonisation. It celebrates the positives, but brushes over the negatives as follies of the past that no longer bear scars. It explains that racial discrimination is not tolerated today and that men and women are equal, but does not recognise Australia’s flaws in acknowledging history and the need for real, continual change for such statements to be true. It identifies certain days, behaviours and beliefs as being "Australian", even though many Australians would not agree that these ideas and events represent them. 

This exhibition uses this booklet as a starting point to discuss Australia’s history and current attitudes towards the country’s diverse population, as well as examining what is meant by "Australian" culture and values.

(Image: Dean Cross, PolyAustralis #29 (Rolf Harris) 2016, archival inkjet print on cotton rag, 59.4 x 84.1cm, edition 5 + 2AP)