Brunswick Street Gallery (BSG)

The Brunswick Street Gallery has a small street frontage but lots of upstairs gallery space and they always make good use of the street entry, this month with installation art on the walls.  BSG also always has art by a variety of artists on display to engage visitors and this visit was no exception.

Isobel Rayson has a wonderful exhibition of small works (paint and wood) under the title “Time and Trace” the focus is on mark-making.  Isobel uses controlled, small marks to make lovely scenes, some of which fill the wood base and others which allow the blackened wood space to enhance the marks /picture.  In some you can image the rippling surface of water, or ripples in time and some are simple representations of trees in dark space.  They are all restful yet bring a smile.

Ashley McNeil has an exhibition titled “Life, Death and Panic Attacks” – explores what Ashley’s has tried to illustrate, create a visual experience of panic, anxiety and depression.  These are very powerful images and I feel she has achieved what she set out to do.  Viewed from a safe space of not anxiety, fear or depression they are a bit uncomfortable and a little bit confronting.    Take all that and lock it up inside and it is a little bit scary to think what life might be like trying to deal with this internal pressures.

Chloe Shao draws “in a way that makes her happy” – I like that.  Her exhibition is titled “Parallel Worlds”. Her drawings are novel in that she mixes the human with botanicals in a way that works really well.  The  images are elegant and perfectly formed.






Original and Authentic Aboriginal Art

“Original And Authentic Aboriginal Art” is a gallery dedicated to aboriginal art and is located in Bourke Street Melbourne. The gallery is committed to the City Of Melbourne  Code of Practice for galleries and retailers of Indigenous Art.  Subscribers are required to register and submit evidence of compliance.  The purpose of the code is to ensure respect for indigenous artists, culture, diversity, artworks, provenance and to eliminate exploitation. (That is very brief summary – it is worth reading the code of practice particularly if you have an interest in purchasing indigenous artwork).

This gallery is full of differing styles of indigenous artwork, including styles that I have not previously realised are indigenous.  I also was enjoying an artwork  that I assumed was a modern representation / style only to discover the painting was created in 1928!  There is colour and monotone, dot works, X-ray and other styles.  Works that are mounted on stretcher bars or made on paper waiting to be purchased and framed. Works that need to be examined up close and viewed from a distance.

What continually amazes me about indigenous art is the discipline and focus to create, in particular, the dot works.  Examine them up close – the dots have clean edges  – not bulging out on one side or another – and the layer of paint is even across the dot (regardless of how small or large the dot may be).  The uniformity of space between dots – until a conscious decision is made to vary either size, space or colours to create an image, or sense of movement, within the canvas.  The same applies to the marks which I call small feathers.  The other stand-out is the balance created across the canvas.

This gallery has a wonderful  display of artworks to enjoy.

The gallery requests that photos not be taken, so I will not display any photo.  Please visit the gallery link to get a taste of the beautiful artworks on display.

Langford 120

Langford 120 (named after its address in North Melbourne) is a large light filled space with space to step back and view the art.  In April / May Langford 120 has been participating in Abstraction 2018 in collaboration with Stephen Mclaughlin Gallery, Five Walls Project, Justin Art House Museum and Deakin University.  The abstract artists mind often works a little differently to mine, abstract challenges and sometimes just bemuses me completely.  It is good to step outside your comfort zone and be challenged.  I  found the artist statements and sometimes I thought yes – I get that and sometimes I thought hmmmm!)  That’s OK  – there were some great works cleverly executed – from the fluid and organic to geometric, linear precision.  Too many artists for me to capture them all here – go visit the gallery.

Artists included:

and many more.






Daylesford and Macedon Ranges Open Studios (DMROS)

This week did not involve a visit to a specific gallery; instead it was my pleasure to visit several artists in their own studio. (Serious studio envy.) Refer my earlier heads up entry – DMROS made it possible to determine your participation by sorting on arts specialty or on location. I chose to go to Trentham and visited artists with different specialties.

These artists were very generous sharing their history, how their art had evolved to their current practice. In some studios you were able to see old works and new. Artists could identify turning points in their life or share a pivotal work that changed or set the direction of their art practice. It was a fun day of learning about and enjoying the art and the artists.  I only fitted in five artists, so need to go back next year to catch some more.    Also recommend you include in your day trip / holiday activities a visit to the Little Gallery and Gold Street Studio in Trentham.

Chris Rowe (Mixed Media Artist):

Chris has held onto some pivot artworks that show how her artistic skills have developed over the course of her career. This included returning to study when she felt her artwork was “missing something”. Well she creates wonderful, mixed media landscapes, building up layers and layers of media. These are not bulky heavy pieces, she includes beautifully fine and simple drawing of people. In the absence of detailed facial features she captures body language to convey the emotion in her figures. Where she includes text, it connects to the subject matter (not random). Recent works include undulations in the surface layers and therefore the image changes as the light moves across her work. Chris Rowe’s artworks keep on giving.

Chris Rowe “Poignant Parting – ANZAC Centenary.” Mixed media on canvas (Included with Artist’s consent)


Chris Rowe: “The Homestead that was” Mixed media on canvas. (Included with Artist’s consent)


Rose Wilson (Painter)

Rose was a portrait artist and recently started doing landscapes. She also shared how her arts practice developed and how the themes for her work have come about. Several years spent living in Arnhem land has created the basis for her techniques.  She paints portraits using oil paint and her fingers (yes – instead of a paintbrush) and with a blade for the fine details of hair and beards. These are beautifully detailed, relaxed portraits. I was stunned at what she produced with her fingers.

On the other hand for her landscapes she uses palettes knives and paintbrushes. Creating layers, adding and scraping back.  she is inspired by the beautiful forests around Trentham and the Macedon Ranges.

Rose Wilson: “Mr Jones won ‘t be coming for dinner” Oil on linen;  135 x 107 cm.


Rose Wilson “Misty Gums” (included with artist’s consent)


Jeannine Hendy (Ceramicist (or potter))

Jeannine designs and creates beautiful, usable ceramic household items and ceramic art pieces. She gave me an education in the highs and lows of ceramic art practice; the joy of design, the value given to not just the visual but tactile nature of our everyday items,  the risks with firing and glazing.  She has a love of the entire process and it shows in each piece.



Dianne Longley (Printer)

Dianne has a studio full of different types of plates, inks, paper and presses to be used depending on the type of work she wants to produce. There are many different types of printing processes and Dianne uses and / or teaches a range of them. Every printing process is complicated requiring design, attention to detail, knowledge of multiple types of materials (blocks, paint, ink etc.) attention to detail and precision execution.  I was also amazed at the lack of chemical smells in the studio; Dianne has been finding natural natural solvents to use whenever possible.

Dianne Longley at her Enjay printing press (included with artists consent)


Ellie Young (Photographer)

Ellie’s choice of subject matter is many and varied but her approach is to capture fine detail in high magnification. There are two crucial parts to the art practice – capturing the right image and then determining and executing the best photographic printing process. An artwork can take anything from one day to a week to create. Ellie’s photographs are created on metal plates by building up layers. She is ‘hands on’ at every step of the creative process (no digital development) and the end work gives no indication of the complexity of the processes that have gone into creation.  Ellie also teaches photography.

Ellie Young: (Included with artist’s consent)




Studio Gallery Melbourne

Studio Gallery Melbourne is located in a large, light-filled space in Cheltenham.  Lots of large works and the room to step back and take them in.  I reacquainted with works by Kerry Armstrong and discovered lots of new artists.  Note the artworks are not crowded  – it is a large gallery space.  I can’t cover all the artists – although I would love to.  Go visit and discover more inspiring artists and artworks that make you want to dip your fingers into the juicy thickness of the paint or wonder at the use of lines, marks and colour.

Deidre Bruhn – has created strong, colourful images of confident, vibrant women.

Clare Brodie – I look at this diptych of simple shapes and clean colours and believe I am ‘looking through’ a landscape.  (Eyes of the beholder).

Clare Brodie: “Looking Through” Matte vinyl on canvas, framed in solid Australian Oak. 108 x 137cm each. (Included with artist’s consent)



Nick Osmond – lots of smaller works of faces – clean colours, simple shapes yet every face is different, in colour, construct, mood.  Each face encourages you to look closer and think about moods and create a context.

Nick Osmond “I didn’t realise that was goodbye”, acrylic on marine ply. 53 x 53cm.  (Published with permission of Studio Gallery Melbourne)


Daniel Anderson – “Based on a True Story”.   This one is strangely attractive because although the image captures a beautiful play of light on form, it leaves me wondering about the true story  – fire or smoke?

Liam Snootle – has created geometric images using aerosol on canvas.  He draws your eye through the canvas in amazingly clean colour blocks. How he manages to get such clean lines is to me a miracle.

Liam Snootle: “Ionisation” Aerosol on Canvas, 131 x 74cm (included with artists consent)





Without Pier

Without Pier is located in Cheltenham and focuses on contemporary Australian artists across a range of artistic practice – sculpture (metal, timber, glass) paintings, sculpted furniture.  Wonderful works to capture the eye.  This visit I reacquainted myself with some artists (Rhonda Gray, Nicole Allen – see previous entries) while also discovering Brendon Sims from Gippsland (which is just full of great artists.)

Brendon Sims obviously has a love of Gippsland; this exhibition focuses on the horizon, colours and waters of the Gippsland Lakes.  As you move from painting to painting you move through the different moods and colours of the lakes from dawn to dusk, calm to ripple to wave. Something for every mood, contemplative, meditative, uplifting and even (g)rumbling.

I also discovered a lovely glasswork by Martin Goldin.









Stockroom (Kyneton)

The Stockroom is both a gallery and a boutique.  You wander through beautiful clothing, hand made shoes and jewellery to the main galleries.  Don’t forget to visit the smaller galleries at the back – you will find interesting works there to.

Erika Gofton’s earlier works reminded of the naiveté and innocence of childhood.     More recent works are confronting for some.  My favourite “Threshold” is not brutal or violent, a child (not a baby or toddler) is present yet concealed behind a diaphanous, semi-transparent, plastic bag.  There is no visible distress – that is the automatic adult reaction to the dangers of plastic bags – confronting.  I wondered about a child seeking refuge from danger, held in isolation for years initially by chain fences and then by something less tangible, less visible but just as constraining, dangerous and hopeless.

Erika Gofton: “Threshold” Oil on Linen 81 x 56cm.  (Included with artist consent)


Chee Yong – these small perfectly formed pieces, titled “Ghosts” seem to progress through stages.  I see a face in a fantasy wood, where the forest gradually takes over the human form.   And strangely for some reason I was thinking of a modern, somewhat darker take on blue willow china.   Each work warrants close examination, it is all about the mark-making.

Chee Yong: “Ghost #4” oil and enamel on wood 29 x 23.5 x 1cm


Adam Cusack has created some very quirky, beautifully executed charcoal drawings.  “Drawing” just doesn’t seem an adequate description for these charcoal artworks,  they almost look like they have been painted.  Amazing.

Adam Cusack: “Inception” 2017   570x750mm h














The Old Auction House (Kyneton)

The Old Auction House has been open for a year.   It provides not only an art gallery, it is working studio, provides various art classes and activities for all ages across varied arts and crafts.  A great arts space provided  by some enthusiastic artists;  they provide gallery space for established artists and community groups – good on them.

Syndicas – A Family of Artists.  This is an exhibition of works by two brothers Syndikas, and children.  Five artists in one family.

Anthony Syndikas (parent) exhibits vivid landscapes in oil paint.

Alex Syndikas (parent) exhibits photographs (manipulated, photomontage)

Alex Syndikas: “Nude and Skeleton” (included with artists consent)


Jean-Luc Syndikas exhibits beautiful photographs and ink drawings.

Diahann Syndikas exhibits mixed media – photo interpretations and acrylic paint plus sculpture.

Natasha Syndikas (RIP passed suddenly  in 2010 at age eighteen) exhibition of photos, evidence even at this young age she too was a talented artist.

Judy Place exhibited a wonderful work titled “Veges”.  It looked like a classical, old still life painting but was actually a contemporary work in pastels.












fortyfive downstairs

fortyfive downstairs” is a Melbourne based not-for-profit gallery and theatre space.  It is great for a lunchtime visit.  It supports big works and this visit had large photographic works and even bigger oil paintings.

Serap Osman’s exhibition is titled “hands all over”.  She is commenting on the use and misuse of plastic.  I think she has done so with a sense of playfulness,  an eye for place, colour and surprisingly fashion (later discovered she has a background in fashion).  And that was before I read her artist statement.  These works are both great photo’s in themselves as well as statements on the impact we have on our environment.

Serap Osman: Hands all Over #3, 2017, photograph 880 x 1070mm (included with artists consent)


Kerry Armstrong’s exhibition is titled “A Life Seen Through Cut Outs”and consists of big, bold, colourful  oil and acrylic paintings.  She loves big, dynamic marks and uses lots of paint.  Some of the work reminds of a free-wheeling, childlike approach to art and these were the emotions Kerry drew on but in a grand scale.

Kerry Armstrong ‘Girl in Grass (Night)’ Paddocks for Ponies series, 2018, acrylic & oil on Belgian linen, 250 x 190 cm, framed in black Australian oak (included with artists consent)