2002 Self-Portrait Exhibition

As we prepared for our current group exhibition of self-portraiture titled In The Mirror, we looked back into our archives at the 2002 exhibition of the same theme. A number of our Represented Artists exhibited in the 2002 show including Robert Boynes, Jim Croke, James Guppy, Carol Murphy, Lezlie Tilley and Peter Tilley. A selection of their work is included above.

Come and join us tomorrow to celebrate the opening of In The Mirror from 4-6pm.

Jeweller Spotlight: Pushmataaha

Brenda May Gallery‘s jewellery room has a permanent, yet ever-changing, collection of jewellery by Pushmataaha. Their bodies of work have a unique and defined aesthetic that fuses tribal motifs and traditional imagery with a modern edge. They use brilliantly coloured stones, bold designs and refined techniques to execute these treasures into decadent pieces.

Their Baloo Earrings are a Gallery favourite. The miniature carved bears hanging by silver findings look as if they are being airlifted when worn. These quirky earrings come in a variety of colours and mediums – including wood, crystal, brass, turquoise and onyx. Like most of Pushmataaha’s ranges, they are very unconventional, but undeniably gorgeous.

New in the Stockroom: Works by Doble & Strong

We are pleased to be offering three new works by the the collaborative artists Robert Doble & Simon Strong for sale in the Gallery stockroom.

“The realisation that within our own bodies of work, we were both concerned with many of the same issues and aesthetics, led to the decision to create collaborative works which incorporated both our art practices – photography and painting, but only on the condition that they were combined in a cohesive and logical manner. ”
-Doble & Strong

Stockroom Higlight: Leslie Oliver ‘The Stone Helps the Balance’

Leslie Oliver’s artistic practice has a double life. On the one hand he is a filmmaker and a director of the Sydney Film School, and on the other hand a sculptor of found objects and abstract forms. As distant as these artistic fields may seem, Oliver explains how, for him, the processes required to create both types of work correspond. “As a filmmaker… At every stage of the process we are trying to build ‘characters’ that stand, live, are credible, engaging and reveal fundamental human qualities. A story is about revealing a character… As a sculptor I am thinking more and more in the same way, though my characters are seemingly static, they need to have a narrative to generate a sense of life and engage the viewer.” When viewing ‘The Stone Helps The Balance‘, a story forms through the multiple elements within the work’s design and is cleverly reflected and precipitated by its title.

A smooth copper hemisphere provides the colour and base to this work. The hemisphere has small dents and intrusions, and has been finished so that its top is darker with black colourings and gradually fades to a luminescent metallic colour towards the bottom. Around the rim is a section of hand painted and scratched multi-coloured triangular shapes that add a playful quality to the work, as well as providing a strong contrast to the black, monochromatic, flat top. Upon the top of the hemisphere is a tall architectural looking structure made from various bits of metal painted black. This construction appears to be pointing vertically and horizontally in one direction, creating dynamism that gives weight to this side of the hemisphere’s surface. Next to this structure is a half of a stone, also black, protruding from the flat base, adding a further weightiness. One of the long forms from the structure extends across, over the barren side of the hemisphere. From its arc-like appendage hangs a stone, in its natural colour, below the hemisphere’s surface. It is literally hanging by a thread and, with its tendency to sway even with the slightest vibrations, is threatening the balance of the entire world that Oliver has created. It appears that if the stone were to fall, the weight of the structure on the hemisphere’s surface would cause it to topple over. Oliver’s ability to assemble works that are predominately abstract, but formulate narratives through manipulations of colour, shape and line, reveals the complexity of form his sculptures contain.

Image: Leslie Oliver, ‘The Stone Helps The Balance’ 2009, copper plated mixed metals, stone, 27 x 31 x 20cm

‘In the Mirror’, Opening 27 March

Please join us for drinks with the Artists
Saturday 31 March 4-6pm

No one sees themselves the way the world sees them, as one’s reflection is, of course, seen in reverse. This show is an opportunity for the artists to share their unique view of themselves and to redirect the focus from the celebrity of the sitter, back to that of the artist. Not limited simply by traditional representation, unfettered by medium, In the Mirror will endeavour to offer a different view from the portrait as defined by and typically selected for the Archibald Prize.

Artists include Deborah Beck (courtesy Wilson Street Gallery at Danks), Tanmaya Bingham, Will Coles, Todd Fuller, James Guppy, Stephanie Jones, Manisha Lee, Barbara Licha (courtesy Charles Hewitt Gallery, Sydney), Simon Maberley, Carol Murphy, Mylyn Nguyen, Janet Parker-Smith, Nic Plowman (courtesy Anthea Polson, QLD), Elizabeth Pozega, Josh Raymond, Oliver Tanner, Lezlie Tilley and Greg Warburton.

Stockroom Collection: Artworks Under $500

We are pleased to introduce a new feature on the Brenda May Gallery blog: stockroom collections. Each collection will contain an image gallery of thumbnails which individually link back to the full size image and details of each artwork. This week, our collection highlights artwork priced under $500.

Artists included in this collection: Will Coles, Todd Fuller, Irianna Kanellopoulou, Waratah Lahy, Melinda Le Guay, Emily McIntosh, Helen Mueller, Al Munro, Mylyn Nguyen and Lezlie Tilley.


Will Coles: Books for People that don’t Read Anymore

Currently the more books you have the more intellectual you are supposed to be or suppose yourself to be. Interior designers scour second hand stores for ‘old looking’ books for an image of intellectualism, learnedness & culture. Now the Kindle & the iPad seem to finally ringing the death knell of the printed book so physical books will be revisioned. Soon you may simply be viewed as antiquated & out-of-touch. Expect the next decade to see books being dumped like so much unwanted firewood.

But various things will be lost when books disappear. The smell of a book, old or new. The feeling of an old book, the texture of a hardback. A hiding place for money, love notes, drugs & other secrets. The scribbled notes from previous owners & borrowers. The present of a book for a birthday, an event, a right of passage or another reason.

Customer: [Pointing to a shelf] Those books, how much?
Bernard: Hmm?
Customer: Those books. Leather-bound ones.
Bernard: Yes, Dickens. The collective works of Charles Dickens.
Customer: Are they real leather?
Bernard: They’re real Dickens.
Customer: I have to know if they’re real leather because they have to go with a sofa. Everything else in my house is real. I’ll give you two hundred for them.
Bernard: Two hundred what?
Customer: Two hundred pounds.
Bernard: Are they leather-bound pounds?
Customer: No.
Bernard: Sorry, I need leather-bound pounds to go with my wallet. Next!

Will Coles 2012, quote from the tv show Black Books