Fiona Fenech + Dianne Longley – Opening 26 March

Please join us for evening drinks with the Artists, Wednesday 27 March 6-8pm

“The cautionary tales that pervade everyday life are often ritualised into the cultural use of domestic objects, helping to construct collective and personal identities. Throughout this exhibition, the act of subverting such familiar ideas and items to reveal a sense of threat or violence is explored as a way of transforming and appropriating the familiar into fantasy, making visible the myths we live by.”

“The works in this exhibition combine primordial plant forms such as yuccas, agaves and cacti, with fanciful figures and imagined landscapes. Magicians signal a quest, fantastic creatures interact and medieval monsters are guardians of future possibilities.”

PLEASE NOTE that the 2 Danks Street complex will be closed the Easter long weekend, reopening on Tuesday April 2. We hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Melinda Le Guay + Samantha Robinson – Closing 22 December

Despite a more diverse colour palette than in previous years, Melinda Le Guay‘s subtly beautiful exhibition Blood Lines still manages to exude a sense of calm due in part to the repetitive nature of the series. Each piece, featuring hundreds of tiny stamps that have been applied in exactitude, displays Le Guay’s incredible patience in creating uniform direction, size and shape within her work. Even though each piece is formed by patterns of line and colour, they are not simply mechanical, as the hand of the artist is still visible in small moments where a stamp is slightly out of line, the pressure altered or the colour faded.

Don’t miss seeing the amazing 2.5 metre porcelain dolls before the Samantha Robinson exhibition closes on Thursday December 20. Samantha travelled to Jingdezhen in China to work with Master Wu in his studio. After the pots were formed, Samantha and seven assistants then spent an astonishing 504 hours to carve them using razor blades and then an additional 336 hours to hand paint them.

Alongside Samantha Robinson‘s immense doll vessels, the Gallery is pleased to launch the new collection of thimble cups and celadon coloured lotus and rose bowls. The new cups, plates and bowls are currently available exclusively at the Gallery – just in time for some last minute holiday shopping!


This is also a friendly reminder that next week is our last open in 2012 as we will be closing on Saturday 22 December for our holiday break. We will reopen on Wednesday 23 January 2013 with our annual Sculpture exhibition. Have a safe and happy holiday!

Samantha Robinson process notes

The pots are hand thrown on a wheel in sections, its takes two people to throw each section. They are then sun-dried and joined together. When they are bone dry they are shaped with very sharp turning blades again on the pottery wheel.


Once the pots are formed they are dried for 10 days and then the drawing begins. The wings and flowers are drawn on the pots then hand carved with razor blades (504 hours in total of carving). The relief is then hand painted (another 336 hours) with a mixture of pigment and peach gum that can with stand the high-fire temperatures of 1400 Celsius.

Once the carving and painting of the wings, flowers and face has been finished, the dolls are spayed with a celadon glaze. Finally they are placed in the kiln where the pots are fired for 72 hours and then cooling for another 48 hours.

Melinda Le Guay + Samantha Robinson – Opening 4 December 2012

Melinda Le Guay uses process as an end and a means while allowing for elements of human error. Vigilant hand-eye co-ordination will underpin the performative nature of the work reflecting rhythm and movement.

Samantha Robinson, in Object, Odject, undertakes the deconstruction of the everyday; the work will play with scale and function to challenge viewers to interpret objects in a way in which they were not normally intended. We will also be delighted to welcome Edwina McCann, editor of Australian Vogue, who will be joining us on the Saturday to say a few words during the afternoon drinks.

We hope you are able to visit the Gallery before we close for the holiday period from 5pm on Saturday 22 December. We will reopen in the New Year with Sculpture 2013 on Wednesday 23 January 2013. Best wishes from all of us and many thanks for your support during 2012.

New in the Stockroom: Ceramics by Sarit Cohen

We are pleased to announce that we now stock the hand-made ceramics by Sarit Cohen. The range of off-white porcelain cups and bowls feature geometric designs in red, black and blue. Come pay us a visit to see these beautiful vessels in person.

As a ceramicist my work explores the subtlety found in fine and delicate objects, with cups as my focus; I’m interested in the relation between the hand and the form, with variations in shape, handle, surface markings and motifs giving clues as to how to hold or interact with the vessel. Linear markings draw your eyes around the vessel and encourage a full exploration.

My work draws upon my Jewish and Indian heritage, by combining variations on traditional imagery and iconography, which combine with my interests in minimal forms and geometric simplicity.

 -Sarit Cohen 2012

Carol Murphy + Jacek Wańkowski, Closing 16 June

The current exhibitions by CAROL MURPHY and JACEK WAŃKOWSKI will be on view until Saturday 16th of June, 2012.

Carol Murphy‘s wry sense of humor is found throughout her collection of new work in imago and is celebrated in the dramatic ceramic figure, ‘Drink Me‘. A bald woman, sits with her legs akimbo in a very unladylike manner, wearing a rouge bra, lace panties and stripy stockings whilst chugging a bottle of beer. The titles of the two works pictured below are from a poem written for the exhibition by Murphy last year…

“if one eats cake …one grows bigger.
drink me
can you live on cake alone.”

The stainless steel sculptures by Jacek Wańkowski are set against black walls to illuminate their reflective flat planes. Displaying rhythmic lines and forms, each geometric sculpture presents a stage in the biological process of metamorphosis, which is also the title of his show. Wańkowski has embodied his pieces with characteristics of the fundamental elements found in nature through the use of enamel paint discreetly colouring the elongated tips.

Carol Murphy + Jacek Wańkowski, Opening 29 May

Please join us for drinks
with the Artists

Saturday 2 June 4-6pm

Carol Murphy’s new exhibition titled imago explores change and body image, referencing story telling and social media. The small, therianthropic ceramic sculptures depict both transformations and Murphy’s playful nature.

Jacek Wańkowski states that the stainless steel abstract sculptures in Metamorphosis “investigate ideas of perception, of known and unknown things that engage the forces of nature and of change and growth.”

Jeweller Spotlight: Debra Taylor

Ceramicist Debra Taylor’s new jewellery range features small ceramic doll pendants. Taylor explains that these slip cast porcelain pendants are molded from dolls dug up from the site of an old German doll factory. The pendants range from 2.5cm to 6cm depending on whether they are just the porcelain head, or if the pendant includes a bust or torso. Each piece has a smooth finish, but still maintains the relic aesthetic of the originals they are cast from. They are completed with a long sterling silver ball chain.

“Angry Boy” is a standout piece, depicting a miniature head crying. The juxtaposition between its adorable size and distressed expression causes this piece to be rather humorous. The visibility of the pendants tiny little features, from his double chin to his frowning forehead, display Taylor’s incredible technique.

Focus On: Carol Murphy

Throughout art history the reoccurring theme of ‘the embrace’ has permeated visual imagery. Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso and Roy Lichtenstein among others have created works based on this motif. Carol Murphy, in her 2009 exhibition Interspace, portrayed notions of connectivity in her sculptures, one of which conveys an embrace of two figures. This work, entitled ‘Embrace,’ does not feature the lust, romance and passion of other works developed around this theme, as it is contrarily pensive and quiet. ‘Embrace’ depicts a female bust with a male bust behind it. It looks as if the hand and arm of the man is reaching through the woman’s chest in order to hold her and pull her closer. The subdued grey hue used, and the mild expressions portrayed, allows this work to have a pared-back and simple beauty. ‘Embrace,’ which is representative of its exhibition Interspace emotionally and stylistically, conveys a physical and figurative complex relationship of lack and fulfillment. As explained in the exhibition statement, Murphy’s intentions were to “…explore the connectivity between forms: examining negative spaces, inner spaces and the spaces created by the removal of matter.”

Left to right: Carol Murphy, ‘Embrace’ 2009, ceramic, 46 x 29 x 26cm; Carol Murphy, ‘Enid (is equipped for all situations)’ 2011, ceramic on timber base, 40.5 x 13 x 10cm

Murphy’s colour palette may have been restricted and her figures minimalist in this exhibition, but she has another line of work that is playful, intricate and full of colour. In Murphy’s 2011 exhibition The importance of being Ernest… no Enid this side to her work was in full fruition. The Josephine Baker inspired ‘I Got Hungry,’ her ‘Ouch! I said pin-up girl!’ and her appropriation of the character Enid from the Ghost World comics, ‘Enid (is equipped for all situations),’ all have an adorably fun element to them. The thick-limbed figures have a child-like innocence despite their often quite adult characterisations.

Left to right: Carol Murphy, ‘Spot Wants To Play Too’ 2012, ceramic, timber, metal, 39.5 x 11 x 7.5cm; Carol Murphy, ‘Empty Woman’ 2008, ceramic, timber base, 41 x 13 x 12cm; Carol Murphy, ‘Ouch! I said pin-up girl!’ 2008, ceramic, metal, fibre, on timber base, 43 x 14 x 8cm

The most recent work by Murphy in the Gallery is ‘Spot Wants To Play Too.’ This anthropomorphic male figure is attached to a timber base and stands with his hands by his sides. This is the first obviously male figure Murphy has created in a number of years and is a companion piece to the 2011 exhibition. It is a quite detailed piece, with each individual toenail scratched out and painted. The pink spotted green shorts he is wearing displays a protruding package, playing into the adult-innocence paradox prominent in her work, as mentioned earlier. The head of the figure is obviously a mixture of human and canine with its downward ears and melancholy expression representative of the work’s title. Also in the Gallery at the moment is her paired-back and stylised piece ‘Empty Woman’ and when displayed with works such as ‘Spot Wants To Play Too,’ it is interesting to see Murphy’s dichotomous styles interacting.

Brenda May Gallery April 2012 Holiday Hours

Irianna Kanellopoulou, ‘Village Life (wire rabbit head boy + ceramic girl rabbit)’
2007, ceramic – three pieces, dimensions variable

PLEASE NOTE that the 2 Danks Street complex is closed the Easter long weekend, starting from 6pm on Thursday April 5 until Tuesday April 10 at 11am. We hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend.