New in the Stockroom Peter Tilley sculptures + Kevin McKay paintings

We have two new assemblages by Peter Tilley available in our stockroom from the ‘Above + Below’ series, which consider the downside of the coal and mining industry in Newcastle. Within the assemblages, Tilley used old foundry patterns alongside graphite electrodes out of the BHP steelworks located in Newcastle. Prior to the closure of the factory in 1999, artists were given access to the site for artistic inspiration.

Having received the Basil & Muriel Hooper Scholarship from the AGNSW in 2006, the Sydney City of Villages Art Prize in 2009, the William Fletcher Foundation’s Scholarship to The British School at Rome in 2011, the Kogarah Emerging Artist Prize in 2012 and the Waverley Oil Painting Prize in 2013, we are delighted to have a selection of Kevin McKay‘s applauded renderings of suburban landscapes, created both in his studio and plein air, available at the Gallery.


Interview: Jacek Wańkowski

What is your earliest memory of making art?
Painting at school in a cold and draughty ‘art room’ in the attic of a 19th-century ‘neo-gothic’ school building.  I remember writing poetry as a distraction from the cold.

Do you listen to music when you are creating works? If so, what is on high rotation?
No – different music causes different emotional responses in me, so my emotional state can change as I work on one piece and I prefer to keep my emotions focussed and, as far as possible, in the same frame.


When preparing for your last exhibition, did you create works around a theme or did the links between the works reveal themselves later on?
Yes, around a theme and an installation concept.

Describe the space in which you create your works (studio, lounge room etc):
Large tin shed in a paddock in a beautiful valley in the Hunter.

Do you have a favourite piece or favourite pieces? If so, which piece/s and why?
These change as I make new work.  Currently its ‘ex nihilo’ as it hovers just above the ground, looking like its ready to chase something.

What has been, for you, a defining moment in your career as an artist?
Discovering I loved sculpting, an activity that puts me ‘in the zone’ while I am working – often a sort of transcendental state.

1480What did you eat for breakfast?
Home-made bread (made by me), honey and a flat white.

Now Accepting Proposals for Sculpture 2014

Brenda May Gallery is seeking proposals from professional practising artists in Australia and New Zealand for the curated group exhibition ‘Sculpture 2014′.

‘Sculpture 2014′ – January/February 2014

This show continues the tradition of opening our year with an exhibition devoted to the best and most interesting contemporary sculpture. Although there are no restrictions for this exhibition, we will only consider work made by professional sculptors which has not previously been exhibited in Sydney.
Proposals for this show must be received by Friday 18 October 2013.

Submissions should be posted directly to the Gallery (email submissions and proposals sent by registered post will not be accepted) and should include a CD of recent work and images in support of the proposal, an up to date C/V and a single page outline stating which exhibition you are submitting for and the nature of the work you are proposing. Please no powerpoint or keynote files.

Sculpture 2013 | Sculpture 2012 | Sculpture 2011 | Sculpture 2010 | Sculpture 2009 | Sculpture 2008 | Sculpture 2007


Benjamin Storch + Helena Leslie – Closing 15 June

The current solo exhibitions by BENJAMIN STORCH and HELENA LESLIE will be on view until Saturday 15th of June. We are also pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural, 2 Danks Street Award for Contemporary Art Criticism. Further details regarding this opportunity can be viewed on the 2 Danks Street website.

Visualising the mathematical, Benjamin Storch hand-hammers sculptural forms that embody fluidity and movement.

Helena Leslie’s fine watercolour pieces house the lost and forgotten subjects of old photographs, sitting them atop brightly coloured quilts and geometric patterns.

May/June 2013 Exhibitions

To facilitate easy parking, we are moving our events
from Saturday afternoons to Wednesday evenings.
Please join us for our first evening, drinks with the Artists,
on Wednesday 29 May, 5:30-7:30pm

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“My practice conflates drawing and painting with the act of remembering and hence, my works are records, and traces of that which has been discarded and forgotten. As I unite my subjects with small offerings of humble ground: quilted landscapes, small planets, bright stars; I seek to reposition these narratives as contemporary portraits of the universal human condition.”

“The sculptures I create often embody mathematical principles related to dynamics and topology, as this provides a means of visualising their complexity via CAD. Gravity makes it difficult to use softer mediums, so there is an interesting tension between the ethereal, fluid intention and the often tedious manipulation of rigid metal.”

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 12.55.41 PM
“This series of work reflects a continuing preoccupation with place and landscape. I am particularly interested in photographing those places in city environments where human culture and the natural world intersect.”

Catherine Cloran, ‘Mangroves Cooks River’ 2012
pigment print on archival paper, 53.5 x 80cm

Senden Blackwood + Helen Mueller – Closing 23 March

blackwood_mueller_installsEmploying the diminishing art of stone carving through his sensuous and seamless forms, SENDEN BLACKWOOD tirelessly labours upon his hand-carved and polished pieces, building a relationship between his aesthetic ideas and the physical attributes of the stone. Within his current exhibition, kaiu, Blackwood has worked in a range of scale and materials, showcasing his diverse technical ability. He creates stone pieces that evoke a visceral admiration through their impressive display of skill, and encourages a simple engagement with cast bronze works that sit comfortably in the hand.

blackwood_mueller_selections1Though contemplative and in subdued shades of black, white and grey, HELEN MUELLER’s current exhibition, Forest requiem, has elicited excited and perceptive responses from viewers. The restricted palette allows the complex layered forms of the branches to create alluring imagery, thoughtfully paired with areas of blank space to accentuate certain shapes and configurations.


March 2013 Exhibitions

“I feel like everything I want to say is written in the lines and planes of each piece. The repetitive physical process of carving translates my decisions and ideas into a subtle language, inherent in the finished form.”

“This melaleuca forest formed the starting point for the woodblock prints in this exhibition. In the working process I discovered that struggle can result in rich complexity, in elegance and grace.”


On Friday 8 March, Art Month Sydney will be hosting the Waterloo precinct Art Bar at 2 Danks Street. All the Galleries will be open till 8pm, with the Art Bar kicking off at BMG from 8 till late. We hope you can join us for drinks and and some TGIF fun!

sdcBrenda May Gallery is pleased to present the first exhibition in our project space, Brenda May Annex, by the text-based artist >[sdc]<. Of his work, the Artist writes, “The surface of these paintings, their slowly constructed skins by way of layering and collage techniques, marries the technological space from which their realm of dialogue is drawn and the physical act of painting as a means of interpersonal negotiation.”

Josh Raymond, Kelly-Ann Lees, Judy Watson – Opening 12 February

Josh Raymond’s exhibition #atwar “sifts and presents personal wars, cultural wars, militarised wars and the history wars to map a collusion of ideas where men are firmly at the centre”.

This sculptures by Kelly-Ann Lees are part of her continued exploration of geometric forms and the interplay between positive and negative space. She is also playing with the appearance of weightlessness, whilst continuing to use dense, industrial materials.

In addition, grahame galleries + editions presents Judy Watson’s experimental beds at Brenda May Gallery. The suite of six etchings features imagery courtesy of the Jefferson Papers and the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, both at the University of Virginia.


Sculpture 2013 – Closing 9 February

The New Year, commencing with an exciting and challenging Sculpture show continues in 2013. This year’s exhibition, unfettered by theme and drawn from around Australia, displays a collection of very diverse works.

After being enticed down the hall by Will Coles’ compelling sculpture ‘Might is Right’, (that also caused a stir in our booth at Art Stage Singapore), the crowds of people present at the 2 Danks Street Gala Opening were reaching for their smart phones upon seeing Arun Sharma’s evocative performance piece. In ‘(de)composition: Untitled (2 pairs of feet)’, four perfectly formed ceramic legs were transformed into underwater relics as fine white powder cascaded down their sides to eventually become a layer of dust.


Sharing a common space are Greer Taylor’s installation centred on nature’s place in politics, Senden Blackwood’s ‘baku’, a powerful hand-carved stone work, and Angela McHarrie’s quirky structure of ascending bright red tables that appear be defying gravity by balancing on an oversized ball-bearing. All three pieces are very different in their construction and affect, displaying the varying nature of sculpture itself.

Other highlights include Barbara Licha’s unconventional use of chicken wire in the captivating wall-mounted tableau ‘Runners’, Ken + Julia Yonetani’s modern take on a classical motif with ‘Still Life: The Food Bowl’, a sculpture formed from Murray River Salt, and Walter Brecely’s ‘The Walkers’, small objects with leg-like prongs that provoke one’s imagination to animate these clustering creatures.


If you haven’t already wandered into the 2 Danks Street complex this year, you still have time to catch Sculpture 2013 before it closes on Saturday 9 February.