Janet Tavener

- Memento, 2015

5 May to 6 June

In my previous work ice sculptures of both heirloom and exotic fruits were photographed as they melted in a constructed glacial landscape. These works acted as a metaphor for shrinking polar icecaps, indicators of global climate change and fragility of our food system.

In the new series ‘Memento’ the crystalline fruit and vegetables are no longer floating on a melting surface but have sunken into the ocean - semi submerged as they are swept along the icy current. Objects such as a skull and fly, symbols of decay and transience, join the icy fruit and vegetables that once nourished and sustained life. The photographs have an innate sense of loss – a frozen moment in time that has already passed.

While dealing with the present, the work is also steeped in the traditions of the still life painting dating back to the 17th century in which the depiction of everyday objects represents our temporality – a Memento Mori, and our folly if we believe we can cheat nature.

... view exhibition

Ashleigh Garwood

- Of Other Spaces, 2015

5 May to 6 June

'Of Other Spaces' are allegorical images that exist to question the influence and power that landscape imagery holds in neutralizing societal frameworks and cultural understanding. 

The majority of early painted landscape imagery that is presented at Australian national art institutions is of a rugged, but peaceful and unified environment. There seems to be a hidden ideological agenda that informs the portrayal of the landscape, which in turn promotes that ideology. My project, 'Of Other Spaces', is a way of examining the process by which this is achieved, by which our collective memory is affected.

... view exhibition

Head On Photo Festival, 'Moving Image Prize Finalists'

- Black Box Projects, 2015

5 May to 6 June

The Head On Moving Image Prize was established in 2014 and forms part of the acclaimed Head On Awards which are the centrepiece of Head On Photo Festival.

Head On is Australia’s largest photography festival celebrating excellence in all genres from photo-artists from across the globe and provides a major platform for discovering new talent, re-discovering established artists and exploring new technologies and ideas.

... view exhibition

'Mouthfeel', curated by Megan Fizell

- Black Box Projects, 2015

9 June to 4 July

Mouthfeel is defined as the physical sensations in the mouth created by food or drink. The objective of this exhibition is to stimulate a synaesthetic response in the viewer through the observation of these films. The mouth is used by these artists to trigger the sense of taste and touch by the ingestion of edible and non-edible substances.

Films by Hillerbrand+Magsamen, Hannah Raisin, Nina Ross, Martynka Wawrzyniak (courtesy of Envoy Enterprises, New York City), and Elizabeth Willing.

... view exhibition


- curated by Akky van Ogtrop, 2015

9 June to 4 July

An exhibition of prints, books, photographs and sculptural objects.

The ideology behind the artist’s multiple is born out of the anti-art movement, fuelled by Dadaism, Fluxus, Conceptual Art and Pop Art.

Creating artist’s multiples, typically in short runs, allows artworks to be accessible to a larger portion of the population via the employment of economical materials and processes. Also, by making reproducible artwork, the sacredness of the object itself decreases, allowing for the concept behind the work to take precedence and for these concepts to reflect the interests of their audience: the general public.

Lezlie Tilley

- camouflage, 2015

7 July to 1 August

525 Concealment

N. concealment camouflage confinement hiding covering up disguise deception masquerade anonymity incognito smoke screen hidden agenda evasion misinformation white lie subterfuge trickery suppression cover-up duplicity secrecy mystery clandestineness secretiveness conspiracy plot cipher code

Adj. concealed hush-hush covered hooded masked veiled smothered suppressed underground unintelligible obliterate stifle disguise obscure eclipsed stay in the shadows bamboozle cryptic unnamed covert arcane confidential lurking hugger-mugger evasive vague silent

Vb. conceal cover up paper over whitewash blot out bury muffle keep secret give nothing away not utter a syllable make no sign be discreet stay in the shadows bamboozle draw a veil over make no sign prowl lurk skulk conspire pussyfoot blindfold

Tiny pieces of river gravel are arranged according to the laws of chance on a formal grid, expressing a rhythmical pattern that carries a multiplicity of meaning for camouflage when covered by a layer of paint.

... view exhibition

Claire Anna Watson, 'Heterochiral Sequence'

- Black Box Projects, 2015

7 July to 1 August

In 'Heterochiral Sequence', plant matter is transposed into an otherworldly environment. This new work investigates the way that food is presented to us; it seeks to subvert the glossy magazines that market comestibles and contemplates how synthetic technologies are influencing our way of life.

The work arises from an ongoing fascination for plant life and our intrinsic connection to the natural world through the food that we eat. It explores how this relationship is fraught with tension, the effects of an ever-changing world. In this work, the subject itself is given agency; food is a spectacle, animated ​in an effort ​ to seduce the viewer​ into a state of contemplation​.

Robert Boynes

- In Plain Sight, 2015

7 July to 1 August

As the title implies, the subject and content in this work is available to us all. It is clear. It is ubiquitous. Just because it is there, it does not mean that we see it. Peripatetic patterns of motion may be unseen or unsighted. By stopping this action or slowing it down, the viewer is invited to become part of the act, remembering glimpses or chance encounters that we would not normally scrutinise. At times there are media images that are seared into our brains and memory so clearly that we become dumb to their existence. These images are all around us. They are in plain sight.

... view exhibition

'Screen Surface', curated by Geoffrey Weary

- Black Box Projects, 2015

4 to 29 August

It is easy to fall into old habits of interpretation. This is particularly true of screen-based artworks when they resemble a narrative or documentary film. Invariably the question of meaning becomes associated with content and “form” is of little consequence. The works selected for this exhibition are engaged in a two–way interaction where social, environmental and identity issues are mediated through highly personalised approaches to the treatment of the surface of the projected screen image.

Irianna Kanellopoulou

- Wanderland, 2015

4 to 29 August

This work captures the adventures and wandering tales of protagonists with a hidden, throwaway past. Released from their captivity, these characters and found objects are given a renewed purpose and claim a re-discovered and re-invented identity. These previous ‘throwaways’ are now the new heroes in a surreal, super reality and blur the line between ambiguity and recognition. Fragments of dialogues are whispered and tales are unravelled. We are allowed only glimpses into this new stage of these merging, independent worlds, as we are never shown the whole story.

...a piece of string...

- curated by Al Munro, 2015

4 to 29 August

Textiles are ubiquitous... they are our tea towels, our footy socks and our great Aunt's floral curtains. Textiles also mark rites of passage: birthday dresses, wedding gowns, school uniforms. But textiles have also been at the centre of some of the most important concepts maths and science. The word line - one of the most fundamental units of Euclidean geometry - is derived from the Latin linea or linen, recounting the string used in ancient times to measure parcels of land. And the nautical unit for measuring speed - knots - refers to the knotted rope which was used to calculate how fast a boat was travelling prior to mechanical devices.

And it is precisely because of this combination of everyday-ness and fundamental spatial qualities that textiles provide artists with a rich ground for exploration.

'...a piece of string...' presents the work of Jacqueline Bradley, Kirsty Darlaston, Lucy Irvine, Melinda Le Guay, Jemima Parker, and Al Munro to demonstrate the diversity of artistic possibilities offered by textile-based art media. These are artists who engage with textile forms in order to test the boundaries of art/craft and to work with the specific material and cultural associations of fibre. The exhibition points to the diversity of current textile art practice and alludes to the endless possibilities a single ball of string might provide...

Nicole Welch

- Eastern Interiors: explorations from Bathurst to Albury, 2015

1 to 26 September

Through the placement of specific historical objects into the landscape and by throwing projections onto the terrain, I aim to illuminate representations of Australia from the past by bringing them into the present. The resulting works are hybridised landscapes that reveal the multiple historical paradigms informing our present-day relationship to country.

In the Bicentennial year of the settlement of Bathurst and the subsequent opening of the eastern interior of Australia to exploration, I will follow the early pathways journeyed, stopping at significant locations to enact installations in the landscape. The region as a whole is richly represented in Australian historical collections, from explorers’ journals, to drawings, prints and paintings. The English explorer Thomas Mitchell depicted these regions in his journals of discovery titled, ‘Three expeditions into the interior of Eastern Australia, 1835’ from which the title of the project is borrowed. An antique mirror and descriptive text taken from journals will reflect and emerge from the terrain, resulting in truly incongruous images that record in real time both past and present ideologies.

James Guppy

- In Flagrante Delicto, 2015

1 to 26 September

Forty years ago I gained an honours degree in economics. While I turned away from that discipline long ago, I can’t help but watch the business of the world through that particular lens. I must say I’m not impressed. Now with the posturing, asset stripping, hostile takeovers, the whole culture of contemporary capitalism is very different. We look to our leaders for models of ethical behaviour. Our expectations are low, yet we are still disappointed, hence the subject matter that pulled me into these paintings.

I am first and foremost an artist and as such my principle desire is to create engaging artworks. The visual aesthetic here is not contemporary, nor modern. I want a tension between the ideas and those pre-modernist notions of beauty. I hope it makes the actions of these men even more reprehensible.

Nicole Welch, 'Eastern Interiors'

- Black Box Projects, 2015

1 to 26 September

An antique mirror, a symbol of history and perception, incongruously rests among rocky terrains and native bushland; capturing the shifting light of these uniquely Australian landscapes. Using a time-lapse technique to record areas within the eastern interior of New South Wales, this video work presents a disturbance of vision, as at once the scenery is shown as a vast viewpoint and a framed reflection. With this gesture, Welch creates a hybrid image that reveals how historical impressions have informed contemporary understandings of the Australian landscape.

James Guppy @ Sydney Contemporary

- Carriageworks, 2015

10-13 September

The Gallery will be presenting a small selection of new paintings by James Guppy in this, the second edition of Sydney Contemporary, Australia's newest international art fair. See you at Carriageworks from 10-13 September 2015.

Mylyn Nguyen

- Once Upon a Time, 2015

29 September to 24 October

Once upon a time I broke every watch I was given only to find I could not work out how they worked. Music boxes were dismantled and the music making part pulled apart. The death of each ladybird in my Mylyn made jar garden brought me no closer to knowing why ladybirds didn't like me. I thought if I stared at my nose, my eyebrows and the shower hose, I would figure them out eventually. I unstitched dolls clothes, unwrapped bindi seeds and stripped toy cars to their wheels and discovered more why. Why a cloud? How do birds fly? How do kites? How does the moon know when to just appear? How does water come from a shower hose?

Love. Lament. Loss.

- Black Box Projects, 2015

29 September to 24 October

‘Love. Lament. Loss.’ brings together the work of three artists who have explored these states in their complexity and intensity. Leslie Oliver asks students to recount a time they fell in love, offering stories of loves’ lived and loves’ lost. Todd Fuller’s films explore the strength required to release a burden or a joy, and Nicole Welch stimulates deliberation through a use of loaded symbols, conceptually considering the effect of imperialistic ideology on the Australian landscape.

Oliver’s empathetic documentary-style approach is contrasted with the mesmerising time-lapse technique employed by Welch. Fuller’s hand-drawn animations offer a further divergent style of moving image artwork, conveying the varied ways in which the medium of video is being used by artists to create thoughtful and captivating narratives.

Videos by Todd Fuller, Leslie Oliver, and Nicole Welch.

... view exhibition

Waratah Lahy

- Not far from the truth, 2015

27 October to 21 November

My current work explores ideas of truth and distortion of memory. My images are derived from photographic documentation of events that are both personal yet ubiquitous. I focus on imagery which suggests a narrative, such as the open door, the empty room and the mirror, as well as looking for pattern, colour and repetition. The resulting painted images are not replicas of the photos; each is distorted and exaggerated in order to enhance a specific mood, feeling or interpretation of the scene. The differing scale of the paintings also addresses interpretation of memory - is a small painting more personal and private, is a large painting something to be shared? With this body of work I am asking: what is the truth? Is my memory the truth, or is the act of recreating a truth in itself?

Nina Ross, 'Untitled #1'

- Black Box Projects, 2015

27 October to 21 November

'Untitled #1' is a HD video drawing on the artist’s experiences using and sharing language during pregnancy and with her newborn child. Using self-portraiture performance video, this work seeks to investigate the influence of language at the beginning of an infants life and how one learns how to communicate through interactions with others before any words are spoken. Particular influence in this process and to the work itself includes researching and experiencing the origins of turn-taking in language with her own son. This exhibition at Brenda May Gallery is the premier screening of this new work in Sydney.

Peter Tilley

- Second Self, 2015

27 October to 21 November

The shadow is one of the many visual elements within the tableau of everyday icons that populate my artworks. Its context has usually indicated an unseen presence beyond the frame of the work or signified an aspect of that which is casting the shadow. As a result of these earlier works, I have now become preoccupied with the shadow and its possibilities within a 3D format. The shadow as an expressive material object will be the point of difference and focus of investigation in developing my body of work for this exhibition. In some cases becoming the dominant 3D form, shadows will give insight into the figures' characters and provide linkages between the visual, the psychological and their manifestations.

30 Years | 30 Artists | 30 Works

- anniversary exhibition, 2015

24 November to 19 December

This year marks the 30th year of Brenda May’s career as a Gallery Director, from Access Contemporary Art Gallery in Balmain, Forrest Lodge, and Redfern to Brenda May Gallery here at Danks Street. In 2015 we are looking through our archives to create a retrospective exhibition featuring one work to represent each year and a publication looking back over the last three decades. Featuring the voices of Gallery staff, clients, and art world peers, this comprehensive exhibition and publication will be a celebration of the many artists’ careers both galleries have fostered.