Exhibitions

Catherine O'Donnell at Art Gallery of New South Wales

- Close to Home: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial, 2016

30 July to 11 December

This is the second in a series of curated exhibitions on contemporary Australian drawing at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Curated by Anne Ryan, it feature the work of six artists for whom drawing is a central part of their practice and whose work engages with narrative, memory and experience.

The artists are Jumaadi, Maria Kontis, Richard Lewer, Noel McKenna, Catherine O'Donnell, and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu.

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Todd Fuller at Grafton Regional Gallery

- Storylines: Drawings from Near and Far, 2016

31 August to 23 October

Solo exhibition by Todd Fuller at Grafton Regional Gallery during his artist in residence with the gallery, in conjunction with 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA).

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Polly Stanton, 'Undercurrents'

- Black Box Projects, 2016

3 to 29 September

The Kiewa Hydroelectric scheme has remained hidden under the Australian Alps for 78 years since it's inception. Below the mountainside it has continued to funnel the snowmelt and divert waterways into churning, underground turbines and through long steel pipes that carve a bright cylindrical path through alpine forest. This confluence of industry and the natural world strikes both a visual and aural moment of contrast - a juncture of environment and human endeavour that exists largely unseen and unheard.

Undercurrents is a moving image and sound work that traces the pathway of water as it travels through the distinct sites of the scheme, creating an audio-visual mapping that documents changes of place and time over a 12 hour day - from the first moments of the dawn ice-melt, to the last stages of dusk as the current is halted by the dark water of Junction Dam. Shifting and observational, the work presents a cinematic gesture of landscape that is at once ephemeral and stark.

Undercurrents was created during a supported residency at The Bogong Centre for Sound Culture.

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Ashleigh Garwood

- Under Erasure, 2016

3 to 29 September

The photographs in "Under Erasure" were taken in Iceland, where the landscape and winter light are extremely affecting and remote. The resulting images consider our expectations of nature and the landscape and how these have been pre-determined though our relationship with images.

The works are not the result of an experience recorded with the eye. Instead they are a mode of translation, a photographic reality that sits in duality and contradiction from the physical reality it stemmed from.

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Leslie Oliver

- Now and Then, 2016

3 to 29 September

Sculptures as static things invoke an awareness of time. The stillness gives us time to reassemble the elements in an act of recreation that speaks of the past. The inherent dramatic tensions within the structure send us forward into an imagined future. Einstein's view of time is like a plane in a fourth dimension where the past/present/future exists simultaneously. By holding still, a sculpture acts as a marker set into the fabric of time. I like to make things to look at... and feel myself in time.
- Leslie Oliver

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James Guppy at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

- In Flagrante Delicto, 2016/17

30 September 2016 to 12 February 2017

A recent body of work by James Guppy exhibited at Brenda May Gallery in 2015 will be travelling to Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre for his solo exhibition 'In Flagrante Delicto'.

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Grayson Cooke, 'Old Growth'

- Black Box Projects, 2016

1 to 27 October

'Old Growth' is an environmental critique and material enquiry, it consists of three video works, each of which explores different effects of resource extraction or anthropogenic climate change. Each work consists of time-lapse photography of film media being chemically degraded.

'Frack' explores "virtual fracking" - it uses chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing to dissolve photographs of sedimentary rock. 'Deforest' uses sulphuric acid (which burns to the touch) to melt photographs of old growth rainforest. 'Bleach' uses a range of bleaching agents to dissolve photographs of the Great Barrier Reef.

Each work operates as a kind of media analogue for humanity's effects on the environment; hydrochloric acid, for example, is used in fracking to dissolve fissures in sedimentary rock, and in this project it "fracks" the emulsion, seeking the "fissures" in the image where less silver is deposited on the celluloid. The project uses photographic media and corrosive chemicals to "materialize" environmental degradation along different channels than the documentary record. The ruination of the image and its relation to the environment lies at the core of this project.

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Catherine O'Donnell

- Drawn in Fairfield, 2016

1 to 27 October

My drawings are an exploration of architecture, culture, history, and the urban environment with a current focus on 1960/70s housing estates. At first glance, the aesthetic qualities of these utilitarian dwellings may not be evident, these buildings are not always given the same value as other housing and have become a cultural signifier of lower socioeconomic communities across Western Sydney.

Through my drawings I aim to extract a sense of humanity drawn from the fact that these are homes, along with the more formal aesthetics of these buildings. I employ realism as a catalyst to ignite the imagination of the viewer and invite them to look beyond the mundane and banal. To revisit these spaces imaginatively and find the aesthetic poetry embedded within the suburban landscape, while at the same time disrupting cultural prejudices that prevent people from seeing the underlying elegance of these simple buildings.

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Ray Haydon

- Fluid Dynamics, 2016

1 to 27 October

This October at Brenda May Gallery, Auckland-based artist Ray Haydon will display new cursive sculptures in his first Australian solo exhibition. Although his oeuvre includes large-scale, outdoor and kinetic sculptures, Fluid Dynamics will primarily focus on Haydon’s smaller scale free-standing and wall-mounted works that create flowing forms from carbon fibre and timber veneer. The twists and turns of these pieces allow them to be viewed from a multitude of angles, each perspective offering an alternate sense of motion and energy. With smooth contours and seamless finishes, the sculptures of Ray Haydon are not complicated or chaotic, rather these curling interventions in space embody fluidity via their clarity of form, the transformation of stunning materials and the Artist’s impeccable articulation.

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Merri Randell + Chris Denaro, '(UN) natural urges'

- Black Box Projects, 2016

29 October to 24 November

This exhibition seeks to challenge our relationship with Australian forests.

Merri Randell creates hybrid mediated landscapes to represent her experience, depicting forests vast in scale and detail with the same forms captured from different angles and perspectives. Through the addition of sound and motion these hybrid landscapes come alive and embody the typically hidden respiratory, digestive and reproductive botanical events of these natural areas.

Chris Denaro's work focuses on the night-time experience of forests. In the absence of light the world becomes a void, and the imagination becomes a powerful and uncanny force. Denaro draws on this concept of the void - inspired by uncanny peripheral glimpses from the night-time forest.

By inserting these 'imaginary' constructions into a 'real' gallery space these artists confront audience's perceptions of nature and place.

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Carol Murphy

- Sculptural Forms IV, 2016

29 October to 24 November

This fourth manifestation of the Sculptural Forms series, first started in 2009, began after Carol Murphy came across an online advertisement for an artwork at an English Antiques Shop. This elegant figure resembled a Cycladic sculpture, with the stylisation of the head and arms entwined. Murphy explains, "I have never wanted to own an artwork more. Upon first seeing it, I was captivated, with no providence attached, it resembled to me something Henry Moore may have carved, as it required considerable skill for its size... I expect it may have been carved by a European sculptor of some note, but somehow was separated from its history."

This exhibition commenced with Murphy’s desire to create a pastiche of the work that first captured her imagination nine years ago — a response to her immediate connection to it. It is also a continuation of a series of exhibitions that presented figures formed in simple shapes, however the new works are more stylised, elongated, forced into impossible positions, and pared back of recognisable features.

James Guppy

- Counterpoint, 2016

29 October to 24 November

For the past few years my work has been driven by an inner malaise and dissatisfaction with "the way things are". This time I am relieved to be returning to a favoured theme...a focus on intimacy, and the body.

These paintings are a celebration of flesh and touch. I wanted to get back to the essence of our being...the complex joy of love, and play between people.

The touching suggests a "music" of intimacy to me...the duets and trios play together in melodies and patterns that flow as they make contact. There are still dissonant moments but this becomes another part of the energies... The entwined flesh is a fugue of shapes and shadows.

Moved by the rhythms and textures of cherished bodies, I have played with these elements to transform lovers at play into a cantata of forms.

- James Guppy, 2016

Al Munro at Newcastle Art Gallery

- HOLDING, 2016/17

26 November 2016 to 5 February 2017

HOLDING, is a contemporary interpretation of 'vessels' by 25 international and national fibre artists.

While the word 'HOLDING' can allude to ideas of 'containing' and 'ownership', this group of artists will explore the notion of 'belonging' and 'home' through various textile mediums. Each artist will make a vessel referring to the notion of HOLDING while simultaneously creating structures will which create a rich visual experience.

"Yeah. Cheers. Thanks a lot"

- group exhibition, 2016

26 November to 24 December

Last year Brenda May Gallery celebrated the major milestone of turning 30. These three decades have been split between Access Contemporary Art Gallery (est. 1985) in various Sydney locations and Brenda May Gallery at 2 Danks St in Waterloo. The end of 2016 marks 16 years since the Gallery first became a part of this creative complex on Danks Street and also marks its last, in anticipation of being reborn as May Space in 2017. Although the Gallery had fifteen years of exhibitions, artists and clients prior to opening its doors in Waterloo, it owes many of its strengths, experiences and achievements to this complex, including: the introduction of many incredible artists to the Gallery’s stable, expanding to a more global platform across Australasia through art fairs, observing the resilience and innovation of the artworld in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and the embrace of new media technologies within the commercial art market.

"Yeah. Cheers. Thanks a lot" is an ode to Brenda May Gallery's time at 2 Danks Street. An ode to the relationships made, fostered and developed; to the hard times endured and the incredible times shared; to the many anniversaries, openings and events held and enjoyed; to the other galleries within the complex that have been our peers, neighbours and support group; and to the artists that transform the space every month into something original and exciting. With this vision in mind, this exhibition will feature new works by our Gallery artists, in admiration of their talent and in honour of how they have shaped the Gallery as it stands today. This good bye to the current space is both a celebration of what Brenda May Gallery and its artists have achieved under its roof, whilst also marking this milestone before the Gallery moves onto new things… Yeah. Cheers. Thanks a lot.

Ashleigh Garwood at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre

- Silver & Salt, 2016/17

17 December to 5 February

Mylyn Nguyen at Murray Art Museum Albury

- Found, 2017

24 January to 2 May

'Found' aims to develop the idea of 'Art by Accident' by utilising commonplace objects in their everyday settings with an added moss garden, beetle party and water droplet turn fish pond. Each peep box will feature a different everyday scene/object (kitchen pantry: a moth's party place, desk: a beetles home, footpath: moss garden, linen closet: clouds, shoes: fish pond) embellished with miniature scenes. The aim is to acknowledge what children often see within the ordinary and to remind us of what adults often forget or deem unimportant.

Nicole Welch at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

- Wildēornes Land - A Media Installation, 2017

1 April to 7 May

Catherine O'Donnell at Western Plains Cultural Centre

- Close to Home: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial, 2017

2 May to 2 July

Robert Boynes at Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra

- Paintings from 2000 to now, 2017

6 July to 13 August