Paris – Dec November 2017- black n white

A few images of Paris from last year that capture a certain 1 1paris 1 2paris 1 3paris 4



So this is a game changer museum, Musee d’Orsay. More so, for this visitor, than Le Louvre where tourists take photos of tourists and the Mona Lisa, who needs a room to herself with strict access. Except for the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the M’O is the place to go rather even though works come from the Louvre when it was formed from three national collections.








Winged Victory of Samothrace


The works from the period of the former train station are all here. A lot of challenging went on between 1848 – 1914. The time of the railways, industrialisation; reality being seen and experienced and expressed in a new way. Edouard Manet’s, Le déjeuner sur l’herbe Le déjeuner sur l’herbe was paying tributes to classical composition whilst sending up contemporary conventions by having a nude woman amongst clothed men.

There is Eduard Manet’s Olympia where Olympia is gazing at the viewer and the artist’s views of her as Venus come prostitute challenging the academic paining of the period. Millet’s The Gleaners and the everyday became valid subjects.

IMG_2057 Olympia

IMG_2033 The GleanersIMG_2062 Le dejeuner sur l’herbeIMG_2067Le déjeuner sur l’herbe 


Reboot – Antwerp MoMu – mode museum/ FOMU

Antwerp is a fashion tourist destination and MoMu, one of its’ major landmarks.  An exhibition of the work of Olivier Theyskens, She walks in Beauty captures the evolution of a very original aesthetic. You can see his influence on or a poetic aesthetic in the work of Antwerp designer, Ann Demeulemeester.  Works are poetic and ones done even twenty years ago, retain their originality.

If you take a walk along the river, you will find Antwerp Foto Museum, where there’s a great exhibition, Ai Weiwei – Mirror which is both funny and serious. Also a very insightful exhibition, Ebifananyi – Andrea Stultiens Andrea Stultiens  with work based in Africa.


Blog reboot – Antwerp and beyond.

Rebooting this blog on a trip to Europe after doing an art blog for the past year.

Antwerp is home to the Antwerp Six, Belgium’s most influential avant grade fashion designers. It’s also a city that has everything that a larger city has but without the hassle, with  a population of around half a million inhabitants. It has street cars and is flat and is easy to walk around. When walking around at night you can come across these random video projections about refugees!


The river is a surprise in a raw, industrial way. The food is great – quite French but also mid-European. The Stadsschouwburg Antwerpen is a dramatic, looking affair designed by Studio Associato Secchi-Vigano (Milan, Italy). They also have a Zaha Hadid designed Port Authority building overhanging the river which isn’t covered here. The Photo Museum has some great exhibits.



At the Galleries-April

With The National 2017, New Australian Art, at three venues, there’s a lot going on. Not just the National but some other great exhibitions as well.

Fiona Hall, Gateless Gate, at Roslyn Oxley, 12 April – 13 May 2017.

This is a very intense show comprising different media – bronze sculptures, glass, cuckoo clocks, long case clocks, water colours, installations, photographs. Syria is the over riding theme. There are numerous interpretations and meticulous cataloguing of the multifarious dimensions of the impact of this conflict and its’ drivers. This is very Fiona Hall – you enter into her world. Rather than a series of separate conversations this is one big one with several participants involved. It is a consuming, spooky and draining experience.

Jonny Niesche, Love-light and Nicola Smith, A whole Night, at Sarah Cottier, 20 April – 20 May 2017.

No wonder Jonny Niesche and Nicola Smith are such a relief. Niesche’s immersive colourfield work is mesmerising and calming. Nicola’s takes on black and white movies are as immersive as films. Serial images play out in different scenarios, emotively evoking moments lost, forgotten.


Around the galleries – February

There are two great shows across the road from each other in the Trumper Park gallery area of Paddington.

Matthys Gerber at Sarah Cottier Gallery 10 February – 11 March 2017.

Back in the 1980’s, Nederlands born,  Sydney resident, Matthys Gerber was doing massive paintings of babies’ faces that charismatically dominated rooms. He’s still doing confronting postmodernist work except with more clarity. This is a great exhibition of looking though and out of templates into, merging photography with abstraction and expressionism.

Tamara Dean at Martin Brown Contemporary – 2-26 February 2016. Instinctual

A soothing and poignant escape into landscapes and rituals, glimpses into lives of some very free people immersed in these landscapes. Reflections, bird tattoos flying on bodies, sky-peering. Questions arise from of these constructed photographic views of what, where, why and how the people are in these places; floating, walking, giving themselves to  the space and places that Tamara evokes.



More of Melbourne, 2017

No matter how often you go to Melbourne there is always more to discover. This may be  a cliche for any city but it’s may also be an indicator of a healthy one; there’s always change and growth happening.

Here’s some recent discoveries during the 2017 Australian Open Tennis Championship. At the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) there’s a challenging show of Viktor & Rolf’s work and a seductive mirrored piece in the main foyer.


Beach in Barrangaroo Cutting

What can you do when you wake up to 40*C heat?img_8859

Go to the beach where you’ll be burnt to a crisp?  During the Sydney Festival you can go to a sandless, cool and refreshing Beach under the shade of the sandstone cutting at Barangaroo. The 800 mm deep water is an installation made from 1.1 million refreshing white recycled polyethylene balls. Snarkitecture, a New York-based art and architecture collaborative practice are the brains and creative force behind this major free event. Last year there was Ephemeral City which was in the same location and very hard to beat, but this is really fun and you can really throw yourself into it and find it very hard to get out. Whilst there are no life savers there are a lot of helping hands and selfies galore.

This Australian exclusive event is free for all ages between 10:00am – 5:00pm Tuesdays to Sundays (closed Mondays). Last admission for free entry is at 3:30pm. On until 29 January 2017.


Around the galleries – November

On exhibition at  Sarah Cottier Gallery are two artists whose work are both ephemeral and transcendental, Koji Ryui‘s ‘A-UN’ and ‘Singing Vessels’ series and Sandra Selig ‘Air Pieces’. The experience of coming across Ryui’s work is like entering into a room full of antiquities which is filled with the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls. Tiny unglazed ceramic heads with mouths open (A) or closed (UN) play silent songs to each other. The rawness of the clay contrasts with the eclectic placement of scraps of playful, random materials like Christmas tinsel. A central table displays upturned glasses with bowls and vases or vessels with rods used to create the singing of the bowls. The sound is another layer that transforms these everyday objects into something else. Though separate, the two installations work together also as a binary.

Sandra Selig work has architectural and space-making qualities about it. The rectangular field of suspended rods play with light and movement. With the cut our figure grounds in yellow and red on the wall, again there is a binary contrast at work here.

Exhibition on at Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney, 18th November – 17th December 2016.


Customs House spirographs of colour

When you see layers of multi-coloured ribbons streaming and layering down from above the first thought that comes to mind is ‘Spirograph’. Apparently ‘Spirograph’ is still available to draw those gyrating patterns with but Megan Geckler Studio’s version in Customs House for Art & About is like a 3D version of it. It takes up the volume of the central atrium descending from the ceiling and spreading out onto a frame above ground level. Each pice of tape is critically positioned to create subtlety layers of graduating colours and rhythms.

As you move around the piece you sense a rainbow of  movement. With the light coming though from glass ceiling there an ethereal lightness to it all and a wonderful sense of space.”The end result resembles an updated three-dimensional version of string art that shares the seemingly kinetic territory of the Op Art and Light+Space movements. These site-specific projects are also strongly influenced by minimalism, but retain a sense of play and delight”.(From Megan heckler studio website).

On 17 November 2016- 30 April 2017