A visit from Michael Johnsen MP

Exciting news, Our local member Michael Johnsen MP dropped in to the gallery today to inform us that our application for a NSW Government 2018 Incubator Event Fund Grant has been successful.

This money will enable us to promote and run a Dungog Regional Art + Culture Trail, which event will run November 23 to 25, 2018. Last year it ran as part of the Upper Hunter Arts Trail.

The area is rich in art galleries, museums and sites of cultural significance, we are really excited to be able to start working on putting this yearly program of events together. We are also working on a shorter name... watch this space and on facebook.

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Fiona Barrett-Clark until 25.6.18

We have extended this beautiful strong show of works until the 25th June as we have decided to run our shows bi-monthly to give people more of a chance to visit us in the Upper Hunter Valley. There is also have some very exciting news coming for the gallery and a really terrific program to take us through our first birthday and through to the end of the year, stay tuned!

Fiona Barrett-Clark at Dungog Contemporary

Fiona Barrett-Clark

"Fiona creates distinctively Australian, contemporary landscape paintings, which capture the ever changing mood of the sky, sea and land, in an attempt to awaken people to the magnificence that passes us by every day.

Her paintings reflect the beauty of an uncomplicated, understated, Australian landscape, void of people, but not always human presence. In particular her focus is often on the sky, its kaleidoscope of colours, the clouds formations and the transformative effect it has on the land and sea. The late afternoon soft magenta sky, which tinges the land pink, the grey-blue clouds which reflect upon the ocean or the blurring of the landscape during a soft drizzle.

Fiona’s aim is not always to produce a representational view of the landscape; it’s about memory, fleeting moments and sometimes a conglomeration of memories. It is about breathing that air, feeling the cool of the night settling in and smelling the rain that is on the horizon, it’s about igniting memory to create a visceral response in the viewer.

Her use of plywood instead of board or canvas gives a grainy texture to the works which imbues them with the feel of old slides and photographs further adding to the reminiscent nature of the works."

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Fiona Barrett-Clark's show and our stockroom hang.

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This Saturday April 14.2018 from 3.pm on is opening drinks for Fiona Barrett-Clark. A highly sought after artist from Sydney, Fiona paints the landscape of country NSW. Known for her works which although devoid of human presence show human activity. Executed on a square format in oil on board, the works have a textural quality that reminds one of old colour slides or prints. There are eight works in the show which we have hung in the small front gallery here at Dungog Contemporary.

Deciding to hold smaller monthly shows in the front gallery has enabled us to free up the big gallery and hang the contents of our stock room to enable them to be seen. We have a beautiful selection of paintings, photographs and sculpture, by emerging to mid-career artists from Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne.

Artists held in the stockroom collection include: Madeleine Cruise, Belinda Street, Jo Bevan, Jen Denzin, Stephen Hobbs, Amelia Vivash and Jane Frances Rielly. Works are also available to purchase online here through our website. We welcome all enquiries and are happy to arrange shipping. We can provide artists statements and cv's. We deal directly with artists studios, and do not deal in the secondary art market.

Golden Gully, Belinda Street 2015

Our Dungog Contemporary stockroom choice of the week. This lovely Australian landscape painting by award winning Newcastle artist Belinda Street "Golden Gully".

 "Golden Gully" Belinda Street 2015, Oil on linen, 900 x 900 mm.

"Golden Gully" Belinda Street 2015, Oil on linen, 900 x 900 mm.

Hill End has attracted Australian artists since the 1940's. A landscape torn apart by gold mining in the 19th c and then abandoned has inspired generations of Australian painters with the twisted forms and sharp light of it's ravaged landscape. Beginning with Russell Drysdale and Donald Friend, The giants of the Australian art world have painted Hill End, Margaret Olley, Geoffrey Smart and Brett Whiteley to name but a few. Artist's Jean Bellette and Paul Haefliger bought a house there in which John Olsen lived for a time in the early 1960's. Hill End has one of the best Artist in Residence programs in Australia.

Twice winner of the Mosman Youth Art Prize, Street won a full scholarship to the Julian Ashton Art School, and has attained a degree in Visual Arts at Newcastle University, with Honours at The College of Fine Arts. Known for her expressive Australian Landscapes, Street’s work explores the relationship between representation and abstraction. We have several beautiful works by Belinda available for acquisition.

 

Dungog Contemporary

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Having a flexible space located within three heritage shops on Dowling St, Dungog, we Hold monthly shows in our large gallery, and a rotating stockroom show in the smaller front gallery.

Showing emerging to mid career artists, we are always searching for artists whose work we would love to hang on our walls at home.

Our stockroom is evolving beautifully, we have a lovely selection of works available for acquisition through our online stockroom here on the website, take a look. Shipment can be arranged anywhere and we also offer a picture hanging service in the Dungog, Newcastle and Sydney region.

 

Amelia Vivash!

Amelia Vivash is currently showing at the gallery until mid May. A graduate of the Whitehouse School of Design who has also trained at Central Saint Martins Art School, London, this edgy young artist is at the beginning of an exciting career and already turning heads! In her own words:

"Amelia Vivash has disembowelled a rainbow over a glut of canvases and objects. Portraying period blood, intestines and cartoon icons like Donald Trump and Spongebob Squarepants. It is an appetite for destruction in a HOT MESS of neon-paint, blood and FAT. So this is a painterly portal to what's lurking underneath.

We are keeping this show open 2 weeks longer than scheduled as Amelia is making her first trip to New York and LA whilst her show is hanging here, we are looking forward to showing some content from her during her travels!

 

Sir Peter Blake's Razzle Dazzle "Snowdrop"

Sir Peter Blake who's best known work would have to be the iconic album cover for "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" has painted a Mersey ferry. Sydney Ferries came up with a boat called "Ferry McFerryface"? I can see works by Reko Rennie and others moving about on the Harbour when I watch this, wouldn't some colour and pattern on our ferry's look amazing!

Video courtesy of TateShots

BROOD

BROOD our second show for 2018 features works from three great Newcastle artists. Two sculptors and a painter who share studio's at The Creator Incubator, a happening art-space in North Hamilton, Newcastle.

"Breathe" by Gavin Vitullo and overall winner of the 2017 Sculpture in the Vineyards is a poignant environmental sculpture, a solitary Fig grows out of an oxygen cylinder, offering a stark contemplation for the future of all species in a malnourished landscape. Landscape artist Sally Mcdonald offers a revelation of the colour, texture and movement of the Australian light. Repetitious blurring and blending of layers using mixed media to render terrestrial perspectives of lineal geological seams and horizon lines then overlaid with a topographical view. Her works are meditative and soothing to be with. "Axial shift & pop" by Braddon Snape is an action sculpture, a dangerous and exciting new method devised by Snape, welding and inflating steel which is then powder-coated. Braddon's work is collected both in Australia and overseas, Snape has made several public commissions.

BROOD is showing until Sunday, March 11 from 9.00am until 5pm 7 days.

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Whispers in the Kitchen, by object and fine art jewellery artist, Jane Frances Reilly

Whispers in the kitchen is a collection of fine art jewellery and sculpture, which are constructed in metals such as sterling silver, copper and brass. Jane hand forms and cuts the individual pieces enamels them and then works back into the surface with a Dremel to create surface texture and a drawn element.

Jane grew up in a large Catholic family, mother raising the family, father a police officer. In this series, she explores the concepts around the psychology of domesticity, gender roles and Catholic guilt all within the dynamic of the family. In fact, she affectionately calls her sculptures families. She uses humour in her work to great effect and her vibrant colour pallet speaks to the individual fighting to stand out in the chaos of a large family dynamic. These earrings, whilst plain in colour, the raw metal being the focus, are called odds and ends. Every kitchen has an odds and ends draw, the place you put all those things you can’t deal with or don’t use/address very often. Jane uses domestic objects as metaphors for family relationships and dynamics. The abstract fork, cheese grater, spoons, knives, goblets. Their modularity enables the individual to interact with the works and curate their own stories. A piece that forms a fork, also reveals other elements, position it one way and it could be a chalice, turn it the other and it becomes a Ned Kellyesk figure.  As you would expect, there are so many layers and complexities to this series of works, it is surprising when you consider the simplicity in which Jane has resolved their construction. I make special mention of the modular sculptures,

I feel their absolute genius element, is the re-purposing of the “white picket fence”. Principally it resolves a functional objective, but analyse it further and it adds a whole other, goosebump inducing layer. For the white picket fence is encoded with layers of meaning all linked to the “Australian dream”, domestic bliss, façades, barrier, protection, aspiration, appearances and the list goes on. This simple element and its positioning in context, draw it all in, giving this complex concept a depth that cannot go unnoticed. I recommend spending a moment exploring these concepts further when looking at these works. 

Please contact us directly to inquire about Jane's Sculptures. We have a large selection of her Fine Art Jewellery available in our stockroom.

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Conservation of your treasured photographs

One of the services that we can offer here at the gallery is the conservation of photographs. Here a client has brought a framed photograph in to have its matte cleaned, flattened out and to be put back into the frame with a new backing board. I am also going to clean the mahogany frame with antique furniture reviver and give it a coat of beeswax. I do not stick the photograph down as we frame archivally using acid-free products at all times to ensure that any work we carry out is of a museum standard. When finished we will fit new D-Rings and wire, the work will look as good as the day it left the framers.

We can also restore old photographs. Making high-resolution copy photographs using studio flash which we then Photoshop to remove blemishes and imperfections. They can then be re-printed to custom sizes. It is also possible for us to have your photographs printed onto other media, for example, canvas or banners, fabric for art installations and promotions. Recently we made a portrait of a farmhouse for a client whilst the jacaranda trees were in full bloom, removing unsightly things such as powerlines and satellite dishes, more on that in another blog-post.

 

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YAYOI KUSAMA: LIFE IS THE HEART OF A RAINBOW

Leading Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama is now showing at qagoma.qld.gov.au/ Brisbane. I wouldn't miss this for quids, definitely worth the trip. Here is a nice 24 min short from Bloomberg TV on this prolific artist who has been making work since the 1960's, Enjoy!

Matisse Installation Artist

I can clearly remember seeing some of these works at the centrepompidou in Paris as a teenager and being amazed by them. This exhibition of Matisse's late period abstract collages was at the Tate Modern, London, 2014. Sarah saw this show and loved the works as much as I. Youtube is such a great thing on rainy Sunday afternoons at the gallery. Here art historian Jacky Klien talks about Matisse's paper cut outs, enjoy!

Upper Hunter Arts Trail Weekend. Dungog Contemporary Opening

The weekend of the 18th & 19th Nov 2017 is The Upper Hunter Arts Trail Weekend, with galleries from Maitland to Murrurundi taking part. The complete drive should take around two days and audio tours are available on izi.travel/en/app available on the Appstore, Googleplay and WindowsStore.

We are running events over the weekend to celebrate being open for 2 months on the Saturday. Artist Nicole Chaffey will be here doing an en-plein air painting of the main street of Dungog. On the Saturday evening we have a band Those Jazz Guys playing until 9.00 pm. We are currently showing work by three prolific women painters from Newcastle, Nicole Chaffey, Madeleine Cruise and Belinda Street and there will be artist talks later in the afternoon on the Sunday.

 

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Paula Jenkins, Our first solo show booked for November 2018

We have just booked our first solo show for the gallery a year ahead! Local Paterson born and bred artist Paula Jenkins, Expect big bold colourful and textural works in oil, depicting the landscape of the Dungog region.

Paula has been exhibiting her work and winning awards for many years, and after a successful career as a graphic designer has now become a full time artist known for her bold Australian landscapes.

In 2002 Paula lived in Andalucía in Spain painting alongside her friend the late Piers Dudley-Bateman, an influential Australian artist who worked alongside Boyd and Blackman and who remains an influence in her work to this day.

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 Riverbed Ahead, Fowlers Gap, 2017, 48 x 70cm, Paula Jenkins

Riverbed Ahead, Fowlers Gap, 2017, 48 x 70cm, Paula Jenkins

Madeleine Cruise

We are thrilled to have three new works hanging on the wall from Newcastle artist and NAS graduate Madeleine Cruise.

A finalist in the 2017 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, Madeleine currently has work hanging at the Brett Whiteley Studio in Sydney.

These three works are "Street Romance", 2017 Acrylic on Canvas 840 x 600, "Window Votive" 2017 Acrylic on Canvas 400 x 300 and "Looking for Monet" 2017 Acrylic on Canvas 600 x 600

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Stockroom

Visit our online stockroom where we currently have a selection of art jewellery by Melbourne sculptor Jane Frances Reilly available for purchase. Named "whispers from the kitchen" they are individual wearable works of art, smaller versions of her larger sculptures in the same body of work. These delightful pieces inspired by the domestic are made of copper and painted inenamel which has been etched to complete the work.

We also have a selection of limited editions by prominent Australian artists such as Margaret Olley, Samson Japaljarri Martin, Ronnie Lawson, Jasper Knight and Tim Storrier.

The stockroom will grow over time as we find more interesting things to stock it with, It will be a constantly changing and evolving online gallery. Of course everything is sent by registered post, we can arrange framing and delivery options for larger prints as well as a hanging service and advice.

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Art Money

We are now partnered with Art Money. A fantastic initiative that began in Sydney with arts publishing company 10 Group and The Sydney City Council, that is now going international. A great new way to buy art! take it home and pay for it later. What I really love about this idea is that it enables artist's to produce more work and more people can enjoy owning and collecting. Hanging great art on your walls adds immense pleasure to your life, more details below.

www.artmoney.com

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