When we opened Dungog Contemporary two years ago, our mission was to bring really good art to a rural town. We believe that the dialogue should not be exclusive to big cities and that contemporary art has a place everywhere. It’s been a lot of fun and we have met some great people. 2 showcases just some of those artists, we hope you enjoy their work as much as we do.
Our current show Mowanjum to Maningrida is the first Australian Indigenous show we have held here at Dungog Contemporary. An area of the visual arts we have always loved, it is a real privilege to be able to spend the quiet time during the week surrounded by these beautiful paintings and prints from Mowanjum Arts in the Kimberley and the superlative fibre works from Maningrida Arts and Culture NT.
The response to this show has been wonderful, from local high school kids and the community on the whole, to regular and new clients of the gallery. We organised a screening of Nick Wrathall and Stephanie King’s new film Undermined: Tales From The Kimberley to accompany the show, which opened eyes for many who came as to the true meaning of “Native Title” and the fact that in Australia economic growth is regarded as more important than anyone or anything, a dire situation for a nation once regarded as progressive.
This short film looks at Quai du Branly the museum for Indigenous arts in Paris. The film deals with Indigenous Australian art, Quai du Branly with art from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Why on earth don’t we have a museum specifically for Australian Indigenous art anywhere in Australia on this kind of scale? Australia has enormous collections of artifacts locked up in the bowels of our museums. When you consider how beautiful Quai du Branly is, the enormous crowds who visit it and the regard with which Australian Indigenous art is held overseas, the fact that we don’t is a national embarrasment. The best of contemporary Australian Indigenous art is some of the most relevant artwork happening upon the planet today. Barangaroo ( a wonderful aboriginal place name ) has three small nods to Australian Indigenous culture, a site squandered. I have always thought it should have been a beautifully landscaped native parkland, greenspace with a museum in the middle of the city. With a chance to have had a uniquely Australian building by an architect such as Glenn Murcutt, Australia’s only Pritzker Prize winner, as a museum of Australian Indigenous arts and culture. Instead we got a billionaire trust fundee’s monument to himself, a largely unwanted gambling casino and ill considered apartment buildings for foreign investors.
Dungog Contemporary acknowledges the land of the Gringai people on which the gallery stands. This video may contain images of people deceased.
It was during a drive in the country, to visit his daughter in Armidale that Ray Lawrence thought it would be nice to somehow support one of the local towns he passed through on the way. “What about doing some paintings? Have a show?” was his daughter’s suggestion.
This was the genesis of a new exhibition by Ray Lawrence, renowned Australian film director, opening this March at Dungog Contemporary art gallery. As Lawrence says, “People pass through Dungog, Walcha, Uralla and Gloucester and buy petrol, a coffee or a trinket or two. But with the cycle of drought, flood and economic downturn. It would be good to draw attention to these towns and create a show that would stir interest and support for this beautiful corner of Australia.”
Lawrence has created a series of landscapes to celebrate the natural beauty and of our countryside. “I needed to imagine a story in the landscape – what happened here? What could happen? and without being too pointed, withholding just enough, I could hopefully pull the viewer into the pictures so they could make the stories their own”
The result is “A Drive in the Country” which opens in Dungog Contemporary for five weeks from March 23rd . Lawrence is best known as the award winning director of Australian films Bliss, Jindabyne and Lantana is no stranger to Dungog with his support and screenings at previous Dungog film festivals. “I was a painter before I started making films.”
Ray studied painting at Adelaide Art School and began to make a name for himself in the world of commercial art, before moving into film and establishing one of Australia’s most successful film production companies.
In the mid 1980s he made Bliss, from the breakthrough novel by Booker prize winning author Peter Carey. The film was critically acclaimed and nominated for the prestigious Cannes Palme d’or.
In the following years, Lawrence forged a reputation as one of Australia’s most important Australian directors with his films Lantana and Jindabyne.
Throughout his commercial and feature film work, he continued to paint portraits and has been a finalist in the Archibald and semi finalist in the Moran art prize.
Lawrence’s love of landscape is a recurring theme of his films and it seems only natural that his keen eye and passion for this country has translated into this series of oil paintings.
Ray is joined in this exhibition by Lismore based landscape painter, artist Emily Imeson, in what promises to be the latest in a run of successful showings by Dungog Contemporary. Curators Stephen Hobbs and Sarah Crawford opened their gallery and cultural exchange in 2017 and have established a reputation for their support of emerging and established Australian artists.
Dungog Contemporary are pleased to announce an exhibition of major new works from the studio of Sandro Nocentini. Sandro's work has been described as Cubist / Futurist. An Italian artist working in Sydney, Sandro won the Sir John Sulman Prize for Painting in 2005.
This exhibition coincides with "PLASTIQUE" from Catherine Cassidy. A Sydney based painter, Catherine was one of fifty artists selected worldwide by Art Platform New York City to exhibit at Art Basel Miami in December 2016 and also the New York Art Expo in April 2017, Cassidy has also recently exhibited at Progress Gallery, Paris, France. Catherine's paintings are large, colourful and intuitive works informed by her travels into wild places.
Both exhibitions will run until Sunday, March 17. Do join us to view works from these two very different mid career Sydney painters, opening drinks from 3pm onwards on Saturday, February 16. Artists catalogues will be available here on our website from Thursday 14th, February.
2018 WAS A HUGE YEAR!
Thank you to all of the artists and collectors. Without you it wouldn’t have happened. Have a great one! #madeleinecruise #kenoregan #belindastreet #peterlankas #jokatsiaris #jendenzin #mandyrobinson #ameliavivash #ondineseabrook #fionabarrett-clark #jakeclark #janefrancesreilly #braddonsnape #sallymcdonald #gavinvitullo #cathbeynon
Our collectors remain anonymous, thank you all again. S&S xx
Dungog Contemporary are delighted to present our first ever Christmas group show, The Summer Salon, for 2018. Exhibiting artists include: Fiona Barrett-Clark, Belinda Street, Jen Denzin, Jake Clarke, Amelia Vivash, Madeleine Cruise, Sally McDonald, Ondine Seabrook, Cath Beynon, Michelle Brodie, Ken O’Regan and Jane Frances Reilly. Peter Lankas has a solo show hanging in the front gallery.
Dungog Contemporary will be open between Christmas and new year, we will close for a week in early January for our annual holiday. The Artist catalogues available on this website with all works are available through Art Money. We hope to see you at The Summer Salon
Merry Xmas! from Dungog Contemporary
We are thinking of facilitating black & white photography workshops through Dungog Contemporary Gallery. This is only possible because of the exciting news that someone has set up a fully equipped commercial darkroom with several enlargers and other equipment in the Hunter Valley, selling film, paper & photographic chemicals.
Do you have a 35mm or medium format analogue camera that you would love to use? Would you like to learn how to use it properly, to compose beautiful photographs, to use a light meter and both available and studio light. Imagine developing and printing your own photographs!
This workshop would run in two stages. A photography workshop in the field in Newcastle and our studio. With a processing and black and white printing workshop in the darkroom. If you are interested please contact us through this website as we would need to work out logistics etc. We think that March 2019 would be a good time to begin.
Jo Katsiaris presents a beautiful exhibition made from the discarded. Earlier this year we presented Newcastle’s Ken O’Regan with his stunning works combining found object assemblage with a strong environmental theme, Katsiaris’s work is thematically similar but vastly different. These pieces are beautifully simple in their construction and upon reflection speak to us deeply about the huge complexities we face going into the future. The act of making art from unwanted material in order to illustrate the huge amount of resources, that we as humans waste is a noble act.
“Sacked” the feature piece, consists of fifteen jute coffee sacks found upon the streets of Sydney and paint found in a skip outside a building site. mixing oxide into the paint and by varying the amount of oxide on each panel, Katsiaris has produced something extraordinary. Viewing the work with the morning sun streaming into the gallery, it is as if there are huge blocks of sandstone suspended in space. There are several other small works in the show made from offcuts of timber, sawdust, glue, cardboard and paint assembled in highly considered composition, a simplicity that is one of the hardest things to accomplish as an artist.
Influenced by the radical Italian art movement “Arte Povera” of the 1960’s who’s artists expounded the use of non traditional art materials such as rocks, twigs and rags and the alarming state of the environment as we forge full steam ahead into the 21st century. Jo Katsiaris presents WASTELANDS, a glimpse into a brighter future where we re-use, all that is waste is not.
Dungog Contemporary is an Art Money partnered gallery. WASTELANDS is on until Sunday, November 18.
Congratulations to Fiona for being one of fifty artists to be included into Amber Creswell Bell’s lovely new book A PAINTED LANDSCAPE . Across Australia from Bush to Coast. A survey of contemporary Australian landscape painting. Published by Thames & Hudson. Available from November 1, 2018.
We were privileged to be able to show Fiona’s work here in the gallery earlier this year and have two works available for acquisition through our stockroom along with many other works from emerging and mid-career Australian artists.
We now have a small selection of works available from Newcastle painter Peter Lankas. Here is a link to our stockroom, where you can view the works and also watch a short video on the artist himself.
Jane Frances Reilly. “Looking through a window” This beautifully honest body of work examines the practicalities of domestic and rural life. The mundane is transformed through line, colour and texture, creating romance and cognition. Their construction renders their adaptability and the combination of all these elements provides a conduit for connection. Within each work is a record of all our lives, they are the keepers of our stories.
Jo Katsiaris. “Wastelands” Detritus. The discarded is snatched from the jaws of forgotteness. In sight and on our minds, the overwhelming problem of our consumerist Achilles heel. Our capacity to face up to our addition to the new is diminished as the task seems beyond overwhelming. Our memory of mending, fixing and darning, lost to a distant advertising campaign of “built to last”. The ping of built in obsolescence is silenced by the bright, shiny and new. wastelands brings us optimism as we come face to face with the renewed. All that is discarded is not lost.
“Looking through a window” and “Wastelands” open at 10am on Saturday September 29, co-inciding with the Dungog Festival, a weekend of festivities culminating with a terrific gig on Sunday night in the main street featuring Those Jazz Guys and Dog Trumpet. The two shows run until November 18. Additional works by other artists are available for purchase through the stockroom and online.
It seem's hard to believe, we have been here for a year. Sarah and I are both so pleased with the terrific talent we have been able to showcase and the discerning collector's we have been able to place works with. A huge thank you to both artists and clients without whom we wouldn't be here.
This Sunday 9 September, we are having drinks in the gallery from 1pm to celebrate. If you can do, try and make it in.
We currently have two really strong solo shows on. Madeleine Cruise, one of Newcastle's great young painters, a show not to be missed. Jake Clark is from Melbourne, and also currently exhibiting both in London and New York. His edgy works satirising capitalism and popular culture. Jake was also the first person ever to arrive at Dungog Contemporary in an Uber!
"Theatre of Objects" is the latest body of work from emerging Newcastle artist Madeleine Cruise. Through a series of still life paintings, Madeleine explores the relationship between domestic tasks and the trials and tribulations of life. Like protagonists on a stage, familial forms gather in painterly debate so as to enact conundrums and seek resolution.
Cruise studied painting at the National Art School Sydney as a student of the Reg Row Art Scholarship, graduating in 2009 with first class honors and the Fraser residency prize. Her practice spans painting, collage and sculpture all of which are underpinned by a regular drawing practice and have been supported by studio residency prizes from The Bundanon Trust, The Banff Centre Canada, Fraser Studios Sydney, Firsdraft Sydney, Renew Newcastle, Marrickville Garage and San Clemente High school Mayfield. Holding her first solo exhibition, Hiding Places, at The Lockup Newcastle in 2012. Madeleine's most recent solo exhibition, Ex Voto, was at GAFFA Sydney in August 2017. Cruise has also been a finalist in the Muswellbrook, Mosman, Waterhouse, Lloyd Rees and NSW en plain air art prizes as well as the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2017.
"Theatre of Objects" opens on Saturday, August 25th from 3pm on, do join us at the gallery to view the works and enjoy a glass of wine.
"Things we hold dear" 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 110cms, Madeleine Cruise.
Melbourne based graffiti artist Jake Clark known as J.C Rich is opening at Dungog Contemporary on Saturday, August 25th from 3pm on.
Working in mixed media, Jake subversively interprets the subject of money, power and capitalism, utilising characters from pop culture and iconic landmark destinations. Best known for his Sultan and Richie Rich characters, Jake's work is held within collections in Australia, America, Asia, The Middle East and Europe. Jake is also currently showing at Harpers Books, East Hampton NY, USA and at Alex Eagle Studio W1F OLB UK.
We will have several large mixed media works on canvas and some ceramic pieces available to acquire from this highly collectable young artist from Melbourne. We are really lucky to be able to exhibit these terrific works as they are in high demand overseas.
"The Sultan" Mixed media on canvas, Jake Clark.
We are one of a select few commercial galleries who exhibit fine art jewellery and small sculptural works by Melbourne artist Jane Frances Reilly. This week Jane called us with terrific news, she has been invited to show with a group of Australian and New Zealand artists at The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris! What more can I say.
Jane has a show opening here at Dungog Contemporary on September the 29th. We have a new selection of fine art jewellery from Jane that we are cataloging as I write. These small works will be available to purchase online just as soon as I finish photographing them, stay tuned!
Photography: Stephen Hobbs / Dungog Contemporary
Yesterday we ran our first artists workshop for kids at the gallery. What fun! Newcastle artist Ken O'Regan facilitated as he is currently showing with us and has enormous experience in running workshops for children based around his practice in which he utilises found plastic objects and other recycled materials.
Ken arrived with a van load of colourful plastic rubbish and an assortment of old magazines, scissors, sticky tape and glue. Thirteen local kids attended and began by making 2D collages from images cut out of the magazines, before moving on to making a three dimensional piece. The concentration and enjoyment were a joy to watch, the kids had such a great time! Shame that so much less emphasis is placed on art in primary schools in this day and age as the children were so engaged with Ken and what he was showing them. The kids produced an octopus, a dolly, several dogs, a snake, some dinosaurs and a "good reaper"!
Several other artists whom we have been working with also have experience in teaching children, so the Kids Workshops will become a regular feature of our gallery program. Thanks also to JR Richards, Waste and Recycling Services for supplying materials and merchandise for the kids.
My work swings between being a response to place and a reaction to materials, depending on what stage I am at in my very process driven practice. Although usually inspired by the Australian landscape, with my last major experience being a road trip through the western American desert, naturally my recent work is informed by that. When I start painting in the studio I find my last major experience with the landscape or a place always filters through somehow. Sometimes even unintentionally, especially with the colours I start mixing up.
Typically my work is a play between abstraction and representation. My recent paintings are a representation of interesting little clusters of land features throughout the western American desert. Simultaneously, in a more abstract aesthetic sense they are equally concerned with playing around with composition, layering and shapes".
Here are a few images of the current shows we have on. Onnie Seabrook in the front room & Ken O'Regan in the big room, Onnie even has a few works still available for acquisition! There are photographs of all the individual works in the artists catalogue page on this website. Ondine Seabrook & Ken O'Regan are both showing until August 19th. It's a great time of year to visit Dungog & Ken is also holding a creature creation workshop for kid's on Sunday July 22nd in the gallery, details on the artists exhibitions page.
Madeleine Cruise is an emerging artist from Newcastle, NSW, her painting practice explores the role of ritual and habit in everyday life and the way these practices contribute to personal identity and purpose. Studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Painting at the National Art School Sydney, as a student of the Reg Row Art Scholarship she graduated in 2009 with First Class Honors and the Fraser Studios Residency Prize. Other residencies have included Firstdraft, The Bundanon Trust, The Banff Centre and Marrickville Garage. Cruise has exhibited in solo and group shows in Australia and Canada and is held within private and public collections including Artbank Australia.
Madeleine is having a solo show at Dungog Contemporary this August. Here is a taste of what is to come. We currently have three paintings from Madeleine available for acquisition.
Link to online gallery stockroom:
Madeleine Cruise "Place Cards" 2017 Polymer on Canvas 47cm x 42cm
Our next two shows both opening on June 30th will be the the first time we present our new exhibition program format. This enables us to hang twelve solo shows a year, whilst having the exhibitions up for almost two months at a time. It is also only the second time we have had a collaboration with a Sydney gallery, something we are aiming to do more of in bringing the best emerging Sydney artists and showing them in regional NSW.
Ken O'Regan is a mid-career Australian artist from Newcastle who has developed a sculptural practice combining found object assemblage with an environmentally conscious theme. Well known in the Hunter Valley region through regular and critically successful exhibitions, community art projects, public artworks and education projects. His practice has involved producing large scale installations that visually echo museums. Ken O'Regan's work is held in the collections of the Newcastle Art Gallery, Wallsend District Library, The University of Newcastle and in many important private collections. We are thrilled to be showing Ken's work in the larger of our two rooms, which lends itself to installation based exhibitions.
Ondine Seabrook is an emerging artist from Sydney. A painter who graduated from The National Art School in 2017, Ondine Seabrook is represented by China Heights Gallery in Surry Hills. Describing her practice as "process driven" Ondine Seabrook's paintings swing between being a response to place and a reaction to materials. Her work is typically inspired by the Australian landscape, though with her last major experience being a trip through the American western desert, the works on exhibition show clusters of land features common to that area. In a more abstract aesthetic sense Seabrook's new works are concerned with composition, laying and shapes. Ondine's work will be hanging in the smaller light filled front gallery which complements paintings so well.