The case for a major museum of Indigenous art and culture in Sydney

Petrina Bedford “Djalala & Wandjinas. Wandjinas with boundary stones on their bodies. Acrylic on canvas 45 x 45cms. This and other works from Mowanjum Arts and Maningrida Arts and Culture are available. We can ship artworks anywhere. Go to ARTISTS page for catalogues.

Petrina Bedford “Djalala & Wandjinas. Wandjinas with boundary stones on their bodies. Acrylic on canvas 45 x 45cms. This and other works from Mowanjum Arts and Maningrida Arts and Culture are available. We can ship artworks anywhere. Go to ARTISTS page for catalogues.

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.

Fiona Barrett-Clark, A PAINTED LANDSCAPE

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.

Dungog Contemporary is an Art Money partnered gallery, An easier way to buy and begin collecting art.

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Jo Katsiaris and Jane Frances Reilly.

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.

“Wastelands” Jo Katsiaris

“Wastelands” Jo Katsiaris

“Looking through a window” Jane Frances Reilly

“Looking through a window” Jane Frances Reilly

“Wastelands” Jo Katsiaris

“Wastelands” Jo Katsiaris

“Looking through a window” Jane Frances Reilly

“Looking through a window” Jane Frances Reilly

An Invitation to Dungog Contemporary's 1st Birthday Party!

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!

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All works are available with Artmoney

All works are available with Artmoney

Ondine Seabrook in her own words.

"I am a Sydney based painter, recently represented by China Heights gallery and I graduated from The National Art school in 2017.

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".

Ondine Seabrook is currently exhibiting at Dungog Contemporary until the 19th of August. Full catalogue is on our Artists page.

Photograph: Stephen Hobbs / Dungog Contemporary   

Photograph: Stephen Hobbs / Dungog Contemporary

 

Madeleine Cruise

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:

dungogcontemporary.com.au/madeleine-cruise

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Madeleine Cruise "Place Cards" 2017 Polymer on Canvas 47cm x 42cm

Picture Framing & Hanging

We have added a picture framing and hanging service to what we offer at Dungog Contemporary.

Having been asked to frame some really interesting watercolours, black and white photographs and paintings, the feedback from Dungog locals has been fantastic. We stock a range of contemporary frames and and mattes. Many of our Artists show work unframed here at the gallery, so it is great that people can now see the works with a variety of framing choices.

All framing is of archival (museum) standard using high quality acid-free materials. We can offer perspex and glass, including the latest non-reflective glass. Having vast experience in art installation we can hang your new works or even curate and hang entire collections. Do drop by the gallery for an obligation free quote.

Grayson Perry's Shoes, mixed media by Amelia Vivash at Dungog Contemporary 2018.

"Grayson's Shoes" mixed media by Amelia Vivash. Available 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."

Fiona Barrett-Clark showing at DungogContemporary

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.

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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Belinda Street - Kosciuszko and the Monaro Plain

 

Belinda has made in excess of 80 works of the Kosciuszko and Monaro area over the last decade, inspired by an infinitely changing landscape with distinct seasons, both shifting and unstable. The Kosciuszko landscape possessing a sense of awe, a landscape of scattered rocks, sharp crags and alpine loneliness. The Monaro Plain in contrast is beautiful in it’s far horizons, swaying grasslands and rounded granite boulders. An endless supply of sublime visual inspiration.

Dungog Contemporary is currently showing ten carefully curated works from this beautiful gestural series of paintings, there are smaller studies through to a large major work. The uniquely Australian alpine palette and vigour of the works transporting the viewer into the landscape bringing an essence of place.

Belinda Street BFA(hons):

Street was twice winner of the Mosman Youth Art Prize. Being awarded a full scholarship to the prestigious Julian Ashton Art School, she went on to attain a degree in Visual Arts at Newcastle University, with Honours at The College of Fine Arts. Belinda's work is held in private collections both in Australia and overseas.

Finalist 2016 Fleurieu Food & Wine Art Prize

Finalist 2015 Muswellbrook Art Prize

Finalist 2015 Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize

Finalist 2015 Calleen Art Prize

Finalist 2015 Gosford Art prize

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The Manse, Dowling St Dungog

This very Georgian looking house supposedly dates from around 1870. Originally built for a Dungog storekeeper it was purchased and refurbished by the Presbyterian Church in 1889. In 1938 a fire destroyed the roof and gables. Despite the damage the interior is intact, having wide doorways, rough planed floors and other features suggestive of earlier colonial architecture. The large chimney stacks draw six fireplaces including two in the enormous vaulted cellar, which retains it's original lath and plaster finish. www.dungogmuseum.com.

 

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Shoulder to Shoulder

Currently available in the gallery is this superb sculpture Shoulder to Shoulder by Australian sculptor Harrie Fasher. Following is an excerpt from her artist statement. Fasher is currently in the process of making a similar work for the World Polo Championships.

"I am a mid career artist working across the disciplines of sculpture, drawing and installation. Based in Oberon NSW, I produce small and large scale steel sculptures which utilise the equine form as a metaphor for human struggles; exploring the horse and its relationship to humans on a physical, historical and mythological level.

Primarily constructed from steel rod, the sculptures are essentially three-dimensional drawings. Harnessing the drawn energy of line, an innate tension is derived from the implied weight and physical scale of the animal in movement. The sculptures, made with attention to anatomical accuracy, can be read literally although they are metaphors for human psychological states.

Shoulder to shoulder is both a study of movement and an exploration of space. It describes two horses depicted at full gallop, their interpretation is open to the viewer; which may be more literal – riding off for a ball, or subliminal –the race one has with your second self."

Harrie Fasher is represented by King Street Gallery in Sydney.

"Shoulder to Shoulder" 2017 Mild steel plate & rod 545 x 785 x 275 by Harrie Fasher.

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Dungog's gem of a railway station

Dungog railway station is of significance as a rare example of Functionalist architecture in a railway setting. Dungog station building reflects an attempt by NSW railways to modernise and economise during the interwar period resulting in station designs radically different to those previously constructed. Dungog displays fine decorative brickwork, well detailed parapets, strong horizontal planes and wide steel awnings, which make it aesthetically congruous and representative of the Functionalist design.

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