Jane Crick’s Teacup Collection @ Watson Arts Centre

My dad used to serve everyone in my family tea in bed to start the day from the time I was in primary school. I have been a several cup a day tea drinker for over five decades. So when an exhibition of someone’s collection of tea cups was advertised I went.
The collector was Jane Crick, a potter who died last September of Ovarian Cancer. The collection is being sold and half the proceeds go to the Ovarian Cancer Society. Eighty four remarkable examples of the potter’s art expressed in the one form – a cup and saucer are on display and for sale. I was very excited by this exhibition.
The potters have created beautiful objects that vary in size, shape, texture, colour and a great range of other distinctive elements. There are potters represented in the collection from many countries around the world and many parts of Australia. The sales catalogue has some unidentified examples in it. Some of those have hand written entries that show they have been identified by visitors. The prices for these objects struck us as wonderfully low.
The range was truly inspiring and so I have included a few pics and the sales catalogue





I heart television @ M16 Artspace

The first exhibition at M16 Artspace brings together five artists to reflect on television and our relationship with it.

Clinton Hayden has some prints and two delightful collections of TV linked objects, Samuel Townsend has created a set of colourful prints conceived around viewers of some of the big reality TV shows, Tess Stewart-Moore under the theme The secret lives of us created delightfully varied images of homes with TV aerials, Aki Nishiumi has a set of glossy unframed untitled glossy photographs.
Erica Hurrell’s set is a series of photographs of remarkable tattoos of TV linked images. Belle Charter has a simple set of objects with plain backgrounds.
I have attached a sample of the work of Samuel Townsend, Aki Nishiumi and Erica Hurrell and the curator blurb and gallery sheet.








Hypercube – Keely Van Order @ M16 Artspace

Sci-Fi Fantasy comics are spectacularly imaginative. The colour and fluidity of form and content in that genre seems endless. That is the background to a wonderfully stimulating visual feast at M16 Artspace featuring the work of Keely Van Order. The Hypercube exhibition is subtitled Book images from a sci-fi fantasy comic in progress.

There are 74 works on the wall. Every one of them is marvelous to my eye. They range from stark simple black and white representations to surreal products of a great imagination with an exuberant sense of colour. Image after image engage your mind with complex worlds wrought with great attention to detail in conveying imaginary worlds. These comics are not my usual world but the exciting visual creativity in their world is something everyone can admire.

I have included a sample below to give you the sense of them but my pics do not give justice to the skill and imagination of this fascinating artist. I loved it. I have also included the gallery sheet for your information.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage 

The Poetry Object 2013 @ Customs House Sydney

Exhibitions engage me on many levels. A poetry competition among school students around objects would not be my usual cup of tea. It was at a venue in which there were to other exhibitions I was interested in so I took it in.
The display samples of children’s poetry were on a series of back lit screens in brightly coloured varied fonts. The poems were imaginative and engaging and there were a small sampling of the contribution made by students aged 7 to 17.
I got on the nearby computers and tracked the backers’ site included below and so as a teacher of English to yrs 7 and 8 I am glad I encountered the display.
It was colourful and stimulating but I wish the students were encouraged to match their writing with creating a matching object. There was one object held in a child’s hand but I would have found the pairing more engaging.
To explore this more check things out below:

Macleay Museum @ Sydney University

On a quest to visit the Nicholson Museum and the Smart Exhibition at the Sydney University Art Gallery I came across and explored the Macleay Museum on the top floor of a science building. It has been a while since I have been in this type of museum. It is a small space with glass cases around the walls full of stuffed animals, skeletons and other artifacts of the natural world. This museum and an interesting display on the development of Australian tourism on panels in the centre of the room. At the end of the space occupied while I was there with a group of students hearing a lecture on indigenous tools were a set of glass cupboards full of collected specimens of spears and other indigenous tools and cultural artifacts.
For people who are interested in scientific exploration this collection will have a level of fascination.

Jeffrey Smart @ Sydney University Art Gallery

I was not aware of Jeffrey Smart till late in his career. My son had a framed print on his wall and explained he had first seen the image at some affluent friends at church. I loved the stark uninhabited simplicity of the art and started learning about the artist.
When Smart died last year I commented to my wife that I hoped someone would put together a major retrospective. This exhibition is not that It is sixteen paintings and some other artifacts of a fine artist in the small upstairs gallery in the central building of Sydney University.
I am deeply urban in my sympathies. Smart in the works I love take urban parts and creates wonderful flat finished yet vibrant representations of aspects of urban experience
I have never been able to explain ti but on several occasions I have laughed in front of a Smart painting. It is a combination of how insightfully he gets and presents city life. I have included one called The Tube that I find very amusing while I also feel real admiration at the clarity of the story it tells.
Take a look at the one below called the underpass. The sole individual looking down on the lifeless chasm of a road below the overpass. My daughter was in the Prince of Wales in Sydney this week having a child and it was funny walking up the front drive on what look likes a real hill you suddenly come to a bridge like that with a roadway underneath it before you get to the front apron of the hospital and the parking structure. I was surprised by its presence but as in the Smart image have no idea where it was coming from or going to. Such a city experience.
I have included the gallery sheet if you can’t get into the exhibition you may find all the images on Google.


The Costuming of Opera @ Casula Powerhouse

The Art of Costuming: Costumes from Opera Australia fits perfectly into an Enraptured theme of the exhibitions at the Casula Powerhouse. I love costumes and the creative expertise that is clear in each example. The stark industrial concrete and steel venue of a powerhouse makes opera costumes look more sumptuous and delightful than on an opera stage.
Have a look at the pics below, they are just samples of a set of over a dozen gorgeous creations and their details. The design talent and skill of the creators are a delightful embodiment of everything I love about human creativity.






Next.2013 @ Casula Powerhouse

I always get joy out of the public exhibition of the art of high school students. The second annual exhibition of visual arts works from HSC students in Liverpool region schools is on at the Casula Powerhouse at present. I have included a few examples with multiple shots because a few of these delighted me intensely. The black and white ink drawings were part of a set and all of them were so wonderful in design and internal detail – I was rapt.
The construction of cards was marvelous. Having built lots of card houses as a kid I was amazed at the complexity and creativity in this one. It was a disaster scene that would have led most of my card structures to be flat. The fun thing was to create something out of flimsy cards showing disaster and most of it is still standing.
The pictures are not great but if you can go to the gallery.





Rural Habitat with Mobile Workshop Architecture @ Customs House Sydney

On the ground floor of the Customs House in Sydney is an exhibition of an approach to construction for people in poor rural communities. There are a set of display panels on the use of these types of buildings in the developed world on the foyer walls. The star of the exhibition is a small timber version of the basic building being constructed through the work of Mobile Workshop Architecture
The videos on the walls show the local people in Mexico creating a wonderful house / workshop out of a collection of flexible insulated steel reinforcing sheets that are wired together to create a set of tied together arches. The arches are then coloured mud rendered which results in attractive, cheap easy to construct durable accommodation. A fun exhibition.
More on the website

Christo: John Kaldor Family Collection @ Casula Powerhouse


The blurb on this exhibition begins with Christo is one of the world’s greatest and most enduring contemporary artists, having practiced for over half a century. Infamous for his wrapped works, I was first exposed to his work at the end of high school when he came to Australia and surprised everyone by wrapping White Bay in Sydney.
This exhibition consists of elements of Christo’s work owned within the John Kaldor Family collection. There are lots of models, drawings and small wrapped objects. In a small space the exhibition gives a clear sense of Christo’s work and fits well into the theme of the current set of displays – Enraptured.16012014(091)