Ramayana – The Journey of Shri Ram at Casula Powerhouse

This exhibition at Casula Powerhouse gives the visitor a marvelous insight into one of the great stories of Hinduism. The creators of the display have built a couple of dozen diaramas that each show the main characters of part of the tale in a scene from the overall story. They have accompanied the scenes with a QR code that links you to a thirty second reading from the scene in front of you. The scenes are richly coloured and tell the story clearly. I loved it

The exhibition is on until Sunday November 21


Ella Whateley – Breathing Space @ M16 Artspace

13-30 April 2017

Ella Whateley has exhibited a single painting of varied coloured vertical stripes in the space normally allocated to video creations. Her painting is interestingly lit from behind but the canvas is not translucent so the effect is basically a halo effect. There are religious meditation aspects in the construction at the back. The picture and the gallery material is below.


Stations of the Cross 2017 @ St Marks Theological College Chapel

A great set of fifteen paintings were on exhibition over  ten days at the St Marks Chapel at Barton..Fifteen artists were commissioned to create a new work i response to each of the fourteen stations and a further work was a distinctly Australia indigenous take on the suffering and death of Jesus.

Many of the works are extraordinary in their touching insight. There is one that features a black cross in which the down timber has maybe a hundred nails hammered into it. The frame consists of carved names and dates of well known massacres in the time since Christ has been nailed to the cross. It is a conversation between the cross and human brutality over the last 2000 years.

There is one that reflects the laying Jesus in the tomb. The painting features a sumptuous lounge with an equally sumptuously dressed Church bishop lain stiffly statuesquely on the couch while a family that look refugee like standing behind the couch and the mouths of each member have been painted out of their faces.

Many of the other paintings are just as thought provoking and some samples are below.

Next 2017 @ Casula Powerhouse

18 Feb -23 April 2017

Liverpool high schools combine each year to exhibit high quality art from their students in a show at  Casula Powerhouse. i have seen previous shows but I am convinced that this one is the best I have seen. The skills and the exciting creativity on show is marvelous.

Many of the schools have student populations that draw from many migrant communities and this fact enriches the subject matter and styles on show. There are religious and cultural elements all through the exhibition and a remarkable level of insight and sensitivity expressed.

Have a look at the examples I have put below. I was rapt.



Merideth Hughes – Looking for the I … @ Craft ACT Gallery

11 Feb – March 26 2016

Meridith Hughes created a great set of works inspired by flowers and Tibetan books and Buddhist ideas on emptiness. The objects were often delicate, fragile and colourful.

The gallery sheet and pics are below:

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Celestial Empire – Life in China 1644-1911 @ National Library of Australia

Occasionally I make a point of going to the first day of an exhibition. I have been looking forward to this one since I first heard about its coming maybe six months ago. A comprehensive exhibition on the Quing Dynasty from 1644- 1911 drawn almost exclusively from the resources of the National Library of China would be hard to make a mess of.

Walking into the crowded space today immediately confirmed my expectations that this would be exhilarating. The first object was a huge blue and white map on fabric that must have been 12 sq mtr. Around the corner there was an abundance of hand drawn maps and story books, maps, building plans, rich, beautifully coloured illustrations and massive paintings of 3D map like paintings on silk scrolls.

In the centre of the gallery there is one of those fun glass topped touch screen map devices. I spent 20 minutes on it. There were translations of documents, information flags on map locations, historical photo collections and exquisite painting reproductions linked to elements of the main map. I guess I got less than half way round and will go back for more.

I plan to go back for several more visits. I was almost shocked that it was free. The quality of the objects exhibited and the helpful amount of detail in the text was enjoyable. As there is a photograph ban in the gallery I have included the webpage link and a picture of a horse drawn carriage from the foyer of the Library.

It was a privilege to view this material and chatting with several Chinese visitors I got some insight into some of the untranslated text. Thanks NLA staff – it was awesome.


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St Peter and Paul’s @ Goulburn

We went int an attractive church building in Goulburn last week. It was a beautiful stone structure that was built in the 1870s. The entry foyer is a low ceilinged timber structure from which you enter into the main space. What a contrast? The main building is a large a frame shaped space with massive stained glass windows celebrating Christian leaders of the past. There is a gorgeous pipe organ, three altars and a great set of the 14 stations of the cross, carved in white and surrounded by darker stone like frames.

There is for me an ambivalence toward this type of building. While they were built as an acknowledgement of the glory of God the resulting space now is cold and dark even in high summer in the middle of the day. I was not there for a church meeting but if there is not a large number of people I suspect there would quickly be a sense of isolation in such an enormous space.

The thing I loved most about the space was the remarkable artistry of the glass and the stations. At home I found the church has a website that takes you through the history and restoration work involved in the building.

The website and some pics below


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Juhani Kiovumaki – The Apostle @ Huw Davies Gallery

22 Oct – 15 Nov 2015

In the exhibition at the Huw Davies Gallery titled Juhani Kiovumaki – The Apostle, the artist explores some reinterpretation of the early events of the Christian faith influenced by the Christian mystic G I Gurdjieff who was born 150 years ago next year. The images have an intimate look and are clearly an outwork of consideration of Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

It is always enjoyable for me to reflect on materials inspired by Christianity. Pics are below with the gallery sheet

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Julia Thwaites Blue Christendom @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

I see lots of exhibitions and it is rare that anyone explicitly addresses issues to do with Christian faith. Julia Thwaites created a set of Monotypes in which she explores “the materiality of faith juxtaposed with that of broader contemporary culture.” The magic of this exhibition was its focus on the male experience of faith of a Christian type. Thwaites weaves into her work Latin banners that engage with issues of Christian faith but on one level great an exclusion. I found it fascinating to reflect on the lack of this topic from the art production in a society which has been deeply grounded in Christian thought, heritage and values.

Below there are some sample pics.

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Masterpieces from the Hermitage; The Legacy of Catherine the Great @ National Gallery of Victoria

The blurb for this exhibition begins Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great showcases one of the world’s greatest art collections. Featuring works by artists including Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez and Van Dyck, the exhibition offers a dazzling array of works including the finest group of Dutch and Flemish art to come to Australia.
The experience is wonderful They have painted the walls luxurious colours of reds and aquas. They have created both real archways between rooms and also screens shaped the same ways with videos playing on them that show what it would be like to walk through the corridors of Catherine’s Palace.

The paintings are a selection from an awe inspiring collection of art bought by Catherine through decades of seeking out great European Art and buying it to bring back to Russia. There are huge portraits and landscapes. There are historical record type paintings and lots of material that gives a fabulous insight into the world of Europe in the centuries before Catheirne.

Several layouts of remarkable tableware are displayed in big glass cabinets that give the visitors a fabulous look into the arts and decorative artisans of the era. One of the staff said there were over 300 works on display in the exhibition from the Hermitage. It is a privilege to be able to see all this sumptuous art in one location so close to home.

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