News 2019


Benjamin Armstrong at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

On view now at Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney as part of The lover circles his own heart: MCA Collection are works from Benjamin Armstrong, including the glass sculptures Old Friends (2004) and series of six relief prints, Contents, 2005-2006.

The exhibition explores emotional connections between people and relationships to country.

On view until 22 September 2019.

Installation images courtesy Benjamin Armstrong.


Martin Bell at Australian Print Workshop

Martin Bell ‘s exhibition  Do Androids Dream of Catching Butterflies,
…you didn’t tell me there was an Android on this Mission!! is on view now at Australian Print Workshop until 3 August 2019. Curated by APW Director Anne Virgo OAM, the exhibition is planned in collaboration with the National Gallery of Australia and made possible by the generous support of The Collie Print Trust.

This is the second of a series of exhibitions by the four artists who participated in French Connections. Martin Bell’s work is a reflection on the projects themes – the interplay of natural history, the history of science, empire, art and anthropology as it relates to early French exploration of Australia and the Pacific. During the 2018 research study trip to France, APW and the Artists had privileged access to study rarely seen and highly significant collections in leading museums that has informed and inspired the production of an exciting new body of work in the print medium.

Image 1: Martin Bell in front his the lithograph Demisticity Science and the Alien. Image courtesy Australian Print Workshop


teamLab at Melbourne International Arts Festival 2019

Tolarno Galleries, in association with Martin Browne Contemporary, is pleased to announce the Australian Premiere of teamLab: Reversible Rotation, 5 October – 2 November 2019.

The exhibition is presented in association with Melbourne International Arts Festival 2 – 20 October 2019 and comprises four large scale screen works.

There aren’t many art collectives whose members include mathematicians, architects, CG animators and engineers, but trying to pin down the ultratechnologists of teamLab is like asking the ocean to hold still. From their frenetic hive of a base in Tokyo, this sprawling assembly of thinkers and dreamers create immersive works of breathtaking imagination – sculptures of light whose radiance seems to pass through your very body.

Pictured: teamLab Enso – Cold Light (2018), Digital Work, Single channel, Continuous Loop © teamLab


Brent Harris at AGNSW, AGWA and ACCA

Brent Harris works are currently on display across three major Australian public institutions.

At Art Gallery of NSW, the Swamp (2000) series of prints are on view in the study room.

In Perth at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Design Space exhibition Family Resemblance, features ceramics and small sculpture from Lucie Rie, Mary Rogers, Gwyn Hanssen Piggot and Sandra Black and more, surrounded by a selection of Brent Harris paintings and prints from the extensive AGWA collection that navigate “the swamp of personal, familial, religious and unconscious forces that make us who we are” (Robert Cook, curator).

At ACCA Melbourne, the exhibition On Vulnerability and Doubt includes several Brent Harris paintings including borrowed plumage no.3 (noli me tangere) and borrowed plumage no.7 (touch) both 2007 (pictured, courtesy @brent_harris_art).

Brent Harris: Swamp series until 15 August at Art Gallery of NSW
AGWA Design – Family resemblance until 9 September at AGWA
On Vulnerability and Doubt until 1 September at ACCA Melbourne


Christopher Langton at MONA


Two of Christopher Langton‘s sculptures are currently on view at Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) as part of the Simon Denny exhibition, Mine.

Self portrait as Mechanoid (Autonomous Version)  2018-19 and Self portrait as Mechanoid (Primitive version)  2017 are installed at MONA until 13 April 2020.

Christopher Langton will exhibit new works at Tolarno Galleries 24 August – 28 September 2019.


Pictured: Christopher Langton Self portrait as Mechanoid (Autonomous Version)  2018-19, polyester, polyurethane, steel and acrylic paint, 210 x 139 x 148 cm. Photography by Jesse Hunniford, courtesy MONA.


Quilty opens at GOMA | 29 June – 13 October 2019

The Quilty exhibition continues, now moving to GOMA in Brisbane 29 June – 13 October 2019. It is the first major survey exhibition in a decade of one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Ben Quilty.

The exhibition extends from Quilty’s early reflections on the initiation rituals performed by young Australian men to his experience as an official war artist in Afghanistan and his campaign to save the lives of Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. It also includes his revisions of the Australian landscape, and raw, intimate portraits of himself, his family and his friends.

Also on view at GOMA is Margaret Olley: A Generous Life. Ben Quilty met Margaret Olley when she was a guest judge for the 2002 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, which he won. Olley then became a friend and supporter of his work, and, in 2011 sat for a portrait by Quilty which won the Archibald Prize in 2011. The portrait is on view as part of Quilty.

Image: Ben Quilty Self-portrait, after Afghanistan 2012. Oil on linen, 130 x 120cm. Private collection, Sydney.


Rosemary Laing at the 35th Higashikawa Awards in Hokkaido, Japan

Rosemary Laing will be honoured in August with the ‘Overseas Photographer Award’ at the 35th Higashikawa Awards in Hokkaido, Japan, for photographic achievements including her series weather (2006), leak (2010) and Buddens (2017).

The 35th Higashikawa Award Winners’ Photo Exhibition opens 5 – 28 August at Higashikawa Bunka Gallery, showing works from weather and leak. Rosemary Laing said: “My projects are often created in meaningful places wherein I set up situations for the camera by either making a construction or working with a performer. In weather my performer is caught within a chaotic space of high wind and swirling shreds of newspaper. She appears to be tossed around by these metaphorical forces of climate and daily news events. For leak I built an oversized upside-down domestic timber house frame in a paddock, on a sheep farm in the Cooma-Monaro region of NSW. I wanted to make images about the tension between the idealised history of land occupation for farming by settlers, and the present day pressures of spreading urbanisation. In both bodies of work, I am interested in the elastic gravity between the sky, and the ground, and their connected conditions.”

Tolarno Galleries will exhibit a new Rosemary Laing photography series, skyground, 13 July – 17 August 2019. Image via Higashikawa International Photo Festival.


Elizabeth Willing ‘Through the Mother’ at UQ Art Museum

Congratulations to Elizabeth Willing whose window commission at University of Queensland Art Museum has just been unveiled. It’s a precursor to her forthcoming solo exhibition Through the Mother. The exhibition will be a multisensory exploration of the Brisbane-based artist’s memories and impressions of her mother, through her medium of performance and participatory explorations of food as art material. In this intimately conceived space, a comfortable familiarity is assumed through things we know and understand: a table, a chair, wallpaper, tea. These are subsequently distorted through taste and smell, evoking comfort, sedation, but also anxiety.

Willing is the first artist in UQ’s new annual Window Commission series, initiated to highlight and support local emerging contemporary artists.

Elizabeth Willing Through the Mother is on view at UQ Art Museum
Window Commission: June 4 – December 14, 2019
Exhibition: September 10 – December 14, 2019

Image: Elizabeth Willing Through the Mother 2019
adhesive vinyl, five parts, each 8 x 4 m
UQ Art Museum Window Commission, supported by Mrs Jane Tynan and Mr Michael Tynan, 2019. Photo: Simon Woods.


Tim Maguire ‘To the Surface’ performance at Melbourne Recital Centre

Tim Maguire collaborates with London pianist Dorian Ford for To the Surface at Melbourne Recital Centre on 23 May. This performance in-the-round coincides with Maguire’s current exhibition, Dice Abstracts, on view now at Tolarno Galleries until 1 June.

Combining ambient, meditative moving image with improvised jazz for piano, Maguire’s video works Dice Abstracts and Kyoto-Tokyo Shinkansen from his current exhibition are included in the presentation.

To the Surface is part of the Jazz in the Salon series. Tickets are available from Melbourne Recital Centre.

To the Surface
Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon
Thursday 23 May

Image: Tim Maguire Kyoto-Tokyo Shinkansen 2017, HD video, 23m 30s (loop)


Nicholas Folland at The National: New Australian Art 2019

Congratulations to Nicholas Folland who has just unveiled the installation Flirt at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, commissioned by curator Isobel Parker Philip as part of The National: New Australian Art 2019.

This pile of discarded crystal and glassware coalesces into topographical peaks and troughs based on a map of Lord Howe Island – a small landmass located east of Port Macquarie – that has been mirrored, distorted and partially submerged. This semi-fictional geography forecasts the rise in sea levels right around the corner…

The glass objects that form Folland’s re-imagined island are castaways from a Western world steeped in class hierarchies. They are status symbols that recall a time and place where greed and entitlement made it permissible to possess the natural world as well as material goods… The landscape – like any – might be resplendent and overwhelming but it is not impervious to our actions. Its vulnerability hangs in the balance.” – courtesy AGNSW

The National: New Australian Art 2019
Art Gallery of New South Wales 29 March – 21 July 2019
Carriageworks 29 March – 23 June 2019
Museum of Contemporary Art 29 March – 23 June 2019

Installation view: Nicholas Folland Flirt 2019, domestic crystal and glassware, nylon coated stainless steel thread, 440 x 800 x 250 cm. Exhibited at Art Gallery of NSW as part of The National 2019: New Australian Art. Photo: AGNSW, Diana Panuccio.