Nigel at Large: glass spotting in LA LA land

19 08 2007


Nigel’s been out glass spotting for the Gang around the environs of LA, and reckons he’s found both ends of the glass spectrum.

In this corner, ladies and gents, is the Chihuly nugget; no need to waste all those years studying in a program, Nige surmises – Chihuly appears to have rendered art school entirely redundant…just pick up the package from the San Jose Museum of Art!

But omigod how seriously gorgeous is the decodent Studio Glo building (click on the snaps for enlargement) that he clocked on his way to the San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum…..

Nigel at Large: California dreaming

18 08 2007


The Gang’s (part-time) padrone Nigel Lendon is over in California as we speak, presenting a Rugs of War lecture at UCLA. Ever sartorial (and looking every inch the potentate!!) Nige took time out to spiff up the old dogs before hitting the streets and taking in the art at the university’s Fowler Museum.

The art in question (shown above) is work by El Anatsui Gawu (Ghana/Nigeria): astonishing, huge constructions of industrial waste, says Nige – very big at the Pompidou and Venice this year. Well, we can see why – absolutely stunning.

See ya on Tuesday Nige…and keep away from those gambling dens (Nige just dropped $23 in a poker game – but unfortunately didn’t manage to record the moment for posterity…we really must provide a hidden camera next time around.)

Accent on the French

17 08 2007


Last night was Trish Roan’s opening at Alliance Francais (along with ceramicist Cristina Baratinskas-Goodman and painter Ian Robertson.) The usual mob came out of the woodwork, and a beeline was made to the bar – Alliance always turns on superior French tipple (mais, naturellement.)  And the cheese aint bad, neither. Not that we were partaking (the Gang’s on the perennial diet…)

Meanwhile Gordon Bull opened the show with customary panache, and Trish – shy as ever – did her best to inhabit the shadows, though we dragged her out for a photo op regardless. The work has a more cryptic than metaphysical edge this time around, with more of a pop feel (…if that makes any sense.) She shares a studio at ANCA with Charlie Sofo now – so there’s bound to be the odd stray tendril of influence, mutually inclusive (actually, I’d like to see a two-man/Trish and Charlie show sometime not too far down the distant track [note to Nigel.])

There wasn’t a lot of goss to be had around the room, except a whisper from Phil (Spellman) that he’s super-busy making work for several destinations at the moment – one of which being this year’s Sculpture By The Sea, of course and that it’s been such a bumper year that his accountant is extremely pleased with him. Gotta love that. And Timo had just arrived back from an opening of his own at JK Gallery in Thredbo. For everybody else it was merely business as usual.

Check the dials on

Geoff Farquhar-Still has a blast in Melbourne

16 08 2007


Another of our extended-art-school-foundation-group buddies is sculptor Geoff Farquhar-Still who has an upcoming show, My private arsenal, opening in Melbourne on the 1st September. Geoff makes great work – who could possibly forget the mad metal missile he made last year for Domain, and drove around and around New Parliament House for a photo op!?!  Anybody planning a trip, or in the vicinity, really ought to beat a track to Gallery DireTribe and give it the eyeball.

Exhibition opens 6.30 Saturday 1st Sept at Gallery DireTribe, 1/81 Bouverie St, Carlton (and runs until 29th Sept)

Gallery contact:

Artist contact:

Happy 50th birthday to me little bro…

15 08 2007


My little bro (below centre) turns the big 5-oh oh


Oh dear, oh dear – well, you know your salad days are truly done and dusted when your youngest sibling hits the golden milestone. It’s gunna be nothing but the twighlight zone full steam ahead from now on in, we reckon. Above is a postcard he sent from the Icehotel in Lapland – somewhere that the Gang really ought to go before we kick the (ice)bucket…

Meanwhile, lotsa big love and kisses Phil. Make ours a voddy….

Postcard from The Glass Furnace in Turkey

14 08 2007


(above) James demo-ing, Cappodocia, the Blue Mosque.

The Gang’s received a lovely picture postcard from our Seattle correspondent, the ever adorable James Minson, who’s only just returned home from his teaching gig at the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, via a stint at Penland, North Carolina.

(Note to self – simply must take a course in Istanbul sometime in the not too distant future.) What a great place to go and do glass…although he didn’t tell us if there was any water in the bleedin’ pool yet (apologies to Monty Python!)

The snaps make one want to jump on a plane immediately – and, of course, are a reminder that many of us do just that, as the pic of Melbournian/glassie Ede Horton attests…

And we’re really intrigued by the photo of James lampworking to the dervish – hope he got an image of the piece he was making at the time; a whirling dervish of the dervish, he reckons. We wanna see that.

More snaps at

and for anybody bitten by the travel/glass bug, check the Glass Furnace website at

Painter’s Corner

12 08 2007


Nicola Dickson, Rococo Parrot series, 2007.

Arguably the best thing about going to art school is the opportunity to meet  some extraordinarily talented, and remarkably wonderful, people. And not only those in one’s chosen medium.

The 1st semester of the first year at the ANU School of Art is spent in ‘Core’; a foundation period that throws you into a mixed bag of folk who literally straddle the gamut of workshops (you don’t actually go into your designated discipline, proper, until 2nd semester.)

This system is primarily designed to inculcate students with the multi-dextrous visual literacy essential for an ongoing ‘career’ in the (f)Arts. But of course it naturally also delivers the added advantage of kick-starting a nascent networking mechanism that cannot but help stand one in probable good stead, both philosophically and practically (if consciously genuine), for many years to come.

This is further progressed by ensuing complementary (sub-major) electives – which broaden the skill set and incrementally expose the wanna-be-Vincent/Leonardo/Andy to countless like-minded others in the extended arts community. And then some. 

At the very least this circumvents unattractive creative imbreeding. It also -obviously -paves the way for all manner of collaborative possibilities. But most importantly it forges firm and enriching friendships. One of which is…

Our mate Nicky; who will henceforth be known, to you, as Nicola Dickson: Painter.

Nicky and the gang first met when we were both doing printmedia as a sub-major. She was, from the outset, seriously good (while we were merely me).

These days she’s doing her PhD.  And her painting has become increasingly sophisticated and infinitely more desirable (hah! as if that’s at all possible – after all, how more desirable can desirable be?). We love it, dead set. We always have.

So she’s the first in our series of our-fave-contemporary-artists-who-don’t-do-glass.


And keep a weather-eye out. If we did have a suggestion it would be this – buy while you can still afford her.