Currently showing at the BVRG…

Liquid Crystal Dreams DL-1

Liquid Crystal Dreams DL-2


The BVRG is maintaining serious currency with a fabulous new media exhibition of 13 works from the ANU School of Art’s Photography and New Media Workshop. It’s very cool…


Jen and Gra watch Dom Aldis's animation



Liquid Crystal Dreams

Throughout the BVRG’s 2013 exhibition program gallery visitors will no doubt have noticed the strong thread of photomedia. This, of course, has been quite intentional − in part as a developmental continuum for projects such as YoofTube and in part as prelude to the gallery’s end-of-year headliner, the Bega Art Prize (the categories for 2013 being photomedia and small sculpture.)

Exposure to contemporary commentary and innovative practice remains critical to the development of local artists and audience alike. Hence the current show, Liquid Crystal Dreams – manifesting the enormous trend towards New Media Arts, now an integral part of the contemporary art scene (most specifically digital media and film.) This exhibition represents ‘a taster’ of new media practice from the region’s closest tertiary institution; the Australian National University School of Art, where the Bachelor of Visual Arts (Animation & Video Major) program provides students with a ‘hands on’ learning experience in the key areas of digital media: digital video, computer animation, digital compositing, visual effects and interactivity.

In the first year of the degree, students engage in a broad range of digital media software and processes, exploring new techniques and strategies in digital image production. As they advance through the program, students become increasingly specialised in their practice by honing their skills in just one or two of the key areas.

The thirteen works curated for this exhibition present a chronology of undergraduate engagement in digital moving image practice since it was offered in a disciplinary framework at the ANU in 2003. All the works were conceived and produced by students in their graduating year. They each in their way possess creative and technical attributes that make them especially engaging or innovative, and are a showcase of the talents of students at the pinnacle of their undergraduate study.

We’ve dropped in some stills, but you can chase ’em up on YouTube…



Andrew Zukoski

Sam Thow, Keith



Liquid Crystal Dreams is on until Saturday 9th November.

Be there or miss the bus – it’s the new millennium, people….

Annual pilgrimage…

Back in April the Gang packed the Poo and took off for what’s become our annual pilgrimage to Burma (this time via Bangkok.) Possibly our last, sad to say, because the Muzzbotts have since been relocated to Bali (lacks a certain caché, eh.)

Anyhoo, we had a ripper time; Bangkok was extreme…

hold on to your snatch

…as one would expect – from the abject (plastic poo at street stalls)…

[…and don’t even think of comparing these to the Poo which, being cast lead crystal, is so in another class. n(Ed)]

street stall detail

…to the über sophisticated (cocktails at the Skybar)…


Megsie, Ging and Sammy Jo at the Skybar

And yes, it wasn’t all alimentary – although we were rather taken with the public loos…

public loo bangkok

…we did also manage to swing past our fair share of viz arts as well…

Vichai Sitheratn

Chairat Sangthong

…most specifically at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Great city, fab people. The only downside being the disconcerting prevalence of unprepossessing western men trailed meekly by palpably resigned Thai women. It’s shaming, this Great Australian Ugliness. Yes, we know, it’s not only Aussies – plenty of fat Germans, Brits, Yanks and allsorts – but that doesn’t make it any more palatable, does it?

We managed to escape to the crumbling charm of Mayanmar, where thankfully the sleaze has not (yet) infiltrated. This trip found us washed up in the Andaman archipelago…

poo goes paddling

beach from Megsie's cabin

Beach day on Andaman

…via Kaw Thaung, the Noosa of Myanmar…

Kaw Thuang

Kaw Thuang, the Noosa of Myanmar

street stall Kaw Thuang

Crackin’ brekky.

Back in Yangon we hung around our usual haunts…

skyping Pa

…doing what we do best…

lunch at the Governor's Residence

…plus lots of exciting extras, like dining at the House of Memories where General Aung San’s office has been aspic’d in time…


General Aung San's desk

lunch at House of Memories

…and Megsie managed to muster some bloggo focus, sniffing out another glaaaass, as Nige would say, factory/showroom. (You’ve got to admire her dedication to the cause)…

Megsie at the glass factory show room

If any of you have a hankering for Burma, get there quick is our advice. The carpet baggers have well and truly moved in and change is sadly seismic. Mind you, even as the Burmese pick up bad habits from the west they do manage to maintain their inimitable smiley face – it takes the edge off, eh…

universal language

Check out the goodies here.

And then there was…

Skun DL-1

Skun DL-2

Haeli Van Veen, Skun


In 2009 the Bega Valley Regional Gallery joined the ranks of the Patrons of the ANU School of Art Emerging Artist Support Scheme (EASS); offering an exhibition opportunity here, at the gallery, to a meritorious student at the school’s annual Graduate Show. Haeli Van Veen is the third recipient of the BVRG award – receiving it in 2011 on the completion of her undergraduate degree in Textiles for a body of work that romanced tattooed embroidery on latex. It was at once humorous and edgy (and immediately prompted the intriguing curatorial possibilities of a combined show with eX de Medici.) Since that time Van Veen has gone on to complete Honours at the ANU SoA Sculpture Workshop, taking a huge leap in scale and creative breadth.

The work in Skun has clearly been informed by both disciplines. And so much more besides, not the least being the advent of baby Juniper, both muse and model for this current show, and the trigger for a thrillingly powerful interrogation of the psycho-biological imperative, wrought by motherhood and driven by universal socio-cultural heritage. The morbid portent of the fetishistic/shamanistic sculptural work is palpable; that black density lurking in the hoods carries unearthly overtones of the portal between life and death further promoted by the contrast between the archaic foreboding and the rude health of the tattooed child.

 Haeli Van Veen, Visitor

Haeli Van Veen, Snare, plastic, leather, hair, bone, pigment

Skun at the BVRG


It’s a tension that bridges the mediums. Post-modern urbanity has a fixation with the outward trappings of fealty, of fashionable tribalism (tattooing, scarification, piercing, costume.) But the tattooing of the baby is far more ambiguous. In Tongan culture tattoos are symbols of protection, carrying no aggressive implication whatsoever. In the Chin tribes of Myanmar, the faces of young women were tattooed to discourage lustful kings from stealing them for wives. Over time this has translated into a tradition evincing beauty, strength and pride. Undoubtedly many people will find the images contentious – but in the arts, of course, this is a very desirable thing.

 eX in Iranian censorship mode


eX de Medici is certainly no stranger to contention. She has never shied away from the central tenets of socio-political activism, knowing full well that art is a powerful tool and that some things are best served illustrated. She is represented in all the major national collections from the NGA, to the Portrait Gallery, to MONA and Goma, to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of NSW, and of course in many significant private collections. And some more private than others, those many enthusiasts lucky enough to bear an eX de Medici tattoo.


The Drill Hall Gallery in Canberra very recently held Cold-Blooded, a survey show of de Medici’s signature watercolours – huge, highly detailed and decorative canvasses; overwhelmingly seductive and shocking in the one breath. The work here at the BVRG is from a different though no less powerful facet of the artist’s practice – her photography. Over the past few years she has revisited Iran, spurred on by her perception of the community injustice in a country held and squeezed at the mercy of both its own oppressive government and the callous propaganda of the West. Having grown to love the people and culture of Iran, it’s hardly surprising that the rich and decorative vein of Persia has struck an already long established, sensitive visual chord.


eX de M from her (Un)skun series


Happy snaps here.

Review in warp speed…

Contrary to appearances (or lack of, in the case of active posting…) it’s still been business as usual for the Gang…

General highlights have included the fabulous Janet de Boos show at Narek…


Janet de Boos at Narek


…Matt Jones at Ivy Hill…


Matt Jones at Ivy Hill


…Matt Jones at Spiral…


Megsie and Matt


…the Hilda Rix Nicholas show, From Paris to the Monaro, at the National Portrait Gallery featuring Bringing in the Sheep, from the BVRG.BVACS Permanent Collection…


Megsie and Megan at the NPG


…new work from Emily Valentine…

Emily Valentine at jas hugonnet gallery


…and Louise Upshall…


Louise Upshall


…at jas hugonnet gallery.

The Gang caught all sorts of terrific shows, including a ripper at the ANU Foyer Gallery bursting with fave peeps (check out Rachel Bowak’s Oomph)…


Rachel Bowak, Oomph


…and managed some way cool studio visits (Ben and Michael Taylor amongst others)…


Ben and Michael Taylor


And Tom Moore won the Ranamok 2013 with his piece Massive Microscopic Bird


Massive Microscopic Bird


And then there was arguably the most exciting happenin’ of the last 6 months (for the Gang at least), a fairly lengthy visit in August from Sammy Jo and Iain (which was totally disastrous from the POV of the waistline…)


fush'n'chups bermagui


Major low point was the Federal Election…


Megsie and Mike on voting day

Megsie and Mike on voting day


Odd/random glimpses here.

‘C’ note….

Meanwhile, Megsie’s managed to keep her finger in the pie (in terms of her art practice) with the ongoing ‘C’ series, courtesy of a very sweet chappie at a customised sign stall at the Chatuchuk Market, Bangkok…


latest in Megsie's 'c' series


Now gilded to the max and entitled Golden Mien…


golden mein


…it’s currently doing time in the nick…


in the nick


She also went the Damo Hirst (as in subcontracted the making) at Terminal 21…


because I can


…the title of these being Because I can.

She’s off to Bangkok again next week, so watch this space.

Bringing up the rear…

Well honeys, we can feel a quickening in the wind at last and thought we’d better round up some of the missing links before we just carry on as if the bloggo black-out hadn’t occurred. Shan’t bother with the explanations – let’s just call it a bucket of funk and leave it at that, eh. Meanwhile we’ll poke about in the short term memory and see what we can come up with….

Back in May there was…

Tuned DL new proof-1

Tuned DL new proof-2

…featuring work from Andy Townsend and Suzie Bleach, Annie Franklin and Gordon Robinson and Ulan Murray and Rachel Burns. And what a cracker of an exhibition it was,

from the install…


…to the opening…

opening 1

opening 2

…to the dinner…


…and everything in between…

Tuned gallery view

Gordon Robinson

Annie Franklin


The curatorial premise for this exhibition arose from a natural curiosity apropos the degree of creative cross-pollination between artists who, while long established as artists in their own right, yet live in a relationship with an equally professionally esteemed other. One imagined there would undoubtedly be a heightened sensibility and intellectual and critical exchange that couldn’t help but mutually benefit and inform the other, however subtly. Because, in the main, artistic practice is a solitary pursuit – the muse internalised and the production bordering on obsessive. And the artist is, by nature of the game, an isolate. How much more interesting it might be to have the constancy of a supportive and empathetic other; a sounding board, an emotional fillip…a brake.

The six artists in the show are local (although this wasn’t a condition of inclusion); two painters who share a studio, two sculptors who divide their time between a collaborative practice and their own individual work, and a sculptor and a painter who work from entirely separate studios (not at all surprising given the industrial regimen of a sculpture workshop!)  

In the case of Annie Franklin and Gordon Robinson the harmonic communion is plain. While their thematic verse might vary both in measure and subject matter, yet there are points of utter visual concord that is nothing short of breathtaking. In Tuned, Robinson’s work – often reminiscent of the vertiginous sublimity of his homonymous other, William Robinson (though inversed in scale) – plays beautifully on classic marine painting traditions, with just that hint of drama and romantic mysticism. Annie Franklin continues her signature leitmotif of holistic engagement with her coastal environment, now with the recently added dimension of the carved and painted wood. Both celebrate an enveloping landscape that they clearly hold dear.

Though the work of Rachel Burns and Ulan Murray is patently more variant than that of the other couples, yet there is a conceptual collusion in the very ‘style’ of the work. The juxtaposition of Burns’ abstracted landscape alongside the literal naturalism of Murray’s botanicals delivers an intriguing dimensional twist in which the anchored physical landscape counter-foils that rush of peripheral vision. They sit together in total accord, despite the fundamental dissimilarity.

Suzie Bleach and Andy Townsend, like Franklin and Robinson, have more obvious points of engagement; they are both sculptors, they share a workshop, they spend as much time on their collaborative work as they do on their separate pieces − and so it would be fair to say that their overall practice operates on the principle of ‘total synch’. The hint of their broader practice in Tuned demonstrates perfectly their shared aesthetic values, their love of material, and the evident respect they each have for the work of the other. 

Tuned is an exhibition of reciprocal respect and professional affirmation, with a resounding endnote amplifying the advantage of a vision shared. There is strength, according to the old adage, in numbers − and three’s a crowd!


Tuned gellery view 2

Ula Murray and Rachel Burns


Tuned gallery view

gallery 3

What lies beneath

…right up until the de-install…

fish biz

wapengo walking fish