Bringing up the rear…

7 10 2013

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


Annie Franklin at Narek…

26 11 2012

The Gang booted over Doctor George on Saturday for the highly anticipated opening of Annie Franklin’s new exhibition at Narek Galleries. And what a treat it was – we’re talking serious gorgeousness.



It’s been a year in the making and Annie has branched into wood – what a harmonic progression – bringing a holistic sensibility/folksie charm that’s utterly seductive.



It’s a peculiar thing, really. The woodwork is so right (as in such the perfect fit) that it’s hard to imagine her work without it now. The leitmotif has come full circle; this is an exhibition that pulls together the golden threads of all her interests. As Helen Maxwell mused in her opening speech, the body of work as a whole reflects the life and philosophic times of the artist; wholesome, rich…genuinely organic. It’s like a survey show of all that Annie holds dear.











And how extraordinarily well suited it was for its surrounds. We need to go back and properly experience the contemplative nature of the exhibition, in communion with the church itself. We didn’t linger on Saturday; the crowd was building and we had a driver waiting (ever so slightly im)patiently in the car. This is a show that deserves a long, slow viewing in splendid quietude. We’ll definitely be back.

On at Narek Galleries in Tanja until December 31st. Hits all the right buttons – don’t miss it.



Gulaga: the show…

31 05 2010

For those of you who didn’t make it to the BVRG to catch the exhibition, we’re posting it for your leisurely perusal…

Lots more snaps and a peek at the Art Café…

…go here.