Pick of the Pops…

5 10 2017

Two of our fave glassies are in the comp spotlight atm…

Tevita in the Woollahra Sculpture Prize 2017 (opens Saturday week, 14th Oct)…


Tevita Havea, Tuna



And Netty in the Still: National Still Life Award 2017 at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery (exhibition opens 24th November)…


Annette Blair, A Place for Everything. (photo: Adam McGrath)


Big big love to both and fingers crossed for the win.

Meanwhile the field for the Woollahra has been posted, find it here, and we must confess to being a tad conflicted given that Mariana also made the cut…


Mariana del Castillo, The Feral Suitors. 


Voting can be done on-line for the Viewer’s Choice Award, so get on that!

[Meanwhile we’ll be posting a feature on Netty shortly, stay tuned… n(Ed)]



Opening this week…

28 03 2016

Mariana del Castillo’s Fugitive Faith…




Drinkies at the Canberra Fitters Workshop, Sat 2nd April, 6pm.

Don’t miss this show, it’ll be FABULOUS.

Opening soon…

17 06 2014

…from one of our all time fave artists, Mariana del Castillo…



TAC exhibition flyer_Fredrika and Mariana2-1




Another must see…

23 07 2011


Mea Culpa; Atonement opens in Bega…

23 07 2011


The power of art as a social tool.

Two years ago the Bega Valley Regional Gallery formally instituted an annual Contemporary Indigenous exhibition, to be held every July in concert with Naidoc Week. The last two exhibitions, Contemporary Primitive and The New Black, celebrated a diverse range of work by five indigenous artists with innovative practices that transpose traditional techniques away from the stereotypical into a visual currency that more succinctly reflects their own socio-historic reality.

This year the tables have been turned. Bridged metaphorically by the superlative work of indigenous artist Danie Mellor, six non-indigenous artists were invited to contemplate the concept of Atonement. All have responded to what can only be regarded as contentious territory with a sensitivity that reminds the viewer that we all share an ethical responsibility in the process of reconciliation, and that the resolution of the parlous state of indigenous affairs remains a shamefully neglected blight on our (seemingly not so)fair nation. 

At the foreground of the exhibition, in just a whisper of an echo of the Aboriginal Memorial at the National Gallery of Australia, stands a towering sentinel of gas bottles. Sculptor Geoff Farquhar–Still found inspiration for this piece in the pukumani poles at the Art Gallery of NSW; the overwhelming sense of presence and connectivity, of the physical and emotional experience of the poles, impacted profoundly on his approach to his own work. The way of all things 2011 became an immutable embodiment of expiration. 

Imants Tillers, recognised as one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists, has two works in the exhibition: the first, Nature Speaks: AX 2002, is from a series made in collaboration with Papunya artist Michael Nelson Jagamara; the second, Nature Speaks CV 2011, was painted specifically for the Atonement exhibition. Featuring a fragment of the Walt Whitman poem One’s self I sing and a litany of extinguished Tasmanian aboriginal tribes, the work is both an expression of regret and a call to brotherhood.

Nicola Dickson’s exquisitely decorative paintings – exploring the blending of the exotic and civilization – spring from imagery first created in 1807 by Barthelemy Roger in an atlas describing the voyages of the French explorers Francis Peron and Nicholas Baudin in Pacific and Australian waters. The work is a delicate reminder of the imposition of colonialism on the natural order of the time. 

Alex Asch also explores imposition, though of a more strident nature; his work reflects on the harmful introduction of perverse government policy from The Intervention to the mooted suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act, and the insidious harm compounded by ‘lifestyle’ (tobacco, refined sugar, grog…) If deaths in custody weren’t heinous enough, consider deaths through no-brand legislation.

Simon Maberley’s reliquaries pay tribute to indigenous people he has met at festival’s and political and/or environmental campaigns over the years; events and relationships that shaped him philosophically and fed his appetite for compassion. The narratives are personal, the social awareness true. The blown glass vessels symbolise the precious nature of the fundamental tenets of respect held within.

Mariana del Castillo tackles the fraught subject of the Stolen Generation, with a beautifully sewn tableau of the doll/child, left abandoned on an uncompromising straight-backed chair, the spectre of abuse lurking, grinning, from the closet. The loaded elements tell the story, the narrative stitched together with painfully prescribed care, cockroaches scuttling in the background. 

Danie Mellor, the one indigenous artist in the group, rounds out the party with the seductive display of colonial accoutrement; specifically the pomp, circumstance (and bling) used to dazzle indigenous populations into accepting imperialist rule. The artist explores the correlations of ceremony and initiation (hierarchical and secretive) that exist between two seemingly diametrically opposed cultures. Dignity, one suspects, resides with the natives.

Atonement is a fabulous show – strong, emotive…groundbreaking, even.

This is sensitive, taboo territory, notoriously difficult to navigate and consequently usually given a wide berth by non-indigenous practitioners. But for artists with an evolved social conscience, who are appalled by the ongoing inability of this nation to reconcile the tremendous wrongdoing still perpetuated against the first people of this land, Atonement represents an infinitesimal step towards at least some measure of moral reparation.

Politics aside, this is a quality show in every sense – and seriously worth the drive.  On until August 6th.

More snaps here, including a peek at the opening.

Sewn up…

29 11 2010

Mariana del Castillo now showing

jas hugonnet galley www.hugonnet.com.au

Image: Nostalgia’s Companion 2010  Mixed media  300 x 370 x 190cm

A peculiar accomplice In her latest body of work, del Castillo presents a series of recycled objects cloaked in grey vintage Australian war blankets. With a deft hand she has created tableau’s that are plagued with the eventualities of life; a distillation of eroticism, moral struggle, memory and nostalgia. Constantly battered by undercurrents of Catholicism, she seeks revelation through concealment in these meticulously sewn objects.

Mariana opens at CMAG…

14 09 2009

Just in: snaps of Mariana del Castillo’s show in CMAG’s Gallery 4 glass space…

Detail 7-limbo mania




LIMBO (noun)

1.       the state of being disregarded or forgotten
2. an imaginary place for lost or neglected things
3. (theology) in Roman Catholicism, the place of unbaptized but innocent or righteous souls (such as infants and virtuous individuals)



As a child growing up in Ecuador the nuns would show us Hieronymus Bosch’s (1450–1516) painting of ‘The garden of earthly delights’, pointing to the right hand panel of hell and proclaiming loudly that the consequences of insolence would land you in this ghoulish place. Staring at the panel of hell it appeared to me more like a circus. I was drawn to the central panel depicting purgatory or limbo it was a joyous free for all without inhibition or reason. Heaven or the Garden of Eden depicted in the right hand panel although full of animals appeared subdued and sombre and without mischief. 


 In my art practice I have always preferred the well worn found object, items that bare the presence of human existence so it felt strange when I was drawn to the yellow caution tape and started sewing the strips in to workable pieces. It holds a certain contemporary currency we have all seen it wrapped around scenes of disaster. In this instillation I have combined elements of realism and absurdity with mystical qualities that arouse and reveal past and present memories and emotions.


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Word is that the show’s lit for night viewing – so it’s at its optimum after dark.

For more info go here.

The Gang’s hitting the ‘Berra this coming weekend – looks like we’ll be making a bee-line straight to Civic …