Nicky at CMAG…

20 10 2015

Already open, but on until December 13, Nicky’s latest exhibition – Close Encounters: the Voyage of Bruni D’Entrecasteaux – is just divine.

Dickson_Calao_de_Ile_de Waygiou_after_Audebert
Nicola Dickson, Calao de lîle de Waygiou after Audebert (detail), acrylic and oil on linen
Nicky, meanwhile, has sent through some additional snaps…
Nicky 2Nicky 3Nicky Dickson_Close Encounters brochuresmall_28_8_15
(click to enlarge)
Loving it.
More details hereCatch it if you can.

Opening next week…

29 08 2015

Such a treat – Nicola Dickson’s latest work will be launched at Beaver (3rd Sept)


And Nicky’s just sent through this additional image…


Bushy Yate I, 2015, 55 x 45 cm, acrylic and oil on linen

Just divine. What a lovely way to celebrate Spring. Runs until 22nd Sept.

[Thanks for the headzup Jacq. n(Ed)]

Birds from a New World, and more…

10 10 2012

Last weekend was pretty perfeck from the classic country/culture/lifestyle perspective…

Granny and Minnie travelled from Melbs and the ‘Berra respectively for Nicky Dickson’s opening at the BVRG on Friday night; now that’s dedication for you – and neither was even faintly disappointed…



Too divine for words…



Birds from a New World was inspired by the Ducie Collection in the National Library of Australia. This collection of 56 illustrations created in 1788-9 is attributed to George Raper, a midshipman aboard the First Fleet. It forms part of a substantial body of drawings and maps made by several people in the early years of European settlement of Australia. Unlike the Cook voyages, there were no professionally trained artists aboard the First Fleet. Amateur artists, like Raper who drew birds and plants, knew and obeyed fewer of the usual restrictive conventions of formal natural history illustration. Instead they revealed glimpses of their personalities and tastes in the way they composed their illustrations. This means that the body of First Fleet art exists as a record of cultural tastes and interests as well as the birds and plants found in the young colony.

In this exhibition the subjects of Raper’s paintings have been quoted and re-presented in a different context. The paintings aim to convey the wonder and fascination experienced by Europeans when they were introduced to Australia’s flora and fauna. The gun, sword and navigational equipment are also included in the paintings and refer to the fact that colonisation of Australia occurred due to the development of technologies that enabled Europeans to spread over the globe and exert their will.

Nicola Dickson 2012



Bird lovers, ignoring the turning weather, flocked to the gallery for Helen Maxwell’s official launch of the show…



Actually, peeps had been streaming in long before it was open to the public – despite the ‘gallery closed for changeover: beware of curator’ signs!! – so we anticipate it’s going to be immensely popular. Fair enough and all, it’s gorgeous.


(Taxidermied specimens courtesy of the Bombala National Parks and Wildlife Service)

Seriously worth the drive. More snaps here.

Saturday was cold and rainy – perfect reading/movie weather…



…and from there on in it was total indulgence. We’ll spare you all the galloping gourmand-o-rama (for once!!) bar this treat of a snap of High Tea in the Banksia, spotted through the bathroom window (yep, here at the Hideout!)…



Oh, and maybe a little more slab wetting…



[This could go on for a while… n(Ed)]

A touch of class at the BVRG…

4 10 2012


Opening tomorrow night.

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.

Install for Atonement…

1 07 2011

Sorry to have been off the air for so long, but things have been inordinately busy at the Hideout of late; the work-party ratio has hit new heights and the poor old bloggo has been squeezed in the priority stakes. The good news is that there’s a backlog of snaps and events to bring you, the bad news is it’ll come through in trickles.

Anyhoo, we’ll tantalise you with a snap or two of the pre-prep for Atonement, the exhibition opening at the BVRG tonight…


Nicky and Geoff dropped off their work on Tuesday…

…for what promises to be a truly stellar show.

Full story and picks over the next week.

To the ‘Berra and back, don’t spare the horses…

21 03 2010

Last week the Gang did a lightning raid on the Canberra culture scene – GAD and ANU School of Art grad program ** to be more precise – there to briefly mingle with old confrères…but most specifically to catch Nicki Dickson’s grand (PhD) finale.

First port of call was the Gallery of Australian Design, where Jas Hugonnet is clearly in his element; architecture, design, the minimalist aesthetic…and a veritable spit from the edge of Lake Burley Griffin – could there possibly be a more perfectly suited workplace for him! Fits like a glove, we tells ya. Happy happy joy joy. Anyway, it was a very swish ambassadorial affair (the show was being opened by the Mexican ambo, and the dippos were out in droves) – so Jas’s clientel is clearly all class, too.

Very hip show – Glenn Murcutt’s our fave Aussie architect and Barragán, who, we discovered, had a serious thing for pink…

…gotta love that.

Then we skipped across the lake to Nicki’s opening…and serious apologies to the artist – we didn’t manage a decent snap of her, so you’ll have to just make do with the work…

…which is just fabulous…

Exhibition ends Friday 26th March, so you’d better get your skates on if you want to see it in the flesh.

Snaps of all the beautiful peeps here.

** please note, you need Adobe Reader to open this pdf document.