Collection Twenty: Boundless
Appearing in this Exhibition
Barbara Goldin is a Sydney-based artist who is motivated by the varied Australian landscape; the vastness of the desert, the rocky outcrops of the Kimberly and the meditative state of the boab tree Adansonia gregorii.
Following her studies in Fine Arts at the École des Beaux-Arts, Sorbonne, Paris and drawing at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Barbara – through her many travels across Central and Northern Australia – was fascinated by the rugged ranges, dramatic gorges, semi-arid savannas and largely isolated coastlines. She immerses herself at the top of the towering limestone cliffs or the base of a boab tree, where she studies the light leaping from form to form. “My images are a response to the quality of light, the vibrant colours and textures of the land. These present paintings are based on the Kimberley where the boabs grow standing like ancient sentinels on rocky outcrops. The Pilbara region with the magnificent red escarpments, gorges and cool waterfalls inspire my work.” – Barbara Goldin. Back in the Studio, Barbara references her sketches and immerses herself into the powerful memory of being in the outback. It is here where memory takes hold of the brush. Barbara Goldin has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Australia and South Africa. Her artworks are held in both private and corporate collections globally.
Practicing on the Central Coast of NSW and with a background in graphic design, Claire Tozer’s mesmerising works inspire from at a distance and within intimate settings. Tozer also approaches the variegations of branches, grasses and stone-scapes with an intricacy parallel to delicately threaded stitches. The poetic power of line, detail and undulating pattern lend her a quietly hypnotic magnetism. The arid beauty of a bleached mountain is crystallised by her linear focus. The landscape and the environment meld to create an abstract foundation for Tozer’s work – an iteration of climate’s profound impact.
“My work is predominantly the visual impact of ‘lines’ The environment of dried grasses, trees, desert landscapes and walking tracks. It is not a direct representation, it is my own interpretation of what I see, a creative process and the most satisfying.” Claire Tozer
Tozer has previously been selected for the Salon des Refusés (2006) and most recently won the KAAF (Korea-Australia Arts Foundation) Art Prize in late 2018.
Coco is a practicing artist specialising in Painting and Ceramics. Alongside her teaching position in Visual Arts at a high school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Coco has also been a Lecturer at the College of Fine Arts (COFA) at UNSW. Her greatest inspiration and love of life is the Australian natural landscape. As a child, Coco learnt to shape pots from clay found on the side of the road with weekends spent in the Blue Mountains. Her Father, also a painter, instilled the love of oil paints and dabbling with the elements of texture, colour and movement, along with inspiring aspects of Expressionism, Abstraction and painting with light.Following the loss of her home and studio with a crashing grey gum in a storm, back in 1997, Coco was driven to complete her Bachelor of Art Education degree. Working between the disciplines of teaching and practicing artist, enables her to see ‘the other’ with fresher eyes and renewed clarity. “My teaching profession and art practice have become cyclical, one discipline feeds the other”. “Painting brings me into the highest state of consciousness. It is in this moment, I lose myself and enter a state of formlessness. The paradox is, that my practice is about creating forms and shaping narratives. It is a journey that keeps me continually seeking….”.
Debbie Mackinnon trained as a medical and scientific illustrator in London before moving sideways into a successful career as an art director in publishing, where she wrote and designed many award-winning children’s books. After moving to Australia, she has painted full time for over twelve years. Debbie is the founder and director of me Artspace in St Leonards, Sydney. Her dedication as a contemporary coastal painter begins each morning with a ritual trek along cliffs, crags and rock platforms of the Sydney coastline. “Large seascapes start with quick studies and drawings made en plein air. Then the oil paintings develop in my Sydney art studio. My coastal oil paintings explore that mysterious, elusive, tidal boundary between land and sea. The ocean is always in motion, the land changing with its rhythms. Recent artworks have a fragmented, shifting perspective. This challenges me and the viewer to look a little differently at both land and sea. Hovering at times on the edge of abstraction, I aim to simply observe and celebrate the beauty and joy contained in the boundaries of the ocean, that last great wilderness.”
Felicia Aroney brings her rain drenched hydrangeas right into the foreground of her works fulfilling the fantasy of pressing all the senses into one gigantic bouquet. To paint a bouquet of flowers in a vase seems such a simple project. But for some it becomes a consuming passion, a pursuit of beauty for its own sake. Renowned for her elegant floral artworks, Felicia lives and works in Sydney, Australia drawing inspiration from her European heritage – channelling the distressed and peeled paint facades of classical Mediterranean architecture. Working with both oil and acrylic, her distinctive floral abstract works utilise a highly sculptural mark-making process, using a palette knife to layer and shape the paint until it stands in relief from the canvas. In this way, her work evokes a sense of history and antiquity alongside exploration and depiction of the natural world. Felicia has a strong presence in the art world and her work has been shown in galleries and art fairs all around the world. She is represented by 7 Australian Art galleries. Nationally, she has had many successful solo and group shows, including shows in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul and Florence. Felicia has been a finalist in the prestigious Mosman Art Prize and Hornsby Art Prize. Her collaborations include designs for make-up guru Napoleon Perdis in 2014 and 2017, Lavender Hill Interiors 2017, Designer Rugs 2018 and will soon be featured on TV Shows “Open Homes Australia” and “Ready Set Reno” 2018. “My greatest influence is having spent time as a child in my native homeland, Greece. The antiquity of aged buildings and the unsteady cobble paths that roped small residences together appealed to me. It has greatly influenced my technique. I use a palette knife applying thick layers of paint that dance off the canvas, recreating my childhood images of historic aged timeless beauty. My subject matter is typically Australian. Hydrangeas and blossoms and fruits that adorn our gardens. Wonderfully organic in shape and a joy to recreate in my own unique fashion. By combining my textural technique with Australian Flora, I am in a sense marrying both my Greek Heritage with my proud Australian upbringing.”
Classical and mythological interpretations of the landscape are rare in Australian art. The scale and expressionist freedom in Joanne Duffy’s painting possess the epic quality of our great lyrical masters such as James Gleeson and Robert Juniper and then something more. Her strong sense of place grows from the wellspring of her childhood in Western Australia and shines in the cloudscapes and desert nocturnes that blur the line between memory and myth. A Perth-based artist, Joanne Duffy’s paintings transcend borders, illuminating the wonders of the firmament. The scale and expressionist freedom in Joanne Duffy’s work reflects the fact that the seed for each painting is planted by being in nature and often in the turmoil of the seasons. This is an artist who paints anything but the clear blue skies of Perth and instead explores the unpredictable drama of light. Standing on the beach in the depths of winter with a storm front coming in or immersed in the violent colour of a summer burn off, her palette deliberately amps up the drama of the elements. "An expressionist at heart, key inspirations for my work lie in interpreting the emotional response to memories of landscape, and how this affects our character. The native flora and ancient landscapes are strong stimuli for investigating our senses’ response through colour, texture and movement. It is these remnants of experience which provides the key for interpretation of both personal and perceived experience." - Joanne Duffy
Keith Betts is a Sydney-based painter who works primarily in landscapes. Betts seeks out the abstract features inherent in the detail of Australian landscape and creates paintings that reflect that abstraction. He is represented in collections in the UK, Germany, Canada, Russia and the USA. In the field of portraiture he has been a finalist in the Moran Portrait Prize, the Black Swan Prize and the Percival Portrait Prize. He has been selected as a finalist in the Heysen Prize for Landscape, Mosman Art Prize (2019), Norvill Art Prize, Hunters Hill Art Prize, Hornsby Art Prize, Drummoyne Art Prize and Ryde Art Prize. He has won the Waterbrook Art Prize and was placed 2nd in the Royal Easter Landscape Section.
Luke Wagner is a Hobart-based artist whose coastal views of real and imagined landscapes are painted with an ethereality. White, as a colour, has a volume and radiance that can make sky, water and earth fuse. This rings true for Luke Wagner’s epic coastal views where the searing light bleaches coastal rocks and creates a glassy reflection on the ocean. Describing a world of isolation, Wagner’s current work is borne out of his residency to Tasman Island, a small island national park off the south coast of Tasmania. The Island is a small plateau flanked by 300-metre-high sea cliffs where the only access is via helicopter. Themes of the abandoned, of the lost or the forgotten are vivid in Wagner’s pieces. Exhuming the memories of a distant world, Wagner’s minimal palette of charcoal, ashen and frosted white depict a vastness. A self-taught painter, Wagner employs oil paints mixed with bees wax then applied to linen with broad painting knives. Working with a poetic and intuitive confidence, Wagner strives for universal images that cross-cultural specificity. Wagner has exhibited in Hobart, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and been a finalist in prestigious prizes such as Hadley’s Art Prize, Tattersall’s Art Prize, Mosman, Lloyd Rees and the Glover Art Prize. Subsequently his work in held in many well regarded public and private collections.
Marek Herburt paintings demonstrate a profound fascination with Australian flora and landscape. Using a semi-abstracted, impressionistic style and a vibrant palette, he captures the intense harshness of the Australian environment, while at the same time depict the energy, life and beauty that the landscape evokes. The colours in his paintings result from a close observation of nature, a technique he learnt at the Lodz Academy of Arts. The technique is based on seeing colour through opposite and contrasting colours. The colours boost each other to create a dynamic display and a perception of space and distance as in nature.
The large scale contemporary abstract works of Pamela Honeyfield evoke the landscape through the poetics of landmass and the dance of tonal colour. The fluidity of oil paint follows the unbound energy of her line. Describing her genre as “digestible abstract” this painter enjoys the element of chance within her process: “I don’t always have set rules for painting, the work will often dictate my next move and as we enter this dance and relationship I allow the colour and the movement of marks and shapes to play and interact. There are many variables when creating a work and you have to be willing to lose and regain images until it’s resolved. The best marks made and paintings created are when I seemingly disappear for a while in my work, and when I return I know that I have had some kind of 'happening' with the canvas. Attending the National Art School at Darlinghurst Sydney 1989 - 1991 completing her Diploma in Fine Art, Honeyfield went on to complete her Masters in Art Therapy at the University of Western Sydney Nepean in 1994 - 1995. She has been a finalist in numerous Art Awards such as The Blake Prize, The Paddington Art Prize, NSW Parliament Plein Air and the Pro Hart Broken Hill Outback Art Prize. Pamela won the 2014 Gosford Regional Gallery Art Prize and won the Gosford Regional Gallery Art Prize (again) in 2015 for her work 'Dusk Falls Across The Flinders.'
McCarthy’s plein-air vision of the bush is one of energised colour. Born in 1966 in Sydney. Paul has been painting for 30 years. His landscapes combine Fauvism, Impressionism and Contemporary Abstraction. His exquisite colour combinations give his paintings an exotic flair, through which he captures and finds a whole new and dramatic light unique to his environment. He has had numerous solo and joint exhibitions both here and overseas, including a joint exhibition in Soho New York in 2001. McCarthy has worked extensively as a community artist including working with a remote aboriginal community, high schools, and acting curator for the Sydney Children’s Hospital. He has also coordinated several groups of volunteers working with groups covering the Sydney Children’s Hospital, the Sydney Cancer Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital as well as adults with disabilities at Studio Artes Hornsby. “I am a colourist at heart and my work reflects a response to my surroundings. My selection enables me to create vivid sequences of colour or subtle muted tones, as the need arises. Working plein air I am able to capture the full range of the vast diversity of the Australian landscape from coast to hinterland and outback.”
Collections featuring Paul McCarthy
Describing himself as an “Emotional Abstractionist”, Phil Stallard dedicates himself to creating exuberantly coloured paintings with Sydney centric iconography. The theme of water has been a prominent reference point for Phil, of which he further draws upon personal memories of Sydney and the Hawkesbury. With an aptitude to push the genre of landscape painting through an interplay between abstraction and realism, Philip’s strength is found in the ability to balance spontaneous painterly marks with careful consideration for geometric compositions. There exists a playful element to each work, whether it be the strength in colour that radiates excitement or the presence of circles, hearts and numbers, which offer a sense of humanness to each piece. “My work has echoes of improvised jazz, where the artist interprets compositional themes through the act of painting. The result is carefully thought out but with spontaneous elements that give the painting vitality and life. The spontaneity is practiced and repeated until the gesture has the energy and balance that the painting needs.” – Phil Stallard
Collections featuring Phil Stallard
Shannon Garson’s work articulates landscape using domestic pots as vessels for drawing about the strange beauty and wonder to be found in the marginalized eco-systems of the littoral zone. Details of shorelines, rock pools and coastal wallum scrub are revealed in the sgraffito and oxide drawings that crawl over the surface of these delicately thrown porcelain vessels. The act of beach-combing, gleaning and collecting is analogous to the process used in making these works. Her work is inspired by ‘marginal eco systems of tidal zones and endangered paper bark habitats and the rare flora and fauna they contain.’ Juxtaposing classic, clean porcelain vessels with the infinite variety of striations, spots and marks found in nature, Garson’s exceptional pieces tell a story of wallum swampland, of tidal zones, and of endangered wildlife. Descriptions of bird-footprints and tiny flowers completely covered in white hairs encompass the vessels; the myriad detail of the landscape has been collected into marks. A visual language mapping the experience of being in the landscape, creating a dialogue between domestic life and nature. Mediums matter to artists and how they navigate them provides the compass to their creativity. For Shannon Garson, porcelain is the perfect surface for intricate drawings. The delicacy of her line, coupled with the elegant arcs of each piece, was made to deliberately invite touch and a closer more contemplative gaze.