Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Anne Ooms and Catriona Stanton

Devil Dodgers

 November 15 – December 19

This exhibition is the product of a dialogue between Catriona Stanton and. Anne Ooms, student and teacher. Catriona completed a Masters Degree at Charles Darwin University and since then their dialogue has been maintained through collaborative exhibitions The second one at Wollongong University gave us these works.

These pieces began as found objects “ Anne started the process and sent painted black carved polystyrene forms to me to adorn and embellish however I chose. Sometimes I just worked with found objects that echoed a shared aesthetic of Anne and I from knowing each others work for 10 years and Anne also came to the University of Wollongong studio to work with me and responded with black forms to my assemblages such as the sticks.” 

It is beautiful and exotic with obvious overtones of Indian mysticism, rendered with a wonderfully feminine lightness that might equally be a flirtatious glance translated into fantasy or religion as mood, freed from dogma and nothing more than a sunny afternoon or art.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015


Give me space and don't tell me what to do
Until 14 November 2015

Trek Valdizno is a Filipino and he is an abstract artist. Unusual because in Australia Filipino art is noted for it’s social realism. Artist’s concerned with the politics of corruption, inequality and the psychosexual drama of the Catholic Religion. Abstraction however has a Filipino history that began in the mid 20th century with a group of “Neo-realist” artists. So called because they strove to find a separate and new reality in their paintings. And so it is with Trek.  His works appear to be of a subject yet it is an invention that he is striving to achieve through his spontaneous gestural marks not an interoperation of reality.

Discussing his work Trek asked the question, does it look Asian, is it oriental? And while a prescriptive definition of Asian Art would be doomed as a cliché I can say that Trek’s abstract art doesn’t seem dominated by the landscape in the way that Australian abstract at is. Here the most rigorous abstract artists attach place names to their paintings suggesting perhaps a connection through mood to particular landscapes while the potent force that is Aboriginal abstract painting deepens this connection with land into a cosmology. In comparison Trek offers us images of objects but not of our world. These are objects that he has found in him self.

This is a kind of Abstract Expressionism, something that was the artistic invention of the USA, the Philippines 20th century coloniser. Part high culture missionary and part pop culture’s adulterous concubine, the pervasive intervention of American culture in Asia that began in the Philippines has become a question of how Asia appropriates modernity. It’s miss read, modified to meet local requirements, and repackaged for export back to the west where it takes it place on the shelves of a global cultural supermarket.

And in that supermarket Filipino abstract painting has a look about it that is hard to mistake, a look that looks a lot like these paintings by Trek. Raw paintings quickly made of an interior space that is far from claustrophobic.

Friday, 2 October 2015


There's room in my house

Until 17 October 2015

In this piece, Gail Kenning and Sue Pedley quote the sentiment and words of 5-year-old Xavier Egan at the Light the Dark Vigil in Hyde Park on Monday 7th September. A rally held in solidarity with the waves of fleeing migrants entering Europe during the northern summer of 2015.

Here in SLOT Gail Kenning and Sue Pedley sharpen the focus of the sentiment to consider the distinction between a house, a home and perhaps the shared refuge that humanity might find in art.

Monday, 21 September 2015


Departure drawings
21 September 2015

Susannah’s drawing is a fastidiously edited composition of litter that has the temporal beauty of a breeze. Something gentle across the skin, it sirs up what ever has been left behind. In a moment it’s perfect and in another, gone.

The fastidious process of this work has Susanna in the window space night after night arranging and rearranging her simple found materials. Through her process she turns the idea of an exhibition on its head by utilising the exhibition time as a period of studio practice, cumulating in the realisation of a work. Fleetingly visible, it can only be known in its passing. 

I suppose our lives cannot be known until they are lived, the game of football not known until it is played, and this place not known until it is gone. There is a wistful sorrow in these departure drawings, along with their undeniable beauty and inventiveness that was for me at least, a moment of many memories.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Living Sparkle.
Fieldwork #2 Kamay/Botany Bay 2015

Until 22  August  2015

Years ago I found a small book in an opportunity shop called Fieldwork in Animal Biology, which as it happens includes guidelines for fieldwork on marine platforms. It predicted a direction in my artwork; amplified and extended in conversations with Marie McMahon and further book research on geology, biology and history back in the studio.

The Living Sparkle is the second work to arise from fortnightly visits to Cape Banks and Cruwee Cove out at Kamay/Botany Bay near the end of Botany Road. A marine platform where underwater gardens are exposed, each rock pool is a unique multicultural assemblage of animals and plants. Delicate anemone pink tendrils, stripy self-housing sea animals, startling pink, apricot and burgundy algae all sway under the glistening brine.

This is the color and texture of my work, inspired by the Australian ikebana of Norman Sparnon and built using the display and presentation techniques of window-dressers. It is an articulation of my fieldwork expressed in the eco-system of Botany Roads beginning.

Jan Fieldsend, 2015





July - January 2016 at Darlington Installation Project

 Arthur Apanski takes a moral position in his art.  And it is a principled stand. He is against war, the greed that motivates it and along with it the suffering it delivers. My contribution to our collaboration was pragmatic in comparison. I was the one to offer Arthur’s skeleton wrapped in Australian bank notes a chair.



With deft precision Arthur’s works confront the viewer, in this case with the idea of money. For Arthur money, at best a necessary evil is the route of man’s inhumanity to man. Although it is ironic that once the war over money is fought it is money that we send the consequent refugees left struggling to begin life a new. Money spiralling in ever more incomprehensible numbers defines our homes as crippling mortgages and it’s money that we carelessly spend on a coffee, a movie, even lunch as a diversion from the sobering burden it becomes. Arthur has it right; we are “money to the bone”. The moral, like all morals however is open to interpretation and pragmatic presentation..

Arthur stood back from his work, examined it briefly. Satisfied he picked up his mobile phone, to arrange his next appointment. Like Elvis he had left the building and me wondering if one mans hangover might be another man’s inheritance.


Wednesday, 17 June 2015


Until 18 July 2015

Marie McMahon’s paintings are a kind of landscape. A reconstruction assembled from observational notes that reduce the landscape to its component colours.

 These colour ribbons describe afternoons spent examining the rock ledges of Botany Bay that are exposed between the tides, a zone, a zonation that is littered with flotsam and jetsam not entirely sea or land. Here sponges, pumice and ambiguous water-worn objects are strewn between rock-holes reflecting the sky in hemispheres of water.

The romanticism of Marie’s imagery is objectified in her paintings. They adopt a kind of geometry that suggests cubism, which is the idea of painting that is simultaneously a representation of something and the invention of a new reality on the paintings surface.