GrammaGramma

When I spotted Shaelene Murray's name amongst the art news that comes across my desk had to make an effort to see this show. I knew Shaelene many years ago, through Ausglass Conferences in the '90's. And then saw a delightful and surprising work bearing her name at the Art Gallery of NSW Wynne Prize, which includes both landscape and sculpture, in 2013. The trustees generally select just one outstanding sculpture to represent the genre and there was Shaelene's "Blossom", a woven or knitted or knotted wire (actually sewn I have since discovered) skirt suspended in the middle of a large room, just above the floor. It had a powerful impact.

SkallywagSkallywag

Skallywag is, exactly as the name suggests, tearing away from the family group below.

Mamma, Toddle & BubbieMamma, Toddle & Bubbie

All the works carry many layers of meaning, with stories woven around them. Mamma's right leg is stubbornly restraining Toddle from wandering off. And with Bubbie's outstretched arms we can almost hear her screaming.

ConfectionConfection

Sookie ChookieSookie Chookie

On the side wall opposite the main family group there is a series of small studies, bonnets mostly, each with a particularly idisynchratic title. Small contemplations of detail and patience.

Gramma, detailGramma, detail

While somewhat media-shy, Shaelene does have a website where some of her earlier work in glass can be seen. Stanley Street Gallery is a treasure trove of relatively new artists showing a diverse array of media, with a strong representation of jewellery and sculpture. Murray's show continues through until 2nd November.

Still- like water

The CreekThe Creek

Snow Gum 1Snow Gum 1

Snow Gum 2Snow Gum 2

Still PresenceStill Presence

Presence RemainsPresence Remains

Opening address by Francis Lindsay, AMOpening address by Francis Lindsay, AM

Presence Remains

Alison at a glass painting workshopAlison at a glass painting workshop

New South Wales lost an enthusiastic and talented practitioner this month. Alison was much loved within the community, always bright and cheerful, full of energy and passion for all things glass.

Discussing her work at a recent exhibitionDiscussing her work at a recent exhibition

Kiln-fired wallpieceKiln-fired wallpiece

An avid collector and intrepid traveller with her partner Michael, who she referred to as the "world's best roadie", Alison attended several Ausglass Conferences and continued to broaden her skills with many workshops, including glass painting in Italy

Kiln-fired wallpieceKiln-fired wallpiece

With Peter Whittaker @ the Leadlighters' Xmas Picnic 2017With Peter Whittaker @ the Leadlighters' Xmas Picnic 2017

With Grace Cochrane & myself @ the Leadlighters' Xmas Picnic 2016With Grace Cochrane & myself @ the Leadlighters' Xmas Picnic 2016

She worked from a home studio in Jilliby, an idyllic bushland community on the NSW Central Coast. Probably Alison's best work is a beautiful commission for St Cecelia's Church, restrained and elegant. An image can be found in the Gallery section of her website Creative Moods Stained Glass

With MichaelWith Michael

Guard of Honour, Saturday 14th September 2019Guard of Honour, Saturday 14th September 2019

The SentinelsThe Sentinels

Australian artist Rhett Brewer showed a new collection of landscape and seascape paintings in oils and acrylics at Project Gallery 90, Oxford Street Paddington for a three week stint in July 2019. I enjoyed the show very much; it was refreshing with many vigorous works full of energy, firmly rooted in the geometry teased out of rock formations and fault lines, juxtaposing mass and horizon.

Faultilines 2Faultilines 2

The HikersThe Hikers

Faultilines 1Faultilines 1

Rhett and I go back a long way: we grew up together in Sydney's Georges
Hall and subsequently attended Condell Park High School. He then
vanished into the Public Service until we crossed paths once again while
Rhett was teaching Fine Art at the University of Western Sydney

Rhett Brewer at Project GalleryRhett Brewer at Project Gallery

Heavy Weather & Drift

The Edge

Heavy Weather & Drift

The Edge

These paintings hover between opacity and transparency and in addition to the spatial geometry I think that's what's so intriguing about them. Rhett's masterful handling of water is clearly evident in Bays entrance. The transparency he achieves in Floating Wall is arresting. And it is literal as well as metaphoric: in the midst of the standing wave, about to break, we are actually looking through a kind of glaze to the under-painting beneath.

The Small FreighterThe Small Freighter

Bays EntranceBays Entrance

Floating WallFloating Wall

As the title of the exhibition implies, all of the paintings are of or around Cape Banks, a very easterly promintory at Sydney's Little Bay. Covering bright sunshine and cold and gloomy days, Sydney's sandstone coastline lives through these paintings.

Jacob & Leonard with TigerJacob & Leonard with Tiger

VanessaVanessa

Gallery viewGallery view

La RosaLa Rosa

BoxerBoxer

Fast Life is a collaboration between graphic designer Jacob Pramuk and product designer Leonard Velich. The project started about two years ago when they combined a graphic drawing, a functional product and the old craft of neon sign making to create a unique combination of art, light and function. The goal was to create handcrafted art objects that are not only visual pieces but also functional lighting products.

Gallery viewGallery view

AmeliaAmelia

YakuzaYakuza

HeartHeart

TigerTiger

I managed to catch a superb exhibition of drawings by Australia's Brett Whiteley on its last day at the Art Gallery of NSW. Whiteley was not only a superb draftsman but a virtuosic artist with brush&ink, charcoal and pen. He used ink washes sparingly but to great effect. And drawing for Whiteley was no means to an end: it WAS the artwork.

Self PortraitSelf Portrait

Patty SmithPatty Smith

Whiteley's line is so vigorous and full of life, and he has a knack of contrasting strong, simple forms with intense detail.

CMS added image

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His line is so sinuous that at times it becomes sensuous. The famous "Road to Berry", inspired by a drawing of the same name and location in southern NSW by Whiteley's hero Lloyd Rees, is an early example where his landscape surreptitiously describes the female form.

Road to BerryRoad to Berry

A master of composition and invention, Whiteley also plays with perspective and the picture plane, attacking a canvas boldly.

CMS added image

These shots were taken rather hurriedly at the last minute, just before closing when I discovered there was no catalogue to the exhibition. And reflection is always a problem with works under glass.

CMS added image

The exhibition did include a set of Whiteley's timber sculptures-and rightly so as they are virtually drawings in space using timber as the medium. A sheet of concept drawings for the sculptures was displayed opposite.

CMS added image

Drawing is an integral part of my practice also. It is not only essential in creating a stained glass window but an enjoyable and therapeutic activity and though it does require discipline its a very satisfying way to make art; this exhibition inspires me to go out and draw more!

2018 in Review

21 Dec 2018

Its been a big year. The continuing project for new stained glass windows in the clerestory of St Peter's Anglican Church at East Maitland, NSW for which I installed two windows in 2016 and two in 2017, required three windows this year.

2016 & 2017 clerestory windows2016 & 2017 clerestory windows

I did manage to squeeze in a solo exhibition at m2 Gallery in Surry Hills mid-September, just prior to the late October installation at East Maitland. I was rather desperate to exhibit as this was my first solo show in over a decade. I am pleased it was so well received, despite falling on the same weekend as Sydney Contemporary at Carriageworks.

Large Single VesselLarge Single Vessel

Solo exhibition m2 GallerySolo exhibition m2 Gallery

The beginning of the year saw the team rebuild and install 12x decorative leadlight windows from the Oxford Room of St Mathias' Anglican Church in Paddington, having excavated the original windows the previous December. These leadlights were in the worst condition I have ever come across, and everyone in the Parish community was thrilled with the result.

St Matthias window prior to restorationSt Matthias window prior to restoration

The main Oxford Room windows after restorationThe main Oxford Room windows after restoration

With the St Matthias project underway I was concentrating on completing a new window for Wesley Uniting Church in Forrest, ACT with a very specific (and consequently rather difficult) brief. Featuring an angel bearing a lit candle, it was installed end of January after a long gestation.

Angel Bearing Light, Wesley UnitingAngel Bearing Light, Wesley Uniting

Also in Jan/Feb I made a residential fanlight for a couple in Newtown which featured a lyrebird. They own a bush block up on the Central Coast of NSW frequented by lyrebirds and wanted to make special note of that in the Newtown property.

Lyrebird fanlight NewtownLyrebird fanlight Newtown

As soon as St Matthias was completed mid-February, the studio got underway with restoration of two lancets from a 5x lancet set of ornamental stained glass in what is now the Chinese Christian Church in Milson's Point. Completed in 1888, this handsome Victorian Gothic building was formerly a Congregational Church and the windows, on the point of collapse until we got them out, are quite pretty.

Reconstruction underwayReconstruction underway

Completed windowsCompleted windows

While all that was going on, I got away for two weeks in April/May with my boyfriend to Vietnam, travelling to Saigon, Da Nang and Nha Trang; it was my first trip to an Asian country and I had a great time.

So yeah, 2018 was a big year, finishing on a busy session of installations for a residential client in Balmain, restoration of a John Ashwin window from St James Catholic Church in Glebe and removal of the Main Hall windows at St Matthias Paddington, to be rebuilt early in 2019. There were various other smaller jobs throughout the year as well, and in amongst it all, slowly but surely Jon Doe and I made progress on a collaborative work which will be constructed in January for the exhibition titled INTERCHANGE at M16 Gallery in Griffith, ACT in February 2019. This exhibition will be a satellite show concurrent with the Ausglass/NZGAS CoLab Conference in Whanganui, NZ

Concept drawing by Jon DoeConcept drawing by Jon Doe

Progress shotProgress shot

Conversion of St PaulConversion of St Paul

The studio has been working on a series of windows for St Peter's Anglican Church in East Maitland, NSW for the past three years. In 2016 we installed two double lancet sets to the clerestory, two in 2017 and two more this year, which completes the set of six windows commemorating the six regional Parish Churches in the mother cathedral. And this year we also produced a third double lancet window, shown above, illustrating the Conversion of St Paul on the road to Damascus

The two new double window sets viewed from the scaffoldThe two new double window sets viewed from the scaffold

St Andrew's at Largs with St Andrew and his crossSt Andrew's at Largs with St Andrew and his cross

Detail of St PeterDetail of St Peter

Detail of St AndrewDetail of St Andrew

St Andrew's Church LargsSt Andrew's Church Largs

Old St Peter's ChurchOld St Peter's Church

View showing relationship of new windows to last year's installView showing relationship of new windows to last year's install

View from the scaffold showing 2nd scaffold towerView from the scaffold showing 2nd scaffold tower

As in the earlier windows of this set, I drew inspiration from historical reference points: for St Peter a Baroque sculpture by Pierre Etienne Monnot found in the Church of San Giovanni Lateranno in Rome and for St Andrew a sculpture by the little known artist Domenico Guido in Sant Andrea della Valle in Rome

Full size charcoal cartoonFull size charcoal cartoon

Charcoal cartoon for St Andrew windowCharcoal cartoon for St Andrew window

S. Pietro by P.E. MonnotS. Pietro by P.E. Monnot

San Andreas by Domenico GuidoSan Andreas by Domenico Guido

For the design of the St Paul window I decided it was necessary to cast the image across both lancets, ignoring the stone mullion between. The Conversion of St Paul on the Road to Damascus has been painted by many different artists; a Google search will reveal hundreds. I drew inspiration from both Caravaggio and Ludovico Carracci., combining elements of each painting. The Sword of Truth in the quatrafoil above represents Paul's instrument of martyrdom.

Carracci's prone figure of St Paul Carracci's prone figure of St Paul

Caravaggio's vision of St PaulCaravaggio's vision of St Paul

Installing the panelsInstalling the panels

The Sword of TruthThe Sword of Truth

The front window at m2 Gallery last weekThe front window at m2 Gallery last week

My first major solo show for twelve years drew a large crowd for opening night and a steady stream of friends and curious visitors to m2 Gallery in Elizabeth Street Surry Hills.

The front window from inside looking outThe front window from inside looking out

Panoramic view of the exhibition, left-hand wallPanoramic view of the exhibition, left-hand wall

Panoramic view of the exhibition, right-hand wallPanoramic view of the exhibition, right-hand wall

Trio, a group of painted & fired blown vesselsTrio, a group of painted & fired blown vessels

Single Large VesselSingle Large Vessel

Four collage/assemblagesFour collage/assemblages

Exuberance, two small collage works and Stop.Art.ThinkExuberance, two small collage works and Stop.Art.Think

Stained glass panels in the front windowStained glass panels in the front window

Light falling from UntitledLight falling from Untitled

For lots of photos of the Opening Night go to the m2 Gallery FaceBook page

UNPUBLISHED [and rarely seen] WORKS

THURSDAY 13th- MONDAY 17th SEPTEMBER 2018

Triptych [Three new tracks]Triptych [Three new tracks]

Apart from a small two-person show at Glass Artists/Gauge Gallery in Glebe in 2016, this is my first solo for many years. The exhibition will comprise Works on Paper, Collage/Assemblage and Stained Glass.

Technically many of the works are not "Unpublished" at all, since they
feature on this website. But they have not been exhibited in a physical gallery before, hence the title. Some have had one or two outings in the past couple of decades, in group shows around the country, and three damaged works have been especially restored for this show. There will be one completely new work in stained glass.

ProgressivoProgressivo

m2 Gallery is located at 450 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, not far up the hill from my workshop at Central. It is a well-managed hire-space that has featured some excellent artists over the past few years. I will be in attendance for the 5x days of the show so if you are in Sydney please make an effort to drop in between 9am - 6.30 pm Thursday- Monday.

Untitled 1989 [restored 2018]Untitled 1989 [restored 2018]

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The Latest Happenings in my World

This blog is where you will find my latest news. It can range from posting images of progress of the current commission to art crit to political or social commentary, both national and international. Anything, basically, that's commanding my attention and I feel is worth sharing with you, my reader. Enjoy. My previous blog can be found at jeffreyhamilton.blogspot.com