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It was such a treat to catch an exhibition of new blown glass forms by Clare Belfrage at Sabbia Gallery early October. Vieing objects online in virtual shows is a very poor cousin to the experience of being with the work in person, sensing its scale, the relationship to the self and the relationship of one work to another, particularly when grouped together.

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The subtle depth achieved within the surface decoration of the vessel is captivating. Clare's forms carry such gravitas, they are a joy to behold. Being with the work seems to engender a state of meditation.

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This piece was actually my favourite in the exhibition. Many of the works take the form of large pebbles. This is even more obvious when viewed from above:

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The video accompanying the exhibition was most informative and gave a good insight into Clare's creative processes. The influence of the Australian bush is quite evident when viewing the works. All in all a delightful exhibition. Congratulations to both Belfrage and Sabbia.

Like all such events this was a real mixed bag. There was some terrible art on display, I mean really bad, but also there were many brilliant pieces on display and some truly outstanding new artists. As would be expected, it is a very eclectic mix in terms of genre and technique, with probably something like 50% very attractive and affordable abstrsact and realist paintings.

The Australian-Russian artist Yulia Pushtoskina was there with her beautifully rendered works of fantasy; there was a special display of contemporary ceramics, an intereactive light wall and see-saw by ENESS, and a plastics recycling factory shredding, melting and moulding rings and other objects.


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.


Scallywag 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.


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 idiosynchratic 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 fresh new artists and established names, showing a diverse array of media, with a strong representation of jewellery and sculpture. Murray's show continues through until 2nd November.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

UNPUBLISHED [and rarely seen] WORKS


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.


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]

Three vessels from the Skin Deep seriesThree vessels from the Skin Deep series

Internationally renowned glass artist Clare Belfrage has a new solo show currently on display at Paddington's Sabbia Gallery. These works are a lovely iteration of the subtle and refined beauty for which Clare is known. These beautifully formed vessels are full of grace. The delicate almost-matte surfaces absorb light and contribute to their quiet but powerful presence.

Director Anna Grigson introducing Gabriella BisettoDirector Anna Grigson introducing Gabriella Bisetto

Drawing Out Time opened on Wednesday 15th Nov, with an address delivered by Gabriella Bisetto, Head of the Glass Workshop at the South Australian School of Art, Art Architecture and Design , University of South Australia. An accomplished glass artist in her own right, Gabriella spoke eloquently about Clare's work and the accomplishments of the Australian contemporary glass community.

Quiet ShiftingQuiet Shifting


Gabriella & ClareGabriella & Clare

Clare & myselfClare & myself

Closing December 9th, this is a delightful exhibition and well worth a visit.

Gathering at the Memorial ServiceGathering at the Memorial Service

On Wednesday 22nd Feb I attended the memorial service for Peter Travis, renown ceramist, visual artist, textile artist, educator and revolutionary designer, held at the main lecture theatre of the University of NSW School of Art & Design (formerly COFA) I was shocked actually when my neighbour Yiorgos Zafiriou dropped by to tell me of the event; I had not heard of Peter's passing in Nov 2016. The Sydney Morning Herald carried an obituary Dec 20th 2016 (lately I've been reading The Australian)

Peter Travis graciously opened my solo exhibition at Knot Gallery in 2002. The exhibition was my first for 10yrs and an umbrella event of the Sydney Gay Games. As Peter had some association with the members of Knot Gallery and was a well-known & respected figure in Sydney's gay community it seemed entirely appropriate, although I didn't really know him until that time.

We had actually met many years prior: Travis was a guest lecturer while I was a student at the National Art School. He was the first man I had seen who wore his hair in a pony tail! -being only 19 at the time it made quite an impression (though I realised much later of course that men's hair styling has gone through many fashions over many hundereds of years -but ponytails in Sydney in the early 70's were never seen).

David Williams toasting Peter TravisDavid Williams toasting Peter Travis

Grace Cochrane & Roger LeongGrace Cochrane & Roger Leong

The Memorial Service was well attended and included many VIP's of the craft arts industry. I had the opportunity later of chatting with Roger Leong, Senior Curator at Sydney's PowerHouse Museum, Grace Cochrane, a former Senior Curator at the Museum, and being introduced to Pamela Griffith, a print maker who's work I have admired for many years. The service itself was not a sad affair at all but a celebration of a gigantic talent. Travis has made a huge contribution to the arts scene of Australia and indeed was recognised internationally. His exploration of colour and movement through the construction of gigantic and decorative kites led to many commissions throughout the world, with some installations in hotel lobbies up to 10 stories high.

Peter Travis installationPeter Travis installation

Installation, foyer of lecture theatreInstallation, foyer of lecture theatre

At home Travis was engaged as the chief colour co-ordinator for the entire colour palette of the new Parliament House in Canberra. Perhaps his most famous creation of all is the men's swimming costume known as Speedos. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2008 for his work as a designer, sculptor, ceramist, kite-maker and teacher.

Liz Williamson with Roger LeongLiz Williamson with Roger Leong

Helge LarsenHelge Larsen

Also amongst the guests at the Memorial Service were noted jewellery designer Helga Larsen and fibre artist Liz Williamson, Associate Professor at UNSW School of Art & Design.

In her address at the Memorial Service Grace Cochrane revealed that Peter's first studio was in the choir loft of a Church in Potts Point; he paid rent by playing the organ at services. Erudite and charming, a keen conversationalist and politically engaged, Peter Travis was a true Renaissance man. There is another interesting obituary you can read on the National Gallery of Australia's website

Foreground: Tim Edwards' Line Drawing #9, #10 and #11Foreground: Tim Edwards' Line Drawing #9, #10 and #11

This year's masters of Glass exhibition at Paddington's Sabbia Gallery features work by Tim Edwards, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Lisa Cahill, Emma Varga and Brendan Scott French. These artists were invited to exhibit work based on the concept of HOME.

And it seems that each artist has pushed their ouvre that little bit further, creating an exciting exhibition of new work.

Jenni Kemarre MartinielloJenni Kemarre Martiniello

Jenni Kemarre MartinielloJenni Kemarre Martiniello

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello is well known for her interpretations in glass of traditional Indigenous fish traps. For HOME Jenni has shown pairs of wall-mounted slabs of glass titled Layers of Place.

Emma Varga has ventured into new territory with a tour-de-force of Pate de Verre work, also displayed on the Gallery wall.


Firebush OctoberFirebush October

Lisa Cahill, who is well known for her beautiful wall-mounted fused and slumped glass sculptures has also produced a series of thick glass slabs infused with multiple layers of illustration

Road Trip, Snow in the Hume HighwayRoad Trip, Snow in the Hume Highway

Le ChatLe Chat

Bondi WindowBondi Window

And Brendan Scott French, one of my favourite glass artists, does not disappoint with his semi-abstract landscapes of fused and surface worked panels of glass mosaic.

Elevation The ApartmentsElevation The ApartmentsElevation The Apartments

View from WindowView from Window

This is a small sample of the beautiful contemporary glass art on show at HOME. You will find much better photographs than mine on the Gallery website. But the work is even more seductive in-the-flesh: the exhibition continues until February 27th so get along and see for yourself.

The coastal walk draws thousandsThe coastal walk draws thousands

Every year many thousands of Sydney-siders, both local and visiting tourists, make the pilgramage from Bondi to Tamarama and back again, taking in the collection of over 100 site-specific contemporary sculptures from Australia and around the world. Sculpture by the Sea now has its own Wikepedia entry; it really has revolutionised the way Sydney embraces art in public spaces. This event, almost single-handedly, has brought Sculpture as an art form back from the margins and into the public arena.

Richard TippingRichard Tipping

Video SurveillanceVideo Surveillance

This year, the 19th year of continuous exhibition, there was a very strong element of irony running throughout. The Curatorial Panel went so far as to include a well-known feature of the Bondi landscape as a work by Unknowable from the N.A.S., the Natural Art School, completely in its natural state. Materials: Sydney sandstone. Dimensions: constantly changing. Price: priceless. Artist Statement: "Here sits a large stone. It has been here for eons and it will remain here long after those who view it have come and gone."

Richard Tipping's Speed Trap is also priceless (although you can buy them for $3,300 or less). Reduce Need is so good you almost miss it. And I found a lovely synchronicity between Video Surveillance, beaming images of viewers to the internet, and Tipping's statement that PHOTOGRAPHY IS EASY AND ALL ART IS THE SAME.

Motion was also a common theme throughout the exhibition. Being an outdoor show, this is almost unavoidable, and there are always great kinetic sculptures which play with the wind. But this year motion and interaction seemed to me to be particularly emphasised, as you will find by viewing my short videos of various works, the way they move (or don't) and the way people interact with them:

No.103 The bottles by RCM Collective, VIC

No.46 Eye by Anne-Marie Pedersen, Denmark

No102 X by Sarah Fitzgerald, NSW

No51. Kakashi (2012) by Zilvinas Kempinas, Lithuania/USA

No56 Treasured by Martin George, VIC

No105 Wave by Annette Thas, WA

No79 Open Home by Kate Carroll, VIC

No23 Half Gate by Matthew Asimakis, Clarence Lee & Caitlin Roseby, NSW

Took time out of the studio last week to catch the 2015 Small Sculpture Prize exhibition before it closed on Sunday 25th. I try to see it every year because I enjoy the show so much and while it couldn't be called the best ever I certainly wasn't disappointed.

Purple,White,Orange & BluePurple,White,Orange & Blue

Figure of Self-ReflectionFigure of Self-Reflection

Two sculptures I particularly enjoyed were the abstract aluminium construction by Yioyios above and the very whimsical ceramic totem by Stephen Bird, a regular contributor to the show. Another work I found particularly beautiful was Lines by Titania Henderson

Lines by Titania HendersonLines by Titania Henderson

Father's PencilsFather's Pencils

Father's Pencils by Wendy Black struck a particularly strong emotional chord with me. Probably the smallest piece in the whole show iot definitely had the most profound impact. WEndy explains that while her father constructd modest dwellings, the work alludes to skyscrapers, but it was her acknowledgement of communing with him while making the piece that resonated so strongly with me


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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