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Go figure - Works from the collection
Friday 13 October 2017 to Sunday 21 October 2018
The Withey Family Gallery

Go figure presents a selection of works from the Gallery’s collection that showcase dynamic representations of the human figure.

This exhibition is inspired by a group of spectacular works in bronze by the renowned sculptor Rayner Hoff and his students Marjorie Fletcher and Barbara Tribe, on loan to the Gallery from the private collection of a member of Marjorie Fletcher’s family. These sculptures form the physical and conceptual centrepiece of a diverse display of works from the Gallery’s collection.

One of the primary focus areas of the Gallery’s collection is Australian portraits, and our holdings include a wide range of figurative works that include representations of the proud solitary figure, the classic bust of head and shoulders, the dynamic interaction of a figurative group, and contemporary interpretations of the body.

Artists featured include: Ella Dreyfus, Stephen Dupont, Marjorie Fletcher, Robert Hannaford, Rayner Hoff, Petrina Hicks, Angus McDonald, Rod McNicol, Daniel Moynihan, Monica Rohan, Jenny Sages, Barbara Tribe and Greg Weight.

The Gallery thanks the family of Marjorie Fletcher for their generous loan of works to this exhibition.

Angus McDonald
Pieta 2016
oil on canvas
200 × 225.5cm
Gift of the Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc., 2016
Tweed Regional Gallery collection

The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi - Frank Murri
Friday 24 November 2017 to Sunday 22 April 2018
The Anthony Gallery

My art practice consists of wall-hung, timber relief sculptural panels; created by incorporating mathematical formulas, theorems and sequences. This unique art form advocates pure abstraction in an attempt to synthesize a design aesthetic.

In this exhibition, I have encoded and carved multiple wall panels with over 10,000 digits of the Pi number (which represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter). Within this sequence, I have highlighted (with Primary colours), the first four single digit Prime numbers (2, 3, 5, 7) contained within them, in an exploration of the aesthetic in Number Theory.

By looking into the realm of pure mathematics, there lies within a beauty which transcends its usual form. A quote comes to mind which encapsulates this synergy between mathematics and art.

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.

Bertrand Russell, philosopher and mathematician

The pieces I’ve created are formulated to capture this beauty.

Frank Murri
Newcastle, Australia
April, 2017

Frank Murri
The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi - Panel #1 (1-322 digits) 2016
timber, acrylic and ink on board
94 × 58 cm
©Frank Murri, 2017

Abstraction: celebrating Australian women abstract artists
Friday 2 March 2018 to Sunday 20 May 2018
The Temporary Exhibitions Gallery

A National Gallery of Australia Exhibition

“Realistic painting has proved to be a blind alley. We have reached the end of that alley, and been obliged to turn around and retrace our steps. Now we have started on the new track, and already find it rich in new discoveries.” Dorrit Black, 16 March 1932

Abstraction is one of the most influential developments in art history. Evolving from avant-garde movements in Europe at the close of the nineteenth century, it has continued to flourish through to contemporary times. Women artists have been at the forefront of its development and yet, until recently, their contribution has been obscured from the art-historical narrative. This exhibition resurrects and examines the myriad of ways that Australian women artists have championed abstraction and kept it alive in the twenty-first century.

In Australia, it was progressive modernist women in the 1920s who were the chief protagonists in the opening up of avant-garde practices to artists at home, directing taste away from a growing conservatism and dominance of landscape and portraiture traditions. When the world turned decidedly modern at the outbreak of the First World War, it was largely women artists who embraced cubism and abstraction as a new path for Australian art. Importantly, they brought back the theories and practices they had learnt from masters in Paris and London to Australia.

By the 1950s, artists turned away from Europe towards America where they fell under the spell of Abstract Expressionism, and later geometric abstraction, minimalism and optical art. The importance of Indigenous women artists to the development of abstraction in Australia cannot be underestimated. Through her exuberant fields of colour painted on heroic scale, Emily Kame Kngwarreye opened up abstraction and gestural non-figuration to wider audiences. Today contemporary women artists are finding new pathways in abstraction and continuing the legacy of the early pioneering modernist women who came before them.

Dorrit Black
Provençale farmhouse 1928
oil on canvas on cardboard
36.8 × 47.6 cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 2014

Zoonoses - Nicola Hooper
Friday 2 March 2018 to Sunday 20 May 2018
The Boyd Gallery

Nicola Hooper explores concepts surrounding ‘zoonoses’ or animal diseases that cross over to humans. Her works, created mainly on paper, include prints, artist books, sculptures and wallpaper. She uses these to examine how visual narratives, myths and rhymes can help in providing understanding of the perception of animals in the context of fear of disease.

75% of all new human diseases have their genesis within animal hosts. These hosts play an important role in maintaining diseases in nature with some, frighteningly, having the potential to be pandemic. Zoonotic hosts come in many shapes and sizes, and Hooper explores both historical and contemporary zoonoses and the hosts that act as reservoirs for these diseases.

Hooper’s lithographic sculptures explore size versus ratio of health risk. She creates rhymes to illustrate within her artist books, several being mosquito repellent, created using citronella oil combined with printing ink.

The works have mainly been created using lithography, a methodology important to her work because of associated links historically to publishing and storytelling. She explores frightening and emotive issues related to zoonoses in a visually subversive, euphonic way. This enables visitors to potentially engage with what would otherwise be frightening subject manner.

Nicola Hooper
Giant Flea & Zoonotic Wallpaper 2017
hand coloured lithographs digitally printed onto paper and board and wires
135cm × 135cm, wallpaper variable

Of Rivers and Floods - Rob Olver
Friday 2 March 2018 to Sunday 20 May 2018
The Temporary Exhibitions Gallery

“The rivers of the Tweed Valley are beautiful. They have provided humans living here with water, food and recreation for many thousands of years. But there is a darker side to this beauty. In late March 2017 ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the Tweed Valley and dumped up to 750mm of rain on the catchment in little more than 24 hours. What followed was the largest flood to affect this region in recorded history.

I was deeply affected by the scale of this natural disaster. I spent time shovelling mud in South Murwillumbah and the experience was as close to a war zone as I have ever been. About five days after the flood I began taking photographs, partly as a way of understanding my own traumatic response to the event. Unusual scenes caught my eye, like debris lodging on fenceposts and trees. I was intrigued by the coping mechanisms of the people in the flood zone, which included painting cheeky slogans on signs out the front of affected dwellings.

The images in this exhibition seek to capture the damage to the natural and human environment of the Tweed, but also the resilience and humour of the people and communities affected by this natural disaster.”

Rob Olver, September 2017

Rob Olver
Flood debris I 2017
digital print on cotton rag
49 × 62 cm

Fiona Lowry - Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence Studio
Friday 16 March 2018 to Sunday 29 July 2018
The Friends Gallery

In 2017 Sydney-based artist Fiona Lowry worked in the Gallery’s Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence Studio to develop a body of work for a solo exhibition in the Friends Gallery in 2018.

Of her time in the region Lowry said, “Initially what was interesting about doing a residency in Murwillumbah was the opportunity to revisit a landscape that I spent some time growing up in.

My work often explores my own memories of place but also the history of place and this was a unique opportunity to immerse myself in my own history and to understand the history of this landscape.

I spent some time visiting the places that had held potent memories for me and started to think about the ties that bind you to a place; and how the history of a place is intrinsic to our own experience, even though it may be unspoken or unacknowledged.

I ended up spending time at the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Tweed Heads where you can stand amongst the mangroves near Minjungbal Aboriginal nature walk. From there you can look out to Ukerebagh Island, an Aboriginal heritage site where Australia’s first Aboriginal politician, Neville Bonner was born in 1922 whilst it was used as a reserve for Aboriginal people. Further around from the mangroves is a Bora ring, a sacred ceremonial site used traditionally until 1910. This potent bit of the Australian landscape is surrounded by encroaching highways and supermarkets but its historical revelations are transformative.”

Fiona Lowry, September 2017

Artwork in progress in Fiona Lowry’s Sydney studio
Fiona Lowry is represented by Jan Murphy Gallery (Brisbane) and Martin Browne Contemporary (Sydney).

Last Updated: 16 February 2018