Frank Nowlan’s latest suite of paintings takes a broad look at the subject of sport. This is significant. In 1964, injured while playing rugby league, Nowlan began privately painting images of football. He was then encouraged to continue painting by an art teacher and kept this secret from his team mates. He later set painting aside to pursue history teaching. Having retired from that vocation, Nowlan’s current approach to sport is wilfully diverse. He chooses subjects of interest and sets up painting challenges – how to capture the mass of a crowd looking over a velodrome or how to alter perspective to reveal more of the ground where the action takes place. Then the paintings start to populate: Bradman as the backyard cricketer, a boxer known as The Torpedo. Australia’s first rugby side. The crowd is also a character, a mass of repeated gestural marks circuiting whatever ring or field the play is taking place in. Some works are in response to historical prompts – an early photograph of Tolstoy playing tennis or a story of monkeys riding atop greyhounds in the 1930s. Other figures are anonymous and everyday, players in a local game or two women playing football. The overall Nowlan style is evident across the current collection but it is an added pleasure to see him exploring repetition and variation within a specific arena. This thematic play between figures and the sporting ground allows for Nowlan’s distinctive painting style to assert itself in new ways.
Christopher Zanko will have an exclusive online exhibition for one week only!
4th - 11th September 2018
Online catalogue and purchases will be available from 10am Wednesday 4th September by calling us on 02 4268 4885 or email email@example.com
Nick Santoro is in assemblage mode in these paintings, where events, people, found images and vernacular architecture are pulled into his world. It is a way of reining in the transitory and the social. He brings together an uneasy alliance of characters to filter and process an accretion of imagery and happening. There are strange illusions of depth perception, where a couple of Gucci art stars with octopus arms and tiny hands reach for martinis on a precariously positioned trolley. A red balloon hovers in an unknowable space behind them. Deeper still lies the cosmos through an arched window. There are also the gaps between people and things awkwardly cohabiting: Vogue editor Anna Wintour and an old Quake4 gaming poster; the moon emoji grinning in proximity to two moustachioed men in argyle sweaters. 3MOT1ON1 explores a more progressive fragmentation of the relationship between painting and frame. This breakdown is further achieved through work appearing on the back of clothing and with sculptures like Kerry personifying the paintings. This is Nick Santoro’s second solo exhibition at The Egg & Dart.
Henry Jock Walker will call on the materials, community and environment of surf culture to occupy the gallery during July. Taking advantage of The Egg & Dart’s street frontage, Re-Entry Ding Repairs merges the art gallery with surf shop symbolism. Each breaks down the other, the language of surfing pushing at the codes of gallery speak. A chronological grid of Walker’s wet suit paintings will mass on a gallery wall through the month. Each daily painting is the outcome of a ritual dawn shred and yogi so as Jock says, check the Ding Repairs daily sched.
Aaron Fell-Fracasso, whose paintings have reached wall-scale monumentality, operates with a mix of deliberation and chance. In the show Methods, he has loaded colour along studio-made implements, dragging across the painting to build a language of marks. An idiosyncratic shape might repeat and be referenced at a different scale elsewhere. Fell-Fracasso’s earlier collage strategies are employed here but with more performative risk as they are enacted directly onto the painting. Methods presents a battle between completion and the open possibilities of non-objective painting. There is a vitality here suggestive of painting as an endless project. Each work renders a collection of moves momentarily paused that might then turn, fold and enmesh again into the painting field. It’s this uncertainty and dynamism that keeps the work rich and open-ended.
Opening night Friday 8th June, 6-8pm.
Shelter is one of those core needs along with air, food, water and clothing. But the house seeks to fulfil other functions: security, belonging, esteem and self-actualisation. In The Castle, three artists from different generations explore divergent ideas of home. Frank Nowlan uses it as a base for vernacular observation and deadpan characterisation. Rob Howe places the house within the streetscape, painting the overlap between light, cast shadow and gestural geometries. Christopher Zanko pares back and records housing types as markers of urban change. The Castle is an opportunity to view three significantly different painters initiating a conversation around ideas of home.
Madeleine Peters (b. 1990) paints the landscape in geological time. She is intrigued by the area inland near Warrnambool on Victoria’s south-west coast. Phases of volcanic activity have formed crater lakes there called maar. Peters understands landscape as constantly changing, not static. A local would recognise the terrain, but each image is generated through an in-motion collection of visions recollected, sketched and layered. This is quite different to the approach of the plein air artist who might pitch an easel on the land like a flag to claim the view. Peters’ painting is more an experiential record, a document from walking the ground.
Human Geography is a group exhibition featuring artists Adrian Baiada, Anna May Henry and Clare Thackway.
Artworks will be available for purchase and viewing online and in the gallery Thursday 15th March.
Opening Night Friday 16th March, 6-8pm.
Currently showing works from our stockroom. Including early India Mark watercolours, Leonie Watson, Lee Bethel, Clare Thackway, Ash Frost, Frank Nowlan, Nick Santoro, Paul Ryan, Rob Howe and many more from our Xmas Show. Our current opening hours are Wed - Sat 11am til 6pm and for early February we will have reduced hours while we take a little break - Friday & Saturday's only 10am til 4pm (Feb 2nd, 3rd, 9th & 10th). We are also closed Friday Jan 26th.
This will be the fifth incarnation of the popular show that rounds out the year. Up to 30 invited artists are given a format and material constraints. Within the frame a diversity of approaches and visions emerges.
The Egg & Dart Xmas Show will open at 6pm Friday 8th December. We will not be offering pre sales or internet sales for this show. First in, first served! Purchased works will be available for collection from 20th during opening hours, 11am til 6pm, Wednesday through Saturday.
Umbra is the darkest part of a shadow, specifically the area of the earth or moon experiencing the total phase of an eclipse. In his paintings of suburban homes, the umbra Christopher Zanko employs is dragged like a sundial across the surface, an abstraction that pierces the formal character and messes with the legibility of the image. By carving and chiseling line and pattern, Zanko nods to the production qualities of the print – the play with negative and positive space and the dynamic between thick line and planar shapes. The printmaking quality suggests the multiple, much as the buildings selected are houses of a type, reproduced with variation across suburbs.
The drafted line, textured mark and dramatic shadow are synthesised into a language that suggests the architectural rendering of the mid-century modern. However Zanko is observing these buildings decades later with his work noting the layers of redesign that have occurred over time – a new ramp or driveway, the historical plantings that buffer the hard edges of these structures.
An initial drafted drawing is made on the MDF surface. Then there is the introduction of tools that carve into this surface, responding to the textured veneers of these homes. This literal carving out of the structure brings qualities of process work and time to Zanko's subjects. He has selected these buildings for their formal qualities and their persistent presence. They are sculptural entities in the landscape, vulnerable to changing circumstance and to future augmentation or demolition. To carve is to set an image down with a level of density that ensures permanence, whether the existing structure remains or is destroyed.
By reproducing these buildings as paintings, Zanko converts them from their function to an architectural representation. The form of these houses historically communicated the cultural taste and wealth of the resident. The shadows cast across their facades suggest an encroachment of unconscious forces that interrupt this social communication. In Against Architecture, writer Denis Hollier states that "architecture is society's authorized superego" (1). Zanko understands this, presenting his response to these signs in an extension of the pop tradition that both celebrates the formal vocabulary of modernism and digs into the psychology of it. By introducing the shadow across these pop images, an unconscious opposite emerges, suggesting psychological states which are hidden from view and literally behind drawn curtains.
Zanko graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Arts, Wollongong University with Distinction in Painting (BCA). He was a finalist in the Lloyd Rees Memorial Youth Art Award and winner of the Gongcrete Art Prize. He has shown in numerous group exhibitions including at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Project Contemporary Art Space, Wollongong. This is his first solo show at The Egg & Dart.
(1) Denis Hollier, Against Architecture, trans. Betsy Wing (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989), pp.22–23.
Bethel’s work draws on a love of paper, cutting and manipulating paper in a manner that utilizes shadow and reflection to create complex patterns and peripheral lightscapes. Her practise of applying watercolour to the back of the paper creates an ever changing intensity of shadow and colour through cast reflection. At times she treats the surface of the paper with encaustic covering and disguising the paper and allowing the gestural mark of the brush on the textured wax facade.
Stuffed Species - The Gentle Art of Interior Fauna
In a new sculptural installation for The Egg & Dart, Deacon plays with the concept of tourism and Australiana kitsch. Using a mix of craft and souvenirs sourced from Chinatown in Sydney, Deacon creates a fantastical scene bursting with a conglomerate of sequins, colour, and glitter-covered kangaroos. This multi-faceted installation documents Deacon's encounters in and around Sydney's attractions including Paddy's Markets, The Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Deacon reflects on the incorporation of native flora and fauna into promotional paraphernalia and festival imagery through the 70s, 80s and beyond, playfully encouraging viewers to step outside their daily reality into a space of play.
Deacon has a personal obsession with animal-imagery, yet made horrifyingly unfamiliar, by transforming its natural inhabitants into a spectacularly camp pastiche of faux fur and perennial pride. She likes to coax the audience to examine in greater detail the exotic entrails of celebrated souvenirs, while simultaneously exploring what it could mean to be an icon of the Australian wild.
Through sculptural installation, Deacon’s often grotesque re-creations intend to illustrate the various spectrums and extremities of creativity and obsession, and to highlight and exaggerate the natural symbioses that exist between humans and animals.
Opening Friday 15th September, 6-8pm
Clare Thackway's paintings use the suppleness of oil paint to rework the female figure as a form of communication. 'TIES' explores the diverse performances of womanhood: the presentation of youthful physical beauty, the grace and challenge of serving as mother or carer, the responsibilities of the working woman,. The stretched poses of the figure suggest repeated movement, a muscle memory. Twisting fabric and the positioning of bodies echo a folding of these roles into one another over time. Human movement becomes a psychological semaphor and a non‑verbal translation of the push-pull flexibility required of women.
Each thin mark bounces light off the surface of the body, exposing luminous translucent skin. This prudent use of paint, knowing where it should fall in wedges of colour to give pulsing life to flesh, is contrasted against the modernity of the black and white stripe. Paint is scumbled and scratched back, dragging light across the surface of the skin, marking time.
In one painting the figure holds the fabric as a Spanish toreador assuming the stance of hide and reveal. In another, the female form is almost completely concealed, disappearing into an architectural surface suggesting a rippling column wrought from the black & white marble Duomo of Siena, Italy. The near to life scale of the works further conjures these architectural dimensions. Thackway's presentation of woman with hands to heart, head and eyes gently raised, is evocative of mother or Madonna, vulnerable yet resilient and passionate. In a related sequence Thackway focuses in on the expression of the hands variously clasped but in these intimate works the figure is disembodied not through fabric but the cut of shaped aluminium.
The fragmentation of the figure also links to the feminist Dada collage of Hannah Höch. The manipulation of the body in Thackway's work gently reveals the capacity for women to take on varied gender roles. The body is disguised and unveiled via the contrasting artifice of fabric and the aluminium cutouts. There is the dual motion of letting go and embracing the new. What falls away and what is maintained? These are not portraits but performative metaphors, intergenerational relationships as physical expression. The spaces described are dense and illusory, with the figure stretching and bending in the confines of the composition, bound and contained by the cropped edges.
Frank Nowlan's paintings reveal jarring elements in a contested public realm and a political engagement with his subjects. For some time his works have documented change and destruction as local cottages are replaced by grander examples of coastal architecture. Working in series, Nowlan locates patterns within these residential expressions. The fibro cottage is extended on, an access ramp attached. Brick veneer might cover the original surface or a pebbled pathway is added. This pattern language is extended upon in the current show, where the houses and their front yard displays act as portraits of the unseen residents.
Nowlan makes visual notes, either taking snapshots of potential subjects or drawing sketch diagrams. However ideas quickly become paintings, letting his work communicate directly. In the houses he pictures, we could laugh at the baroque nature of some of the design decisions or feel discomfort at the chaotic front lawn arrangements. But the more powerful suggestion is that these personal expressions are radical design acts pushing against the clean boxy forms of newer residential developments just up the road.
Nowlan is a past winner of the Fishers Ghost Contemporary Art Award. His work is held in significant private collections as well as the Wollongong University Collection and the Wollongong City Gallery. His work will be shown in Australasian Painters 2007 –2017, an Artist Profile magazine survey show at Orange Regional Gallery. This will place his work within a comprehensive overview of contemporary painting in Australasia.
Gabrielle Adamik's work is a study of material interactions. The current exhibition presents vessels that test gravity and suspension. The shapes slump like a body that would enjoy being pulled and stretched back to upright. Kiln-fired glasswork forms ropey and delicate structures, with Adamik's material research suggesting different paths that could be taken to an outcome.
Gabrielle Adamik embraces the Bauhaus approaches of practice before theory and learning by doing. There is a dissolving of the hierarchies between making, crafting, drawing and physical movement. Explorative drawings reaffirm her work in glass, wire and rope. Ink is dragged across paper and wall plinths with the finger as an echo of the sculptural line described in glass. This is then seen at a larger scale as wire wrapped tightly in rope, a line in space that can be reconfigured, lifted at one end, bouncing and retracting like an uncoiled spring.
In Adamik's studio is a sequence of unfocused photographic stills of a figure in physical movement. The images form a connection between her earlier work as a dancer and her art practice: the process of glass pulling to create long slender rods involves cooperative movement between two people; the ink drawings made directly with the finger are hand gestures unmediated by a brush. Her smaller drawings and relief sculptures could also be seen as choreographed annotation or movement studies.
Gabrielle Adamik studied Object Design in Glass at Sydney College of Arts, and has recently been a finalist in the touring Ranamok Glass Prize and the Meroogal Women's Art Prize. She was an Artist in Residence with Gapuwiyak Community, North East Arnhem Land where she explored basket-making using pandanus. This is her second exhibition at The Egg & Dart.
Threads and Traces opens Friday 26th May, 6-8pm.
India Mark's paintings use a light-filled palette that allows her portraits and still life subjects to flicker with associations. In the portraits, features are shared across paintings – a particular element of the face may gain more prominence in the next incarnation. The accompanying still life paintings work as a contemplative context for the character studies. Oil colour is built up through underpainting, bringing luminescence to skin tones and a pearly sheen to porcelain, gold and ceramic. Light sources are indirect, softening outlines across arranged objects.
Mark's work fuses together aesthetics from past and present to reveal a delicate engagement with her subjects. The figure paintings represent archetypes rather than individuals, an approach that frees the artist to explore psychological and physical qualities without needing to respond to the desires of the sitter or to project a certain status on the subject. The works are liberated from the pressures of direct portraiture through her understanding of Dutch tronie or "character head" painting. Guided by this 17th Century genre, Mark's characters are constructs formed from life drawing subjects and sourced imagery. The fleshy density of her figures is rich and warm against strident backgrounds of pinks and blues. There is an androgynous strength in the gaze from these faces.
Mark has used paint to scrape away at the surface imagery, placing objects and characters within non-narrative and timeless interiors. The ambiguity of the domestic settings invites a focus on psychological states –vulnerability, confrontation or ambivalence. Presence and gaze override the necessity for narrative and leave us free to look for subtle differences in expression. The cups and saucers become an extension of the body: weathered, humbled by use and rinsed out (like her palette). The vibrating edge given to objects acknowledges Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, but the co-presentation of her figure and still life paintings reveals that these are not just compositional studies. India Mark's cups and saucers are intimately understood objects that support daily rituals. The Domestica works link the nuanced action of applying paint to canvas with the repetitive motions of preparing cups of tea or coffee. The daily practice of painting is echoed in the daily preparation of the food and drink that sustains us.
We are proud to introduce a group exhibition with Matthew Bromhead (Sydney), Mignon Steele and Egg & Dart's very own Aaron Fell-Fracasso.
Matthew Bromhead's kinetic sculptures are a dimensional collage that bring together selective materials in a synthesis of gravity and texture. Through balance and compromise, the absurdist actions of his sculptures align with the wry title of this group show. They are responsive to touch, breeze and gesture. With their kinetic actions they suggest art as verb: bounce, sway, wobble or swing. The works might also be seen as drawings in space: copper and filament wire forming gestures and describing the outlines of negative shapes. Matthew Bromhead has had solo exhibitions at the Ray Hughes Gallery and Rex Livingston in Sydney, and most recently at the Bathurst Regional Gallery. He has been a recipient of an Australia Council ArtStart grant. His work has been enriched by residencies at Hill End, the Bundanon Trust and Fowlers Gap in Western New South Wales.
Aaron Fell-Fracasso’s paintings use vibrant colour and layered patterning to play with atmospheric distance and the monumental. Recent work sees a shift from landscape view to a topographic and mapped response to landform. The overlap and connection between shapes creates energised fields of patterned space. The action extends onto the frame, enclosing an immersive and vibrational colour world. Fell-Fracasso is part of The Egg & Dart stable and has shown at The Drawing Room and Stella Downer Gallery in Sydney. More recently he was part of The Egg & Dart on Excursion exhibition at Casula Powerhouse. His work is held in private collections and with the University of Wollongong.
Mignon Steele's titles offer sneaky insights into her work but it is the language of painting that is operating here. Each piece sets its own poetic parameters and requires its own gestures to resolve. Her descriptions reach for associations in the biological world. In her own words these might be named "cellular patterns". The works take time and are a process of growth, the accretion of layers and the shedding of unsatisfactory elements. The joy here is in how she engages with these natural processes, scraping back and reapplying paint on an evolving colour space, using time to generate a biology of paint and surface. Mignon Steele has had recent exhibitions in Sydney and Darwin and previous solo exhibition at The Egg & Dart. A residency at The Lock Up in Newcastle in 2016 culminated in an exhibition of work. Her ongoing collaborative practice with Morgen Figgis as the duo Barnacle Studio sees her expand into mural painting, architectural colour and set design.
Serving Suggestion presents Nick Santoro's latest collection of work and his first solo exhibition at The Egg & Dart. Acknowledging the flatness of painting on board, Santoro's images are literally served up, with a ground plane that tilts towards us, offering new urban views. These scenes are balanced by frozen moments of social connection where objects such as a beer can or a mic stand mediate the interaction between people.
Santoro's punk aesthetic, crossing the streams between music culture and art making, merges his experiences as an artist and musician. His paintings are pulled from everyday encounters between people or snapshot views of boxy buildings framed by car-parks. By doing away with sentimental qualities of light, the artist can directly employ playful colour and edgy composition to press pause on the dynamic between people and places. Figures are half-cropped into the frame or slip off the edge of the surface, with eye contact and gesture determining the interaction. This is echoed in the painted decorative framing which further crops a scene out of the continuum of events. The sculptural frames bring form and depth against the flatness of the picture plane. The pattern application references hi-viz warning tape used to cordon off an area. But Santoro uses this framing technique to draw a line around moments that are fleeting, to bring our attention to the space between people.
Sofi Lardner Häggström, is a Swedish artist based in Stockholm. Her work investigates time, history and the unknown. Häggström’s work is inspired by old photographs, stories and places of specific historic events, delving into the supernatural and paranormal.
This exploration of the supernatural as a platform for women’s freedom and autonomy is the cornerstone of Häggström’s most current work. The works in this series float between the abstract and the figurative. The image Invention III (seen below) depicts odd spiritual and hypnotic machines, using traces and remnants of the past to create new images and stories.
Come and join us and the artist on the opening night, 6th January, 6-8pm.
Leonie Watson’s desire to categorise and contain is as strong as her belief in the virtues of productive disorder. These contrary tendencies are brought into a tentative balance in her work, pictured as relationships between different materiality’s and incongruous visual elements.
The works in BALANCE employ watercolour, pencil and thread. Watercolour is poured onto paper; it pools and dries in unpredictable ways. The results are amorphous forms suggestive of stains, organic growths or landscapes. To these forms, Watson brings an analytic eye, employing coloured pencil lines and clusters of stitches to hold and measure, but not quite contain them. Stains permeate the paper, lines track the surface and thread pierces through. Watson likens this process to the way we are driven to measure and categorise our thoughts and feelings, as we attempt to understand, contain and control them.
Opening night is Friday 28th October, 6-8pm.
We are very excited to announce that The Egg & Dart has been invited to exhibit at Casula Power House, Sydney this October-December.
We have invited our own stable of artists as well as three Scandinavian artists:
Gabrielle Adamik, Lee Bethel, Aaron Fell-Fracasso, India Mark, Frank Nowlan, Nick Santoro, Leonie Watson, Christopher Zanko, Marie J. Engelsvold (DK), Sofi Lardner Häggström (SWE), and Rebecka Bebben Andersson (SWE)
Have a look at Casula Power House here: http://www.casulapowerhouse.com/
People of all times and cultures have used aspects of their appearance to feel powerful or create an impression of power. These can be wearable items such as clothes and accessories, or modifications of the body such as tattoos, muscles or make-up. While these are subjective expressions, they are by nature inviting judgment from an audience. Therefore, they are also acts of self-objectification. The sense of power can be experienced in a completely private space, however it can only exist in relation to a wider social and cultural context. The exhibition Second skin examines what attributes of these symbols create a sense of powerfulness on a personal level, and their relationship to a wider societal context.
This is the second residency The Egg & Dart is undertaking. This time with illustrator/artist Elin Matilda Andersson. She will reside in the gallery for two weeks and create her work under that time on the walls of the gallery, while also investigating the audience responses with interviews which later will be available online as a podcast.
In the mean time check out other podcasts here:
Playpen, Cawthorn’s ninth solo exhibition and first with Egg & Dart, continues her exploration of the way that our past pervades our everyday. Employing drawing as her primary expressive form, Cawthorn’s works on paper are concerned with allowing memory to free-associate through the meditative process of hatching. As a drawn forms evolves and takes shape on the page, associations begin to develop. These associations draw on the vast store of images and experiences that are unique to each of us and which we accumulate over a lifetime. The resultant artworks represent fragments of memory juxtaposed with representational and non-representational forms that are suggestive rather than prescribed.
Like her drawings, Cawthorn’s sculptures obliquely reference past experiences, however their materiality demands a more sensorial response. Using fabrics and ply wood, and often taking their cue from playthings and spaces, they beg to be touched, felt, explored. This is a deliberate ploy by Cawthorn as the tactile, experiential nature of the works are intended to evoke the viewer’s own memories and experiences.