Exhibition dates: 10 February to 26 March
Touring from the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, this exhibition celebrates the iconography, stories and culture of contemporary art from the Tiwi Islands. Moree Plains Gallery is one of only six regional galleries hosting the tour of this important exhibition from Australia’s leading contemporary art institution.
The Moree Portraits
8 July - 27 August
Moree Plains Gallery holds an impressive collection of photographic portraits of Moree locals. This exhibition features works by John Williams, Greg Weight and Michael Riley. Each artist has used their photographic practice to bring different aspects of life in Moree to light.
The Keeper, memories of a rural life
6 May to 2 July
Discovery of items and mementos kept in boxes for many years by her father triggered Peta Warner’s exploration of the history and sentiment embedded in objects and materials from the past. This exhibition of 10 graphite and 3 mixed media works draw attention to the everyday labour and habits of rural life that often go unnoticed.Warner’s technique in these series of artworks explores surfaces and what lies within.
Imaging Australia in Black and White: Newspaper illustrations 1880 - 1940
From the private collection of the Moffit family comes an exhibition of cartoons and drawings collected by the 'bohemian judge' Herbert Moffitt. This exhibition provides a unique perspective of Australian life through the eyes of satirical newspaper cartoonists. Artists include George Lambert, Norman Lindsay, Henry Lawson, Kenneth Slessor, Banjo Paterson and Mary Gilmore.
Moree Plains Gallery is offering visitors a rare chance to see this collection in its entirety before it enters the archives of the National Library of Australia.
11 January to 29 February 2016
The uniqueness of the Australian terrain has inspired artists for centuries. At times Australians’ relationship to the land can be quite volatile, with floods, droughts, bushfires and extreme storms a regular occurrence. Despite these hardships, a love of the land perseveres with artists producing works of art that that represent the diversity and power of the country’s landscapes. Australian landscape art is a genre that reflects the unique experience of living in this great southern land.
Great Southern Land aims to broaden audiences’ understandings of what constitutes landscape painting. This exhibition will present a diverse range of works that depict the Australian landscape from pastoral scenes of the Moree area to mixed-media objects that highlight current environmental issues to personal depictions of an artist’s traditional country. In each of these works the unique experience of living and engaging with the Australian landscape is made apparent.
We Don't Need a Map
12 June - 22 August
Following on from its critically acclaimed run at Fremantle Arts Centre in 2013, landmark exhibition We don’t need a map: a Martu experience of the Western Desert will now bring the spirit of the Western Desert to arts centres right throughout regional Australia.
Moree Plains Gallery is pleased to host the national tour of this ambitious exhibition. Far from being a purely visual display of art,We don’t need a map presents an array of exhibits that capture the full sensory experience of Martu life in the Western Desert. The exhibition is a highlight of our exhibition program for 2015. Moree Plains Gallery will work closely the Yaama Ganu Centre to stage an opening weekend of events celebrating the artists featured in We Don’t Need a Map. The artists are travelling from Western Australia to Moree for the occasion and will run a weekend weaving workshop at Moree Plains Gallery.
Drawing on Drysdale
20 April to 30 May
It was drawing that first brought attention to Russell Drysdale in the early 1930's while recovering in hospital, and towards the end of his life when he was restricted due to ill health; it was drawing that once again occupied him. Through drawing Drysdale engaged with representation, touch and vision.
He sought to create images that went beyond the depiction of appearances, wrestling with the significance of marks and mark making. He did not labour over details that were not essential; rather he focussed on the essential features leaving the remaining image to the viewer's imagination.
Defective eyesight excluded Drysdale from war service, but through a need to be involved he produced what has become a significant body of work that details army life in Australia. Some of these works held in the Albury Art Gallery collection include Albury Platform 1943 and Convoy on Road near Albury 1942.
Drawing on Drysdale brings together 40 drawings, sketches, objects and writings into an exhibition that acknowledges one of the great Australian Artists of the 20th Century.
An AlburyCity touring exhibition.
Black Art White Walls
20 April - 30 May
This exhibition draws on the extensive personal collection of indigenous art accumulated by Adrian and Anne Newstead while working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander artists over the past 30 years. Adrian Newstead is a dealer, writer, consultant and activist who owns the oldest Aboriginal art gallery in Australia, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Bondi.
Adrian and Anne Newstead began their intimate involvement with the creation and subsequent bloom/boom of the Aboriginal art market in 1980. Their art collection is a personal one, built through personal relationships, serendipity, and a keen sense of historical and cultural importance. As such this art collection stands distinctly apart from those of casual collectors. It is a platform by which a different narrative can be told: that of art as an expression of relationships, culture, spirituality, the land and kinship.
Image: Rover Thomas, Claypans, Canning Stock Route 1985, natural earth pigments on builder's plywood, 92 x 183 cm
1965: The Freedom Ride in Pictures
16 February - 27 February
In 1965 a group of students from the University of Sydney began a 14 day bus tour to research and publicise the plight of Indigenous Australians in regional New South Wales. Labelled a Freedom Ride, the journey reflected a global phenomenon of non-violent protests inspired by the American Civil Rights Movement. A significant moment for the Australian Freedom Ride occurred in Moree, when the Sydney students protested the segregation of the municipal pool and artesian baths.
This exhibition features a collection of photographs captured by the Tribune Newspaper during the Freedom Ride protests in north west NSW. The collection was kindly donated to Moree Plains Shire by the Search Foundation.
5 January - 25 February
Moree Plains Gallery has become known for its strong collection of contemporary Australian art. The Gallery boasts one of the most extensive collections of Aboriginal art in regional New South Wales and is building a significant holding of works by non-Indigenous Australian artists. This exhibition showcases a selection of the artworks acquired by the Gallery over the past three years. From landscape to abstraction, sculpture to drawing, the broad range of artists and styles offers a snapshot of the Collection’s diversity.
The Moree Plains Gallery Collection is a community resource, built to benefit the people of Moree Plains Shire and visitors to the region.
Image: Ann Thomson (b.1933) Untitled (1975) oil on canvas, 163 x 210. Presented to Moree Plains Gallery in 2014 by Katrina Rumley AM
The Ford Collection
5 January - 7 February
In 2014 Simon & Julie Ford donated a collection of 25 works of art to Moree Plains Gallery. The collection consists predominantly of paintings by significant Indigenous artists, including Rover Thomas, Paddy Jaminji, Jonathan Kumintjarra Brown, Ruby Kngwarreye, Queenie McKenzie and Hector Jandany. The gift also includes an etching by Fred Williams and a lithograph by Brett Whitley.
Exploring the Collection: Contemporary Aboriginal Prints
15 November 2014 - 17 January 2015
Australian printmaking has experienced a resurgence in the last 20 years, with leading Indigenous artists adapting traditional stories to the medium. The printing techniques used by artists in this exhibition highlight the modern quality of Indigenous art and iconography that has been practised across Australia for millennia. Artists represented in the exhibition include Rover Thomas, Judy Watson, Kitty Kantilla, Arone Meeks and Queenie McKenzie.
Image: Ginger Wikilyiri Kumamata 2009, silkscreen ed. 21/40 from the Red Sands and Rockholes portfolio. Presented in 2010 by Dr Ann Lewis AO
Black Harvest: Works by Andy Devine and Peter Tilley
1 November – 23 December 2014
Tilley said, “The collaborative 3D collages and sculptural pieces, assembled from paintings, printing plates and objects either found or made, embrace the idea that the works remain open to a multiplicity of meanings and interpretations. Duality of meaning is an aspect that we have consistently pursued and consciously incorporated in our work. There is an apparent simplicity to the objects and images yet they are richly symbolic and capable of multiple or contradictory interpretations. This is an area of primary importance to us both. The symbolism can be read as a metaphor for humankind’s disregard for the natural world. There is also an undercurrent of the lived experience both of us have weathered before settling in Newcastle.”
John R Walker: Recollections
1 October – 30 October 2014
John R Walker is a major expressionist figurative painter who relies on his experiences and memories of landscape for inspiration. This exhibition was shown in early 2014 at Utopia, the artist’s Sydney gallery. Utopia and Walker have generously allowed the Moree Plains Gallery to exhibit a selection of key works from the Sydney show. Walker lives at Braidwood, south of Goulburn in New South Wales. Walker, talking about one of the pictures in the exhibition said, “Doughboy Hill is a high ridge on the western edge of the upper Shoalhaven Valley about 25 kilometres from Braidwood. It is big sky country – a place where the land feels like its melting into the sky; sky touching the high cold, intense bony structure of a place. From the higher points you can see the country that I have been painting in and living in for years now.”
John R Walker’s Moree catalogue on line:
This is a large group show of Aboriginal art with the intent to illuminate the essence of creating art in unlikely environments. KickArts in Cairns, which devised the show, called upon illiterate people, people with an experience of mental illness, hermits and those marginalised through disabilities. It welcomed artists in Cape York Peninsula’s remote indigenous communities, on Bathurst Island and in Central Australia, and others who worked in hospitals, in home and community centres. Moreover, it welcomed those not even aware they are making art.
To realise the exhibition KickArts collaborated with partners Arts Project Australia (Melbourne) and Weave Arts Centre (Sydney). Curator Camille Masson-Talansier combined her knowledge of European art brut traditions with Australian research. Among her generous informants were the key Australian scholars, curators and collectors: Glenn Barkley, Peter Fay, Jonah Jones and Professor Colin Rhodes. This exhibition unveils the free-spirited and often rebellious inner worlds of 62 artists.
Renowned Queensland artist Joe Furlonger recently made a series of paintings in the marshlands near Moree. He worked with the eminent Chines artist Li Jin and together they produced many paintings and drawings for their exhibition at the Hughes Gallery in Sydney. Furlonger is well-known to Moree. He was artist-in-residence in 1995 at the Terlings property, some 50 kilometres north of Moree. The painting Town and country, acquired for the Gallery’s collection, was the result of the residency. In 1992 playwright Lois Nowra said, “With each artwork Furlonger reveals his process ... the artist articulates a necessary balancing act between allowing his unconscious free rein, and shaping his experience with an astute and well-earned artistic judgment.” Furlonger continues to follow his long-term interest in painting figures in the the landscapes of Australia, China and Vietnam.
This exhibition from the Maitland Art Gallery includes a series of lithographic prints created by the enigmatic English born artist Charles Conder. In 2003 a survey exhibition was held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales curated by Barry Pierce and Ann Galbally to coincide with her book, Charles Conder the Last Bohemian.
The lithographs are some of Conder’s finest work. He drew his subjects from Balzac and the bohemian tales of Henri Merger. The Balzac set of six lithographs shows Conder at his best and remains a high point of graphic art of his period. This exhibition of lithographs spans the period of 1899 until 1906. Included in the collection are a range of works from the Balzac set, invitation cards, and allegorical bohemian scenes.
The exhibition comprises of 28 framed lithographs and 14 books. The exhibition is accompanied by a 105 page full colour catalogue with a preface by Barry Humphries and introduction by Richard King.
Adam Rish’s interest is in cross cultural collaboration as ‘world art’ and thus he has worked with indigenous artists in Australia, Indonesia, Tonga, Turkey and the USA making ceramics, paintings, prints, sculpture and textiles since 1975. Basing his art on local rather than international influences, he employs traditional techniques and adapts them with modern technological and domestic images. So, for example, cars, planes and televisions may take the place of traditional abstractions of flowers, birds and clouds. The exhibition will show chronologically Rish’s early batik works such as Tropical Fever from 1975; prints made in the early 1980s; the artist’s take on baroque picture frames from the mid-1980s; kilims from Turkey and ikat from Sumba in the early 1990s; collaborations with aboriginal painters, such as Hector Jandany and Lily Karadada, from the mid 1990’s; tapa cloths made with Palema Tualau in Tonga from 1999 to 2001. The show introduces a monograph on Rish’s work, with a foreword by John McDonald. The works will be accompanied by photographic and video documentation and presentations by the artist.
The Runamok Glass Prize was established in 1994 by Andy Plummer and Maureen Cahill as a way to promote to the public glass as an art form.
The annual Prize encourages artists to submit works that are “innovative and displaying excellence and imagination”. The Prize attracts works by important emerging and established glass artists from across Australia.
Only a few venues are participating in the tour and our Gallery is pleased to be included. This will be the first time in ten years that the Gallery has presented an exhibition of contemporary Australian glass.
The Gallery, as an intrinsic part of its program, exhibits the work of major artists from north-west New South Wales. Narrabri artist, Nancy Hunt, has long produced paintings, drawings and sculpture based on her experience of growing up and living in the country. Her paintings on canvas and collages are lyrical and subdued and hint of the landscape.
Hunt has exhibited in the famous Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi Beach and has participated in many art prize exhibitions across Australia. She is well known as an outstanding art teacher and ran TAFE courses in Moree and Narrabri for many years.
James Kearns has been the artist-in-residence at the Moree Plains Gallery since June 2013. In his latest group of works for this exhibition the artist has aimed “to capture the vibrant environment of the Moree Plains landscape through conscious and subconscious marks and brushstrokes.”
The artist said: "My art is a continuous exploration of internal and external influences, using most mediums including paint, charcoal, dirt, collage on all surfaces, predominantly canvas. My work varies between delicate and aggressive strokes, depending on my state of mind at the time”
Kearns is represented by Maunsell Wickes (Barry Stern Galleries) Sydney, NSW.
Ned McDowell is an emerging artist from north-west New South Wales and paints in an exuberant and expressionist manner.
He has been attending the Gallery’s workshop art classes run by TAFE and Gallery staff have watched his art develop to a highly professional level. He is currently a student of the renowned Walcha artist, Ross Laurie.
The exhibition will be supported by Accessible Arts and will coincide with Mental Health Week.
The National Gallery of Australia has mounted from its collection and is touring this exhibition of major Australian jewellery. Many of the leading gold and silversmiths are represented, as well as craftspeople who use contemporary materials such as resin and plastics.
The exhibition has been supported by Visions of Australia.
Melbourne-based Eamon O’Toole is a highly professional artist who has devoted his energies to making multi-media sculptures. His passion for cars and motorbikes as well as motor-racing paraphernalia has appeared in his works for several decades
The materials O’Toole uses for his iconic machines of speed, their engines or parts, include plastic, paint, aluminium and gold leaf. He scrounges rolls of PVC from manufacturers and then stretches and shapes his objects. The artist then gilds the works with silver leaf to evoke the steely strength of metal.
Newcastle painter, Mazie Turner, is a specialist in the theory and practice of colour in oil painting. Scientists have long made systematic studies of optics, and their writings have often informed the language of abstraction over the past century. Turner is well informed about the science of optics and the emotional impact that colour creates.
Turner’s veils of paint suggest hidden depths and her surfaces glow, as if lit from behind. For this artist, colour is form. She echoes the words of French artist Paul Cézanne, who said, “colour is the place where our brain and the universe meet”.
This exhibition reveals the vision of Queensland architect, John Mainwaring, to integrate contemporary Aboriginal art with architecture.
Mainwaring, since 1980, has assembled an important collection of Aboriginal art with works by prominent artists including Gloria Petyarre, Sally Gabori and Elizabeth Nyumi Nungurrayi. Such artists have inspired Mainwaring in his work, especially their abilities in patterning, abstraction, layering, structure, and surface texture.
An Architect’s Eye comprises photographs of Mainwaring’s major buildings alongside key works in his art collection.
George Baldessin was one of the most important Australian printmakers and sculptors of the twentieth century. His work had a surrealistic quality and hovered between figuration and abstraction. The artist’s famous sculpture of pears stands outside Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia. There are some 400 Baldessin prints in the National Gallery’s collection.
Baldessin often drew on his Italian heritage for imagery and there are hints of Federico Fellini’s style of eccentric and baroque film-making.
Baldessin represented Australia at the prestigious São Paulo Biennial in 1975. The artist’s widow, Tess Edwards Baldessin, has curated this insightful exhibition of prints and drawings and Maitland Regional Art Gallery has generously included Moree Plains Gallery in the tour.
Leah MacKinnon is well-known in Moree as Implementation Officer of Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority. Not many people in Moree know that she has long been an important artist and was a lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts.
Leah has agreed to show some of her major works produced over the past 10 years in her forthcoming exhibition at the Moree Plains Gallery. Her lyrical and profound works will be presented in series as wall and installation pieces.
In 2006 a group of Hunter Valley abstract artists participated in the exhibition Pandora’s Box at the Newcastle Art Space. The exhibition was well received and thereafter the group continued to gain critical acclaim. The Pandora group agreed to show their recent work at the Moree Plains Gallery.
Artists include Sally Bourke, painter; Helen Dunkerly, who works with large-scale ceramic pieces; Annemarie Murland, who will show works on paper; Linda Swinfield, who produces carved and collaged printed imagery; Lezlie Tilley, who will show delicate works of shell grit and small stones in grids on paper; and Patricia Wilson-Adams, who will exhibit a free-standing sculptural piece of cast aluminium and powder coated forms.
Because of the Moree community’s avid interest in portraiture, we have managed to secure the prestigious National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.
The standard of this annual photographic competition is always exceptional. The prize money for the winning artist is $25,000. As with the Archibald Prize exhibition, our Gallery privileged to be offered the exhibition.
The National Photographic Portrait Prize is an annual event intending to promote the very best in contemporary photographic portraiture by both professional and aspiring Australian photographers. 2012 will be the 5th year that the National Portrait Gallery has held this competition.
The Larapinta Trail and the high ridgelines of the West MacDonnell Ranges is one of the most picturesque and distinctive landscapes in Australia. The region was painted by Albert Namatjira and recently a group of well-known contemporary artists visited the region on a painting trip. This exhibition is the result of the excursion.
Artists include Tim Allen, Michael Ambriano, Angeliki Androutsopoulos, Alison Chiam, Carmel Cosgrove, Michelle Hungerford, Steve Lopes, Euan Macleod, Alison Mackay, Richard Morecroft, Michael Nock, Charmaine Pike, Leo Robba and Judith White.
Some of the paintings depict views from the high ridgeline to narrow canyons where sheltered pockets of delicate ferns and twisted gum trees grow from the dry rivers of sand.
This is a vibrant selection of photographic, light and digital media works from the collection of Rachel Verghis, one of Australia's youngest art collectors. The exhibition brings together 14 emerging and mid-career contemporary Australian artists whose use of light is integral to their work. The show is curated and toured by Richard Perram, Director of the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. The exhibition in Moree is generously sponsored by Museums and Galleries NSW.
Artists represented included in the show are: Hayden Fowler, Shaun Gladwell, Newell Harry, Jonathan Jones, David Knight, Rosemary Laing, Vanila Netto, Michael Riley, Julie Rrap and Hossein Valamanesh.
Neil Evans has worked as a conceptual artist, performance artist and painter for some 40 years. In 1969 he assisted with Christo’s massive Wrapped Coast project at Little Bay near Sydney. In 1971 he performed a piece for the famous John Kaldor Art Project 2. From the 1990s Evans exhibited regularly at Sydney’s Legge Gallery and now shows with Watters Gallery.
Evans is best known for his paintings on a small scale and has exhibited small portraits in the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the SH Ervin Gallery’s Salon des Refusés
shown at the time of the annual Archibald Prize. The exhibition Evans has prepared for our Gallery is based on the Australian landscape.
Since its inception in 1960 and its first exhibition in 1961, the Sydney Printmakers group has played an important role in the revival and promotion of original prints as being a vital part of Australian artistic expression and culture.
Members of Sydney Printmakers demonstrate dedication and talent in through regular exhibition in Australia and abroad. Reciprocal exhibitions with artist printmakers from other countries allow for an exchange of techniques and viewpoints.
The printmakers’ exhibition at Moree presents new works in many new and old printmaking mediums.
Kate Ford is a highly-respected artist who long fostered the Euraba Papermakers and Artists at the famous Euraba arts centre at Boggabilla. Until recently she has been a senior tutor in art at the Boggabilla campus of TAFE. Kate has worked in many mediums, from painting and sculpture to printmaking and paper intaglio. Her works are minimal with subtle, finely-manipulated surfaces. She exhibited widely across New South Wales, especially in art prizes.
Now in its 90th year, the Archibald Prize is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards. It was established in 1921 under the bequest of Jules Archibald who was founding editor of The Bulletin. His primary aims were to foster portraiture, support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians .
The Archibald Prize showing in Moree confirms the calibre of this Gallery. There are over 100 public regional galleries across Australia and yet the Moree Plains Gallery managed to be included as one of just seven galleries to be included in the 2011 tour.
The Archibald Prize this year is better than ever. And, it is especially relevant to Moree. Ben Quilty, painter of the winning portrait, is connected with Moree's famous Quilty family. As well, there is an outstanding portrait of Dr Ann Lewis that was painted shortly before she died. Ann grew up in Moree and gave our Gallery its magnificent collection of contemporary Aboriginal art.
This exhibition is generously toured to selected regional by the Museums & Galleries NSW. The Art Gallery of NSW Archibald Prize is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards. Since its inception in 1921 the Prize has been awarded to some of Australia's most important artists. The Archibald Prize continues to attract record audiences.
Richard Dunn first saw Namatjira’s gap and gorge paintings in 2002 in a large exhibition called Seeing the Centre: The Art of Albert Namatjira 1902-59 at the National Gallery of Australia. Dunn was greatly impressed by the paintings and started his own versions soon after as a tribute to the artist.
Dunn’s pictures are not landscapes as such, but are “thought” paintings and address the complexity of Namatjira’s art that conveyed Aboriginal meaning through European means: that is, watercolours in the western style of many early 20th century artists.
Richard Dunn has long been a leading Australian artist whose works are represented in many Australian public art collections. In recent years he has been Professor of Contemporary Visual Art and University Artist-in-Residence at The University of Sydney and Guest-Professor at Düsseldorf’s Kunstakademie.
Although most of the pictures in this exhibition are seemingly abstract, they are clearly influenced by the shimmering plains of the artist's country at Mendooran north of Dubbo. McBride has a deep understanding of changes in weather, shifting moods and light moving across the landscape, which he interprets in his paintings.
McBride was born in Sydney in 1949. He completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) at the University of New South Wales in 1973 and gained a Diploma of Education at the University of New England in 1975. He started painting and drawing at the age of 33 and has since frequently staged solo exhibitions of his work in Sydney and regional centres.
This exhibition was compiled by the Tamworth Regional Gallery .
Gooch’s Utopia is a collaborative project between Flinders University Art Museum in Adelaide and the Riddoch Art Gallery in Mt Gambier. The exhibition surveys art produced at the outstations of Utopia in the latter decades of the 20th Century, especially the period from the late 1980s until the early 1990s. The exhibition highlights the unique mark-making and iconography used by painters in the community during a time, which can now be recognised as formative years for some of Australia’s leading indigenous artists.
William Yang is one of Australia’s foremost photographers who is well known for his portrait work and recording of imagery of places and events he has encountered through his career. During the 1970s and 1980s he achieved fame for his imagery of Sydney’s gay community. His enigmatic works on the theme of sadness are interwoven with links to his Chinese heritage. Yang has recently been producing a film documentation on Kamilaroi people in Moree. Yang has exhibited widely in Australia and abroad. His retrospective exhibition in 1998 showed the extent of his importance as a recorder of social history.
Leo Robba’s landscapes of the Australian countryside have an enigmatic quality that verges on the surreal. Leo Robba is based in Springwood, in the Blue Mountains and recently was awarded a Masters of Fine Art (The University of Newcastle) on the subject of regionalism in Australian landscape painting. The Newcastle Maitland and Dungog areas have been the driving force behind his work.
Margaret Adams is one of the finest Kamilaroi artists in Moree. She paints the traditional stories to keep, as she says, “remnants of the Dreaming alive”. She is a prolific painter — images of people and inland animals flow readily onto her canvas, which and reflect the blend of pathos and humour that runs through her conversation.
She has a fund of stories at her fingertips, especially about the "Hairy man" who had yellow eyes when he was good and red when he was bad. Adams describes herself as being one of the first generation Aboriginal Catholics in Moree.
At school she and her peers learned "white man's art” — the depiction of homes, trees and scenery in European style. It was many years before she acquired her unique, vivid painting style.
Arone Meeks is a Kuku Midigi man who was born in 1957. He grew up near El Arish in far north Queensland and now lives in Cairns. Since 1985 he has forged an impressive national and international career for his painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and public art commissions.
The Moree Plains Gallery has important works by Meeks in its collection. They were acquired in 1994 when the artist’s first Moree solo exhibition was staged. The Australia Council and Arts NSW have generously funded this 2010 Meeks exhibition enabling us to transport his work from Cairns and for his travel to Moree to give printmaking workshops.
His indigenous links are with the Kokomidiji of Cape York, around Laura, the site of renowned rock art galleries filled with graceful drawings of quinkans (traditional ancestral spirits). Laura is known as a place of Aboriginal magic and sorcery. This country has a palpable effect on the artist’s imagery. He feels a physical reaction to sacred country that helps forge relationships with kinship, a sense of self and, as he said, “renewing the dreaming”.
The artist had a traditional as well as formal art education. He was taught by his grandfather and other relatives before his Bachelor of Visual Arts studies at Sydney’s City Art Institute. He later returned to Queensland to study with tribal elders, including the Lardil people of Mornington Island.
Meeks is famed for his illustrations for children’s books, including “When the world was new”, “This is Still Rainbow Snake Country” and “The Pheasant and Kingfisher”. He wrote and illustrated “Enora and the Black Crane” for which he won the 1992 UNICEF: Ezra Jack Keats Award for International Excellence in Children’s Book Illustration.
Meeks is represented in many national and international public and private collections.
Golski has long been admired for her lyrical and airy watercolours of the Australian landscape. For her new exhibition at Moree the artist has painted large-scale works that show her considerable confidence and panache in handling the medium of watercolour.Golski’s accomplishment at portrait painting has been well-recognised and, over the years, she has received many significant commissions. Alongside her art Golski is well-known as a writer and has published books including My two husbands (Penguin Australia) and Watched by Ancestors (Hodder Headline). Golski trained at London’s Camden Institute and Goldsmith College and received in 1963 her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Sydney University.
Newcastle artist John Morris is famed for his dark and mysterious and highly detailed landscapes. Some of his new work however, uses abstracted geometric forms, such as prisms, with strong reflections. The new pictures were the result of a difficult family time. Morris lives and practices in Newcastle, NSW. His work is held in the collections of Artbank and many regional collections including Maitland Regional Art Gallery and Newcastle Region Art Gallery. The artist is currently head of the school of art at Newcastle TAFE.
Elaine Russell was born in 1941 at Tingha in northern New South Wales near Moree. She spent most of her childhood on the Aboriginal mission at Lake Cargelligo, where her father was a handyman. In 1993, she enrolled in a visual arts course and was finally able to realise her lifelong ambition to be a painter. Her work is represented in many public galleries, including the Moree Plains Gallery. Russell has published several books, including
“A is for Aunty” (ABC Books, 2000).
Stephen King is a prolific sculptor who lives in Walcha, NSW. His tough and roughly-hewn works in timber have a strong connection with the land. His work bears a relationship to the innovative carved trees (or dendroglyphs) created by the Aboriginal people who have lived in north-west for hundreds of years. King was a chief instigator of Walcha’s impressive public art program whereby artists from across Australia have created and installed significant works of art and furniture throughout the town. King’s work is represented in the collections of Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Tamworth Regional Art Gallery and Canberra’s Parliament House.
Ken O’Regan is well known in the Hunter region of NSW through regular exhibitions, works of art in public places and education projects. He uses waste materials, especially plastics, to create powerful assemblages and installations. His work is conceptual, but is strongly connected to the physicality of the materials and to the processes necessary to convert them to his aesthetic needs.