Artel #8 ~ MRAG Members' Magazine (Spring/Summer 2022/23)

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ARTEL ARTEL ARTEL ARTEL RTEL Maitland Regional Art Gallery

Members’ Magazine

Spring/Summer 2022/23

Biannual #8




We lost a great colleague to illness this year. A loss that was felt by all of us at the Gallery. Liz O’Brien lives on in our hearts as a wonderfully warm, generous and talented artist. She had so much energy for everything we do at the Gallery. She was a vibrant member of our MRAGM Committee and spearheaded, edited and contributed to the first issue of our new look Artel. She has a beautiful article in our last issue introducing the exhibition Female Drivers on exhibition at the Gallery throughout June, July and August. In 2020 she was awarded Highly Commended in the Brenda Clouten Memorial Art Scholarship and was about to embark on a trip to Poland to develop her work further. These are just brief snapshots of her accomplishments because she was also very humble and quiet with her creative talents. She never blew her own trumpet yet she could sing like a bird and write music with a poets sensibility. Later in the year, alongside her family, we will announce a bursary in Liz’s name for emerging photographic artists. We can still feel her warmth here at the Gallery and miss her involvement in so many ways.

Dearest Liz, we dedicate this issue of Artel to you.


Biannual #8 Winter/Spring 2022





Located on Wonnarua Country at the gateway to the Hunter Valley in Maitland New South Wales, Maitland Regional Art Gallery presents awardwinning exhibitions and events alongside engaging and varied public programs, educational offerings, and an in-depth Arts Health program.

Maitland Regional Art Gallery Members. The vibrant community of MRAG supporters who, through their membership and fundraising, help sustain the Gallery’s creative learning programs.

230 High Street, Maitland, NSW 2320 Open: Tues–Sun 10am–5pm Ph: 02 4934 9859


‘Artel’ is of Russian origin and refers to an arts or crafts co-operative. The ‘Artel of Artists’ (1863) was formed by a group of St Petersburg Academy of Arts students who’d rebelled against the rules of its annual art competition. Artel has been the name of the MRAGM newsletter, now magazine, since 2007.

Represented by volunteers on the MRAGM Committee, elected annually.


COVER IMAGE Elisa (Leecee) Jane Carmichael, Fabric of place, (detail) 2021, Saltwater and sand cyanotype on cotton, reed necklaces cyanotype on cotton, mangrove bark dyed cotton, gum leaf dyed cotton, ungaire (freshwater swamp reed) and cotton thread, Courtesy of Onespace Gallery. Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection





Kris Smith


John Adams


News for Members




Art & Dementia


Soft Stories


Creative kids





Jacquie Garcia The Drawing Exchange



The Maitland Archive Social Gallery



ARTEL 06 MRAGM Committee

All rights reserved.

Michaela Swan Leah Riches Sarah Crawford Catherine Kingsmill Council Representative Cr Sally Halliday Gallery Director Gerry Bobsien

No part of this publication may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without written permission from MRAGM. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information and to secure copyright permissions, we apologise for any oversights, which we will correct in future issues.

07 W E LC O M E We invite you to dive into MRAG through these pages and discover more about the Gallery’s wonderfully diverse exhibitions and programs, and the people who enjoy and support it. A note from our committee With the air becoming a little cooler, Winter brings the promise of a unique and inspiring season of exhibitions at MRAG. Reflecting back, the biannual MRAG Art Sale was once again a resounding success. As always works by First Nations artists proved to be incredibly popular as was the Children’s Wall with one or two snapped up by the renowned Elliott Eyes Collection. But with the dust barely settled, the MRAG Members’ Committee are about to start planning the 2023 Art Sale, which we hope will be another successful event. As part of our focused approach on engaging gallery members with artists featured at MRAG, an intimate members group had the privilege of visiting Dani Marti in his studio to celebrate his highly successful Oh Canola! exhibition at the gallery. Members were generously treated to a tour of Dani’s studio, home and garden, while catching glimpses of new works in production. With Covid restraints now diminishing, the Members’ Committee is planning a series of bespoke art tours and events for the forthcoming season and we hope you’ll come and join us.

Leah Riches, MRAG Members Committee

New Acquisition: Michelle Gearin, Prism, 2022, oil and watercolour on paper mounted on board, Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection

ARTEL 08 LU M I N O S I T Y: INSCRIPTION OF TIME BY L I G H T Kris Smith 06 SEP 2022 - 20 NOV 2022

Our Members make up a diverse community that often includes artists and art lovers alike. Join us as we catch up with Member and artist Kris Smith to hear about his forthcoming exhibition Luminosity: Inscription of time by light.

Apart from giving me access to his cameras and equipment, he also gave me a collection of books called the Time Life series on Photography, which completely broadened my understanding of the nature and possibilities of this medium.

When did you first become interested in photography and how did this interest shape your career?

Although most of my early exhibitions featured paintings and silkscreenprints, being surrounded by the materials and equipment of photography directly influenced my career as a photography lecturer and art practitioner.

My father was a chemist, and he was also the town’s photographer. He processed film and printed, and hand coloured the images in a darkroom set up in our kitchen/dining area of an evening. Our loungeroom also regularly became a lighting studio on the weekends. MEET A MEMBER

What can visitors expect to see when they encounter your exhibition? In this current exhibition, photographic compositions

and digital animations are constructed to emphasise the impact of subtle changes in light occurring over time, inviting a viewer to meditate on concepts related to time and mortality. Visitors will see multipaneled video compositions, digital prints and a large-scale projection made up of 70 panels, each showing different aspects and time slices of abstract details of a still life changing throughout the course of a day. Another work invites us to contemplate geological time as we observe a time-lapse triptych of a snow-capped mountain. The exhibition also features a wall of small photographic prints depicting miniscule


coloured cubes swept by a single vertical moving shadow (cast by the sun over a number of seasons).

such as climate change and other environmental impacts that occur if we become blind to these interrelated rhythms .

In this body of work, you explore light and it’s changing properties. What is it about this subject that appeals to you? We are used to noticing the dramatic and intensely coloured light of a dawn or sunset, or the impact on our interior spaces of winter light. But we rarely notice the subtle changes that occur between these two extremes. For me, the cyclic and seasonal nature of these changes invites the acknowledgement of natural rhythms and encourages a

new way of thinking about my response to these rhythms. This can operate on a personal level, for example rethinking sleep/ wake cycles, but it can also operate more broadly as we contemplate bigger issues

During this time where individuals and global communities have been forced to rethink what it means to coexist on a planet, the passing of time and cycles of solar illumination will evoke different responses in different viewers.

Maree Skene Visitor Engagement Officer Kris Smith, Luminous still life [still], 2019 - 2022, digital animation Portrait of Kris Smith

ARTEL 10 36 VIEWS OF BROKENBACK RANGE John Adams Local artist John Adams shares some insight into his upcoming show at MRAG. Sadly, John lost his battle with illness not long after he gave this interview in his home. It is with great sadness that John isn’t going to see this body of work together in the exhibition he had long envisioned. However, John knew exactly how he wanted his work to be shown and it is with honour to John’s lifelong fascination with the Brokenback ranges and his creative enrichment of others that MRAG host this very special exhibition. Vale John Adams.

Kim Blunt, Senior Curator The Brokenback Range is a prominent background fixture for many of us in the Maitland area. For 30 years, driving to Kurri Kurri from our home in Maitland I often contemplated the ways I could paint them and completed a number of works related to this snaking, changing, long 36 VIE WS OF BROKENBACK R ANGE

horizontal range….they look so different from the north, from Weston, from Hinton, Bolwarra, East Maitland, Singleton, Cessnock….even from the Levee behind my house in Horseshoe Bend they are present. The Brokenback locations have a lot of meaning for me. I have known the Brokenbacks since I was

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little and subconsciously when I was very young. We moved to Hospital Hill in Cessnock in 1956 when I was 3. Mum would take me over the hill in the stroller to see the beautiful mountains to the west. When I first started painting with a friend we would get up early in the morning, about 6 o’clock, just as the sun was hitting

11 the mountains, they are very special… and like Hokusai I am interested in telling stories, watching the changes occurring in one motif. I’ve got to sit and find a spot and I’ve got to get the right spot, I use photographs and a bit of sketching, photography is important, but you don’t become a slave to it. Horizontality is the main thing and I use a 1:3 ratio to emphasize the horizonal axis. I have loved Hokusai’s work since art school. Mt Fuji to Hokusai was a sacred mountain in Japan, and when people could go and view it Hokusai thought it would be good to make a book of woodcuts, he stopped at 36 but he actually did 48, so I’ve got about 40 paintings here…

Text courtesy of John Adams with additional research by Scarlett Carfi, Year 11 work experience student from St Philip’s Christian College, Cessnock, from her interview with John in his home on 28 April 2022. John Adams, Through Tony’s farm to the Brokenbacks, 2019, oil on masonite 15 × 42cm

The audience will hopefully share the local connection. Everyone who drives west on the city bypass just before sunset hopefully gets that big sky moment. The Brokenbacks connect to us all, they keep an eye on us. The Brokenbacks are my Mt Fuji.

John Adams, Artist

ARTEL 12 NEWS FOR MEMBERS Artists and community collaborate in development of new art in the Maitland Administration Centre Council is currently developing a new Maitland Administration Centre (MAC) on High Street, and to inspire its visitors, several contemporary Australian artists have been


commissioned to create works of art with and for the growing Maitland community. Through coming together and sharing with local Indigenous community, Quandamooka artist Elisa Jane Carmichael has created a significant site-specific work of art for the MAC foyer ceiling.

Located within the heart of the development, this work represents a story about looking after country, culture and honouring Wonnarua elders and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community making their home here. It will provide an opportunity for all visitors to the MAC to engage with the rich Indigenous and natural heritage of the site and region.


Embedded within the design are elements cast in aluminium from woven pieces created by community members. Woven together with eagle wings are forms symbolic of the river, river rocks, freshwater, native flora and the feathers of the regent honey eater. The overall form is symbolic of a circle or a nest representing strength, inclusion and coming together.

Lights, camera, action! Free Art January returns with a focus on film Free Art January returns in 2023 with a month of engaging and educational talks, tours and activities for visitors of all ages. It features a focus on moving image and animation, as artist Deborah Kelly presents a series of free film making intensives for

teens and young adults. If the silver screen is not your thing, rest assured there will be artist-led labs in other mediums, dropin art experiences, and industry insights – all for free, generously supported by our Gallery Members and Public Program Patron, Cleverpatch.

Teens ‘Take One’ in series of stage-craft art labs The Gallery has been awarded $10,000 from Museums & Galleries of NSW in support of a new program called Take One, a series of labs in performance-based practice for young creatives. Presented in partnership with Upstage Youth Theatre, based in Maitland, participants of the program will connect with art and artists, develop confidence, and grow leadership and

team skills. The labs kick off in July, with performance artist Julie-Anne Long as featured in our exhibition Female Drivers. The Gallery is one of five recipients in the 2021 round of the Audience Development Fund, a devolved funding program of the NSW Government through Create NSW and administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW.

Celeste Aldahn Gallery Coordinator, Operations & Engagement

(left) Portrait of Elisa (Leecee) Jane Carmichael. (above) Elisa (Leecee) Jane Carmichael, Fabric of place, 2021, Saltwater and sand cyanotype on cotton, reed necklaces cyanotype on cotton, mangrove bark dyed cotton, gum leaf dyed cotton, ungaire (freshwater swamp reed) and cotton thread. Photo Louis Lim. Courtesy of Onespace Gallery. L – R: 1 Large textile work 95 × 110cm × 3cm; 2 Dilly bag 80 × 20 × 15cm; 3 Fish trap 60 × 20 × 20cm. Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection

ARTEL 14 JACQUIE GARCIA Leiluca Ceramics

There is something quite special about owning handmade ceramics, or any artwork be it big or small for that matter. For Lower Hunter ceramicist Jacquie Garcia, Leiluca Ceramics represents an opportunity to create a tangible artwork that will be used time and time again. In 2018, not long after welcoming two little people to the world, Leiluca Ceramics was born. Jacquie muses that what started as a meditative mini break quickly became a welcome opportunity to pivot professionally. Drawing upon her National Art School training Jacquie’s ceramic work is exquisitely tactile, perfectly imperfect, and carries with it all the hallmarks of quality handmade stoneware. While there is a distinct and somewhat friendly geometric aesthetic to Leiluca Ceramics, Jacquie’s practice is ever evolving. Making is intrinsic to her process with many pieces coming to life on the wheel and in the finishing stages rather than being MRAG SHOP

planned beforehand. Jacquie explains that her ideology has remained consistent and is very much about getting her hands dirty, ‘things just evolve – that’s beauty of making itself’. Working out of her Newcastle studio space at the Creator Incubator, inspiration is certainly not in short supply. ‘When you’re surrounded by other artists, they’re always going to rub off on you and you’re always going to be influenced in some way big or small’. The buzz of studio life, coupled with Jacquie’s love of nature echoes throughout her pieces. The passion to remain true to herself, to remain a small (but busy!) one woman show is admirable in a world where often more is more. Leiluca Ceramics has quickly become a local institution and one we are proud to offer you a little of here in the Gallery Shop.

Ashley Grant Merchandise Officer

Jacquie Garcia, Photo: Amanda Marsh, Hello Marshmallow @hellomarshmallow_

15 NEW A R R I VA LS 1

The iconic Australian homewares and jewellery of Dinosaur Designs will be landing on our shelves this October, just in time for the silly season! The classic yet quirky take on resin by Stephen Ormandy and Louise Olsen will have you accessorising and entertaining in style.


A very special bespoke range of 12 original paintings by local artist Kiasmin will be available in the Gallery Shop this Spring/Summer (or until sold out). Kiasmin’s warm and whimsical aesthetic is sure to be a special addition to any home. Be quick, these won’t last long!

Look no further for perfect gifts for small hands! We are welcoming two regional smallscale makers this season.


Once a Tree is the brainchild of father and daughter duo Matilda and Scott who are passionate about well-made and sustainable timber toys. Every bit of material is collected, perfectly cut, sanded, routed and finished

by Scott in their Yarra Valley shed. ‘We started making items that felt beautiful and soft to touch, pieces that had real weight to them, exposing the natural grains of the timber as almost an artwork on the surfaces and with a natural smell that emanated from the timber.’


Gorgeous one-of-akind linen dolls and softies you will fall in love with are arriving this October! Each Hunt for Felix piece is designed and made by Petrice Mitchell in her Wagga Wagga studio. These beauties carry with them all the hallmarks of a stylish best friend and one perfect for gifting to the young and young at heart.


At the end of a satisfying day in the garden, hang up your gardening gear with a hand forged hook by Hunter Valley Blacksmith, Will Maguire. Prices starting from $13.50


Have you ever wondered about the stunning marble staircase in the gallery? It has an interesting history. We believe this is the largest cantilevered (selfsupporting) marble staircase in the southern hemisphere. When the building was a technical college, the office staff refused to let the students of ‘the Trades’ use the stairs unless they took off their work boots. There was even a time when the marble staircase framed a THE DR AWING E XCHANGE

crocodile skin which was widely admired by passing school children who would pop into the building after school to see it and other museum exhibits the building once housed. The crocodile skin is long gone, as are those old museum exhibits – most of which were washed away in the 1955 flood. The marble staircase, however, remains strong. Later this year MRAG will use this remarkable marble

03 SEP 2022 — 30 OCT 2022

staircase, and the floor and space around it, as a site of creative exchange with a partnership with National Art School (NAS) in Sydney and the Adelaide Central Art School (ACSA) under the banner of The Drawing Exchange. The Drawing Exchange originated in 2017 as a partnership between both NAS and ACSA and has become a biennial cross-institutional event celebrating drawing as a dynamic creative form.

17 As an evolution of the project, and facilitated by artist Luke Thurgate, MRAG was invited to join The Drawing Exchange with an aim to extend the idea of collaboration beyond these two learning institutions. The theme for this year’s exchange is Site. Participating artists are encouraged to respond to the site of their ‘home’ institution and potentially the site(s) of one or more of the other participating institutions. It is also possible to extend ideas of ‘site’ beyond the locality and history of the institution, to engage with broader concepts. Each artist can produce their own individual work, and are encouraged to collaborate with other participating artists, at their home institution and potentially at any of the other partner institutions. The Drawing Exchange is an experimental project allowing time for collaboration and the exchange of ideas. It is both an exhibition and an artist in residence project.

MRAG ARTISTS Jamie Bastoli Jasmine Craciun ACSA ARTISTS Lucy Turnbull Mark Valenzuela Thomas Readett NAS ARTISTS Nadia Odlum Dennis Golding Dean Cross Aude Parichot Margaret Seymour Image sourced from p 71 of R.T. Baker, Building and Ornamental Stones of Australia, Sydney, William Applegate Gullick, New South Wales Government Printer, 1915.

Let’s go back to the marble stairs and to the image on the left - taken in the early part of the last century. In it you see the crocadile skin and the largley unchanged staircase. But what is the story of this site? Like NAS and ACSA, MRAG too was once an institution of higher learning, and in many respects still is. What did a technical college mean for the people of Maitland when it opened in 1910, as students embarked on life changing study, moving up and down the staircase from class to class as they developed life long skills skills such as building, business and even art? Do we look differently at the stunning rose marble seen in the staircase now that we know it was mined from the Borenore Caves near Orange, a place once used for thousands of years by the Wiradjuri people? The artists selected to explore this site at MRAG are Jamie Bastoli and Jasmine Craciun. Jasmine Craciun is a Barkindji, Malyangapa woman who has grown up on Awabakal and Worimi country. For the last three years Jasmine worked creatively as a freelance graphic designer and multi-media artist. Jamie Bastoli is an interdisciplinary artist working through drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and installation. Jamie and Jasmine will be working on site in September as they develop new work in this space.

Kim Blunt, Senior Curator

ARTEL 18 A LU M N I 2022 Brenda Clouten Memorial Art Scholarship 20 AUG 2022 — 06 NOV 2022

In 2022, the biennial Brenda Clouten Memorial Art Scholarship celebrates its 15th year at Maitland Regional Art Gallery where it has supported young artists of the Lower Hunter to undertake a program of professional development. Gallery Director, Gerry Bobsien says the scholarship is one of Maitland Regional Art Gallery’s most popular projects and a fantastic opportunity for young artists to showcase their work. “This scholarship has provided opportunities for artists to travel and develop new work since 2005. There is a long list of Brenda Clouten alumni out there making their mark as artists and we’re expecting more strong entries from our art community this year.” For alumni 2018 Scholarship Winner Leeroy Chapman this opportunity was life changing. He said the award “came at the right time” as it supported him to study for four weeks in London, in a foundation course at a

private atelier studio. Four weeks quickly turned into four years in London, where Leeroy still currently lives and creates art. The scholarship was founded by former Deputy Mayor of Maitland Vicki Woods and her husband Bruce Woods in honour of their friend and local resident Brenda Clouten, who passed away at the age of 60. “Brenda was an amazing person and always seeing the good in everyone. She always put others before herself.

2020 Brenda Clouten Memorial Art Scholarship Winner Karri McPherson


19 MAGGIE HENSEL-BROWN . L E E R O Y C H A P M A N M I C H A E L A S WA N . K A R R I M C P H E R S O N Even at her sickest moments she would always ask after you” Vicki said. “She loved the good things in life and always lived for the moment.” 2020 Scholarship Winner Karri McPherson applied to travel to the Netherlands and complete a studio residency. “Now that things are returning to normal, it’s finally on the cards for early next year” Karri said. “I’m really looking forward to making my way to Europe to immerse myself in the history, arts and culture, and to see how my art practice develops through this experience. This Scholarship is one of the most incredible opportunities I’ve ever received, and I can’t wait to embark on my international journey.” Before departing, Karri has two solo exhibitions lined up for 2022 in Canberra at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery. While winning the scholarship certainly inspired Karri to live for the moment, taking the plunge into a fulltime career in the arts where she remains busy painting murals across Australia, the impact of the opportunity creates ripples

on winners’ careers both in and out of the arts, as 2014 winner and textile artist Michaela Swan can attest. Since the scholarship, Michaela completed her Master of Secondary Teach-ing and, as well as being an artist, works as a Textiles and Visual Arts Teacher where she inspires the Hunter’s next generation of designers and artists. With her Scholarship, Michaela attended the European Textile Network Conference and Leiden Textile Festival in the Netherlands before visiting museums and galleries in Berlin, Copenhagen and Oslo, as well as the Venice Biennale. “It was a surreal and rewarding experience, it definitely fuelled my ambition to continue working with textile art and led me to exhibiting in the outdoor textile exhibitionArt al Vent, in Eastern Spain.” Michaela said. “The Scholarship and exhibition enriched my experience of textile art in the international context, and provided me with exhibition experience, which has had such an incredible impact on my teaching.” Scholarship winners and finalists alike maintain close

ties with the Gallery long after the prize is awarded. A decade on from her 2012 win, contemporary lacemaking artist Maggie Hensel-Brown is exhibiting at Maitland Regional Art Gallery currently in Female Drivers until 28 August 2022. Finalists have also reported professional development gains from going behind the scenes at the Gallery, as they work collaboratively with each other and Gallery staff toward the exhibition’s curation and install. “This Scholarship in Brenda’s name is a way of creating a lasting memorial that will give benefit to young and upcoming talent in the Hunter area, and keep Brenda alive in our hearts” Vicki and Bruce Woods said. Similarly, for the Gallery it is a chance to honour the important people that have, do and will shape our community.

Celeste Aldahn

The Winner of the 2022 Brenda Clouten Memorial Art Scholarship will be awarded a $5,000 cash prize, and the Runner Up $3,000. Finalists will exhibit at Maitland Regional Art Gallery from 20 August to 6 November 2022, with the winners announced on 19 August 2022.


Installation view: Tim Maguire: Falling Faintly, A survey of prints and video 2003-2018 at Maitland Regional Art Gallery, 2018. (above) Tim Maguire Trees & Snow II, 2008 Trees & Snow III, 2008 Trees & Snow V, 2008 All archival pigment print, 180 × 120 cm, Edition of 5 (right) Tim Maguire Falling Snow II, (detail) 2007 archival pigment ink on paper 283 × 500cm, Ed. 3 + 1 AP


Across the summer of 2018-2019 Tim Maguire’s work filled the first floor gallery spaces of Maitland Regional Art Gallery with colour and light. The exhibition, Tim Maguire: Falling Faintly, A survey of prints and video 2003-2018, immersed our visitors in a world of pulsating colour with images of iconic scenes such as the Mt Fuji contrasting with the capture of fragile ephemeral moments such as snowflakes floating across dark tree branches. These works offered insight into the artist’s explorations with the CMYK colour process separating cyan, yellow and

21 magenta and then overlaying separate plates of colour to reconnect as one image. The resulting print is an abstracted image with illuminous colour. Immediately following that exhibition, Maguire donated to MRAG two important works, the 3 metre Castor Oil Plant and the 8-metre-long Panorama (Fire and Flood) in which the artist directly referenced Maitland’s historic and devastating floods. And now, this year, we are delighted to announce that Tim Maguire has made one of the Gallery’s most significant donations, donating 13 more prints from that special exhibition along with a large painting from 2006. The prints include selections from his Trees and Snow, Mt Fuji, and Dice Abstracts series, and the large 8 panel print of colourful poppies and meandering stems, Everything changes II. The painting Untitled 20060907, 2006 was created when the artist was living in London. The forms in this painting are taken from pollarded plane trees, which often featured in Maguire’s paintings in the early 2000s. “I was fascinated by these harshly pruned branches contorted, moribund, possibly dead, but with the promise of imminent rebirth and soon to burst into riotous green foliage. The twisting bare branches with their smooth surfaces have a strong figurative association to me. They could be arms and fists pushing defiantly into the sky.” In this painting Maguire used a partial colour separation process similar to his printmaking technique. While he separated layers of yellow, magenta and cyan he chose to leave the sky at the magenta stage, “to reinforce the unearthly, surreal quality of the image.” Make sure you keep an eye out for the next MRAG Collection exhibition, Life Still, in September- October 2022, which will feature Tim’s work alongside other works from the Collection that will lead us to appreciate the beauty, stillness and rapture of the present moment.

Cheryl Farrell, Collection Management Curator

ARTEL 22 ART & DEMENTIA program grows onsite and online

Bob and Jill with Art & Dementia Facilitator and artist Liss Finney



In 2022, with the support of the NSW Government, the Gallery presents another year of conversations, connection and creativity at our free Art & Dementia program. The Gallery also produced an online offering for those who can’t make it to the weekly onsite program. Each 90-minute session at the Gallery includes a tour of current exhibitions followed by an art making activity. Those who can’t attend in person can access our Arts Health art activity sheets online, each with an accompanying video. The aim of the program is to provide social and intellectually stimulating activities for people living with dementia and their carers to do together. “As art and imagination don’t require memory, participants can contribute knowledge, express themselves through art making increasing well-being,” Learning and Audience Development Curator Michelle Maartensz says, “Plus, it’s a great opportunity for those with dementia and their carers to reconnect, and for carers to connect with each other.” Since 2011, Art & Dementia has welcomed over 3000 socially isolated older people from the Hunter region. Bob and Jill are two participants who have attended for several years. “For the carers, it is just wonderful to come see other carers and know that you’re not alone, coming here reassures you about that,” Jill said. The couple love going home and showing their family their creations after each session, which have included mediums such as weaving, watercolours, drawing and more. Art & Dementia Facilitator and artist Liss Finney says, “Programs like these are important; they make the Gallery an accessible place for people who might not have otherwise come.” Art & Dementia at Maitland Regional Art Gallery is hosted from February to December. The program is free, all materials provided. Bookings essential, contact the Gallery.

Celeste Aldahn

ARTEL 24 SOFT STORIES Get cosy this Winter at the Gallery with Soft Stories’ immersive food caper See You in the Soup! Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles started collaborating in 2011 under the moniker Soft Stories. Their exhibition See You in the Soup is a surreal narrative exploration of the Melbourne epicurean landscape, seen through the eyes of a curious small duck called Del. With a focus on textiles, Cat first started making little rabbits out of felt as a hobby whilst still at university. Since her artistic career became full time in 2010, Cat’s practice has taken a few twists and turns. Sometimes it seems like I’m always flitting around doing too many disparate things - creating works to sell at markets, teaching workshops, making books or large scale felt installations - but I think that’s the nature of doing something that is quite niche, and my skill set widens because of it. Isobel fell in love with animation in high school. Her eclectic work ranges from films to music videos and installations, as well as teaching at university. Whilst her career hasn’t always taken a linear path, animation has long been deeply rooted in her practice. It’s the perfect medium for me to explore all the different ways of creating images and to work with sound and music and text as well - it’s just so versatile.

See You in the Soup invites audiences to consider their culinary comfort zones. What sparked this concept? Cat & Isobel: A deep appreciation for food is something we have in common — most of our days working together are punctuated by a nice meal. We noticed not everyone shared this appreciation. Kids we knew who would refuse to eat anything but bread or adults who were just not too fussed with food in general. We wanted See You in the Soup to be an exploration of the joy that trying new food can bring, and to celebrate the dining cornerstones of the Melbourne CBD. The restaurants are based on actual places with an urban bird twist: La Roule Galette becomes La Roule Galah, Laksa House becomes Lark-sa House and Pellegrini’s becomes SOFT STORIES

25 Pelicani’s. We keep our eyes open for new culinary delights but, like Del, we are equally happy with tea and toast!

Can you give us some insight into the processes behind creating your stop motion animations? Cat & Isobel: When we started it was Cat on sewing, Isobel on animation/photography, and both of us collaborating on set construction. Over the years our process has changed a little - we usually begin doing everything together, starting with a story or concept, then a big list of things to make for that story come to life. As the project progresses and deadlines approach, we’ll both revert to our strengths, with the added bonus of each other’s assistance.

In what ways has collaborating pushed your artistic practices into new directions, and what have you learnt from each other? Cat: I have learned so much from Isobel - photography and lighting, cardboard construction, and the art of the perfect snack! Most of our collaborative projects are a push outside of my usual fluffy comfort zone. It’s always so rewarding to collaborate with Isobel’s magical mind!

Isobel: Cat has the most delightful aesthetic sensibility and a deep well of incredibly unique ideas which are wildly imaginative but also feel like something that always should have existed. She can pick up a piece of felt and turn it into something adorable before you can blink. She has taught me about character

design, textile techniques, and colour coordinating. I had always created work for screens and Cat introduced me to physical objects, markets, and the beauty of small fluffy industry!

Anna Buxton-Soldal Gallery Officer & Co-Curator


See You in the Soup is an exhibition that will get your mouth watering! Artists Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles have collaborated to create a culinary adventure with food as the central theme. They invite audiences to consider challenging their culinary comfort zones. Can you believe all the food is made from fabric? Whilst enjoying the artworks in the exhibition, I can recall fun food memories like the first time I ate curry or ventured outside my comfort zone and ate soup; I thought I disliked it…turns out I love it. If you have not had one of these eureka food moments, now is the time with this Foodie Soft Sculpture activity. To get started follow these simple steps to create your own salad sandwich, then the sky’s the limit!


Share your Foodie Soft Sculptures with us on Instagram @maitlandregionalartgallery



To make your bread, use two pieces of fabric and draw two slices of bread using a black texta. If you do not have bread coloured fabric, experiment with different colours or use coloured paper instead. Maybe a purple sandwich is more to your taste?


Time to make the filling! Use the same technique in step 1 to make things like lettuce, beetroot and cheese.



To make some tomato slices, draw tomatoes onto fabric and cut them out.

Place them onto another piece of fabric of a darker colour and draw around them. Cut these two circles out and glue them to the back of the tomatoes.


To make your crust, cut out your slices of bread and place them on top of a different coloured fabric. Trace around the edge leaving a bit of a gap. Cut out the crust and glue your bread slices on top.


Layer all your fillings between your bread slices and serve on your paper plate. Now you can start making other foods!

ARTEL 28 ART ABOUT TOWN Local community invited to share personal narratives of place in The Maitland Archive 17 S E P 2 0 2 2 — 2 3 O C T 2 0 2 2

This Spring, our community is invited to contribute to The Maitland Archive, an exhibition that uses drawing to spark conversations about where we live. Led by artist Luke Thurgate, people are invited to bring into the Gallery small, nonprecious objects that have memories and personal narratives attached to them. The objects will be left at the Gallery for the duration of the exhibition, displayed alongside an evolving largescale wall drawing by Luke that draws upon these items. The Maitland Archive is the second in a series of participatory exhibitions Luke has devised. “I did a similar project in Burra, in South Australia. It was one of those experiences where you go in thinking it’ll be one thing and it turns out to be something completely different.” “In the lead up, I was imagining the focus would ART ABOUT TOWN

be on the wall drawing itself, but as the work developed what became apparent was that the richer, more rewarding aspect of the project was the conversations, relationships, and connections that developed as I drew.” The Maitland Archive is a chance for Luke to honour his roots in the Lower Hunter. “I lived in Newcastle for most of my early adult years and some of my dearest friends are from Maitland.” Luke said the exhibition in Burra became a way of getting to know a place and the folks who live there and he looks forward to connecting with Gallery audiences from the region through this exhibition. “I felt a level of trust develop as I got to know people via their objects.” There are no limits to what the Maitland community can share with Luke for this

exhibition. In Burra, local people brought in items as diverse as family heirlooms, including an early 20th Century Bakelite Christmas decoration to $2 plastic safety goggles from a local tradie. “By far my favourite object was a mummified rat that someone found in the wall cavity of their 1870s home. It looked ancient, arrested in motion, and perfectly preserved. It was so good to draw.” For Maitland, a local government area steeped in history, moments to celebrate and catalogue people and place are important. For Luke, it also balances what can be an isolating life as an artist. “Life in the studio can be lonely, but projects that directly engage with audiences or communities provide a counterpoint to that and show that making art can be a meaningful way to participate in the world.”

Luke is represented in Sydney by .M Contemporary. The Maitland Archive is proudly supported by the National Art School.

Luke Thurgate is an artist and educator based in Sydney. He teaches drawing and painting at the National Art School, where he recently graduated with a Master of Fine Art. He studied at the University of Newcastle, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2007. Luke has an extensive exhibition history including recent exhibitions at Backwoods Gallery, Burra Regional Art Gallery, National Art School and Adelaide Central Gallery. He was a finalist in the 2019 Dobell Drawing Prize, the 2020 Tom Bass Figurative Sculpture Prize and the 2020 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award.

Celeste Aldahn



Portraits and painted dragons, landscapes constructed, abstracted, surreal and serene, discarded toys and a cloud shaded mantle clock. More than 100 drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, created by some of Australia’s most significant artists, have been acquired into the Gallery’s Collection in the last few months. Valued at more $100K these artworks have been donated to the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection by artists and private collectors, signifying the respect that our Collection holds across the art community and adding significantly to the vibrancy and depth of our Collection. AUTUMN EXHIBITIONS OPENING



Portraits and painted dragons, landscapes constructed, abstracted, surreal and serene, discarded toys and a cloud shaded mantle clock. More than 100 drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, created by some of Australia’s most significant artists, have been acquired into the Gallery’s Collection in the last few months. Valued at more $100K these artworks have been donated to the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection by artists and private collectors, signifying the respect that our Collection holds across the art community and adding significantly to the vibrancy and depth of our Collection. Photography: Leighsa Cox



Portraits and painted dragons, landscapes constructed, abstracted, surreal and serene, discarded toys and a cloud shaded mantle clock. More than 100 drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, created by some of Australia’s most significant artists, have been acquired into the Gallery’s Collection in the last few months. Valued at more $100K these artworks have been donated to the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection by artists and private collectors, signifying the respect that our Collection holds across the art community and adding significantly to the vibrancy and depth of our Collection.



Portraits and painted dragons, landscapes constructed, abstracted, surreal and serene, discarded toys and a cloud shaded mantle clock. More than 100 drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, created by some of Australia’s most significant artists, have been acquired into the Gallery’s Collection in the last few months. Valued at more $100K these artworks have been donated to the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection by artists and private collectors, signifying the respect that our Collection holds across the art community and adding significantly to the vibrancy and depth of our Collection. 2320 COLLECTORS CLUB

Photography: Leighsa Cox


20 AUG 2022 — 06 NOV 2022

2022 Brenda Clouten Memorial Art Scholarships The exhibition showcases the finalists of this important regional arts scholarship established by patrons Vicki and Bruce Woods in honour of their dear friend Brenda Clouten. The scholarships support young achievers in visual arts to undertake a program of professional development in an international or national context.

Karri McPherson, Spatial Construct (no.2), 2020, acrylic paint, wood panels. 2020 Winner Brenda Clouten Memorial Travelling Scholarship for a Young Achiever in the Visual Arts


03 SEP 2022 — 30 OCT 2022

Life, still From the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection For many artists, capturing a point in time is a compelling endeavour. This exhibition brings together works of art from the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection that land us in the beauty, stillness and rapture of the present moment.

Tim Maguire Panorama (Fire and Flood), 2018, latex ink on paper on aluminium panel, seven panels 1+1 AP, 208 × 798cm, Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection


06 SEP 2022 — 20 NOV 2022

3 SEP 2022 — 30 OCT 2022

10 S E P 2 0 2 2 — 2 7 N O V 2 0 2 2

Luminosity: Inscription of time by light

The Drawing Exchange

Thirty-Six Views of the Brokenback Range

Kris Smith

The Drawing Exchange 2022 is an ongoing collaboration between Adelaide Central School of Art and the National Art School in Sydney.

Be absorbed by expansive ideas of time, light and the sublime in this beautiful display of image and video. Kris Smith is a Hunter based artist with a longstanding interest in the rhythm and visual poetry of natural light, the landscape and our place within it.

Kris Smith, Luminous still life 1-8251, 2022, Lucia Pro pigment ink digital drawing on 310gsm 100% cotton archival paper, 105cm × 78cm.

Jamie Bastoli & Jasmine Craciun

In 2022, Maitland Regional Art Gallery joins the program to host three artist residencies in the Gallery spaces with a vibrant public exchange focused on education and collaboration.

John Adams John Adams lived and worked in Maitland for decades. As an artist, Adams was fascinated by the distant shadow of mountain ranges which loom large in the background around Maitland. Inspired by the work of Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai (1760–1849) Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, this exhibition presents Adams’Thirty-six views of the Brokenback Range.

In partnership with Adelaide Central School of Art and National Art School Jamie Bastoli, Untitled, (detail) 2021, photograph and digital sketch

John Adams, Glebe cemetery to the Brokenbacks, (detail) 2019, oil on masonite


10 S E P 2 0 2 2 — 2 7 N O V 2 0 2 2

17 S E P 2 0 2 2 — 0 4 D E C 2 0 2 2

17 S E P 2 0 2 2 — 2 3 O C T 2 0 2 2

Material Sound

Tales from the Greek

The Maitland Archive

Vicky Browne, Pia van Gelder, Caitlin Franzmann, Peter Blamey, Vincent & Vaughan O’Connor and Ross Manning.

Marco Luccio

Handmade instruments and electronics, recycled components, outmoded technologies, fake technologies, imagined sounds, and silences are brought together to challenge the way we think about the ecological consequences of the materials we so readily consume and discard.

Five years in the making and an odyssey in its creation, Tales from The Greek is Marco Luccio’s artistic response to author John Hughes’ eight narrative adaptations of Greek myths and tragedies. Luccio’s series of artworks are dramatic and gritty; using a variety of mediums, he has produced a collection of works that sing alongside the words of Cessnock born author John Hughes.

A Murray Art Museum Albury exhibition, curated by Caleb Kelly and presented nationally by Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body Caitlin Franzmann, Drawn Together, Held Apart, 2017, Material Sound, installation view (detail), Manning Regional Art Gallery, 2020. Photo: Rose. E. Smith Photography


The Maitland Archive will use wall drawing to create conversation with members of Maitland’s community. Local people are invited to bring small, non-precious objects that have memories and personal narratives attached to them. The objects will be left in the space for the duration of the project, displayed alongside an evolving large-scale wall drawing.

This project has been supported by the National Art School. Marco Luccio, The Feather, 2021, drypoint on paper

Luke Thurgate, The Burra Archive, installation images, 2018, Burra Regional Art Gallery, photography Kerry Youde


29 OCT 2022 — 04 DEC 2022

12 N O V 2 0 2 2 - 0 5 M A R 2 0 2 3

18 J U N 2 0 2 2 - 11 S E P 2 0 2 2


A Rare Sensibility

Ellie Hannon & Conor Ashleigh

Valerie Marshall Strong Olsen

Many hands make life work

Half-light responds to our connection and responsibility to the environment. This exhibition will take a subsurface plunge into the immersive world of the reef offering insight into spaces in nature that we are unlikely to meet, those that exist in the twilight zone between daylight and darkness, the seen and the unseen.

The 67 works in this exhibition, most never seen before in public, are chiefly from the collections of Valerie’s son and daughter, Sydney gallerist Tim Olsen and Louise Olsen, co-founder of Dinosaur Designs and herself a practicing artist. Dating from the late 1950s to late 1990s, the works cross many mediums including oil and acrylic on board and canvas, watercolours, prints and drawings.

Ellie Hannon on board the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s vessel Falkor over the Ashmore Reef at sunset, digital image, Conor Ashleigh, Schmidt Ocean Institute, 2021

Deborah Kelly and the moving image 2011-2021 Many hands make life work – Deborah Kelly and the moving image 2011-2021 is an exhibition which brings together several Deborah Kelly’s recent video works including The gods of tiny things and LYING WOMEN. These immersive video works think poetically and urgently about all things! From colonialism to climate change to the teeming, prancing hectic and kaleidoscopic joy and clamour of life itself.

Deborah Kelly is represented by Wagner Gallery, Sydney and Finkelstein Gallery, Melbourne. Valerie Marshall Strong Olsen, Still Life with Flowers, 1985, oil on board

Deborah Kelly, The Gods of Tiny Things [still], two-channel digital animation, colour, sound


10 D E C 2 0 2 2 — 12 M A R 2 0 2 3

3 DEC 2022 — 26 FEB 2023

DEC 2022 — MAR 2023

Monster Mash

Yellow sun, blue gum


Kate Rohde

Ileigh Hellier


Fun for all ages, Monster Mash is an interactive exhibition that draws on the fantastical interiors and mutant creatures created by artist Kate Rohde. The Project Space will be transformed into a hyper-colourful world, incorporating activities that draw on the techniques and processes Kate uses to make her artworks.

Yellow sun, blue gum is a meditation on the landscape and a close inspection of place. In this exhibition, Glenrock Reserve as the subject, reveals the paradox of plein air painting, the tension between painterly activity and sharp attention to surroundings and the peace and quietude of mindfulness. Both can be simple and complex, effortless and arduous. Yellow sun, blue gum provides a sanctuary and a yearning for quiet contemplation.

Miniature installation artist Tinky will be hot-footing it to Maitland to create a ‘puntastic’ summer art trail especially for MRAG, titled Escapade.

Kate Rohde, Unicorn mural, (detail) 2018, digital print


Ileigh Hellier, Mirrored Lagoon, 2021, oil on archival card

Countering the tradition for public art to be overt and highly visible, the summer art trail encourages intimate art experiences in unexpected places throughout the Gallery. Throughout her practice Tinky works with miniature figurines and vintage objects to create humorous and playful scenes of mismatched proportions.

Tinky, Joe’s frustration was reaching boiling point; his brain was fried and he was about to crack. Since starting this job he felt he was just a shell of his former self, 2020, glass cloche, eggshells, faux greenery, miniature figurines


10 D E C 2 0 2 2 — 12 M A R 2 0 2 3

Protection Jane Lander Jane Lander’s Protection is a

10 D E C 2 0 2 2 — 12 M A R 2 0 2 3

A little Potluck Party Pai Ti Kong with the Ghosts (double-happiness) Jayanto Damanik Tan In Potluck Party Pai Ti Kong with the Ghosts, Jayanto draws

inspiration from a family tradition experienced in everyday life – the ritual of offering food made by his mother. These ceramic food offerings were created whilst in conversation with family and friends during COVID-19 lockdowns. Navigating personal racial attacks, gender identity, migration and familial narratives, these charged conversations are rendered as a moving still-life ceramic ‘soul foods’ and offered as everyday ritual.

captivating showcase of the skill and poetic ideas of this accomplished Hunter based artist. The stories in this large-scale epic drawing and its accompanying animation follow two young protagonists, their lives exposed to the harsh realities of their environment. This work invites a conversation with young people around how it feels to be vulnerable as they explore a different reality of the natural world.

Jane Lander, Protection 1 (detail), 2019/2020, charcoal, pencil, pastel on paper. Photographer: Lee Illfield


Lionel’s Place Lionel Lindsay from the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection The touring exhibition Lionel’s Place consists of more than 130 Lionel Lindsay artworks from the Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection, featuring examples of Lindsay’s finest etchings, wood engravings and watercolours. These works on paper are rich in visual texture, and depict scenes from abroad and closer to home, exotic and domestic animals and birds, the lushness of gardens, floral abundance and portraiture.

Lionel Lindsay, The White Fan, 1935, wood engraving, printed in black ink on paper, 16.6 × 22.3cm, Maitland Regional Art Gallery Collection


Upcoming dates 14 M AY 2 0 2 2 — 7 A U G 2 0 2 2

Art Gallery of Ballarat Ballarat, VIC 5 NOV 2022 — 29 JAN 2023

Gosford Regional Gallery Gosford, NSW


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Liz O’Brien, Transatlanticism, 2020 Self-Portrait, pinhole photograph. This was an image made by Liz that came from a place of longing, to miss your loved ones during travel. Thanks to Mat Taylor for sharing this image with us.

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