Arts zine issue 2 nov 2013

Page 1

studio la primitive

slp arts zine issue 2 nov 2013

slp studio la primitive EDITOR Robyn Stanton Werkhoven CONTRIBUTORS Peter Lankas

Kerri Smith

Andrew Finnie

Sherrel Oakey

Bea Jones

Bob Bush

Roger McFarlane

Curve Studio Gallery

Eric Werkhoven

Michael Winchester

Organic Form - Eric Werkhoven

Front cover - Painting The Office by Peter Lankas Please do not copy articles in this magazine without written permission of the Editor. Copyright Š 2013 Studio La Primitive, All rights reserved. Issue 2 - November 2013



INDEX Index…………………………………………………… 3 Editorial……………………….. Robyn Werkhoven


Studio La Primitive Antics…….. E&R Werkhoven


To Wake Again at Night………..Michael Winchester


Peter Lankas Interview…….

8 - 11

Robyn Werkhoven

Poem - Freda Kahlo..................Bea Jones

12 - 14



Eric Werkhoven

Artist Feature…………………. Andrew Finnie

16 - 23

Poem ………………………..

Bob Bush

24 - 25

Artist Feature…………..

Sherrel Oakey

26 - 29

Artist Feature…………………… Kerri Smith

30 - 31

Essay……………………………..Roger McFarlane

32 - 35

Curve Studio Gallery……………Lisa Who

36 - 37

Art News……………………………………

38 - 44

Sculpture by Peter Ronne

SLP would like to thank all contributors and artists.


Deadline for articles issue 3 is November 15th 2013.

( image by Peter Ronne)

Email articles to: Issue 2 - November 2013




Greetings to all the readers of our second online / email issue of 2013.

Studio La Primitive Arts Ezine on 1st November The Zine is now online at -

This issue

will be featuring

artists interviews and art

related articles, poetry and art news. Direct Link:

The Zine features many of the Hunter Valley artists and writers, glimpses into their world of art and their creative processes. There has been a splendid response with many artists, writers and philosophers happy to contribute articles and exhibition news.

Hopefully we will have your words and

art works in future editions. It is important to have your work seen by a big audience, the first issue has over 1000 viewers and will keep growing. Let us know about your forthcoming exhibitions or art events. DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE 3 IS 20th NOVEMBER Submit articles to email: Regards - your editor Robyn Werkhoven

Nightmare Nurse - by E&R Werkhoven (C)2013 Issue 2 - November 2013



E & R A N T I C S STUDIO LA PRIMITIVE (C)2013 - ANTICS by E&R Werkhoven collaborative drawings - Child hood Memories Series Issue 2 - November 2013



To Wake Again At Night Back then . . . The night had eyes to see dark eternity shone its light where once I hid in fear under the bed in black recluse. A kind embrace I came to know to live and die In love with life, a dream. At morning’s birth I slept and dreamt my life. Then woke again at night. Then woke again at night. Michael Winchester performing at Nightmares Exhibition.

by Michael Winchester (C)2013

Image by Christine Pike.

Issue 2 - November 2013




Issue 2 - November 2013



PETER LANKAS Issue 2 - November 2013



ARTIST INTERVIEW - PETER LANKAS Robyn Werkhoven On entering artist Peter Lankas’s cosy studio, a strong, heady smell of rich organic linseed oil, paints and raw linen greets you. Peter has

He currently teaches drawing and painting at Newcastle Art School (TAFE) and has demonstrated and lectured painting at the University of Newcastle. He has conducted a weekly life


ing class as well as a painting and drawing class in a private

maintained the studio for twelve years at the Newcastle Community

capacity for 13 years. Peter conducts workshops in drawing and

Arts Centre. The studio’s walls are alive with paintings, a myriad of mu-

painting on an ongoing basis.”

sical brush strokes and luminous colours. Most of these paintings are

Community Arts Centre if interested in attending art classes –

created and completed during his outdoor painting sessions around

phone (02)4961 16 96 or Peter on 0422954662


I mentioned the organic linseed oil in the beginning of the article.

Many of these works are presently on show at Peter’s exhibition

Peter is a keen advocate for using non – toxic paints and no sol-

Moonlighting at Art Systems Wickham Gallery, opening 1 - 17 Novem-

vents. He sometimes makes his oil paints using natural colour


pigments and organic cold pressed linseed oil that is used for

Peter arrived in Australia in 1969 from Czechoslovakia. He grew up in an artistic family. His father is an artist. Thus from a very young age he was encouraged to draw and paint. Art was a natural part of their everyday life. Living and working in Sydney, Peter studied Visual Arts, attending Alexander Mackie and the City Art Institute in the late 70s – 80s. Later Peter moved far north to the tropics, living near Cairns and finally he came south to settle in Newcastle in the year 2,000. Here he studied

Please contact the Newcastle

binding and cleaning brushes. Peter says when he buys oil paints they are without additives, “what I do is source the organic paints from Canada and condition those with mediums I make. I make my own gesso, seal linen with rabbit glue and with the fast drying oil I prepare mediums and glazing emulsions as well as final protective glazes – all are organic”. Peter’s paintings maybe described as capturing the poetic, the visual beauty in moments of daily life.

for a Masters of Fine Arts (research) from 2002-5 at Newcastle University. “It is now almost fifteen years he has been teaching Fine Arts, both Tertiary and private.

Painting on page 8 - Home Away by Peter Lankas

Issue 2 - November 2013



I asked Peter what inspires his current work?

For Lankas life is art and as an artist he is a recorder of life; a life

Peter says “I am interested in the ordinary everyday things, which

observed with rare clarity and insight.”

unfold wherever one may be. By looking closely at the ordinary I hope

Aspirations for the future? To paint each day, take year by year.

to catch a bit of life. It is about looking and seeing, I happen to paint it.

Wish factor – to paint and not need to maintain another job. But

At the moment it’s about light, space and subtle narrative; a certain

whatever the future brings, I want to keep painting and discover-

time of the moment and what it holds.

ing life.

Painting, for me, is about the process of making it, capturing the thing-

Peter’s work is held widely in private collections in Australia and

ness of the subject the best possible way. I’m interested in what paint


does; but better not to think, too much, just do it and keep moving, tomorrow everything will change and that’s the great thing”. While driving home from work at night he noticed the “lit up night life”, the local petrol station – servos became “beacons in the night”. This led to further exploration of outdoor night painting and is seen in recent works “Illuminance” and the latest series “Moonlighting” on now Art Systems Wickham Gallery, with fellow friend and artist Dino Consalvo. In 2008 John Barnes, Director of Cessnock Art Gallery says about Peter’s work:

“Through intense observation and questioning of all

he senses Lankas is able to present the core of that world in which he exists. He has extracted the essence of the beach, the tropics, the streets and of humankind itself. As well, Lankas is one of few artists to give form to that bond that exists between beauty and the banal in the

Night Crossing - painting by Peter Lankas

suburbia that is home to the vast majority of Australians. Issue 2 - November 2013



About the

the exhibition moonlighting

Artists Peter Lankas & Dino Consalvo

“The two artists have formed a working relationship that has taken them on weekly painting outings, sharing a creative passion for “En Plein Air” painting process of working directly from nature as well as capturing the beauty of the mundane and the ordinary with subtle narrative. Both painters work with light and atmosphere to capture a moment in time in the urban and suburban setting.

Lankas prefers to work ‘alla prima’, directly from the

moment, not adding to the work after its completion, whereas Consalvo often adds a figurative narrative to his paintings in the studio. The narrative is of importance to both artists, which extends to works conceived in the studio, based on the outings.” Peter Lankas web site : Dino Consalvo web site: Peter Lankas - Moonlighting, painting on location.

Issue 2 - November 2013




Painting of Freda Kahlo by Robyn Werkhoven Issue 2 - November 2013



PORTRAIT OF FREDA KAHLO Frida Kahlo - mestiza

Her heart the palette,

companera de Diego Rivera.

she paints

Mexican Frida,

with blood on the brush and tears

eyes dark in the mirror challenge the viewer. Outside her cage of pain

for Rivera - philanderer who loves her

in a bird's wingspan.

but still fucks her sister and paints in life-size murals the workers for the Revolution.

Comrade Frida,

Frida with poliomyelitis


and broken pelvis


wears a plaster corset,


loses first a leg

wears mens' pants

then a foetus and always her self in self-portraits.

eyebrows swoop skin

a choker of thorns and a monkey grip of a shattered spine

Bea Jones (C) 2013

heavy as the pre-Columbian stone around her neck. Issue 2 - November 2013



In 2013 the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is adored by art

lovers throughout the world. “It was not until the end of the 1970s and the early 1980s, when the artistic style in Mexico known as Neomexicanismo began, that she became well-known to the public. Her work may also been described as "surrealist", and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo's art as a "ribbon around a bomb". “She suffered lifelong health problems. Many of her health problems were the result of a traffic accident she survived as a teenager. Recovering from her injuries isolated her from other people and this isolation influenced her works, many of which are self-portraits. Kahlo suggested, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."] She also stated, "I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."











Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds. She insisted, "I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality." As a young and mainly self taught artist, Kahlo met with the Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, whose work she admired. He recognized her talent. He encouraged her artistic development and they began an intimate relationship. They were married in 1929. Their passionate and sometimes volatile marriage was to be fraught with romantic affairs and jealousy. “As active communists, Kahlo and Rivera befriended Leon Trotsky after he received political asylum in Mexico from Joseph Stalin's regime in the Soviet Union during the late 1930s. During 1937, Trotsky lived initially with Rivera and then at Kahlo's home (where he and Kahlo had an affair). Trotsky and his wife then relocated to another house in Coyoacán where, in 1940, he was assassinated.” During her lifetime Frida was a prolific letter write to family and friends and lovers. Her letters and writing reveal the many aspects of the enigma that is Frida Kahlo. “Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, soon after turning 47. A few days before her death, she wrote in her diary: "I hope the exit is joyful - and I hope never to return - Frida" Issue 2 - November 2013




For our love to embellish and ask for - our love to remember the children’s early years. Putting together, bringing together, re -joining together something of the many slumbering pieces of evidence. In a small hand that holds a rattle, in a small hand that holds a spoon, in the first steps between the two of us. Joyous and brave between walking and falling and standing up again. In what order do we return to the source to help love recover all these links, like the stems of flowers that we pick today to adorn our living room? Drawing a map, a list, a biographical blueprint; learning the steps as if we are children doing these things for ourselves; filling in the many pages of each book. Drawing these same images today, love will be the hand that guides us all. Love eases the burden, carrying the secret, unearthing the many faces that look at us anew. Freeing what we have hidden and often lost, love draws out their intricate patterns creating a vast network connecting us. Love we’ll give us these tools of engagement as proof that we walked here, fall and stand here. As proof that we can fly and sing.

Space Mother - Eric Werkhoven

That is the metaphysical essence love embodies. Issue 2 - November 2013



ANDREW FINNIE - ILLUSTRATOR A founding member of Newcastle's well known The Seven Painters group, Andrew Finnie has exhibited ubiquitously for the last thirteen years. On the education side of things, he suspects he has a Fine Arts Certificate from Newcastle TAFE (late eighties) and feels strongly that he acquired another FAC in the late nineties. He is certain he has a degree in Optometry, vaguely remembers studying English Lit at Armidale Uni and, arguably, has been the feature artist in several on line magazines. He is married to the talented painter Jennifer Finnie. He has no pets that he knows of. He collects surfboards, old books, tubes of unopened paint and small vials of grey dust. His image making occurs in Studio 17, in the elegant East Wing of the unique Newcastle Community Art Centre, a place that he adores for its community spirit. His favourite number used to be seven but now it is three. He is proud to be represented by Anna Olswanger, senior literary agent at Lisa Dawson Associates Literary Agency, NY. Other Links Portfolio site:

Andrew Finnie - image detail by Christine Pike


Issue 2 - November 2013



Issue 2 - November 2013



Taking The Teddy Bear By the Horns The Theory of 'Threes', Plots and Sub-plots in images. An Illustrator's Perspective. As a post 19th century landscape painter I have always shied away from having a narrative element in my work. Eight years ago however, I took up the craft of illustration and began to perceive things in a different light - literally. You see, to illustrate means to "illuminate". And the usual thing being illuminated is a story. And while illuminating I have discovered a few secrets. And like the Emperor's New Clothes, the really interesting thing about the secrets I discovered is that only very intelligent people will understand them. And, and, and.... But before we delve into 'stories' and how they relate to our work as artists, I'd like you to do me a favour. Grab a pen and paper, and write down prime number between one and ten. At the end of this "essay" I'm going to ask you what that number was. Now back to 'stories'..... Firstly, for stories to come alive, they need to grab hold of that illusive wilden-beasten called an "audience". One way of taming an audience is by stimulating their curiosity. To stimulate curiosity (an innate basic emotion) we have to tease. We have to suggest that something exists beneath the surface of our image - without revealing our entire story. Issue 2 - November 2013



Have you ever noticed that the best illustrators aim to capture the moment before or after a climactic story event - rather than the actual event itself? They encourage the viewer to fill in the missing gaps. They want their audience to engage actively with the work, to imagine what has just happened, or is just about to happen. But once captured, that audience needs to be held in place. Much as we might want to, we can't put them in a cage (it's illegal in most Australian States) so we need to entertain them. And with this in mind, we come back to the idea of story and plot. Of course not all images have a plot. Nevertheless, as thinking creatures, we often look for meaning in images. The psychological phenomenon known as "apophenia" means we perceive a vague or random stimulus as being significant. It's something that artists can take advantage of. There's plenty of examples of apophenia around us. In clouds we see images of animals and faces, in the moon we see a man or a rabbit, in pieces of burnt toast we see Madonna. By looking for patterns in random data we make sense of our world. In the same way, if an image has only one element, then we will attempt to subconsciously categorise it. But if an image has more than one element, then we will not only categorise these elements, we will draw a relationship between them. You see, one element forms a picture. Two elements form a story. And that's almost, but not quite, the essence of image narrative.

Issue 2 - November 2013



The Theory of Threes Now if we introduce a third element (and a fourth and a fifth etc.) we are doing several things. On the one hand we might be making a reasonable stable triangle to base our composition on. On the other hand, and more importantly, that third (or fourth or fifth) element entices the viewer to wander to another part of your work. A third element not only rewards them with something else to discover, it gives them another relationship to consider, and at the same time entices them to spend more time with our image to see what else might be lurking in the shadows.

But what exactly is a 'narrative'? A narrative can be as simple as the haystacks in Monet's paintings - in this case the sub-plot might be the shape of the hills or the clouds mirroring the curves of the haystack tops. In another case it might be two human lovers entwined romantically on a bench, while two sub-plotted over sexed doves on the ground beneath them are making pigeon eyes at each other. Pictorial sub-plots not only add texture, they are part of that repetition of elements that help us to see the patterns that make order out of chaos. Apophenia makes humans happy because we have an inbuilt need put a structural framework on our world. It's how we make sense of our surroundings. And we want to make our audience 'happy', don't we?

In a narrative sense, that third element can also give us a chance to create friction and drama in our work. And that's what we are after.

Sub-plot Some illustrators believe in paring down their work to the minimum and this was the teaching of the great American illustrator Howard Pyle (1853-1911). Pyle advised his students: "They will never shoot you for what you leave out of a picture". On the other hand, packing a work with as much detail as possible allows you to hide the main narrative structure away from the viewer so that a first glance doesn't reveal everything. One of the ways to add more detail to our work is to provide a sub-plot that either mimics, contrasts with, or elaborates on, the main narrative.

Issue 2 - November 2013



So in summary, with the use of a third element, plot and sub-plot we maximise our chances of involving the viewer as part of the process in producing a narrative around our work. And even more importantly, story and plot are temporal events meaning that they occur over time. They allow us to give our image a life outside of itself - both in the past and in the future - and this is one of the ways we increase our chances of giving our audience something to take away with them. And this helps entice them back for more. Of course this isn't the only way of looking at images, and, in a way, the concepts of plot and sub-plot and the third element are merely another type of apophenia.

In question time, after the lecture, curious about Mucha's working methods, Violet asks whether Mucha always measures his proportions to achieve the ideal two to three? "Oh no", says Mucha. "I draw first et measure afterward and it ees always r-rright!" In other words, exactly what Pyle said in the quote I didn't quote. All the rules in the world will never make a picture. As for the number you wrote down on that piece of paper? I think we'll have to leave that till next time.

But we need to keep that a secret from the masses - for now at least. Well it's almost time to go. Initially I was going to leave you with another quote from the great Howard Pyle. "The student learns rules, but all the rules in the world never make a picture" But I decided not to. Instead I'd like to leave you with a paraphrased story I once read in the book The Red Rose Girls - the Red Rose Girls being three famous female American illustrators who were all Pyle's students. In the story one of the girls (Violet Oakley, 1874-1961) hears a lecture by Alphonse Mucha, the famous French Art Nouveau artist. During the lecture Mr Mucha (whose English was quite poor) says "Vat is arrt? It is bewtee. In composition everything should be in the proportion of two to three. If not we say it is ogly." Issue 2 - November 2013



The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Maria Tatar) Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood (Maria Tatar)

Blogs James Gurney blog: Andrew Finnie blog:

Videos Andrew Finnie Illustration Collection 2010: The Art and Illustrations of Howard Pyle:

NOTES Bibliography The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love (Alice A. Carter) Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (James Gurney) Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist (James Gurney) Writing with Pictures (Uri Shulevitz) Once Upon a Time - The Fairy Tale World of Arthur Rackham (Heinman)

About Threes and Plots For evidence on The Theory of Threes perhaps look at the Australian painter Noel McKenna's work. You'll find plenty of works with just three elements arranged perfectly. Examples: Big Bull Wauchope, 2004,Big Strawberry, Redlands; Children's Ride, 1989; Bird on Road, 1999. For sub-plot and plot a visit to Henri Cartier-Bresson's work can also be intimidatingly rewarding.

Making Mischief - A Maurice Sendak Appreciation (Gregory Maguire) Andrew Finnie, Newcastle Painter (A. Finnie)

on the bench (War and Peace). The elements are man, cat in basket, newspapers. The pigeons and ground and bench in this case are the skeleton that the narrative element structure hangs on. But there is another element, a more self reflexive element because the cat is staring at the viewer as if it knows that you are there. And it means that in some ways you as

Issue 2 - November 2013



Definitions Element: What exactly is an image "element"? It's a concept that is hard to describe, easy to grasp. An element could be a tonal mass, it could be a block of text, it could be a flock of pigeons, or just one pigeon - it's all related to context. As an example have a look a the image of the sad man on the bench (War and Peace). The elements are man, cat in basket, newspapers. The pigeons and ground and bench in this case are the skeleton that the narrative element structure hangs on. But there is another element, a more self reflexive element because the cat is staring at the viewer as if it knows that you are there. And it means that in some ways you as the viewer become another element in the work.

Plot A series of events joined together by a causal relationship. As opposed to a 'story' - which is a series of events organised in temporal sequence.

Other Links Portfolio site: Email:

Issue 2 - November 2013




Now I’m out there in the garden where birds all roost and croon, ‘Tho the reason for my being is to check the growth and prune, While every tree and garden plant responds to nature’s needs, I waste my time in garden plots, just pulling out the weeds.

The stillness of each spring weekend, is shattered by the drone, With the passing of the winter months we are rewarded with Spring. A time for all things to renew their existence. There are colourful blooms, the nesting of birds and the crisp early mornings. It is the season that most people appear to favour.

Of men on little tractors, taming lawns they call their own. Around and round then back and forth, relentless in their chores, To wage a fight they cannot win - and groom the great outdoors. The storm bird is migrating for a predetermined date,

It’s time to turn the calendar and have September showing,

To start its calls at three AM intent to woo a mate.

Plants have started sprouting and the lawn is green and growing,

So I feel not for Spring’s return, or that bird’s arrival,

Some will rejoice that Spring has sprung and Winter’s in the past,

But I look to Summer’s coming and my own survival.

While others curse and question why, things grow so blooming fast! For I have recollections of last year about this time, Across the garden’s wide expanse, where leaves no longer fall,

And those visits to the chemist, to buy my Claratyne,

In rehearsed and perfect timing, all creatures great or small,

To stop my eyes from puffing and prevent the need to sneeze,

Are driven by an instinct to respond to nature’s need, Make ready to defend and fight and win the right to breed.

And give me strength to fight and beat, the dreaded disease,

Winter rain and spring sunshine have refreshed forgotten fields,

I await the coming Summer, ‘cause Autumn follows near,

And farmers who survived the drought, rejoice at promised yields,

When I can breathe and suck it in – without affect or fear,

They rub their hands in sheer delight as seeds begin to stir,

Because the air is pollen free and causes no concern,

Rewards for all who persevered – no thought to quit or err

And I shall breathe in peaceful bliss ‘til Springtime shall return. Issue 2 - November 2013




“SPRING” water colour by Bev Cozad Bush

Issue 2 - November 2013



S H E R R E L O A K E Y Outfit by Sherrel Oakey

Painting - Morocco by Sherrel Oakey

Issue 2 - November 2013



ARTIST - SHERREL OAKEY Forever I've needed to and loved to create. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of building and creating environments in the red soils of the farm where I grew up, or the sand creations which were part of the occasional but much loved trip to a beach. After a checkered career path, I decided to take time out and studied Art at NCAE from 1976 - 80, majoring in textiles and ceramics. Moving to Bathurst, my next few years were totally consumed with the very creative task of being a full-time Mum to my daughter and two sons. Whilst in Bathurst I enjoyed participating in several Judith White watercolour and related media workshops at Mitchell CAE. Having had my appetite whetted for painting on my return to Newcastle I studied painting at Newcastle TAFE In subsequent years I've worked as an Art specialist teacher in primary schools, conducted children's art classes and

workshops, as well as

taught for WEA and Hunter Evening College. I recent years I've enjoyed exhibiting in both solo and group exhibitions in the Newcastle district as well as the Maitland, Gresford and Dungog districts. I have lived in Carrington for the last two years and am enjoying all that living close to the centre of Newcastle, harbour and beaches affords.

Sherrel Oakey - image by Robyn Werkhoven

Issue 2 - November 2013



This year I've participated in the Adornment exhibition at Newcastle Art Space ; the Shared Vision exhibition at Studio 48; the Woof Woof exhibition at Truevision Gallery; Newcastle Art Prize; and recently in the Nightmares exhibition at Newcastle Art Space. I enjoy working in mixed media as I find it satisfies my love of texture and presents the challenge of resolving an art work on yet another level.

I don't have a "signature" style - some may consider this unu-

sual. I've undoubtedly been influenced and energized by the wonderfully honest and colourful art of young children - this is particularly apparent in some of my "naieve style" work. As well as painting, I enjoy creating upcycled fashion garments. These creations have been shown in outlets in Newtown, and locally in Timeless Textiles and Nanshe galleries. My much loved garden (but sometimes neglected) always presents a creative challenge, as do my many pieces of collected pre-loved furniture, lamps etc which cry out for a "new style". - SHERREL OAKEYŠ 2013

Furniture setting by Sherrel Oakey 2013

Issue 2 - November 2013



Painting by Sherrel Oakey (C)2013

Installation - Nightmares exhibition Sherrel Oakey Issue 2 - November 2013



KERRI SMITH Issue 2 - November 2013



ARTIST - KERRI SMITH Exhibition - Adventure Into An Unknown World. After graduating from Newcastle Tafe Art School in 2012 with a Diploma in Visual Arts I now have the freedom to explore technique and sub-conscious without the constraints of set tasks. However although I am not formally studying I am still on a constant art induced trajectory, absorbing and responding to observed principles and practices by constantly reading about art and attending and reviewing art exhibitions.

Newcastle is referenced in this exhibition as a parallel world. The icons are present but visual licence is apparent. This is my interpretation of this city and surrounds represented in a painterly style with energy and colour. The original ink linocuts are based on my drawings and paintings. More information on my work can be found on my blog at and my reviews can be seen at

Expression is paramount to art practice. At present I am researching an American 20th century artist Richard Diebenkorn who communicated enticingly through his vision rather than imposed art theory. His early work was associated with abstract expressionism but while this work is admirable it is his later work associated with the Bay Area Figurative movement that is influencing my current direction. It was while researching Richard Diebenkorn I happened upon a quote pertinent to my art practice. Although in reference to the abstract expressionists this quote by American 20th century artist Mark Rothko “To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks� struck me as a desirable approach to art practice. And this I hope to pursue throughout my career as an artist. Issue 2 - November 2013



Factors to consider when judging sculpture - ROGER McFARLANE

“Betty” - driftwood, plaster& fibreglass

Having been asked to judge sculpture on several occasions the question has been asked of me “How do you decide which sculpture is the best”. It is a straight forward question that does not have a straight forward answer. Judging sculpture is a subjective exercise and a different judge may make a different judgement on the day. However as a sculpture judge you owe it to the sculptors who have made and presented their works to bring some intellectual rigour to the process of judging the sculptures. On occasions a particular sculpture will just stand out in the crowd and demand your attention, this does not happen often enough. Mostly it is a matter of spending time walking around the sculptures and accessing their strengths and weaknesses. The criterion for judging and selecting sculptures often depends on the purpose of the judging. Is the sculpture being judged to go into a particular location? Such as a public sculpture Is the sculpture in a competition and being judged against other sculptures in the competition? Do you know the artist? And if so do you also judge the works against whether the sculpture is up to the standard you know the artist is capable off. Are you an academic, and judging the sculpture against the requirements of the curriculum? All these questions will a bearing on the way in which you form your opinions and make your final selections. Public sculptures bring their own set of selection criteria, what also needs to be kept in mind is that the commissioned public art project includes three levels of participation. Firstly the artist, then the commissioning body who accepts the design and the viewing public which includes the media, critics and academics along with the ordinary man and woman.

John Wilks - Winner Newcastle Regional Show Issue 2 - November 2013



The commissioning body who may also be judging the sculpture are drawn between conflicting requirements. The sculpture has to be suitable for the location, and satisfy the written requirements of the commissioning body. The critics may want the sculpture to be leading edge and modern, or conversely conservative and representational. The people who live with the sculpture on a daily basis will have different criteria as to what fits into their local environment. When making the judgement the judges will need to balance these various interests and still have an interesting and thought provoking sculpture. For the sculptor competing for a public sculpture commission it is frustrating when the selected sculpture appears to have no relevance to the design criteria. When I look at sculpture for judging I ask myself “Have the sculptors conformed to the competition criteria with regard to size, materials, theme and presentation”. The plinth if provided by the sculptor should be freshly painted in either black or white. The sculpture should be presented on a plinth that is in proportion to the sculpture. Lighting is important to sculpture and if possible the lighting should show the work to best effect. Harsh lights tend to wash out the detail of a sculpture and make it look flat and bland. Whereas soft lighting and shadows will accentuate shapes and lines which will bring the sculpture to life. As a judge I look for the sculptor to show mastery of the materials he or she works with, along with a sense that the artist cares about the finished work. The works need to have a sense of quality about them, not necessarily by using expensive materials, but by using even cheap materials as though they were expensive materials. Originality in the concept and execution rank highly. The sculpture should also have gravitas, to look impressive and be continually pulling your eyes towards it. Sculptures that have an air of tension about them, as though they are about to move, or do something are rare but special. Sculptures that have all these characteristics will lift a sculpture from the ordinary, to the level of a masterpiece. “Eye Pod IV, copper, cloth, resin By Elfriede Armstrong Issue 2 - November 2013



Masterpiece sculptures have what is known as the ‘X’ factor, something that is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Whether the sculpture is figurative or abstract the basic rules or art still apply. The proportions must be in harmony, the sculpture should look right from any angle. Curves should be pure curves and not be wobbly and crudely done. A line running through a sculpture should have a reason for being there, and guide your eye to make you walk around the sculpture. I prefer to have sculpture presented at or near eye height; this gives the sculpture more presence and an equal footing with the viewer. One strategy of selection is to prepare a grid of the features you are looking for and to give the features a numerical value. By doing this the judge can use the worksheet to analyse the sculptures in a more focused and accountable manner. The worksheet can be given to the artists as useful feedback on their work. The individual judge will select which aspects of the work are rated higher than others. Again this comes down to the judge’s aesthetic values and the purpose of the judging. A suggested worksheet grid is as follows. The loadings for each criteria and the number of judging criteria are a decision to be made by the judge, or the judging panel. Obviously in some circumstances the loadings and will vary depending on the reason for judging the sculpture. For a public sculpture fulfilling the design specifications could attract a higher loading. A sculpture competition where a prize is presented for best work, then the ‘X’ factor would have a higher loading. A key factor in judging sculpture is time. The judge requires the necessary time to spend looking at each work, and analysing all aspects of it. Sculpture by its nature takes time to design and create; the least the judge can do is give each work the time needed to make a careful assessment of its merits. In conclusion I would say that the judge has a heavy burden of responsibility to all the parties involved in the sculpture. The artist, the commissioning body, the sponsors, the general public and to the art world in general all have an interest in the judge’s decision. The judge must make an independent, fair and transparent decision that recognises and rewards the best practitioners of the art of sculpture.


Artist’s Name……………………………… VALUE

Overall presentation


Quality of work skills level


Originality of concept


Fulfilling the design specifications


Harmony of design from all angles


X Factor






- Roger McFarlane(C)2013 Web Page: Issue 2 - November 2013



Australian Sculpture Hunter Region Inc. Sculpture Exhibition.

Issue 2 - November 2013



Miguel Gonzalez

Gavin Vitullo Issue 2 - November 2013




Spontaneous mark making and form are present in this work that includes assemblage wood-cut panels,

Gavin Vitullo

bronze sculptures and large scale prints.

Miguel Gonzalez

Miguel Gonzalez (also known as M-lon) was born in Rhythms & Consequences features sculpture, printmaking

Caracas, Venezuela and began his career as an

and painting inspired by improvised movement,


architect, graduating from Universidad Central de Vene-


zuela in 2003 before turning his attention to his passion


for both illustration and painting. Miguel now resides in

migration and disorder.

At once a riot of colour and

reflection on gestural forms, both artists work is by intuitive


Sydney and it is this migration process over the past twelve


Gavin Vitullo is an emerging Newcastle artist who has re-


ceived many accolades over the past 12 months

prints with an








a series of paintings and screen

accompanying book that reflects on the

his winning proposal for the Newcastle Lord Mayor’s Public

chaos of society and questions the human behaviour of

Sculpture that will be installed on the Honeysuckle foreshore

re-invention. Miguel has exhibited internationally and re-

later this year. He has been a finalist in both the Gosford Art

cently established ‘Kayapa Creative Studio’ on Sydney’s

Prize for Sculpture (2012 & 2013)and Sculptures on the

Northern Beaches.

Green (2013) as well as recently winning the Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize(NEAP 2013) for Sculpture. This

CURVE GALLERY 37 Watt St Newcastle NSW

comprehensive series of current work, Rhythms Within, is

an exploration of intrinsic gestures of an abstract nature. Issue 2 - November 2013



ART NEWS Shiloh Art Studio Christmas Exhibition 2013 Paintings, works on paper, watercolour, etching, encaustic, handcrafted books, woodwork, jewellery and unique gifts. by Bernie Meyers, Darrell Meyers & Dawn Thompson Saturday 30th November Sunday 1st December 10am until 4pm 303 Dungog Rd, Martins Creek (near Paterson) Phone 4938 8142 Email:


Issue 2 - November 2013



ART NEWS Portia Geach Memorial Award 4 October - 16 November 2013 Australia’s leading portrait art prize for female artists. The National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery Watson Road, Observatory Hill, Sydney

Issue 2 - November 2013




NAKED & NUDE EXHIBITION Sept 28 til 10 Nov Manning Regional Art Gallery 12 MacQuarie St Taree NSW

Issue 2 - November 2013




6 - 24th November Watt Space Student Gallery - Newcastle Issue 2 - November 2013




Issue 2 - November 2013




A R T N E W S Issue 2 - November 2013



This year, LOOK HEAR will be presenting Hit The Bricks, a street art festival which will be painting Newcastle with world class art. Bringing together some of the most skilled and esteemed creators of street art, Hit The Bricks will be coming to Newcastle in November to bring art to the streets. Culminating over three days, the festival will play host to an expansive selection of renowned artists all using walls as their canvas. The public will be invited to witness art being created before their eyes, and get up close to the artists creating them. Certain locations will offer food and drinks for guests and a map will be devised denoting locations of walls for visitors to follow. A bike tour will also be taking place for people to travel from wall to wall. Opening with an artist panel at the Newcastle Art Gallery on Friday 22 Nov, and a few surprises to be announced later, Hit The Bricks will be like nothing you’ve ever seen. The festival will take place from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 of November 2013.


Issue 2 - November 2013



Painting “Newie “by Kerri Smith

Studio La Primitive Arts Zine(C)2013

Design & layout by Robyn Stanton Werkhoven 45