Visual Arts


An exhibition entitled Star Wars : Identity opens on Friday 16 November 2018 and should prove an irresistible magnet to Star War fans.

Perhaps the most revered character is Yoda the Jedi master. He teaches Jedi knights to nurture and channel an inner and outer strength known as the Force. It creates courage, endurance and strategic and tactical wisdom to become a Jedi knight (an exclusive band of warriors)

Yoda at critical times materialises to impart a prophetic wisdom to help the Jedi knights and their followers to fend off what is known as the Dark Side.  

In this exhibition this reverence has spilled over into the treatment of a Yodi figure. The media was called to the Powerhouse Museum to witness the uncrating of Yoda and the reverential treatment with which it was accorded as it was transported to its nearby exhibition case.

Interestingly enough the case is quite large emphasising Yoda’s diminutive stature.

In the earlier films he was played by dwarfs such as Warwick Davis but in more recent times Yoda has been digitised.

Unfortunately he died at the age of 900 in the most recent Star Wars film Return of the Jedi.

But he lives again in this exhibition!


Flugtag is German for flying  day. Sponsor Red Bull’s drinks are supposed to give you wings. The fullest realisation of this is in their air shows which are held round the world. A single engine craft undergoes a time trial whereby it must fly around obstacles which sometimes require amazing aerial stunts. The fastest pilot and plane through the obstacle course is the winner. Red Bull sought permission to hold the event over Sydney harbour but this request was refused. This show has been held in Perth over the Swan river..

Nevertheless we received a consolation prize when Sydney held its first ‘Birdman Rally on the 6th April 2008. Red Bull actually started these rallies in 2000 and they have been held every year since in over 35 cities globally.

Sydney had to wait another ten years to hold Flugtag which  took place on the 10th November 2018. No other city in Australia to date has held a Flugtag. It was held at Mrs Macquarie Chair where a crowd of over 50,000 watched with amusement as aircraft of all shapes and sizes plunged from a six metre platform into Farm Cove, Sydney harbour. The backdrop to this event was Sydney’s spectacular cityscape, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

Sydney’s criteria is different from those in other cities. The wingspan must be not bigger than 8 metres (26 feet) and the weight (not including the pilot) is limited to 180 kilograms (400 lbs). The  contraption must be powered only by muscle and gravity and any battery or engine assistance is strictly prohibited. Because the aircraft will inevitably end up in the water it must be unsinkable and constructed entirely of environmentally friednly materials and must not have any loose parts.

Each team comprises four  people, three to push the craft and one  to ‘pilot’ it.

Teams that enter the competition are judged according to three criteria- distance, creativity and showmanship. Included under showmanship is the requirement for the team to choreograph and perform a short dance prior to take off.

All participants must wear a life jacket and helmet, be able to swim thirty metres without assistance and the pilot must be able to easily escape his or her flying machine. Furthermore one must be able to swim in the costume of one’s choosing.

Team creativity ran to creating crafts such as the Splashed Avo, a dinosaur named Flyrannosaurus, and a barbecued themed craft called The Sore Sage Sizzle.

A  crowd favourite was the Bin Chook comprising of a paper mache Ibis in a wheelie bin.

However the winner was Chip Off The Block which was a seagull and chip themed flying machine. In second place was the Flying Ricciardo, basically a racing car,  and in third place was won by the Red Baron modelled on a World War 1 military aircraft.

This year’s contestants did not ‘fly’ anywhere near the world record which was set in Long Beach, California when a craft flew 258 feet (76.8 metres) in 2015.

One hopes that it won’t take another ten years for Flugtag to land in Sydney again.



Many people in their quest to see the large and often spectacular sculptures with glorious backdrops of the Pacific Ocean, Bondi and Tamarama beaches often miss one of the jewels of this annual event, for example the Maquettes. Just as painters will do preliminary sketches or a draft, so too do sculptures. Prior to creating a large edifice for installation they prepare small miniature models technically named Maquettes.

Despite admiring some particular sculptures intensely in the main event most people do not live in premises that could house these gigantic objects. Furthermore, the cost runs into five or six figures.

Maquettes are the ideal compromise. Most cost in the four figure range, they can fit in your house or apartment, and in most cases can be carried away by hand. I attended on the last day of Sculpture by the Sea and there were plenty of sold red dots on these small but often powerful objects of desire.



This years Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (DMNPP), has gone to emerging artist Lynn Savery. The Prize is Australia’s richest art prize with Savery being the recipient of $150,000. This is Savery’s first major art prize. She has certainly started at the top! The DMNPP is believed to be the world’s most valuable art prize.

This year’s judges were artist and former winner of the DMNPP and Archibald Prizes’  Louisa Hearman, Ron Radford AM, the former Director of the National Gallery Of Australia  and Greta Moran, Co-Founder and Director of the Moran Arts Foundation.

Richard Moorecroft was the emcee for the event which took place at Juniper Hall, where the work of all thirty finalists are being exhibited. Peter Moran, Managing Director, Moran Health Care Group, spoke briefly and then passed the microphone to Louisa Hearman who announced the winning entry.

Hearman said, “A painting for me when it is really good is an object in space that not only makes me think but also entices me to keep looking at it. Each time i look at it  see more, I think more and the more it makes me do that, the more it is, in my mind, a good painting. The winning painting is exactly that, an object that we naturally wanted to keep looking at. Each time I look I see fascinating things to contemplate.” Continue reading LYNN SAVERY WINS 2O18 DOUG MORAN NATIONAL PORTRAIT PRIZE


There were a number of firsts at this year’s Sculpture by The Sea.

For the first time a Victorian James Parrett has won the Aqualand Sculpture Award worth $70,000 for his work ‘M-fortysix’. The Waverley Council Mayor’s Award worth $5000 was won by Mu Boyan from China for his sculpture simply entitled ‘Horizon’. It is also the first time that these prize winners were announced midway through the Festival. This was due to the inability of the organisers to anchor all the sculptures because of bad weather loosening the soil between Bondi and Tamarama. It was felt that only when all the sculptures were secure that the winner could be announced.

Another first, to be the best of my recollection, is the inclusion of two inflatable sculptures, Goldberg Aberline Studio’s  (they created the sculpture commemorating 40 years of Mardi Gras) ‘Microcosm’ and Cool Shit’s ‘Damien Hirst Looking For Sharks’. Continue reading SCULPTURE BY THE SEA : A YEAR OF FIRSTS


Secret Walls – Live Illustration Battle

Secret Walls (formerly Secret Wars) is the World’s premier live illustration battle. Working in a similar way to Fight Club, Secret Walls battles are set up and promoted through word of mouth & social media.

Battles take place between 2 individuals, or 2 teams of artists.

Secret Walls began back in 2006 in a small bar in East London, it was small, and intimate yet had the potential to be so much more. Years of hard work, dedication and a strong following has meant Secret Walls has pushed the boundaries and raised the bar for artists and promoters alike on an international stage.

Boasting experience in major cities including NYC, London, Lisbon, Berlin, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Dublin and Amsterdam, proves and many more, proves that there really isn’t a stage big enough for the groundbreaking and award-winning event.


90 minutes on the battle clock
Only black SW special markers and black acrylic paint can be used as battle weapons
No pencils / sketches should be on stage or used as reference
Each artist has to stay within the allocated space, if they creep over then there will be a 1 point deduction
Battles are judged by 2 nominated and neutral guest judges + crowd vote (3 point system) (using a decibel reader)
Hosted on giant white walls

STARRING ARTISTS – Ben Brown + Kentaro Yoshinda vs. Mlon + Ox King.  LIVE MUSIC BY – DJ ROBIN BANKS

SECRET WALLS X SYDNEY 2018 – #PaintWillSpill WORLD TOUR  will be on November 4, 6pm- Midnight at the Oxford Art Factory, 38-46 Oxford Street. See more at YouTube Channel and on their Facebook.

With thanks to Secret Walls, Sydney Arts Guide has two double pass giveaways to the event on November 4.

To be in the running to win a double pass , email ( with SECRET WALLS  as the subject, along with your full name.

Competition closes MIDDAY Saturday November 3, 2018 when the winner will be drawn. Only the winner will be notified and the pass will be available at the door on the day.


Archibald Prize  winner Fiona Lowry’s intrigue with the Australian bush and the dark secrets it holds, along with the choice of her subject matter – vulnerable naked bodies airbrushed to form part of her aesthetic trademark once again becomes the nucleus of her creative efforts in producing a dreamscape of fantasy in a landscaped setting.

Here we have an artist who uses a skilled technique of airbrushing with a restricted palette of soft pastel colours to register her unique style that resonates with a dual paranoia of sensuality and menace. Often, her subjects appear to be falling over each other in a state of confusion or intimacy. Continue reading FIONA LOWRY : THE TIES THAT BIND


The launch of this 22nd Sculpture By The Sea was unusual in that the Sculpture Prize announcement was delayed. This was due to the very wet first half of October which prevented some of the sculptures from being installed. The organisers felt that the sculpture award winner should be announced once all the sculptures have been erected.

David Handley announced that more than one hundred and thirty artists from twenty one countries have created this year’s one hundred and seven sculptures. Towards the end of his speech a tearful Handley dedicated this year’s exhibition to the life and career of the late Matthew Harding, a frequent exhibitor and supporter of Sculpture By The Sea. Continue reading SCULPTURE BY THE SEA TURNS 22


A wonderful exhibition showcasing the work of one of the world’s greatest photographers David Goldblatt opened today at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  The exhibition is part of this year’s Sydney International Art Series.

With a  career spanning seven decades, Goldblatt is best known for his portrayal of South Africa during the rise and dismantling of Apartheid. His images offer a powerful insight into what is happening in South Africa at the time. His photographs used a documentary style which depicted human beings facing hardship and racism.

Goldblatt wrote, “Apartheid became very much the centre of my work, but my real preoccupation was with our did we get to be the way we are.”

David Goldblatt passed away in June this year, This comprehensive retrospective exhibition shows the depth and  breadth of his vision . As MCA Director Elizabeth Ann McGregor wrote in her forward to the exhibition, “Goldblatt documented the history, people, structures and landscapes of South Africa with a quiet determination and an unflinching sense of what is right, and just, and what is not.”

The exhibition is on at the MCA until 3 March  2019. Adults $24 Concession $18.  The exhibition is free for MCA members.



This image: Lurline Bay/ Featured image: Topaz

TOPAZ ART EXHIBITION: View the latest collection of expressive paintings by Sydney artist, Gabbi Lancaster.  Come and visit the artist at Aro Gallery for a chat and to see the works.

Reflections on the water mirror the artists deepest feelings. Colourful imaginary waterscapes; rock pools, rivers and lakes are subtly expressed. Figures dance, entwined in a tender embrace evoking feelings of love and connection.

TOPAZ from Gabbi Lancaster opens at Aro Gallery, Darlinghurst [Facebook] on Wednesday 14th November at 6pm.

Dynamic Drawing Events in the gallery:
Life drawing 18th November
Drawing Dancers 23rd November
Bookings are essential to the events via website.


“A Chakra is like a whirling, vortex like powerhouse of energy. Within our bodies we have seven of these major energy systems.” – Gemma Lynch-Memory

This vibrant , exciting exhibition is currently on display at the Mosman section of Traffic Jam Galleries.

Born in Bathurst , NSW , Gemma Lynch-Memory has held over twenty solo exhibitions and her works have been collected both throughout Australia and internationally and are included in both private and corporate collections.This particular exhibition is a journey through Chakras and our energies, emotions and experiences of life. It is full of colour, energy and texture.

The Chakras : the seven energy centres position throughout the body that help regulate all its processes – are explained in notes and diagrams on the walls next to the various paintings. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : GEMMA LYNCH – MEMORY MAPS OF MEANING