Visual Arts



Featured image: Artists Tetiana Maier and Marie Stohldreier

Bright and colourful abstracts right in the middle of the city! Join two independent Sydney-based artists for an afternoon full of fun, stories and surprises! Drop by ARO gallery this Saturday, the 12th of January!

AU BOUT DE...  is translated from French as At the bottom of...

The motto deliberately leaves a lot room for interpretation. Our art is a abstract means to get to the bottom of each individual emotional trigger. We believe that each piece opens a door to the deeper inner self, building a stronger rapport with the reality by connecting rational and sensual experiences.

A common theme of all our artworks is an abundance of color – sometimes cheerful and sometimes overwhelming.”

AU BOUT DE… from Blankpage will show  8-13th of Jan with a  meet the artists on the 9th of Jan at 5:30 pm and 12th of Jan at 3 pm at ARO Gallery. [Facebook Event]


This image: ‘Harbour’
Featured image: ‘George Street’

URBANE is a new selection of works by artist Damien March at whose work features in collections both in Australia and Internationally.

Urbane makes reference to both the sophisticated and cultured nature of contemporary society. The essence of the exhibition is that in our immediate age, it is great to stop and reflect the environment around us.”  said March.  “technological society can see that the world can go apathetically past.”  URBANE  captures the great cities of the world and aims to give prominence through a traditional expression.

URBANE uses a vast array of materials ranging from inks, acrylics, varnishes, thickeners, sand pumice and resin. Working with such diverse media has elevated the paint surface with a sophisticated aesthetic. A push and pull effect is created between layers, rough thick gestural strokes contrasting against refined glistening resin. Vigorous Neo Expressionistic palette knife movements further accentuates the visual experience.

Following his highly successful showing at substrate in Hollywood, mixed media artist Damien March‘s URBANE is on show at m2 Gallery, 450 Elizabeth St, Surrey Hills from January 16 -29.  The official opening will be Friday 18th of January from 6-9pm.


This image: Zanny Begg  
The Beehive 2018 (production still) Photo: Hugh Hamilton
Courtesy: the artist and Enigma Machine
 Featured image: Zanny Begg  
The Beehive 2018 (production still) Photo: Philppa Bateman
Courtesy: the artist and Enigma Machine

Life is inexplicable, random, despite the complexity of human choices.  Zanny Begg’s installation THE BEEHIVE interrogates choice through an unpredictability out of the viewer’s hands.  Produced by Philippa Bateman and presented in association with the Sydney Festival, the non-linear experimental documentary is inspired by the unsolved murder of Juanita Nielsen.  Nielsen, despite being an heiress, chose to lobby and activate against the development of Victoria Street, Kings Cross in the 1970s.  She disappeared, not accidentally, in 1975 and Begg’s work brings again to consciousness social justice and inequity around affordable housing. Continue reading THE BEEHIVE. COLD CASE HIGHLIGHTS MODERN SOCIAL JUSTICE CONCERNS



ART BATTLE ® can’t wait to come to Sydney!

An evening of creativity and community, a live painting tournament showcasing local artists and connecting Sydney to towns and cities around the world! Watch as artists transform blank canvases into beautiful pieces of art in just 20 minutes, and then help vote to determine the winner of the event! All artwork will also be available for silent auction.

Be a part of the fun as a spectator, or participate as one of the featured artists by applying online . There is never a fee or cost for artists to participate in any official Art Battle® event.

ART BATTLE SYDNEY is at the Factory Theatre 25th January 2019 7pm.  Find out more at their website, Facebook event  or Instagram.


Some years ago the Sydney City Council was criticised for the paucity of Christmas lighting in the city, particularly when compared to the spectacular displays in other major cities around the world. The Council and some major retailers have stepped up to the plate and have decorated the city in a lovely fashion – even the new light rail lines were brought into play.

David Jones pulled up its socks this year and had enchanting Christmas windows in its Market Street store.

Nearby Christmas themed projections were displayed on the magnificent facade of St Mary’s Cathedral.

The giant Christmas Tree and choirs ensured that Martin Place was packed on the nights leading up to Christmas.

All pics by Ben Apfelbaum (c)



The Powerhouse Museum’s main hall was packed to the rafters for Akira Isogawa exhibition and book launch on Tuesday 11th December. The exhibition itself became open to the general public on Friday 14th December.

Fashion pioneers were there including Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee. Art patrons and philanthropists were there including John Kaldor and Naomi Milgrom.. In fact, Ms Milgrom introduced Akira on stage to the audience after giving a heartfelt and glowing precis of Akira’s remarkable 25 year career.

The Minister for the Arts Don Harwin also spoke, as he said, as Akira’s friend.

Speakers quoted passages from Roger Leong’s book on Akira as it too was being launched. Also introduced  was the new Director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Lisa Havilah, who was formerly Director of Carriageworks.

Nearby to the main hall  was the fashion exhibition itself. Despite being exhibited around the world, this exhibition is Akira’s first major retrospective, emphasising his inspirations and influences starting from a top which was a garment designed by Akira in 1994 for his collection ‘Not made in Japan’.

The exhibition is divided into four themes: Journey, Kimono, Collaborations and Craftsmanship.  In  addition to the 100 or so fashion pieces on display, some of which came from garments already donated to the Gallery, Akira indicated that as well what he has previously donated he will be donating a further 100 pieces bringing the Museum’s archive collection to 200.

Highlights included Akira’s designs for the Sydney Dance Company going back to the time when Graeme Murphy was its Director. The accompanying video showed how these designs were put to use with the dancers performances. Also included is his first Vogue magazine cover with a dress modelled by Naomi Campbell. Vogue’s editor saw Akira’s talent early on and her promotion of Akira launched him into the fashion guru stratosphere.

There is also a very informative video narrated by Akira as to how be came to Australia and became involved in fashion which included his graduation from East Sydney TAFE, to making counter culture costumes for 1990’s underground rap parties  to being the darling of wealthy women and their daughters.

The Akira Isogawa exhibition runs at the Museum of Applies Arts and Sciences until 30 June 2019.

Featured image – Biographer Roger Leong and Akira Isogawa. All pics by Ben Apfelbaum.


This image: Kim Carpenter
Featured image: Brett & Wendy in Bali 1980. Copyright Wendy Whiteley, The Brett Whiteley studio

As part of Sydney Festival 2019, the compelling new drama, BRETT & WENDY …A LOVE STORY BOUND BY ART, will bring to life the tumultuous world of iconic artist Brett Whiteley and his wife, muse, model and confidante, Wendy.

It has been written, directed and designed by Kim Carpenter who is the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre of Image – an Australian company producing works for the past 30 years.  The Guide had a very special opportunity to chat in depth about this upcoming production.  A very generous Kim shared his passionate vision for the project.

SAG:      Your media release says you were captivated by this iconic Australian couple and you were looking for a way to bring it to the stage. How did it occur to you to do it this way?
KIM:      I have done pieces about artists, in the past, quite some time ago. About Lloyd Rees and Arthur Boyd and a more generic piece about Australian artists which was called ‘Little Beauties’ which was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and had a return season this year. And it was originally done in, I think 2011, so it’s a subject that obsesses me and I guess because my own background.

When I decided to go into theatre, it was a choice between … would I become an independent artist and a painter or would I go into theatre as a designer and theatre maker?  So I decided, only through logistics.  A 5 year course at East Sydney Tech was far too long and two years at NIDA was better.  So go for two years. So it was all a bit accidental. Continue reading SUNDAY SERIES: WRITER, DIRECTOR, DESIGNER SPEAKS ABOUT ‘BRETT & WENDY’


The current vibrant exhibition at the Traffic Jam Galleries Neutral Bay gallery is entitled CONTEMPLATIVE WHIMSY and features works by Andrew Grassi Kelaher and Danielle McManus.

Andrew Grassi Kelaher ‘s delightful works are mostly land/seascapes. They are all fairly similar in style and composition but are enchanting. There is much made of the wonderful sky and clouds and the various changing colours. Grassi Kelaher sometimes uses spray paint for atmospheric effect especially in the skies. Sometimes the reflection in the water is an important part of the work.

There are often many bobbing small boats with colourful sails that lead the eye from the top to the bottom of the page. Rocks and trees with their distinctive textures are also heavily featured .In Harbour’s Edge the boat sails are darting like shark fins. In Weekend Sunshine emphasis is placed on the extra number of houses intruding into the environment. When it Rains it Pours and As the Rain Passes By feature glorious pink-to red- clouds. Cool Calm Cruising has a wonderful solitary Rosella parrot in flight.

Danielle McManus’ works for this exhibition include Scarlet Beauty an intricately detailed portrait of a waratah,  undulating with life. Milk and Honey is a striking depiction of a banksia, with curling grey stem, a magpie arrogantly yet glumly perched on top of it.

There are also some of her whimsically charming paintings of assorted people with her trademark use of huge eyes. Melody features a young accordion player in a grey dress with a white collar at night, a bird perched on her shoulder, another on the instrument.
Rapture depicts a young lady in 18th century dress, a bird at her waist, another in her hair. She appears to be listening to an old fashioned record player which has a cornucopia of native flowers, birds and butterflies exploding from it. Wild At Heart shows a young child with a fox ear headdress, looking like she is holding a book or symbolic doors to the heart, with butterflies perched on her shoulders, flowers– especially a large waratah -and birds .

I Wish I Could Fly Like You is a wistful portrait of a lonely young child up a tree wearing old fashioned pilot goggles and surrounded by birds.

A most exciting exhibition. The exhibition runs at the Neutral Bay branch of Traffic Jam Galleries until 10 December 2018.

Featured image- .Danielle McManus-‘Rapture’- 90-x-120cm-acrylic-and-mixed-media-on-canvas.


This Image:Claude Monet (French, 1840 – 1926 ), The Japanese Footbridge, 1899, oil on canvas, Gift of Victoria Nebeker Coberly, in memory of her son John W. Mudd, and Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg
Featured image: Claude Monet, Impression Sunrise, 1872

I, CLAUDE MONET, an award-winning documentary based entirely on Claude Monet’s personal letters, reveals Monet the artist, businessman and lover as never before. Disposing of traditional narration and talking heads, I, CLAUDE MONET allows Monet to tell his story in his own words. Based on three thousand surviving letters, the film reveals a tumultuous inner life marked by moments of intense depression and euphoric creation, offering a complex portrait of one of the world’s best loved artists.

The film is accompanied by an original score by award-winning composer Stephen Baysted and is written and directed by Phil Grabsky.  The Guide had the opportunity to send through some questions to the award winning filmmaker before the encore screenings from November 29. Continue reading I, CLAUDE MONET: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WRITER/DIRECTOR


Two very contrasting artist’s works in this most exciting exhibition currently showing at the Mosman branch of Traffic Jam Galleries.

Jenny Green’s QUADRIVIAL is her latest sculptures , where you can feel the weighty shapes and admire the cool, severe lines.

In medieval monastic education, the Quadrivium was the study of the big four – arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. In her show QUADRIVIAL, Jenny Green explores these four elements of the Quadrivium, experimenting with the interlocking of both positive and negative space and the interrelationship between solid and open form. Jenny takes tetrahedrons (triangular pyramids) and colour, line and curve to explore harmony, geometry, and the sky.

In the QUADRIVIAL series itself, all made of bronze , the interlocking shapes are solid and heavy yet at the same time appear to be floating . Quadrivial 8 has a reflective mirror underneath.
Vertex 1 and 2 are large stainless steel works. There is a sense of enclosed space yet simultaneously stretching and pushing against this. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : JENNY GREEN’S ‘QUADRIVIAL’ AND REBECCA PIERCE’S ‘BOUQUET GARNI’


The Lewers Bequest provides the setting and inspiration for YELLOW YELLOW SOMETIMES BLUE

YELLOW YELLOW SOMETIMES BLUE from Q Theatre has now completed over half its run and I was late to the party.  An unforgiveable breach of etiquette and a missed opportunity to tell you about this wonderful show.  It is a superb rendering of the 1950s in thought and deed as we see Australian society beginning the change that will hit full force in a decade or so.  It is set in 1954, before hippies and second wave feminism, but the seeds of change for women, immigrants and especially artists, are blowing in from dirty brown Nepean River that runs past the Lewer’s kitchen.

The production has been inspired by the history of Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest.  The Lewers, Margo, a painter, and Gerald, a sculptor, were part of the Australian Modernism art movement and they were famous for their parties.  This production sees the “help” in the kitchen of the home that “Mrs L” bequeathed to the public.  They are busy with party preparations and serving the guests. Iris is a girl torn between career and settlement with the heart of an artist and Leo, is a post-war Hungarian immigrant with a melancholy of memories which surface without notice. Continue reading YELLOW YELLOW SOMETIMES BLUE: A FITTING TRIBUTE TO A GENERATION OF ARTISTS.