Tag Archives: Traffic Jam Galleries


Both artist’s works are a feast for the eyes in the current exciting exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries .

Will Maguire’s exhibition is called Porous and Quivering.

This waa a most exciting exhibition of various sculptures made of wood and steel. The materials are lovingly crafted and the ‘line’ of the sculptures and the texture of the material is at times featured.In Maguire’s exhibition the first part of the his exhibition is of pieces that have an emphatic Presence , with a dynamic arrangement at times swooping and curved , or straining vertically. Some have a soring feel, others more a heavy weightiness . The texture and weight of the wood is used to great effect.

Most of Maquire’s work displayed though is the steel ‘ domes’ in various forms .At times they look like insects , with their extra long , fragile ‘legs’ . They are presented on plinths , some singular , others double or multiples. They vibrantly stretch , bend and grow.

Dome Influence Struggles has two domes strenuously pushing against each other – you can feel the energy.

Will Maguire ‘Dome Composition’
Will Maguire ‘Dome Influence Struggles’


Unsteady Standing Dome has a long curved ‘ trunk’ like an elephant.

Then we come to Hover Domes 1-7 – a fierce line up of what could be described as helmets , with wooden supports.

Press Form Moving Along the Flat snakes horizontally .

Next are Timber Form Study 1-8 where the glorious texture of the wood is utilised in various shapes , sizes and thickness , with a slightly leaning form and ‘line’ , again set on plinths and using steel supports.

Last is a seemingly fragile delicate series of plywood and 1000 degree iron #1-4 ,photographed/displayed on a background of white cloth. They look like they could possibly be either feathers or inky brushstrokes.

Danielle McManus exhibition is called CAPTURED MOMENTS

Danielle McManus ‘Colourful Imagaination’

Danielle McManus’ exhibition CAPTURED MOMENTS is charming and delightful, striking ,bright bold and colourful and celebrates Australian flora and fauna and birds.

We are asked to imagine what the person in the painting is thinking/dreaming about.

Alone With her Memories depicts a nurse in a red cape , sitting alone on a large sofa with a troubled look, in a field of poppies. It is presumably World War 1 and she has lost her husband/fiancé/partner (?)but it could apply to any of the wars since then.

In Colourful Imagination we see a young girl , head tilted to one side and eyes closed , surrounded by a circular composition of birds , wheeling with wings open, two of which are in her arms/hands.

Boundless has a vertical , triangular composition with a young person wearing an old fashioned aviator helmet with a magpie perched on top against a cloudy pale blue sky.

Then comes Party of Four with a young girl in a glittering black ‘ crown’ and three different sorts of cockatoos .The jar on the table with a sparse floral arrangement is also important.

Protector is a plea for preservation of the environment and splendidly combines many textures – The girl ( in a black and white striped outfit) wears a flannel flower cap , holds a sleek platypus in her arms and has birds perched on her. There is also the various textures of the backdrop of the landscape.

Danielle McManus ‘Protector’


Immense and Sweet Eaters are two delicate graphite drawings .In Immense , there is a landscape with a butterfly , which takes up the bottom third of the composition and has contrasting textures. The young girl wears a close fitting cap of flannel flowers, noticed by an interested bee.

Sweet Eaters has a girl in an old fashioned Victorian like blouse , with upswept hair , a crown of flowers and nestling birds. She also holds a sprig of the flowers in her hand and there is another bird.

Stop to Smell The Flowers is bright, bold and questioning , looking directly at the viewer.The young , somewhat sad, person wears a bubbling floral hairdo of yellow flowers and a bird nestles on top.

Pearl Buttons depicts a young woman in profile wearing a Victorian style lace blouse – the buttons are at the back of the blouse .Her hair is upswept and we see a bird peeking out.

Peace Offering is a dynamic ,cheeky portrait of a colourful parrot holding a dandelion in its beak. The flat texture of its red body is contrasted with the cloak of its wings.

In Hopes and Dreams we see a young boy on a large chair in the middle of a field of poppies, wearing heavy boots and the old fashioned aviator helmet. He holds a dandelion and is surrounded by a fox and parrots Wistful daydreaming ?

The Little Prince is a gorgeous portrait of a young boy, looking down with a slight smile and sweeping eyelashes,, wearing a glittery black paper crown.

Pink and Grey is a cheeky ,confident portrait of a galah in profile.
Rose seems rather glum. Quite freckled, she wears the yellow flower cap and is looking upwards staring at a bee.

The Comfy Chair is a portrait of a magpie on a bottlebrush(which looks like it could have bouncy springs ).There is wonderful contrast between the flower and the sleek bird.

Blossom is a beautiful portrait of a possum curled in flowers.

Gaze shows a young woman in profile with a small sprig of flowers in her hair.

Fancy is a vibrant portrait in profile of a squawking cockatoo.

Nightwatchman is a front on haunting portrait of an owl , with its intense gaze .The face is almost divided in the middle and you can feel the downy textures.

For the Love of May is a beautiful, quite theatrical poster like pale young woman wearing a floral cap and there is a radiating backdrop of petals .

Using a diagonal composition, in Delicate we see a young woman in profile in the lace blouse with a headdress of flannelflowers.
Amongst the Leaves catches a scurrying numbat posing upright for a moment holding flowers amongst the leaves and neutral brownish tones .

The exhibition runs at Traffic Jam Galleries 5-26 April 2022

Traffic Jam Galleries Home


Two very exciting exhibitions are currently showing at Traffic Jam Galleries – Megan Barass’ GARDENS, WATER AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS and Andrew Grassi-Kelaher’s MIXED TRICKS.

Megan Barrass Gardens, Water and the Great Oudoors.

Barrass’ work is bright, bold and colourful with free, expressive brushstrokes, celebrating Sydney Harbour, Wendy Whiteley’s garden and Luna Park. In her works she is trying to encapsulate a reminder of enjoyable local experiences. The exhibition is divided into clear subject groupings as this is often the way Barrass initially processes her work. Barrass starts from small, scribbly observational sketches and her photography, then further expands them as large scale and intimate pieces on canvas and paper once back in her studio.

In ‘Travelling By Ferry Sydney Harbour’ we see ferries on a hot summer day and the Harbour Bridge .You can feel the movement of the ferries.

In ‘View From Wendy’s Garden’ (as in Wendy and Brett Whiteley) you can see the Harbour, boats and the Bridge but the work is dominated by a sprawling still life of flowers that almost explode off the page.

‘Jeffrey Street Wharf Sydney’ is in mostly pink and blue tones, depicting the Harbour but the work is dominated by the Bird of Paradise plants that erupt vertically in the composition.

Then we see ‘Morning Light on the Bay’ where against a red sky Barrass depicts, in a very strong, forceful composition, ferries and boats at a wharf with the eye led to the Harbour Bridge.

‘Lavender Bay Wharf’ is a busy, vibrant composition with swirling water and reflections.

Next is the large triptych of ‘Bathers’ – a large crowd of people at the beach.They are all facing away from the viewer towards the water. There are lots of blues and greens but also very colourful umbrellas.

An energetic portrait of the Victor Chang ferry follows.

‘Ferry’ comes next – a portrait of a ferry berthed and tied up , mostly in blues and greens but also some vivid reds ,with a small dinghy attached.

‘Pelican At the Bay’ is a vigorous pelican portrait where it is showing off and posing on the rocks.

Another large triptych is ‘Boathouse’, where we see boats secured at the wharf and fishing catch baskets. The eye is led to the horizon and we also see the people inside the boathouse, so there is the contrast between the land and aquatic environments. In this work the brushstrokes and ‘line’ are very controlled and defined, unlike most of Barass’ other works in this exhibition.

‘Flowers on window seat’ features a blue and purple butterfly and flower vase with a volcanic cascade of flowers in a vase.

This is followed by a triptych of bird vases full of wildflowers, the canvases are crammed full and we can see a black cockatoo, rosella parrots, a kookaburra and galahs, worked in with wattle, waratah, bottlebrush and other native flowers.

Then comes the Luna Park series with the iconic entrance face and the clown.

Andrew Grassi Kellaher’s MIXED TRICKS

For Kellaher, the title of his exhibition ‘Mixed Tricks’ is a nod to the diversity of subject and differing styles he likes to embrace and explore.

‘Brilliant Bayside’ is a fabulous aerial view of both boats and houses. Everything seems still , but our attention is caught by the repeated lines of reflections of the boats and the detailed texture of the wattle.

‘Distant Veil and First Rain’, while having a bright blue sky, shows the parched land and draught and how the water and trees have shrunk .A comment on climate change?

‘Soft Hued Hillside’ blends landscape and clouds, with a dominant curved horizontal line but there is also a meandering triangular clump of trees.

A pristine beach is depicted in ‘Beach Life’, with delightful rolling water that possibly looks like whales. There are spiky trees, pinkish clouds and butterflies.

‘A Touch Tropical’ captures an island beach at sunset, with trees on a rolling hillside, spiky cactus , birds and boats.

‘Little Boats’ is bold, delicate and joyous,jaunty and colourful with reflections from the movement of the boat.

‘Brushed Inlet’ depicted in free, expansive brushstrokes, catches the reflection in the water and depicts the rocks, trees and water.

‘The Back Track’ is quite controlled in its depiction of rolling hills and rocks. The diagonal line of the road cuts the composition and all is dominated by the cloudy pink sunset.

‘Distant Mountain Haze’ is full of the rusty pinks of the dry earth and spotted with struggling green. In Distant Mountain Haze there is a fabulous blue haze (the Blue Mountains?).

In ‘Calm Kinda Day’ Kellaher vividly and expressively depicts curved rolling hills and trees. Are we caught behind the barrier, fenced off and looking at the view? The use of perspective takes us to the vanishing point of the pink horizon.

With ‘A Breath of wind on the Horizon’ all is still and very dry. Trees dot the landscape. You can feel the heat and the environment trying to breathe.

‘Distant Perspective’ is mostly in pinks and blues, with the dull green of the trees. Again, there is not much water – the earth is becoming parched. All leads the eye to the top of the canvas along the dotted horizontal line of trees.

‘Dreamy Summer Regatta’ is a very neat, defined and crisp work. A flotilla of boats is in the dark turquoise water and we also see trees, land and houses. The eye is led to the top of the canvas with its pink/off white clouds.

In quite a different, far freer style we are presented with two bird portraits – an exuberant Rosella parrot bouncing up and down on a branch in ‘When the King Calls’, and a huffy, arrogant, charismatic blue wren in ‘Twitchy Blue’.

Finally, there is ‘Japanese Gardens’, mostly painted in earthy tones giving a calm sense of place with the clouds, bridge, rocks and lotus floating in the water.

The exhibition by Megan Barrass and Andrew Grassi Kelaher runs at Traffic Jam Galleries until 3 December 2021.





The current exciting exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries highlights two artists : works by J VALENZUELA DIDI entitled The Quiet Life, and pieces by SAM HOPKINS .


J Valenzuela Didi was born in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in 1977. The self-taught Brisbane artist draws on the emergence of patterns and geometric shapes to explore common scenes and signposts of modern life. In his paintings, familiar urban landscapes become haunting and alien reminders of the beauty and character of the present-day. He says ‘ In my artworks I use urban spaces and commonplace objects to explore the transience of life. In the works I want to show the glorious splendour in everyday life and the melancholy that accompanies the awareness of mortality. I have a folder that I fill with interesting pictures of everyday moments. As I’ve returned to this file over the years, I’ve found that the images have evolved over time. I have altered and displaced the figures in these pictures to echo a transformation’  

Works in his current display are : 

Nina By The Shore – In this work Nina sits, quietly contemplative. She is barefoot, sunhat off, sitting on wonderfully textured rocks, gazing at the pebbled shore. Windswept trees are behind her and we can see a faraway, almost invisible long pier.  The eye is drawn by the composition to the left hand side of the painting, and the verticality is emphasised. 

Five Sisters of the Maritime – we can see only three and a bit though! The Sisters appear to be having much fun – they are fishing at night , under a starry sky. They wear full ‘traditional’ habits, dark blue with a white wimple.



Brendan Kelly ‘No 27’
Brendan Kelly ‘Enough Is Enough’
Brendan Kelly ‘Equine Variation’

Brendan Kelly is the latest artist to be featured in a current pop- up exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries.

Kelly grew up in a typical Aussie suburban home during the 1970’s. He moved to Mullumbimby in the 1990’s and has performed as a stand-up comic and written children’s books. He has also worked as a graphic reproducer and a landscape artist. Kelly’s works are semi – abstract and reflect his thoughts about experiences and moments in his life, and examine how he regards himself as Australian.

His bold, vibrant, at times confronting works in this exhibition leap off the canvas and are often dominated by dark, rusty reds. They could perhaps be regarded as somewhat strange even disturbing at times.

In ‘Salamander Sally’ we see a woman’s breasts and face in the dynamic swooping curves of the circular composition.

‘Australian Dreamers’ is appears to ben at least partly a contemporary abstract re working of ‘American Gothic’ by Grant Wood,  depicting the ‘Great Australian Dream ‘ of Mum, Dad and child standing outside their house. Or is it a comment on how Covid and the economy has destroyed the dream? The figures are outlined in white, the faces each depicted as one huge eye with emphasised eyelashes. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : BRENDAN KELLY


Dylan Cooper ‘Waiting at the Spa’

The just opened exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries consists of two greatly contrasting solo displays that are at the same time complementary .

Lynch-Memory’s works are all abstract with a strong horizontal ‘line’ in the compositions. Some works are vibrant and bold, leaping out at the viewer. Her other paintings in the exhibition feature a  calmer, more meditative approach. Her goal in her artworks is to create for the viewer works that enhance positive emotions and a constructive mind place .

‘Amplitude’ and ‘Balance’ are dominated by blue tones, resembling the sea .

‘Echo’ features vivid hot pinks with delicately textured lines, whilst ‘Momentum no. 1’ is blips of wavy lines in browns and purples.

‘Equalize’ is in rather neutral tones of olive green and light purples with delicate crinkled lines. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES APRIL EXHIBITION : GEMMA LYNCH-MEMORY AND DYLAN COOPER


Rebecca Pierce ‘White Moon Floating’

This is an extensive , exciting exhibition in a variety of media in two solo displays – one by Rebecca Pierce,  the other by Jenny Green .

Rebecca Pierce’s solo exhibition is entitled CHROMA . It ranges across genres and media , and utilises some of her trademark work in landscape , portraiture , beach scenes and mixed media sculptures. There is a concern for the environment and also consciousness raising about feminist issues.

The delightful triptych ‘Daydream Series Jack and Jill 1-3’ consists of waving fields of flowers striving towards the top of the works – count the butterflies.

‘Festive Flower 1-10’ are small vibrant radiating flowers.

‘The Dissertation Revisited parts 4-6’ is three parts of a series of portraits, bright and colourful with patchwork faces, strong lines and large eyes. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : REBECCA PIERCE ‘CHROMA’ AND JENNY GREEN ‘RESURGENCE’


Andrew Grassi Kelaher ‘Cheeky Lorikeet’

This is a most exciting, bold and colourful exhibition celebrating our feathered avian friends in a variety of media. Twenty two artists are included.

Kayden Bailey is represented by the diptych Letting Go. Deceptively delicate in appearance, hung together they form a v shape composition full of swirling vibrancy.

The amazingly intricate and detailed work of Megan Barrass with parrots, cockatoos and native fauna is explosively colourful. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : THE BIRDS


Pat Hall ‘Lotus’

Pat Hall ‘Spray Of Orchards’

Pat Hall ‘Garland’

A small but thrilling pop up exhibition is currently on display at Traffic Jam Galleries – works by Pat Hall entitled FIRST BLOOM.

Pat Hall was born in Kent, England in 1963. She completed her Honours Degree in Graphic Design at Brighton University in 1985 before working as a designer in London. After immigrating to Australia in 1991 she worked as an illustrator for many years and now paints full time from her home studio in Mitchelton, Queensland.

These vibrant, ,exquisite watercolours of flora on stretched paper canvas are full of amazing attention to detail. You can feel the rich or delicate textured surface of the leaves and flowers .Hall’s works are watercolours but look like marvellous photos – posh, glossy portraits of the various plants. Capturing the light is important for Hall and her works are not displayed framed behind glass but rather unframed like a canvas. Hall is a keen gardener and her paintings are inspired by the dazzling sunlight of Australian gardens and bushland. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES NEW EXHIBITION : PAT HALL ‘IN FULL BLOOM’


Danielle McManus ‘Brave 11’ 100cm X 100cm Acrylic on canvas $3,200

This is a brightly coloured, bold and exciting exhibition by two artists familiar to Traffic Jam Galleries visitors, Megan Barrass and Danielle McManus. The current exhibition is called ALL AUSTRALIAN.

Barrass’ distinctive floral works are vivid and colourful, while she also captures everyday Sydney scenes pre Covid.

Barrass grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and now lives in Port Stephens. Her works capture Sydney life but also explore the bushland around her home on the north coast.

‘Morning Collection 1’ is a riotously explosively colourful depiction of huge bouquets of native flowers Barrass collected on her morning walk, presented in a square vase. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : MEGAN BARRASS AND DANIELLE MCMANUS: ALL AUSTRALIAN


kyden Bailey ‘Keeping The Distance’ 91 x 122cm acrylic and resin on canvas $1500

The current stunning exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries presents works by two artist from their ‘stable’ Katherine Wood and Kayden Bailey under the title ‘The Universe Within’.

In this particular exhibition, KATHERINE WOOD displays a series of captivating atmospheric sky and seascapes, some quite heavily textured. For this exhibition she is reflecting on the idea that we are all connected, we are in the universe and the universe is in us. We are a part of the sky and the sky is in us. The tiny trees or human figures are a metaphor of defiantly standing against the infinite sky, an image of resilience in times of stress and struggle. She hopes to provide a meditative space for the viewer to escape from life’s turbulence. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : KATHERINE WOOD AND KAYDEN BAILEY : THE UNIVERSE WITHIN


The current exhibition on at Traffic Jam Galleries is by two artists – Tracy Dods ( hers is called Upon Reflection ) and J Valenzuela Didi( his is called Ballad of the Daily Pilgrimage ) both artists who have exhibited at Traffic Jam Galleries before.

In Dod’s work we usually never see the faces of the people depicted , as they are facing away from the viewer (an exception to the rule is Intangible Assets) .While she lives just past the Blue Mountains , she is often in Martin Place researching and soaking up the atmosphere. She seeks to provide both a comical and sombre commentary on her subjects by re-contextualising lawyers, barristers and suited businessmen into the unexpected, expansive, bleached beach and coastal landscapes that are her trademark style . She is interested in light and reflection The men in her works symbolise government and big business power. Dods attempting to capture the various subject’s inner life .Her exhibition consists of

.Whitewash – where five besuited businessmen in bare feet stand right on the tideline at the beach. There is barely a cloud in the sky but Dodds also emphasizes the wonderful reflection in the water. What is also important is the row of beach huts on the left hand side of the painting ( another symbol of government and power perhaps ?)

WarmUp depicts seven people in the middle distance f the painting in black swimwear.The horizon line is at roughly the top 1/3 of the work and the painting is of the beach all white and rather foggy. The people are quite small in the work , dominated by the landscape and there seems to be a feeling of ‘us ‘ vs ‘them’ as one person is separate from them – or are they joining the rest of the group ?

Going Forward depicts two people (a couple facing parting and death?) with the sea depicted as delightfully dappled waves. Breakers shows two women in swimsuits in the middle of the painting with roiling, crashing waves behind them ( life’s pressures? ) Will they be caught and wrecked by the tide?

Surf shows two people fishing with hand nets at the edge of the water, while other people are specks in the water.

Shelter shows a suited businessman with a large red and white striped umbrella standing at the edge of the waterline against a very ominous grey sky.

Ire Ad Largum is a work where two bewigged barristers in billowing robes at the centre of the picture dominate the composition . There are light waves at the edge of the surf and the composition is cut by the horizon line at the top third of the painting defined by a long line of trees.

Contemplation is an almost all white piece, with a young woman in a green top and a long white skirt , carrying her shoes and walking right on the water line.

Constitutional is a crowd scene and shows many people walking along the beach to the huge city scape that occupies the centre of the work .

In Intangible Assets we see a tall bewigged barrister leading a group of small children in green headwear (insect masks? ) right along the water’s edge . While the sea is relatively calm you can still see the ebb and flow of the water.

In J Valenzuela Didi‘s exhibition Ballad of the Daily Pilgrimage we see how Didi explores life’s fluidity and uncertainty in everyday scenes of rather surreal stillness. – ‘ A place where signposts of human existence emerge as shrines that pay tribute to the passing of time. Forgotten factories, traffic signs and bridges, freed of purpose exist as divine monuments on a journey through this alien landscape. The new works in this exhibition tell tales of this voyage, they are a ballad of the daily pilgrimage.” – J Valenzuela Didi

Like Dods, J Valenzuela Didi has been a finalist and prize-winner in several prestigious art prizes .

Country Feedback symbolizes the barrier between town and country ( and possibly in this era of Covid, state borders ) with the boom lines of the train crossing up so we can cross- leading to an extended yellow field and ominous clouds. Isle and Port Song has a strong triangular composition because of the verticality of the barriers and how they are organized , but there is also a strong curve in the curve of the grey road barrier . Dry growth is contrasted with lush green vegetation creating a line about a third of the way up of the painting.

The Harvester’s Tune is a work dominated by portentous sky , showing a fence and silo on very dry ground . Have they been abandoned ? Misty Mountain Hop has a glorious pinky/purple sky ( sunset ? sunrise ?) behind the strongly defined both curved and straight lines of the cold heavy aloof highway.

National Anthem again features green vegetation contrasted with the strong lines of the train lines and the crossing barriers .

A Midnight Requiem features a phenomenal starry night sky , against which we see the strong diagonal lines of the pilons and silos.

North Country Blues is grey , cold and impassive – an anonymous highway with a single streetlamp against a grey sky.

Halcyon Hymnal is quite abstract in its grey tones .Is it at dawn or sunset ?

Industrial Sonata is another night scene – a curve in the road, a hard concrete silo and a highlit circular object are viewed through trees.

An arresting combined exhibition

The current exhibition by Tracy Dods and J Valenzuela Didi runs at Traffic Jam Galleries September 18 – 9 October 2020



A relatively small but striking ‘ pop up ‘ exhibition is currently on display at Traffic Jam Galleries, by sculptor Will Maguire entitled LEANING IN TO LETTING GO .

Maguire is one of very few contemporary blacksmiths in Australia. Traditional skills are combined with contemporary design, seeking to bring out the commanding presence of the materials.

The works are intensely personal.The timbers Maguire used were ironbark and turpentine over a hundred years old from an old wharf, the sheoak from his parents property – a tree which came down in a storm. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : WILL MAGUIRE : LEANING IN TO LETTING GO


The current exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries focuses on portraiture and the body. Five artists from across Australia are featured who have not exhibited together previously . The divergent works are occasionally challenging, playful, nurturing and at times melancholic and whimsical.

The subject of the works vary from identifiable, enigmatic and iconographic through to evocative. We are invited to consider conversations surrounding the body, our relationships with other people and the art of portraiture and the figure.

Anthony Breslin

Anthony Breslin’s use of mixed media includes items such as toothpaste, jigsaw pieces, paint tubes, pencil sharpeners , paint tin lids and paint brushes , swirling paint often combined with paper and cardboard in collage like three dimensional results.There is a particular style Breslin frequently uses – a distinctive round face, huge eyes and long nose. His characters have an enormous boisterous Presence,  at times perhaps somewhat bizarre . Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES – TALKING HEADS


The latest exciting exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries, entitled COASTAL , showcases the works of Rebecca Pierce and Simone Read. It includes not just the obvious that the title conjures up, but the mood, freedom, optimism and spirit often associated with living by the Australian coast.

Rebecca Pierce uses mixed media including acrylic impasto , inks , resin and objet trouve’ ( found objects ) applied most enthusiastically via pallet knife, which creates at times a very thick surface texture and are often brightly coloured. Her works in this exhibition, like that of Read, focus on the Australian coast and recall days in the sun.

Still Life with Coffee (acrylic on canvas) is an explosively powerful, dazzlingly coloured heavily textured depiction of a vase of flowers with coffee spilt ( or is it a shadow? on the surface of the table underneath the vase.

The diptych 2020 Social Distancing 101 is a delightful aerial view of a beach depicting people sunbaking on the beach, but somewhat separated (or are they?). Two linked pieces , Day Dreaming : Field of Flowers and In The Moonlight are included . Look for the butterflies .There are subtle changes like a Monet series of aquatic plants , showing the difference between day and night.

‘Outback Confetti is in some ways similar to these two pieces, a riot of colourful flowers against a rocky background.

Lily and Lotus is set on a green background, the composition dominated by flowers and petals with a circular lotus pool included.

The diptych Measure and Frame is a highly textured volcanically red and energetic work with a vertical composition.

Another diptych Half Baked on Australia Day is an aerial view of people at the beach with objects scattered around them.

Dipped in Sunshine is another beach painting – note the umbrellas defining the correct safe area to swim in and the turbulent surf.”

Beach Towel 2-6 are abstract aerial views of a beach and people sunbaking.

Beach Square 1 and Beach Cakes 1,2,3,6 and 9 are detailed close ups of aerial views of people and items at the beach  Then comes a series of vibrant cocky birds against a mustard background.  Beach Bird 1-6
Another avian series is Blue 1-8 , a beautiful series of bird portraits , spot the attention to detail with all the different markings.

More bird portraits follow in the vibrant Tropical Super Chirper , Tutti Frutti Sprinter and Serenity in the Rose Garden.

There is a delightful triptych of flowers on stems pushing to the top of the composition, pale blue in colour and with lots of butterflies – Day Dreams Iced Gelato 1, 2 and 3 .

Two brightly colourful sculptures are also included , alluding to the problem of litter in the environment and climate change – Lost in the Cloud 11 and Eau de Rubbish.

And then there is a vibrant, very energetic, pair of paintings Field of Flowers : Big Sky and Daybreak 2 , vertical compositions , bright,  colourful and thickly textured flowers and their green stalks.

Simone Read’s work of identifiable aerial beachscapes and sea pools documents Australia’s ever changing coast line and also links to a great sense of nostalgia- we might have stayed at that particular place in our childhood or seen the sea or coast for the first time there.

Read paints with ink, gouache and rock salts , observing from an aerial point of view .The works in this exhibition include many pieces that focus on the areas affected by the devastating bushfires that recently overwhelmed Australia .Read’s colour palette blends a building up of tiny details attempting to capture the ferocious energy and movement of the elements forming the Australian coast .There is a glorious sense of texture throughout.

In her Mornington Peninsula you can see the contrast between land and sea, feel the sand , rocks and water.
With Mona Vale Ocean Pool , which is almost abstract , there is an aerial view clearly depicting the two pools.

The coastal erosion, stormy seas and pounding waves are depicted in Hyams Beach .

Balmoral 11 is a striking vertical composition, where you can see the division between land and sea.
Magnificent textures and the curling, twisting composition of Walk With Fire explores land and water.

Catch the exhibition while you can.

Rebecca Pierce and Simone Read
‘Coastal ‘runs at the Traffic Jam Galleries 10-31 July 2020

Rebecca Pierce’s ‘Outback Confetti’

Featured image – North Narrabeen Ocean Pool


Will you still love me? Acrylic on Canvas

The current exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries is mysterious and full of an atmosphere of ominous languor.

Born in Malaysia J Valenzuela Didi now lives in Brisbane, QLD.
Make sure to examine the street facing sides of the windows before you enter as some paintings included in the exhibition are displayed there.

This exhibition is inspired by an article about NASA and sound recordings from Mars. Didi seeks to celebrate the quiet moments of life , how they are an escape from reality.

There is a great sense of isolation and mystery in the paintings, a sense of detachment and seeking to escape. You can also see the possible influence of works by Geoffrey Smart with the use of precise geometric shapes, depiction of roadworks and street signs for example (as in ‘I Want To Go Home’ but home is the barrel of a gun) with its stark concrete of the expressway and a solitary would be hitchhiker.

A common visual motif in this exhibition is the setting of the swimming pool and/or the inclusion of a Hills Hoist, with a lonely person enclosed behind a large fence. There is also a great sense of isolation and loss, the collapse of hidden ordinary everyday suburbia, unspoken tales left untold. It is as if the people inhabiting the pictures are trapped in an oppressive, enclosed, urban environment with the sharply defining lines of the backyard fence.

‘Yesterday’s Song’ with its large fence and swing set, the woman sitting on a bench nearby has a melancholy atmosphere – mourning the loss of her children? Others in this series include Is There Anybody Out There ? with its very strong geometrical lines of composition, and a woman staring at the stars . Echo’s Despair alludes to the Greek myth but here shows a woman in a blue and white checked dress at the edge of a pool , looking for something or someone. The composition s broken by the large strong hedge fence almost right in the middle of the painting . The reddish sky is somewhat boiling and alarming – is a bushfire coming ? And trees are again on the other side of the fence.

‘Pressed In A Book’ features a woman reading on the grass , with a single item on the huge Hills Hoist. There is a great sense of oppressive isolation and enclosure – the fence that surrounds her is huge , the selective shadows rather portentous.She seems engrossed in her book, oblivious to the glorious blue sky. And then there is ‘I’m Sailing Away’ a woman dreaming in a deck chair. In some ways it is rather surreal .The landscape is dominated by the rolling grass, huge hedge fence and the Hills Hoist.

In this exhibition there’s also a series of paintings depicting houses in suburbia with hidden secrets – ‘Leaving Sorrow’ with its very refined and defined controlled lines of the house and fence, all neat and boxed – but look for the moving boxes , and how all this contrasts with the vigorous explosion of growing trees next door. ‘And Tomorrow Never Came’, with its diagonal composition , the house all shuttered up , now cold and uninhabited. ‘Strolling down Christopher Street’ depicts a magnificent house on the curve of the road , with manicured lawn . The stars in the background are rolling in.

Two works are striking – In The Wake of the Harvest , with its houses and telegraph poles but also important is the use of the graph squares as if mapping or recording the street .

And the rather small work ‘Will You Still Love Me? ‘ which again uses graph squares in a sort of ‘time lapse photography ‘painting of a beautiful orchid in a rectangular pot as it grows and dies .In some ways this is perhaps a contemporary reference to Dutch eighteenth century flower paintings .

A striking , thought provoking exhibition

The current exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries J VALENZUELA DIDI’s A Symphony on Mars runs until the 16th December 2019





Traffic Jam Galleries : Danielle McManus Birds of a Feather


A charming, delightful exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries’ Neutral Bay site , with McManus’ works displaying her trademark huge eyes of the humans depicted and incredible attention to detail , revealing the artist’s love and concern for our native flora and fauna .
Some of the paintings are as follows:

The Princess and the Pea – an outback princess turning her head to look at us in a field of Sturt’s Desert Pea and a dry desert back ground .The stripes and spots of her dress contrast with the cushion she is sitting on .See how many birds and native animals you can see and look for the crown placed on her head by the birds.

The Gardener – a somewhat androgynous youth resting on a couch in the middle of a field of poppies – has several birds and also a frog .The dominant red of the poppies is balanced by the vivid colours of the birds and the turquoise watering can.
Three delicate graphite charcoal pastel and colour pencil works are included , ( Jewel, Halo and Pretty in Pink) .drawings of young ladies with huge eyes and a bird .They all stare directly at the viewer . In Pretty in Pink the model is wearing a huge pink waratah in her hair.Another work in this series is Round Robin , a young girl in an elegant dress and her hair up with several robins on her shoulders arms and in her hair .

In The Gathering we see a beautiful barefoot young lady in a pale pink dress with lacey jacket , waratah in her hair , and there is a swirling composition around her of banksia , waratah and flannel flowers and see how many birds you can observe as well as a spotted quoll and a wombat.

The King’s Banquet is an explosive riot of colour a somewhat melancholy lady in full Victorian dress at table , the feast overflowing .There are ornamentally embroidered chairs and hanging panels of Australian floral designs , a sumptuous feast of cakes and tea with waratah and flannel flowers .the king parrot is in the centre of the composition – can you spot the possum, pelican and galah among others ?

Lady of the Lake shows a blushing lady rising from the lake , discreetly covered by a cloud of waterlilies and attended by various birds and butterflies.

Two small rather Renaissance portrait in style works are Here Comes the Sun with a golden bird hanging upside down from a flower being observed by a young woman who turns to ask what we think of it and In All Her Finery – against a sunset sky a richly dressed young lady in a huge red turban headdress is shown with a cluster of birds.
The exhibition is glowing and vibrant and will delight not just ornithologists.


Danielle Mcmanus’ Birds of a Feather runs at Traffic Jam Galleries 18 October – 8 November 2019


The current exhibition that has just opened at Traffic Jam Galleries Mosman is Dean Reilly’s strong and vibrant AUSTRALIANA .
There are hints of Drysdale , Nolan , Whitely and Tucker in the works. The subjects take us from the sea to the hot dry desert looking at both Sydney Harbour and the landing of the First Fleet and also the ill fated expeditions of Leichardt ( the rearing dinosaur like Apocalyptic Horse and Crocodile ) and Burke and Wills ( eg The Will of Burke with its startling blue camel on wheels ) for example. Plus there are marvellous depictions of wildlife ( eg Bush Turkey , with its blue mountain background and huge incubation mound , and Lyrebird , arrogant and darting , tail held proudly afoft).

The exhibition particularly explores colonization and the attitude towards First Peoples – look at for instance We Have Contact , a strange centaur like creature with a square head featuring a Wandjina head , and The First Fleet showing the ships in Sydney Harbour with stylised sails referencing the Opera House and the accompanying series of five smaller paintings showing individual ships .The striking Sirius Collector with a blue bowerbird on its mound and at the top a replica of the First Fleet ship is dominated by its red desert ( or is it blood?) colour .Squatter and Dog and Australian Space Invader with their stark landscapes and mysterious looming centaur like figures – ‘ earlier settler perceptions from an improvised indigenous perspective ‘ also examine this issue .As well, there’s Those Before Us , a haunting evocation of the ghosts of First Peoples , a strong curving landscape and three looming figures . Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES : DEAN REILLY AUSTRALIANA



Feel My Love- mixed media and oil on canvas

The latest vibrant yet thought provoking exhibition at the Mosman branch of Traffic Jam Galleries is Katherine Wood’s SURRENDER – a series of moody ,at times rather ominous seascapes , often heavily textured and in dramatic tones .Wood says she aims to ‘ create portals of solitude, a place for the viewer to escape, providing a calming sanctuary, a place to contemplate and immerse oneself. Surrender for me is not giving up, not capitulation, but a coming to terms with certain elements that cannot be changed or amended and acceptance that energies can be redirected to more uplifting and promising endeavours. Sometimes strength can be found in just being able to let go and SURRENDER .’

The eponymous painting with its beach and clouds is pensive , with its strong horizontal composition. ‘Drifting’ is unusual, dreamlike ..a cloudy sky with a small female figure in white bobbing inside it.
‘Dream Big’ depicts a blue, yet turbulent cloudy sky and a lonely beach.

‘Capturing the Light Within’ is a wonderful beach and sky scape , with the eye being led to the far distance. There are one possibly two miniscule human figures dwarfed by the environment if you look very closely .

‘Captured Within’ is an eye catching painting of two goldfish trapped in a balloon bobbing out to see .Wood has used a delicate layer of resin for the balloon .

‘Feel My Love’ is strongly horizontal in composition with its yellowy-brown beach sweeping across the centre of the painting and the atmosphere of being lost in the greyness. There is a sense of loneliness with the one( two?) tiny human figures included .

‘No Limitations’ is a large diptych with a wonderful textured beach receding to the horizon and a strong ,cloudy sky. The dominant colours of the melancholy ‘Patience Is A Virtue’ are blues and greys , another wonderful sea and cloudscape. ‘Glistening’, with its tiny tree and soaring bird, shimmers. ‘Always Together’ depicts a tiny human dwarfed by the land and seascape There is perhaps a sense of wistful loss . ‘Into the Light’ with its ominous purply- brown sky is perhaps also tentatively optimistic.

Two small pieces are ‘Til The End of Day’ bright and colourful with a tiny bird and tree and ‘Just Magnified’ a dark blood red sea and sky scape with sandbars in the middle .

‘Running Through’ is a lonely land and seascape also rusty burgundy red in part,  with a tiny tree , with the horizon line about a third of the way up the picture, leading the eye to a grey sky.

‘Reach Your Dreams’ has a human figure on a stepladder striving to reach the sky under swirling clouds while Live This Life is a pale white beach with some rocks visible beneath many layers of cloud.
Awake Me with its heavily textured beach and rolling clouds is both ominous yet hopeful.

‘Into the Distance’ with its tiny human in a grey /blue /green seascape is perhaps both a reflection upon life and death and how we are at times overwhelmed by the environment.

This was an arresting, compelling exhibition.

SURRENDER by Katherine Wood runs at the Mosman branch of Traffic Jam Galleries 9 -30 August 2019.

Featured image – ‘Surrender’. Mixed media. 120cm x 150cm.


The latest exhibition at the Mosman branch of Traffic Jam Galleries is Kathryn McGovern’s FASHIONED FROM NATURE .

McGovern’s exhibition focuses on the interactions between animals and human beings sharing the planet. McGovern is based in Brisbane. In most of her work she concentrates on endangered species . McGovern’s anthropomorphic creations in watercolour, gouache and ink show the idea of the imposition of the human aesthetic of beauty on nature through artifice and intervention and simultaneously derive inspiration from the impact of fashion on the natural world – blending ecological awareness and fashion.

The works are exquisite , incredibly detailed and range in size , some small some quite large all beautifully presented. If you look closely you possibly see completely different things from if you are standing further back so the exhibition bears repeated viewing and you notice other things each time. Continue reading TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES KATHRYN MCGOVERN FASHIONED FROM NATURE


The current solo exhibition at the Mosman branch of Traffic Jam Galleries is work by Nada Herman entitled FLOWERS AND VISTAS .

Herman is based in Avalon and comes from the famous Herman artistic family. This exhibition is bright, bold ,joyous and colourful, with many thickly applied layers of paint on the various canvases.

Herman vividly captures various views of Sydney and its foreshores. One such view is from Balmoral to Neutral Bay. .The Neutral Bay painting uses the various buildings on the right hand side of the canvas to take our eye back to the Harbour Bridge.

There are large canvases focusing on Sydney Harbour with the Bridge and Opera House prominently featured as a background for sailing boats.

There are also hot summer reflections of life at the beach , crowded with sand beach towels and umbrellas .(eg A Day at the Beach) .This is contrasted with some works showing the bubble and flow of the sea in various moods ( eg Palm Beach , Sea Spray)

Flowers feature in many of the works – there are some wonderful vibrant still lives of flowers in vases ( eg Agapanthus , Lilllies and Lemons and Daisy Bouquet – in the later, note the fallen flowers outside the vase on the table ) but also flowers are used as a major part of the composition in some canvases dominating the foreground ( eg Beach Floral). Red hot pokers explode in the foreground in Red Hot Pokers Lillies and Agapanthus and the lilies complement them .The pokers also monopolise Red Hot Pokers Over Palm Beach .

Wonderful paintings of waterlilies with orange koi also are also included ( look for the upside down koi – is it a reflection? ) .

A vibrant energetic exhibition celebrating our harbour and flora.

FLOWERS AND VISTAS by Nada Hermann runs at the Mosman Traffic Jam Galleries until 29 May 2019


Featured image- Sea Spray by Nada Herman.





Narcissus Emerging Study 1,2 and 3

The latest exhibition at the Mosman branch of Traffic Jam Galleries is luminous.

Hugh McLachlan’s sculptures are of shiny, highly polished steel , perhaps somewhat Surrealist , and rather dreamlike .Quite romantic. Simple flowing lines are used, there are eyeholes in the sculptures and lots of symbolic hearts. It is as if they are curved and growing.
McLachlan’s  NARCISSUS KISS BUBBLE series further explores the Narcissus myth – a search for love that is playfully romantic , or is it about being trapped in self absorption from which one can’t escape?

Some of the sculptures are free standing (eg Narcissus Reflecting 1,2, 3 and Kiss Me ). Narcissus Emerging, however, is a group of three on a plinth that could in fact be thought to look like playful whales. Continue reading FEATURED ARTISTS HUGH MCLACHLAN AND REBECCA PIERCE @ TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES, MOSMAN



Yvonne Maloney-Law Glasshouse Country

The current vibrant and exciting exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries , UNTITLED , features guest artists foreign to the gallery space. This particular exhibition has been curated from local and interstate practitioners at varying stages of their artistic journeys .

These works may challenge, inspire and excite, with diversity being a key factor, reflected through the multiplicity of practice, subject matter and medium ranging from wood and bronze to various types of paint and methods of printing and including butterflies and gold leaf. The whole of the Gallery space is used for this particular exhibition and don’t forget to check both sides of the windows as some works are displayed facing the street.


TESS CHODAN is represented by some extraordinary beautiful and thought provoking butterflies and fauna in bell jars .They have quite a Victorian feel at first sight – and are sourced from antiques – but are very contemporary with the attention to detail and concern for the environment (look at the bees in Diaspora).

RICHARD CROSLAND has three striking wooden sculpture works on display – a thrumming speedy go kart, an amazingly finely detailed Engine with interlocking parts ( which works) and a huge representation of the London Eye. The detail is amazing , the craftsmanship and design sensational.

JUDE HOTCHKISS has several dynamically explosive thickly textured abstract paintings showing, full of tumbling brushstrokes and texture capturing the weather ( eg Stormbreak ) .

AYJAY is represented by three paintings with dynamic use of colour and composition commenting on religion and death

LEON LESTER ‘s swirling, cascading op art works – contrasted with ones that are full of cool straight lines – captivate and at times delight others calmly reflectively lead the eye.

YVONNE MALPNEY -LAW has provided some exquisite, seemingly fragile and delicate intaglio prints of various landscapes .They appear to be water colours but aren’t.

SIMONE READ ‘s series of aerial views of various rock pools around Sydney with their dynamic use of composition and outstanding use of texture are magnificent .The viewer could be in the water.

AL ROBERTS’s bronze sculptures are striking and challenging , including a fish , two sculptures of nude males and a strange John the Baptist like head( Adam’s Apple) .All commenting on the changing ageing human body.

ANNABEL SCANLEN has three subtle yet rather Surrealist like drawings included.

NIK UZUNOVSKI has several abstract bright bold and colourful swirling works showing as part of the exhibition.

A very arresting exhibition .

The present exhibition UNTITLED runs at the Traffic Jam Galleries Neutral Bay 8-29 March 2019




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.