One night only – special fundraiser – An Evening with Donald Friend

Exclusive performance by the legendary Terence Clarke AM

On Saturday 25 June, Tweed Regional Gallery will host the legendary theatre director, composer and actor Terence Clarke AM for an exclusive performance of ‘An Evening with Donald Friend’.

This enthralling one-man show captures the essence of Donald Friend, the man and the artist, and reveals incidents of Friend’s exotic and colourful life.

Donald Friend (1915-1989) was a rare artist.  He was a painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, illustrator, decorator and writer.  This play, devised by art historian, publisher and friend of the artist Lou Klepac OAM, narrates stories selected from the 44 extraordinary diaries written by Donald Friend and now held in the National Library’s collection.

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Photo: Terence Clarke AM, who will perform his one-man show ‘An Evening with Donald Friend’ at Tweed Regional Gallery. 

The diaries represent the personal vision of an important Australian artist, and also document Australian culture from the 1930s to the 1980s through his eyes.  His writing is humorous, caustic and incisive.

President of the Friends of the Gallery, Lyn Stewart, said: “it’s a coup to welcome this renowned thespian to the Tweed, we are thrilled to be hosting this event and it’s the first time we’ve held a play in the Gallery.”

‘An Evening with Donald Friend’ is being presented to coincide with the exhibition The Mystery of Things: Margaret Olley & David Strachan, on display in the Margaret Olley Art Centre until 7 August 2016.  

Donald Friend was a contemporary and dear friend to both Margaret Olley and David Strachan.

Don’t miss this exclusive event – one night only – presented as a special fundraiser by the Friends of Tweeed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc.

Event:            An Evening with Donald Friend by Terence Clarke AM
When:            Saturday 25 June 2016, 6pm – 8pm
Tickets:         Strictly limited. On sale now. Wed – Sun, 10am – 4.30pm, phone (02) 6670 2790
Cost:              $50 per person, $45 Friend of the Gallery or Gallery Foundation Member

Light refreshments will be served from 6pm until 6.25pm

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Wedensday 11 May, 2016.
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide : Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

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Border Art Prize now on at Tweed Regional Gallery

Entries from both sides of the border reflect region’s vibrant artistic scene

Acclaimed artist Euan Macleod announced the winning works in the 2016 Border Art Prize at the official opening of the exhibition at the Tweed Regional Gallery on Friday 6th May.

The exhibition of 279 of entries is on display at Tweed Regional Gallery (open Wednesday to Sunday) until Sunday 10 July.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto: Visitors view the 2016 Border Art Prize at the Tweed Regional Gallery

Euan was impressed by the “variety of media, styles and subjects all handled with enthusiasm and passion”.  As he walked around the exhibition, surrounded by the viewing public, he noted that gallery visitors “were really engaged with the work”.

Mullumbimby artist Robyn Sweaney was awarded the $3,000 first prize in the regional art award for her oil on linen painting Oasis, depicting a house, a subject for which she is well known.  First prize is funded by Tweed Shire Council.

“This beautifully painted work shows an ordered vision which on continued viewing becomes unsettling,” Euan Macleod said.

The Border Art Prize is a joint initiative of Tweed Regional Gallery and Gold Coast City Gallery to support the endeavours of artists living and working in the NSW North Coast and South East Queensland. The award shows both 2D and 3D works covering a wide variety of subjects, as entrants aren’t required to work to a theme.

The Prize attracts a wide variety of styles from both well-known and emerging artists, reflecting the region’s lively artistic community.

Zom Osborne from Federal, near Lismore, won the $1,500 second prize – funded by the Friends of the Gallery – with Swan Sisters, an evocative and detailed acrylic on wood.  Ocean Shores entrant Sean Connors was awarded third prize, also funded by the Friends of the Gallery, for his acrylic painting Dawn’s early light.

The judge noted that all three winners displayed “complete mastery of materials and subject matter, used to evoke a sense of mystery”.

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Photo: Detail of Robyn Sweaney’s Oasis, oil on linen

In addition to these awards, local artist and teacher Shirley Kennedy provides funds for Encouragement Awards which she selects in consultation with the Gallery’s Director, Susi Muddiman OAM.

These awards reflect the variety of media in the exhibition with the two $500 awards recognising Unearthed, a large ceramic vessel by Ruth Park of Wollongbar, and Wooyung Valley, a lush oil painting in earth tones by Andrew Hmelnitsky from Casuarina.

The two $250 awards were to drawings by Emma Jewry of Pumpenbil for her mixed media Sitting woman and Laura Tate from Mullumbimby for Mynd.  Shirley commended the exhibition for its good representation of both 2D and 3D works.  She also acknowledged the artists who were not selected for exhibition and urged “never ever give up… persevere and you will break through”.

Around 400 people turned out to attend the opening of this exciting exhibition, which was officially opened by Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase.   Cr Polglase highlighted the parity of entrant numbers from Gold Coast and Tweed Shire demonstrating the importance of the Border Art Prize as a cross-border event.

The exhibition of 279 of entries is on display at Tweed Regional Gallery until Sunday 10 July. The Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm and admission is free.

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Friday 6 May, 2016.
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide : Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre and Big Volcano Artists, Designers & Studios guide.

A few of your favourite things

Mullumbimby artist Oksana Waterfall showcasing work at Tweed Regional Gallery.

Lelli_2015_thr142809_640Photo:  Lelli (detail) 2015, graphite, thread and found object on paper

Hailing from Mullumbimby, artist Oksana Waterfall’s  showcase “Object of Affection”, is a series of works on display until Sunday 10 July 2016 at Tweed Regional Gallery, that explores how people select their most treasured items.

Reflecting the artist’s Ukrainian heritage, where intricate embroidered fabric is often regarded as a family heirloom, Ms Waterfall said that “It is the thread of memory for me and I have incorporated it into each work… a thread that binds me to my culture and my past, and a thread of mark-making that links all the works in the series”.

She said her long and abiding interest in people and the objects they bonded with in the course of their lives were part of the inspiration for her work.  “We all tend to accumulate things as we move through the world,” she said.

“Amongst the myriad of objects that pass through our hands, there are some that seem to exert a special attraction and influence over us.  “As an artist, it intrigues me that people often cling to the mundane as valuable; this can be an object from their childhood or a present from a friend, sometimes without intrinsic value except to the owner,” she said.

“It can be commonplace or uncommon, rare or simply charged with the value of personal use.”  The artist said patterns and stories started to emerge amongst the myriad of random objects.

“We can tell a lot about the owners from the objects they choose as sentiment finds its way into their choices and mundane objects become supercharged with emotions and distilled memories,” Ms Waterfall said.

Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said visitors would be intrigued by the seemingly simple works. “Closer observations reveal the intricate detail involved in Oksana’s practice,” Ms Muddiman commented.

“She tells the story of people through the things they selected and the things they treasure. She specifically asks people to nominate the objects that are most precious to them. “Surprisingly, people didn’t always select the most valuable thing they own and these often remain as impersonal objects to them.

“It is often object, plus memory, that equals a favourite thing.”

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor GuideTweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

Wanderlust exhibition tells tales of travel

The Southern Lights of Antarctica, Mexico’s Day of the Dead, a Cairo camel market and sight-seeing in Florence are just a few of the experiences portrayed in a new exhibition currently showing at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah.

Renowned Australian artist Wendy Sharpe is showcasing a wide range of works from her explorations over the last ten years in an exhibition titled WANDERLUST: work from recent travel, on display at the Gallery from 22 April to 25 September 2016.

Wendy_Sharpe,_Cairo_Café,_2008130734_640 Caption: Wendy Sharpe, Cairo Cafe, 2008

Ms Sharpe said her love for travel started in her twenties, when she won the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship to Europe.

“I was awarded a three-month studio residency through the Art Gallery of NSW at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris,” she said.

“I lived in London with my grandfather for six months and from there I travelled to New York and around Europe for the following 18 months. Over the years, travel has become an integral part of my life and work – I now spend part of every year in my apartment/studio in Paris’s Montmartre district.”

The exhibition also includes work from her residency as a special guest at the Australian Embassy Residence in Egypt, and two residencies in Antarctica with the Mawson’s Hut Foundation.  “Among the works on paper there are views from an attic apartment overlooking the terracotta roofs and ancient towers of Florence, views over a camel market in Cairo, from the balcony of my apartment in Paris and parades taking place all over the world.

Ms Sharpe said her experience of the famous Day of the Dead festival came about when she was given a residency in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2014.   “I was able to immerse myself in the amazing spectacle of the parades, masks, the paper-maché skeletons and all of the wonderful folk art.”

Wendy_Sharpe,_Woman_with_Roses_–_D130716_640 Caption: Wendy Sharpe, Woman with Roses – Day of the Dead, 2014

“My first trip to Antarctica in 2012 was a commemorative voyage, celebrating the centenary of Australian explorer Mawson’s voyage,” she said.

“I was on an icebreaker, the Aurora Australis, for over six weeks, the only artist among scientists. This gave me the opportunity to study the extraordinary colours of the Antarctic landscape, and I became fascinated with the sky, in particular with the phenomenon of the Southern Lights.

Other works in WANDERLUST were made during travels to Italy, India, Morocco, France and Spain.

Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

Originally published Wednesday, 13 April 2016

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Tweed Regional Gallery is open 10am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday.

See also Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre – Big Volcano Visitor Guide and Big Volcano Artists, Designers & Studios guide.

‘Luscious’ paintings to delight the senses

New art exhibition at Tweed Regional Gallery

An exhibition by Mullumbimby artist Gatya Kelly that explores life, death and the everyday will be on display at Tweed Regional Gallery from 15 January 2016 until 28 February 2016.

Tweed Regional Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman, said Luscious was developed as an outcome of Kelly’s residency at the Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence (AIR) studio facility in March 2015.

“Gatya’s still life compositions of pomegranates, figs, cherries, magnolias, dry foliage and decorative vessels illuminate the delicate beauty and sometimes erotic nature of the ordinary,” Ms Muddiman said.

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Photo caption: Gatya Kelly, Pomegranate Alhambra, 2015, oil on linen, 100 x 100cm

“The paintings have a reflective surface which seem to glow, while in the shadows, objects are blurred and disappear into darkness.”

Gatya Kelly’s exploration of the still life genre began as a response to her environment during a five month stay in Italy. She said although surrounded by the stunning Tuscan landscape and glorious colours of autumn and winter, what drew her attention where the small dead things such as leaves, sticks and branches – all nestled against the fruits of the season which were shiny and bright.

“The textures and tones of the withered and dying were beautiful, and combined with the living flesh of olives and persimmons, seemed to create a poignant allegory of life and death that felt paintable,” Ms Kelly said.

“I am inspired by my everyday world and have a sensual approach to making art.

“I am drawn to paint the personal and universal objects in my immediate environment which conjure emotions such as desire and passion, while looking for balance, colour and stillness in the drama.”

Susi Muddiman said Luscious continued to explore life and death in what could be considered a contemporary interpretation of the 16th century Dutch and Flemish vanitas painters.  “The paintings also explore and expand the senses of touch, taste and smell,” she said.

“They make a deliberate effort to summon a strong emotional response that goes beyond the physicality of materials or technique.”

Artist Demonstration Sunday 21 February 2016

All are welcome to visit the Gallery on Sunday 21 February 2016 from 10am to 12pm DST, to engage with Gatya Kelly as she presents an artist demonstration. Visitors will gain an exclusive insight into Kelly’s creative process as she works on a small painting.

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Courtesy of Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

See also Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre – Big Volcano Visitor Guide and Big Volcano Artists, Designers & Studios guide.

Fun for kids of all ages at Tweed Regional Gallery these holidays

Manga drawing, play and portraits in clay

Japanese cartoon drawing workshops, animal games and clay classes are all part of the kids activities being offered at Murwillumbah’s Tweed Regional Gallery these school holidays.

Free Activities

Tweed Regional Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said kids could get involved with Animal Self, a new exhibition of self-portraits by Joanna Braithwaite where the artist is surrounded by animals in three large and interactive paintings.

“Kids can play with dog puppets, add a kookaburra to the fence or put themselves in the picture with large cut-out chickens. These activities are free and available each day during Gallery hours,” Ms Muddiman said.

Free Salt Dough Supper activity

On Sunday 10 January children can work with salt dough to create and mould special food items when artist and teacher Carleen Joy leads a free Salt Dough Supper activity in the Gallery foyer.

The first session will be held from 10.30am to 12noon DST and the second from 1pm to 2.30pm DST.

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Photo caption: A Manga drawing by David Lovegrove.

Manga Workshop on Monday 18 January

Ms Muddiman said talented illustrator and Manga buff David Lovegrove would hold a Manga Workshop on Monday 18 January for kids aged 10 to 14 years who are interested in comic book art or drawing.

“Working with the Japanese Manga style of cartooning, kids will learn how to build a character, map out a story and environment and draw up a short comic about their adventures,” she said.

“Kids can come dressed up as their favourite character whether it be manga, a super hero or a character from popular culture, and the best-dressed will win a ‘How to Draw Manga’ book. David will be dressed as Ronin, the masterless Samurai.”

The workshop will run from 10am to 2.30pm DST and costs $45.

Portrait in Clay workshops on Thursday 21 January

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Photo caption: Thirteen-year-old Tarah Wilkinson’s clay bust, ‘My Mum’.

For kids who love to work with the tactile nature of clay, Marianne Galluzo will hold a Portrait in Clay workshop on Thursday 21 January.

“Instead of drawing, kids will be able to make a 3D portrait of a person and are invited to bring a photo or work from their memory or imagination,” Ms Muddiman said.

“Participants will model the head shape, add defining details and take home a bust that will air dry ready to paint or be left bare.”

The clay workshop costs $25 and will be held in two sessions.

The workshop for kids aged 5 – 8 years will be held from 10am – 12pm DST, and the second session for kids aged 9 years and over will be held from 1pm to 3pm DST.

Bookings are essential for both workshops. To book, contact the Gallery on (02) 6670 2790.

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To view all media releases online, please visit the Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.