Category Archives: visual arts

A most disturbing photo

mosman-Photo0165web2I spotted this work of art in a visual arts print making exhibition at the Mosman City Gallery (Sydney). (Review to follow in a couple of days)

Given the current leadership of the country and its attitudes to segments of society as well as its dangerous statements about migrants – this image is way too disturbing. It reflects so accurately how so many people feel about this government and the current Prime Minister.


A Further Shore – Robert Dein

Review of Photography Exhibition

A Further Shore: Bombs, babes and sons of beaches
Manly Art Gallery (Sydney) till 26 April 2015

From Robert Dein photographic collection

LAThere are some photography exhibitions that really reinforce how wonderful photography can be. There are exhibitions that demonstrate just how creative some collectors are in how they choose their collections. This exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery does all that and more. If you love photography, then do not miss this exhibition of contemporary and historic photographs.

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Visual Arts Review

Bungaree, The First Australian at The Mosman Art Gallery

Open till 22 February 2015.

bungaree1We travelled along to the Mosman Art Gallery around lunch time one sunny day in early January. The gallery was quiet with no other visitors during our 45 minute visit.

The Bungaree exhibition at the gallery contains works by 16 emerging and established artists who have nominally re-interpreted the stories around Bungaree. The image to the right is of Bungaree.  There are numerous historic paintings of Bungaree.

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Dreams and Imagination, MGA photography

Review: Photography Exhibition Catalogue

Dreams and Imagination: Light in the Modern City, Monash Gallery of Art , until 1st March 2015.

MGA-Light016I have just read a copy of a wonderful catalogue of a significant photographic exhibition at the Monash Gallery of Art (MGA). Yet again the MGA lives up to their reputation as ‘The Home of Australian Photography‘.

Chances are that I will not get to Melbourne to see this exhibition. However, the catalogue is a real gem and should be sought after by anyone interested in the development of Australian photography during the early 20th Century. (click on the images to enlarge)

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A reviewer has a bad day

Guardian reviewer looses the plot

4a261b89-8b15-4d39-a046-fe5c9dbd243d-805x1020It is not the job a reviewer to write stuff that everyone agrees with. The Guardian has a number of art reviewers and therefore we have a range of opinions. However one would expect any of these reviewers to be making sense.

It has come to pass that one reviewer has been showing signs of stress or something equivalent.

Continue reading A reviewer has a bad day

Sydney Photography 2014 – 2015

Notices of photography exhibitions in Sydney

over the period end of 2014 into 2015

lost_psyche_03The information below is about photography exhibitions in Sydney over the period from the end of 2014 into the early parts of 2015.

This is my selection and may be added to as I come across exhibitions I would like to recommend. If you know of others, let me know. But I will only upload stuff I am interested in and/or can recommend.

Continue reading Sydney Photography 2014 – 2015

Black Victorians

Review: Photography

Black Chronicles II

Rivington Place, London till 29 Nov 2014.

downpage_3043500cThis a photography exhibition that has to be seen in the flesh to be appreciated. The basis for the exhibition is the unearthing of photographs that have not been seen for far too many years.

The researchers have done a great job of identifying most of the subjects. The main room has huge portraits printed from the original negatives. The people are from an African choir on tour in Britain between 1891-93.

These images are just so beautiful and majestic. They have been printed super large and each person is represented by two different portraits.

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Enjoying Life in Vienna

Review: Visual Arts

Cosima Von Bonin: Hippies Use Side Door.
The Year 2014 Has Lost The Plot

MUMOK – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna

picksimg_splashSpoiler alert. Be warned, this exhibition did not excite! Cosima Von Bonin’s latest exhibition is across several floors of the MUMOK and it is impressive. There are loads of cultural references and heaps of barbs at things within our culture, particularly the american culture we have all come to love and loath. It was an interesting experience to visit this massive exhibition.

I took my time – but

Continue reading Enjoying Life in Vienna

Richard Tuttle at the Tate Modern

Comment on reviewing of the visual arts

tuttletate_3070458bThere have been many occasions when I visited an exhibition of contemporary visual arts, particularly those of the conceptual installation art version, and I have left with little satisfaction or a memory of strong engagement.  To be positive, there have been many great pieces I have seen in this genre.

Continue reading Richard Tuttle at the Tate Modern

Singapore Photography

Review: Visual Arts and Photography

Still Moving at Singapore Art Museum (SAM) 8Q

till 8 February 2015

P1070637image from opening night – by Paul Costigan

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is presently exhibiting three exhibitions in 8Q, its special annex located on Queens Street around the corner from SAM’s main building. The exhibition is a triple bill made up of three exhibitions that occupy the whole of the building’s exhibition spaces.

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Visual artist cleared of all charges

Comment: A case of the Police getting it wrong – again.

art353-artist-yore-200x0About a year ago, we visited Linden Gallery in St Kilda (Melbourne). This was not long after the infamous raid by police following a very dubious complaint about the ‘sexual’ content of an artwork by Paul Yore.

The director of the centre was holding up well given the nature of the issue she was having to deal with. She deserved to have been paid a lot more for all the complex stuff that had come her way.

Continue reading Visual artist cleared of all charges

NGA Contemporary

Review: Visual Arts

NGA Contemporary

252917 5768762-3x2-700x467 NGA-contemp-P1070589

Down by the lake in Canberra, within that strange-looking architectural structure which is part of a local folley, called Commonwealth Place, the National Gallery of Australia has moved in to open an exhibition space for Australian contemporary art. It is called NGA Contemporary and is well worth a visit.

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Alex Seton

Announcement: Visual Arts Exhibition

Alex Seton, Refoulement at Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney till 11 October 2014

7031495740This Sullivan+ Strumpf exhibition of sculptures by Alex Seton is very worth your while to make the time and visit the gallery in Sydney.

He was recently a major artist at the Adelaide Biennale and his earlier photographs are presently in an exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra.

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Ruth Waller at Nancy Sever Gallery Canberra

Notice: Local Visual Arts Gallery
Ruth Waller at Nancy Sever Gallery, Kingston, Canberra

Ruth WallerA note that the Nancy Sever Gallery, in Kingston, is worth putting on you list for gallery visits.

We attended a crowded opening there tonight for the opening of Ruth Waller’s exhibition of recent paintings. Can I say that I would love to talk more about the art, but it was very difficult to see given the crowd. That’s why I often avoid openings and get along later.

Continue reading Ruth Waller at Nancy Sever Gallery Canberra

Annette Messager at the MCA Sydney

Review (2nd): Visual Arts
Annette Messager:  motion/emotion at the MCA Australia (Sydney) till 26 October 2014


We were fortunate to have a business reason to be in Sydney for the Monday, so allowed ample time on the weekend to get down to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) on beautiful circular Quay to see this once in a lifetime exhibition of Annetta Messager’s artworks. It was definitely worth the trip. We loved it so much we went back the next day for a revisit.

Continue reading Annette Messager at the MCA Sydney

Natural Architecture

Comment: Landscape Art

sanctuaryOne of my many puzzles has been why within Australia, with all the diversity of natural landscapes, do we not see much landscape art.

What I mean by that are artworks that actually are designed in the landscape or at least using natural materials to be in the landscape. There’s an article online about an architect who works with nature. click here.


for more on architecture – click here

Paul Costigan, 20 August 2014

NGA Visual Arts, Motherwell, Natori Shunsen, Contemporary Photography

Review: Visual Arts
Several exhibitions at the NGA

237644-1Our public galleries are places you should visit often, and not just for the big blockbuster exhibitions.

There are many other exhibitions, especially collection exhibitions, that are a wonder to see and enjoy.

Continue reading NGA Visual Arts, Motherwell, Natori Shunsen, Contemporary Photography

John Witzig at National Portrait Gallery

Review: Visual Arts/photography
Exhibition: John Witzig at National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

till 19th October 2014, then touring.

front-P1070002The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra has done itself proud with this special exhibition of photographs produced from the archive of the photographer John Witzig. Full marks to the historian curator, Sarah Engledow.

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Public Art City of Sydney

Comments on the City of Sydney’s new Public Art

1406603825907.jpg-300x0Full compliments to the City of Sydney for its investment in public art. The city has just announced a major set of projects – click here for the city officials being ‘excited’. Or click here for calmer local news version.

I saw these announcements and wondered just how the press would treat this creative initiative given some recent histories on how the media have run questionable campaigns about local governments’ public art programs.

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Annette Messager at the MCA

Review (forecasted): Visual Arts
annette_messager-coverAnnette Messager:  motion/emotion at the MCA Australia (Sydney) till 26 October 2014

Here’s an exhibition that you must see. If you are in Sydney or thinking about going to Sydney, you must allow ample time to wander through and contemplate this exhibition by this extraordinary artist. We were there on Saturday, and it was busy. Today (Sunday) we returned to watch the film and to walk through again. If you have any interest in contemporary art, a visit to the MCA will be worth it! Then go back for a second visit.

There will be a review to follow. Click here. The catalogue is a wonderful production but I suspect it is about to be sold out (I have one).


Paul Costigan, 3 August 2014

Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty

Review: Visual Arts
Not Dead Yet: Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty – A retrospective

Canberra Museum and Gallery, till September 14 (2014)

Review: This very crowded exhibition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery brings together loads of posters and related materials by the two Northern Territory political artists and poster makers, Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty. There is a lot to take in.

For anyone interested in historic poster making and the more recent version of digitally produced poster-like artworks, then set aside enough time and wander through the gallery. I say again, there is a lot to take in – the curatorial approach has been to occupy the space with as much work as possible.

Continue reading Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty

Visual artist Jeff Wall

Review: Visual Arts

Review: The imagined tableaux has been a fascinating area of photography from the beginnings of the art form. Personally I place this form of photography as being one of the most enjoyable and engaging forms of photography. Therefore I would always recommend an exhibition by Jeff Wall , no matter how many times you have seen his work previously.

Continue reading Visual artist Jeff Wall