Friday, October 6, 2017

Closer to Family: After 18 Years - Linda Swinfield

5th to 22nd October, 2017
 Images © Linda Swinfield

Newcastle Art Space gallery is filled with images and objects created between 2002 and 2016 by prolific artist, teacher, researcher, mentor and writer Linda Swinfield.  In her exhibition title Closer to Family: After 18 years there is double meaning referring to her family research bringing her closer to family knowledge and her planned physical relocation closer to her family.  Linda is mapping her family’s history, presenting the viewer with glimpses, personal memoirs, re-contexualised artefacts and traces of past and current lives.  Through her reinvention, Linda continues to create contemporary artefacts connecting past into present. Selected works from her 2009 Masters studies at The University of Newcastle (Haecceity - Family, Object & Memory) are included in the exhibition.  
Linda talked about her multi-disciplinary practice that utilises the print as object, while considering methodologies merging  paint to print’ and print to paint’ relationships.  It is all about family, identity, memory, social history and storytelling.  The universal human desire to experience ‘a sense of belonging’ - to family, to a written and visual history, and to location (site) and common ground is paramount.  Family recipes and photographs are transcribed into the surface of panels of lino found amongst her father’s possessions and previously used in his working life as a linoleum salesman.  Tin houses are imprinted with familial words and road map images. Linda continues to investigate the past, travelling from place to place visiting where others have lived, worked and passed, tracking and marking out their stories into a dialogue of continual discovery and re-invention.  There is a shift occurring in her own life which has directed her towards searching for a new place to belong. Her research has led her to the Blue Mountains, a region described by Linda as ‘feeling like home, like I belong’ although never having lived there. Linda is dedicated to her son Sidney, her art practice and teaching.  Moving forward she seeks space for the family and her work to continue to flourish.  A must see exhibition for those who know Linda, have been taught, influenced and mentored by her, and particularly for those interested in a multi-disciplinary approach to an art practice that places ‘printmaking’ predominantly at its centre.

 Images © Linda Swinfield
The exhibition runs until 22nd October.
Gallery hours Thurs to Sunday 12noon to 5pm.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Newcastle Club Painting Prize 2017 Finalists



At a function at Newcastle Art Space last night the finalists were announced.  The winner of the $10,000 acquisitive painting prize will be announced at a private function at the Newcastle Club next week.  

Ron Ramsey announced the names of the finalists.  They are:
James Drinkwater
Joseph Belford
Lottie Consalvo
Lezlie Tilley
Dino Consalvo
Dallas Bray
Andrew Finnie
Leslie Duffin
Peter Lankas
Andrew Dennis
John Earle 

Images courtesy Stuart Marlin
James Drinkwater, Dallas Bray, John Earle, Dino Consalvo, Peter Lankas, Joseph Belford, Lezlie Tilley, Lottie Consalvo

Andrew Dennis top left, Leslie Duffin bottom left and Andrew Finnie right.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

@91 Exhibition - Newcastle Art Space Gallery

Newcastle Art Space Gallery

Current Exhibition

@91 Exhibition

NAS is currently showing an exhibition featuring studio and member artists of NAS.  It is a short pop-up exhibition and only on for two weeks.  This is a great time to come and visit the new gallery and see the work being done at the art centre.  While some exhibitors are established and recognised in their field, others are just starting out or at various stages in the development of their professional career. The gallery and the art space are works in progress themselves with planning underway for improvements and implementation of new vision and possibilities ahead.

The artists are Annemarie MURLAND,  Barbie PROCOBIS,  Peter LANKAS,  Samuel  KELLY,  Judith HILL, Denise JOHNS,  Andrew  FINNIE,  Pascale GALVIN,  Leslie DUFFIN,  Joerg LEHMANN, Gwendolin LEWIS,  Mark ST. CLAIR,  Jennifer O’BRIEN,  Natalie ENGDAHL,  Cheridan CHARD,  Leeroy CHAPMAN, Michel  LE GOFF,  Kathryn TAUNTON,  John HARRISON.
L to R top to bottom down column works by Barbie Procobis, Judith Hill, Pascale Galvin, Annemarie Murland, Denise Johns, Peter Lankas, Leslie Duffin, Leeroy Chapman.
L to R across column works by Cheridan Chard, Gwlendolin Lewis, Joerg Lehmann, John Harrison, Mark St. Clair, Natalie Engdahl, Michel Le Goff.

Top L to R Jennifer O'Brien, Samuel Kelly, Below L to R Kathryn Taunton,  Andrew Finnie


The Gallery is located at 91 Chinchen Street Islington. Walk through the side carpark beyond the flags towards the red door on the side of the building.  Open Thursday to Sunday from 12noon to 5pm. The exhibition closes on Sunday 17th September.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Equivocal Joerg Lehmann, Nerissa Lowe and Stuart Marlin

Newcastle Art Space Gallery


Joerg Lehmann, Nerissa Lowe, Stuart Marlin

11- 27 August 2017

... to read a to enter into a series of relationships which are “hidden”, and that ‘we need not only to see the image, but also to read it as the active play of a visual language[1].

It was Sir John Frederick William Herschel who used the term photography in his lecture to the Royal Society in London in March of 1839 referring to the action of light writing.  Endless others have used the romantic term ‘drawing with light’ to define their practice.  Regardless of how photography is defined, or indeed if it is even now able to be defined, the range of possibilities of the photographic medium, extend from traditional documentary style to the limits of human imagination and technical and scientific discovery.

The inaugural exhibition at Newcastle Art Space Gallery showcases the contemporary photographic language of Joerg Lehmann, Nerissa Lowe and Stuart Marlin.  The three share a studio space in the Newcastle Community Arts Centre in Tighes Hill. 

Joerg Lehmann

The power of Lehmann’s work is his ability to maintain the nostalgia of the black and white photographic image while pushing his interpretation through meticulous staging and lighting of the scene.  Well known for his dramatic Film Noir work he continues to work predominantly with the female figure for this exhibition.  Extending patterns of light so they trace the contours of the female face and form move the image towards overdrawing with light and this works well, particularly in this space.  While for some the patterns may be seen as body decoration, my thoughts on viewing these patterns linked immediately to traditions of indigenous natives painting and decorating their bodies for dance and ceremony and the use of skin cutting as part of tribal customs or rituals.   I thought of the mark making onto body parts that must occur in Lehman’s work outside of the photographic arena and wondered if there was a direct connection.  Perhaps reading the beauty of an image is sufficient.

Sample of Joerg Lehmann's work


Nerissa Lowe

Nerissa comes to Newcastle Community Arts Centre through extensive travels.  Her background is fashion photography with time spent working in the couture fashion industry.  Living in Norway has forged a connection to the place that remains a sentimental attachment.  There are works in this exhibition that reflect this. Her work does span the commercial portrait, travel photography and experimental genres.  The portrait itself highlights an interest in photography towards the painterly and atmospheric with fabric appearing as a painted mark or soft brush stroke effect.  This is one of her stronger works in this exhibition. The experimental works encompass multiple exposures taken either in the same geographical location or using a fusion of images from both geographical location combined with textured surfaces.  While layering these together, Lowe interrupts, draws into, erases and builds up an altered state to the image.  Painting and drawing on an individual layer allows for fine details to be added or excluded from each successive layer until Lowe reaches her aesthetic choices.  Based on this exhibition, Lowe shows an interest in diversity of photographic form and style and an interest in merging photography, painting and drawing.

Sample of Nerissa Lowe's work

Stuart Marlin

Stuart Marlin appears predominantly interested in architectural space and the lines that form as they extend upwards piercing the sky. Is it all about how the viewer locates themselves in relation to the strong perspective lines? With a background in psychology and how the brain processes information, Marlin challenges or directs the viewer’s perception of the image.  While talking to Marlin it was clear he utilises devices, techniques and equipment I have not even seen so gaining an understanding of how the works were made was significant for my own knowledge base.  His aim with the architectural form appears to be to remove anything around it that disrupts the experience of seeing the form lines themselves.  Longer exposure times ensure clouds are blurred and pushed back into tone.  Excess reflection and colour is removed if necessary to leave the compositional pull of the building the only focus.

Sample of Stuart Marlin's work

While the success and power of the photographic image is not linked to the size it inhabits in a space, the increased size of the works in general in this exhibition, does create a sense of drama overall.  It is a welcoming site and enriching visual experience.

The works are in limited edition so discuss purchases with the gallery staff.  Alternatively contact the Studio 10 Photographers for additional details or private commissions.

The Gallery is open at 91 Chinchen Street Tighes Hill Thursday to Sunday 12 noon to 5pm.

Welcome back NAS.

[1]Sri-Kartini Leet, ed., as referenced in Reading Photography, A Sourcebook of Critical Texts 1921- 2000, Introduction xi, from the original source Graham Clarke, The Photograph, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 29.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Drawn Upstairs 6 in Gallery 1

 8th - 18th December 2016

“The concept of Drawing is akin to a visionary process; it has an origin, a point of inception, and from here one’s ideas travel and are, in most cases, open ended -there are no rules; drawing can be as minimal as a breath and as complex as the wave structures and recording structures and recordings of the ocean.  Drawing is a kinaesthetic; a movement between points, a connection, a recognition and gesture of any idea, mark, trace, line, symbol, shape, medium, space or surface – everyone has their own language of the mark[1].

Is drawing still the foundation of art study?  If so, then NAS is offering it up in abundance.

Drawn Upstairs 6 showcases the work of attendees of The Drawing Room, a weekly self-directed drawing experience held at the Royal Exchange Hotel in Newcastle.  The invention of retired art teacher Anne Caddey, The Drawing Room is described as offering a relaxed drawing boudoir, a somewhat theatrical experience drawing nude and costumed models, with like-minded individuals, a relaxing chair and a glass of wine on hand if required.  Anne draws on inspiration from theatre performance, music, dance, circus, dramatic art and costumes to provide a stimulating alternative to a conventional drawing class.  While this experience may not suit everyone, Anne has formed a network of regulars along with casual visitors.  One visitor to Newcastle spoke to Anne of their enjoyment of the class and the fact that this kind of event was not available in the home of art, New York.  We have it exclusively in Newcastle.

Drawn Upstairs 6 also showcases the work of students in Peter Lankas’ tutored life-drawing class at the Newcastle Community Arts Centre (NCAC).  This class is usually booked out in advance and is not always able to cater for the numbers of people who want to study life-drawing under Peter Lankas’ experienced teaching.  The work of the 2016 students are on display as testament to the wide approaches a student can take with interpretation of the human body through drawing. This class will resume in the third week of January 2017 through to March at NCAC 246 Parry Street’s premises.

The artists are: Chris Bretherton, Matt Dougherty, Di Turnbull, Anne Swanson, Linda Alcorn, Jason Sar, Hide Kobaijashi, John Langley, Emma Gibbons, Greg Dickinson, Gwynne Jones, Julie Byles, Lyn Falkiner, Stella Kerr, Cathie Sawyer, Shelagh Lummis, Stephen Berry, Toni Amidy, Peter Lankas, Ronald Myers, David Titchmarsh, Cherie Wren, Jon Wilks, Chris Clifton, Allen Littlewood.

Selected works above by Anne Swanson, Chris Brereton, Chris Clifton, David Titshmarsh, Di Turnbull, John Langley, Stephen Berry, Toni Amity, Stella Kerr.
Information about The Drawing Room can be found at:

[1] Interesting article on contemporary Australian Drawing authored by Dr Irene Barberis, artist, Director Global Centre for Drawing and Metasenta Publications, Co-Director Gallery Langford120 and Senior Lecturer RMIT