Curated by Paul Snell
Poimena GalleryLaunceston, Tasmania
Ten Days on the Island
March 11 to May 6

‘It is what it is’ is such a frustrating statement. Usually, its utterance implies a lack of critical or analytical capacity, often tinged perhaps with defensiveness, or even a lack of inclination to engage. It can of course also refer on a higher plane to the truly ineffable or inexplicable – still somewhat frustrating. Yet in this excellent exhibition deftly curated by Paul Snell it finally has value and real meaning.

The 43 artists in this exhibition are only broadly linked stylistically in their commitment to abstraction, but the overriding conceptual connection is that their art demands a commitment from the viewer to engage with the elemental nature of the work, to accept that it is what it is, no more and no less.

The plethora of terms which could be employed to theoretically ‘place’ these various works could include, minimalist, reductive, purist, non-objective, concrete, hard edge abstract, materialist, formless, retinal, abject…and the list goes on.

As soon as we get involved in the limitations of such defining, we move away from the artwork, or we push it away. As Susan Sontag has elucidated, we effectively kill it, neutralise it.

Laurien Renckens states of her work - ‘one loses oneself in them’. We find ourselves in a new world of ‘delayed observation’. ‘You have to surpass a threshold, to feel at home vis-à-vis this work.’ And this is essentially true in relation to all the work in Orbit.

What is required is a willing submission. We often tend to look beyond the phenomenon of what is actually happening, what is actually there. We avoid the key confrontation which is actually one of submission to the, often ineffable, nature of the experience

The curator states that the exhibition is an ‘invitation for contemplation and reflection, providing an escape from the daily narrative offering a gravitational pull to other thoughts, processes and ideas. In this way it forms a response to a time of social, political and emotional disruption’.

Entering into these works leaves space for a direct engagement with the phenomena which the works employ/evoke which can involve a transcendence as well as a visceral engagement with the pure essences and dynamics generated by the artist. These may often be defined as the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Artist Kāryn Taylor provides a luminous exploration of contained space reflecting our unknowing of the physical world while Tomislav Nikolic utilises implied depth and advancement to create an active visual dynamic which is never entirely settled. Time is also a highly significant factor in this show - not just the time required for deep engagement but the time of production which is crucial in Nancy Constandelia’s work which may seem inconclusive and indirectly records the process itself.

Process and materiality are central to Orbit. While Khesin, Snoek, Pesce, de Mentis and Windisch engage the physical properties of their media directly, even to the extent of allowing the final form of the work to be determined by the way in which the material forms itself through the dynamics of gravity and accretion in some cases.

The dynamics of the artwork may operate in how they work within a frame or bounded area, from the powerful geometric abstraction of Liam Snootle or to the subtle ‘field’ versus ‘edge’ which is explored by Taylor, Craik, Alexander, Terburg, Keating, Boeker and others. Butterworth and Snell’s work crosses both of these territories incorporating a refined subtle surface backed by, or intruded into, by a raw accretion of disparate materials.

Refined, ‘cool’ constructed works (Wilkinson, Idiens, Parni, Thomson, Andrews and Renckens etc), are balanced by dynamic raw painterly engagements, (Holt, Hart) yet these two have a strong investment in what I refer to as the ‘field’/’edge’ dynamic.

The artists in this show demonstrate real confidence and a deep understanding of what a rich aesthetic experience is. The power is in the honesty and confidence with which these artists work, and the faith they have in the capacity of materials and pure formal engagement to resolve into something transcendent, thus, these works are entirely convincing, at a very pure sensory and intellectual level.

Seán Kelly

Dick Watkins

Such Disparate Joy
Liverpool Street Gallery
243a Liverpool Street
4 - 27 March 2021

Deep Night, 2020, 172.5 x 152 cm.

The Sleep of Reason, 2020, oil on canvas, 172.5 x 152 cm.

Cherry, 2020, oil on canvas, 101 x 76 cm.

Dick Watkins

‘A pioneer of abstract painting in Australia, Watkins is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, most regional gallery collections and numerous distinguished corporate and private art collections in Australia. Dick Watkins lives and works in Sydney, Australia.’

Images and text via Liverpool Street Gallery.

PJ Hickman

PJ Hickman
10.02.21 – 27.02.21
Five Walls

Post Pandemic, acrylic and polyurethane on canvas, 92 x 92 cm, via Five Walls

'REGISTER is a witty articulation of a Minimalist aesthetic combined with a formalist conceptual approach to painting offering a wry take on the art market and contemporary issues. These include iconic artworks, the pandemic, track and trace technology and online shopping, while at the same time extending arguments surrounding objective and non-objective painting. The work explores ‘painting’ through the history and conventions of painting, appropriation of the art world generally, and the context and function of the gallery itself.' Excerpt Five Walls website.

Also on:

Troy Ramaekers ‘Blue Notes’

Chas Manning ‘Finery’

Ryllton Viney

The Sorrow of Black, the Silence of White, 1970-2020
The Poimena Gallery
Button St
Launceston, Tasmania
To March 4

Installation images Poimena Gallery

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania
Artbank Collection, Sydney
Tasmanian College of Advanced Education (now University of Tasmania)
Burnie Regional Gallery
Devonport Regional Gallery
Melbourne College of Advanced Education (now University of Melbourne)
Hobart Technical College Collection
Wesley College Cato Collection, Melbourne
'The Examiner' Collection, Launceston
'The Mercury' Collection, Hobart
The Launceston Grammar School Collection
The Little Gallery Society Collection, Devonport
State College of Victoria (now Deakin University)
Lowick House Print Workshop Collection, United Kingdom
Private Collections - Australia, United Kingdom, United States of America and New Zealand

Ron Gorchov and Otis Jones

To 27/02/2021
Fondation CAB
32-34 Rue Borrens
1050 Brussels

‘In the 1960s, at the height of minimalism, Ron Gorchov and Otis Jones hijacked the total purification of the object to inject the canvas with a newfound vitality...

The exhibition retraces the related journeys of two artists who have marked the turn of the 21st century with ever-evolving artistic practices that are striking in their consistency as they are in their porosity...

Gorchov and Jones radically opposed the concept of “perfection” in art that reigned at the time, and didn’t hesitate to render the creative process visible and tangible in works that assimilate accident and chance...’ excerpt CAB website

Ron Gorchov and Otis Jones, Fondation CAB

Ron Gorchov

Otis Jones

Of Colour and Light

 Women Abstract Artists' Biennial 2020 (Victorian Artists - Australia)

16 December 2020 - February 2021
West End Art Space

Opening: 19 January 2021, with guest speaker Leah Justin from the Justin Art House Museum.


Participating artists:
Samara Adamson-Pinczewski, Nicole Allen, Irene Barberis, Liliana Barbieri, Carol Batchelor, Sue Beyer, Louise Blyton, Liz Bodey, Lynne Boyd, Fleur Brett, Terri Brooks, Elly Buckley, Victoria Cattoni, Veronica Caven Aldous, Magda Cebokli, Dawn Csutoros, Madeleine Joy Dawes, Lesley Dumbrell, Agneta Ekholm, Roz Esplin, Jennifer Goodman, Mandy Gunn, Anni Hagberg, Fiona Halse, Anne Hastie, Kate Hendry, Polly Hollyoak, Andrea Hughes, Shelley Jardine, Wendy Kelly, Suzi Leahy Raleigh, Stephania Leigh, Helen McInnis, Suzanne Moss, Cathy Muhling, Fran O’Neill, Jacklyn Peters, Caroline Phillips, Linda Pickering, Julia Powels, Jenny Reddin, Anna Rowbury, Melinda Schawel, Antonia Sellbach, Jacqueline Stojanović, Wilma Tabacco, Leah Teschendorff, Kerrie Warren, Susan Watson Knight, Lorri Whiting

'This is the third abstract biennial Anna Prifti curates to provide a platform to women abstract artists from the state of Victoria. This initiative started in 2016 with the aim to showcase and advocate that women artists have been an integral part of the Abstract movement.

This year the biennial coincides with the opening of the new permanent space for West End Art Space at 112 Adderley Street West Melbourne.

There will be a variety of artworks on show, with women artists working in a diverse range of contemporary art practices, with emerging, established and well-recognised careers.

In this show abstraction in an array of styles – lyrical, expressive, intuitive, hard-edged, reductive and minimalist – become unified by an ongoing conversation on colour and light.'

Jackie Saccoccio

 Vale Jackie Saccoccio, American abstract artist, 1963-2020 

Jackie Saccoccio

“The process,” Saccoccio once told Artadia of one painting based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, “accentuates the alchemical play that occurs between the mediums of the individual colors, and, I hope, reflects the conceptual nature of the paintings, sweeping through vertiginous vacuums and implosions and the explosive nature of a tempest.” Excerpt ARTnews, Dec 5

Portrait (Peripheral), 2018, oil and mica on linen,144.8 x 114.3 cm.

Swarm, 2019, oil and mica on linen, 269.2 x 200.7 cm.

Painting images Van Diren Waxter website: https://www.vandorenwaxter.com/

Kate Briscoe

Harvesting Raindrops
To November 7
Art Atrium


Limestone Rockface – Geikie Gorge #4,mixed media on canvas, 101 x 101 cm.

‘As an artist I have always viewed landscapes in terms of structure, form and textures, from a geological perspective.’ Kate Briscoe 

Installation images

Michael Cusack

All of days
To November 7
Olsen Annex

‘Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness’ – Samuel Beckett

Urbino, 2020, enamel on masonite, 36 x 30 cm.

Quiet Time, 2020, enamel on masonite, 36 x 30 cm.

I Can't Make You Love Me, 2020, enamel on masonite, 36 x 30 cm.

Ampere, 2020, enamel on masonite, 51.5 x 44.5 cm.

‘...As a devotee of literary figure and fellow countryman Samuel Beckett, the Irish-born Cusack’s erasure action embodies Beckett’s frequent mandate of ‘less is more’. Reborn from this new energy, the paintings become framed with irregular edges, remodelled by hollows and marks and radically altered through the humble economy of artistic means’ excerpt Sharne Wolff

Black or White

International group exhibition
September - October
Cross Gallery

Selected images via Cross Gallery: 

Installation image by John Learmonth

Installation image by John Learmonth

 Marlene Sarroff

Ulla Pedersen

Michael Cusack

Rose Moxham

Danica Firulovic

Bryce Aston

Kirsten Schroder

Fukuko Harris