Over the weekend I attended the symposium for the NGV’s latest exhibition – Stormy Weather. Artists on the panel included Siri Hayes, Jill Orr, Harry Nankin and Anne Ferran. Each artist sensitively discussed there creative and conceptual relationships with landscape – including issues of degradation, forgotten histories and land ethics. A beautiful exhibition with further works by Stephanie Valentin and Nici Cumpston – all drawn from the NGV collection. The show is on until March 2011.


Spent the afternoon talking with contemporary jeweller Vikki Kassioras about her recent exhibition Black. Vikki’s skill at combining materials – onyx, obsidian, bone and silver – results in the most divine pieces of jewellery. Her work is at once austerely industrial while also being utterly sumptuous. Fit for a goddess to wear!

Ben McKeown Anthology 107, No 1 2010

Now showing at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery.
For the first time this prize has been developed with a theme, this year being ‘portraiture’. I wonder at the purpose of attaching a theme to an acquisitive paper prize, but the artists selected this year have each responded to the concept beyond the merely representational. From death masks to mirrors, to small assemblages of found notes and diaries, there was a lovely subtlety and subversion of traditional readings present in this exhibition, which also provided a snapshot of current emerging art practices. A number of contemporary Indigenous artists’ practices were also present including work by Brenda L Croft, Judy Watson, Vernon ah Kee and Ben McKeown.

This exhibtion finishes on the weekend but get to it if you can. It’s a rare opportunity to see such a strong collection of Australian abstraction. Curator Steven Tonkin has dug deep to bring together works both historic (Roy de Maistre) and contemporary. Michael Graeve’s installation ‘Relations and Un-Relations’ fuses colour and sound to create a distorted spatial awareness that challenges both the retina and the ear.