• Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox. "Lifeblood", oil on linen, 2008.

  • Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox. "Frisson", oil on linen, 2010.

  • Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox. "One", oil on linen, 2009.

  • Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox, detail, "Cutlines", installation view, gouache and acrylic on paper, 2002.

  • Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox, detail, "Mountains and Metaphors," oil on canvas, 2005.

Rex Butler: There is nothing more popular in this year of the centenary of Gallipoli than Ben Quilty’s images of soldiers who...more

Judy Millar: How one experiences the work, how the work relates to itself and the medium of the work is all metamorphosed...more

Gary Carsley: There persists a distinctly meditative instability throughout these works, a slipperiness of a multitude of...more      

Celeste Chandler: A fearless and at times brutal re-imagining of the act of contemporary figurative painting, engaging with...more  

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox

It must first be understood that in these latter paintings, Brimblecombe–Fox is not so much concerned with landscape painting per se, but in a Warburgian sense, searches for the universal connections, or common ground between people, races and religions. In doing this she searches for a means to overcome the violence that exists in and between barriers to cultural understanding. Like Warburg she looks to mythology as a vehicle through which to explore spiritual linkages that are paradoxically different whilst being so familiar. Through a dialectical proposition which is not intended to exclude difference, these linkages provide a raft on which to build opportunity (as in the concept of perspective) for both “distanced reflection and intimate connection”. Thus, she uses the “tree of life” or “tree of knowledge” as a repetitive motif and in so doing deploys its sacred associations as a global referent. At a symbolical and eschatological level these images instantiate spiritual concepts relating to the Garden of Eden or Paradise, offering an idealized locus for the production of a common ground. Thus, the traditional certainties that arise from such iconology are reworked to take on a more abstract elusive quality which fits well with her personal philosophy and aims which envisage the world as a better…© Christine Dauber all rights reservedmore


Dr William Platz

Dr William Platz

Dr William Platz is an artist and writer whose research, teaching and practice concern life drawing, portraiture and pedagogies of drawing. He is also the co-convenor of the drawing research project Drawing International Brisbane (DIB), which brings together leading drawing scholars and practitioners from around the world to conference and exhibit on the current state of drawing practice, curatorship and theory. Life Drawing, Yawning Zombies and the Dragan Ilic Affair: This paper will ruminate over a few ongoing research projects as part of a longstanding inquiry into contemporary life drawing and the transactions that occur between artists and models. It draws upon recent studio practice and an investigation of Human Canvas — a 1979 performance at Brisbane’s College of Art by artist Dragan Ilic. The studio work blends the symbolic action of yawning with tropes associated with zombie narratives. A key point of reference for this work is an obscure and sinister drawing by Edgar Degas of a young woman yawning. The study of Human Canvas focuses on the transgressions of artist/model and professional/student boundaries and the retributive aftermath of the work. Yawning zombies and the Dragan Ilic affair will frame potentials for disrupting conventional life drawing methods…© William Platz all rights reservedmore


Professor Susan Best

Professor Susan Best

Professor Susan Best is the convenor of Fine Art and Art Theory at the Queensland College of Art. She is an art historian with expertise in the area’s of critical theory and modern and contemporary art. Reparative Aesthetics: Witnessing in Contemporary Art Photography offers a new way of thinking about the role of politically engaged art. It examines the work of four women photographers from the southern hemisphere who are pioneering a reparative approach to art about shameful histories such as: the harsh and unjust treatment of indigenous peoples; the cruel institutionalisation of vulnerable groups; the disappearance of dissidents; and the carnage of civil war. They are: Rosângela Rennó (Brazil), Anne Ferran (Australia), Fiona Pardington (New Zealand), and Milagros de la Torre (Peru/USA). These artists make a radical break with the dominant approaches to political art (institutional critique, identity politics), which still follow the precepts of the anti-aesthetic tradition. The anti-aesthetic tradition privileges critique over aesthetic engagement, and rejects the importance of traditional aesthetic concerns such as beauty, feeling, expression and judgment…© Susan Best all rights reservedmore


Varda Caivano, 2014, courtesy The Renaissance Society University of Chicago

Varda Caivano, detail, Untitled 2014, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago.

What does it mean to paint today as a serious artist? How does an artist confront and engage with the history of  painting and the much debated ‘death of painting’? After several do not resuscitates, what does a painting look like that has vitality, that is powerful, that is necessary and is critically contemporary? Caivano’s objective is to make a successful image. Success, in terms of the dynamism of the composition. Caivano’s process is to overcome the abstract challenge of making an image succeed. London based artist, Varda Caivano’s most recent exhibition at the University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society is, as put by Terry Meyers, another example of how this artist has “in productive and meaningful ways been painting versions of the same painting – her painting”. Varda Caivano realises the compositions through a process of contextual disorientation and re-orientation. This process sometimes starts with cutting and removing a small section from a larger painted work in her studio, rotating and re-understanding this to use and build into a final image. Other times it is rotating, inverting and distancing her macro-image-composition from the micro-material-process…more


Simon Degroot

Simon Degroot: Artist Talk, “Indirect Response.”

Of course, the self-professed dead end to the history of painting was and remains inflated conjecture, and is better considered as more of a riddling hypothesis on the nature of the genre. As a work, Indirect Response provides a useful gateway between the colourful works and monochromatic green paintings in the exhibition. Its shades of black make it evocative of a photocopy of one, or a combination of other exhibited works, which Degroot notes was a conscious decision throughout the artistic process. In effect Degroot is trying to mirror the way that photocopies are always at once originals and copies of something that exists outside of themselves. The understanding of how to make paintings that are both original and reiterative of something else is highlighted throughout this show. As a PhD candidate, the depth of Degroot’s research means his work must knowingly take onboard the impossibility of undoing the Modernist monochrome. He must work ‘in direct response’ to the black monochrome, photocopying and displaying these problems in order to keep them present. And yet he must also translate these problems into new and…more



Zoe Knight, “Three metres clear tubing,” 30x20x20cm, 2013.

To speak summatively, Knight’s work utilizes blocks of colour in her echoing of formal motifs. Roughly sphere-like knots and simple, atonal plinths, tend to be composed of one or two material components. These materials have been sourced from construction-site waste-bins, or saved for her by family and friends. Throughout her oeuvre, there is clear evidence of the hand of the artist in the works formal intricacy, tactility and precision of placement. Each of her works is a meticulously constructed, standalone piece of art that conjures intrigue whilst summoning an indefatigable interest. As each of her works specifically responds to its materiality and the conditions of its display, so must our means of relation to the work involve some engagement with these self same artistic triggers. By positioning the materiality of the works themselves as the source of their primary outcome, Knight’s work elicits a manifest tactile allure. In highlighting the texture, size, fluidity and plasticity of the material that has been knotted, it would seem that we are urged to identify with the works, to imagine their feel, their malleability, their stickiness or dryness. And of course it is through an extension of this dynamic that we become…more



Associate Professor Rex Butler: “I Am, You Are, We Are Australia” FASST 2015.

What do a series of works called ‘Australia’ done by artists who do not come from Australia have to tell us about ourselves? Equally, what does the presence of paintings of gumtrees throughout European modernism have to tell us about the Australian landscape tradition? Perhaps, in a way, we are all Australian, even those that were not born here. Perhaps “Australian” art can be made overseas by artists who are not Australian. Art historians for some time have tried to define what “Australian” art is. Their definitions have inevitably been exclusive, often leaving out, for example, Australian artists working overseas and artists from overseas working here. But what would it mean to say that “Australian” art can be made by anyone, anywhere? We try to answer this question by looking at a series of European artists who have painted gumtrees and a series of European and American artists who have made works called Australia and…more



Franz Ehmann, “News Sculpture”, single channel video performance, re-edited HD video still, 2003.

in literature i always read the modernist writers such as Beckett or for example Thomas Bernhard who are always on about capturing and imparting an experience of the end game…though the question remains…how can i work with this concept…this kind of existential aspect and what does that then infer to the overall value of our existence…producing artworks in this manner you question the value in this kind of endism so to speak…you know it’s never there…realistically you constantly have to construct some form of communicational dialogue in a search for how we can possibly utilise this space or this sphere to culturally instil these concepts into ‘place’ and of course an audience who simply may not be aware of what it is you are referring to in the first place…these very minute literal changes carry with them a certain form of irony and dark humour…more


R_Buziak-Melaleuca quinquenervia...antiseptic…III

Melaleuca quinquenervia…antiseptic…III, Archival Pigment on Paper, 50x50cm, 2013.

When we look at the abstractions of startling photographic beauty Renata Buziak designates as Biochromes, we are immediately struck by thoughts of the transubstantiative atemporality of nature. This art/science endeavour embraces a distinct affect that literally jolts us from our subsumed linear elasticity and suggests altered temporalities beyond those of a cyclical transience, linear adaptability, experiences of flux, fluidity and vestigial remnants: it is an endeavour that requires a prominent reordering of the indexical nature of our observation whilst simultaneously celebrating the traditional beliefs in the indexical nature of the photographic process. The unmitigated density of the varying strains of knowledge that this body of work proposes coalesce into a paradoxical visual treatise that fixes the subject as an authenticating sign which resists the signification of both…more



Karike Ashworth ‘Pillows’, condemned hospital linen, thread, 6 x objects, 15 x 68 x 40cm, detail, 2013.

Ashworth’s Lamentation marked the two-year anniversary of the passing of her mother in July 2012. The exhibition conveys the collective grief of twelve women including the artist who have all lost their mother to death. A celebration of life viewed through the lens of artistic contemplation? Perhaps, though one is drawn to a speculative rending of the mind and body in the face of a perceived culmination of events amounting to the sublime certainty of finality. It is a dialogue that as a society we tend to dismiss. And yet framed as artistic eloquence in a recognizable public space, a space in which dialogue is encouraged and permitted to take shape, enables the viewer to constructively consider the many complexities surrounding the human inability to explore the absolute certainty of our collective demise…more


Carolyn V Watson “matterovamind”

Carolyn V Watson “matterovamind”

Carolyn V Watson is part of a wave of artists who are reviving traditional art making practices. Integral to Watson and other artists working in this marginal way (think Lae Oldman, Juz Kitson and Lindsay Pichaske), is the wholehearted commitment of the artist being immersed in each stage of their artistic process. Embracing the physicality involved in the act of making, these artists privilege the handmade over the technical, the humble over the ostentatious and the organic over the manufactured. As a result, making art is a labour intensive, obsessive and at times ritualistic experience. This emphasis on process counters much mainstream contemporary art where the role of the artist is limited to the creation of an idea and the making is outsourced to skilled technicians. Yet, as witnessed in Watson’s work, the investment of the artist’s time and care confers a gravitas that cannot be achieved in any other way…more


Gary Carsley Astria Portia 3 2014 Courtesy Thatcher Projects New York and the artist.

Gary Carsley Astria Portia 3 2014 Courtesy Thatcher Projects New York and the artist.

Carsley’s meticulously constructed inferred environments within the gallery setting can clearly be seen to privilege the durational hand of the artist. In fact each work is the product of months of planning and execution. There persists a distinctly meditative instability throughout these works, a slipperiness of a multitude of surface that knowingly commemorates a photographic process that has been infected through the artist’s digital sampling. Carsley’s composite Draguerreotypes of architecturally constructed global gardens – in the main – fashioned through the use of sampled swatches of wood grain, sourced by the artist from various hardware stores throughout his travels, in effect, has supplemented the photograph and in the process has overwritten that which was, thereby challenging an understanding of the supremacy of the original with that of the inferred…more


Brendon Scott French, Tectonic Trace - Binary # 6, 2012. kiln formed glass, 1200 x 960 x 40mm.

Brendon Scott French, kiln formed glass.

The recent return of craft to the contemporary art scene is a welcome move. This new turn sees artists working in process oriented art practices as a counter to the extravagant spectacle privileged throughout the celebrated biennale circuit. The foundling vision of JamFactory was concerned with nurturing creative talent to develop ‘a world-class crafts and design facility.’ Through its 40-year colourful history, the institution has had plenty of detractors and endured strong criticism. Thankfully, the gritty determination of the people involved has ensured its survival. As an educative and creative institution, JamFactory stands alone in Australia’s cultural history. This travelling exhibition presents an opportunity to see the latest work by some of our leading artisans. Many exhibitors are current or past educators at JamFactory, and their work appears in national and international public collections. From the quality of the works on show through to its clever curatorship, Designing Craft/Crafting Design is testimony to…more


"Black Dog", readymade found object, 2013, mage courtesy Carl Warner via the artist.

“Black Dog”, readymade found object, 2013.

The critical discourse currently surrounding conceptual art positions it as an art form that seamlessly dovetails and intermingles with the disciplines of painting, music, video, sculpture, photography, performance and installation art. This trans-disciplinary approach, birthed by Duchamp, toward a fluxus manifestation: a movement that artistically supplemented a contemporary positioning of conceptualism, is clearly evidenced throughout Moore’s work. Spanning the performance of alter egos, video, spoken word, participatory installation, sound art, appropriated texts, an ironic play on meaning and the readymade artistic object, the choices Moore makes are all imbued with his ongoing thesis surrounding implied and overt racial gestures of discrimination and the unceasingly inherent scripting of Indigenous identity by forces that lay outside of Indigeneity…more


Anvil (nut cracking stone).

(nut cracking stone).

written on the body runs to the heart of an ongoing conundrum of museum ethnographic collections in that ‘while objects reflect the situation from which they are derived, they also present a distorted image of that situation even as they often come to stand for it.’ As highlighted in this exhibition, the early 20th century practice of labelling objects perpetuated the lacuna between the museum object and what it purports to represent. Many of the objects in this show are those sourced from the 1930s to the late 1950s when the Museum’s founder, Lindsey P. Winterbotham, amassed a considerable collection. As was common practice in this period, objects were written upon as a means of identification and interpreted according to the collector’s background and own set of meanings. The exhibition promulgates that these crudely scrawled numbers and initials deface…more 



Kerry Tribe: ”There Will Be________ ” 2012.

Throughout her complex and multi-faceted oeuvre Tribe is well known for her pathological amounts of appropriation. The cult of postmodern cultural quotation is simply inescapable. The language that Tribe utilizes – sourced from the sixty three films shot on location at Greystone mansion – intelligibly operates as the trigger that ignites this felt push/pull from the clearly signified to a distinctly disenfranchised contextual unease and yet it is this language that manifestly resonates with an audience’s lived cinematic memory. The complication of language utilized throughout the work can be seen to be operating as an artistic strategy initiating an awareness, a bodily recognition within the viewer and speaks to just how out of step we can become in the construction of and the seemingly indiscernible organization of a working memory…more

Carolyn V Watson: is part of a wave of artists who are reviving traditional art making practices. Integral to Watson...more      

Benjamin Werner: This new body of work sheds the referent to engage more purely with colour, composition and sensory experience...more

Megan Puls: Although there is much talk in art journals of the ‘drive for equality’ across all mediums in 21st century art...more    

Nic Plowman: Produced in the wake of Australia’s first parliamentary enquiry into institutional child-sex abuse, Plowman’s...more