Outsider Art

In Sydney’s south, an exhibition is being held at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery of works which once would have been described as the “art of the insane”. Hazelhurst’s July exhibition features artists who consider themselves part of the ‘Outsider Art’ movement, in which artists are rarely formally trained and are not influenced by art schools or self-criticism.
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In Sydney’s south, an exhibition is being held at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery of works which once would have been described as the “art of the insane”. Hazelhurst’s July exhibition features artists who consider themselves part of the ‘Outsider Art’ movement, in which artists are rarely formally trained and are not influenced by art schools or self-criticism. The term Outsider Art was an English synonym for the term ‘Art Brut’ (‘raw art’), invented by French artist Jean Dubuffet.

Dubuffet saw this form of art as an expression of raw emotion and extreme mental states, untethered by convention and he focussed particularly on art by insane asylum inmates. Whilst some of the artists featured in the Hazelhurst exhibition have struggled with mental illness, the focus on the collection is how these artists work in a unique way to create their works, and how they are influenced by a strong connection to the unconscious. For a fantastic website on the topic of Outsider Art visit www.rawartlink.com and let the three-eyed lion take you into this fascinating world.

In the early days of Art Brut, graffiti was also considered part of the movement as it was created by those who lived on the fringes of society. Whilst the politics of graffiti today has been marred by its convergence with mainstream marketing culture, it still represents one of the last artistic areas to avoid institutionalisation. Because of its Outsider nature and its illegal status, those who want to celebrate the art of graffiti must do so in innovative ways.

In Sydney, the first Friday of each month sees a small laneway in St Peters come to life with original artwork created by graffiti artists. The organisers, May’s, install special panels in the laneway each month and recently held a retrospective of some of the best panels created during the year (www.mays.com.au). Melbourne plays host each year to the Melbourne Stencil Festival, a 10-day celebration of street art which brings together some of the hottest names in the business. Whilst the festival happened in May, there is now a Sydney version which kicks off at the Pine Street Creative Arts Centre in Chippendale on June 1st. For info, visit www.stencilfestival.com.

It’s the season for design awards, with the Australian Design Awards having just recently been announced (for a list of winners click here: www.designawards.com.au). If you’re keen to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the world of design, you could head to the Queensland Art Gallery, where they are exhibiting the finalists and winners from the Design Excellence in Queensland 2006 Awards. The Ian Potter Centre in Melbourne will be hosting in June the Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award 2006, which this year focuses on jewellery. This is the richest award to be offered to a contemporary Australian designer ($30, 000) and has previously been awarded in the areas of ceramics, metalwork and textiles.

A couple of interesting Indigenous exhibitions also caught my eye this month. Just as you’re reading this you might be snuggled up to your heater, and sipping on your third cup of warming team for the day. Well you might be wishing you were a member of the Titjikala people, who have a great skill for creating colourful beanies and other crucial winter warmers. Get down to see them at the Art Mob gallery in Hobart. And at the Japingka Gallery in Perth, June 16 sees the opening of a unique group show which features artists whose paintings are created predominantly in black and white. The show aims to show the signature styles of some of the well-known names in Indigenous art, as well as showcase some new and emerging talent.

Competitions and Grants

Sydney, City of Villages Art Exhibition and Prize
Applications close June 13

Australian artists working in the media of painting, printmaking and drawing are invited to submit works to an exciting new art project – Sydney, City of Villages. Works by 10 artists will be reproduced as giant posters and showcased in JCDecaux Street Furniture sites and in a gallery exhibition at Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, Chippendale. For an Artist Information Package and entry form click here or telephone (02) 9265 9168.

Manningham Wearable Art Competition
Entries close June 16

’Artwear 2006’ is a multi-faceted wearable art project and competition which also culminates in an exhibition, mini-parade and awards night. To enter contact the Manningham Gallery in Victoria on (03) 9840 9367.

Sculpture in the Vineyards
Applications close June 17

Artists are invited to submit work to be included in this years exhibition of large
scale outdoor sculpture in the Wollombi Valley. For application information please contact the Curator on 0403 469 753 or email vinesculptor@yahoo.com.au.

Light and Life Photo Competition
Applications close June 30

Four sections are open in this prize: open colour, open black and white, secondary student (colour or black and white) and primary student (colour or black and white). To download an entry form click here.

Cromwell’s Art Prize
Applications close June 30

The Cromwell’s Art Prize aims of promoting the careers of emerging and mid-career Australian artists and offers a prize totalling $200,000 to be divided between the winning entries for Paintings, Portraiture, Indigeonous art, Sculpture and Photography. Entry forms are available at www.cromwells.com.au. Tel: 8514 9444 Email: artprize@cromwells.com.au.

The Country Energy Art Prize
Entries close July 21

Offers a prize of $35 000 to the winning landscape entry. For information go to www.countryenergy.com.au or call Country Energy on 13 23 56.

The Fleurieu Peninsula Art Prize
Entries close July 31

Australia’s richest landscape art prize is now open for entries, with four categories available plus a youth scholarship for a young South Australian artist. For information go to www.artprize.com.au.

Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards
Entries due by July 31

This program aims to help young Australians connect with their dreams by providing a mentorship with an industry leader, plus cash and flights needed to network overseas. In the visual arts categories, the mentors are Marc Newson (Industrial and Object design), Max Doyle (photography) and Elizabeth Ann MacGregor (Pictures). Artists must be under 25 years to enter. For more information go to www.noise.net or call 1800 080 826.

Australia Council Visual Arts Grants
Applications close August 1

Grants are open for applications in the categories of Presentation and Promotion (for arts organizations) and Skills and Arts Development (for professional development for individuals). To find out more go to www.ozco.gov.au.

South Australia Youth Arts Board Scholarships
Applications close August 4

The South Australian Youth Arts Board invites applications from outstanding young South Australian artists (aged under 27), for four separate scholarships in visual arts, performing arts and literature. The program for the Visual Arts is the Ruth Tuck Scholarship – $12,500, offered annually and designed to assist young South Australians to further their professional development and training in the visual arts and design. For more information visit www.sayab.org.au.

Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize
Entries close August 11

Now in its sixth year, the prestigious Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize is calling for artists to enter their work for the chance to win a total of $13 000 in prize money. Sculptures must be no bigger than 80cm. Entry forms and for more information on the Prize are available from Jo Jansyn at Woollahra Council on 02 9391 7135 or jo.jansyn@woollahra.nsw.gov.au. Alternatively, you can download an entry form at at www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au.

Signature of Sydney Art Prize
Entries close September 4

An exciting new competition concept in which artists must compete to create an artwork which symbolises the spirit of Sydney and becomes a new local icon. The artwork must incorporate somehow the logos of some of the major companies which will be involved in creating the Signature of Sydney. The winner will receive $150,000, the largest art prize in Australia’s history. For more information go to www.signatureofsydney.com.au.

Exhibitions and Events


Queensland Gallery, Melbourne St South Brisbane
Exposure: Australian Photography from the 1930s to the 1960s
Until July 2
Design Excellence in Queensland
Showcases the finalists and winners of the Queensland Design Awards 2006. June 3 – June 18.

Philip Bacon Galleries, 2 Arthur Street Fortitude Valley
June Tupicoff: Recent Paintings
A debut exhibition with Bacon galleries which investigates coastal landscapes. May 23 – June 17
Nicholas Harding: Recent paintings
The winner of the 2005 people’s choice award at the Archibald, Harding presents new examples of his vibrant floral and beach scenes realised through his uniquely thick painting technique. June 20 – July 15.

QUT Art Museum, 2 George St Brisbane
Diversity: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Works from the Collection
Until June 18
The Suburban Sweet: Simon Mee
June 8 – August 13

Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Walala Wasala: Politics and African Textiles
A collection of the uniquely styled politically designed fabric of Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Zanzibar. May 27 – July 16.
From the Rainforest to the Sea
A written perspective of the Gold Coast from Australian calligraphy artists. June 10 – July 9.

The Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Cnr Denham St and Flinders Mall, Townsville, Tel: 07 4727 9011
UN-Framing: An exhibition by Anneke Silver
How does the eye investigate, scan a subject and make selections? It would appear that we are conditioned to see in frames. What happens if we un-frame? This exhibition is about un-framing the subject and offering a multitude of choices. Until June 26.

Cairns Regional Gallery, Cnr Abbott and Shields Streets, Cairns
Echoes of Home: Memory and mobility in recent Austral-Asian art
Contemporary Asian artists who have made Australia their home show the influences of culture on the way they approach their craft. An exhibition of sculpture, craft and textiles. Until July 9.


National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes Canberra
Right here right now:
Recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art acquisitions. Until August 13.
Welcome to the Water Planet: paperworks by James Rosenquist
June 10 – September 10

Impressions on Paper Gallery, 7 Lonsdale St Braddon
Graham Marchant: The manuscript series and related works
A collection of Oil Paintings, Watercolours and Prints

National Portrait Gallery, Commonwealth Place, Canberra
Rennie Ellis: Aussies All
Over 100 images from the late Australian photographer Rennie Ellis who captured the broad character of Australia – its social elites, opinion makers and highfliers as well as those who simply enjoyed the Australian pleasures of the beach, music and sport. Until August 7.

Craft ACT, 1st Floor, North Building, 180 London Circuit, Canberra
Traditions and departures: highlighting Japanese influences in Australian craft and design
Little Know facts: Tom Moore (glass art and mixed-media)
Julie Ryder (exhibition influenced by the tea towel!)
Craft ACT Potter’s Society Award Winner – Sarah Rice

All until July 2

Beaver Galleries, 81 Denison St Canberra
Chris Denton: prints and paintings
Clare Belfrage and Tim Edwards: Studio Glass

Until June 12
Warlukurlangu artists Shorty Robertson and Liddy Walker paintings
Peter Johnson , Richard Lee, Martin Paull: ceramics & paintings

15 June – 3 July 2006


Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Rd The Domain Sydney
Kevin Connor
This exhibition presents the inter-relationship between Kevin Connor’s drawings and monumental paintings of the last decade or so. Uncompromisingly his subject is life on the street, in cafes, railway stations, parks and foodhalls, principally in Sydney, Paris and London. Until June 25.
Works from the Australian collection on the theme of waterfalls. Until July 16.
Old Europe
This display of some 100 works tells the unfolding story of the graphic arts in Europe. June 3 – August 6.
2006 Biennale of Sydney
June 8 – August 27

Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St The Rocks
Sam Taylor-Wood
Extended until June 18
Zones of Contact: 2006 Biennale of Sydney
June 8 – August 27

The Museum of Sydney, Cnr Phillip and Bridge Sts
Joseph Lycett: Convict Artist
Until June 18.

Albury Regional Gallery, 546 Dean St Albury
Pick of the Crop
A survey of new work from the Albury-Wodonga region. Until June 25.
Two Hearts in Harmony
Japanese heritage quilts by Tomie Nagano. June 9 – July 16.

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, 782 Kingsway Gymea
Australian Outsider Art
A touring exhibition of work by artists with little professional training and a strong connection to their unconscious. Until July 16.
Home Island Home Country
A collection of over fifty artworks created by children from 16 remote communities across Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait. Until July 16.

Ray Hughes Gallery, 270 Devonshire St Surry Hills
Steve Smith
Until June 14
Franck Gohier – The Phillip: more tales from the far north
Until June 14
Roy Churcher – Produce of Wamboin: painting 2003 – 2005
June 17 – July 12

Robin Gibson Gallery, 278 Liverpool St Darlinghurst
Sculpture 18
The gallery’s annual show of emerging and established sculptors now in its 18th year. Until June 14.


Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, 40 Macquarie St Hobart
Max Angus: A Lifetime of Watercolour
A selection of watercolours of Tasmanian landscapes from the past six decades. April 13 – July 16.

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, QVMAG@Inveresk
Contemporary Aspects of Tasmanian Art
Artists featured are Tim Burns, and Kerry Gregan and in their first showing at the QVMAG: Jonathan Kimberley, Sue Lovegrove, Heather B. Swann and Richard Wastell. Until July 16.

Criterion Gallery, 12 Criterion St Central Hobart
Mary Scott: Gathering Lies
Until June 13
Underpin: Andrew Curtis – Photography
June 15 – July 11

Art Mob, 29 Hunter St Hobart
Winter Warmers
Beanies and Collectables from Titjikala. June 9 – June 25.

CAST Gallery, 27 Tasma St North Hobart
Contingency Plan
Artists use the element of recorded time – in works of video, photography and painting – correlated with the mechanical regulation of it. May 27 – June 25.


NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd
Words and Pictures
Works from two of the best-known contemporary artists from Glasgow, Douglas Gordon and Roderick Buchanan. Until June 25.
Mountains and Streams: Chinese paintings from the Asian collection
Until September 10
Rembrandt 1606-1669: From the prints and drawings collection
Until September 24

The Ian Potter Centre @ Federation Square
2006 Contemporary Commonwealth
Groundbreaking work by artists from countries across the Commonwealth. Until June 25.
Top Arts VCE 2005
Celebrating student achievement in Art and Studio Arts. Until July 16.
The Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award 2006
The most prestigious prize in design which this year focuses on jewellery. June 9 – September 3.
The Paris End: photography, fashion and glamour
Dedicated to the ‘Paris End’ of Collins St, in Melbourne. June 3 – October 29.

Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George St, Fitzroy
Simon Obarzanek: 80/137 Faces
Until Jun 24
2006 Kodak Salon
Until June 24
Christopher Koller: Mizuno D301
Until June 24
Projection Window – Kim Donaldson: Keep clear
Until June 24

Uber Gallery, 52 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
Photographers of the Revolution
Features photographs by Osvaldo Salas, Liborio Noval, Alberto Korda and Roberto Salas. Until June 11.
Claudia Chaseling – Painting
June 14 – July 16

Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, 200 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Mark Hilton: Collective Autonomy
Until June 24
Terra Incognita
Brings together six Australian and international artists who draw on the language of cartography to chart an internal landscape of ideas, memories and emotions. Until June 24.
Stress Less
Current Gertrude studio artist Rob McHaffie and former studio artist Lane Cormick are presenting their first collaborative exhibition, in the experimental space of Gertrude’s Studio 12. Until June 24.


Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide
Margaret Preston: Art and Life
May 26 – August 13

Greenaway Art Gallery, 39 Rundle St Kent Town
Jenny Watson
Darren Siwes
Kim Guthrie

Until June 25

Adelaide Central Gallery 2, Adelaide Central School of Art, 45 Osmond Terrace, Norwood
Surface Residue
Contemporary Photography. Until June 25.

Experimental Art Foundation, the Lions Art Centre, North Terrace at Morphett St, Adelaide
Akira Akira “paint that never dries”
Akira Akira is an Adelaide-based emerging artist who is investigating the notion of surface.
Dominic Redfern: “Ow!”
Melbourne-based artist, Dominic Redfern, uses his own image in splintered narratives to question the truth of video.
Wilkins Hall: “Sunny” and “ Kids are Food”
A photographic series and video installation. June 2 – July 1.

Hill-Smith Gallery, 113 Pirie St Adelaide
Crispin Akerman
Classical, balanced still life arrangements from Perth based Crispin Akerman reflect a calm austerity in their formal composition with a contemporary edge to draw the eye. June 23 – July 16.


Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
Identity and Change: Representation and the Nyoongar People
Until August
Western Desert Satellites
Beautiful and unique artworks from the Western desert region. Until July 30.
Ricky Swallow
June 18 – October 29

Japingka Gallery, 47 High St Fremantle
Kudditji Kngwarreye
Features the bold, colour-filled paintings of this Utopia artist who is the younger brother of Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Until June 11.
Sam Juparulla – paintings and glasswork
Until June 11
Towards Black and White
The gallery’s group exhibition of indigenous artists whose paintings are created predominantly in black and white. June 16 – July 23.
Titjikala Artists
Brightly coloured paintings and whimsical sculptures show the lives of the artists and the landscapes they occupy. June 16 – July 23.

Gallery East, 94 Stirling Highway North Fremantle
Miik Green: Sex Cells
Sculptures. Until June 25.

Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 51 James St Perth
Hatched 06
National Graduate Show, the most comprehensive national survey of emerging artists in Australia. Until June 25.

Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway
No Ordinary Place: the Art of David Malangi
Until June 6
Configured: Aspects of contemporary Western Australian figurative art
A selection of contemporary representational painting curated by Perth artist Kevin Robertson. June 25 – August 2.
Transcience: figurative art
Looks at the work of a small number of very recent graduates from the three university art schools in Perth, all of whom are using figurative techniques. June 25 – August 2.


Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Conacher St Darwin
Sound of the Sky
A series of artworks have been gathered from around the world to create an exhibition which shows how Westerners view the Northern Territory. April 6 – July.
The Waterhole
Features the drawings from Graham Base’s latest book. June 17 – 2007.

24HR Art, NT Centre for Contemporary Art, Vimy Lane Parap Village Shopping Centre
Michael Zavros: This Charming Man
With a fascination for intricate detail and photographic realism on both a large and miniature scale, these works depict often unsettling, yet highly aesthetic imagery, manipulating classical notions of beauty while celebrating a kind of romantic excess that is analogous with the process of painting itself. May 12 – June 17.
Ayu Arista Murti: Sweet Bitter Sour
Curated by Yuliana Kusumastuti Ayu Arista Murti An Indonesian artist, Ayu Arista Murti presents recent paintings as part of her reaction to social and moral issues. May 12 – June 17.

The Araluen Centre for Arts, Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs
The Hermannsburg School of Art
Until July 2
Araluen website

Frances Derricourt
About the Author
Frances Derricourt is in Arts Marketing, and currently works for an Australian publisher promoting Fine Arts books.