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MAR/APR 2021<br />

Tony Albert<br />

Glenn Barkley<br />

Sanné Mestrom<br />

Jeremy Sharma<br />

María Fernanda Cardoso<br />

Yang Yongliang

Editorial Directors<br />

Ursula <strong>Sullivan</strong> and Joanna <strong>Strumpf</strong><br />

Managing Editor<br />

Harriet Reid<br />

Senior Designer &<br />

Studio Manager<br />

Matthew De Moiser<br />

Designer<br />

Angela Du<br />

Proofreader<br />

Nicholas Smith<br />

Production<br />

polleninteractive.com.au<br />

SYDNEY<br />

799 Elizabeth St<br />

Zetland, Sydney NSW 2017<br />

Australia<br />

P +61 2 9698 4696<br />

E art@sullivanstrumpf.com<br />


P +65 83107529<br />

Megan Arlin | Gallery Director<br />

E megan@sullivanstrumpf.com<br />

sullivanstrumpf.com<br />

@sullivanstrumpf<br />

@sullivanstrumpf<br />

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sullivan+strumpf<br />

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FRONT COVER: Tony Albert, Conversations with<br />

Preston: Christmas Bells (detail), 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on canvas<br />

300 x 400 cm<br />

<strong>Sullivan</strong>+<strong>Strumpf</strong> acknowledge the Gadigal people of the<br />

Eora nation, the traditional custodians of whose lands the<br />

Gallery stands. We pay respect to Elders, past, present<br />

and emerging and recognise their continued connection<br />

to Culture and Country.


27 MARCH –<br />

11 JULY 2021<br />

twma.com.au<br />

Grant Stevens, Below the mountains and beyond the desert, a river runs through a valley of forests and grasslands,<br />

towards an ocean 2020 (digital render detail). Courtesy of the artist and <strong>Sullivan</strong> + <strong>Strumpf</strong>, Sydney<br />

MAJOR<br />


MAJOR<br />




Sanné Mestrom, works in progress.


Glenn Barkley<br />

nearwildheaven, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

23 cm diameter<br />

MAR/APR 2021

Level Up<br />

Ursula <strong>Sullivan</strong>+Joanna <strong>Strumpf</strong><br />

One of the greatest rewards as a gallerist/art dealer/<br />

human is watching artists take their practice to the<br />

next level, become representatives of their generation<br />

and use that miraculous, silent, visual voice to start<br />

discussions about our world that need to be had.<br />

The four feature artists in this issue are all doing this –<br />

Tony Albert, Sanné Mestrom, Glenn Barkley and María<br />

Fernanda Cardoso – all in their own way, definitely<br />

leveling up, and definitely taking on the issues of<br />

our time.<br />

Angela Goddard, Director, Griffith University Art<br />

Museum and Chair of University Art Museums Australia,<br />

has known Tony Albert since he was 20 years old working<br />

as a junior trainee at the Queensland Art Gallery. She has<br />

seen him mature and develop from a young artist, into<br />

the (now 40) contemporary hero he is today. Her text<br />

for his exhibition Conversations with Margaret Preston<br />

mirrors the sensitivity in the work – Tony refers to it as: a<br />

bit like a velvet boxing glove – approaching this tricky<br />

but necessary conversation with the care and intelligence<br />

it demands.<br />

Sanné Mestrom is one of the most dynamic and<br />

challenging sculptors working in Australia today.<br />

Imogen Dixon-Smith draws parallels between Sanné and<br />

Dada artist Hannah Höch, and how they both explore<br />

creativity, labour and the female body. She challenges<br />

the giants who have gone before her, defiantly<br />

deconstructing, rearranging and questioning their<br />

legacy, the Modernist patriarchy.<br />

Glenn Barkley is a disruptive force in ceramics today.<br />

His work – some so small they fit in the palm of your<br />

hand – reaches way beyond the traditional language<br />

of ceramics. At once beautiful, weird and hilarious, his<br />

latest work is a melting pot of the deeply personal and<br />

the overtly public social media: American presidents,<br />

Caesar, Mozart, bushfires, gardening, music, COVID,<br />

poetry. He represents life as we know it. So immerse<br />

yourself.<br />

Ahead of her 50th solo exhibition Gumnuts and<br />

Sandstone, we take a closer look at the remarkable<br />

career of María Fernanda Cardoso. Spaning over<br />

30 years and three continents, her career has one<br />

common thread throughout – a fascination with the<br />

intrinsic geometry of the organic. From representing<br />

her homeland of Colombia at the Venice Biennale to<br />

performing her Cardoso Flea Circus literally everywhere<br />

from the Pompidou in Paris to Sydney’s own Opera<br />

House, we learn a little more about Cardoso before her<br />

May exhibition at <strong>Sullivan</strong>+<strong>Strumpf</strong>, Sydney.<br />

In this issue we also take a sneak peak into the studios<br />

of Yang Yongliang and Jeremy Sharma, curate a small<br />

but lovely selection of works on the timely theme of<br />

Renewal, and give the Last Word to our great friends<br />

and contemporary art supporters Rob Postema and<br />

Trish Jungfer.<br />

The rewards abound.<br />

Enjoy,<br />

Ursula & Joanna.<br />


10<br />

24<br />

32<br />

MAR/APR 2021

Contents<br />

64<br />

10<br />

18<br />

24<br />

32<br />

46<br />

54<br />

60<br />

64<br />

66<br />

Sanné Mestrom: Body as Verb<br />

In the Studio: Jeremy Sharma<br />

Glenn Barkley: The Urn of Bitter Prophecy<br />

Tony Albert: Conversations with Margaret Preston<br />

María Fernanda Cardoso<br />

Yang Yongliang: Allegory of the cave<br />

Last Word: Do you Collect?<br />

Quick Curate: Renewel<br />

Up Next<br />


Sanné Mestrom, works in progress.<br />

Sanné Mestrom:<br />

Body as Verb<br />

The distorted echos of Hannah Höch’s photomontages reverberate<br />

through Sanné Mestrom’s stone sculptures. The mashups of<br />

both women transform pre-existing images and forms into entirely<br />

new entities with inescapable references to modern life. Almost a<br />

century later however, Mestrom’s work lets us sit with the lived reality<br />

of Höch’s modernist legacy.<br />

By Imogen Dixon-Smith<br />

Exhibition: April 15 - May 8<br />



Sanné Mestrom: Body as Verb<br />

One of the hallmarks of the English language is<br />

the provision of a substantial lexicon where<br />

one can find multiple terms to describe a<br />

single phenomenon, each with specific connotations<br />

that deviate ever so subtly. We can select from a<br />

list of synonyms a word that pinpoints with relative<br />

precision an action we wish to communicate and a<br />

particular feeling we wish to signify. We can hold,<br />

carry, bear or cradle a weight, each term’s accuracy<br />

changing with the context of the situation described.<br />

Sanné Mestrom’s new series Body as Verb formally<br />

and conceptually explores the complex relationship<br />

between support and agency, which is echoed in the<br />

slippage between these four words. Experimenting<br />

with notions of monumentality, permanence and<br />

precision, Mestrom has fashioned abstracted bodily<br />

forms of varying materiality, finish and size. She has<br />

intentionally designed the series, including six robust<br />

legs and a reclining body, to be both aesthetic and<br />

functional – to hold each other (and the viewer) up<br />

visually and physically.<br />

Mestrom’s practice has always worked to complicate<br />

understandings of sculpture, but has recently focused<br />

more intently on exploring the agency of sculpture<br />

and its accountability to public and private space and<br />

the people that inhabit it. For Mestrom, this research<br />

is inseparable from the personal: “like my body,<br />

particularly since giving birth and motherhood…every<br />

bit of me now has to ‘function’. My body has a job<br />

to do, it has a responsibility to the world, and to the<br />

beings in my life. Equally, these objects are not inert,<br />

they also have a responsibility to other objects, and to<br />

the world at large.”<br />

While each individual object is autonomous, the group<br />

can be reconfigured in countless arrangements –<br />

prostrate, outstretched or squatting structures all offer<br />

up sturdy support for smaller components or real bodies<br />

in the space. Scattered across the lush green grass of<br />

her Blue Mountain’s yard, Mestrom moves her models<br />

around countless times allowing these humanesque<br />

contours to climb and cradle one another, a process that<br />

is equal parts chaos and nurture. The physical enactment<br />

of her creative process becomes a rumination on her<br />

own maternal body pulled in all directions as she works<br />

to sustain her loved ones and her career. She laughs as<br />

she describes to me how you would find her moving<br />

through life most days, “I’ve always got my baby in<br />

one arm, grocery bags in the other, I’m kicking the car<br />

door shut with my foot, phone on my shoulder; that’s<br />

kind of the picture of the working mum – everything is<br />

working, every bit of me has a job to do – my brain as an<br />

academic, my body as an artist, my heart as a mum.”<br />

The utilitarian state of the female body could not be<br />

more relevant to the lives we’ve lived over the past 12<br />

months. Termed the ‘she-cession’ by researchers in the<br />

US, women have been disproportionately affected by<br />

the ongoing social impacts of the global pandemic.<br />

The situation is strongly tied to the realities of women’s<br />

labour. Female-dominated industries have been hit<br />

the hardest and the pressure on working mothers to<br />

juggle careers with caring responsibilities has intensified<br />

during periods of school shutdowns. The ambiguity<br />

of Mestrom’s raw, changeable forms enact visual and<br />

experiential cues that reflect the ambivalence linking the<br />

theoretical offerings and practical realities of liberation;<br />

the conundrum of keeping up fulfilling work both within<br />

and beyond the walls of the home.<br />

MAR/APR 2021

Sanné Mestrom in her studio.<br />


Sanné Mestrom: Body as Verb<br />

“Like my body, particularly since giving<br />

birth and motherhood...every bit of<br />

me now has to ‘function’. My body has<br />

a job to do, it has a responsibility to<br />

the world, and to the beings in my life.<br />

Equally, these objects are not inert,<br />

they also have a responsibility to other<br />

objects, and to the world at large.”<br />

Mestrom’s now distinctive curvilinear language has been<br />

developed, remoulded and refined in constant dialogue<br />

with male masters of modernism such as Brancusi and<br />

Picasso. Previously referencing particular works or<br />

archetypes of their stylistic legacy, here Mestrom shows<br />

a maturity that exceeds the deconstruction of extant<br />

historic objects and forms, instead manifesting the<br />

visual residue left from a lifetime of canonical exposure<br />

into novel forms that take on a life of their own. The<br />

inheritance of Modernism is still palpable, but here, the<br />

playfulness of her mutable sculptures share a resonance<br />

with a particular female figure of 20th century art.<br />

Pivoting away from her equivocation between reverence<br />

and defiance of male modernists, the parallels that<br />

can be drawn between Body as Verb and the work of<br />

Dada artist Hannah Höch offers a reappraisal of women<br />

exploring notions of creativity, labour and the female<br />

body in new contexts.<br />

The echo of Höch’s cyborg-like ‘New Woman’ mashed<br />

together through the process of photomontage is<br />

palpable in Mestrom’s sculptures. Described by Matthew<br />

Biro as a “heterogenous constellation of fragments”<br />

these images of the archetypal modern ‘liberated’<br />

woman – part machine, part human, part media –<br />

reflected both trauma and regeneration, the dual spirit<br />

of the interwar Weimar period. Like Mestrom, Höch used<br />

photomontage to move beyond plain political critique<br />

and transform pre-existing images and forms into<br />

entirely new entities, yes with inescapable references<br />

to modern life, but with their own agency and energy<br />

to perform. While Höch dealt with an unprecedented<br />

historic moment that saw women enter the political and<br />

professional sphere, almost a century later Mestrom’s<br />

work allows us to sit with the lived reality of the these<br />

modernist legacies. As our weight is lifted from the floor<br />

we can appreciate the value of supportive mechanisms,<br />

be they as conspicuous and tangible as a bench or as<br />

ineffable as maternal nurture.<br />

Imogen Dixon-Smith is a curator and writer currently<br />

based between Gadigal, Ngunnawal and Ngambri<br />

country.<br />

Exhibition: April 15 - May 8<br />


MAR/APR 2021

Sanné Mestrom, work in progress.<br />


Sanné Mestrom: Body as Verb<br />

Ursula <strong>Sullivan</strong> chats to Sanné Mestrom about<br />

Modernism, motherhood and modular art.<br />








MAR/APR 2021<br />

Sanné Mestrom, work in progress.<br />

SM/ Yes, in a way the new works are more figurative than<br />

those in the Corrections exhibition, albeit still modular<br />

and somewhat contorted. The new works in Body as<br />

Verb consist of interchangeable component parts made<br />

from concrete, timber, plaster, steel and bronze. In<br />

each work the sculptural forms that loosely resemble<br />

body parts that are stacked on top of each other, but<br />

not so as to form a single body, but rather a single<br />

work might consist of one body holding another body.<br />

Like people holding people, they assume an obscure<br />

kind of intimacy - perhaps a comforting relationship<br />

between forms, or perhaps a menacing co-dependency.<br />

The irregularity of the forms is born out of their fairly<br />

frenzied process of production: they are all made by<br />

hand in a process of adding and subtracting materials<br />

and elements, of building and breaking, constructing,<br />

deconstructing, reconstructing, gathering and<br />

disbursing, sealing and healing.

Watch Sanné working on Body as Verb.<br />













SM/ Initially my practice was deeply engaged with<br />

post-modern discourse - a critique of Modernism.<br />

But over time the work has moved away from such<br />

explicit assumptions. Certain ideological critiques<br />

are embedded in my practice, as they are in me as a<br />

person, but these days my creative process is a much<br />

more intuitive one. I spend a long time - a year or<br />

more - moving slowly towards a body of sculptures.<br />

Over this time period, as I continue to proliferate in the<br />

studio - continuously testing, experimenting and playing<br />

with forms - the works themselves come into view -<br />

sometimes leisurely, sometimes sluggishly. It’s a bit like<br />

moving through a fog, where you can only take one step<br />

at a time and you just hope like hell that you’re moving<br />

in the right direction. But the most important thing is<br />

just to keep on moving. Looking back on a body of work,<br />

once it’s near completion, things all look so obvious -<br />

the forms, the materials, the ideas coalesced - but the<br />

process of getting there can be harrowing.<br />

SM/ I’m really interested in sculpture being integrated<br />

into our everyday lives, rather than an inert object<br />

that sit politely in a corner or on a pedestal. This<br />

is why I’m interested in what I think of as ‘playable<br />

sculpture’: something that is integrated into public life<br />

by inviting physical engagement, alongside the works<br />

more traditional artistic, intellectual and cultural value.<br />

Ultimately, I’m interested in adding to intergenerational<br />

and child-friendly art experiences in the public realm.<br />

This has become of increasing interest to me since<br />

becoming a mother, and seeing the world down on my<br />

knees, through my son’s eyes. A child's experience of<br />

public space consists largely of steps, eaves, drains,<br />

gutters, corners, potholes and reflections - the very<br />

features of public space that are largely invisible to<br />

adults. Too often they are a neglected amenity of urban<br />

design. I’m interested in exploring what role art can play<br />

in redressing the world as it’s seen through a child’s eyes<br />

so that public space can become less threatening and<br />

more curious, dynamic and alive.<br />


In the Studio:<br />

Jeremy Sharma<br />

My studio is located in a building dedicated for artist studios. It is modest in size with<br />

windows, quite untypical, and the setup changes every three years when I reconfigure<br />

it for the types of projects I’m developing.<br />

Right now it looks a little like a work station and jamming studio as I have many<br />

musical instruments lying about, a little library and a section dedicated to storage. It’s<br />

an organised mess.<br />

I have my older works stored at the back, where I’ve built a storage system. I have<br />

a huge work table with my electronics gear, and the other space is like a living area<br />

when I house my musical instruments. I generally make my large drawings downstairs<br />

in the multipurpose hall and my little ones on my kitchen table in my apartment. If it’s<br />

video editing I do it mostly at home, too.<br />

I try to spend time in the studio as much as I can. Right now it’s every week, but it gets<br />

intense sometimes.<br />

For me, art and music don’t necessarily influence each other, but I think most artists<br />

are into music. Music is more abstract and formless and uses a different part of<br />

your brain that goes beyond the visual field, and hence I think it’s more free. Maybe<br />

because I’m not schooled and I don’t have to explain to anyone what my music means,<br />

so I try to adopt that sensibility in my art. Art has crept into music for me in the way<br />

that sound and music are legitimate disciplines or mediums in contemporary art<br />

and interdisciplinary practice. It is really about doing what interests you. Music can<br />

produce images and images can produce music too, either through data translation or<br />

just imaginatively. In a way, music can be the subject of art and art can be the subject<br />

of music.<br />

Jeremy Sharma at <strong>Sullivan</strong>+<strong>Strumpf</strong> Sydney June 10 - July 3<br />

MAR/APR 2021

“For me, art and music don’t<br />

necessarily influence each other...<br />

Music is more abstract and formless...”<br />

Jeremy Sharma in his studio.<br />

Interview<br />


In the Studio:<br />

Jeremy Sharma<br />

Jeremy Sharma<br />

Changi, 2020<br />

carbon on paper<br />

23 x 31 cm<br />

MAR/APR 2021

Jeremy Sharma<br />

The Bathers 2 (after Géricault), 2020<br />

carbon on paper<br />

24.9 x 34.5 cm<br />


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RETURN: 799 Elizabeth St, Zetland, Sydney, NSW 2017, Australia<br />

EMAIL: art@sullivanstrumpf.com<br />

Australian Contemporary Art Magazine

On Fire:<br />

Climate and Crisis<br />

Until 20 March 2021<br />

ima.org.au<br />

07 3252 5750<br />

420 Brunswick Street<br />

Fortitude Valley QLD<br />

Gordon Bennett, Naomi Blacklock, Paul Bong, Hannah Brontë,<br />

Michael Candy, Kinly Grey, Dale Harding, Tracey Moffatt with Gary Hillberg,<br />

Erika Scott, Madonna Staunton, Anne Wallace, Judy Watson,<br />

Warraba Weatherall, Tintin Wulia, and Jemima Wyman.<br />

Curated by Tim Riley Walsh.<br />

The IMA is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Australian Government through Australia<br />

Council for the Arts, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian Federal, State, and Territory<br />

Governments. The IMA is a member of Contemporary Art Organisations Australia. This project is supported by the Queensland<br />

Government through Arts Queensland and by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and<br />

advisory body.<br />

Image: Jemima Wyman, Haze...,<br />

2020, 124.5 x 183 cm, handcut digital<br />

photo collage. Courtesy the artist,<br />

Milani Gallery, Brisbane, and <strong>Sullivan</strong> +<br />

<strong>Strumpf</strong>, Sydney.

Glenn Barkley<br />

Apocalyptic splash back (detail), 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

9.5 cm each (dimensions variable)<br />

Glenn Barkley:<br />

The Urn of Bitter<br />

Prophecy<br />

Anna Dunnill visits Glenn Barkley at home in his sprawling garden. It’s<br />

a revealing perspective of the artist, who describes the language of<br />

ceramics as a compost — an ancient pile, as old as people, holding<br />

shapes, designs, glazes, cooking traditions, stories and the buried<br />

thumbprints of millennia.<br />

By Anna Dunnill<br />

Exhibition: April 8 - May 8<br />



Glenn Barkley: The Urn<br />

of Bitter Prophecy<br />

01. Glenn Barkley<br />

Jefferson with butter chicken tumour, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

13 x 6 x 5 cm<br />

02. Glenn Barkley<br />

Mozart Stink Bottle with classical base, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

11.5 x 10.5 x 4 cm<br />

03. Glenn Barkley<br />

Caesar Stink Bottle, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

9 x 5.5 x 2.5 cm<br />

04. Glenn Barkley<br />

Small flouro vase, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

9.5 x 7.5 cm<br />

05. Glenn Barkley<br />

onthatjaggedshore, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

23 x 14 cm<br />

06. Glenn Barkley<br />

Stinky Little Baby Bottle, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

10.5 x 8.5 x 4 cm<br />

01 02<br />

MAR/APR 2021

03<br />

04 05<br />

06<br />


Glenn Barkley: The Urn<br />

of Bitter Prophecy<br />

“Good years follow bad, the earth<br />

renews itself, trees fruit, flowers<br />

bloom. Fire and flood and plague<br />

and war pass over the surface, leaving<br />

fragments in their wake.”<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

I<br />

collect ceramic shards from my garden. They show up<br />

with surprising regularity, broken fragments emerging<br />

from the rich clay soil along with a beetroot or a clump<br />

of mallow. When I brush off the dirt I can conjure the<br />

vessel-bodies they came from, filling in the blanks of a<br />

china plate or a patterned tile, following the curve of a<br />

heavy brown-glazed flowerpot. Buried for years, perhaps<br />

decades, they rise to the surface, disturbed by plant<br />

roots, by the swelling and evaporation of water,<br />

by digging.<br />

In 2020 I got really into plants; when the usual routines<br />

and milestones dissolved into a soupy blur I clung to the<br />

cycles of nature to prove that time had passed. And it did<br />

pass, slowly, steadily. The earth doth like a snake renew.<br />

It sheds its exhausted old skin, emerges a gleaming<br />

creature. Green shoots emerge, uncurl, sprout buds.<br />

I became very invested in our compost bin with its<br />

jewel-bright worms. I marvelled at the transformation<br />

of rancid food scraps and torn paper into dark rich<br />

sweet-smelling soil, which we dug back into the garden,<br />

beginning again.<br />

Glenn Barkley describes the language of ceramics as a<br />

compost. It’s an ancient pile, as old as people, holding<br />

shapes, designs, glazes, cooking traditions, stories, the<br />

buried thumbprints of millennia. Fossicking through,<br />

he pulls out an amphora—a large round urn with two<br />

handles, scored with geometric shapes—made in Cyprus<br />

around 2700 years ago. A salt-glazed ‘Beardman’ jug<br />

from 17th century Germany, found on the wreck of the<br />

Batavia, off the Western Australian coast. A bust of<br />

Abraham Lincoln. A clay pipe. A Japanese glaze. A 1980s<br />

mass-produced ceramic platypus. A 1789 Wedgwood<br />

medallion depicting a classical Greek scene, made using<br />

clay dug by Arthur Phillips from present-day Sydney<br />

cove, within days of landing.<br />

The compost of history is eaten by worms and excreted<br />

as contemporary culture. “Worms are like the selfextruders,<br />

in the same way that an artist might be,”<br />

Barkley said in a 2015 interview. “When you read and<br />

you look at history and look at objects, and you go<br />

to museums and you look at ceramics, all this passes<br />

through you into the work, in the same way as the worm<br />

passes molecules and wastes through its body.”<br />

My notes from our conversation are a catalogue of<br />

extruded scraps: Fire, plague. Classicism. Internet<br />

language. Protest. Folk tradition. Op-shop aesthetic.<br />

The Founding Fathers.

Glenn Barkley<br />

beforethefirstfarflash, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

59 x 33 x 37 cm<br />


“Worms are like the self-extruders, in<br />

the same way that an artist might be.”<br />

Glenn Barkley<br />

pox pot with tokens and handles, 2021<br />

earthenware<br />

51 x 32 cm<br />

MAR/APR 2021

Glenn Barkley: The Urn<br />

of Bitter Prophecy<br />

Surfaces textured and pitted, Barkley’s tiles and pots are<br />

adorned with fragments pulled from the pile. A beard,<br />

an ear, a pattern, a stamp; cast, pressed and moulded,<br />

glazed in brilliant colours that defy the false purity of<br />

classical white marble. These pots are monumental<br />

in size, huge urns heavy with accumulated histories<br />

transformed into something new.<br />

Barkley’s pots also bear texts sifted from the humus of<br />

literature, from ‘The Lark Ascending’ to Judith Wright’s<br />

‘Black Cockatoos’ to a Guns’N’Roses song (‘I used to<br />

do a little but a little wouldn’t do’, the refrain of both<br />

addiction and capitalism). The exhibition’s title, and the<br />

texts on several pots, are drawn from the final chorus of<br />

Hellas, a narrative poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Written<br />

in 1822, the poem recounts the ongoing war between<br />

Greece and Turkey. At its end, a chorus of captive Greek<br />

women plead for the end of war and death: The world’s<br />

great age begins anew, they prophesy; we return to<br />

the beginning of the cycle and history repeats itself, an<br />

ouroboros, a perpetual worm.<br />

four acres, which he manages to the point of being “sort<br />

of in control but not really.” He likes “blowsy flowers”,<br />

colourful untidy things like dahlias and camellias, like<br />

the pops of colour in his glazes. “We’ve had the biggest<br />

dahlias we’ve ever had, this year,” he says, “because of<br />

the rain. It’s been rainy—really hot—rainy—really hot.<br />

We’re going to have a bumper crop of citrus too. It’s<br />

been a really great year for the garden, after a really bad<br />

couple of years.”<br />

Good years follow bad, the earth renews itself, trees<br />

fruit, flowers bloom. Fire and flood and plague and war<br />

pass over the surface, leaving fragments in their wake—<br />

potsherds, poems, battleground debris—that sink down<br />

into the clay and decompose, or wait there until they’re<br />

disturbed by roots, by water, by digging.<br />

Exhibition: April 8 - May 8<br />


Clay, Barkley says, is “inherently scatalogical, the same<br />

way that gardening is”. He tells me about his garden:<br />


MAR/APR 2021

Tony Albert<br />

Conversations with Preston: Fennel Flowers and Sturt’s Desert Pea, 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

62 x 57 cm<br />

Tony Albert:<br />

Conversations with<br />

Margaret Preston<br />

An important strand of Tony Albert’s practice is appropriated and<br />

abstracted Aboriginal designs, symbols and caricature images of<br />

Aboriginal people, under a loose banner termed ‘Aboriginalia’. In<br />

this latest series of works ‘Conversations with Margaret Preston’,<br />

Albert turns to the well-known oeuvre of Australian modernist<br />

printmaker and painter Margaret Preston (1875-1963).<br />

By Angela Goddard, Director, Griffith University Art Museum<br />

Exhibition: March 18 - April 10<br />



MAR/APR 2021

Tony Albert<br />

I feel the weight of the world on my<br />

shoulder, 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric<br />

on Arches paper<br />

57 x 76 cm<br />


Tony Albert: Conversations<br />

with Margaret Preston<br />

Now acknowledged as Australia's preeminent<br />

modernist between the wars, Preston<br />

enjoyed immense popularity in art and design<br />

communities in Australia from the 1920s for several<br />

decades, with many of her articles published in The<br />

Home magazine and Art in Australia encouraging<br />

readers to take designs and symbols from Aboriginal<br />

art to devise a uniquely Australian cultural expression.<br />

One of the most popular of these was her 1930 article<br />

‘The Application of Aboriginal Designs’ in which she<br />

called for all Australians to ‘be Aboriginal’.(1) However<br />

benevolent in intent, an expression of a larger interest<br />

in Aboriginal art and culture informed by her travels<br />

throughout Australia, these exhortations have since been<br />

criticised by subsequent generations for their casual<br />

lack of understanding of the appropriation of sacred<br />

designs. As curator Hetti Perkins has said of Preston’s<br />

use of Aboriginal motifs: ‘It's like speaking in a French<br />

accent without speaking French. The accent is there, the<br />

intonation is there, but the meaning is not.’(2)<br />

Many contemporary Indigenous artists have since<br />

engaged with Preston’s appropriations, calling out<br />

her lack of acknowledgment of individual makers and<br />

sources, including Trevor Nickolls, Marshall Bell, Richard<br />

Bell, and perhaps most determinedly, Gordon Bennett.<br />

Bennett took motifs including the male Aboriginal figure<br />

from Preston’s ‘Expulsion’ and the black swan from a<br />

1923 woodcut and tangled them in Piet Mondrian’s high<br />

modernist grid in his ‘Home Décor’ series (1995-2013),<br />

and directly quoted from a suite of designs Preston<br />

published in Art in Australia in 1925. In his later series<br />

of abstract paintings ‘Home Décor: After M. Preston’<br />

(2008-13), Albert has primarily been drawn to Preston’s<br />

hand coloured woodcut still lives of native flowers. These<br />

works were incredibly popular but often dismissed as<br />

‘decorative’ by critics and the art establishment. Preston<br />

herself was dismissed as a mere flower painter by many<br />

powerful art world figures such as Norman Lindsay<br />

and John Reed, for her privileging the decorative and<br />

avoiding realism or literary references in her work.<br />

Albert’s interest lies in the consequences of Preston’s<br />

encouragements - these kitsch caricatures of Aboriginal<br />

designs and motifs still found on tea towels, tablecloths,<br />

table runners, handkerchiefs, placemats, and lengths<br />

of fabric, rather than the sophisticated abstraction she<br />

envisioned. Albert’s own relationship to these objects<br />

is affectionate - he has collected these items since<br />

childhood, tempered with a keen awareness of the<br />

cultural inappropriateness and disregard for the spiritual<br />

significance they embody. His collection of fabric<br />

accumulated over decades, sourced from op shops, eBay<br />

and friends, has in part been seen in an earlier body<br />

of work ‘Mid Century Modern’ 2016 as backgrounds to<br />

vintage ashtrays where ‘Aboriginal faces and bodies<br />

were once receptacles for hot ash and cigarette butts.’(3)<br />

Their motifs include a mélange of caricatured Aboriginal<br />

faces, stylised boomerangs and other weapons; motifs<br />

and animal shapes borrowed from Yolgnu and Tiwi<br />

bark paintings, to north Queensland rainforest shields<br />

and jawun baskets, to desert body painting designs, all<br />

mixed in together. These are cut into shapes and glued<br />

onto Arches paper or canvas, ringed with painted black<br />

borders. Albert chooses source prints by Preston for the<br />

graphic strength of their hand-coloured flat planes of<br />

Cubist-influenced modernism.<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

Tony Albert<br />

Conversations with Preston: Peace Lily (detail), 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

153 x 103 cm


Tony Albert: Conversations<br />

with Margaret Preston<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

LEFT: Tony Albert<br />

Abstract: Aboriginal Art IV, 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

76 x 57 cm<br />

RIGHT: Tony Albert<br />

Conversations with Preston: Abstraction (Curtain Design), 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

153 x 102 cm


Tony Albert: Conversations<br />

with Margaret Preston<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

Albert’s major diptych ‘Conversations with Preston:<br />

Christmas Bells’ 2020 is based on Preston’s handcoloured<br />

print ‘Christmas Bells’ 1925, held in the<br />

National Gallery of Australia’s collection. The reds and<br />

yellows of the native Blandfordia nobilis are made up<br />

of strong black outlines on bright red fabric. The vase,<br />

which was black and inscribed with a white V pattern in<br />

Preston’s original, is here made up of squares of mostly<br />

linen tea towels, many of them with the text ‘Australian<br />

Aboriginal Art’ with glimpses of both a calendar and a<br />

map of the continent.<br />

Interestingly, fake Preston works abound in op shops and<br />

on the internet, and Albert has used several questionable<br />

Prestons as source images further extending a complex<br />

web of appropriation and cultural theft, such as his three<br />

depictions of single protea flowers.<br />

Albert has also used one of Preston’s mysterious late<br />

religious works in this series. Her 1952 colour stencil,<br />

gouache on thin black card ‘Expulsion’ was part of<br />

a series of biblical themed works, popular perhaps<br />

due to post-war religious revivalism that also saw the<br />

inauguration of the Blake Prize for Religious art in 1951.<br />

Never sold by the artist, the work was gifted by her<br />

widower in 1967 to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.<br />

On a flat background, at the very top of the composition,<br />

a white God presides symmetrically like an icon figure,<br />

with a whip in one hand and a sword in another. Instead<br />

of an archway to the garden, a corrugated iron fence<br />

and a wire gate, secured with a padlock as the central<br />

focal point. Adam and Eve are depicted as Aboriginal<br />

people – they have dark skin and wear loincloths, being<br />

driven from the garden into an Australian landscape<br />

overrun with scotch thistles. Adam holds an object<br />

aloft, appealing to the God who has forsaken him; Eve<br />

holds a baby. This work is confounding in its casting of<br />

the sinners as black, and god as white. It could perhaps<br />

be seen as depicting the Christian biblical allegory to<br />

describe how Aboriginal people were cast out from their<br />

own country, by the misuse of Christianity itself, but<br />

this is reading too much into the work of an artist who<br />

avoided political statements herself on the realities of life<br />

for Aboriginal people.<br />

Preston saw the use of Aboriginal imagery as a vehicle,<br />

a way for Australian artists to make truly original<br />

contributions to the pursuit of Modernism. Art historian<br />

Ian MacLean asks if Bennett’s works both parody<br />

Preston as well as participate in and reproduce her<br />

framing of Aboriginality within modernism.(4) Albert is<br />

also doing this and more - not making a damning call<br />

to denounce Preston, but, as the title of this series title<br />

suggests, answering her call to dialogue with Aboriginal<br />

art and motifs with his own conversation, while also<br />

demonstrating that the ambition to ‘be Aboriginal’ has<br />

resulted in the sometimes grotesque caricatures we see<br />

in these fabrics, which counteract the positive spirit of<br />

her making. Albert says:<br />

At the core of my work is a kind of reconciliation with<br />

these racist objects’ very existence. Yes, they are painful<br />

reiterations of a violent and oppressive history, but<br />

we cannot hide or destroy them because they are an<br />

important societal record that should not be forgotten.<br />

I’m trying to reconcile those two positions.(5)<br />

This project of constructive reconciliation has multiple<br />

implications. Albert highlights Preston’s formidable<br />

skill at rendering the humble still life into the most<br />

graphically powerful expressions of Modernism in<br />

Australia, while also reminding us of the consequences<br />

of using sacred images without acknowledgment or<br />

respect. His intention is dialogue; a conversation, which<br />

is not to say these conversations will not be confronting<br />

and uncomfortable, but will hopefully and ultimately also<br />

be productive.<br />

Exhibition: March 18 - April 10<br />


Tony Albert<br />

Conversations with Preston: Protea (attributed) III, 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

76 x 58 cm<br />

Endnotes<br />

1. Margaret Preston, ‘The Application of Aboriginal Designs’ Art in Australia, 3rd series, no 31, March 1930.<br />

2. Hetti Perkins quoted in Alexa Moses,’ Shadow cast over a painter's legacy’, Sydney Morning Herald, July 25, 2005, p.11.<br />

3. Bruce Johnson McLean, ‘Invisible truths’, Tony Albert: Visible [exhibition catalogue], Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of<br />

Modern Art, Brisbane, 2018, p.18.<br />

4. Ian McLean, ‘Gordon Bennett's Home Decor: the joker in the pack’, Law Text Culture, 4, 1998, p.290.<br />

5. Tony Albert interviewed by Maura Reilly, ‘I am important: An interview with Tony Albert’, Tony Albert, Art & Australia/ Dott<br />

Publishing, Paddington, NSW, 2015, p.49.<br />


Watch Tony working on Conversations with Margaret Preston.<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

Tony Albert<br />

Abstract: Aboriginal Art II, 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

153 x 102 cm


Tony Albert<br />

Conversations with Preston: Peace Lily, 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

153 x 103 cm

Tony Albert<br />

Conversations with Preston: Ranunculus, 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

153 x 103 cm<br />


María Fernanda<br />

Cardoso<br />

Three continents and 30 years of art making.<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

The work of María Fernanda Cardoso has a consistent<br />

feature – looking at the different ways geometry<br />

manifesting itself in living creatures. Cardoso has<br />

developed a powerful body of work based on the<br />

intrinsic forms of animals and plants, and combining<br />

them in unexpected ways. Her work evolves in series<br />

that are developed over a long periods of time, from<br />

sculpture to scientific research, through to public<br />

performance.<br />

Initially when Cardoso still lived in Colombia, she would<br />

take local materials and native dead animals in order<br />

to build sculptures and enigmatic objects alluding to<br />

pre-Columbian myths and indigenous traditions. Typical<br />

objects such as totumas, earth soaps, homemade glue,<br />

bocadillos, and other elements pertaining to local<br />

cultures were combined in surprising works. Pieces with<br />

flies, grasshoppers, snakes, wall lizards and frogs are<br />

considered key pieces of contemporary Colombian art:<br />

one of them, Corona para una princesa Chibcha(Crown<br />

for a Chibcha Princess) was awarded the first prize for the<br />

II Biennial at Bogotá’s Museum of Modern Art in 1990.<br />

In the early 1990s, Cardoso moved to the United States,<br />

where she began her research on fleas – a ubiquitous<br />

domestic parasite. A few years later, the Cardoso Flea<br />

Circus, initially a performance belonging to the realm of<br />

art, becomes an authentic mass show. Simultaneously,<br />

Cardoso investigates the behaviour of insects, with a<br />

particular interest in the phenomenon of camouflage,<br />

characteristic of some species that may be seen as<br />

a reflection of the immigrant’s will to belong and to<br />

become one with her context.<br />

After living in San Francisco for several years, Cardoso<br />

moved to Sydney, Australia. This led to a renewed<br />

investigation of different traditions and materials, such<br />

as sheep’s wool and emu feathers, while preserving<br />

an emphasis on the intrinsic geometry of the organic.<br />

Cardoso devotes long periods of time to her series,<br />

with her work on fleas taking a whole decade. Since<br />

the beginning of this century, the artist has undertaken<br />

an investigation into the incredible formal diversity of<br />

the reproductive organs in some animals, particularly<br />

at the microscopic level, in a long-term project on the<br />

morphology of reproductive organs of small animals and<br />

insects, featured in the Museum of Copulatory Organs<br />

(MoCO).<br />

In the last decade, Cardoso has delved further into<br />

her research on plants and animals, often resorting to<br />

scientific tools and processes to create images otherwise<br />

impossible to attain. The Naked Flora series shows<br />

close-ups of reproductive organs of flowers, composite<br />

images obtained by a complex optical and digital setup.<br />

On the Origins of Art I and II and the Actual Size series<br />

focus on the elaborate courtship “dances” of miniature<br />

Peacock spiders. In recent years she has created several<br />

large-scale public works: Sandstone Pollen, scientifically<br />

accurate pollen models digitally carved in sandstone.<br />

While I Live I Will Grow, a living urban sculpture that<br />

embodies non-human timeframes as a powerful<br />

commentary about the transience of monuments, and<br />

Tree Full of Life, a large tree whose foliage is entirely<br />

composed of insects that resemble leaves. Gumnuts,<br />

her latest series, uses seeds from various species of<br />

Australian trees to create vibrant optical pieces that<br />

highlight the intricate morphologies of this overlooked<br />

but ever present feature of the local landscape.<br />

José Roca & Alejandro Marin<br />

Excerpts from: Animalario de María Fernanda Cardoso.<br />

Bogotá: Seguros Bolívar, 2013. p5<br />

Exhibition: May 20 - June 5<br />



PREVIOUS PAGE: María Fernanda Cardoso with her work<br />

Eucalyptus Gumnuts Kuru Alala, Photo credit: Jillian Nalty<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

LEFT: María Fernanda Cardoso<br />

Emu Flag #1, 2007<br />

emu feathers, fibreglass netting, metal rod, glue<br />

209 x 180 x 20 cm<br />

RIGHT: María Fernanda Cardoso<br />

Reversible B (Emu rectangle worn), 2006-2008<br />

180 x 120cm


María Fernanda Cardoso: Timeline<br />


1987 — Moves to NY<br />

from Bogota, Colombia<br />

– completes Masters of<br />

Fine Arts, Sculpture at Yale<br />

University 1990.<br />



1989<br />

1990 Arte Colombiano de<br />

los 80: Escultura. Centro<br />

Colombo Americano. Bogota,<br />

Colombia.<br />

1994 Ante America. (Touring<br />

exhibition). Biblioteca Luis<br />

Angel Arango, Bogota,<br />

Colombia.<br />

Collection: Tate Modern,<br />

London and the Museum of<br />

Contemporary Art, Sydney<br />

1992<br />

CEMETERY / VERTICAL GARDEN (1992-1999)<br />

1999 Modern Starts: People, Places,<br />

Things, Museum of Modern Art. New<br />

York, U.S.A<br />

2003 Zoomorphia: María Fernanda<br />

Cardoso. MCA Museum of<br />

Contemporary Art. Sydney<br />

Collection: Perez Art Museum, Miami<br />

2002<br />


1990<br />


1994<br />

CARDOSO FLEA CIRCUS (1994-2000)<br />

2006<br />

II Bienal de Bogotá. Museo de Arte<br />

Moderno. Bogota, Colombia. First Prize<br />

Collection: DAROS Latinamerica<br />

Collection<br />

Returns to Bogota.<br />

1991 — Moves to California.<br />

Cardoso Flea Circus, live performances and exhibitions<br />

including , San Francisco Exploratorium, The New Museum<br />

of Contemporary Art, New York, Centre Georges Pompidou,<br />

Paris, Sydney Opera House.<br />

Collection : Tate Modern, London, UK<br />

EMU SERIES (2006-2009)<br />


2003 Woven Water. 50th International Art Exhibition Venice<br />

Biennale. ILLA Pavillion, curated by Irma Aristizábal.<br />

2015 Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America.<br />

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, USA.<br />

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston<br />

1997 — Moves to Sydney.


SANDSTONE POLLEN (2014-2016)<br />

Museum of Copulatory Organs (MoCO). 18th Biennale<br />

of Sydney. Sydney, Australia.<br />

International Convention Centre ICC, Darling Harbour,<br />

Sydney. Commissioned by Lend Lease.<br />

Collection: National Gallery of Australia<br />



2008<br />

2014<br />

On the Origin of Art, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Hobart, Tasmania.<br />

Collection: Tate Modern, London and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney<br />

2009<br />

2015<br />

GUMNUTS KURU ALALA (2009-21)<br />

2011 Kuru Alala, Tjampi Desert Weavers residency<br />

2009-12 Kuru Ala: Eyes Open Tjanpi Dessert Weavers. María Fernanda<br />

Cardoso, Alison Clouson – a nation-wide touring exhibition<br />

WHILE I LIVE I WILL GROW (2015-2018)<br />

Green Square Public Art Program<br />

Commissioned by the City of Sydney Council.<br />


MAR/APR 2021

Agua Tejida Blanca / Woven Water White, 2003<br />

Blue Starfish, metal<br />

dimensions variable<br />

Included as Colombia’s representation in the 50th<br />

International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale. ILLA<br />

Pavillion, curated by Irma Aristizábal. Venice, Italy.<br />


Yang<br />

Yongliang:<br />

Allegory of<br />

the cave<br />

In the lead up to his June exhibition, Yang<br />

Yongliang chats about New York and its influence<br />

on his work.<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

Yang Yongliang<br />

Early Spring, 2019<br />

giclee print on fine art paper<br />

200 x 135 cm<br />

edition of 7 + 2 AP


Yang Yongliang:<br />

Allegory of the cave<br />



Yang Yongliang (YYL)/ I moved to New York from Shanghai<br />

in the summer of 2018. I was thrilled to find a cozy studio<br />

office in Garment District in midtown Manhattan. It was<br />

a dream come true. Throughout the turbulent year of<br />

2020, I stayed in the city and experienced the ups and the<br />

downs with it. In the hardest time, I’ve seen New York’s<br />

vulnerability as well as its strength. New York used to<br />

be a dreamland to me. But after 2020, it started to feel<br />

like home. I grew a sense of conviction with New York<br />

along with its hardship. Strangely, it gives me a sense of<br />

belonging.<br />

From February 2020 until now, small businesses moved<br />

out from Manhattan one after another. By the time my<br />

lease ended in November, most of my neighbours on<br />

my floor were gone. To me, it also doesn’t make sense<br />

to keep an office aside from home. I extended my<br />

office lease until my home lease ended, before leaving<br />

Manhattan by the end of January 2021. Now I’m happily<br />

relocated in a loft space in Long Island City, Queens.<br />

Moving to Queens is liberating, I have to admit!<br />





YYL/ I believe good concepts form naturally. Concepts<br />

form naturally for me, at least. The one thing I know to do<br />

is to be patient with myself. I also believe that concepts<br />

are very personal. It has to do with the places one has<br />

lived in, the cultures one has experienced, the languages<br />

one has spoken and the people one has cared for. I try<br />

not to change the concepts before new concepts were<br />

naturally formed.<br />

Recently I’ve been thinking about a new series of works<br />

that are more deeply tied to nature. Even though I still<br />

live in the city, I don’t necessarily interact with it. Instead,<br />

I go to upstate New York every other week for open air.<br />

Nature has given me new impact in the year of 2020.<br />


YYL/ A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking), Homo<br />

Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Yuval Noah Harari),<br />

and Killing Commendatore (Haruki Murakami).<br />

Exhibition: June 10 - July 3<br />


YYL/ Yes, on daily basis I work primarily using a<br />

computer. At the moment, I have a home office with<br />

many screens in it, in which I refer to as my cave. I like my<br />

cave for what it is right now. However, due to the travel<br />

restriction that have pretty much grounded me for a year,<br />

my dream studio would be the same cave with mobility.<br />

It would be wonderful if the cave can travel freely.<br />

MAR/APR 2021

“I also believe that concepts are very<br />

personal. It has to do with the places<br />

one has lived in, the cultures one<br />

has experienced, the languages one<br />

has spoken and the people one has<br />

cared for.”<br />

Yang Yongliang in New York City.<br />







Aïda Muluneh Seed of the soul 2017 (detail) from the A Memory of Hope series 2017<br />

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Bowness Family Fund for Photography, 2018 © Aïda Muluneh<br />

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Bowness Family Foundation for their support.<br />







AFFAIR<br />

February – 19 June 2021 // 13 February – 19 June 2021 // 13 February<br />


roppaNOW // OCCURRENT AFFAIR // proppaNOW // OCCURRENT AFFAIR // proppaNOW /<br />

// Vernon Ah Kee // Tony Albert // Richard Bell // Megan Cope //<br />

n Cope// Jennifer Herd // Gordon Hookey // Laurie Nilsen // Vernon A<br />

UQ<br />


Last Word:<br />

Do you collect?<br />

Robert Postema and Dr Patricia Jungfer<br />

MAR/APR 2021<br />

Whether it is the opening of a commercial<br />

gallery’s latest offering or a curated exhibition<br />

at a public gallery, contemporary art has<br />

its protocols and rituals. The attendees are frequently<br />

dressed in a neutral colour, more probably than not in<br />

black, so as not to overwhelm the art that is on display. If<br />

you go to these events often enough, the faces become<br />

familiar. There is an acknowledging nod and smile. You<br />

start to chat with others. Connections and commonalities<br />

are explored, with the work closest to you often the<br />

focus of a shared commentary before the ritual of<br />

engagement follows a predictable path.<br />

Following preliminaries, the conversation moves on to<br />

‘have you bought anything in the show’ (commercial<br />

exhibitions) or ‘are you familiar with the artist’ (public<br />

exhibitions). Not infrequently, the question then arises<br />

‘are you a collector?’ We can recall the first time this<br />

question was posed. We looked at each other and the<br />

provocateur, not knowing what to answer. As time has<br />

gone by, we understand we do ‘collect’. To us it means<br />

supporting a sector of the community that is brave and<br />

prepared to document and comment on the issues of<br />

our time. It also means we have a hopeless addiction to<br />

buying art.<br />

Of course, and almost inevitability having made the ‘we<br />

are collectors’ admission, the next question is ‘what is<br />

the focus of your collection’ Our hearts would sink again<br />

because we would then have to confess that there is no<br />

focus, no theme and we cannot even stick to a genre.<br />

Behind our cheery façade, we worry ‘what does the<br />

person asking this question make of us’ because we<br />

have an ‘eclectic’ collection. The polite description of<br />

what we have accumulated over the years. We admire<br />

the collector who sets out to buy only women artists,<br />

time-based media art or some other defined or erudite<br />

theme. We are in awe of the discipline that comes<br />

with buying exclusively conceptual or minimalist work.<br />

However, these are not characteristics we possess. Alas,<br />

as well as having little self-control, we appear to have<br />

no focus in our collection. Initially we would then smile<br />

and quickly shift the conversation to what the other<br />

person’s focus was. We knew this was safer ground and<br />

terminate the squirming discomfort that reminded us<br />

of our childhood and being caught being naughty or<br />

undisciplined.<br />

We don’t worry about this question anymore. We<br />

have worked out we just like seeing, experiencing and<br />

immersing ourselves in contemporary art. We can cope<br />

with the dreaded question now. We can even afford a<br />

knowing smile, when it comes up. We do in fact have a<br />

theme to our collection. It reflects who we are and how<br />

we view the world. No, we don’t collect one type of art<br />

or one medium or whatever. We just collect what we love<br />

and what speaks to us!

Sydney Ball, Infinex #45 (2019), in Robert and Patricia’s home.<br />


“As time has gone by, we understand<br />

we do ‘collect’. To us it means<br />

supporting a sector of the community<br />

that is brave and prepared to<br />

document and comment on the issues<br />

of our time. It also means we have a<br />

hopeless addiction to buying art.”<br />

Tony Albert, Brothers (The Prodigal Son) 1 (2020), in<br />

Robert and Patricia’s home.

Sanné Mestrom, Garden commission (2016),<br />

in Robert and Patricia’s garden.<br />


Quick Curate:<br />

Renewel<br />

Grant Stevens<br />

The Waterfalls III, 2016<br />

archival ink on archival paper<br />

82.5 x 55 cm<br />

edition of 3 + 2AP<br />

AUD $1,950

Sam Leach<br />

Boucher x Superstudio, 2020<br />

oil on wood<br />

50 x 50 cm<br />

AUD $18,700<br />

Sam Jinks<br />

Untitled (Babies), 2012<br />

silicone, pigment, resin, human hair<br />

36 x 36 x 18 cm<br />

edition 3 of 3 + 2AP<br />

AUD $38,500<br />


Up Next<br />



18.03.21<br />



08.04.21<br />



15.04.21<br />

MAY<br />

JUNE<br />

20.05.21 María Fernanda Cardoso<br />

Gumnuts and Sandstone<br />

10.06.21 Yang Yongliang<br />

10.06.21 Jeremy Sharma

Kirsten Coelho<br />

Kirsten Coehlo creates functional forms and vessels of otherworldly perfection. In Kirsten Coelho,<br />

the first major publication on a practice spanning thirty years, author Wendy Walker traces the<br />

evolution of Coelho’s textured practice, in which an ever-expanding framework of art historical,<br />

literary and cinematic references has driven a succession of formal shifts – a shaping of changes.<br />

This beautiful, lavishly illustrated book of 176 pages will be released in<br />

September 2020. For pre-orders and enquiries, please contact publisher<br />

Wakefield Press at info@wakefieldpress.com.au or phone +61.8.83524455.

Tony Albert, History Repeats, 2020<br />

acrylic and vintage appropriated fabric on Arches paper<br />

76 x 57 cm

SYDNEY<br />

799 Elizabeth St<br />

Zetland, Sydney NSW 2017<br />

Australia<br />

P +61 2 9698 4696<br />

E art@sullivanstrumpf.com<br />


P +65 83107529<br />

Megan Arlin | Gallery Director<br />

E megan@sullivanstrumpf.com

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