Join us opening night for a conversation with the Artist Bernard Ollis and journalist Richard Moorecroft. RSVP essential.
“These new works specially selected from the studio are the culmination of travels and discoveries across many continents. Sometimes new, sometimes revisited, but always seen afresh. In some cases the works look through other artists eyes as in the homages to Bonnard or Matisse. But these works are not picture-postcards (or the social media equivalent), but prolonged encounters with rich and fertile subject matter. From gardens to rivers, dogs to goldfish, stairwells to bridges – from Paris to Rajasthan.
I enjoy re-inventing composition, bending and twisting my way through spaces, often in a vertiginous way. I also enjoy intensifying colour. The final result, thrusting the viewer into the stories and dialogues on view. We live in troubled times, I would like to see these works as an antidote to that assertion. These paintings are active and optimistic, positive and energised. “ BERNARD OLLIS
Ollis' compositions radiate with a hedonistic joy and create the mood of a nostalgic dream. Everything is brighter, richer and more festive than is possible in reality.” SASHA GRISHIN, Art Critic, Canberra Times
Carlos Barrios is a figurative artist born in El Salvador in Central America. He lives in the Currumbin Valley Queensland with his wife, children, dogs and chickens. He works on paper, canvas and ceramic. His artworks are populated by figures and faces, totems and animals - rendered in loose, dreamy marks. The people are often dancing, embracing or captured in the acts of everyday life. Simple and unaffected in character, the themes of LOVE, SEX, SPIRITUALITY, FAMILY and COMMUNITY radiate throughout the paintings. His characters sometimes appear like spirits, icons and effigies which speak of his connection to the ancient statues and civilizations of his homeland. The paintings vibrate with a sense of magic and naivety which is evocative of Chagall’s romanticism whilst the quick, effortless intuition of the mark marking is reminiscent of Picasso’s hand. ‘Fiesta’ is a joyful collection of paintings about humanity and the condition of being human in our universe. The artworks are filled with stories of positivity and the essential goodness of people. They are a celebration of humour, soulfulness, love and sensuality.
Internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo makes his audacious Canberra debut with his electrifying mini retrospective, GUNS’N’POSES. The exhibition hosted by Aarwun Gallery, brings together iconic Romeo works from all over Australia and the world that have never been seen before in Canberra. Recalling the giddy excitement of an old-school mix tape, GUNS’N’POSES delivers an eclectic selection of visual jams that showcase Johnny Romeo as the leading force in the global Neo-Expressionist Pop Art movement. The artist’s bombastic and unapologetically rambunctious Kitsch Pop works fuse off-beat humour, sly cultural references and surreal imagery to re-imagine Pop culture icons in thrillingly original and often surprising ways. We invite you to come and see Australia’s King of Pop at his irreverent best as he explores our fascination with the gunners and the posers of Pop Culture – the trailblazers, and those comfortable to ride on their coat-tails.
Join us for a reception with these two veteran plein air landscape artists at 2 pm on Sunday 22 July as we celebrate the opening of this sensational exhibition and their long and rich friendship with Aarwun Gallery. We are proud to present once more the works of these phenomenal painters at the very height of their careers. Each of the artists voices a unique yet classical interpretation of our native landscape which is highly sought after by both private and public collectors alike.
Join us at 10 am on Federation Square for our Annual Art Auction. Catalogue available online, viewing from Thursday 16 November. A fabulous selection of antiques and artworks including Wendy Sharpe, Clifford Possum, Carlos Barrios, Adam Cullen, Norman Lindsay David Bromley, John Brack, John Olsen, Geoff Dyer, Charles Blackman and many more.
Paris and Other Stories (September 9 - 31) is a vibrant collection of paintings by artist Bernard Ollis, depicting his playful and idiosyncratic view of some of the world’s most beloved cities; Paris, Sydney, London and New York, amongst a host of others. Ollis captures beautifully the romance of these cities with paintings saturated in colour - vibrating with humanity, humour and narrative.
Opening Saturday 24th June, Aarwun Gallery is showcasing the work of local artist Penelope Boyd. "Little Memories" comprises a number of quiet, soulful portraits and charmingly eerie still life paintings. These sensitively rendered works reverberate with emotion and mystery.
Boyd is an artist whose work is driven by her fascination with the psychology of childhood and the fragility of early memory. From her home studio in Canberra, Penelope paints with acrylics in a loose, realist style from a variety of source imagery including vintage knitting and sewing patterns, as well as her own photographs.
Her paintings depict scenarios and objects that seem at first innocuous, but through use of her understated pallet and skilful use of light and shadow, each work hints at something more dangerous. The works often convey an ambiguous, hard-to-define emotion - suggestive of a narrative which winds around the painting. This subtle 'unsettling' effect stays with the viewer for a long time after seeing these beautiful works. Running until 16 July - this small but powerful exhibition is a delight to behold.
Dragon and Boy is a unique collection of works from emerging Canberra artist Solomon Grainger. This engaging body of work represents the artist’s unearthing and return to the instinctive and naïve mark making of his boyhood. The resulting paintings are charged with a loose, playful energy and unaffected spontaneity. Repeated throughout the work is Solomon’s dragon, a character resurrected from his earliest childhood drawings. ‘Dragon and Boy’, a debut solo exhibition, chronicles an artists journey to reconnect with his earliest forms of self expression and ‘purest form of artistry.’
Opens Saturday 4 March 6 pm
Burlesque & Circus is a sensational exhibition from multi award winning artist Wendy Sharpe. A series of oil paintings and works on paper offer Wendy's reflections on the magnetic characters which inhabit the stages and the back stages of Sydney and Paris. The result of these intimate observations is a series of playful, highly expressive and thoughtful portraits which will imprint upon your psyche. You are warmly invited to join us for the opening of this spectacular show on Saturday March 4 at 6pm. You will be spoiled with bubbles, an array of Moroccan treats and a burlesque performance from Rebelle Velveteen, Liz Rainbow and Mae de la Rue. Runs till 3 April.
ELEMENTAL is a large collection of works from some of Australia's leading sculpture artists, set in Canberra's leafy Gold Creek, accompanied by a hanging of beautiful landscapes by Ted Lewis and large scale florals by Helena McConchie. Champagne and jazz included, of course.
A delightful exhibition of Petit Travaux or 'small works', no larger than 30 x 30 cm. This is a wonderful opportunity to buy a small treasure at a small price. Including works by Ken Knight . Ted Lewis . David Lake . Sandra Hendy . Kacy Grainger . Ella Chartres . Melissa Barber . Carlos Barrios . Pro Hart . Margarita Georgiadis . Fiona Hill . Sandra House . Norman Lindsay . Kylie Fogarty. Simon Palmer
Aarwun Gallery's Annual Sunday Art Auction is coming round again. Whether you are spending a lot, or spending a little there are plenty of bargains to be found. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, so join us for an afternoon of art bidding under the trees in Federation Square. Doors open 9am, Bidding commences at 10.30am.
Five artists present a rich variety of works, vibrant in colour and lush in texture, with a punch of Oriental spice. Drawing on a medley of subject matter from the shanty towns of Shanghai to the Masquerade Balls of Venice and the humble cat, ECLECTIC celebrates the curious and sometimes surprising places in which we find beauty and divinity. Join us at Aarwun Gallery on Saturday 17 from 2.00 pm to celebrate the Spring Blossoms and enjoy an eclectic line up of paintings and sculpture. As well as champagne and refreshments, there will be a short series of talks from the artists themselves, as they explain to us their process and sources of inspiration. This is a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the mind behind the art. RSVP.
The story of Australia's street artists and their rise to international stardom. This exhibition shows how a cadre of young Australian Street Artists have become internationally recognised, top selling artists. Meet the artist Luke Cornish and join us for our Floor Discussion from 2pm onwards.