John Kaye

The Argus' Leif Enrique Salinas interviews John Kaye, a visual artist from the Gold Coast. Originating from the graffiti scene, John has developed a unique and recognisable style. In the past, he has painted walls all over the world from South-America to Europe, and Asia. The past few years he has focused more towards painting on canvases and presenting his work through exhibitions. The latest one being "Desire & Compulsion".





‘Without a House’ – Panel Discussion

David Kelly

‘Bridgette’  by David Kelly

‘Without a House: Homelessness in Brisbane’  – Panel Discussion

By Elizabeth Ralph

Tonight 105, 000 Australians will have no home to return to at the end of their day. An even greater number tonight, will be living in unstable housing, steps away from homelessness. Due to the transitionary nature of homelessness and entrenched stigma, homelessness often remains silent and if noticed stigmatised.

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Svetlana Trefilova ‘Inner Scapes: Fragile’ exhibition

Critical review for artist and microbiologist, Svetlana Trefilova
by Angela Meyer PhD.

‘Inner Scapes: Fragile’ exhibition by Svetlana Trefilova

Svetlana Trefilova’s Inner Scapes: Fragile exhibition at Tableland Regional Gallery shares her research experiments from her four series’ presented here as the Petri dish, Moreton Island, Girraween and myrtle rust. The micro and macro explorations give two dynamic perspectives where the human eye and the microscope reflect the natural and the invented to produce a way of viewing the world.


Figure 1. Svetlana Trefilova, Overleaf, mixed media on paper, 35cm x 45cm, 2015

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Journeys North


By Oliver Wykeham

Journeys North is an exhibit at the Queensland Art Gallery, 13 FEB – 3 JUL 2016.

The history of a place can be difficult without the ability to visualise the place as it was. Even modern history can seem unattainable. Journeys North, a retrospective exhibit by the Queensland Art Gallery, is a cross section of Queensland life in 1988. A turning point in the Northern most states history. This exhibit shows the Queensland that was, the Queensland that in many places has disappeared and in some places that has remained. Continue reading

Review: Saltwater Country

The term ‘country’ in Australia is used to describe the intrinsic nature of Aboriginal culture and creative expression in its connectedness to land and place of birth. What is less understood is the equally strong cultural connectedness to the sea and water’s edge. Saltwater Country is a major exhibition on show in Gallery 1 at The Gold Coast Arts Centre from July 19th to August 31st. It presents new work by sixteen contemporary Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and is touring Australia wide and internationally.

This exhibition includes work from a number of artists including Vernon Ah Kee, Daniel Boyd, Michael Cook, Megan Cope, Erub Erwer Meta, Fiona Foley, Rosella Namok, Mavis Ngallametta, Laurie Nilsen, Napolean Oui, Ryan Presley, Brian Robinson, Ken Thaiday, Alick Tipoti, Ian Waldron and Judy Watson. The direct and combatant neo-conceptual works that these artists produce promote different views through the use of a variety of mediums, including elegantly detailed large-scale portraits, hanging installations, large scale paintings and multimedia, and projections and audio pieces.

Gallery 1 hosts a large open space where viewers can interact with the body of work as a whole. The artworks are displayed along each wall and when walking through the exhibition, audiences are guided effortlessly through the expression of Indigenous views presented in each unique artwork. This creates a strong Gallery setup.

Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art practice is notably different from the contemporary painting movement that has emerged from the Western Desert. Saltwater Country seeks to capture this distinctive cultural and creative experience; as artists reclaim histories, investigate their pasts and establish new ways of caring for country and community through their artistic practice.

Aspects of each artist’s work interact with one another on a strong level, responding to different views of people, land and culture. This provides the audience with a unique and critical interpretation of this beautiful world we need to embrace. There is a sense of relation in the work, offering a spiritual connection to viewers through sharing each artist’s story, identity and beliefs. This enhances the viewers experience by connecting and allowing them to become a part of the scene and experience. What comes through so strongly with these artists is the celebratory aspect of their work. They seem completely grounded in their own culture, yet able to modernize despite originating within a set of invisible boundaries. Artists such as Daniel Boyd, Michael Cook or Fiona Foley take a more cerebral approach. More political in nature, Fiona Foley’s photo sequence The Oyster Fisherman (2011) references the exploitation of Indigenous people in Queensland’s fishing industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Foley shares her dark tale through the use of colour and landscape, referencing the brutality of this historical story.

Each artwork is lit up, with the large-scale installations hung in the corners of the gallery, complimented by added projection. The walls in Gallery 1 make the exhibition, and are positioned to show all of the pieces together as one. There is also audio elements of the exhibition including sounds of whispering waves crashing against the shore, creating a sense of calmness. The waves comment on the connection to sea and the water’s edge.

The exhibition was well worth seeing, sharing art pieces that are so different in construction but so similar in meaning and scope. The gallery showed the work magnificently, sharing great stories from each artist and their individual cultural backgrounds. These artists have grown up holding a deep connection to their coastal country and this exhibition really brings forth their stories. Despite the artists belonging to a diverse set of locations each artist wherever they inhabit uses water to connect to the land and express their beliefs. Brisbane based artist Ryan Presley shares his work featuring sharks, and talks about Queensland’s political history. An equally shared connectedness to the sea and water’s edge was made evident, employing a sense of unity, cultural strength and creativity. Saltwater Country returns to Australia to show at Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney in May 2015 to June 2015.

By Jessica Longworth

Review: Agenda

QUT Art Museum in Brisbane held the Agenda exhibition, officially opened on the 5th of July, running until the 31st of August. The direction of the exhibition was focused on bringing together artworks that focus on an agenda. Whether the art is political, social or cultural, these works deliver a mutual message to the audience, working together to show complexity and diversity. There is a fascinating juxtaposition between the overt and subtle agendas of the exhibitions artistic pieces, created in a multiplicity of style, method, meaning and voice. The works of Richard Bell, Fiona Foley, Michel Cook, and Vernon Ah Kee call for equality for Indigenous Australia. Whereas Keith Looby and Jay Younger’s work critically analyze government politics. Alfredo, Isabel Aquilizan and Dadang Christanto delicately question inequality, and give voice to the disenfranchised. While the works of Leah Emery and Barbara Hanrahan reflect on gender issues with delicate humour. Whatever agenda is espoused, these artists are united in presenting powerful images that testify to the ongoing political power of art.

The works are all presented in different ways, from the use of large dynamic canvas prints and paintings, to the use of installations and framed photographs. The works are exhibited in two separate rooms making the transition between the two flow nicely for viewers. The theme, purpose and ideas embodied in this exhibition, portray diverse political themes that inform and compliment one another. The artists voice their opinion through the use of powerful imagery and installations. There is a shared political and social agenda and through the use of different art mediums, a diversity of expressions and perspectives are revealed. Vernon Ah Kee’s black and white dichotomy on canvas critiques Australian popular culture. The text-based installation reveals and condemns the widespread and inescapable discrimination and racial stereotyping that Indigenous Australians have experienced.

The works interact with each other effectively, sharing political views of the world. The exhibition certainly exerts influences of agenda, and this is what makes it so unique. Spotlights are fixed on each piece, creating an open connection with the audience. The larger canvases are lit up with three separate lights making them hard to miss. Some of the photographs and paintings are framed in black and brown, which makes the works lack a little consistency.

The use of dynamic canvas prints and installations really add up to a successful and engaging exhibition that promotes the idea that all art is political. By using propaganda to promote political and social agendas, the work is well informed by the perspective of each individual artist. Each artist has used their work as a tool of subversion; criticizing and questioning socio-political structures that shape the views of society in order to give a voice to private and public concerns. One of the artists from Agenda, Richard Bell is exhibiting his work ‘Imagining Victory’ at the Casula Powerhouse in NSW from the 11th of October to the 23rd of November.

By Jessica Longworth

Review: Points in Time

Points in Time is an exhibition by Chris Langlois, presented in Gallery 2 at The Gold Coast Arts Centre, on display from August 2nd to September 14th. The exhibition showcases more than thirty paintings by Langlois, many of them presented as large canvas landscapes. Since completing his study at The University of Newcastle in 1990, Chris Langlois has drawn international acclaim and earnt the reputation as one of Australia’s leading contemporary landscape artists. Langlois’s paintings are characterized by subtle shifts of light and space, exploring the beauty and nature of land and sea. His large scale canvases and tremendous surface quality envelope the audience. While his paintings are often inspired by places, they transcend time and space to become much more about personal experience. Langlois has been called ‘a painter’s painter’ in that he revels in the process of painting and developing a rigorous technique that allow images to ‘emerge’ from the canvas.

A number of Langlois’s paintings are presented as large oil works on linen canvasses, saturating each wall with life and colour in the gallery, encouraging a diversity of expression within the unique landscapes. As part of the exhibition, Langlois shares the techniques and theory behind his work through a video interview that is presented in the Gallery 2 Dark room. His painting has oscillated from pure abstraction to relatively literal landscapes, yet certain qualities have remained consistent. His subtle use of light and space, the meticulous command of paint, and a desire to work within a limited, but ever-changing, palette of tones and colours. The theme and purpose in his paintings are at times quite apparent, such as the ocean or vast tracts of land, surveyed from above. Other times, the subject seems to be obscurity itself; a strange misty void in which substance dissolves into pure atmosphere.

The paintings in the exhibition interact well together, giving each canvas its own space. A calm mood is exerted when walking through the exhibition as you see and feel every landscape. Langlois’s use of dull colours in his paintings interacts with the relaxing atmosphere in which the viewers are positioned. The sky, clouds, dead trees after a Snowy Mountains bushfire, even tiny refractions of landscape revealed in the rain drops forming on a car window during a thunderstorm have all inspired different themes in Langlois’s work. Each canvas shares a story of the landscape, inspiring a meaning of the world through water, colour and light. A moody presence is cast by the lights fixed above each canvas, working in conversation with the context of the landscape. The works are shared amongst a clean, white space.

The feeling of existing within the landscape is a key strength of Langlois’s work. Throughout his career as an artist, Chris Langlois has had a steadily evolving relationship with his subject matter. This exhibition reveals a deeper understanding of landscapes and the Points in Time, which we often take for granted. Here we are given a subtle invitation into his world of observation and creation.

By Jessica Longworth