Tag: S.H. Ervin Gallery

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Spowers & Syme

Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Spowers & Syme may sound like a firm of accountants, but we’re dealing with an entirely different order of creativity. Ethel Spowers (1890-1947), and Eveline Syme (1888-1961), were groundbreaking Australian artists at a time when women found it difficult to make any impression on an art scene dominated by self-confident and self-serving males. A touring […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2022

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There was a fizz to last year’s Portia Geach Memorial Award for female portraitists, but this time the show feels slightly flat. A display is only as good as the entries submitted, and many artists seem to have settled on smaller, less ambitious works. Should size matter? Look at art long enough and you’ll find […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Heart of Country

Tuesday, August 30th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

One wonders if audiences are finally coming to terms with bark painting. It’s simultaneously one of the oldest living art forms on the planet, and one of the newest. The roots of the medium stretch back into prehistory, not only pre-dating western forms of painting, but the invention of paper, and even the papyrus used […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2022

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This week has served up a powerful reminder that fame in art may be long, but celebrity in politics is strictly ephemeral. The Archibald Prize rolls around every year with cosmic regularity, but governments come and go, and when they change, the entire personality of a nation is changed. Last week I felt I was […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Steve Lopes Encountered

Saturday, April 16th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“What a lot of rubbish!”, I thought, looking at Steve Lopes Encountered – not the paintings but the subject matter. Lopes shows us a world covered in litter. His pictures are filled with dead leaves, bits of paper, fragments of rock or broken tile, the odd bottle, and lots of small, coloured patches that might […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Destination Sydney 2022

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As a title, Destination Sydney, is not sounding any better with age, but this third installment of the show is reputedly the last. As with the exhibitions in 2015 and 2018, it’s a collaboration between three of Sydney’s leading public venues: the S.H. Ervin Gallery, Mosman Art Gallery, and the Manly Museum and Art Gallery, […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2021

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Entering this year’s Portia Geach Memorial Award at the S.H. Ervin Galley means being virtually assaulted by Janne Kearney’s There’s a rainbow after every storm (Tilly Baker, musician). There may be nothing subtle about this portrait but it sets the tone for a show that greets the end of Sydney’s lockdown with a loud hooray! […]


Salon des Refusés 2021

Friday, June 11th, 2021 Blog,

When the Art Gallery of NSW moved the opening of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes from September to June, it was bound to have consequences for the quality of the exhibitions. The 2021 Archibald season kicks off this weekend, less than five months after the closure of last year’s shows on 10 January. This […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Papunya Tula: 50 Years 1971-2021

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

After 50 years the Papunya Tula Art Movement has carved out a deep niche in Australian art history, but the settlement itself was a desolate place born from a long history of misunderstandings and misguided policies. The one and only time I visited Papunya, roughly 240 kms north-west of Alice Springs, it was almost deserted. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2020

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There must be a limit to the industrial quantity of portraits served up annually to the Australian public. This year we’ve already had the Portia Geach Memorial Award at the S.H.Ervin; the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award in Bega; the National Photographic Portrait Prize and the Darling Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in […]