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Talking with Richard Woldendorp, a highly respected photographer acknowledged as Australia’s eminent practitioner of aerial photography.

For almost 50 years, Woldendorp has documented the country's unique landscape from the sky. His images of the environment, taken from the air, have established a fresh visual vocabulary for the Australian landscape.

Now at age 81, Richard Woldendorp has a major exhibition of his work in Sydney, presented by the National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery 20 June - 03 August 2008.

Richard WoldendorpThe exhibition acknowledges Woldendorp’s important contribution to Australian landscape photography and has been selected by art critic John McDonald and photographer R. Ian Lloyd.

Abstract Earth: A view from above - a new publication of Woldendorp’s work, will accompany this exhibition.

Richard Woldendorp captures the vastness of the Australian outback, our distinctive coastlines and our man made landscapes in a way that combines both realism and precision with the power of large-scale abstract paintings.

Named Australian Photographer of the Year for his landscape photography, Richard has exhibited in Australia and overseas and is represented in the public collections of the Australian National Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW and Art Gallery of WA. First hit the play button to hear the interview, then click this link to the SH Ervin Gallery to view work & info:


Talking with Australian painter John R Walker. John's ten year survey, Journey Through Landscape, is showing at Sydney's SH Ervin Gallery until June 15. John's evocative descriptions of his creative process, makes for one of the most fascinating interviews I've ever recorded on the subject of painting. From the catalogue: "John R Walker has immersed himself in the Australian landscape since childhood and is now considered one of the leading practitioners in the genre. Although Walker is a five time Archibald finalist for portraiture, landscape remains his first love. Since moving from inner west Sydney to the NSW town of Braidwood in 2002, Walker has become deeply engaged with the diverse landscape surrounding the historic town. John's passion for bushwalking and intense study of the environment allows him to collect a uniquely personal experience on his daily walks and painting trips in the region. John has also been inspired by Bedervale (1836) an historic grazing property in the Braidwood district, and one of his favourite painting sites where he has completed many works that evoke the atmospheric nature of the land." First hit the play button to hear the interview, then click this SH Ervin Gallery link for more info: http://www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au/properties/gallery/default.asp


The Led Zeppelin World Tour is an exhibition of documentary photographs and contemporary artworks. Rarely-seen images by freelance photographer Ted Harvey documenting Led Zeppelin's legendary 1972 Sydney concert feature in this exhibition. I spoke with Ted on site at Sydney's SH Ervin Gallery, where the exhibition is running from 19 Jan-2 March 2008. In this 35 minute interview, Ted speaks in-depth of his experience photographing Led Zeppelin in concert, meeting the guys in Sydney's infamous Sebel Town House Hotel, and strolling around Kings Cross with Robert Plant. Ted also speaks eloquently of the Australia of the early 1970s - a more conservative time, but in some ways a much freer society than today. Led Zeppelin played the Sydney Showground in an extraordinary three-hour concert, their only-ever Sydney gig. Notoriously camera shy the band were almost inaccessible to the media and few photographs of their live performance exist. Robert Plant has said that Ted Harvey's images are the best ever taken of Led Zeppelin. First hit the play button to hear the interview, then click this link to check out Ted's website at http://www.rockphotoaid.com
SH Ervin Gallery:


Drawing on the rich cultural history of the CarriageWorks building, the surrounding suburb of Redfern and his grandfather's heritage as a labourer, Jonathan Jones collaborates with Ruark Lewis to create a striking installation piece from raw materials, mounted lighting, and reconfigured text. Ruark: "We have designed this work as a lightly installed architectural installation. It is a floor work almost 7m long. Each of the 40 coloured planks are inscribed with descriptions of the wool industry in
New South Wales. We have been working with Jonathan’s grandfather recording his oral history which tells of the 85 year old’s early life as a wool classer. Beneath each plank we are planning to install rows of fluorescent lights. The lights will form a sequence of patterns by tilting the planks recto & verso. We have constructed something like a hovering mid-twentieth
century night harvester." Jonathan and Ruark have also recently exhibited in Singapore.


Talking with artist Amanda Penrose Hart about her exhibition, New Painitngs, at the King Street Gallery in Sydney's Darlinghurst. Travelling in her portable studio, a classic Aussie ute, Amanda discovers and paints exquisite landscapes in oil, depiciting the parched brown hills and valleys of the central west in New South Wales. In 2006, Amanda was an artist-in-residence at Haefliger's Cottage in the historic mining town of Hill End. Like many Australian artists before her, including Russell Drysdale, Donald Friend, Brett Whiteley, and John Olsen, Amanda is drawn to the eroded and raw landscape of this rural area, but she brings her own unique vision. Amanda is particularly attracted to the ubiquitous holiday caravans that sit dotted about in empty paddocks, frying in the midday heat. Although people are absent in these paintings, their presence is felt. A fascinating conversation with a rapidly rising contemporary Australian painter. Amanda's exhibition was sold out. Enjoy. To check out Amanda's work while listening to the interview, first hit play, then click this link: http://www.kingstreetgallery.com.au/artists/penrosehart.html


Talking to Pia Larsen on site at the Damien Minton Gallery in Redfern, Sydney. In her exhibition, 'Sine Waves', we discover that Pia is pushing the envelope of 'printmaking' right into the realm of sculpture, and scultpure into the realm of the wearable. From the artist's statement: The work in the exhibition, ‘Sine Waves,’ consists of wearable objects in metal, shaped prints in colour, and corporeal ‘LP’s’ ‘playing’ on customized turntables. Apertures and swirling lines appear within the metal and paper forms, reminiscent of bodies and the organs within them. The old technology of the LP record has morphed into parts of the body such as the female breast and hair whorl, each spinning new grooves. To view Pia's works while listening to the interview, first hit the play button, then hit this link: http://www.damienmintongallery.com.au/artists/pia-larsen/


Maximum Commune (Ugly Business... on the basis of disbelief.)
Talking with Australian New York based artist Guy Benfield, about his performance installation work Maximum Commune, part of the Aftermath: Performance Installation series curated by Blair French at Sydney's ART SPACE gallery, right next to the harbour. With the USS Kitty Hawk moored across the street, Guy walked and talked us through his unique work and world.

"Maximum Commune... utilises the cultural model of the 'pavilion' juxtaposed with tropes of modernist architecture, examples of hand-built alternative Zome housing originating from Southern California in the 1960s and collectives such as Drop City. Within these structures, Guy Benfield performs a series of actions, 'droppings' or situational episodes that re-animate tropes that were once declared obsolete obsolete, such as ritual, live action painting in the genre of george mathieu, the 'Art informal' movement in France, and the Japanese actionist painting movement - Gutai group. In these performance scenarios Benfield investigates the West Coast Funk Ceramic movement of the late sixties, pottery as an expressionist dialogue and the bourgeois bohemian lifestyle he experienced while growing up insuburban Sydney."

The Aftermath: Performance Installation series provides a critical and public focus to the complex relationship of performance to installation art, sharing a genealogy, as they do, in early conceptual and post-object art. Aftermath centres on the installation 'aftermath' of performance, or conversely, performance as a strategy for creation of material environments - the bleeding back and forth of active models of performance and its post-life.Each week one of six artists participating from Australia and abroad will undertake a performance work in one of the Artspace galleries resulting in an installation 'aftermath' and collectively creating a dynamic, rolling set of relationships between changing spaces.

Art Space link: http://www.artspace.org.au
More images on the Art Talk Blog: http://www.arttalking.blogspot.com/


"Roderick Hietbrink is a Rotterdam-based artist working with sound and video installation. His work is grounded in the study of urban architecture, resulting in experiential, transformative environments developed in response to specific urban landscapes. Vivarium is a new work produced in the period of Hietbrink’s three-month Artspace Studio Residency in Sydney, and features landscapes near and around Sydney. As in previous works, Vivarium continues to explore issues around nature and the built environment, providing a subtle commentary on the processes of negotiation and navigation that underlie the human condition." To View Roderick's work while listening to the interview, first click the play button. then go to: http://www.roderickhietbrink.nl/


Love Cats! Chatting with the first couple of Australian contemporary art, the very personable Ms and Mr. Between films at the Sydney Film Fest I slipped into the Kaliman Gallery in Paddington to check out the exhibition HEAVY SENTIMENTAL, and to ruminate on the nature of love, childhood, and the eternal goth spirit of the Cure's Robert Smith, inhabiting the souls of both 11 yr old Ms, and 29 yr old Mr.

"Ms & Mr is the team of Richard and Stephanie Nova Milne, an exploration of both art practice and marriage. The departure point for their practice comes from a willing confusion between their romance and collaborative relationship as artists. This much-anticipated exhibition follows their residency in New York as the recipients of the 2005 Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship.

Heavy Sentimental showcases a series of four video works and a suite of pencil drawings that reflect on childhood footage of the artists that has been digitally manipulated to incorporate images of their present partner in the scenario. This contrast of the young and the old, the past and the present, evokes a sense of reflection and nostalgia as Ms & Mr engage the audience in a trip into their childhood."
To view the work while listening to the interview, first hit play, then click this link: http://www.kalimangallery.com/


On a cold and wet winter's day in Sydney I headed down to the Roslyn OIxley9 Gallery in Paddington to check out the exhibition by Newell Harry, VIEWS FROM THE COUCH. At the top of the stairs a neon statement "The Natives are Restless", and in the main gallery space an installation containing more neon, vessels, large drawings, and woven mats. A sense of technology, language, and raw elements combined. Newell was on hand to talk about his work, and his travel experiences into the townships of South Africa (where his mother is from), as well as remote corners of the pacific. Hence the pidgin text and tribal elements. Cargo Cults make an appearance too. A fascinating discussion. To view the works go to: http://www.roslynoxley9.com.au/artists/219/Newell_Harry/519/

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