Exhibitions at Stills Gallery
In 1991 Bob Hawke was Prime Minister of Australia, The Simpsons debuted on Channel 10, Boris Becker beat Ivan Lendl in the Australian Open Tennis Championship, Tim Berners-Lee introduced the web browser, Nirvana released Nevermind, and Stills Gallery opened its doors at 16 Elizabeth Street, Paddington.
At the time Founder and Co-Director, Kathy Freedman announced “There’s a lot of very important and exciting work being done at present using photographic images. Stills will be provi… more
Down in the dumps continues Sloggett's long-term love-affair with the unloved and the unloveable. For over 20 years he has elevated the burnt out and banal into something to be seen and celebrated, or at least acknowledged. He seeks out what most of us rush by or turn away from. He prints large too, so we can see with clarity the chaff, the rust and the ruin. These works aren’t about magical light or a romanticised decisive moment, in fact they probably depict the moment just before o… more
Stills is delighted to present Jane Brown’s series Sporting Country, following its 2016 debut in the prestigious Basil Sellers Art Prize, which commissions contemporary Australian artists to make new work about sport. Sporting Country comprises a suite of photographs of places related to sport in rural Australia. Brown’s small, and thoughtful black and white portraits of sporting clubs, stadiums and swimming pools are a contrast to the colourful energy and fervor of Australian sporti… more
Narelle Autio »
Pat Brassington »
Danica Chappell »
Trent Parke »
Glenn Sloggett »
Robyn Stacey »
Justine Varga »
Kawita Vatanajyankur »
Emma White »
Emmaline Zanelli » more
Stills Gallery is delighted to present White Sheet Series by celebrated Australian photographer Stephen Dupont. Over the past two decades, Dupont has produced a remarkable body of work that captures his subjects with great dignity and intimacy, often in some of the world’s most dangerous regions. His images have received international acclaim for their invaluable insight into traditional cultures and communities that are fast disappearing from our world.
White Sheet Series presents a grea… more
Since 2013, acclaimed Sydney-based photographer Robyn Stacey has been transforming entire rooms into walk-in camera obscuras. Masking windows to leave just a ray of light, the view outside is projected, as if by magic, over the room’s interiors, but upside down and in reverse. This dream-like moving scene does the opposite of a shadow. It casts trees, drifting clouds, even towering buildings, over the internal architecture and its inhabitant’s belongings.
“It’s like bei… more
Colourful, abundant and compelling, Polixeni Papapetrou’s new series Eden arose out of a commission by the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) in Melbourne to create works in response to the Melbourne General Cemetery. Papapetrou, photographed flowers obtained from the cemetery against a black backdrop to invoke ideas about mourning and remembrance. For Papapetrou, whose own plot is in the cemetery, and who, through illness, has faced her own mortality, it was a challenging and tho… more
With a diverse career as an artist, researcher and independent curator, Brenda L. Croft has been creating multi-disciplinary, multi-platform work formore than three decades.In 2015 she received a National Indigenous Arts Award Fellowship from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts in recognition of her practice. She is a member of the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples from the Northern Territory of Australia, and of Anglo-Australian/German/Iris… more
With a diverse career as an artist, researcher and independent curator, Brenda L. Croft has been creating multi-disciplinary, multi-platform work for more than three decades. In 2015 she received a National Indigenous Arts Award Fellowship from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts in recognition of her practice. She is a member of the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples from the Northern Territory of Australia, and of Anglo-Australian/German/Ir… more
In Machinized, Kawita Vatanajyankur is a tool, a moving part in the machine. She transforms herself into food production equipment in performance videos that restage processes such as boxing eggs and weighing leafy greens. Like her previously celebrated works, this new series is graphic and glorious, sharing the same eye-catching allure that enamours us to ads. The confronting nature of her endurance performances, however, interrupts this seductive surface.
The repetitive and arduous tasks tha… more
Emmaline Zanelli is an emerging artist from Adelaide whose practice explores absurdity and sensuality in human interactions. She uses an experimental approach to image making in which sculpture, photography and performance are messed with, merged and layered.
In Please Touch, Zanelli plays with ideas of privacy, power, connection and sexuality. In mundane domestic settings she covers herself with enlarged images of her own skin that she has printed onto papers and fabrics. In these small perfo… more
Pony presents three recent performative video works by David Collins in which he engages horses in acts of control and surrender. Describing these exercises as “human-animal collaborations”, Collins sees them as analogies for psychological struggles and power relationships.
In Riptide (2016), for instance, artist and horse meet in a subtle but stubborn confrontation: Collins pushes the horse, the horse pushes back. Dwarfed against the animal’s size and strength, the artist&rs… more
Considered one of Australia’s foremost contemporary photomedia artists, Pat Brassington has been beguiling audiences for over 30 years. She recently won the 2016 Redlands Konica Minolta Prize with her work Pair Bonding, which will be exhibited alongside this seductive new body of works.
Brassington is influenced by Surrealism and Freud’s concepts of the unconscious, which guide her internal creative process along with her material one. The collision of the unexpected is rife and ta… more
(a collection of found photos)
For Patrick Pound, what started out as a form of research - the collecting and collating of vast archives of vernacular material, photos, books and objects - morphed into his art practice. He upcycles images and objects that have been discarded. Cut loose from their original creator and purpose, Pound gives them new contexts and meanings. In so doing, he asks us to consider the nature of photography; the creation of meaning; and the human urge to make sense of the world around us.
For Pound the… more
‘Freshness’ has shifted from an organic state to an abstract, cultural sign. It’s become fluid and slippery: infusing feelings and atmosphere, products, architecture and design.
Ever Fresh reflects on this global currency of ‘freshness’ through installations, videos, objects and images. It will temporarily transform the gallery into a futuristic, commercial utopia—resembling those that surround us with plastic plants, sparkling surfaces and lively screens.
William Yang is one of Australia’s great storytellers. For 40 years, his photographs, handwritten anecdotes and live, slide projection performances have shared his journey to self-acceptance as a gay Chinese Australian. In the month that celebrates both Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year, Stills Gallery presents a solo exhibition by Yang that will mark the launch of the new monograph Stories of Love and Death: Performance, Portraiture and Documentary in the work of William Yang, by prominent … more
“The Black Rose invites us on a powerful and poetic journey. The myriad animals, birds, insects and landscapes we encounter on the way evoke a wonderfully surreal sensation, reminding us that, in the world of Trent Parke, nothing is ordinary or insignificant. Herein lie the magic and beauty of The Black Rose.”
Nick Mitzevich in Trent Parke: The Black Rose catalogue, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2015
Trent Parke’s epic and personal body of work The Black Ro… more
Originally exhibited via Instagram, the smart-phone app for sharing images, Jackson Eaton’s Melfies 2 explores a deep irony of the digitally networked era. The latest digital tools and media platforms may enable our attempts at self-expression, but the streams of selfies they spew out instead reveal the opposite. Instagram makes instantly apparent, Eaton notes, “the failure to express individuality in social media”.
Melfies 2 is the second series to feature Eaton’s &lsq… more
From the subtlest explorations of tone to rich explosions of colour and pattern, Justine Varga’s series Accumulate (2014/2015) expands our expectations of photographic abstraction. Collaging the gallery walls with prints, her reductive style isn’t abandoned but intensified. The show is accumulative in every sense; film, paper and personal moments are layered, echoed and repeated.
Some prints accumulate dense layers through multiple exposures. Others are camera-less photographs - ex… more
Like stepping inside a kid’s kaleidoscope, Kaleidorama is a spectacle of experiments with colour. Filled with an evolving ensemble of artworks and practices, and embracing a similar spirit of investigation and fun, Stills Gallery becomes a kaleidoscopic play of colours and forms. From darkroom experiments to digital aesthetics, the scientific and serendipitous, the old and now, combine, overlay and interplay. Here, like a primary-school lesson in colour theory, the gallery is a l… more
In association with Head On Photo Festival, Stills is proud to present one of the most exciting new contributors to Asian-Pacific video art, Thai-Australian Kawita Vatanajyankur, and her arresting new series Work (2015).
Endurance art has rarely been so pretty. Alluring luminous yellows, citrus greens and bubblegum pinks are distinctive of the artist’s aesthetic—a visual language of consumption and desire that speaks to a world of instant gratification and flattened complexity. H… more
James Tylor uses daguerreotype and wet plate photographic processes to explore complex issues of identity and cultural representation. These early forms of photography were used to document Indigenous Australian and Maori culture in the 19th century—a link that underpins Tylor’s contemporary investigations into his own Aboriginal, European and Maori descent, and Australia’s colonial past.
In his latest series, DeCookolisation, Tylor uses the Becquerel Daguerreotype to depic… more
Cast adrift from their original creator and context, the photographs in Patrick Pound’s artworks find new life and meaning in his hands. In Small world he brings together an idiosyncratic collection of images to create a meditation, not only on the tricky nature of photography and reality, but also of humans and our place in the world.
Pound’s practice is not concerned with photographic mannerism, rather he is “really straight and methodical about things, because it’s a… more
Jane Brown’s beautiful and ambiguous photographic work appears to originate from a different era but simultaneously depicts contemporary subject matter. The meticulous process that Brown employs and the careful presentation of her hand-printed, black and white works, places them in a liminal realm between being images and objects.
The title of her latest series Black Ships suggests the idea of a Western perspective on Japan. ‘Black Ships’, was an idiom used by the Japanese for… more
Celebrating artist books in all their forms, from handcrafted one-offs to self-published photobooks, sculptural creations and vintage punk fanzines, Bookmarked is a curated group exhibition that allows visitors to get lost between the pages. Bookmarked will feature a display of nearly 50 books on special loan from the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive - the only Archive of photobooks from this region in the world. The archive, recently shown at the Photobook Melbourne Festival, promotes the ‘… more
Each December Stills Gallery features a show of selected Stills artists. The theme for Season 2014 is continuity and divergence. There are twelve artists with a highly diverse range of practices that reflect both the history (of the gallery and of photography itself) and the diversity with which photography has developed in unprecedented ways over the last twenty years.
Steven Lojewski’s series Populace was one of the first exhibitions at Stills when it began in 1991. These black and whit… more
In Lost Psyche, Polixeni Papapetrou portrays emblematic figures that have come to the end of their tradition, their rationale, their place in the world. These intriguing and charismatic characters—the poet, the tourist, the immigrant, among others—bring to life antique Victorian paper masks. Yet, despite being cast beyond our immediate reality, their costumes harking back to earlier times, their settings to fantastical places, these archetypal figures live on in the cultural imagina… more
What does it mean when something you cannot see, or perhaps you didn’t even know existed, disappears forever? Stephanie Valentin’s current exhibition Closer responds to this enigma, bringing the perpetually overlooked up close into a memorable encounter.
Valentin’s new work continues to explore an ongoing interest in the human relationship to the natural world and the ecological effects of climate change. Through her unorthodox use of the electron microscope, the images magni… more
In Deb Mansfield’s new series of photo-tapestries, And dive into the sea, the precarious nature of travel is explored through internet-found images of island crossings and early forays into space. Mansfield is renowned for immersing herself in littoral regions of her research—the geographic spaces that are borders, edges and in-betweens. Through her photography, tapestry and installation works, we have roved with her into the mangroves of Louisana and Queensland, the extreme snows an… more
"The photograph has always lied outrageously, but it is such a beautifully eloquent lie. Though caught in the twilight of peripheral vision this is a world as real as any dream, as concrete as any memory, and as fluid as any certainty". Mark Kimber
Mark Kimber never fails to intrigue and delight with his fantastical dioramas. After The Pale Mirror (Stills Gallery, 2012) he returns with Side Show Valley, another richly referential series about the haunting power of photography. We loo… more
Do you remember how wondrous those magic postcards used to be? That simple pleasure of tilting them backwards and forwards to see an image transform in your hands? Celebrated New Zealand photographer Megan Jenkinson is well known for working at the cutting edge of that same ‘lenticular’ technology. In the past she has reanimated the atmospheric anomalies of glacial islands, desert oases, and the illuminated nights skies of Aurora Australis. Now, in a selection of recently created … more
Pat Brassington is one of Australia’s most respected and influential artists working in photomedia. Since the mid 1980s when her work came to prominence, Brassington has continued to surprise and beguile audiences with images that are pitched, in her words, ‘just off the verge of normality, into those dense patches where the commonplace goes awry.’
In this exhibition Brassington will present the series In search of the marvellous, 2013 along with a selection of more recent wor… more
Back in 2010, The New York Times, critic David Colman wrote that the smart phone ‘self-snap’ was “so common that it is changing photography itself”. The artists in Totally Looks Like expand this idea, working with performance, objects, photo and video to consider the changing relationship between medium and maker.
Jaimie Warren remakes images that she finds on popular Internet sites as self-portraits. In her series Totally Looks Like (which inspired the title of the show… more
Stills Gallery and Head On Photo Festival are delighted to present a solo exhibition of works by Mary Ellen Mark.
A highly respected and influential photographer, Mark has created images of our world's diverse cultures that have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography. The exhibition at Stills Gallery as part of Head On Photo Festival (headon.com.au), Mark’s first solo exhibition in Australia, features some of her most iconic images. From the haunting portrait of … more
When documentary photographer Lisa Garland returned to her hometown in the North West coast of Tasmania after some time away, she saw her community in a new light. Rather than noticing the prevailing pastimes of sport, farming and fishing that seemed to define the locals’ lives, her vision was drawn away to the quieter characters, whose remote homes and hidden passions set them apart, physically and socially.
These individuals became the subjects for Garland’s portraiture. She fou… more
Fresh from premiering in the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art - Dark Heart, Stills Gallery is delighted to present Trent Parke’s latest body of work The Camera is God (street portrait series). From his earliest foray into photography, Parke has prowled the streets and found there, amongst the people, the buildings, the patterns of light and darkness, not only a complex and shifting picture of contemporary Australian life, but also an expression of the inner journeys he has taken.
Justine Varga’s images contain silence, space and peace, bringing a sense of the sublime inside, to the minutiae of the everyday. They aren’t simply made in her studios, so much as made with them. The ephemera that accumulates in her workspace, the surfaces, textures and temperaments that seem to change with the daily cycles of natural light, provide both the setting and subject for her images.
Sounding Silence reduces these elements to the very periphery of recognition, described b… more
Patrick Pound evokes both the seriousness and silliness of life. He obsessively collects old photographs, and assembles them in idiosyncratic clusters, where odd and unexpectedly common subjects emerge. This exhibition presents three of Pound’s collections, each finding fun in our collective oddities, while revealing sweeping, awkward truths about real lives and real feelings.
Pound re-creates the world, forging relationships between images and presenting them as one - as if “mea… more
To the Sea presents two distinct perspectives of a journey taken side by side.
It started in 2003, when Trent Parke and Narelle Autio drove around Australia—a road trip that changed their lives in more ways than one. It saw the birth of their first child Jem and of their independently acclaimed series; Parke’s foreboding Minutes to Midnight and Autio’s celebratory Watercolours. To the Sea presents an alternative tale of that trip, and many others that followed. By interweavin… more
Through Robyn Stacey’s photography we imagine other people’s private worlds. For the past 5 years her spectacular compositions have breathed new life into the old families of Sydney, reviving their personal objects from historic collections to evoke scenes as if they’ve just exited the room, leaving only a sprinkling of crumbs. Now, for Guest Relations she has turned from high fidelity studio photography to the non-digital process of camera obscura, Stacey brings our gaze to co… more
Rather than using her camera to capture an image of the world, Petrina Hicks creates a world for her camera. Within her studio, she assembles sculptural forms with a meticulous eye for detail - the shape of a vase, the fall of fabric, the pinkness of a shell. Her subjects, whether people or objects, are loaded with symbolism and exist within a strangely placeless reality, making them hard to pin down. In her recent profile on Petrina Hicks’ writer Carrie Miller describes this process as on… more
I FINK U FREEKY
Roger Ballen is one of the most highly acclaimed photographic artists working today and he is a hit on YouTube. His collaboration with South African rap-rave crew Die Antwoord on the music video for their track ‘I Fink U Freeky’ has mesmerised fan and film audiences alike. Since its release in 2012, the video has clocked up over 30 million viewings on YouTube, and has won two major accolades—Best Music Video Award at the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography… more
Sometimes it feels like Pat Brassington summons up her artworks rather than creating them. Her cast of characters seems to be a mercurial bunch of shape-shifters with lives and minds of their own. Whether they are animate or inanimate, meeting our gaze or avoiding it, they are spell-binding. Brassington imbues her images with layers and symbols and potential meanings that are unruly and often disturbing, like those of the unconscious mind. Her work exists in that blurry realm between the manife… more
Over the past 20 years Anne Ferran has worked with the residues of Australia and New Zealand’s colonial histories, probing them for gaps and silences. She has been especially drawn to the lives of anonymous women and children, seeking to shed light on their presence, and absence, in museum collections, photographic archives and historic sites. It is characteristic of Ferran's images that the subject is not what is seen but rather what haunts it, something only partially visible. Intel… more
in association with Yossi Milo Gallery and Head On Photo Festival
In association with Head On Photo Festival, Stills Gallery is delighted to host compelling works by two internationally acclaimed artists, Tim Hetherington and Doug Rickard, brought to Australian audiences from Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.
Without the guns and artillery of war, or the armor of bravado and aggression, Tim Hetherington’s images of sleeping American soldiers are disarmingly peaceful and childlike in their vulnerability. Hetherington observed this active-duty battalion whil… more
One sunset a day just isn’t enough. In our mediated environment, where points of view outnumber eyes to view them, it seems there is no longer one nature, just an excess of human ones. Drawing together national and international artists working at the edges of photomedia, video and installation, The Big Picture considers our experience of the sublime amid the visual excess and digital fragmentation that characterise our everyday. Using an array of materials and media, from vast online im… more
For over 10 years Anne Noble, one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s preeminent photographers, has set her sights on Antarctica, undertaking three missions there and making a world tour of Antarctic centres in parallel. She has created an extraordinary body of work, exploring the cultural construction of place, her images challenging the traditional representation of the Antarctic as heroic, picturesque and sublime. white shadow white shine, may be seen as the culmination of this decade-long explor… more
Anyone who knows George Schwarz knows that there is no one quite like George Schwarz. And if you don’t know George Schwarz, then you can know him by knowing his art - it serves as a personal introduction.
Schwarz’ latest Stills exhibition introduces his audience to his home. Following a life journey that has covered both geographic ground, crossing Europe, Asia, The Americas and Australia on motorbike, and covering an expanse of experiences, such as making the infamous ‘… more
SEASON 12: Garden of Earthly Delights
14 November to 22 December 2012
This exhibition draws from a wide range of photomedia including traditional photographic practices and some rich examples of contemporary documentary in Sydney. All the participating artists have exhibited at Stills before.
The artists are Narelle Autio, Polixeni Papapetrou, Anne Noble, Danielle Thompson, Garry Trinh, Ben Cauchi, Gilbert Bel-Bachir, Ian Dodd, Mark Ki… more
Harry NankinSyzygy 4/Transit of Alpha Centauri, 2011gelatin silver shadowgram films created by exposure to starlightGlass/film objects 33.5 x 35.5 x .05cmWooden box base 7.5 x 39 x 5cmuniqueHARRY NANKIN "SYZYGY" 10 October to 10 November 2012 Opening Sat 13 October, 3-5pm A syzygy is a conjunction or coming together of things. It can refer astronomically to when the sun, moon and earth align during an eclipse but also has the broader connotation of a pairing or union. It is an apt tit… more
JUSTINE VARGA"MOVING OUT"10 October to 10 November 2012Opening Sat 13 October, 3-5pmJustine Varga creates imagery that is minimal and sublime. Although she uses analogue techniques and works with great control of the craft, the results seem liberated from their medium to become more akin to abstract paintings. The delicate and balanced compositions evidence Varga’s obvious delight in the idiosyncrasies of light and film.Varga often depicts anonymous and simple spaces, inner sanc… more
MARK KIMBERTHE PALE MIRROR29 August – 6 October 2012The Pale Mirror radiates filmic drama and atmosphere. Suburban houses and city blocks burn with blinding white light as in UFO abduction scenes. Remote landscapes emblazoned by sheaths of illumination recall search and rescue disaster movies. The heavens appear to be opening for God. Early air and sea craft brave unchartered and unforgiving territories. These are small works that tell epic tales, although the tales themselves are elusi… more
MICHAEL RILEYThey call me niigarr29 August – 6 October 2012Michael Riley’s voice was understated and he favoured the poetic as a form of expression. They call me niigarr was made in 1995. It was Riley’s last exhibition at Hogarth Galleries and was his most overtly political. It is difficult for indigenous artists to stay away from politics. Michael said about this work, “This exhibition is about racism. Racism comes in many forms. It can be blatant, it can be hidden, pat… more
NARELLE AUTIOWater hole25 July to 25 August 2012Narelle Autio’s new series, Water hole, celebrates the otherworldly beauty of the dark waters she encountered whilst travelling through parts of Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia. Driving through these dry and remote areas of Australia, she found herself pulled towards the isolated bodies of water that dot the landscape. These waterholes dictated the path of her travels, crossing the parched earth of the day to arrive at wa… more
MOSTLY AGREE20 June to 21 July 2012LACHLAN ANTHONYPENELOPE CAINCARLA CESCON & MARTYN IVES JAKI MIDDLETON & DAVID LAWREY LOUIS PORTERDAVID M THOMASEMMA WHITE OPENING Wednesday 20 June 6-8pmARTIST TALK Saturday 7 July 3pmMostly Agree takes an outside-the-box look at identity within the corporate world. The selected artists use photomedia, video and sculptural forms to explore with humour and sensitivity the pressures of fitting in to an environment where corporate identity is paramount… more
PAT BRASSINGTONA Heartbeat Away & The Pressings9 May to 16 June 2012Foregrounding her place as one of Australia’s leading artists, Pat Brassington features in the 2012 Adelaide Biennial Parallel Collisions with the commissioned work A heartbeat away (2011-12). Stills Gallery is delighted to bring A heartbeat away to New South Wales in Brassington’s upcoming solo exhibition that also features her series The Pressings (2011).A heartbeat away treats audiences to a towering encounte… more
POLIXENI PAPAPETROUThe Dreamkeepers28 March to 5 May 2012Opening Saturday 31 March 3-5pm“These transitional places in one’s life are often the most creative, and as we grapple for answers and clarity what is often realized is ambiguity and confusion that reigns supreme. Like fairy stories, Papapetrou uses absurdity to make symbolic sense of world she struggles to understand.” Susan Bright - Between Worlds catalogue 2009A man in blue striped pyjamas stands on a rock by the sea, … more
TRENT PARKEMinutes to Midnight – selected works29 FEBRUARY TO 24 MARCH 2012In 2003 Trent Parke set off on a road-trip around his native Australia, a monumental journey that was to last two years and cover a distance of over 90,000 km. Minutes to Midnight is the ambitious photographic record of that adventure, in which Parke presents a bold but uneasy nation struggling to craft its identity from different cultures and traditions. Originally exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography… more
MAGNUM CONTACT SHEETS29 February to 24 March 2012Stills Gallery is delighted to present Magnum Contact Sheets, an exhibition featuring early and original contact sheets by Magnum photographers. Often compared to an artist’s sketchbook, the contact sheet, a direct print of a roll or sequence of negatives, is the photographer’s first look at what he or she captured on film, and provides a uniquely intimate glimpse into their working process. It gives a behind-the-scenes sense of walkin… more
GLENN SLOGGETTA White Trash (Lost) Love Story1 February to 25 February 2012Glenn Sloggett looks at how the grand themes of life, death, success and failure are realised in the ordinary language of the suburbs. His artworks embrace the unlovable and he finds beauty in what many would see as repellant. His images - a travelogue of broken-down and piss-stained suburbia - show an affection and respect for his subjects. There are no people in these photographs and they are almost forensic in their ba… more
LINSEY GOSPERObject Love1 February to 25 February 2012Object Love, Linsey Gosper’s series of photographic self-portraits, features an array of female personas based on conventional versions of femininity. Using humour and gentle subversion, her works explore alternative views of ‘woman’, providing a more contradictory, fluid, and liberating understanding of the construct. The portraits are set in an ordinary backyard, with a green lawn, corrugated iron shed, garden gnomes and r… more
SEASON 11 Exhibition - 16 November to 22 December 2011 GILBERT GARCIN / PETRINA HICKS / MARK KIMBER / MARKETA LUSKACOVA / DANIELLE THOMPSON Each year Stills Gallery celebrates the passing of the year with a group exhibition drawn from Stills Gallery artists. This year displays new and unseen works drawn from larger series and bodies of work. Centrestage are brightly coloured concoctions from a new series Hippy and the Snake by the ever popular Petrina Hicks. Weeping Flowers is exquisitely beauti… more
MEGAN JENKINSON…a tent, pitched in the wilderness12 October to 12 November 2011The solace, or disquiet, we draw from the image of a tent pitched in the wilderness is of a comforting shelter, a safe retreat enhanced, or threatened, by its casual impermanence. It implies temporary respite from the constant movement of the nomad, explorer, or exile; allowing a perspective on the journeys that have passed and imaginings of the wanderings ahead. A journey to Antarctica a few years ago inspire… more
STEPHANIE VALENTINunseasonal12 October to 12 November 2011 Stephanie Valentin’s new series unseasonal, considers the unsettling of our relationship to weather and its influence, and how changes within the balance of natural systems and climate have permeated our perception and entered our experiences. Many of the images have been created on location in and around the Murray River and its wetlands in eastern South Australia. The sites she has chosen often show evidence of an environment in … more
Warwick ThorntonStranded7 September to 8 October 2011Opening reception Saturday 10 September 3-5pm'When I grow up I want to be just like Jesus.' (Warwick Thornton, aged 6)Warwick Thornton is a Kaytej man whose customary lands reside to the north of Alice Springs where he has lived the majority of his life. A film-maker of singularly distinctive vision, his first feature Samson and Delilah (2009) took the national and international film world by storm, winning numerous awards includin… more
PAUL ADAIR - A.S.S (Artificial Spatial Systems)For Paul Adair, undertaking a residency in Los Angeles was an ideal opportunity, fascinated as he is by everything ersatz. His interest has been driven by the desire to replicate and repeat things, and to highlight the artificial. In earlier series Decoy (2005) and Three-Hole Mountain Inn (2008) each photograph's precise formal composition gave way to the crudeness of his self-made constructions. In these new works he is moving from photographi… more
Merilyn Fairskye - PRECARIOUS Screening times for Precarious – Wed to Sat 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm & 4pmTwenty-five years ago Reactor No.4 at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded. In the aftermath, people, and radiation, were dispersed across the Soviet Union. Over 600,000 "liquidators" participated in the cleanup. 8,000 people still work there to contain the contamination. Stills Gallery is proud to present Merilyn Fairskye’s photographic series Plant Life and her film P… more
BAD ANGLECurated by Clare Lewis Bad Angle describes the lines of vision of people sitting at certain positions in the audience, which enable a magician’s secret to be exposed. Magician's DictionaryThese artists have been chosen as their work relates to the idea of photography as a moment for the suspension of belief. Some of the works explore ideas borne alongside the alchemical beginnings of photography—the seemingly miraculous ability of the came… more
Robyn StaceyTall Tales and True18 May to 25 June 2011Working extensively with historic collections since 2000, Robyn Stacey’s early projects dealt with Australian flora and fauna, exploring the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and the Macleay collection at the University of Sydney. Over the last three years she has worked closely the NSW Historic Houses Trust to produce a series of artworks and a book focusing on three of their properties, Elizabeth Bay House, Vaucluse House, … more
Anne FerranSongbirds are Everywhere13 April to 14 May 2011 “Ferran’s practice…focusing on incidental details and overlooked subjects, combining the indexical authority of the photograph with the sensorial resonance of symbolic objects and materials, brings history up against itself, up against its desire to differentiate itself from the now. Ferran’s work instead insists on confronting us with the past’s tenacious persistence.Geoffrey Batchen,The ground, the air ca… more
Aaron SeetoFortress 13 April to 14 May 2011For the last decade Aaron Seeto has been interested in archives, in particular family photo albums and other photographic records. This interest is mostly based upon a desire to make visible the alternate historical positions and experiences of families such as his own Chinese-Australian one. He is interested in the malleability of the narratives, which surround archive records - how images degrade, how stories are formed and privileged, how knowledge a… more
PETRINA HICKSBeautiful Creatures2 MARCH to 9 APRIL 2011Petrina Hicks’ Beautiful Creatures appeals to our senses. Immediately alluring the large-scale, hyper-real photographs, are all rendered so clearly and with such control that they are reminiscent of advertisements, promoting a slick new television series perhaps, or teen clothing range. But with a series of little ruptures, within images and between them, Hicks disrupts our usually beguiled response to such artistry. For her, photograp… more
WILLIAM YANG Old New Borrowed BlueExhibition 2 – 26 February 2011Artist reception Wednesday 9 February 6-8pmWilliam Yang is one of Australia’s greatest storytellers. The fact that his stories are image based makes them all the more powerful and unique. He is a fine and prolific photographer as well as a renowned theatre performer. His very personal stories describe the experience of being Chinese in an Australia that was not always hospitable to people of different appearances or of … more
SEASON10Narelle Autio / Pat Brassington / Petrina Hicks / Mark Kimber / William Lamson / Polixeni Papapetrou / Trent Parke / Robyn Stacey / William YangNovember 17 to December 22, 2010Reopens January 18 to 29, 2011In SEASON10 we are featuring a mix of unseen images and work selected from previous series by each artist, with an emphasis on summer and celebration. Narelle Autio’s Seaweed Stacks is an intriguing image of sculptural seaweed forms on the beach near her home. The coast and water… more
29 September – 6 November 2010
Romance, with its association to rom-coms, red roses and raunchy chic-lit, has long been considered feminine territory. Yet historically, men have been the authors of the epic love stories told through literature and the arts. Love Sick, brings together the work of young female artists Brown Council (AUS), Rachel Scott (AUS), Narinda Reeders (AUS), Tatjana Plitt (AUS/US), Emma Thomson (AUS), Lilly McElroy (US), Laurel Nakadate (US) and one mixed d… more
At the End of the Earth
18 August to 25 September 2010
At the End of the Earth continues Anne Noble's fascination with the continent of Antarctica. White Lanterns showed at Stills Gallery in May 2006. This work depicted the surreal way the Antarctic was portrayed in museums and research centres around the world and tapped into our fascination with this vast place. At the End of the Earth takes a similarly oblique approach in its refusal to romanticise the landscape, by focussing on … more
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
7 July to 14 August 2010
Petrina Hicks is adept at using the seductive and glossy language of commercial photography to create works that probe the false promises of perfection. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, is a precursor to a larger exhibition to be held in early 2011. The works have been created during a number of overseas residencies that became possible after winning the ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award in 2008 with the unsettling image Lambswool.
In a t… more
MALEONN (Ma Liang)
Second-hand Tang Poem
7 July to 14 August 2010
Photographer Maleonn (also known as Ma Liang) lives and works in Shanghai. His images contain highly choreographed scenes that blend traditional Chinese mythology and contemporary life. His Second-hand Tang Poem series reflects on the way Tang poems have operated in everyday Chinese life. For centuries, elementary students memorised the poems and used them to learn to read and write and even now they are memorised and recited bu… more
All That Glisters
2 June to 3 July 2010
Mark Kimber’s new work is fanciful and serious in equal measure. The photographs in All That Glisters present hermetically sealed mini dioramas that speak of our need to place value upon, control, and create memorabilia within our lives.
An astronaut/rock star like figure in a glistening gold jacket stands in the theatrical posture of a seasoned performer mid song. He happens to be a small figurine standing on a red carpet enclosed in … more
2 June to 3 July 2010
The worlds of Polixeni Papapetrou are increasingly fantastical in this new exhibition Between Worlds. To understand the influences and references in her work we must look not only to photography (Ralph Eugene Meatyard and Diane Arbus), but more pertinently to painting (in this exhibition, Caspar David Friedrich, Hans Holbein and John Whistler for example). However new anxieties about the depiction of children are one of the motivating for… more
Exhibition - 21 April to 29 May 2010
Artist talk at the gallery - Sat 15 May 2pm
"it is difficult to explain this place except that I think it exists in some way or another in most people's mind." - Roger Ballen
South African-based photographer Roger Ballen is included in the 17th Biennale of Sydney line up of artists. Ballen's disquieting images, which combine challenging social commentary and dream-like surrealism, will be exhibited on Cockatoo Island. To coincid… more
10 March to 17 April 2010
Stills Gallery is delighted to present a selection of new works by Pat Brassington as part of Art Month Sydney 2010, including her recent series A Perfect Day.
Brassington is renowned for her beguiling surrealistic imagery. Throughout her oeuvre, interior and domestic spaces have been a consistent theme. Set within cloying patterns of carpets and wallpaper, corners and doors, her figures have enacted a theatre of the unconscious and the absurd.
A Per… more
In our first exhibition for 2010 we present four emerging artists working with the enigmatic auras of photographs and objects.
Max Creasy's carefully constructed images play between illusion and representation, between the facsimile and the real. They invite doubt about the process of photography and the viewer's relationship to it. His still life scenes are cast from plaster, hand painted and photographed. The process of painting interrupts our understanding of the role and effects of light… more
Magnum Photos: Eve Arnold, Jonas Bendiksen, Elliott Erwitt, Alex Majoli & Alessandra Sanguinetti
Stills: Paul Adair, Narelle Autio, Pat Brassington & Megan Jenkinson
We are celebrating the end of the year with a new initiative. In collaboration with Magnum Photos, Stills is offering a selection of works from some of the most well-known and best-loved Magnum photographers. In addition, we will be exhibiting a selection of works from Stills printroom, a reminder of some of the wonderful artists … more
Please step quietly everyone can hear you
This year Magnum photographer Trent Parke, one of Australia’s best-known and most original photographers was commissioned by Sydney Opera House, as an artist in residence, to shoot behind the scenes. With his characteristic originality and imagination Parke takes us with him backstage. Working amidst the darkness, with strictly choreographed logistics, bizarre props and long hours, he captures, with frankness and affection a side of Sydne… more
The products of much research, the works in this exhibition are made as echoes and resonances rather than programmatic illustrations of names, dates and events. Robyn Stacey's "Empire Line" not only talks about role of desire in the transport of taste and knowledge systems, but also reveals once again the ongoing fascination with and strength of the still life tradition.
Craig Judd 2009 Empire Line catalogue essay
Robyn Stacey's Empire Line combines traditional still-life painting and contempo… more
In this exciting new video work 100 Merilyn Fairskye continues her longstanding interest in the relationship between the still and the moving image. As in her most recent works, Stati D'Animo (2005-07) and Aqua (2007) time and duration are explored in different ways. The title of the exhibition refers to the expected lifetime of 100 years of a replacement containment shell about to be built over Reactor 4 at Chernobyl in the Ukraine. Three new works feature projections on various surfaces. Film… more
This year the work of Ricky Maynard is commemorated in Portraits of a Distant Land, a retrospective of his photographic work to date at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (4 June – 23 August, 2009). A monograph has been published to accompany the exhibition. Maynard's work is significant within an Indigenous history of Australia as was well established in the Tasmanian episode of the recent TV series First Australians.
Maynard is a documentary photographer based on Flinders Island in th… more
Anne Ferran works with the residues of Australian colonial history, particularly of women and children, closely examining the often-meagre evidence of their lives. Lost To Worlds 2008 is the culmination of more than a decade's exploration by the artist of the same piece of ground, a paddock on the outskirts of the small village of Ross in central Tasmania. In the mid 19th century this was the site of a female factory or female convict prison, a place of secondary punishment for women who re-offe… more
earthbound continues Stephanie Valentin's interest in the human imprint on the natural world. To create this series Valentin returned to the area in which she grew up - the semi-arid mallee on the eastern edge of South Australia. Through the interplay of still lives and landscape, Valentin explores our uncertain relationship to the earth's processes. In the ambiguous light between dusk and full moon, her compositions serve as open-ended experiments, raising questions rather than delivering answ… more
William Lamson is a Brooklyn based artist, interested in photography, sculpture and performance. Using simple materials he creates structures and scenarios full of pathos and humour.
With a 24-minute video of 33 short performances and accompanying photographic images, Lamson's series Actions documents the fates of numerous ill-fated black balloons. In contrast to his "scientific" approach, invoked by a stark white background and serious demeanour, the equipment and activities he depicts are u… more
Narelle Autio's vibrant and award-winning images of Australian coastal life have won her impressive national and international acclaim. Since they were first exhibited at Stills Gallery in 2000, her vivid images have also captured the hearts and imaginations of viewers. One beauty of Autio's work is its ability to speak to so many people about their own experience of being Coastal Dwellers. Another is the play of colour and light in the photographs, giving them a magic and painterly quality that… more
Using materials such as tea and sugar Dorota Mytych recreates photographs sculpturally in order to video them. Her images appear on screen slowly, particle by particle and stay quietly with the viewer. Once the image has coalesced, the process is reversed and the image breaks piece-by-piece leaving nothing but an empty white screen.
Her work addresses historical events and their photographic incarnations. The viewer can watch images evolve and disintegrate. In using video as a canvas for drawi… more
The direction of Megan Jenkinson's recent work Fleet Light began with her experiences as a New Zealand Antarctic Artist's Fellow in late 2005. Before and after her time on the ice she immersed herself in the exploratory and scientific literature on Antarctica. That research took two parallel paths. Firstly an increasing interest in atmospheric effects such as the Aurora Australis phenomenon, and secondly the exploratory and scientific descriptions of the Antarctic experience. These two interests… more
Paul Adair creates images that appear full of promise and perfection. Upon closer inspection we see the perfection come unstuck. Each photograph's precise formal composition gives way to the crudeness of his self-made constructions. Adair's works epitomize the disappointment and mediocrity that are the flipside of hope and fantasy, comparing the visual to an experience - like the embellishment of a theme park or photographs on a fast-food menu.
Three-Hole Mountain Inn follows a similar process… more
It is strange what we forget and what we remember, what runs and reruns in our minds and what vanishes as if it never occurred. Within everyday reflections we can read the impact that apparently inconsequential moments have on life; when one tentative glance turns into a love affair of 7 years, or an exchange of orphans results in surviving the holocaust. These are the 'scars' that etch our memory, that define who we are.
Martin Smith's artwork focuses on those small moments that glance into a… more
EDGELAND, Mark Kimber's latest body of work, continues his fascination with the borders of suburbia; carparks, industrial buildings, shadows and signs. In his earlier work SUN PICTURES (Stills Gallery, 2007) Kimber used a plastic ‘Diana' camera to capture these scenes. The visual qualities that a rough plastic lens, two apertures (sunny and cloudy) and one shutter speed impart ably transformed objects and places into vignetted and illusionistic scenes.
Kimber is compelled to find "situations… more
Chris Fortescue is more interested in dismantling the conventions of photographic depiction than partaking in them. In his 2007 exhibition at Stills Gallery Rectified Searches: Road, Chris, Fog, he directed our attention to the genetics of portrait and landscape imagery through reconfigured jpeg files retrieved from the internet using keyword searches. In his latest body of work, naturalism08, he has deployed a baffling array of sharply lit convoluted forms set against deep black backgrounds, wh… more
Games of Consequence explores the themes that Papapetrou has consistently explored – the territory of female childhood and maturation. This new work is based on childhood memories of unregimented play. Polixeni Papapetrou recalls the spontaneity and freedom she experienced growing up spending hours playing with friends outside the home discovering worlds beyond her own. In contrast, she feels the generation of her own children has seen their liberty and exposure to the world diminished, perhap… more
Beverley Veasey's last exhibition Natural History (Stills Gallery 2006) depicted animals and birds in artificial environments. In Habitats she is still interested in the artificial however this time the inhabitants, the animals, are nowhere to be found. We are left to gaze at the man made spaces created to replicate the wild - taking us ‘into the wild'.
There are monkey bars, but no orangutans; forests, but no bears; and token logs absent of reptiles lizards or snakes. Water holes suggest l… more
Robyn Stacey’s startling image Mr Macleay’s Fruit and Flora, seems at first glance to be a digital construct, it comprises such a baffling array of fruits and flowers. Yet there is an historical foundation underpinning this luscious assemblage. Stacey’s large-scale photograph re-creates the lost botanic gardens of Elizabeth Bay House, once world famous not only for the Australian natives but for the exotics imported from China, India, South America and the Cape of Good Hope. Al… more
“ In order for us to be authentically human we have to value the central role the poetic plays in our lives and, significantly for Cornish's deftly crafted, ambiguous and powerful photographs, be willing to stop, observe, hear, listen to and remember all that surrounds us from earth to sky.” John Conomos 2004Stretto, from the Latin to draw close, is Christine Cornish’s latest body of work. In keeping with earlier works, Cornish has created simple yet profound composit… more
Petrina Hicks' immaculate large-scale portraiture represents something more than individual likeness. Beneath the highly polished and controlled surface of her images lies an eerie, unsettling psychological distance. Hicks' works probe those dualities that are at the heart of contemporary photography – traversing the fine lines between closeness and distance, between perfection and imperfection and between truth and falseness. For Hicks these are qualities that punctuate the continuum from an… more
Pat Brassington is well known as one of Australia's leading photo-media artists. Over the past twenty years she has exhibited widely both in Australia and overseas. Her inclusion in the Biennale of Sydney 2004 and a major survey of her work at the Ian Potter Gallery, University of Melbourne in 2003 attest to her standing in Australian contemporary art.
In this exhibition we will present some of her most recent creations alongside a selection of early works.
It is interesting to follow the traj… more
Pete Volich's subject matter favours everyday materials, scenarios and forms derived from the urban and suburban environment. Of interest to him is a re-valuing or re-claiming of that which is ordinary. He is influenced by Memento Mori and Vernacular photography and in how they have influenced the physicality and interpretation of the photographic form.
In his latest body of work Volich uses the site of Hackney Marsh, which is located directly adjacent to the new Olympic Park for the 2012 Lond… more
James Bryans’ small-scale black and white prints evoke a sense of pathos in their quiet, contained compositions. Bryans calls Figments a collection of travel photographs, yet the word figment points to the imagination that pervades the works. These are not merely documents of scenic spots. Bryans employs the documentary charge of black and white photography but turns it on its head, with images that capture his wry and poetic take on the world around him. In Untitled 13 for example, a smal… more
ELLA DREYFUS - scumbag9 April to 10 May 2008Opening Wed 9 April 6 to 8pmArtist Talk Sat 12 April 2pmElla Dreyfus’ first exhibition Pregnancy Series (Stills Gallery,1992) had a huge impact generating large crowds, critical attention and polarising audiences. Her subsequent exhibitions have included The Body Pregnant (1993), Age and Consent (1999), Transman (2001), Under Twelves (2005) and Weight and Sea (2005). Dreyfus specialises in subject matter that presses buttons, an… more
Stills Gallery is exhibiting one of Michael Riley's outstanding series, flyblown to coincide with a retrospective of Riley's work Michael Riley: Sights Unseen showing at the Art Gallery of NSW (22 Feb to 27 April) curated last year by Brenda L. Croft for the National Gallery of Australia. flyblown was produced in 1998 immediately before cloud (2000), Riley's best known series.
Riley was born in central NSW in (his father's) Wiradjuri country. He grew up on the Talbragar Aboriginal Reserve out… more
George Schwarz is an artist with a substantial exhibition history (four shows at Stills Gallery since 1992) and is well known for supporting other artists through many years of teaching at the now College of Fine Arts (since 1973). His new work Vita Brevis Est bears much of the imprint of earlier work in its poetic heartfelt style, yet every image is totally fresh. The sentiments are openly expressed in the title (it translates as Life is Short) and this too is reminiscent of previous work, whic… more
Stills Gallery's first exhibition of the year features three emerging artists whose works traverse rugged coastlines, mangrove swamps and unsightly urban alleys. Eliza Hutchison, Deb Mansfield and Murray McKeich engage the organic. With an unavoidably Surrealist edge, they each disrupt the age-old belief system that couples Nature with inherent Truth or Goodness. These artists explore the unique aesthetic possibilities of new media and interdisciplinary forms, confusing and contradicting the tr… more
28 Nov 2007 to 2 Feb 2008
Gallery closed 23 December and re-opens 15 January 2008
Stills Gallery celebrates the end of 2007 and the beginning of the festive season with an exhibition featuring a selection of new works by gallery artists.
Narelle Autio is well known for her striking and joyful images shot in and around the water. Her latest series The Place in Between, currently on exhibition in Wonderful World at the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art in S.A. will… more
E-Bay can make people obsessive. Maureen Burns' latest body of work began with an 'Eames Era' search for some retro furniture, with her own home in mind. It has since elevated to genre an e-phenomenon that extends the field of 'found' photography out of our living rooms (for the right price) and into the digital era. Re-presenting photos taken by an unlikely bunch of e-bay-sellers-come-international-artists (look out for Shabby*Shack and Sunset-Load) Burns appropriates their shy masterpieces as … more
With the proliferation of image availability on the internet there are bountiful opportunities for creating artwork without touching a camera. Rectified Searches: Road, Chris, Fog consists of reconfigured jpeg files downloaded from the internet. Using keyword searches, Fortescue retrieved hundreds of thumbnails in a process he calls 'image mining'. Through selection and manipulation of the images he directs our attention to the genetics of portrait and landscape pictorialism.
The quality of the… more