2017 exhibitions

Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation – Muswellbrook Student Works

Image by Kai Dodd

Exhibition: 29 October – 22 December 2017
Opening: 6pm Saturday 28 October 2017

The Muswellbrook Enrichment Centre provides after school tuition and individual mentoring support and case management in cooperation with Muswellbrook High School. It enables Aboriginal secondary school students to participate to complete Year 12, enter tertiary studies or undertake other post school training or employment.

The students from the Muswellbrook Enrichment Centre have worked on the artworks presented during their time down at the centre. Local Aboriginal artist and parent- Chris Dodd worked alongside students in the design and creation of the work. This is a collection of their own understanding of Muswellbrook and what it means to them to be Aboriginal.

8x10: Photographic Works by Muswellbrook High School

Caitlin Ryan, Cat 2017

Opening 6pm Friday, 1 September 2017
Exhibition 2 September to 22 October 2017

The magic of traditional photographic processes harks back to another time, before digital photography and all that goes with it. The students of Muswellbrook High School Stage 5 Photographic and Digital Media have experienced taking photographs using film, developing film and printing images using chemicals in the darkroom. They produced works of great skill and “beautiful mistakes” and have experienced deep learning through this process. Students enjoyed the "old fashioned" traditional photographic methods and gained a sense of autonomy in their learning.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite photograph in the 8x10 People’s Choice Prize. The winner of the prize will be awarded a Eckersley’s gift card to the tune of $50.00. This prize has been made possible through the support and sponsorship of Eckersley’s Art and Craft.

Eckersley's Art & Craft

8x10: Photographic Works by Muswellbrook High School catalogue

Artwork credit: Caitlin Ryan, Cat 2017

Urban Outlook

Artwork: Ron Lambert, Born in the USA 1988, oil on canvas, 60.5 x 111cm, Max Watters Collection.

Max Watters Collection

Opening 6pm Friday 1 September 2017

2 September to 22 December 2017

What characterises the urban environment? What does it look like, sound like, feel like? The gritty, hard edged industrial infrastructure; the systematic line-up of domestic dwellings; the interwoven network of roads and rails; the bustle of activity at its centre - it organises us, shapes us.

Drawn from the Max Watters Collection the exhibition speaks of our experience with the urban.

Included are paintings that depict the colourful domestic built environment - works by brothers Chris and Peter O’Doherty, so greatly influenced by their childhood experience of frequently moving house, alongside the interlocking dwellings of George Barker’s Glass House. Likewise with a stacked and layered composition, Born in the USA by Ron Lambert is evocative of urban sprawl – a densely packed patchwork landscape that looks as if to smother the ground on which in stands.

In Frank Littler’s Marrickville Town Hall, a dark and sinister centre of urban control is portrayed in a pair of works where menacing red cars boast their power while a shadowy figure in Mayoral robes lurks in the gloom.

Sculptural works illustrate the diversity of forms found in the urban environment. Works by Tony Coleing are representative of the forms found in public spaces, while in direct contrast Paul Counsel’s Tower Forms are reminiscent of those forms seen in the industrial landscape.

The works included in the exhibition are strong and confident, echoing the environment from which they were derived.  Immerse yourself in the urban, be afforded an Urban Outlook.

Artwork: Ron Lambert, Born in the USA 1988, oil on canvas, 60.5 x 111cm, Max Watters Collection.

Muswellbrook Local Art Awards 2017

Roberta Wiseman "Gundamulda" Viola Bromley Painting Prize First Prize cat no 43

29 October - 22 December 2017

Opening Night 6pm Saturday 28 October 2017

Exhibition of finalists for the 2017 Muswellbrook Local Art Awards, an annual competition which offers local artists from Muswellbrook, Singleton, and Upper Hunter Shires the opportunity to show off the cream of their work from the past twelve months.

Find out more



Our Community – Goodstart Muswellbrook

Artwork credit: Ebonnie-Rose 2017

02 September - 22 October 2017

Opening 6:00pm Friday, 01 September 2017

Goodstart Muswellbrook prides itself on being represented in Muswellbrook as well as throughout the wider Upper Hunter community. With this in mind, educators at Goodstart Muswellbrook asked the children what the community looks like through their own eyes, drawing inspiration from a local excursion along with photos and stories.

From these experiences, the children developed independent ideas about ‘Our Community’ and, using a variety of mediums that inluded crayons, chalk, pencil and paint, created some wonderfully inspirational images. Children range in age from 0-6 years and the resulting colourful artworks showcase just some of the diversity across the Muswellbrook community. Join Goodstart Muswellbrook and the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre in a celebration of ‘Our Community’!

Artwork credit: Ebonnie-Rose 2017

Travis De Vries: Lost Tales – Walking with Gods

Darc Ridjerul, 2017, Oil on canvas

Opening night 6pm Friday 7 July 2017

8 July - 27 August 2017

Multidisciplinary artist, writer and creator Travis De Vries’ upcoming collection of work borrows and twists the tropes of mythology, graphic novels and traditional story telling to reimagine the stories of Australia’s First People.

A collection of new paintings, stitched together in a wall-to-wall tapestry, with prose, sculptural and audio-visual elements; Lost Tales: Walking with Gods is an opportunity to engage and experience aeons old stories in a completely new light. These works echo the studies of Joseph Campbell or the worlds of Neil Gaiman, they will resonate deep in the heart of the Australian psyche through our connection to the myths and legends of the Indigenous people; gods, demons and creature that haunt us and the clash these ideas have with the more recent western mythologies to come to Australia.

"I am creating new mythologies that grow and change all the time. Presented as a whole; each painting is connected to all of the other and together they form a story set in the small town of Glen Innes in northern New South Wales. You’ll see motifs from the local area and in this exhibition I explore the idea of gods from both western and Australian Indigenous pantheon mixing with each other and the local populace. This is a look inside the worlds that exist in my head, a sprawling place where all manner of creature from our psyche runs rampant. A god from one of the Norse pantheons has hitched ride to Australia at some time in the last couple of centuries. Whilst here though he has been in a fight with a local deity and now has amnesia, he can't remember that he is a god. All the memories he has are hints and flashes from the old days, mostly rituals and sacrifices and that is slowly sending him insane. He wants to remember and he begins to act out the flashes of memory that he has by kidnapping local children and performing ceremonies. It's dark, a little disturbing but I love the play between the local mythology and the introduction of western mythologies, and I love to see what happens when these things mix."

Image: Darc Ridjerul, 2017, Oil on canvas


National Association of Visual Arts
Create NSW logo

Michèle Heibel – For the love of the Hunter

Under the Mistletoe, etching needle on clayboard
Under the Mistletoe, etching needle on clayboard

Opening night 6pm Friday 1 September 2017

02 September – 22 October 2017

In this collection of delicately etched works, Michèle Heibel explores her relationship with the Hunter Valley - the place she credits with reigniting her desire to draw after almost two decades of working and living in Sydney's busy CBD. We see the things that made her fall in love with the Hunter - the calm, steady presence of trees, the undemanding (yet ever-present) companionship of wildlife, the endless layers of light. And we touch on the more complex emotions that are released the moment a person commits to a place ... feelings such as the fear of loss, the urge to protect and the hope for a sound future.

Image: Under the Mistletoe, etching needle on clayboard

Dorothy Wishney - Art of Contemplation

Dorothy Wishney, 'Balancing Act, Queenstown, Tasmania', oil on canvas.

Opening night 6pm Friday 1 September 2017

02 September – 22 October 2017

This exhibition brings together landscapes separated by 12,000 miles. Dorothy Wishney's early years in Scotland and study at The Glasgow School of Art gave her an affinity with the landforms of her homeland.

Australia, now her home for many years, introduced a different landscape, initially strange and overwhelming in its vastness.

Only on contemplation were similarities unveiled.

Essentially in both instances there was a feeling of permanency and ancient connections. Closer consideration of these locations found a common thread of landscapes of splendid isolation, landscapes reshaped by human activity and landscapes of regeneration.

This exhibition is a journey of visual discovery searching for the essence of place and engaging with the land.

Image: Dorothy Wishney, 'Balancing Act, Queenstown, Tasmania', oil on canvas

Contemporising the Modern - Photography from the 20th and 21st Century

08 July – 27 August 2017

Contemporising the modern showcases 50 photographic works that speak of Australia in the 20th and early 21st centuries collected by Russell Mills and donated to the Murray Art Museum Albury, MAMA in 2015. The collection explores the development of Australian photography and its coming of age in a period when photographers were investigating and pushing the boundaries of the acceptance of photography as a pure art form. The collection brings together iconic artists and artworks of the period including Max Dupain, Olive Cotton, Jeff Carter, Roger Scott and Trent Parke.

The Russell Mills Foundation was formed in 2015, on the death of Russell Mills, a nurse and public servant who nurtured interests in reading, art, music and theatre that grew into passions for festivals, books, art, photography, 20th-century architecture, musical theatre and arts philanthropy. The Foundation is a legacy of Russell's ideals. It supports opportunities for Australians to be challenged and enriched by experiences and ideas, and to find inspiration for promoting a fairer, smarter and more engaged community.

Max DUPAIN (1911–1992) <br /> Silos through windscreen, 1965/2005

Max DUPAIN (1911–1992)
Silos through windscreen, 1965/2005
silver gelatin photograph
Gift of the Russell Mills Foundation, 2015
MAMA collection

Petrina HICKS (1972) - Lambswool - from the series The Descendants, 2008

Petrina HICKS (1972) - Lambswool - from the series The Descendants, 2008
Lightjetprint photograph
Gift of the Russell Mills Foundation, 2015
MAMA collection

Olive COTTON (1911–2003)<br /> Only to Taste the Warmth, the Light, the Wind, c.1939

Olive COTTON (1911–2003)
Only to Taste the Warmth, the Light, the Wind, c.1939
silver gelatin photograph
Gift of the Russell Mills Foundation, 2015
MAMA collection

The Russell Mills Foundation


Exhibition: 13 May – 27 August 2017
Opening:  12 May 2017

Creatures; animals, both real and fantastic, have been both enduring and integral components of human storytelling, occupying a place in art since the Stone Ages. Throughout this time, animals in art have served as vessels, having been used to communicate environmental issues, narratives concerning life and death, in a celebration of nature’s beauty and power, as well as reflecting sentimental attachments. Ever present in the human psyche, animals connect us to the wild and anchor us in the domestic. Whether artists have used them literally or figuratively, with or without human subjects, animals in art make meaning in a vastness of ways, capable of carrying a rich variety of symbolic associations, commanding compositions that irrevocably bond nature and culture.

Take a walk on the wild side as you discover the creatures of the Max Watters Collection.

Image: Suzie Marston, Portrayal of the Watters Persona 1993, acrylic on cotton duck, Max Watters Collection.
Page 1 of 2