Episodes
Tony Costa won the Archibald prize in 2019 with his stunning painting of contemporary artist Lindy Lee. I caught up with him a few weeks later in his studio in Sydney and our podcast conversation from that day is episode 70 of the podcast. I also recorded video in Tony's studio which I edited down to about 5 minutes, with lots of painting wisdom ending up on the cutting room floor. So in this episode I'm bringing you the full conversation. Tony has been painting for over 50...
Published 02/01/21
In 2019 I travelled 4 hours west of Sydney, past the Blue Mountains, driving through winding bush roads until I arrived at Hill End, the historic goldmining village which is now also known for its inspiring artist's community. It was there that I interviewed Susan Baird who a few years earlier had fallen in love with the town and now has a home and studio there, deep in the bush. We recorded a previous podcast interview where Susan talked with me about how she became an artist...
Published 01/14/21
My recent conversation with leading artist Euan Macleod is the first in a summer series of extended audio recordings from videos I’ve taken of my podcast guests. As is the way with videos, a lot of great material gets lost in the editing process so I’m bringing you the longer version of our conversations recorded during filming. I caught up with Euan in September 2020 at his knockout show ‘Figure in a dissolving landscape' at King Street Gallery on William in Sydney. I...
Published 01/01/21
Antonia Mrljak's art exudes a dynamic force. It mirrors her personality - one of energy, vibrancy and a sure sense of direction. She is one of Australia's most exciting emerging abstract artists. But it wasn't until after a career in fashion and creating a family that, almost by accident, she discovered that painting was the perfect way for her to express her experiences. Her Sicilian background and childhood strongly influence her work and this interview is as much a story of...
Published 12/11/20
Joshua Yeldham's imagery is steeped in nature. His large works range from portraying the landscape with its stunning mystical trees, to figures with a tribal aesthetic, to his iconic owls which he has famously painted and sculpted multiple times over the years, even as a self portrait.  As you get closer to these works you realise they are intricately composed with astonishing detail. And the marks aren’t limited to paint. They’re often created through carving into the board or paper...
Published 11/09/20
An edited version of this episode is also a video which you can see here: When I started this podcast in July 2016 with no knowledge of audio recording let alone how to start a podcast I never imagined that four years later I would have interviewed close to a hundred painters, as well as curators and authors, and have a YouTube channel with over 100 videos filmed on my iPhone! Building up this podcast would not have been possible, though, without the encouragement of those...
Published 11/01/20
You can also watch this episode as a video here. To hear the episode as an audio podcast click on 'play' above. Leading artist Wendy Sharpe talks with me in her Sydney studio about her fabulous show 'Magic' at King Street Gallery on William. We also talk about the controversy around her Sulman finalist painting ‘The Witches’ in 2016, her involvement in the innovative SBS show Life Drawing Live, the story behind her striking Archibald portrait of Magda Szubanski and lots...
Published 10/21/20
In the late 19th century, impressionism swept through the art world. In Australia, a group of young artists embraced the new movement - they would meet in artist's camps and paint en plein air. Among them was a young Arthur Streeton who would in due course become one of Australia's most loved and respected artists.   Wayne Tunnicliffe has curated an outstanding retrospective of Streeton’s work. Wayne is Head Curator of Australian art at the Art Gallery of NSW, and the retrospective...
Published 10/11/20
After months of disruption and pessimism wreaked by the global pandemic, seeing Jude Rae's exhibition '424-428' at The Commercial in Sydney was as uplifting as the paintings themselves. The towering concrete walls of the gallery would ordinarily overpower an exhibition of five paintings but the exquisite works easily took command of the space. Viewing the exhibition will be an experience I'll never forget. The genre of still life has a rich tradition in the history of...
Published 09/21/20
Reading Scott Bevan’s biography of 20th century artist William Dobell is like viewing one of Dobell’s portraits; Scott takes us behind the exterior of the subject and into their inner life. He just uses words instead of paint. Scott is a journalist, TV and radio presenter, musician and biographer. In this podcast interview, I talk with him about the life of Dobell in the context of the changing art world of the 20th century.  In particular, we go back seventy seven years to when...
Published 09/01/20
Creating her work through intuition, Louisa Chircop takes us into another world - the world of her subconscious. Dreamlike landscapes containing disembodied limbs, headless figures and mysterious forms - some representational others more abstract - create a surrealist atmosphere which draws the viewer closer to see what the artist has unearthed and portraits take on an extra layer of meaning. Her work crosses painting, mixed media, photomontage and sculpture and she has...
Published 08/11/20
William Mackinnon is a previous podcast guest. In this episode we talk about his show with Hugo Michell Gallery, 'Learning to love the wind' coming up in a few weeks. We also talk about his life in Ibiza, Spain, where he lives with his wife and young son, and how this body of work has developed in these times of change, both global and personal. You can hear more about William's interesting life and work in episode 38 of the podcast. I'll be uploading a short video centring...
Published 07/21/20
Belinda Fox's work is extraordinary. Whether it’s an intricate bird in mid-flight or abstract geometric forms, she combines paint, printmaking, drawing, wax and collage to produce works of great detail and beauty. When she was only in her twenties Belinda became a master printer at Port Jackson Press, collaborating with leading Australian artists. It wasn't long before she decided to become a full time artist and since that time she’s won multiple art prizes, been awarded many grants...
Published 06/22/20
Tim Maguire is one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, acclaimed internationally for his astonishing large scale paintings.  From afar, they are familiar subjects; flowers in a tight composition, translucent grapes, an inquiring snail. But up close, multiple layers of transparent paint and a fascinating combination of large brushstrokes and expressive splashes transport the viewer to another world. Maguire’s work is held in Australia's major public collections,...
Published 06/04/20
Colin Pennock's work could be described as landscape painting but it certainly doesn’t fall into that category in any traditional sense.  Although there's almost always a horizon line, or the remnants of one,  he throws the traditional ideas of sky, land and sea into ambiguity. The glorious pieces of impasto paint which are so distinctive in his work provide a fragmented way of seeing the world and it’s almost impossible for the viewer not to feel some response to the energy...
Published 05/17/20
A true plein air painter, Emily Imeson has spent the last two years living a nomadic lifestyle travelling around Australia with her partner in their beloved Troopy 4WD.   For much of that time Emily’s studio has been the Australian outback. Whether she's using the side of the car as an easel or working flat on the ground of the Australian desert, she is engulfed by her surroundings and transfers that experience onto the canvas. A few days before COVID caused a lockdown in...
Published 05/04/20
There’s no mistaking a Lucas Grogan work. Whether it’s a mural, an ink drawing or an intricate quilt, his detailed monochromatic patterns are unique and his carefully chosen lines of text are loaded with meaning and humour. Although he’s only in his 30s, he’s exhibited in over 20 solo shows and has been working as a full time artist since 2012.  His work is held in numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Australia. His survey show, Long Story...
Published 04/15/20
Since episode 87 the world has changed. Those huge changes to our whole society and way of life, brought about by the threat of COVID-19, have coincided with the opening of Peter O'Doherty's show at King Street Gallery on William, prophetically called 'The distance between us'. I was planning to film a short video at the opening, asking Peter about his show, but this instead turned into a phone interview which I decided to post as an episode. In addition to his show we also...
Published 03/22/20
Davida Allen and William Robinson, two of Australia's leading painters, are not only both Archibald winners and Queenslanders but have been friends for over 40 years. Although they share their thoughts about the art world and their work, their painting styles and personalities are very different - which might be part of the secret to their long friendship. Davida's current show with Philip Bacon Galleries in Brisbane runs until 28 March 2020 and William Robinson will be...
Published 03/08/20
There are few other artists that have captured Australia's imagination quite like Ian Fairweather. This is the second part of a double episode on 20thcentury artist Ian Fairweather. In the last episode I interviewed Claire Roberts, co -editor of the book 'Ian Fairweather A Life in Letters' and we talked about the events of Fairweather’s life from his early childhood.  In this episode I talk with Ann Thomson, one of Australia's leading contemporary artists who I have previously...
Published 02/23/20
Learning about someone through their letters is a fascinating exercise and this is precisely what Claire Roberts set out to do when she amassed over 700 letters of the celebrated 20th century artist Ian Fairweather. Together with cultural historian John Thompson, Roberts has produced a brilliant book 'Ian Fairweather A Life in Letters' which not only gives us an insight into Fairweather's life in his own words but provides context by setting periods of letters in chapters with their...
Published 02/22/20
Stepping into David Griggs' Sydney studio in the lead up to his show at Roslyn Oxley9 gallery was a sensory experience. The scale of his paintings is large and the colour is bold. The word 'psychedelic' has been used more than once in describing his work and it certainly applies to his show about to hit the Sydney art scene. It’s fabulously called Mankini Island. David’s a painter, sculptor and filmmaker, has exhibited in over 25 solo shows and has been hung in the prestigious...
Published 02/02/20
Driving to Philip Wolfhagen's home outside Launceston, Tasmania last November was a dreamlike experience. Unlike the dry landscape of drought-affected NSW (we recorded before the onset of the bushfire crisis), there were green farmlands rolling down to a plain with hills in the distance. If it had been dusk I would have felt I was driving through a Wolfhagen painting because capturing the landscape surrounding his property is a large part of Philip's practice. In particular he...
Published 01/19/20
Looking back at the artists of 2019! Listen to this podcast episode for highlights and click on the artist's name to hear the whole interview and most with YouTube videos. Luke Sciberras Nicholas Harding Kiata Mason Del Kathryn Barton Blak Douglas Neil Frazer Tony Costa Nicole Kelly Tim Storrier Susan Baird Tom Carment Kathrin Longhurst Ben Quilty
Published 12/31/19
This is not the first time curator Lisa Slade has brought the paintings of Ben Quilty to viewers in Australia, but of those previous exhibitions none has had the depth and breadth of the survey show ‘Quilty’ which has arrived at the Art Gallery of NSW. Distilling fifteen years of creative energy, Slade has brought together an exhibition which not only presents these works to the viewer in a compelling way, but evokes curiosity and creates meaning. The exhibition originated in...
Published 12/08/19